Monday, January 30, 2012

Handful Has Released a New Video and Announced a Giveaway to Celebrate

I recently won a handful bra on a giveaway from Rachel at Running in Real Life and I love it.  It is so cute and comfortable and very practical, too.  I almost hesitate to wear it to work out, but I do!  That is exactly what it was designed for.

If you are not familiar already with handful, here is some information from the handful web site....

hand-ful (noun) – A strong, confident, determined, active, compassionate, and/or adventurous woman. Sense of humor REQUIRED.


handful was started by fitness enthusiast, Jennifer Ferguson, in Portland, Oregon. Positive energy has fueled her 22 -year career as a group exercise instructor, teaching cycling, strength, dance, step, aqua, kick-boxing, rock climbing, yoga, and running. Jennifer has also competed in numerous endurance events such as the Boston Marathon.

After years spent searching in vain for a good sports bra, Jennifer decided to channel her frustration creatively. She designed and manufactured what she (and a lot of other female athletes) had been waiting for...that one sports bra that does it all! It has become much more than a sports bra for its admirers. The handful is an everyday bra that takes you from workout to weekend, looking great by itself or fantastic as a layering piece underneath.

handful has just released a new promotional video. You can view it here... it is really fun and I hope you enjoy it.

And, now handful is offering you a chance to be one of 2 winners of 3 handful bras.  You are elegible for one entry for each of the following:

1.  Tweet this once per day:   I heard about this @handfulbra giveaway from @eatrunsail   View: & visit

2.  Post about the giveaway on your Facebook page once per day, using the @handful  and @EatRunSail tags. You must already LIKE these pages, so that when you type the tag, a dropdown list will appear and you can select the appropriate page.  That way the post will appear on the handful page and on the Eat Run Sail page. 

3.  Blog about this contest and email me the link to your post.  This must be an actual blog post, not just a mention on your giveaway sidebar.

So get going!  Watch that video and start spreading the word.  The contest is open till February 29th.

If you don't want to wait to see if you win, handful has a wonderful sale going on right now on some discontinued colors... pink, cocoa and nude, for $28 U.S. each.  Valentine's Day is February 14th and MEN, your ladies will love this as a thoughtful, romantic gift!

Monday Mashup

Lots of little things to talk about today so here goes...

The  Captain and I went out for a 3 mile run this morning.  It was an out and back route that we did once before and I kind of like it as it is mostly uphill on the return and it is hard. I know, I am a bit odd that way. I like things to be hard, just not impossible

I took my Gymboss timer along. I won it on a giveaway from Lisa at Mom to Marathon some time ago but hadn't ever used it.  I kept meaning to try it, and bought batteries for it, but then kept forgetting about it.  So I finally got it out of the package and worked through the instructions - Gymboss For Dummies anyone?  And I set it on the counter where I would be sure to see it when we got ready to go this morning.

pic from

I clipped it to the front of my jacket just before we set out the door.  And we did our 3 minute warmup walk and as we started to run, I hit the button and off we went.  I love this thing!  It beeped rather loudly 5 times right on time to start our one minute walk... and again to end it.  I think it is a great little tool and I will be using it a lot now that I have gotten past the initial fear of it.   I am very thankful now, Lisa!

W3 R36 @10/1 W4
stretch 5 minutes

Then we came in and got into dry clothes before drinking some water... and I made us each a smoothie to drink while we stretched.

vanilla whey protein powder, banana, cinnamon, ground flax seeds

I am such a tea lover and we use the ceramic teapot here several times a day... and always wrap a tea towel around it to keep the tea hot. So, last week I bought some chunky yarn and knitted a tea cosy!  I had forgotten how much I enjoyed knitting, especially while watching tv as it keeps my hands too busy to snack!  And I can never just sit and watch tv - I have to be doing something else so this was a fun use of that time.

The color wouldn't be my first choice but it works very well in this kitchen and this house which is decorated in browns, greens, and golds.

better than a tea towel at least

I made a really tasty 'stew' last night for dinner from a recipe I found in a book called Hunger Free Forever.  Very easy and it was filling and delicious.... have a look and let me know if you try it.

I cannot believe it is almost the end of January... where did it go?

Do you knit or crochet or do any crafts?

Did you meet your January goals?

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Another 11 Random Things Post

I have been tagged three times now for the 11 Random Things post so I had best get on it.  I love reading these posts when other people do them but have trouble with them myself.  I am always afraid you will be snoring part way through.

Here is how this one works....

1. Post these rules
2. You must post 11 random things about yourself
3. Answer the questions set for you in their post
4. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer
5. Go to their blog and tell them you’ve tagged them
6. No stuff in the tagging section about you are tagged if you are reading this. You legitimately have to tag 11 people!

Here are my 11 Random Things:

1.  I am a cheese lover.  I eat all kinds of hard cheeses and soft cheeses and particularly love these little Laughing Cow wedges.  I am eating one as I type!

2.  I am a true GEMINI. I am a communicator. I used to get in trouble at school for talking too much!  I can pretty much always see both sides to an argument, and people have accused me of being fickle because I can barely wait to get finished doing one thing before going on to the next.  I always want to be in at least 2 places at once and can never find enough time to do all the things I want to do.

