Monday, June 20, 2011

And She's Off!

I did a couple of walks on Sunday, but no upper body work and no planks.  Pretty much took a rest day.  And it felt great!  I was still riding the high of my long Saturday morning run and thoroughly enjoying it.

Today, I have been taking care of some errands and getting ready for a little trip we are taking, by car, starting Tuesday morning... off on the ferry to the mainland... several hours driving and a visit to a dear friend for a few days... then another day's drive to see family and friends for 10 days to 2 weeks...  we may be gone almost 3 weeks and I am thinking, out of touch, and offline, for most of that time.

I have only 1 km left to run before my June goal of running 40 km total will be met.  I know I will accomplish that in the next few days, easily, and then some.  I have a couple of runs planned, and will hope to get in some more, and lots of walking, too.

I will keep up with my upper body workouts, and my pushups, and the dreaded planks as well.  I will have to keep some notes in my tracker and post about it when I get back.

As for my recipe blog, I have some posts ready to auto publish while I am gone. 

I will miss reading your posts and will look forward to catching up when I come back...

Stay well.
Run when you can.
Eat healthy and fun.
Sleep soundly.
Be brave.
Take care.
Hug your loved ones and pets!


Saturday, June 18, 2011

My Saturday Morning

Saturdays at our place always start with a feed of pancakes and eggs, and lots of coffee.

And I did manage to wait a whole hour and a half before I started getting my gear ready to head out for my solo run.

The Captain was otherwise engaged for the morning, so I kissed him goodbye and said I would be gone about 90 minutes.

I had preplanned a 9.25 km run - a loop through town, along the waterfront, and back along a paved trail that parallels the highway.  And today I wore my heart rate monitor so I could make sure to keep my pace very slow... 70 to 75% of maximum heart rate, as I wanted to cover the distance with no walk breaks.

It was cloudy and humid and somewhat cool.... it had poured rain most of the night. 

I quite enjoyed the solitutude, and realized that is was my first time running alone since resuming running in April.  It was so quiet!  Very little traffic, few walkers and bikers, and I really felt the aloneness of it.

I glanced at my wrist occasionally to view the readout from my HRM and I think that for the most part, I was running at about 75 - 78% of maximum... every once in a while it would drop below that and I would pick it back up.

I drank a couple of ounces of water at the 32 minute mark, and then a few more at the 60 minute mark.  I was feeling very good, and realized that if I extended my distance, I might cover the whole 11.35 km that I still needed to get in, to complete my June distance goal.  I loped along, quite happily, trying to redraw the route in my head so as to be able to cover the distance without backtracking at all...

When I finally arrived back at the marina, 91 minutes after I had left, I was still feeling good, but somewhat tired.  I finished my water as I walked down the dock to our boat.  It so much more humid than it had been when I started out and I was very glad that I had taken the water with me.  Where was the wind that I had been groaning about yesterday?

I did my stretches and my pushups on the dock and then went it in and had a snack and got ready for my shower...

After I checked my route on Map My Run, I found  I had gone 10.35 km.  So I am still 1 km shy of my June distance goal of 40 km.  But, I had planned for my longest run this month to be 8 km, and 10.35 km is somewhat further... and I am pretty excited about that!

W2 R91 W3
pushups 20
stretch 7 minutes

Friday, June 17, 2011

Beyond Running... ideas please!

Yesterday I got very little exercise.  I had an appointment with an opthomologist in the morning, to consult about an eye condition that was discovered last June while prepping for my surgeries in February.  The doctor's assistant put drops in my right eye that dialated the pupil, so for the remainder of the day, I stayed indoors, out of the bright daylight... we did go out for a quick 35 minute walk before supper.

I was not motivated to do my upper body work nor my ab/planks work.  I was feeling a bit sorry for myself and just wanted to eat chocolate.

Today I woke up with a better outlook - literally - and walked to my Weight Watchers meeting, where I collected my 5K charm for participating in Sunday's Walk-It Challenge.  And then I carried on, walking downtown, and amused myself window shopping, checking out the food section of our local health food shop (where I discovered a peanut grinder to make peanut butter!), picking up some fresh veggies, and walking along the waterfront and admiring the intrepid sailors out in the blustery weather we are having right now.  A thoroughly enjoyable morning and it took about 90 minutes to walk back to the marina.

