Thursday, May 30, 2013

The post about my first trail run

Looking forward to changing out my
rear view mirror medal this weekend!

I hate taper week!  But I have been adhering to the schedule.  Regardless of how much I really want to, I have not gone out for more or longer runs than I should.  I only have a couple more days and I can run my ass off on Sunday!  Yesterday at physio, when Graham asked how I was feeling, it was the first time since December that I could say I actually felt good.  Injury free!  No aches or pains.  It seems like a real long time since I have run completely pain free.  I'm really looking forward to this half marathon on Sunday.  Then I can return to regular scheduled running for a few weeks before I start four months of marathon training.

We had a real special treat at clinic tonight.  Our guest speaker was none other than my former running coach and mentor Carol!  She's back from Illinois to tie up some loose ends.  We're also running the same half marathon on Sunday.  She did a clinic talk tonight on Heart Rate Training. Something I have actually never used is a heart rate monitor.  It was some interesting information and a heart rate monitor could help me get speedier.  The jury's still out.  I may or may not look into one in the future.

The lovely scenery during our trail run this

Yesterday's hill repeats were gross.  Only half of my group completed the four hills.  It was pretty humid and the air was thick.  Although I did do the fourth hill, it was difficult and very unpleasant. I'm hoping that it's not so hot and humid next Wednesday when we move onto 5 hills.  This evening's run is one of my favorites.  It's in a wooded trail behind McMaster University.  I remember the first time I ran that trail.  It has a couple of good sized hills and I thought I was totally bad ass because it was a 5K route and I was only a couple of weeks into the 5K clinic that I was taking at the time.  Carol introduced me to that trail and I almost died doing those hills but was so proud of myself when I was done.  When I ran with my clinic tonight, I didn't even get winded.  The first time ran that trail would have been about a year ago.  It still amazes me how much my fitness level has changed in a year.  I'm real excited to see where I will be this time next year!

Our clinic is in our seventh week and I see about ten people fairly regularly.  That's no too bad from the 16 that were originally registered.  I know one person is injured and can't run right now. I always wonder if the reason that people stop coming to clinic is because of me.  Am I not motivational enough?  Am I not supportive enough?  I just can't fathom that you'd pay for something and just never show up.  Maybe that's just because I'm freaking cheap!  Usually you'd get drop outs in Learn to Run, but not normally in a 10K clinic.  If this has something to do with my teaching style, I hope that everyone fills out the instructor evaluations so I will know how to change things up for future clinics.  Even as a running instructor, I'm still a work in progress!

Ron (assistant manager) modeling the
new running dress at the RR.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The post about students; past and present

This could be a very short post as I don't think I have anything too interesting to talk about.  Or not. I could get into a groove and just ramble.  Like I'm doing right now. Thanks to all who left lovely comments in regards to my not so lovely feet.  Who knew that so many of you liked feet?  Let me tell you though, that photo does not do them justice.  The toes are curled and there are some prime callouses forming.  You may or may not know this about me.  I hate feet.  I think they're the ugliest part of the human body.  Just my opinion though!

So I took two rest days in a row again.  And even though I feel like a total slug, I decided to follow my taper week schedule so I could be in my best form for my half marathon on Sunday.  I am currently ache and pain free!  I run tomorrow evening with my clinic (4 hill repeats), and Thursday evening as well (6+K).  Then I do a quick 5K on Saturday before heading to Niagara Falls and running my half marathon on Sunday morning.  Start time is 8am.  I'll have to get there by around 6:30ish to pick up my race kit which means I should be out of my house by 5:45ish.  They only give the kits out on race day until 7am.  Looks like I'm doing this race totally solo.  I know there are a bunch of women heading out from the Running Room, but they've made their own arrangements.  I'm not dragging hubby and Jules out that early in the morning either.  It's all good. I'll pick up my big girl running capris and do my first solo race! I'll likely see people I know once I get there.

I started working with a new college student today.  One of the perks of my job is that I get to supervise students who are completing a practicum.  We headed out to Peterborough for my last meeting out that way ever. I have my medal from the Around The Bay Relay that I did with hubby hanging from my rear view mirror.  So my student started asking me about running.  She was already intrigued because her sister is a runner.  And talking about running always leads to the question of how and why I started running, which in turn leads to my entire weight-loss story.  She was so inspired to run when I finished that she wants to check out the Running Room in her area. The funny thing was that while I was talking to her my phone dinged and I got a text from my student from last summer.  I encouraged her to start running and she still runs today.  I hadn't heard from her in a while and she texted:

Hi Leigh, I just came in from a run and thought of you so I checked your blog to see how you were doing.  You look freaking Fabulous and are still an inspiration.  Hope that's a good pick me up for you today:)

Thanks Leah!  It really was a great pick me up on such a gloomy day.  The funnier thing is that just before I go your text, I was talking about you and telling my new student about how you got into running with encouragement from me.  I'm really glad to hear that you're still running.  Maybe we'll do a race together someday?

I get told I'm an inspiration all the time.  That's a serious undertaking, being an inspiration.  It's something that I still can't believe people see me as but I am truly honored.  It means a lot to inspire others and also helps keep me on track.  I still struggle A LOT.  Maintenance is hard work but it's definitely worth it and it's working out well for me right now.  I think I've found a comfortable balance in my life.  I just need to stick with it.  That's why I make goals for myself.  After my half marathon on Sunday, I get a few weeks running hiatus (which still means I run 5x per week) before I start training for a full marathon.  I'm scared and excited at the same time.  I'm determined to continue doing my best for me, my son, my family and friends and my readers.  What has kept me on track is not just my own drive to get healthy, but also putting myself out there by blogging and not wanting to let others down.

I didn't want to be another statistic of weigh-loss failure.  I don't mind being a statistic, just so long as I'm a successful statistic.  I'm still learning about myself everyday.  I'm certainly no expert about health and fitness.  I just know what has worked for me.  I can offer you encouragement and give you a kick when you need it.  And I welcome your concern and tough love when I need it in return. The one thing that I have found invaluable during this journey is the support and encouragement I have received from everyone in my life.  By everyone I mean my family, friends, co-workers and of course everyone who reads and comments on this blog.  I think that one of the best tools I used for weight-loss was definitely starting a blog.  I highly recommend it.  It helped me change my life!

