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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sunday long slow

Up bright and early again today, although it was HARD to get out of bed. After all, I had one cat snuggled in one ear purring, and the other on the other side, purring...very, very, very hard to get out of bed! It had snowed overnight, that nice fine, powdery snow, and it was cold. Think it was -12C when we started.
After 'sploding my oatmeal all over the microwave (this does not bode well for the rest of the day), I ate a quick slice of bread with nutella, a half a banana (that didn't make into said oatmeal), 2 sips of my latte and a glass of milk, before running out the door to make group run in time. Just made it!
Today our run was 16km, and we were running straight out to Shouldice Park from Eau Claire, and then turning around and coming home. The wind was on our back the whole way out, and we trucked along at a pretty good pace, I think. Feels a little slow (I always feel like I'm about to step on one of the other ladies...granted, I'm about a foot taller than them all!), but I'm sure we'll be picking up the pace soon. After all, our average pace today isn't much faster than what I did when I completed Vancouver last year!
Turned around, and discovered the wind and the windchill. It's listed at -17C right now, but coming right off the river first?? BRRRRRRR!!!! And we're nice and sweaty from running 9km so far...made for a chilly run back. But we all stuck to it (we call ourselves the Tailfeathers...we may be last, but we look good!) and finished 17.25km (we were trying to hit 18 for one of our group, who's also Half training right now) in 2:39. Did some serious stretching (my hamstrings were feeling all the loose snow running - it's like running on a beach, but not nearly as warm and sunny!), and then went a met a friend for lunch.
We met at the Diner Deluxe, this awesome little hole-in-the-wall place that is always lined up, and busy, busy, busy. They have every piece of '50s furniture and stuff that was thrown away by our grandparents, and that's how the place is decorated. Their coffee is strong and hot, and their food is GOOD! I had meatloaf hash on home fries & spinach (pan-fried hash browns, that had both white and sweet potatoes), with some sort of sweet salsa on it, and two poached eggs (poached the good old-fashioned way), with whole grain toast. It was perfectly cooked and perfectly proportioned, as I left satisfied and not full. My friend, who is a diabetic, hinted that she may want dessert, but we went next door to the bakery (where the diner gets all of it's bread and goodies) and she left with a piece of carrot cake. I left with nothing! After all, didn't just burn over a 1,000 calories to gain it all back with a piece of chocolate cake now, did I?
Waiting on a new tenant, who will "be right by with her damage deposit (that was 30 minutes ago), and then out to shovel the walks and then off to the hospital again. While I am happy Dad is getting the medical attention he needs right now, I am seriously getting very tired of the trucking back and forth. My poor little car didn't work this hard all year!!!
Will post about dinner later...maybe it'll even include pictures!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Saturday highlights

Got up bright and early, and picked H. up to go for weigh-in. I was down 3.6 this morning (yes, ma-am!!!), so have now lost the Christmas pounds I found in December. Yay!
After grabbing a coffee at 'bucks, H. and J. headed off to the mountains for some x-country skiing, and I headed to E.'s to check out her house (on the river in Inglewood...I want her house!) and her puppy Sadie. Sadie is a very young (9 mo?) German Shepherd cross of some kind (although I think I see Border Collie in her) and was very, very, very excited to meet a new person. She was a sweetheart though, so I could only laugh when she tried to be a lap-dog and literally pulled her mother off her feet at one point! Hope E. is okay!
Came home, had some lunch (breakfast was a latte, a whole bunch of espresso and a breakfast sangie from 'bucks) of KD - yes, that's what I wanted, so that's what I ate. Not sure is relish can be considered a vegetable, but that was the only green that went in!
After a quick nap on the couch, I thought I'd better get moving if I was getting anything done today. After all, I had a 6k steady to push out. Instead, I decided to go for a walk. So I headed over to North Glenmore park and did a 6k power walk, out and back. Watched the coyote get closer (after hearing it) but made sure it stayed down at the bottom of the hill, while I stayed up top. No desire to go one-on-one with a wild beast today.
Came home, after stopping in at the store to pick up some fruit for this awesome fruit salad Faye had posted this morning, and then home to eat some pizza. I did buy a ready-made, but added some green pepper, tomato and olives to 'green' it up a bit. Then off to get Mom, to go visit Dad. Apparently he is running away from home, as we had to bring along his wheelie-chair thing, his oxygen tank (because goodness knows, HOSPITALS don't have oxygen tanks to spare), more clothes, creams, razors...the list went on and on. Of course, this would be the day that I stopped at the post office to pick up an Epicure order, and now I'm trying to fit all this other stuff in my car as well. Have I mentioned I drive a 2-door hatch back SPORTS CAR?!?! Argh!!! I do love my parents, but once again, why aren't either one of my brothers at least taking one of these shifts I ask??
So, dropped Mom off and came home, and now I'm sitting here wondering if getting really stinking drunk would be such a bad thing! It would...because I'll be up bright and early (in the snow and cold) to do a 16k run, and then meet up with a friend that I haven't seen since before Christmas. And then home to do some more cleaning and purging and then back to the hospital and then it's back to work on Monday. It'll be like I never left!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday Frenzy

