Top three: outdoor winter cross training

It’s a beautiful day.

Blue sky, crazy warm temperatures, and here I am on a Saturday morning… in bed.  Still battling a cold.

I’ve been eating healthy food, drinking loads of fluids, sleeping like crazy, even took two days off work this week. The doctor claims my lungs are clear and I’m “fine” but it’s just that my body is fighting back hard, leaving me tired and sniffly. BOOOOOO on that!  I’m dying to get outside again.

Last weekend, I managed to squeeze in a whole whack of amazing winter activities.  Cross training at it’s finest.  Don’t let winter get you down – go outside and play!  This gives the bod the opportunity to use a few other muscles or parts you never knew you had.

Fat tire biking
It’s winter, only the crazies ride their bikes in the ice and snow, right? Well, I rented some fat tire bikes for me and Jim to try out, and boy –  felt like a kid all over again!  Those big fat tires make for a grippy but smooth ride whether on pavement or pathways. We hit the trails around Lac Beauvert in Jasper and had a blast zipping along the snowy pathways through the trees.  And bonus – you can burn up to 1,500 calories an hour on those suckers!  The only drawback – having not been on a bike in forever – was that my butt was totally busted after that ride due to the hard seat. Dude. Three days of aftermath for that one.

Snowshoeing
Since the purchase of my trekking/backcountry snowshoes about two years ago I’ve loved getting out both in the mountains and in Edmonton’s River Valley to explore and soak up some sunshine. This time, I tried out “fitness” snowshoes.  Streamlined, short and light, these snowshoes are ideal for walking and running.  I signed us up for a snowshoe race!  We trotted a couple of times but mostly just walked the 5K loop, stopping to snap photos and drink hot chocolate at the halfway point.  Depending on weight and terrain, you can burn up to 1,000 calories an hour snowshoeing (score!) and those hip flexors get quite the workout.

Cross country skiing
Cross country skiingDriving out to the Blackfoot Cooking Lake area for some late Sunday afternoon skiing, I should’ve known better.  I meant to just do a couple of loops on the lake near the staging area and then drive home, but the lure of the trails beckoned and soon enough I was gliding along through the trees. So fun!  Of course, being directionally challenged, by the time I checked the map I was waaaayyyy far away from the staging area, and the sun was beginning to set. While the average person burns about 500 calories an hour, I’m sure I was up at 700 just due to minor panic.  Sun setting. Coyotes howling. Wiping out on the icy trail hills where the track setting had long since been demolished by skiiers climbing up the other side.  I lived to tell the tale, and can’t wait to get back on my ratty old skis.

Which is why I have a cross country ski date this afternoon at 1:00 pm with Miz R.  And why I’m going to lounge in bed, resting some more, until that time.  Eeeeee!  Love winter!!

What’s your favourite winter cross training activity?  (And yes, cheese fondue is a correct answer…)

 

 

 

 

Backcountry hiking, half-marathon running, fat-reducing is-it-summer-yet PLAN

I love winter.

I really, really do love winter. I play outside on my snowshoes. I find excuses to buy really awesome winter socks, and I now own three winter coats. I like frost and cold. I love the stillness of being in the woods, branches heavy with snow.

And, in the depths of this delightful deep freeze, I love, really love, planning for the summer.

I’ve had my maps out since December trying to figure out where to hike this summer, and how to work those trips around my running schedule and my girls’ adventure to Iceland and Scotland…

And the over-arching issue for all of these grand plans is simply to get in shape.

So, starting with my fabulous 37.9% body fat (erg – I should really just be calling that 38%) I need yet another plan…

Having blogged for about a year now, I’m seeing a bit of repetition… that there’s more plotting and planning than actual DOING going on a lot of the time. But being in a bit of a bind – getting chubbier again and having some big goals to kick this year – I need to get on with that DOING part.

The basic strategy for the next few months is to increase weight training and cardio while cutting calories via “clean eating”. Tah-dah. Yep, that’s it.

I’ve gone old school again, and printed out a calendar, upon which I’ve penciled in my workout schedule.  The training is essentially worked backwards from my half-marathon trail race in July and my half-marathon road race in August.  And the best part is that I reward myself with stickers on the days I work out. Oh yes, stickers work for me. And I work for stickers. (Who doesn’t love happy face stickers??)

So far, I have FOUR stickers!!!!!!!  WOOT!  And let the positive visualization begin 🙂

Whine. But with no cheese, and actually no wine, either. Boo.

Sooo the scale is gonna kill me.

I’ve gone and committed myself to really HITTING IT for the next three months, and the damn scale keeps screwing with me.

I started the new Tony Horton program, P90, and I’m on Day 12.  The program is not intimidating (I wasn’t sure what to expect as Horton’s previous programs are supposed to be pretty tough), but it still works the bod and causes a bit of a sweat.

I’ve been dedicated in getting the workouts done and eating clean.  I’ve even given my flask to Miz J. and she duct-taped up our stash of road-pops.   The worst nutritional crime has been lasagna one night, and a couple of tablespoons of an Argentinean dulce de leche (so good). One “cheat” cannot have reversed the 3.5 lbs lost to date on the program…and yet… the scale says it has.

So annoying.

And every time I whine about this, there are non-scale victories to share. My pant size has gone down. I have a size 14 pair of black pants I’ve been wearing (I started at a size 20-22 in January 2014), and when I went to buy some thermal outdoor pants from Eddie Bauer, I bought a size LARGE, and they are actually a tiny bit loose.  Crazy.

SO. Yeah. I get it. Stop whining. But I swear to God, I need to drop permanently below 200 lbs and not have the scale be a bloody pendulum!

That is all.

 

 

Off to the races

Digging about for nail polish.

I should be packing.

What does one bring when heading to the mountains in shoulder season? Fleece? Down? T-shirts? Skirts?  Boots?

No idea.  So let’s paint the toenails.

Too distracted to compose.

Here are my top five for Friday:

  1. My first official trail race is this weekend!  I’m tackling an “enduro” race as part of the Five Peaks trail running series, Kootenay region, in Invermere, BC.   Escaping to the warm side of the Rockies for a few days, I’m looking forward to some racing and relaxing.
  2. I received an early Mother’s Day present from the boys.  It’s a snazzy Nike sports watch with GPS so you can track your running progress etc.  I am – truly – technologically challenged, but this watch seems fairly straightforward.  Can’t wait to play with it!
  3. Gotta pack bear spray for Canmore.  For my Canmore trail run this summer, Five Peaks just sent round a notice that bear spray is mandatory on all of the Nordic Centre race events.  Yikes.  Talk about motivation to not get separated from the pack during the race!  Better go pick some up and figure out how to use it while sweaty and distracted.
  4. Ordered two workout DVDsInsanity – Asylum Part I will be the second workout DVD I’ve ever owned (the first one being Buns of Steel – remember that fab 80s aerobic gear and the line “squeeze those cheeseburgers out of those hips”??).  I think the Insanity workout might be a little more than I can handle, but I enjoy a good challenge. My fall back is the fluffy-sounding but hard-assed workout Brazilian Butt Lift. Haha. Great name, no?? I’m old, I could use a butt lift. Ha.
  5. Won some money. I got official confirmation back from DietBet and I won $28.46 USD with one game and $52.93 USD with the other.

What are your plans for the weekend?!