Saturday, August 31, 2013

The post about my actual mileage in August and a reader's question answered...I hope!

My actual K's for August.
Rob C. is my hubby!

I totally forgot that we were a 31 day month.  I actually ran 209.5K this month (130 miles).  Whoa! It's only gonna get higher.  My long runs for the next two months are a bit crazy.  Nineteen kilometers, 29K, 32K, 23K.  At least I have a scale back week x2 in that schedule!  Doesn't matter if I have scale back week or not for my long runs.  My hills increase all the way to 10 x 500 meter hills, and my regular practice runs tack another couple of kilometers onto them.  Gotta do what I gotta do though.

I have been teetering back and forth about whether I'd be doing a full or a half marathon come November and I realized that even if I had to walk the end of the marathon, I was completing the full.  Who knows where my feet and crampy toes will take me, but I can always walk right?  The deadline to register for the full before prices go up is September 30th.  I'm waiting until after my 32K run on September 22nd to register.  Even if I had to walk the last 10K, I'd do it. Just to say I did.  But I am hopeful that everything is going to work out well for my feet right now.  Changing my form has made a difference, and I will see what an ultrasound to my feet says.  Even if they tell me not to run anymore, I'll run shorter distances.  This may be my only time to actually do a marathon.  It really hurt me to type that, but I have to be real.  And I need some answers.  That is why I will make the appointment.

So a reader asked me the following question via my Facebook page, and I figured I'd answer it in a blog post because I get asked this A LOT!  Loveena asked:

I was reading that you do a lot of mind control when it comes to food,coz I guess I read that you are prone to binging and hence you stay off the unhealthy foods completely!!! I have a question for you here? How do you conquer your desires for such foods. I am just not able to discipline my eating habits.... no matter what I try. neither what I eat nor portion control..... any special tips that would help?

Well Loveena (and everyone else that has asked in the past), I am a total binge eater.  I used to work in residences for troubled youth and I would work the overnight shift which meant my charges would be in bed. I would spend the night eating anything and everything I wanted.  The food room was organized like a grocery store and I'd just go help myself until I felt full enough that I couldn't move.  My binge food of choice was pasta or frozen perogies with lots and lots of butter!  Horrible, horrible stuff that.  

Anyway, this was pre-Doctor Poon.  When I started Dr. Poon, I was a non-believer that the diet would actually work for me.  I had lost over 100 pounds in the past and gained it back within a year.  I had also done every other conceivable diet program you can think of, and none of them worked for me.  Weight Watchers was too inclusive, Optifast (similar to Med-fast) had a lot of chocolate flavored stuff that was a trigger for me.  It wasn't until I realized that I had to cut things out of my life for good, that any diet plan start working for me.  I had to eliminate processed carbs and refined sugar.

This is hard.  It's not east to give up something that you're a) addicted to, and b) you love the taste of.  But I had too much riding on the success of my weight loss.  I had the happiness and well being of my son to think of.  An that was worth way more to me than the taste of processed carbs and refined sugar.  I loved him way more than I loved those things.  Food keeps us alive and it's fuel for our bodies.  It wasn't until I started thinking of it as that, that my weight-loss became a reality for me.

I can't advise you on how to lose weight.  I can only tell you what worked for me.  You have to dig deep into your soul and figure out what the most important thing in your life is right now.  If it is your family, then you may be on the right track to successful weight-loss.  It still may not come that easy to you because weight-loss has a ton of emotional baggage that comes along with it.  In order for us to be successful, some of us will have to look at counselling or some other support outlet (I've heard good things about TOPS and Overeaters Anonymous).  You need to figure out why you overeat/binge. 

Everytime I look at my son, I get choked up.  He was all the motivation I needed.  I love him more than anything.  Even food.  It's a medically known fact that the more processed carbs we eat, the more we crave. The more refined sugar we eat, the more we crave.  It only took 35 years for me to figure out what I needed to eliminate from my diet (mostly due to denial).  And once I cut the processed carbs and refined sugar from my diet, I stopped craving them.  

I don't count calories or portion sizes.  I eat until I'm full.  Running the distancces I do and following pretty strict Paleo allows me the freedom to eat "allowed foods" until I'm full.  I'm not gonna lie, I still struggle with binging every single day.  Nuts would definitely be my weakness now.  I can't keep them in the house.  I'm waaaaay too over indulgent with them.  On a brighter note though, I eat tons of veggies, fruits and protein. And water consumption is key. Especially if you're very active.

When I think about my life two summers ago and how I watched my son go on rides with my husband at Busch Gardens because I was too big to fit into the smaller kiddie rides (that were built for adults too), I never want to go back there.  I spent 8 hours in the CNE midway yesterday with Julien and we went on some awesome rides.  Rides, that two years ago, I wouldn't have even dreamed of going on again during my lifetime. I went on this. Can you believe it?  Yikes!  The shoulder bars did not even touch me until the ride was in motion and I was almost hanging upside down.  There was actually lots of room to spare.  But it was totally awesome.  So worth it to see the joy in Julien's face.  I wouldn't give that up for anything.  

And just in case you're wondering, my sock bun held up

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The post about running 200K in August, red sandals and the Canadian National Exhibition

Yesterday was a much needed rest day.  I had run four days in a row for a total of 47 kilometers in 4 days. My total mileage for the month of August is 203 kilometers.  That is the most I have ever run in a month. Today was dreaded hill repeats.  I ran 6 x 500 meter hill.  I headed out to the Running Room this morning to run the McMaster overpass.  The bus driver who drives from the upper parking lot to the lower parking lot must have thought I was crazy.  She passed me at least a dozen times as I ran up and down the same hill. This week hills were much better.  Last week my pace for hills was 7:40 per kilometer, this week my average pace was 7:05.  A big improvement considering I added an extra hill.  Although I dread hills, today was a touch different.  I must be getting stronger.  They weren't as harrowing as usual.  I was just getting bored running the hill, that's the main reason why I wanted to be done with my run today.

