Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Week 3

Last week was a struggle. I had no motivation to do anything. I did get out for a 5k walk with Nicole on Tuesday and I made it to the gym on Friday while Liam was at a birthday party. The problem in between those planned outings. Most days I try to do at least a stretching routine and some arm work with weights. I also try to get in as many steps as possible. None of that happened. I was quite content to sit and sit and sit.

Overall I kept up reasonably good food choices, so the whole week wasn’t a loss – it even led to a ½ pound loss! I’m not going to worry about a slow week. This one is going much better already!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Week 2

I had another great week of working out. Two trips to the gym, an outdoor run on a beautiful day and a 5k walk with Nicole. Overall I’m pleased. I didn’t see any progress on the scale this week, but I’m okay with that. The scale is just a number, not an overall representation of how I’m doing.

My favorite part of going to the gym is using the exercise bikes. They have 2 different kinds to choose from, and I have yet to decide which one I prefer. The pros of the recumbent bike is that your crotch doesn’t go numb from sitting on a skinny little bike seat. But I did find that I kept sliding forward out of the seat, so that wasn’t very comfortable either. The regular bikes at this gym have built in video games, which to me is a great feature! It gives you a first person view and you can select the route that you bicycle along. With this one, you actually have to steer or risk biking right off the cliff (don’t worry, you respawn again quickly back on the road). It gives you something to do while you pedal instead of just staring off into space. I think I will mix it up with each visit, spending some time on both, since each one does work slightly different muscle groups.

We are having some great weather for February – it’s supposed to hit a high of 14°C this week, so I’ll be lacing up and getting outside when I can! Only 12 weeks till my first 5k of the year.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Week 1

I managed to get in three 1 hr sessions at the gym last week. My trial with them is over so I need to figure out my next steps. I really enjoyed going and using all of the machines. I don’t ever see myself joining one of their classes and I have hand weights at home that I can use. But I don’t have the space or the money to set up an exercise bike, and elliptical machine and a treadmill. What I did realize this week is that I still have a few day passes for the Dartmouth Sportsplex that I haven’t used. They have all the same machines available, and since I’ve already paid for it, I’m going to use them up before I commit to a gym membership.

I had a great week of good food choices. One of the things that I like about choosing a healthy lifestyle versus being on a diet, is that I don’t limit myself from having good tasting, bad for me things as long as it’s in moderation (no more sitting down to eat a whole bag of chips). So I did enjoy 2 small Cinnabons this week and didn’t feel at all guilty about it. I tracked it in MFP, accepted that my calories were high that day and moved on.

So between the exercise and the good eating I thought I would show a loss on the scale when I weighed in Sunday morning. I was pleasantly surprised with a 2.5 lb loss! That puts me at 7 lbs lost so far this year.

My plan this week is to get to the gym at least 3 times, walk with my friend Nicole (who just signed up to run her first 5k this summer at the Ocean Breeze!) and to keep eating well. Hilary has some great sounding meals planned, which is helping us to not eat out nearly as much as we had been last year. I’m sure cutting down on fast food is playing a big role in my weight loss too.

I’ve also decided to set myself a running goal. I looked back at the results of all the 5ks I’ve run in the past 3 years. My fastest run was in April 2014 with a chip time of 41:59. The last 5k I ran was 47:08. So my goal for this year is to run a 5k in under 40 minutes. It’s a big stretch to try to improve my time by over 7 minutes from last year, but I’m feeling good about it.

And with any luck, the snow will eventually melt, the sidewalks will be clear and I can get outside again.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

The gym

I did it!  I went to the gym by myself tonight and had a great work out. My friend Jody had shown me the ropes when we went on Tuesday so I had a good idea of what to do.  Tonight I used the elliptical,  the treadmill and a bike. My legs won't be happy with me tomorrow.

It felt great to run again,  even just for short spurts. I found that I could push myself to run faster then I do outside. I'm sure it's the fear of flying off the end of the machine and ending up as a viral meme that inspired me to keep up with the pace!

I'm not convinced that I want to commit to a membership. I really do prefer to just run outside,  so if I could pick up a partial membership for a couple of months it would be the best of both worlds.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Back at it

Sept 25th. Can it really be that I haven’t posted here in four and half months? What the heck have I been doing?

Let me tell you, my family and I have been doing a lot in those 4.5 months. Hilary went through chemo and radiation treatments and kicked cancer to the curb. I ran a couple of 5k races. Liam and I both had surgery – on the same day, at 2 different hospitals. We had family visits, celebrated 2 major holidays, got back into a school routine, twice – September and January (those pesky holiday breaks throw everything out of whack). Liam was in his first Shakespeare production. I got hearing aids. And we’ve survived a couple of snow storms.

Not surprisingly, I gained too much weight and undid any health improvements I had gained during my training for the half marathon.

And I’m okay with that.

Sometimes, you just have to ride the wave that life throws at you, knowing that eventually it will settle down and you can pick yourself up and get back at it.

That’s what I’m doing now.

One of the best motivations for me is to commit to (and pay) for a race. So I’ve signed up for 3! I’m sticking with 5ks this year, so I’ve decided to run the Bluenose 5k in May then Soul Sisters and Ocean Breeze in June. While the first race is still more than 3 months away, I need to get back into shape. My focus so far this year has been healthy eating, and it’s paying off. I lost 5 pounds in January. Of course, having surgery really helped to kick start the process. And I’m still learning which foods I can tolerate without my gallbladder.

