Saturday, March 31, 2012

April 1st Plans...No Jokes!

I have decided to join Ali in her latest Abs obsession, craze challenge, called Amazing Arms n' Abs April.

I have no idea where she got it from but it looks great and I am excited to get started on it Sunday... with a Rest Day! 

 
I even changed the size of my blog page just to accomodate this graphic in a legible size! 
 
But seriously, this is going to be right up my alley... I have been doing strength training 2 or 3 times a week and doing some core work too, and I think I have been tiring myself out with it, and it has taken a toll on the amount of energy I have left for running.
 
This week I only did planks and very little lifting, and my long run on Saturday did not leave me as tired as I was last week.  So I am going to give this a shot and see how it works for me.  I am going to have to find demos for some of these exercises to see how they should be done, but that is part of the fun.
 
Actually, it's a good thing that Sunday is Rest Day, because I will be at our marina, on the sloop, helping The Captain move her to a different slip in our marina.
 
 
 
We have been moored in the same slip since the Spring of 2002... quite happily actually.  One one side of us there is a wonderful, jolly Aussie whom we have come to know and laugh with... house-sat for him and his wife for a month one winter when they went to Oz to visit family.
 
On the other side, we have had 3 different neighbors over the years, all great folks whom we have had good times with as well... also house-sat last Fall for the current fellow for 8 weeks.
 
But, in the Fall of 2010, while were were at G's actually, the maintenance crew did some dock renovations and they ended up narrowing our slip by about 18 inches.  We first talked to the managers about it last Spring, and to make a very long story short, they have finally resolved the situation by moving us to a different slip... tomorrow, moving day at marinas all over the Pacific coast. April 1st.
 
So where are we going?  Just 2 slips over, so well will still have the one same neighbor, G, only we will now be on the other side of him... and our new slip mate is another sloop, and we know the couple who own her too.... so it is nice to not be going very far.  And the slip is about a foot wider than the one we are currently in and so we will be more mobile, and it also has a port-side tie so no new routine for me to get used to while docking.  I like that, a lot!
 
We have no idea how long it may all take... and so we have nothing else planned for the day.
 
I think we will head up after lunch - take along some coffee and a snack, and keep our fingers crossed for a decent day. 
 
How are you spending April 1st?
 
 

Friday, March 30, 2012

Oh Yeah, I did 9 Miles Today... Nothing to it!

That was definitely a little tongue in cheek.  But, I am tired and happy.  Today we ran 9 miles. 


9 miles


9 miles!
 

9 miles!!



Can you tell I am excited?

Years ago, 11 or 12 years ago actually, I used to run 10 miles every Saturday morning after my Weight Watchers meeting. Alone.  I left the car in the WW centre parking lot and ran a loop that I had measured out,  3 times around to make up the 10 miles.  It was good as I could stop at the car to replenish my water or leave my jacket, and so on.  Then I would stretch, have a drink of water, and drive home.  My route had a service station on it, in case I HAD to have a sweet or a soda, and/or use a washroom.  Good planning, I thought, and I did that consistently for about 4 months at a time, two summers in a row.  It took me about 2 hours to run that 10 miles.  I didn't know anything about, or use, energy drinks or gels or bloks... just drank lots of water.

Fast forward to 2012 and I have not run 10 miles since those days.... mosts of my runs have fallen in the 3 to 5 mile range.... occasionally 6 but no longer.  Last Fall I did 8  miles and when we were done my left hip was so sore.... I kinda hobbled up the hill 'home' to the house we were looking after (which is next door to where we are now).  Yes the hills in this neighborhood are killer!

On our half marathon schedule, there is a 9 miler pencilled in for tomorrow... but it is supposed to pour buckets tomorrow and I didn't want to miss out on it.  Apparently The Captain didn't either as just before bedtime last night, he suggested that we get in that 9 mile run today, if the weather was decent.

We decided to familiarize ourselves with the race route.  I mapped out a 4.5 mile section along the waterfront and we planned our strategy about parking, etc. and went to sleep, my fingers crossed for good weather.

This morning I woke up at 5 o'clock and managed to stay quiet and still till almost 6 when we got up ... still kinda dark, but the day dawned blue and mostly sunny!  I went to a Weight Watchers meeting and we decided to go running after lunch...  so I made us an early lunch and we shared a nuun and got ready to go.

I packed some bananas and spread peanut butter on a couple of whole grain bagels and popped all of that into a bag.  Then I filled two-16 ounce bottles with water and nuun.  And I filled another 24 ounce bottle with plain water.  We both put a couple of GUs into our pocket and off we went.