After we had lunch I got some posts ready for my recipe blog.  We are going to be away for a bit and I want to make sure I have something ready to publish every couple of days... and then I got out my dumbbells and did my upper body workout.  I am using 5 lb dumbbells and doing 6 different exercises, 12 reps of each, and then repeating the sequence 3 times... takes about 15 minutes and then I stretch a bit.

I really enjoyed it today. It was hard but I have noticed lately how quickly my arms have responded to this latest effort at building them up.  It does encourage me to keep it up on a consistent basis and to try to encorporate some more, different exercises into my routine. 

Right now I am only working my upper body... I think that doing lower body work along with the increased mileage I am running might be too much. I have been thinking a lot about this strength work lately and doing some research.

For the past several years, since we have been spending 4 - 6  months each year on the boat, I have let my resistance training go during that time.  In the months we are in a house, I enjoy many different kinds of workouts... Pilates, some Yoga, strength training exercises for both upper and lower body with 5 lb and 8 lb dumbbells, a variety of aerobics, along with walking and running.  I have several DVDs that I use and am always downloading something from the internet to try. 

Usually by the time Spring arrives I am pretty fit looking and ready for the summer... during which time my activities are usually limited to running, walking, some biking and some rowing.

This past year, because of the eye surgeries, I couldn't do anything but walk throughout February and March.  I started running again in April and doing some weight training again too, but I had really gotten behind in getting my arms toned for tank tops.  This summer I have decided to keep it up while onboard, although in a limited capacity due to space considerations, and am quite happy about it.  I love that my arms respond so quickly to the weight training and the pushups. 

I am going to be looking for some new kinds of workouts to do this next winter.  I am not interested in going to a gym... or a yoga class... or NIA... or Zumba.  And I tried one of those big exercise balls one year and really didn't like it... ditto resistance bands.

But I think I might like to try some swimming.  I took lessons before we bought the boat and was very bad at it.... but I know it would be a great workout.  And I might also try some aquafit, just for fun. 

Spinning appeals to me.   And so does kayaking.

What do you like to do for exercise, other than running? 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


I don't have to give it my best shot and run my hardest EVERY time I go out.

This morning we set out on a mid-length run - I mapped 5.65 km, odd I know, but that is what it was - and I told The Captain it would be slower than Monday's run, but not as S-L-O-W as Saturday's. 

And as I was saying that,  it occurred to me that that is all right.  I don't have to run fast every time I go out (when it is not a designated SLOW long run).  I can just go out and lope along and vary my speed and have FUN!  Run faster if I feel like it and slower when I don't.

So that is exactly what we did.  We did follow the route I had predetermined, but we did our walk breaks, admired the flowers, scoped out this years blackberry bushes, talked to some kids and each other, and generally just enjoyed the trip.  Lovely.

When we got back to the boat, I did my stretching, and my pushups and some planks.  Felt great.  I have come to love the stretching, and am really loving the muscles that are beginning to appear on my arms.

W2 R46 @9/1 W3
stretch 7  minutes
20 pushups
1 minute High Plank X2

And now, several hours and a shower later, I am still floating on the endorphins.

Do you feel happy after you have had a good run?  What does 'a good run' mean to you anyway?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Yesterday was supposed to be a lovely day.

We did a short, quick run, yesterday morning and just as we got started, it started to rain... what's the best thing about running in the rain?  The hot shower afterwards.

W2 R18 @9/1 W2

Then the sun came out after lunch and it did turn out to be a lovely day.  I went for a  walk before dinner instead of my doing upper body workout and my planks.

This morning after breakfast we walked downtown and back - it was 90 minutes of brisk walking and quite enjoyable.  When we got back I did my upper body workout and will get in my planks later, promise.  My arms (delts) are sore today and the workout was hard.  I wonder why that is.

I have been playing with the Comments on this blog and set up DISQUS, but have now deleted it.  Although I liked being able to reply to individual comments, I found it annoying to have to log in to one more site.  It's gone, and unfortunately, so are the few comments that were posted while I had it running.

