Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Mental Shift

Wahoooo!  My very good friend V has been doing awesome on her weight loss journey - in 7 weeks, she's lost 12 pounds and 13 inches!  She emailed me the other day to tell me, and of course I was so thrilled and so proud of her.  I love that she's doing it the good old fashioned way...eating healthy whole foods and moving her body.  When she first told me that she was going to focus on her health, I knew she was going to be successful because she was ready to make the change and she was going about it the right way - slow, steady weight loss done through a lifestyle change, and not some crazy gimmicky fad diet.  I don't doubt that that some of the latest fads result in quick weight loss and some people may find lasting success, but the results aren't sustainable and it's not a long term solution.  In fact, these diets (in my not so humble opinion!) result in a vicious cycle triggered by calorie deprivation resulting in a sluggish metabolism and decreased muscle mass.  OK, getting off soapbox now.  Ha!

Anyways, I was so thrilled on hearing her success that I'm sure she could practically hear me squealing in excitement through her computer.  She replied that one day I'd have to tell her how I got to be so passionate about health.  Hmmmmmm.  I actually sat there for a moment and had to think about that.  When did I turn into the Health Nut Harpy? 

There's no denying that when I first started working out and eating right, my motivation was all about vanity.  Plain and simple, I wanted to get into my skinny jeans.  Then somewhere along the way it changed...I started thinking more about the health benefits and about making this a lifestyle change.  Then I got hooked on running, which completely changed how I viewed my health...if I wanted this body to carry me for 42.2 kilometres, I needed to start treating it with kid gloves.  With all these changes, there's no denying that physically, I feel the best I've ever felt, bar none.

That's not it though.  The most important thing that makes me a Health Nut Harpy is what happened inside...and by that I mean mentally.   I no longer beat up my body with fad or starvation diets, but treat it with is fuel, and as the old cliche goes, my body is a temple.  I'm no longer obsessed with the number I see on the scale...I used to be a scale addict, but I haven't weighed myself in a months.  I've got way more confidence in myself and what I can achieve - training and running last year's marathon made me realize that I'm no longer the athletic misfit (ha!) I was in high school and that once I set my mind to something, I can do it.  Kathrine Switzer words "if you can run a marathon, you can do anything" rings so true for me...yes, running a marathon is physically hard, but the mental part was way harder.  I actually kinda like who I am now and I couldn't have said that five years ago.

So sure...fitting into skinny jeans or being able to run for hours or do a bazillion pushups is great...but I'm passionate about health because of the mental shift that happens when people make their health a priority and start believing in themselves.  Everyone deserves to be happy, right?  Being healthy might not be the answer to everything, but it's definitely a good place to start.

Health Nut Harpy, over and out.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Scotiabank Vancouver Half - Week 8 Recap

Soooooo tired.  They say that the Monday after daylight savings, there's a rash of car accidents and I can believe it!  I wasn't feeling too bad on Monday morning, but it's definitely catching up with me and tonight it's been a total struggle to keep my eyes open.  I think the early mornings the past few days plus the time change has really got me zonked.  Thank goodness tomorrow is a rest day!

Sunday - 13K run/weights
Ooooooch!  Boy, were our legs sore after this run...both Hubs and I were trying to use the form that we are being taught in our clinic (Pose method) and we were using totally different muscles than what we normally use.  Most runners tend to overstride so use their quads to reach and pull themselves along, whereas with the Pose method you're using more of your calves and hamstrings to pump your legs up and down like pistons and use gravity to propel yourself along.  Easier said than done, and it really required a lot of concentration to remember all the little bits and pieces that we're supposed to be doing.  Due to all the overstriding, we've got super strong quads but our calves and hammies have been getting a bit of a afterwards they were a wee bit tight and sore.  Anyways, it's been great taking this with Hubs so we can talk things through when we're not getting it and watch each other's form.  Hubs is naturally athletic (so jealous!) so it's been nice to be able to get his feedback as he's better at understanding the mechanics of it all than I am.

Monday - bootcamp

Tuesday - weights
Look, Ma...two weight sessions this week!  Took long enough but I'm finally getting in my two NROLFW sessions per week.  I'm about halfway through Stage 2 and still really enjoying the program.  The one thing that I've been really trying to make sure I do after all workouts (strength or cardio) is to drink a protein shake right after to help build/maintain muscle and aid recovery.  I've been a bit lax in this area (OK, a lot lax!), but have been reading a lot lately about how important it is to get that recovery drink in within a half hour of finishing exercise.

Wednesday - bootcamp
Crazy hills with J.  We did a 3K run mixed in with five repeats of a long, nasty hill.  Dang hills never get any easier.