Totally unrelated to the post, but this was my dinner.  Left over
roast and whipped cauliflower with avocado and garlic.  Who
knew it would be so yummy?  Hubby loved it!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The post about fat feet, bony feet, Nonnu and marathon training

Friday was supposed to be my regular rest day.  But I ran.  Why?  I'll tell you why.  I'm struggling with my eating and exercise balance.  My convoluted mind thinks that if I take two rest days in a row during the week, that I will gain a ton of weight.  Therefore, I must exert myself regardless of whether or  not I'm on my taper week for my half marathon.  Crazy much?  Yes I am.  I went so far as to wear "fat pants" (size 9 skinny jeans) to work on Thursday without a belt because I was sure they would never fall down because I had put on so much weight during the beginning of the week when I took two rest days.  I spent the entire day pulling them up.

First thing Friday morning I had an orthotics appointment.  I obviously know nothing about how orthotics work.  I figured that they would have to be altered (which they did) and that would set me back weeks.  Turns out they alter them while you wait.  I left the appointment with my altered orthotics and my right ankle pain cured.  I wore them during my Saturday run and my Sunday run (9K) and have had no issues with the ankle pain again.  I worked at home on Friday and saw a client in Hamilton so I was able to get a much needed pedicure fitted in.  I've mentioned this before, but my feet have taken quite the beating from the running.  They used to be fat and pretty.  Now they're bony and ugly!  Oh well.  Still not gonna make me stop running.

May 2011

May 2013

I also tracked my caloric intake for the first time in 20 months to find that I probably eat on average 2500 - 2700 calories per day.  Now granted those are calories from mostly protein and some fruits, veggies and nuts thrown in for good measure.  I can guarantee you that if I ate 2700 calories a day of junk, I'd most definitely gain weight.  But I don't.  I eat whole foods and for me, that works so that I can always eat until I am full.  Hence the high caloric intake.  This may not work for everyone, but it works for me.  Lean protein, fish, eggs, fruits, vegetables and raw nuts are what my body craves.

Yesterday was my tapered long run of 6K.  It was strange to run such a short distance.  I had a good run though.  There was a Boy Scouts parade in downtown Hamilton and Main Street was closed off.  I ran right down the middle of a five lane road with people lined on both sides of the street.  It was like running a race against myself.  Everyone was cheering me on and I was just doing my thang!  Very cool.  I ran along the street just before the parade started.  The stretch I ran traffic free was about 1.5K and about .5K in a young man joined me.  I knew he wasn't a serious runner from his clothing (cotton sweat pants and hoodie).  Cotton is rotten and he was way over dressed.

Anyway, he tried his darnedest to keep up with me.  When we finally had to stop because traffic started again, I looked at him and said, "Buddy you need to slow down.  You're running way too fast"!  He replied in VERY labored breathing "I'm good".  He was not.  He sounded like he was gonna have a heart attack!  I know he felt that he needed to keep up with me because I was a chick and he couldn't have a chick beating him.  We only ran together about a kilometer and I took pity on him about .5K in and slowed down.  I was seriously concerned he was gonna keel over and expire!  Luckily that didn't happen and I turned onto a side street to relieve him of his misery.  I'm considerate like that.

Julien and his Nonnu.

After my morning run, I cleaned myself up and ate, then we headed to my in-law's house for my father-in-law's 83rd birthday.  I have fabulous in-laws.  Love them to bits.  They love their grandchildren like nobody's business.  Julien is lucky to have them in his life.  Lately he's been asking me a lot of questions about who my mother was.  It's hard to explain death to a five year old.  I tell him she was very sick and died, and I can see the worry in his face when one of us gets sick.  He's scared we're gonna die. Just last week he asked if the cat Baby was gonna live forever. She's 10.  Most definitely not!  But how do I tell him that?

This morning I ran with my 10K clinic.  We ran 9K along the Hamilton/Brantford Rail Trail.  It was such a beautiful morning for a run and I had a great run with my clinic.  I have a clinic participant that I run with who lost over a hundred pounds.  She has numerous health issues and the odds were stacked against her in regards to losing weight due to her health issues.  Six years later and she is at goal.  Now I completely admire her drive and determination.  She is on a strict vegan/raw food diet and says she will follow this way of eating for the rest of her life.  She knew what she had to do and gotter done.  Regardless of how long it took her and the obstacles that stood in her way, she never gave up.  She is truly inspirational.

Anyone who says that they cannot lose weight because of certain barriers just isn't ready to commit to the changes they need to make.  And I respect that.  I'm not here to preach to anyone about how to live their life.  I can only tell you what has worked for me.  Granted there are serious health issues that make it very difficult to lose weight, but I see these people posting on Dr. Poon's support group page via Facebook daily and regardless of how slow or how difficult the journey is, they continue to change their health for the better.  If  you want something badly enough, you will do whatever it takes to reach your goal.

My goal of running a full marathon is under way.  I run my second half marathon one week from today.  I'm excited and just a little anxious.  I'm hopeful that my orthotics will work out.  I'd love to run a long distance pain free just once!  And if I get to run it once pain free, I'm sure that I will be running pain free from now on.  I spent the afternoon planning out my training for my full marathon. Training begins June 30th.  Hubby begins training for his half marathon the same week.  It's a lot of work, but it will be totally worth it in the end. I can't wait until I can call myself a marathoner!

My fridge calendar.  Hubby's yellow, I'm blue!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The post about a grumpy mood, calories in, high heels and Marvin Gaye

Some inspiration...sorry for the profanity!

I'm in a bit of a mood today and I think I can solely blame it on the weather.  When I left my house this morning it was warm and sunny.  By the time I ran with my clinic tonight, it was freaking cold, raining and grey.  So I am feeling grouchy as you may be able to tell by the tone of this post.  I wasn't even going to post because I don't think I have anything helpful or inspirational to say.  I think I'm in a writing funk.  I mean, my life is pretty dull and boring, and the fact that I have 260+ followers amazes me because I'm really not that interesting.

Anywho, here are the deets from the past couple of days.  Yesterday we had a practice run and we did hill repeats.  I effing forgot how much I hate doing hill repeats.  We only did 3 x 500m hills, but I was sweating down my arms by the time we were done.  And my quads, which were feeling pretty normal prior to my run, were on fire again.  They're fine today, but last night I could definitely feel the burn.

I consumed three of these babies today.  Great with coffee and
totally Paleo.  The only ingredients are dates and almonds.