Got up bright and early (too early for a vacation day) at 7:30, and after a quick 1/2 a latte - I was so out of it, I forgot to put the lid on my espresso know, the part that keeps the steam IN, so that the precious, wonderful, elixir can come OUT?!?! Yeah...that part. Not a good start...realized that I also appear to have lost some time somewhere, so after gulping down a half a cup of OJ, I raced off to Mom's. We decided that today was the day that we were going to get her blood work, EKG, chest x-ray and bone density scan done. Picked her up at nine (she lives about 10km away), and headed off to the nearest clinic. It was busy, but not crazy. We waited roughly 20 minutes to get checked in (love THAT part) and then another 20 or so before Mom went back for the blood work and EKG. We were out in just under an hour.
Then we circled round to get to the radiology place. Finally found it - in a mall that has been around for a hundred years, and that I didn't even know really existed. Well, "mall" is the wrong word - it's a high-rise with professional wing, and all these odd little shops down the main foray - couple of clothing stores, a baby shop, typical corner grocer, drug store, etc. Who shops there?!? Anyway, got into the radiology place, only to find out that we needed an appointment. Hmmm...I swear the doctor said no appointment necessary, but whatever at this point. Luckily they had something in the afternoon, as I'm rapidly running out of vacation time/days! Decided to swing by the hospital (oh, yeah - my dad went into the hospital by ambulance late last night. I find this out picking mom up this morning...oy) to see if dad has been admitted yet, only to find out he was still in emergency. Mom went in and checked up on him, got her list of things to bring back, and we headed for their place.
Since it was just 11:30 at this point (and I was close to fainting from hunger) we decided to have some lunch. Let me describe my parent's usual lunch - 1 piece of cheddar cheese, 1 piece of Havarti cheese, 1 Brenton cracker, 1 slice of some kind of sausage, 1 small yogurt and a glass of milk. Hmmmm...following Atkins's, are we, mom?!?! By the way, part of the reason why we are doing the bone density scan and meeting up with a dietitian in a month is because my mother, who is 5'7" weighs 103 POUNDS!!! That was with clothes on!!!!!! Even the technician was taken aback by that number. ONE.HUNDRED.AND.THREE.POUNDS! I am almost double my mother, and only 3" taller...but I digress.
Anyway, got "lunch" out of the way, and returned to the radiology clinic for the rest of her tests. Luckily, we were in and out in under 30 minutes. I dropped her off at home, and told her to call me when she heard from either a) the hospital or b) my dad. I whipped home, inhaled a slice of bread (oh, precious carbs!) with some jam and cheese, and walked over to H-woman's to drop off a Tupperware order, and then popped into the new Tech Shop. They only moved across the street, but it's into bigger digs, and much nicer. And, for anyone interested, they sell the Sport Wash that Laura was talking about.
Got home, and this time inhaled a hummus, cucumber & orange pepper sandwich, before changing and heading off to Boot Camp. Where we got our butts KICKED!! Trainer Josh was in a mood...all I remember is that it involved a lot of running whilst carrying our weights (I'm lugging 16 pounds at this point), interspersed with lunges, squats, push-ups, plank, extensions, dips, sprints, etc. I think he just found this trail, and was happy that it was still light out for most of our class. All I know is that I may not be physically able to get dressed tomorrow morning!
Came home, called Mom (no word yet), called the hospital, found out what room he was in, went back and got Mom (all in all, I put over 100km on my car today alone), went to the hospital for a visit (he's in the COPD ward, which is a good sign, but they are really an unhealthy looking bunch!), got a new list of stuff to bring tomorrow, dropped mom off, spent a half an hour searching for something that was on dad's list before we found it and then came home. And realized that I haven't really eaten well today! And since it's after 9pm, I really didn't want to get into a big meal, either making it or eating it. So I opted for some scrambled egg-beaters and a couple of slices of toast. And made sure I had a vegetable in the form of a sliced tomato. Sorry, no pics...too hungry to take pictures!
I'm off to hit the sack shortly, as weight watchers calls tomorrow, and I'll be picking up H-woman at 6:55am. I remember when I used to sleep in...I miss those days...

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Where has the week gone?

Can't believe it's Thursday already. Only one more day of staycation, and then it's the weekend and then it's back to the grind...oh well. What do you do? Haven't won the lottery yet, so I can't stay home forever.
Woke up this morning with the tell-tale scratchy throat, itchy ears and stuffed up nose. My face ached last night, so I knew something was coming on. Just really don't want to deal with a cold now, so I pumped up the vitamin C, and got some OJ to be on the safe side.
Had my usual latte, and since I woke up slowly today, I decided pancakes (something brunchy) would be in order. I topped them with a banana, some toasted coconut and some melted nutella. Now this really reminded me of the crepes I had in Paris! Nom, nom, nom... And since the pancakes were on the large side, I did carry this over into lunch for me.
Puttered around the house some more, and then decided to walk to the bank (with a rent deposit) and then Safeway to pick up some stuff for Chicken is supposed to be the cure-all, right?

Walked home (it was nice but still a little chilly - the sun felt good though) and after making a pot of soup (carrots, celery, garlic, parsley, chicken and chicken stock into a pot - simmer), I decided I was hungry, so made a quick open-faced sangy of feta, basil and tomato. Nom, nom, nom...

When I was at Safeway, I saw a box for Matzo balls, and decided millions of Jewish mothers can't be wrong, right? The directions were simple enough...mix 2 eggs, 2 tbsp oil and 1 package from box till combined. Refrigerate for 15 minutes, roll into balls and drop into boiling water (in this case, chicken soup). Easy-peasy...I ended up with chicken matzo stoup!! My matzos did not stay in nice balls...they 'sploded...and they were SALTY!!! I did not enjoy my healing bowl of soup...I still hope it worked though.

Headed down to the Running Room for clinic tonight. After a brief talk on gear and then how to use the training website, we were off for an 8k steady run. Now, my 5:45 to complete pace says a steady pace should be 8:59. I am proud to say, that even with a cold, and having just run 10k tempo last night, Kathy and I maintained a very relaxed and comfortable 8:38!! Kathy figures at this pace, we should be finishing our marathons between 5 and 5 1/2 hours. Perfect!!
Now home, and chilled to the bone (it's -6C out there now, but I still sweat so bad, I'm soaked to the skin by the time I get home), so I'm going to have a cup of tea and relax.
Starting the day by running around with my mother, getting some more tests down, and then home to work in the apartment and then Boot Camp. Really?? I'm on vacation???

Beautiful Blogger

Thanks, Cowgirl Warrior for sending the Beautiful Blogger award my way. I am new to this world, and find it fascinating that people are actually reading what I have to say!
So, 7 things about me that people don't know...hmmm...this could hard.

1. I was adopted at birth, but unlike the majority of adoptees out there, I have no desire to find my birth parents. It's done, it's the past and nothing can be done to change it. Besides, I'm happy with my family...fate has a funny way of making sure you're where you belong.

2. I am a shy extrovert...I am loud and 'big' because inside, I am shaking in my boots meeting new people and going into unknown situations!

3. It has been 16 years since I have been in a relationship...and by relationship, I mean any situation where I have dated the same man more than once in a row!! Wow...that's kind of sad. And really, really scary!!

4. I prefer cats (and animals in general) over children. Really. Always have. I have never had my 'clock' go off (think I threw it out the window years ago, actually) and do not regret that decision at all. My friends can have all the babies they long as they get some sort of pet for me to play with, it's all good!

5. I have worked full time since I turned 18, and have never not worked since. Even through two years of college, I worked 30+ hours a week, took a full course load and in the last semester, did a weekly practicum job. Granted, almost killed me, but I survived. And since I was 16, not counting all the part-time jobs (yeah...why work just one job when you can never sleep or have a social life!), I have worked for a total of 3 companies...the bank (18 years), the medical beauty place (2 years) and my current company (10 years in April).

6. I survived Clinical Depression over 10 years ago now. I was off work for 6 months, seeing a psychiatrist, on anti-depressants and going to group therapy 4 times a week, but I came through the other side stronger for it. And that's what finally got me to leave the bank! So it's all good!!!

