Wednesday, January 30, 2013

They Call Me Bruce

My BFF sent this to me the other day and I just had to share it.  Bruce Lee was one of the finest examples of physical fitness ever...seriously, this guy was ripped and so strong...and if you ever see any old footage of him, he was a pretty cool cat as well.  Anyways, this blurb is from the book "The Art of Expressing the Human Body" by John Little, and was told to Little by a student of Bruce's about his refusal to ever let anyone underestimate their own potential:
“Bruce had me up to three miles a day, really at a good pace. We’d run the three miles in twenty-one or twenty-two minutes. Just under eight minutes a mile [Note: when running on his own in 1968, Lee would get his time down to six-and-a half minutes per mile]. So this morning he said to me “We’re going to go five.” I said, “Bruce, I can’t go five. I’m a helluva lot older than you are, and I can’t do five.” He said, “When we get to three, we’ll shift gears and it’s only two more and you’ll do it.” I said “Okay, hell, I’ll go for it.” So we get to three, we go into the fourth mile and I’m okay for three or four minutes, and then I really begin to give out. I’m tired, my heart’s pounding, I can’t go any more and so I say to him, “Bruce if I run any more,” –and we’re still running-”if I run any more I’m liable to have a heart attack and die.” He said, “Then die.” It made me so mad that I went the full five miles. Afterward I went to the shower and then I wanted to talk to him about it. I said, you know, “Why did you say that?” He said, “Because you might as well be dead. Seriously, if you always put limits on what you can do, physical or anything else, it’ll spread over into the rest of your life. It’ll spread into your work, into your morality, into your entire being. There are no limits. There are plateaus, but you must not stay there, you must go beyond them. If it kills you, it kills you. A man must constantly exceed his level.”

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Crazy Strong

So my strength training partner in crime M tagged me in this video today on Facebook...and pretty much the whole time I was watching this, my mouth was hanging wiiiiide open.  There is some supercrazyawesomeamazing strength going on here...this dude's core is unreal!  What shocks me too is that the people in the gym aren't really paying any attention to him, like it's no big deal.  "Oh yeah, that guy?  Meh.  He's pretty strong and all but I can do pushups on just my pinkies."

Prepare to be impressed, folks. 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

2013 - Week 4 Recap

I have the best friends and I'm so grateful.  Earlier in the week my friend V sent me an email that was one of those chain ones, but it was pretty cool.  Basically in a nutshell it was an appreciation of your friends and how they fill different parts of your life but they're all equally important.  The more I thought about this, the more I realized it was of my oldest friends (as in we met in the sixth grade!) D and I are bootcamp buddies, and I always appreciate how she keeps me on track when it comes to our workouts.   This week we were chatting about our workout schedules and we committed to each other that we'd do everything that we had scheduled this past week...and we did!  Having a workout partner is so great because it keeps you accountable to someone...every night before bootcamp we text each other to check in that we're going, and it helps me to get out of bed at 5am when it's sideways raining or freezing cold out because I know she's waiting there for me.  We've already set the same goal for next week - bring it on!


Sunday: rest day
Rest day...and I definitely needed it.  It was a busy weekend with my BFF R coming to town and us testing many amazing whiskies at the Victoria Whisky Festival on Saturday night.  Whisky, men in kilts and haggis tarts...what's not to love?!  Ha!  We've been going to this festival for the past five years, and this year we made a pact that we would get past five tables without getting hammered and actually remember some of the whiskies we liked.  It was a bit painful as we had to pour out some whiskies (yes, I poured out perfectly good whisky!!) but I did find a few new ones that I really liked and are on the "to buy" list.

Monday:  bootcamp a.m./PISE lower body strength training p.m.
First double day of the week!  Morning bootcamp was hundreds interspersed with running...luckily most of the exercises we did for the hundreds were upper body, so my legs were relatively fresh for the evening strength class.   This week we actually used weights for the exercises, and again I could tell I was going to be pretty sore.  Thankfully my lower body is relatively strong due to all the bootcamp classes and running so it wasn't as bad as it could have been...but not gonna lie, it was still pretty bad.  The one new thing that we did this week was box these things strike almost as much fear in my heart as chin ups or the dreaded flexed arm hang because I'm always scared that I'm going to trip and smash all my teeth out or something and...well, I kinda like my teeth.  I was pretty apprehensive but Josh was so nice and encouraging that I got off the ledge and did it.  I didn't jump terribly high, but whatevs man.  I did it.

Tuesday:  yoga
Yay!  First yoga session of the year...and it was exactly what was needed to ease some of the soreness in my legs from the night before.  I truly love's so relaxing, and at one point we were lying down on the bolsters and I could have just gone to sleep right then and there.