We drove about 20 minutes to the site... and parked the car in about the middle of the 4.5 mile section I chose for us to run.  I strapped on my water bottle belt and put one bottle of the water with nuun into it and off we went.  We ran past a private school, and then a couple of parks, and through a beautiful neighborhood of huge estate home,s and then back to the car, sharing the water and nuun along the way.

It took 50 minutes to do the out and back and run back to the car, where we spent only a few seconds switching the almost empty water bottle for a full one, and carried on... past a marina, through a golf course and along the rugged shore to another residential area.  We each ate a GU as we ran along and drank more water and nuun.  It was a hillier section and it took 59 minutes to do that out and back.

The 109 minutes for 9 miles was only 7 minutes longer than it took to do 8 miles last Saturday.  I never felt like I pushed hard at all... easy loping and very comfortable. 

When we got back to the car the second time, we walked around for a few minutes, polished off the bottles of water with nuun and did a few minutes stretching... and it started to rain! It was a huge downpour so we jumped in the car and loosened our sneakers... wolfed down our bagels and bananas, drank a bit of water, and then drove home.... dry clothes, more stretching, more water,  and then a cup of coffee before I had a nice long soak in a tub of hot water and epsom salts.

I am so elated and so excited now, about race we are training for.

When we were finished running today, I felt a bit tired but really good, and I know I could have easily gone another couple of miles.  I think the GU made a big difference in the amount of energy I finished up with, and I know the water and nuun tablets are helping.

I want to thank each and every one of you who read my last post asking for advice about my training schedule.  I read all of the comments and really thought about them and and have decided to keep to my plan if I can.  I have a better understanding now of why those Monday and Wednesday runs are getting longer, and also that it is OKAY for me to be tired after I run longer on Saturdays.  I was worried about that, but after the advice you gave me, and reading about how some runners take naps after they run longer, I now realize I probably SHOULD be tired!  And that I will get used to being on my feet longer.

I appreciate your taking the time to help me, advise me, and most of all, encourage me, in this effort.  It's a wonderful feeling.... thank You so much.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Questioning My Half Marathon Shedule... Would Love Some Advice, Please!

I am into Week #13 of my half marathon training.  The race is at the end of Week #19. It is my first half marathon.  My goal is to finish it.  I would like to do it under 3 hours, but that is secondary.

I am thinking about revising the rest of the schedule and would really love some advice from those of you who have done this before.

Here is some background....

On Saturday we ran 8 miles.  It was a tough route and the last 3/4 mile was up a steady incline...  It took me 102 minutes to run this distance... I recently ran 7 miles in 84 minutes so this took several minutes longer than I expected.  I am blaming the hills.  I felt good when we were done and used my HRM to pace myself - I do think I could have run a bit faster.

When we got done I did about 15 minutes of stretching and had a good recovery snack, and then had an epsom salts soak for about 15 minutes.  I was quite tired for the rest of the day and also on Sunday.  I did a little bit of walking, some stretching and some housework, but nothing strenuous.

During this training, we have been running on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Mondays have been 3 miles or 5k, and I have been doing some speed work.

Wednesdays have been 3 or 4 miles, just at pace.

Saturdays have been increasingly longer.  This next Saturday will be 9 miles.

Starting next week, here is what the schedule looks like:

Week #14
Monday - 4 miles
Wednesday - 4 miles
Saturday - 9 miles

Week #15
Monday - 4 miles
Wednesday - 5 miles
Saturday - 10 miles

Week #16
Monday - 4 miles
Wednesday - 5 miles
Saturday - 11 miles

Week #17
Monday - 5 miles
Wednesday - 5 miles
Saturday 10 miles

Week #18 - start taper
Monday - 3 miles
Wednesday - 5 miles
Saturday - 6 miles

Week #19
Monday - 3 miles
Wednesday - 5 miles
Friday - 2 miles
Sunday - 13.1 miles  RACE DAY!

Here is what I am wondering about....



If my long runs on Saturdays are getting harder,  should I be leaving my Monday runs at 3 miles and not increasing that distance... let the legs have more of a rest, keeping Monday's run short and just increasing Wednesdays and Saturdays?

OR

Keeping both the Monday and Wednesday runs at 3 miles and just increase Saturday's distance?

OR

Leave it alone and see how I do?

I don't know what the reason is for Mondays and Wednesdays to get longer now too.

Can you please help me out here?  Thanks so much...


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Grow Up, Cupcake...

For the past several weeks I have been whining about being hangry hungry!

It started at about week #4 of our half marathon training.  At first  I noticed I was craving sugar and starchy carbs.  I gave into my cravings and gained a couple of pounds.  But, I have been around the same weight for many many years now and wasn’t really concerned about it.

