Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Virtual Run for Sherry Arnold - Feb 11, 2012

As you know, I've been following Sherry Arnold's story and I have to say it's affected me really deeply on many levels.  When I first heard whisperings of a virtual run, I thought come hell or high water, I was gonna be there and run for Sherry.  Well, the whisperings have come to fruition, and a run in Sherry's honour has been set for Feb 11, 2012 at 9am.  Check out Beth's site here and please come join us!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Year of Speed BMO Vancouver - Week 2 Recap

Week 2, woohooo!  OK, that may sound a little more excited than I actually felt this week...but sometimes ya gotta fake it 'til ya make it, right? This week I was sooooo not feelin' the running love.  I think I still haven't recovered from last weekend's festivities - it was a busy weekend and a busy week, so by the time this Saturday morning rolled around, the last thing I wanted to do was to put my gear on and hit the road.  Hubs and I slept in a bit on Saturday and we kept delaying getting up...we were both tired and not feeling super fantastic or terribly energetic.  I almost said to Hubs that we should blow off the run, when I remembered something from the slumber party with A and R this past weekend...A was saying she was up to a half hour on the treadmill and was getting up at 5am to fit it in.  Now that in and of itself sends me over the moon with happiness because there is nothing I love more than to see people embracing a healthy and active lifestyle...but the part that's even more meaningful is that A is a working single mom to KEW and kicking ass while she's doing it.  As I lay in my nice warm comfy bed, I thought oh wah...here I am, having the luxury of sleeping in until 9:30am and not having someone relying solely on me for their existence...and I'm about to blow off my run because I don't feeeeeeeel like it...what the eff, Wong?  Snap out of it, quit 'cher whinin' and get your little Asian ass out that door!  So anyways...A, thanks for getting me out the door this past Saturday.  And yes, I really do talk to myself like that.  In my head only though.  Heh.

Sunday - 30 mins stationery bike
Sigh.  Yes, I know...I was supposed to do weights and speed, but after the whisky extravaganza of the night before, a bike workout was all I could handle. 

Monday - bootcamp
Snow is all gone - back at bootcamp, woohoo!

Tuesday - 30 mins walking on treadmill/30 minutes strength training
Yes!  Strength training done.

Wednesday - bootcamp
A crazy hard workout...we were doing thousands, so 25 reps of 10 exercises with a cardio interval four times.  I know, insane. 

Thursday - rest day/running clinic

Friday - bootcamp
Hills, hills and more hills.  Oh, did I mention we did hills?  Ugh.

Saturday - 12K run
Owwwwwwwww.  Like ow, seriously ow.   Legs are sooooooo, so sore right now!  Quads are aching like nobody's business.  I love it!  This week I decided to get down to business and start seriously training...I wanted to get my splits below 6:00/km for this run, and while that might not sound like a big deal, I've been running closer to 6:30/km for the better part of nine months.  Gah!  Anyways, I decided to bite the bullet and knew that this run wasn't going to be all that much fun, and I wasn't disappointed...it was painful.  My legs felt like lead and almost like I was running through jello, and I definitely did not feel light on my feet in the slightest...it felt like I was towing a piano on my back the whole way. I kept thinking to myself, "Really?  I ran a marathon three months ago?"  As I've said before...half the battle is mental so I hunkered down, set my pace and battled through the run...and incredibly somehow I managed to keep an average pace of 5:36/km.  Wha?  I couldn't believe my eyes when I looked at my Garmin...my target is around a 5:30/km for the BMO Vancouver, so I was pretty happy to see that time.  Glad to shake the cobwebs out and get these tree trunks moving at a faster pace.  Booyah!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Three Things Thursday

1.  Black Hat

Holy, am I ever looking forward to the weekend.  It's been a really busy past few weeks with a lot going on, so I'm ready for some big time R&R.  Well...it won't really be that restful this weekend, but we've got a few things on the itinerary that I'm looking forward to.  Hubs' birthday was this past Monday, so on Saturday night we're going to a new eatery in town called Black Hat that is supposed to be the hot place to go.  Menu looks pretty interesting - stay tuned for full review with pics.  The other thing that I'm looking forward to is a Sunday morning coffee klatch with B...it's been awhile since we've seen each other, so I'm sure we'll be like a couple of old hens!  Love my buddy B.

2.  Feelin' Better

I've been really, really good on my food and I gotta say...I am feeling so, so, SO much better!  Lots of water, fruits/veggies, no sweets (OK, Hubs and I shared a brownie for his birthday!) and I've really cut back on the dairy.  I was eating a lot of cheese (and Baileys!) and more sugar than I should have over the holiday season and I was feeling really lethargic and crappy.  Always amazes me what a difference healthy food makes!

