Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sunday Stuff

And the final week of my personal Fall Fresh Start Challenge began.. 

with a wonderful breakfast ...

Melanie Flinn's Apple Pie Baked Oatmeal
and after a couple of hours....
a 5 km run....
and yes I am smiling, in spite of the fact that I stubbed my left baby toe on a magazine holder last night and it is swollen and huge and purple.. my toe, not the magazine rack.  Yep, just call me Grace!  It has been raining so much this past week that I didn't want to let the opportunity for a run on a dry morning go by.  It was not a smart move as it turns out...  it was sore, but not excruciating while I was running, but now, a few hours later, it is really hurting.   And don't worry, it is safe to keep reading... no 'toe shots' from me.
I was planning to do Tamara's latest Fat Blaster Friday workalong video - Hi-Lo LEGS WORKOUT!It is awesome!  But I have to wait till I can put more pressure on this toe.  But do check it out yourself.
Tamara Grand is a personal trainer who produces these workalong Fatblaster Friday videos and posts them on youtube and on her blog fitknitchick.  I love them and I hope you will too.  And when you go visit Tamara's post and leave a comment. please tell her I sent you. I want her to know that I really support her efforts in making these vids, cause I love doing them, and I want to encourage her to keep up the great work... and make lots more.
And if you like them too, please share them on FB and on Twitter and Pinterest.
This past week was a pretty good one for me, overall.  I kept to my food plan and I also got in quite a few workouts in spite of all the busyness  that tried to sideline me.
  • walk 45 minutes
  • walk 60 minutes
  • 3.7 km run/10 minute stretch
  • Biggest Loser DVD workout - warm 5 minutes, strength and sculpt 20 minutes, cool 10 minutes
  • Reebok kettlebell DVD workout - basic and advanced - warm 5minutes, workout 20 minutes, cool 5 minutes
  • mall walk 2 hours
  • CRUNCH Yoga/Pilates DVD 40 minutes
  • Biggest Loser DVD workout - warm 5 minutes, strength and sculpt 20 minutes, bootcamp 20 minutes, cool 10 minutes
And I came to the realization this week (see yesterday's post) that I can fit in little bits of activity throughout my day that will keep my metabolism revved and my muscles challenged.
So this week?
Well, I am not going to follow Bob Hapers's Skinny Rule of not eating non-starchy carbs after 1 p.m.  I gave it a trial for the past 2 weeks, and although I can see the benefit of it, I am finding that I don't like having dinner at lunch time, and lunch (salad, soups, or just meat and veggies) at dinner time.  If I am going to have carbs I would rather have them at dinner than lunch.  A good experiment, but enough for now.  I reserve the right to change my mind again at any time!
I intend to get in as much working out and running as I can this week.  Toe be-damned!
And as a PSA, I need to tell you that I am off to the mammogram clinic on Tuesday for my annual squish!  Have you had yours yet?  I am lucky to live in a province where they are offered free for women of a certain age.

Have you ever met anyone as klutzy as me?

Please tell me something dumb you have done to hurt yourself... it will make me feel so much better! 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Little Bits of Exercise... Do You Bother?

I tend to be an all-or-nothing type when it comes to working out.  Some days are just too busy... there doesn't seem to be enough time to do all of the things that need doing and get in a good workout too.   So I don't bother.  Let me rephrase that... in the PAST I haven't bothered.

Let's face it... working out or going for a run takes a lot of time!

You have to put on the appropriate clothing, actually do the activity, cool down and stretch and then shower or at least sponge bath, before putting on street clothes and combing your hair to carry on with the day.  Even without makeup, you are looking at no less than an hour.

I remember years ago trying to go for a short run on my lunch hour at work, doing the sponge bath, dab dab dab thing in the washroom before re-dressing and getting back into my suit, stockings and heels, and knowing that I would never attempt that nonsense again.  I was dishevelled for the remainder of the day and the run was only 20 minutes long... so was it even worth it?

Well, that is the point of this whole post... is 10 or 15 or 20  minutes worth of exercise worth it?   Are little bits of cardio, or isometrics, or strength training or core work beneficial?  Do we need to do a full-blown workout to get anything from it, or can we actually do ourselves some good by moving for only a few minutes if that is all the time we have?

