I’m going to sound crazy…

But I’m glad it’s Monday and here I am at Starbucks having breakfast.

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The past few days have been extremely busy with planning my daughters 5th birthday, which was yesterday. Saturday was my nephews 2nd birthday, so that took up a good chuck of our Saturday.
With all the running around I didn’t work out all weekend but did make it out for a 6km run. But food wise, there were some unhealthy food choices, but nothing extreme. Enough though to make me feel disappointed in my choices. Any food that I “indulged” in wasn’t due to craving that food but simply because it was there. So really they weren’t really “indulgences” but just bad choices. Don’t get me wrong the good was good but I could have easily gone without.
The next two weeks will be early mornings for me. Usually I get dropped off at work before 6:30 am and I stay til almost 4pm. Usually I’m okay with working that extra 1.5 hrs but I need to start using that extra time to go to the gym in the morning. I will attempt to go to the gym a few times this week. I will need to experiment with my food intake prior to a morning workout. I want to make sure I have enough energy so that I can have a good without but don’t want to eat and then feel sluggish. When I run in the mornings I never eat anything so I’ve never had to eat prior to a morning workout.
Todays goal:
8  glasses of water
8 hours of sleep (in bed by 9pm)

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Why I run…

Or more specifically why I started running.
Back in 2004 (really hard to believe it’s been that long) I set a goal to participate in the 10km Terry Fox run. When I first told my coworkers about this goal they thought I was crazy and knew that I wasn’t very active. But I didn’t let them discourage me. I tried training for the run, but when the day arrived I wasn’t ready at all. It was disappointing for me, but what made me feel even worse was the fact that my coworkers weren’t surprised that I didn’t run. They really didn’t think I was going to do it.

That really hurt but at the same time it pushed me to continue working on my goal. And my next goal was even more ambitious… I decided to train for my first 1/2 marathon. Although I didn’t get much support the first time I shared my running goal with my coworkers, I still shared my new goal, and I insisted they be at the finish line to see me cross. So in February of 2005 I joined the 1/2 marathon run clinic at The Running Room. Although my goal was to run the Manitoba 1/2 Marathon in June, the Winnipeg Police was holding a 1/2 marathon in April so a bunch of runners in the running clinic, including myself decided to run. It was an amazing feeling to finish my first 1/2 marathon and I remember sitting in an ice bath immediately after.

After that I just kept on running.
June 2005 – Manitoba 1/2 marathon
September 2005 –  Scotiabank Waterfront 1/2 marathon (Toronto)
February 2006 – Hypothermia 1/2 marathon
August 2006 – Ron Melnichuk 1/2 marathon

There was alot of running on that year.

Starting in 2006 I started to experience (or more like suffer from) knee pain. So my last two races were very hard to get through. And even with my last race, it was so painful that at each  water station I considered quitting and having a race volunteer drive me to the finish line. But I pushed through and when I crossed the finish line I was in tears because it had been so hard but I still finished.


So why do I run? I always pushed myself to run because it was something that only I could push myself to do. No one else could push me to run, or could make me stronger or faster or make it easier. It was all up to me. And so I kept running.

I got pregnant in October 2006 and then life got busy (with my first and second child, a wedding and a house). It’s only now that I’m able to make it out for runs. And my next goal is to run a full marathon.

 

Another amazing thing that happened to me due to my running/training… Well that’s how I fell for the hubby. When running I would often run with a group of friends. They would usually do shorter distances and I would continue on to get my mileage in. All of a sudden hubby started keeping me company on my long runs. Even when I had my long 18km run to finish he was by my side. I ran because I was training, and he ran for me. And we lived happily ever after.

All I need is a tiny taste…

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This is where I started…

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Then I took a small bite and felt that sweet tooth satisfaction. I don’t have a picture of what was left, I ate more than I should’ve probably 60% of the nanaimo bar, which is 59% more than I original planned and should’ve eaten.
Anyway after the nanaimo bar things went down hill the rest of the evening.
So here is the picture I took on Sunday:
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It was taken first thing in the morning hence the cellphone covering my face. Not much progress in the past couple of weeks but with the level of cardio and exercise I’ve been putting in I really can’t expect to see any improvement. I was thinking of writing today off as a rest day but I need to redeem myself. A heavy leg and chest workout will definitely make me feel better.

Tomorrows lunch inspired by lululemon

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Back in 2005 the first (and only) lululemon store opened at one of the city malls.

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I was one of the employees that helped set up and open the store. When I first started the intention was to work part time since I already had a full time job. After the first few months I found myself picking up more shifts and soon I was working full time at lululemon on top of my job at GWL. I enjoyed the work so much it never felt like work. It just felt like I was hanging out with friends who all shared the same healthy lifestyle. Whether it was looking for a running partner or a yoga partner, there was never a shortage of friends to go with. If you shared your goals, the entire staff supported you to help you achieve your goals.
Anyway, there’s one fellow lulu who always ate pasta with pesto on his breaks. And so tonight I thought of him eating his pasta and decided to make whole wheat pasta with mushrooms, broccoli and chicken tossed in pesto sauce.

