Hitting the wall (ouch)

commitment meansOh no – I’m not that badass/hardcore yet. Not actually hitting the running wall, the BONK, etc.

I mean, hitting the TRAINING wall.

Of dullsville.

Of what’s the point.

Of who-cares-there’s-a-new-season-of-Mad-Men-on-Netflix.

Terrible!  To be fueled by passion, to make the commitment, to glory in the post-run endorphins to… when is that damn race again?  I’m getting sick of training. Are we there yet?

Commitment is pushing yourself when no one else is around. [Insert sigh]

This week is rough.  My weight loss was merrily dropping until last week.  Now it is stuck.  I’m 5-6 lbs short of winning my DietBets. I hate to lose. My right calf hurts. I’m not keen to run again since the last poo-fest and dizzy spell.

Oh yes, I’m whining.

So, I stood myself up for tonight’s planned 4-miler and cross-training date.

I’m sitting on my bed with the cat instead BECAUSE THAT WILL BURN CALORIES.

Good news is that my intrepid training partner and I will travel out to the Blackfoot area this weekend and jog/walk the 25 km loop that will be the site of our Baby Ultra at the end of May.  It will do me some good to get out of the house, out of the gym and into the place where THE BIG RACE will take place.

And tomorrow - tomorrow – I will run.

And love it.




Trotting through Week 9 – training recap

Exercising make me happyWorking diligently on Week 9 of THE BIG TRAINING PLAN.

Baby Ultra is six weeks away!! My goal with this race is to finish with dignity: knowing I trained my best to do my best out there, and to run it with my awesome adventure partner in crime, Miz Jilly.

Leading up to the Baby Ultra I also signed up for a few trail “test” runs with the 5 Peaks trail running series. My very first trail runs – very exciting. I think this will give me a mini taste of the Baby Ultra run, atmosphere and overall experience.

This week proved to be a fairly strong training week with prescribed running, stair climbing, incline treadmill and lots of walking. I really need to work on getting in more strength and hills, though!

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: ER 4 miles + ST
Wednesday: XT 45 min
Thursday: TR 4 miles
(Good) Friday: XT 30 min or Rest
Saturday: ER 9 miles <—- YOU ARE HERE
(Easter) Sunday: R/W 4 miles

Today was my 9-miler.

It all began well – maybe due to the Easter weekend or the fact I went to the gym after the lunch hour, there were scads of treadmills available. I hopped up and got right underway.

The plan was 1+4+4…One mile, then reset the treadmill; 4 miles, then reset the treadmill; and then the last four miles. (The reason why I re-set is because I can only get a maximum of one hour at a time and for some reason it is important to me to compartmentalize the miles…)

The first mile for me is always chaos and pandemonium. Seriously – my body goes ballistic.

  • What are we doing?
  • I can’t breathe!
  • My leg hurts!
  • What are we doing again?
  • Why?
  • Still can’t breathe…etc etc.

This nonsense carries on for a good 10 minutes before I settle into my groove of breathing and moving.

  • Oh, THIS again, I get it…okay, carry on.

I ran the first mile at my “easy run” pace of 4.8 mph, and then reset the treadmill. The next four miles went smoothly – good breathing, lots of sweat, keeping up the pace nicely etc.

I sipped some water and was in the process of resetting the treadmill when…


I set the time for 60 minutes.


I set my weight at 215 lbs.

CRAMP, GURGLE GURGLE – what the heck?

My finger hovered over the GO button.


I pressed GO…oh no. Not good.

I paused the program and hopped off the treadmill and ran for the bathroom. WOW. Nice.

Something was not going well with my stomach this morning. I don’t think I’m athlete enough to claim a case of “runner’s trots” but either way, that was a necessary pit stop.

When I returned to the treadmill I was sweating profusely. I walked for a few minutes then cranked it back up to 4.8 and started running.





I stopped.

Now, typically it is super hard for me to pick up on a run when I’ve given myself a break. That first quarter of a mile after walking/rest is a real struggle. I may have been able to push through, but something felt different this time. Especially the light-headedness.

So, I stopped for good after that initial 5 miles.

Makes me a little sad, as I really was looking forward to nailing that 9 miles today, but I think it was the right decision. Too much fibre? Not enough water? Too few hours of sleep? (I was up until 4am working as a volunteer at a casino for a local charity…)

Either way – wrapped it up, walked another mile – slowly – around the track while drinking water, then headed home. Feel tired now… will hit it next time.

On happier news, I have to send a huge shout out to all those who got me through my four mile threshold (especially Keith and Ms Megan) with kind words and wise running advice. The four miles that were once the end of my line (and life), are now under the halfway point in my runs. I actually RAN my first 5 miles without stopping today (minus the 30 seconds of treadmill re-set). WOW.

