Thursday, December 29, 2011

Ten Goals for 2012 - Inspired!

Ta da! Here it is...my list of goals for 2012. When I was first thinking about what I wanted to do in 2012, I thought meh...I might have a couple things.  As I started thinking about it, more and more goals came to mind as I found sources of inspiration everywhere.  So here goes - wish me luck!

1. Run a 1:50 half marathon - There! I've put it out there. Scary? Yes. Ambitious? Maybe. Considering my last half marathon personal best was 1:56, that means shaving off 6 minutes and pulling 5:13 min/km splits. Huh, just writing that out, I might be biting off more than I can chew! But I'm excited, and what better way then to kick off the Year of Speed! Goal races for this year are the BMO Vancouver in May and of course, the Goodlife Victoria in October. I'm looking to hopefully repeat my half marathon time at the BMO Vancouver, and then pull out all the stops here in Victoria and hit a 1:50 half.  Speedwork, here I come!

2. Yoga more - as I've said in the past, I love yoga...love how it makes me feel, love the stretching, love how much it's helped my back. So why, oh why don't I do it more?!  Geez. So this year, I want to make more time for it and incorporate it into my workout routine.

3.  Volunteer - yep...a carryover from 2011 goals.  I thought about this a lot over the past few years, and I really want to volunteer this year.  As I've said previously, I'm grateful for what I have so I want to give back with my time.  I've got a few things in mind that I want to volunteer for (food bank or helping seniors), but unfortunately it seems a lot of the things I want to volunteer with happen during work hours.  Grrr!  Well, that just means that the perfect thing is waiting for me, right?

4.  Make weights a habit - Operation NROLFW is in place.  I love this program and so far am loving the results, so I'm going to continue with the heavy lifting.  Maybe...if I'm brave...I might take pictures so I can do a before and after.  Holy shizen, did I really just write that? 

5.  Be more involved in bloggie community - I love blogging and I love the blogging community...the people are so awesome and supportive and a wealth of valuable information!  But I'm soooo bad with the commenting.  I tend to lurk so next year I'm coming out of the closet and going to engage more with the awesome folks in bloggieland.

6.  Read 15 books - having a reading goal really helps push me to expand my horizons and read instead of always turning on the boob tube...and I've read some pretty kickass books the past few years.  I won't lie though...it was hard for me to fit in 15 books this past year so I think I'll stick with the same number again this year.

7.  Eat 7 servings (or more!) of fruits and veggies per day - Amanda over at Run to the Finish totally inspired this goal with her awesome Holiday Booty Buster Challenge.  Instead of just focussing on this during the holiday season, I'm going to try to incorporate at least 7 servings of fruits and veggies every day.  I felt energized and healthy when I was on a fruit/veggie roll, which is in stark contrast to how I'm feeling right now after some holiday excesses and a lack of anything remotely fresh.  To be blunt, I totally feel like ass so I'm rarin' to go and ready to get my fruits and veggies in.

8.  Cut back dairy - oh sigh...dairy...I've been falling for your siren song a lot lately.  I love you but I know you don't quite feel the same about me, so I think we're going to have to take a break.   

9.  Take swimming lessons - so you know the famous saying on the lululmon manifesto...the one that says "do one thing a day that scares you?"  Well, this is the scary thing for this year.  Maybe my life.  I can't swim and have almost drowned twice (one day I'll tell you the sordid stories)...so the impetus for me to learn to swim has always been in the back of my mind.  I've always wanted to learn, but was inspired when I was at the Xterra triathlon world championships this year when we were in Maui.  While I may never become a triathlete, I do want to know how to swim so I'm not afraid, as I tell Hubs, to get sucked out to sea every year when we go to Maui.  And about the triathlon, who knows...never say never, right?  Oh, and for those who are wondering...yes, I'm shitting myself.  Ha!

10.  Create a vision board - for Christmas, my BFF gave me this awesome necklace by Andrea Waines, a Canadian silver jewellery designer....




I love how simple this necklace is (I'm not a big jewellery person - yes, I'm a freak of nature)...but that's not the only reason I love it.  Each necklace has an inspirational saying on it, and the one she chose for me says "the only courage you need is the courage to do your heart's desire."  How cool is that?!  This saying gave me the flash of inspiration for the last goal for 2012 - a vision board!  What better way to tease out my heart's desires than putting it into a visual format. And I get to be a kid again and cut out pretty pictures and glue them onto colourful paper.  Wheeeeee!

HBBC:  Dec 23, 6 points (60 mins bootcamp), Dec 27, 6 points (10K/6 mile run), Dec 28, 6 points (60 mins bootcamp), Dec 29, 2 points (30 minutes stationery bike)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

2011 Resolution Review

2011 - what a year, what a year!  Is it me, or is time flying by incredibly fast?  I remember last Christmas like it was yesterday, so to realize that a full year has past just blows my mind.  So many things happened this year - of course, the big one for me was the marathon, but there are so many things that defined 2011.  The good?  The memorable Canucks run that I still get a little misty eyed when I see recaps of it on TV.  Getting surprise tickets from Hubs to see Prince (one of favouritefavouritefavourite musicians of all time) after I thought I wasn't going to be able to go...and spending the whole concert singing, screaming and dancing with the Purple One.   An amazing whirlwind trip to Hong Kong full of great shopping and even better eating.  Kicking ass and pulling a personal best of 1:56 at the Oak Bay Half Marathon in torrential rain.  A pretty awesome year all in all!  But along with the good comes the not so good...my BFF moved to Saskatoon as her husband got offered the job opportunity of a lifetime, and left a hole in my heart as I miss her terribly.  Le sigh.  Thank god for texting, right?  Ha!

So with only a few more days left to go in this year, I thought I'd revisit what my resolutions or goals or objectives or whatever the heck you want to call them were for the year, and how I did.  Nothing better than a public shaming for motivation, eh?  Here goes...

1.  Run a marathon - OH YEAH, BABY!  Bucket list item #1 has been struck from the list.  Truly this was one of the most memorable and proudest moments of my life, and sometimes I still think back and think did I really do it?  While the day was pretty fantastic, the journey to get there was even better.  Sure, some days I really didn't want to run and there were other days when I really wanted that whisky or dessert but had to say no...but it was so worth it in the end.  I never, ever dreamed in my life that I would have completed a marathon...so doing this has made me realize that I can dream and achieve goals that I never thought were possible.  To commemorate the marathon, I bought myself a new Christmas ornament that I'm going to hang up every year as a reminder to keep dreaming and keep achieving.




2.  Incorporate more weights into workouts - weeelllll...I will admit that for most of the year, I didn't do much weight work besides what we did at bootcamp.  To be honest, it was really hard to fit it in with all the marathon training...but I think I did redeem myself a bit as I've been keeping up with the New Rules of Lifting for Women gig in the last month or so and love love loving it.  With next year being the Year of Speed, I'll have more time to concentrate on lifting weights and getting leaner and stronger overall.  Yes!

3.  Maintain a consistent weight - yipppeeee...I done good on this one, Pa!  My weight has stayed relatively consistent through the whole year, and I avoided the marathon weight gain that I packed on last year.  What was the secret?  You'd think it would be the fact that I ran or worked out for hours and hours...but it was all about what I put in my mouth that made the difference.  I absolutely credit resolution #4 for keeping me on track.

4.  Eat mindfully - you can't exercise away a bad diet, right?  I really tried hard to think about what I was putting in my mouth and how it would affect my body and training...but at the same time didn't want to be too rigorous and regimented as to take all the fun out of eating...pretty important for a foodie!  Food is supposed to nourish the body, but sometimes it's just as imporatnt to nourish your soul.   This year I've been giving a lot of thought to mixing up our diet to incorporate more beans and grains and less meat, while still keeping our protein/fat/carb ratios in balance for when we're training hard.  It's not easy, but I love the challenge...bring it on!

5.  Start Meatless Monday - kicked ass on this one!  With the exception of maybe one or two weeks, we did Meatless Monday every week without fail.  I'm so glad I did this resolution because it forced me to be more creative in the kitchen rather than just dishing out a plate of pasta every week because that kinda defeats the purpose.  I will admit though that vegetarian pizza has made the rotation quite often (hee hee!) but I've got a lot more meatless recipes in the cooking repertoire now. 

6.  Write in my gratitude journal daily - OK...so this is where the public shaming comes into play.  Oy vey!  Two years in a row that I have NOT done well on this goal.  But to my defense...even though I didn't write in my journal daily, having this goal really did make me think much more and more often about how thankful and grateful I am for things in my life.  Honestly...I am so grateful for what I'm blessed to have.  I find myself wondering constantly...how did I get so lucky?  And when I hear people complaining about their lives or when I catch myself doing it, I just think to myself that there are so many people on this earth that would love to have a tiny percentage of what we have.  However, as far as actually journalling my gratitude...epic fail.  Ooopsie.