Wednesday:  bootcamp a.m./PISE upper body strength training p.m.
Second double day of the week!  Morning bootcamp was brutally hard...Jason is the toughest instructor I've ever had and he was in fine form that morning.  After our warm up he took us to a nearby hill and made us sprint up ten times as fast as we could, and then we had to run up that mofo hill backwards ten times.  My legs were already screaming from Monday's class so it was pretty much torture.  As if that wasn't bad enough, we then had to go back and do a billion pushups, tricep dips, split squats and sit ups.  OK, maybe not a billion, but it sure felt like it...and I was silly and wasn't really thinking that I should save something in my arms for later...oh le sigh.  Live and learn.

Thursday: rest

Friday: 30 mins HIIT stationery bike
OK I admit....I was supposed to do another bootcamp class but D wasn't going so I decided to work out at home.  What?  I still worked out, right?

Saturday: 10K run
Last workout for the week!  Hubs and I headed out in the morning and overall, the run was pretty good...I didn't feel overly tired this week but it was probably the carrot at the end of the stick that was keeping us going.  It was Hubs' birthday this week so we were heading out for an afternoon movie (Zero Dark Thirty - fantastic movie...I was on the edge of my seat the whole time) and dinner at Vis a Vis, a local wine bar that has small plates and charcuterie (deelish - the gnocchi is to die for!). 

This week I did a lunch hour cooking class on Thai food with my coworker J, so I'm going to make the pad thai and a red thai chicken curry that we did in class as well as a chicken stew with mashed garlic cloves.  Hubs is seriously loving this new year's resolution.  Ha! 

Food was bang on this week with the exception of was Hubs' birthday, but we weren't celebrating until Saturday but we couldn't not do a little something, right?  So we had cupcakes and chocolate cake that night.  I say that on your birthday, calories don't I right?  Ha!  Anyways, other than that food was good this week and I made sure to get lots of protein and eat enough to keep my energy up through all the workouts.

That's it, that's all. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


I know this blog is supposed to be about running and food, but alls I gots to say is...go Zack "Cassius Clay" Kassian!  First win of the season, thank gahd.

I like this kid.  I like him a lot.  Big, mean, tough and soft hands.  And that missing front tooth just adds to his boyish charm.  What more could a Canuck fan ask for?

OK, hockey commentary over...back to our regularly scheduled programming.  Heh.

Monday, January 21, 2013

I Love This

For all those people who call me crazy for working out at 5:30 in the morning, insane because of my love of exercise, and scoff derisively at my penchant for eating healthy, here's some food for thought:

Sunday, January 20, 2013

2013 - Week 3 Recap

Hurray!  Hockey is finally back...I've been waiting for this moment for weeks.  I'm a wee bit of a hockey fanatic and I love my little Canuckleheads.  Hubs and I are going to see them play the LA Kings in Vancouver at the beginning of and green, all the way baby...all the way.

Oooh...and I apologize in advance for all this exercise vomit.  I know it's not the most scintillating, but it really helps me stay on track with my goals for the year...49 more weeks to go...hah!


Sunday - 60 mins treadmill run
It was all we could do to fit this workout in, we were so tired...Hubs and I were in Vancouver, so we decided to use gym at the hotel and run on the treadmills.  I way prefer to run outside, but we didn't want to bring a whole ton of running gear with us so treadmills it was.  I had to stop and start a lot as my right knee has been bugging me a bit lately and I'm getting a bit of that pesky foot pain that bothered me a few years ago when I had to stop my marathon training.  Must stretch more...starting up yoga this week so that'll be good for that.

Monday - bootcamp a.m./lower body strength training p.m.
First double day in a long time!  Bootcamp in the morning, and my first strength training class at PISE.  We didn't work with a lot of weight for this class so I wasn't too sore, which was good.

Tuesday - PISE tabata
Last tabata class, sob!  I really like this style of training...short but intense, and a nice change from the regular bootcamps.  Cutie pie trainer was a wee bit cranky though or something because he was riding me like a rented pony during class...OK, I know I may be a bit biased but I always push myself in class and we all have days where we're not feeling quite as energetic, right?  Well I was on the aerodyne bike and was feeling really tired so slowed cycling a second or two before the interval was up...and I got chastised for stopping too soon.  Hmph.  Good thing he's so cute because I sure as heck felt like throwing my water bottle at his head.  Heh.

Wednesday - upper body strength training
Hurray!  Second strength training class and it was all upper body work...bench press, shoulder was awesome!  Like I've mentioned before, I'm fairly weak in my upper body so wasn't working with a whole lot of weight but pretty much as soon as I finished the workout I could feel that I was going to be sore...and I sooooo was.

