Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Revisiting, Refocusing, Reclaiming or maybe Paul is my new Guru

Blogging is great! I did a little post yesterday and today, I'm in such a different mindset. Writing it down helps and getting a little feedback helps too, from 'welcome back' to
'suck it up' - it is all very helpful and much appreciated. Certainly some things Paul had to say really got me thinking.
This is my body, my brain (and I add spirit) and I have to do what's right for me.

So again, from Paul, I am choosing to make my health my #1 priority. I don't have to go crazy doing it, plan to run a marathon (yet!), train harder than I might feel like, or get all perfectionistic about it.
My main goal is to be proactive in my health everyday. Whether that's training for a 5K or taking a spinning class or going snow-shoeing this winter, making a healthy food choice, or taking 5 minutes to be silent. It's all good and it all matters. And it's all about enjoying the journey.
So my blog will now focus on what I do each  day to focus on my health and create balance in my life.I'll still set goals and face challenges but I. will. keep. moving!
I really thought about this on a walk/run today. Another great benefit of running - gives you time to contemplate things. It felt so good to move again, during and for so long after

Monday, August 22, 2011

the question..

Well, I guess I've been giving the wrong answer.
How do you stay motivated?? and focused?? I let stress and a messed up schedule get the best of me..also thoughts like 'maybe I'm not cut out to be a runner' 'maybe I'm just not the athletic type' that kind of crap.
So what works for you??
Maybe I need this guy to help me out a bit
p.s. I've missed you all here in running blog world

Monday, March 21, 2011

First Group Run

Hey all!
I'm still hanging around, my running has suffered a little lately. I'm happy to report that the little group I was trying to get together had their first run on Sunday. They did an 18k run on some back country roads heading out of the village. I wasn't able to join them but I'm so happy that it's falling into place. I would probably have only lasted the first 5k anyway!

The huffing and puffing one would be me after 5k ...these days...

I found a little training schedule to build myself back up to doing at least 10k again. Got to keep at it.
Not sure if I lack self-discipline, motivation, or focus but I'm determined to get back on track.

 Take care all, hope you are all doing well and having some great runs!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Time to Change up the Blog

Been doing some treadmill running, nothing too exciting, waiting for spring to arrive to do some outdoor running, or at least some milder temperatures.
I have been following up on getting some local runners together to start a little running club here in the village. I am going to open it up to walkers also, because I want to encourage everyone who is interested to participate at their own level. There are a lot of seniors in our village and I don't want to exclude them.
I've e-mailed back the people who have shown interest so far and asked them a few questions i.e. best day to meet, time etc. One of the questions I asked is where would people prefer to meet. It's a pretty small village so anywhere is within walking distance.
One guy answered that we should meet at the local pub, that way we would be supporting a local business at the end of the run by going in for a beer. Other people jokingly said we shouldn't start our run there, because this guy Bill who suggested it, might stay there and forego the run!
Such, good humour and comaraderie amongst runners and we haven't even started yet - that is one thing I like about runners, whether it's here in blog land, at a club or race - there is so much positive energy and humour - one of the benefits of running.

So, I'm going to change the blog up a bit to focus a little more on our fledgling run club. I will be posting about how we get started and how we hopefully grow into a little community of active people, runner, walkers and maybe even some bike rides thrown in. I guess I can't call the blog ' The Manly Runner' someone already took that name...

Happy Running,

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Ice, Ice Baby and some battle wounds

The last 3 weeks or so, I've been kind of hating on winter! Yes, it's true. I love winter, I do, she just seems to out stay her welcome. I've been avoiding having to go out, and tiring of seeing snow. I'm missing seeing something alive and green. Worse of all is driving on  milder days and getting constantly covered in slush, hoping not to run out of windshield washer fluid. Enough is enough!
I've been making friends with my treadmill and had a really nice run on it Monday and this morning.
But yesterday, I decided to reach way down deep into my Canadian heart and see if I could squeeze out one more ounce of love for Winter! After awhile, you either stay inside going stir crazy or you get out there and embrace winter.
Yesterday, before going into work, I checked on this:

