Sunday, January 29, 2012

winter wonderland

Today's long run wasn't my fastest, but it sure was the prettiest, I was running in a winter wonderland!  I wrapped up my 13k run in about an 1:40 with my average speed at 7.7kph.   I think I saw Liz from the group, she was probably wondering who the crazy person waving their arms was, ya that was me!   I passed a few other people while I was out, I always love the camaraderie I feel when I pass fellow runners, that and to know I wasn't the only one out there braving the weather. 

Saturday, January 28, 2012

healthy anniversary!


Today is a big day! Five years ago today I changed my life forever by taking control and deciding enough was enough.  Five years ago today, I quit smoking.

It wasn't the first time I had "tried"to quit and it wasn't the easiest time either. I had learned a few lessons though from previous attempts so I knew what it was going to take and I knew what I needed to have in my arsenal to keep me from breaking down and giving up.  In past attempts I was like that flight attendant on the commercial, you know the lady who was screaming at passengers and crying on the plane intercom.  This time I was ready, I stalked up at the bulk barn on dried fruit and other snacks as well as flavoured bottle water and of course "the patch". There was NO WAY I was going to do this without the patch.

I struggled at times and it was probably the toughest for the first month or so but in general it was the easiest time I had quit smoking because I had finally made the decision that I just wasn't not going to smoke any more. 

 I went to the track for my running workout this morning then headed back to Burlington for my 600m swim.  When my friend told me she wasn't able to join me today I almost thought about not going but I didn't give my self the option.  I finished up my swim then headed over and grabbed a couple pool tools for my swimming workouts then decided to take advantage of a sale on running gear. I figured it was a good way to treat myself to such a significant anniversary.  I picked up a new pair of runners and a new short sleeve and a long sleeve shirt. 

 In prep for next week I decided to make another new looney spoon recipe by "thaiing one on".  The soup has sweet potatoes, peppers, onion, garlic, shrimp, lite coconut milk, chicken stock cilantro, basil and peanut butter.  There is also some cumin, ground coriander and a couple other spices and I threw in some shrimp, you can't go wrong with shrimp.  Half the soup also gets blended to thicken it up a bit.  It's similar to the soup I made last week but anything with coconut is good with me! 

mmmmmm thai soup!
While I was cooking I was thinking about the milestone that today is and felt pretty proud of myself because when I was a smoker I never thought I would successfully quit smoking and stay smoke-free.  I also never ever considered that I would ever be training for a half-ironman!    I still laugh a little and have to shake my head a little when I think about the direction my life is going in now but I love it!  

All in all a great day and a great smoke-free 5th anniversary!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

all I needed was a little R & R

feast from the east (eat shrink and be merry)

I was in Mexico last week for a little r&r with my husband and apparently that's all I needed in order to hit every workout so far this week! Okay, well that and a jug of tequila!  I got a couple short workouts in but nothing to write about.

Saturday I went to the track for the indoor track training day in Milton. It's amazing how much faster you run when there is a bunch of people who are faster than you, talk about motivation to move your @$$.   Sunday was long run day. I mapped out a route keeping me on residential streets as the sidewalks and bike paths were a mess.  I went 11 km and will be adding on 2 more each week until race day, which is coming up way faster than I thought it would! Where the heck did January go?  Last night I hit spin class at the gym.  I wore a new pair of skorts I picked up thinking they would be great as my yoga pants get pretty hot.  Boy was that a bad idea! I was had pretty crappy ride because I was so distracted trying to keep the built-in shorts underneath from riding up!  What a pain in the ass...but they were cooler so I might just have to suck it up (maybe).  Tonight it was the good ol'tempo run.  I was pretty happy to see that I had run half a km further than the last time I ran the Tuesday tempo run and then I realized I also ran an extra four minutes tonight! doh!  Oh well, I still had a great run. 

Tomorrow...tomorrow is going to hurt for a couple of reasons. The day starts at stupid o'clock with a 5:30 swim. I'm not sure what is worse, leaving when it is dark out or getting home after the swim and it is STILL dark out!  Actually it's not that bad, last time I just set the alarm snoozed once and get myself going.   Thursday I am going to take off and I decided to move my second spin to Friday morning. 