Then I started doing more strength training.  I got even hungrier, and as my running mileage increased, I gained a couple of more pounds.   I was giving in to my sugar cravings several times a day.  I would eat a small Almond Joy bar, or a few cookies, or some toffee… and that seemed to lead to wanting more.  This was something completely new to me and I wasn't sure what to do about it.

I finally realized that I probably needed better ‘fuel’ and that I should stop giving in to my sugar cravings but I didn’t really do anything about it… other than start to worry, and keep popping Reese's peanut butter cups into my eager mouth.  I knew I needed to stop but I didn't really WANT to.

But I had a ‘lightbulb’ moment, brought about by something I read recently.

 It is about DETERMINATION and this is how it goes:

“When motivation fails you, determination can save you.  Think about it.  Do you always want to go to work?  Do you always want to do the laundry?  No, but you do it anyway.  Some days, you don’t want to make good choices.  But if you do it anyway, you still see results.  And when you see the results, chances are your motivation will come back, too.”

So "grow up, Cupcake" I said to myself.  And "go hide the candy"! 

I decided to increase the amount of protein I am eating, and decrease the sugary/starchy simple carbs.  I have always been a freggie lover, so no problems there, and I do prefer whole grains.   I have been eating more fish and lean meats, more eggs, and I have started eating and really loving Greek yogurt. 

I have also been adding protein powder to my meals and have gotten quite creative with it, I think. And I want to share some of these ideas with you... I know I am not alone in this puzzling hunger issue, and I do believe that adding more protein has helped keep the sugar monster at bay.

Not all of these ideas are my own, and I do give the originator their due, if that is the case. 

Pancakes

I recently found these Green Smoothie Pancakes on A So-Called Runner and blogged about them on Saint Patrick's Day. They have lots of nutritious ingredients and you cannot taste the spinach in them, promise! Courtney's recipe is wonderful.

March 17 green pancakes 004

These next pancakes came from Tone It Up,  and I was introduced to them by The Athletarian. They are flourless, which really appeals to me. They are not a great fluffy pancake, but they meet a need and I will make them again. 




Protein smoothies/shakes

I have enjoyed smoothies for many years now.  And I make them with a variety of ingredients.  Lately I have been making sure they have some kind of protein powder in them and we have them after we run.


 






Protein cookies

I found this recipe on Itty Bits of Balance.  It was done with chocolate chips and peanut butter.  I changed them to butterscotch chips and almond butter.  You could make them with any baking chips and any nut butter, I am sure.  Brittany, whose recipe it is, also adds cocoa to hers sometimes... perhaps a chocolate protein powder would be good with chocolate chips too. 

Tasty, high protein, fairly low calorie and dense and filling.



Protein Oats

I have added cottage cheese to my oats to pump them up and I do like that.  However, I don't often have cottage cheese on hand.  I seem to always have protein powder!

I cook the oats the way I normally would, and then when I remove them from the heat, I stir in protein powder and/or chia seeds, and/or ground flax.  Delicious!

Oats, Protein Power, Chia Seeds


Oats, Protein Powder, Mixed Berries, Chia Seeds


Oats, Protein Powder, Chia Seeds on Strawberry yogurt


Protein Yogurt

I have come to prefer Greek yogurt over regular yogurt.  But I don't always have it in my fridge.  The brand I love best is not available where I live and I am experimenting with others.  Sometimes I still buy regular yogurt. 

Today I added some protein powder to vanilla yogurt and made a sauce this morning to ‘power up’ our breakfasts…


March 24 Breakfast GNC 001
Green Smoothie Pancakes with Strawberries, Protein Yogurt and a bit of Syrup for me….


March 24 Breakfast GNC 002
Toaster Waffles with Strawberries, Protein Yogurt and a bit of Syrup for The Captain


I don't know a lot about different types of protein powders.  Right now I am using a whey powder from GNC that I really like.  It is easy to work with and tastes great.  There is no chalky taste that I have read about in some others. The flavor I have is Banana Berry Burst and I love it.  If you would like to read a more detailed review it is here on my food blog We can begin to feed.


I would love to hear how you are using protein powder to power up your meals.

Anys suggestions to offer a Hungry Runner? (other than EAT!)


Thursday, March 22, 2012

GNC 30 Day Women's Active Vitapak Review

For me, taking nutritional supplements is a form of insurance. I may or may not need them, but I do take them... just in case.  


I would like to think that I get everything I need from the food I eat, but I know that is unrealistic. I have done a lot of research about supplementing my diet, and I am conservative with the supplements and amounts I take.  I don’t megadose on any of them so I don't need to worry about causing toxic buildup of anything in my body.