For the anonymous reader who asked, I use
the Nike+ Running App.
It's a free download for smartphones or
iPhones. I don't have a heart rate monitor.

This afternoon I had an orthotics appointment.  I basically told the kinesiologist I deal with that the orthotics were not the answer to my crampy toes.  She had to agree with me.  I told her about my physiotherapist working with me to correct my running form and how that has been the most helpful so far.  She did advise me to get a referral from my family doctor for an ultrasound on my feet so that they can really see what's going on.  I'll make the appointment with my family doctor for the referral, but it makes me a bit nervous.  I'm sure they will either tell me I need surgery to correct the problem, or that I need to stop running.  Surgery was already suggested to me by the chiropodist.  I told him I would not go there because he told me the success rate of surgery was 50% for my condition.

Right now I'm running, and I'm running pretty comfortably.  Graham (physiotherapist) was pleased with my progress on my long run.  He told me that changing my running gait was working because even though my toes still cramped, it happened later in the run when I got tired and sloppy with my form.  When my toes cramped I was able to walk it out fairly quickly, then run 5K before cramping resumed again because I became conscious of keeping up my form again.  Makes perfect sense. Once I get used to running the new way, my toes will cramp less and less.  Fingers crossed.

I'm still working on strengthening my glutes at physio.  Graham has me working on a Pilates machine.  I was doing jumps on it which was fun and easy.  Now I'm doing leg curls.  Much harder to do and works my glutes for sure, but also my abdomen.  I can feel soreness in my abs as I write this post.  This makes me happy.  I bought a hula hoop and have been trying hoop, but have been a complete failure.  Perhaps I should watch an instructional video.  I really wanted to hula hoop because I heard good things about how it firms up your abs.  Although my abs are in pretty decent shape, they could use some toning for sure.  I will keep trying.  I have big enough hips! You would think I'd be a natural.

Although this may look fun, I assure you it is not.  The single leg lifts are
difficult, especially for me because I have no coordination.

I have become addicted to pinning fall outfits to my "Stuff I'd love to wear" board on Pinterest. Pinterest is one of those things that I didn't really get for a while.  I still don't really get it, but it is fun to see stuff that people pinned.  Especially things I'd like to have, places I'd like to go, clothes I'd like to wear or ways I'd like to do my hair.  So I guess it's like my fantasy life pinned to boards. Fun, right?  I will piece together some of the outfits I have pinned...because I can.  I still can't believe I can walk into any women's clothing store in the mall (with the exception of plus sized stores) and try on clothes.

I was in Value Village on Monday for their 50% off sale.  It was a zoo and I was looking at dresses because I don't have many.  I came across an Isaac Mizrahi dress that I really loved in size 11.  It was a shift style dress so I figured it would fit okay.  I tried it on right in the middle of the dress isle over my clothes.  Sadly it was too big for me.  I could have bought it and had it taken in, but I know how I roll.  I'd never had made it to the seamstress.  And my thrift rule is, don't buy anything that doesn't fit.  I actually made out well that day. I spent $50 and got a leather Kenneth Cole tote bag, three pairs of sandals, six tops, a brand new Calvin Klein t-shirt bra and another blazer style jacket. I'm addicted to blazers.

My $5 sandals from Value Village.

Tomorrow is an exciting day for Julien.  We're going to the CNE.  Every year when I was a girl, my mother brought us to the Ex.  It marks the end of the summer because it goes from the middle of August until Labor Day.  We've brought Julien every year for the past three summers.  Thank goodness I get cheaper tickets through work.  It's certainly not as affordable as it once was.  I remember when it celebrated it's 100th year. I was 8 years old and I remember that the midway rides were priced the same as they would have been in the beginning of the 20th century.  Rides were five cents.  When I was a girl, there used to be all kinds of free stuff at the Ex too.  Food samples at the food building.  Free candy and chocolate.  Times have changed a lot.  I mean, I definitely don't need free candy and chocolate, and neither does Julien, but it was a nice memory from my childhood.  Now we get nothing but super high prices (admission and food) and if you're not careful, food poisoning!  I'm just not sure why anyone would want to eat a cronut burger in the first place.  I'll just be sticking to my old faithful Swiss Chalet rotisserie chicken and salad.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The post about the long run that made me feel like a rock star

Yesterday I woke up at 6:30am (on my vacation) to do my long run.  The weather was not too agreeable here in the Hammer.  It was still dark at 7am, it was super windy, there were ominous clouds in the sky and I could hear rumblings of thunder in the distance.  I kept waiting for a storm to happen...and it never did.  I was pissed because I missed my window of opportunity.  By the time 9am rolled around, it was too late for me to head out for a long run.  So I settled for an 8K up and down the escarpment.

This was a lesson well learned.  With God as my witness, I will never give away a long run day again! Hubby could have done a shorter run on Sunday to allow me to do my long run.  In hindsight that would have made better sense, but for whatever reason, I decided to acquiesce. NOT. EVER. HAPPENING. AGAIN.  And I'll tell you why.  I spent all day Monday trying to talk myself out of doing the long run all together.  I even dreamed last night that I didn't do it, then planned on lying to you all about it.  What the what?  Not at all cool.  That dream scared me and made me haul my ass out of bed at 6:15am (on my vacation) this morning. I drank my energy powder, brought a pouch of energy gummies and left my home at 6:50am to begin my 26K (16M) run.

All in all I'm not too disappointed with my pace.
I had 6 big hills, and crampy toes to walk out 4x.

The hardest thing about doing a run is getting out the door.  Today was no exception.  But once I started running, I just kept focusing on how far I had to run alone.  Shouldn't phase me.  I have done lots of long runs solo.  It was daunting to know I'd be running alone for over three hours.  So I just had my morning show (Q-107) to keep me company.   It normally takes me a kilometer or two before I get into my running groove.  All I thought about after my breathing finally regulated at the second kilometer was I still have 24 more to go.

