Monday, May 30, 2011

Sizzling Tandoor

So even though I'm all about the food, I generally don't write restaurant reviews...but because Sizzling Tandoor was that good, I'm making an exception.  Hubs and I were looking for restaurants to take my parents to for Father's Day - it was funny, because we kept taking them out for Chinese food, because we figure hey...that's what they wanted.  When we were kids, we never went out for dinner ever, and always ate homestyle Chinese meals.  So assuming that all they wanted to eat was Chinese, for every occasion we'd truck them to our favourite place in town.  One day, I ask my mom for dinner and she kind of brushes me after some questioning, I find out that they're totally sick of Chinese food!!  Well that opened the culinary floodgates for my parents...and also opened my eyes to never, ever making assumptions.  We've taken them out for Korean, Vietnamese, Japanese, thought a cuisine that they'd never tried was Indian.  We'd heard great things about this place called Sizzling Tandoor here in Victoria, so thought we'd better try it out before we take them there.  Gotta test it out, right?  Hah!

We decided to order take out - lamb rogan josh, dal makhani, fish pakoraas and chicken vindaloo.  Unfortunately, they missed the rogan josh (argghhhh!!!) so we only got the other three dishes.  Now I like dal as much as the next guy, but it's generally all the same...nothing too different.  The dal from this place however...well, it absolutely and completely blew us away.  The fish pakoras were tasty and the vindaloo was delish...but the dal was so amazing that I felt compelled to blog about it - it's that good!  Thick with incredibly deep and complex flavours...we couldn't get enough.  The food was...dare I say it...even better than what I had at Vij's...and to me, that's sayin' something.  Hubs and I are still craving the dal.  If tha't's what the takeout tasted like...I can only imagine what the other menu items must be like!

So if you're in Victoria and you've got a hankering for Indian food - give this place a won't be disappointed.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Me and O

I love Oprah.  OK, there.  I said it!  I've been watching her off and on for years and liked seeing how her show transitioned to be more meaningful, rather than the trashy talk shows a la Maury and Sally Jessy.  Bleh.  Oprah is the only talk show that Hubs doesn't mind me watching, as he feels the other stuff has absolutely no redeeming value (yes...he knows my penchant for a good ol' episode of Jerry Springer now and then).  Now think what you want about Oprah. Some people love her, some people hate her, some people are meh. I personally looooove Oprah and have gleaned a lot from her shows...maybe it's the stage of life I'm going through but her shows really give me a lot of food for thought.

Because there's all the hype around the end of her show, I started recording the last few weeks so I could watch them at my own leisure.  The other day I watched her finale show, and I was blown away.  It was just her, talking about the things she's learned from her show.  You know how sometimes you hear something, and it really hits home?   It was like in this show, she was talking to me directly.  I'd been struggling with finding my passion for years before discovering my love of running, food and all things healthy.  There's a few potentially life changing things on the horizon where I feel like I'm on the brink of something big, and the "whispers" are pointing me right at it, to take the chance and go for it.  Here's a piece from the transcript of her last show to show you what I mean:

On what our jobs are in life:
What I knew for sure from this experience with you is that we are all called. Everybody has a calling, and your real job in life is to figure out what that is and get about the business of doing it. Every time we have seen a person on this stage who is a success in their life, they spoke of the job, and they spoke of the juice that they receive from doing what they knew they were meant to be doing. We saw it in the volunteers who rocked abandoned babies in Atlanta. We saw it with those lovely pie ladies from Cape Cod making those delicious potpies. … We saw it every time Tina Turner, Celine, Bocelli or Lady Gaga lit up the stage with their passion. Because that is what a calling is. It lights you up and it lets you know that you are exactly where you’re supposed to be, doing exactly what you’re supposed to be doing. And that is what I want for all of you and hope that you will take from this show. To live from the heart of yourself. You have to make a living; I understand that. But you also have to know what sparks the light in you so that you, in your own way, can illuminate the world.