7.  Volunteer - errrh...once things are on the interweb, it's permanent right?  Gah!  I did nothing on this goal for 2011.  I do, however, plan on fixing this for 2012 (ooooh, see the clever use of foreshadowing?!).

8.  Keep up supplements - sigh...things started out so well but then we kinda skidded on this one.  We were pretty sporadic with our supplements and would go great guns for a few months and then just peter out once we ran out and were too lazy to restock.  Both Hubs and I are committing to doing better for 2012 though.  

9.  Read 15 books - just finished book #14, and have four days to read book #15...nothin' like leaving things to the last minute!   I was doing pretty good for the first part of the year until the marathon training started, but after that bit of business was over I've been back on the book train.  I love this resolution because I love to read, and over the past few years I've read some amazing books (the Book Thief by Markus Zusak - one of the best I've read ever...I still find myself thinking about this book).

10.  Be more aware of finances - woot!  Hubs and I have been talking a lot more about our finances and what the future holds for us...we're at that age where we need to start thinking about it more, and we've got a path carved out in our minds.  Plus I've been asking more questions of our planner and doing a little side reading on my own to augment my knowledge.  A solid "B" on this goal.

So?  All in all, I'm pretty happy with how I did this year!  Some things I can work on, but I love setting goals for myself.  If I achieve them, great...and if I don't?  It gives me something to work towards.  And speaking of working towards something...next post will be my goals for 2012.  Woohoo!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

HBBC Update

OK is anyone else looking forward to Boxing Day or is it just me?!   This holiday season has been incredibly, insanely busy and all I can think about is sleeping in and relaxing.  Every day there's been errands to run, tasks to cross off my list, lunches and dinners to go to, friends to visit and meals to cook - I'm so tired every night I swear I'm asleep before my head even hits the pillow!  And...with all the holiday insanity going on, I've been slightly remiss in blogging.  Eek!  But good news...I've been still keeping up with the Holiday Booty Buster Challenge...go me!  I will admit that last week wasn't stellar for fruits and veggies, but I've been kicking ass in the exercise department.  My bootcamp buddy D and I made a pact last week that we'd go to all bootcamps no matter what, and so far so good.  With all the yummy Xmas goodies about and all the eating out, we decided that we had to do something and the pact is perfect for forcing us to go as it's just a little too easy to jam out when no one is counting on you.  I actually never thought I'd hear myself say this but...I'm just about done with all the eating out.  Ha!

HBBC:  Dec 14, 7 points (60 mins bootcamp, F/V), Dec 16, 6 points (60 mins bootcamp), Dec 17, 6 points (10K run), Dec 18, 2 points (20 mins stationery bike and 20 mins weightlifting),  Dec 19, 7 points (60 mins bootcamp, F/V), Dec 20, 1 point (F/V), Dec 21, 6 points (60 mins bootcamp)

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Single Best Thing

I've been thinking a lot about this post, and whether or not to write it.  Should I?  Shouldn't I?  Will I come across all preachy?  After a lot of thought, I decided to just throw all caution to the wind and just do it because this is a topic that I feel incredibly passionate about...and this is my blog, so why the heck not, right?   Ha!  As I've mentioned previously, I'm a live-and-let-live kinda gal...I don't like to foist my opinon on others, and don't go around espousing my thoughts on everything under the sun to anyone who will listen.  I'm generally a laid back kinda gal...that is, until you start talking about health.

Look out folks...Health Nut Harpy is in da house!

I saw this cool video the other day, and I felt that I just had to share it because the message behind it was such a good one (and the drawing in the video is pretty effing awesome!):



Dr. Mike Evans, the force behind this video, talks about the single thing that you can do that will make the biggest difference and return on investment to your health.  According to Dr. Evans, this one thing done regularly can:

 - reduce rates of pain and disability with those with knee arthritis by 47%
 - reduce progression of alzheimers and dementia by up to 50%
 - reduced progression to diabetes by 50% for patients with high risk of diabetes
 - reduce anxiety by up to 48%
 - for patients suffering from depression, up to 30% were relieved with a low dose and 47% with a high dose

Sounds pretty awesome, right?  So what is this one single thing, you're wondering? 

Exercise.

Yes, exercise.  The word strikes fear in a lot of people's hearts...people always have visions of toiling for hours in a gym, running for hours on the dreadmill, sweating buckets and hating every second of it.  By exercise, Dr. Evans isn't meaning doing triathlons and running for hours at a time...by exercise he simply means walking a half hour to an hour a day, which should be enough to recognize some pretty significant health benefits as mentioned above.  As Hippocrates said, walking is man's best medicine....now that Hippocrates was a pretty smart fella I believe, so I'm more than inclined to listen to him, no?

I know a lot of people will say they don't have time to exercise...too busy, too tired, etc.  This may sound harsh, but being busy is not an excuse...think of it this way, you are investing a half hour in yourself and your family and friends.  Are you really too busy for that?  So for those people who being too busy to exercise is the excuse, here is a cartoon that might make them rethink that logic:

HBBC:  Dec 11, 6 points (10K/6 mile run), Dec 12, 7 points (60 mins bootcamp, F/V)...been so bad at tracking on the blog so I'm just going to start from yesterday!

Monday, December 5, 2011

NROLFW - Progress Report

OK, I've definitely bought into the weightlifting gig.  I'm starting Stage 1, Week 4 of the New Rules of Lifting for Women and I'm already seeing and feeling results.  A big part of the premise behind this program is that women should lift heavy...women don't have to worry about getting "bulky" and looking like some dude on 'roids, and using those little hot pink plastic two pound weights ain't gonna get you anywhere fast.  Each time I lift, I try to increase the weight just a tidge, and my upper body is already getting more defined and I'm losing the dreaded upper arm "batwing" jiggle.  I actually remember on marathon day feeling my arms shimmying and shaking like jello and thinking man, I gotta do something about that!  My legs are fairly muscular because of the running, but I can already feel and see my quads and hamstrings getting firmer and stronger.

I like it.  I like it a LOT.  Hmmm...I'm feelin' a new year's resolution comin' on.

HBBC:  Dec 2, 7 points (60 mins bootcamp, F/V), Dec 3, 9 points (14K/9 mile run), Dec 4, 3 points (30 mins bike, 20 mins weightlifting), Dec 5, 7 points (60 mins bootcamp, F/V)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Be a Santa to a Senior


So one thing that I should have included in my Blackjack list of rando facts about me is that I have a total soft spot for seniors.  This goes back to as far as I can remember...my earliest memory was when I was about 7, and we were at the hospital visiting my grandpa who was sick at the time, and this elderly man in the next bed said to us as we left "thanks for coming to see us!"  I clearly remember that it made me so sad that I cried, because I had the feeling that this guy had had no visitors and was really, really lonely.  This penchant for old folks continued on as I got older, as I spent a lot of time in old folks homes as Hubs' grandma lived in one in Vancouver and we would go see her quite often.  I was always struck by the lack of visitors and how lonely it must be and always left feeling sad.

Fast forward to today...I was sitting at my desk eating my lunch and cruising around on the internet when I saw this thing called Be a Santa to a Senior.  Intrigued, I looked into it further and discovered it's a program across North America that helps identify seniors who people can sponsor and buy a Christmas gift for.  Bingo!  Right up my alley.  What you do is punch in your postal or zip code, and up pops a list of participating retailers...each retailer has a tree with paper ornaments with the name of a senior and what they'd like for Christmas.  I immediately put in my postal code and the Walmart by our house was participating...excellent!

After work, Hubs and I went by good old Wallyworld and the tree was right at the front of the store.  There were only a handful of ornaments left, which completely warmed my heart that people were buying for the seniors!  That was quickly taken over by some serious verklemptness...as I looked at the names and what they were looking for, it made it extra personal and I couldn't leave anyone behind.  What if no one bought something for that person?  What if they got nothing and didn't have a gift to open on Christmas day?  I couldn't have that so I ended up taking all the ornaments.  Yes, I stripped that tree bare!  Poor Hubs, he just stood there trying to console his pathetic, sobbing wife...a few people in the store actual gave us curious looks...I think they thought we were having a big fight or something.  Ha!  Such a big bawl baby.

Anyways...thought I would post about this organization in case anyone is interested!  I know during this time of year that everyone is stretched pretty thin and so incredibly busy, but small gestures mean so much and every little bit helps those who are less fortunate.

HBBC:  Nov 27, 2 points (20 mins stationery bike, F/V), Nov 28, 5 points (1 hour bootcamp, F/V), Nov 30, 1 point (F/V), Dec 1, 2 points (20 mins stationery bike, F/V)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Blackjack (21 Things)

ZOMG...it's list time!!  This fun little time waster has been going around bloggieland, so I had to join in on the fun...basically share 21 rando bits of information that you might not know about me.  Let's see...where shall I start...

