Thursday, 16 February 2017

Six Months!!

Oh hi again!!  I realized I haven't posted this year at all even after wanting to post more often.  Things are going really well.  My running is fast(for me) and the swimming is coming along nicely.  On January 29th I ran the Robbie Burns 8k and fell in love with the course, the distance and running again.  For a while I had been struggling then just before Christmas things started getting faster and faster.  Where I was running 10min/km before I am now averaging 8.5min/km and sometimes even faster than that.  In the Robbie Burns run I even did a kilometer in 7:48!  That is amazing for me.  I feel good and strong. 

Yesterday marked 6 months without refined sugar and I credit my faster running to that.  No refined sugar means less processed junk food, which means better overall nutrition. Better overall nutrition means better physical fitness and faster running. I have learned a lot over the last six months.  There is quite literally no fast food restaurant that you can eat in without getting sugar.  Even a salad with grilled chicken has added sugar at McDonalds.  It's even in table salt!!  I am certainly much healthier now than I was when this started.  I feel better, stronger and happier. 

As far as swimming goes I managed 750 metres last weekend in about 38 minutes.  It's not fast but I am doing it and feel stronger every time I get in the water.  I can't wait until it feels easy though.  I plan to work on speed once I have the technique down.  I don't think I am doing too bad but I can only think of one thing at a time or I get caught up in things and end up choking on a mouthful of water.  Swimming is a much more mental game than running that's for sure.

I've also been on the bike a few times at the gym.  I am really just going for time and movement right now.  Once the weather warms a little I'll be able to pull my bike out and really get training on it. 

Six months sugar free and seven months (or less) until my first triathlon!!  This year is shaping up very well so far!

Friday, 30 December 2016

Just Keep Swimming!!

Tuesday morning was my first official swim in preparation for my triathlon in August.  I met the other ladies from work at the pool where we had rented a lane.  It was a great hour of water fun!!  I learned that my arm form isn't as terrible as I thought but that my legs don't propel me as well as I expected.

We started off with some instruction from our friend who has done a few triathlons and swims several mornings a week.  She gave us some pointers and made suggestions on where to start.  The biggest thing I knew I needed to work on would be getting my face in the water.  She suggested we start with a flutter board and some kicking to see where we were.  I learned very quickly that I am not an efficient kicker.  To the point that despite some mad kicking I was hardly moving at one point.  I am hoping it was in part my legs refusing to work after Monday's run. 

The next thing she suggested was putting a pull bouy between our legs and using just our arms.  Turns out this is something I am much better at.  Not necessarily good at, but better.  I was able to make it back and forth a few times without incident.  I even managed to get my face in the water quite a bit.  I panicked a couple times and got water up my nose but made it at least half way up the pool with my face in the water more than once.  That is a huge accomplishment.

Finally we practiced side swimming(probably not the right term) this I felt pretty good doing.  I ran into the rope and the wall a little bit but nothing terrible.

The thing I learned most that day was timing of breakfast is super important.  I ate too close to the start and spent a large amount of time with terrible heartburn.  I pushed through but there were definitely moments I wanted to quit and cry because it was so uncomfortable.  The heartburn started the night before a little and continued for the next day or so.  It's all better now though and I am ready to get back in the pool again!!  Lots of lane swimming is available at the Y tomorrow so perhaps I will take a trip over in the morning.

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Boxing Day 10 Miler

For the last few years a friend has run the Boxing Day 10 Miler in Hamilton.  It always sounds like an awesome way to keep on track over the holidays so I decided to jump on the wagon and do it this year too. 

Yesterday was the day!  It was a noon start race which was difficult to navigate as far as eating and drinking went in the morning but I did fine with it.  The run was pretty tough and pretty awesome.  There is one pretty big hill just before the halfway point but the beauty of that is you go back down the hill again.  I started out really strong. The cut off time was pretty tight with my pace so I had some alerts set on my watch to make sure I was within the limit but not going so fast I would hit a wall.  During the first half I felt strong and fast and my watch was confirming that I needed to slow down a bit.  I let myself go a bit faster than I normally do because of how good I felt.  The hill came and I was on pace to blow my best time out of the water.  The hill took that lead away though.  I made it up it in decent time but coming back down I could feel a nagging twinge in my right hip and knee.  This is an ongoing issue that hasn't bothered me in a while.  I kept on going but by the end my leg was screaming and tight.  I had to walk some but was able to keep my splits within the range of needed.  I finished with two minutes to spare for a time of 2:28:13.  I am happy with that because it is a full 3 minutes faster than my fastest 16k run ever.  I will be back next year to make that number even smaller!!

Friday, 2 December 2016

Well Now I've Done It!!

