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Tiki Made Me Do It

6 Aug

This morning I got up, went outside and RAN. I haven’t run outside for a long while but someone inspired me…

Tiki Gelana, the 2012 women’s olympic marathon winner.
Frankly I cannot imagine how these olympians can run for over 2 hours at such a fast pace. So crazy. So if they can do that, then I can run around my neighbourhood several times!
Plus the temperature dropped 10 degrees today so I really had no excuse.
Image

Really?!

4 Aug

Summer Runner

Race Highlights

28 May

So you may remember that I was all set to run a race. Well I ran it, survived it and did pretty well! Here is my race story:

Getting ready for my first race!

Race day for me started at 6am.  I got up early to get ready and most importantly eat because I wanted ample time to digest. Running can do “funny things” to your stomach, as the Healthy Tipping Point explains (see GROSS-OUT #2) and I wanted to do all I could to avoid said “funny things.”  My friend, her sister, and I got dropped off near the race headquarters. We were über excited and nervous. We were all running our first races!

Corral Lineup.

We took in the atmosphere and had lots of time to get to our corrals.  In fact my friend and I thought that we should use the extra 35 min we had to visit the bathroom one last time (nervous pee!).  Where we were stationed in our corral, the port-a-potties disappeared and coffee shops were our only option. The line up wasn’t crazy but everyone was taking so long that by the time it was our turn, we had maybe 2 minutes to pee and then run all the way to the start line. When there are over 22,000 people running a race, and you decide to be in the last corral, you start lining up a long way away from the start line!  So we sprinted and just as we got there, we had maybe 30 seconds to catch our breathes before the start gun went off!

Obviously this is not my photo.

The start of the race was really fun. There were groups of people cheering along the way, and my friend and I kept cheering back. We weaved in and out of people, sometimes bumping into each other to maintain a fast pace and avoid the “clumps” of people.

Everything was grand until maybe the 3km mark, which is when my shin started paining. Every step was brutal but I kept at it. Why this happened, I don’t know. And then my pre-existing injury, the Achilles tendon, flared up at 5km. Double pain! By the time we got to 7km, I didn’t even care because all I could think about was how tired I was.

My amazing friend kept cheering me on and telling me how great I was doing. Where she found the energy to do this, I don’t know.
Then at around 8.5km, I got annoying.  People watching the race kept yelling that we were almost there, yet I couldn’t see the finish line and I reeealllly wanted to see the finish line! I made sure to express this desire to my friend by repeating a million times:

“Where is the finish line?! I don’t see it! I don’t see the finish line! Where is it?!”

Finally we crossed a bridge, loud music was playing ahead of us and there it was! Soon enough, with maybe 1/4 of a kilometre to go, something came over me and I felt a sudden urge to sprint..HARD!  And so I did. My friend told me later that she was stunned and couldn’t believe where I got the energy from. She was amazing too because as soon as I started to dash, she was right behind me!  I felt like a real athlete and crossed the finish line proud!

Can you spot me?

We were both elated to finish the race and even more to do it under an hour! I came in at 55 minutes and change and my friend finished a couple of seconds later at 56 minutes.

I’m a runner yo! See, I wasn’t lying about the sprint! I’m not even touching the ground!

My friend is now ready to run marathons, take on triathlons and maybe conquer an Ironman. I’m just happy that I finished and have a medal to prove it! 🙂

 

 

It’s ON…like Donkey Kong!

10 May

 Just picked up my race kit for the Sporting Life 10K on Sunday. I got my race bib, a t-shirt, and some other freebies that are nice but not worth writing about.  With my gift card (for entering the race) and 15% off from the store (good until Saturday), I bought two additional t-shirts and a running belt. I’ve never owned a running belt before and though I was not planning on bringing water to the race (just grabbing it from the water stations), it now makes sense because I need somewhere to store my phone! Seems like the best idea since finding my boyfriend at the finish line in a crowd of 22,000 people might be difficult!

Right now I think I’m pretty much ready. I don’t know how fast I’ll be able to run but I know that I’ll definitely be able to finish. I’m currently suffering from some minor pain in my right side/hip, my right knee and my left achilles tendon. The achilles tendon hurts the most and will probably brother me the most if it continues to pain during the race. Otherwise, I’m feeling strong!

See you later!

Where were we?

