Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Hello 2014!



Happy New Year, everyone!  With the start of the new year comes new goals...I've thought off and on about this all year, even going as far as to keep a running list of ideas that would pop into my head on my iPhone.  Yep, I'm a bit of a geek like that.  Ha!  As I looked at my list this past week, I narrowed it down to a handful of goals that I've been thinking about for a long time.  I was going to whittle the list down to a very meaningful five, but at the last minute added one more item because...well, you'll see.

1.  Take Swimming Lessons
I've finally decided to take the dive (OK, I couldn't resist) and take swimming lessons!  I never learned as a child and have always regretted it because how the heck am I supposed to do a triathlon if I can't swim?!  Yep...I would love to do a triathlon one day...I can run and I know how to ride a bike even though I haven't done it in years...but swimming is the one discipline that eludes me.  I've signed up for adult lessons starting January 15th at the local rec centre not very far from me, which is awesome.  Am I scared?  You bet...but it's better to try than to not try at all, right?  If I can run 42.2 kilometres, I can definitely squeeze myself into a bathing suit in public.

2.  Take a CPR Course
This one was inspired by my step father in law, who unfortunately passed away earlier this year.  He had a heart attack one night while out for dinner...and for some reason it took ages for the ambulance to come.  While they were waiting, no one performed CPR on him because no one knew how.  Now it may have been that he couldn't have been saved even if CPR had been done but I would hate to be in a similar situation and stand by helplessly when I could have done something. 

3.  Volunteer for a Food Related Cause
The Year of Volunteering was a resounding success, but I was thinking that this year I'd like to expand on it and volunteer for a food related cause in addition to volunteering at races.  As someone who loves food, it truly breaks my heart to think of people who can't afford to have a nutritious, healthy meal.

4.  Improve Mobility and Posture
This past year I've been plagued by injury after injury, and it dawned on me that a lot of this was my own doing...I fully admit, I have very poor posture habits when sitting and standing which has resulted in muscle weaknesses or tightness that have contributed to all my niggling issues this year.  This year I vow to improve my alignment by doing the following things:

Foam roller the crap out of myself and stretch nightly
Work on head positioning (dang forward head)
Stand as much as possible at work and sit properly (no slouching!!!)
Work on areas of weakness to improve muscle imbalances (glutes, neck, upper back)

Work with my physio regularly
Go for regular massages

I’ve had all these bad habits for ages so it’s going to take a lot of work to fix what’s taken years to create, but half the battle is awareness and consistent application.  Game face mode:  ON.

5.  Floss Once a Day
I know...such a cliché, right?  But every time I go to the dentist, my hygienist Dave (who is awesome) always implores me to floss regularly...I've been blessed to have good teeth and he compliments me on how great my brushing is, but the flossing...not so much.  This last time I kind of realized...I take good care of my body and my health by eating well and exercising but then I slough off on flossing when it's no big deal and takes mere minutes.  I've been flossing like a rock star in the past three months and want to knock his socks off the next time I see him.

6.  Jars of Awesomeness

these jars are kinda big, but i'm planning on being pretty
darn awesome in 2014...hee hee!

What are these, you ask?  Well last year, my friend A started a gratitude jar where she wrote little notes of things she was grateful for throughout the year and then voila!  At the end of the year you have a Jar of Awesomeness.  I promptly forgot about this when planning my goals until I saw a Facebook post by Michele, the owner of my bootcamp, where she started a jar where she was going to put in one dollar for every workout she did.  Inspired by both these ideas, I'm starting my own Jars of Awesomeness this year.  It's so easy to forget all the small moments or things that happen throughout the year, so what better way to write little notes to yourself.  And what better way to have a little shopping spree fueled by your own hard work?  My bootcamp buddy D is also joining me in this endeavour...looking forward to seeing what the year brings.

Friday, December 27, 2013

2013 Goals - Year in Review


Heya folks! 

Soooo...I didn't exactly mean to take a five week hiatus from blogging, but oops.  The last little while has been nuts...we headed off to Maui at the end of November so we were busy getting ready for the trip and the impending holiday season...we wanted to hit the ground running when we got back and we definitely have been going full steam ahead since returning!  Work has been busy and there's been so many dinners and such to go to...thankfully we've been keeping up our workouts and squeezing them in wherever and whenever we can.  A sanity saver for sure!  Anyways, hope everyone had a lovely Christmas...ours was full of copious amounts of food and lots of family, so am now decompressing and getting ready for the new year.

So now that we’re almost at the end of December, I’ve been thinking a lot about the year that’s past and reflecting back.  I don’t know what it is, but for some reason odd years have always been better for me...coincidence I’m sure, and I’m not already writing off 2014 or anything...but 2013 has been a really memorable year on so many levels.  I’ve discovered new loves, had a few ephiphanies and challenged myself to try new things.  So a year of growth I guess you could say and the starting point was 2012’s goals (link here) which really provided a framework for some of the most amazing experiences I’ve had this year.

1. Volunteer

I’m glad to report that the Year of Volunteering was a resounding success!  Finally...finally...I got my butt off the couch and signed up to volunteer for races this year.   The impetus for this was the Boston Marathon bombings...completely distraught at what happened, the night of the bombings I signed up for the local 10K race as a way of supporting all those that were there.  It’s like some kind of weird foreshadowing that I would name this blog Foodie at the Finish Line, because that’s where I ended up for each race and I absolutely loved it!  I completely caught the volunteer bug this year...I was so lucky to meet some fabulous people, experience some memorable moments and be a part of many runner's day, albeit in an eeny weenie teenie tiny way...but most of all having the opportunity to give back to a sport that I absolutely adore is something I'm hooked on.  As much as I love running and while I may run the occasional race (running a 5K race in Maui in 2014!), I think I’m hanging up my racing shoes in favour of volunteering.  One of the epiphanies that I had this year was that I was getting too hung up on personal bests and comparing myself to other runners...I mean it’s always great to have goals and to strive to do better, but I was getting lost in that and losing sight of the ability to run for the love of running and just hitting the open road.

2. Do One Chin Up
Success!!  OK,  I haven’t been able to do a chin up unassisted yet but doing one chin up in public (in public, people!!) was more of a mental thing than physical as evidenced by this post about my very first chin up experience.  I did manage to move down a band size in the pull up bands and was working hard on doing an unassisted chin up before I started having shoulder issues.  I’m hoping with lots of work on my posture and alignment, I’ll be able to fix my right shoulder problem and get back at the chin up goal.  I'm so thankful that I was invited to join the ladies at PISE because it introduced me to one of my new loves strength training, and it's absolutely something I'd like to continue on with and do more work on. 


3. Eat Mindfully
I initially set this goal with smaller changes in mind, but it ended up that Hubs and I completely revamped how we ate and are now fully on board with the new way of eating.  Simply, we had no choice in whether or not to change...Hubs had some bloodwork done that didn’t come back great, so we made some significant changes in our diet which I wrote about here...very little processed food, reduced drastically the amount of meat we eat (we still eat fish and poultry occasionally, but beef very rarely), cut back on sodium and really worked on making our diet more plant based.  Hubs’ bloodwork came back normal after only three months of these changes, and we both feel amazing.  I actually can’t get over how different we feel...I don’t remember the last time we had a bad run, whereas before we were amazed when we felt good on a run.  My taste buds have totally changed...I don't like super sweet things, crave healthy food (am extremely sick of eating out during the holiday season) and am really starting to get turned off salt.  Another epiphany here...I’ve worked out for years and have always been a  bit of a cardio bunny, but have come to realize that eating clean in combination with strength training and cardio is what works.  I always thought I ate really well before (now in hindsight I realize I really had some room to improve) and never got the results I was looking for...eating clean and adding strength work has made all the difference.  The adage “you can’t exercise away a bad diet” really rings true for me.


