Monday, September 1, 2014

Best Birthday Present

I was away this summer for my birthday.  Hilary had stayed home and I knew that she was working on a project, but she wouldn't tell me what it was.   When I got home and we celebrated my birthday, I found out what the project was when I opened my present:


She painted the letters in my favorite colour - purple and added hooks to the bottom.  We only just got them hung in our bedroom today.  

There are more hooks to fill in so I better keep running!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Reiki

I had my first ever Reiki session this week, given by my friend Sandy, who is studying to be a Reiki practitioner.


What is Reiki and how does it help?

Reiki is a method of relaxation and stress reduction that comes from the Japanese and was introduced to the West in 1937.  The concept is that all living things contain a life force and that with the guided help of a Reiki practitioner, you can heal the disrupted parts of your life force.

The life force is responsive to thoughts and feelings. It becomes disrupted when we accept, either consciously or unconsciously, negative thoughts or feelings about ourselves. These negative thoughts and feelings attach themselves to the energy field and cause a disruption in the flow of life force. This diminishes the vital function of the organs and cells of the physical body.  From Reiki.org

What did I feel/benefit from my Reiki session?

I went into my first Reiki session with no expectations.  I had read up on the practice before hand, just to get a sense of what was involved.  I've mentioned before that I don't have any religious beliefs, so when I read that Rei means "God's Wisdom or the Higher Power", I was slightly skeptical that this was going to be for me.  I wasn't looking to have a spiritual or religious moment.  Further reading however clarified that Reiki is not based on religion, but deals with the energy flowing through us.  Since I was also doing this to help out a friend who is studying to be a Reiki practitioner I decided to just go in with an open mind and see what might happen.

Unlike massage, you remain fully clothed for Reiki.  I laid on my back in a comfortable position, with my eyes closed (though I did peek every now and then), in a slightly darkened room with a lit candle and some quiet music playing.  

For most of the session Sandy stood over me holding her hands 4-6 inches over various parts of my body.  Sometimes she would place her hands on my joints, like my shoulders, elbows and hands.  I honestly wasn't expecting to feel anything other than relaxed - after all I was lying down in the dark with my eyes closed after a long day at work.  What I didn't expect was that I would feel something when her hands were 4-6 inches above me.  What I did feel was concentrated areas of heat.  This is where the peeking came in.  I would feel the heat and wonder if it was just a random feeling or if it lined up with where Sandy was holding her hands at the time.  It really did line up!

The only other physical reaction that I had during the session was 2 periods of extreme chills and feeling cold.  The room we were in was not cold, nor was there any breeze that could account for the change in temperature.  It was not an uncomfortable feeling, just unusual feeling, sort of like the chill that people claim to get when someone "walks over their grave".

I found that being alone in my head for an hour left me with my thoughts flitting from idea to idea, with a few periods of blissful nothingness in between.  A lot of my thoughts were about running and images of me running in races.  After the session when Sandy and I were chatting, she let me know that she had also had many thoughts and images of me running.  A Reiki practitioner often feels similar sensations and reactions to the recipient, so its not the unusual that both of our thoughts were focused on the same subject.

After the session I continued to feel relaxed.  When I went for my run the following day, I had one of my best runs in a long time!  I can't say that it's directly related to the Reiki session, or simply a coincidence, but either way it felt great to have a run where I felt not only good physically, but also mentally - I was able to overcome my thoughts of stopping and walking and was able to push through the normal mental stuff that clouds my mind during a run.

Overall, it was a positive experience and I'm glad I had that chance to try it out.  I'm sure Sandy is going to make a great Reiki Master as she continues her journey.

Some links for further reading
Taking Charge - How an Reiki help me?
Reiki.org - What is Reiki?
IARP.org - Sensations during Reiki

Monday, August 4, 2014

Natal Day Road Race




Apparently this is the 108th year for the Dartmouth Natal Day Road Race, but it's the first year I've ever heard of it!  I'm glad a fellow runner at work told me about it with enough time for me to sign up.  I'll be sure to sign up again next year.

It was only 2 miles (3.22 km).  I woke up to the pouring rain, which makes for a nice cool run in August, but I would like to run at least one race this year where I'm not soaking wet.  It didn't actually rain to much during the race itself, but the humidity was high.