23 Apr

So it’s pouring right now and has been pretty much all day, which is fine because it could have been more like this:

Okay maybe not as extreme but they were calling for 2-4cm in addition to the rain and if things shifted slightly, upwards of 10cm of snow. I’m really hoping we don’t have a scare like this again. Spring is really trying hard to settle in! Plus I have the 10k race in 3 weeks and I really have no intention of running in cold weather!

Anyways, I didn’t let the soggy weather deter me from hitting gym. I got out of work 10 minutes early which made a world of difference, got to my gym and jumped on the treadmill and didn’t get off until 50 minutes later. I ran my little heart out. It was great!

Feeling spunky, I decided to check out my usual step class which had a substitute teacher today. As I started to get into it, all sweaty from my run, I thought “WTF am I doing? I just ran for almost an hour!” Plus I was hungry, so it just wasn’t going to happen.  BUT before I left the gym I remembered one thing: PLANK!

Err not that kind of plank….this kind:

I’m trying to plank more in an effort to get my abs in shape. There were no mats available so I roughed it on the dirty gym carpet and planked for over a minute. Felt like a beast! And then I left. Caught my bus with 30 seconds to spare and now all I have left to do tonight is RELAX!

What workout did you do today? 

Hunger Games and Burning Quads

25 Mar

I saw the Hunger Games on Saturday, along with many giddy teenagers. The verdict – It was a really great movie! I read the book and was eagerly anticipating seeing the movie. The boyfriend didn’t read the book but thoroughly enjoyed the movie as well and now he is planning to read the book. I still think the book was better than the movie but the movie itself was very well done. I won’t give anything away since it just opened but I recommend that you see it. It was well worth it!

 

In other news, this past week I have been running a lot. Why? Because I’m signed up for a 10k race!

I have never run a race before and a 10k will be a challenge. I have only ever run that distance once and it could have just been a fluke that I survived it.

On Tuesday, I ran around 6-7k with a friend. On Wednesday, I ran a crazy 7.5 k to the waterfront with another friend and then jogged/walked 7.5k to return. This friend must have not remembered that we are training for a 10k and not a half marathon! I will tell you that right in the middle of that adventure we did stop for a small bit of gelato so it wasn’t all that bad…hahaha. On Thursday, I joined the running group my brother leads and ran what was suppose to be 5k but ended up being a very fast 7k.

This week of running meant that my quads have been on FIIIIRRREEE. This occurs while walking in general, walking upstairs, walking downstairs, sitting…everything! I know it’s probably because I have done too much too fast so I hope it gets better as I continue to train.

Tomorrow the weather is dropping significantly so I’m going to do my own run on the treadmill and some Pilates afterwards to stretch myself out. I hope to run 3 times in total this week to keep up my endurance. Running and I have a love-hate relationship but I do enjoy a challenge!

 

I’ve Got Chocolate In My Teeth

20 Aug

 

I had the pleasure of enjoying some Camino chocolate this afternoon. My friend and I decided to indulge in some mint dark chocolate. She was scheduled to do some Hot Yoga later in the day and I completed a little over 8 kilometers of running this morning, so it was totally justified. Besides, dark chocolate is good for you, n’est-ce pas?

My run this morning was a great challenge. After going out for lunch and dinner in one day and as a result going to bed feeling stuffed, I thought a nice run would do me good. I woke up, put on some stylish running clothes, splashed some water on my face to ensure I was completely awake and headed out. I ran at a slow pace the majority of the way and sprinted only in the last kilometer. I also stopped to walk numerous times. The reason for my lackluster run? It was super crazy hot and as a result the heat sucked the life right out of me. I’m just proud I got out there.

I also just agreed to go running again tomorrow with a friend who is a half -marathoner! Wish me luck! After our run we will be heading to a baby shower, so maybe I’ll reward myself with a little treat at the party.

Note to self: Eat in moderation!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Warm Muscles or Advil Magic?

9 Aug

I pulled my lower back muscles, among other things, yesterday during a bootcamp class. My regular step class was scheduled but the instructor was away and so the class became bootcamp. Sound familiar. (This happened last week with another step class).

Well today I felt the pain, especially sitting at my desk all day long. I therefore decided not to go to spin class simply due to the bent over position I would be in. Instead, I decided to run. I kept a comfortable pace and and alternated between 10 min running and 2 minute walking.

Ten minutes in my back felt stiff and I thought it might be wise to stop. However, sometimes I am not wise. I just really wanted to run. I toughed it out for about 10 more minutes and then BAM!..no pain.