I was definitely anxious during this run.  I was nervous about my toes cramping and being in a lot of pain.  I kept telling myself, "if it gets too hard, I'll just stop".  I knew I couldn't give in that easy.  I felt confident about the first 10K.  I worked really hard at changing my running form.  It's hard to constantly think about it when I had so much other stuff on my mind too.  All centered around running, but important shit none the less.  I decided to do 2x 10K loops around my house, then finish with a 6K loop in the opposite direction.  The 10K loops have a few substantial hills in them. I chose the 6K in the other direction because it is relatively flat.  I figured by the time I got to 20K, I'd need a bit of a break.

When I reached 13K, I didn't feel like I'd be able to do another 13K.  I was feeling sluggish and I forgot that I'm supposed to eat energy gummies at 10K.  So I downed 4 energy gummies and within 10 minutes, I got my momentum back.  If you look at my splits (below) 19K was my fastest. I was just so eager to get to 20K because that's when I promised myself a walk break (to stretch out my crampy toes) and 4 more gummies.  So 20K is my slowest.

Now to the feet.  Surprisingly, my toes did pretty darn well.  I didn't wear the orthotics.  Instead I focused on running the way Graham showed me and although my toes did cramp a few times, I was able to walk the cramps out and return to running another 5K before they would cramp again. That is a HUGE improvement. It definitely restored my confidence.  Lately I have been dreading long runs because the further the distance got, the more painful my toes got.  Today's run made me feel like I can do anything.

Tomorrow is definitely a rest day.  I ran 4 days in a row and although my legs and feet are tired, I just need a good night's sleep.  Thursday brings me to hill repeats and I'm running six hills.  Friday is my regularly scheduled rest day, I'm running a short 6K on Saturday and returning to my regularly scheduled long run on Sunday.  This Sunday is a scale back week so I'm only doing 19K. That's so odd to say "only 19K".  I remember when 19K was my dreaded long run (this past winter).  Now it seems like something so doable.

My recovery lunch after my run was salmon cakes, sauteed cabbage and half a sweet potato.  I made 2 salmon cakes each for both hubby and I and I left a salmon cake.  Although I was famished, I was full after just one with a serving of cabbage.  I had some cantaloupe as a snack in the afternoon and I have been drinking water non stop all day.  It's strange to me that after long runs, I'm not more hungry than I have been. All I've been thinking about today is going to bed early.

When I think that 18 months ago I weighed 230 pounds and couldn't comfortably run for a minute, the distances that I run now baffle me.  I was the woman who couldn't.  I couldn't do anything physical because I had joint issues, heel spurs and back issues.  All these problems were brought on by the extra weight I carried.  Loveena sent me a message today and asked how I can run so much.  Well Loveena, I conditioned myself to run this much.  It took a lot of hard work to get to where I am today.  I am not a fast runner, but I have endurance.

There are a few things that I learned about running.  Running is not for everyone.  You either love it or you hate it.  And you definitely cannot outrun a bad diet.  I eat fairly strict Paleo.  My weight does not change.  I can tell you right now, if I ate whatever I wanted to and still ran the distances I do, I'd definitely gain weight. That is just not somewhere that I am prepared to go.  Therefore, I will continue to run like I do and eat Paleo.

Whether it's running or weight training, or swimming, or cycling, or yoga, or cross fit, or a team sport, if you can get yourself to try something new, you just may find that you become passionate about it.  If you had seen me two years ago, or even 18 months ago, you'd never have pegged me as a runner.  But here I am.  A runner who just completed a 26K run.  And all because I stepped outside my comfort zone and walked into the Running Room eighteen months ago.  If you take a chance, you just may find something awesome waiting for you!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

The post about my running assessment, a night away and a delayed long run

It feels like FOREVER since I last blogged.  I can't even remember what I blogged about!  I'm too lazy to check.  So I know I last checked in on Wednesday, so I'll tell you what happened Thursday.  I went for my running assessment at physio.  Since my physiotherapist knows I hate running on the treadmill, he came outside with me and watched me run on the road.  So apparently I run like I'm running on a single line.  My feet swing in front of me.  This causes pressure to be put on the balls of my feet which causes me to grip with my toes.

Graham corrected my running form so I run like I'm running on parallel lines.  This causes me to feel like I have something stuck up my butt, but makes it so the pressure goes to the outside of my feet and my toes are more splayed apart.  I have been consciously running like this during my last two runs and it's not actually slowed my pace at all like Graham predicted.  I have actually had the best two runs I have had in a long time. Tomorrow I will run 26K without my orthotics.  I will just focus on my form and see what happens.

The top run was from Saturday on country roads in last split was 6:48.
The bottom run was from this morning.  My 8:33 kilometer was because I stopped to
talk to someone and failed to pause my run.

So I postponed my long run from today until tomorrow.  I'm not too thrilled about it, but I had to do what I had to do.  Bottom line is that hubby and I are getting into further and further distances.  If we both did our long runs on the same day, we'd be running about 5 hours combined.  And it will just get worse.  His longest run will get to 20K, mine 32K.  So since he skipped a run yesterday, I gracefully gave him a long run day today, and postponed my long run until tomorrow.  I will wake up at 7am to drink my energy drink (3 scoops of powder) before heading out to complete 2x 10K loops and 1x 6K loop around the city.  I will be running for over three hours.  Sounds so daunting to be doing alone...but at least I'll have my regular morning show on Q-107 to listen to.  And next weekend?  I get to scale back to 19K before going up to 29K the following weekend.  Kill me now.

