Sunday, October 31, 2010

Day of Debauchery

OK, holy day of debauchery or what, Batman.  I actually started this post last night, but was in such a food coma I couldn't sit up straight and stay awake for more than 10 minutes last night.  Let's see...where to start?  Hmmm....may as well start this sordid tale right at the beginning...

Hubs and I have been planning this day for weeks...our last hurrah before we embark on 8 weeks of hell cleaning eating, so our thoughts were go big or go home.  Hubs has been craving breakfast food lately, so we got our butts out of bed early to be down at our fave breakfast joint The Blue Fox right when they opened.  I had the eggs and chorizo sausage, while Hubs had the Fox's Grille - a huge plate of food that we actually noticed a couple were actually sharing.  Yikes!  After we devoured our food, I went to go weigh in...maybe not the smartest idea to do that since I probably consumed about five pounds of food, but we wanted to get to the restaurant early as there's always a line up to eat there.  Before I got on that scale, I shucked off as much clothing as I possibly could and faced the music.  Not good.  I'm a good 15 pounds heavier than I was when I got married seven years ago - the couple of pounds of weight creeping up each year doesn't seem like a big deal, but cumulatively it really adds up.  At the rate I'm going, I'd be up 20 pounds by the time we hit our 10th anniversary!  Gah - not good for someone who's only 5'2''.  Le sigh.

We ran some errands and then went home.  Hubs brought out our Goody Box, and we did an admirable job of eating all the crap so it wouldn't tempt us - there's pretty much no bad food left in the house right now.  We ate all the chocolates, finished off all the half opened chip was a feeding frenzy.  But it didn't stop there.  A few hours later, we got peckish once again and decided to have dinner.  And what was dinner, you ask?  Pizza, nachos and instant noodles.  Yep, you read that right...all three!  Oh, and some cookies for dessert.  We rolled ourselves onto the couch and I couldn't even keep my eyes open...all that fat, sugar, sodium and nasty carbs were coursing through my veins.  We definitely went big.

So needless to say - this morning I felt like a pile of shite, and had nooooo problem eating healthy today.  Day 1 of the Challenge is going well - no cheating, even when confronted with burgers, hot dogs, cookies, candy and pizza at our annual Halloween block party - 55 more days to go!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Another Victory for Vij

I'm quickly falling in love with the Vij's at Home cookbook.  I've been looking through my cookbooks for some recipes to make during the 10 Pound Challenge - in return for Hubs doing the eating plan with me, I said I'd really zhuuuush up the food so he won't feel like he's missing anything.  Plus I'm sure just eating grilled chicken breast and steamed veggies for 8 weeks is going to be pretty tiresome.   I love a cooking challenge so I'm all over it!

I was intrigued when I saw this recipe for Spicy Cauliflower "Steak"....normally cauliflower isn't something I love, but I don't mind it.  The ingredients for this are pretty healthy and this recipe made it onto their Rangoli menu (Rangoli is the name of the bistro that is also owned by Vij) so I figured it had to be pretty good.

YUM-O, as stinkin' Rachel Ray would say.  I really like this one - Hubs really liked it too (mostly because he said it covered up the taste of the cauliflower - his words, not mine!) and it's pretty quick and easy to make and would be great with some rice or as a side for roast chicken.  Lots of flavour, and it's even tastier the next day. 

Spicy Cauliflower Steak - from Vij's at Home

1 head cauliflower
1/2 cup cooking oil
1 1/2 cups crushed canned tomatoes
1 tbsp finely chopped ginger
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cayenne
10 cloves (optional)
3 inch cinnamon stick (optional)

Cut cauliflower as you would a pie, into 6 pieces if it's a smaller head and 8 pieces if it's a larger one.  Wash and drain.

Combine oil and tomatoes in a large wide pot on medium high heat.  Add ginger, salt, turmeric, cumin, coriander, cayenne, cloves and cinnamon, stir well and saute for 3 to 4 minutes or until oil glistens from the tomatoes.

Reduce the heat to low while you mix in cauliflower.  Carefully place each large piece cauliflower into the pot and gently stir so that the tomato masala covers all the pieces.  if necessary, use a large spoon to ladle tomato masala into the nooks and crannies of the cauliflower pieces.

Increase the medium, cover and cook for 8 - 10 minutes, stirring once halfway through.  When you stir, if you notice the cauliflower isn't cooking, increase the heat.  Pierce one of the larger pieces with a knife to see if it is soft but not mushy.

My adjustments - I cut the oil down to about 1/8th of a cup and left out the cloves and cinnamon stick.  That's it - delish.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Three Things Thursday

1.  T-minus Two Days

I have two more days of freedom until I weigh in and my life is over...KIDDING!  Actually, I'm kind of excited to get started - I haven't been eating great and having lots of "last hurrahs" throughout the week (hello hedgehogs..hee hee) so am looking forward to eating properly again.  I've been thinking about what our meals are going to be - I see lots of veggies, complex carbs and lean proteins in our future.  Lunches and dinners are pretty easy, but I have a really hard time with getting protein for breakfast since I can't have dairy or eggs.  I think I'll be doing more smoothies with vegetable protein since it's not good to have too much soy either.  I bought a new product that I have yet to try, so will blog more about it once I get a chance to test it out.

