Thursday, May 31, 2012

Three Things Thursday

1.  Clinic
Whoop, whoop!  I've signed Hubs and I up for the advanced level of the Mindful Strides clinics...yay!  We wanted to get back into it before too much time passes and we forget everything.  I gotta admit, I've been really bad at keeping up with my exercises or practicing the moves and I can feel myself getting lax on my form during my runs....I don't want to lose it all as I know if I keep at it, the benefits will come.  Anyways, I'm a little scared because Marilyn videotapes us so we can see exactly what we're doing well and not well...gah!  I know it'll be good for us, so biting the bullet.   It's kinda like medicine, right?

2.  Too Much Pineapple
Oy vey.  So in a few weeks I'm going to be going to Chicago for a conference, so I bought some new clothes as it's going to be hot down there, but I still wanted something that was suitable for work.  Um...I must have eaten too much pineapple (or likely had one too many lava flows!) in Maui as stuff was not fitting well and the clothes I have now are a wee bit tight.  Sigh.  That's the danger with always wearing stuff with an elastic waist band or stretch, eh?  Ha!  Anyways...not letting it freak me out and strangely, I don't actually mind having a bit more junk in the trunk (Asian girls are somewhat reknowned for having non-existent butts!) but I thought I'd better get this under control sooner rather than later as I really don't want to do another Ten Pound Challenge because that really almost killed me the last time I did it!  Anyways, getting back on eating right, drinking my water and exercising, and hopefully it should take care of my chicken cutlets aka armpit fat.

3.  So Much to Do, So Little Time
There's so many things I want to try but so little time!  I want to take swimming lessons this year.  I want to work at improving my running, in particular my form and speed.  I want to build more muscle.  I want to take some personal training sessions.  I want to do P90X.  I want to do Insanity.  I need to work on my core more.  I want to do more yoga.  Choices, choices, choices!  So much coming at me all the time and I want to do it all.  Every year after my last Fall race I like to take a bit of a break from running and concentrate a bit more on strength rather than cardio so I'd like do do some kind of 60 - 90 day challenge between October and December but not sure what to do!  Anyone have any suggestions on programs that they've tried before?  Would love to hear it!  I've been eyeballing Shaun T's Insanity mostly because it takes no equipment other than my body weight (which is substantial, har har!) but it looks crazy.  Ideas?

Sunday, May 27, 2012

All Things "R"

1.  Relaxed
Don't know what it was, but for some reason this year's trip to Maui was really awesome.  Feeling so relaxed!  It was the perfect trip...we did some exploring on Kauai for something new, but then returned back to Maui.   This was our seventh trip back to valley isle, so needless to say we know the island really, really really is like going to our second home.

2.  Ryder
Booyah!  Can we give a little cheer for my hometown boy Ryder Hesjedal, who won the Giro d'Italia today?!  We've been keeping an eye out on his progress and when I was out on my long run today, Hubs texted to say Ryder had won the whole thing.  I'm really hoping that they have some kind of hometown parade or at the very least a celebration for him as this is kind of like the Stanley Cup of the cycling world.  I always find it amazing how hard the human body can be these guys are riding for weeks at a time, all out.  So amazing.

3.  Racing
Eeek!  First race of the season coming up next week...the Victoria Goddess Run is on deck!  I won't really be "racing" this run but more using it as a training run for the Scotiabank Vancouver Half at the end of June, so I have no expectations as far as time...there is no way I'm posting a PB on this race so I'm going out to have some fun, eat some chocolate and get my medal/jewellery from some hot firemen.  I haven't been pushing my speed as I've been trying to make sure I keep proper form we learned at the Mindful Strides clinics, so have been running slower than usual...and as you all know, you need to run fast to run fast!  I'm really hoping we can continue on with the advanced level of the Mindful Strides clinics (we couldn't take the advanced level as we'd miss too many with our vacation).  A little investment in time and training now could have huge benefits later on in reduced injuries and better times, so I'm thinking about potentially doing a few one on one's with Marilyn (with Hubs, of course!) to get more feedback and help on our form/training along with the advanced class.  So many things, so little time!

4.  Return to Running
I'm feeling the excitement of running again!  My hope for the Scotiabank is to run it in under 2 hours, and then use it as a starting point for training for the Goodlife goal for this year was to run a 1:50 half, so I've gots a lot of work to do to get there.  Having a few halfs under my belt as a base will go a long way...just need to add some hills, speedwork and more yoga to get things all stretched out and I think I'll be good to go.  I'm not doing too bad for injury so far (knock on wood)...the foot is feeling a little tender but not bad, my twinge-y knee has been pretty good and my shoulder has been a bit sore but under control.  Darn aging body.