We headed up to Millbrook on Friday to spend a couple of days with my cousin (on my dad's side) and his family.  Julien was super excited because we camped on my cousin's property.  They have 150 acres of farm land, that they actually farm.  They also have 4 horses.  We brought Finn with us who was completely in his element.  I felt guilty bringing him back to the city.  He's been a bit depressed ever since he's been home. Although I know he'd love living in the country, Julien would never let us part with him.  Finn will just have to be a country dog at heart.

My eating has been spot on the past few days.  My cousin's wife was awesome.  She called before we headed up and asked about the Paleo diet.  There was not any processed carbs, refined sugar, legumes or dairy to be seen while we were visiting.  She was waaaaaaay more hard core than I am at my house.  When I make dinner for guests, I make food we can all eat, but I also prepare dishes just for my guests.  I would have had no issue if she made stuff I wouldn't eat.  My dad came with us and he loves his bread, potatoes and sweets.  I felt a little bad for him!  Oh well, the effort she made was completely awesome.  I was not expecting such a strict diet while I was there.

I went for a run with her Saturday morning.  She's training for a 10K race at the beginning of October.  We did her long run yesterday which was 7K.  Running country roads is not a walk in the park.  The scenery is lovely, but man is it hilly!  I also did walk breaks with her.  So all in all we ran at a pretty clipped pace.  I didn't stop my app for walk breaks so a 6:46 kilometer was pretty admirable. If you look at the splits (above), you can see the two kilometers that had the particularly large hills.

Top: brunch
Bottom: dinner

I decided to try and "carb load" before my long run tomorrow and see if it makes a difference in my performance.  Okay, so I'm not so much carb loading as having a couple of extra carby things than usual.  I had TWO sweet potatoes today (I'd have to have about 7 for it to be considered actual carb loading).  One for brunch and one for dinner.  Brunch was bacon (a real treat) and eggs with sliced tomato, sweet potato and cantaloupe (not pictured).  Dinner was BBQ'd sausages, sauteed green pepper and onion, Italian kale and sweet potato.  I have had so much water today that I have been visiting the bathroom every 1.5 hours.  It's VERY important to hydrate the day before a run.

Since I'm up at 7 am tomorrow to head out for my long run, I'm off to bed.  If you have to do something tomorrow morning that you dread, remember I'll be running from about 7:30 till about 10:45 depending on how my toes make out.  Just think of me and that should make you feel better.  I leave you with some photos from our "camping" trip to Millbrook.

See the cute barn kitten.? There's a mama and five babies living in the barn.

Julien and his cousin off-roading.

Julien and his other cousin having fun at the Peterborough Zoo.

Fun on the merry-go-round.

Julien and Joey.

Some super cute kids checking out the monkeys!

He looks angry.  I definitely did not cross that barrier...

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The post about getting used to the distance, vacation plans and what exactly is Paleo???

Today's running stats.  My pace is getting better again.  I felt like I've
been stagnant for a while.  I need to kick it up a notch!

I was tired after my long run on Sunday.  Tired, but not exhausted.  I remember when I ran my first half marathon and I was sore for days afterwards.  I even booked an emergency massage later in the week.  I have now run a half marathon distance 6 times.  Whoa!  A year and a half ago, I couldn't even run for a minute without clutching my chest and wishing for a quick death.  I ran 23K on Sunday, and I'm running 26K this Sunday.  Who am I?  Not the same person who swore off any form of physical activity two years ago. I'm not even sure who she is anymore.

I'm on vacation right now, and we have a pretty fun week planned.  On Monday we went to Wild Waterworks, a local water park here in Hamilton.  We went on the slides, played in the wave pool, and I walked around for 3+ hours in nothing but a bathing suit.  It was weird...but freeing.  For the first time in my adult life, I was not embarrassed by how I looked in a bathing suit.  I thought it would be hard for me to parade around in public with my less than perfect body.  But I decided to throw caution to the wind and not give a shit. I needed to just have fun with my son and hubby and not worry about my saddlebags, or my bat wings.  And it was worth it, we had a lot of fun.

This Friday, we're headed up to Millbrook to see my cousin and his family for an overnight visit. Julien is super excited because he gets to sleep in a tent (with us of course).  He's just happy to have a few cousins to play with.  My cousin's wife is also a runner so I'm looking forward to doing a 7K run with her on Saturday morning on country roads.  Lots of hills...AWESOME!  I'm joking of course.  Hills are not that awesome, but I always feel like a friggin Olympian when I conquer a particularly long one.  I have hill repeats tomorrow night right before my physio appointment. BRING IT ON!!!!!!

I'm not sure if you noticed or not, but I'm not posting what I eat anymore.  Quite frankly, the food I eat day in and day out is so boring and exactly the same that I don't feel it's necessary to bore you with the particulars.  I promise that if I make something new, I will post about it and share the recipe.  Eating the same stuff day in and day out is so unimaginative, but I actually don't care.  I wonder if that's a good thing or a bad thing.

I've gotten a few emails about the differences between Dr. Poon and Paleo.  Although I follow The Paleo Diet for Athletes now, I have ABSOLUTELY nothing against Dr. Poon.  Dr. Poon, in my opinion, is a genius.  A genius who saved my life.  His diet was the first plan that actually made sense to me.  I remember before I even went for my initial consultation, I told my gf Linda, that even though I'd go and see what they had to say, I had already made up my mind to have weight-loss surgery.  Absolutely true story, you can ask her. When I heard I had to give up processed carbs, refined sugar, dairy...all the things I loved, I said NO WAY!

So I go in for the consultation and something just went off in my head.  I mean nothing changed, I still had to give up the processed carbs, refined sugar, dairy and about the majority of everything else I liked to ingest, but something was tugging at me.  I had read up on a lot of literature in regards to WLS, and I knew that following WLS I would have to follow a VERY restrictive diet.  How was this any different?  I could follow this restrictive diet starting today and not have to:

  • have surgery
  • wait for surgery (2 years)

Although many will think that WLS surgery is an "easy way out", I assure you it is not.  Everyone has to do what is best for them.  Although I chose not to have WLS, I respect anyone whose choice it was to have WLS surgery...because that was what was best for them.  I read WLS surgery blogs and have them on my blog list.  The plight of these individuals is no less impressive than anyone who does it the "natural" way.  I use natural very loosely because I'm quoting emails and comments I've received in the past.  The diet after WLS is probably more restrictive than Dr. Poon's diet.