I haven't been running very much this summer, so I didn't have high expectations for finishing with a great time.  I was pleased to finish with 27:18, keeping in line with my never changing pace of 8:30/km.  I was in awe of the runners who finished in a speedy 10 minutes!


Now I need to find my next race to sign up for.  I love having something concrete to work towards.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

August Goals

A look back at July:

  1. Stop eating bad "C" word foods for the next 6 weeks.
  2. Attend 8 TKD classes
  3. Run 10 times
  4. Run/Walk 155 km, with at least 50% of my days being over 5k
The only goal that I even got close to reaching in July is number one.  I have (mostly) given up the bad "C" words. I  did have cake for Liam's birthday, obviously.  And there has been a stray ice cream sandwich and cotton candy while on vacation.  But over all I feel good about this challenge and find that I am craving sweets less and less.

As for running, TKD and walking?  July sucked. 6 tkd classes, I only ran 3 times and I only logged 135 km, my lowest month yet.

Moving on...............

My goals for August?

I have no goals for August!


Sure I plan to keep walking, going to TKD, running and eating healthy.  I also recognize that I will be on vacation for 2 week's.  Since I will be visiting my Mom, the healthy eating and walking will be no problem, but I'm not going to track my food or my steps, and obviously TKD will be out.  I will take my running stuff with me and will hopefully get in at least one run, but really, I'm just going to enjoy myself.

Do you give up setting goals in the summer?  Or are you more motivated then?

Saturday, July 26, 2014

20 days of Nourishment - Review

Mind – Body – Spirit


Today is the last day of the 20 days of nourishment challenge. It has been very interesting to reflect each day on what aspects of my life I seem to be doing well with and what areas I could probably focus more on.

The challenge was to list your daily activities in one of three categories – mind, body and spirit – and to give each activity a score out of 7 depending on how helpful, positive or healthy the activity was. There isn’t a perfect score, or even a number to aim for. The point is to see how your numbers vary from day to day and what activities may be good or bad for you.

Unsurprisingly, my numbers were highest every day in the BODY category. This category dealt with food. Since I focus a lot on food and making healthy choices, I had pretty high numbers for most meals. And food is the easiest one to remember to track every day.

MIND came in second for me. This category was all about entertainment and education. I don’t think I had a single activity that I would label as educational! And my entertainment was pretty much the same day over day – read blogs, play on the computer, watch TV. I did get a new book while we were away for Liam’s birthday, so I did have a few days with reading.

My SPIRIT numbers lagged far behind. I found it was a lot easier to reflect on negative things that happened during the day and to write those down, then it was to come up with more positive things that I did. However, it did help me realize that I need more positives in my day, so it sent me looking for them. It’s an area that I’m going to continue to focus on.

Thanks Hutch for hosting a great challenge and helping me become much more self aware.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Jumpstart




While I haven’t posted my weekly weigh-in here in a while, I still weigh myself every Sunday and record it as my official weight for the week. The problem is that the number seems to be stuck. Since January I have lost and regained the same 5 pounds. I continue to count calories, watch what I eat, exercise when I can, but nothing seems to be working.

Something obviously needs to change. I had great success last year when I was doing the 5:2 Fast diet plan. / So I’m going to give it a try again starting today. I’m starting off with only 1 day of fasting per week instead of 2. Last time I found that on the days that I was fasting I didn’t have the energy to run or do any other exercise. So my week is going to look like this:

  • Sunday – Long Run / Rest 
  • Monday - TKD 
  • Tuesday – Fasting Day 
  • Wednesday - TKD 
  • Thursday – Short Run 
  • Friday - Rest Day 
  • Saturday – Long Run / Rest


The basic premise of the fast day is that you only consume approx. 500 calories. I am going to break that into 2 meals – my Shakeology shake for breakfast (eaten around 10:00) for about 200 calories and then a 300 calorie dinner after work. Hilary has been great in researching different meals that fit this criteria and are still delicious and filling. I may “cheat” and go over the magic number of 500 calories by adding in a morning coffee. I don’t think I’m ready to give that up just yet.

I’m really hoping that this will be the jumpstart that I need to get the scale moving in the right direction.