On what your life is saying to you:
...and your life is always speaking to you. First in whispers. ... It's subtle, those whispers. And if you don't pay attention to the whispers, it gets louder and louder. It's like getting thumped upside the head, like my grandmother used to do. ... You don't pay attention to that, it's like getting a brick upside your head. You don't pay attention to that, the whole brick wall falls down. That's the pattern I've seen in my life, and it's played out over and over again on this show. A couple weeks ago, we brought back Carolyn Thomas whose face was literally shot off by her boyfriend. You ask Carolyn now: 'Were there whispers? Were there bricks before the disastrous bullet?' What Carolyn would say to you? 'Don't wait for your face to get shot off before you hear your own life speaking to you.  What I've gleaned from this show: Whispers are always messages, and if you don't hear the message, the message turns into a problem. And if you don't handle the problem, the problem turns into a crisis. And if you don't handle the crisis, disaster. Your life is speaking to you. What is it saying?

Powerful stuff.  I know I for one, will miss her show. Thanks for 25 great years, O!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Marathon Quest 2011

Sooooooooooo...I admit...I've been a bit lax after the Oak Bay Half.  I was riding the high of a PB, easing back a bit on the workouts and had a fantastically chill long Victoria Day weekend.  I'm fully enjoying this break because now it's time to get down to business and get on the marathon train!

I registered for the Running Room online clinic...there's actually lots of run clinics in Victoria, but they always do their long runs on Sundays (doesn't work for Hubs and I want to keep running with him) and they do their speedwork after work on weekdays (I get sidestitches no matter how many hours earlier I stop eating - yes, I know, I'm so much trouble).  Sometimes I get a little wistful as it would be cool to meet other runners, but the online clinic has lots of forums so maybe I'll get to meet some friends virtually.  The running community is pretty tight knit and supportive of each other so I'm looking forward to it!

First day of this marathon cycle - June 5th and then 18 weeks of nose-to-the-grindstone training.  I'm going to stick with doing bootcamp a few times a week as I honestly feel that if I'm stronger overall, my running will be better.  I really didn't like how weak I got last year and we do a fair amount of running and hillwork in bootcamps.  So my week will look something like this:

Sun:  rest
Mon:  bootcamp
Tues:  medium run
Wed:  medium run (or bootcamp)
Thurs: rest
Fri:  bootcamp
Sat:  long run

Other things that I'll be doing this training cycle - I promise I will stretch every night and I promise I will do my exercises...basically I'll do whatever it takes to get my butt across that finish line!  I'm going to do up a big calendar, post it up where I can see it daily and mark off runs/exercises as I complete them - I'm all about the visual!  And of course, I'm going to pay a little visit to my physio every month and maybe slightly more leading up to the marathon to make sure I stay healthy and injury free. 

Nutrition is also going to pay a bigger part of this cycle as well.  Last year...sigh...I admittedly packed on more weight than I would have liked, as I definitely used all the running as an excuse to eat everything in sight.   And not super healthy stuff either.  Not this year!  I'm logging all my food into My Fitness Pal, so I keep an eye on making sure I balance my food and I'm going to really try to focus on keeping the diet clean (with one off day per week in moderation).  Doing the Ten Pound Challenge has really helped my running so I'm going to work hard to keep my weight steady.  And....I really don't want to have to do another challenge during Christmas, like I did last year!  Seriously, that almost killed me.  Ha!

So time goal, you're probably all wondering?  I would be absolutely thrilled beyond belief if I finished in 4:30 so will focus my training on that time.  I have no illusions of grandeur of a sub four hour, and honestly just want to finish feeling good and enjoying the experience of my first marathon - you only get one first marathon so I really want it to be a good one! a reward after the marathon - Hubs and I are heading to Maui again!  We were going to skip a year and not go since we already went to Hong Kong...but there was an amazing seat sale on Westjet...and well, we just had to.  So we've booked to go Oct 18 - 25, so about a week and a half after the marathon.  The bad thing is...because we're taking that time off, I'll be using up all my vacation so I'll have to go to work the next day after the race...aaaaaaand....there are lots of stairs at work.  The good thing though is that hopefully I'll be recovered enough to be able to enjoy it, as we were originally trying to fly out the next day.  I told Hubs he'd have to piggy back me throughout the airports!