Yesterday someone asked me how many calories I consume in a day and I honestly couldn't answer.  I know that there are some days where it seems that I eat non stop, and other days where I just eat normal.  I just listen to my body and eat when I'm hungry and stop when I'm full.  I was feeling hungry today and I did eat quite a bit.  So I logged my calories today, something I have not done once since I started losing weight.  I ate around 2700 calories today, give or take.  The majority of those calories came from protein.  I was really craving protein today.

Since today was a late clinic night, I had a half roasted chicken in the afternoon and I just finished eating 5 chicken thighs.  I also had hard boiled eggs, and of course nuts.  The nuts are edging their way back into my life.  Although I seem to be doing okay weight wise with them, they cause me to obsess a bit, something I dislike.  I don't like feeling out of control with my eating, and if anything could send me there, it would be the nuts.  I'm going on a nut hiatus after my half marathon next weekend.  Nuts and fruit.  Just for a few weeks, so I can feel like I'm in complete control again.

I am getting a pedicure tomorrow.

Today I walked around all day in high heels.  Something I would not have been able to do for even an hour when I was 300 pounds.  I remember wearing heels for my wedding and my feet hurt so much that they were numb for many days following the wedding.  Today I wore 3 inch heels from the time I left my house at 7:45 am until I took them off at the Running Room at 6:30pm to change into my running gear.  My feet were fine, and I ran 6K at 7:45, no problem.  Since my feet are big and wide, wearing heels makes me feel girly.  Definitely a plus to losing 125 pounds.

Tomorrow I have a follow up appointment for my orthotics.  I haven't been wearing them because when I do, I get a sharp pain in my right ankle.  I think they need an adjustment.  Also, when I did wear them for a long run, my toes still cramped.  So the adjustment will take another 2 weeks. Then I'll have to ease into them again (and I should do it properly this time) which is another 3 weeks.  This means I won't likely be running in them full time for 5 more weeks.  Sigh.  I'll have to run my half marathon with crampy toes.  I'm gonna still try for the sub 2:15 half, crampy toes and all.  The only good thing is that when I start marathon training at the end of June, my foot issues should be rectified by then.  Fingers crossed.

Well blogging has lifted my mood a bit.  See, now that's some cheap therapy!  I'm off to read my latest novel of trash.  I read so much clinical shit for work that I need a solid outlet, and trashy romance is it.  The trashier the better.  Don't judge me, it keeps me sane.  And I'm pretty sure tonight is going to be the night that Tessa and Luke are going to get it on.  Cue the Marvin Gaye music.

Some more inspiration since I'm not feeling it right now.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The post about bat wings, tankinis, Queen Victoria and hill repeats

After my clinic run on Sunday morning, this is pretty much what
I did for the rest of the weekend.

My legs finally feel semi-normal again.  I'm glad I listened to my body and rested yesterday and today.  I'm feeling good enough that I think that I'm going to do my core workout later tonight after The Boy is in bed.  Since my massage therapist says he can see definite toning in my glutes and upper thigh area, I'm motivated to continue with the physio exercises and even step it up a notch. That is really my only trouble area (besides my upper arms/bat wings).  The ass and thighs I can work on, the bat wings are in need of surgical intervention.  Maybe next year after I've been at goal for a while longer.  Perhaps one day I'll be brave enough to photograph them and show y'all what a mess they are!

So I'm going to do something this summer I have not done since I was about 6 years old.  I'm going to wear a two piece bathing suit.  Now don't get too excited.  It will be a tankini because I honestly would just never feel comfortable wearing a bikini.  Even though my abs are in pretty decent shape, when I bend over there is still wrinkly skin that hangs down.  I need to get a hula hoop and work on toning the tummy!  I keep saying that and I'm clearly talking smack!  I need to stop talking already and get on with it!  When I get my tax return back, I think I'm gonna get me one of these collapsible Ninja Hoops!  The bigger the hoop, the better the ab work out, or so I hear.

My tankini in size M!

Yesterday was a holiday in Canada.  We celebrated Victoria Day to commemorate Queen Victoria's birthday who was our monarch from 1876 to 1901.  That was a long time ago, and if I can't appreciate her for anything else, I get a holiday every May because of her and also get to read tons of trashy novels that take place in her era.  Thanks Your Highness!  I spent the afternoon sipping red wine on my girlfriend's deck.  The absolute perfect way to spend a holiday weekend!

I'm back to my regular running schedule tomorrow.  I'm tapering now so I won't be delivering the 50K this week that I have been running.  My long run this weekend?  Six kilometers.  I'll be running 8K with my 10K clinic on Sunday, so I'll get a little extra in.  Tomorrow's practice run has us starting hill repeats.  The hill we use is about 500m in length and we run up and down it three times, adding a hill every week until we get to six.  Thank goodness my quads are feeling better.  I was a little nervous after my run on Sunday when I felt like I'd been chewed up and spit out.  I thought that maybe I really over did it (and maybe I did) and wouldn't recover in time.  But the body is a funny thing.  When you listen to it and give it what it needs (ie: healthy food, exercise and rest), it works wonders for you!

I just spent $150 on fresh produce, lean meat, fish, nuts, oils (to cook with), dog food, lunch stuff for The Boy and my fridge is packed!  Another week where I have proven to myself yet again that it does not cost a lot of money to eat healthy.  I bought enough meat/fish so I won't have to purchase any protein for a few weeks.  It takes a little longer to go through flyers and do price matching, but in the end, it's totally worth it! I must have saved $30 this week.  Next week's grocery bill will be even less.  I'll only have to purchase produce and lunch stuff for Julien.  A little planning goes a long way!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

On a holiday weekend

Definitely not the time I want to do my
next half marathon in!

I am still sore!  After my deep tissue massage on Friday, I probably should have put off my long run until Monday (since it is a holiday).  But I just wanted to get it over with so I ran 21.1K yesterday, my last long run before my half marathon on June 2nd. I'm not gonna lie.  It was a hard run.  I did three 7K loops. The first 7K was fairly uneventful and I felt pretty good.  During the second loop I started feeling the burn in my quads.  After 14K I went home and changed into my orthotics because my toes started to cramp.  Big mistake.  Remember the ankle pain I was having?  It was from the orthotics. I ran with them for the first time in two weeks on Thursday. Saturday morning, the ankle pain came back pretty badly during the last loop of my run.  All in all it was a pretty sucky run.  I obviously need to ease back into the orthotics again before I start running with them.  Something I will start doing tomorrow.  I ran with my 10K clinic this morning and my quads are on fire!  It hurts to walk up and down the stairs.  I am going to listen to my body and not run again until Wednesday evening.  I think I need a longer rest than usual.  It's going to feel strange not to run for two straight days, but my legs need to recover.  Starting now I taper in my training anyway.

