Friday, October 29, 2010

I DID IT!!!!

View from the parking lot - 7.30am
I finished the CN Tower Climb!! 144 flights, 1776 stairs!

Weeeelllll - actually - let's set the record straight. There is an extra flight at the beginning before the official start, and ELEVEN more flights AFTER THE FINISH LINE that they don't tell you about...ACK! By my count, it's 156 flights and closer to 1900 stairs. WOW.

I didn't really have a goal in mind aside from simply being able to finish. After that, I figured I'd be happy to finish in about an hour...and ecstatic if I could finish in about 45 minutes.

Well - I surprised myself. Not only did I finish, but I made it to the top in 34:39. Strike this one off The List!

I was TERRIFIED in the morning before I started. So nervous!

During the climb, I took it slow and steady...started to get out of breath at the 20th floor, started to get heavy legs at the 50th floor...but took a break every 7-10 flights to catch my breath and bring my heart rate down a bit...and like they say: the next thing I knew, I was at the top.

I did it!
I've got to say - crossing the finish line was an absolutely overwhelming experience. I signed up to celebrate the positive changes that I've made, and finishing taught me just how far I've come. Two years ago, walking one flight of stairs made me breathless. Now? I'm amazed to find myself looking forward to next year's Tower climb to see if I can beat my time, and I've signed up for a 5K power walk in December.

Here's how this week went:

Saturday - CN Tower Climb :-) Followed by a hot bath and then a drive to my mom's for birthday dinner for my sister and I.

Sunday - Recovery Day 1. Feeling fabulous - yesterday's bath was a good idea. Took my kids to a pool for an hour. Did a few slow laps and treaded water while they splashed around.

Monday - Recovery Day 2. Ran errands with Lynda at lunchtime - about a 1.2K power walk. It's always a POWER walk with Lynda!

Wearing the official t-shirt - October 2010

Tuesday - Recovery Day 3. Another lunchtime power walk with Lynda, about 1.2km again. Curves workout after dinner.

Wednesday - OK, recovery's over. Stairs to 7 in the AM.

Thursday - Stairs to7 in AM, walk around the block for an AM fire drill, walk around the block and stairs to 7 at lunch. Curves workout after dinner.

Friday - Crazy day. Managed a walk around the block at lunchtime. Oh, and the parade of treats started last night. Sigh. I'm going to need some serious willpower to keep from hitting the halloween candy too hard.

What I'm reading this week: Angry Fat Girls by Frances Kuffel, focusing on herself and 4 friends and their cycles of losing and regaining vast amounts of weight. She raises an interesting point that for every 25-pounds lost, people who have been overweight for a long time need about a year for their emotional maturity to catch up to their new size - i.e. it takes time to learn normal social judgements, and it takes time unlearn the habit of emotional eating as a response to stress.

Friday, October 22, 2010

It's almost Tower day...

Sunday morning bike ride - October 2010 I'd better keep climbing the stairs this week!

I've also been thinking about a goal for after the Tower - something to work towards after I knock this one off the list. I'm a bit lacking in inspiration at the moment, so for now am just setting my sights on keeping fit for the end-of-year weigh-in. Any other suggestions?

Here's a recap of this week:

Saturday - Walked my daughter to gymnastics and back, went to Curves for a workout, then walked about a 12 block-round trip to meet my family for a birthday brunch for my husband.

My son on our Sunday morning bike ride - October 2010

Sunday - Beautiful fall day. Went for a bike ride with my son through the cemetery that runs behind our house. Roughly 4.8km round trip.

Monday - Stairs to 7 in AM; walk around the block and stairs to 12 + 12 at lunch.

Tuesday - Stairs to 7 in AM; walk around the block and stairs to 7 at lunch. Curves workout after dinner.

Wednesday - My birthday! Cake at work, Ethiopian food and key lime pie waiting for me at home. I'm told it's time to start taking it easy before the climb so skipped the stairs today.

Fortunate to attend a talk by the Dalai Lama - October 2010

Thursday - Walk around the block and stairs to 7 at lunch; Curves workout after work.

Friday - Taper day. No stairs. 1.5km walk from work, walking over to hear the Dalai Lama speak on Human Approaches to World Peace. Hearing him speak has been on my list, and I'm so pleased that I had an opportunity to attend this talk. He discussed how an individual's compassion and  inner calm are contributing factors to brain plasticity, personal health and world peace; the need for more women (considered naturally more compassionate then men) to be in positions of authority and as world leaders; the importance of teaching compassion to the youth of today in order to protect the future.   His Holiness spoke for close to an hour, from memory - without consulting any notes. I couldn't help but notice the sculpted arms that this 75 year-old man has. Inspirational on so very many levels.

What I'm reading this week: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The movie's coming out in a few weeks...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Everyone's Moving!

Since I've been exercising regularly, I've started to notice just how active the people around me are. Many of my colleagues hit the gym at lunch; the ladies at Curves are active on their non-gym days; my favourite librarian is on her own mission to keep moving; most of my friends and family, and many of the parents on the playground at my kids' school, are active. How fabulous!

My family on the move! At our local park - October 2010
You know what's particularly fabulous?
My husband has started moving in some serious ways! He's been walking home from work a few days a week - an AMAZING 9km trip! - and joined a 30-day boot camp this week. I'm so, so happy to have another active adult in my house!