I'm excited.  I'm hepped up.  Game face on.  Marathon Quest 2011, here we go!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Oak Bay Half Marathon Race Report

Wow, can't believe that the race is done and over!  The Oak Bay Half Marathon is a fairly small and intimate race that  winds its way through the beautiful streets of the Oak Bay neighbourhood in Victoria.  At first I wasn't sure if I was going to like it since most of the races I've run in the past are pretty big with thousands and thousands of entrants, but overall I have to say I really enjoyed a smaller race.  More room to move - nothing drives me more crazy when you have to deke in and out of people who run five abreast (grrrrr!) - and no massive line ups for the portapotties.  Excellent!  They also do a relay at this half as well, which I took part in a few years ago through the bootcamp I go to. 

For about a week before the race, all I kept hearing about on the weather reports was about an impending weather system that was going to hit us - you guessed it - smack dab on Sunday.  I kept obsessively checking the weather and it just kept getting worse and worse - rain, rain and more rain!  Argh!  I haven't raced in the rain before, so I didn't really know how to handle it or what I was going to wear.

As usual, Hubs and I set out our gear the night before.  I kept changing my mind and eventually changed the shirt to a short sleeve - I figured the rain would just make any sort of sleeve unbearable.  I also decided to wear a fuel belt as the course map didn't note what kilometre the aid stations were at.

I also did something this race that I hadn't tried before - a pace band:

Note the time..hee hee:

The last race I ran I really wished I'd had one - I had my garmin so I could see my pace, but I didn't know if I was losing or gaining time.  Because I knew it was going to rain, I covered it in packing tape so it wouldn't turn into a big soggy mess on my wrist.

For this race, we never ended up running the race course so we decided to drive it the night before to get an idea of the hills and markers.  SO glad we did this because there were some long gradual hills that were pretty killer, so we knew that we had to gird our loins.  The start of the race course was fairly flat and there were some good downhill portions, but the second half wasn't pretty.  There was one fairly big hill at the end, followed by a short one that crested just before the final sprint to the finish line.  This hill would haunt me as it stayed on my mind the whole race.

Our plan was to get up at around 6:30am to get down to the race by 7:30-ish.  Hubs didn't have a great sleep, but I slept fairly well the night before and felt pretty refreshed.  Of course, the first thing I did was look outside and sure was a torrential downpour.  To keep ourselves dry while we waited for the race to start, we tried to stay under some awnings and had brought along garbage bags to cover ourselves with.  I was actually going to bring my iPhone with me so I could take photos, but I knew it was going to be way too wet, so sorry guys...not many race photos!  We meandered our way over to the start line, and hung out at the back of the pack.  At 8am sharp, off we went!  I gave Hubs a kiss, we wished each other luck and I took off.


The first few kilometres flew by and to be honest, I don't remember a whole lot about them.  I kept checking my garmin to see what my pace was, and was surprised to see that I was hoofing target pace was 5:41, so my goal was to stay below that for all my splits.  My race strategy in the past was to go out conservatively and try to run a negative split but I decided to try to maintain a 5:30 pace this round to start and try to hang on to that.  I was feeling really good, so went with it but tried to keep mindful of the fact that I didn't want to go out too fast and risk burning out at the end.  For the most part, the majority of this section of the course was flat or downhill, resulting in some good splits.  I also kept checking my time against my pace band, and was happy to see that I was banking some time. 

1K:  5:28
2K:  5:33
3K:  5:27
4K:  5:30
5K:  5:22
6K:  5:22
7K:  5:24 - Gu time!


I was feeling strong up to about 9K, when I hit my first hill - not a sharp one, but a long gradual climb.  I started to feel winded, and thought uh oh...not good considering I wasn't even half way yet.  I tried to put it out of my mind, but was wondering if I had gone out too fast.  I had to really start concentrating on my stride and was trying to find someone who could pace me.  I ended up picking this girl in a hot pink shirt that ran around the same pace I was running, and tried to keep her in my sights.  I was really happy to see the halfway marker and boy, it was raining hard.  At one point, I took water at the aid station and sloshed it all over myself but it didn't really matter since I was already drenched!