I have been mapping some new running routes today.  I am using the classic site on Map My Run.  I don't care for the new one.  I have a 9.25 km route mapped for Saturday and am quite excited about it.  Quite a bit of it is along the waterfront and I am looking forward to it.

Okay, I will go do my planks and get them over with!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Cheesy Oats and Fiddleheads

Today there was a Weight Watchers 5km Walk-It Challenge, in association with the Running Room stores ... I didn't sign up for it because the closest Running Room is in the city... but we did do a 6 km walk this morning so I will be able to collect my 5K charm at the meeting on  Friday morning.  Hurray... love the bling!

I cooked oats for our breakfast this morning and to add some protein to them, so that they fill me up for longer, I added some cottage cheese and raisins... stirred them into the hot oats and it was soooo good.  I am definitely going to do this again.  Lots of cinnamon, a bit of honey and a few slices of banana. 

Normally I am hungry a couple of hours after eating oats, but even after our walk, I was well satisfied till past our normal lunch time.

I cooked the fiddleheads last night and we had them alongside a really nice pasta dinner - mild Italian turkey sausage, with lots of veggies, garlic, and chuncky tomato sauce.

They are a big pain to clean, but they are pretty darn tasty... sort of like asparagus and sorta like green peas!

The week is off to a great start.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

I'm a Believer... yeah yeah yeah

I was anxious to get breakfast going this morning, but I practised using my patience muscle while The Captain prepared our Saturday morning pancakes.  It doesn't get used a whole lot and really needs to be worked more often!

Then I played with the settings on my heart rate monitor while I waited a full hour and a half for my breakfast to settle... I find the alarms very annoying and made sure to turn them off ... then I familiarized myself with the numbers that would indicate 70% and 75% of my maximum heart rate.  The wait was agonizing.  At last it was time to get my shoes on and GO! 


And I did.  I had to keep reminding The Captain that the point of today's run was to go so slowly that I would not feel the need to do any walk breaks.  He  had lots of walk breaks along the way, but it was all very enjoyable.  We chatted the whole way out and back... all the time I kept an eye on the readout on my wrist band and was amazed that I was not wanting to walk. 

I normally have a walk break after every 9 minutes of running, so at 13 minutes I was pleased to not want to walk - then again at 30 minutes - 45 minutes - an hour - and still no desire to walk... or to run faster, either.  I would estimate that most of the time I was running at 72 - 75% of maximum heart rate.  There were a few times it was more than that - as high as 80%, and a few times it was lower - as low as 69%, but overall, it was pretty easy to keep moving at the pace that Sara had suggested to me, for a long slow run.  There was some shuffling involved, but for the most part, I made an effort not to do that.

When we were done, and walking a bit to cool down, I was amazed that I felt like I could have kept going and going and going.  Thank you, Vanessa.  I would never, on my own, have thought to attempt this run without walk breaks.  Now I know I can do it... may not all the time, on every long slow run, but definitely will do it again.

W2 R72 W3
stretch 7 minutes
15 pushups
1 minute high plank with twists
45 second forearm plank
15 second side planks
40 bicycles

I did my stretch, pushups and ab work on the wooden dock beside the boat and was happy no one saw me!

While The Captain was showering, I made myself a huge green smoothie... spinach, strawberries, vanilla soy millk.

That filled me up over my shower, and well past our normal lunch time... but by the time I was hungry again, I was ravenous!  I had a huge plateful of Romaine, grape tomatoes, green onions, button mushrooms, red peppers, and cottage cheese, topped with EVOO, white balsamic vinegar, bacon bits, sunflower seeds, and oregano.  It went down pretty quickly.

Now, to think about those fiddleheads....

Friday, June 10, 2011

Nice Surprises

Seriously, where does the day go?  I think I had more time to do things when I had a full time job.  It seems that everything just takes longer when we are on the boat.

Today's workout was very light.
35 minute walk before dinner
15 minutes of upper body work

I was going to attempt the planks again tonight, but have decided to put it off till tomorrow, after my run.