2.  Ow

I swear - this could be used as an instrument of torture...

Holy crap, I used the foam roller for the first time tonight and it KILLS!  I've been having some really bad lower back/glute pain lately - unfortunately I think the rear-ender I had last month has messed up my back and some days it hurts badly to sit for too long.  Once I'm up and moving I'm OK, but going from sit to stand is really painful.  It was bothering me a lot today so I decided to test out the foam roller we have, that Hubs got for his broken bum (piriformis).  Thing looks innocuous, right?  I positioned myself on it, got it under my bum/hip and started to roll and I almost went through the roof.  Zoiks! Thing works like a hot damn...I like it!

3.  Puppypuppypuppypuppy

OMG, cutest thing ever!!  My coworker M is the proud new mummy of a chocolate lab puppy named Finn, so she brought him into the office today.  So unbearably cute.  He's all roly poly chubby puppy right now, so sweet. day I'll get my greyhound!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Think First, Talk Later

In the infamous words of Kanye...Imma let you finish...but I gots something to say that's been festering inside me for ages and I have to let out.  Now normally I keep my thoughts to myself, but a few things have happened recently that's really brought this to the forefront and I had to blog about it.  Today is one of those "flows freely from the fingers" moments and I have to take advantage of these times while I can! 

Naysayers.  Ironic, isn't it?  I'm writing a blog post bitching about negative people.  One of the principles that I trytrytry to live by is to not judge others or their choices in life.  To each their own, is my motto.  Sure, if you were in imminent physical danger I'd speak up...or if you were thinking about running away with a convicted murder, of course I'd stop you.  But as far as general life decisions, I don't understand why people feel the need to make negative comments or pipe up with their two bits.  Maybe it's because they fear change, maybe they can't relate and feel the need to make fun of something that's different from what they would do, maybe those decisions make them rethink their choices.  I don't know...but whatever it is, it really chaps my hide when people aren't supportive.

A small example.  It's not a huge life changing event but something that I'm doing that is important to me.  I'm doing this 10 pound challenge and I'm doing it over the holiday season.  Yes, it'll be hard and I know it...I have my reasons for why I'm doing it then.  I've heard more than a few times about how hard/difficult/crazy it's going to be and that I'm nuts for even trying...just some really negative comments.  Well gosh...thanks so much for the overwhelming support!  I feel really great and positive now.  And so supported.  How about "hey, that's awesome - your running times will improve" or "good on ya, you'll start the new year off great!"  Frankly, that kinda shizz annoys the effing hell out of me and comments like that are just so unnecessary.   Luckily I'm a stubborn ass kind of person (I am a Taurus, after all) who'll dig their heels in and think "I'll show 'em"...but I've seen so many examples of this recently (and not just towards me) that it makes me want to cuff some people upside the head and ask them what kind of children their momma raised. Sure, I know I can just ignore people and their snide comments but sometimes it's not that easy.

So I'm going to put it out there - be kind.  Be supportive of others.   Think more about what we say (or write, for that matter) as you never know how words will affect someone.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Bloggie Block

So a question to other bloggers out there - do you ever run out of ideas?  Or have writer's block?  Last week I couldn't think of anything to write about...and when I did get an idea, I wrote the entry and never posted it because it just didn't quite say what I was so eloquently trying to express.  Some days stuff flows from my fingertips easily, and some days it's like pulling teeth.  Bleh.  Then all of a sudden, there were post inspirations everywhere...I'd be walking along and shazam!  An idea would jump out at me.  I'd be watching TV and pow!  Another idea would slap me upside the head.  I had so many coming at me that I actually had to jot them all down in an unposted blog entry, to keep track of them all.  Ooooh, you lucky, lucky people.

Today's topic?  I was reading this entry from Ben Does Life and it got me all riled up (but in a good way).  Basically, he has readers who want to run races but are afraid...either afraid to be seen because they're embarassed about being overweight, or embarrassed about being slow.  I vehemently agree with him that no one, and I mean NO ONE is looking at you and judging you.  In fact, it's quite the opposite.  After I finished the half at the Goodlife Victoria Marathon, I went back to watch the marathoners come in and was treated (yes, that's right...treated) to the chance to watch the 3 hours plus half marathoners cross the finish line.  I guarantee you no one was scoffing at them, no one was looking at their weight or their age or anything for that matter.  People were clapping and cheering each other on because we're all running in each other's footsteps - there's this sense of camraderie at a race that you just don't get at other events.  I decided then and there that I wanted to volunteer at a race (hopefully at the finish line) because seeing the happiness on these people's faces was indescribable.  Seriously.  There really is something magical about a race. 

So please...if you're thinking about doing a race but are scared...or actually if you want to start any kind of exercise program but are concerned about what you look like or what others think - take the leap of faith and just do it. 