7. Even though I work in the Accounting department, and my title is Accounting Coordinator, I am not a trained or educated "Accountant". In fact, my college diploma was in Public Relations. And I suck at math!!! But spreadsheets rock, and I learn as I go. Good thing I totally rocked out finding the company and coworkers I did, because I love my job, I love where I work and I love what I do. most of the blogs I follow have already been tagged by this award, so I guess I'll leave it up to anyone who wants to comment to leave their own 7 unknown facts about themselves.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Tempo run

After everyone getting over the shock of seeing the new me - my pace bunny didn't recognize me at first, and Garrath kept looking at me sideways before he figured it out - we headed out for our 10km Tempo run. For my tempo, to finish, we should be averaging a pace of 8:09/km. Which we did achieve a couple of times...we're supposed to warm up for 2 km, but we started running with Garrath, so started fast! Well, fast for us (8:15)...there was also a new girl running with us tonight, and I think she's trying to run a 5 hr marathon - I was gasping a few times, just trying to keep up. But I held my own and once again, did not stop or a take a walk break. Okay, there was the one time we stopped, because my pace bunny has "Runner's Montezuma" affliction I have heard way too much about lately!!! I don't like thinking about my own bowels, honey...I don't need to hear about yours. Anyway, we stopped our watches so she could clamber down into the trees, and I looked off at the stars doing my best to think happy thoughts. I, by the way, have an incredibly weak stomach for stuff like this...I was proud that I kept my dinner where it belonged, but it was a struggle a couple of times!
Finished the run at 1:24, or an average pace of 8:28/km, burning 659 calories along the way! Yay me!
Stopped into the local pub for a pint - it has restorative qualities, I'm sure, and then home. I must remember to throw a dry shirt into the car to quickly change in to though, as I sat there shaking - it may be -7C with a -13C windchill, but I am still soaked to the skin by the time I am done the run. And I actually had pieces of ice in my hair tonight! Too funny.
The day was quiet - puttered in the living room, and hauled some garbage, boxed up some cardboard to go to recycling (I love selling Epicure, but man, the waste is embarrassing), and had some lunch. Breakfast was a latte, a bowl of Kashi and some almond milk. Lunch was leftover Thai Green Curry on brown rice, although I didn't eat all the rice. Then I headed off to the hair-dressers, not returning for 3 hours! It takes a long time to strip black out of hair and replace it with blond. Good thing I'm on vacation.
Came home, and threw some dinner together - I still had leftover vegetables from last night, so i tossed them back in the pan, and added some more oyster sauce, and then a handful of prawns. I then boiled off some rice noodles, and threw that in the pan as well. It was fast and delicious, because suddenly it was after 5 and I had to get to run club.
So now I sit here, trying to decide if I should eat - I still have some points - or if I'm even hungry. Maybe a glass of milk and then to bed. I'm cold and tired right now.
No big plans for tomorrow, except maybe I'll get the living room organized finally. Baby steps, right?
Later, they really have more fun??

Let's find out, shall we?
I HEART my hairdresser!!! He is a master!
Guess this means I'll have to update my blog photo, too.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Thai'd one on...

After all of Jaime's talk of Thai food, I had a real craving for some. I had bought this cookbook a while back, along with a Vietnamese one, and I really like it because the recipes are simple, and laid out so anyone can follow them. Shows you a picture of what you need, and lays it out step by step. I decided on a Green Coconut Curry - it was supposed to be with chicken and eggplant but I decided on shrimp and shitake mushrooms. Holy yummy! I also stir-fried a schwack of veggies (red & yellow peppers, carrots, celery, regular mushrooms, ginger, garlic, green onions, bean sprouts and mini corn, with a sauce made up of equal parts oyster sauce, fish sauce and sugar) to eat along side the curry (which also had bamboo shoots, kaffir lime leaves and basil in it) and with brown rice. A little bit of cilantro and fresh basil finished it all nicely. Have I mentioned YUMMY?!?!

The day started slowly. I allowed myself a little lie-in, till about 9. I am on holidays, after all. After puttering with a coffee and catching up on blogs and Facebook, I decided that I needed to do something. Had a few slices of rye bread with Nutella. Nope...not it. Needed more. So then I had lunch (where did the morning go!?) of leftover lentils & sausage. Then I geared up and walked to my dentist, to pay for Friday's visit; to the bank to make a deposit; to the grocery store to pick up what I needed for tonight and lastly to my hairdresser's to make an appointment to kill some gray hairs! Okay...a LOT of gray hairs! Remember last week when I couldn't get Mr. Garmin to shut off?? Today, I couldn't get him to stay on!! Grrr...really not getting along, although I see we're having a Garmin discussion at marathon clinic in a few weeks, so I should be able to last till then.
After adding up all my individual walks, I found I covered 4.44km in just over 50 minutes (that includes the many waits at the lights), and burned a couple of hundred calories.
Dropped off my groceries, and since I was already changed, I went out to do my 6km Tempo run. After a walk of 1.19km to get to the start, I headed out. the paths weren't too bad, but again, people in the city need to shovel. Heck, this city needs to shovel!!! Ran out 3km, turned around and brought it home. Didn't really slip, but had to ditch it a few times, to avoid the sheets of ice under the loose snow. Envision running on loose sand spread out on a pane of glass...great for the butt, but lousy for overall tempo pace/time. I didn't do too bad though, coming in at 50:52, or a pace of 8:28/km. I should be aiming for 8:09, but that can happen when the snow clears a bit.
Started on my living room, just gathering up some garbage and such. I am a clutter-bug, so I need to start in a corner and just purge. Like everything in my life, I JUST NEED TO DO IT! I'll be up bright and early tomorrow, as the fire alarm people are coming to test for two hours, so I won't be able to sleep through it...nothing else to do, may as well clean out a living room!
Started the rice cooking. I don't have any troubles cooking brown rice. I do buy the converted type, Uncle Ben's, and it's as easy as white for me. 1 part rice, 2 parts liquid. Boil, and once the water disappears, take the pot off the heat and let it sit. My rice was perfect. Since I was doing shrimp, and they cook quickly, I did all the chopping while the rice was cooking, and started the veggies first. Then I mixed together the powdered coconut milk with water (if you can find it, buy it! It's awesome to have in the cupboard, and then you only use what you need, not a whole can - made by Maggi), added the Thai Green Curry paste and some chopped up kaffir lime leaves (Epicure sells them) and let that start to steep. Added the bamboo shoots and the soaked, sliced shitake mushrooms (you can buy a gigantic bag of dried shitakes at any Asian market for dirt cheap, and they last forever!) and once the veggies were close to being done, I threw in the shrimp. Unfortunately, I had a bit of a boil over, and lost a lot of the sauce, but the curry was still phenomenal.
So now it's after 9 already. Where did the day go? I'll haul the garbage out to the bin, get the key/lock box ready for the fire dude, and then most likely hit the hay. I'll be up early, and purging, and then have a hair appointment at 1. More purging, and then run club at 6. Busy day.
Hope you all have/had a good one,