4.  Do Yoga
Gah.  I know, I was doing so well with hitting all the goals but this one...not so much.  I started off OK and managed to get to some classes, but then went on a downhill slide and made it to only a handful of classes this year.  Boo urns. 

 
5. Try One New Recipe per Week
Ending off with a success!  I think I missed maybe two or three weeks out of the year, but I’ve managed to make at least one new recipe per week and some weeks two or three so I think that makes up for it!  Because of how we had to change how we ate this year, I had to find lots of new recipes that were tasty but still good for us and there were definitely some real winners this year. 

So not bad!  Four out of five goals hit and some life changers.  I’m really happy with how things fell out this year and love the idea of setting fewer but more meaningful goals for the future.  Now 2014...what shall we do with you? 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

How to Hug a Runner

Just saw this and had to post it!  Apparently November 20th is Hug a Runner Day...I'm a runner and I love hugs, so bring.it.on.



Monday, November 11, 2013

2013 - Week 45 Recap

Today Hubs and I went for a really nice Fall run around the hood (full 10K and no pain or niggles!) before we headed out to the annual Remembrance Day ceremonies that take place not too far from our place.  Remembrance Day is something that we always celebrate, no matter what the weather...there's been times where it's been pouring rain but we always, always attend because it's the very least that we can do to honour our veterans...because of them, we have the freedom to do the things we love, like going for today's run.  Standing in the rain for a half an hour is nothing compared to what these people have endured.  The thing that I really noticed this year that I thought was totally cool was that there were quite a few younger people in the crowd, paying their respects...and it wasn't like they were there with their parents so had to go, but they were groups of young teens that were going on their own accord.  All I have to say is...someone done taught their kids right!

WORKOUTS:

Sunday:  10K run
First full 10K that I've run in months and man, did it feel great when we were done.  I've really made sure that I've resumed distances slowly and while sometimes it was frustrating to hold myself back from running further when I was feeling good, I'm glad I did.  Nothing like being injured to make you appreciate being healthy!

Monday:  bootcamp
Lots of running and hills in this class, so I was a little bit tired and draggy after having run the day before.  I ended up getting paired up with a lady who's very fast and pushes the pace, so by the time we were heading back to our cars I almost yelled "uncle!!" and had to stop and walk for a bit.  I could feel my hamstring getting a bit tight so thought better safe than sorry. 

Tuesday:  rest

Wednesday:  bootcamp
Finally decided that I was OK to attend a Jason class.  Not gonna lie, I was feeling a bit scared because I haven't been to his class in forever, and he is one kick ass instructor.  I definitely wasn't disappointed...after a brief warm up, he had us line up on a field where we had one minute to do two sets of exercises and then sprint to where he was standing and back...all this fifteen times.  After this I was already gassed, but he took us over to the neighbouring stadium and had us do five sets of stairs while our partner did an exercise like pushups or tricep dips...lather, rinse, repeat five times. Thinking we were done, I was ready to crawl back to the car but nope...out we went to run hills backwards and forwards.  I was done like dinner after but felt great.

Thursday:  Raise the Bar class
So the class I've been dreading for weeks, but super excited about was Thursday night.  After silently freaking out all day, I drove myself to class and sat in the car to gather my nerves before I went in...as I waited for my doom, a friend was texting me and making me laugh which totally helped (thanks G!).  Turns out the class was really small, with only two other guys and me...the advanced class is run at the same time, so the instructor went back and forth between the two groups as we practiced.  We started off the class by doing a basic squat, and then moved up to doing a front barbell squat.  Now keep in mind these guys were both well over six feet tall, so I had to have a bar set up for my five foot and change self, otherwise I couldn't load the bar properly.  The front squat is a fairly basic lift but dang, it was hard!  So many things to remember as far as body positioning before we even start the squat portion of the program.  It was awesome because the two guys that are in the class with me are a good mix...one is quieter and I think newer to any kind of strength work, and the other guy seemed to have a bit of experience and was more chatty so was pretty good with providing feedback.  After we worked on the front squat, we worked on the deadlift, which was one of the lifts I've been dying to learn how to do.  Again...I've done deadlifts with the trap bar, but the instructor really broke it down and I realized I was doing a few things incorrectly before, like not really setting my body before I started the lift.  It was totally awesome because after I did my deadlifts, the instructor nodded approvingly and asked if I'd lifted before!  That totally made my night.  So yep...it was all fine and I'm totally glad that I signed up for it, and even though I was super scared to go to class.  Signing up for this class totally made me realize how much my strength has declined since the summer when I was taking classes at PISE because man, was I ever sore!  Using muscles I haven't in a long time. 

Friday:  20 minute treadmill run/stretch
Yep.  Legs were feeling super tight/sore and I was feeling tired after ramping up the workouts this week, so I didn't go to bootcamp in the morning (D was in the same boat so we tag team played hooky) and decided to do a very, very slow treadmill run and rollered the soreness out of my legs.  Upper body was sore too, and I think the combo of Wednesday's Jason style thumping and Thursdays class, my shoulder was bugging me again.  Staying off it and taking it easy this week! 

Saturday:  bike intervals
Hubs and I were busy and couldn't do our run Saturday, so I did bike intervals while he did a circuit.  I definitely have a love/hate relationship with intervals...love how I feel after and love the results but hate the during. 

FOOD:
Food was pretty good this week...no more Halloween candy binges!  The next week and a half is going to be interesting...Hubs is going to take the same test that I did a few years ago to look at food sensitivities...his skin has been really bothering him and has been so red, itchy and inflamed.  Part of the test involves eating as many foods as possible on a list of 96 items, so it's been a test of my mad culinary skillz to come up with recipes that incorporate as many of the foods as possible.  Look for future posts on results of Hubs' testing.

RECIPES:
All Canadian Seafood Chowder from Canada's Best Recipes and the Lazy Margherita Pizza from Smitten Kitchen.  Just going to put in a glowing review for the pizza recipe...if you've been looking for the easiest and best tasting homemade margherita pizza ever, make this recipe.  It is the best, I kid you not.  I made the crust with half whole wheat and it was still amazing...and the best thing is that it was crazy easy with no proofing of the yeast, no double rising, no kneading and no rolling.  I will never buy a store bought crust again.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Do One Thing a Day that Scares You

So like...remember a while ago when I wrote this post about the Olympic weightlifting class I was taking at PISE, and I was all woohoo, I'm so excited and stuff?  All I have to say is I'm seriously crapping myself now.  Getting sooooo nervous for the first class on Thursday night...I'm taking this class by myself and I have no idea what to expect.  Will it be full of super fit people and then me?  Will I drop the barbell on my head?  I know it sounds weird but I have horrible gym anxiety...you'd think with the amount of working out that I do that I'd feel right at home in a gym environment, but it's in situations like this where all the feelings of physical ineptness as a kid comes out and I freak out.  I'm sure I'll be fine (it always is!) and I'll probably just love the classes...but this is really coming out of my comfort zone.  This blog is about documenting my journeys through life and right now I'm documenting that I am totally and completely shitting myself.