  1. I love the feel of working up a huge sweat when I exercise but I hate sweating at any other time.  Even if I break out into a light sweat doing something like walking, I feel like I have to take a shower.  
  2. I drink plain hot water all the time.  It's a Chinese thing.
  3. I cannot be more than a few feet away from my iPhone at all times.  I'm totally and utterly addicted to it and can't imagine life without it now...I'm like Gollum with it.  I use it for everything!
  4. I hate flying.  I'm not at the Ativan stage yet, but I definitely don't enjoy it but I do it because it gets me to Maui.
  5. I am totally and utterly OCD about my floors.  I vacuum daily and can't stand it when I see crumbs.
  6. Even though I would loooooove to own one, I am afraid of gas stoves...actually gas in general.  It's a bummer because all the great chefs use gas!
  7. As soon as I get home from work, I get into "home" mode.  That means contact lenses out, hair tied up, sweats on and makeup off.  I look like a bum but I don't care!  Poor Hubs.
  8. I've never lived anywhere except for Victoria. 
  9. I am terrified of spiders when they're inside the house, but not that scared of them when I come across them outdoors.  I think it's that element of surprise that I don't like.
  10. I used to have spiked hair that stood up about three inches and fanned out on the sides, sort of a modified Asian mohawk.  I look back now and wonder what was I thinking!  It was cool back then though.  I think.
  11. I watched Hockey Night In Canada without fail when I was a kid...we'd all sit on on the couch and my mom would be screaming with excitement.  We never cared who won, as long as it was a Canadian team!
  12. I have terrible luck with the tires on my cars.  I've had numerous flats, punctures or weird leaks so I'm paranoid about them and am always checking my air pressure.
  13. My first job was as a grocery store cashier when I was 15.  I still remember my first day clearly and how scared shitless I was.
  14. I'm not a big fan of chocolate ice cream...plain old vanilla is always my first choice.  Unless it's Moosetracks...
  15. I get my hair cut every six weeks on the dot.  My hair is hard to handle (stick straight, thick but no volume...it sucks) and grows like a noxious weed so I have to get it cut regularly to beat it into submission. 
  16. I LOVE anything with peanut butter.  This is shocking because I ate peanut butter and marmalade (barfola) sandwiches every day as a kid and it was definitely not by choice!  I despise marmalade now (it has peels in it, for pete's sake!) but I do love peanut butter.
  17. I love to read.  I sort of fell out of it for a long time but have rediscovered it again.
  18. I have girl crushes on Sophie Lui (a BC newscaster) and Sarah Richardson, the Canadian home designer...I love their sense of style!  I actually look forward to the news every day so I can see what Sophie is wearing.  And Sarah...her clothes are perfection.  And her designs?  Amazing.  Dreamy sigh.
  19. My favourite kind of evening is when it's super stormy/windy/rainy/snowy outside, and I'm all cozy inside with candles, a fire, tea and a good book.  Ahhhh.....
  20. I love gingers.  Hence the whole Prince Harry thing.  Gurgle.
  21. I currently own about 130 cookbooks.  If I won the lottery I would have a whole library full of them!
HBBC:  Nov 25, 7 points (60 mins bootcamp, fruits/veg), Nov 26 7 points (6 mile run, 20 mins weightlifting)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Oh Help Me

I need help. 

I need willpower!

This time of year is soooo hard.  I just looked at my calendar, and between December 1st and December 24th, I have five dinners out and five lunches to attend.  Gah!  And I'm sure between now and then, a few other things will pop up.  I fully admit...without a race to train for or a goal to reach, I'm lacking motivation to keep my eating clean or to exercise.  Sure, overall my eating isn't all that bad and I'm still working out, but I'm pretty meh and getting super lackadaisical.  I guess that's the danger of taking a break at this time of year!  Maybe what I'll do is try for a spring marathon in 2013, so my training would start around the beginning of December. 

I.must.be.strong.

HBBC - Nov 22, 1 point (fruits and veggies), Nov 23, 3 points (30 mins biking, fruits and veggies), Nov 24, 1 point (fruits and veggies)

Monday, November 21, 2011

I'm on a Roll

Day Three of HBBC...and the second day in a row that I've got all my fruits and veggies in - booyah!  Can I make it three or will my streak be shorter than the Canucks?  Stay tuned...

HBBC - 3 points (2 points for 30 minutes stationery bike and 1 point for fruits/veg)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge


It's that time of year again for THE Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge!  *wildly cheering crowd*

This was a cool thing that Amanda over at Run to the Finish started a few years ago, and it's taken off like wildfire through bloggieland.  I admit...I signed up last year, but got lazy...and never updated my points.  I was, however, doing the Ten Pound Challenge so was already doing something to make sure that I kept my face out of the holiday feeding trough.   I'd kind of forgotten about HBBC until Deb over at Deb Tris posted a comment, and I thought aha!  In combination with continuing to log my food, I'm gonna take part in this puppy for some extra motivation.

For anyone who's interested, here's the link to everything you need to know about the HBBC and latecomers can still register up to Nov 22 (the kickoff was yesterday).  In short, you get points for getting exercise in or eating fruits and veggies...example of point system is:

1 Point per mile (run/walk)
1 Point per 3 miles biked
1 Point per 20 minutes of weight lifting, Pilates, yoga, stretching or abs
1 Point per 15 minutes of low impact cardio (i.e. low impact aerobics, easy biking, skiing, skating, water aerobics, snow shoeing)
1 Point per 10 minutes of high impact cardio (i.e.spinning, kickboxing, lap swimming)
1 Per day where you reach a minimum of 7 servings of fruits and veggies

Easy peasy japanese-y on getting exercise in, but not sure about the fruits and veggies.  I incorporate a lot into my meals, but it's not really measurable i.e. soups, casseroles, etc.  Oh well, I'll estimate as best I can.  At first I was like 7 servings?!   But when I saw that 1 serving is a cup of leafy greens or 1/2 cup cooked veggies, I thought that was pretty doable.  Goal is to get my daily veggie/fruit point!
 
So for the next while, you'll probably see me tracking my points on the blog...as always, keeps me accountable, right?

ETA:  HBBC for Nov 19 - 2 points (30 mins easy biking), for Nov 20 - 10K/6 mile run, 20 minutes weightlifting and 7 servings fruits and veg - 8 points...woop woop!

Friday, November 18, 2011

An Old Fave

Tonight Hubs and I were doing our usual Friday night grocery shop...yes...that's right, we are dullsville and old, so on a perfectly good Friday night when there's copious amounts of drinking and general overall debauchery happening, we're at the grocery store cruising the aisles.  Hey, it's strategic...I hate shopping when it's busy because inevitably some oblivious moron will stop in the middle of the aisle while they look at pasta sauces and piss me off, so I avoid shopping at busy times.

Aaaaannnyways, I was cruising the aisles and I saw what used to be a staple in my diet about ten years ago....


I used to loooooove this stuff!  Seriously, I would eat it all the time...for lunch, for dinner, for lunch AND dinner.  I picked up the can and looked fondly at it, as I haven't bought beefaroni in years.  I had a little giggle as I remembered one incident where I brought it to work and a guy said "ewwwwwww!  my five year old daughter won't even eat that, it's like dog food!"  Hmph.  To be truthful, I almost bought some for old times sake, but the thought of all the crap in it turned me right off.  I know they had some commercials in the past few years that purported that beefaroni was nutritious...it made me realize that learning about food and nutrition isn't easy.  Back then when I was downing cans and cans of this stuff, I didn't think it was a big deal...but couldn't imagine doing the same now...and it wasn't really all that long ago, maybe ten years ago?  It made me understand maybe a bit more about why people may not choose to eat properly...you do what you know, and if your parents didn't eat healthy, then the likelihood that you won't is probably pretty high.   Or people may just not get exposed to that type of information.  The other day I was talking to someone about healthy eating and was shocked at what they were saying.  Sigh.

All this from a can of beefaroni...Chef Boyardee would be so proud.  Heh.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Committed

Breathe. 

I can't believe it...Christmas is almost here...six short weeks...ack!  I have a love/hate relationship with this time of year - I love the shopping, the festive atmosphere, and celebrating the season with family and friends.  It's at this time of year that everyone makes an effort to get together, and it's so nice to spend time with people who are important to me.  The hates?  Along with all the celebrating comes lots of eating...dinners, parties, lunches, treats at the office...it's everywhere!  Now don't get me wrong...I love food and it's one of my greatest joys in life...but along with the love of food comes lack of willpower and I'm finding myself falling down the slippery slope of food debauchery.  An example?  I'm writing this post while watching the Biggest Loser and I'm eating chocolate peanut butter out of the jar with a frickin' spoon!  Argh.  What the eff is wrong with me?!  Last year I had the Ten Pound Challenge to keep me on track...but this year, I got nuthin'.