I have come to believe the answer is YES... it IS worthwhile to move, in whatever way we can, for a few minutes at a time... and if we can do that a few times a day, it does all add up.  Now that 20 minute run was likely not worth it, but a 20 minute walk certainly would have been and it actually could have been a 45 minute walk because I would not have needed the change in clothing and cleanup that the run entailed.

For starters, we are burning more calories when we move, than when we are sitting or even standing.  We get our heart rates up a bit more by walking than just standing... all good.  Increased heart rate means increased blood flow which means more oxygen throughout our bodies... good for brain power and for physical endurance, too and we need blood to deliver oxygen for cell growth, healing and regeneration... I was told that by the physiotherapist that examined my hand injury on Thursday.

How can you work in little bits of extra movement into your day?  What activities can you actually work into a 10 minute or 15 minute or 20 minute period, that aren't going to leave you needing a shower or a change of clothing, but will do you some physical and mental good?

At my Weight Watchers meeting on Thursday we talked about this subject... the ladies there really got into the discussion and came up with some pretty outrageous and amusing suggestions... such as doing squats while standing in line to pay for your groceries, and doing walking lunges down the length of the shopping mall... yes, those things are doable , but really , are YOU going to do them?  Not me.  I applaud anyone who does these things, but it is not going to be me. I am too shy.

And of course, there are the ones we all think of like parking further away from your destination so you have to walk a bit more to get there... making several trips to carry your groceries into the house from your car... making more trips up and down the stairs in the house... and they are good.  But do we do them?

Here are some things that I can and would do... and some that I actually have done...

During your work day
  • stand up to talk on the phone or as often as is practical
  • use the stairs instead of the elevator to get to your work area
  • fidget at your desk... move around, shrug your shoulders, stretch your arms, swing your legs
  • get up and go get your own coffee/water/snack
  • use a stability ball at your computer station instead of a chair
  • walk at lunch time - if you can do errands, even better use of your time
At meetings
  • when there is a break go outside and walk for 10 minutes - head out for 5 minutes and then back for 5 minutes - the fresh air is exhiliarating and refreshing and it is good to take a recess from the other people you are meeting/working with. I find this is good for me mentally as much as it is physically. Take care you don't get lost (oh yes, been there, done that!)
  • find a private corner and stretch a bit. You can even do this in a restroom if you need... stretch your arms forward to give your lower back a stretch and stretch your hamstrings and calves if you have been sitting for a while, but gently. Again, get the blood flowing a bit.
  • if you are the meeting leader, get everyone to stand up and stretch their arms overhead and behind their backs for several seconds.
While doing housework
  • when no one else can see you, you can get really creative and have some fun.. dance while you dust the furniture, jive with the vacuum cleaner, and if you can sing too, so much the better
  • do squats and pushup at the kitchen counter while you are waiting for the oven timer to ring
  • practise alternating lunges while you are picking up toys
While watching TV
  • Get out your yoga mat and do some crunches and some pushups.
  • run or walk on the spot
  • alternate squats and lunges
  • practice your jabs and upper cuts
  • dance up a storm
  • skip with or without a rope
  • sit on a stability ball
While at your child's hockey practise or figure skating session
  • run or walk up and down the arena stairs
  • walk around the concourse
  • jump up and down if your team scores
  • walk on the spot.. you may need to do this to keep warm anyway
You get the idea.

And one other thing about exercising for only a few minutes... it allows you to begin doing a new-to-you activity in a less intimidating fashion.  Really, no one starts out running for half an hour... but if you can start running for 2 minutes and alternate that with walking for 1 minute, you can do that a few times and begin to run... and you can gradually increase that until you are running half an hour and beyond.

And just for the sake of accountability here, I am working on doing some of these kinds of things myself... honest

Do you work in little bits of exercise to your day, or do think it's just not worth it?  Are you an all-or-nothing exerciser?

Can you offer some more suggestions?  Would love to have your input.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Hand Injuries and Lunch Choices.. Yikes!