3. Which makes me want to believe in REINCARNATION so that I can do the things in my next life that there aren't time for in this one!

4. I love tea.  Pretty much anything but Peppermint or Darjeeling.  I drink tea all day long and all evening long, even in the summer when it is hot outside.  I particularly love the seasonal Fall and Winter spicy teas.

5.  I cannot watch horror movies. I just get too scared.  I went to a theatre to see the original Exorcist but ended up sitting in the theatre lobby waiting for my friends cause I had to leave early on into it.  I didn't even see the movie but could barely sleep for weeks afterward.

6.  I love language and grammar and words - the Communicator in me, I guess.  I used to write ad copy for a department store chain and loved it.  Spelling and grammar mistakes in the newspaper and on web sites jump right out at me, and I find them very distracting.  Having said that I would ask you to comment and point out any you find on my sites!

7.  I like our little Canadianisms... like the fact that we can spell some of our words with 're' at the end instead of 'er'... French vs. English ... words like fibre, theatre, centre, and litre.  I always use the French 're' version. 

8.  I used to be a clothes horse and totally wrapped up in fashion.  Now I find that hard to believe and so would anyone who has not known me for very long.  Living on a sailboat does nothing for your wardrobe!

9.  I love animals of all kinds.

10.  I drive too fast.  Enough said.

11. I love all sorts of puzzles such as crosswords, Soduku, logic (especially), cryptic crosswords and jigsaw puzzles too. The Captain likes wordsearch and jumble so we share the newspaper quite nicely.

I got tagged by Caroline,  Canadian Runner in Exile,  by Erica, Life as A Running Mom , and by Sara, Words to Run By.  These are blogs that I read regularly so will answer all three sets of questions.

Caroline's first:
1. What is your favorite brand of running shoes?
Nike or Saucony
2. Favorite book you have read recently?
V is for Vengeance
3. Letterman or Leno?
Leno but barely... not a fan of either
4. How are you today?
Much better than yesterday!
5. Who is someone you admire?
Sarah Burke, recently deceased Canadian athlete
6. Reality TV: yes? no? if yes...confess the worst...I won't tell anyone
The Biggest Loser
7. What makes you laugh?
Seeing someone else laugh
8. Why are the Kardashians famous again?
9. Favorite Olympic moment?
Last Olympics in Vancouver when Canadian Alexandre Bilodeau finished his gold medal winning run and his brother was waiting for him at the bottom... tearing up now recalling it!
10. What is something you cannot stand?
Poor sportsmanship, and injustice!
11. When is your next race?
May 13th, 2012

And now Erica's:
1.  What is your favorite time of day to blog and catch up on blogs?
In the evening
2.  What shampoo do you prefer?
Cannot pick just one as I change all the time.  When we are on the boat I usually use a 2-in-1 shampoo/conditioner to cut down on the amount of water I use
3.  What is your favorite detergent for keeping your running clothes clean?
I just use whatever we have but would like to try some of the special ones
4. If you were given some broccoli, eggplant, and tofu - what would you make?
A food bank donation!  Seriously, I might try a stirfry with lots of teriyaki sauce
5.  Gatorade, nuun, Ultima, or something else?
Don't care for Gatorade and just got some Nuun which I haven't tried yet.  Don't know about Ulitma
6.  Are you a running skirt fan? I can't wait to see how Erik answers this one though. Sorry dude. :-) Yes!
7.  Tell me about your worst running moment.
Would that be my aching hips at the end of 8 miles which is my longest run in a few years?
8,  Tell me about your best running moment.
Wednesday this past week when we finished our 5 miler and I was so elated!
9,  How many pairs of running shoes are in your closet?
10. What is your favorite place to buy running gear?
Other than winning it in giveaways?  I keep my eyes open wherever we go for bargains!
11.  Do you want to come to Maui and run in the Run and Walk for the Whales?
Yes, would love to but likely not a reality

And now Sara's:

1.  What is your favorite thing to cook? \
Very hard as I loooooove to cook.  I love homemade soups.
2.  What is your favorite book?
Trinity by Leon Uris 
3.  What is your favorite distance to run?
I think I haven't run it yet!  I am loving 5 miles right now though 
4.  What is your favorite season of the year?
Summer, absolutely
5.  What is your favorite holiday?
My birthday is Victoria Day in Canada
6.  Do you like to make lists?
Constantly and on anything I can find to write on!
7.  How many states (places) have you lived in?
I am a nomad. I have lived in many different places and we used to winter in the U.S. and summer in Canada
8.  How long have you been blogging?
Since the Spring of 2011 
9.  Who is your biggest inspiration?
Well, Sara, you are high on my list.  I think athletes and other people who work hard to reach their goals inspire me. 
10.  What is your favorite animal?
Can I have 2?  Sea otters and polar bears... okay 3.  Tigers.
11.  What is your favorite (non-running) outdoor activity?
Golf?  Sailing?  Biking? Nordic skiing?  I am so fickle I cannot commit!


