Sunday, October 20, 2013

Birthday Week!

This was a short week following Thanksgiving, but we packed a lot in - including birthdays for my husband, my sister, my sister-in-law...and me! This was a week of daily cake and pie and a few big dinners, but I also stayed fairly busy -

The dog and I got in our three runs for C25K week 3, we went on a couple of trips to dog park, I got through Day 15 of the 30-day ab challenge, and we got out of town to see my family for birthday dinner. A few pics -

Tuesday - It's raining, it's dark - and we're running. Woah.

Wednesday - amazing moon over the dog park tonight

Saturday morning Fall colours

Spotted on a roof during our run on Saturday afternoon. Any birders out there recognize what this is?

My parents' puppy is 17n weeks old and getting bigger - but he's still quite a bit smaller than Stella :-)
In other news - today was the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. A number my friends were spectating and volunteering, and I was disappointed that I couldn't be a part of it. It's made me realize that I haven't volunteered at a race for well over a year...and also reopened my secret urge to do a half one day. I am training for the ATB 15K in March, so a half in May seems like good timing. On paper at least.

Two things to think about while I'm planning next year's goals.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

This has been a good week - lots of stuffing, mashed potatoes and pie this weekend, but otherwise it has been a good week.

There were a few walks at High Park with the dog -

Blurry. Running.

Fall colours
 The dog and I finished weeks 1 AND 2 of Couch to 5K -
Walk breaks are for stopping to sniff, right?
My favourite part of every run

I made it through Day 11 of the Ab Challenge -

We cleaned like mad and had the family over for Thanksgiving Dinner, then spent today over at the Brickworks for a walk in the fall colours. 

Tried to take a family picture, but belly rubs were more important

Perfect way to end a long weekend
A good week.  

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Alright, alright - I'll get off the couch

Can you tell that I've been struggling with starting to get back on track? Sporadic blogging and almost complete lack of exercise are big clues.

I stopped running somewhere around February. Stopped going to my gym in late spring, then juuuuust started going regularly again when it closed abruptly. Haven't been working out at home. Have been quite indulgent with the treats. The worst part is not particularly caring. Being lazy is so easy. But my pants are getting tight and I feel uncomfortable.

So - it's time to either slide into absolute laziness and let exercise become something that I used to do - or decide to recommit. I was dangerously close to option A when Island Girl (half marathon relay) rolled around 2 weeks ago. I signed up in the spring, didn't train, and would have bailed if it hadn't been a relay event.

Gorgeous morning to be up and heading to a starting line

I got to thinking on the ferry over - despite being so sedentary this year, I've done a 15K (March), a 10K (May), a 75K bike ride (June), a 5K (June) and I was on my way to a 10.5K. Every single one was harder and slower than it needed to be, but I did them. Going over this list was a huge morale booster.

During the race - my time at the 5K mark was 3 minutes slower than my PR, my legs really stiffened up in the last kilometer, and it took me 90 minutes to cross that 10.5K finish line - but I loved the adrenaline rush and the fun of being part of the crowd.
Halfway done!
Tagged Lynda in, walked off the jelly legs, then joined the cheering section until it was time to meet Lynda and run her the last 150 metres into her finish line. She put the pedal to the metal and SPRINTED in!

Medals, ferry, brunch and run chats. Lynda has set out some aggressive goals for herself for 2013 and expects me to be along at the start line for a few of those with her. I think that means I'm recommitting.

I was kinda surly about the idea of starting actual regular running again through. It took me a solid 10 days after Island Girl to actually lace up, hit start on my C25K app and head out the door with my furry running partner.  She's absolutely thrilled, so there's that.

C25K Week 1, Run 1. Pics or it didn't happen.
And with that one run, I found myself slipping back into some good habits. I started the 30-day ab challenge at home -

I got surprisingly sweaty playing ping pong at a work event -

Who knew ping pong was such a workout?
 Did a second C25K run -
C25K w1r2
 Got out for a walk to see some fall colours -

And went to a family yoga class with my husband and daughter this morning. That's something new. So was the almost-handstand that I did up against a wall. Wow.

So. One day at a time.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Hello, again!

It's been a while...again.

I mentioned last time that I'd lost my motivation to keep moving. Still struggling with that, but things are on the upswing. Turns out that I had been battling some reasonably minor health problems that were sapping my energy. Those peaked in July, and have since been resolved, but at the same time, my gym went out of business very unexpectedly. I started searching for a new one but found myself really enjoying the extra free time that came from not working out. Kept meaning to take up running again, but then the summer heat & humidity hit, vacation time interrupted my routines...and wow, is that ever a long list of excuses for not exercising, eh?

The good news is that back in June, I stopped driving to work and taking transit, which has given me about 2 kms each day of extra walking. So, there's that. 

Here's what I've been up to: 

Color Me Rad 5K with Lynda - a brutally hot day. It was 38C with the humidity at 10am!