Tomorrow is a new day and I’m looking forward to another awesome workout.

Where the magic happens

Where the magic happensWhen I decided to change things, to get fit, it wasn’t  just a one thing that needing tweaking. A landslide of minor adjustments cumulated in this new lifestyle direction.

It began with the exercise. And moved to the food. And drink. Above all, it was a mental game of why this was worth it, why I wanted it, and why I should keep at it.

The other day I posted about my motivation to get healthy because sometimes I need to remind myself why I’m doing what I’m doing.

Why I said yes.

Why I’m out moving my ass before work, after work and for a good part of each weekend for month after month.

Why I’m saying no to beer and chocolate and wings and yes to spinach and cilantro and protein shakes.

I’ve gotten to the point where I like it.  When I peruse a menu in a restaurant, I’m no longer cheating on wings with spinach but vice-versa.  Balance & moderation, of course, are wonderful enigmas in my life as I’m so black and white, with no 50 shades of grey.  Give me one wing, and I need the whole basket of them. Ditto for booze.

On the flip side it is the same for working out: I crave those post-run feelings and hitting my training schedule bang on all week long. I don’t want an occasional spot of exercise, I want to feel the burn daily and truly embrace those two rest days each week (all hail Mondays and Fridays!). I don’t want to do anything half-assed.

Most of all, I don’t want to swindle myself out of a healthier me just because I’m afraid to step out of my comfort zone.

My strategy has become to put myself first, and to surround myself with like-minded people…those who want a change, who want to be healthy and are uplifting and encouraging.  This means real-time friends, and Facebook friends; any support group willing to push me and hold me accountable.

The concept of sharing your goals truly does make a difference.  And why set a goal? Because if you don’t, it’s not going to happen. Failure is not an issue.  Failure is part of the road to success.  And I’m okay with that right now.

I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.

~Michael Jordan

Why I do it

My TSN turning point, my aha! moment, took place at the Banff Mountain Film Festival this past November.

It was a winter camping trip with Miz Jilly; we booked time in at the Bear Street Tavern with our favourite Big Bird pizza, drank Bailey’s for breakfast, had the 5-miler Winterstart race one night and the film fest awards on the other.

Despite my seven years living in the mountains, I’d never been to the film fest and this was da bomb.  The photography, the writing, the films.  I loved it all.  Epic stories woven before our very eyes.  As we sat and watched the award-winning films with sweeping scenery, daring characters and adventures of which dreams are made… it hit me.

Not one of these adventurous souls had an issue with their weight. No one had to say, “Well, I’ll climb that mountain when I drop 50 lbs.”  It was a baseline to be fit. To have adventures. To do anything they wanted in the whole world.

When my kids were small and I started gaining weight bit by bit each year, people would always say to me, “Yes, but you’re STRONG.”  And it was true – I could carry the boys on my back up mountains and into the backcountry with no problem at all.

“Strong like ox,” my aunt would say.

It certainly wasn’t the case in November when I was watching the films.  More just a 15-year  flab fest fueled by Tim Horton’s (mmmm Tim Horton’s) and Netflix bingeing.  I wanted to be that person again who hiked, explored and adventured without a second thought about weight slowing me down. I wanted to be fit and above all, strong.

And so I made a change. And I’m not going to wait until I’m 130 lbs to do what I love to do in the mountains, or anywhere else.

Weekend off-roading

This weekend I took running off the treadmill. And I liked it.

It began on Saturday when all the treadmills at the gym were all occupied by other runners.  I got nervous.  I KNOW the treadmill. But if I wanted to get on with my run, I had to take my 7 miles to the track.

I counted down the laps one by one by one by one… until I was done.  It took forever going in circles but it didn’t feel nearly as long as the monotony of the treadmill.

On Sunday, I went outside.  This was a pretty big step for me.  Typically, I really detest outdoor workouts. I get distracted by the bugs, the grass, the dust, the overall temperature, the wind, the lack of wind…you get my drift. Everything is irritating.

But this time?  Runners smiled and said “good morning” (like I was part of some secret society), although that might be because I wore my Buzz Lightyear jacket and looked a little silly.  The sun shone, the new shoes did the trick, I met a few hills and conquered…half of them. I sweat buckets.  All good.

My only challenge is that I don’t know exactly how far I’m running outside. I did Google map the route I planned to take before actually running it – so I had a rough idea. But when I tried to use my newly downloaded “Runkeeper” app, it told me I ran 20.3 miles on Sunday. Really? 20 miles?? Hahhaa.

Where do you like to run?