Girding loins now and thinking to myself "suck it up, Wong!"  Will report back after class!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

2013 - Week 44 Recap

Finally...after four months of physio appointments and setbacks...I finished 10K today, yahooooooie!  It's felt like forever since I strained my hammy/glute but am thrilled that I'm able to get back at running.  Everything felt pretty good out there today with only a teeny, tiny bit of tightness in my hammy...after an awful windy and rainy weekend, we woke up to a gorgeous, cold, clear day which is my absolute favourite kind of day to run.  We had to head over to the big city on Saturday for the day and got home late, so I was extremely thankful that it was daylight savings so we got an extra hour worth of sleep.  I'd actually forgotten to change my clock, so when I got up to get ready, Hubs said "you know it's only 6am, right?!"  Woohooo, love that feeling of being able to go back to bed.

Other good news...I was able to get back to doing three bootcamp classes this week!  I haven't attempted a Jason class (gulp!) yet and have had to scale some of the exercises, but feels good to be able to get all bootcamps in this week.  So, so wonderful to be back at it...happy, happy sigh.

WORKOUTS:

Sunday:  circuit

Monday:  bootcamp

Tuesday:  rest

Wednesday:  bootcamp

Thursday:  rest

Friday:  bootcamp

Saturday:  rest

No strength work this week besides what we did at bootcamp.  Really want my right shoulder to feel better so will start up this week with some lighter strength and slowly (key word here!) start lifting again.  I'm missing it and feeling my body turning into mush.


FOOD:
Overall I was pretty good but had a few incidences of sugar fuelled insanity.  I haven't really eaten a lot of sugary stuff in a long time...sure, a couple of treats here and there but nothing too crazy.  Well, this week there was one day at the office where I went nuts.  We had some Halloween treats in the office and I'd been pretty good but on Halloween I went totally off the rails...I must have been bored or something because I sat there and scarfed back six of those little chocolate bars and a package of rockets within ten minutes...gah!  I felt kind of jittery and extra edgy at a block party we had to go to after work, and once we finished I came inside and absolutely and completely crashed...my blood sugar must have just plummeted because I could barely keep my eyes open, I had a headache and basically lay on the couch with my eyes closed.  Within about half an hour I felt better but man...definitely not going to do that again!  I think because we don't eat a lot of sugar anymore, my body just went crazy.

So speaking of sugar...we watched this really great piece they did called "The Secrets of Sugar".  Did you know the average Canadian eats 26 teaspoons of what I like to call white death?  I can see it...there's so much added sugar in processed foods.  I'm so glad I was able to attend PISE's grocery store tour because while I feel that I know a fair amount about nutrition, the dietician on the tour really opened my eyes to how much the nutritional information on food packaging really tells you.  Anyways, if you're interested in watching this clip on sugar, go here

RECIPES:
Vegetarian chili from Vegetarian Times. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

2013 - Week 43 Recap

Week 43?!  Wow...this year has whipped past...seems like yesterday I was doing my Week 1 recap and not really sure what 2013 would bring.  It's definitely been a growth and learning year for both Hubs and I...to continue on that front, next week I start my Olympic weightlifting class at PISE!  Egads, what have I gotten myself into?!  Sounded like a good idea at the time when I signed up.  I just hope and pray that I'm not in a class with a bunch of buff young bucks and then me...little five foot middle aged pipsqueak.  I'm excited and terrified at the same time, but I'm going to bite the bullet and just do it.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?

WORKOUTS:

Sunday:  circuit
Gadzooks, my shoulder was absolutely killing me so I did a circuit and scaled the upper body stuff so I wasn't lifting quite as heavy.  Sigh...just as my lower body is getting back on track, my upper body is starting to squawk.

Monday:  bootcamp

Tuesday:  rest
Visit to see the physio...thank goodness!

Wednesday:  rest
Bah...had to skip bootcamp as I had had needles the night before...most of them were in my upper body so I considered going and just doing lower body stuff but then I thought better of it. With my luck, I'd end up pushing it too hard and straining my glute or hammy again.

Thursday:  rest

Friday:  bootcamp
Lots of stairs and plyo with this class and I could feel hammy wasn't super loving it, so I modified again.  Sometimes I wonder if I baby it too much, but then again it's taken months to recover so whatevs...gotta do what feels right.

Saturday:  8K run
Wahooo!  I'm getting closer and closer to 10K and I'm SO excited.  I felt a couple of twinges here and there but overall it was a great run. 

FOOD:
A couple of little miscues here and there...Halloween treats have hit the office and I snarfled back a couple of boxes of Smarties lickety split.  I've also failed miserably at the Great Dairy Experiment of 2013...I've been craving yoghourt for weeks.  Like as in every time I go to the grocery store, I look longingly at all the colourful yoghourt containers in the dairy aisle...not sure what mineral or whatever I'm missing, but I've been jonesing for it for ages.  I finally gave in and bought a container of Greek yoghourt and pounded some back last night.  Oy vey folks...my stomach today looks like I'm five months pregnant and is as taut as a drum.  It hurts to press down on it and it's so bad my lulus are cutting into my stomach!  Ugh...I should just know better. 

RECIPES:
Smoky butternut squash pasta and a delicious Slow Cooker Apple Butter from Oh She Glows...also improvised a roasted cherry tomato and garlic pasta with chickpeas, basil and olives (which was delicious, if I do say myself...heh).

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

This Post Brought to You by the Letter P

Physio, progress, pecs, posture...as I sat in the physio's office yesterday and let my mind wander as she stuck me full of needles, I realized yesterday was full of P words.  Back for my monthly check in with my old physio girl...honestly, I know I say it overandoverandover again about how great she is, but I'm going to say it again...she's SO fabulous and I'm so happy that I found her.  I actually had a panicky thought last night about what would I ever do if she moved away or something.  Must not think of such horrible thoughts, lest I crawl into the fetal position and hide under my desk.

In my last post I was saying how much better I'd been feeling and she was thrilled with how I was doing on the lower half of my body.  I was standing better and more evenly on both legs...the first time I came to see her, I was actually almost standing solely on one leg I was so far shifted over to the left.  She liked how my hip, hammy and glute were doing so that means the stretching, rollering and exercises I've been doing are key and working.  My upper body, however, was a whole different story.  I was still feeling sore from Friday's workout and woke up Tuesday morning with a stiff neck, so had her check me out and sure enough...my scapula and back were locked up and my whole torso was restricted in movement.  I had done a lot of chest movements on Friday and because my back wasn't helping stabilize me, my poor little wee pecs were doing all the work and...well, let's just say they were a wee bit pissed off.  It's all very interesting because I had noticed recently that pushups were inordinately hard for me...I thought I was just losing fitness, but because I couldn't activate my back muscles, I was relying solely on my chest to do all the work.  Not good.

My super fabulous physio girl worked on me diligently as I peppered her with questions.  What was causing all the issues, what can I do to stop this from happening, how can I get better?  Stretching, different exercises?!  It all came down to my posture.  Yep, I admit it...I'm a serial sloucher and have been for the better part of  my life.  The one awesome thing about working with weights is that I've made huge progress in my back muscles and my posture has improved greatly...my physio said that my shoulder and back position now is good, but I've got what is know as "forward head posture".