Thai Pumpkin Soup
On Sunday, I also did some pre-cooking to get the week started off right.  I made a new recipe from the looney spoon cookbook "eat shrink and be merry".  It's pretty good but I adjusted the sauce and served it warm instead of cold and I added zucchini instead of peppers.  Next time I will adjust the sauce again as it was pretty salty but still a good recipe to add to the box. I also made the Thai pumpkin soup again.  I love this soup for many reasons and they are as follows:

1) I LOVE pretty much all Thai food
2) It's a crock pot soup so little effort required and I can "cook" while out running (which is what I did)
3) it has peanut butter and lime juice in it (two things I LOVE)
4) it tastes AMAZING! (and my husband likes it too although I don't know if he realizes how healthy it is)

I used shrimp instead of chicken in efforts to keep it even healthier and meat free, and no I don't consider seafood to be "meat".  To me "meat" walks on land.  I also made quinioa to have with it instead of the rice the recipe called for.  I cook my qunioa in chicken stock if using for a meal like this. 

Alright, I gotta wrap this's getting late and I need to get organized for tomorrow. 

G'night all!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

brrrrrrrrrrrr...winter showed up!

Now I know why it's called the Chilly Half, cause you are gonna freeze your butt of training for this race!

Last night was my first run with the new team I will be training with in prep for Muskoka. I was a little apprehensive about going out to run with this crew, I kept thinking about how my first run went with the RR last summer. I figured I would be at the back of the pack again and for the most part I was okay with it but there was a little part of me that wasn't.  My ego and self esteem really took a beating last time around and that was when I decided running on my own was better than being last.  But this time it was different even though I was at the back of the pack Nancy stayed close by not wanting to leave me on my own.

Last night was also my first time ever winter running with temperature hovering around -10/-20 with the wind chill.  I had my winter coat on and thanks to the advice of a few folks I took out the fleece liner. I also had on my ski gloves and I felt like they were suffocating me as my hands got hotter and hotter.  Next outdoor run I will give my running coat and light weight gloves a try and see how that goes.  I also had on my rain pants over my running pants and that was too much but I will need to see what I have for bottom layers.  I actually wasn't cold during the run I just need to learn how to layer properly for the winter and for the first few runs I will just have to gauge the temp with the wind and try different combinations.   I am just super glad I picked up the long running pants when I did last week. 

As I started running I felt like the wind was cutting threw my lungs and it burned.  It was quite a different feeling from the heat and the humidity I ran in last summer.  As much as I love the heat, I was able to run faster in the cold.  There were a few minutes that I really enjoyed and appreciated the beauty of the night.  We were running along the path in downtown Burlington and on the way back I looked up and saw the stars and moon shinning over the lake and heard the waves crashing over the beach.  

Every run, every workout will get me closer and closer to my goals.  I just have to stick to the plan and eventually I will be able to keep up with the rest but for now I won't worry about it.  What I do know is that pushing myself beyond my comfort zone is what will make the difference.  My mantra for the half last year was "go big or go home" I need to carry that same attitude into every workout.  If I am going to train, train hard and get it done and then I will see the difference.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Hello 2012!

I am so looking forward to the year ahead.  2012 is going to be a fun, exciting and probably painful year with lots of running, biking and swimming.  I got a taste for racing 2011 and plan to push it big time this year.  My ultimate goal will be to complete a half ironman race in September but I have a long road ahead before I get to Muskoka.

This year starts off with the Chilly Half Marathon in March followed up by the Mississauga Half in May.  During the spring and summer I will get the feel for tri racing with a couple sprints and maybe an Olympic race.  All the races along the way will pave the way for my race in September.  I plan to round out the year with the Scotia half again and the 10k back in Hamilton (and I am looking forward to having company during this race this year!). 

I was re-reading a couple of my posts from last year and remembering how I felt then.  Looking back over the past year I am really happy with my accomplishments considering that at the start of the year I was really struggling and really didn't have any motivation to keep me focused.  I found inspiration mostly from a few friends and my husband who by believing in me helped me believe in myself.  With the support of these wonderful people I managed to climb the CN Tower, run a half marathon (my first ever race) and finished off the year with a 10k. 

Since my last race I have been running and added spin classes to the schedule and I have gone out for a few swims at the gym (concurring my fear of swimming alone) and now that I have focus and set some goals for the year I am looking forward to seeing what I achieve in 2012. 

I ran yesterday and hit spin tonight.  My legs felt like rubber but I burned 600 calories tonight, the most ever in one of these classes and I felt great after the class was done.  So I am two days in and two workouts done, so far so good!