I'm also fortunate to have stair-climbin' buddy at work. Lynda - who just got home from a week on a Habitat for Humanity build - is a very active gal who starts most mornings with a full workout before coming to the office, then joins me for the hike up the stairs at lunchtime. Just for the fun of it! Yes - climbing stairs can be fun when you have someone to chat with on the way up :-)

Here's a run-down from this week -

Saturday - Worked out at Curves in the morning; Thanksgiving dinner with my husband's family in the evening...oh, so many treats.

Forks of the Credit Provincial Park - October 2010
Sunday - Sunny and 22C - A beautiful fall day!
Took the kids for a hike at Forks of the Credit Provincial Park. We covered about 4km of rolling hills in 2.5 hours, including a stop at a beautiful waterfall. I'm really proud of my 6-year-old girl for being strong enough to go on hikes like these. Went to one of our favourite neighbourhoods for a stroll and dinner at a pub when we got back to town.

Monday - Thanksgiving - Cleaned up the yard and took the kids to the park. Rode my bike around the track 5 + 5 laps, a total of 4.4km.

Big news today:  my daughter is learning to ride her bike, and my son taught himself to rollerblade! I'm very, very proud of both of them. And of myself for being able to jog alongside my girl - so wobbly on her bike - without getting winded.

Tuesday - Stairs to 7 in AM, then walk around the block plus stairs to 12 TWICE at lunch. That lunchtime hike is equivilant to 22% of the Tower, folks.

 Wednesday - Stairs to 7 in AM and again at lunch.

Thursday - Stairs to 7 in AM.

Friday - No stairs today, but took a walk around the block at lunchtime.

What I'm reading this week - The Glass Castle and Half-Broke Horses, both by Jeannette Wells, and Blood Lies by Daniel Kalla. Not enjoying this one as much as Of Flesh and Blood - this one is a mystery, not typically my favourite genre.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Jen Gets Sick (But Not Very)

Ready to get spooked? October 2010
(Still a pro at taking pictures of myself)
It's just a cold and I'm better now. But it knocked me off my feet for a few days. I also said 'goodbye' to the Curves diet for now...I was going squirrelly and starting to go a bit crazy for treats. Better to skip the diet and just eat well. For now.

This week -

Saturday - Cold and rainy. Drove to Curves & the Farmer's market, but parked far enough away that I got in 12 blocks of walking. Worked out.

Sunday - PJ day. Did a deep clean and rearranged furniture in my daughter's room. Heavy furniture.

Osgoode Hall is nicely creepy after dark, especially after
listening to a few ghost stories - October 2010

Monday - Stairs to 7 in AM.

Tuesday - Nothin'. No stairs, no Curves. Spent the day sneezing.

Wednesday - Nothin'. More sneezing.

Thursday - Nothin'. Even more sneezing.

Friday - Cold's almost gone. Skipped the stairs, but went on a 3-hour Haunted City walking tour with my son in the evening. We covered 5.2km, walking from Yonge/Front up to the ROM. Heard a lot of spooky stories about The Hockey Hall of Fame, the Royal York Hotel, Osgoode Hall, Sick Kids Hospital, Queen's Park and U of T. We also learned a lot of history - and I got to knock this off my List!

 What I'm reading this week - Of Flesh and Blood by Daniel Kalla. It's a fictional hospital drama that follows the history of a hospital from founding to present day. Great story. Canadian!

Friday, October 1, 2010

If you can spare any willpower...send some my way!

I started the healthy eating plan from Curves last week. OK, ok - it's a diet. Well - it's more than that. It's a balanced plan of carbs/protein/fat + all the veggies you can hold. Do this for a month, then take a two week break.

Sometimes temptation comes in a really cute package
I've cycled through it a few times in the past 18 months. It works - believe me it works - but I find weekends really hard. When I'm at work, I stick to eating what I've brought with me. When I'm at home, the fridge calls to me. I'm halfway though this cycle but still have 2 more weeks to go. My willpower is pretty weak, so send some over if you have any extra, OK? Thanks.

Oh - did I mention that my gym is right above a convenience store? And right across the street from a Pizza Pizza? I disovered a long time ago that the best way to avoid temptation is to just leave my wallet at home when I go to the gym. Anyone else do that?

Here's the moving I did this week -

Saturday - Biked to Curves and back (5K), worked out.

Sunday - 4-hour stroll around Black Creek Pioneer Village with the family and our nephews.

At Black Creek Pioneer Village - September 2010
Monday - Stairs to 7 in AM, to 12 at lunch. 

Tuesday - Stairs to 12 at lunch; Curves workout after dinner. My daughter came home from Sparks with 2 cases (cases, not boxes) of Girl Guides cookies. Fabulous!

Wednesday - Stairs to 7 in AM, to 12 and a walk around the block at lunch. Received a training tip from the CN Tower folks about increasing training time to 10+ minutes in the next week. Something to look forward to on Monday.

Thursday - No stairs today - worked in a branch office that's on the first floor. Curves workout after dinner.

Friday - Stairs to 7 in AM; stairs to 12 at lunch.

What I'm reading this week: Hitching Rides with Buddha by Will Ferguson - another travel memoir. This one is a recount of the time he hitch-hiked from south to north Japan, following the cherry blossoms.