Thursday - rest

Friday - rest
Yesyesyes...two rest days in a row! There are some horrible colds and flus going around BC right now, and my work has not been least half the office has been sick. Hubs and I were feeling pretty crappy on Wednesday and Thursday, so a couple of rest days were extremely welcome.

Saturday - 6K run
Sigh.  I so didn't feel like running and almost...almost...jammed out.  Normally we do 10K on the weekend, so I made a deal with myself that I still had to run, but we could cut it short and only do 6K.  It took everything I had to finish this run...I was still feeling run down and so tired from being so busy these past few months that I actually walked on a 6K run.  Gah.  It also didn't help that my upper body was so sore from Wednesday's strength workout that all the bouncing up and down while running was super painful.  Ha! 

Lots of new recipes this week!  My BFF is vegan and introduced me to this great vegan cookbook called "Chloe's Kitchen".  I liked the style of this when I first picked it up as the recipes are easy and appealing, so would be a great introductory cookbook for someone who is wants to start eating less meat.  I tried the penne a la vodka, which was good - my first time using "cashew cream" (basically raw cashews blended with water) instead of regular cream, and it's a surprisingly good substitute.  It doesn't have quite the creaminess on the tongue as half and half or something similar would have, but it does smooth out the tartness in the tomato sauce a bit.  I also tried coconut mashed yams with currants (this would be a great Thanksgiving dish) but the piece de resistance was the miso eggplant.  Oh my god, this was delish!  I had to stop myself from hoovering it all up.  Sweet and salty at the same good.

FOOD: I didn't juice at all this past week...dang.  I did eat clean all week however and starting this week off with a bang...already had a veggie/fruit smoothie and been drinking lots of water.  Also must remember to take L-glutamine and a protein shake right after the strength classes this week to help build muscle.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

2013 - Week 2 Recap

Oopsie...a little late this week, but better late than never!  I am seriously dragging my butt this week...we went to Vancouver this week for a Chinese wedding banquet for my BIL, and while it was fun and I had a great time (read:  I shopped til I dropped at Metrotown), I'm burnt out.  December was an incredibly busy month as always, and so far it's been gogogo in January.  First weekend I'll get to fully relax will be Feb 2nd...and it can't come soon enough.

Oh...and had to mention this...started watching the Biggest Loser and am so excited to see Jillian back!  I know some people don't love her style, but I am all for the tough love...nothing drives me crazier than listening to people complain about their weight or their aches and pains, but are unwilling to do something about it or offer up excuse upon excuse as to why they can't do this or can't do that.  Love Jillian.


Sunday:   treadmill 30 mins, Spartacus 20 mins, 10 mins abs

Monday:  bootcamp

Tuesday:  PISE tabata class arms were just about recovered from last week's tabata class!  My arms were so freaking sore, I joked that Hubs was going to have to feed me.  Last week we did this exercise which was kinda like a modified chin up, where you had to hang from a bar horizontally and pull yourself up.  I fully admit I have chicken arms with virtually no muscle on them, so this was tough and I had crazy DOMS.  It was seriously awesome, I love feeling sore because I know my body is only getting stronger!

Wednesday:  bootcamp

Friday:  bootcamp

Saturday:  rest day
Thank freaking god, a rest day. I truly did nothing but exercised my shopping muscle.  Ha!


Shakshuka from "Jerusalem" by Yotam Ottolenghi...a very easy to make and healthy dish of eggs poached in a tomato sauce.  I've tried a different recipe before and it was OK, but this one was much better as I used fresh tomatoes and cooked it down into a sauce.  Yum...a hit with Hubs too.


Overall my eating was pretty darn good this week!  I still subscribe to the cheat day method, so Saturday was our day and we made full use of it....we had breakfast at this amazing place called Cafe Medina, which is sister restaurant to Chambar, a very popular and well known restaurant in Vancouver.  I had an amazing dish which was a breakfast take on cassoulet...eggs on top of a tomato bean mixture with chorizo sausage and pork belly.  Yup, when I do do cheat day, I go all the way.  Anyways, my food was pretty clean this week but I didn't juice as much as I wanted to...gonna fix that tomorrow and make sure I get some smoothies in this week.

Monday, January 14, 2013

I'm Gonna Pump You Up

Wahooo!  First strength training class, done like dinner!  So how was it?  Well, I gotta admit..when I first walked in, I was pretty intimidated.  Like I've said before, I was a terrible athletic specimen growing up, so anytime that I have to exercise or do anything physical where people are around and might see me...well, I get a wee bit nervous.  Flashes of past athletic fails always run through my mind when I start something new.  And at PISE, there's no messing around...there's a lot of awfully fit people around, and lots of guys with muscles ripping all over the place...I've always found the gym environment intimidating, and at first, this was no different.  After we started getting into the exercises, I didn't really notice any of the other people and I realized...if I'm not really paying any attention to them, I'm sure they're not paying any attention to me!  I know it's just going to be a matter of time when I'm as comfy at the gym as I am at bootcamp, running clinics or yoga.  Everyone has to start somewhere, right?