Monday, January 25, 2010

Time wasted...sort of

As some of you may remember (no pun intended), I was taking my mother for an Alzheimer's assessment at the hospital today. Took the day off work, so that I could be there for her, during this scary and confusing time for us both. My dad is basically house-bound, and not able to make the trip with us.
The appointment was at 9am, and we did arrive a few minutes early, what with me being unfamiliar with this side of the hospital. I learned something about my mother this morning...patience is not her strong suit. She was humming and hawing, and "how much longer do we have to wait"...OMG, Mother, it's been 5 minutes! Get a grip! Finally in we went with the pharmacist and a resident to begin answering questions. I tried to leave most of the answers up to Mom, although she did often look over to me for clarification and back-up. Then they took Mom off for a physical and the mental/memory tests. I was not invited. I sat in a room, by myself, with only two magazines for ALMOST TWO HOURS! Oy...I can probably tell you what page a specific perfume ad was on in the December Flare magazine, just in case you were wondering. Finally everyone reappeared, including the doctor that will be seeing Mom, although she was only there long enough to fill out the requisition forms and leave. Nice to meet you, by the way.
So, after all of this, we do not have an answer...we do not have a prescription...we do, however, have more running around to do. More blood work, and an EKG. Chest x-ray and a bone-density scan. Orders to quit smoking (Mom smokes 2-3 cigs a day, but that's still 2-3 too many), and to up her calcium and vitamin D. Appointment for a Pulmonary Function Test and a CAT scan has been ordered, but don't know when yet. Then, after all of that has been done and the results given, THEN we can all get together again and make a diagnosis. Okay...I am not a doctor...I fully admit to that. However, would it not have saved some time (and perhaps some precious brain matter for my mother) if at the time that all this referral business was going on, that they didn't say "oh, we also would like you to arrange for the following"...see, the pulmonary test isn't even till March, and God only knows when she's likely to get a CAT scan booked. It could be this time next year that we go back for the final diagnosis, and while I applaud the thoroughness, I would like to know what is wrong with my mother and how do we fix it! That was the whole point of this!!! Guess I learned my patience from my mother after all!!
Dropped Mom off at home, and after some puttering around there, I came back to my home. Had leftover lentils & sausage for lunch (I was STARVING - the kashi and almond milk at 7 was long gone), and then the strangest thing happened. I laid down on my couch and when I came to, it was 3:30! Oops!!!
Got up, changed and headed out for Boot Camp. TV said the temp was -13, and it was still snowing. It's been snowing off and on all day, so I knew we'd have a fresh blanket of the white stuff to play in tonight. It did not disappoint! Again, there were only 3 of us foolish enough to show up, so Josh put us through our paces. Started with a warm-up run (about 2km), and then right into the upper body work. Many, many, many shoulder presses and triceps work. I'll be lucky if I can get dressed by myself tomorrow! Stuck pretty much to the upper body, but did finish the hour with some good old fashioned core work - drop leg flies, hip bench presses, skull crusher toe touches (I love what Josh calls stuff!), and then moving on to V-sit shoulder presses (obviously didn't do nearly enough shoulder work), down to banana hold, leg presses and scissor kicks. He worked us hard!
On the drive home, I was trying to figure out what to make for supper, even thinking I'd stop at Safeway on the way home. But then I didn't want to get out of the car until I had too, so I thought "breakfast for supper"! And that's what I did...hash browns (frozen roasted potatoes with some chopped up red & green pepper, green onions), bacon (the REAL stuff), fried tomatoes (in the drained bacon 'drippings'), two dippy eggs (if they ain't dippy, they ain't worth eating) and Winnipeg rye toast. Two slices for dipping and two slices for 'dessert' - raspberry jam. Hit the spot nicely.

Was settling in for a night on the couch when the phone rang. It was H-woman, wondering if I wanted to go for a walk to Community Foods. So, changed again, and off we went. Turned out to be just under 4km for me (H-woman has another k or so to go to get to her house), and we managed to get all caught up on our weekends.
Okay, now I am settling back into the couch, and planning what to do with the rest of the week off.
Purging is high on that list.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The rest of Sunday

After lunch, I fought to stay awake, so figured I had better get outside and get the sidewalks done. Sadly, I don't have self-cleaning sidewalks, and I refuse to dump a ton of salt on top, so that it turns into a big, sloppy mess. The way I look at it, I just got in more cardio, as well as some strength training. It takes a lot to scrape a couple of inches of ice/snow off frozen cement.
Came back inside, sweaty yet again, and decided I needed to clean up my running gear as well. Hiked back down to the basement, but I decided to wash everything in one load. Mothers everywhere could be felt shuddering, as I threw darks, whites, undies, socks, hankies, running pants, technical gear, etc, into the washer. I did wash it all on cold, and nothing ran (even washed a red shirt - gasp!!)
While the laundry was drying, I did have a little nappy-poo on the couch. Except my hip kept aching and waking me up. It's just not as comfy as my bed.
Decided I wanted something with lentils for supper, so I got a pot of dried green ones cooking in boiling water, some salt and a bay leave. Let that go for about an hour or so, before draining and removing the leave. Then I took out a couple of venison sausages (that I won in the Christmas auction, and are beautiful and extra lean) and fried those up in a pan with a little evoo. Once they were nicely browned all over, I removed them and added celery, onions, carrots and garlic. Cooked those till just tender, added a can of drained diced tomatoes, some cumin and some oregano, the now chopped up sausage and the drained lentils. Finish it off with a refreshing hit of lime juice, and voila! I am a good cooker!!!

I'm off to catch up on some shows I have holding on my PVR, and then to bed early. I may be off work this week, but I am taking my mother in for an Alzheimer's assessment tomorrow at the hospital, and this is new for us all. Hoping to get some good news, in that we've caught it early and she reacts well to meds. Had a friend that lost her mother physically on New Year's, but mentally several years ago. Not the way for anyone to go.
Hope everyone had a great weekend.

Sunday group run, week 2

Up bright and early this morning, but it was after an almost 10 hour sleep! I was BAGGED last night, and finally gave up trying to stay awake at 9pm. And I wonder why I'm single?!
After a half a latte and a bowl of nutella/banana/coconut oatmeal, I headed down to Eau Claire to meet the group. Today I was going to have people to run the whole way with. What a concept!
The 'to finish' group consisted of myself, Kathy, Carrie and Barb. Kathy has done marathons, but I'm not sure about the other two. I know they've done halves, and Carrie is training for the Hypothermic Half coming up in a couple of weeks. It's sold out (of course), so I'm going to be a course Marshall and race support of some kind. That is after I've run 23km myself, of course!
We set out, and settled into a nice pace. In fact, I had to fight the feeling that we were going too slow! But my breathing was outstanding, and the ankle feels great. My hamstrings are cursing me out right now, but nothing a little extra stretching won't fix. Mr. Garmin (mine, like H-woman's is a man, because no woman would cause another female this much grief!!!) was doing great, until we reached the 12.38km marked. And then he went to have a nap or something!! He just stopped...don't know if he was too cold (under 3 layers, mind you) or if I sweat too much and he got wet, but needless to say, I had to calculate the final time and average pace, yet again!!! I hope Garrath does a session on Garmins, so that I can figure out why mine is giving me such grief this week. But, back to the run. Close as I can figure, we ran 16km in 2:27:14, or at 9:18/km. My heart rate averaged at 145 or 83% (which is awesome, cardio wise). Again, had to do some calculations, but figure I burned just over 1,000 calories.
After some good stretching back at base, I headed for home, as I really, really, really wanted the rest of my latte! A quick stop into Safeway, as I was out of contact solution, resulted in a few cans of cream of tomato soup, a loaf of Winnipeg rye and said solution. Lunch became a grilled cheese sandwich, cream of tomato soup with tomato chunks and dill, a glass of chocolate milk and some vitamin I!