Oh...and if you do hear anything less than positive? Let me know, cuz they're going to get a mouthful of my fist.  Just sayin'.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The World is My Oyster

I'm so excited....the planets have aligned for me today and I'm done all my errands before noon!  Woohoo!!  Cooking - done.  Laundry - check.  Housework - finished.  Workout - complete!  So what am I going to do today?  I'm going to hunker down with a nice cup of tea and a huge stack of cookbooks, magazines and other reading material that I can't get to and just chill.  Now I can't decide...what to read first?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Crazy Eights

I can't believe how out of shape I am.  Like seriously out of shape.  I hadn't gone to bootcamp in 8 weeks...went this Wed and Fri and I'm really, really sore.   Like crazy sore.  I can barely get in and out of my car and getting up out of a chair is painful.  I'm actually more sore now than I was after running the half marathon.   I admit - secretly I'm one of those weird people who actually loves feeling sore because it means I worked hard and I'm getting stronger - but it amazes me what changes can happen in such a short period of time.  What's 8 weeks?  And it wasn't like I wasn't exercising at all - but I was only running and not doing any kind of strength work.  Eight weeks isn't a long time period at all, right?

That got me to thinking...if I can lose this much fitness in 8 weeks, what will 8 weeks do for me on the flip side?  The 10 pound challenge I'm in is 8 weeks long.  If I really stick with it, concentrate on the goal and really eat clean and exercise, I'll hopefully hit my goal.  Then I bootcamp also does an 8 week personal training program where they'll do personal training sessions 4 times a week, one outdoor/indoor class, fitness testing before/after and nutrition accountability/counselling.  I'm intrigued...I'm looking into it but not sure what time of the day the sessions would be...early morning works best for me but we'll see.  I was thinking I'd do the 10 pound challenge to lose the excess jiggle, and then do the personal training sessions to really build up some lean muscle and get some really great conditioning.  My cardio is pretty strong but definitely my strength could use some work.  And I need the motivation to keep me going, which is why I like bootcamp - I need someone to push me and I think the personal training might just be the it shouldn't really interfere with my running schedule.  Oh...and the most important thing...lots more blog fodder!  I hope it works out, I'm excited to try something new and mix up my's hard to stick to something when it starts to get boring.

Side note - the number 8 is an extremely lucky number for the Chinese - I'll take that as a good sign that all these 8s will bring me success!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Counting Down

A week and  half more to go until I start the 10 Pound Challenge.  I seriously am craving everything under the sun, likely because I'm going to be cut off from all that is delicious and tasty in the world.  I know, I's only 8 weeks...and I'll still allow myself one free meal on Saturdays.  I know food is 80% of the battle, so I've got to really clean up my eating and once I do that hopefully the 10 pounds will just meeelllt off me like butter, right? 

The good thing is that my coworker J is also working at losing weight and is targetting to finish at the end of December, so I've got a partner in crime.  It's hard to resist stuff during the holiday season, so I won't feel so alone when I have to say no to that glass of wine (argh) or that chocolate (double argh).  I'm kind of excited to get started actually - I'm tired of the chub rub!  I'll have to really work hard on planning our meals to make sure we're getting enough protein - good old Hubs has agreed to do the food/exercise with me so that's awesome too.  Always nice to have support!  Hubs is already planning our "Last Supper" on Oct 30th (day of the weigh in) as I'm going to officially start on the 31st....knowing Hubs, it's gonna be a doozy!  Heh.

Monday, October 18, 2010

This Kid...

That is all.

Back at Bootcamp

Man, it's weird...I'm in the worst shape and best shape of my life at the same time.   My running is definitely the best it's ever been...but I pretty much suck at everything else!  I'm definitely feeling soft and gishy so need to get back to building back some more muscle.  I went to bootcamp for the first time in six weeks - combination of injury, marathon training, crazy traffic and summer hours at work kept me away so I was kinda excited to be one of my oldest friends D goes to bootcamp with me (actually, she introduced me to it).  Anyways, I pretty much sucked.  We were doing all sorts of exercises like burpees, jump squats and weight work and I was tired and winded in the first 10 minutes.  Everything burned.  It always surprises me how quickly you can lose your fitness!

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Ahhh yes.  The humble tater.  Coveted not only by Hobbits, but by most people I know in one form or another.  When I was coming up with the Thanksgiving menu a few weeks ago, I stumbled upon this mashed potato recipe...never giving up an opportunity to use my unsuspecting family members as guinea pigs, I decided to test this recipe out.

O.M.G.  This has to be THE best mashed potato recipe I've ever tried.  You could leave out the egg and not bother with the oven baking, but the eggs make it kind of puff up so it's really light and almost fluffy.  The recipe is from the America's Test Kitchen Best Ever Recipes - America's Test Kitchen is by the same people who do the Cook's Illustrated magazine, which is one of my absolute favourite magazines ever.  I always thought the cover looked super boring, but I picked one up and flipped through it one day and I was hooked.  They have recipes, they test out kitchen gadgets...can it get any better than that for a foodie?!

So here's the mashed potato recipe...I think Hubs might love me just a bit more now after he tasted this...

Mashed Potato Casserole - from America's Test Kitchen's Best Ever Recipes

4 pounds russet potatoes, about 8 medium, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
1/2 cup half and half
1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
12 tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) butter
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tsp dijon mustard
2 tsp salt
4 large eggs
1/4 cup finely chopped chives

Adjust an oven rack to the upper middle position and heat the oven to 375 degrees.  Bring the potatoes and water to cover by 1 inch to a boil in a large pot over high heat.  Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.