Even with the poor ice conditions I decided to carry on. I drove downtown, parked across from the Rideau Canal, strapped on my skates, turned on my iPod, and skated 10k. The ice surface was rough which I new going in, but it had to be done yesterday, it was sunny and cold, and it is supposed to get very mild and I'm afraid that will be the end of the ice. I LOVED IT!! and it can only be done in winter, so I guess I do have a little love left for winter, but please hurry up Spring!
 I started at k3 and skated down to k1 towards downtown, surface kind of rough but I managed to get a nice rhythm going and was sailing along nicely in some sections. I love the sound of skate blades on ice! Throw in the sound of hockey sticks slashing around and you have a beautiful symphony! (No hockey sticks allowed on the Skateway)
 then I turned around and headed toward the man made lake
 art under one of the bridges and school kids having fun
 a pretty stretch of the Skateway, still heading toward the lake. Many races are run along this route, but higher up on street level looking down over the canal, very nice, winter or summer.
At the lake, I turned around at k6 and skated back to k3 where I was parked. I took off my skates and slid on my slip on runners which were still sitting under the bench where I'd left them( yes, you sit outside on a bench and change into your skates!) next to a pair of Asic Cummulus 11's, that person was brave to leave his shoes there! I headed off to work, feeling fantastic, except for the rubbed raw areas on my ankles, forgot to wear taller socks - oops! but I only felt it for the first little bit, then forgot about it, was surprised to see how bad it was on both legs, inner and outer, inner not as bad.

Hope those of you who are living in winter conditions are still managing to find some enjoyment in it!
As for you from warmer climes enjoy a little warmth and greenery for me please!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Blogging Lag and St. Paddy's 5K

I've been cutting back on blogging lately because of lack of time management various responsibilities that are pulling me in different directions, so something had to give.
I have been getting some runs in, indoors, which I'm kind of getting used to. The weather has been the pits, either freezing or on milder days, snowy, slippery, slushy roads, so I've been heading down to the treadmill. I'm freaking tired of winter!! And don't seem to be venturing out as much.
Today I signed up for
I'm doing the 5k and after that, maybe I'll focus on the National Capital 10K and see if I can improve on that. Not a great running year so far, but right now if I can squeeze in 3 runs a week and do this 5k, it's all good. And, I'm still taking the creepy stairs at work and I can feel it!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Getting Down with the Sickness and Up & Down Stairs

Well it's a little milder today, but I just didn't feel like going out, getting tired of putting on all the gear. So I threw on some shorts and a t-shirt and said hello to my treadmill. I finally loaded up my Ipod Shuffle that I got back in December and went for a nice little run. The song that really got me going is this, something about that primal beat and angry voice, those songs always seem to push me. I'm showing the Sponge Bob version here, and I have the clean version on my ipod, not what I'd typically listen to while lounging on the couch, but for a run, I like it! The song is a little long which is great when your running, but listen to a couple of minutes and you'll get the idea.

Do you hate it or does it get your blood pumping?

I've been at my new job for over a month now and it dawned on me - hey, there are stairs in this building! Funny how that works, out of sight, out of mind, and bee lining it to the elevator without a second thought.  It seems I'm going up and down a lot during my 4 hr. shift. My desk is upstairs on the 4th floor, and we meet with clients on the main floor. So I decided to start taking the stairs up, and down, up and down, sketchy as they are. Could they be any more drab?  Dark, dingy, grey,narrow, steep, creepy. But they are my friend, as they are good for my health.Looks can be deceiving! There are 3 flights of 18stairs each, better than taking the elevator.
 and this is pretty creepy looking too,

I was surprised the first time I climbed them,the stairs, not that ladder, that I was as out of breath as I was, not panting out of breath, but still, I thought with the running, it would have been nothing to go up those stairs. Now that I've done them a few times, my breathing is easier when I get to my floor. So, other than specific workouts, do you fit little things into your day to add to your fit lifestyle or do you mindlessly take the path of least resistance?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Blow, Blow, thou winter wind

Another day on the treadmill, some easy and some speed intervals in the middle, followed by more easy. Couldn't run outside today because of this:
snow at my back door,
doesn't look as bad, but the wind is blowing the snow all around,
 this is during a lull, it was coming down heavier before and we're expecting more + freezing rain
Toronto is getting hit harder, up to a foot of snow, and even worse for the maritimes.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Do You Know the Capital of Canada? Hint, it's not Toronto or Montreal