Every mall has different food choices, and especially when I think about comparing Canadian choices to American... but the basic selections are the same, even if the company names/brands and ethnicities tend to vary a little.  I dread food courts, quite honestly.

This afternoon I was scheduled to see a physiotherapist at a hand clinic.  !!  Weird, huh?  Well,  about three weeks ago, The Captain and I set out to play golf one morning.  We stopped at a driving range and hit some balls, then went to a golf course that has an awesome practise area to putt and chip a few, before planning to carry on to yet another course up the road to play.

While The Captain was chipping and pitching, I threw a few balls into a nearby sand bunker and proceeded to smash some awesome shots up to the same pin he was aiming at.  Afer the 6th really good shot, I felt a twinge in my right hand and noticed a bruise quickly forming around the base of my right index finger and I felt a real sting.  I quit hitting shots and walked out of the bunker and when I picked up the rake to tidy up my shoe prints in the sand behind me, I felt acute pain at the base of my finger where it meets the bone at top edge of my palm.  Swelling, pain, bruising.  I was done for the day.  I got to watch The Captain hit golf balls for another hour but at least it was sunny and I had a huge cup of coffee to keep me company.

Well, fast forward three weeks... the swelling is gone, the bruise is gone, but the pain remains and I now have an angry little red bump on the spot where the impact occurred.  Of course I am right-handed and am constantly aggravating it.  I guess I could stop picking up dumbbells and my kettlebell, and avoid using kitchen utensils....  NOT likely.

Hard to see, but believe me it HURTS!

So, I nipped in to a walk-in clinic yesterday while The Captain was checking on the boat. and the doc that I saw there told me she thought it was probably due to the impact, but that it might be a ganglion cyst and gave me a referral to a hand clinic.

A hand clinic.    I had no idea such a thing even existed but when I got home I made an appointment to go there this afternoon at 1:40 p.m. and there you have the beginnings of this story.

This morning I went to a Weight Watchers meeting - great topic by the way, which I shall share soon, and it ended about 10:30 a.m.  The Captain had been wandering around the small shopping centre where the meeting centre is located, doing some shopping for me,  and then we got in the car and drove to a different, much larger mall, near the clinic. I though we could amuse ourselves there until it was time for my appointment and have a bite of lunch.

We wandered the shops and looked at clothing and at books and games and groused about the fact that the stores are already displaying Christmas decorations even though it is not yet Hallowe'en, and yes, we did eventually have lunch.

The food court in this particular mall is extremely busy.  The mall is undergoing a massive renovation and the food court was abustle with constructioin workers, students from the nearby college and high school, mommies out on shopping excursions, elderly couples, and who knows who else.  Busy.

I knew before we arrived that The Captain would be selecting his lunch from Fortune Wok. There are a few dishes there that he loves and this is the only place he ever has them.... me, I have such a hard time making a decision in this food court that on past occasions, I have actually taken my own lunch along, just to avoid the decision and the food that I perceive as junk.

Yes, it looks just like this.

Going from one kiosk to the other there is: Starbucks, Dairy Queen/Orange Julius, NY Fries, A&W (hamburgers again), Taco Time, McDonalds. Benny's Bagels, Shogun (Japanese), Opa Souvlaki, Fortune Wok, Tim Horton's (donuts).   I had California rolls once from the Japanese place and they were pretty awful.  I have eaten food from Fortune Wok and it tasted great but it is enough calories for 3 days of lunches.  I opted for Benny's Bagels as the least of the evil options.

I selected a veggie burger (based on mushrooms) on a gluten-free toasted bagel with all the goodies... cream cheese, alfalfa sprouts, tomatoes, avocado, a bit of mozzarella cheese, green peppers and red onion slices.  Wow! It was delicious, but I am sure it would have fed us both.

Something like this.

We did a bit more walking and then finally went to the hand clinic... where I saw the nicest, kindest, young male physiotherapist, who assured me, after questioning me thoroughly and examining my hand, that the painful lump at the base of my finger is non-functioning and non-essential torn tendon tissue and that the inflamation and pain will go away, eventually, altough the lump likely never will.  He gave me some options for relieving the pain and annoyance factor while it heals.  Nice guy, happy solution for now, hurray!  I was feeling pretty good about that finally.

