Sunday, January 22, 2012

Weekly Update


I had a pretty successful week of training and got all my workouts in, with a few minor adjustments.  It was a miserable week of weather with a severe cold snap that gave us highs of -14C to -18C  (0F), wind, and snow, and a wind chill of -30C.  Needless to say, I did my two weekday runs on the treadmill. 

Mon - Trainer for 60 min
Tues - Treadmill for 45 min and 3X12 reps on 7 upper body machines.
Wed - Unplanned rest day - tired. Decided to ride trainer on Friday.
Thur - Treadmill 45 min and 3X12 upper body weights again
Fri - Trainer 60 min
Sat - 90 minute run outside
Today - I'm heading to the gym in a while to swim and do all weights.

By yesterday, the cold snap had broken and although we had a dump of snow on Friday night, I drove down to Gyro Park to run along Abbott and the boardwalk. It was pretty messy and slow going until I hit the bike/walk path which had been ploughed and then it was easier, although a little slippery which slowed my overall pace.  The air temperature was a balmy 0C so the run itself was quite lovely.

Since the previous week's run had only been an hour (instead of the planned 75 min), I was making a fairly big jump so ran easy and took planned one minute walk breaks every 20 minutes or so. In addition, I had to walk frequently when moving back and forth from the road to sidewalk in some sections where the sidewalks had not been cleared.

My Newtons are pretty useless in snow because of poor traction and open mesh in the uppers so I wore my Pearl Izumi Peak XC trail shoes.  They have much better traction and are very comfortable but my shins are a little sore today because I haven't worn these shoes for a long time and my legs don't like switching shoes very much. I'm hoping that I'll feel fine for my short runs this week. If not, I'll only do one mid-week run.

This upcoming week has some challenges that will force me to move my workouts around somewhat because I have after-school appointments on Tuesday and Thursday which are my usual running days.  I'm going to try to move my runs to Mon/Wed but I'll to wait and see how my legs feel on Monday.  If they're still sore, I may do the elliptical instead and only run on Wednesday. Tuesday will have to be my rest day because I'm busy all day right up until I get home at 9:30pm.  Other that than, I plan to ride the trainer for an hour 2 nights this week and hit the gym for upper body work once of twice.

Strength Work

I've been pretty dedicated to using the new machines at the gym for the past 5-6 weeks and I've been showing some progress and starting to feel stronger. I've been able to increase the weight on all of the machines at least once since I started. The struggle has been with the lower body workouts.  I found that if I do lower body weight training on the same day that I run, I am sore for several days after and have trouble doing my next run.   If I do lower body weights on alternate days, I'm still sore the next day and it affects my run (and no, the weights are not too heavy).

I tried something different this week - since I was the the gym for the treadmill anyway, I did all of the upper body machines right after my run so that I was at least getting strength work in.  Today, my plan is to do all the machines after my swim as usual, which includes the single and double leg press, walking lunges, step ups, and leg extensions. Since my legs are a little sore from my run yesterday, I'm hoping today's workout doesn't further impact my upcoming runs.  I keep hoping I will get to a point where I will have built up my strength enough that a workout will not have a serious affect on my running. It just goes to show how weak I am in some areas of my hips/glutes.


My diet sucked this week.  I was too busy/lazy to record my calories and subsequently my diet suffered.  I tried to eat reasonable portions and stay away from crap but there were several times when I made bad choices.  All it takes is an extra 100-200 calories a day to mess up my weight loss plan and I suspect when I weigh in tomorrow, I'll be up a half pound, instead of down a full pound.

Therefore, I'm committed to counting calories all week, and in addition, I'm going to cut back my cals another 100 per day to 1500 since it looks like even with training 45-60 minutes a day, 1600 calories is maintenance, not weight loss.  Eating only 1500 calories a day will be hard for me but I can do it.

For the past 2 weeks, I've planned out the week day dinners and have done all my shoppoing and food prep on Sunday.  I've found this has REALLY helped keep my organized and on track. I've been recording what we have for dinner each night on my iCloud calendar so now it's nice to look back to get ideas for the upcoming week.