Thursday - rest day

Friday - bootcamp

Saturday - run clinic
Awesome, awesome clinic day!  Slowly but surely, things are starting to click.  I'm getting better at the drills and feeling a bit more confident that I'm getting it and the muscle memory is starting to become ingrained.  Only four of us showed up this week which was actually kinda nice because we got lots of individual attention and feedback on how we were moving.  Marilyn spent a lot of time with me working on my upper body movements as I really tend to pull my shoulders up and swing my arms high (remember Phoebe from Friends?) and tried to work with me on my stability by holding my hips still while I did my drills.  I could not for the life of me get my right side to do what I wanted it to do.  As always, the right leg is the bum one, and I kept wanting to cross my leg across the midpoint of my body.  Gah!  I made an appointment with my physio and sure enough...right leg was tight so she worked on releasing the muscles.  Here's hoping that helps with this week's class!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Scotiabank Vancouver Half - Week 7 Recap

Holy lateness, batman!  This week is almost over and I realized I hadn't done my recap for last week.  What's up, you ask?  Am I spending all my time running?  Is my nose stuck in a book?  Have I started taking swimming lessons, like I said I would?!

Nope, none of the above.  Here, I'll give you a hint....

I've done gone hockey crazy, folks.  I've watched pretty much all the regular season games, and when the Canucks themselves aren't playing, I'm watching other games to see how it might affect the Canucks.  Heck, I watch so much hockey that I can even tell the Sedin twins apart from each other.  I know!  It's nuts.  But I looove hockey and I love my boys (yes, I'm lookin' at you Bieksa).

So...workouts for last week were:

Sunday - 13K run
Oh yes....this was that stellar run where all was right with the world and I ran like the wind.  Definitely had some DOMS in my legs but just means they're getting stronger.

Monday - bootcamp

Tuesday - rest day

Wednesday - bootcamp
Great bootcamp session with J.  I've drawn out a rough training plan for the rest of the year and still wondering how I'm going to rejig things to fit in a few more runs.  And I want to keep up with the weights.  And I want to get back into yoga too.  Seriously, not enough hours in the day!

Thursday - rest day

Friday - bootcamp

Saturday - 30 mins stationery bike/run clinic
First class in the intermediate session!  It was sooo nice to actually see Marilyn...our last class was at 5:30pm, so by the time we were finishing up we could just barely make out what Marilyn was doing.  The intermediate sessions filled up quickly so the only time we could get in was noon on Saturdays so I snapped up the last two spots lickety split!  We did a quick review of the drills and did a lot of work with the elastic bands and I have to really makes a difference in terms of body feedback and knowing if you're doing it right or not.  I'm not going to lie and say it's easy, but I can feel progress slowly but surely.   I had a few really great a-ha moments last week when Marilyn was describing the movement/sensation of the leg...things are starting to click more and more, so just going to trust in the process and training!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Three Things Thursday

1.  Victoria Goddess Run

Whoa, this is the year of half marys for me!  There's another cool run that I'm going to do this inaugural race called the Victoria Goddess Run.  This is a women's run with some limited registrations for men...and there's going to be chocolate stations, champagne toasts, massages and music along the route.  And the best the end you get bling!  Sounds pretty cool, eh?  So that's three halfs and one 10K race on schedule for this year!  I'm going to use this more as a training run as a few weeks later I'll be running the Scotiabank Vancouver, so plan on trying to pull out the stops for that one.  OK, who am I kidding...I want to fully check out the chocolate stations.  For feedback purposes to the organizers, of course.  Heh.

2.  Mindful Strides

So Hubs and I finished the first level of the Mindful Strides clinic, and immediately signed ourselves up for the Intermediate level.  Like I've said before, I get glimpses of what I'm supposed to feel but it's pretty hard to get rid of years and years (and hours and hours) of muscle memory in a few weeks.  I will admit though, it gets frustrating because I think as humans we want immediate results and the body positioning is so picky that you think you have it when it juuuust isn't quite right...but Rome wasn't built in a day, right?  So we're sticking with it as we really like Marilyn and she encouraged us all to stick with it.  Anyways, apparently the intermediate level is where things really start to click (we work a lot with elastic bands) and we're toying with the idea of doing some private lessons with just Hubs and I.

3.  Reading

Lookit, lookit!  I'm reading.  I've been pretty bad so far this year on my reading goal and have only knocked off one book so far.  But in my defense, it was a running book so that counts for something, right?  Anyways, I just started this book that I found at a used book store and snatched up as soon as I saw it.  I find nutrition is the most difficult thing for me to get a handle on because I have to take so many things into account...fueling for runs, recovery after runs, how to eat before races...and a big one that I struggle with is racing weight.  It's so easy to put on weight in the off season (especially when it's Christmas), so what do most people do to lose weight?  Cut back calories, but then that leaves me tired and lacking energy for long runs.  It's like this crazy circular thing.  Anyways, hoping this will help shed a lot of light onto what I find to be a totally fascinating subject.