But that lunch stayed with me till about 5 p.m. when I started to finally thinking about making us a small dinner.

What do you do when faced with making a food court choice?   What kind of meal do you select?

Do you ever take your own lunch to a mall food court?

Have you ever heard of a hand clinic?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

It's Been a Year! Getting Motivated

Last year at this time I was in a hotel room recovering from a retinal surgery on my right eye, with my face down in a pillow, waiting for the time to pass until I could be upright again.

I had already registered The Captain and me for the Oak Bay Half Marathon which would not take place till May... and was working on putting together a training plan that would start in January.

We were living on the sailboat, knowing that we would be moving to our house/kitty-sit in December and that it would last time some time in May.  I had too many projects on the go.... and it only got crazier as time wore on.

During our training for the half we made the decision not to move back to the boat after our homeowners returned, so we rented an apartment, painted, furnished and fitted it out, ran our half marathon, spent weeks cleaning the boat top to bottom and hauled it out for annual maintenance, visited my sister in law in Vancouver,  and then my own sister in Calgary... have spent countless hours in the doctor's office and hospitals and labs for scans and blood tests and scopes, trying to find out why my blood protein levels are low and why my body does not hydrate properly, and why my left leg swells... an ogoing saga with no answers yet.

The summer passed by in a whirlwind!  My fitness activities took a bit of a back seat to everything else... until recently when I set up my own Fall Fresh Start Challenge to get myself back on track.  We have been running, but not a whole lot.  I am working out at home and really enjoying it.  I am challenging myself in new ways and my muscles are sore and complaining, but I am seeing results and quite excited about it.  I am spending lots of time in the kitchen experimenting with recipes and new ingredients.

But I am feeling a bit at loose ends...  I really want to commit to training for a longer run. I need something concrete to work toward.

Today while The Captain and I were running, and it was a bit windy and there was the threat of rain in the air, he said to me that he thought it will be really nice this winter, to just go out and run when we feel like it, and not feel like we have to run, to get training miles in.  And in all honesty, I had to agree with him.  I don't like to run in the rain, or the wind, either. 

But I do want to start running longer distances again.  I know that my body cannot take another half marathon at this point. I found out after my race in May, that for some reason, my body is not absorbing what it needs from all the water I drink or the electrolyte drinks I use, so that is why I experienced the terrible cramping that I did, and why it took me so many hours to recover.  I was dehydrated and salt-depleted.  Until I get some answers and get that under control, I am just not willing to put myself through that again.

Since that race in May I have not run anything longer than 6 km.  I think I could manage 10 km without worrying about the onset of these symptoms that plague me with long distances.  I need some event or even a virtual race to look forward to.

So, I am searching for a 10 km run to take part in in late November or December.  And now that I have made that little decision, I am quite exicted about it!

Do you need events or races to motivate you and keep you interested, or is just running or just working out enough?

Hey, little update!  SPUNKYSUZI, you are my 100th follower... so excited to hit this milestone. Thanks to everyone who follows my blog! 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Checking in - Being Accountable to Myself

All in all I had a great week!  This was the 4th week in my personal Fall Fresh Start Challenge.

Even thougth I have never met him, I have to thank Bob Harper for keeping me motivated and sweating hard ... well, not directly, but through his work on several of my exercise DVDs.

And foodwise for his book Skinny Rules.

Several of my online buddies have been discussing and following the 20 Skinny Rules that Bob outlines in his book.  Some of them are easier than others... and these are ones that I tend to do anyway:

I drink a large glass of water before every meal.

I eat protein at every meal.

I have drastically slashed my intake of refined flours and grains.

I eat betweeen 30 and 50 grams of fibre every day.

I eat apples and/or berries every day.

I read food labels so I know what I am eating.

I measure/weigh my food and don't guess at portion sizes.

I do eat a real breakfast

I make my own food and eat at least 10 meals a week at home.

I have banished high-salt foods.

I do eat my vegetables.

I go to bed hungry.  (Or at least I don't snack before bedtime.)