So...with this blog post I'm putting it out there.  I've been slipping a bit on recording my meals on myfitnesspal (I seem to have conveniently "forgotten" to log the choco peanut butter on a spoon gig) so I'm recommitting to logging everything and being honest about what goes in my mouth.  I've been snacking extra at night and having treats (helloooo, halloween candy!) so that stuff is off limits except for cheat days.  And I'm committing to keep up my workouts, no matter how crazy the silly season gets.  I hit the ground running on January 1st for the Year of Speed, so want to start the year on the right foot (haha, get it?  running?  foot?) and feeling great.

Committed.  It's a deal.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Dark Side


Yes, folks...I've gone to the dark side.  It's been years in the making, but I've finally given in.  Now you guys are probably thinking what the heck...what's going on?  Is she starting a diet of Doritos and pop?  Has she given up running?  Has she been lured by the swan song of the triathlon?  What the heck is up?!

Nope...I've finally, finally...given in to skinny jeans.   When skinny jeans first came out I scoffed at them...I love me a good boot cut or flared jean, so when I saw these atrocities I swore up and down I would never wear them.   I would eye girls who wore skinny jeans disparagingly, gloating in my fashion superiority.  "Real women don't wear skinny jeans" was my motto and I stood firmly by this.

Then a funny thing happened.  I bought some awesome boots in Hong Kong, and my boot cut jeans kinda looked funny tucked into them...I looked like I should have a banjo or fishing rod in my hands or something.  I started wearing leggings tucked into the boots (Lulu's Wunder Unders), and kinda liked that look when paired with a tunic or comfy sweater.  However, being wary of the "tights are not pants" movement, I was worried about being one of "those" people who wear leggings inappropriately and decided to get with the times and go get myself a pair of skinny jeans to avoid showing up in a magazine as a fashion don't.

I headed off to the mall this weekend to check things out...damn, jeans are expensive!  I finally ended up at the Gap where I started to try some jeans on.  I admit...I fully admit...that I even tried a pair of jeggings on.  I know, I know...I should turn myself into the fashion police, right?  It was hilarious though because I think the good folks over at the Gap know all about the whole jegging backlash, and call them "jean leggings".  Whatevs, people...they're jeggings!  Anyways, their jeggings made me look like a little Asian bratwurst so I ended up buying a few pairs of their Always Skinny jeans in black and a dark wash and darn it...these things are super stretchy and uber comfy.  Sold.

So...I gotta say....I'm a convert now for sure.  I know...what's the world coming to, right?  Pretty soon I might even start wearing colour.  Ha!  Psyche.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Day One - New Rules of Lifting for Women

Alrighty...so you know how I said before I was gonna start this new weight lifting regime, blah blah blah?  I've finally finished reading the book New Rules of Lifting for Women and figured out how the whole shebang works.  I know, I know...sometimes I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed, but I'm cute.  Ha!  I have this weird thing that when I start something new, it HAS to be done on Sunday...sort of to kick the week off and start things fresh and on the right foot.  I know...I'm so weird.

So how did the first workout go?  Not bad!  There are 7 stages in this program, so I started off at the beginning at Stage 1.  I warmed up with a 10 minute jog on the treadmill, and then did this routine, which the book calls Workout A:

Group 1:
Squats - 2 sets of 15 reps

Group 2:
Pushups - 1 set of 15 reps
Seated row - 1 set of 15 reps
Repeat this series twice

Group 3:
Step ups - 1 set of 15 reps
Prone jackknife - 1 set of 8 reps
Repeat this series twice

I like it.  It didn't take too long, so I did another 20 minutes on the treadmill.  I started off with medium heavy weights because I'm not sure exactly where I should be at and didn't want to injure myself by overdoing things.  There are two workouts in each stage, so later on this week I'll do Workout B.  Hopefully I'll be able to keep this up...I've been having some weird achiness and pain in my right shoulder so don't know what's up, so will go and check things out with my physiotherapist.   Anyways, first day of NROLFW done!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Remembrance Day Musings

Lest we forget.  As the years go by, I find myself understanding the importance of Remembrance Day more and more.  When I was young, selfish and foolish, it was just an excuse for a day off...but as I get older and older I become more and more thankful for the sacrifices that people made so that we can enjoy the freedoms that we have today.  I can't say enough how thankful and grateful I am for what I have...so I suppose a piece of why I feel compelled to pay my respects is that I can't even begin to comprehend what these people and their families went through.  I can't imagine how hard it would be to see your son or husband go off to war, maybe never to come back.  Or how scary it must have been to be on the front lines fighting.  So for that reason I'm eternally grateful to our veterans and will never miss marking Remembrance Day.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Your First

I was sitting here watching all the coverage of the NYC marathon and that Apolo Ono (drool!  love a good soul patch) and Mark Messier were running their first marathons.  I can't help it...don't know what it is, but whenever I see any race footage I get all choked up.  Sorry, sorry...I know I'm a total mushpot.  Anyways, I was thinking about that old adage that you never forget your first (hee hee, minds out of gutters people!) and I was hit with a little inspiration.  I'd  bought a shadow box awhile ago but wasn't really sure what to do with it...well now I know...


Huh.  OK, I have the marathon itch again.  Poor, poor Hubs...for better or worse, right baby?  Heh.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

McRib

Sigh.  Dang I hate this getting old gig!  I got up Friday morning bright and early to get on the treadmill, and within a few minutes of starting a slow jog I felt a pop in my left shoulder and immediately knew that one of my ribs had come out of place.  Nooooooo!  Unfortunately this happens a LOT, so I knew that I had to get my butt into see my chiro pronto...if I didn't, my whole back and neck would start seizing and it's absolutely agonizing.  Thank goodness I was able to get in that evening!  Rib was out of place and the neck was out of alignment...darn hybermobility.  I was pissed because it meant that I had to skip a long run that I had scheduled with M this morning, as I was still incredibly stiff and sore...I've been missing my longer runs and was kinda looking forward to it.  Being injured and not being able to run always makes me regret the times that I blew off workouts!  And I guess I have to look at the bright side...Mr. Rib didn't pop out before the marathon or during my trip to Maui, right?  Always a silver lining, folks.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

We're In!

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that as part of the Year of Speed, Hubs and I were hoping to take a running clinic called Mindful Strides that a lady named Marilyn Arsenault does here in little old Victoria.  When we got back from our vacay, I went to check out her site as she had posted that she'd be having some more clinics in October.  Well, lo and behold...they were all sold out!  Dang.  As I cruised her site some more, she noted that we could send her an email and she would let us know when the January clinics were announced...and yesterday we got the heads up that the clinics were posted!  As soon as I saw her email, I signed up both Hubs and I...yahooo!  I'm soooooo excited and can't wait to take her clinic...anything we can do to improve our form and hopefully improve our speed is a good thing.  Getting super excited about 2012!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Heavy Lifting

So awhile ago, I mentioned that after the marathon was over, I was going to start the New Rules of Lifting for Women.  Well, the time has come.


I've been wanting to start this program for awhile, and need something to focus on for the next few months so I don't hoover up everything in sight over the holiday season and turn into a plump little Asian dumpling.  I've been pretty darn lax in exercising and eating properly after the marathon but I don't regret it...everyone needs to live a little!  But now it's time to get back on the wagon and get back at 'er.  And truth be told...I've been feeling a bit aimless now that the big one is over...definitely a case of post-marathon blues.  There's a lot of time until my next goal race in the Spring, so what better than to establish a new goal and banish the blues?

This is a six month program, so I'm going to incorporate this into my regular training since next year will be less strenous since I'm not planning on doing a full marathon.  This program works best done three times a week but is doable with two, so I'm going to add in two days of lifting mixed in with running and/or bootcamp.  Not a moment too soon either...with all the running, I definitely haven't been focussing at all on strength and it shows!  I did some strength training on Sunday...some simple stuff like squats and lunges, and pushups with some bicep and tricep work thrown in for good measure...and I'm sore.  And it wasn't even all that hard and I wasn't lifting heavy at all!  And stronger is better, especially for speed.  We'll see how it helps with my spring half marathon!

So.excited.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Aloha!

Back from Maui...and it was awweeesssome.  Exactly what we needed to recharge our batteries after a busy summer of training and preparing for the marathon.  Weather was pretty nice - we've never gone during this time of year but I think we might just start going in the early Fall as it's not quite so hot.  We ended up staying at a difference place than our usual spot as they were going through some major renovations...the great folks over at Hale Napili are so good to us and rebooked us at the place next door and paid the difference to make up for inconveniencing us!  The new place was wonderful, but we missed coming home to Hale Napili as we get treated like family when we arrive.  Love it there. 