So that was pretty fun for me... and now I will make up 11 questions for YOU!  I am not going to tag anyone though cause I know this has been going around and likely you have already been tagged.

But, if you read this, just leave me a comment and answer  at least one of my questions, okay?

1.  What was the last blog you read before this?

2.  Dogs or cats?

3.  Nadal or Federer?

4.  What is your favorite sport to watch on tv?

5.  Favorite breakfast?

6.  Movies at home or in the theatre?

7.  Turkey or ham at Christmas?

8.  Lipstick or lipgloss?

9.  Who is your favorite author?

10. What movie do you never tire of seeing?

11. What color is your favorite tee shirt?

I can hardly wait to read your answers!

    The Number on the Scale...

    A woman that I have been friends with for several years, sent me this in an email message this morning and I just had to share it here... it pretty much says it all!

    Hope you are having a wonderful, active, healthy and happy weekend... or just a lot of fun!

    Friday, January 27, 2012

    30 Day Appreciation Challenge

    I just signed up to take part in Amanda's 30 Day Appreciation Challenge.  You can read all about it and sign up yourself on her blog Run to the Finish


    I agree that it is very important to make sure to say Thank You to the poeple we interact with each day... whether it is a clerk in a store, your mailman, your family members, co-workers, neighbors, and so on....  each and everyone we meet throughout our day impacts us in some way.

    I often make phone calls or leave notes on retailers suggestion box cards, to give kudos to those people who have done a particularly nice job with their service to me when I shop.  I think people should be singled out for praise and appreciation when they deserve and earn it.

    And sometimes, a Thank You to someone who perhaps doesn't quite deserve it gives them the impetus to do a better job for the next customer... if they realize their work is valuable and honored.
    I often write notes of appreciation to the supervisor of the young woman who handles my accounts at the credit union where we have accounts. She goes out of her way to help me with lots of things, and I like to tell her boss how great the service is.

    And just in case I don't say thank YOU, often enough. for reading my blog posts and leaving helpful comments and giving me great advice...

    Thank You

    We never know how our actions as we go through our day, really affect other people, and so I think being kind and showing appreciation, is a nice way to leave a good impression!

    Do have a look at Amanda's post and join in!

    Do you say Thank You?

    Do you write Thank You notes, or emails?

    Do you make Thank You phone calls?

    Wednesday, January 25, 2012

    Boy, Do I LOVE Running!

    This has probably never been truer than it is TODAY!

    Our half marathon schedule got altered again this week...

    On Friday afternoon I am going to have a little medical procedure that makes it necessary for me to eat only clear liquids and green Jell-o (??) on Thursday ... and then nothing on Friday till after I am done at the hospital which will be dinner time.  (And  you can bet The Captain will be picking me up, with a snack in hand!)  I am guessing that I will not be up to a run on Saturday.

    So, we did our scheduled run on Monday and today we did our should-be-Saturday run.  A repeat of last Saturday's 5 miler.  We did the same out-and-back route, twice, and we ran it 7 whole minutes faster than on Saturday.  And my hips didn't ache once.  

    I have to admit, though, that I was sucking so much air the last 6 minutes, in order to get in under the one-hour time, that I thought I might lift off and float away after we were finished.

    But I was so elated and so happy to run that 5 miles in an hour... if I had had a video camera handy you would have seen my first vlog of me pumping my fist with excitement and elation!  Ah, how I do love endorphins, and the feeling of accomplishment after a physical challenge, and the way a good stretch feels on a tired muscle and yes... I do love running!

    W2 R60 W3
    stretch 5 minutes

    We did only 3 one-minute walk breaks... one at each turn around point.  I wish I could have done the whole 5 miles without them, but that is pretty speedy for me and I needed the breaks today.

    Last Saturday, we did the same route in 67 minutes without walk breaks... 7 minutes slower, and by the time we were done, both of my hip sockets ached and I felt flat and sluggish.  The Captain thinks that the slower running is harder on my body. 

    Do you do your longer runs at a slower pace?

    Do you like slower runs?

    Do you find that running slower is easier or harder on you?

    Will it hurt if I don't do my longer runs at a slower pace while we train?

    Saturday, January 21, 2012

    Half Marthon Training Week #3 Done!

    There was just no way I was NOT going to get our 5 mile run in this week!

    We already skipped Monday's and Wednesday's 3 mile runs because of the snow.... and so last night when it started to rain I was elated. Bring it on!  And melt that snow - and melt it did.

    Hard to believe it is the same scene...

    Wednesday through Friday afternoon, this was the picture.

    Saturday morning after Friday night's rain.

    I didn't get to a Weight Watchers meeting earlier this week and wanted to fit that in today, too.  So, we had breakfast and then drove to the meeting centre where I found a bustling and energetic crowd at the 10:00 a.m. WW meeting, while The Captain wandered the mall for half an hour and picked up some little metal rings for cooking eggs..... hmmmm.