It's cold in Canada's capital city today, and no Arnold, Canada's capital is not Montreal (although it was from 1844-49), and our brave troops are not serving in Iraq, they are in Afghanistan.
Yes, it's cold today,
this kind of cold,
that's R, playing with the snow blower,
but despite all of that I woke up feeling good, it's not been the greatest month here at Lee's but it seems to be ending on a good note.
Yesterday R, and Shelby and I did a 4K walk, with me and Shelby throwing in some run intervals.
This morning I got up and found myself a 6wk training program for the 5K  I'm running on St. Patrick's Day.
Since it is so freaking cold out, I decided to muster up the mental courage and determination to head down to the basement and get on the treadmill, which I did for 25minutes as per my first training day schedule. And it actually felt good, beige walls and all.
I kind of like focusing on the time and not the distance, which this whole training schedule is.
And here is my feel good song for the day, I mean how can you not feel good running to this, or just while doing stuff around the house, good 'ol Freddie, wonder if he knew the capital of Canada?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Socks! Socks!

Last night I arrived home to a package on the table. It was my socks that I won from ajh's giveaway at agegroupsrock Thanks AJ!
Here I am relaxing by the fire in my new socks.
It's been incredibly cold here the past few days with temperatures dipping down to -34C Br-r-r!
I'm on a little running hiatus this week. One thing I've done though is to post an ad on our village website in the hopes of organizing a little running club here in the boonies. I've had a few e-mails back. No sense running alone if you don't have to. I'm not sure how to go about organizing it though. I want to include all levels of runners. Maybe I should just see what people's interests are and see if we can co-ordinate run times for different levels. I just want to keep it simple. Maybe just everyone can meet on certain days/times and then break into groups from there based on distance or training program.  I'm lucky if I'll have 10 people to start, so any ideas of how to get the ball rolling in the simplest way  - let me know. I'm also going to post an ad on the grocery (yes, we only have one grocery store in the village) store bulletin board and see what that drums up.

Happy Running!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Hoar Frost

Was out the door at 7:30 this morning. It was -16C/3F and colder with the wind chill.
 But it was sunny!
How 'bout that hair!
I am the walrus goo, goo g'joob
5K complete and I'm pretty happy with that on this cold morning!

"Hoar frost (also called radiation frost or hoarfrost or pruina) refers to the white ice crystals, loosely deposited on the ground or exposed objects, that form on cold clear nights when heat losses into the open skies cause objects to become colder than the surrounding air. The name hoar comes from old english and can be used as an adjective for showing signs of old age in reference to the frost which makes trees and bushes look like elderly white hair ." Hey! who you calling old!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Eat your Oats!

I like to make this on the weekend, but had some today
Just throw some oats into a pan with double the amount of water and a little salt. As, it's coming to a boil, grate in an apple, include the skin. As it thickens, add a little mile to it and you can add a little butter if you want.
I guess what makes it a weekend indulgence is that I top it with this:

Yum, and what makes it extra special is that my Dad bought this big 2L jug for me. He and I share an appreciation for the real stuff!  Years ago he had a friend who ran a maple sugar bush and used to bottle the stuff in old whisky bottles, kind of looked nice sitting in the fridge with their amber glow.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Hot & Cold

Last year on this very day I was here:
ah-hh- sunny Mexico, - there's where I was running around the resort and the red line along the beach is where we'd walk almost everyday, stopping along the way for a dip whenever, notice no resorts there, we had the ocean pretty much to ourselves in that area, We usually did a 7k walk, just nice. As for the running, I went early in the morning, but still the humidity was killer!
SNAP back to reality,
Today here, the weather is this:
It was actually -23C/-17F when I went out this morning! But at least it was sunny and no wind! I can deal with that. I did some speed intervals at the race track across the street from me. At least I intended to. When I got there, the track was not clear, but there was a little foot path in the snow from dog walkers Yup! I ran around there like a fool getting an extra workout for running in the snow. Shelby loved it. She was tearing around the whole place. Then I decided to stick to the streets and I did the rest of my speed intervals that way.  By the time I got home, I was feeling very energized. Nothing like a little run in the freezing cold to get you going in the morning!

Shelby, looking a little frosty!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Sexy Pants!

