Wednesday, January 21, 2015


Balancing 2 passions can be tricky. So far running and TKD have not been at odds with one another. TKD is a great cross-training activity that exercises every single muscle of the body , including my mind. Running helps build endurance and stamina which I can then use in TKD.

My passion for both sports is pretty much 50/50 right now, but I have a significant goal that I am trying to achieve in each. The first goal is in TKD. Next week I will be testing for my blue stripe level. My running goal is of course to run my first half-marathon. That isn’t until May of this year.

It’s been almost a year since I last tested for a new belt level in TKD and I still don’t feel 100% ready. I will have to demonstrate 6 patterns, ranging from 7 to 28 moves each. I will have to spar for a minimum of 2 minutes against an opponent who may be strong/bigger/better than I am, using as many techniques and combos as possible. I will have to do 2 different step-sparring demos – essentially 2 person patterns with specific steps and movements and then I may have to answer theory and history questions. In order to be ready for all of that in just over a week, I’ve decided to put running on hold and attend as many TKD classes as I can before the testing date. As luck would have it, my new job is only a 5 minute drive from the Sackville Dojang, so I can attend classes on Tues, Thurs and Fri, giving me 4 more classes then I would get if I only trained in Halifax.

An hour TKD class is much more physically taxing than a mid-week, low mileage run. I’m certainly feeling it today and I’ve only done 1 extra class so far. I am feeling much more ready to test, so I know that it is the right decision.

There is risk of injury with both sports. I am still covered in bruises from sparring in a TKD class more than 2 weeks ago and my hips are not too happy with me today after some of the stretches we did last night. With that in mind, I will be taking a break from TKD as my half-marathon training ramps up in the spring. I would hate to have spent 20 weeks training for a race only to have to pull out at the last minute from an injury from a different sport.

And then there is the idea of balancing all of this activity with family, work and the rest of my life. That is a whole other post!

Monday, January 19, 2015


Yesterday as Donzella and I were coming into the home stretch of our 7k run, we passed the building where we used to work together and where we first met 9 years ago. She asked me to think about how far I had come since that time. Was I as active then as I am now? Do I weigh as much now as I did then? The answer to both of those questions is a resounding NO!

It is too easy to lose insight into how far I have come when I am focused on today's goals. I get down on myself about a scale number that isn’t moving, or feeling that my 9:30/km pace is too slow. I need to stop and remind myself that just a few short years ago, the number on the scale was much, much bigger and the idea of running for even one minute was laughable.

Now I’m training to run my first half-marathon! I’m no longer pre-diabetic, I’m healthier and happier then I have been in a long time. Sure there is still work to be done, I haven’t run that half-marathon yet! But each day is better than the one before it, and so much better than all those days 9 years ago.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Running Update

This should be my 7th training run but it’s only my 4th. The weather has conspired against me – too cold and too icy. It’s early on in the training plan, so I’m not too worried. Hopefully the winter won’t be too long and horrible. I have attended all of my TKD classes, so I am keeping up a base level of exercise. This coming Sunday will be the first long run that is longer than 5k. Right now they forecast is calling for PLUS 6 and sunny – perfect running conditions!

My running partner has found a water running class on Thursday nights that is close to my new work. We are going to look into doing drop-in classes when the weather is really sucky, or even just to change things up a bit. I’m not a huge swimming fan, but running in the water might be fun.

I am trying very hard to drink more water this week. After my last couple of runs I have ended up with a very bad headache, that I am pretty sure was caused by dehydration. So far today I’ve had 120+ ounces of either water or weak green tea. I’m not sure I’m going to be able to run 3k tonight without having to stop to pee in someone’s front yard.

Happy Running  everyone!

Thursday, January 8, 2015


It’s week 1 day 3 of my 20 week ½ marathon training plan and I need to skip tonight’s run.


I had a great TKD class yesterday full of kicks and cardio. I was sore afterwards, but it was a good sore, one that let me know that I am in touch with all my muscles. I went home, relaxed in a hot shower, worked out the last few kinks, and then headed out to pick Liam up from Cadets.

It had started to snow, a light dusting that was just covering the ground. As Liam and I headed to the parked car, I stopped him to point out a patch of ice in front of him, since he didn’t seem to be paying any attention. Then I stepped forward and the world spun sideways as I slipped on a hidden patch of ice and started falling. I didn’t go all the way down; I was able to grab the front of Liam’s jacket with one hand and a piece of scaffolding with the other.