I like to take my supplements at lunch time, and normally keep about a week's supply on the kitchen counter in a little box.  I am fairly good at remembering to take them, but if I am out for lunch, or in a hurry, they are forgotten or neglected.  If I travel, I fill a little box with everything I think I will need while I am away and do try to remember to take them.   

Recently I was given the opportunity to sample a popular GNC dietary supplement called Women’s ULTRA MEGA ACTIVE VITAPAK, through a FitFluential campaign. GNC calls them a "Performance program for active women" and they are formulated with that in mind.

March 22 GNC 001
The outside of the box lists all the details about each of the supplements inside. 

March 21 vitamins GNC 001
Inside the box you will find 30 foil and plastic packages of supplements...

March 22 GNC 002
 each Vitapak contains 5 tablets and 1 softgel. 

And you are instructed to take the contents of one Vitapak per day. 

So what you have is 30 days worth of:
  • Women's Mega Ultra Active (2 orange tablets)
    • A premium multiple vitamin and mineral formula for the high demands of physically active women. This scientifically designed formula features B-vitamins for carbohydrate metabolism and energy production and a Proprietary Performance Blend.
  • Women's Energy Enhancer (2 beige tablets)
    • A clinically proven thermogenic formula that helps to enhance metabolism, burn calories and boost energy levels.
  • Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) (1 softgel) 
    • A naturally occurring healthy fatty acid derived from safflower seeds. Each daily Vitapak supplies 1000 mg of CLA made from clinically studied TonalinĂ‚®, one of the highest quality conjugated linoleic acids available.
  • Calcium (1 white tablet)
    • Each caplet supplies 650 mg of bone-building calcium. 
The details of what is contained in each formulation are on the outside of the box.  And I would urge you to read it carefully.  The print is small and there is a lot of it, but I think it is important to know what you are taking.

I have been taking these supplements for a couple of weeks now and do find them convenient to use.  I keep them stored in a canister on the counter where they are closeby, but not seen.

These Vitapaks are convenient, no doubt about it, and if these are the only supplements you take, even better.  Just pour yourself a big glass of water, cut open the Vitapak, and swallow the contents.  Good way to get in some water too, cause these pills are BIG! 

I am still adding my regular Omega 3 supplement to this regimen.  So, I do think it would be great if an Omega 3 softgel was included in the Vitapak. That way it would be complete for me. 

I have been taking these supplements at noon, with my lunch, and at first I noticed I was getting quite a buzz afterward.... the first ingredient listed in the energy enhancers is black tea and these 2 tablets have the equivalent of 178.2 mg of caffeine in them.

That is too much for me to take all at once, so I started taking one of them with my breakfast to split it up.   And I have also cut back my morning coffee to a single cup, then have one energy enhancer with my breakfast about an hour later. That worked for me.

172.8 mg is more than what is found in one 16 oz. can of Jolt Energy or 2 Red Bulls .  If caffeine is an issue for you, then you will have to be careful with these energy enhancers.

The real beauty of these Vitapaks is their portability.  You can pop one in your purse or pocket to take to work or out for lunch, or stash it in your gym/yoga bag. If you don't have scissors or a nail clipper to cut the package you can just use your teeth to tear it!  A little slit in the edge of the foil wrapper would be a nice addition to the packaging.

GNC  does market other combinations  of Vitmamins/Minerals/Supplements in similar 30 Day Vitapaks so if this one isn't quite right for you, you might find another that is.  They also have them for men.

You can find more information about these Vitapaks at  GNC or GNC Canada, whichever is appropriate for you.

I was given this product to review at no cost to myself, and the opinons expressed are 100% my own.



    Tuesday, March 20, 2012

    Happy Spring.... and Some Views Along My Half Marathon Route

    I am so excited that Spring arrives tonight... I just know it means our weather is going to get warmer very soon.

    We had such a mild winter this year that our weather really hasn't changed much at all.  Yes, the days are longer, and yes, there are flowers in bloom, but they all seem to be about a month behind this year.










    On Sunday morning it was beautiful outside and I was itching to get out... so we printed a map of the half marathon route we will be running in May and decided to drive it.  We both think it is a good idea to familiarize ourselves with the route and perhaps run some of it during our training as well.

    It starts out in a seaside 'village' which is part of greater Victoria... right on the main street, and then runs a loop through a beautiful old neighborhood of large estates for about the first 7 km.  Then it takes a turn to the waterfront, and the next 5 km wind along the ocean, through a golf course and then another mansion-filled neighborhood.  Then there is a turnaround, and it retraces the those same 5 km back and a slightly different, shorter route through the village to the finish.  Holy Cow!  13.1 miles is a long way.....








    Most of that 5 km stretch is uphill on the way out, and so will be downhill on the way back...which is good, I think.