3.  Mindful Strides Clinic - Halfway!

I gotta say...I'm loving this clinic.  We're halfway through and we're building on what we've learned each class.  Today we actually did some short drills and it was so cool to get a glimpse of what we're supposed to be doing.  In a nutshell, most people tend to sit back too far when they're running and end up reaching with each stride...whereas this clinic teaches you proper form which is more forward than you'd ever imagine, and you're actually using gravity to help propel you along...it totally makes sense when you think about it!  Anyways, here is a video of Marilyn where I first saw her at the Goodlife Victoria Expo...she gives a pretty good introduction of what her clinics teach and gives some insight into body positioning.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Shit Runners Say

Oh yeah, baby.  You knew it was just a matter of time before runners did one of these, right?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Year of Speed BMO Vancouver - Week 1 Recap

Snow...a total four letter word to me.  I know, I know...it's so pretty, it's so much fun...yadda yadda yadda.  It's a pain in the butt!  The only day I don't mind snow is Christmas Day and that's it.  Victoria doesn't get a lot of snow so I can't really complain too much, but there is no room for snow in my life...I was completely thwarted from any of my workouts as I couldn't go to bootcamp this week at all (my car is not good in the snow in the slightest and I'd be a hazard to those around me!) or do my long run outdoors, so I feel like I barely did anything this week.  I still worked out, but sitting on a stationery bike is not really the same as a kick ass bootcamp session.  Oh well, enough of my bitching!  This was Week 1 of the road back to the half marathon and first official week of the running season - wooohoo!  I'm getting my head back into it and getting my food back to where it was when I was training for the marathon to make sure I get myself as lean as possible.  December wasn't super kind to me (maybe it was the copious number of lunches and dinners out?! ya think?) so I'm now back fully on the good food train.

Sunday - 30 mins stationery bike/30 mins strength
Day one of getting my hate on for snow.  Ha!  The white stuff started to come down heavy on Saturday so we had to do our long run on the treadmill, and I couldn't get outside to do any speedwork so decided to do a workout on the bike and a lifting session.

Monday - 30 mins treadmill run
Day two of snow hate.  Anger growing.  Couldn't make it to bootcamp, so treadmill run it was.

Tuesday - rest

Wednesday - 20 mins stationery bike
Day three of snow hate.  Resentment brewing exponentially.  Every time I walked past the window and saw the snow, I'd curse under my breath and glare angrily at the sky.

Thursday - run clinic
Even in the snow and cold temps, we still had our run clinic!  Like I mentioned previously, there's not a ton of actual running, so it was a lot of standing around and freezing our asses off.  It was awesome though, the balance and stability exercises are now progressing to more exercises which are leading to running drills this week.

Friday - 10K treadmill run
So you know how I just mentioned above that I was getting my food back on track?  Just wanted to qualify that to say that the "no liquor" part of that program is happening after this week.  This weekend was when the annual whisky festival was being held...and...well, I loves my whisky!  My BFF came into town for this auspicious occasion, and we decided that I'd bunk with her Friday and Saturday and we'd do a slumber party with our other BFF, A on Friday eve.  So knowing myself, I just knew I wouldn't get up early to go for a run Saturday morning, so I got up at the ungodly hour of 4:45am to fit in a 10K run on the treadmill.  Yes, it was painful...but it was so great to sleep in on Saturday and enjoy a nice leisurely morning with the gals.  Priorities, right?

Saturday - rest
The only exercise I got Saturday was raising my glass to lips.  Ha!   So many whiskies, so little time.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Friend Makin' Mondays - Getting to Know You

Oooooh, survey time!  OK, I love these things so please bear with me as I yammer on insufferably about myself.  Ha!  I saw this over at Kenlie's blog over at All the Weigh...I just couldn't resist.  Definitely check out Kenlie's blog and all the other survey answers in the comments section...love reading all the responses!

1)  What is one of your favourite ways to spend a Saturday?
Honestly...one of my favourite ways to spend a Saturday is just hanging out with Hubs at home.  We might not be doing something together per se...but we're both total homebodies and just enjoy chilling.  Home is my escape from all the craziness in the world!   So what if Hubs isn't home?  Puttering around in the garden on a beautiful day...sigh.

2)  List your top three favourite TV shows.
 - Big Bang Theory
 - Bizarre Food
 - No Reservations

3)  Would you rather be in pictures or take them?
Take them! 

4)  Why do you blog?
As the saying goes..."writing is the best way to talk without being interrupted."  I love to blog because it's a place where I can write freely about what interests me and not worry about boring people to tears about  how far I'm running or what my new favourite recipe is.  Ha!  And it's kind of like an online diary...I always find it interesting to go back to see how I felt and what I was thinking at certain times, especially during races.

