Friday, May 27, 2011

Falling behind Friday

So quick update from me - I have been a little MIA over here because of some crazy happenings in my life. Something came up that I didn't expect, and I have been scrambling to keep up. I can't give details quite yet, but if all works out, it is good, and I will blab all of the details as soon as I feel I can.

I have been running, but not crazy. I regret not running in the Ottawa Race Weekend but I didn't get in before it sold out. I definitely want to sign up for the 10k next year, and I will sign up early. I haven't signed up for the half marathon in the fall yet, but I am worried that I might not have the same amount of time to dedicate to the training this summer. I mean, last summer I was unemployed and had all the time in the world to run, this summer I am out of the house usually for 12+ hours of the day, and running at work isn't an option. I want to do it, but I don't want the training to become a chore. Still trying to set up a schedule, see if it might work.

For now, let me leave you with some GREAT giveaways for all my American readers who (I think) have a long weekend this weekend:

Happy Runner Saucony Giveaway

Chubby Chicks Run Too Saucony Giveaway

The Studly Runner Blitz Knee Sleeves

Have a great long weekend!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Bitten by the Green Monster

Along the journey to becoming a decent runner, I have seen other bloggers mention the GREEN monster. It scared me more then a little. It was green, and mean, and I thought that if I let one into my life, it would make me sad and blue (I know, bad colour pun there)

I viewed the green monster as the enemy I would never succumb to:

Ok, so maybe I am a bit drama filled. For those of you who don't know, a green monster is actually a smoothie, more specifically one made typically with spinach in it. I was a bit pessimist, thinking that there was NO way that the flavour of spinach could be disguised under fruit in a smoothie. Spinach was far too strong tasting, and the thought of blending it up and eating it for breakfast made me gag a little.

Until I finally caved this week, and tried it. I admit I was still a bit of a wuss, and only shoved a tiny handful of baby spinach (much milder and sweeter than the normal stuff in my opinion) in with my normal breakfast shake. After blending it up in the Ninja, it looked like I had taken a rose or carnation, flower, stem, leaves and all and blended them together. Little pieces of green and red floating everywhere in a pink liquid. (I know, if it's pink liquid, it's not a real green monster, but give me a break, I am working on it!)

It took all my willpower to convince me to take that first sip, and once I did: WOW! I was pleasantly surprised that I didn't really taste the spinach at all. The tiny little flecks that were still solid had a little tang, but the rest of it went down smoothly.

I am happy to say I tamed the green monster, and it is now part of my morning routine. Still haven't got the husband on the band wagon yet, but I'll convince him somehow... :)

Do you like green monsters? What's your best green monster recipe?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Adrenalin High

This weekend, I managed to have two perfect workouts. On the way home on Friday, I got a call from my normal workout buddy saying she wouldn't be able to make it. Normally, this would result in me throwing in the towel and lounging on the couch for the rest of the evening. Thankfully, I have a fire lit under my butt these days due to a weight loss contest I am entered in coming to a close, and having some impending races sneaking up on me. So off to the gym I went with the intention to do a nice, relaxed, 5k run.

Now I admit, I have not been running much these days. I have been swimming, doing step class, and doing some jogging with my new protege, but nothing that is a challenge. So when I hopped on the treadmill I set no time expectations, no speed requirements, I just set it at what felt right, and planned to run until I needed to walk. I have always been a 10 and 1'er, not having the stamina to keep going for long periods.

Needless to say, I was happily surprised when my body decided to act like the Energizer Bunny and let me keep going and going and going. The kilometers flew by as I watched some tv, and I was in the zone. That happy place where everything falls into place, you are in sync with your body and it feels easy, even though it shouldn't. I ran 5k in about 32-33 minutes, which is a great pace for someone who hasn't done that continuous distance since before winter. I have faith that I am in ok shape for the summer months.

Because I was on such a high, I ignored my tired legs and went to step class and swimming the next day, and continued to feel great. It was a weekend that reminded me why I stay active, because it feels so good to feel your muscles flexing and working, or to just feel your muscles under the thin(ish) layer of fat stored over your abs for the winter. I have recaught the bug, and all I want to do is run every night.

Have you caught the running bug yet this season? Is the weather in your area convincing you to get outside, or making you long for a couple million dollars so you don't have to work at all during the day?

Friday, May 6, 2011

Mom Runs

No, my mother does not run, but it is hard to not notice how many runners are women, and how many of those are busy moms, with careers and usually, multiple children to take care of. I am amazed by people like SUAR, TallMom, and Laurie who has FOUR! kids to manage on top of trying to get her runs in. As mentioned in previous blogs, I do have a 10 year old stepdaughter, aka Munchkin, but she lives at our house only 50% of the time.

Mothers are always in this dilemma, of whether they follow their instinct to take care of and devote all their time and effort to their children, or if they do what feels selfish, and take time for themselves. All too often, the requirement to make lunches, ensure homework is done, put the kids to bed, feed them or drive them to their endless activities takes precedent.

So I am issuing a challenge to all the moms that follow this blog for this Mother's Day weekend:

At least one day this weekend, take time for you.

Whether it is painting your toenails, going out for a run, ordering pizza so you don't have to cook, or just locking the bathroom door so you get some much-earned privacy, put others second for a few minutes and pamper you. You deserve it. I will be doing this by skipping our bi-weekly visit to my father-in-law, and going to step class instead. The father-in-law will understand, and I will get to do something that leaves me sweaty, but also refreshed and invigorated.

Happy Mother's Day!!!

P.S - last post I asked about motivation, and Chris gave me the best quote ever:

"I am always fighting the internal lazy person"

I highly doubt it considering his trail running/50k/50 mile running ways, but it made me laugh. Thanks Chris!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Banishing the negatives

So lately, I have been desperately trying to banish the blues, to break clear of the lazies and refocus my energy on upcoming events. It has been some stressful times, and will continue to be in the near future. The weather has been crappy, I am trying to plan the purchase of a home for us and an international trip in the fall, in addition to managing the finances to fund these expeditions, manage my husband's vast expectations on what we can afford, and manage to pay all the monthly occurrences that come up, which I am having problems juggling. I have just felt with the blah weather and so many financial stresses on the horizon, that my body is telling me to take a break and rest.

Does this rest mode help me? NO! I need to fight the inner lazy person, and remember all the benefits that exercize brings. This is why I went out for a glorious little run on the weekend, when the sun was shining bright and the weather was a balmy 20+ degrees. I took the time to mentor a neighbourhood girl who is 14 and wants to get into running on a regular basis. It was amazing to see her enthusiasm and just how much knowledge I have gained over the years with respect to running. This was evident when this girl, we'll call her A, showed up at my house in a cotton T-shirt, converse shoes, no water, no clue. I quickly fixed her up in my shoes, made her change her shirt and pants, got her a water bottle and some sunglasses, and got her set to go.

We set out on a route that took us about 3.75km, with a lot of walk breaks. It felt great to get out there and not focus on pace or time, just running when A wanted to and stopping when she needed a break. I will be starting her on a C25K program to do on her own, and will run with her at least once a week on the weekends to keep her company and motivated.

This run has reinvigorated my spirit a bit, and got me focused on my races that are fast approaching. I haven't yet signed up for my second half, but I think I will once I am back running 3 times a week. I know I can do it, I just have to get my mind out of the funk it is currently in, and back focused on a goal. Sometimes it just takes the push or encouragement of a family member, friend, mentee or stranger to get you refocused.

Who motivates you?