    I love this little village... full of quaint shops, huge estate homes, marinas,  and English ex-pats who celebrate their British Heritage with great enthusiasm at every opportunity.

    Can you tell I am getting excited?
    
    

    Monday, March 19, 2012

    2 Smoothies and a 5 km Run

    After we run, we like to have a nutritious recovery snack while we stretch. 

    Well, one of us LIKES to, the other of us drinks and eats pretty much what is put in front of him in the name of TRAINING!

    I like to make us each a smoothie with health-supporting and tasty ingredients.  But, if we happen to have chocolate milk in the fridge, The Captain will opt for that, along with a fresh banana.

    Since we have been training for our half marathon, The Captain has been losing weight.  I have been encouraging him to keep up with his strength training workouts, though on a much scaled-back schedule, but his weight has been dropping.  (My karma must be wonky right now ‘cause I am sure this is just not fair.)

    So, lately, I have been making his recovery smoothies with a GNC product from their Beyond Raw line called Rebuilt.  It is meant to add mass to guys who are working out hard and has lots of calories, lots of protein and other nutrients to support muscle growth.  I am hoping it will help him retain his weight and not get that skinny runner look!  So far, so good.  And he loves the taste of the Chocolate Brownie flavor.

    This is the smoothie I made for him today after our 5 km run….

    March 19 smoothies 002
    It contains: 
    • 2 scoops of GNC Beyond Raw Rebuilt Chocolate Brownie protein powder
    • 1 cup water
    • 1 small banana
    • 1 Tbs chia seeds
    • 1 handful frozen mixed berries
    He let me have a small taste… wonderful!  And I am sure you could make something very similar with any chocolate protein powder, or by adding cocoa to a different flavored powder.

    My own smoothie today was delicous too!

    March 19 smoothies 001

    It contains:
    • 1 scoop GNC Whey ISO Burst protein powder (mine is Banana Berry Burst )
    • 1 cup vanilla unsweetened Almond Breeze
    • 1 small banana
    • 1 Tbs chia seeds
    • 1 handful fresh spinach leaves
    • 1 handful frozen mixed berries
    If you have a vanilla or unflavored powder, it would work too.

    The run?  Well it was 5 km and we did our usual hill neighborhood route.  Windy and cool today so happy to have it done!  We are starting Week #12 of our training today and I just know it is gonna be a good week!

    W3 R36:30 @10/1 W4
    stretch 10 minutes

    What do you drink or snack on after you run or workout?

    Does training make you hungrier?  If so, how do you handle it?

    Do you gain weight or lose weight or stay the same when you are training intensely?

    Sunday, March 18, 2012

    Sunday Rest Day and a Giveaway Winner

    I had a great sleep and my legs are feeling fresh and ready to go this morning... although today is officially a rest day, I plan a nice long stretch, some yoga, and some Pilates, too.

    Yesterday, through a Facebook post on Run to the Finish I found  Yoga for Runners and plan to give some of the stretches a try.  I am not very flexible or limber at all anymore and really need this kind of workout.

    So, on to my giveaway winner of an e-book copy of The Fit Executive...

    I wrote the names of everyone who entered, on pieces of paper and put them into a bowl.


    Then The Captain mixed them up....


    And drew the winner...



    It's KYRIA who writes Travel Spot.  I love to read Kyria's posts and I bet you do, too!  Kyria, I will contact you today, and I will also forward your email address to Franklin, the author of The Fit Executive, and he will contact you directly to let you know how to get your e-copy of his book. 

    Thanks so much, everyone who entered.
    
    
    

    Saturday, March 17, 2012

    Checklist for St. Paddy’s Day

    • Irish Beef Stew simmering in the Crock Pot √
    • 6 mile run √
    • Stretch √
    • Chocolate milk and banana recovery snack √
    • Epsom salts bath √
    • Brown Irish Soda Bread baking in the oven √
    • Amber O’Doulls chilling in the fridge √

    Now I can relax!

     
    And at dinner time…
    March 17 dinner 004

    A Wee Bit of Irish...

    Happy Saint Patrick's Day


    I think there is a little Irish in everyone today....



    We have a 6 mile run on our half marathon schedule today.  It is a fall back week and I am looking forward to a change of scene.  We are running a route we haven't been on for some time now and it is one I particularly like... an urban trail that takes us through some parks, behinds some shopping malls, across an inlet and by a shipyard.  It is a 3-mile out and back and always busy on a Saturday with runners, bikers, and walkers ... Moms with strollers, families and lots of dogs.

    The weatherman has promised me a sunny afternoon, really!

    I have an Irish Beef Stew simmering in the crock pot, and I plan to bake a Brown Irish Soda Bread after our run, to go along with it... and there will be red Irish beer... today alcohol-free O'Doull's.

