Friday, March 28, 2014

How exactly did this happen?

This past January I ran into Gail, the woman who ran the Learn To Run programme through Liam’s school last year. She was an amazing coach and really helped me believe in myself and was instrumental in me sticking with running and making it through my first 5k race. We spent a few minutes catching up with each other before talk turned to this years Learn To Run programme. I inquired if she would be leading it again this year, and I said that I was going to sign up for it. It’s great to have a weekly commitment to run with a group. I find that it forces helps me out the door to run on days that I might otherwise talk myself out of it.

Gail was indeed planning to run the group again, but mentioned that she had 2 weeks where her work schedule interfered and asked me if I could help out on those nights, since I live close and was planning to be there anyway. I don’t know what she thought “helping out” meant, but in my mind it entailed saying to the group “Okay, let’s all run for 40 minutes, see you back here.” And then making sure we didn’t lose anyone along the way.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago when I got an email from the school. “…can you send me a brief bio so that I can introduce you, along with Gail, as the instructors this year?”

Ummm… Sorry?

So helping out a couple of nights has now been elevated to “instructor”.
We are happy to introduce our Learn to Run instructors, Gail and Andy, who are volunteering their time to teach our group how to run. Gail was an instructor for us last year. Gail is a Registered Nurse who worked as a certified aerobics instructor while going to school. She has participated in numerous runs over the years, supporting a number of charities. Andy, a 43 year old mom, started running for the first time last April with the OBTR Learn to Run Programme. She had never run before, and had even managed to avoid it during every single gym class in high school! She kept with it, and by the end of the 10 week programme was ready to take part in her first ever 5k race (The OBTR Gale). Gail and Andy are looking forward to teaming up to coach the Ocean Breeze Learn-to-Run Programme and can't wait to meet our group.
While I’m honoured, I hardly feel qualified. I’m going to rise to the challenge though and hopefully we can all learn to run together.

And if you live in the HRM area, why don't you join us for a 10 week learn to run programme, led by 2 amazing women?  You can sign up here: LTR Registration

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Stomach Bug

I got hit with a nasty 24 hour stomach bug on Sunday, that has now taken down Liam.  The only good thing to come out of this is that I lost 4 pounds in less then 48 hours.  It's not a weight loss plan that I would wish on anyone.  Today I was able to eat crackers, bananas and yogurt!  It was like a smorgasbord.

Hopefully by tomorrow I'm fully on the med, since we are due to get 30-40 cm of snow!  That's between a foot and a foot and a half in less then 12 hours.  I'm going to need all of my energy for shoveling.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Shamrock Shuffle 5k

I did it!

After not running for nearly 2 months, I headed out this morning and ran 5k for the Shamrock Shuffle.  The morning had started out beautiful and sunshiny, until I decided it was time to go.  5 minutes before I headed out the door, it got very dark and started to snow.  Just my luck.   But the luck of Irish must have been with me because within minutes of leaving the house, the snow stopped and the sun was out once more.  Within minutes of starting my run I had ditched my hood, my gloves and before long even my jacket! My finish photo looks like it could have been taken in the middle of summer, not the middle of March.

I was worried that I wouldn't be able to finish 5k after such a long break.  I walked when I needed to walk and ran when I could. I'm very pleased with my time of 44:52.  That's only a few minutes slower then I was last summer!  It makes me think that I just might be able to do the 10k Ocean Breeze trail run in June!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Running Update

Actually, there isn't a whole lot to update.

Hi my name is Andy and it's been 46 days since I last went for a run.

I'm not 100% sure how that happened.  Sure, I was sick for 10 days, and I've been trying to do the workout videos that I got from Beachbody.  The weather is absolutely horrendous, so my only running option has been the indoor track.  I'm sure I could come up with many other reasons, but it all comes down to the fact that it's been a month and a half since I've laced up.

There is however, a fair bit of running in my future.  Tomorrow I'm supposed to run the Shamrock Shuffle Virtual 5k.  It's supposed to snow in the morning and be cold in the afternoon.  But even if I have to walk the whole thing, I'm going to get out and do this.  I'll consider it my dive back into running.

I've also signed up for another virtual 5k for next weekend.  And the Learn to Run program through Liam's school starts up again on Friday April 4th, only 3 weeks away.  This will be a 10 week program leading up to the Ocean Breeze Trail Run that the school is putting on as their major fundraiser for the year.  The one that I'm debating running the 10k instead of the 5k.   I'm still torn on that.

I've also signed up for this year's Run for the Cure, but luckily that isn't until October.  And for reasons unknown to me, I've been checking out race dates in Ontario that might coincide with our summer vacation to see my Mom.

