Tuesday, February 26, 2013

2013 - Week 8 Recap

Wheeee!  Wheeee!!  Wheeeeeee!!! 

Hubs and I are heading over to the big smoke this weekend to see my sweet little Canuckleheads play the reigning Stanley Cup champion LA Kings as my early birthday gift.  I'm sooooo excited...I love going to Vancouver as it's a foodie haven of the utmost proportions...honestly, I'm not really kidding when I tell people I work out to support my foodie habit!  We've already got where we're going to eat all planned out...Stepho's for an early lunch (we have a lamb craving lately), Chambar for a lovely pre-game dinner, and the Templeton for breakfast the next morning with the fam.  Already salivating.


Sunday - 10K run

Monday - bootcamp a.m./lower strength training p.m.

Tuesday - rest
I know, I know...I jammed on yoga.  Blah.

Wednesday - bootcamp a.m./upper strength training p.m.
Jason kicked our asses as per usual.  We did all out tag team sprinting with burpees, pushups or whatever other punishment he felt like doling out in between, and then dragged us over to a hill and made us do a bunch of sprints.  Is it weird to love and hate someone so much at the same time?!  Ha, kidding...I wuvs you, Jay!  Thank goodness it was all lower body in the morning as we started a new program this week for strength training, so the exercises switched up a bit and...drumroll please....I did pullups for the first time!!

OK, I did them assisted...but whatevs, man!  We were going through some of the exercises and Josh said that we were going try pullups and honestly, I felt my stomach clench in fear.  We were supposed to do one set of lat pulldowns and then do two sets of the pullups, but I tried to sneak back on the lat pulldown machine in the hopes that he wouldn't see me.  No such luck...as I skulked toward the machines, I heard "Ciiiiiiinnndddeeeeeeee....come heh-eerrreeeeeee!"  Foiled, I had no choice but to go over and strap myself into the bands.  Now the other thing that was making me so reluctant to do these is that the pullup bars are in the middle of the freaking gym, so everyone can see what you're doing...for a shy Asian wallflower such as myself, I was absolutely mortified...but I thought I can't jam out now, and I felt like I'd be disappointing Josh if I didn't at least try them.  Amazingly, the bands really helped and I was actually able to do eight reps...it was such a cool thing to feel what muscles you have to engage to hoist my ample bodyweight up and down.  Ha!  Anyways...I think I grinned from ear to ear all the way home and ran screaming into the house to tell Hubs.   Hee hee.

Thursday - rest

Friday - 30 mins stationery bike
Sigh.  I definitely need new shoes or something as after bootcamp on Wednesday, my shins were super duper sore.  They've been feeling sore a lot lately even though I've been cutting back on mileage, so I'm thinking it must be the shoes.  Note to self:  go runner shopping on Saturday.  I decided to give my shins a rest and do some intervals on the bike.

Saturday - rest

Food wasn't bad...a little low on protein, a little high on carbs and low on fruits/veggies.  I must get back on the smoothie train.

A dolmades casserole from Vegetarian Times and a crockpot beef stew from America's Test Kitchen Slow Cook Classics.  Not bad, I've made at least one or two new recipes every week and have found some that I would definitely add to our food rotation which is awesome as I was getting bored of my own cooking.  Ha!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Fauja Singh

I first heard of Fauja Singh a few years ago when I was training for my first marathon back in 2011.  I was still riding the high and savouring that feeling of crossing that finish line after training for a year and a half, one thwarted marathon attempt in 2010 and many kilometres notched in my belt.  The soreness was just starting to abate a week after my race when I was following my bloggie friend Hunnybee at her first full at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon...and all over the news I kept hearing about this guy Fauja Singh, who was 100 years old and was running the marathon at the Toronto race.


I recall thinking man...if I could still be that fit to be able to run a marathon at the age of 100?  Amazing.  Even more amazing is that he didn't run his first marathon until the age of 89.  Now my legs were pretty damn sore after the marathon and I clearly recall how exhausted I was for those last few kilometres, but this guy was more than double my age and he was running marathons and posting some pretty good times considering his age.  Crazy...I remember thinking...I gotta write a blog post about that guy!