5.  Recommendations 
Any peeps from the Chicago area?  I'm heading there in a few weeks for a conference and will be staying at the Fairmont Millenium was looking for some recommendations on where to run!  I'm doing a run organized by the conference that takes us along the river, but if there were any other cool places to run (that are safe, as I'll be running on my own!), recommendations are appreciated!

6.  Recipes
Just wanted to talk a bit about a great cookbook I picked up the other day:

I had heard about this book through a local cooking store, and had to pick it up.  Basically it's recipes that taste good while being good for you.  The authors' premise is that flavour and nutritional value aren't mutually exclusive, and the recipes are split between those that you can eat anytime (25% carbohydrates or lower) or those that you can have if you've worked out as they have a higher carbohydrate count.  All the recipes contain lean, complete protein, are in low in sugar and processed carbohydrates, focus on healthy fats and include fresh, natural, additive free ingredients where possible.  Sold!  I've been looking for a cookbook like this forever, so look forward to testing out recipes from this cookbook.  For those of you interested, you can order this cookbook here.

Monday, May 14, 2012



I'm sure you can guess where I am right now.  Yep, back on the beautiful beaches of Maui and having an awesome, relaxing time!  We started off in Kauai for a few days as we'd never been to that island before... overall it was nice, but it was a bit too quiet for us and the weather wasn't as nice as Maui.  So far Maui has been fabulous...great weather, and lots of just sitting around reading on the beach and just chilling out.  Yes.

So...I checked when the last time I posted and it was May 1st...almost two weeks ago.  I'm going to be totally honest and admit that lately I've been in a bit of a funk which is resulting in a lack of blogging.  OK, I lie...I'm in a lot of funk.  While I still love to run, my heart hasn't been into the training for some reason and it's been hard for me to put my finger on why I'm feeling this way.  Part of it is that I seem to be fighting niggling injuries all the time that frustrate and thwart's a lot of stopping and starting which, to put it plainly, really pisses me off.  The foot is feeling a lot better, but it's still there.  I was doing awesome on lifting weights, until my shoulder pain kiboshed that.  I've been having some weird knee pain lately and rib issues.  And just when the body starts to feel OK, I've been fighting bouts of sickness lately.  Arghhhh.  All these things make me take time off training, and when I get into the habit of not running or not exercising as much as I like to...well, things go to hell in a handbasket.  I start getting lazy, I let the food slip, I don't stretch, I start blowing runs off and I start making excuses.  I know, I know...maybe my body needs a break and I've been giving it rest...but I'm being truthful in how I feel.  To put it simply, I'm an all or nothing kind of girl and I've been in this weird running purgatory...this weird feeling of just not really caring or being motivated.

Admittedly, I've been somewhat avoiding blogs and all bloggieland over the last while (apologies to everyone in bloggieland, I've been really bad at reading and commenting lately!) because it was all just a reminder of my lack of mojo.  I can feel the spark coming back though...we didn't run for the first bit of our vacation as there was no good place to run where we were staying in Kauai, and by the fifth day I was dying to run.  Dying.  I couldn't believe how much I missed it.  On our first full day here, Hubs and I headed out bright and early and I could just run for the love of Garmin, no pacing, no nothing...and it felt awesome to just move my body without a particular goal or time in mind.  And maybe that's exactly what I need...time away to get rested up, recharge and start fresh with a fresh new outlook.  So far, we've run every day we've been in Maui and I've been loving it.  This vacation might just be the best medicine to let me think about what I want, how I'm going to get there and what I need to do to get rid of all these niggly injuries...and what better place than to do it than paradise on earth, right? 

Year of Speed, it's not over yet.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

What Running Has Taught Me

So this past week, I've been a bit bummed because I've had to take a short break from running because I overdid things and ended up with a foot injury (hence no training recap this week either, since there was no running going on!).  Good's not a stress fracture, which I feared.  Yay!  Bad news...I had to miss the Times Colonist 10K race this past weekend.  I have to admit, I was dying to race and was pretty upset I had to miss it, but my foot only started to feel better on Saturday and the race was Sunday.  Oh le sigh.  Hubs still ran the race, so we headed down to a sea of over 12,000 people who were running or walking the race.  Admittedly I was bummed...OK, fine...I was mad at the world, but I decided that instead of being grumpy, I was going to take this opportunity to watch the race as a spectator. 

