Friday, January 28, 2011

At Least I Danced

Despite only having one formal day of work this week (today), it has been a long week. Physically, I didn't do a whole lot. Of course, BFSD (Bad Fish Sunday Dinner) really didn't help as it took until Wednesday to feel normal, but if I'm being honest it was a combination of laziness and other priorities. I am on the board of a non-profit and we have our annual weekend retreat up to Shawnigan tomorrow. I'm on the planning committee which is organizing and facilitating this event, Exciting? Yes. Stressful? Only when I stop to actually think about it. I still made sure I got out for longer walks but I was okay with letting the running slide this week. The deal I made with myself was to get back to it on Sunday and I know I'll stick to that.

I did, however, make it to dance on Wednesday. I know I say this at least once a month on here, but I can not stress it enough. I LOVE my West African Dance class. I loved it even more when another student cornered me after class for a quick comment. "I wanted to tell you that I love watching you dance. There's just something about the way your body moves, like there's a joy in it or something. I love the cross floor work because I really get to watch you and I could watch you do these steps for hours."

How could I not love that comment? It still has me smiling. My body loves to move so much that other people can see it. Sometimes I need to remind myself of that.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Life Lessons

Lesson #1: If the fish seems like a little sketchy, don't believe "it will be fine once we cook it." It won't be and you will spend what was supposed to be a productive day, well, not being productive.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Absolutely Nothing To Do With My Goals

One of the things I've really enjoyed about blogging finding other blogs I enjoy reading. When I started doing Chilkoot Chubby, I stumbled into the new-to-me world of healthy living blogger and was amazed how many there were. Initially, I really did stumble. I'm still not totally sure how I ended up even finding the first dozen although I do believe that too much coffee and a twitter feed may have been involved.

One of the earliest blogs I started following was the Great Balancing Act written by Susan. I've been stalking reading her blog for roughly a year now and it's been a great source of information as well as a great jump off point for other blogs to read.

A while back Susan mentioned in her comments that elephants were her favourite animal. Someone else said something about them being gentle giants. Having been in a car when an elephant started to charge it, I had to chime in. I told Susan that I would tell her the story some day. Today is Susan's birthday. If that's not as good a day as any to tell this story... you can find it here.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Nobody But Me

I have mentioned missing my running partner. Not only do I miss having someone to chat away the workouts with, but I miss having someone to keep me accountable. To be honest, I'm lousy at staying accountable to myself. Myself is often willing to give up accountable to be lazy. There is one reason, however, why I have enjoyed not having a running partner: being able to change up my workout plan without having to consult anyone else.

I was supposed to go for a run today, but after a run on Tuesday and West African Dance on Wednesday, I just really wasn't feeling the cardio. It also didn't help that Tuesday was depressingly grey as is today. Wednesday, the one day I had indoor cardio, was blindingly beautifully sunny. Really, Mother Nature? Really?!?

I padded around my apartment with my cup of tea in hand trying to talk myself into going for the run when it hit me: why not do my at home workout today and go for my run tomorrow? So I pulled out an old ab-centric workout from my bootcamp days and did exactly that... as soon as I finished watching Blue Bloods.

I miss you THR, but today was probably the first time I was ever happy that you're in Vancouver.

Now, if I can just make sure that I actually do go for my run tomorrow.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Heels, Water, Nothing Can Stop Me!

I had to skip my formal workout plans on Friday night because I had social plans to see The Laramie Project with a friend. Still, with all the walking I did that night, I clocked 4 kms in heels. Some may argue that this wasn't a real workout but those people are most likely men so *pfffft*.

I was back into the running today. It's amazing how much my runs improve just by making sure I'm properly hydrated before I head out. Amazing or just common sense, it's a thin line sometimes. The weather was less than cooperative so I was proud of myself for actually getting out of the house and going. Mother Nature seemed to understand my internal fight with myself and stopped the light rain about 3 minutes in. What I failed to understand was that this was so she could save it up and drench me in the last five minutes.

Under that puddle is the sidewalk.

