Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Challenge

This past Friday, I weighed in.  206.4, down 1.2 pounds.  Phew!!  The week started off rough and I went up a little at first but thankfully it came down.  I've decided that as much as I'd like to lose weight fast, it just doesn't happen that way and even I lose a pound a week or even less, I will just be happy with it going down.  Any amount.  Haha!  I say that now but I know in the future there will be a week or weeks where I work really hard and don't think that I got the loss I deserved.

I was supposed to run 2 miles/3 km on Friday but I didn't.  It was so terribly cold and my transfer bus didn't show up so I waited for a bus in -35C weather for 52 minutes.  I was cold to the bone.  And home 45 minutes later than normal.  Once I got home, I put on my pj's and turned on my fireplace, and cranked up the heat and made veggie pizza.  It was perfect.  I really didn't want to get into the habit of skipping runs so I intend to reschedule them to still get them in.  The following morning was spin class so I got there early and did the 2 miles first before class.  Spin class as usual was fantastic and a tough workout.

That afternoon, I went shopping around with a friend.  Hit the usual places, Bulk Barn, Costco, the mall.  It was at Costco where I gave myself a little challenge, hehe.  I bought the six-pack of peppers.  It was cheap, I couldn't resist!  I keep paying almost as much for three from the grocery store but I also have a thing this year where I'm really trying very hard not to throw out food and so far, I haven't.  So this week is the 6 pepper challenge :)  We also went to a store called Sport Mart.  It's closing so the entire store was 40% off and their prices were reasonable to begin with.  I got some New Balance runners for $40.  I'm going to use them for workout classes.  I know I shouldn't be using my running runners for classes like that.  Breaks them down faster and hurts the side walls I think.  I also got a Gaiam yoga mat for $10.  I needed one for home because I leave my original one at work so I'm not carting it back & forth on the bus.  My friend got a couple of amazing deals.  She got awesome Bladerunner ice skates and great winter boots and some gloves for a little over $100.  Those skates alone originally were almost $90 I think.  I love a deal!!  Speaking of deals, I got my shipping notice for both my compression socks and my MEC order.  So excited!

My Sunday run was just okay.  I had a little war happening in my head about how slow I am and how I don't think I'll ever be able to do this.  ARGH!  I had the head wars!!  Finished my 2.5 miles though.  I've been doing a little reading about heart-rate training.  And about how you can be working too hard to really improve and it's beneficial to train in your ideal heart-rate zone and as you do this, you naturally become faster while maintaining that same heart rate.  Shut Up & Run had a good post on it a while back and I have a heart rate monitor so that's something I'm going to figure out this week.

After my run, my neighbour and I made brunch.  Eggs Benedict.  I made mine a a veggie benedict with goat cheese, spinach and tomatoes.  It was so so so delicious.  Just as good as any restaurant I've had eggs benny at.  Now I'm just relaxing and watching season 3 of Felicity on netflix.  Man, I loved that show a million years ago!!

I leave you with my niece's passport picture.  I laughed and laughed and laughed.  She looks so suspicious of the photographer.  

Oh and finally finally finally, our deep freeze cold spell has broken.  What a difference a couple of days make.  

Have a good week everyone!!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Good Food & A Deal

My good friend Steph swears by compression socks for recovery after running.  A few days ago, I decided I was going to buy a pair but when shopping around online and seeing that they were $50 - $70, I resisted.  I decided that I would buy a pair as a reward for getting to Onederland or something.  And then, I saw last night on a twitter that Pro Compression had a Fitfluential coupon code (code=FIT2013) for 40% off and free shipping on their regular-priced marathon socks.  Whoop!  I jumped out of bed to get on my computer.   It worked for Canada so that's awesome.  And I splurged and bought two pairs.  The bright pink and the black.  Yay!!  Not sure how long the coupon code works so if you're on the fence, go for it.  So excited!!!

I've been quite the internet shopper the last couple days.  Just the other day, I ordered a sports bra, some running gloves, one of those personal quick dry towels, and a travel shower kit from MEC.  Which reminds me, I may have to ask a favour of one of you awesome blog followers of the USA.  Moving Comfort (my fave sports bra ever) has something against shipping to Canada.  Jerks.  As soon as I get this one in the mail (only colour available to Canada), I will make sure the size is right and then I will be hitting someone up to order a different colour and ship it to me.  I will prepay!!