Our scores after hubby and I tried to throw the game...

We had a pretty busy weekend.  Yesterday after I completed my long run, we went 5 pin bowling. Julien really wanted to bowl, but he did not handle defeat well.  He got really upset over losing and it made for a very unpleasant outing.  I tried to throw my game, but got a couple of strikes without even trying!  Poor Jules.  The second game was better because I helped him roll the ball which finally resulted in his victory.  He left the bowling alley happy.  He is so competitive and it takes the fun out of doing things with him sometimes.  Definitely something we are constantly working on!

Why does my left foot look bigger than my right?
I'm in desperate need of a pedicure!

It's been a week and half since I weighed myself, so I decided to step on the scale today.  I feel like I am constantly eating.  I always eat until I'm full and if I get hungry midday, it's not uncommon for me to buy a half a chicken and eat it at my desk.  I usually do that once per week; on clinic nights.  Never in my life have I lost weight without putting a lot of effort into it, until now. Even though I am on "maintenance", I have dropped 3 pounds in the last 3 weeks.  My weight was down to 165 this morning, my lowest adult weight ever.  I weighed in at 165.5 at the clinic back in March, but didn't stay there for too long.  I'm not going to stress about my weight, but it would be nice to get rid of my thigh and ass fat!  I'm pretty sure that if I stick to Paleo, I will get the lean runner's body I time. Good things come to those who wait and work at it!

Our Paleo BBQ.  Trout, carrot salad, kale salad, roasted veggies.
I also had some wine and fruit for dessert!

Today we went to have BBQ with friends.  It was awesome.  My girlfriend and her husband made a Paleo meal for us.  I am truly blessed to have such supportive people in my life.  When I was morbidly obese, I was constantly judged for my eating habits.  Now that I am fit and following a regimented eating plan, I am still judged for my eating habits.  People always try to push food at me and often have snide comments to make in regards to my food choices.  Claiming that I don't eat enough to keep a bird alive is not helpful (if it's around 4pm on a clinic night, I often eat birds...or half chickens).  And just because I choose not to eat the processed food that others around me eat does not make me some sort of health fanatic.  I would never comment on someone else's eating habits, even if I didn't agree with them.  The supportive people, and I have a lot, are AWESOME!  Those that aren't supportive, don't really know me so this shouldn't bother me.  I just get tired of constantly defending my eating habits to people I don't care about!

I also noticed that there are a few people (who I would consider acquaintances) that were friendly with me when I was morbidly obese.  Since I have lost weight, they completely ignore me and will not even make eye contact with me or return my smiles or hello's.  I was mostly invisible when I was obese and I am still invisible to some people.  I mean I don't really care about these people. They are not friends, but I like to be friendly with everyone I come in contact with and it bothers me when someone doesn't return a friendly salutation   Especially someone who is not a stranger. And I never did anything that should warrant the "cold shoulder".  Oh well, I guess that not everyone can have good social skills.

I have maintained my weight for over 5 months now.  I have been in the mid to high 160's since December 2012.  I'd like to drop a bit more weight, but I'm not going to cut back on my food intake because I'm going to start training for a full marathon at the end of June.  I may do a 3 week stint of just protein and non starchy veggies, right after I finish my half and before I start full marathon training.  What I will do that could help in dropping more weight is fasting workouts.  Fasting workouts are easy runs where you don't eat before the run and don't fuel during the run.  This causes your body to rely on fat to fuel the workout.  I do this during my early morning runs.  So usually twice per week.  These runs are between 6 and 8K in length. I wouldn't do this for a run over 10K.  I definitely need to fuel up before doing that kind of distance. Fasting workouts are a great fat burner, which my ass and thighs are in definite need of!

This is what I look like when I'm running hard.
No different than any other time.  In every picture
I was looking down.  That is exactly what I tell my
clinic members NOT to do!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Inquiring minds want to know

I am sore.  My quads and left hamstring have been bothering me all week.  I took a forced rest day on Monday, ran Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and took my regular rest day today.  At my clinic run last night, my right ankle was bothering me.  I'm not sure why, but I was limping while I ran.  While I was lying in bed this morning, every time I moved my ankle, I felt a sharp pain.  As the day wore on, the sharp pain went away and it's completely gone now.  Not sure why that happened.

I'm a bit of a mess right now.  I did not have a fun massage this morning.  Mark took pity on me and did not do as deep a tissue massage as he probably should have.  It was still painful, but I know he was not stripping my muscle knots the way he should have been.  On a happy note, he said that my glutes and hamstrings were getting very toned.  I can thank my physio therapist Graham for that.  He has me doing exercises to strengthen my lower back, glutes and hamstring. I guess it's working!  Tonight's physio appointment consisted of a lot of stretching.  I was sitting in my car a lot today and by the time I got to physio, I was super stiff!

This is what I got to see a lot of today and why I'm super
stiff.  It's a holiday weekend in Canada (Victoria Day) and this
was the 401 at 11:30 this morning heading east bound towards
cottage country.

Tomorrow is my long run.  I'm scheduled to do 20K, but I think I'm going to do a 7K loop three times and do a half marathon distance.  I'm curious to see what my predicted finishing time will be. I'm going to try to get it over with fairly early.  I'll still have to get up around 6:30 so I can eat before hand.  Twenty-one kilometers means I have to get some energy into me first thing in the morning.

Thanks to everyone for their lovely comments on my last post.  There were a couple of comments where questions were asked, so I'll answer them here.  The first one I already answered on the post under the question but thought I'd answer in more depth here in case others were wondering as well.

