So long, Summer

summer04Soooo, running and I seem to have had a bit of a falling out.

It’s been a while. Actually, wow, more than a while since my July 2nd Forest Gump moment in the middle of Powderface where I just stopped and went home. I’ve now ditched my run club, I stopped jogging or even training on my own, and pretty much have taken up with bad boys Netflix and Pokemon Go.

I’m basically turning into mush.

Of course, I’d signed up for a million road races and trail runs this summer, and instead of being inspirational, it’s all just fizzled. I’ve sent my regrets to most of them.

SeaWheeze, however, WAS just around the corner and was still on the ticket for August. SeaWheeze is special; and it’s not because I’m a LuluLemon fan. It’s about the slick organization, the #westcoastbestcoast location and the general happiness, camaraderie and well-being surrounding the entire event. AND I was going with a FRIEND. Totally makes ALL the difference. It became a holiday. A holiday with a few fun detours. I just had to run 21km at some point during said holiday.

summerseawheeze

However, my state of mind was slightly scrambled prior to this getaway. I’d been bingeing on the The Good Wife via Netflix when (spoiler alert!) I found myself in a panic Google-ing “Is Will Gardiner REALLY DEAD???” before that fateful 5th season episode was even over. Devastation.

summergoodwife

Now, Will & Alicia are no Fitz & Olivia, not even close to Carrie & Mr. Big, nor Derek & Meredith… but it was still WRONG. He was TAKEN TOO SOON. (Totally channeling Annie Wilkes here. I may even have called the producers “dirty birdies.”). I was so mad. I couldn’t believe it. I stopped watching.

No heart-wrenching ER saving of a life, no prolonged illness, no moving to Seattle, no extended coma with a joyful awakening, no Bobby Ewing reappearing (“it was just a dream!”) = nothing. Art imitating life. He’s dead, Jim. Everything…hanging. Unresolved. Gone.

I guess that’s how death works.

But I was MAD. Will and Alicia, my imaginary friends, had a chance! Hope! Potential! Even if they weren’t my favourite TV people in the world (and c’mon, it’s far from being the most spectacular show in the world), I only wanted the best for them. I was tuning in to see it all work out in the end.

OMG – this is just TV, right?? But I’m still mad.

Now I don’t have running OR Netflix.

Maybe I have issues. Well, ya. I also kind of lost a month of summer to Netflix – whoops!

So, I packed my bag and decided to grieve the (virtual) dead by (actually) living. I prepped for a weekend away with the possibility of extending with a few extra days in the mountains if I decided to change it up a bit.  Needless to say, I had a full backpack with a crazy assortment of stuff. Ready for anything. Like a county fair, a winery lunch, a rock concert, a half marathon, a sushi dinner, a 16-hour Greyhound ride, backcountry camping, etc.

summercheaptrick

Flying (or busing) at ridiculous hours, I had little to no sleep at all the whole weekend, which made everything all that more hilarious through sheer exhaustion.  Despite my typical “I vant to be alone”-ness I spent three days in the back pockets of friends, and it was good.

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The experiences would have been nothing without them, and for their friendship and general all-round-awesomesauce, I am grateful. How else could mimosas and trout seem right for breakfast in Seattle?  Or buttering myself into a pair of LuluLemon SeaWheeze-exclusive running crops (yes – the goodies might be showing) in Vancouver? Or hanging out like a groupie after our latest Cheap Trick concert to chat with the band in middle-of-nowhere Oregon?

The latter half of my holiday – because I did decide to hop off the Greyhound 16.5 hours after leaving Vancouver – was an act of decompression in the mountains, in the woods, knee-deep in buffalo berries everywhere I went.

summercamping

No, I didn’t bring bear spray; yes, I encountered a grizzly. But LOOK, I’m STILL HERE. I’m okay! The grizz is okay! I promise to bring some next time, just to make my family feel better.  Absolutely knackered from lack of sleep, too much heat (Oregon was 36C) and running silly distances, my hiking was slow and methodical, and my bedtimes were backcountry appropriate: 8:30 pm = nite! nite!

Sometimes you just need a little crazy, some ageing rockers, underwear shopping, and maybe some beer with breakfast.

summergeneral

And after a time away from home, with way too much thought and contemplation, I decided to continue watching The Good Wife.  Hope and potential can come in other ways. Everything’s gonna be alright.