I just realized something and I am super proud of myself for it.  Every work day this year I have left the house with my homemade coffee, green smoothie, and lunch.  This might be some sort of record.  I'm sure of it.  I've had $40 in my wallet for a week.  This never happens.

My lunch is something that my sister made for her work lunch every day when I was in BC at Christmas.  If you like the ingredients, do this.  I've had it every day and I'm not even close to sick of it.  Love love love.  It's half a cup of cooked quinoa, then sweet peppers, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, cilantro (if you like), bit of feta cheese, avocado if you have it (mostly I don't).  It's delicious.  Doesn't need dressing at all.  With the feta, cilantro, and moisture from the tomatoes and cukes, it's perfect.  I make a small pot of quinoa twice a week and it ends up being enough for my lunches and I add a little to soups for supper here & there too.
I tried a couple new recipes from the Happy Herbivore cookbook.  This one is called Hippie Loaf.  She actually has the recipe on her website here.  It was really tasty but a little bit mushy inside after an hour. When I make it again, I think I will bake it in a muffin tin instead of a loaf pan or make it in two loaf pans so it's not as thick.  I also used her recipe for Brown Gravy and paired it with mashed potatoes and maple carrots, all plant-based.  

The flavour of the Hippie Loaf was so good and I also thought that it would make a good bean burger. And since it was a bit mushy, I actually cut off a chunk and shaped it into a patty and fried it both sides and made this amazing burger.  It was so so so good.  I wanted to make another one right away just to taste it.  I didn't though.  
My planned workouts have been going well.  With the exception of spin class.  My friend Nicole and I had tentative plans to try out the 6:45 AM class on Monday.  On Sunday night, the forecast for Monday morning was -44C.  Um.  No.  No, no, and hell no.  I messaged her that it was not likely at all that I show up for that class and she replied with "thank God!!" so I'm glad I wasn't ruining anything for her. It's just not worth it at that point.  However, after work that day, I had scheduled a 3 km run, which I did!
Tuesday, I did lunch time yoga.  Awesome.  This is only my second yoga class and she was giving basic instruction and then giving the more advanced move.  I was gaining confidence so at one point, my back was on the floor and and my butt was resting on a yoga block and both my legs were straight up in the air!  She walked around the class correcting some people and she walked over to me, I was cringing and she just leaned over and whispered "you're doing great!"  If I could have clapped, I would have.  On Wednesday, we had fusion at lunch and again, loved it.  This is definitely one of my favourite classes.   Amazing stretches and it always amazes me that working with a resistance band can actually make your muscles sore.  Also on Wednesday, my scheduled run was 3 km.  As I walked home from the bus, before I even went inside, I started my car to warm up.  Ran in, changed, got my stuff together and left.  Get it done!!
And now it's Thursday.  My plan was to do spin tonight.  I stopped by the Y and reserved my bike on my way to work.  Then, it warmed up ever so slightly outside (like -25C) which is now warm enough to snow and snow it did.  The road were crap and my windshield was frosted inside and out.  After I spend 15 minutes clearing windows and then 10 minutes slide-driving down the street, I decided to cancel my reservation because I was not coming back out in it.  I think one of the reasons that I've never been in a car accident (while I was driving) is because I just don't go out in these conditions unless absolutely necessary.  
my windshield from inside
Tomorrow, I have boot camp at lunch and a 3 km run after work.  It's happening!  I'm also weighing myself in the morning for my week check-in.  Last week's loss was so great and then the first two days of week two the scale went up!  I was so frustrated.  It did come down that same amount again but I would really like to see at least a one pound loss this week.  I've worked hard and I've counted everything I've eaten and haven't gone over once!!


First try on the potty!!!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

So It Begins

First of all, my first weigh-in...DOWN 7.2 POUNDS.  7.2 pounds!!!  (214.8 to 207.6)  Hello, water retention! Geez, I love week one.  I felt like I was on Biggest Loser.  I was weighing every day and watching the number drop and even moving the scale around to make sure the number didn't change.  Hopefully, this won't be the dreaded week 2!

