Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Seized by happiness...

"The moments of happiness we enjoy take us by surprise. It is not that we seize them, but they seize us."
Ashley Montagu

Tuesdays I only work evenings, so here is how my morning went. I ate a banana and I was out the door for my 6K tempo run at 8am (early for me). It was beautiful out. The sun was shining, but it was not yet too warm. Perfect! What an enjoyable run. My 10.02min/mile pace was a bit fast for my program, but I felt great. I got back and enjoyed a nice big breakfast. I then changed and headed for the gym. Onto the treadmill I hopped for a 2K warm up run. It felt completely effortless. Off the treadmill and into the mirror room. I set up my step and start doing my jumps. I am alone in the room and the door is pretty much closed. "Don't speak" by No Doubt is playing on my ipod. I was feeling it :) ...I may even have been dancing a few times as I was walking to my step after a jump and definitely moving my lips (I don't think I was actually singing). Next, head to the other room to do the rest of my workout (lots of people, no dancing, look of concentration on my face, lips may have been moving sometimes). End with a good stretch and head home. Happiness seized me this morning...more than once.   

Food basket update:
I got the information for the vegetable basket. All 20 weeks must be paid in advance...it's pretty expensive considering we may not be home some weeks. But it turns out this same organic farm sets up a Farmers Market very close to our house every Saturday morning. How cool is that! So we'll be visiting the market weekly.

Note to my son K, who commented on my last post:
Don't worry...I didn't say this year...but hopefully, in 10 years, I'll be a proud and involved grandparent ;)

Did happiness seize you today?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

I'm going places and I've got so much to learn!

"You learn something every day if you pay attention." Ray LeBlond
"The wisest mind has something yet to learn." George Santayana

First, thanks so much to momof3, Wendy and MCM Mama for presenting me with the You're going places baby award! You guys are awesome...if you haven't already, do go check out their blogs. I must now tell you where I think I will be in 10 years, and award 10 bloggers. I particularly like this award, because I truly believe that we have the power to create the life we want to live. Obviously, things we don't control can happen...but, then you have to chose how you will deal with it I guess.

In 10 years, I will be 61 years old and I will not be concerned with my age. I will be healthy and so will my wonderful family. I will be a marathoner and my husband and I will still be running and racing together, both on asphalt and on trails. My kids will be happily settled in their adult lives and I will be a very proud and involved grandmother. I will continue to love my career and will be working three days a week. I'll be a good cook :) ...and I'll be reading books and blogging. Finally, there will be a few unexpected awesome surprises in my life over the next few years.

Next on the menu (pun intended) I'll be talking about the food advice you all gave me and how I plan to use it.

1) I have decided to see a nutritionist. She is a nutritionist-dietitcian and most importantly, she runs half-marathons and marathons. Perfect. She was super nice on the phone and I will be meeting with her some time in late July (the actual date is not yet confirmed). She is part of a group and they are called Harmonie Santé. They have a website and we get our own password and we can then get extra information or ask questions. I'm very excited and I'll keep you posted!

2) I have located a farm that delivers a weekly box of organic vegetables at a location near us. I will be checking the logistics, there's an $18 registration fee - a $50 fee to support the organic farming and then a weekly $30 rate for the basket. I'll check this out and keep you posted!

3) I decided to check my recipe books and plan ahead. I wrote down the missing ingredients for a few new recipes I want to make this week and I went out and bought the ingredients. I made the Primavera Sauce yesterday and will be cooking Salmon with spinach and white wine sauce tonight. I've got three soups planned and I will be freezing some of each (for lunches). I'll let you know how I do with this too.

4) I've been checking books and websites. Here are a few that you've mentioned in my comments:
      http://dailyburn.com/login (I've joined and I should be eating around 2200 calories per day)
      Mark Bitton's book Food Matters was also mentioned
      Vegweb.com was suggested
      http://www.brendanbrazier.com/ of The Thrive Diet (great for making your own sports drinks or snacks)
      http://www.trimarnie.blogspot.com/ was suggested (her blog is awesome)

Thanks so much everyone for your helpful feedback. There is so much to learn and as many of you have suggested, my goal is to find what works for me.

Finally, today was day 1 of our marathon training plan. We had a 10K LSD (long slow distance) to complete and I went a little too fast for my goal time. I figure that's normal, but I need to learn to slow it down, because much longer distances are in my future! I will be writing my weekly training plan on the sidebar (the running and other workouts will be included).