Anywho, I went off course there a tad.  I was comparing Dr. Poon to Paleo.  Basically, it wasn't hard for me to transition from Poon to Paleo.  I never bought the treats and extra stuff from the Ontario Nutrition Store. Again, not because I don't agree with it, but because:

  • I couldn't afford it
  • It was too much of a trigger for me

Some people can handle just having "a bit" of something.  I cannot.  I am a carb and sugar addict. You may or may not have noticed that I do not reward myself with food following long runs.  The most I will do is have a couple glasses of wine, and a small baked sweet potato.  I  burned 1700 calories during this past Sunday's long run and I had 2 glasses of wine and a sweet potato (350 additional calories total).  I will never be one of those people who can have a celebratory ice cream or Mrs. Fields cookie/brownie.  I envy you and wish I could, but I know myself well enough to know that for me, it is impossible.

Wow!  I am not focusing at all today!!!!  Back to Poon/Paleo comparisons.  So if you think that Paleo is easier than Poon, don't.  On maintenance, Dr. Poon allows grains and legumes, and dairy and artificial sweeteners (sugar free chocolate which is yummy).  Paleo is basically lean protein (meats, fish, seafood, eggs), vegetables (no white potatoes...only sweet potatoes), fruit and nuts that you can eat raw.  I drink water and coffee (and wine after long runs).  That is it!  Pretty basic, but that's how I roll.  The easier the better!

Sorry for the very eclectic post.  I'm moving on to what I like about myself now.  I love my hair right now.  It is thicker and healthier than it's ever been.  I've perfected the sock bun and with it comes awesome curls when I take it out!  Yesterday (which is when the below picture was taken) I got to wear my curls out to meet my gal Beverly for a drink in the evening.  So, sock bun during the day, sexy waves at night.

It looked a bit better when I actually made it out for the evening.  I finger
combed my hair and added some spray.

I will be MIA for the next few days.  We have some fun stuff planned and I'm taking a blogging break until Sunday.  I'll check in after my 26K.  Lets see if I can complete it without too much discomfort!  I'm going to take Triza's advice and really make a concerted effort to keep my toes spread wide.  I totally grip my shoes when I run which makes my toes cramp.  Hubby and I are also going to make a special effort to strengthen the core.  Having a stronger core and better balance will make us better runners.  That is a fact!

A picture of Baby...just because.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The post where I just post a bunch of pictures from the weekend

Saturday morning run.

So my Saturday morning started out with a 6K run. I was dragging my heals getting out the door yet again, but I managed to finally work my way out by 9:45 am.  As always, once I started running, it was all good. I finished up at a pretty decent pace and felt pretty good afterwards. After my run, I ate, showered and did my hair in a sock bun for the first time EVER.  It was super easy and I think it looked pretty good.

Jules goofing around during morning coffee.
I wore a dress I got from Value Village for $5.99.
The sock bun looked pretty decent for a first attempt.

After lunch yesterday, we headed out to the Cactus Festival.  Julien had fun and we got totally ripped off on the midway.  Over 5 bucks per ride!  Oh well.  Julien had fun so that's all that matters.

There were waaaaay to many bumper cars here for this ride to be effective.  I
think Julien moved 5 feet the entire time.  Can you spot him?
On the ferris wheel.
Being part of the magic show.  He had a scarf pulled out of
his ear.  He claimed it tickled...
Posing with his buddy
Iron Man!

After the cactus festival we returned home and I relaxed with Finn for a bit.  After making dinner, I let my hair down and began the laundry.  I thought my hair looked good after being in the sock bun all day and wished that hubby and I were going on a date instead.

My favorite person in the whole world.

My favorite dog in the whole world.

Getting ready to do laundry.

Last night I started to get anxious about my long run this morning.  I wasn't so anxious about the distance  I was anxious about my toes cramping.  And I wasn't anxious for nothing.  I decided to wear my orthotics and mapped a 10K, 7K and 6K loop around my house.  That way I'd be able to return home to change my shoes if need be.  By 17K I could barely walk.  My orthotics are not working for me.  So frustrating.  I also got a big blister on the end of the second toe of my left foot. And my right glute is sore.  So by the end of my run, I was feeling a bit run down, but I was just glad to be DONE!  I'm already super nervous about next Sunday's 26K.  I don't think I'll wear the orthotics.  My physio therapist is going to assess my running form on Thursday.  Maybe I'll get some answers then.

This is what I fuel up with before a long run.  I do not eat
anything.  Two or three scoops of this is enough.
The deets on the above energy powder.
I also eat energy gummies during the run.
Took me longer than I expected but someone stopped me for directions.  Really?
You don't stop a runner for directions!  And I had to tell her a half a dozen times
how to get out of the Hammer.  The whole time I'm thinking, "this is going to
affect my pace".  Well that and the walking I had to do to work out the cramps
in my toes.
My very sore blister.  Sorry for the close up
of my mangy toes...
My recovery meal after my run.  Left over sausage from yesterday, three
eggs and an vine ripe tomato!

I have been very remiss is mentioning how touched I was from all the comments I've gotten in regards to some of my posts over the past couple of weeks.  It's no secret that I've been feeling a touch melancholy lately.  August is always a tough month for me.  It's my mother's birth and death month.  Although I haven't said it nearly enough, I thank you all for your kind words of support.  It truly does mean a lot to me and now that I'm on vacation for another two weeks, I hope to catch up on some blog reading.  I've been lax in that department as well.  I've been reading as much as I could, but not commenting as much as I'd like.  I'm off to relax and get to bed early tonight.  I'm just tired.  Tomorrow's a rest day.  So aside from some core/physio exercises, I'm just being. G'nite!