Caused by years of slouching and sitting at the computer for work, my head position was far in front of my shoulders, much like the second picture and causing all sort of issues.  My ears are supposed to be in line with my shoulders, but they were at least few inches forward...then I throw in a restricted back/torso, hypermobility and a bajillion pushups and it's a recipe for a big old hot mess.

If you're interested in seeing if you've got forward head posture, check out this link.  Basically, your shoulder blades and the back of your head should touch the wall when you're standing.  When my physio put me in the proper position, it felt so weird!  But when I checked out what I looked like in the mirror, it did look way better than the Hunchback of Notre Dame position I had before.  She gave me homework to work on my head position and watch how I'm seated at work (I tend to schlump to the right when I sit) and check back in a month, but not before she did a round of beloved needles all over my neck, traps and pecs.  Not gonna lie, didn't love it but I've come to embrace the pain as a sign that I'm getting better.  Or at least that's what I tell myself when I'm writhing in pain.  Heh.

So there we go.  I am feeling way, way better and now that I know what's up and what I can do, I'm all over it as I want 2014 to be the Year of Being Pain Free.



Monday, October 21, 2013

2103 - Week 41/42 Recap

OK, back on track with the weekly posts!  I'm feeling optimistic and (knock on wood) physically I've been feeling better than I have in ages.  Back in the summer, I was achy, sore and seemed to be facing injury after injury, niggle after niggle...every morning I would wake up feeling a million years old.  The past while all the little issues I've been dealing with seemed to have gotten better and I'm feeling really, really good...I've been a very diligent girl and have been stretching and rollering nightly, and have eased back into exercise so I don't overdo things.  I'm finally feeling stronger and I think I'm almost ready to attack a Jason bootcamp.  Girding loins as we speak, folks...Jason is force to be reckoned with!

WORKOUTS:

Two weeks worth!

Week 41:

Sunday - 6.5K run

Monday - bootcamp

Tuesday - rest

Wednesday - 30 mins treadmill

 Thursday - rest

Friday - bootcamp

Saturday - strength

Week 42:

Sunday - Volunteering at Goodlife Victoria Marathon
I didn't work out but I stood for over eight hours and spent two hours taking down the finish line...I think that counts, no?  Heh.

Monday - run 7K

Tuesday - rest

Wednesday - 30 mins treadmill

Thursday - rest

Friday - circuit/strength
We were in Vancouver for a quick overnight trip...Hubs was volunteering at We Day at Rogers Arena, so I decided to tag along and "practice retirement", as Hubs and I like to say.  It was awesome...he had to head off very early in the morning, so I got up and had a lovely, long, leisurely workout at the hotel gym, which was fantastic.  They had a full bench press set up, barbells and all ranges of dumbbells so I was in heaven...I ended up working out for over an hour and a half!  Seriously, am so in love with strength work.

Saturday - 7.5K run
Yahooo!  Am getting close to our usual weekend run distance, 10K.  So far, so good.

FOOD:

Bang on!  Oversnacking has been reigned in.  One thing that I have added that I've been finding has been making a huge difference in how I feel is a probiotic capsule every day.  I've cut out dairy so unfortunately can't do yoghourt, but ever since I've been taking a probiotic, my stomach has been feeling amazing

RECIPES:

Butternut squash soup from Vegetarian times and Mapo Tofu from Wandering Chopsticks.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

2013 Goodlife Victoria Marathon - Race Recap, Volunteer Edition

Best weekend ever.  I always thought that the race organizers for the Goodlife Victoria were brilliant to schedule the race on the Thanksgiving long weekend, but this weekend Thanksgiving Day took on a whole new meaning for me.

Race weekend events kicked off for us with a fundraiser on Friday night for a running group called Every Step Counts, a walking and running program designed for people experiencing challenges or barriers with housing, mental health, poverty, addiction and other related issues.  I'd heard about this group a few years ago and thought wow...I know what running has done for me and how it's made a significant impact on my life, so I wanted to throw my full support behind this group.  This was our first time attending this fundraiser and it was a great evening.  Keynote speaker...


OK, you probably can't see clearly who it is, but it's Dick Beardsley...yep, that Dick Beardsley of the 1982 Boston Marathon Duel in the Sun fame.  He was an amazing speaker...after his famous run against Alberto Salazar, he had a series of unfortunate accidents and ended up becoming addicted to prescription drugs.  Clean for years, his story was inspiring to everyone, but particularly for those in the group struggling with addictions. 


There was a live and silent auction at the event as well...what, I get to eat and shop?!  My kind of fundraiser!  I ended up bidding on a Global knife and sharpener and some gift certificates to a restaurant.  What can I say, I'm a foodie.

Saturday morning I headed down to the race expo to listen to some of the speakers and then trotted down to the finish line to start my first volunteer shift of the weekend.  OK...just gonna say that I am super happy that I've been working with weights because it was four hours of setting up fencing and signage.  I made the mistake of doing some upper body strength work that morning, so needless to say, by the end of my shift I was one tired, sore and hungry girl.

my handiwork...

signs, signs and more signs...

slowly but surely, it's coming along...

I deserve every single calorie on this plate!!!

Sunday...the day I've been waiting for all year!  I've been so excited for this, and was so stoked when I headed down to the finish line that morning.  As soon as I got to the medal area, I was put to work checking and sorting the medals. It was a beautiful, beautiful day and there were tons of spectators lining the finishers chute.

lookit them all!

After we sorted them, we had to hang them on the racks so we could load them onto the arms of the people who were handing them out...we were like a well oiled machine!  As we worked, I got to know some of the other volunteers and made some quick friends. 





medal me, baby!

After we finished hanging the medals up, I managed to squeeze into the line up to hand out medals...this was the moment that I'd waited for all year!  Each finish line has its own meaning for every runner...all the sacrifice and everyone has their own story.  I'm sure no one will remember who it was who gave them their medal, but I was truly honoured to be able to be a teeny tiny part of their marathon experience. 



aren't these gorgeous?!

The winner of the marathon, Lamech Mokono, enjoying some well deserved drink and food after a course setting record of 2:13:42.


I'm a bit of a runner groupie, so I stealthily snapped this picture of the half marathon winner, Hilary Stellingwerff.  If her name sounds familiar, it should...she competed in the 1500m distance in the 2012 London Olympics and just barely missed qualifying for the final heat.  I was a little awestruck. 

i'm not worthy, i'm not worthy

It was a long day out there, but I didn't feel tired in the slightest...I stood for almost six hours straight handing out medals, and I could not wipe the smile off my face even if I tried.  I loved every millisecond of the day...I had so many big smiles, so many thank yous for volunteering, and I even got a few extremely sweaty hugs!  One fellow asked for a hug after I gave him his medal and warned that he was sweaty...I exclaimed "bring it on!!" and he enveloped me in a huge bear hug!  It was pretty funny, and got a good laugh from the crowd around us.  Another memorable moment for me came when I was giving a woman her medal and she started to cry and we spontaneously hugged...I could feel how proud and emotional she was...like I said, each marathon is a journey and I was so happy that I could be a small part of hers.

And so concludes the Year of Volunteering.  All in all...this weekend was truly amazing.  As I said, it was so fitting that it was Thanksgiving.  I found myself getting verklempt throughout the day...last year at the race I was having one of the worst days of my life, and this year I was having one of the best.  I had never considered volunteering before, and was so thankful that out of an unfortunate situation came something that I've enjoyed so much....I'm a true believer of all things for a reason and I think I'm hooked on volunteering for races now!  The other thing that became so apparent to me is how the race is such a community event...I love how running can bring so many people together from all walks of life. 

finish line, i'll see you again next year!