    Then we stopped and picked up some freggies at my favorite produce market and came back to the house for lunch... The Captain checked the weather channel and I waited very patiently for an hour, mapping us a route I hoped would be sheltered from the wind somewhat,  before I declared it was time to go running.  I put on what I suspected might be too much clothing and off we went.

    We drove a short distance and then parked the car near an entrance to the urban trail that I love to bike and walk and run... it is fairly flat and I thought that an elevated highway overpass might be the only spot exposed to the wind that is blowing about 20 knots today (about 24 mph).  Not a gale but it's cool at only 4°C (about 38°F).  I planned to run an out-and-back 2.5 mile section of the trail, twice, for a total of 5 miles today.  It's kinda boring doing the same route twice, but I thought it would we would be better served staying out of the wind as much as possible.

    We didn't do any walking to warm up like we usually do, but I wasn't concerned as it is Saturday and that means a LSR day.  The Captain was very cooperative.  Translation = he didn't try to speed things up!  And for the first half of the run the weather cooperated too. Translation = no rain and the strong headwind was only noticeable on the elevated overpass and was actually quite helpful on the return as it became a tailwind which pushed me on the uphill!

    But, as we made the turn at the 2.5 mile point, it started raining, not really hard, but enough that I felt like I needed windshield wipers on my sunglasses... and I was very glad at that point that I was wearing a second long-sleeved tee under my windbreaker 'cause my back was getting a bit wet. 

    I kept a pretty steady pace, with The Captain going on a bit and then returning to me, to keep running instead of walking, like I have asked him to do... and we kept encouraging each other through the rain and over the windy hilly overpass... it seemed so much steeper that last time!  And I was a pretty happy runner when I could see the end of the route in the distance.
    I always speed up a bit as we are getting close to the end because I want to feel like I am finishing strong.  We completed the 5 miles and then as we were walking across the street to the car, the rain stopped and the sun came out of the clouds!  It was beautiful and so we walked around enjoying the warmth of the rays for a couple of minutes and then drove home to put on drier clothing and do our stretching.

    I was feeling so stoked that we had completed this 5 mile run, and recalled why I love running.... 'cause I love the way I feel after I am finished!

    R67 W2
    stretch 5 minutes

    All in all not a bad 3rd week of training for our half marathon.  Lots of time on our feet in spite of only the one run, and a bit of strength and core work. 

    • Pilates For Dummies DVD - 25 minutes
    • 2 mile walk outside
    • 1 mile walk outside
    • Leslie Sansone 4 mile walk/jog DVD
    • upper body work w/5 lb weights - 15 minutes
      • 2 sets of 10 reps each:
        • bicep curls
        • overhead presses
        • tricep kickbacks
        • upright rows
        • delt raises
        • lateral raises
        • rows
        • frontal raises
    • stretch 5 minutes
    • walk 3 miles outside in the snow
    • stretch 5 minutes
    • Rest day
    • 5 mile run
    • stretch 5 minutes
    This next week we are planning to do our long run on Wednesday or on Thursday morning, as I have a little medical procedure planned for Friday that will prevent me from running for a couple of days.

    Did you get sidelined by weather this week?

    How do you handle changes to your planned routine?

    Wednesday, January 18, 2012

    Snow and Yogurt

    So... my half marathon training has been sidetracked by a snowstorm this week!  I suspected it might be.

    On Monday we woke up to a bit of wet snow...

    only a couple of inches but it was wet and sticky and very slippery on our hilly street so we decided not to do our scheduled 3 mile run... instead we waited till it warmed up after lunch and went for a 2  mile walk instead.  The sidewalks were wet and a bit slushy at that point.

    Then over night last night, it snowed again and the temperature dropped to below freezing... where it continues this afternoon.  There was a bitter wind all morning and even the kits wouldn't go outside.

    But, finally it has stopped snowing and the wind has calmed.  Now it is a drier, more inviting snow, but there is a thick coat of ice underneath it and we dare not try running on it.  We did an indoor 4 mile walk/jog DVD this morning and then a 15 minute upper body workout with weights instead.

    Afterward, The Captain went out to shovel our driveway and walk, just in case there are any mail carriers working today... and he also shovelled off the sloping driveway for the elderly gentleman who lives across the street.  This man normally goes out every day and walks the 2 blocks to the bus stop, where he catches a bus to go about a mile and a half to a lodge where his wife, afflicted with Alzheimer's a few years ago, now resides.  He has lunch with her, and a visit, and then takes the bus home again.  The Captain wanted the walk and driveway to be clear for him, just in case he did venture out today... so far we haven't noticed him... and if we don't see any sign of him today, tomorrow The Captain will go knock on the door to check on him.  It's the neighborly thing to do and I am happy that The Captain is so caring and thoughtful.

    When we lived in the interior of B.C. we had several months of very cold, snowy weather every winter... but in this part of Canada, it seldom happens. This has been our first snowfall this winter, and it reeks havoc!  The schools are closed, there are many buses not running, there is no snow removal in the city, and no one knows how to drive in it!  Thank goodness it is warming up already and should all be gone with Friday's forecast rainfall.

    So Monday's 3 miler and Wednesday's 3 miler were both missed... we will be doing a 5 miler on Friday, Saturday or Sunday, for SURE.