And so another week begins - I hope your training is going well!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sugoi Versa Jacket Review

Last year, I was in the market for a new, lightweight, water and wind resistant jacket for running and cycling.  Naturally, I checked out what Sugoi had to offer in that department and immediately became enamored with the Versa jacket. Apart from being a great jacket, it also quickly transforms into a vest with the very cool bolero style arms that quickly detach and re-attach with little magnets sewn right into the jacket itself.  I can't believe how simple it is to put them on or take them off - they practically reconnect by themselves - seriously, no exaggeration.

This video I snagged from the Sugoi website, shows how easily the sleeves come off and then pop into the back pocket.

So often, I head out for a run feeling chilly and then only 15 minutes in, I'm wishing I'd worn a vest instead. With this jacket, I am able to quickly pull the sleeves off and tuck them into my back pocket while I run. Other times, I've headed out in the vest and then slipped the sleeves on when I reached the wind by the lake. Either way, they work great!

Another thing I love about the jacket is that it has two pockets in front and one bigger one (cycling style) in the back.  I find this great for running and cycling. (I love pockets...)

They really pay attention to details at Sugoi as well.  Here are a few more features of the jacket.

* Mesh ventilation for maximum airflow
* Reverse coil separating zip with guard
* 2 comfortable front zip pockets
* 1 zip back pocket
* Dual adjustable shockcord
* Contrast elastic bound armhole
* 3M Reflective piping on front, side and back for added visibility

I've been wearing this jacket through an entire set of seasons now and have found it useful for many situations, even light rain or snow.   My only request now is that they make the next version with the back a little longer for cycling.  When I mentioned this to Sugoi, they happily told me they'd take the suggestion to their designers.

At $120 (Canadian), I think this versatile jacket is a great buy, and now my only problem is trying to decide what colour my next one will be.  :)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Marathon Mindset

I was recently reading an article that erin337 had posted on her facebook page about the importance of being emotionally ready to run a marathon.  Here's a link to the entire article called "Why You Should Fear the Marathon."

In the article, writer Tess Zevenbergen writes:

"Not only is running 42.2 km (26.1 miles) physically and mentally taxing, it requires one to dig deep and pull out of themselves everything they possibly can. The tricky thing is, if you don’t believe you can do it, you probably won’t." 

Then she goes on to describe the physical and mental challenges of running a marathon.  But it's that line "If you don't believe you can do it, you probably won't" that scares me.  How  can I convince my head that I really can run a marathon?

It's not that I don't think I have the stamina - I've certainly had my share of long, stressful, physically challenging days and I really can't imagine it being a whole lot more mentally challenging than my first half ironman a few years ago when I started the 21.1 km run knowing I was going to have to limp through the entire thing with an ITB that had locked up on the bike.  But I suffered on and finished it, fighting a body that was screaming at me to pack it in for most of the last 3 hours of that seven and a half hour race.  And with any luck, my marathon will be shorter, right? :)

I think I can do this. In fact, I pretty sure I can do this.

I'm really looking forward to the day when I can honestly say I KNOW I can do this.


Here's a funny video of a guy who tells us what he's thinking at various points of his marathon.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Staying Motivated

I have a bunch of motivational quotes up on Pinterest (follow me if you like), so lately I've been reading through them every morning, and keeping them in my mind all day long as I try to make good choices about eating and exercise.  I REALLY find it helps me.  If you find quotes that resonate with you, consider typing them up, printing them off, and putting them in places that you'll see all day.  It may help.

Here are a few of my current favourites.  Some inspire to stick to the healthy eating plan and others inspire me to get out the door and do my run, or bike, or strength workout when I'm tired or lazy.  Maybe some of them will strike a chord for you.

On getting started...

The choices are not always easy, but the benefits are worth it.

               Don't make excuses.......

Too busy to exercise?

    Fall off the wagon? 
    Get back on!!

Believe in yourself!

     It takes hard work.

And when you're reaching for that bag of chips,

Remember this ------------------------>

And if, like me, you don't necessarily like the word "skinny" - then change it to "fit".

"Nothing tastes as good as fit feels."