I think peanut butter also counts as a carbohydrate besides the fat and protein. You also mentioned sometimes eating a banana before you run I seem to recall? So wouldn't that count as some form of carb loading before a run?
The carb loading I was referring to is the meal eaten 36 - 48 hours prior to an endurance sport lasting 90 minutes or more.  So if I do a long run on Saturday morning and I carb loaded, that meal would be eaten on Thursday night.  The natural peanut butter I have on long run days does have 3g of carbohydrate per tablespoon.  I normally have 2 tablespoons with 2 hard boiled eggs prior to a long run.  According to Runner's World magazine; prior to a long run, an endurance athlete should eat 4 grams of carbs for every pound of body weight two days before the run.  So right now I weigh 167 (167 x 4 = 668) and I should eat 668 grams of carbs during my carb loading phase.  If I have 2 tablespoons of natural peanut butter just prior to my run, I have 6g of carbs.  That would not be considered carb loading.  I need the peanut butter for energy and since I digest it really well, it's my fuel of choice.

I do eat a "pasta" dinner prior to long runs, but it's spaghetti squash that I eat.  Spaghetti squash contains 10 grams of carbohydrate per serving, and I probably have 2 - 3 servings for a total of 30 grams of carb.  The bolognese sauce contains 6 grams of carbs per serving and lets say I have another 2 - 3 servings, that's another 18 grams of carb for a total of 48 grams of carb.  My point is that I feel fine during long runs without carb loading.  This works for me, but it's certainly not right for everyone.  Each individual is different and everyone needs to figure out what works for them prior to their exercise routine.  It took some trial and error for me, but I finally figured it out.  And just for the record, I do not eat bananas.

My meal in preparation for my long run tomorrow.
Salmon, broccoli and mushrooms.

You seem very, very disciplined! Do you never break out even a bit and eat some
junk/non-paleo food or eat more than you should at times?

The Paleo diet has a 85:15 rule which allows for the consumption of 3 non-Paleo meals per week. I try to stick as true to the diet as I can (The Paleo Diet for Athletes is a great resource).  My "three non-Paleo meals per week" consist of the natural peanut butter I consume before long runs, the energy gummies (2-3) I eat during long runs, the red wine I drink on the weekend and the cream I have in my coffee.  Added up, I'm sure they would count as three non-Paleo meals.  I do not eat off plan any other time.  The reason for that is because I know how bad of a sugar and carb addict I am and it's just not worth it for me to deviate from my eating plan.  I also know that if I were to eat processed carbs or sugar, I would physically feel bad.  I haven't had them in so long, and I don't want to find out how they would affect my body.  And the plus side is that since I haven't had them for so long, they are not even remotely difficult to resist.  

Paleo works really well for me but it's certainly not for everyone.  I like the simplicity of it and the fact that I eat when I'm hungry, and stop eating when I'm full.  I still don't count calories or portion sizes.  I never did even when I was actively losing weight and following Dr. Poon's Metabolic Diet. The one area that is a potential danger zone for me is nuts.  I really have to limit my nut intake and if I were to over-indulge in something, it would definitely be nuts.  Sorry for the long winded answers, but hopefully this answers your questions!

Yesterday I was chatting with the assistant manager at the Running Room and we were talking about how I almost vomited at the finish line of the Chocolate Race.  He told me that back in the day when his wife was a serious runner, her motto was that if you didn't vomit at the end of a race, you didn't run hard enough.  Awesome!  I want a redo!  I just know I can barf the second time around!

Well, I wasn't drunk, but that's how I looked at the finish line!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The post about official race results and a forced rest day

This is me after I ran the Chocolate Race 29/04/12.
I weighed about 220 here.

So the official results are in!  And I did not even deliver a sub 31 minute 5K this past weekend.  My official chip time for the Chocolate Race was 31:08.  I'm not complaining.  Just goes to show me how much work I have to do.  In order for me to qualify for Boston, I'd have to improve my pace by a whole minute and keep it up for 42.2 kilometers.  Seems impossible right now, but I will get there or die trying!

Last year when I ran the Chocolate Race, I came in 334 out of 441.  This year, I came in 81 out of 469.  I came in 17th for my age group and 61st for women overall.  My pace last year was 9:06 per kilometer, this year it was 6:14 per kilometer.  Although I didn't reach my goal of the under 30 minute 5K, I'm still pleased with my running progress over one year.  I'm excited to see where I will be a year from now.  When I ran this race last year, I thought it was the hardest thing I ever did. Pushing myself this year was definitely the hardest thing I've ever done.  In my daily running, 5K seems like a short distance to me now.  On Sunday, it seemed like I would never get to the finish line.  I was uncomfortable the entire time.  But it was good.  I really needed to push myself to see what I could do.

I was having coffee with my former Back of the Rat Pack gal Dawn last night and I mentioned how I felt like I was going to vomit when I got to the finish line.  Dawn reminded me of how we would see others doing it at races and wonder how they got to that place.  Now I know.  My other Rat Pack gal Tanya messaged me and told me I was hardcore because I almost barfed.  I'm not too sure about that.  Maybe if I actually vomited I'd be considered hardcore.  Perhaps one day, God willing!

After my run through the city this morning.

I had a forced rest day yesterday.  I got up in the morning to run and just couldn't move myself out of bed.  My hamstring was really sore and I knew I'd really be pushing it if I ran.  So I grudgingly stayed in bed for an extra half hour.  I was up at 5 am this morning to run.  I had to be out of my house by 7:45 am, so I ran through the city at 5:30.  It was quiet and peaceful and I had a good recovery run.  I felt good and was able to do a 6:27 pace, but I felt stiff all day at work today. Mostly because I was sitting a lot and that always makes my hamstring act up.  I'm looking forward to my massage this Friday. I have sports massage in the morning and physio in the evening.  I have a feeling I'm not going to feel good after physio this week.

Last week at my run clinic, I had a nutritionist come and talk to our group.  I really liked her because she's the first nutritionist I've heard talk at the Running Room who did not insist on processed carb loading for runners.  In fact she said that all the carbs we need are found in the fruits and vegetables that we eat.  And she pointed out that not everyone can process grains well, so they are not always a great option because they could cause stomach upset.  I have never carb loaded for a long run.  The carbiest food I have had before a long run is squash.  And I have always had lots of energy for the duration of my run.  This weekend I'm doing a 20K long run.  I will likely eat the same thing I ate before my long run this past weekend.  Hard boiled eggs, natural peanut butter and coffee.  And of course lots and lots of water the day before.  So predictable but it settles well in my stomach and gives me enough energy to getter done!