Heat the half and half, broth, butter, garlic, mustard and salt in a saucepan over medium low heat until smooth, about 5 minutes.  Keep warm.

Drain the potatoes and transfer them to a large bowl.  With an electric mixer on medium low speed, beat the potatoes, slowly adding the half and half mixture until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute.  Beat in the eggs 1 at a time until incorporated, fold in chives.

Transfer the  potato mixture to a greased 2 quart gratin dish.  Use a fork to make a peaked design on the potatoes.  Bake until the potatoes rise and brown, about 35 minutes.  Let rest 10 minutes and serve.

My adjustments - I cut down a bit on the butter as the recipe called for a lot...but I'm sure with the full amount, I'd die and go straight to heaven as a happy, happy girl.  I also added a touch more garlic as I'm a garlic freak.  The other cool thing with this is that you can make it the day ahead and then slap 'er in the oven when you're ready....just take the casserole out of the fridge an hour beforehand and increase baking time by 10 minutes. 

This is seriously good.  Not healthy by any means, but for a treat for special occasions - dooooo it.  Ya gotta live a little, right?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Recovery Run

What an amazing day we had here on the West Coast!  Gorgeous.  The day started off great - Hubs and I have decided that no matter what we're training for (or not training for), we're going to continue our "long runs" and do at least 15K each Saturday and change up the distances every so often to keep us challenged.  Last year after our half we got totally lazy and barely ran during Nov/Dec, so when we started up in Jan, it was sooooooo painful.  Plus packing on the usual Xmas flab didn't help much.  Our minimum distance before was 10K, but we're hoping to challenge ourselves so we're upping the ante.  We decided to do a 15K recovery run today - my legs aren't sore at all and feel strong so I'm thrilled as it must mean my legs are stronger than the same time last year.  Yay!

Man...what a fabulous run.  Crisp, cool, and clear...we headed out on a local trail and just ran.  And for the first time in months and months, I ran for the love of it and not because I was training for something.  It didn't feel like a chore - I wasn't constantly ruminating in my head about what my race plan was, what my distance was next week, how my foot was doing, was that my knee twinging?  I just looked off into the distance, cleared my head, put one foot in front of the other and remembered why I love to run.

The other benefit of the race - I've snapped out of my snail's pace and for most of this run was running around 5:45 pace...much, much faster than I was previously and it felt great.  Strange how quickly the body adapts - anything around that pace when I was in the depths of marathon training was painful.  This lead me to think - if one hard race could do that, what could consistent speedwork do?  Once my 10 pound challenge is done, I'm going to start introducing a little bit of speedwork - I'm gonna break the 2 hour half next year!

Friday, October 15, 2010

See How She Runs do you remember that episode of Friends about Phoebe and how she runs? Yup, that's me.

At the half, Hubs took a video of me as I ran past him and headed towards the finish line. As I watched it, I thought hmmm...I sure move my upper body a lot. I proceeded to grill my poor Hubs about my running style and being the good boy he is, said no no...of course I don't run funny, I'm as graceful as a gazelle...or something to that effect, hee hee. I was mollified at his answer so let it go. Plus I couldn't really see as a lot of people were running past so didn't get the full effect of how I run.

A few days later, I get an email that the race photos are out, so I check it out. Well, a new feature of this year's race is that they have this little 30 second video clip, which shows you crossing the finish line. Cool, right?

Super NOT cool!!! I watched in horror as I come down the chute, my arms are all over the place (granted I was trying to raise them in victory as I crossed the finish line but I was so exhausted it looked like I was flailing). I'm running like I've been riding a horse, my legs are really wide apart, almost like I'm squatting. Then it hit me...I totally run like Phoebe!! Gazelle, nothing! Argh. As I continue to watch the video, people are all blowing past me to the finish line. And just as I pass the finish line, I half stumble because I'm so tired. Le sigh. The moment is now immortalized in celluloid. Even my usually stoic Hubs giggled as he watched it and then tried to hide the fact that he was giggling. The only cool thing was that you could see me do my Asian gang signs for R! Well...OK, I know it was Asian gang signs, but most people probably thought I was having a seizure or something.

Oh well. Even if I do run funny - I love running and I ain't gonna stop. Didn't stop Phoebe, right?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Running for Life

A follow up to the Ben Does Life video that I posted a month or so ago - dude was on CBC!  And he's got a gig on the Today Show coming up soon.  Here's the link to the CBC interview:

Ben's CBC Interview!

Ben, I want to be you when I grow up.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

No Turning Back

Hubs and I have been having an awesome week off so far!  We originally had booked the week off after the race as I figured I'd be a hurting unit from the marathon and I'd need to be piggy-backed around the house.  Since I changed to the half marathon, it's been great because I'm not hobbling around.  We both had massages yesterday which were fabulous.  My legs were a little stiff so my RMT did a lactic acid flush and today they're not sore at all so I did a quick run on the treadmill.  I'm pretty happy about this because after last year's half I could barely walk for a week...stairs were intense.  Not good when you have a three story house!