So a little over 6 years ago I started this journey.  It started with a "Tell me about the Runners' Edge Beginner Clinic".  I figured if I could run a little it would help me get some weight off.  I was "never" going to run further than 5k.  November 2010 I ran that 5k and said that was it.  I would keep going at that distance but no further.  Then someone said "How far are you going?" one Saturday morning.  I replied with "5k" which was met with an inquisitive look and a "why not further?".  Well I decided to try 6k that day. 

A few weeks later I thought, maybe 10k, I could probably do that but 10k would definitely be my furthest.  So I signed up for a 10k race in August of 2011.  Someone said the next would be a Half Marathon and I said "Nope! Never!". Then I ran that 10k and waiting for the shuttle back to the car I felt pretty invincible and thought "maybe a Half?" I got a text a few months later about a brand new Woman's Half and there would be wine!!!  Okay, maybe a Half but just one and that is it!! 

So I trained and ran that Half in 2012 and fell in love.  Decided that I could run more of these Half Marathons but "That's it!!  Nothing more!".  I have run four total and am signed up for my fifth in June 2017.

Then I thought hey let's get some good bikes to ride with the kids and for me to add some cross training but "That's all, no crazy duathlons or even crazier triathlons!" There are fish in the water you know! 

Then I went to cheer on a couple friends at a triathlon.  Hmm, Maybe a duathlon?  That never happened though.  Not sure why but it just didn't.  Someone kept telling me how fun triathlons were and I kept saying no way.  There are still fish in the water.  I can't swim well and there are fish!!! 

This brings us to earlier this week when I walked into the office.  I am looking at a couple of the same upcoming runs as a co-worker and the price was going up on one of them soon.  She says to me "Are you signing up?". I assumed she is talking about one of the races we were talking about.....she wasn't.  She said "check your email".  So I did.  There was an email about the Grimsby IronGirl Triathlon.  I giggled and told her she was crazy.  She told me there was a medal!!  And that it would be fun and a short distance, and I could touch the bottom the whole swim.  Hmm, maybe????

Then she talked to a few other people at work and all of a sudden it seemed like a great idea!  Now several of us are signed up.  That's right this "never more than a 5k" girl is going to become a triathlete on August 13, 2017!  It's going to be an interesting 8 months so stay tuned.  This is going to be fun!!

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

100 Days!

I've been pretty slack about posting lately.  Not because I don't want to or don't have anything to say but more because I have been busy living life. 

Today marks 100 days free from refined sugars.  In August when I made the declaration to stop eating it I had no clue what I was getting into.  I had no idea all the places sugar was hiding.  I am still amazed to this day when I pick up an item and it has some form of sugar in the ingredients.  As a result I rarely eat any packaged foods.  The only thing I can think of of the top of my head is plain or tortilla chips and cheese.  Everything else is generally whole, natural foods.

What have the benefits been so far?  I am certainly feeling better.  Much less heartburn, much more energy.  My running has improved drastically over the last few weeks too.  Each run my pace gets a little faster and the running gets a little easier.  That isn't from the lack of sugar though, that is from the overall better nutrition.  Trips to the gym are easier and feel better too.

Weight loss has come along with all these improvements too.  Of course in the beginning i shocked my system a little.  Went from eating okay but not great to eating mostly whole natural foods so of course there will be some loss.  Now the loss happens slower but it is happening. I am at the lowest weight in many years and feel better than I have in years.  Things are exactly where I want them to be at this point and I am content.  I will continue on this path for as long as I can see.  I have no intention of going backwards.

Monday, 10 October 2016

Happy Thanksgiving Canada!!

Today is Thanksgiving here in Canada.  We celebrated last night with extended family.  It was a great meal with great company.  I even made a refined sugar free pumpkin pie!! 
Today we went for a hike with the girls.  It was a beautiful day. Cool and crisp but fun.  This week my goal is to get back to some sort of daily workout. I have made a lot of excuses lately for not getting up early to run but tomorrow there is no excuse.  I can get to bed early today and up early tomorrow. 

Some pictures from today's hike:

Friday, 30 September 2016

Just Start

A few weeks ago I wrote about what I would tell someone wanting to stop eating refined sugar.  Someone who might be a bit hesitant.  Today I want to revisit that. 

I really honestly would say "just do it".  It seems overwhelming and scary but the longer I do this the easier it gets.  Yes there will be days you want to say screw it because you don't want to cook dinner and don't want to sit in a proper restaurant but you will sit back and figure it out and be completely happy in the end.  There are so many options if you are just bold and ask.  I have done this for almost 7 weeks now and I wish I had done it sooner.  Don't wait for the right time or until after the holidays.  There will always be a reason not to start but with planning you can really get through anything. Don't do it alone though!  There are lots of us out there willing to help you make the best of this new life.

It's an amazing one and I will never look back!