So, I got up and got my butt outside for a run this morning! It was a beautiful sunny morning with temps hovering around -15C /5F. The roads were clear and best of all - No Wind!
I put in 8k. When I've missed a few runs, like say a week's worth, a-hem, I always get this fear that I'm not going to be able to run, that I'll have to start from square one, or that I'll lose the desire to run. It's a Scary Feeling!
But alas, it felt so-o-o good! Good enough to put on my Sexy Pants after stretching and showering.
Such a state of mind, yesterday I was feeling all schleppy, frumpish, sluggish with a slight brain fog - the effects of missing a week of running. There was no way I was going to even put those pants on because you know - I'd be thinking I look fat in those. But today, I'm thinking I'm looking pretty great in those pants. It's all what you exude! Amazing what a run can do. Definitely a chick post! Sorry guys! Here, this is for the guys. See how confident he looks, he must have just come back from a run. Y'all should get yourself a pair.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Sucked through a Portal

I am still around, I think I got sucked through a portal into a different dimension
where running is at a minimal, time moves too fast, dark clouds hang overhead, day feels like night and night feels like day. In other words, I'm trying to adjust to my new work schedule, not succumb to the PMS monster and generally keep one step ahead of the game. And I thought December was busy!
Well, I must get a little more familiar with my new running shoes, they are looking a little lonely, there in the corner by the front door, and a little too squeaky clean. And how 'bout that new Ipod Shuffle I got at Christmas time. Still haven't loaded any running tunes onto it.
I'll get it together, always do...eventually..

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Running Sucks! Feeling like Homer

Just my running, my running sucks!
Not sure what's going on??!

I was doing very well for awhile, like during the past 8wks. of training for my 10K. Well the last week wasn't great as I got off track during Christmas.
The problem is that my past few runs including the 10k I ran, I had to take walk breaks, short ones, but I haven't had to do that in over two months.
I feel like I'm regressing. Today is a beautiful sunny day and I was looking forward to going out in the sun for a change, and out I went. The first twenty minutes was actually going quite well and then, hmmm-m-m not sure what's happening. I tried to really think about what I was feeling and why I felt like stopping.
Breathing felt good, nothing was hurting or feeling uncomfortable, but my legs feel like cement blocks on my past few runs and it feels hard to lift them up to put one in front of the other.
I've been trying to make sure I fuel properly.  Not sure what's going on. One foot forward, two steps back. I don't think it's necessary a mental thing, because I do feel like going out to run, however my confidence is a little shaky because I'm not sure how things will go once I'm out there.
I've had it happen before where I've had 3-4 'bad' runs in  row.
Glad I got out there anyway, it was still better than not getting any activity in. I only did 3k but that is partially because my time window was running out. I didn't walk a lot, just maybe 3 -10 second breaks, but still!
A couple of weeks ago I ran 11k and it felt great! And I did 10k the week before that and no problem as far as feeling like I needed to walk.
Although I'm slow, my pace has actually picked up in the past 8 wks. I don't feel like I'm running too fast, as my breathing is fine, but, hmm. not sure what to think
The Good: 
I got out there and moved!!!!
 The sun is shining!!!
I got to sleep in!!
The Bad:
I woke up to dog poo on the floor and carpet :(
(not because I slept in, R had let her out)
something's up with my running

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Now What? and Which Shoes?

I'm not sure if I should keep working on the 10K - lots of room for improvement there, or if I should concentrate on 5K for a bit, for improving my speed. I'm thinking maybe a 5K in March, then a 10K in May, then a 10 miler (16k) in July and a half in September. There are a couple other 5k's I want to do also for fun and for charities close to my heart. I don't want to lose the distance I've gained by going back to training for a 5 - not sure how to go about this all, so any help is appreciated.
I found a long training schedule for a half that could keep me focused.
Also, I'm going out tomorrow to buy new shoes. Right now I have Asics Gel Cummulus 10 or 11, but I found them hard in the heel, but pretty good overall. I had Nike Pegasus, a few years ago, that I really liked. Not sure what to get. I usually buy at the Running Room.
I tend to get men's shoes for the width, does it really matter if I get men's or women's?
So many things to think about. I'm still such a newbie!
I think this week I'll just run for the sake of running.
But by the 10th I want to be training for something.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year & Reflections on My Athletic Life

First of all, I am wishing all you bloggers the best in 2011! Happy New Year!