I sleep 7 or 8 hours every night.

I did get rid of fast foods and fried foods (a long time ago.)

Have one meatless day a week.  (I don't strive to make one day a week meatless. I think it does happen naturally quite a bit more often than that but I don't think about it or plan it.)

There are 3 that I just don't even make an effort to follow:

Give up added sugar and/or artificial sweeteners.  I haven't even tried although I do eat less of these things than I used to.

Give up white potatoes.  I don't eat a lot of white potatoes, or even very often, but I have not given them up entirely.  I am Irish after all.  That is my story and I am sticking with it.

Don't drink your calories.  I do still drink some calories.  I have smoothies, and coconut water, and I drink milk, and I also like the occasional glass of wine and martinis.  I guess I score a big FAIL on this one, and I am not apologizing.

But the biggest one that I have REALLY been working on this week is:

Don't eat any starchy carbs after 1 p.m.

Yikes!  When my friends first started discussing this rule a few weeks ago I didn' even consider trying it.  I normally don't eat a lot of starchy carbs anyway, but if I am going to have rice or quinoa, it would likely be at dinner time.  If I want to have a basil and sundried tomato flavored rice cake with a wedge of Laughing Cow cheese, it would be an afternoon snack... nope, I didn't even consider making that change.

But last week I picked up a copy of Women's World Weekly that someone left in our laundry room and it had an article about Bob Harper's Skinny Rules in it... so I looked at it and found that Bob says this is the most important Skinny Rule of all.  He says that eating starchy carbs in the afternoon or at dinner can set us up to crave them later in the evening and start a snack attack. 

Now I do know myself well enough to know that if I eat sugary snacks such as cookies or brownies that I am going to crave more of them.  And I have found that even eating whole wheat bread or crackers can do the same thing.  So I had to agree with Bob's reasoning and I decided to try things his way this week.

I admit, it was difficult.  For those of you who eat paleo, and don't eat grains at all, this would not be an issue... but for those of us who do eat non-freggie carbs, it can be hard.  Looking back over my food tracker for the week my dinners went like this:

Sunday - pork roast, steamed carrots and green beans. slices of fresh tomatoes and cucumbers.
Monday - sweet potato topped with mixed beans. steamed green beans.
Tuesday - ditto
Wednesday - roast chicken, roasted Fall veggies.
Thursday -  mixed salad and roasted turkey leftovers.
Friday - spaghetti squash topped with tomato/veggie/mixed beans sauce and parmesan cheese.
Saturday - mixed salad and chicken breast chunks.

Now I don't normally eat carbs for breakfast either so have been having some at lunch and what has happened is that my noon meal has become more substantial than my evening meal, most days.  I think this is a good thing.   And the cravings?  There have not been any.  If I want an evening snack I am happy with a few raw almonds or cashews. 

My conclusion? I think this is a good rule and I am going to continue to make a point of following it again this week. Will I do it forever?  Not likely, but for now, yes.  It is also forces me to plan my days eats more precisely.

Now for my workouts, also mostly thanks to Bob Harper with a little Tamara Grand (fitknitchick) added toward the end of the week:

  • Biggest Loser DVD warm/low intensity cardio/strength and sculpt/cool = 60 minutes
  • walk 30 minutes
  • Biggest Loser Cardio Max DVD warm/levels 1,2,3/cool = 50 minutes
  • walk 2 hours
  • run 5 km/stretch 10 minutes
  • Biggest Loser Power Sculpt DVD warm/levels 1,3/cool = 40 minutes
If I do as well next week, I will be really pleased!

Did you have a good week?

Do you follow any of these Skinny Rules?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Friday Favorites… Fun 4 You 2

Today I am sharing some of the things I found this week that I think you might like, too!


I have been waiting for what seems like weeks now, for Tamara to produce this work-along ABSolutely Amazing All Abs workout.  Can’t wait till my afternoon sweat session today to give it a try.   Thanks, fitknitchick! 