    And to start the day... well what could be more Irish-inspired than Courtney's Green Smoothie pancakes?

    I really wanted to make these when Courtney first posted them in January, and I recall commenting to her that I thought I would love them but that The Captain wouldn't like them... so she suggested I serve them on Saint Patrick's Day

    This morning I started to panic when I couldn't find the recipe at first... and I did several searches on both of Courtney's blogs till I found the post I was after.

    I made the recipe exactly as she posted it.... and it made up 10 pancakes.  I put all the ingredients into my FitDay software so I could calculate the N.I.  Per pancake:  Calories 93; Protein 5g, Carbohydrate 14g; Fat 2g; Fibre 2g.  (for my WW buddies, that is 2P+ each)




    I served 4 to The Captain, and 3 to myself, and put the remaining 3 in the freezer.  They will make a good breakfast another day.  I cut up some kiwi fruit and navel oranges to go with them - very  Irish with the presentation being green and orange!  Then I poured a bit of syrup over all of it... sugar-free for me.

    

    I got The Captain to sit down and close his eyes and then I presented him with his plate.  He thought it was quite pretty, and I was so pleased that he REALLY liked the taste of it all.... he didn't even ask me what was in the pancakes and I think he prefers not to know. 

    But success!  Thanks, Courtney!  These Green Smoothie Pancakes have so much protein in them that I know I am going to be well-fuelled for the day. 

    I do hope you will give them a try, too.

    Image Detail

    
    

    Thursday, March 15, 2012

    I Asked About Rolling...

    A few days ago I asked for suggestions and advice about foam rolling and a device I have seen advertised called The Stick and the Tiger Tail.  I didn't really think that I was interested in a foam roller where I had to sit on the floor and roll my body parts back and forth over it.  I know that lots of runners advocate it and I have seen it on many blogs but I just cannot see myself doing it.
    I got some really good feedback and advice and I want to share it.

    People love their various foam rollers, and there are many different ones out there.  Some just foam roll, some people use Sticks and foam rollers, and also tennis balls.  One person advised that a rolling pin could be used in place of a Stick.  Now that appealed to me....

    But probably the most helpful advice I was given was to look at a report called Self-Myofascial Release, written by Mike Robertson, MS, CSCS.  (I had to do some research to find out what those letters meant - Master of Science, Cerfitied Strength and Conditioning Specialist).

    It is a very informative 47 pages about the science of foam rolling - what it is, who would benefit from it, the various implements used, when to do it, and a very detailed and illustrated section on the various body parts and techniques/tools that should be used on them.

    I urge you to download a copy of it for yourself... it is free... and read through it.  It is a quick read and it was a real eye-opener for me.

    I found out that the body parts I am particularly interested in can all be best effectively rolled using a Stick device, and that pleased me, a lot!

    And since I do not have a Stick, but I do have a rolling pin, today I am going to give it a try.


    And Jen's comment reminded me that someone else suggested I use a frozen bottle of water... very clever too, I think, don't you?  Ice and rolling all in one!

    Monday, March 12, 2012

    The Fit Executive... Review and e-book Giveaway

    Since I decided to get more serious about my strength training over the past couple of weeks, I have been looking at web sites for inspiration and workouts.  I love video demonstrations of exercises and video routines.  I also have been reading books and magazine articles, looking for ideas.

    When Franklin S. Antoian of ibodyfit.com asked if any of the FitFluential Ambassadors would like a copy of his book to review, I jumped at the opportunity.  And I am so glad that I did.

    
    The book is called The Fit Executive (Fitness for Today's Busy Professionals). Here is the Dedication...

    "This book is dedicated to the one billion businessmen and women around the world who think they do not have enough time to get fit. You do."

    Frank completely understands that you do not have time to waste.  And this is what makes this book so unique in its approach and such a very good resource.

    Whenever I get my hands on a new book, I immediately go to the table of contents to find out how far into the book, the real gist of it is... I generally thumb through or quickly scan the initial introductory information and preamble to find the parts I picked up the book to read in the first place.  Sometimes that is well into the 4th or 5th chapter.  I greatly resent authors who pad their pages with information I couldn't care less about, just to make the book bigger.

    Well, there is none of that fluff here.  Only sound and valuable and straight-to-the-point information.  It is an easy and concise read, and a very worthwhile one, at that.  To quote one of my favorite characters,  Detective Joe Friday,  "Just the facts, Ma'am".