Tree planting day with our local park group. We shovelled mulch onto 100 new trees!

Archery lesson with my husband at our local castle. Turns out that we're both pretty good at this :-)

Got the kids to the beach a few times -

Rented a cabin up north for a week in July. Lots and lots of relaxing, but I got out in a kayak almost every day:

Our dog loved loved loved the cabin!
 My cousin & I got our kids up north in August for our annual Two Moms, Six Kids camping trip.

This beach was about 2 minutes from our tents

And hiking led to some spectacular views. 
 Got the dog out for lots and lots of walks of course -

And today, a bunch of us got up early and caught the ferry over to the Island for our annual Island Girl Run! Orange medals = half marathon relay (10.5KM each); blue medals = half marathon!

Back: Cassie, Sarah, Karen, Me, Lynda, Laura.
Front: Melissa, Alex, Emma
I have to say - doing 10.5K on no training didn't make for the best morning, but my nutrition was solid and I power walked my way into a finish that was only 6 minutes slower than last year's run WITH training. 

What's up next? I'm not signed up for anything, but we are talking about the Around the Bay race in March again, and I'm thinking of doing an 8K in October. I suppose I'd better stop talking about training and actually get out there. 

I'll keep you posted. 

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Soooooo...It's Been a While!

Something happened last fall and my motivation ground to a halt. My interest in taking time to exercise, run and go to the gym vanished. It's no coincidence that blogging fell off at the same time that I stopped having anything to really talk about. I think it started off as taking some time to rest and relax after a busy season...but the motivation to pick things up where I left off hasn't really come back.

I'm working on it.

Meanwhile, I kept signing up - and showing up - for races, but they have been harder than they needed to be since I haven't been training.

Both my mom and my friend Julia called me out on my lack of blogging recently. I promised Julia that if I could make it to the finish line of my race today, that I'd pick it up again. I did, so here I am (Hi, Julia!). Hopefully recommitting to blogging will force me to get moving again, so that I have something to write about!

Here's what you've missed:

December 2012 - Santa Shuffle 5K

Sarah, my daughter, me, Emma, my son
This was a strange one - it is usually a very well-organized race but not this time? It was supposed to be a 10am start, but at 9.30 they started letting people go out whenever they showed up, causing a lot of confusion for all runners who came on time. A number of bandits also ran the race, were given medals and allowed to help themselves to post-race refreshments - meaning that by the time we crossed the finish line there was barely anything left. It's a charity race so I shouldn't mind - but it was a very chaotic morning and things really didn't need to be this way.
March 2013 - Around the Bay 30K relay (15K for each runner)
Big, scary goal #1

Only 2K left to go. Just passed The Reaper

Rachel & Sarah (relay team), Emma (30K), Laura (30K), myself & Lynda (relay team)
This race kicked my butt but I had so much fun that I didn't care. It's out of town, so we booked a hotel room, made a girls' weekend out of it and had a blast. We went last year, but I only did the 5K. Not-so-secretly had my heart set on doing the relay but wasn't mentally ready at the time. Made sure I'd be back for the longer course in 2013 to earn one of their "older than Boston" shirts.

This race features rolling hills (bah) but a lovely view and the people who live on the route not only come out to cheer for hours, but play music, offer snacks and generally put on a party. That last hill is a killer though - and the Reaper is waiting for you at the top. The agonizing thing? You can see the finish line for the last 3 kms and it takes forever on tired legs to get there.

More training and better nutrition would have been wise. I was going on empty for the last 1.5K. Took everything I had to pick things up for the finish line. Going back next year and aim to arrived trained.

May 13, 2013 - Sporting Life 10K

One of the few moments where I managed to actually run

Alex, Sarah, myself
This race kicked my butt and I DID care. I could not believe how much fitness I lost in two short months after ATB. I was running on empty after about KM 3 and the whole thing was such a struggle. Spent most of it power-walking. An eye-opener to say the least....but I couldn't get back in to running just yet because it was time to cram for...

June 2, 2013 - Ride for Heart 75K
Big, scary goal #2

Done and so happy. Amazing how all the pain goes away as soon as you cross the finish line!
You heard me - I crammed for a 75K bike ride. I started with a few short rides and almost gave up. Switched to my husband's road bike (significantly lighter than my mountain bike) and pulled off confidence-boosting 21K and 44K rides over rollllling hills.

I've also done the 25K (2011) and 50K (2012) version of this ride and wasn't going to give up on my goal of doing the full course this year.

So - I got up at 4.30am, rode to the 6am start line and just. kept. riding. It poured rain for a while - so heavily that I was actually wishing for my swim goggles. Then the wind picked up. Which was not fun. But I watched my nutrition carefully (G2, Hammer gels, bananas, raisins & pretzels for the record), managed not to swallow any bugs and didn't walk up a single hill. 81K total including my ride from home.

But I really don't recommend cramming for this sort of thing.  I also don't recommend doing this sort of thing in NON-PADDED shorts. Ouch.