Thanks to Jenny (whose blog I lurk on), I found out about the X-Weighted Challenge. After taking a look around, I signed up. It didn't take much convincing to get THR to sign up as well. Where would I be without my partner in crime? I'm still trying to sort it all but so far I like what I see.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Unplanned Skating

After a fabulous social weekend and high plans for what I was going to accomplish this week, I started Monday morning off with a tumble on some ice while walking to work. A ground sprinkler system had gone off at some point during the night. Victoria had been hovering around freezing for a number of days and so the run off created an ice rink effect. My options were: walk on the road and into on-coming traffic, clamber through thigh-high bushes, or walk on the ice.

The ice probably only covered about a 5 meter length of sidewalk but I tumbled twice, once landing on my left knee and once on my right wrist. Neither injury was too bad but my knee did stop me from running on Monday and Tuesday. Instead, I went out for a long walk on Tuesday around the neighbourhood. I picked my time well because I wasn't in the door five minutes when it started to snow.

By Wednesday I was right as rain, as they say, and back to West African Dance class. Today, I headed out for my much delayed run. I didn't drink enough water before I headed out and that became immediately apparent when my calves started to seize up. Still, I pushed on through and completed the run I set out to do. Granted, I wasn't running much faster than I walk by the end of it, but that was because of my calves. My bad. I know better.

Water in general is one of those areas I need to improve on. I'm really good for a few weeks and then I'm really bad for a few weeks. I need to be consistent and I know that. I'm better when I drink enough water; my energy is better so my workouts are better, I eat better because I'm not mindlessly snacking (I'm mindlessly drinking down my H2O), and my skin feels better when I'm hydrated. Three very simple reasons for drinking water and yet I still struggle with it. Guess what my goal is for this week?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men

My plans for this week went horribly askew when I decided to have an incredibly active social life. Truth be told, I wasn't too upset about this to begin with as I was horribly sore on Thursday and Friday from the workouts earlier in the week. By this evening, however, I was feeling frustrated with my lack of real movement.

One of my social evenings was watching other people be active but I've been told that doesn't count.

Despite the vast amounts of sitting and talking I did, I did make an effort to make good food choices so it wasn't a total slide backwards. It was hard given that most of my socializing involved going out to eat but I'm concentrating on the positives: I stopped when I was satisfied, I opted for the healthier option on most occasions, and I limited my beer intake to only three pints (which is very little seeing as I was at a hockey game one night). I wasn't perfect but I was happy with my choices.

Another social evening was watching an awesome friend sing awesome songs.
My vocal chords got a good workout that night.

Five nights in a row of social engagements plus a day time engagement on both weekend days is not the norm for me so I know that this type of halt to my activity won't happen again for a long time. I also know that I need to figure out how to balance being social with working towards my goal. I can't stop being social just for the sake of making it easier to stay healthy and plan my workouts. After all, I want to listen to my friend play his amazing songs and I want to enjoy a beer while I do it even if it's supposed to be a running night.

PS. I can't link to my favourite song because he doesn't have a video for it--hint, hint, Justin!-- but you can go to his site and listen to it for free. It's called "Oh Susanna".

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

What Doesn't Kill Me Makes Me Sore

Monday was my first foray back into running. It was sunny and clear and just a little bit crisp which made for beautiful vistas but slightly icy sidewalks. I headed out as late as I could but even at noon patches of ice persisted to hang around in the shade.

Almost took a spill on this patch as I walked home with coffee at the end of my run. Oops!

It felt great to run again.  I followed the run-walk pattern set out for me and although I could have run further, I was happy not to push it too hard the first time back. Still, I needed a little challenge so I ran up the stairs at Craigdarroch (Not Really A) Castle twice. They're not overly long or difficult but it was enough of an added challenge to get me huffing and puffing that little bit more.

See? Not really a castle, just a big ass house made of stone.