As far as what we did, the trip itself was the same old, same old...a lot of relaxing, eating and moseying around.  We did manage to fit in a few runs as well, and I was saving my first road run after the marathon for Maui.  We have a favourite route that we do that takes us into the next area Kapalua, which is absolutely gorgeous and is home to the Ritz Carlton and a beautiful golf course that hosts a few PGA tournaments.  It was on one of these runs that we noticed that there was something called Xterra going on, and after asking around we discovered it was an off road triathlon that was having its world championship in Kapalua!  So cool.  We made sure we went back to check it out, and the vibe was electric with helicopters buzzing around as camera crews recorded the race.  We watched the swim and were planning on leaving after the bike transition until we heard there was a very special guest racing in the Xterra...


Lance Armstrong!  This is a shot of him transitioning to the run and he was kicking some ass at this point and was in the top ten.  Unfortunately, the run got the better of him and he was around 26th or so.  The female leader was a gal who was also from Victoria (woohoo!) named Melanie McQuaid who was taking no prisoners until the last bit when the heat and a lost electrolyte bottle ended the race for her, and collapsed within about 200 feet from the finish line (if you're checking out her site, here is her race report - read it, it's amazing).  Now some people may think she's crazy, but I'm in absolute and utter awe of someone who pushes themselves so hard and is trying to finish even though physically she is completely shot and has nothing left to give.  Melanie, you may not have won the world championship, but you rock in my books.  You made me proud to be Canadian that day!

Is it wrong that I reallllly want to try a tri?  Guess I gotta learn how to swim first though, eh?  Heh.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Ants in My Pants

Today is my one week anniversary of the marathon!  Don't worry everyone...I won't keep doing the anniversary countdown...promise!  I can't believe it was a week ago...as the morning went by today, I kept looking at the time and thinking this time last week I would have been at this point and marvelling that it was over.  I was  stalking following Jessica over at Mommy Running Through as she was also a first time marathoner...it's funny, because when I saw her finish, I got verklempt all over again...so cool to follow people through their training and the actual race.  I was also watching the Toronto Waterfront Marathon on TV today, and it was pretty cool to see one of our Canadian boys Reid Coolsaet place third overall, and come within a minute or so of almost beating the Canadian record.  Reid was doing awesome until about 35K into the race when he started to fade...and the announcer said something to the effect of he ran a great 35K, but then there was the second half of the race left to go.  Ha!  I chuckled only because what he was saying was oh, so true...the last 7K were tougher than the first 35K put together for me, and it's where runners start to fade.  However...all of this hasn't turned me off the marathon...I know I posted earlier that I wasn't going to be doing another one anytime soon (and I'm sticking to that), I'm really getting ants in my pants to get training and start working on my speed to put myself in a good position for a marathon in 2013.  I ran yesterday for the first time since the marathon, and while I'm not sore, there are definitely some twinges and twangs that are telling me I'm not recovered yet...and I must say that I'm enormously tired at night and can barely keep my eyes open.  I think my body is telling me that it needs a rest, and that's exactly what we're going to do when Hubs and I hit the sandy beaches of Maui on Tuesday.

So...with that, I'm signing off for a bit while we're away...bring on the chichis!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

So What's Next?

OMG, get me away from dairy.  I've been really good at cutting it out before the marathon, but now that it's over....the floodgates have opened!  Cheese this, dairy that...gah!  It's soooo bad for me but it tastes sooo good....but I've got to stop because I've been noticing I've been feeling extremely tired and not that great.  I've been letting myself have treats here and there for post-marathon week, but after this I'm back on good eating again. 

I think I've created a monster.  My legs are feeling much, much better now...the first few days were torturous, but pretty much all the soreness is gone now but there are a few pangs and twinges remaining that tell me that things still are healing, and I should take 'er easy.  I was saying to Hubs that I was going to a very short run on Saturday, maybe 3K or so just to get things moving again as I'm feeling itchy to start running.  So thinking that he would do the same because like I've said before, he doesn't really love to run...he says well he's going to go out for a 10K run instead.  Wha?!  Who are you and what have you done with my husband?  Ha!  It's awesome...he's bound and determined this time to keep up with longer distances to maintain his current level of fitness.  Eeeeexcelllllent.

So...the big question is, what are we going to do now that the marathon training is over?  Definitely for the next few months I'll be taking a break from any kind of race training, and will just run because...well, I love to run.  I'm going back to bootcamps and other cross training, and am toying with the idea of doing a weight lifting program for the balance of the year to get my strength back up again.  I saw my race photos and wasn't happy with how shapeless my spaghetti arms were.  As for running plans...Hubs and I have decided that we're going to increase our weekend runs to around the 15K-ish range, just so the transition to any kind of longer distances won't be quite so painful in the new year.  We've also decided that 2012 will be the year of speed ..we've built our distance bases, so now is the time to get our pace up and our times down!  I've also been looking into races for next year, and we're going to take a running clinic called Mindful Strides that one of the speakers at the Race Expo spoke about.  The clinic leader is named Marilyn Arsenault, a really talented runner who found running a bit later in life (she's an opera singer by trade)...she was the fastest woman in the half marathon in 2009 with a blistering 1:15:39 at the age of 40!  Her clinic is all about running form - she went through similar training herself and she found that the better her form was, the faster she was able to run with less chance of injury.  Sign me up!

Looking forward to running in 2012.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Marathon Aftermath

I can sooooooo relate right now...ha!

Monday, October 10, 2011

2011 Goodlife Victoria Marathon - Race Report

I've got so much to say, I almost don't know where to start!  There's so much that I want to remember of this day, which I can honestly say is one of the proudest moments of my life.  I guess what better place to start than at the beginning of marathon day, hey?  Hubs and I got up bright and early at 5:00am - I needed to get up early so I could eat something, and we had to get down early as Hubs' race was at 7:30am (mine didn't start until over an hour later at 8:45am...definitely not a fan of the late start!).  I'd had a pretty good night's sleep, but did wake up a few times...I'd been having some tummy troubles in the past few days, and woke up with a bit of cramping.  I had my usual scone snack and felt OK, so proceeded to get showered.  I know...I'm weird, right? I'm going to be sweating up a storm for four plus hours but I have to shower before I go do that.  But it's all about having a routine and I wasn't a-strayin'!

The night before we laid out our gear...I've been meaning to review the iFitness race belt I got recently, but man I heart this thing!  It absolutely rocks so I'll be reviewing it shortly:


Yummy Gu flavours...makes you non-runners almost want to start, no?  Espresso Love was my fave but Mint Chocolate is quickly eclipsing it.


I made sure I slapped on some Body Glide, to avoid the dreaded marathon chafe (chub rub + 42.2 kilometres + sweating for four plus hours = agony):


Once we were all geared up, we headed down to my work which is a 10 minute walk from the start line...yes!  We got there around 6:45-ish and met up with M and her fam...her kids were doing the 8K race and her Hubs was running the half with her as well.  After everyone left and I was on my own, I had to get myself mentally into a marathon frame of mind.  It was hard to get a handle on my emotions all Saturday and Sunday morning - I went through spells of being anxious, being scared, wondering if I could really pull this off...it was a constant emotional roller coaster.  I headed out at around 8:15am after eating a banana and some Gu Chomps, but before I left I had to a little something to do first:


I stole this idea from my running idol Marlene over at Mission to a(nother) Marathon...I wanted to have a mantra to get myself through the next four plus hours of running, and what better than "Go Wong"?  A's card played such a significant part in keeping me motivated, so this was a no brainer...these two words would come to save me later.  As I walked to the start line, I was alone with my thoughts and had time to put my game face on.

At the Start Line:
The day was perfect for a race - I was watching the weather like hawk all week, and I needn't have worried at all.  Cool, overcast and no wind...it was awesome!  I positioned myself at the back of the 4:30 corral and waited for the race to start, all the while reminding myself to pace, pace, pace.  I wasn't going to set any land speed records, so wanted to settle in with a pace of 6:20 - 6:30/km for the race and kept reminding myself that was the target.  After singing a rousing Oh Canada, we were off!

0 - 10K
For the first few kilometres, I mentally kept pinching myself.  Was I really doing this?  Was I really running a marathon?!  I completely resisted the urge to burst out of the gates, but paced myself pretty well and was feeling really good for the first quarter of the race.  My splits were pretty much on target and I was having no trouble locking in on my target paces.  I was loving the cheering crowds and was surprised at the huge number of people out to suppport all the runners.  This is another aspect of running that I just enjoy so much...the sense of kinship and inclusion that embodies the running community - whether you're a runner, a spectator or a volunteer, you're part of the gang.   Contrary to what people might think, it's not an elitist sport...people cheer the back of the packers as much as they cheer the race leader.  I heard more cowbells than I think I've ever heard in my life, and I was feeling great and loving every second...there were some great signs out there, the most memorable being a saucy blonde with a sign that said "Naked Cheerleaders, Next Mile"  I laughed out loud with I saw that!