This picture of hubby and I cracks me up.  Julien took it yesterday
and my expression is Julien's face 100%!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

The Chocolate Race 2013

Waiting for the 10:15 start time!

Happy Mother's Day to all the women who are mothers, or who have mothered and nurtured. Today is a bitter sweet day for me.  I celebrate the greatest gift I have been given; that is my son. But I mourn the mothers I have lost.  My birth mother and my adoptive mother who raised me from infancy.  Two women who have been instrumental in molding me into the woman and mother I am today.  They are who I thought of today while I raced.  I ran the Chocolate Race 5K today in Port Dalhousie.

It was a nostalgic race for me because it's the first race I ever ran.  I'm not gonna lie.  This was probably the hardest race I have ever run.  Harder than the Chilly Half Marathon I ran in March. Why you ask?  It was only 5K.  Well, I ran as hard as I could for 5K straight.  I was aiming for a sub 30 minute 5K, but could not deliver.  My Nike Running app says I ran the 5K in 32 minutes. But I started the app before I started running and well before I crossed the starting line.  And I forgot to shut it off as soon as I crossed the finish line.  So I'm confident I did an under 31 minute 5K.  The chip time results are not up yet.

So what made this run so hard?  I'm not going to make excuses for my performance.  Bottom line is, I have a lot of work to do in order to qualify for Boston.  The course was a lot of trail running (which I like), and the weather was agreeable enough.  It was windy, but nothing earth shattering.  I just ran hard and made sure I was breathing real heavy the entire time.  By the time I got to the finish line, there was a moment where I thought I was actually going to get sick.  Luckily I didn't.  I think the fact that I almost vomited, means I have finally arrived as a runner!  I ran the last 500 meters as hard as I could and I think that's what spurred my need to hurl.  It's all good.  My dignity is still intact.  I didn't vomit!  Yay me!

I am tired...

It's always about the bling baby! And just
in case you're wondering, I ate absolutely
NO chocolate even though it was everywhere!

Yesterday was my long run and I was dreading it.  Eighteen kilometers is a long way to run by yourself.  Hubby had to work in the morning.  So I had to wait around to complete my run, which I HATE!!!!!!! I was feeling very sorry for myself and came up with a plan where I would only have to do 9K solo.  I mapped out a 9K loop through the city.  Julien was going to a birthday party for the entire afternoon and hubby said he wanted to get a run in too.  So when he got home, I took off for my first 9K loop while he fed Julien lunch then sent him off to the birthday party.  By the time I got back to the house, he was ready to join me for the next 9K.  I am a genius!  Problem solved.  I got in my long run, and hubby got his run in too!  We were awesome.  He's a bit slower than me so it worked out perfectly 'cos by the time I got to the second 9K loop, I was tired.  I booked it for the first 9K, came home, peed, changed into 3/4 pants and headed out again.  My toes were cramping by the time I made it home (my orthotics are out until my blister heals), but the brief intermission made the cramping go away and it never came back.  So I ran my 18.8K long run with virtually no cramped toes!  Bonus!!!!!!!

My running partner and fellow Paleoist!

After my long run, even though Julien was at his friend's birthday party, I did what I needed to.  I went to the laundry mat and washed all our comforters.  It's seasonal comforter changing time.  So I used the mega loader and gotter done!  Although my washing machine broke last weekend, we got it working again.  Can you believe it?  Twenty-five years old and still going!  So I'm doing my laundry at home this weekend, much to my chagrin   It was quicker to do, but more expensive at the laundry mat.

Do I look chagrined, or just pissed off?  Not how I wanted to
spend a childless Saturday afternoon if you get my drift!

Tonight's dinner?  Very yummy pork tenderloin (on sale this week at No Frills), sauteed spinach, cumin carrots and acorn squash.  So delicious   I love eating this way.  It's clean, it's filing, and I made enough for lunches tomorrow!  I rock!  Don't even begin to tell me that you're too tired to food plan for the coming week.  I ran 25K, and had to spend 1.5 hours in a laundry mat!  I still got my laundry, grocery shopping and meal prep done!  Relaxing on Mother's Day?  What is that? Nothing that this girl knows.

My pork.  Can't wait to dig in!

The eggs are for my breakfasts this week.

Friday, May 10, 2013

How did you become unfat?

My Mother's Day shell necklace!!!!

This is the question Julien asked me a few nights ago while we were laying in bed reading Captain Underpants.  He doesn't remember me morbidly obese.  The only way he knows I used to be fat is through pictures.  The first time he saw a picture of me morbidly obese was last summer.  He asked me who the big lady was and when I told him it was me, he looked confused and a little upset.  Then he denied it was me.  So now, every once in a while, he'll talk about when I was fat. He asks how I got fat, and most recently, how I got unfat.  I told him I ate healthy foods and exercised so I wouldn't be fat anymore.  Now he asks me constantly if what he's eating is healthy or not.

He told me he has a school friend who will never win a race because he is too fat.  I told him to not call his friend fat and he asked me if it was a bad word.  I said it wasn't a bad word unless you call someone fat, then it's not nice.  I'm not gonna lie.  I wish my five-year-old wasn't commenting on "fat" people and worried about what he's eating.  He's a healthy, active boy who is begging me to teach him how to run.  He thinks that if I teach him how to run, he'll never be fat.  I've been putting him off but may just give in.  We asked him if he wanted to play soccer, he said he wanted to run. I was concerned about his age and starting him too young, but what's the difference between running or learning to play soccer?  Both are active sports, and he could get injured doing both. And I wouldn't let him run very long distances (2-3K at the most).  In the races that families can enter, I see lots of young kids running 5K.  Most races also have kid fun runs that are 1-2K long. Honestly, he probably runs a few kilometers in the playground everyday with the amount of tag he plays!

He's excited to see me run a race this weekend.  I'm running the Chocolate Race in Port Dalhousie on Mother's day.  It's a 5K.  The last timed 5K I did was August 2012.  My time was 36:09.  I ran the Chocolate Race last year.  It was on April 29th and was my first 5K.  My chip time was 43:49. My goal this time around is to run as hard as I can and see if I can do a sub 30 minute 5K. Fingers and crampy toes crossed!  Afterwards, we're going out for lunch!  Great way to spend Mother's Day.  With my two guys, at a race!  My idea of heaven!