You know, all this running and all these races seem like a really great idea BEFORE I've even done a run.  I can always picture myself running and picture it going really well.  When it comes right down to actually running, I procrastinate.  I think of every reason why it's totally okay to 'start tomorrow'.  I was supposed to start this past Wednesday.  I didn't.  I told myself Thursday.  I didn't.  Then I told myself Friday afternoon.  I had the day off and was meeting my friend Tracie for breakfast.  Then I had grocery shopping to do and I needed some more workout clothes.  Had an awesome breakfast and did all my errands and then I got home and really didn't want to go.  By 8:45 PM, the war with myself was in full battle.  Two of the people I had encouraged to register for events in June had both done their first run this week and I still hadn't done it.  By 9, I was so pissed off at myself, I threw on my stuff and drove to the Y.  I did my scheduled 3 km and I actually managed to run for 21:40 straight.  I walked the first three minutes and started running.  I figured I would just run till I needed a walk break since I didn't know how long I could go.  I kept looking to the next level.  First it was five minute, then I was so close to one mile, then I was so close to ten minutes, then 15, then 2 miles and then THE END!
I was so pumped.  I'm always so proud of myself for actually working out.  I always feel so good after, I wish I could remember how good I feel the next time I don't want to do it.  Oh, and incidentally, I thought I was going to pass out when I hit stop at 2 miles and I took a picture of myself because I know that my face turns beet red.  This might be the worst picture I've ever taken and the worst picture that I've ever posted.  Baha!!  I should have smiled, it would have helped but I didn't have the energy to turn the sides of my mouth up. This is my gasping for air look. 
The following morning (Sat, about 10 hours later), I was back at the Y for my first spin class since November.  It was great to be back and oh man, does my ass hurt.  I'm so sad my butt doesn't remember the seat and it has to learn all over again.  Ouch, ouch, oh sh*t, ouch.  
After spin class, I ventured on over into Barbell Blast class.  Another first since November. If my good friend Nicole hadn't been there with me, I probably would have crawled home after spin class.   My whole body felt completely worked out and this morning, my legs and butt were killing me.  On my super colourful training calendar, I was staring at 4 km.  But oh my legs.  4 km.  I had myself convinced that today would be a rest day.  Then I had a green smoothie and a cup of coffee and watched a bit of TV.  Got mad at myself and threw my stuff on and went to the Y.  I didn't run 20 minutes straight or anything, I took three walk breaks varying in length from 1 to 2 minutes but did get in my scheduled 4 km.
I am loving vegetables these days which probably makes it much easier to stay on track. This is what I came home with from the grocery store.  I can't even believe that these are my main groceries.
And hopefully, I manage to eat all these before they turn on me!  That's the goal.  I bought for a bunch of recipes from Happy Herbivore.  Some familiar recipes like African Kale & Yam soup, Black Bean burgers, and Smoky Black Bean wraps, and a few new ones like Hippie Loaf (veggie meatloaf) and BBQ chop wrap.  

I was watching the Engine 2 Diet documentary (sort of a spin off of Forks Over Knives) and he made a grilled panini sandwich with hummus, sauteed mushrooms, cilantro, spinach, red peppers & avocado.  I had all the stuff to make it so I paused and made the hummus and then went to work.  I don't have a sandwich press or panini maker so I used my George Foreman grill and put a 5 lb weight on the lid for the "press" part.  In the documentary, they had used one of those grill frying pans and a weight as well.  Delicious!  Definitely doing this to so many sandwiches in the future.
My planned running days are Mon, Wed, Fri, and long run Sunday.  On deck for this week, running and everything else:
Monday -- run 3 km, spin (6:45am, never done this one before, I'm not entirely convinced I will but maybe.
Tuesday -- yoga at lunch, and bowling party in the evening (it's active :)
Wednesday -- core & more at lunch, run 3 km.
Thursday -- spin
Friday -- boot camp at lunch, run 3 km
Saturday -- spin, barbell blast
Sunday -- run 4 km

I'd really like to get some more yoga in there.  I found that the beginner yoga class, as well as, some of the stretches in core & more (pilates type fusion class) really helped my tight hamstrings.  I think I'll be checking some youtube videos!