1K:   6:28  Saltstick and 4 Gu Chomps
2K:   6:21
3K:   6:21
4K:   6:33
5K:   6:24
6K:   6:25 Gu
7K:   6:34
8K:   6:22
9K:   6:21
10K: 6:32

10K split - 1:06:38

11 - 21K
Around this part of the race, we ended up leaving the water views along Dallas Road and headed towards the long stretch through to Oak Bay and the Uplands.  The weather started to get really sunny, and I was wondering if that was going to have any effect on my run.  I must say...I was glad to have packed my own water because the race site stated that aid stations are every 3K - whatevs!  They were sporadic and oddly placed, but I kept with my plan of running 3K with a 1 minute walk break and if that didn't coincide with an aid station, that was fine.  My legs were feeling really good, and I didn't feel tired at all up to the half way marker.  It was somewhere around this stretch that we saw the winner of the race coming back towards us, which is a part of the race that I love so much.  As he raced towards us, all the runners were cheering him on and clapping.  While I was paying attention to my splits and how I was doing compared to times on my paceband, I tried to not get too wrapped up in it and looked around a lot at the scenery, the spectators and my surroundings.  I was going to stay in the present!

11K:  6:18
12K:  6:15 Gu
13K: 6:41
14K: 6:18
15K: 6:20
16K: 6:37
17K: 6:19
18K: 6:18 Gu
19K: 6:37
20K: 6:23
21K: 6:16 Saltstick

Half marathon split - 2:18:10

22K - 32K
This part of the course would prove to be my favourite section.  The spectators were pretty amazing and the run itself was peaceful, albeit challenging...there were some rollling hills in this section that were a bit brutal.  I was so happy when I reached the turnaround part of the course (this is an out and back) and it was at this point that I thought you know what...I might just do this...this might really happen!  Somewhere around the 25K point was when I saw Ben from over at Ben Does Life (here's his race recap).  I've been following his blog for awhile and admire so much of what he's done and accomplished.  Knowing his journey and how far he's come in the past few years, I had to say something, right?  I clapped and yelled out "Hey Ben!" (ooh, I have a way with words, eh?  Ha!) and we high five'd as we passed each other.  Cool!

I must say though...the best part of this race (besides the finish line, of course!) came at the 32K point.  Hubs and my inlaws were going to be there to meet me, as well as KEW and A with those awesome "Go Wong" signs.  As I  headed up the slight hill towards where I knew they were going to be, I honestly couldn't get there fast enough.  As I scanned the streets looking for them, I finally saw Hubs.  I was feeling pretty fresh at this point still as you can see from my splits, so gave them a thumbs up and swooped in to give Hubs a quick kiss.  As I continued down the street, I was looking for KEW and A but couldn't see them and was hoping that I didn't miss them.  As I came close to the end of the block where I'd have to turn I spotted them and the flood of pent up emotions from the past few days came rushing out.  Verklempt does not come close to describing how I felt, and we hugged each other through our tears.  Feeling renewed, it was at this point that I realized I was going to finish this thing.

22K: 6:44
23K: 6:23
24K: 6:32 Gu
25K: 6:32
26K: 6:24
27K: 6:16
28K: 6:34
29K: 6:29
30K: 6:14 Gu
31K: 6:43
32K: 6:18

30K split - 3:16:17

33K - 42.2K
Having been buoyed by seeing friends and family, I continued on and thought this was too easy, I was feeling pretty good considering I'd been running for over three hours.  Spoken way too soon, my friends...10 kilometres is a long way to go especially after running for 32 kilometres.  This is where the true test of mental and physical toughness came.  As I got to the 35K mark, my legs were so incredibly tired and my right calf was in danger of cramping and seizing up.  I could feel it start to go but somehow kept it at bay, and my right knee was starting to ache terribly.  I had to count down the kilometres one by one, and kept repeating my mantra "Go Wong" in my head along with each footstep, just to keep forging ahead.  At 36K I was scheduled to take a Gu, and toyed with the idea of not taking it because at this point I was sooooo sick of taking these things.  Even yummy flavours like mint chocolate were turning my stomach and I choked down half a gel before tossing it.  Ugh

The last stretch was along the water on Dallas Road, and while beautiful it was hot...the weather was gorgeous, but warm...and by this point it would be around 1pm so we were running at the warmest point of the day.  As I came around to the 37K point, just moving was extremely difficult and I was inserting quick walk breaks in every few hundred metres or so.  It was getting harder and harder to start running after taking a walk break and my legs were in agony, even though mentally I felt good still.  The last few kilometres felt interminable and I had slowed down to a shuffle, as you can tell from my last splits. 

When I finally saw that "1K" sign, it was everything I could do to keep going...but I could hear the cheering as I rounded the final corner to the finish line.  This was it, and I was absolutely going to savour this moment.  As I headed down the final stretch, people on both sides started to cheer, and I could feel tears spring to my eyes.  I looked around to see if I could see Hubs and when I finally found him, I gave him a thumbs up and let out a big "wooohoooo!"  As I came down the chute, I looked up and kept my eyes locked on what I've worked towards for the last year and a half, the finish line...and as I crossed the mats, I smiled and raised my arms in happiness and relief...I was a marathoner!  The race director came over to shake my hand, and I even got a hug from Kathrine Switzer!  If I'd been of a better frame of mind, I would have told her how amazing I thought she was.  My friend A was handing out medals so I shuffled over to get my medal and my first post-race hug...it was so good to see a smiling face at the end! 

The bling:


33K: 6:18
34K: 6:49
35K: 6:57
36K: 6:47  1/2 Gu
37K: 6:43
38K: 7:04  Ooow
39K: 7:25  I hurt bad
40K: 7:29  I must be effing insane
41K: 6:48  Everything hurts
42K: 7:17  Yes!

Time result - 4:40:56!  I think this might change as my gun and chip time were posted as the same, and because I was at the back of the pack my chip time should be a bit shorter.  We'll see what the final results are, but whatever...I'm thrilled with my time and I achieved my main goal of enjoying the race and finishing with a smile on my face.  A lot of people will ask what my future race plans are and at this point, I'm not comtemplating another marathon anytime soon.  I've got a few goals rolling around my head right now though so we'll see!

Now the big question...how am I feeling apres run?  My legs are incredibly sore...I definitely have the marathon shuffle going on!  Stairs are definitely difficult to negotiate, which should prove interesting at work tomorrow.  Ha!  Great news though...while I'm definitely sore, my foot held up beautifully and there's no hint of foot pain at all today.   No chafing either, and I was happy to have avoided hitting the wall but I do have a very painful toenail that appears to be turning black underneath my pretty pink polish.  Right after the race I wasn't hungry at all - I didn't eat much yesterday, but I'm making up for it today and hoovering up everything in sight...there are some benefits to running a marathon, right?  Ha!

So since today is Thanksgiving, I'm going to give thanks for everyone who've supported me through the past 18 months of marathon craziness.  All my friends, coworkers, family, people in the bloggie community and what I've dubbed "Team Wong" (my RMT, chiro, physio) are a big part of what helped get me to the finish line...but one person more than anyone else was key and that person was Hubs.  When I was up at 5:00am to run, so was he.  When I was out there for hours, he'd be with me on the bike riding behind me with my water and Gu.  So thank you, Hubs...you are the absolute best.

Item #1 on my bucket list - done.  On to some R&R in Maui in a few short day....bring on the mai tais!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

I Am A Marathoner!

I am soooo happy right now.  On air.  I feel fantastic...well, everything from the waist down is in absolute agony, but I'm alert and feel awesome!  I did it - hit my goal of finishing upright, feeling great and enjoying the marathon from start to finish (OK, well the last 5K were brutal but I'll save that for the race recap).  Chip time...4:40:56.  My goal was 4:30, so not too bad!  For my first marathon, I am more than thrilled.  Going to enjoy dinner tonight for sure.

Look out for race recap to come your way shortly!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Marathon Eve

So inspiring.  I just went to the Speaker Series at the race expo, and listened to Steve King intervew Kathrine Switzer and Bart Yasso.  Kathrine Switzer was amazing - she said a little something that hit it squarely on the head as to why running is more than just one step in front of another...it's that too, but it's also about the feeling of self empowerment, self confidence and self esteem that you get from it.  So, so true.  She truly was a pioneer in women's running and was recently inducted into the National Womens' Hall of Fame for activating social change...she was in good company, with the likes of people like Rosa Parkes!  Seeing Bart Yasso was pretty cool too...every runner has heard of the Yasso 800s, right?  He's the "Chief Running Officer" at Runner's World, and had his own moving stories about how running has come to embody social change and the sense of community and inclusion.   When it came to the question and answer period, a newbie marathoner asked for the one piece of advice that either of them had for first timers, and both Bart and Kathrine said to not set expectations and to just enjoy the event.  Seeing as these are two of the greats of running, I'm going to listen to them fully and just go out there and enjoy the reward for all the training over the past 18 weeks.