I enjoy running and I really do miss it.  I love the quiet, alone time, listening to music or audio books, watching the world around me.  I just hate the cold and the snow and the ice.  While running at the track is a great option, I don't enjoy it nearly as much.  I would equate it to how people complain about using a treadmill.

So it's now the middle of March and Spring officially starts in 6 days.  Weather be damned, I'm going to get back out there and RUN.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


The next few weeks are going to be a true test of my will power. Every year our TaeKwon-Do club has its members sell chocolate bars to raise funds. We are each asked to sell 2 boxes, so 60 chocolate bars. Or in my case, 4 boxes, since Liam and I both train together. Each box contains a mixture of chocolate covered almonds, almond bars, caramel bars and individually wrapped caramels. They are some of the BEST chocolates I have ever tasted.

The good thing is that I work in an office with a lot of people, so it’s usually pretty quick and easy to sell off 4 boxes. Just set it up on the corner of my desk and spread the word. The people will come, Toonies in hand.

The bad thing is that I have a box of chocolates sitting on my desk for the next couple of weeks.

The first box was set up on my desk this morning and I’ve already sold 7 bars. The box won’t last long, and will be replaced by the next one (which is already 3 bars light, since Liam emptied his wallet as soon as we got home with them last night).

I really want to stick with my 21-day plan and get my eating back on track, which does not include eating chocolate of any type, let alone a box of almonds that has 440 calories. So until these chocolates are all sold, I will be working on my willpower

“It's not that some people have willpower and some don't... It's that some people are ready to change and others are not.” ― James Gordon

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Weigh in - March 9

Last Week's Weight - 218
Current Weight - 219.5

Weight Gained This Week - 1.5

Guess what!!  I'm finally over my cold/sinus infection.  I was even able to work out today, with a high intensity 30 minute aerobic video.  Sure, my nose was a bit drippy, but since I'm in the privacy of my bedroom and not at a gym, I didn't really care.

Another gain this week caused purely by inactivity and comfort food.  Now that I'm on the mend, I start again!!  If I was able to lose 5lbs a few weeks ago, I'm sure I can start losing again this week.

Who's with me?

Thursday, March 6, 2014

If only...

I am currently suffering from a bad case of the "If only's..."

·         If only it weren’t dark out when I got home... I could go for a walk.
·         If only there wasn’t snow on the ground… I could go for a run.
·         If only it weren’t so cold outside… I could play in the back yard.
·         If only I could lose 20 pounds… it would be easier to exercise.
·         If only I would exercise… I could lose 20  pounds.
·         If only I could get more sleep… I wouldn’t be so tired.
·         If only I wasn’t sick… I could do more.
·         If only the bag of chips wasn’t open... I wouldn’t eat them.
·         If only I didn’t have to work full time… I would have more time to work out.
·         If only I had a car… I could get to the gym.
·         If only we had a basement… I would have room for a treadmill.
·         If only I wasn’t so lazy… I could get up and do something.
·      If only ...

Does anyone have a good cure-all for the "If only's..."?

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Too sick to exercise?

When should you say “enough is enough” and take to the couch or your sick bed instead of gearing up and working out?

I’ve been down for the count for almost a week know with a cold/sinus infection. While researching the idea of exercising while sick, I came across the best advice: “"Do what you can do, and if you can't do it, then don't”  Seems like a no brainer! You know your body best. The point of exercising is to improve your overall health. If you are pushing yourself too far, then you are really defeating the purpose.

Other words of wisdom include don't exercise if you have a fever or any sort of lung issue. While I haven't had either of those issues, all of my symptoms being in my sinuses, I've opted out of exercising for the past week.  I was so run down on the weekend that I napped for a total of 7 hours over 2 days.  I never nap, so this was a sure sign that my body needed a break.  And the pain of a sinus infection made just moving my head an ordeal.  I can't imagine doing lunges or toe touches; I'm pretty sure my head would have exploded.

I'm taking one more day to overcome my headache and fatigue and plan to get back into my routine of 30 minutes of exercise a day starting tomorrow.

Check out these links to some articles on exercising when sick:

Do you work out when you are sick?

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Weigh In - March 2

Last Week's Weight - 216
Current Weight - 218.0

Weight Gained This Week - 2

Two steps forward, 1 step back.

This week's gain is really no surprise. I only exercised 3 out of the 7 days, I'm fighting a sinus infection and I turned to comfort food after a long, hard week of training at work and being sick.

I know that when I get back on track on Monday that I will continue to lose and improve. Overall I did lose a total of 2 pounds in February, bringing my total so far this year to 7 pounds lost.  As long as these small gains don't outweigh the losses, then I'm happy.