    A few days ago I got a lovely shipment of Greek yogurt from Chobani. I won a giveaway and was so excited to try this new-to-me yogurt that I have been seeing so much about.... they sent me 1 carton of fat free vanilla yogurt, and 2 cartons of plain yogurt... one is fat free, the other is 2%.  I believe these are the only kinds that they are selling in Canada right now...

    Today I was wanting a little something with a cup of coffee and so made us each one of these cinnamon and banana microwave muffins and got out the vanilla Chobani and some berries...

    I really thought that all Greek yogurts were likely the same but I was so mistaken!  This Chobani yogurt is thicker and tastier than any I have EVER had and I am so taken with it. I haven't seen it in any of our stores yet but I am definitely going to be hunting for it now.

    Do you like Greek yogurt?  I know not everyone is a fan.

    Have you had to change your workout plans because of the weather?

    Sunday, January 15, 2012

    Week #2 Half Marathon Training Recap

    Week #2 of our half marathon training is in the bag!  And here is how it went...

    • a day of total rest.  I actually spent most of the day in my jammies and it was Heaven!
    • We did a 5km run before breakfast and partway through I had The Captain open us a Chocolate #9 to share.  I wouldn't have been able to finish without it.
    • W2 R 38 @10/1 W3 followed by a 5 minute stretch
    • We spent a couple of hours wandering around the provincial museum a bit later in the day
    • Power Sculpt DVD workout
      • 5 minute warmup
      • 20 minutes levels 2 and 3 w/5 lb weights
      • 5 minutes cool and stretch
    • Karen Voight Firm and Burn DVD workout
      • 45 minute complete circuit includes aerobics as well as upper and lower body work w/5 lb weights
    • 3 mile out and back run mid morning
    • W3 R35 W3 (1 minute walk at the turn) followed by a 5 minute stretch
    • CRUNCH yoga/pilates DVD workout
      • 40 minutes of standing and sitting poses as well as mat work
    • Leslie Sansone 2 mile walk
      • 30 minutes, most of it wearing weighted gloves
    • 1 mile walk
    • 2 mile walk
    • 4 mile LSR mid morning
    • W3 R 54:30 W3 no walk breaks followed by a 5 minute stretch
    • legs felt heavy and unenergetic
    Overall it was a good week.    Some thoughts, looking back:
    • I run so much slower than The Captain does.  In the past he has occasionally walked alongside me while I am running so on Wednesday, I put on my Coach's cap, and suggested to him, that for the sake of his own training, that he not walk but that he should run... and that he walk only when I do during designated walk breaks.  He did this on both our Wednesday run and our Saturday run.... making short side trips and then coming back to me each time.  I think it worked very well and it makes me feel better knowing that he is getting a better workout.
    • I learned that I can no longer run on just a banana!  On Wednesday we shared a banana as we got ready to go out, shortly after getting out of bed in the morning, and I was so glad I had put that pack of gel in my pocket.  We shared it about the 4th km mark and I really needed it!
    • I think that complete rest on Sunday is a waste of training time.  I have decided that would be a good day to do my core work.  That way my legs still get rest after Saturday's LSR.
    • I have been very hungry this week.  I have added some more protein to our daily menu but I need to do some better meal planning.
    This coming week's weather forecast is calling for some cooler days and wet snow.  I will be adjusting the designated run days, if necessary, but will make sure to get in our 5 miler at some point.

    This is the logo of the race we are training for.

    If you have any advice of any kind,  I would be so grateful!

    Friday, January 13, 2012

    Planning For Success

    "A goal
    without a plan
    is just
    a wish."

    attributed to Antoine de Saint-Exupery, author of Le Petit Prince/The Little Prince

    As I drove home today I thought about this quote and how it applies to my life and I realized that I have always been a planner and a list maker.  When something is important to me, I do research, I set goals and then I sit  and write down the steps I need to do take to reach those goals.

    My former job as a computer programmer and systems analyst suited me so well.  Everything I did on a daily basis required logic and planning.  I took large problems and broke them down into smaller, more manageable ones, and then determined the steps to take to solve them.  Programming was simply translation of the statements into a different language.

    I have pretty much handled my personal goals the same way. 

    For instance, when I decided that I wanted to run my first half marathon sometime this year, I did some research about how long it might take to train to accomplish this distance, and that helped me choose a race to enter.  I knew that I would not be able to run a January half marathon if I was not prepared to start training before January 1st.

    Then I solicited some help with making a detailed training schedule to complete the distance - and I left room for alternative run days if the weather hinders my plans.  I have designated Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays as running days... but if the weather looks bad for Saturday's long run, I might choose to do it Friday or even Sunday.

    And I am working on other training elements such as pre-race meals, during race fuel, clothing, hydration, and recovery... and  also planning a variety of running routes to avoid boredom.

    I am keeping a journal and making notes about what I am eating and wearing and weather and moods.

    As it gets closer to race day, I will be making a plan of what I will need to do the day, evening, and morning beforehand.  And you can bet I will be looking for advice from experienced racers in putting that together.