Plans for tonight?  A quiet night at home with the family and just some general R&R.  So I guess this is it, eh?  When you hear from me next time, I'll be a marathoner.  I'm on a total roller coaster of emotions but I'm ready to get 'er done at this point!  If anyone is so inclined, here is the link to the race site where you can go to watch the race live, or here's the link to the race results!  I hope to be crossing the finish line anywhere between 1 - 2pm, and bib number is 1703.  I'm going to end this post with a quote from my fave, Oprah:

"Running is the greatest metaphor for life, because you get out of it what you put into it."

Catch you all on the flip side!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Stats

So because I'm an accountant and a total numbers geek, I thought it'd be cool to put together some stats on the journey to the marathon.   It's weird...it feels like I've been doing this forever and that it went by fast, all at the same time.  I guess I'm a little sad that the training is over, because as you know I'm a goal-oriented kinda gal and I love having something to work towards...I've already got my mind whirling as to what the next running goal is gonna be...it's never ending, right?

So here goes...in 18 weeks...

 - 569 kilometres
 - 65 hours running
 - 50 runs
 - 20 bootcamp sessions
 - 8 bike sessions
 - 3 pairs of shoes
 - 25 bananas eaten on long run days
 - 15 Gu's
 - 7 physio sessions
 - 4 chiro sessions
 - 3 massages
 - 3 immune booster shots

No wonder I'm totally looking forward to kicking back and just chilling in Maui!  Heh.  Can't wait to get to that start line.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Wall


ZOMG.  Someone take the internet away from me.

So because I'm all in taper mode and have all this free time on my hands now that I'm chilling out, I'm all over the interwebz, reading about people's first time marathon experience's and it's scaring the shit out of me.  I'm sure it's kinda like having kids, right?  You know what they say, that within minutes of having the kid, you forget the pain and would do it again in a second?!  I'm kinda hoping that's the case because for the most part, these people who were writing about their horrific first marathon/hitting the wall experiences lived to tell the tale and run many more after that.

Turning off computer NOW.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Multiple Things Monday

OK...where do I start?  I have so many things to blabber on about and my mind is all over the place right now that I'm just gonna talk about it all!

1.  Go Wong Go

So back last year when I was going through attempt #1 at training for a marathon, my motivation started to wane a bit and I posted about how meh I was feeling about the whole marathon gig.  It was hard, it was hot, wah wah wah, whine whine whine.  Well...it's through times like that when you find out who your friends are.  One of my besties A read my post, and sent me a homemade card that I use as daily motivation because I tell ya...there are days when I didn't really want to go out and run and I thought what have I gotten myself into?  I look at that card all.the.time.  Well, A and her little girl KEW are going to cheer me on at the 32K point of the run, with these signs that are big versions of my card:



Seriously.  Are these not the best?  These were posted on my Facebook, and as soon as I saw them I got all verklempt.  I told you I was going to be a mess in the last few days, didn't I?


Aren't these great?  I can't wait to see them. Thanks guys, can't tell you how much this means.

2.  Final Physio

Holy, I'm all about the alliteration today aren't I?  Ha!  I went to see my awesome and amazing physio today for the last time before the race, and told her about my foot and lower leg pain.  She was pretty happy with how I was moving and pinpointed a few spots that she thought were causing my issues.  Out came the needles, and she released muscles in my calf, bum and front thigh that were causing tightness and pulling on my foot.  After the needles, pain and achiness are gone!  My physio has been the main reason why I've gotten to within days of the race relatively injury free and I'm so thankful I found her.   She's a marathoner as well, so I asked for her advice and she definitely said to not go out too fast, to just go out there and experience it.  Definitely must find her a nice thank you gift.

3.  Five More Days

Gaaaaahhhhh!  I'm so excited.  And scared.  And anxious.  But most of all, I'm just looking forward to experiencing the day.  They say that the marathon is the reward for all your training, and it's kinda true.  The tough part really is the training and I just want to get to the race already!   The one thing I want to make sure I do is really experience it and stay in the present so I can remember it.  Honestly, that's the one thing I regret about my wedding day because I was so rushed and anxious that I didn't stop to look around and really feel the moment...I can barely remember anything about the ceremony and had to ask Hubs about it after.  Plus I gotta remember it all so I can blog about it after, right?   Ha!

4.  Race Expo

Race expo this weekend, and it should be a great one.  Bart Yasso and Kathrine Switzer is going to be there as speakers...KATHRINE SWITZER, people!  For those of you who don't know who she is, she was the first female to run Boston...and the race director Jock Semple actually ran onto the course and tried to grab her while yelling "get the hell out of my race and give me those numbers!"...luckily her boyfriend was there and ran interference for her so she could continue on with the race....



Yes...women were not allowed to race Boston previously...in fact it wasn't recommended for women to run at all because your uterus might fall out or something redonkulous.  Can't wait to hear her speak.  And yeah, and Bart too.  Kidding!  Bart is pretty awesome as well.

5.  Germies Go Away

I am immune boosting like it's my job...so many people around me are sick right now!  Just need to stay healthy.  So if I run away from you covering my face, it's not that I don't love you or anything...I just can't get sick right now. 

6.  Taper Madness

OK, I gotta say...I am having NO problems with taper madness...in fact, I'm greatly enjoying this last week where I'm barely running at all (comparatively speaking) and I'm not going to any bootcamps (just in case, to avoid tweaking any muscles).   I can sit back and chill and not even feel guilty!   And I'm allowed to up my carb intake.  What's not to love about taper time?

Phew!  OK, think I'm done.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Marathon Quest 2011 - Week 17 Recap

Ahhhhhhh.  Had a massage this morning and I gotta say...if I won the lotto, I would be gettin' one of those at least once a week.  Heck, daily.  I love a good massage, and the girl who worked on me this morning (apologies to my regular girl, but I had to get one today) was amazing...almost as good as my usual RMT, and wasn't afraid to get in there and really work the knots out.  I've tried a few other RMTs that weren't bad, but I found that they just didn't press hard enough and I came out feeling no different than when I walked in.  Just cuz I'm little doesn't mean I'm some kind of delicate Asian lotus blossom...sheesh!

Well...one more recap to go.  I'm almost a little sad because my first marathon is the premise of this blog, but there'll be other goals to achieve, right?  There are plenty of PBs left in me and lots of inane observations on life and recipes to review, so I'll still be kicking around on the interwebz for awhile.  And who knows...I may get addicted to marathoning *sneaking sideways glance at Hubs*....

Sunday - rest day

Monday - stationery bike 20 minutes
I jammed on bootcamp...my foot was still bugging me from Saturday's run, so I decided to be conservative and let it rest by doing a quick workout on the bike. 

Tuesday - rest day

Wednesday - 6K treadmill run

Thursday - 6K treadmill run
I was in Vancouver for work for a big convention, and got to stay a really nice hotel, the Fairmont Waterfront.  Now when I checked out the amenities, it said first class gym...and it actually was.  Yay!  I carted my butt up out of bed early-ish to go down and do a quick treadmill run, and then ordered up some room service as I wanted to make sure I got a good meal in rather than just grabbing some scone or some big sugar bomb as we were going to busy working a tradeshow booth at the convention.  It's funny, because I absolutely cannot go without eating breakfast anymore. I was never, ever, ever a breakfast eater, but Hubs totally changed that.  When he found out I didn't eat breakfast, he was aghast...and would have to cajole me into eating it.  Now, I have to eat something healthy and hearty to start off my day or I'm a mess.  See, even old dogs can learn new tricks!

Friday - bootcamp

Saturday - 16K 13K run, at race pace
According to our training schedules, we were supposed to do our runs this week at race pace...eek! I've not run anything remotely close to race pace in months, so I was a little apprehensive.  My overall pace for a 4:30 finish is either 6:24/km overall or 6:09/km walk adjusted (meaning that if I take walk breaks, I have to run a bit faster when I'm actually running).  Gah.  Because the Running Room program does 10 and 1's and I'm doing something more like a 20 and 1 (which works out to be every 3K where the aid stations are), I figured that my pace needed to be about 6:15/km when I'm running to average to a 6:24/km pace overall once I throw in the walk breaks. 