So fast forward to today...I was moseying about a sporting goods store with Hubs and was a little bored after watching him examine the curve of ten thousand hockey blades, so started cruising through Twitter on my iPhone and saw this ESPN article about Fauja.  Now for those of you who don't know me well, I have an incredibly huge soft spot for seniors.  Like a massively-huge-Grand-Canyon-sized-soft-spot.  I also find stories about people who find happiness through exercise and healthy living get me right where it counts as well...so can you just imagine what I was like when I was reading this story?  Yep, standing huddled in the corner of Sports Traders with my face practically buried in a massive pile of used hockey pads, doing the ugly cry and hoping no one would see me.  Oh le sigh.

Anyways...this is an absolutely amazing story of an inspiring man who overcame tragedy and found happiness and purpose through running...pretty freaking cool.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Yer Hawt

I was at my hairdresser's the other day and we were gabbing up a storm as usual...she's awesome, funny and in amazing shape, so we always chat about what we're doing for workouts and any new things that we're working on.  She's a pretty hardcore cross fitter, but had just joined up for a gym on a Groupon and was finding the environment pretty intimidating...not so much because she didn't feel like she knew what she was doing, but because there were some "mean girls" there that made her feel like crap and it was an awful, clique-y environment.  Immediately I thought of this commercial, and said I would post it on the blog because...well, back in the day when I belonged to a gym something very similar to this actually happened to me...

OK boys...time to put your eyes back in your heads...ha!  I was totally like the girl sitting on the bench, innocently changing in the locker room and minding my own business and these ladies were walking around buck naked, commenting on their bodies and staring at themselves in the mirror from all angles.  Seriously...I felt like saying must you do that?  Gah!  No wonder people find gyms intimidating...even someone as experienced as my hairdresser.  Anyways, when I first saw this commercial on TV I laughed my head off because it totally reminded me of my little locker room incident.  So glad PISE and Body Dynamics are so not like that!

And a note for guys...it is not common practice for women to brush each other's hair in the locker room (see around 5 seconds in the video).  Hee hee.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Give Me Strength - One Month Later

I think I have a new best friend...

Yes, folks...my new best friend is the foam roller.  It's been a month since I started doing the strength training sessions and I've been sore pretty much every week so Mr. Foamie and I have become quite close.  I totally admit that I'm a 98 pound weakling so expected a lot of soreness but the good news is that as the weeks hum along, I'm a little less sore between sessions so hopefully that means progress.  So the big question is...how am I liking strength training?

I looooooooovvvvvveeeee eeeet!

I'm so glad that M invited me to join the group...our trainers Josh and Riley have been totally awesome and encouraging so I'm not quite as intimidated (OK, let's be honest...chickenshit is a more apt description) as I was at the beginning.  The group I'm working with is small (me likey) and fun (me likey even more) so the time goes by quickly and everyone is super supportive.  I really like learning how to use the equipment and having exercise routines that I can refer to in the future and I'm also liking the PISE facility...it's a pretty busy place, but in a lot of ways I enjoy that because I find I feed off the energy of others and get inspired when I see people working out hard. 

As far as how I'm physically feeling, I'm feeling stronger and am within about five pounds of deadlifting my own bodyweight and am bench pressing just slightly over half my weight...woohooo!  Pretty happy with that considering I haven't done a lot of strength work in the past.  I don't know if I've actually lost any weight because I've made a conscious decision to not weigh myself and have...wait for it...taken pictures.  Yes, people...I took 'before' pictures so I can see what kind of changes happen over the next few months but I will spare people from posting them because...well, you need your eyes to read this blog, right?  Ha!  Anyways, I can tell that clothes are fitting better and not quite as tight as they were at the beginning of January after the holiday season when I ate and drank my way through December...yes, you know you're in deep, deep trouble when your yoga pants are feeling tight.  The one thing that I have really noticed though with the strength work is that I'm constantly ravenous.  I've been making sure to eat enough (and the right foods) as I'm working out a lot now with the strength work on top of running and bootcamp, but there have been more than a few occasions where I've woken up in the middle of the night after a class absolutely crazy hungry, even after having a full, balanced dinner...in fact, I'm so hungry that I actually have to get out of bed and go get something to eat or I can't sleep.  Yes, Hubs loves me a lot to put up with me. Ha!