    Big problems - far off goals - can seem so intimidating! But break them down, articulate steps to solve them... and they become attainable! Achieving small successes along the way also gives me confidence to believe that I will reach the desired end.

    I think this planning is important. I know that if I just went out and tried to run 13.1 miles I would fail miserably.  I could walk that far without any trouble, but I wouldn't run even most of it, at this point.

    I know plans go awry; things happen; life gets in the way.  Believe me, I know!  But if I don't at least start out with a plan, how will I ever have a chance to accomplish my goals?  I might just as well make a wish!

    How do you feel about planning?

    Do you make detailed plans for your upcoming races? 

    If you are an experienced racer, did you get more casual about planning as you gained racing experience or more serious?

    Tuesday, January 10, 2012

    Working Out at Home vs Going to the Gym

    I prefer being outdoors to in... I love the feel of the warm sunshine or even warm raindrops on my face.  I love the feel of cool grass or hot sand on my bare feet. 

    There is nothing better than being in the cockpit of our sloop on a hot summer's day, with the wind and sun kissing my cheeks and the bare skin on my arms and legs as we sail.

    I do enjoy a bright and icy winter day on the ski slopes, or a winter run on dry powder snow.  I will stay out on the golf course till long after dark.

    I would rather be outside digging in the garden or raking leaves than inside doing laundry or making beds.

    There is not much in the way of weather that will force me indoors... cold, beating rain and howling cold wind are 2 conditioins that do come to mind.

    Years ago, before we bought the boat and moved to paradise, we lived in the interior of B.C. where the summer days are long and hot, and the winter days are very short and can be very cold.  And by cold I mean so cold that the tires on your car are frozen flat across the bottom by the end of the work day, and so cold that the moisture gets sucked out of your face when you venture outside and your nostrils actually stick together!

    After I first started running and wanting to add more formal exercise to my day, I had The Captain help me assemble a home gym in the basement of our house in the big open room next to his workshop.  (It just happened to be the same room where we made our own wine... very handy!)  I collected one of those devices with the pulleys that was supposed to simulate weights, and also a door pulley contraption, a mini trampoline, a manual treadmill, a wonderful motorized treadmill, a Reebok STEP, an assortment of free weights and dumbbells.. along with a TV and VCR.  I loved it.  And I assembled a wonderful library of workout videos.

    I loved Charlene Prickett, and Gin Miller for STEP workouts.  I did aerobics, weights, yoga, STEP, and a great boxing workout with Kathy Smith.  I did dance aerobics and STEP with Cher and Kellie Roberts.  It was so much fun to throw a tape into the player and do whatever workout matched my mood. There was never a reason to get bored. 

    We skiied and snow-shoed, cross-country skiied and skated... and I ran.  But I gladly moved indoors when it was dark and icy cold.

    When I had to give it all up to move onto the boat, I loved passing my gear and machines along to my friends.

    For the first few years after we started living on the boat, other than running and walking, I did only resistance workouts with my own bodyweight, and only routines that I put together myself from books.  But I got kinda bored with that and slowly started building another small library of workout DVDs. I had space limitations and wanted to make sure that I was purchasing DVDs that I would like and use.

    I found a web site called Collage Video. It is an online retailer, but the best part of it for me, is that it offers a good amount of information about each DVD for sale.  There are 60-second clips that you can view, full writeups about the workoust, and even a place where people can rate/review them.  It has been really helpful and I always refer to it before I purchase a workout DVD now. 

    I know some people enjoy going to the gym and working out with friends or partners but that is just not for me.   And I have tried a few different kinds of gyms.

    I joined a hotel gym/spa with a girlfriend once.  We would go in the evening and workout on the machines, then swim and use the sauna.  It was good but I contracted a virus and ended up with plantars warts on my foot.

    Some years later I joined a gym with my younger brother, who is a jock.  He taught me to use the Nautilus machines and we played basketball togetherthere and also ran on an indoor, elevated track.  I loved that.  What I didn't love was the atmosphere in the women's locker room and pool, and couldn't quite get past that.

    Later, I joined a popular gym with a friend from work and we would go 3 times a week on our lunch breaks to do a weighted circuit, but it was way too busy and so that only lasted about 3 months.

    Since then I have tried a few drop-in workout sessions on my own in a nearby gym,  and I just cannot get into it. I guess I just prefer to sweat in the privacy of my own space, wherever that happens to be.  And I also get bored with just lifting weights... I like the variety that workout DVDs offer, but at some point I would like to try a spinning class and an outdoor bootcamp.

    I am so thankful for workout DVDs and some of internet videos I have found.   I like to be able to yell back at Jillian Michaels, and I day dream about having Karen Voight's amazing arms and abs.

    Karen Voight

    Do you workout to DVDs or other videos?
    I am currently loving some of the Biggest Loser DVDs, some indoor walking with weights workouts, along with Pilates, Yoga, and some Bootcamp style workouts. 

    How do you choose them?
    I use Collage Video and I use recommendations from people I know.

    Do you have any to recommend?  I am always looking for something new!