What's next? A recovery day or two, then back to the gym and C25K. We're doing the Colour Run later this month, the Warrior Dash in July, and Island Girl 10.5K in September. I'd prefer not to go into these completely undertrained.

How have you been?

Saturday, November 3, 2012

One of those weeks

It's been another one of those weeks, where a busy calendar threw off my schedule and I couldn't seem to find the time to reschedule my workouts and runs.

I did get in one trip to the gym, one short (2.5K) run and one family stroll. I.m sure if I'd tried harder I would have found time, but this week really flew by.

Here's a recap -

Sunday - rest day following the Women's Run 8K.

Monday - Gym for a circuit and body sculpting...then spent the evening storm-proofing to get ready for the fallout from Hurricane Sandy. We had a mild enough evening, but lots of wind and rain overnight.

Tuesday -  Woke up to find that a neighbour's tree went down in the wind, missing houses and cars (phew!) but it knocked our power lines down. Husband stayed home to work with Hydro and electricians; I spent the evening doing the standard Tuesday evening stuff - supervising homework, making dinner, driving kids to Brownies & Scouts, taking dog to dog park, picking kids up. Power not back on yet.
Wednesday - Halloween! Power was restored by mid-afternoon; rest of the day was a scramble to get ready for trick-or-treating.
Spooky spooky
Thursday - Together with our neighbours, we hosted a Pumpkin Parade down at our Park. Does your city do this? People bring their pumpkins down to the park, light them and everyone admires them and stays to mingle and chat. Great way to get to know more people in the area.

Friday - snuck in a quick run after work with Stella, then home to get my son ready for a camping trip. 

THE SUN CAME OUT. First time in over a week.
Saturday - down to the lake for a stroll and to let the dog run. Chilly but delightfully sunny.

How was your week? What do you do when life gets in the way of your workouts?

Sunday, October 28, 2012

If You Wait for Perfect Conditions...

Yeahhhhh, I need to look at this one regularly. Repeat it to myself daily. Maybe get it tattooed on the back of my hand.
See, I certainly like the results when I run regularly. But I don't like running when it's hot... humid... wet... rainy... cold... too sunny... too dark... too early in the morning... too late in the day...
Sheesh, I'm a delicate flower, eh?
The funny thing is - I did a race this weekend (Women's Run 8K) in the pouring rain, and the rain didn't bother me in the slightest. Being underprepared from not getting enough training in was a problem, but the rain wasn't!
See, I woke up that morning and lay in bed listening to the rain. Briefly thought about ditching the race but knew I'd regret it if I did. Told myself that the starting gun wasn't going off for a couple of hours and I'd really regret not going if the weather calmed down by then.
Out of bed, showered, breakfast, got dressed and into the car. Still raining.
Drove to the site, parked and sat in my car with coffee and a book until the last possible moment, listening to the rain drumming on the roof.
Once I was finally out of the car...the rain didn't seem THAT bad. Hiked up to bag check, hit the washrooms and lined up in my corral. Ran/walked the 8K, dodged as many puddles as I could, and barely noticed the rain despite getting soaked to the skin.
Do me a favour? Remind me of this the next time that I'm in my cozy house and finding it hard to get out in the weather for a run.
I had a good - not great - time at this race. It's a wonderful event, but lack of training in the last few weeks and poor nutrition that morning (too small breakfast, too close to the start time) meant that I did much more power walking and less running than I would have liked, and I was scraping the bottom of the barrel energy-wise by 7K. I did manage to pick it up in the last 300m for the photographers, though :-)
But I made sure to look around to enjoy the course and the fall colours - the park this race takes place in is gorgeous!  My daughter did the 5K route with me last fall and we had a marvellous time. Also made sure to thank each and every volunteer on and off the course. They were troupers.
And when I got to the finishline, I was so proud of myself. Proud for showing up, proud for not cutting things short by following the 5K-ers, and so proud for finishing an 8K - going longer than 5K is still a really new thing for me.
Here's hoping I actually learned a few things with this race. I'm going to need it to get ready for the 15K I'm doing in March...
Here's a few pics from the last 2 weeks -
New running shoes. Went for a few short runs around the 'hood with the dog.
Got to High Park a couple of times for the dog park...
...and trail running. Stella had a fabulous time in this gigantic mud puddle.
Wasn't too pleased later at home in the shower though. 
Got to Curves a couple of times each week. My daughter likes to come sometimes.
Walking to the start of the Women's Run. Pretty park.
Wilket Creek winds through the park. Can't tell it's raining, can you?

Check out the rain - and how wet my hair is!
This is at about 7.7K. Told you that I pulled it together for the photographers!

Heading into the finish line. Proud. Happy.
8K is in the books! Soaked to the skin but smiling.
Had a complete set of dry clothes in my car. Got changed and wore my medal for the rest of the day - even to the dentist!