I love this one - says it all... :)


So - today - set up your plans for the week and be pro-active. Plans your meals, do your shopping, figure out solutions for days you know it may not be easy to fit in a workout or a healthy meal.

Have a great week!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Struggling Along

When the going gets tough, the tough eat old candy canes.

Yeah, so I had a small lapse, but over all it's been a good week. On Sunday, I planned meals for the week - stuff the boys would like to eat but I could still adapt to my 'diet'.  I've been trying not to go too extreme since I am hoping to workout 6 days a week.

To lose 1 lb a week, I need to eat about 1300 calories a day. Instead, I'm trying to stick to about 1600 a day to compensate for the calories I burn through exercise. It worked the first week - we'll see if I can lose another pound this week.  I'm half way through the week already and the scale hasn't budged yet.  We'll see.

Monday was a bad day at work and I came home and had a G&T (with diet tonic - only 73 cals in total ;). However, I ate well and stayed within my limits.  I was too bagged to do my trainer ride so Monday's workout was a wash.

Tuesday, I ate well all day and did a 45 minute hill run with friends after school.

Wednesday - I did pretty well with the diet all day, I went to the gym after school and did an adapted strength workout, then came straight home and rode the trainer for an hour. We had tacos for dinner but I was SO hungry, I had to eat two. Plus I got cranky when I had to clean up last night's dishes and take out the garbage before I could cook dinner (while still in my workout clothes), so when I craved sugar after dinner, I caved in and ate 2 stupid candy canes.  It's really amazing how much I wanted those damn candy canes.  The stupid plastic wrapper sticks so tightly that it's nearly impossible to get it off to eat the candy. But I persevered.  I'm tough like that. ;)  That meant my calorie count was up over 2000 for the day. Thank God, I worked out for an hour and 45 minutes. :)

Today, I ate well all day and managed to keep from eating the cheezies and cinnamon buns at work today. I didn't even sneak a teeny piece. Then after work, I squeezed in a 30 minute run while my son was getting his hair cut. I'm glad I kept it short and slow because my legs are tired and sore from Tuesday's run.  I'm icing my shin now in fact.  When I got home, it was cold (it's -3C today) so I climbed into a hot bath and almost dropped my book in the tub when I started falling asleep.  I need a good night's sleep tonight I think.

So I'm trying hard to eat more protein, good fats, only low glycemic carbs (veg and fruit), and very little, if any, potatoes/rice/bread/sugar.  I still take cream and sugar or honey in my coffee but that's about it for sugar.

So that's it for now.  Oh, and I think I've come up with a new motivational quote,

When you crave, don't cave.


Monday, January 9, 2012

Down one pound, hurrah!

The week ended well - I did all my training as planned, managed to stay within reasonable limits even on Friday's steak and wine night, and lost one pound since last Monday!  :)

Friday was a rest day from training but my legs recovered really well from Thursday's hilly run and I was feeling great. On Saturday, I did my long run - 11:25 km in 1:15 - and felt good but tired after.  Sunday, I went to the gym and rowed for 30 minutes, then did a full strength workout plus some of my PT glute med. exercises.

I'm trying to find the right balance in my strength workouts so that I'm not too sore for the next few days, which affects my runs. If I do the strength stuff and include my step ups and walking lunges, it takes several days for my glutes to recover so I end up only hitting the gym once a week. This week, I tried cutting it back slightly and will hopefully be able to do another gym workout on Wednesday without affecting Thursday's hill run.  We'll see.

So anyway, it's Monday and I officially weighed in to the 10 in 10 Challenge so hopefully I can stay on the straight and narrow all week and lose another pound by next Monday.  I did my meal planning and most of my shopping and I've upped my protein and stuck with fruit and veg carbs for the most part.  It seems to be working.

I guess that's all for now. By the way, I'm going to be helping with some of the social media for the Kelowna Apple Triathlon this year so if you feel like it, hop on over to their blog and give it a follow.  I'm hoping to do some regular updates between now and the race. In addition, I'm tweeting for them and doing some updates to the facebook group.  Thanks for your support!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Not a bad day

I ate pretty well today, struggled through the evening cravings by eating half a bag of low fat popcorn and one piece of dark chocolate.