5)  Share five websites that you visit regularly.
 - Facebook
 - Twitter
 - Pinterest
 - Blogger/Google Reader
 - myfitnesspal

6)  If you could have lunch with one person from your Twitter list, who would it be?
Oprah.  Cuz she's awesome.

7)  List a few of your favourite snacks.
 - almonds
 - mandarin oranges
 - apple with peanut butter
 - cheetos (if I'm being really bad. what?)

8)  Do you have a pet?  If so, what kind?
Le sigh.  No pets here, even though I'd love to have a dog one day!  Hubs doesn't like leaving a dog alone all day because he feels it's not fair to the dog to be cooped up.  But he's promised once we retire, then we can get a dog.  Or if we win the lottery...whichever comes first. 

9)  Which three material possessions would you struggle to live without?
 - iPhone (it's like an extension of my body)
 - computer
 - car

10)  What's your favourite drink?
Hot water.  Ha!  Kidding, my favourite drink is cranberry and soda with a splash of OJ.  My favourite "drink" drink is whisky. 

11)  Do you enjoy cooking?
Love, love, love, love it.  Love it.  I can easily say that it's one of my passions.

12)  Do you have children?
Soooooo no.

13)  What are your favourite hobbies?
 - running/working out
 - gardening
 - cooking
 - blogging

14)  Would you consider yourself to be shy or outgoing?
Definitely shy over outgoing with people I don't know.  Until you get to know me and then apparently I don't shut up.

15)  If you could change one thing about yourself, what would you change?
My height.  I'm a total shrimp.  I am always using the step stool at home so I can reach stuff in my cupboards.  Just three more measly inches would be great!  Bah.

16)  Who is your favourite actor/actress?
Actor - I love Jim Parsons, the guy who plays "Sheldon" on Big Bang Theory - hilarious!
Actress - no real faves.  Maybe Kate Winslet?

17)  What's the coolest thing you've done this week?
I kicked out an awesome tempo run this morning on the treadmill! 

18)  Do you live near your family or far from them?
Near my family for the most part.  My parents are here, my older brother is in Edmonton, my inlaws are in Vancouver.

19)  List three of your talents.
 - I'm a pretty fine cook
 - I'm super organized
 - I'm a really fast texter

20)  What is your greatest attribute?
Determination.  Once I set my mind to something, I go for it.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Clinic Virgin No More

This past Thursday, Hubs and I went to our first clinic ever...and it wasn't all that bad.  Ha!  Just kidding, I didn't expect it to be too scary or anything...first time for anything is always the worst but this was pretty painless.  The Mindful Strides clinic started at 5:15pm, so our instructor, Marilyn Arsenault, could check in with each of us to see if we had any injuries or anything else that she should know about.  Hubs and I got there fairly early...and as the participants came in, I got more and more excited.  There was about 15 of us, Hubs being the only token male...I don't think he minded, hee hee.

I really liked Marilyn - she has a really outgoing, infectious energy and you can tell she's really enthusiastic about teaching runners.  Now this clinic is different than the usual ones that you see, in the sense that there is really very little actual running but more about body awareness.  I think the farthest that we run is maybe 50 metres or so.  Some people might think "What?  Don't you just go out and run and that's it?"  Sure, you can...but if your posture and running motion isn't optimal, think of what it's doing to your body after thousands and thousands of steps.  All that repetitive motion?  Not good.  You can maybe get away with it for shorter distances, but for longer runs...well, that's when injuries start to happen.  The first class we talked a lot about head/body positioning, core strength and stabilization, and I could feel the light bulbs going off in my little pea brain.   A lot of this stuff my physio has gone over with me so I wasn't new to it, but applying it all to running really helped connect it all together.  We even got homework!  Each of us is supposed to practice our stabilization exercises...and I gots to tells ya, it was hard.  Anyways, really looking forward to the second class, where we actually get outside and do some drills and put some of our new found knowledge to practice.  Woot!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Reality Check

Earlier this week, one of my favourite bloggers Beth over Shut Up and Run posted something that struck fear into the heart of every runner.  Sherry Arnold, a close family friend of Beth's, went missing early one morning when she was out for her run in the small town of Sidney, Montana.  The chilling thing?  All they found was her shoe, so immediately the mind races to something sinister.  All week long Beth posted updates as people in bloggieland hoped and prayed for what would be Sherry's safe return .   As I've posted before, the blog running community is amazing.  People who've never met cheer each other on, commiserate over injuries, and support one another through the good and the bad.  I don't know Beth and I don't know Sherry, but I found myself thinking of them often and checking in regularly to hopefully find the good news that Sherry had come home.