My friend walked by and I mentioned my back issue and he said, “ha! you are smiling now because your muscles are nice and warm, but tomorrow you may be walking hunched over.” Warm muscles….hm…that’s probably correct but part of me wants to think it was something else:

ADVIL

I took some advil about an hour before I jumped on the treadmill to ward off any cramps that wanted to pay me a visit and ruin my run. Could it be that the Advil kicked in and made my back muscles feel nice? I mean I was on the treadmill for 62 minutes (no joke!). It probably wasn’t the advil but let me continue my story…

The wonders of Advil were first pronounced in my memory back in 2004 during a trip to Spain. I was having a lovely day in Barcelona with my brother, walking all around town when my foot started to feel funny. Next thing you know my ankle is the size of a baseball and it hurts like a b*tch to walk. I love walking. I love walking in Europe! It was a nightmare. We used our broken non-existent Spanish and managed to get some pain medication from a pharmacy. It was Advil…. in liquid capsule form! All I know is that an hour after I took it, I felt nothing. It was like I was walking on a cloud (well really inflamation but with no pain).  I walked for the rest of the day with no complaints.  Soooo….maybe my long run was because the magical Advil kicked in for just a little bit?

Anyways, advil or not, my running high ended soon after I got off the treadmill. My legs felt a bit tight and when I finally sat down to stretch, I almost fell. My leg muscles hurt and I looked like a granny trying to sit down due to the sharp pain in my low back. I did some stretches (real slow and cautious) and ended my workout there.

Let’s hope I can walk upright tomorrow 🙂

Working It Out – Week is Complete

6 Aug

 

My workout week is done!

I successfully completed what I set out to do: Workout hard Tues-Fri. I definitely don’t recommend working out 4 days in a row (if you are not use to it). It takes a lot of determination.

In my last post I mentioned that I was going to a step class on Thursday. Well, the instructor forgot his step music and asked if wanted to do weights or cardio instead. I quickly spoke up and said cardio! I said it loud enough to drown out the girl beside me who was shouting weights. Haha! So he turned the class into bootcamp and worked us to the max. I was sweating everywhere! It was crazy. We did stairs, jumping on elevated steps, burpees, mountain climbers..all the horrrible stuff. I also squeezed in some upper body strength training beforehand and some abs after class.

Yesterday I did my own thing: 20 minutes on the treadmill and 40 minutes on the elliptical and I woke up early this morning to do some abs and stretching. Check, check, check!

So now I am done! I might do a Pilates video tomorrow but otherwise I’m going to relax.

I actually plan on continuing my hardcore workouts consistently (4 days a week) for at least 21 days as that is how many days it takes to form a habit…or so I hear.

Happy Weekend!

Working It Out – Update

3 Aug

I went to the gym on Tuesday as planned. Unfortunately my stomach was a bit unsettled. This really pissed me off because I was so pumped. Must have been my weird food choices during the day: canned beans, handful of unsalted peanuts that were unusally greasy, and an assortment of olives from the olive bar at Whole Foods…

Anyway, I managed to stretch my run until the 30 minute mark and the only reason I got through the next 30 minutes on the elliptical was by watching one of those entertainment shows. The time actually flew by. After this, I was done like dinner. I did not want to do weights or abs. I just wanted to lie down and sip on gingerale.

Today (Day 2 of 4), I killed it! I ran for about 43 minutes. It was a struggle but I definitely felt a lot stronger at the half way mark and I sweat like crazy..eewww! I was thinking of continuing on the treadmill but my legs were feeling weird so I thought it best to jump on the bike instead and spent the remaining 15 minutes there. Super sweaty by this point, I did about 4 lower body strength exercises, which I will definitely feel over the next couple of days.

I felt amazing, energized and tired at the same time. However, by the time I got home my body felt weak and I think I had some sort of low-blood sugar episode of dizziness. Does this ever happen to anyone? Not good. I didn’t think I overdid it, but perhaps I did. It also could be because I forgot to eat a snack before I hit the gym.

I’m still geared up for tomorrow (Day 3/4) but I’m going to change things up by going to a step class. After, I will attempt some upper body weight training action.

Oh and did I mention that I did a Pop Pilates abs workout this morning? Nothing like sweating first thing in the morning..hahaa. You can catch all of Cassey Ho’s Pop Pilates workouts and her blog here. My goal is to try them all! They are challenging but she makes the workout fun!

PS – That post a couple of days ago about me being sick was no joke. I woke up sick Sunday morning but by Monday afternoon I was completely fine! Miracle!! I still have some sniffles here and there but it feels more like allergies then a cold.