So there you go.  One month down, two more to go!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

2013 - Week 7 Recap

I so, soooooo sleepy.  I've been able to avoid getting sick so far this season but this week I finally succumbed...I think for the most part I'm better but man, I just can't seem to wake up and get my wits about me.  Yesterday I was out grocery shopping and was loading the bags into my trunk...for some reason I got distracted and then started taking the bags out of the trunk and putting them back into the cart!   Argh.  Besides the sleepiness and overall general malaise, today's been a stellar day...it's been wall to wall hockey and I've been loving it...loving every darn second of it


Sunday:  rest day

Monday:  45 mins treadmill
First family day in BC...woohooo!

Tuesday:  yoga
Uh oh.  The first feelings of sickness starting washing over me late afternoon, but I made myself go to yoga in hopes that all the stretching, relaxing and overall zen-ness (is that a word?) would help ward things off.  I did feel a bit better but by the time I went to bed, I was feeling awful.

Wednesday:  bootcamp a.m./lower body strength  sick
Bah.  I absolutely hate missing workouts, so I was so pissed that I woke up sick and extra mad that I was missing a double day.  Sob.

Thursday:  rest
Happy Valentine's Day! 

Friday:  bootcamp a.m./PISE bootcamp p.m.
Morning bootcamp was the usual, mostly hills, stairs and running.  Because I'd missed the Wednesday strength class, I asked Josh if I could make it up on Friday as M had said that the Friday classes have generally been a circuit that was less cardio, more weights.  Um...not so this class, as we ended up doing a circuit with the airdyne bikes...I swear, these things are the devil.  After class I was exhausted, hair plastered to my head as I was sweating so hard the whole time, and I'm pretty sore today as we did a few exercises we hadn't done before.  I know I'm weird, but I love being sore.

Saturday:  10K run 30 mins treadmill run
We had full intentions on doing a 10K run, but I was busy in the morning and by the time I got home, I was just so tired from Friday's classes, I just couldn't face running so we decided to push the run off until today.  What was I so busy this Saturday morning, you ask?  I went to a grocery store tour that was offered to PISE members...a registered dietician takes a small group around the store and it was seriously awesome!  I consider myself to be fairly savvy about nutrition but there was a lot of stuff that I learned and it was cool because she tailors it to each group's interest.  Normally the group size is six, but there was only three of us which I didn't mind at all, because we could ask a lot of questions and the two ladies I was with were great.  Two thumbs up on this one, I'll be telling other PISE members to take advantage of this.

Soooo...food wasn't bad this week but not awesome either.  I was feeling the need for comfort because I wasn't feeling well so maybe a few things slipped past my lips that I shouldn't have had.  And...it was Valentine's Day and we had to have a few chocolates to celebrate, right?  Right?!

Israeli couscous salad with tuna and lemon from the Barefoot Contessa's "Foolproof" cookbook.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

2013 - Week 6 Recap

Long weekend is finally here and that calls for a double fist pump...woohoo!  It's been an awesome start to the long weekend so far...we went for a great run Saturday morning, I dropped a bomb on some new threads at my favourite store in the wholewideworld lululemon (I swear they have magic mirrors in their change rooms), and then we had a fabulous lunch at a great new place in town called Chorizo & Co.  I've walked past this place a few times as I work close by, so suggested to Hubs we give it a try this weekend...and are we ever glad we did.  I ordered the calamari sandwich and Hubs had their specialty chorizo sandwich...after his first bite, his eyes glazed over and rolled back in his head...I think he may have liked it.  Ha!  Oh...and how could I forget...it was Hockey Day in Canada so it was all hockey, all the time (and my boys won, woohoo!)...so really, the perfect day.


Sunday:  rest day

Monday:  lower body strength
As much as I hated to do it, I skipped Monday morning bootcamp as I wanted to make sure I gave my quad plenty of rest and I'm glad I did.  We upped our weights a bit this session and so far, so good...Mr. Quad has been feeling OK this week, so I think it was all the downhill pounding from last week that was making it sore. 

Tuesday:  rest day
No yoga this week...instead I went to a cooking class by Chef Heidi Fink called "Local Harvest"...I love taking Heidi's classes and this was a hands on session using all locally sourced ingredients.  So much fun!