8K:   5:18
9K:   5:25
10K: 5:22
11K: 5:25
12K: 5:35
13K: 5:32
14K: 5:36 - Gu time!

Time at the halfway point - 57:00


This last stretch was pretty tough and admittedly, I had a bit of a mental breakdown.  The hills were really getting to me, and I ended up taking many 10 - 15 second walk breaks to gather myself as I was really, really tired.  The only saving grace of the hills was that around halfway through the race I started to get a stitch which was made worse by the downhills, but going uphill made it better.  A double edged sword!  I was running slower on the downhills because of the sidestitch, but ran faster on the uphill - I guess just to power through it.  I kept thinking about the big hill that was waiting for me, and I started thinking that I wasn't sure if I could even run it.  I knew I had some banked time, but my legs were feeling really heavy and my mental focus started to disintegrate.

At around 15K, I grabbed some water at an aid station and took a quick walk break when one of my bootcamp instructors who was in the relay spotted me and screamed out "Goooooo Cindy!!!"  That really perked me up and gave me energy to keep moving.  A few steps later, the owner of my bootcamp  absolutely screamed out my name which gave me a huge giggle!  Feeling brighter, I found the energy to keep moving on.  I was exhausted though...and you can tell by my splits I was totally slowing down.  I'd lost sight of my hot pink race bunny ages ago.  As my garmin chimed out 20K, I looked up and saw the nasty big hill was ahead of me.  I really had to dig deep and managed to run the whole thing but it wasn't pretty.  As I crested the last hill I could see the finish line, and could hear the announcer counting down to how many seconds left for a sub 1:56 finish...gaaah!  I can admit this now - anything in the 1:55 range was "my secret whisper goal"...but I just didn't have the kick in the end.  Sorry I held back on you guys.  Final splits:

15K:  5:34
16K:  5:39
17K:  5:45
18K:  5:39
19K:  5:53 <-----  as you can tell, this is where I completely fell apart
20K:  5:45
21K:  5:47

I couldn't believe A goal was anything with a "1" in front of it, but I was stunned that I'd done four minutes under that and a personal best by five minutes!  As I grabbed my medal, I hobbled off to the side to wait for Hubs to come in - I could feel my legs cramping up almost immediately and my feet were raw from the friction of the wet socks.  I watched and cheered some of the other racers coming in and as always, it's absolutely part of the race that I enjoy so much.  I soon saw Hubs and cheered him on - he finished with a time of 2:08:54, and was happy with his time especially considering he could barely run 10K last fall without being in pain!  So proud. 

Here's a picture of what the weather was like (photo credit to Body Dynamics Bootcamp) was absolutely pouring out, and I was soaked right through to my underwear.  I didn't feel it at first, but after I found Hubs and we started walking back to the car, I started getting really, really cold.  I actually think I was carrying around an extra two or three pounds of water weight as I was wringing out my vest.  Apparently a girl who was walking the race started going hypothermic and they had call an ambulance, poor thing.  I didn't feel the rain when I was running, but I am completely and utterly thankful that there was no wind because that would have completely horrible.  Definitely the long, hot shower I took afterwards was the best.thing.ever.

Chip time:  1:56:09
Pace:  5:32/km
Overall:  388/777
Age Group (F40-44):  26/62

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Gratituesday - The Running Edition

In light of the race I just ran, I'm grateful for the following:

  1. A wonderful and supportive Hubs who trains with me, even though he admittedly doesn't love running  but loves the benefits (he says he only runs so he can eat!)
  2. Friends who cheered me on - means the world to me and I love you for it
  3. Long hot showers after cold, wet races
  4. Awesome race volunteers who stood in the pouring rain to cheer us on, give us high fives and make sure we had water. 
  5. The spectator who saw me trying to check my pace and yelled "don't worry, you're right on target, you look awesome!"  Made me smile even though I felt like dying
  6. The girl with the black braid and hot pink shirt who I used as a pace bunny - I don't know who you are, but thank you for helping me PB
  7. All the hill training we do at bootcamp
  8. The chance to discover running and how much I love it - it means so much more than just one foot in front of the other
  9. Advil
  10. No stairs

Sunday, May 15, 2011

And the Results Are....