To help with my recovery I started doing some simple stretching routines. It’s amazing how great that little bit of movement felt after being fairly sedentary for so long. I then added in walking, working to increase my pace and distance. I haven’t actually started running again…. but I feel ready! Tonight I’m going to the gym with a friend for a free trial. I really don’t see me as a gym–goer, but hey, it’s free! I’ll check out the equipment, and get in a good work out, and maybe even run on the treadmill. Our sidewalks are covered in snow right now, so I’m going to have to come up with an indoor running solution for the next month or so. I still have some track passes for the indoor track from last winter, so I’m sure that is where I’ll ultimately end up. Or the snow could melt… stranger things have happened.

So the journey continues.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Now what?

It’s been 2 weeks since I ran the Maritime Race Weekend Half-Marathon. What have I done since then?….. almost nothing! A friend came over last Friday so that we could run together. It didn’t go well. My hip hurt, my foot hurt and I was out of breath almost before we started. We lasted 2 km, with some walking in there, before we threw in the towel and went for a 40 minute walk instead. The walk was great and really helped to stretch things out.

And that is my problem. I haven’t been stretching things out. I haven’t even been walking, let alone running. Sure, I have some pretty great reasons excuses that have kept me pretty sedentary. Hilary is going through daily radiation and weekly chemo appointments. We are at the hospital anywhere from 1 to 6 hours each day. My work has been great and lets me be flexible with my time so that I can drive her and stay with her for the appointments, but it means that I’m logging into work at 6:30 most mornings and sometimes I’m still online till bedtime. We also have the back to school and homework routine that we are trying to get used to. Mostly, I’m just too tired to even consider heading outside. If I have 30 minutes that I could use, I’d rather be sitting on the couch or surfing the web for some mindless down time. And I wouldn’t change any of it right now. My priority is my family. Yes, I need to take care of me, and I do, just not by running.

And yet in less than 10 days I’m signed up to run not one, but TWO 5k races. One Saturday and one Sunday. They are 2 of my favorite 5ks – the CIBC Run for the Cure and the NS Lung Run out at the airport. I have no expectations of setting any PBs for these races. Heck, if I run more then I walk I’ll be happy.

We have no plans this weekend. No appointments, no specific times that we have to be somewhere, no work and the weather is perfect. So I WILL get out this weekend and run. I will do my best to stretch things out and limber up so that I don’t end up injured next weekend.

After that? I have a virtual run on Halloween and then no other running plans. I’m going to have my gallbladder removed at the beginning of November on top of everything else. It’s a simply day surgery procedure with a pretty quick recovery time, but I’m not sure when/how I’ll get back to running once that is done. There is also the possibility of going back to TaeKwon-Do at some point. For now, I’m not making any concrete plans, but just taking life one day at a time.

And when I think I can’t do it, I’m going to look at this picture of me from the marathon and remind myself that I CAN do it.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Maritime Race Weekend - Half Marathon

18 weeks
118 days
56 training sessions
321.5 km
55 hours

That is what it took to get me ready to run my first half marathon. Many bloggers are able to recap their race kilometer by kilometer.  For me, it's not quite all a blur, but there is no way that I can remember what happened at km 2 vs. km 12.  

What I do remember is that the locals from Eastern Passage were amazing.  Nearly 3000 people over took them for 2 days and all they did is offer their support.  With cheering, impromptu water stops and and amazing signs.

I also remember the hills.  OMG the hills.  Hilary and I had gone out and driven the course the week before, but the perspective of a hill is much different when you approach it on foot after having already run for 2 hours, then it is when you drive up it in a car.  One water station was strategically placed half way up a hill and had bunches of kids who ran down to meet me and "helped" me up the hill.  And yes, having a 4 year old run circles around me really did help.

The weather turned out to be perfect.  During the night we had a huge rain storm, and they had been calling for rain all day Saturday.  The rain finished up by 6:00 AM, but the day stayed cloudy and overcast with some fog along the coast.  It was cool, with a great breeze coming off the water.  Perfect conditions, especially after the past few weeks of heat and humidity.

What I remember most is finishing.  As I came around the corner and into the village, the very first person I saw was Hilary.  And with less then 500 feet to go, I burst out crying. Ugly, sobbing, bone wracking crying.  Except that I still had to keep running.  Luckily the end of the course snaked through the village and I had a few seconds to pull myself together before I rounded the final bend and was met with the crowds at the finish line.  I wasn't actually "together" but I was able to breath enough to keep going.  The next thing I knew, with 100 feet left to go and barely any strength left, a running friend came out of the crowd and ran with me to the finish line, shouting and cheering the whole way.  Add to that the race announcer telling everyone that this was my first half and seeing Hilary in front of me..... well, the ugly crying was back pretty quick. I was barely able to hold it together long enough for my friend Mickie (Cap'n Shin Splints) to give me my medal.

After getting my medals (yes two - one for finishing on Saturday, and one because I completed the "Tartan-Twosome" which is running the 5k Friday night and then running again on Saturday), I got to ring the Captain's Bell.  Which of of course brought on more crying.

My goal had been a) to finish and b) to try and finish in under 4 hours.  And I was able to.  My final time was 03:47:00, which is a pace of 10:49/km.

I am a half-marathoner!