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Posts Tagged ‘running’

I want to say a big thank you to all of you who commented on my last post and through other avenues. Knowing that it happens to the best of us, and that I’m not alone in feeling this way, has made it easier to really focus on what needs to be done.

Having a strong support system in place is going to be key for me as I continue on this journey and I am grateful that you are all a part of it.

I would like to clarify though that running is not a problem for me. In fact, running is what keeps me sane as a busy mom to two small children. Yes, it’s hard to get out the door sometimes but that has nothing to do with the actual act of running. Running never feels like a chore or something that I have to do. Mustering up the motivation seems like a chore sometimes but that would be the case whether my choice of activity was running or something completely different.

I live in a small rural area. The closest gym is 40 minutes away and they do not offer any classes (which is what I would want to go there for). I have a vast collection of DVDs that I can use in my house, as well as a bike trainer for my road bike that is set-up in the basement. The only downfall to those two things is that I am still in my house. Running on the other hand allows me to escape the laundry, the dishes, the toys, the constant chatter (don’t get me wrong, I do love the chatter, just not all the time), etc. I either get to catch up with a friend or myself and that is something that is very important to me.

Running is also one area of my life where I don’t compare myself to other people, only to myself.

My favourite running quote is this:

“Whether it’s a 7-minute mile, or a 14-minute mile, it is still a mile.”

I may be slower or faster than you but that doesn’t matter. What matters is that we are both out there doing what we love and testing our own limits and capabilities.

Yes, I want to improve but I think that goes without saying. There is always room for improvement.

I don’t officially start my marathon training program until the end of December. I am taking the time until then to build up my base and focus on losing some weight. If I miss a run for some unforeseen reason I won’t stress about it.

My Mom arrives in a week from Nova Scotia for a 2-week visit. I am looking forward to being able to run during the day while she is here, as well as being able to take her to some of my favourite running spots.

I’m still trying to figure things out but I am facing it with a positive attitude.

And in the words of my friend Tara, I need to stop being my own worse enemy. Please take the time to read her post. For me and for yourself.

 

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The one thing that I love the most about running is that it does not discriminate.

Young or old, male or female, short or tall, fast or slow, fit or “fat”, etc. running is for EVERYONE.

This was made even more apparent to me at my race on Sunday.

I went into the race with a horrible mindset thinking I was going to stick out like a sore thumb because I do not look like a *typical* runner. I just had a baby so I’m carrying around a lot of extra weight and as much as I try to not let it bother me it still does. But the truth of the matter is there is no *typical* look that a runner should or must have.

If you run then you are a runner.

We do not have to fit into a cookie cutter mould of what a runner should look like. We are all out there for our own personal reasons. Some of us have been running longer and are out to PR. Some of us are just starting and merely want to finish. Some of us are in the middle looking for the next big challenge.

On Sunday I saw many different runners all of whom were inspiring.

There was the older couple who ran the half-marathon together.

There was the group of girlfriends who ran the 10K together and only went as fast as the slowest friend.

There was the father running with his eight or nine-year-old son. As they passed me for the second time I mentioned how awesome it was and that one day I hope my own kids will share my love of running.

There was the lady who just had shoulder surgey 8 weeks ago who was supposed to run the half-marathon but decided it was best to run the 10K instead of not running at all.

There were the two friends, dressed in pink, walking the half-marathon. The one woman was a larger lady who wasn’t letting her physical shape stop her from participating.

There was the  lady I saw breastfeeding her baby on the grass after the race with her medal dangling over her cover-up.

There was my friend Leanne who despite rolling her ankle the weekend before got a PR in the half-marathon.

There was my friend Krista who has the best attitude towards running than anyone else I have ever met.

Then there was me who, in an attempt to make excuses for my own physical shape, made sure to let people know I just had a baby two-months ago. I didn’t do it to brag and realizse I was using it as a kind of defense mechanism. But in the process I discovered that no one was judging me negatively and I like to think I inspired a few people of my own that day the same way the above runners inspired me.

It’s difficult not to compare ourselves to other runners at times or to get caught-up in what we think a runner should be.

Because the beautiful thing about running is that, even though it is such an idividual sport, we are all in it together and the support can truly be amazing and inspiring.

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This upcoming weekend I will be running my first race since the girl was born two months ago.

But that’s not the only first I will be experiencing.

This weekend will also be the first time I am away from the girl for more than a couple of hours.

Yes, I will be leaving my family at home while I run my first race with two of my friends.