    After a short introduction to the author's credentials, the main part of the book is divided into 4 parts:

    1. Fitness Due Diligence
    • cardio/strength/flexibility
    • why/how/how much
    2. Weight Loss
    • calories/nutrients/deficits
    3. Motivation
    • goals/evaluations
    4. Executives Only
    • fitting it in
    • trainers/gyms
    • working out in the office/while travelling/in the airport
    • sample routines

    There it is in a nutshell.  If you WANT more information and detail than is in the book, Frank has provided some links to his web site and also some smartphone QR code access as well.  Very easy.

    If you would like to have an e-copy of The Fit Executive to read for yourself (and you know you would) just leave me a comment telling me your favorite way to sneak some exercise in to your busy day. If you are not a follower of this blog, be sure to leave an email address so I can contact you if you are the lucky winner.

    I will leave this giveaway open till Saturday, March 17th.  And I will announce the winner on Sunday, March 18th.

    Good luck, and get moving...

    Saturday, March 10, 2012

    Week #10 in the Can - Stick-Style Rollers... Anyone?

    Week #10 of our half marathon training is done!  I am getting so excited about my running. I am getting a bit faster, so much stronger and really feeling more confident overall.

    Monday's run was our participation in The Spring Fever Virtual Race that Marissa is hosting.  The event is open till March 15th so check it out if you would like to get in on it. I was pretty happy with my run because I got a PR around this hilly neighborhood.

    Wednesday we ran a 2-mile loop twice and I also PR'd that 4 miles.

    And today, we did the same 7-mile route that we have run the past couple of Saturdays.  I felt like I ran a lot faster today and did work harder, according to my HRM, but the time was the same as the first time out.  I checked the route map on classic.mapmyrun and realized that we had not actually run the full 7 miles the first 2 times! 

    The route is an out-and-back and instead of running 3.5 miles out, we really only went 3.35 miles.  So that means I have increased my speed so that I ran 6.7 miles and now the full 7 miles in the same amount of time.  Not significant, I suppose, but going in the right direction anyway. 

    No wonder I felt that I had worked harder!  I really did.

    I don't think that .6 miles is going to change our training significantly but I am going back to alter the records for these past 2 weeks in my hand-written log and on Daily Mile.

    And I am really happy that I got in 3 good, hard strength workouts this week, lots and lots of stretching, some walking, yoga, and Pilates, too.  And I hesitate to guess how many gallons of water I drank!

    This week I had my first epsom salts bath, after Saturday's long run.  My toes were sore after we ran and it felt great to soak in the hot silky water.  I do think that epsom salts enable healing and relaxation.  Perhaps next time I buy some, I will try a scented variety.

    I am eating much more protein than I normally would. It has stopped my sugar cravings and I don't feel like I am 'hangry' all the time!  I have been adding protein powder to oats in the morning, making sure to use it in our after-run smoothies, using protein bars as snacks if I get caught out needing something to tide me over till the next meal, and also eating more lean meat and eggs/egg whites at meals.    Apparently I needed the extra fuel.

    Next week is going to be a fall-back week and the timing is good.  I have a scan scheduled on Tuesday that requires me to have only clear liquids on Monday, so there will be no Monday run.  I should be able to get in all the other planned workouts though and I am really looking forward to them.

    I am looking for a roller of some kind...  a 'foam' roller just doesn't appeal to me so I am looking at The Stick and The Tiger Tail... something of that nature.  If you have any advice I would love to have it. 

    Tonight I will be putting my feet up, and relaxing with The Captain and some tv.

    A to Z

    I just found this on meals and moves... Janetha even provided a template.  Do copy it and give it a go on your own blog.  I will look forward to reading it.

    A is for age:

    I will have my next birthday in May.  Enough said.

    B is for breakfast today:

    Oats with protein powder, chia seeds, cinnamon and vanilla unsweetened Almond Breeze. Black coffee.

    C is for currently craving:

    Sunshine, hot weather and a walk on the beach.  Summer!

    D is for dinner tonight:

    Baked chicken and roasted veggies.

    E is for favorite type of exercise:

    Running, stretching, biking, tennis, golf.

    F is for an irrational fear:

    Heeling over too far in the sailboat.  I am afraid we are going to lay her over on her side.

    G is for gross food:

    Escargot.

    H is for hometown:

    Calgary, Alberta, Canada... Stampede City.  White stetsons and cowboys.  The Calgary Flames!

    I is for something important:

    Grace under pressure.

    J is for current favorite jam:

    Marmalade with oranges.

    K is for kids:

    Nope.  And at present only furbabies are the kitties were are looking after while we house sit this winter.

    L is for current location:

    Victoria, BC, Canada.

    M is for the most recent way you spent money:

    My favorite shopping is at my local freggie market, honest!

    N is for something you need:

    All you need is love.... da ta da da da !

    O is for occupation:

    Resident PITA to The Captain!