Belly is full and happy, pain is subsiding, and the sidewalks are calling my name. I'll go out and get them cleaned up, and then come in and do some laundry. The sports gear is about to walk itself downstairs, so I figure I should get that done!
Still contemplating dinner (last night's turned into Epicure Roasted Red Pepper dip with feta, eaten with celery sticks and whole wheat pita), but I'm thinking something with sausage, lentils and involving a slow cooker. I'll see what I can come up with.
Details to follow.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Saturday weigh in

Down 1 pound...yay.
Up bright and early for meeting, picking up H-woman a few minutes earlier than normal, to try and beat the rush. At least we made the whole meeting this time. Then we headed off for coffee, where's H's friend J. picked her up early - so I sat there alone, hoping someone else would show up! C. did, and we had a nice visit. Breakfast consisted of a non-fat latte, with my 5 extra shots, and oatmeal with raisins and nuts.
Then I popped into the office (forgot to email my spreadsheet journal home, as I won't be at work next week), changed and went for my 6km steady run. It was -9C, with a windchill of -17C...the snow was flying sideways!! I ran out 3, turned around and ran back. The path was in okay shape...most of it had been swept and salted, except for the last km (closest to the turnaround point) which just made the workout more challenging. It wasn't so much slippery, but you still had to watch where you put your feet, and therefore clench the butt a little tighter. It's all good, right?! Once I returned to the cleaned portion, I was really able to pick up the pace...
Garmin says: okay...side note here. I didn't hit stop, because the Garmin said my workout was complete, and I figured that's what I've been doing wrong. However, today, I ran 29km!!! Okay, so I drove 23 of them, but boy, my time sure looks good!!
So, manually figured out Garmin says:
8:12/km average pace
49 minutes to complete
151 bpm, or 87% MHR
406 calories burned.
Was reminded during my run that even though I live in the heart of a large city, we're still very close to nature. Last week, it was the howls and yips of a pack of coyotes, near to where our boot camp is. Kind of freaky cool in the dark of night...listened to that one night during a camping trip a few years ago - didn't sleep a wink!

Last night it was the Great Horned Owl, cheering us on. Or sizing us up...not sure which!

Today, it was the Bald Eagle swooping by to have a look, while out hunting for some food. I love nature!
After a quick stop into Costco (on a Saturday...O.M.G. what was I thinking?!?!) to pick up contacts, I headed for home to eat lunch. I was HUNGRY! Ate the leftover Mexican chicken rice from Thursday, and now I'm thinking a wee nap is in order. Hasn't stopped snowing long enough for me to go shovel yet, so that will just have to wait till later.
Haven't decided what to do for supper yet, although given the weather, it should be something stewy or soupy like.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Finally Friday

It's been a long week, and I for one am ready for the weekend. Since it was my last day for a week (not going anywhere...just have some stuff to do around the house), I spent the day tidying up the desk. Forgot to send my spreadsheet journal home, so I'll pop in the office tomorrow and do that. And maybe while I'm down there, I'll head out for my 6k steady. At least I know the paths that way.
Breakfast, since it's Friday, was a non-fat, 5-shot, extra hot latte and a lemon cranberry scone. Not the greatest choice, since it's very white but I do so enjoy it's tartness. And since when did Starbucks extra shots go up $.20?!? That's a 37% increase! Holy...I may have to cut back. Sad for me...
Wolfed breakfast down a little quickly, as I had to leave the office at 7:45am to get to my dental cleaning by 8. Okay...I'll admit it...flossing appears to be a good thing. Sigh... My gums are healthier (although the mouth breathing isn't helping the front), she didn't have to stand on my chest to get all the plaque off, and she didn't cluck her tongue in disgust, not even once! And while I do need to get a filling repaired, no cavities! Got back from that around 9:30, and then was out the door again at 11:15, for my 11:30 chiro appointment. I hardly felt like I was at the office at all this morning! Good news from chiro...while the tendon is still "firm", it appears to be loosening (even after 1 boot camp and 37kms this week) and I don't have to go back for a full two weeks! This is huge, since I was going twice a week for the longest time.
Got back to the office and bought a veggie sandwich (cucumber, tomato, lettuce and cheese on ciabatta) with a bowl of Italian vegetable soup (it's a soup kind of day in Calgary - snowing, foggy and cold!), chock full of veggies. Yummy.
Worked the rest of the afternoon, and then it was set the "out of office" and I was outta there! Came home, changed and headed off for boot camp. It was even colder down by the river, I tells ya, but there were 6 of us hardy souls out for a butt-kickin! Trainer Josh was there tonight, and he worked us good. Started with a 2km run to warm up, and then right into the shoulder presses, lunges, squats (oh, so many squats!), bicep curls, kick-backs, rows, extensions...the list goes on and on. And in between all of these sets?? Run, sprint, high-knees, jumping jacks, butt kicks...anything to keep the heart rate up and the blood pumping. Did I mention it was cold (-9C)...the owl kept us entertained with all his hooting though. Very surreal coming through the night air like that.
Headed for home, changed (yet again) and made my usual Friday night fare. Lemony carbanara on whole wheat penne, and artichokes/roasted red peppers on the side. I decided I need to heat the veggies (still cold), so I tossed them in a pot with some Balsamic Fig dressing, and heated that till the sauce reduced. Meanwhile, I tossed the pasta with a beaten egg & lemon juice, still the sauce formed, and topped it with some grated parm. Once the veggies were nice and hot, I topped them with some goat cheese that I had in the fridge. A very tasty meal, indeed.

It's nearing my bedtime, especially if I'm picking up H-woman even earlier than normal, to avoid the seasonal rush at Weight Watchers.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Garmin Grrrrrrrr!

Last night it did this, and tonight it did the same thing. I finished my run, hit stop, swear it said "timer stopped" but IT LIES!!! The timer (and GPS) are still plugging away, so my 10k last night suddenly became 13 and tonight's 8km (even checked it at 8 to make sure it looked like it stopped) has turned into 10! That throws off my pace (which I'll have to manually calculate again) and my calories and my heart rate. GRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!
Today in a nutshell:
breakfast - oatmeal with milk, craisons and almond butter. Now I'm out of milk and nutella. I must go for groceries tomorrow night.
90 minute meeting with all the Technical Managers across Canada was interesting, although they did lose me at one point talking about some new fangled computer program.
lunch: Greek salad, whole wheat pita, hummus. A blueberry yogurt from our morning snack basket with 1/3 c All Bran. I feel the need for some fibre!

afternoon snack: 1 Ambrosia apple
dinner: diced up chicken in Mexican Rice, topped with salsa, shredded cheese and sour cream. It was nice, and just enough for run clinic.