...1:56:09, average 5:32/km pace - oh yeah baby!!!   PB by over five minutes and A goal smashed to smithereens!

Needless to say I'm sore, tired and absolutely famished but I can't wipe the smile off my face as I sit here and type!  Race report to come soon...

PS.  I totally credit the cupcake.  Heh.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Half Marathon Eve

Whoa!  What's been going on with Blogger recently?  I haven't been able to write any posts for the last few days and I couldn't read a lot of blogs...ack, I need to feed my bloggie addiction!  Anyways, looks like everything is OK now so here I am.

Down to the wire, man!  Half marathon tomorrow morning at 8am.  I've been hydrating like mad today, and was feeling kinda stiff and headache-y so went to yoga this morning and I feel SO much better.  I was pretty good the other night and didn't overindulge in alcohol (only one drink) and haven't had any sugar.  Well, I made one exception - Fabulous Boss brought in some cupcakes and I had one, partly because it seems that every time I have one, I have great runs...but mostly because I just wanted one, dammit.  Ha!  But I'm feeling pretty good today now that I've gone to yoga so am really hoping that tomorrow I can finally break the 2 hour speed barrier.  The only thing that might hamper a great run is that it's supposed to rain tomorrow.  Light rain, not so bad...I'm just really hoping it's not torrential or something. 

So before I get on to my ABC goals, I'm just going to talk quickly about something that's been under my skin for a long time, and I've blogged about previously.  Do any of you guys have to deal with people constantly commenting on how/what you eat and your workouts?  I have this individual who is constantly making remarks about what I eat (food commenters are one of my biggest pet peeves in life), supplements I take, or haranguing me when I choose not to drink when I'm training for a run.  Or when I do have a treat, they have to make a comment about it - "should you have that?"  "what?  you ate that?"  - argh.  I know I should just brush it off but it's difficult sometimes to not take it personally.  It incenses me when people feel they have the right to comment on my choices, especially when this person doesn't lead a very healthy lifestyle themselves.  I keep my running really, really low key (which is why I blog about it - I gotta let it out somehow!!) but this person seeks me out to make comments.  I like to run, I like being healthy and I like taking care of my body so bugger off.  OK, rant over.  Wow, I totally feel better.  Ha!  Moving on now.

Goal time!  As you guys know, I've been trying to break 2 hours for the half marathon.  And you guys also know...I'm goal oriented.  It feels scary posting specific time goal because there's always that "fear of failure" thing going on, but I'm just gonna throw all caution to the wind and just go for it:

A - finish in any time that start with a "1"

B - finish in 2:01:24  (my previous PB)

C - finish in 2:10

Here we go - race report to come soon!  Woohooo!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Almost There

Alright...down to the last five days before the half!  Last weekend in Vancouver was fab-u-lous...lots of shopping, lots of eating and lots of hockey - unfortunately my boys didn't win that night, but they ended up closing out the series against Nashville and moving on to the semi-finals.  Woo hoo!  Go Canucks Go. We also fit in a nice run around Langara College and it was a nice easy 10K to get ourselves firmly into taper week.

So - last five days before the race, so what are our plans?  I must...MUST...update my ipod with some new music.  I'm going to start hydrating like crazy, and going to bed earlier to get lots of sleep in.  They say that the most important sleeps are the ones that are a few days before the race, not just the night before.  No sugar, no junk food and no boozahol.  OK, I might have to have just a tiny splash of alcohool as my BFF's final goodbye work party is tomorrow - but I find it really affects me if I overdo it so I'll have to take it easy.