    P is for pet peeve:

    Lies/injustice

    Q is for a quote:

    Pain is fear leaving the body... Jillian Michaels

    R is for random fact about you:

    I am actually very shy.

    S is for favorite healthy snack:

    Steamed edamame with rock salt.

    T is for favorite treat:

    No Pudge Brownies

    U is for something that makes you unique:

    I never ate peanut butter till I was in my early 20s.

    V is for favorite vegetable:

    Squashes of all kinds

    W is for today’s workout:

    7 mile run and a great stretch

    X is for X-rays you’ve had:

    Foot, back, teeth

    Y is for yesterday’s highlight:

    Freggie shopping and a breakfast/outing with The Captain

    Z is for your time zone:

    Pacific (soon to be daylight) time

    What are you waiting for?

    Thursday, March 8, 2012

    Thursday Thoughts

    Sometimes I have way too many things going on to write a worthwhile blog post.  If I also had a real job, I would be out of my mind... or at least never sleep!

    So, I have a few things bouncing around in my head today and just jotting them down, more for myself.... but feel free to comment on all or any. I love reading your comments and advice.

    We visited the boat today.  So many changes at the marina and some we are not crazy about.  We just found out that divers are not allowed to work without another diver suited up and in the water with them, AND someone standing on the dock watching them.

    We have been having a diver come to our slip and attaching new chunks of zinc to the propellor shaft twice a year to protect it from galvanic erosion and each visit has been about $110 for the diver's time and it takes him less than half an hour to do the job.

    Now it would cost 3 times that much and so the local divers are getting out of the business .... grrrr.  For us that means we will have to haul the boat out of the water EVERY Spring and EVERY Fall and that is a $1500 bill at least, and a 2 or 3 day time suck, twice a year.  Thank you, Work Safe B.C.

    

    I went for a nice long walk today and bought a 2kg (that is about 5 lb) bag of epsom salts.  Going to take Beth's advice and start adding it to my baths after my long runs on Saturdays.  I recall soaking my feet in epsom salts baths as a kid but I thought it was for infections.  Glad to learn that it aids muscle recovery and am looking forward to trying it.

    

    I just won a $200 gift certificate in a Twitter contest to Titika Active Wear.  It is a Canadian company that has beautiful yoga, athletic, and weekend wear.  I have a couple of things picked out and just going to make some final decisions.  Will be showing it off when it arrives, for sure.  Pretty excited!

    I picked up some Mike and Ike's candy for The Captain while I was out today. He had never seen it and heard it mentioned by a broadcaster on CNN so when I saw it in the store, I jumped at the chance to get some cause I knew he would like it... he loves gummy candy! And yes, he did eat the whole box.

    

    I am going to do a nice long stretch while I watch Big Bang Theory on tv tonight.  I cannot just sit and watch tv and I think stretching will be better for me than snacking!  Thanks to all of you who keep telling me to stretch more. It is sooo good for me and I do love how it feels.

    

    I have a turkey carcass in my crock pot today and am making homemade turkey broth.  LOVE using it in my soups.  Tomorrow is stock up day at my favorite local freggie market so there will be homemade soup coming up!

    I am hungry... just realized it's past dinner time. 

    What is your favorite tv show?

    Do you make soups?  Any recipes to share?

    Monday, March 5, 2012

    Spring Fever Virtual 5km Race - a PR for me!

    I am so excited! 

    We just completed Marissa's Spring Fever Virtual Race...

    

    and I ran a personal best around our usual 5km route of just under 35 minutes!  That is awesome for me in this hilly neighborhood and I am thrilled.

    Before we headed out

    When we first went out it was blustery and rainy and if it hadn't been the last day to get in on Marissa's event, I likely would have turned around and headed home... but after a few minutes the rain stopped and the sun came out in all her glory!  Still windy, but at our backs on the last couple of km so that was really nice.

    W3 R35 @11/1 W4
    stretch 5 minutes

    Before we went out I layered our smoothie ingredients in the mixing glass, and then just added water and whizzed them up when we came back, to enjoy while we stretched.


    I used a medium banana, 2 scoops of protein powder, 1/2 cup of frozen mixed berries and some cinnamon. Really loving this GNC Banana Berry Burst protein powder.  It has just a subtle banana flavor which I love and I have also been putting it in my morning oats on running days too, to get in some extra protein.

    I know now that a 5-minutes stretch isn't enough...  I will do a really good stretch tonight! 

    Update!  Someone just commented that Marissa's race ends on March 15th not March 5th... and sho'nuff, she is correct.  So if you are interested in running it, you have until the 15th!  Good, cause I wouldn't want you to miss out!  Thanks, ChristyJ.