Clinic was tonight, and we talked about the "do's & don'ts" of marathons. Funny how it seemed that Garrath was looking right at me whenever he mentioned a don't! Or am I just paranoid? Anyway, we were doing an 8k Steady tonight, but my pacer was away, so I was once again on my own. :(
I had everyone in my sight lines, but at about the 2k mark, I heard a voice...thought it was God, but turned out to be Garrath, waiting for me to change up my route. He didn't want me running the usual one on my own (it is dark and scary in some spots!), so once he was satisfied I knew the way to go, he took off again. What I ended up doing was running to 14th St, looping back to 10th, looping back to 14th and then east to Prince's Island and back to the Running Room. The only problem is (and the only time I stopped was when the light was red at 10th St!) when I got to the finish line, I still had 770m to go! So I turned around and did another loop down the pathway, until I ran out the 770. After all, training says to 8...I do 8!
Garmin says (after some quick math skills): 1:05.49, 8:26/km, 158 average bpm, 549 calories. Just checked the training schedule, and the steady pace for 'to finish' is 8:59, so I'm thrilled with 8:26.
Need to load up on some water and then to bed within the hour. My goal for the next few weeks to up my sleep, as I know that where I lack. And between marathon and boot camp, my body is going to need the time to recover!
P.S. Just had an email from Garrath, checking how my run was and to make sure I was okay. How freaking nice is that?!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Drinking group with a running problem

It turns out that's what my marathon clinic group is! After tonight's tempo run, everyone (ok, not everyone, but a large group) headed over to the local pub for a brew (and dinner for some) and some socializing. This is what I was looking for, as far as joining a group.
Day started out very early, as furbabies decided they were hungry/bored/hungry/angry-at-each-other/bored at 4am! I finally gave up at 5:30 (this is even after getting up and feeding them, at which point George turned up his nose and walked away - good thing he's cute!), got up and got ready for work.
It was a hard day, work wise, as I am updating data in a very archaic program that literally involves me entering each line of data. The databases are currently each about 7 pages long, printed out, and I have to update about 100 lines of data in each, and there are 3 databases in total. Oh, and have I mentioned that I am NOT IT?!?! But no one else will touch this, deciding it was my 'baby'. it all done (it's also very tiny print, and requires me to wear my readers while looking at the computer screen - I went home with a killer headache). Breakfast was the usual nutella/banana/coconut mixture, but sadly, I am out of nutella now! I'll make do with almond butter tomorrow, but I do have to get to the store at some point. Lunch involved a little walk down the block - no run, as I knew Wednesday group was running a 10km tempo - and then back to the office. I made a meatloaf sandwich, on rye and had a side salad of romaine, tomato, red pepper and mushrooms. Wasn't quite enough, so I did go downstairs and get a bowl of clam chowder. It was "creamy" or was it??? In fact, the ingredients list (our deli lists the ingredients on their website, but not the nutritional info) showed that it was a roux, with no cream involved. Tasty.
Finished work and headed for home. Quick dinner of Greek Salad (just tomato, yellow pepper, cucumber & feta, with Renee's dressing) and a whole wheat pita from the Greek Ladies, with some hummus. Rushed off to run club, hoping that my Greek decision wouldn't come back to bite me. I am happy to report that it didn't. I did take pictures, but honestly, am too tired to post them. Perhaps tomorrow, since that's what I plan on having for lunch!
I was a little apprehensive about the tempo run tonight...after all, I have not run further than 6km (after yesterday) without taking walking breaks, and as a tempo, we're not encouraged to do that. However, Garrath announced that he had a new pacer just for me (a 'to finish' pacer), and we took off behind everyone else. K. rocks!!! We maintained a steady 8:31/km pace and finished the 10km, only stopping once so K. could tie her shoelaces! I just ran 10km without stopping!!! HOLY MOLY!!!! Legs felt great, lungs felt great, body felt great! We talked the entire way (I can also never do that, always gasping for breathe) and I found out she works with some of the people that I did Boot Camp with last year. Sunday runs are going to be awesome! She did the Kelowna marathon in October and rocked out a 5:28 pace, so I'm happy to train with her...that's my goal for a marathon this year.
After we got back to the Running Room, where our leader Garrath was still waiting for us (wow...), and stretched, everyone kept asking if I was coming for beers...we do that??? Okay! Went across the street and enjoyed a pint of Guinness. Everyone else had something to eat, but I decided to stick to the Irish meal-in-a-glass!
Home now, and despite my eyes closing at regular intervals, I wanted to update the blog and my running stats.
Now I am going down the hall to crash!
Happy Hump Day...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Rocked my Tempo run!

Set the alarm for 5am today, so that after adding my usual 3-4 snooze hits, I was up, cleaned up, lunch packed and out the door by 6:30, and to work just before 7. Which is technically when I start...not the 7:16, 7:23, 7:27 that has been in the past! I am not a morning person yet, but I do still love leaving at 3:30!
Had my usual oatmeal breakfast (nutella/banana/coconut/milk), which powered me through to lunch. On the schedule today was a 6km Tempo run. "The purpose of the Tempo run is to be near the lactate threshold pace, 80% MHR (maximum heart rate or 220 less your age). They are designed to improve the lactate threshold, and therefore help people run faster". Garrath (instructor) had emailed us all last night, and explained that our Tempo today should be done the following way: ease into (warm up) the first 2km - that is go at a steady, but slower pace. Then really pick it up for km's 3, 4 & 5, pushing beyond your comfort level, and then use km #6 to slow down and cool down. Here's how mine looked:
km #1 - 8.07 pace, 140 bpm (80.5%)
km #2 - 7.56 pace, 150 bpm (86.2%)
km #3 - 8.10 pace, 154 bpm (88.5%)
km #4 - 7.58 pace, 154 bpm (88.5%)
km #5 - 7.42 pace, 164 bpm (94.3% - yikes...a tad high!), but totally rocked the pace!
km #6 - 7.40 pace, 163 bpm (93.7%) - apparently I don't know how to slow down, once I hit my stride!
Average pace of: 7.56/km (my fastest in forever!), 154 bpm or 88.5% MHR, burning 443 calories. And I felt pretty good by the end. Mostly I was the proudest of NOT STOPPING, NOT.EVEN.FOR.ONE.SECOND! Yay me! Of course, tomorrow night is Garrath's turn to push us through our paces, and we've got a 10km scheduled. I have never run 10km without a walk break, so this could be interesting...of course, until today, I have never run 6km without stopping either. Look at me...I am master of my own run path!!!
Cleaned up (and realized that last night's tabata was coming back to bite me...I could barely get my arms up over my head!), and had my lunch of the last of the veal taco (my shell broke, so it became a salad of sorts) with romaine, some cheese, salsa and light sour cream mixed together and a side of sliced red pepper. I had a half a grapefruit at 3, and just remembered that the other half is in my lunch bag. I shall have to move that to the fridge for a snack tomorrow.
After a quick stop in at the store to pick up hamburger, I came home and made a meatloaf, using the Epicure mix for Meatloaf.
As per usual, it's low sodium, nothing artificial and no MSG or bad for you stuff. It's quite tasty, and had everyone raving yesterday at the tasting party. That made me want to make another, and it's so easy-peasy. Mix the hamburger (I will add some ground pork next time, as that really upped the flavour and moisture) with egg, milk, bread crumbs, some S&P to taste and the meatloaf spice blend. Once it's all mixed well, put in a loaf pan and bake till done. I had some leftover gravy (again, from Epicure, and again, low sodium and no crap!), so I sauteed some mushrooms and added the gravy. That was poured over some roasted potato & carrots and the meatloaf. It may look like a dog's dinner but it was divine.