I had a neat surprise today.  I used to pull up the route that I mapped and we ran last Saturday.  I wanted to familiarize myself with the turnaround point as it is an out-and-back run... and I looked at the satellite view, only to realize we hadn't actually turned around just where I had planned. I was almost holding my breath, anticipating disappointment, because I was sure I would find that we had not run that far.  But no!  It turns out that we ran farther.  It was 8.5 km overall, not 8.0 km.  Now I know that is not much of a difference, but it is significant to me because that is my longest run since last Fall.

And yes, we are going to do it again tomorrow morning.  I will be wearing my heart rate monitor and will be pacing myself at 70% to 75% of my estimated maxiumum heart rate (thanks to Sara at Words to Run By for that helpful advice).  And I am going to make a concerted effort not to take any walk breaks.  Thanks to Vanessa at Gourmet Runner, for that suggestion.  I will be packing water and running S-L-O-W-L-Y.  Even slower than normal!  I am really looking forward to it.

I also spent quite a bit of time today looking at the Road ID web site, trying to decide which of the IDs I am going to get as my prize for having won the giveaway at Run From the Heart yesterday.  Thanks again, Tink.  I feel like a kid in a candystore.

I am off to watch a movie with The Captain... and there just might be some popcorn, too.

Do you like to watch movies at home or would you rather go out to the theatre?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

I am a Winner!

And I am so excited about it!

I won the Road I.D. giveaway on Run From the Heart, today, and I am thrilled.  I have been looking at the various styles and colors and was getting ready to order one.  The timing couldn't have been more perfect for me.  Thanks, Tink, so much.

On the workout front, it was a quiet day.  I spent the morning grocery shopping in the city - that means 5 different stops.  But, I do love all of these shops and little markets, and I am crazy about shopping for fresh fruit and veggies, the most.

Today I bought Fiddleheads... now I need to find out what to do with them.  Have you ever had them?  And how did you prepare them?

And, after we got back on board I spent quite a lot of time washing and prepping all the freggies before they went into the fridge, and inventorying the rest of the groceries before they went into the lockers.

I finally got out for a walk to the library late this afternoon... only 35 minutes, but better than not going at all.

One more thing... thanks to all of you who replied to my post about needing advice about the long slow run pace.  I am very appreciative of the advice and the encouragement you have given me.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Long Slow Run Advice Needed

Today's workout:

brisk walk - 75 minutes
upper body - 15 minutes
planks - 5 minutes
bicycles 40 reps

I get bored holding the High Plank position for one minute, so today I did them with a twist.  Makes the time go quicker I think.  And, I had much better form on my Side Planks today.  I only managed to hold them 15 seconds each, more due to balance issues than weakness, I think.  Perhaps I will do a modified version until I get them down.

I realized today that I haven't been using my heart rate monitor since I started running again after my 2 month layoff.  I used to wear it faithfully when I ran alone, but not when running with The Captain.  Since I resumed running, all my runs have been with The Captain... this next Saturday's run is going to be sloooow, and, as per a suggestion from Vanessa, I am going to attempt it without any walk breaks.  Might be a good day to wear the HRM.

I have been reading various web sites, trying to figure out what is suggested as a % of maximum heart rate for long slow runs.  I have found 2 different answers.

One is 67% - 77% of maximum, and the other is 52% - 64% of maximum.  There is a big discrepancy there.  I am going to keep looking.

If anyone has any advice, I would be more than happy to have it... I do have a few days to figure this out.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

3 km PR and Questioning My Walk Breaks

It is pouring rain right now and I can hear it pounding down on the canvas on our cockpit enclosure.  The Captain has gone to shore for a shower in our marina's very nice facilities, and he is going to get another one as he walks back down the dock to our boat.  Yikes!

I am pretty excited about our morning run.  It was only 3.0 km, but we did it in 18 minutes, even with a one-minute walk break in the middle.  And that translates to an average pace of 9.6 minutes per mile!  I am thrilled as it has been some time since I have been under the 10 minute mark.

Speed is not my forte; never has been.  And it is not really my goal.  But I have been reading a lot lately about increasing my distance.  I get that I should likely only increase the distance on one run per week, and so I am thinking that to mix it up a bit, I should do some shorter, faster runs, some mid-length normal pace runs, and a longer, slower run.

Does that sound right?