I'm starting to get pretty excited!  We still haven't run the course (gah!) so we're going to drive it so we have an idea of the hills and markers.  Look out for my ABC goals in the next few days!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Three Things Thursday

1.  Spring Clean Check In

So far so good on the spring clean!  I've cut back a lot on the mindless snacking and am back on the supplements.  Another thing that I've been also trying to watch (but wasn't listed as part of my goals) was to increase the grams of protein that I get per day, so I'm also back on the Vegegreens protein powder.  A side effect of taking all this stuff is that I couldn't sleep Monday and Tuesday night - multivitamins have that effect on me (I think it's the B vitamins), so I got mayyyyybbbeeee two to three hours of sleep each night.  I was an absolute zombie at work.  I could barely keep my eyes open on the way home from work yesterday (good thing Hubs was driving), it was horrible! So I only took one multi yesterday, and was able to fall asleep no problem last night.  I was so tired, I don't even remember Hubs coming to bed!  Lesson learned...ease into things slowly.

2.  Go Nucks!

Wheeee!  Hubs and I are heading to Vancouver this weekend to get ourselves firmly on the Canuck bandwagon.  We were heading over there anyways to see family that are coming from Edmonton and Hong Kong, so when the Canucks made it into Round 2 there was no question about getting tickets if there was a Saturday night game.  So we've got our jerseys and will be hooting and hollering for our boys.  Go Canucks Go!

3.  Last Long Run

One more long run and then we're into full-on taper for the last week before the half.  Ten kilometres up for Saturday, which we're running in Vancouver.  I had a last check in with my physio and while there were still a few issues (still not standing correctly), she was pretty happy overall and wants me to check back in again after the half.  I was getting some burning under my arch which I was afraid was plantar fasciitis, but she thinks it's nerves.  It doesn't hurt when I get up in the morning but I can feel this burning sensation when I start running, but it goes away after about ten minutes.  We're also testing out our carbo-loading theory, so we're upping our carb intake for the next few days.   Bring on the bread!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Spring Cleaning

I've been inspired by yesterday's gorgeous spring day.  The weather today isn't so great - grey, cloudy and crazy rainy - but I've had a taste of spring and I'm all over it now!

So what do a lot of people do when it's this time of year?  Spring clean, right?  I'm going to put a bit of  twist on this though and do some spring cleaning....of myself.  To kick things off for the half marathon and the next marathon training cycle, I'm going to work on my eating and a few other things to start off on the right foot.  I admit...I haven't been really mindful of what I'm eating, and I'm starting to snack a LOT on processed carbs again (hello, yummy crackers)...mindless eating and snacking are my total and absolute downfall.  I've been getting really lackadaisical and dairy is starting to creep itself back into my life, and so are eggs.  I've been sporadic in taking my supplements and vitamins.  I'm sneaking in the occasional artificial sweetener too, which is something I'd cut out completely from my diet (that was really, really hard to do).  I'm definitely not eating enough veggies lately, especially over the last month....and I'm not watching my portion sizes.

How am I feeling?  I don't feel terrible, but I know I could feel so much better.  I've been having a lot of headaches lately and definitely more tired and puffier, especially in my face and hands.  I'm feeling loafy and my mind is fuzzy.  I've been feeling kinda irritable lately too, and normally I'm not really like that.  So they say it takes 21 days to form a new habit, right?  I'm giving myself 30 days to finish what I'm calling my Spring Clean Challenge.  As always, I'm posting this on the interwebz so I can keep myself accountable.  While I've been slacking in some regards, I haven't been all bad and there's a few things I'm totally rocking...I work out at least five days per week and am really happy with how my running is progressing.  I menu plan and make all our meals from scratch and only eat out once a week, on our off days.  I'm faithfully doing all my exercises that my physio has prescribed, and I've been running pain-free for weeks.  I drink at least 2L of water every day.  I've cut back a lot on my sugar intake, and haven't gone crazy on sweets since I did the Ten Pound Challenge.  So all is not lost!  I don't completely suck.