I thought I'd take some time today to review my athletic life. The End.  
All kidding aside, I have never been an athletic person. Never liked team sports, except volleyball, does that even count? Hated track & field day, and high school gym class, don't even get me started.
That is not to say that I was a couch potato or a real girly girl. No I guess I fell somewhere in the middle of all that. I love the outdoors, and I like activities you can do alone, or with others, but your still doing your own thing.
When I was little I enjoyed hanging out with these guys:
It was lots of fun riding our bikes around the neigborhood with my three older brothers.
I also liked:
even when I got older:
I might have even been leaning towards being this kind of girl:
When I was little I also liked:
hockey. Now my three older brothers played on teams and I really, really, wanted to play too, but back then girls weren't allowed. I thought pushing a bladeless stick through a ring was for sissies so instead, I settled for some figure skating lessons on an outdoor rink.
I also took dancing lessons for 7 yrs. I liked it, but I didn't love it. I would have loved piano lessons as demonstrated by me dragging a little toy grand piano around for as long as I can remember. But my mother wanted to be a dancer so dancing lessons it was. I did get to be a majorette, that was fun!
It was fun to go to the beach, a mile from our home with the family, growing up and later as a teen. Funny, we all went to the beach but no one got swimming lessons in those days, you were on your own.

So, I continued to grow up, through the teen and young adult years, enjoying cycling, my first boyfriend was a cycling enthusiast. He would cash his paycheck on Friday (hopefully, the bank hadn't closed and you'd have to borrow from your friends over the weekend, no instant tellers back then). Saturday, we would go to the bike store to buy lighter bike parts. So it was biking, and walking. I do love the outdoors!
Then came the baby making years (25-35)
that's me in 1990 with my first born, still hanging on to the big hair from the 80's and rockin' the wallpaper borders.
A little over seven years later, and with 3 kids in tow, I remarried and 3 more boys were added to the mix:
Okay, what was I getting myself into?? Does raising these guys count as a workout??? The three on the left are my bio kids, and the one standing, and two on the right are my bonus kids. Yes mine are the rowdy ones!
They kept me busy,
and even busier when #7 came along:
and R liked to do this kind of stuff with them when I was out getting groceries or buying laundry detergent:

Yes, during those years, I succumbed to domestic bliss and enjoyed a little too much of the baking I did for those guys, not that it stayed around for long.
I did however find a little time to enjoy a little of this:
and hiking in places like this:

Sulphur Mountain, Banff, Alberta
and this:
Jasper, Alberta - a little piece of heaven on earth.
I also managed to squeeze in a little time for some of this:
one of my favorite things to do, did I mention I like the outdoors? We are paddling here:
Columbia River, British Columbia
Meanwhile, we did a lot of family swims, with lessons this time, and hikes with the kids. I even worked out at a gym 6 days a week, running on the treadmill and doing weights for a year.
We eventually moved back to Ontario when I was 40. I spent a lot of that winter walking here:

I even got to do this with R in the Mayan Riviera:
And a little of this:
skating on the Rideau Canal,
but, it wasn't until I was 45 and woke up one day and realized I actually had a little spare time. That's why I say at the top of my blog '25 with 22 yrs. experience'. Really I was twenty-five when my first baby came along and then it seems like one day I woke up and was 45. So I had some time, finally on my hands and joined this:
a dragon boat team, (I'm second on the left side of the boat, part of the front 4 as it's known)  but not just any dragon boat team. I joined this dragon boat team:
here's another look:
finishing one of the practices. That's me in the forefront looking back toward the water.
Oh, what fun! You must try it. Great workouts, great team fun, did I say I didn't like team sports? But you see, I'm doing my own thing in the boat, it's not like I have to pass a ball to someone. I had so much fun that season (May- September) and so enjoyed the regular activity and training, that when the season ended, I wanted to keep doing something. That's when I signed up for my first ever, running clinic, with the goal to run 5K in the New Year's Eve Resolution Run last year. I had no goals beyond this. I just wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. And I wanted once and for all to be able to run outside without sputtering out. I was okay on the treadmill but whenever I tried to run outside, I just couldn't sustain it. Turns out I was trying to go too fast.
So here I sit, a year later, still running, slowly yes, but still at it and setting goals. Who knows what this year will hold.
I wish you all a happy and healthy 2011. May you all achieve your goals, whatever they might be.