So what's next?  We don't have any runs scheduled until January 1st, which is the Running Room's annual Resolution Run.  This got me to thinking...what can I do in the meantime now that I'm not training for anything specific?  My next big race won't likely be until the Spring sometime so I don't need to start training yet.  I started thinking about the Resolution Run which made me think about my new year's resolutions and it totally hit me!  There's that one item that is always on my New Year's resolution drop the 10 - 15 pounds that keeps plaguing me.  My weight keeps creeping up every year, and then I'll work all year long to lose it and then gain it back over the holiday season plus a couple extra for good measure.   My clothes are just that tidge too tight and I noticed the sign of excess avoirdupois - the dreaded bra-cutting-into-backfat situation.  And the cold hard numbers - yesterday I was at the doctor's office and got weighed on the REAL super accurate scale (not my lovely oh-so forgiving scale at home that's off by about five pounds) and I didn't like the number that I heard.  I want this perpetual winter coat gone for good.  So what's a fluffy little Asian girl to do?

A-ha!  Next fitness challenge is in my sights.  Today I took the plunge and signed up for the 8-week 10 pound challenge at my bootcamp.  All the participants put in $225...$25 goes to the studio, and in return you get two bootcamp classes.  If you lose 5 pounds in the first month, you get $50 back...and if you lose the remaining 5 pounds by the end of the 8 weeks, you get $150 back.  Any money that remains in the kitty gets split between those who lose the 10 pounds.  I thought this would be good for a multitude of starts Oct 30 and runs to the end of December, so I won't be tempted to gorge myself over the holiday season and really pack on the pounds.  I won't have to start the New Year on a diet, like I have every year for as long as I can remember...I can start the year feeling great.  Right now, I'm not happy with how I'm looking and feeling - I'm not comfortable and I'm feeling loafy.   I'm not training for anything right now so it's a good time - cutting back calories and marathon training aren't a good mix.  And losing that last 10 - 15 pounds will help me be a better runner as generally lighter is better.  Maybe it'll help me break the sub 2 hour half marathon that keeps eluding me! 

So you're probably wondering why the heck am I blogging about this?  Because I'm hoping to get your support especially when I'm about to cave and have that piece of pizza or that handful of chips that's calling my name.  I need your help to hold me accountable, because accountability is the name of the game.  The more people I tell, the more people will hold me to my goal.  It's what kept me on track for training for the marathon - when the going got tough, one of the things that kept me putting one foot in front of the other is that I had put it out there and told people I was going to do it, so I just had to do it.  No excuses.  And maybe it might encourage someone to get out there and take the first steps towards losing weight because they'll know that they're not alone.  Losing weight is never an easy task, regardless of how much weight you have to lose.

So no turning back now!  I've signed up, paid my fee and now I've put this out into the interweb for all to see.  My first weigh-in is Oct 30th - look out for future updates on the 10 pound challenge!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

TSN Turning Point

I was listening to the radio a few days ago and the DJs were talking about their "TSN Turning Point".  I'd heard of the show before - TSN used to include a feature on every hockey broadcast where they would show the highlight that most influenced the outcome of the game...the segment is long gone, but TSN Turning Point has come to mean the most significant or major life altering event in one's life.

Hmmmm.  This got me to thinking - what was my TSN Turning Point?  I think it was four years ago when I looked in the mirror and noticed that I had a big bald patch on my scalp where my hair had totally fallen out.  It was sort of on the side and I couldn't really see it, so I was completely shocked when I realized just bad it was.  I was pretty darn stressed out back then and that really hit it home for me how unhappy I was.  What had I become?  I fell into a bad funk that I'd let things get that bad and only through some pretty intense work with my personal coach did things get better. 

It was during this funk that I decided that I really had to pull myself together and as Cher says "Snap out of it!!"  My health came first, no ifs and or buts.  It was through this decision that I found my passion for running and healthy food...and more recently, how much I love writing this blog.  So a crappy time turned out to be a great thing overall because it forced me to make some significant life changes.  So really, I'm strangely kind of happy that it happened because I never would have discovered these things that I love.  Weird how the world works, huh? 

So - what's your TSN Turning Point?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

2010 Goodlife Victoria Half Marathon Race Report

Woohoo...I'm DONE!  And I'm feeling pretty darn awesome.  So let's start at the beginning...

I've posted a few times about how yucky I've been feeling lately and yesterday I was feeling super duper crappy.  I slept in a bit and munged around the house until I had to get my butt in gear and start prepping turkey dinner for Sunday.  As I completed dish after dish after dish, my head was pounding, my stomach was doing crazy somersaults, my foot was hurting and my back was aching.  Not good.  I was seriously regretting my decision to host dinner...but I loooove cooking for other people and I loooooove testing out new recipes on my unsuspecting guinea pigs.  Ha!