Did you see this post by Peanut Butter Fingers?  This picture of her coconut cinnamon cashew butter had me drooling the second I saw it… and it is truly delicious.  So glad I bought a new food processor.
cashew butter recipe


There is a fun giveaway going on at Slow is the New Fast right now… Nikki has an Energizer PRO 4 LED head light up for grabs.  This is something that she has decided to give away and is not a sponsored post.  Would love to see any of  you who might run or walk in the dark have a chance to win this.

What are you loving today?  Any FINDS that you would like to share?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sunday Check-In

The third week of my personal Fall Fresh Start Challenge started out with such promise...

  • worked the Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon at an aid station - set up for an hour and then picked up discarded paper cups for 2 hours
  • walk 2 X 40 minutes each
  • 6 km run and 15minute stretch
  • walk 90 minutes
  • The Firm kettebell workout 40 minutes
  • 5 km run and 15 minute stretch
  • Reebok kettlebell DVD - beginner/intermediate 30 minutes

and since?

I have been pretty much on my duff trying to figure out how to change a couple of the features on my social media blogger buttons... arghh!

But it's Sunday... it's a new week... and I am staying focussed.

It is pouring rain right now and may be off and on during the upcoming week... Fall has arrived in the Pacific Northwest!

So I won't beat myself up this week if I opt to do indoor cardio workouts instead of outdoor running, and I plan to get in those 3 strength/core workouts too.

Do you ever get lost inside your computer for hours on end?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Going Green... Bits of Energy to Spare!

This post has been a long time in coming... a very  l  - o  - n -  g   time.

Several weeks ago, there was a buzz going around the Twitter feeds I follow, about a new algae product called Energy Bits.  Now I had a heard a bit about algae supplements so I decided to try a sample... and lo and behold, about a week later they arrived in my mail box.

Well, that was the beginning of August. And they have been sitting in a basket on the top of my microwave oven ever since.

Since they arrived I have read a couple of positive reviews about them, and several comments from other bloggers I have come to know and respect who thought they were quite disgusting.  I heard reports of their smelling bad, tasting bad, and not doing anything worthwhile.

Today I decided I should really find out for myself.

I read through all of the promotional material to see if there was anything that would give me an excuse not to try the sample... let me see... nothing about gluten, nothing about sugar, excessive calories, fat, no warnings of any kind.  They contain only algae.

I was getting ready to head out for a 5 km run with The Captain, so I looked to see if I could find out how far ahead of my workout they should be taken.. nothing there to be concerned about either.

So, I opened the little plastic package and poured the 'bits' onto a plate.  The writing on the package said that it contained one serving, and that they could be swallowed whole or chewed.  I didn't count them but I would guess there were about 30.

Well, I couldn't imagine swallowing them and having them sit in my stomach, dissolving, while I went out for my run, so I started popping them into my mouth by the handful, chewing them, and sorta washing them down with water. 

The texture of them reminded me of something else I have eaten but I cannot recall what it is...  I have been wracking my brain trying to remember what else feels like this in my mouth..  and, as I type this, aha, I do!  They are like chewing dry roasted edamame... the kind I used to buy at Trader Joe's.... Great! That has been driving me crazy all afternoon.

So the texture was not unpleasant, and the taste?  Kind of green, if that makes any sense.  Like a wheatgrass I would say. Not strong, and certainly not bad at all. And I honestly didn't notice an odor either.

Okay, so I got the sample chewed and swallowed with a glass of water... and could still feel all kinds of debris stuck in my teeth.  I swished some more water around, but these dried bits were not budging so I went into the bathroom, and started brushing my teeth with a wet toothbrush, and swallowing the debris as it came loose from my teeth.  I didn't want to waste it after all!  That took a few minutes and did leave more of a noticeable green taste in my mouth.. and a bit of green coloring on my teeth, too, I must tell you.

In hindsight, I should have spent more time eating them, and chewing each tablet individually instead of trying to get them down so quickly... I know that would have prevented the buildup in my teeth.

Finally I was ready to head out for our 5 km run.  The Captain always chews gum when he runs to keep his mouth moist and today I asked for a piece, too.  I thought it would take the green taste from my mouth and it did the trick.