Oh and last but certainly not least, this is my friend Tracie.  She registered for the 5 km in June and it will be her first race!  She went for her first run this week and she actually went outside.  It's so effing cold here right now that I decided to give myself the first two weeks inside to get my running legs back and then go outside no matter how cold it is.  She sent me this picture when she was done. I told her it was making the blog and she didn't beg me not to, so here it is :)
And to give you an idea of how cold it's been for a couple weeks now, here is today.  For cross-border reference, -34C is -29F.  GULP.
Hope all is well with all of you!  It's good to be back to regular blogging and regular reading!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Run the Hell Out of It

It's funny because this year I started saying that I wasn't going to make resolutions.  I'm pretty sure I told people that and typed that out and so on.  Yet, I am TOTALLY a resolution person.  As soon as I start thinking stuff like "this year I want to . . . ", "this year I'm going to . . . " then I realize that I do still make resolutions.  However, my "resolutions" of past years have evolved.  Instead of writing a list of things that I have to do every day to make myself perfect, they seem to be bigger.  This year, my only goal is to run the hell out of it.  I want to run the hell out of 2013.  How cool would it be to do 13 races in 2013?  I don't know if I can or even if there are enough races around that I would want to do to hit 13.  I'm not going to do a race that I won't have fun doing just to hit 13 but it would be cool.

So far, here's what I'm registered for:
May 5th -- Police Service Half-Marathon relay -- super excited about this one.  My relay partner is a friend from work and she's speedy.  Hehe - I hope she knows that she's making me look faster and I'm making her look slower.  No wait, I hope she doesn't know.  :)  And there's a cool medal that we share and breaks in half, hehe, like a BFF necklace.
May 17th -- Fargo 5 km Fun Run (this is going to be so fun!  Going away for the weekend!)
May 18th -- Fargo Half Marathon  (and knocking off two races in one weekend, whoop!)
June 16th -- Manitoba Half Marathon (hoping it's not too hot.  I did the marathon relay in 2009 and I was the 4th leg and the course was closed due to unsafe conditions, gulp.  Also, registration was 35% off for one day only for their 35th anniversary and I managed to talk at least 6 people into registering for an event.  Sorry & you're welcome)
June 29th -- Fargo Run or Dye 5 km!!  (so excited to do one of those colour runs and I get to go away!)

The ones I will register for once registration is open:
August 17th -- Dirty Donkey Mud Run!  I've always wanted to do this too!  Registration is open but we're still putting a team together.  Check out the pics on their FB page from last year!
October 19th -- Fire Paramedic Service Half Marathon -- not sure if I'll do the 10 km or the half.  I have till April 1st to decide.  I'd love to do the half. :)
November ??  -- Vegas??  I turn 40 November 30th.  Gulp.  So it would very cool to do Vegas two weeks before.  WOULDN'T IT???

December 7th -- Santa Shuffle 5km  (nice fun little run to do that raises money for the Salvation Army.  It's cold, snowy, nice course and makes you feel hard core.  There are also delicious cinnamon buns nearby).
Yes, these are my eyelashes, frozen.  It was -45 that day.

So that's 9 so far and I know there are a couple races in September that I've done in the past and there is also a 10km river run in August that I've never done before and another run for women which might be in August too.  I think 13 just might be doable!  It will be fun to beef up this collection :)

In preparation of all of this, I bought a big desktop calendar and a pack of coloured pens to write down all my planned workouts and runs.  Yes, I love school supplies and I will use every opportunity to buy them.  I"m not ashamed.  I've even started writing in it.  Last week, I did Core & More on Wednesday and Boot Camp on Friday.  I did Yoga yesterday and Sculpt today.   

I also bought Matt's ebook for half-marathon training from No Meat Athlete.  It's really good information.  After I printed it off, I went to Staples and had it bound so it's really book-like.  Yes, I'm a geek and that's when I bought the calendar and pens.  :)

Soooo, crazy?  Yes, probably, but I'm okay with that.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Where to Start!