As you guys know, I'm a goal oriented kinda person and this is essentially a re-hash of one of my new year's resolutions that I've realized I needed to buck up on.  Eat mindfully was the resolution, but I wanted to define that better so have decided on the following mini-goals for the next 30 days:
  1. No snacking after dinner - if I'm absolutely starving and have to eat something, it has to be things with whole ingredients that I can pronounce
  2. Reduce dairy and egg intake - once per week, if at all
  3. Must have some sort of vegetable at lunch and dinner
  4. Watch portion sizes - palm of hand/fist rule for serving sizes
  5. Take all my supplements and vitamins
  6. Cut out artificial sweeteners
I wanted to keep the list small, so I don't drive myself crazy trying to keep track of a zillion things.  This isn't about being perfect, but about checking in and pulling up my socks when needed.  And I'm allowing myself one reasonable off day per week, as long as I still keep within those guidelines.  So here I go...I'm buckling down, putting pedal to the metal and cleaning up my act.  Woohoo!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Half Marathon Week 11 - 13K - Wowza

Into the homestretch now...two more weeks to go until I hit the Oak Bay Half Marathon.  Hubs and I decided to run on Sunday and I'm glad we was absolutely perfect running weather this morning, which is fabulous because Victoria is having its Times Colonist 10K run today, which is a really popular the BMO Vancouver marathon is on right now too.  So a shout out to all those who are participating in those runs today! 

I've been feeling really tired the last few days so I woke up feeling a bit worried.  We were on the trail by 7am, and was feeling parched from indulging in a bit too much sodium yesterday...when I woke up, I looked at my wedding ring and it was absolutely encased in my bulging fingers.  Feeling a bit unsure, we headed off...and I had the BEST.RUN.EVER.  I decided to see how fast I could post a 10K run today, just to compare my fitness to what it was like a year ago when I did a PR of 54:17 at the Times Colonist 10K but practically died doing it.  Today, I hit 54:04 easily and had enough juice to keep running 5:15 splits after that!  I felt like I had so much energy out there, and Hubs felt the same was our best run that we'd had ever. 

After we got home and were having breakfast, we realized that we may have done accidental carbo-loading.  We were reading an article in the newspaper about carbo-loading, which said that essentially you drain your body of its glycogen stores by doing strenuous activity then reload them back up again, filling the muscles with more glycogen than they held before:

"In his book Exercise Physiology, William J. Kraemer, et al, describe a more modern way of going about carbohydrate loading.  Six days before the event, the athlete works out for 90 minutes.  On the fourth and fifth day, the workout is 40 minutes.  No diet change is made on these days.  On the second and third day before the meet, exercise is shortened to 20 minutes and a high carbohydrate diet is eaten on both days.  On the day before, continue with the high carbohydrate diet but do no training."

Huh.  Last Saturday we had our last long run which was 20K and took us almost two hours and I'm sure sucked every once of glycogen out of us.  Check.  We did some workouts early in the week that were about 40 minutes and we ate normally.  Check.  I wasn't able to go to bootcamp this week, so did some short 20 - 30 minute workouts on Wed/Thursday and skipped Friday.   Pretty close.  On Friday and Saturday, I ate way, way more carbs than usual thanks to the Royal Wedding breakfast (yum, scones!) and had two huge bowls of white rice which I never eat and indulged in some left over cinnamon buns that I'd made for our neighbourhood Easter egg hunt.   I just checked my carbs on MyFitnessPal and yup...I went way over my carb goal...and my calorie goal, for that matter!  Check, check!!

Soooo...pretty cool!  We're going to test this out next week as we have one more run until the race and see if it makes a difference.  I'd heard of carbo-loading but didn't know that you actually had to drain your stores first and then build them back up - I just thought you ate more carbs a few days before and that was it.  I actually had to rein myself in a few times when I was out there today because I was hitting a 5:10 - 5:15 pace and it felt easy.

Oh!  And my stats for this run - 1:10:27, average pace 5:25/km.  If I kept up that kinda pace, I could do a 1:53 half.  Hello I come!