So my hubby has been faithfully following Paleo for a couple of solid weeks now.  I went through our fridge and pantry two weekends ago and got rid of all non-Paleo foods (that weren't for Julien). Hubby was finding too much temptation in the house and honestly, if we're gonna do it, lets do it already!  We got rid of all processed carbs (including his snack foods), dairy (cheese and sour cream, mayonnaise), and anything else processed (ie: refined sugar, sweeteners .  I threw out quite a bit of food.  Some of it never opened (which I donated).  So his perseverance has paid off. He's down almost 10 pounds!  Now he's pumped.  He's off carbs and sugar and his cravings have gone away.  He's in the zone and feeling and looking great!  I feel great too.  Although my weight hasn't changed at all, I'm getting leaner.  I've taken four sets of belly pics over a six month period. My weight has barely changed, but the pictures show quite a bit of change.  Check them out here to see the differences.  Even if I can't measure my success on the scale, I have definitely gotten leaner!

Today was the junior and senior kindergarten Mother's Day tea.  I got treated to 3 Mother's Day songs (all sung off key), an awesome painting, a letter and a beautiful shell necklace.  I was spoiled!  Julien was so proud that I was there and introduced me to all of his school friends who told me about their latest video game conquests.  I love the "All about my mom" letter.  I'm 16 and weigh a mere 80 pounds!  I love how he said my favorite food was "...I'll go with chicken"!  So funny, and true!  The picture with his hand prints is so "you will always remember when I was little after I'm all growed up!"  I'm not gonna lie, I cried a couple times this afternoon.  Makes all my hard work totally worth it!  Everyday that I see my son happy and healthy reconfirms in my mind that nothing tastes as good as enjoying my son's childhood.  I promise him and myself that I will never be obese again.  And I always keep my promises.

My beautiful picture and shell necklace.
My  Mother's Day letter.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The post about my new kicks, my healing blister and my belly

I missed run club tonight!  This was a first for me.  I'm a slacker!  I gave myself 2 hours and fifteen minutes to drive from Toronto to Hamilton and I didn't make it.  Thank goodness Monica was there to lead the run.  So today became my impromptu rest day.  No matter.  I will run on Friday to make it up.  I was able to duck into the running room to buy some new kick ass shoes.  My Saucony Ride 5s are dead.  I've clocked over 800 kilometers in them and they are due for retirement.  My new kicks?  Mizuno Wave Enigmas.  I've not purchased Mizunos before, but I liked the way they felt on my feet and they don't look too shabby either.  They are men's shoes of course.  No pretty girly shoes for these massively wide boats!

For the first few days after I got my blister during my long run on Satuday, my foot felt like crap. The blister popped on Sunday and the skin was accidentally ripped off when I put a blister band aid on it so I could run on Sunday morning.  So it was exposed and raw.  It's just starting to feel normal now.  It doesn't look good, but it doesn't hurt anymore.  I used to have pretty feet once upon a time.  They were pretty, but fat.  Now they're bony and messed up from running.  Hammertoes are not an attractive look!

A blurry pic of my raw blister.  It's getting better!

The Paleo lifestyle is going great!  I feel like I'm in my comfort zone for sure.  It's fool proof and easy to follow.  And I have to admit, I feel better overall.  I'm never hungry, I'm regular (if you get my drift), I have tons of energy.  I don't have to over think meals too much.  I just eat veggies, fruits, meat, fish, nuts and eggs.  May be boring to some but I don't care.  Since I only eat for fuel, the goal is to eat so I can run and function, nothing more.  Eating too many nuts can still be a problem for me.  I need to keep them limited.  As well as dates and figs.  They are so sweet and remind me of candy.  I like to treat myself to some dates with a cup of coffee.  That's become my breakfast ritual in the car.  Two hard boiled eggs, a few dates and a cup of coffee during my morning commute.  Something for me to look forward to for sure.

My lunch from yesterday and today.  This is what I was able to
hunt and gather from my kitchen.  Just in case you're wondering,
that's left over roast beef from Sunday.

My weight has not budged during the past week.  I'm still holding strong at 167.  I'm not too concerned.  My body continues to change slowly but surely.  I took some new belly pics tonight. And even though the differences in the past two months are not dramatic, I think I can still see some progress.  (An interesting side note, my weight has not notably changed from March 5th to May 8th).  Clothes are fitting me better.  I'm comfortably fitting into any size 7/8, and even squeezed on a pair of size 6 capris.  Those may take another couple of months before they actually fit me properly, but it's something to look forward to.  I am in a place right now size wise, that I never dreamed I would be.  If my size never changes again, I'll be a happy camper.  In the meantime, I'll just keep doing what I'm doing!

March 5, 2013

May 8, 2013

March 5, 2013
May 8, 2013

Sunday, May 5, 2013

The post about LSD, orthotics, downtown drunks and blisters

I  have had a busy few days to say the least.  Friday brought me happiness.  I went shopping with a friend, and the same friend gifted me with a ton of clothes.  It seems bizarre to me that my thin friend, who has always been thin, just gave me a bunch of clothes that she's done with and they fit me!  She gave me things that are a bit big on her (size 8 and medium), and a few of the pieces still had the original sales tags on them! I also shopped at Reitman's and used my gift card.  So my day of shopping, which resulted in 15 pieces of clothing, didn't cost me a dime.  I LOVE that!

Just finished LSD!
Taken around 9:15 am...

Saturday morning was an early one.  I was up at 5:30 am because I had to complete my long run by 9 am.  This meant that I had to eat before my run because I was running my long slow distance (LSD) 18K.  I ate hard boiled eggs and a few tablespoons of natural peanut butter, mapped out a 6K loop around my house, fueled up with my gummies and water, got my radio set up on my MP3 player and headed out at 6:45 am WITH my orthotics in my shoes.  Why the orthotics you ask? Well because I'm stubborn and don't want to listen to medical professionals who tell me that I shouldn't run in them for at least a couple of weeks, and then only for a short run.  It had  only been a week since I got them before I took them out on a 18K run.

I always head out east from my house when I run.  Heading west would have me running through downtown.    I was feeling like I needed some change this run, so I mapped a downtown route that I would repeat three times.  The only people out at 6:45 in the morning in downtown Hamilton are drunks, I'm just say'in.  And who knew that downtown was so freaking hilly?  I don't mind hills, but jeez Louise, that many hills, that early in the morning?  Daunting!