Sunday, October 6, 2013

2013 - Week 40 Recap


Carpe diem.  Today, the world is my oyster...Hubs was busy all day yesterday so I took the opportunity to get all the stuff I usually do on Sunday (weekly cooking, gobs of chores) done on Saturday, so today I'm gonna catch a little of what I like to call "Cindy Time".   What to do, what to do...hee hee.  We started off the day with a relaxed, leisurely run...it's a gorgeous, gorgeous warm Fall day here in Victoria...such a contrast to last week where we had our first storm of the season, with gale force winds and monsoon rains.

view from my deck as I sit here and blog...what an amazing day!


yep, still in my shorts and flip flops! 

I sure as heck hope this amazing weather holds up next weekend...Goodlife Victoria Marathon is on, and the forecast isn't looking all that great, boo urns.   I'm a volunteer machine for this race...I think I mentioned before that I got the thumbs up to hand out the medals at the marathon (I cannot wait!!) but I also volunteered to help out at the volunteer night, help set up the finish line the day before the race, and will be working the full race day.  I'm so excited...it's a huge event for Victoria and it's going to be pretty cool to be a tiny little part of it.  Will make sure I capture as much of the day(s) as I can so I can regale you with all of my volunteer hijinx.  Heh.

WORKOUTS:

Sunday:  strength/bike intervals
Oy vey, the intervals were hard.  I mean, they're always hard but it took everything in me to keep going.  The only word I can think to describe the workout was meh.

Monday:  treadmill
My bootcamp buddy D was sick so I decided to stay home and work out...plus it was gale force winds and pouring rain too. 

Tuesday: rest

Wednesday: sick (booo!!)
Yup...now I know why I was feeling like such crap on Sunday.  I was feeling bone achingly tired on Monday and really off on Tuesday, and had this weird scratchy throat for days...woke up Wednesday morning with an awful, awful headache and feeling achy all over...every time I stood up the area behind my eyes would just throb.  No workout.

Thursday: rest

Friday: circuit
I was browsing around online to find some different class options now that our bootcamp is being cancelled for the winter, and came across this workout that looked really good so I decided to give it a go...

Kettlebell swing - 20
Pushups - 20
Goblet squat - 15
Push press - 20
Situps - 20
Burpees - 20
Walking lunges - 20 per leg
Bent over row - 10
Thrusters - 20
Side plank dips - 15 per side

Goal is to do as many rounds of this as possible in 45 minutes.  Confession time...I only did two rounds because I was starving.  It took me about 10 minutes per round and I was sweating bullets because it's pretty intense, but I looooooved it.  Will try and see if I can work may way up to 4 rounds in 45 minutes.

Saturday: strength

FOOD:
Pretty good overall but I think I've been feeling carb-y lately and have been indulging too much in healthy snacks.  Yes, whole grain crackers and hummus is healthy, but stuffing myself on them isn't the greatest.  Also had a realization about how much sugar really affects me since we've cut back a lot on the sweets we eat.  On Friday I threw all caution to the wind and had a soy pumpkin spice latte (with whip, people...egads!).  I rarely ever order coffee drinks like this because I don't like drinking my calories, but I always have one per year because a friend and I used to go for these all the time, and when she moved away it became a ritual to email each other when we had our first one of the season.  It was delicious, but later on that day my stomach puffed up like a balloon...I hadn't experienced this in ages since we started to eat clean...I would regularly get bloated and puffy because we were indulging ourselves in either salty or sugary foods.  I decided to look up the nutritional information and I was honestly shocked...

Based on a grande size soy pumpkin spice latte with whip:

Calories - 350
Fat - 12 grams (5 grams saturated)
Cholesterol - 25 milligrams
Sodium - 230 grams
Protein - 13 grams
Sugar - 41 grams

Forty one grams of sugar!?!  WTF?!  There's four grams of sugar in one teaspoon, so in that one drink I had over TEN TEASPOONS OF SUGAR.  No wonder I puffed up like a balloon...good thing I only have one of those per year. 

RECIPES:
Sesame scented turkey meatballs with smashed chickpea salad, cauliflower pesto with linguine and a black bean ragout, all from the Smitten Kitchen cookbook.  The black bean ragout didn't turn out...for some reason there was a lot of water for the amount of beans, so by the time it would have taken to get rid of all the liquid, the beans would have been mush so I decided to turn it into soup, which is still delish.  Gotta roll with the punches!
 

Monday, September 30, 2013

2013 - Week 39 Recap

So it's probably not much of a surprise, but I'm a creature of habit...I like my routine, I like to know what's going on, I like having a schedule.  Last week I got thrown a bit of a wrench...looks like the morning bootcamps I've been going to for the past five years are going to be cancelled for the winter.  Not enough attendance and hard to find trainers to come out and teach at 5:30 a.m.  While I totally and completely understand why the classes are being cancelled, I'm the kind of person that reacts better to having someone tell me what to do.  Tell me to run hill after hill?  I'm there.  Ask me to do 50 pushups?  Cool.  Put me in a gym on my own?  I'm a befuddled mess.  So now that the PISE classes are no longer a go and morning bootcamp is out, I'm kind of in limbo as far as what the winter workout routine will be...long runs on weekends will still be key but other than that...well I guess the world is my oyster!  And maybe this is an opportunity to try something new, right?  I'm going to put this out there because...well, maybe if I put it out in the ether it might just happen....but I've been toying with the idea of trying crossfit.  OK, there, I said it!  A lot of folks at PISE are into it and a lot of our workouts were crossfit-esque and I loooved it...anyways, maybe one day I'll get up my nerve to enter a box and try it out.

WORKOUTS:

Sunday:  Strength circuit

Monday: bootcamp
First bootcamp in almost three months!  Felt great to be back...we did some hills and a circuit, and overall I was pretty pleased that my cardio hadn't suffered too much.   Overall I felt pretty good  but my hip felt a little achy afterwards.  I had an appointment with my old physio, and she totally showed me some cool tricks to help keep my hip loose.  As she was working on me, she felt that something was stopping me from activating my left glute...she says the glute muscle is there but it's not firing for some reason and my movement is restricted.  It was amazingly cool...she released some of the fascia in my stomach (I do hold a lot of tension there) and immediately I could move so much better and was able to activate my glutes!  I was actually stunned, it was crazy how much it helped.  She seriously is amazing.

Tuesday: rest

Wednesday: treadmill run

Thursday: rest

Friday:  bootcamp
Hurray!  Two bootcamps this week.  Definitely took it easy and didn't push hard...can't believe how much I missed it, so a little bit sad that October will be the last month until likely some time in early 2014. 

Saturday: 6K run outside
Farthest I've ran in months!  Glute felt great but Mr. Left Hammy was feeling a bit tight so I walked a bit at the end to make sure I didn't overdo things.  I was actually chuckling a bit on the run as I was thinking that two years ago, I was running 32K and not thinking that much of it...now I can barely do 6K.  Darn injuries!

FOOD:
Overall, pretty good.  I found I was super hungry this week and a bit crave-y, so had to get that under control.