Anyway, today I wanted to run shorter and faster.  So we did.  The Captain is just so wonderfully agreeable.  Not giving a whit about running himself, he comes along to keep me company, encourage me and so is pretty much open to what ever kind of run I choose.

After sharing a cup of coffee and a small banana, we set out.  We did a few hundred yards at a normal pace and then kicked it up a notch, but at the 9 minute point into our run, I still felt that I needed that 1 minute walk break.  Then we ran a bit faster a few more hundred yards, slowed down somewhat, and then ran faster the last couple of hundred yards... my version of intervals today.

I have been taking walk breaks since I first began running many many years ago.  I was taught that this is a good way to help my legs recover from my runs, and I really believe that I would never have completed the half-marathon distance I used to run every Saturday for a few years, without them.  I think the only time I have not taken them is on runs of 2 miles or less.  I even did a walk breaks on the 3 different 5 km events that I have taken part in.

From time to time I have taken walk breaks at 6 minute intervals (on longer runs) and at 14 minute intervals, instead of the 9 minutes... but 9 is so easy to track on my watch.

I would love to know what other people think about walking breaks.  Ever do them in a fun event, or a race?

So my workout today:

W2 R18 @9/1 W2
streeeetch 8 minutes
12 real pushups
35 minute brisk walk before dinner

Monday, June 6, 2011

Side Planks Illustrated Very Nicely!

I spent some time this morning looking at utube videos and fitness sites, trying to get some insight into the correct way to perform these side planks that I am having so much trouble with.

I found several, but honestly, the best picture I have come across so far is this one... in  in today's post on Life After Bagels.. Make sure to have a look. 

Morgan's plank pose in her heading is very impressive in itself, but scroll down a bit and see the one below the plank challenge logo.  Wow!

I know you will recognize Jill from her blog, One Tough Cookie and a Beer

So, it would seem my efforts are on the right track, I am just very bad at it.  I shall persevere.

We had a fun day at the golf course.  Beautiful weather, great company, good eats.  Gorgeous views.  Doesn't get any better than that.  And then a nice walk before supper.

I have a short run planned for the morning, tomorrow, and right now I am off to make some snacks... strawberries and yogurt.   There might be Nutella involved, too.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Leisurely Sunday

My day started out with an awesome new breakfast creation...  'Frenched' Strawberry and Cream Cheese Sandwiches.   They were sooo good.

An hour long walk to town followed, where I was lucky enough to find strawberries still on sale and today, spinach too.  Of course that was lunch!

I did the same upper body workout with my 5-lb dumbbells, that I put together last week, and then followed that with my new plank routine.  Again, could only do 2 sets.  I am really struggling with side planks. 

Should I just forget them?  Are they worthwhile?  I must be doing them incorrectly cause I don't feel anything in my abs, but more in the upper body.  I am going to find some illustrations somewhere.

I spent the rest of the afternoon 'playing beads'... put together a couple of stretchy bracelets...

and another one, beads strung on wire, using one of my earned WW charms.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Spectacular Saturday

I was pretty stoked about today's run when I woke up this morning.  First order of the day, coffe and pancakes, of course.  It's Saturday after all.

Then I had to wait an hour plus, to let breakfast settle, before we could go.  And by then it was warm enough for shorts and a tank.The route I mapped is a 4 km out-and-back, for a total of 8 km exactly. It winds around our large harbor and ends up just past another busy marina... so it has water views most of the way, which is really nice.  And we did see the goslings, who are growing like crazy and now sprouting gray feathers... I need a smaller camera so I can tote it along.

Today I practically force-fed The Captain a few glasses of water after breakfast, in order to get hydrated for the run, and I also carried a 2-cup water bottle in my waist pack.  Good thing too. We shared it along the route and I was really glad I had brought it.

I didn't run fast at all today but I did manage to cover the 8 km without too  much shuffling along -  a bit during both the 6th and 7th kilometers.

But I am really happy because my goal for this month was to make 8 km my long run. 

When we got back to the marina, I walked a couple of minutes more than usual, and then I stretched for a full 10 minutes before doing 20 pushups. 

W2 R66 @9/1 W5

Only the first 10 pushups were very deep, but I did complete 20... now I just need to make them more real.