So yeah, I was feeling like crap all day and I'd said to Hubs that if M wasn't meeting me in the morning, I would have totally jammed out.  Hubs and I laid all our gear out so we had everything ready for the morning:

We had a nice quiet pasta dinner with my FIL (running the half as well) and stepmom and went off to bed at around 9:30.  I slept pretty well as I was soooo tired so woke up feeling fairly well rested but my tummy was still not happy with me...I had to take a Rolaids as soon as I got up.  The alarm went off way too early at 5:30am...we got ready and out the door by around 6:15am.  I was meeting M at work - she's running the half, her hubby was doing the full and Hubs was doing the 8K road race so the office was kind of a command central for us.  I saw Hubs off at around 6:45am as his race started at 7:15am - I wished him lots of luck on his race as he was hoping to do 45 mins and under.  M and I headed off at around 7am, made a last minute pit stop at the port-a-potties (bleeeccchhhh) and raced to the start line.  We were off!

I decided to break my race down into three parts - I was hoping to do 6:00/km for the first 5K, 5:45/km from 6K - 13K and then finish off with 5:30/K to the end.  If I did this perfectly, I could pull a PB but I wasn't sure how likely this would be given how nasty I was feeling. 

1K - 5K:

Woohoo!  Off we went...M and I were making pretty good time considering how insanely congested the start line was...we were weaving and dodging for probably the first 3 - 4K.  I'd forgotten my iPod so it was so nice to have company along the way and we chatted a bit as we hoofed along.  It was great to see the support from the crowd and saw a few funny costumes - this couple was running along with toy chickens as hats...hilarious!

1K - 6:06
2K - 6:01
3K - 6:02
4K - 5:56
5K - 6:06

So far, so good!  I was staying relatively close to my goal pace.

6K - 13K:

Gu time!  At 6K I took a Gu to keep my energy up.  M was getting hot so I looped her hat around my belt which was kind of funny - made me look like I had a red tail!  My splits were a bit slower than my target, but I was still doing a pretty good pace and not feeling too badly.

6K - 5:59
7K - 5:50
8K - 5:34
9K - 5:56
10K - 5:48
11K - 5:41
12K - 5:32
13K - 5:39

14K - 21K:

14K was Gu time again and it was much needed.  The wind started kicking up at the 15K point along the water and we were running right into it.  I was tiring fast, and had to put my head down to fight against it.  It was pretty warm when we first started, but it was freezing at this part.  I kept looking at my watch to see if I'd hit sub two hours, but knew I'd just miss it...bah!  Darn wind.  I kept pushing on though, and here were my final splits:

14K - 5:31
15K - 5:29
16K - 5:33
17K - 5:42
18K - 5:47
19K - 5:29
20K - 5:46
21K - 5:31

Overall pace:  5:49
Chip time:  2:02:44
Overall:  2640/6822
Place in Age Division:  164/461
Place by Sex:  1288/3681

Woohooo!!  As I crossed that finish line, I did my Asian gang signs for R and got my medal from my coworker A, who was volunteering at the finish line.  As I walked up to her to get my medal she didn't see it was me and dropped it on the ground.  I laughed and said "what, you expect me to pick up my medal off the ground?!" and she looked up, saw it was me and we started laughing!  We hugged and as we pulled away I kind of swayed a bit....I was a little out of legs were used to runningrunningrunning so stopping that suddenly was hard!  I had a hard time keeping my balance on the way to the food but my legs weren't as crampy as they were last year - a good sign that I'm definitely more fit!

Even though I didn't PB, I'm really happy with how I did considering all the troubles I'd had with injury and illness.  My foot held out...I could feel it in the beginning but didn't feel it much through the race and it's not bothering me at all right now - yay!  Hubs came down to meet me and it was so nice to get a big hug from him at the end.  Hubs did awesome - 44:56 for the 8K...nice work, Honey.  I wanted to watch the first group of marathoners come in so we headed back to the office where I showered up quickly (damn, it felt good to get into a hot shower!) and we trotted back down to the finish line. 

I'm soooo glad I did this.  The three plus hour half marathoners were coming in, and it was so fantastic to see people of all shapes, sizes and age ranges coming across the finish line with huge smiles on their faces!  A few of the finishers brought tears to my eyes as they were so excited to finish.  We watched this one fellow who was 83 years old, legally blind and had recently lost 120 pounds when he started running at the age of 80.  I loved seeing this - you don't have to be an elite athlete to run and it doesn't matter what your time is or what kind of fitness level you are.  These people were just getting out there and to see the joy on their faces as they finished was really something.  The crowd was fantastic too - big cheers and claps for everyone.  So, so awesome to see. 

So all in all - a great race.  I did get a little tiny bit verklempt when I saw the first marathoner come in, but it quickly went away.  There's always next year, right?  And what would I blog it's a good thing, n'est ce pas?

Now on to Thanksgiving dinner - bring on the mashed potatoes and gravy!  Peace out homies, and hope you all have a great Thanksgiving with your fams. XO

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Happy 70th, John

As you all now know, I'm a huge John Lennon fan and today would have been his 70th birthday.  I actually can't believe it's been 30 years since he was killed - makes me sad to think of the talent that was lost that day.  However, we should be thankful for the music he did get to share with us.  In honour of John's birthday, Google has done a really cool cartoon that you can actually play...nice tribute.