Naked on the Internet

If you’d told me a year ago that I’d be happily uploading half-naked, grainy iPod photos of my morbidly obese self onto the World Wide Web, I would’ve laughed in your face.

Well, I did just that on April 1st (no joke!) and on April 2nd.

It’s all part of the weight verification process for the DietBets I’ve joined.  Oh yes, plural. TWO DietBets.

Fellow runners Nikki and Solana started a DietBet for April where participants are challenged to lose 4% of their body weight by the end of the month.  All damn cocky, I’m like, let’s hit two birds with one stone!  And I signed up for a second DietBet, pretty confident that the weight will just, you know, MELT AWAY.

At the beginning of each DietBet, you are asked to verify your weight through one full length photo in “airport attire” (ie tank top & shorts) and then another of your feet on the scale showing the weigh-in number, along with your password written on an index card next to the scale. The photos are visible to only you and DietBet.

I’ve never been a master selfie taker, so I quickly snapped the photos in my dimly-lit bedroom wearing a rather ill-fitting tank top and stretchy shorts, uploaded the photos, noted 220 lbs as my starting weight and went to bed.

In the morning, the DietBet adjudicators had sent me an email: my entry was NOT ACCEPTED. They needed a re-submission on the second DietBet.  They couldn’t see the scale, the pix were bad, etc.

So, in a panic of being potentially kicked from the game, and wearing my not-matching and rather sketchy underwear, I leapt onto the scale and re-shot it all in the revealing daylight, and was horrified that the scale now read 217.5. I submitted it.  This entry, of course, was accepted.

Normally, I’d be happy – hey I lost a couple of pounds overnight! – but now I’ve got one DietBet where I have to lose 8.8 lbs before the end of the month, and another where I have to lose 11.2 lbs.  DOH. So – my new April weight loss goal is no longer 10 lbs, but 11.2….minimum!  Eeeek.

Worst of all, I sent in a question to the info people, and it was promptly and helpfully answered by Dean G.  But  “DEAN G.” suddenly puts a face onto the whole anonymous, nobody-but-me-will-ever-see-these-photos concept.  Dean G.’s title is “Official DietBetter Referee.” I bet Dean G. can see EVERYTHING.

Can you imagine, day in and day out reviewing photographs of scantily clad overweight people to make sure they’re telling the truth about their weight?  That could be a dream job for some, I suppose… I bet Dean G. could tell some pretty awesome stories.

And of course, since it’s all about numbers, I’ve checked my weight 80 times in the past three days, which is just silly.  I need to forget about it and just carry on as usual.

And that’s my naked on the Internet story to tell the grandchildren one day.

April weigh in

April weigh in!

April weigh in!

How quickly a month goes by!

March saw a more concerted effort to stay clean with the eating and stick to the training plan for the half marathon. Life balance still factored in with a Guinness-filled St. Paddy’s Day and a stress-eating fest of Crave cupcakes nearing fiscal year end.

In all, down 15 lbs since the beginning of the year, and down 7.2 since last month. I didn’t quite make my 10 lb goal for March, but at least the scale is headed in the right direction this time.  I tell you, there was a lot of sweat and spinach involved in that 7.2 lb weight loss.

Jan 01 – 235 lbs
Feb 01 – 225.2 lbs
Mar 01 – 227.2 lbs
Apr 01 – 220.0 lbs

For inches around the waist, I’ve gone down a smidge as well:

Jan 01 – 50 inches
Feb 01 – 47.5 inches
Mar 01 – too pissed off to measure
Apr 01 – 44 inches

What does April hold??  Well, it would be splendid to lose a bit more weight before the big race. Seriously – all vanity aside – I can only assume my feet and knees will thank me if they aren’t hauling that morbidly obese label around.

I’m sticking with the 10 lb weight loss goal for the month of April. Gonna blitz it!  And to making super healthy choices in meal planning.  Breakfast and lunches are covered, but dinner is always a crapshoot… Will look into some teenage-boy-and-husband friendly foods that won’t kill ‘em in the long run.

For a little bit of monetary motivation, I joined up on Solana’s DietBet, which starts tomorrow.

This is my first DietBet, and although I thought the concept was cheesy at first, I found some sole sistahs who think it’s a great kick in the pants to the race season. So, I signed up.  This one is $25 and players have one month to lose 4% of their body weight.  Do so, and you get your money back and then some.  If you don’t make your goal, you lose your little investment.

Why the hell not… here’s to a rockin’ awesome healthy April!  Wooot!  And to baseline 4 mile runs! Woooot!

PS: My new Sauconys … make my left foot go numb.  I’m soooo sad. BUT that was only one day out in them, walking. Hopefully this will just go away, otherwise I now have a nice pair of shoes that can only be worn for like, 15 minutes at a time.