While I didn’t fall, I did twist my left knee.  It didn't swell, but it hurt enough in the car ride home to bring tears to my eyes.  And not quite 24 hours later it is still tender when I bend it.  Once I'm up and walking it seems fine.

So even though I want to get out and run, I don't want to risk further injury.  So today I rest and hopefully tomorrow all will be right again.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

20 weeks

20 weeks from today it will be Sunday May 17th.  Not usually a notable date in my life, but this year it will be.

After a lot of thought, soul searching and discussions with Hilary, I have decided to train for the Recharge With Milk Half Marathon that is part of the Blue Nose* weekend!

* For my non-Nova Scotia friends, "Blue Nose" is a nickname for Nova Scotians, dating back to the 18th century.

I have set up a 20 week training program that has me running 4 times a week, with long runs on Sundays.  Most of my weeknight runs will be under an hour, which is good, since I don't get home from work till after 5:00.

I've never run more than 10 kms before and have just gotten back into running, so training to run 21.1 kms is a bit daunting.  My first long run that surpasses 10 kms is only 5 weeks away!  There are a few obstacles to the training plan that I will have to work around - the biggest one being that we will be in the Domincan Republic for March break (otherwise known as week 11), and I may have some travel coming up for work. It's not to say that I can't run while I'm away, it will just present some unique challenges.

Halifax is also a very hilly city and so far I have manage to run on nice flat routes.  I'm going to have to start adding some hill work to my runs, especially since kms 15-21 for the 1/2 are a slow but steady climb.

So there we have it. Year one of running I did my first 5k.  Year two of running I did my first 10k.  So it only holds to reason that in my third year I aim for my first 1/2 marathon! I'm just going to giv'er!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2015 Goals

I have a few goals for 2015. The biggest one is to continue to live a healthy lifestyle so that I can be my healthiest. This includes better eating, more sleep, being happy with my life and exercising.

There are two things that I do for exercise that I plan to keep working on in 2015 – TaeKwon-Do and running.

My TaeKwon-Do goals are simple: Test for my Blue stripe in January and test for my Blue belt in the fall. I need to commit to attending classes more regularly for this to happen. I had a few months in 2014 where I only made it to a single class. I’m never going to learn my patterns and improve my techniques at that rate.

My plan for running is to get out at least 3 times a week and slowly increase my distance.  I'm less concerned about my speed, though of course I would love to be faster.

The one thing that keeps me motivated to run is having a planned race to train for. Right now I have at least 7 races that I want to participate in for 2015.

2015 Race List
  1. NS Lung Run May 2 – I really liked this race last year – It’s run along the boardwalk and through the container terminal. And it’s nice and flat.
  2. Recharge with Milk ½ Marathon May 17 – MAYBE.... I haven’t decided yet if I can train enough to run my first ½ marathon by May. The idea that I’m even considering this freaks me out.
  3. Ocean Breeze June 20 – I’m planning to do the 10k again this year. Hopefully it won’t be in a torrential downpour!
  4. MacPass Mile Aug 02 – New to me for 2015. This involve running across the Macdonald Bridge from Halifax to Dartmouth. It’s got a pretty wicked up slope, followed by the same down slope once you pass the middle of the bridge
  5. Natal Day Road Race August 03 – This is a great 2 mile race through Dartmouth. 2015 will be the 110th year this race has run.
  6. CIBC Run for the Cure Oct 4 – 2015 will my third year running this 5k race through downtown Halifax. This is also the only run that I actively fundraise for.
  7. Runway Run (was in October last year) – I hope they have this race again for 2015. Running on the airport runway was a lot of fun.
  8. All the Shrinking Jeans Virtual runs (usually about 3 a year) – I like the virtual races because they help to keep me training for something between other races.

I will hopefully pick up a few more races along the way as well.

Most notably for 2015, I don't have a weight goal.  Do I want to lose weight?  Of course!  But I am not setting a specific goal of how many pounds I want to lose, or what my goal weight for the end of the year would be.  Instead, I'm going to focus on being healthy and exercising.  If I do those 2 things, the weight loss will follow.