Anywho, the first lap was fine.  I was a little slow because it was early and after 6K, all I could think was, "I have 12 freaking more kilometers to run"!  After 12K, I thought "I should really go back to my house and take these orthotics out, I'm getting a blister on the bottom of my foot". The rationale behind me not doing that was because I also thought, "I only have 6K left..."  So I ran about 10K with a blister on the bottom of my left foot.  Serves me right because I laughed at the person who fitted me for the orthotics when she told me she ran in hers right away and got a blister on the bottom of her foot.  Needless to say, the blister was big, right in my arch and full of clear puss.

The blister.  Hard to see...
A better view!

I didn't have time to nurse it.  I had to get cleaned up and out the door by 10:30 am.  We were headed to Scarborough for a visit with my MIL since we won't be visiting next weekend for Mother's Day.  After that, we were headed to our (mine and hubby's) old high school for the open house.  It was strange being back at my old high school.  Like I mentioned before, high school was not a pleasant experience for me.  But that was the past and I certainly hope I have moved on from there.  I didn't see many people from my year that I recognized.  Definitely no one I hung around with.  I did see some of my old teachers and our old principal.  My favorite teacher Mr. Best was there and he hasn't changed at all.  Neither had the school.  Other than the color of the lockers, everything was almost the same.  Like it was stopped in time. It was a good experience over all and Julien loved seeing where mommy and daddy went to school.  He had ball!  They had a robotics room set up and I couldn't get him out of that place.  He was definitely loving the display and the students who built the robots let him play with the controls too.  He was is heaven!

What I wore.  The top was
from my friend, the jacket
Reitman's. Taken at 10:30 am.

Julien playing in the robot lab.
Although you can't see it, he was feeding the robot
bean bags.

Saturday night was supposed to be a relaxing night at home.  I wanted to start the laundry and just veg out since I ran 18K in the morning and had been going all day.  No such luck.  My 25 year old washer broke mid cycle and I had to bag everything up and head to the laundry mat.  On the one hand, I was pissed.  On the other, I got my laundry done in 1.5 hours.  It normally takes me the weekend to get all the loads done.  I used a couple of mega load machines, one for dark colors, one for light colors, and was done after one wash and one dry.  No one was there and I finished reading my book of smut (which just in case you were wondering, Kate and Aidan did make it)! Before I went to bed last night, all my laundry was folded and put away.  Not too shabby.  Hubby figured we should get a new machine ASAP.  I'm okay if we take our time shopping.  I can do the laundry mat again next weekend.  But I know soon enough that it will get old and I'll want the convenience of a washer in my house once again.

This morning was run club and I ran 7K with my 10K clinic.  I ran on my blistered foot, with the orthotic again.  I think I'll leave them out  for my run tomorrow morning.  I need to let the blister heal before I stick them back in.  I have another 18K run next weekend and I'm hoping it will be healed by then so I can wear the orthotics again.  Did it solve my crampy toe problem?  Well, my toes still cramped, but didn't stay cramped like the usually do.  The would cramp, then the cramp would go away, then they'd cramp, then it would go away.  It was definitely an improvement, but I imagine that my feet still need to get used to them.  I'm still looking forward to the day I will run pain free.  I hope that day comes real soon.  Marathon training begins at the end of June.  YIKES!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The post about this and that, or nothing really...

I have no pictures to post except this sweaty
running pic from Tuesday morning.  Enjoy!
I am tired.  I'm glad that tomorrow is my rest day.  I've run six days in a row, so it's a good tired. Although I was told not to run in them for a couple more weeks, I wore my orthotics for yesterday's run as well as today's.  Yesterday I did 6K with my 10K clinic, and today we did 5K.  The orthotics feel fine.  I mean I can feel the lump in the arch, but it doesn't bother me or anything.  I have my long run on Saturday morning.  Eighteen kilometers.  I  really want to wear the orthotics, but wonder if I need to get used to them more before I take them out on such a long run.  I figure that if they become uncomfortable, it would still feel better than having crampy toes.  Nothing feels worse than my crampy toes when I run.  And I can't imagine that if the orthotics cause some sort of discomfort, it will be anywhere near the pain that the toe cramps cause.  So my solution?  I'll do a 6K loop near my house and repeat it three times.  That way if I have to switch out my shoes, I'll have less than 6K to run before I can do it.

Thanks to all for you supportive comments in regards to my last post.  And just for the record, I do like what I see when I look in the mirror.  It's just accepting that person looking back at me is really me.  That is the piece that I need to keep working on.   It's almost like I feel like I'm living someone else's life.  I wish I did this earlier in my life, but I'm not going to dwell.  Losing weight is hard work and extremely stressful.  But it was way more work and stressful being morbidly obese.  And more expensive!  I'm sure I spent twice as much money on food pre-weight loss than I do now.

It is a very freeing feeling to be at my goal.  I'm able to put my winter clothes away for the summer and be confident that I will fit into them next winter.  How can I be so confident you may ask? Well, I'm going to continue to run and train for a full marathon in the fall.  And I'm not going to fool myself into thinking that I can ever become lax on my eating.  The way I eat now is the way I will eat forever.  That's just the way it has to be and I'm okay with that. There was a time in my life where I would never have agreed to give up carbs or sugar.  I would have fought tooth and nail to keep them in my diet.

I tried Weight Watchers many times, and it never worked for me because I don't have the will power to have "just one".  I'm not knocking WW. We just weren't compatible   I fell off the diet wagon too many times to count while attempting to  follow WW.  It was too inclusive, which is good for some, just not me.  What I needed, but never recognized many years ago, was structure. Dr. Poon's Metabolic Diet provided that for me.  It's similar to many low carb, low sugar, low fat, high protein diets.  And it definitely worked for me.  It was very restrictive, especially for Phase 1 (which I chose to stay on for 6 months).  And I also became very accustom to eating that way.  That is why Paleo is working so well for me now that I am on maintenance.  It's similar to Dr. Poon, just cleaner.

This Saturday is my high school reunion.  I'm going to have to get a new outfit from Reitman's to wear!  It will definitely be interesting.  Seeing people that I haven't seen in 25 years.  I wonder if I'll recognize the ones that I'm not friends with on Facebook.  Should make for an interesting afternoon for sure.  I'm off to bed to read the rest of my trashy novel.  It looks like Kate has a secret that could destroy everything between her and Aidan, but I'm confident that everything will work out in the end!