Today I suffered a migraine for most of the day, it definitely made the work day extremely difficult to make it through.  Even the Tylenol failed to make even the slightest improvement.  Not to mention I had to drive back into the office earlier this evening to pick up my laptop, due to a change that was going in tonight that needs to be tested.  The change is going in at 11:30pm, which means I will be up past midnight executing the tests.  It’s going to be a rough morning.  Although, if my calendar is clear, I may decide to go into work mid-morning.

With the migraine, I really debated whether or not I should workout.  I decided I would push through a shoulder work out and I’m glad I did because I surpassed my personal best for dumbbell shoulder presses.  I increased my weight from 15lbs to 25lbs.

The set of dumbbells that we have in our gym is complete (5lbs increments) with the exception of 20lbs dumbbells.  And for the longest time, I just couldn’t see myself jumping from 15lbs to 25lbs for dumbbell shoulder presses.  I couldn’t even see myself lifting the 25lb dumbbells to their starting point, let alone press them up.  Tonight I figured I might as well give it a try, a little dangerous considering hubby is working evenings and isn’t available to spot me, but I pushed through it, maintained form and.. success!

Pushing through…

Or taking it easy…

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That was the big question this morning while I was out on my run. The first 4 kilometers went well and I was feeling good. Then it hit me… This uneasy feeling just below my rib cage. Was it heart burn? Possibly. But as I continued to run, the discomfort increased and soon the thought “I’m going to throw up” started popping into my head. Maybe in was truly all in my head. Maybe I was intensifying the discomfort by being more aware of it. Whatever it was, it was causing me to slow down.  At one point I spotted a bench up ahead and was debating whether our not I should sit down for a few minutes and see if the discomfort subsided. I decided to keep running. After a few minutes I could no longer push through the discomfort and decided that I would have to walk the last couple kilometers back home. Even prior to my decision to walk a part of me was thinking I should just call the hubby and get him to pick me up. But I knew that I’d feel bad about not making it home on my own and the least I could do was walk. So I did. I was as little bummed at the fact that I didn’t get to run the full 7 kilometers but I still got close to an hour of cardio so that’s what really matters. I woke up this morning, I put on my runners and I ran.

Really.. Just do it..

I came across this motivational post on Pinterest.

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Such a strong message.. Just do it.  Sounds so simple and truth is it is simple.

Today I woke up to my alarm at 5:45am, and my head was telling me to get out of bed, put my runners on and just start running.  But my body was telling me just 15 more minutes.  I shouldn’t have listened to my body because 15 minutes turned into 1hr and when I finally got out of bed, it was time to get ready for work.

What made me feel even worse was that it was a beautiful morning, the perfect weather for a run.  There was a big thunderstorm last night that cleared the air of the humidity, so the morning brought sunny skies and fresh air.

I simply can’t procrastinate when it comes to my work outs.  The minute I make an excuse, the truth is, it just isn’t going to happen.  I proved that to myself in the past, so a lesson needs to be learned.

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Plan it, think it and do it.

There’s hope yet…

I may finally get some relief from this neck/back pain by seeing a chiropractor.

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Went to see the chiropractor today and as he was examining my neck/back he identified all the really sore/tender spots.  X-rays were taken and it was very interesting to see the slight curve in my spine as well as the curve (or more specifically, the lack of) in my neck.  It looks like my desk job and sitting in front of a computer all day is contributing to the neck/back pain.  My running is also contributing to the soreness.  As soon as I get into the office tomorrow I’m going to re-adjust my laptop/monitor and overall desk setup.  I will also be going to the chiropractor a few times a week for the next two weeks to get adjusted.  My neck feels slightly better following today’s adjustment.  In the mean time I’ll take it a little easy on the workouts.

Overall meal planning has gone well this week, with a small indulgence and moment of weakness with a bowl of potato chips.  Tonight I also tried out a recipe for Whole Wheat Blueberry Cottage Cheese Pancakes and Muffins.

Here’s the pancake recipe:

WHOLE WHEAT COTTAGE CHEESE PANCAKES

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1-1/2 cups low fat small curd cottage cheese*

1 cup milk

2 eggs

1 cup 100% whole wheat flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 cup blueberries (or substitute your favorite add-in)

*If you don’t like the consistency of cottage cheese, try blending it first

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients except blueberries in a large mixing bowl. Mix well until all ingredients are fully combined.
  2. Pour batter by the spoonful onto heated frying pan or griddle. Leave room for spreading. Immediately sprinkle a couple of blueberries onto the top of each pancake.
  3. Fry until golden brown on each side. Serve hot, with maple syrup, if desired.