Throughout the day, I ate lots of fruit and veggies, kept my protein and good fat up (no bad fats at all), my carbs were bit high but it was all fruit and veggies, no bread or starch, and only a little white sugar in my coffee this morning. I'll try honey tomorrow.

Calories:  1850  (a bit high but I did run today so it's all good.)

Fat:        42 g  (19%, too low)
Carbs:  281 g (58%, higher than planned)
Protein: 106 g (22%, OK but a bit lower than I'd like right now )

I went for a hilly run after work and felt pretty darn good. First decent after-school run in a long time.  I was surprised my pace was as good as it was, it didn't feel like I was running very fast especially with all the hills.  (250+ feet of gain over abt 5 miles)

I ran 7 km in 45 minutes and then walked the last 1/4 km home.  Most km's were in the 6:15-6:45/ km pace despite the hills. Yay me.

Good times!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


I had a healthy smoothie for breakfast, tuna and veggies for lunch, rye crackers with almond butter for afternoon snack, and a healthy dinner.

Now I want something SWEET!!

So I might have a small piece of dark chocolate.

And it will taste great and I'll make it last.

And 15 minutes later, I will STILL crave something sweet.

So I might crunch on some carrots.

And then I'll have a few raisins or nuts.

And I'll STILL be craving something sweet.

Meanwhile, over the period of a couple hours, I will have chewed up an extra 300 calories of miscellaneous snacks.

And it's always those last 300 cals, that push me over my limit.

So today, I cut out the butter, like I said I would yesterday, and now it looks like I have some 'space' for my evening cravings.

Maybe some nuts and dried fruit, with a little piece of dark chocolate.

I'm also going to make myself a cup of decaf tea with 1 tsp sugar.  Something warm and sweet will help.

This to shall pass.... right?

PS I rode the trainer for 45 min tonight.  Tomorrow I run. :)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy New Year!

Well I must say, the new year is always a HUGE motivator for me. I think it's partly because it follows 10-14 days of indulgence and debauchery which, while enjoyable, usually leads to feelings of "fatness" and "unfitness."

I lost 3 lbs while I was sick in December but not surprisingly, I gained them all back in the past 2 weeks and so now find myself at the same "7 lbs over race weight" that I was all most of the fall.  But fear not, for it is January and for me at least, it's a great time to get back on track.

I decided once again, to join the 10in10 challenge on Facebook, primarily because I am a creature in need of varied forms of motivation.  Initially begun by Nigel from Running from the Reaper Podcast, the challenge has now been picked up by Coach Adam, and so far there are at least 25 members.  Adam has info and links on his blog post here in case you are interested in joining as well.

So for me - I'm gonna stick with the tried and true calorie counting with lots of fruit and veggies, lean meat and alternate proteins, healthy fats, very little bread or white carbs.  This time around, I'm going to cut back 'slightly' on the carbs and up the protein and healthy fat a little, see where it takes me. This will by no means be low-carb - I will mostly be trying to eat only 'good' carbs and avoid 'bad carbs". 

Today I did pretty well with my eating plan. I managed to control myself around the crap at work, and then this evening, I did succumb to a small piece of candy and a bite of Erik's butter tart, oh, and one slice of baguette with butter.  Not great, but not terrible.

I ate about 1800 calories today - should have been closer to 1600 but at least it was a workout day.  I need to eat less fat, and more protein - tomorrow, no butter.

Of those calories:

43% carbs
21% protein
36% fat

I'd like it to be closer to:

40-45% carbs
25-30% protein
30% fat

Training is going well I think.

Here's what I've done so far this week:

Dec 31 - Ran 8.5 km on the treadmill
Jan. 1 - Rode 18 km (45 min) on trainer
Jan. 2 - Swam 2100m (1:05) and full strength/core workout (1:00)
Jan. 3 - Ran 4.75 km outside

The rest of week's plan is as follows:

Jan. 4 - Trainer (45-60 min)
Jan. 5 - Run  (30-45 min)
Jan. 6 - rest day ? or yoga / stretch / core / upper body weights?
Jan. 7 - Long run (1:15)
Jan. 8 - Swim and Weights