Happy birthday, John!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Home Stretch

Two more days to go!  I'm kinda getting excited about the race - I love the atmosphere and general buzz that surrounds race weekend.  M, A (another coworker/runner who's volunteering) and I went down to go pick up our race packages - holy tons of people, man!  We got our stuff, cruised through the Race Expo quickly and said our "see you Sundays!".  I met up with Hubs after he got off work and took him to the Race Expo as there was a booth that had a physio guy who could do a gait analysis on us.  Both Hubs and I are interested so he's going to go next week but I'll likely wait until next year as I've used up the majority of my benefits this year.  I think we'd really benefit from it and at the very least I'm sure it wouldn't hurt especially if we continue running....we've had our fair share of injuries so we're pretty much ready to try anything.

So this year's race is being livestreamed here  on Sunday morning...if you're up, check it out!  I'm hoping to come down the chute anywhere hopefully between 9:30 and 9:45.  I told R to look out for the little Asian all dressed in black...and as I pass under the camera I'll do some "yo, yo R - peace out!" gang signs so she knows it's me.  Ha!  I'm soooo super hoping that my foot holds out.  It's been bugging me again today, and I'm not feeling super swell again...headache is back and I'm alternating hot and cold again plus I'm crazy tired right now. OK, Ms. Body - I treat you pretty darn well, so I just need you to hold out until Sunday and then do what you will!  I'm massaging the foot and am going to try to keep off it as much as possible tomorrow and will continue with my herbal assault on any nasty germies that are trying to take over...germs, begone!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

10 Days Blogging - Day Ten

Woohoo!  I made it...Day Ten! 

My confession - I'm an embarrassment to my designation - but I'm terrible at paying my bills.  Horrible.  I always procrastinate for some's not that I don't have the money, I just can't be bothered.  I'm 1000 times better now but when I was younger, some of my bills were so late they went to collections.  Yes, I know...shameful. 

Needless to say, Hubs looks after all the bills.  Heh.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Germies Go Away

Gaaaaah....I woke up this morning with a headache that I couldn't shake all day.  I wasn't feel super swell at work...but decided to do a quick workout on the treadmill when I got home and felt better, but I've been alternating between hot and cold all night.  I'm slamming down Cold F/X and vitamin C to try and ward this thing off not only because of the race, but we're hosting Thanksgiving so the fam is relying on us for their pumpkin pie fix.  OK, OK....I'm the one who wants the pumpkin pie...and stuffing....and apple crisp....and dark meat and....gravy...lots of gravy....and mashed potatoes...oh yes...

10 Days Blogging - Day Nine

Day Nine - two words that describe your life right now.
  1. Happy
  2. Balanced (finally!)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

10 Days Blogging - Day Eight

Rawwwrrrrrr.  Day Eight - three turn ons. 
  1. Crinkly smile-y eyes - a la George Clooney *drool*
  2. A nice suit  - love me a man in a well cut, perfectly tailored suit
  3. A great sense of humour - if you can make me laugh, I'm yours

Monday, October 4, 2010

10 Days Blogging - Day Seven

OK, 'fore I start in on my day seven bloggie list thingie, I gotta ask - how do people with kids do it??  Hubs and I are child free by choice and it's a battle every week to get all the things done that we need to get done so our house doesn't crumble around our feet and we're fed and clothed (this is important when you work in an office).  Weekdays are a write off - after I get home from work, it's either a chore night or I might squeeze in a work out before dinner, do some blogging and then I'm toast for the rest of the night.  Weekends are packed from beginning to end - weekly runs, laundry, cooking, cleaning, errands, gardening, house-y projects - I didn't sit down all weekend until about 6pm and at that point I was exhausted.  When I ask my friends who have kids how they do it...they simply state that they don't really think about it...they just do it.  And prioritizing is's all about choices.  I guess what I'm trying to get at here is...kudos to all you parents out there because I admire you all.  Seriously.

Day Seven - four turn offs...
  1. Bad hygiene esp. bad breath (ugghhh)
  2. Arrogance
  3. No sense of humour
  4. Someone who doesn't care about their health

Sunday, October 3, 2010

10 Days Blogging - Day Six

Muahuahuahua!  Yes, I'm a bad, bad girl...I was looking around on the internet for good "six" pictures....and I had a choice between Mr. Six Pack and this one....

Now while it's very pretty, it just didn't have the....impact...that the other one had.  No?

Day Six's post - name five people who mean a lot to me.  OK, I'm going to change this up a bit and group some people, cuz I have tons of people in my life who mean a lot to me...and I ain't gonna pick and choose.  So there.
  1. Hubs - of course.  He's a wonderful guy that is so, so supportive - he trained with me for the marathon even though he wasn't running it and would spend the 3 plus hours with me in the blazing heat so I'd be safe.  Plus he does the toilets when we clean the house - what's not to love about that??
  2. My friends - I'm so lucky to have the friends I do - ones that are willing to read me blather on and on about my running, listen to me vent when I need to, or take care of me when I've had one too many jagerbombs (you know who you are!).  You guys are the best.
  3. My family - I'm so thankful to my parents for doing the best they could to provide for my brother and I when we were kids.  I didn't appreciate it back then...but when I think about how hard they worked so we could have a roof over our heads, I'm eternally grateful.  They both immigrated to Canada from China, not knowing the culture or the language and working shift work at shit jobs so we could make a life here in this awesome country. And I'm thankful for my big bro, who I know is always there for me.
  4. My inlaws - yes, my inlaws!  Of course as with all family relationships, my in laws can get on my nerves...but overall, we get along pretty well.  My parents and my inlaws also get along famously and we spend Thanksgiving and Xmas's together where we can.  We're kinda like an Asian Norman Rockwell painting...har.
  5. My personal coach - even though I don't see her anymore, she helped me through an incredibly stressful time and essentially changed my life.  When I first started to see her, I was a little ball of stressed out, toxic crap.  Through many sessions and some difficult conversations, I've left a lot of that behind and I deal with things so differently now.  Working with her was definitely one of the turning points in my life. I ever lucky.  :)

10K - Taper Time!