I felt a bit sore this morning (because I somehow forgot to stretch my quads after the run. Seriously, how did I miss those?!? I got everything else.) but it was a minor ache and so I pushed on with today's plan: an at-home work out. Instead of trying to come up with a workout on my own as I did in the past, I trolled the healthy living blogs I frequent and found Susan's At Home Workout she had designed for her sister.

I was familiar with most of the moves and I liked that no actual equipment was required, so I made a few adjustments (squats instead of squat jumps), blasted my workout mix (as Susan suggests), and started with the jumping jacks. It quickly became apparent, however, that I had overlooked one very vital piece of information: exactly how much Susan hates her sister.*

The workout was brutal. I'm not in great shape so that plays a part in this, but I did each section three times through like I was supposed to and when it got to the 'now repeat again from the beginning' I collapsed on the floor in a heap and decided that I'd had enough for today.

It occurred to me that I knew all these moves but the names I use all have expletives in them. The lack of those vital words lulled me into a false sense that this was some how easier. Doesn't 'mountain climbers' sound less intimidating than 'f*#&ing mountain climbers'?

This is my preferred method of mountain climbing. Männlichen, Switzerland.

As I lay crumpled on the floor quoting Shakespeare** and preparing for my inevitable demise, it dawned on me that I hadn't watched the new Hawaii Five-O episode from the night before. What if there was a gratuitous shirtless scene with Alex O'Loughlin which I was missing because I was slowly turning into cat food on my floor?*** That one little thought got me off the floor, stretched and showered. Thank goodness for the life-saving properties of a hot man's abs.

*Disclaimer: I'm sure she doesn't really hate her sister. Well, maybe a little.
**Just humour the crazy lady and smile; physical pain (good or bad) makes me quote the first four lines of Sonnet 29 and I don't actually know why. I've been doing it since high school.
***There was not, alas, a gratuitous shirtless scene in this week's episode. *Sigh* Fingers crossed for next week!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

2010 is Going to Be My Year. Wait, What? 2011?

I have a habit of haphazardly setting resolutions. January 1st rolls around and I think "I'd like to do this" so I set it as a resolution and then don't actually bother to think about how I'd like to make that happen. It's all fine and dandy to say "I'd like to climb Mount Everest" but if you don't bother taking any steps towards making that happen, you might as well be saying "I'd like to build a working TARDIS". (Actually, you'd grow a working TARDIS, but that's a discussion for another blog.)

This year, I wrote down a few resolutions (or goals, which ever term you prefer) and then thought long and hard about how I plan to accomplish them.

1. Run the TC 10K in 1:15:00 - I had a goal of running it in 1:20:00 last year. For a first time runner, I took 12 minutes off my best walking time and figured I could do that. Well, an unfortunate bottom-of-the-foot blister at around the 6K mark put an end to that goal but it had been within fairly easy reach up until that point. This year, I'm going into running knowing that a) I can run and b) I like to run. I'll just make sure I wear better socks this time.

2. Run the Gunner Shaw 10K next November - I wanted to do this this year but it occurred at the tail end of my hip problem when I hadn't been running for almost two months. It is not a race you want to enter into unprepared.

3. Hike the Juan de Fuca Trail - This one was put on hold last year due to other events. It won't be put on hold again.

4. End the year within 15 lbs of my weight goal - This is do-able. In fact, my actual weight goal is totally do-able in 11 months if I lose at a healthy rate without ever hitting a plateau or having a week where I gain, but I want some leeway on this. I don't want to worry about not reaching a certain number if I decided to have the fries instead of salad once and while. Also, I hesitate to set an actual number for my final goal because a lot of it is how I feel. Feeling and being healthy is more important than the actual number on the scale, so 15lbs puts me within spitting distance of all the numbers I would consider as a 'final' number. The easiest way to make this happen is to set lots of short term goals for myself. Weekly. Monthly. Whatever they are, I need to set them and go after them. It's really easy to slide when you think "I still have 11 more months before that goal comes up" but not so easy when you think "I have four weeks". Expect to see a lot more short term goals floating around here.

Has anyone else set some interesting resolutions/goals for this year?