    Sunday, January 8, 2012

    Tommie Copper Garments Keep The Captain Warm While He Runs

    Several weeks ago The Captain received a nice package from Jordan at Tommie Copper... he opened it and found one of their men's compresion shirts inside.  I had been wanting him to try one after my own love affair with a compression shirt began post eye surgery in October, where I had to sit or lie face-down for 4 days afterward...  You can read that account here if you like.

    The Captain loves /likes to will run with me, but our winters here are often wet and cool and very dreary.  His biggest complaint when we run on cool days is that his back gets cold... then he tenses up his muscles and they get stiff and sore.  I thought that a Tommie Copper compression shirt, with its patented copper-infused yarn might help his back muscles recover more quickly.... but what we soon discovered was that if he wears his compression shirt while he is running, that it keeps his back warm  and he doesn't need any recovery.

    Instead of wearing a tee made of a technical moisture-wicking fabric, on cooler days The Captain wears his Tommie Copper compression shirt under a long-sleeved tee and a light jacket... the copper-insfused fabric keeps his back warm and he is a happier runner. It is so soft and so light that it is a pleasure to wear and it looks darn good too!

    He also really loves the knit cap that Jordan sent to me earlier, too.  It is made from the same light and soft copper-infused fabric as the shirts.  This cap sheds raindrops and is just right for our cool winter outdoor runs and and walks.

    Happy Captain sporting grizzly winter beard!

    In Canada we call this style of hat a 'toque' (sounds like kook)! 

    Tommie Coppe is the leader in innovative copper compression wear designed to be comfortably worn all day and all night by anyone looking for relief from everyday aches and pains, chronic pain, or relief from sports injuries. 

    We both love our copper-infused compression garments... within minutes of putting them on there is a noticeable change in blood flow which makes us feel warmer and more at ease.

    Thanks again to Jordan for working with us and for supporting The Captain's efforts as we train for our first half marathon race over the next several weeks.

    Please visit the Tommie Copper web site for more information at

    The garments were supplied by Tommie Copper at no cost to us, and the opinions expressed are 100%our own.
    Elle and The Captain

    Saturday, January 7, 2012

    The Day's Run, the Week in Review and Hats off to Cappuccino LARABARS!

    Today The Captain and I wrapped up week #1 of our half marathon training with a 3 mile run.  I promised him a new route today, and so this morning I sat down with classic Mapmyrun and selected a 3 mile route down a looooong steep hill from our street, and over a pedestrian walkway above the highway, into a neighborhood we don't know very well... it looped and twirled and then came back across the overpass and up the looooong steep hill.

    What a I really didn't know was that all of the streets I routed us along in the unknown neighborhood were hilly, too.  Up and down and up and down and up and down we went... the whole 3 miles.  But I was really happy that we didn't take any walk breaks and that we completed it in just seconds over 38 minutes!

    W2 R38 W3
    stretch 5 minutes

    We came in and shared a banana while we drank water and stretched.  And then, after changing in to dry clothes, we sat down with coffee to share one of the new LARABARs that I received earlier this week.

    This lovely package arrived a few days ago and it has been very difficult for me not to dig right in...

    4 Cappuccino LARABARs and a nice Holiday Greeting card

    We shared just the one and it was a perfect snack... sweet, nutty and a really lovely coffee flavor.  I think a big glass of cold milk would go well with them too.

    My week in review:

    • 5 km virtual Resolution Run
    • stretch 5 minutes
    • Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred, level 1
    • stretch 5 minutes
    • Biggest Loser 2 women's sculpt
    • Biggest Loser 2 men's sculpt
    • Biggest Loser 2 cool
    • walk 2.5 miles
    • Pilates for Dummies Basic Mat
    • WW low impact aerobics
    • Leslie Sansone 2 mile walk/tone
    • BL Power Sculpt levels 1 and 2
    • BL Power Sculpt cool
    • Madeleine Lewis walk 1,2 and 3
    • Madeleine Lewis cool and stretch
    • 5 km run
    • stretch 5 minutes
    • walk 1 mile
    • 3 mile hills run
    • stretch 5 minutes

    Thursday, January 5, 2012

    Keeping My Scheduled Workouts!

    Last week I had a couple of days where I barely moved because my lower back was sore.

    This week I have been making up for it!  Since the beginning of the year I have been working out faithfully, getting in my strength sessions and my core work and doing my planned runs for our first week of half marathon training... not necessarily in the planned order, however.

    We did a planned 5km Resolution Run on Sunday, January 1st.

    Then on Monday I did a strength workout with some cario intervals and we went for a nice walk.

    Tuesday I did a Pilates mat session and some low impact aerobics.

    We had scheduled a 3 mile run for Wednesday.... but it rained all day.  And I mean RAINED ALL DAY!  There was no way either of us was going out in that mess... so I did a strength workout that seemed to concentrate on leg work and then we did an indoor weighted walk/jog workout. Yes, I really said JOG... don't know what else to call this prancing/running/bouncing thing!