Friday, August 16, 2013

The post about the reason I spent the majority of my life morbidly obese

The reason I will run 23K this Sunday even though I'm already anxious
about it.

Ok, I don't know if this is the real reason or just another excuse.  I had a A-HA moment during my long run last weekend.  When you're running alone for 2+ hours, weird stuff pops into your head.  If you've been reading my blog for a while, you may remember that I was adopted.  I was adopted as an infant.  Right from the hospital to my forever home. Other than the family I grew up in, I have never known any other family until I was 39.  That is when I met (some of) my birth family.  I am half Ojibwe and half...I'm not sure. My adoptive mom always said that my birth mother told her I was half French Canadian.  So let's just go with that even though when I met her, my birth mom said she didn't know who my father was.

Anyway during my long run, I was thinking about my two moms.  My birth mother and my adoptive mother.  I was thinking about how much the mother that raised me has influenced my parenting style today.  She definitely had a positive impact on me, but also made me think about what I would do differently as a parent. Then I thought about how I was told I was adopted.  It happened when I was 6.5 years old.  It was one of my older brother's friends who delivered the news to me in a very mean and spiteful 13 year old boy manner. It was along the lines of "You know this isn't your real family right?  Your real mom didn't want you. And this family could give you back any time..." Now keep in mind I was likely bugging the crap out of him and he came from a broken home.  I hold no ill feelings toward him.  He turned out to be a lovely man.

Anywho, back to me.  So I went crying to my mother who was less than thrilled with the news that was just delivered to me. She went and talked to that boy's father if I recollect and I'm sure he got in trouble.  She admitted that I was not a baby from her tummy, but told me I was a baby from her heart.  Here I thought I was half Polish and half Scottish only to learn that I was Metis (half Ojibwe and half French Canadian).  I mean, my parents probably should have told me from the get go that I was adopted.  I looked very different from my fair skinned, fair haired family.  But when you're 6, it just doesn't register.

In set the anxiety.  What if Wayne was right? What if my parents sent me back to...I had no idea where that would be.  I know I started hoarding food, binging and putting on weight by my 7th birthday.  Is this the reason why?  I was always an anxious and scared child.  Not just about the adoption thing, but about death as well. My parents were older than other parents.  My mom was 39 and my dad 40 when they adopted me.  I remember calculating in my head how old I would be when my parents passed away.  Part of the fear of them passing while I was young was that I would have no where to go.  Who would take care of me if they died?  None of the extended family I'm sure since I was not a blood relative.  This was a non-issue, but try telling that to a 7 year old. This shit was real to me.

I would fake being sick from school so I could stay home and be with my mom.  I mean if she fell sick or something, I should be there with her.  And I also wanted to spend as much time with her as I could.  In my young head, she was dying...and real soon!  I think that I may have turned to food at this time for comfort. I was the only member of my family with a weight problem.  Everyone else was average size.   My parents were loving people, but we didn't share worries.  We bottled up everything inside, which is something I still do today.  Maybe if I could have talked about my fears, I would have felt more secure and not relied on food for comfort.

I may be onto something, or I may be completely full of it.  I learned I was adopted just before my 7th birthday, and I started gaining weight when I was about seven.  One thing may have something to do with the other.  I always search for answers as to why I'm a binge eater.  I think that understanding why I binge will help me stop the behavior.   As an adult I continue to struggle with anxiety.  There are some nights where I just lie awake and stare at the ceiling. I worry about everything from Julien's happiness, to finances, to work, to the drunk that lives across the street with his young family. I need to learn to let go of stuff and stop letting things eat at me.

A couple of months ago a family member that I haven't had contact with since after my mother's death (ten years ago) asked me for money via a message on Facebook.  I (very nicely) rejected her request and was attacked via FB message and blocked by her.  It really threw me off and continues to bug me to this day.  I know I over extend myself to people and they take advantage of that.   That's my "inner fat girl" rearing her ugly head.  As a morbidly obese person, I did whatever I could do to keep relationships.  When you're about 300 pounds, friends are not plentiful.

Even now I feel like I put way too much effort into relationships and get nothing in return.  Time costs nothing and there are a lot of people in my life that can't even give me that.  I'm surrounded by people all of the time but I always feel lonely.  My mom and I were very close.  She was someone I could always count on and I never felt alone when she was alive.  She took care of my emotional well being because I always had someone I could talk to.

Julien is starting to get anxious about death and separation.  He's started asking me a lot about death.  This conversation started by him asking about who my mother was.  My mother loved her grand children and when she died, I felt a bigger loss because my future child(ren) would never have the opportunity to know her.  That still makes me sad today.  I know she would have been really close to Julien.  So Julien is asking about my mother and I'm explaining to him that she has passed away because she was very sick and can never come back.  So then he said, "so if you die mommy, there won't ever be a Leigh anymore?"  This broke my heart because I could see the panic in his face.  All I could say to that was even though I won't physically be here after I die, love lasts forever.  Last night he told me that he would love me forever. Even after I was dead.  Made me smile through my watery eyes.

I have no control over whether I get in my car tomorrow and am in a head on collision with a drunk driver. But I do have control over what I put into my mouth and the choices I make for my overall health.  That is why I choose to follow as strict Paleo as I can.  That is why I continue to run and train for a marathon even though I don't always feel like it and on most days my feet and my body hurt.  That is why I encouraged my husband to run and eat Paleo with me. Without us, my son has no one.  I owe it to him and myself to be the healthiest version of me I can.  I need to be around for him for as long as I can.  I know first hand how hard it is to be motherless at a young age.  I will do everything in my power to prevent that from happening to him. He continues to be my inspiration every single day.