Before anyone freaks out about the fact I am leaving my two-month-old overnight please remember that everyone’s situation is different. Even though I do breastfeed I also must supplement her feedings with a bottle. As a result, she will be fine at home with her father and I will be fine in a hotel with a breast pump.

The original plan was to get a hotel room and go as a family but my husband suggested I go alone for a couple of reasons:

1. He feels it is important that I get a bit of a break and time to myself.

2. It will be infinitely easier for our three-year-old to be at home than in a hotel room, especially when the girl requires attention.

I had to think about it for a few days because at first I felt bad about even considering leaving my family. Then I realized it really would be best for the reasons stated above.

We did a test run last Friday where my husband got up with the girl throughout the night for feedings. I still woke-up too to pump but he did all the bottle feeding.

Both of them passed with flying colours.

But really, at the end of the day, this is what is best for my husband and what he would prefer to do so I can run.

And the way I see it, he trusts me to be home alone with our kids so there is no reason why I shouldn’t trust him to do the same.

Besides, I’ve never met a person, male or female, who can handle the sound of a crying baby better than my husband.

Dirty diapers are a whole other story.

When you go to races do you prefer to go with family, friends, or solo?

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One week from today (Sunday) I will be running a 10K at the BMO Okanagan Marathon.

There are a couple of reasons why this race will be a special day:

1. This is the same event where I ran my first half-marathon last year. I will be retracing the first 10K of that race and I’m sure it will bring back some memories.

2. This is my first race since having Teagan. I ran one 10K when I was pregnant and although I have no time expectations for myself I would like to beat my pregnant-self’s time.

I’m not in the same shape I was a year ago but I am excited to surround myself with other runners, and to cheer on my two friends who are both running the half.

Even though I am not in the same shape as a year ago I am happy with the progress I have made with my running in a short time. The mere fact that I am running 4-5 times a week makes me happy and feel strong.

I ran 5 miles on the weekend and felt great. My pace is improving with every run (my pace on my Thursday night run was a full minute faster than my pace on my Tuesday night run) and I love being able to push myself again.

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I have been doing a run/walk ratio since I started back into running but my goal for Sunday’s race is to run the entire 10K. I know that being surrounded by other runners will inspire me to achieve this goal.

Even though the number on the scale did not change this week I am feeling stronger and more toned. My muscles are sore and remind me that I am moving in the right direction.

I am trying not to look at the big picture of how much weight I have to lose and this next big milestone is going to help me focus on the small things:

I have officially registered for my first FULL marathon!

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I am running the 2013 BMO Vancouver Marathon and just like it would be silly and discouraging for me to think of the end goal ( to run 26.2 miles) I can’t focus on the overall weight-loss I want to achieve.

I have to start small to end big.

Expect to hear a lot more about the marathon once training begins.

Oh, and I won’t be doing it alone. My friend Krista is joining me on the marathon journey. We live over 2 hours from each other but have set out a game plan that will see us running the same pace during our training. Theoretically, this means we will be on the same level come race day because we have decided to cross both the start and finish line together 🙂

A big thanks to Tara for sending me the marathon training plan she followed for her first marathon and for being such a big inspiration. The plan brought her great success and I know it will do the same for us.

Any tips for a first-time marathoner in training?

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I am generally a solo runner.

This has more to do with the fact that not a lot of people run where I live rather than me not wanting to run with people.

I have attempted to fun with various friends before but it has never really worked out. We are all mothers with young children so it is difficult to find a time that works best for everyone involved.

Until now.

Yes, I finally have a running buddy and I couldn’t be more excited.

I knew I needed to find someone to run with now that the days are getting shorter. The only time I can get out for a run without the kids is once my husband gets home from work. By the time we have supper and I get ready it is already getting dark. I am not interested in running by myself in the dark.

I also knew I needed to find someone who I wanted to run with, who liked running, and who was available when I was.

She was sitting across the desk from me the whole time: My co-worker. (I’m currently on maternity leave but technically she is still my co-worker)

As soon as I thought of it I texted her to see if she was interested. She wrote me back right away saying she was so I grabbed my marathon training plan and figured out a schedule. We will be running together three times during the week on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. I will still do my long runs on the weekend by myself because she will not be training for a marathon but she knows there is a standing invitation to join me.

We started this week and let me tell you I love having a running buddy!

The time goes by quicker.

We get to catch up since we don’t spend seven hours across from each other anymore.

And I get to push someone, which in turn pushes me.

We are currently doing a 3:1 run/walk ratio to build a base before the mileage increases on the training plan. I keep telling her my goal is to push her, not kill her. I am succeeding so far.