Wednesday:  30 mins treadmill a.m./upper body strength p.m.
Yes, I suck...I ended staying up late on Tuesday night after my cooking class and just couldn't cart my lazy butt out of bed on Wednesday morning to go to bootcamp...I did, however, manage to drag myself downstairs and pound out a half hour on the dreadmill.  Evening strength class was great...it's been four weeks since the start of these classes, so look for a post coming very soon on how I'm doing.

Thursday:  rest

Friday:  bootcamp
Our regular trainer was off sick so Michele (the owner of Body Dynamics) did our class.  It's been ages since I've seen her so it was cool to have her train us since it was our five year anniversary!  I tweeted to the studio later on that day wishing them a happy anniversary and got some awesome trainer love in return...love the gang at Body Dynamics.

Saturday:  10K run
Last year the running community was hit with a horrible event...Beth over at Shut Up and Run is one of my favourite bloggers, and when I read that her cousin Sherry had gone missing while out on an early run one morning made my blood run cold.  The story ended tragically...Sherry was later found murdered, and in her memory a virtual run was organized this time last year.  This year's run was held Saturday, so I put my bib on and ran for Sherry, thankful that even though her death was awful, I was hopeful that maybe by hearing her story, it may save someone else's life.  I know since her death I've gotten lax about running safety, so having the virtual run every year is a needed and absolutely necessary reminder about running safety, especially for women.  RIP, Sherry...and thank you.

Food was not bad this week...for the most part I ate clean with the except of one day where I just couldn't not keep my hands off sweets...I was a sugar monster which is weird as I'm normally not really into sweet stuff.  I did make sure I ate enough protein and food this week so didn't feel quite as tired as I did last week.

Chicken with Caramelized Onion and Cardamom from "Jerusalem"...so far I'm really loving this cookbook!  It's an absolutely beautiful cookbook to look at it - a heavy, padded cover with gorgeous photos...I'm a fan so far and highly recommend it.

Friday, February 8, 2013

When I Was 27

So there's this cool thing going around on Facebook right now where you like a status that someone has posted about what they were doing at a certain age and what they're doing now, and then they in turn give you an age and you do the same thing.  You know me and my love for these questionnaire type things...so I immediately liked my friend A's status update and she dutifully gave me the age 27...oh wistful sigh...27...

When I was 27
The year was: 1997
I lived:  in Victoria, BC
I was married to: no one
I drove:  a white Honda CRX Si (I still miss my baby)
I feared: being a failure
I worked at:  an accounting firm
I wanted to be: the controller of some big fancy pants company

I am now: 43 (how did this happen?)
I live:  in Victoria, BC
I am married to:  Hubs, 10 years this July
I drive: a black Honda Civic Si (I'm a loyal Honda girl)
I fear:  losing a loved one
I work at: a financing organization for local governments in BC
I want to be:  a happy, healthy and balanced person

Interesting. I had to think pretty far back into the memory banks as 27 was a really long time ago and I ain't no spring chicken anymore.  Back then, my total focus was on my career as I was just going back to school to get my accounting designation and I wanted to move up the ranks, I wanted to be the boss, I thought it was all glamorous...well as glamorous as being an accountant can be...ha!  Anyways, this was a case of "be careful what you wish for", because as I started achieving and attaining those things, the unhappier I became and the more I realized the truly important things in life...family, friends and health.  My career is still important to me, but it's one slice and not the whole pizza.  Seriously, I really am all about the food, aren't I?

TGIF, guys!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Five Long Years

Damn time flies, doesn’t it?  The month of January has completely flown by – wasn’t it just yesterday that we were all wishing each other Merry Christmas?  Anyways, the other day we were cleaning the house and I happened upon a food and exercise journal from when I signed up for my very first bootcamp.  D and I had reconnected back then through our 20 year reunion - another perfect example of how quickly time flies - and she’d been going for a few years already to a bootcamp through Body Dynamics and was looking amazing.  Tired of being a plump and very out of shape little Asian girl, I contacted Michele, the owner, for a consultation which included getting weighed (gah!) and measured (double gah!!)  and was given a journal to track my workouts and food.  Anyways, when I found that journal in all my stuff just recently, I saw that I'd written “February 2008” on the cover and that's when it hit me...that was five years ago...I couldn't believe it as it felt like a long time ago, but at the same time went by in a flash.   I still remember that first class – it was snowing, and we were running around doing lines and all sorts of crazy things and I recall thinking “Are these people effing nuts?  It's 5:30 freaking a.m. in the morning...am I effing nuts?!”  I also clearly remember being so, so, SO incredibly sore the next few days that I could barely walk, and my coworkers were all teasing me relentlessly because I was shuffling around like an old man around the office.  My friends would call me from another floor and then watch as I hobbled through the office and up the stairs, laughing hysterically at me as I limped along.  Little minxes...hah! It was hard, but I kept going back and it's a bit unreal that it's been five years. 