We walked for a couple of minutes and began our 5 km... we normally do a 10/1 run/walk and I thought we should stick with that today.  The distance we covered for the first 10 minutes was about the usual amount but I really kicked it up during the second 10 minute stretch and we went a couple of blocks farther than we normally do, and then repeated that performance during the third leg. 

Overall we completed the 5 km distance in just under 33 minutes.  That is amazing.. my best time so far on this route has been 33:50 and it is normally anywhere from 35 to 36 minutes.  I felt like I was flying, really.  I was running harder than normal, and breathing harder, but it didn't feel harder. 

When I ran the route the other day in 33:50, I felt like throwing up afterward cause I had been working so hard.  Today I felt like I had been working hard but I didn't feel bad because of it.

So, did the Energy Bits give me that power boost or was it the placebo effect?  I am not positive, of course, but I do know that even an hour after finishing stretching and drinking some more water, without an after run recovery snack, I still was not hungry for lunch. 

I defitely am intrigued enough to want to try them again.

I was given this product to sample but was not asked to write a review and have not been compensated in any way.

Wordless Wednesday


Saturday, October 6, 2012

Saturday Stuff

First to reiterate my goals for this week...

" Going into the second week, beginning today, my plan is to set the same goals: 2 runs, 3 strength/core workouts, and 2 sessions of other physical activity for enjoyment. I will change up the strength component this week and will likely choose those workouts just before I am ready to do them... but they will definitely contain a core element. "

So how did I do?

  • run 6 km
  • stretch 15 minutes
  • walk 45 minutes
  • The Firm Hi Def Sculpt (Gaiam TV) - 40 minutes
  • core work on mat 5 minutes
  • walk 60 minutes
  • The Last Chance Workout DVD - 45 minutes
  • golf practice 60 minutes
  • run 5 km
  • stretch 15 minuts
  • The Firm Core Solutions (Gaiam TV) standing abs workout 12 minutes
  • walk 40 minutes
  • walk 30 minutes
  • walk 30 minutes
  • FitKnitChick's Friday Fatblaster workout 8 minutes
  • The Firm Hi Def Sculpt (Gaiam TV) - 40 minutes

It was a really good week.  I had a lot of energy this week and I am sure it is because I am making time to get in my workouts and also to keep variety in them so I don't get bored...  I hate doing the same workout too many times in a given week.  That is why no kettlebell this week... I love my kettlebell and want to keep it that way!

So, if I can get the same results for next week, week # of my Fall Fresh Start Challenge, I would be very happy!

I want to draw your attention to the 8 minute workout I did this afternoon... it was produced by Tamara Grand, who writes FitKnitChick.  Tamara is a " personal trainer, group fitness and indoor cycling instructor, PhD in biology, freelance writer, clean eater, wife, mother of three, knitter, collector of fine yarns, healthy living blogger and FitFluential Ambassador. "  And did I mention she lives in B.C., near Vancouver?   Tamara has a youtube channel so make sure to look her up.

I plan to start doing more of her workouts and also more of the workout videos that some of you are producing, and will be highlighting them as I do.  There is some really great work being done and I would like to support and encourage it... and hope you will join me, too.  I am going to be pinning my favorites on my Workout Board so have a look if you want some to try.

I have to mention, cause I know there is one of you will be calling me out on thisaying " but I though you didn't like videos on blog post" ... and that is true. I hardly ever click on the PLAY button to look at them. I don't want to watch people talk about something, or watch them cook, or assemble a treadmill, and so on.  But if you are actually doing an exercise routine I will probably take a look.

And now, for something completely different...

Our first walk today was to the Fairmont Empress Hotel Conference Centre to visit the marathon expo.  I had never been to one before and was quite impressed by how many companies were represented and by some of the samples they were offering... I guess when there are 12,000 people showing up to participate in an event, 3000 more volunteers and a good sized city full of curious spectators, the sponors want to show their stuff.  The Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon has a full marathon, a half, an 8k and a 1k kids' run as well. 

Showing off my Handful bag.

Tell me about the best race expo you have been to visit.

Do you have know of any great workout videos being produced by bloggers that you would like to share?  If they are your own, even better!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Thursday Thoughts

Upon waking at 6:34 a.m. today and seeing that it was dark outside.... 