RECIPES:
Chickpea burgers from Chloe's Kitchen

Sunday, September 22, 2013

2013 - Week 38 Recap

Back in the saddle!  I've been cleared by new physio guy to start increasing my distances by half a kilometre each run until I'm back at the usual distances that we do.  I also got the green light to head back to bootcamp, so I'm going tomorrow to an early morning class out at Esquimalt Lagoon.  Will for sure take it super easy and let my body get used to things again...not gonna lie, it's going to be hard to get up at 5am again, but do love starting off my day with a workout.

The amazing thing I've noticed is that ever since I've been working with my old physio again, I'm feeling less sore all over.  I still have a couple of niggles I need to work on, but I used to absolutely ache all over, particularly my legs.  I think getting my body in alignment and being super diligent with my stretching and rollering has been key...every night I spend at least half an hour with my best friends the foam roller, lacrosse ball and the rolling stick.

Oh!  And some other exciting news...so I've mentioned a few times that I've been really enjoying working with weights, right?  Well, I decided to sign up for a beginner lifting class at PISE called Raise the Bar...

Olympic Lifting is an extremely technical, demanding and rewarding form of strength training. Raise the Bar is your introduction to Olympic Lifting that starts with mastering 4 major lifts (Front Squats, Deadlifts, Bent-Over Row and Overhead Press) before transitioning into Olympic Lifting instruction. Working within a small group is essential for each participant to receive the personalized feedback required for safe progression through more advanced lifting techniques.

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!  I'm super excited, but admittedly, I'm a little nervous...I signed up on my own, so won't know anyone in class...but I think because it's a small group, it will be fine.   So why did I sign up for this?  I've been wanting to do some barbell work for awhile because I actually have one at home that's sitting at home begging me to use it.  Every time I pick up the dumbbells, I swear it whimpers a bit and lets out a lonely sigh...sob...lift me, nice lady?  Never one to want to see good equipment go to waste, I jumped at the chance when I saw this class particularly because it goes through some fundamental lifts like the deadlift, which is a fantastic all around exercise that strengthens the whole body...I really want to make sure I learn the right technique to avoid injury and going to a small class with lots of personal instruction is perfect.  Plus I really like PISE so want to continue to take some classes there and support the trainers and the great facility that they have there.  Six sessions starting in November...the only bad part is that the class starts late at 8pm (this is around the time that I'm donning my pyjamas), but it's sorta good because then there will be less people around to witness my pathetic lifting technique.  Heh.

yikes...what have I gotten myself into?!

WORKOUTS:

Sunday: strength

Monday: 30 mins treadmill run

Tuesday: rest

Wednesday: 30 mins treadmill run

Thurs: rest

Friday: 30 mins treadmill run

Saturday: 5.5K run, 10 minute circuit


FOOD:
Pretty good overall.  I was on a bit of a slide back on my week of vacation, but I was on vacation, man!  Anyways, I strayed a bit that week but have been back on the clean eating train.

RECIPES:
Whole wheat pasta with lentils and leek from Gourmet Nutrition, Cumin Lime Quinoa salad and Tofu Quiche with Sundried Tomatoes, Mushrooms and Basil from Oh She Glows (the tofu quiche was fabulous, by the way!).



Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Eating Clean: Final Thoughts

I can't believe it's been six months since we changed how we ate and started to eat clean!  Man, time flies...I know, I say this over and over again, but it just blows my mind.  Like seriously, it's going to be Christmas soon.  Gack.

So yeah...it's been six months since we've changed how we ate and yep, we're still following the plan.   After seeing Hubs' awesome results on his cholesterol levels, we are basically doing more of the same...cut way back on our meat and refined sugars, we eat tons of fish, veggies and fruits, whole grains and beans galore and cut way, way back on salt...I still, however, cannot get the man to drink water.  Bah

What have we noticed six months in?  Well, a lot with Hubs.  He doesn't get the afternoon crazy drop off like he used to get after eating lunch, and he's noticed a big difference in our runs and when he was playing hockey.  He used to get easily gassed at hockey, but the first night he came home and said he felt fantastic and could keep up with the young bucks no problem.  He was also getting these weird hives after his workouts, bad enough that he had to take antihistamines every time we'd run but he stopped taking them soon after we changed our diet. 

With me, the biggest change has been the sodium.  The hardest thing for me for sure, as I'm a total salt fiend...honestly, the saltier the better...like I was the kind of girl that would stick my finger in the bag of Doritos so I could get all the salty seasoning at the bottom of the bag.  This is crazy...but I actually find a lot of foods too salty now.

Gasp.

I know!  This is crazy!  I actually kind of can't believe that I used to eat some of the stuff I did and don't know how I did it.  I rarely season my food now, and cook with very little salt...I also buy all low sodium or no salt added foods.  If I go to a restaurant to eat a meal, I'm almost always dying of thirst after.  Take today for instance...I went out at lunch to get a soup and sandwich and ordered a cream of cauliflower soup.  As I tucked into my lunch, I thought man, this soup is salty...I actually didn't really enjoy it but finished it off anyways (there are starving kids in Africa you know!) and felt sick all afternoon and have been guzzling water constantly since then.  Blah.  Same thing happened a few weeks ago when I opened up a bag of those Quaker rice chips...I had a few and thought holy crap this is salty and actually ended up throwing them out.  I actually don't like how salty things make me feel now. 

So...if a diehard saltaholic like me can change, anyone can make a change for the better.  Eating clean might seem hard at first, but it's so worth it for your health and both Hubs and I are totally on the clean eating wagon.  Yes...it's way more fun to have a monster mud pie or a burger and fries...and it's not like you can't do that stuff occasionally.  Hubs and I still eat out and have our one cheat meal a week (not a full day of debaucherous eating like we did before) and we're still diehard foodies, but we're finding that we actually crave healthy food now.  The other benefit to eating clean is that I used to be an avid food logger and calorie counter.  I'm not against those things because they're great tools for losing weight, but I've found that if I concentrate on eating healthy foods most of the time (we all need to live a little!) and incorporate strength training into my workouts, I'm able to maintain a weight that I'm comfortable at fairly easily after a lifetime of struggling with my weight.

Eat healthy, lift something heavy and run a little...who woulda thunk. 


Friday, September 13, 2013

Catching Up

Oh hi!

Yes, I'm alive.  I know, I know...it's been almost three weeks since I've posted anything but it's been crazy busy, honestly!  We were on vaycay for a bit and then things haven't really slowed down until now and I'm finally getting some time to breathe. 

So what's up, you ask?  Let's see...let's start with my broken ass problem.  OK, I'm going to tempt the exercise gods but I think...I think...that I'm finally on track and I'm on the mend.  I'd just been having so many issues with the butt and hamstring strains, but the thing that was really bugging me was the constant niggles and issues that were happening with my back and neck.  My back had been doing so well for so long and then it seemed like all of a sudden the wheels fell off the bus.   Anyways...I've been back to see my "old" physio a few times...I really like my new guy but she just has so much more history with me (I think I've been seeing her for about five years) and knows me like the back of her hand.  Plus the fact that I just plain old love her and think she's the most fabulous thing since sliced bread but I digress.  She's a big believer in cranio-sacral therapy...I know some people may think it's a bunch of voodoo hokum, but this stuff works!  At least for me.  It was all light touches that I could barely feel, but voila...no neck pain or hip pain today!  Well, I do have some residual achiness because she also brought out the needles (gah) and I have a few good sized bruises from some really tight spots she released. 