My love for running has increased in just two short runs all because I have someone to share it with.

And not only do I have her in real life but I also have another friend who I am “training” with. I put the word training in quotes because we live over two-hours away from each other but we are both training for our first marathon, which we will run together. We have already figured out how we want to tackle the training and the actual marathon. I’m hoping we can get together for a couple of long runs together once the mileage increases. We figure if we train the same we should be able to race the same.

Running with friends; I doesn’t get any better.

Do you prefer to run solo or with a buddy?

 

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Today ended on a high note with a 3 mile run on my favourite trail with the dog.

I headed out after supper, and before bedtime, to fit in some much-needed movement and alone time. I did a 5:1 run:walk ratio and felt great. I have some stiffness in my calves but nothing that can’t be taken care of with some foam rolling.

I needed this run today to make me feel better mentally about eating a few ju jubes this afternoon.

I know in the grand scheme of things a few ju jubes isn’t that big of deal but the fact that I ate them just because they were there is kind of a big deal.

Even after reading Melissa’s post over on Live, Love, & Run about mindful eating (go check it out) I still ate the darn ju jubes.

But I’m over it.

Normally when I do something like that I would throw my hands up in the air and call the day a total write off. Basically, I would use a few bites of some “forbidden” food as an excuse to eat all the crap that I could get my hands on. That wasn’t the case today and that in and of itself is something I am proud of.

Instead I ate a giant salad with roasted chicken breast for lunch and moved on with my day.

Even my run could have easily been pushed aside because the friend I was supposed to run with had to take a rain check.

So despite the ju jubes I’m deeming day 2 a success as well.

And now I know not to bring them into the house for a while. Not until I can trust myself to keep my hands out of the bag.

I also know that a run at the end of the day is a beautiful thing and the perfect way to clear my head and reflect on the day – while keeping one eye on the look-out for bears.

That’s why I run with the dog 🙂

Until tomorrow…

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This post is a long time coming and truth be told I’m scared to push the publish button.

Scared because I know it’s time for me to get real about my weight-loss goals, and come clean on the blog, because that’s what this is all about.
It’s no secret that I had a baby and with that came some weight gain. Yes, I ran and then walked for the majority of my pregnancy but the weight gain still ended up being more than I wanted. As a result I have a relatively large amount of weight I want/need to lose in order to feel and look my best (in my own eyes, no one elses). The only person who I have shared this number with has been my husband.

Until now.

I know part of the process is to be 100 percent honest and up front. How else am I going to share my journey with you all if I’m not, right? I also believe that it will be easier if I have a place to share the joys and frustrations that will come with it all, and that place is here.

So back to that number.

Four years ago, at our wedding, I felt great and like I was in the best shape of my life. In order to get back to that place (at least on the scale) I will need to lose 60 lbs. In order to get to my ideal weight (at least what I think my ideal weight is because I may arrive there sooner at a completely different number) I need to lose an additional 20 lbs.

That’s 80 lbs total.

I know the number on the scale is not the be all to end all, which is why I will also use measurements, the fit of my clothes, improvements in my running/fitness, and before & after photos to help measure my success.

The first set of before pictures were taken on September 15 and let me tell you they were not pretty. The only great thing about them is the fact that I had just gotten back from a run so I’m covered in sweat and in my running clothes. No, I will not be sharing these pictures just yet, but if you stick with me I guarantee you will see them in the future.

We all have to start somewhere and this is my beginning. As scary as it is to open up like this I know it is the only way I am going to successful. Part of me is ashamed by my weight gain and in a sense  always felt like if I didn’t mention it on the blog than it didn’t really exist. Well, it does exist and now it is time to really buckle down and do something about it.

In an effort to not get caught up in the overall goal I am going to take it one day at a time, one meal at a time. I know I can eat clean and move for one day.

Just one day.

Once that day is over then a new day starts and I will have the same approach: it’s just one day. One day closer to the new me. One day that I can be proud to blog about.

I also feel an important part of the process, at least in the early stages, is going to be for me to blog about each day as it happens. I’ve never really been a daily recap type of blogger but with everything in life I feel we have to go with what works best for our current situation. So every evening, once the kids are in bed, I will blog about the ups and downs of the day.

Not everything will be weight-loss related though since I’m about to embark on another journey. A journey that will see me run a full marathon in May 2013. A journey that will go hand-in-hand with getting into the best shape of my life. Training will officially start at the beginning of October once my first 10K (post-baby) is under my belt.

If you don’t hear from me one day please do me a favour and call me out on it.

Thanks for listening.

Until tomorrow…

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