"It is going to be dark on Sunday morning when we are walking to the water/aid station that we are going to help set up and man during the marathon on Sunday.  I hope it won't be too windy."

Upon finishing my 5 km run today in 33 minutes 50 seconds...

"Wahoooooo... I am so glad that is done but look how fast I went. Best time on this route yet.  Hurray!  These arm sleeves are awesome."

And others throughout the day...

"We are going to have to buy a second toaster for my gluten-free bread. "

"I wonder if I can find a good 10 or 20 minutes core workout on today... I hope my free 3-month membership hasn't expired yet."

"If that turkey we bought today is just over 12 pounds, how long will it take to cook it? I am so glad we don't stuff them anymore. What kind of dressing should I make?  Maybe something with quinoa.  I am so glad Canadian Thanksgiving is this weekend."

"I need to remember to pack myself a breakfast to take to my Weight Watchers meeting tomorrow, to eat after I get weighed for the month."

"I should check on Tamara's utube vids to see if she posted her core workout yet. Gosh, I hope it doesn't have mountain climbers or burpees in it."

Do you have any fun and random thought to share today?

Monday, October 1, 2012

My Latest #BrilliantRun

On Friday morning I spent a few minutes with Map My Run to plot a new course around our neighborhood. The Captain and I have been running the same 5km route a couple of times a week for the past few months... and I needed a change of scene!

He was otherwise-occupied and I knew I would be running alone.  I also knew that I needed to start challenging myself a little more distance-wise.  I want to start running longer again now that Fall has arrived but I need to do it gradually.

So, I planned a 6 km route, the first half along the waterfront and then back along a street  a couple of blocks higher than the water, through a part of the neighborhood that is unfamiliar, therefore more interesting.  I do get tired of the same scenery.

It was a bit cool so I put on some shorts, and a long-sleeved tee and off I went.  I knew I wanted to run slowly enough that I wouldn't need to take walk breaks, and gave myself 48 minutes to complete the loop.... 8 minutes per km which I thought would be a comfortable and pretty easy pace.

I loped along, really enjoying myself, and at the 25 minute mark, I did a one-minute walk and drank some water and then started off running again. At  41 minutes I started onto a short section that I had run before, and knew that if I kicked into a higher gear, I could finish well ahead of my 48 minutes... and I did.  My time was 45 minutes and I was very happy to average 7.5 minutes per km. overall.   I know that some of you would be devastated to run at this speed, but for me it is pretty good!

I had certainly overdressed though...  part way through I was pushing my long sleeves up over my elbows and if I hadn't been wearing a water belt, I might have taken my shirt off altogether.

Dressing for running in the Fall is definitely a challenge and after I read a post that Miss Zippy wrote about it, I recalled that I had a pair of Moeben sleeves that I had never worn and decided to try them next time out. 

That opporunity arrived yesterday, Sunday.  I put on some Reebok shorts, the technical tee that I got in May when I ran my half, my Moeben sleeves, and my new Mizuno shoes. 

I decided to go out and run the same 6 km route again, but I opted to try a different approach.  I would run faster for 10 minutes and then slower for one minute and repeat those intervals till I was done. I thought it may help improve the overall time.

As I began running I had to keep myself from going too quickly so that I could run at a pace I could maintain for 10 minutes.

The sleeves worked really well.  When I decided I was too warm, I just pushed them down and turned them over on themselves.   They didn't get in the way as I had thought they might and were not distracting at all.

At the 30 minute mark I did walk for one minute and had a good long drink of water as I went.  And then later, when I got to that same final section, I really turned it on!  I finished in just over 42 minutes... I was so excited and was very proud of myself for having pushed it so hard... and also pleased that I hadn't actually been sick during that last couple of minutes, cause I really felt like I might be. 

I made sure to have a really good stretch when I got in and ate a good snack, too!

Posing with my sleeves to show them off... one up and one down.  Oh, and this was the first run in my half marathon tee shirt too.
Do you like to vary your running routes?
Do you use Map My Run or another program to plan your routes?
Have you worn sleeves?  Do you like them?