I asked her if I should (for the next while anyways) do some more regular visits with her to keep on top of things once I'm all healed up...I was thinking about checking in once every two months to make sure I'm not getting tight in certain areas and opening myself up to injuries again...it's truly been frustrating to not be able to move my body like I want to.  Because she knows my past history, she didn't feel all the craziness that's been happening was actually due to the workouts I was doing (hurray!) but that my bloody rotten desk job was the cause and being hypermobile doesn't help either.  Things were probably starting to show up but I was probably ignoring the signs and pushed things too long (hence why I want to start going for maintenance check ins).  She said that all the clients she has that have the multitude of issues and injuries that I do have desk jobs...as the cliche goes, it's all connected and tightness in one spot affects another and another and then blammo!  You have a broken ass.  Well hear me now...I'm lucky enough to have a standing desk at work but haven't been using it fully...I now vow to start working my way up to standing at least half the day and working on my posture because yes, I'm a serial sloucher and desk slumper.  Hmmmm...I feel a 2014 goal coming on!  I'm tired of having all these recurring issues and I'm committed to do whatever it takes to get things stay injury and issue-free.

As far as workouts go (no, I won't make you suffer through three weeks of detailed recaps...ha!), I've still been keeping at 'er and doing short runs (now up to 4K), strength work and circuits at home so I won't lose too much fitness.  Sadly, the ladies I was training with at PISE aren't able to continue on for various reasons so I'm a little sad about that, but we did get a book of kickass workouts that I've been using, which has been awesome.  I think if things start looking pretty good, I might start back one day at my other bootcamp and slowly add days until I'm back at it three days a week...I've been missing my good buddy D a lot.

Anyways, there you go.  I'm still alive and kicking, and hoping things are back on track now so I won't be such a stranger.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Foodie at the Finish Line


Yahooooieeeeeee

I think my race volunteering gigs for the rest of the year are set...hurray!  I gotta say, I've really enjoyed the races I volunteered at so far this year and think I'm going to continue this going forward.  It's fun, I get to meet lots of cool people and I'm surrounded by runners...what could be better, I ask?  OK, maybe being surrounded by Chippendale's dancers might be marginally better but it's pretty close.  Hee hee.

So third race of the year is this weekend, Splash of Color, right here in little old Victoria!  It's one of these colour runs that are super popular right now.  I was going to sign up for it but thought nope...this is the Year of Volunteering, and I'm doing the Color Me Rad next year with D anyways so it's all good.  I requested the finish line and because I was the very first little old volunteer, I got my wish so I'll be the crazy little Asian, throwing colours all over the runners.  So excited!

Fourth race is also set as well I think...I got the heads up that I'll be at the finish line for the Goodlife Victoria this year too...I can't tell you how freaking excited I am, and the perfect ending to the Year of Volunteering!  A few months ago I sent an email to the volunteer coordinator at the Goodlife Victoria...I have a friend on the organizing committee so worked that angle...it's not what you know but who you know, amirite?!  Anyways, I told her how what happened to me last year made me realize how amazing the volunteers were and that I wanted to give back to the race and, if possible, could I pretty please with sugar on top be at the finish line?  My friend was at a committee meeting last night and said that apparently they all remembered who I was (yep, the infamous 20K collapser, that's me!) and that I'd be at the finish line as requested...squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

So that's it.  It looks like things are all set and I'll truly be Foodie at the Finish Line four times this year.  Four times is the charm, right?  Wink.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

2013 - Week 33 Recap

Can't hardly wait.  Last two days until Hubs and I are off on vaycay for a week and I'm seriously dying here.  It's been a busy summer and we're looking forward to some time off.  What are we doing?  Mostly stuff around the house and then we're spending a few days in the big smoke (Vancouver) and yes, we're going to some cool new restaurants so we may indulge a wee tiny bit, hee hee.  And maybe some shopping too.  Also using that time off to go pay a visit to my regular physio...we moved offices recently so when I broke my ass, I couldn't get in to see my regular person so booked somewhere else as it's right in the same complex I work in.  Now don't get me wrong...I really like the new physio and think he's awesome, but all physios have different approaches and my regular physio has worked with me for years and got me through the marathon training in one piece and virtually injury free.  I think there must be something going on bigger than all the crazy niggles I've been having issues with (now the right calf that's been bugging me since last December has flared up and is causing me some grief...seriously, when will this end?!) and my regular person has a holistic approach that seems to have worked in the past.  All I want is to get better so I can get back at 'er...so far it's been broken ass, left inner thigh issue, Achilles heel injury, right calf niggle, wayward ribs and my lower back was bugging me because I had a vertebra out....I'm so ready for things to just feel good!  Just gotta say, thank god for "Team Wong"...my RMT, physio(s) and chiro.

WORKOUTS:

Sunday:  strength work

Monday:  home circuit

Tuesday:  rest

Wednesday:  2K treadmill run
Back at it after hurting my left inner thigh. Overall felt OK but getting a bit of a pulling feeling at the back of the knee.  Please do NOT be IT band syndrome...

Thursday: rest

Friday:  intervals on stationery bike

Saturday:  3K  treadmill run, strength work

FOOD:
Bang on except one indulgence that I must write about...anyone ever tried the Bavarian mustard pretzels from Starbucks?!  Holy, these things are crazy delicious...it gave me a crazy stomach ache after I ate it but it was worth it.

RECIPES:
Nothing new this week.  Dang.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

2013 - Week 32 Recap

Perspective...sometimes that's all you need.  This past weekend I went to Lake Cowichan to hang out with a group of friends I've known forever...met them when I was fifteen at my very first job as a grocery store cashier, so I'm talking close to thirty years here!  We've gone through so much together and seen each other through so many phases of our lives...the crappy teenage years, the just-figuring-shizz-out twenties, the its-finally-getting-better thirties and now the I-think-I've-finally-figured-it-out-forties.  Anyways...Hubs and I went up to hang out with these girlfriends and their spouses, and we had such a great time.  As we hung out on the beach and spent time chatting around the campfire, I thought wow...how lucky am I to have such wonderful friends...like these are the types of friends that I would drop everything for if they needed me. 

Then I got the news.  One of the spouses was missing from the festivities, and I thought it was a bit odd but thought she couldn't make it up for work or something.  Turns out she just got the diagnosis of breast cancer...when I heard that, my stomach dropped.  As we sat around and talked about what was happening (thankfully the men were doing boy talk about RVs and fifth wheels), everyone started talking about their health issues and what was going on with them.  As I sat and listened, I was so thankful that all I was dealing with right now was a broken ass and busted leg.  Yes...ask me a week ago and I was having a pity party and wallowing in pissoffedness, but I'm not dealing with a diagnosis of cancer or other major health problems.  Perspective, right?  Truly, instead of waking up in the morning feeling grumpy or tired, I should be thankful and grateful every single day for what I'm blessed to have.  Yep, gonna do that starting tomorrow along with sending healing vibes to my girlfriend.

WORKOUTS:

Sunday:  3K treadmill run, strength

Monday:  3K treadmill run

Tuesday:  rest

Wednesday:  3.5K treadmill run, strength
Second injury, grrr.  Talked to Danya and she thinks possibly slightly torn adductor muscle, and gave me some ideas how to deal with it as my physio was away on vaycay. 