Today's update was my worst fear.  As soon as I read it, my heart sank to my feet and I was so upset.  Partially it's because I'm sure as a female runner, I identify with her...it's hard not to think that it could easily be any of us.  To be honest, I had a pretty cavalier attitude about running safety and would do the patented eye roll and melodramatic sigh every time Hubs would vehemently insist that I not run on my own...I'd lament constantly "I'm fiiiiinnnnne!!"  This is the reality check that makes me realize...he's right.  The only teeny tiny positive in this horrific story is that hopefully it may save someone's life by making them think twice about running safety.  My heart just absolutely aches for her family, especially her husband and children.

Tomorrow Hubs and I are going out for our weekly long run, and you can bet that I'll be dedicating my run to Sherry and thinking of her along the way.  Rest in peace.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Another Clinic!

I am full of learnin' this year, I tell ya!  I was checking out Facebook, and saw that Frontrunners is teaming up with a cooking school called Cook Culture and offering a four part series on nutrition for runners!  Here is a short description of each of the two hour classes (3 recipes demonstrated at each class):

Class 1 - Diet planning, essential foods for 14 weeks of training (for Omnivores, Flexitarians, Vegetarians and Vegans)

Class 2 - Pre/Post run meals and cooking basics

Class 3 - Liquid food, give your body the maximum benefit

Class 4 - Beyond carb loading, taper for peak performance

Sounds totally awesome!  A lot of  runners are foodies (my personal motto is I run so I can eat!) so I think this series is perfect.  The instructor, Cosmo Meens, travelled to the 2008 Beijing Olympics to help support Simon Whitfield and the rest of the triathlete team as their chef...so he's gotta know what he's talking about.

So cool.  I registered as soon as I saw it.  Here is the link for anyone in Victoria who might be interested.  So excited!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

T Minus Two Days...

...until I take my very first running clinic!  I've been so looking forward to taking the Mindful Strides clinic, and now the day is almost here.  I've never done a clinic before, so I will admit I'm a little nervous...as soon as there is any class type situation, I flash back to high school phys ed classes and always being the last person to come in on the runs.  Will I be left behind?  Will the clinic be full of Boston qualifiers and then me, the slowpoke?!  Luckily Hubs is taking it with me, so I'll have one friendly face!  I'm also a teensy bit excited because we'll get to meet other runners and it's fun to meet people who share common interests.  Yay! 

Taking this clinic is exciting too because it means the start of the 2012 running season for us...woohoo!  I've planned out all our long runs up to the BMO Vancouver and I roughed out what my training schedule is going to be:

Sunday - weights/speedwork
Monday - bootcamp
Tuesday - yoga/rest day
Wednesday - bootcamp or tempo run when it starts getting lighter
Thursday - weights
Friday - bootcamp
Saturday - long run

The bootcamp classes have a lot of hillwork and sprints, so I think it might work well that I keep at those until it gets lighter out and then I can start adding in tempo runs in the morning.  Along with this workout schedule, I have to get back at doing the exercises that my physio prescribed when I was working towards the marathon.  Oh...and stretching.  I've been incredibly bad at doing both since the marathon...I must get back at it! 

Goal - match or better my personal best half marathon of 1:56.  Better dust off the Garmin!  Hello, Year of Speed!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Holiday Booty Buster Wrap Up

Oh le sigh.  I always get sad at this time of year when the holiday season is over...while it was crazy busy, everyone is in such a great mood and I really enjoy the hustle and bustle.  The final swan song that it's really over?  The tree has been taken down and the house has been completely de-Christmased for another year.  Woe is me.

So now that the season is over, so is the Holiday Booty Buster Challenge.  My results?  I had 156 points, and was averaging about 25 points a week except for this last week, as I was feeling a little off this week.  Actually a lot off...I was sick just before Christmas and fought it off just before I got too bad...and it seems that this little germie is making a reappearance and I was feeling really awful late this week.  Next week I'm back at it though, starting with a nice long treadmill run and a lifting session...can't wait to get my body moving and work up a sweat.  Anyways, overall I'm pretty happy with my total, and I found it really motivated me to keep at it and rack up those points.  Count me in for next year.  Thanks Amanda for all the hard work in putting the challenge together!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Marathon Thoughts

This video is hilarious - I could totally relate at Mile 23, except for me it was Taylor Swift...

Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Best Post Ever

This post from Beth over at Shut Up and Run is the perfect post to start off 2012.  It's not just about running, but anything that you want to do but are afraid to. 

Just do it.  Forget the excuses that are holding you back and let's make 2012 awesome!

HBBC:  Dec 30, 6 points (60 minutes bootcamp)