Hubs took off ahead of me, as he was going for a  6:00/km pace...so I started off to what I thought was a conservative pace.  As I looked down at my Garmin, I kept seeing times below 6:00/km.  It was really, really hard to lock in my target pace of 6:15/km...and by the end of the run, I checked my average pace and it was 6:14/km, so 10 seconds per kilometre too fast even incorporating walk breaks.  Now the theory goes for every second you go too fast initially, you'll slow down by double that at the end...so I really need to figure out my pacing or I'm gonna be in a bit of trouble come the latter stages of the race. 

So the big question is...how is the foot feeling?  Truthfully - not great right now.  It's sore and achy, and everything below my knee is a dull ache.  I have an appointment with my physio on Monday, so I'm hoping the last round of IMS will help release all my muscles to give me some more cushioning/movement to get through the race.  It's not unbearable, and nowhere near how it felt last year...all I need is for it to hold out next week and I'm golden.  I just have a few short runs left and then it's "off my feet" mode until Sunday.

Eight more sleeps, kids.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Bubble Girl


Gah.  Today I was feeling a bit out of control - there's a lot to do that has to happen over the next week or so...appointments (chiro, physio, final immune booster, massage), training (still have a few short runs to do), errands/clean house/prep house for family visit, last minute race prep (charge garmin/ipod, make pace bracelet, create playlist), prep Thanksgiving dinner, cook two week's worth of food (there ain't no cookin' happening next week!)...the list goes on and on.  Oh yeah, and of course work...and then at the end of all this I gotta run a marathon!  I was feeling out of sorts because I'm a "planner" so don't like the feeling of the unknown...so of course my trusty lists came out and everything started spilling out of my pea brain.  I planned out each day and what I needed to get done, so this will be my bible until race day so I don't even have to think...I gotta just do it.  I've plunked it all into my handy dandy iPhone, and will delete things off as I do them.  Ahhh...I already feel better!

So a tiny bit of a problem today but nothing major...or at least I'm not gonna make it major.  Back/neck went out again this morning...I think it's been a combo of not watching my body positioning and the not-so-hot bed I slept in on Wednesday night (I was in Vancouver for work...and saw a little group called Kings of Leon...woop woop!!  Coldplay, I still love you the most but the Kings are pretty effing awesome), and my upper back was absolutely aching.  Complete agony, I tell you.  I did a bunch of self massage, stretching and put heat on it, and last night it started to feel better until I got up this morning.  I could feel one of my ribs had come out of place as it unfortunately happens a lot, so I know all the telltale symptoms.  Nooo!  This is one of my biggest fears, as this has been so bad that I can barely get out of bed without help...so I got myself in to see my chiro today and got snapped back into place.  I booked a chiro appointment for the day before the race as a pre-emptive strike just in case...I'm so totally going to keep this appointment for sure, given what happened today.  And now I'm even more paranoid as M twisted her ankle earlier in the week, and her arch is feeling sore and bruised, poor thing.  Le sigh.

Seriously...where is the bubble wrap?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Marathon Challenge

I saw this cool video over at Jessica's blog (thanks!) the other day and had to re-blog it...it's a short documentary called Marathon Challenge done by Nova, and it follows a group of 13 sedentary people (herein dubbed Team Nova) and their journey to complete the Boston Marathon in 40 weeks.  As usual, Nova does an awesome job - they go through explaining some of the basic concepts in running and what happens in the body physiologically as health improves.  I loved it!  So motivating.

Here's the link - it's about an hour, so go get yourself a tea and cookies and make yourself comfy.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/body/marathon-challenge.html

PS.  10 more days.  I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

You Are My Sunshine

Is it wrong that I'm looking at the weather already?


I know the weather is always wrong...but I'm praying to the weather and running gods that this forecast is right.  It'd be better if it was just a titch cooler as well - but I ain't gonna get picky at this point and just want the weather to stay dry with no wind.  I'm full of nervous energy - I'm trying to write down everything I need to do in the next 11 days to make sure I don't miss anything.  And it doesn't help that I'm reading all these running forums, and hearing about all the horrible stories of people hitting the wall.  I'm like those hypochondriacs that read about illnesses on the interweb and are convinced that they're dying.  Ha!  I guess at this point all I can do is trust in my training and not start out too fast...easier said than done.

I get the feelin' that I'm going to be visiting the Weather Network a LOT in the next week and a half. 

Monday, September 26, 2011

'Tinis and Toes

So tonight I went to one of my besties B's house for this cool little fundraiser for the CIBC Run for the Cure called 'Tinis and Toes...it's kind of a networking/meet other women in business kinda thing, but what you do is you pay a fee but in return you get a mini pedi (nails trimmed, filed, polished), a pink martini (I managed to stay on the wagon and had cranberry juice, bah), a gift bag, nibblies and raffles for prizes.  Coolness!  I was kinda hesitant at first to do anything with my feet after my debacle with Mr. Podiatrist Man last year, but once I found out that it was basically just some filing and polish, I was in like flynn. 

See my pretty pink toes?  Look, I even have all my toenails!  And so far, none of them have turned black...yet (knock on wood).  And yes...my second toe is monstrously longer than my big toe....it's actually almost as long as my pinky.  Yep, I'm a circus freak but I like to think it helps me with my push off...well... that's my story anyways and I'm stickin' to it.

Think the pink will make me faster for the marathon?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Marathon Quest 2011 - Week 16 Recap

Two weeks from now at this very time I'll have finished my marathon (I can't believe how fast time is moving)...and will hopefully be stuffed full and sleepy fromThanksgiving dinner, dessert and vino.  The inlaws are coming over to Vic to cheer me on and we've hosted Thanksgiving dinner every year for both our families for as long as I can remember, so I couldn't not host again this year as I didn't want to disappoint everyone.  It's one of the very few opportunities that we have during the year to get everyone together from both sides, and it'll be so nice to have family around to help us celebrate (or commiserate!) on the day's events.  Now before you call me nuts for making dinner after running a marathon, we're not doing a full out turkey dinner but having roast chicken, manicotti, salad and some kind of dessert...all of which is going to be prepped a few days before so all we have to do is put it in the oven and let it cook while I convalesce on the couch, sipping some port or scotch (oh sweet sweet scotch, how I've missed you so!). 

Without further delay - this week's workouts:

Sunday - rest day
Strangely, I felt pretty good after the 32K run - a little sore, but not bad at all.

Monday - bootcamp
Legs and more legs...Sarge worked us over and it was all lower body.  I think next Monday will be the last bootcamp I do and will do some short runs the last week before the race, just to avoid getting sore as my legs were pretty stiff on Tuesday.  I had my second to last visit with my physio, and once again she's pretty happy with how I'm progressing.  I had felt some pains around my knee on Saturday's run, so she did her IMS magic on me to release some of the muscles.  Still thinking about what to get for her for all her help, and I think flowers with a gift card for dinner out somewhere delicious would be perfect. 

Tuesday - rest day

Wednesday - 6K run outside
I know Hubs isn't going to miss these anymore - ha!  I actually like running in the morning when it's so quiet and peaceful, but it's pretty dark and in some sections it's hard to see the ground...this makes me nervous as I really don't want to twist an ankle or something stupid.  Seriously, I need to wrap myself in bubble wrap.

Thursday - 6K treadmill
This was hard.  I really didn't feel like getting up and running, so I made a deal with myself that if after ten minutes I didn't feel like staying on, I could stop.  Honestly, I was dragging my ass through the whole thing and was practically speed walking, but I did it.  Barely.

Friday - bootcamp
Yowza.  A tough class because I was feeling really tired and worn out, but got paired up with another girl who was faster than me so I really had to push myself to keep up.  We were doing some hill work, and there was one time where I kind of had that vague I-might-puke kinda feeling.  In the end I was glad though, because I ended up being pushed instead of dragging my butt like I did the day before.

Saturday -  23K 21K 20K
Woot!  My second to last Saturday long run.  I met up with M downtown at our office as she wanted to run the half marathon route, which was perfect.  I was supposed to do 23K, so a half marathon was close enough.  Another one of our coworkers A wanted to join us, so once we all got to the office, off we went.  We ended up running quite a bit faster than what we had been - my LSD target pace per the Running Room training is supposed to be 7:08 - 8:00/km, but I've been running in the 6:30-6:45 target range...I think for the first few kilometres on Saturday's run we ended up running around 5:45 - 6:00/km!   This was a lot faster than what I was used to...and my foot started to complain and definitely was not happy with me.  By the end, it was aching and it's been reminding me all day how unhappy it is with me right now so I'm icing, massaging and am going to take tomorrow off bootcamp and do a workout on the stationery bike instead to give the foot a rest.  I definitely don't need anything to flare up at this point!  Anyways, we ended up getting a bit lost on the route so were a bit short and ended up only doing 20K, which at this point was completely A-OK by me!  Funny, I seem to get way more tired on the shorter runs than I do the longer ones...hope this bodes well for the marathon.  Heh.