Thursday:  rest

Friday:  rest

Saturday: home circuit

FOOD:
Stellar...up until Saturday when we went to the cabin.  What happens at the cabin, stays at the cabin.  Heh.

RECIPES:
Garden vegetable soup from Alton Brown and Israeli Couscous Salad with Smoked Paprika...the couscous is amazing.  More than amazing actually!  Trust me, try this one, a total winner....I would never steer you wrong when it comes to food.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Oh the humanity.  So...remember how I just said that my butt was getting better?   That it wasn't hurting on my runs?  That things were looking up and I was feeling good?  Yeah, not so much.

Yesterday I did an easy run on the treadmill and then decided to do 3 sets of 10 squats and lunges.  Nothing crazy, no weights on either...done billions of squats and lunges in the past as they're a staple at bootcamp.  Butt was feeling good, I was happy...and then on the last set of lunges, I felt a small twang in my left inner thigh.  I stopped immediately and stretched it and tried again, and decided nope...better hold off and not push things.  It didn't hurt like crazy like when I hurt my glute, but I thought I'd just better be careful and thought it was a niggle.  Rollered and stretched as per my new routine.

This morning I get up and it feels OK.  Maybe a bit tight but nothing too bad, it felt a bit sensitive to the touch but I wasn't in major pain or anything like I was the last time.  I decided that to be on the safe side, I'd take a tensor bandage to work and ice it.  Then I look and I've got a freakin' bruise on my inner thigh...I've strained another &#*$#(@ muscle.

Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.

this is what i looked like today when i saw the bruise 

Sob.  I feel like I'm taking two steps forward, one step back.  OK, three steps back maybe is more like it!  Is this a test from head office or something?  I know a lot of people are dealing with way worse injuries than me, and it's comforting to read how other bloggers are fighting their way back from strains, pulls and fractures and are doing great.  And really...first world problems, right?  Way bigger fish to fry in the grand scheme of things.  Just right now, I feel almost like I'm afraid to do anything because I'm worried about pulling something else...I'm almost scared to do any upper body stuff because if I strained my shoulder or something...well, may as well take me out back and put me out of my misery. 

Yes, I'm frustrated.  Yes, I'm pissed at myself.  Yes, I had a bit of a pity party today.  Exercise is a huge part of my life and basically my existence, so to not be able to do it really drives me crazy.  Anyways...next steps...rest for a few days, stick to some easy upper body stuff (am not willing to risk any injuries!) and then go from there.  And I guess I gotta look at the silver lining...butt feels awesome.  Always gotta look at the bright side...this too, shall pass.



Tuesday, August 6, 2013

2013 - Week 31 Recap

It sure doesn't take long to lose fitness, I tell ya.  This past Friday I got the green light from my physio to add in some lower body strength training and start lengthening the distances on my runs as things are looking pretty good with the old bum...wooohooo!  So far, it doesn't feel like my cardio has suffered too much but not so with the strength side of things...I did 3 sets of 10 air squats and lunges to start on Sunday and I couldn't believe how sore I've been the past two days!  I guess it's been almost a month since I hurt myself so I'll need some time to build things back up again slowly but surely...I don't want a repeat of this little incident ever again.

This whole broken ass thing really got to thinking though...over the past six months I've definitely asked a lot of my body but really haven't looked after it that well...mea culpa.  I've been bad at stretching and rollering consistently and haven't been getting regular massages to keep things loose and limber, which I think has resulted in a lot of the issues I've been having with my ribs coming out of place more often than usual.  Well, no more...I'm vowing to roller and stretch nightly and make regular appointments with my most amazing and fabulous RMT.  "Niggles no more!" is my new motto.

WORKOUTS:

Sunday: home workout - hundreds
Yes, I like to torture myself...hundred pushups, situps, burpees and mountain climbers.  I admit that I didn't do the jump in the burpees but once the butt is better, I'm there.

Monday:  rest

Tuesday: 3K treadmill run

Wednesday: 3K treadmill run

Thursday: rest

Friday: intervals on stationary bike, chinups

Saturday: 3K run/circuit
Yay!  Ran the full 3K with one walk break...glute felt great!

FOOD:
Bang on...yes!

RECIPES:
Arugula Salad with Penne, Chickpeas and Sundried Tomatoes (this was fantastic, highly recommend!) and the Fiesta Bean Salad from Skinnytaste and Quinoa Salad with Herbs and Sunflower Seeds from Canadian Living.



Tuesday, July 30, 2013

2013 - Week 30 Recap

Recovery week!  I took things pretty easy...a lot easier than what I had planned actually.  I don't know what it was, but this week was fraught with issues.  Mercury retrograde, anyone?

After a fairly successful first attempt at any kind of running in almost a month, my butt was a bit sore but overall not too bad.  Success!  I was pretty sore from Saturday's ladder workout so decided that most of the week would just be some easy running to get my butt and body back into the groove, so no crazy workouts were in the works...I've been having so many niggles that I figured my body deserved a rest after six months of hard workouts.  Most of the week proceeded as planned until I woke up Thursday morning feeling sore and achy with a killer headache and silly me...I moved a bit too quickly out of bed and felt a click in my chest and a sharp pain in my ribs...oh great.  By the time I got to work, I could feel that telltale tightening of my muscles that only happens when a rib comes out of place...again!  Bah.  Luckily after some rollering and stretching, I felt it click back into place...calamity avoided this time.  The killer headache didn't go away though and soon I was sneezing with a runny nose...I proceeded to pound every single thing I could to avoid getting sick as this was our anniversary weekend, and there was no way I wasn't celebrating, ribs and cold be damned!  Whatever I did, it worked because by the time Friday night rolled around, I felt much better...all systems go for anniversary weekend!

Now we all know bad things happen in threes, right?  Sunday I went out in the garden to do some weeding and must have moved just so, and my lower back start to tense up and seize.  It felt OK until I went to bed where it proceeded to ache no matter which way I slept...it bothered me so much that I ended up getting up multiple times in the middle of the night to roller and stretch...sorry Hubs.  It's still bothering me today and making it hard to sit for too long.  Seriously...am ready to trade this body in for a newer, younger and faster model.  Taller would be good too, this five foot nothing business is for the birds.

My constant companions, Ms. Tennis Ball and Mr. Foam Roller.    
And yes, that's a fake palm tree in my office.  What?

Anyways...thank goodness that week is over so onward and upward.  Anniversary weekend was fantastic too...Hubs completely surprised me with a little giftie that got me a little verklempt (OK, a lot verklempt!) at the restaurant...

what a guy...

A wee pineapple for our mutual love of all things Hawaiian...happy tenth, honey...you are the best.

WORKOUTS:

Prepare to be underwhelmed folks...

Sunday: intervals on the bike

Monday: treadmill run
Two and a half kilometres doing 5 and 1's and then some chin-ups! 

Tuesday: rest

Wednesday: treadmill run
Three kilometres doing 5 and 1's.

Thursday: rest

Friday: rest
Just getting over feeling sickly so I took another rest day.

Saturday: 3K run/strength
First run outside in a month!!  I can't tell you how awesome it felt to get out there.  And I'm being such an angel and not pushing things too fast, right?  Right?!

FOOD:
A few excesses here and there but none of it counted because it was my anniversary.  Tee hee.

RECIPES:
Kale pesto from Fifty Shades of Kale.  Awesome recipe, but warning to those with spouses...you'll both want to eat it as the amount of garlic in this would kill Dracula.