Hope everyone had a great weekend.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

May I pick your plate...so to speak

"Never work before breakfast; if you have to work before breakfast, eat your breakfast first."
Josh Billings

"If we're not willing to settle for junk living, we certainly shouldn't settle for junk food."
Sally Edwards

Butternut squash soup

Today, I'd really like to pick your brains about nutrition. Almost all of you, at some point, have written about what you eat, or what you don't eat, or what your favorite fuel is before a run...basically, about food. I've pretty much avoided food talk, because I'm a crappy cook and I'm a lazy cook...so I tend to eat the same things over and over again. I'm so bored with my food...and I've got some great cookbooks, so it's not the material that's missing. In this case, it's been the motivation. Then there's making sure I'm eating enough in quantity and in quality to take me through my upcoming marathon training (which, starts this Sunday). I've been thinking about meeting with a sports nutritionist, but first, I want to know what you all think.

Do you see a nutritionist to help you plan your training diet?

Have you ever seen a nutritionist?

Is it worth the time and expense?

What's the best piece of advice you've ever gotten, and used, regarding nutrition?

Do you know any great blogs that talk about proper nutrition while training?

What's your trick for managing to make new recipes and making sure you have variety in your diet?

The thing is, it's not that I eat lots of junk food or that my diet is not healthy. But, it's definitely not varied enough and I doubt I'm getting enough vegetables...mostly because I get sick of eating the same things. I need help...and I need to find the motivation to get cooking...literally!

Any advice will be much appreciated...there's really always something to work on isn't there :)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Learning to dig...

"It's the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen."
Muhammad Ali

So true Mr. Ali, so true. There is something magical about our beliefs that can either allow us to overcome obstacles and surpass ourselves or quickly give up and sometimes not even try. Or, as Henry Ford once said, "Think you can, think you can't, either way you're right"! So I reminded myself of this today as I was attempting to dig a little deeper.

Today, I went to the gym later in the afternoon. My plan was: the gym, come home and have an early dinner, and then later in the evening, head out with Uber H for a quick 5K. That's not exactly how it panned out. At the gym, I started with a 2K warm up on the treadmill. I then did my jumps (30 in all), then my workout consisted of some leg, arm and core work. I ended the workout with some stretching. It had been a good workout, my legs felt a little wobbly and I was ready for a short break. When I got home, there was Uber H all dressed and ready to go for his run. Okay then...so I grabbed half a banana and off we went. The plan was for a 5K steady run. Around 3K I was starting to struggle, I really didn't feel I had much energy left. Uber H knew I was struggling, the fact that I was way behind him was a good indication that things weren't going so well. After a while, he came back to talk to me:

Uber H: "Have we done 4K yet?"
Me: "4.3"
U.H.: "Do you want to walk for one minute?"
Me: "No, it's okay"
U.H.: "We could walk for just one minute"
Me: "No, I want to get through this. I need to get used to pushing through when I feel like this"
U.H.: "Okay then...you're tough, you can do it"
Me: "But the minute I hit 5K I'm stopping"
U.H. (Laughs and takes off)
Beep beep, 5K, I did it! Here is where my "you can finish this" belief kicked in as I started talking to myself: "I'm at the top of a nice hill. May as well wait till I reach the bottom to stop." "Feels like my second wind has kicked in."  "Oh, it's nice and flat here, I'll stop when I reach the uphill right ahead." "Look, you're almost home, hang in there, climb the hill and get to the stop sign at least." "A few more meters and you'll be in your driveway." YAY! I'm home and I did 5.5K.

It wasn't an easy run today, but I had an AHA moment around the 3K mark, a realization that I better get used to not feeling so good during some of the upcoming longer runs in my marathon training plan. Not that I always felt great during my half-marathon training, but I didn't suffer too much. I have a feeling that's about to change. We're talking a 10K tempo run the first week of training. The most I've done is 6K at tempo pace. Can I take it? I'd like to believe that I can and belief is everything...so they say! Do I want to do this to myself? Well, I signed up didn't I, so I guess that would be a yes :)

Over the weekend, I completed a 10K "long run" to get back into it. It went relatively well, but it wasn't easy. The humidity may have had something to do with it.
I started dressed like this.
...and before even reaching 2K, I was dressed like this!
A little TMB photoshoot :)

Learning to dig a little deeper over the next few months...Cheers!

P.S. Welcome to my new followers and thanks mom, for becoming my 100th follower! I love you! :)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Photos finally! ...and hard"core" ;)

“Live to workout. Workout to live.”
Beth Horn

First of all, welcome to my new followers...you are much appreciated...all 99 of you! :)

Second, please allow me to brag a little...thanks to Laura of Box Run Eat and her Core Challenge a while back, I have continued to focus on my core exercises during my workouts at the gym. The result of that is...this week, I did a 3 minute plank...yesssss! Very pleased...thanks for the motivation Laura.

After almost a week, I have finally received my Ottawa half-marathon photos...so although it's beginning to feel a little old to talk about the same race all the time...here are the pics anyways :)
My favorite!