It's good to be back!  It would be too long to blather on about all that the last two months was.  Yes, two months.  How did this happen?!

Well, just after my last post in November, my sister and husband and my niece came for ten days.  That was busy.  Naturally, I didn't work out much when they were here because I tried to spend most evenings with them.  And this little gem . . .
Can't believe she's already ONE here!  Now 14 months.  
I actually got to keep her overnight and for the whole following day on both weekends they were here.  She woke up super early one morning and would not go back to sleep like she normally does.  4:35 am.  She was still fun though.

Then later she had a nice long nap and the minute she was out, I was out too.

And my little first birthday collage of self-portraits for her.  

After they left, I decided that I desperately wanted to have less stuff and be a little more organized so that when I spent the week just running around, the whole place didn't look like a bomb hit it.  Basically, I just wanted to get into the habit of staying on top of things so it didn't get away from me.  I spent every free moment for about four days going through EVERYTHING.  I had three big boxes for the donation pick up and I've managed to stay on top of it all since.  So freeing.  I already loved my condo but I love it even more now.  An IKEA opened here at the end of November so I bought myself a birthday present of a new flowered duvet cover.  More of a summer thing but I'll put it on for a while now because I love it.  
Winter & Summer, yes I'm a geek.
So my last activity for 2012 was the Santa Shuffle 5 km race on December 1st.  My friend and I totally forgot to take pictures at the finish line because we just wanted to get inside where it was warm for coffee and a cinnamon bun.  Sooooo good.  I took a horrible self-portrait when I got home and I have my medal and race bib for proof :)

A week after this and I left for BC for three weeks for Christmas.  Although, I did not do any deliberate exercise, everything in Vancouver seems to be uphill.  I'm serious.  My sister's apartment is right on the seawall so I did walk to Granville Island which was 20 minutes there and back and everything from her place was uphill.  Spent LOTS of time with family and had a great Christmas, here's a few shots.  Very few.  My sister and I were talking about how crappy we did with pictures this year and vowed to be better next year.
Drinking mulled wine at the Christmas Market
with my sister.  Soooo good.
Walking in Steveston with my other sister.

Walking to Granville Island with my new umbrella.

I spent a day with my brother and we went in search of a park that he'd never been to before but had tried to find a few times.  It was great.  Lots of trails.  We hiked for a few hours in misty rain, I was both sweating and a little soaked from the misty rain and I broke in my new rain boots.

Funniest Christmas present.  My sisters and I read these like crazy so when I unwrapped it on Christmas morning, I squealed.  I've actually read the first book in here.  So funny.

And we ate really fantastic sushi.  Many times.

And I went to Starbucks more times than I've ever been in a three week period.  With every person I was with, it started with Starbucks.  How can I say no?  They didn't know the person I was with the day before started off the same way!  Starbucks had a promotion on with their holiday drinks.  Buy 5, get one free.  I filled two of those cards and had my free beverages.  And had two purchased for me.  That's 14 in 20 days.  I'm thinking the count was 12 reduced fat eggnog chai lattes and 2 reduced fat eggnog lattes.  

I spent New Year's Eve flying home.  Super cheap flight and it's never full!  I bought a pay per view movie.  I forget what it's called but it was action packed and kept my attention and made the flight go by so fast.  It was the one with Joseph Gordon Levitt where he's a bike messenger.  Do I even have his name right?  I should google it.  I was actually in the cab right at midnight and so happy to be home by 12:10am.  I then stayed up another few hours unpacking and watching shows that my PVR had dutifully kept track of while I was gone.  Then I slept in till almost noon on New Year's Day!  I got ready to celebrate a good friend's New Year's Day birthday with her and her sister (also a friend!).  We went out for Indian food and then enjoyed a lovely walk on the frozen river and the day after that it was back to work!

I'll leave it here for now.  I also turned 39 (big gulp) at the end of November so next post, I'll talk about what I plan for my 40th year and how many races I've already registered for (double big gulp).

Have a great week!!!