Well geez.  It was hard to be grumpy as I got caught up in all the always, always amazes me how running brings people together.  As I watched everyone heading down to the start line, I could see how excited people were.  There were the elites, who I watched do their warm up routines and drills.  There were the first timers, with their nervous energy and excited faces.  People from all walks of life came down to do this race and everyone had their own reasons for doing it.  Even more interesting was watching everyone at the finish I can attest that the last few hundred feet are the most painful and you feel like you're never going to get there, but it was pretty cool watching the faces of these people cross the finish line maybe for the first time or maybe the zillionth time.  It was awesome to be in the crowd and cheering on everyone who was crossing the finish line, and I thought you know...running really has taught me a lot of valuable lessons about life...

1.  Support Others
It really was an incredible thing to hoot and holler for all the people finishing the race.  The look on these people's faces was pretty cool to see, and with all the cheering I hope some of them felt like superstars.  I figure you get back what you give, so if you throw out a little support to the world, it'll come back to you manifold.

2.  Roll With the Punches
Yep, missing the run sucked.  But I had to just go with it rather than risk bigger injury, and in the end it was pretty cool to have spectated the race.  Sometimes things don't work out how you want, but it's not always a bad thing.

3.  A Little Adversity Isn't a Bad Thing
Sometimes life throws shit at you to test you.  Running has made me realize that I'm a lot tougher than I thought I ever was.  Seriously, your mind starts going crazy at the fortieth kilometre and your quads are screaming at you to stop, and it takes everything in your power to just keep going.  Sometimes a little adversity is just the impetus that pushes you to achieve what you never thought you could, and what goes in your head transcends all. 

4.  Nothing is Impossible
I've said it before...I was an athletic misfit as a child and teen.  Actually using the word athletic anywhere in a sentence to do with me is an insult to athletes...ha!  I was always the last one to come in on runs.  I was terrible in sports and always the last to get picked on teams.  Remember back in the day when they had the Canada Fitness Test?  And you got either an Award of Excellence or a Gold, Silver or Bronze medal?  Well, my results didn't even rate on the Canada Fitness scale and I got a participation pin.  A participation pin, people!  I sucked!   So fast forward thirty years and sometimes I can't believe I ran a marathon and I love to run now.  I exercise because I enjoy it and can't live without it!  All it means is that nothing in life is impossible.

5.  Be Grateful
It's times like this when I'm injured or sick and I can't run, that I'm thankful for the times when I can.  It's hard, but sometimes on the days when I don't feel like running, I remember those times when I would have given anything to run and I drag my lazy old ass out there.  This spills over into the rest of my life too, because I have so much more gratitude for my health, my family, and my friends...all the great, wonderful things in my life.  Sure, things could always be better and it doesn't mean that we shouldn't strive to excel...but sometimes it's dangerous to be constantly looking for morebetterbigger and not appreciating what you have right in front of you.

6.  Discipline
Good things don't necessarily come easily, and sometimes it takes work...hard, hard work.  Running has taught me a lot about discipline because that's what marathon training is all about.  If you don't do the runs or the workouts, you're not going to finish the race.

7.   Don't Listen to Naysayers
As Racing with Babes says, be like the honey badger, cuz the honey badger don't care (here is the full honey badger series, seriously...this is brilliant and a must read!).  I've had my share of naysayers...people who tell me I'm crazy for running, that I'll blow out my knees, that I'll die of a heart attack (this one in particular pisses me off), that running is dumb and stupid.  Well, alls I got to say is haters are gonna hate, and this honey badger don't care.

8.  Try
Yup, I've thrown out some pretty audacious goals out there.  A 1:50 half marathon for this year's goals?  Crazzzzy.  A 50 minute 10K?  Insane-o.  But you know what?  I'd rather put it out there, try and fail than not try at all.  

9.  Health is a Gift
Running is the singular thing that's made me realize how important health is.

10.  Just Do It
Quit with the excuses.  As the billion pinterest motivational posters say, somewhere out there who is busier than you is running.  It's soooo easy to make excuses (and believe me, I make a million of 'em!)...too tired, too busy, too this, too that.  Just get your ass out there and do it, and I can almost guarantee that you won't be sorry that you did.