Yay - taper time! So far I haven't been hit by taper madness...I'm quite enjoying the lower mileage runs and am looking forward to the race next week.  Hubs and I ran around the hood yesterday as neither of us wanted to get stuck out somewhere if our injuries start acting up.  I think the rear ender I had is causing me some lower back problems...a few days after the accident, my lower back started bugging me but I didn't really put two and two together as I was more concerned about my right shoulder.  I can hear it popping when I stand sometimes, and it really bothers me when I go from sitting to standing. I could really tell something was wrong yesterday - I was out in the garden weeding, and after stooping for a bit I could barely stand up at times.  I've NEVER had issues with my lower back - all my problems have been with my upper back/neck so I'm a bit pissed off about it.  When I went to see my physio last week and asked her to check me out, she said my pelvis was twisted.  Strangely though - I feel better after I back was bugging me on Friday, but after I came back from a lunch hour run it felt a lot better.  Who knows.  Sigh.

Anyways, the run yesterday was great - I wanted to run at a faster pace as all our LSDs have been really slow...I wasn't sure if I even had it left in me!  I set out determined to have all sub 6:00 splits:

1K - 5:42
2K - 5:43
3K - 5:29
4K - 5:34
5K - 5:45
6K - 5:25
7K - 5:42
8K - 5:48
9K - 5:36
10K - 5:51

Average - 5:44....woot!  I'd be happy if I held that kind of pace for the half next week.  Here's hoping!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

He·ro [ heerō ] Definition: Terry Fox

If you have the chance to watch the documentary "Into the Wind" - do it.  I'd recently read some stuff in the paper about this documentary, which was put together by Steve Nash and Ezra Holland.  My interest was immediately piqued, as I have the utmost respect for Steve Nash....a good old Victoria boy, who's gone off to do incredible things and who still seems humble...a hero in his own right.  One of Steve's heroes is Terry Fox, so he decided he wanted to put together a documentary about Terry and his Marathon of Hope.

All I have to say is absolutely inspiring.  As soon as we finished watching it, I knew I had to write about it.  We all know who Terry Fox is, but when you really think about what this guy did at the age of 22, he defines what a hero is.  He ran 3,339 miles in 143 days - a marathon a day, on ONE LEG.  I can't even fathom what that would have been like.  When I think about the extra body motion and energy required to do his hop-skip step, it boggles my mind.  When you see the shoes he's wearing, they're not super high tech shoes that they have nowadays...these things are practically racing flats.  He's not wearing technical gear, but a plain cotton t-shirt and sweats.  He ran in the freezing cold, he ran through humid 90 degree heat...he continued on as people purposely tried to run him off the road.  He did all this while doing multiple speaking engagements each day to raise money to cure cancer.  Amazing.

Please watch this documentary if you can - it's extremely well done (kudos Steve) and of course, a completely compelling story.  Oh.....and you'll need a BOX of kleenex for this one, I pretty much was in tears from beginning to end.  The Terry Fox Run is definitely going to be on my list of runs next year - after watching this, both Hubs and I decided to do it every year going forward.  Thank you Terry.

Friday, October 1, 2010

10 Days Blogging - Day Five

I was checking out how many days left for the race - eight days!  Hubs and I are going to do is do our runs which should take us to around 9:45-ish, go get ourselves tidied up as my office is very close to the finish line, and get back in time to watch the first batch of marathoners come in.  I have this compelling need to do this - I want to support all the runners, but especially the marathoners.  As the saying goes..."the marathon is the reward for your training"...and now that I've experienced marathon training (or at least most of it), I totally understand this sentiment, as odd as it sounds.  I admit - I'm going to get emotional when I see the first marathoner cross the finish line because I'll wish I were there too...but I'll get my chance one day soon!

OK, enough of the heartfelt, mushy sentiments!  Let's get onto the juicy stuff - Day Five is naming six things you wish you could change or you wish you’d never done...

  1. I wish I had discovered my love of exercise when I was younger.
  2. I wish I'd never started colouring my hair because now I'm a complete slave to it - darn grey hair!
  3. I wish I'd become a registered dietician instead of an accountant (bleh!).
  4. I wish I'd spoken up a lot more when I was younger.
  5. I wish I were a more forgiving person...I carry grudges with me forever, I find it very hard to forgive and forget. 
  6. I wish I didn't go on all those crazy diets when I was younger, because all it got me is a messed up metabolism.