After we cooled down and drank lots more water, I made us each a chocolate peanut butter banana smoothie.  Wowser!

Late late lunch today was the Asian-Flavored Quinoa Salad that was the featured recipe in the handout I got at my WW meeting yesterday.  Very nice.

I am reading lots about hydration and fuel during longer runs.  Wondering if there is something simpler than gus and gels... looking into gummies and jelly beans.  Any thoughts to help me out?

Friday, June 3, 2011

Friday Night Feast

I went to my regular Friday morning Weight Watchers meeting and did my June weigh in ... was pleased to be at my happy weight... now if I could just put some nice muscle in my arms and shoulders I would be really happy.  I wonder.... if that's true.

We went for a very brisk afternoon walk to town and back, about an hour long, and I did a stretch afterwards.  We picked up some pork souvlaki skewers to cook on the grill with some huge strawberries.   So good.

I am going to map out an 8 km route for our Saturday morning run.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Plank Challenge Begun

Jill, you are my hero!  I started the plank routine today and didn't do 5 sets... as a matter of fact, I didn't even finish 2 sets!
With about 20 to 30 second rest between them, I did
  • High plank - 60 seconds
  • Forearm plank - 45 seconds
  • Side planks - 20 seconds each (the right one is way harder??)
  • High plank - 45 seconds
  • Forearm plank - 45 seconds

Then I pretty much collapsed on the floor.

Thanks to Vanessa and Julia for the suggestions about my strawberries...  For breakfast today I talked The Captain into having fresh berries on his toast and PB instead of jam.

And I had mine with Nutella and strawberries and got so excited about eating it that I forgot to take a picture!

And that spurred my memory to look up a recipe that a buddy of mine gave me a couple of years ago, where you marinate strawberries in a mixture of balsamic vinegar, black pepper, and brown sugar... then top with vanilla yogurt.  We had this for dessert tonight... mmmmm. 

And then I remembered that last year we grilled strawberries on the BBQ and they were wonderful too. Particularly tasty with grilled pork tenderloin. 

I think I will get The Captain to buy some more tomorrow while I am at my Weight Watchers meeting.

A late afternoon walk to the library to pick up the last 2 issues of Runners World, about 40 minutes, topped off the afternoon.

I think my abs are more sore than they have ever been.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Strawberry Fields Forever...

This morning after a late breakfast, we walked downtown, taking along the fire extinguishers from the galley and the salon... they need to be checked annually.  We dropped them off and then did a bit of shopping... found some awesome looking strawberries on sale for 99 cents per pound - wahooo! So had to get 2 pounds, of course.

We picked up the fire extinguishers and made our way back to the boat - about 80 minutes of actual brisk walking... and then I prepared  our favorite lunches.  That means noodles in chicken broth and veggies (green onions, carrots, snow peas) for The Captain, and a huge strawberry and spinach salad for me... with mushrooms, almonds and fat free raspberry vinaigrette.

And I experimented wih that microwave muffin that I made yesterday... adding cocoa powder to the mixture... and came up with this for our afternoon snack.

That is Balkan-stye yogurt with a bit of vanilla and sweetener mixed in.  Mmmmm.

I made sure to start the month off right by getting in my first upper body workout in some time.  I used 5-pound dumbbells and did
  • 12 bicep curls
  • 12 tricep kickbacks
  • 12 delt raises
  • 12 lat raises
  • 12 overhead presses
  • 12 upright rows 
and repeated the whole works 3 times.  I think it took about 15 minutes.  And I made sure to stretch my shoulders and triceps and chest afterwards.  I can feel it now a few hours later so I must have woken up some muscles.  Good.  The Captain is always amused when I do my workouts inside the boat as space is so limited for this kind of thing... he needs to be careful to stay out of my way!

I got the details for my plank challenge today and am going to review them tonight so I can start working them in into my rotation.  Thanks to Jill at One Tough Cookie and a Beer for the plank challenge.

I have been reading some old issues of Runners World today, and I am always surprised at the race distances that have become standard...

5 km, 10 km. 1/2 marathon, marathon, ultra marathon... why not 5 mies?  or 10 miles?

I know I could put strawberries on cereal at breakfast, and make smoothies with them, but I wonder if there is anything else I can do with them?