Just because I need a laugh right now.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The post about tough mornings, breakfast foods and the blackout of 2003

My bad pace from this morning.
It's almost time to retire my fav shoes:(
I actually wore a long sleeved running top
this morning.  It was quite cool at 5:30am!

Going back to work has been a bit of an adjustment.  I was pretty spoiled over the past few weeks with sleeping in till 7:30 and running later in the morning.  It was back to the old grind and up at 5 am again this week.  Tuesday's run was brutal because Monday night we had a pretty substantial rainfall that began at midnight and lasted till about 1:30.  I lay in bed and listened to it, unable to sleep.  So Tuesday morning I ran 8K at a pretty slow pace. It was also a fasting workout which meant I didn't eat before hand.  I was just glad when it was done.

This morning's run was a touch better.  I did 6K because I had to be in the city (Toronto) for 9:15 am for my team meeting.  I was up before dawn.  It's still dark at 5 am!  I had to be out the door by 5:30 so I could be back in time to hop in the shower and out my door no later than 7:30.  I made it on time, but failed to have coffee this morning.  I started feeling a headache coming on in late morning, then had to step out just after lunch to grab a coffee from Starbucks.  Miraculously my headache disappeared.  I'm working a bit late tomorrow, then I got a child minder because hubby and I are going to go for a late evening run.  Hill training starts this week and he's never done hills before so I want to do his first set of hill repeats with him.

I'm only back to work for a week, then I'm off for the last two weeks of August.  I'm lucky to have so much vacation time and I must admit that my head is really not back into work right now.  One thing I definitely like about work though is my eating is much more diligent.  There is less snacking and more planned meals because I brought my lunch 3 times this week.  My co-workers will argue that my lunches are boring.  They would consist of a protein, some veggies and a fruit.  And they would normally be in whole form.  What I mean by that is on Monday I had left over souvlaki, an avocado, carrots and an orange.  I meant to make a salad, but got lazy and didn't do it Sunday night.  So I was stuck with a boring 4 ingredient lunch.  It was boring but it filled me up.

One of the most asked questions I get (besides loose skin) is what do I eat for breakfast.  I have eaten the same breakfast for almost two years.  Hard boiled eggs in my car with coffee during my commute in the morning.  So, so boring.  And not something that everyone would have the stomach for.  I do deviated from that breakfast at least once per week.  On the weekend I may make an omelet after my long run, or have left overs from the day before.  I have no problem eating dinner for breakfast.  Lots of people eat breakfast for dinner, I am part of the dinner for breakfast movement!

It was ten years ago today that we had that major blackout in southern Ontario and parts of the US.  I was with my dad when that happened because my mother had just died and I stayed with him for about three weeks after she passed.  I remember being thankful that she passed away the week before.  Not because I wanted her to pass, obviously not, but because she was on oxygen and breathing machines and wanted to stay at home as long as possible.  Even though she did end up dying in the hospital, she was only there for maybe 6 hours before she passed away.  If she was still at home during the black out and not as close to death as she was, she'd have had to go to the hospital much sooner.  Something she definitely didn't want.

It's such a morose time for me right now.  And I tend to hold things inside.  I don't talk to my husband or friends about how I'm feeling, which I'm sure isn't a good thing.  It helps to type stuff out here though.  This is therapeutic for me and so is running.  I also had a good supervision today. My supervisor is an excellent listener, and although we normally talk about my clients during supervision, today we just talked about me for 1.5 hours.  I needed to talk and he listened.

He was my supervisor (but only for a short time ) ten years ago when my mom died and he was super supportive then.  It's strange (or maybe fate) that he became my supervisor again just before my birth mother died in October.  He (again) was a super listener and support through that.  Even though I bitch and moan about my job periodically (read: A LOT), I work with really good people. My current team; my former team.  I've been on my current team for only a year and was on my former team for 11 years before I was moved.  I miss being on that team (I had another great supervisor and team mates), but see them all the time anyway (we're still on the same unit).  And the good thing is that I like the people on my current team as well. Even when I think that my job is sometimes unbearable (due to politics, not my clients), the people I work with make it easier.  That makes all the difference to me.

That's right, I wore a fall outfit
to work today.  It was cold!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

The post about my LSD and my weight

I had a difficult morning yesterday.  My back was not great.  I did myself no favors by going on rides with Julien on Friday (it was fun though).  All morning I kept flip flopping over whether or not to do my 6K steady run.  I was so indecisive and really wanted to do the run, but knew in my heart, it wasn't the best thing for me.  I talked myself into doing the run, then thought about the advice I'd give someone else.  I decided to listen to my body and sit the 6K out.  My reasoning was that I'd rather sacrifice a 6K run than a 19K run.  I spent the day applying ice to my back and I took some muscle relaxants before bed.

Not a bad pace for a LSD considering I had to walk my cramped toes out a
few times and ran through the city so I had to contend with a lot of lights.

I woke up this morning feeling a little better.  As the morning wore on, my back felt better and better and I finally headed out just after 10 am to get my 19K LSD done.  When I first started out, I could really feel my back muscle, and it went into spasm a couple of times, but nothing like what it was like Thursday night.  As I continued to run, my back felt looser and by the end of my run, the only thing that was really bothering me was my crampy toes.  I iced my back as soon as I got home, then once again after my shower.  As I type this, I actually feel completely normal.  No pain in my back at all.  Maybe I just needed a real long run to loosen everything up.

I was a bit nervous about my run today.  It's the furthest distance I've run since the Niagara Women's Half Marathon on June 2nd.  I was more anxious about my feet than anything else.  My toes actually didn't get really crampy and painful until 18K.  I walked a bit, then was able to finish it up.  So I didn't do too bad, considering I wasn't wearing the orthotics.  I'm not sure if they're gonna work yet.  I didn't get to test them out yesterday.