The class is small which is great...there's only five of us, and our trainer, Josh, seems like he's going to be awesome. He watched us closely and went through a lot of detail on our exercises, and after a brief warm up, he worked through several exercises and really critiqued us on our form.  We didn't use a lot of weight,  so we were really able to make sure our body positioning was perfect and we didn't start getting sloppy because we were tired.  I'm absolutely going to be patient too...I haven't done a lot of weights in the past, so want to let my body get accustomed to things so I don't get injured.  I'm always cautious since I've had a fair share of neck/back issues in the past but I'm confident that working with Josh, I'll build muscle which will hopefully strengthen my upper body and prevent injuries!  Josh also gave us a book where we can keep track of our exercises so we can chart our progress...the schedule sounds like we're going to be doing lower body on Mondays, upper on Wednesdays and a circuit on Fridays (I'm only doing Mondays and Wednesdays). 

I'm soooooo excited to see where the next few months leads me...I love trying something new.  Sooo excited.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

2013 - Week 1 Recap

What a brutal week!  It's been a emotional rollercoaster that's just been exhausting...on New Year's Day, I watched my BIL get married to the girl of his dreams (she's an absolute doll - love her!)...I have to say, they are perfectly matched and they absolutely glowed with happiness the entire day.  There was a lot of worrying and fretting as they were getting married on the beach and of course, we were concerned about the weather...but apparently my new SIL has horseshoes, because just as the ceremony was about to start the sun came out!  The ceremony was beautiful and the reception was lovely - many emotional speeches filled with love for the couple...this would be the first of many ugly cries this week!

Fast forward to this weekend...E has been one of my closest friends since I was 15, and her MIL passed away from lung cancer just after Christmas.  Then we got the news that a close family friend of Hubs' passed away from thyroid cancer, and both celebrations of life were this weekend.  The family friend's celebration was on Saturday and was amazing - he was a professor at Royal Roads University here in Victoria, and it was amazing to see people from all walks of life come to pay their respects.  I didn't know the fellow who had passed very well at all, but still found myself getting awfully emotional, particularly when his wife said that he said he had nothing else on his bucket list to do.  As sad as it was for him to pass at a fairly young age, I found myself uplifted that this person led such a full life and had no regrets!  Now for today's service, I knew E's MIL fairly well as I would see her at all E's kid's birthdays, so steeled myself for a tough day today and it was.  I cried practically from the moment I sat down...the speeches were incredibly emotional and it broke my heart to see the kids so upset to lose their of the granddaughters got up and led everyone in a few choruses of Amazing that would warm even Ebeneezer Scrooge's heart!  I've probably seen more of my family and friends than I have for years, but its always sad that it takes a wedding or funeral for that to happen.  Sigh.

Anyways, enough on that!  I've vowed to write more this year because it's always so interesting to look back on past posts, so this year I'm going to do a weekly recap of my workouts, new recipes I've tried out, and any progress towards my 2013 goals.  Last year's goals were a bit of a fail, so as always, a little bit of accountability always helps. 


Sunday:  run 6K

Monday:  treadmill run, 45 mins

Tuesday:  rest

Wednesday:  rest
The last of our houseguests left this day, so Hubs and I cleaned for over three hours...we scrubbed this house from top to dust bunny was left unturned.  This counts as exercise, right?  Ha!

Thursday:  PISE HIIT class
Did someone tie a piano to me or something?!  Holy crap was I ever winded this class.  It was likely one of the toughest classes I've had at PISE...I was winded and seriously felt like I was sandbagged the whole time - I'm sure some of the holiday excesses were finally catching up with me.  Kinda not sure now if I'm gonna regret that whole "one chinup" gig!

Friday:  25 min treadmill

Saturday:  30 mins bike, 15 mins treadmill, 10 mins abs
Two minute plank...boooyah!  Goal...three minutes. 


Two new ones this week from "Around the Greek Table" by the Three Sisters...Lemon Chicken and Potatoes (delish) and Greek style roast leg of lamb (also delish). 

I didn't do toooo badly...a few things slipped past my lips that weren't the greatest, but I did get some smoothies in me and overall my food was not bad this week...not bad, but not great.  It was actually pretty easy to say no to stuff because I found myself craving good food.  Now that all the holiday celebrations and dinners are all out of the way, it'll be much easier to  stay on the straight and narrow.