Embracing my first DNF

Blackfoot 50K mud

Bugger.

DNF? Are you kidding me?

DNF stands for “Did Not FINISH.”

When I saw those preliminary results posted on Facebook, I was gutted.

I clearly recall running, cantering, trotting and walking the entire 50 kilometres. 50K. On the trail. Over the hills. Through the mud.

I just didn’t quite finish within a reasonable time, I guess. I was under the impression I’d made the cutoff time, but I appear to have been mistaken.

I know I completed 50K.

YOU (now) know I completed 50K.

I just need to work on my speed. Because yes, I was out there for a ridiculously long time on my feet.

But I FINISHED.

So, I’ll see that DNF and raise you some courage.

Some confidence.

Some sore legs.

And some mild interest to do it all again next year just so I can get a legit time posted next to my name, and not a big, fat “DNF.”

3 behaviours I don’t want to repeat from my first half marathon of 2016

Disclaimer and/or fair warning: this entire post is a big, fat WHINE about why I didn’t do better on my first half marathon of 2016.

I hadn’t planned to run the Hypothermic Half in February, but the distance fell in nicely with my training plan so I decided to sign up so that I could see how things were shaking down, performance-wise.

Day of the race, the weather was beautiful – a balmy 4 degrees Celsius with sunny skies – and I knew the course from volunteering two weeks prior.  The race had three start times, and I chose the SleepyHead start at 10:00 am.  Ready to run!

Well….

1. I went out too hypothermic half 2016fast. SUCH a rookie mistake. I got completely sucked in to keeping up with the Joneses.  Even the back-of-the-pack Joneses.  Fueled with adrenaline, the first 3 miles were a pleasure – wow – look at me! All that training has paid off! I can run faster than I thought!  The next 3 miles slowed down a bit – very realistic though, and still feeling strong. The following 3 miles were back to my normal, distance-training pace. The last 4 miles? Crash cart required. Wheels came off. Walking, walking, ridiculous amounts of walking.

2. I was obsessed with time. It’s my first half mara of the year and I’ve been training for the distance, not for time, so why I expected to beat my other half marathon road race times…I don’t know.  Mostly a lot of hubris, I suspect. Throw in that over the winter I packed on weight, and boom! I came in the slowest I’ve ever done a half. My chip time was 2:58:41. Yep. Time to get over it. It’s part of the training process. I must move forward trusting the process.

3. I dropped the motivation ball. In the latter half of the race, I got lazy and my brain totally talked me out of any ambition. Albeit, I was tired, too, but instead of sticking to my walk/run pace, I started to just walk…a lot. In the last 3 miles, I saw a very fit-looking couple just up ahead of me who were walking for ages, and figured if they could do it, I could do it. I would run when they would run – which was not much.  And why bother trying to pass them?  What a silly goose decision on my part. I needed to stick to my training methods and I didn’t.

Hypo run mapTrust, motivation, determination…time to dig deep!  I actually have nothing to whinge about. I completed 13.1 miles when the training schedule only called for 12 miles.  I lived.  I got a tan that day.  I burned a crapload of calories.  I drank a lot of free orange juice post-race.  My only sore bits were my left hip and right calf (related?).

However, since that race, I’ve only been out running twice. I’ve completely allowed the (perceived) poor race results and stresses of life to scuttle my training schedule, putting me two weeks behind now.  I think the pity party is over.

Back to it.

Train your brain – 3 Day Refresh

So, April, I’d decided to push a little harder with my fitness goals.  (Gilmore Girls and ice cream drove me to this point).

I gave the 3-Day Refresh, a little Beachbody kick start product, a whirl to get the bod back on track.  I did it with the ever-amazing Miz J. as a rather spur of the moment kind of thing the Tuesday right after Easter. (What!? Huh?! Eeek!) We both happened to have the kit, and it was a huge “no time like the present” move forward.

(Admittedly, for me it was a desperate psychological ploy to make progress in my fitness regime.  I need to see results.  And I did – I got them.)