    Today when we got up it was not raining, however we had morning appointments.  Then, afer lunch I spent almost 3 hours in a live chat session with a Norton/Symantecs analyst (two of them actually... I wore one out and he turned me over to his supervisor) who was able to take over my pc controls and get my new Norton software running correctly.  ARGGGGH!

    So, it was after 3 p.m. by the time we got on our running gear and got outside.  It had been raining off and on again all day but we were both determined to go anyway, and for the most part, we lucked out and only managed to have to contend with minor sprinkling and lots of puddles... with only a cool breeze.  Not ideal, but hey, it IS January and not freezing.

    We both overdressed, and halfway through I was ready to ditch my jacket and my gloves and my cap... I hate caps anyway, but wore one today to keep the top of my head warm... along with my earband to keep my ears warm.  I think my plans to post more pics of myself on this blog in 2012 just may have gone out the window!

    So we did the same 5 km route that we ran on Sunday.... In 1.5 minutes more. I am blaming that on the extra clothes. 

    W2 R 38 @10/1 W4
    stretch 5 minutes

    The pumpkin banana smoothies I made for us to have while we stretched made it all worthwhile!

    I have a 3 mile run scheduled for Saturday.... and have promised The Captain a new route.

    Have you been working out or running much since January 1st?

    Did you make any resolutions that you have already broken?

    Monday, January 2, 2012

    My Half Marathon Training Schedule

    I thought I would post our half marathon training schedule so that anyone who would like to, can offer some feedback, or suggestions, or other comments.  Please feel free to be brutally honest.  I am  new at this and we are preparing for our first half marathon race.  It is on May 13th and I think I have given us ample time to prepare.

    It is a schedule I made up after having looked at a few others.  I felt I had to draw up my own because I only want to run 3 times a week and I couldn't find one that met that requirement.  Because it is my first half, my goal is to complete it.

    I have scheduled our long runs on Saturdays, with the thought that they could be done Fridays or Saturdays, depending up on the weather conditions at the time. 

    And I have built a couple of fall-back weeks into it, as well.

    I have been advised by someone who has run several halfs and who is a coach, that there is no need to run longer than 11 miles, for a first-timer.  Apparently running more than that leads more readily to injury or illness.  Who wants that?


    Sundays will be planned REST days.  We can do anything for fun, or nothing at all, if that is what we choose... and during the week we will be doing CROSS-TRAINING... which means WALKING, STRENGTH TRAINING, CORE/PILATES and perhaps some BIKING or HIKING.  There could also be some GOLF thrown in for good measure... and yard work which means raking and shovelling.

    I am pretty excited about it all and want to give a huge THANK YOU to Sara who writes Words to Run By for all the advice she has given me and all the hand-holding she has already done.

    So, in keeping with that... today I did a strength workout that also involved some core work:
    • 30 Day Shred, level 1- 20 minutes
    • 30 Day Shred cool/stretch - 5 minutes
    • Biggest Loser 2, womens' sculpt - 10 minutes
    • Biggest Loser 2, men's sculpt - 10 minutes
    • Biggest Loser 2, cool/stretch - 5 minutes
    • walk outdoors 1.5 miles
    All in all I think we are off to a good start!

    Sunday, January 1, 2012

    Welcoming 2012

    Today not only starts the New Year, but also our half marathon training... I scheduled a 5km virtual event to kick it off.... the Resolution Run as laid out by Amanda on her blog Run to the Finish.

    Resolution Run 5 km - Virtual

    Our original plan was to run after lunch... but The Captain checked the Weather Channel at 10:30 a.m. and declared that it was already as warm as it was going to get today... only 4°C , which is about 39°F.  So, we got into our warm running gear, put on our race bibs, took a couple of pictures...

    and off we went...

    We ran a familiar 5 km route around this hilly neighborhood we are currently living in, and it was so great to be out!  It was actually a pretty nice morning and there were lots of people out walking and running.   One woman we passed by, who was walking her dog, said to us "Oh resolutions.  Only 365 more to go."  I laughed and waved... guess she thinks I am going to run every day.  Hah!  I am not.

    When we ran through an area protected from the chilly breeze that was blowing, I removed my headband and gloves and put them in my jacket pocket, and then removed my jacket too, and tied it around my waist... so nice to be able to do that when I have no water bottle attached to me.

    We did 10/1 run/walk intervals and I had to remind The Captain to walk faster during the walk intervals and to run slower during the run intervals.  Yes, I am going to really enjoy being our Coach as well as his running partner during our half marathon training!

    As we ran up the last hill, I slowed down A LOT and had to really encourage myself to keep running and not stop to walk... but I made it and I was really happy to round the corner at the top of the hill to run a couple of more blocks of straight and level road.

    We completed the 5 km in 36.5 minutes and I am happy with that!

    W2 R36.5 @10/1 W4
    stretch 5 minutes

    When we came indoors, I drank 2 large glasses of water before starting our smoothies... a banana, vanilla yogurt, skim milk and cinnamon for The Captain... and the same with blueberries for me.

    I drank it right out of the blender jar while I stretched!

    A great start to the New Year and to our half marathon training.

    How did you welcome 2012?