 

I think they turned out okay.
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It was tough because the blueberries were bursting and when I removed the pancake from the pan the blueberries were a little sticky. I tried one and they’re actually really delicious! Next time I’ll cut back on the sugar. I can’t wait to bring these to work tomorrow for breakfast.

I debated on working out tonight but decided on a light leg work out. Squats, dead lifts, calf raises and hamstring curls. Hoping to make it out for a run tomorrow morning as well. My plan is to the kiddies to bed at 9 pm so I can get a full 8 hours of sleep.
Work is definitely busy so I’m going to need all the rest I can get tonight. Rest and a nice strong coffee tomorrow morning.
Here’s my new favorite coffee:

So bold and delicious!

Give it 100% or don’t even bother…

There’s one question I struggle with on those days (like today) where I’m not feeling 100%.  

If I can’t give 100% to my workout, should I still workout?  I suppose today is a bit of an exception, my neck, shoulders and back are so sore and my neck is causing me so much discomfort.  I can’t imagine holding the bar w/ weights on the back of my shoulders while I do squats.  I can’t imagine doing any exercise that might cause the slightest strain on my neck.  

On other days when I find myself debating whether or not a 50% effort workout is worth it, it’s usually due to feeling tired and a lack of energy.  There are times I’ve worked out and afterwards felt guilty for not putting in 100% and then there are days when I decide to rest and I feel guilty for not working out at all.  It feels like a lose-lose situation.

I even went for a massage after work today and asked the massage therapist to focus on my back, shoulders and neck.  During the massage, I was hoping that the therapist would use more pressure but I wasn’t sure how to make the suggestion.  It was still a nice, relaxing massage but unfortunately didn’t help in the slightest with the soreness.

Thursday I’m seeing a chiropractor and really hoping he can help me with this neck pain.  I actually went out for a short run this morning and didn’t notice the pain.  It was only afterwards while getting ready for work did the pain start to bother me.  I was almost planning on taking the afternoon off due to the headache I was experiencing while at work.

Sorry this was a bit of a rambling post.  I’m waiting for the kids to finish their night time snack so that I can help them get ready for bed and go to bed myself.

Hoping to feel better tomorrow.

Not the best…

But it’s all I’ve got right now in terms of current pictures. I’ve been procrastinating taking recent progress pictures, finding excuses to not take the pictures. Main excuse is it’s “that time of the month” and I’m feeling bloated.
That time of the month has ended and I’m still unsure about taking the pictures. Then I realize that it’s doesn’t matter what I look like right now because that isn’t my end goal, so it’s okay if I’m not thrilled at what I see. And honestly it’s not bad, it’s actually quite good considering that my activity levels and exercise weren’t much from March to July.

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The picture on the left was taken today during my workout. You can see J sitting on the bench playing on the itouch asking me for help with angry birds. The center and right pictures were taken a few weeks ago. Not the best starting pictures but I’ll try to post progress pictures every Sunday. Regardless of how I feel about them, I need them to track my progress. Next set of pictures will include a back picture, as well as full body pictures. I’m hoping to improve my legs so pictures will be needed.
I came across some really great health and fitness related blogs, didn’t know there were so many awesome ones out there! Looking forward to reading their blogs and getting inspired and motivated. I’ll update this post with the blog links tomorrow, I’m currently posting from my phone and don’t have the blog links available.
Meal wise today was a pretty good day. Loved my cottage cheese and strawberries. Funny because a coworker walked by my desk and saw my snack and said “ooh yummy! Yogurt?” I told him it was cottage cheese. He replied “oh, maybe not do yummy” hehe

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Banana muffins…

So delicious! and I decided to make them extra delicious by adding pieces of dark chocolate and blueberries.

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I used the recipe found here: awesome banana muffin recipe and modified it by using whole wheat flour and cut back on the sugar (used 1/4 cup). Next time I will probably leave the sugar out completely but will make sure three bananas are super ripe. I did leave the butter in so that’s my little indulgence when it comes to this snack.

It pretty much rained the entire day but luckily the rain hadn’t started when I went out for my morning run. Hubby and the kids were going to McDonalds for breakfast so the plan was to run to McDonalds to meet them there. I finally got to use the  mapMyRun app and it actually works quite well. At the end of my run the app recorded a distance of 4.7kms in 33 minutes. It also records your pace and calculates calories burned. I like the app because I can have it running in the background  and listen to my music. I think the app will work perfectly to track my progress.
We spent a good portion of the day grocery shopping and the fridge and pantry are now stocked with everything I need for my meals for the entire week. Sounds crazy but I’m actually looking forward to having cottage cheese with strawberries tomorrow. I also picked up the Carte Noir Americano tassimo pods so I can’t wait to try it out tomorrow morning.
I love the belong of being prepared for the week.