After snacking on some way too fresh (read - dangerous!) Winnipeg rye bread (with buttah and jam), I am trying to hit up the water bottle instead and get ready to go to bed. Contacts are already out...just have to shut down, make sure everything is put away in the kitchen and floss. I'll take leftover meatloaf for lunch, probably in a sangy, so that just leaves a side to make. Most likely salad or some raw carrots and celery. I'll decide in the morning.
BTW, way to rock the X-weighted challenge everyone. Good job!!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Monday ramblings

Check out this Amazing Giveaway, care of Jaime (Embracing Balance). It would be a very cool thing to win, so fingers crossed.
It was an odd day today...I was hosting an Epicure tasting party at lunch time (I got all my coworkers hooked on Epicure years ago, so it's a good way to introduce the new products). That means I drove to work (silly, really, since I live less than 2km away) as I had food, product and pans to serve it all in. I made the new Meatloaf mix (which was a hit!), Gravy mix (equally popular, and way less sodium and crap than those packaged brands), Fettuccine Alfredo (okay, except the pasta clumped up in the slow cooker, so was kind of unappealing) and Mac & Cheese (a big MISS). I also made an apple/cranberry crisp, to showcase the new Fruit Crisp Spice blend. Rather than just have a lunch of bits & bites, I went downstairs to our deli (after the launch) and bought a veggie sandwich on ciabbata. Filled the hole. Yummy!
Came home, unloaded the car, changed and went to Boot Camp. Only 3 of us showed up tonight. Are you kidding me?!?! It was +3, for crying out loud. I guess everyone else wanted to be downtown to watch the torch run. Trainer Josh wasn't available, as he was covering for another trainer, so we had Trainer John. I met him last year, when Josh was "interviewing" him to join the Survivor team. He was really good, actually...way better than the last two subs we had. Kind of felt bad that so few of us were there, but he pushed us through our paces anyway.
Started with a 2km run to warm up...despite it being really nice downtown, it's blinking cold down by the river, in the twilight. Returned to base, all toasty warm to start Tabata training. This is the 20 seconds of intense followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated 8 times, or for 4 minutes total. I actually like this, as the rest of the hour flies by!
We did Tabata of:
push-ups (holy mother...4 minutes of push-ups is HARD!!)
alternating lunges with weights
boxing punches, with weights. I had to drop mine after the 2nd 20 seconds, but I just punched faster.
We then did a full minute (or was that two?) of butt kicks, to ramp up the cardio again.
Returning to tabata, we then did step-ups, followed by kick-backs.
To end the class, we did heel crunches (just like a regular crunch, but reaching for your heels, so you work the obliques as well).
Some stretching and then th 6pm class was all his!
Driving home, I realized that the Olympic torch potentially stood between me and my dinner! You see, I had to cross part of the route in order to get home, but beat the torch by mere minutes (I could see the police lights just down the block). As a native Calgarian, I do still fill with pride when I think about the Olympics, and what a blast they were. We have the Tower lit tonight, which makes me tear up every time! And the young girl who lit the cauldron in '88, lit the cauldron tonight, to mark the days end of the torch run. It's hard to watch the news while crying!
Dinner was fast and DELICIOUS! I fried a piece of tilapia in a tsp of evoo. Meanwhile, I got the water boiling to cook some orzo pasta. After the fish was done (less than 3 minutes per side), I pulled it out to settle, and into the pan went a clove of garlic, some grape tomatoes, some kalamata olives and some chili flakes. Once the tomatoes started to give up their juice, I added some parsley and the fish. Served it all over the orzo and topped it with some crumbled feta, with dinner being done in about 10 minutes, start to finish. Have I mentioned that it was delicious...and very light, and very filling at the same time. Looks like a lot of food, but it's on my small plate. My dinner plates are too big for my dishwasher, so it turns out, and I hate running the thing only to find out that nothing got clean, because the bars got stuck on a plate!!
Going to tidy up dinner, figure out something for lunch and go to bed. I was up far too late last night, and far too early this morning! I am beat!!!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Weekend wind down

Ended up walking to the grocery store after a brief nap on the couch. That was after I had a bite to eat for lunch. This is from M&M's, and it was an okay 4 points for a bowl of nice, flavourful French Onion soup with cheese and the soggy bread (which wasn't too bad, as there wasn't much). And considering it starts out as a frozen block that you put in a bowl (yes, I actually have French Onion bowls...and escargot bowls...and every other kitchen gadget/bowl/device that you can think of!) and put it in the oven to bake, it's pretty darn simple too. I needed it to warm up after the chilly -10C 2 hour run this morning.
After carrying a lot of groceries home (I think I may have been a Sherpa in a past life!), I made some dinner. I had some taco shells, and some avocados, so I decided it was taco night. I used veal scallopini, since it's already sliced so nice and thin, and every colour of pepper I had in my fridge. Mashed an avocado with the juice of half a lime (the other half went on the veal) and added some Epicure Guacamole dip mix. Tossed the peppers, onion, veal and Epicure Fajita spice blend together, and let it cook through, browning the onions and peppers. Topped with some salsa (sorry, not Epicure, but it's just as good!), the guac, some lettuce, light sour cream and shredded cheese, and I had an outstanding dinner. And yes, that's an Epicure frying pan that dinner cooked in!
Been planning out the rest of the evening, trying to figure out what I need to get ready for tomorrow's Epicure tasting at lunch. Just can't get into it, so I may go to bed and try first thing in the morning. Except I'm also not much of a morning person! So I'd best get at it. Just have to load up the catalogues, order forms, float, new products and then prepare the food samples. The hardest part will be the meatloaf, as I'm making meatballs for tasting purposes. Just easier to transport and keep hot in a slow cooker than an actual loaf would be.
Managed to enter my weigh-in finally for X-weighted, and happy to report a 3 pound loss this week. Yahoo! I also like the 8+ hours of activity that I recorded this week. That should be the norm, given Boot Camp and running clinic. I just need to figure out why hitting goal is important to me, and what's kept me from doing just that in the past, although I'm going with fear. Fear of having to face the world without a wall of fat to hide behind.
Okay, after some cuddles from Miss Coco, I'm off to the kitchen.