Arms just coming down from a cheer I'd guess :)

Lookin' ahead


I did it!

Nothing much to add...this week has been pretty relaxed running-wise. An easy 4K on Monday and a warm-up 3K on Tuesday, before my gym workout. Work is extra busy this week...but, we have an easy 10K planned for Saturday.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Recovery week and more plans...

Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes... but no plans."
Peter Drucker.
Another commitment has been made, with the intention of helping us reach our goal. Today, I registered uber H and I for the Montréal Half-Marathon in early september. It's on home soil and the finish line is in the Olympic stadium, which should definitely be cool! We figured it would be nice to run a race as part of our marathon training. The half in Montréal is quite hilly, so the goal is just to use this as a training run. 
Beautiful Montréal
There were some really good official photos taken by the Ottawa half-marathon photographers and I decided to buy the digital download of mine. However, I ordered them on Friday and still haven't received the link, so here is a glimpse. I feel justified is showing you these, even though I took them from the website, considering I paid good money for mine. Here are two of my favorites...(full-size photos to come soon). 

On the left, celebrating how good I felt (my cheerleaders were in the stands).
On the right, serious about kicking butt in the last few Ks.

This week, we have taken it easy. We went for a slow run on Thursday and the plan was to do about 6.5K. The first 4Ks went pretty smoothly and I was feeling good, but then I totally wilted. A little ache here, a little tightness there...and so I walked quite a bit the last 2.5K. Then Friday morning was my yoga class, the tough one, and it certainly helped me stretch even those muscles I didn't know I'd used. I then did my strength and core work. Friday afternoon, I treated myself and my daughter to the spa-aaaaaaahhhhh. It was so nice. That was it for the week...next week, we'll get back to it a little more regularly, but the official program only starts on June 20th.

Today...my son K is moving in with his girlfriend (they had temporarily been living with us the last few months). So, we have officially reached the empty nest phase. I know we're supposed to be sad and not know what to do with ourselves now that the kids are gone...not happening. They are amazing adults and they are enjoying life and doing well. I can only be happy for them. Plus, uber H and I are a healthy and busy couple and we enjoy spending time with each other...and we're training for our first marathon this year :) ...how can we be sad!
K and his girlfriend posing for the camera...love you guys :)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Snippets AND…

"I think I'd like to run a marathon someday,”
Benjamin Levy

Les Lacets Rouges ;)

Psyche tagged me with the Versatile Blogger award. So, this time, I thought I’d tell you seven more things I’d like to share regarding my first half-marathon.

1. I am so very proud of my uber hubby (uber H from now on). As most of you know, he also ran the half-marathon. He is an athlete (hockey player) and once ran a half-marathon 20 years ago, but it wasn’t a great experience. He took up running again only last July when I did, so he could spend time with me. Isn’t he sweet. He often ran his long runs with me, at my pace, and I think deep down, he worried this may affect his chances of running a sub-two hour half. Well, not so! He did an awesome job and crossed the finish line in 1h51m! So if you want proof that running slower to run faster works, there you have it. He did many of his tempo runs, speed and hills at his own pace, but the long runs were often at my pace, so we could chat together along the way. Yay uber H!

2. My 14 year old niece ran her 5K in 24m11s! Without training, although she does lots of sports! She hopes to run a 10K next…Go L Go!

3. I think I figured out why my “abs” were sore. It was actually tender around the front of my waist and I think it’s because of my fuel belt. I have two 8 oz bottles and two added-on 10 oz bottles. I put the 10 oz bottles in the front and they were probably a little heavy, although I felt no pain as I was running. I put my fuel belt at my waist and tighten it quite a bit, so it doesn’t move around, so I’m thinking that’s what happened. Next time, I’ll put the lighter bottles in front. So much to learn…

4. I am looking forward to seeing if they got a good picture of me at the finish line, because so far, no one in my family was able to get a picture of me facing the camera (except the one in my last post). So far, here’s what we’ve got…

I'm in the red tank top with a black skirt and my fuel belt!
Interestingly, right behind me is a girl in a red tank top and a blond ponytail.
I’m the ponytail in front!

5. After two rest days, I have no lingering pain anywhere! How cool is that!
6. Uber H and I will now be taking 4 weeks off before starting our new training program. Are you getting curious…would you like to know what we will be training for…have you checked out the widget on my sidebar yet?


We did it! We signed up for a MARATHON!
October 24, 2010
I am terrified and super excited at the same time. The funny thing is, uber H is the one who came home saying, let’s do it…and I’m loving training with him and having these exciting plans together, so I said, why not! Running a marathon one day is why I started running in the first place…a bucket list goal :)