Mashed rutabaga, salmon cake, sauteed cabbage.  Basically
what was left in my fridge/pantry.  I have to shop tonight.

I haven't weighed myself in ages.  I stepped on the scale after my shower to see that my weight was 154.5. Then I stepped down, got back on and it said 165.5.  I stepped down again, got back on and it said 165.  I stepped off and got back on again and it said 166.5.  So there you have it. My weight is anywhere between 154.5 and 166.5.  I'm going with 166.5. I know I said that I was trying to lose weight again, but the reality of my situation is that when I'm running 50+ kilometers per week, I need to eat until I'm satisfied.  The best time for me to drop weight is when I am not training.  Right now I need to fuel myself up so I can complete the runs.  This week hill training starts and my next long run is 23K.  That will be the furthest distance I have ever run.

I can cut out nuts and wine again.  They worked their way back into my diet.  Friday I actually had nuts for dinner.  I'm sure that is not okay EVER.  And yesterday, I had 3 glasses of wine (not with muscle relaxants...that was Friday).  I'm sure if I just make a conscious effort to really limit my nuts and wine, during the next 2.5 months of intense marathon training, I should just naturally drop weight.  I'm going to be doing hills and speed work and really, really long runs (up to 32K...YIKES). When I first saw 154.5 on the scale this afternoon, my heart did a little flip flop.  But I knew it was impossible because my clothes still fit me the same.  I'm sure if I did suddenly drop 10+ pounds, I'd feel it.  I think it's a premonition though.  I think the universe telling me that 154 should be my ultimate goal weight.  I can live with 154.  Let's see how long it takes me to get there.

My eats from the past two days.  Nuts for dinner, really?????

Friday, August 9, 2013

The post about my back in spasm and a date with my boy

My lunch from yesterday.  A chicken burger made from chicken breast, mushrooms
 and green onion.  Super yummy!  Also kale salad and mixed greens.

Yesterday Julien and I spent the day over at my gal Tanya's house.  We had a lovely visit with her and her family, and her hubby's friend and daughter.  The kids played, the adults talked.  It was great.  I had my first kale salad which was completely delicious.  I also incorporated kale from my gf Linda's garden into my ratatouille dish the other day.  I'm beginning to really love kale.

So after I hung at Tanya's house all day, I made my way home to drop off the boy, then went to pick up my newly adjusted orthotics.  They now have a metatarsal lump, a Morton's Neuroma bullet, and a groove where I feel a lump when I run further than 10K.  There are many humps, dips and grooves in my new orthotics.  I'll give them a try tomorrow. I'm not feeling very optimistic.

I had a physio appointment yesterday.  The plan was that I would run to physio and then Graham would go for a run with me so that I would be fatigued and he could assess my running form.  I mapped out my route on the gmap, but failed to switch over miles to kilometers.  So what I thought was a 6K run, turned out to be a 9.3K run.  That wasn't such a big deal though.  What's three extra kilometers?  Absolutely nothing when you're feeling good.  About 1.5K into the run, I had a pain in my middle back.  I went for a massage on Wednesday and was treated for this because the pain has been bugging me for about a week.  It wasn't preventing me from running, but it was there.  I felt fine all day Thursday and figured the massage helped.

By the time I made it to physio (15 minutes late) my back was in full spasm and had been for about 6K. Graham took one look at me and took me to the special room upstairs.  I was a hot mess and in pretty severe pain.  He worked on me for about 30 minutes and hooked up the electrode machine to my back.  By the time I left physio, I couldn't even talk without my breath hitching from the spasms I was having.  Graham told me I'd feel worse before it got better.  I went home, took some muscle relaxants, iced my back, then dragged my sorry ass to bed.  I felt bad for Julien because we had planned to meet friends at Centre Island today and he was scared we wouldn't be able to go.  By morning I felt much better and we did make our way to the island for the day.

I just know that even though I've taken muscle relaxants and am drinking wine while I write this (don't judge), that the same thing will happen during my run tomorrow morning.  If my back goes into spasm again, I'm heading to urgent care for a cortisone shot.  I have a 19K run to complete on Sunday.  Don't mess with my marathon training schedule!  And not to blow my own horn, but despite the fact that my back was in spasm for 2/3 of my run last night, my pace was not too shabby.  7:02 per kilometer.  And I had three pretty large hills to run, a phone call to Graham to make and I forgot to turn my run app off until I was in the bathroom.

So today Jules and I had a mom and son day.  We met a friend and her son at Centre Island, which is an island off of Toronto with an amusement park on it.  It's geared towards younger children and is much less chaotic than Canada's Wonderland.  You have to ferry over and it was an adventure for Julien.  I've taken him in the past (when he was 3), but couldn't go on rides with him due to my size.  Today we hit all the rides several times and had a ball.  I didn't bring my lunch, but still ate on plan.  There was a concession place that sold chicken Greek salad and I omitted the feta.  It was fine.  I brought snacks for both Jules and I and we drank water all day.  If there was nothing for me to eat, I was just going to eat the snacks for lunch.  Instead I returned home with a bunch of snacks and still got my protein in.  Remember, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail!

I had a compliment paid to me today.  Well it was actually something I wasn't supposed to hear, but I knew they were talking about me.  One of the ferry guys who was talking to a buddy within my earshot mentioned that he liked curvy women with a bit of muscle on them.  Then he said, "like that woman in the pink floral shirt. See her legs"?  I have never had men discuss my body before...EVER.  Unless of course it was negative.  The kicker was that they were twenty somethings...AGAIN!  What is it with younger men and MUCH older women?  He even gave me a very special farewell when I stepped off the ferry with the boy. Wedding rings and children do not deter young men.  I wonder if anything does.

This has been in Centreville since I was a kid!

Having fun on the ferris wheel.

Almost to the top of the log ride.

Inside Julien's favorite ride, the the dark!

The Toronto skyline from the ferry.