The cool thing is that one little step triggered the chain of some life changing things over the past five years, all for the positive – I left a horrendously stressful job that was making me absolutely miserable, I fell in love with running and finished a marathon in 2011 (this is the same girl who hated to run in high school and would always come in dead last) and I started focussing on healthy eating, which was a huge deal since I was the unabashed Queen of the Red Bull to get me through the day. 

Evidence!  The last can of Red Bull I bought five years ago, still in my drawer at work.  But at least it's the sugar free one!

Anyways, making that choice to start exercising five years ago was one of the best (and smartest) things I've ever done...happy fifth anniversary to me!  And to mark this momentous occasion, I thought we could celebrate with a little video from back in the day.  Seriously though...did we really look like that in the 80s?

Saturday, February 2, 2013

2013 - Week 5 Recap

I am dying for next weekend to arrive...dying.  It'll be the first weekend in over two months where I have no commitments and a long weekend to boot!  I have a huge list of things I want to get done, but the very first thing on the to-do list - sleep in.  Just even typing those words made me all excited.


Sunday - rest
Well, it was a kinda rest day.  My new SIL was over from Van for the weekend, and she was itching to go for a walk so off we went early Sunday morning.  It was great because we had a chance to spend some time alone together and I like her...really, really like her a lot, and so glad she and my BIL found each other.  Ahhhh, young love.

Monday - bootcamp a.m./lower body strength training p.m.
Increasing deadlift weight + hills at bootcamp = one sore little Asian.

Tuesday - yoga

Wednesday - bootcamp a.m./upper body strength training p.m.
Jason was absolutely on fire Wednesday morning...after we did a warmup that would make most people curl up into the fetal position, we did more backwards and forward hills and then he whipped out a deck of cards (he obviously watched Biggest Loser last week!) and made us do pushups, burpees, situps/gutbusters and tricep dips for 20 minutes straight, no stopping.  When 6:30am rolled around, I could have almost cried with relief.  Luckily, we didn't end up doing a lot of pushups, and when we did I made sure I did them from my knees so my arms wouldn't get as tired as they were last week.  It ended up being a good plan because I was able to up my weights a bit this week.  Pretty soon I'll be flipping cars with my bare hands, right?

Huh.  Now that I think about it, we never saw the cards and there seemed to be an inordinate amount of burpees being doled out.  Hmmm....

Thursday - rest

Friday - bootcamp
Hills, stairs and then a 2K run...lather, rinse, repeat.

Saturday - 10K run 3K run, 30 mins stationery bike
Sob.  Not sure what's up, but my right quad isn't all that happy with me.  We did a lot of hills and stairs this week in bootcamp (all three classes this week, now that I think of it), and all the downhill pounding has wreaked havoc on poor Mr. Quad.  It was weird though because it didn't bother me at all this week as it was mostly my glutes that were sore from the strength work on Monday...but I woke up this morning and could feel a weird ache in my thigh that wasn't there previously.  Anyways, I could feel it niggle me when I was running so decided to cut the run short and use the stationery bike instead.  I'm doing RICE on it right now and hoping it gets better quick.  Le sigh.

Food was good this week.  I did sneak in a few mini-cornmeal muffins that my coworker J brought in to work, but I promised that if I ate well overall this week and got in all my workouts, I could reward myself with a big, fat juicy burger and fries from Bin 4 Burger Lounge on Saturday.  I seriously must have been a dog in a past life because I am so food motivated!

Pasta with white beans and garlic rosemary oil from my fave food blog, Smitten Kitchen.  Seriously, does that not look amazing?  And a recipe for roast chicken with jerusalem artichokes and lemon from the cookbook "Jerusalem"...I'd never tried jerusalem artichokes before so thought why not give it a whirl.