The Refresh has fibre and protein components, and the holes around it are filled with loads of water, green tea, fresh fruit and veg.  We did it bang on in the middle of the week  – Tue/Wed/Thu – and that helped with keeping busy and not sitting around waiting for our next feeding time.

Day 1 – Tuesday convo outtakes
“I’m at work surrounded by the scent of chicken fingers and a tray of sushi.”
“Two more days! We can do it!!!”
“I was grumpy between work and dinner.”
“Family wants Easter ham and blueberry waffles…I’m eating cucumbers and tomatoes.”

Day 2 – Wednesday convo outtakes
“I couldn’t resist, and I did weigh myself this morning… am down…! But don’t want to speak too loudly about it as I really need to keep this off. No more yo-yo stuff.”
“Woke up hungry this morning. Wanting coffee.”
“Tracking the food keeps me more honest.”
“Vinegar is my new booze. I just dumped it all over this salad and shot back what was left.”
“Made it [to the end of the day] … food all okay. Workout done. Self tanner on face to raise self esteem.”
“24 hours [left] – whooohooo!”

Day 3 – Thursday convo outtakes
“Empty colon” [check]
“For my healthy fat I brought a chunk of coconut oil. BLERGH. Like eating wax.”
“I’ve just had that fibre sweep and am counting down the minutes ‘til I can have lunch.”
“Good thing I have to stick to this strict plan. Mindless snacking would have started…”

In the end – we both lost weight (5 lbs each) in the three days, but this should be expected when, as mentioned above, our colons were empty and we were peeing every hour with all the water.  We kept up our exercising throughout the Refresh, and walking a lot.  And having a partner in crime made a huge difference…no man is an island.

Moving ahead, cautiously optimistic – suddenly I was panicked… what do I eat now??  With such a clean slate, I felt like I couldn’t possibly bring precious food into my system.  I agonized over every frigging thing I ate on Friday. It truly was a case of obsession. Today, I’ve relaxed a bit more, but boy – I think about everything before eating. That’s probably a good thing. It’s like my brain has been re-trained.

Overall, I feel less bloated in the tummy, lighter, experiencing clarity (right??) and as for cravings – like for SUGAR – are actually gone. Onward. Ho.

Weight update
March 30: 214 lbs
April 11: 207 lbs

Inside out: the real workout plan

Soooo thinking about mind over matter, getting fit, yada yada yada…

It really is all on the inside, isn’t it?

Like, when I have logical discussions with Brain, and Brain is, like, “You should really relax with Netflix tonight and skip that workout. After all, that could be a cold coming on.”  Or, “You really deserve that birthday cake TimBit. After all, you’ve HEARD the rumours, they might DO AWAY with TimBits and this could be YOUR VERY LAST ONE. Ever.” Or simply, “Why bother.”

I coasted through last year depending on a lot of weird motivations to get me through.  Some of it was about not letting my friends down. Or being a good example to others who also wanted to get in shape and lose some weight.  Some of it was about saving face all together, or not dying in the wilderness.  {I don’t think I really was alone to battle it out until I ran that half marathon road race in the Fall.  That might have been my proudest moment of 2014.}

I’ve been trying to pin down my exact WHY behind everything. And every time I speak about it, or write it down, it doesn’t quite seem solid or motivational enough. Digging deep. Etc. Blah Blah.  But how does one start that journey to discover all the answers that are (apparently) on the inside [seriously, how do I get there?]?

The body – whole foods, good stuff only is allowed in.  Okay, that’s a start.  I know what to do. I just need to be consistent. Nourish the body and Brain.

The mind – [Are you listening, Brain???] happy thoughts, happy thoughts…. visualization, meditation, yoga?  Positive self talk?  Maybe I need some Stuart Smally affirmations (I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me…) or some Help help (you is kind, you is smart, you is important…).

The emotions – believing in oneself…right? Confidence? Ditch fear and embrace the unknown? Surround myself with people who genuinely want me to succeed, and learn to accept praise.  Explore some personal development…oh man, do I need to visit that section of Chapters??

So, there are some categories to work on. Somehow. Notes to self.

And when in doubt, there’s always Crave cupcakes. Alright – I know. Not the solution. But I did eat this over the weekend. Um, Brain said I deserved a treat…  Confessional over.

Cupcakex