Side note...the kids are fighting right now. I can hear them through-out the apartment, and it appears that they are scrapping over who gets to sleep on my sweatshirt. I guess I should get in there and see if I still have two cats left!

Sunday group run

This is the first time I've ever done the Running Room Sunday morning group runs. I did the 10k clinic years ago, but that was before when I used to sleep till 11 or so on Sundays, and I thought "you want to do what at WHAT time?!?! Na-uh!" I was surprised by all the people down at the Eau Claire Running Room this morning, for all the long runs. There are groups for Learn to Run, 5k, 10k, Ladies only, Half, Full and Full Walkers, so there were people everywhere! Got sorted into our groups, and then into our pace groups. While I am the slowest (read: last) person in the clinic, I was placed with the 4:45 group. I did my best to keep up, and I am proud to say, I did just that until about the 10km mark. Then the hips and thighs started to seize a bit, slowing me down. Didn't help that the person who planned the route this morning was obviously drunk, as we went up hills, down hills, jay-ran when there were paths to follow, ran streets that haven't been plowed since LAST January, etc. It got a bit challenging towards the end. But we ended up doing 13.93km (supposed to be 13), and my pace of 8:13 is in line with my weekly pace, and a full minute faster than last week's 10km LSD I did alone. So I need the group to keep me going, I guess.
Tried to have an early night, after seeing Up in the Air (two thumbs, arms, legs, feet, etc up! Most fabulously excellent movie...funny, touching, heartbreaking and not your typical Hollywood ending! And it was could you go wrong?), so managed to be in bed by 10:30. Slept till 7, with a few interruptions from the furbabies, and then got up and ate some oatmeal (my usual nutella-banana-coconut) with a half a 1% latte. I am not running anywhere without some caffeine in my system!
After the run, came inside the mall, and did some stretching (although my butt and hamstrings are calling for a bit more), then came home and jumped in the shower. I was FROZEN by this point. I tend to sweat...I don't glow...I don't perspire...I SWEAT! My hair was soaked, my top was soaked, the vest I wore on top of the top was get the picture. Add -10C temperatures to a wet body, and what do you get? One shivering mass! I even took the time for a sugar scrub (Rocky Mountain Soap Company's Spicy Mandarin Orange), so now I'm all warm and soft and buttery. Finished my latte, but now I need to find something for lunch. Then I have to get stuff ready for an Epicure tasting at work tomorrow (I need to pay for Conference!), which will involve a trip to the grocery store. Haven't yet decided if I'm walking or driving...we'll see.
Hope everyone has a great day.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Weigh in and run

197.2 - I'll take it.
Coffee with the girls - fabo! It was good to get all caught up. Breakfast consisted of a Green Monster and 5-shot, non-fat latte.
Farmer's market - equally fabo! Had a falafel wrap from the Greek Ladies...OMG YUM! Stocked up on feta, parmesan, apples, peppers, carrots, pita, cucumbers. I have a happy fridge.
After a brief, somewhat accidental nap, I finally got my butt in gear and went out for run, to get in my scheduled 6km steady run. My goal was to not walk it once, and I was doing really well, until I hit the ice slicked pathways on the east side of the Elbow River. Holy one point, without my feet moving, I was sliding backwards down a hill! I did not fall though, and finally got through the very nasty patch unscathed.
Garmin says: 52:40:53, 8:46/km, 151 bpm (86%), 357 calories
Slightly slower than the mid week runs, but as I said there were a few spots that I came to a deal halt to try and figure out which way to go.
Heading out to see Up in the Air with H-woman shortly. Mmmmm...2 hours of George Clooney, in all his hotness.

Friday, January 15, 2010


Spent the day recovering from last night's pace run. Ankle still feels good, but both feet were sore first thing this morning. I decided to fully take the day off, and did not go to Boot Camp. The new schedule starts next week.
Since it's Friday, and I do heart Starbucks, I don't bother packing breakfast or lunch. Breakfast today was my usual vente non-fat latte, but since I have 5 shots of espresso, as opposed to the usual 2 (yes, that's right...there's only 2 shots in a vente drink!), the milk is reduced even further, so I count it as 2 pts. I also enjoyed a raspberry wheat scone, but not as much as the lemon cranberry, especially when there's only a 1 point difference. Ten points for a scone is harsh, but it's once a week, if that.
Since today was an 'off' day, I joined the fellas for lunch at the local food court (who all questioned what the heck I was doing when I pulled the camera out of my purse! They would not let me take snaps of them though...sorry...). Not too much in the way of choices here: a sandwich deli, Subway, a Korean place, an Indian place, Jugo Juice, Pita Pit, A&W, a Japanese place and a Chinese place. I went for the safe bet, and got a 6" roast chicken on whole wheat, with cheese & mustard and loads of lettuce, tomato, pickles and hot pickled peppers. Six points. Skipped the bag of chips and/or cookie.

Got back to the office, and after about an hour (and half of my water bottle gone) I decided I was still hungry. Headed downstairs, and bought one of the last bowls of soup left for the day. It was a creamy tomato, but also had a ton of vegetables in it. That filled the hole quite nicely.
Finished the day, with two last minute requests almost completed, and now are pending first thing Monday - one from my new boss and one from a former that retired and now consults for our company. Walked home in nice, albeit breezy weather (wind gusts of 70km an hour!) and after feeding the furbabies, and changing into very comfy clothes, I made my Friday go-to dinner of lemon carbinara pasta and artichoke "salad". The artichoke salad consisted of a jar of water packed artichoke hearts marinated in a tsp of evoo, white wine vinegar and Epicure Roasted Red Pepper dip mix. At the last minute, I added three small roasted red peppers (again, packed in water) to it, to add some more colour and texture. For the pasta, while whole wheat linguine cooked, I whisked together one egg and the juice of one lemon. Once the pasta was cooked, I drained it, reserving about a tbsp of the water, and put the pasta and water in the pot. Pour in the egg mixture, and very quickly, start stirring. The heat from the pot and the pasta will cook the egg, but you have to keep stirring, otherwise you end up with scrambled egg pasta, instead of it turning into a smooth, velvety sauce. Toss in a little bit of parsley and some Parmesan, and BAM, dinner is done!

Looking forward to weigh-in tomorrow, both WW and X-weighted (crazy, I know!). I've got almost 6 hours of exercise time recorded, with the ratio between intense (you should see me sweat at Boot Camp!) and moderate almost evenly split. Because it's not really exercise to me, I don't count my walk to & from work every day, since it's something I've done every day for the last (almost) 10 years. But I did measure it once with my Garmin, and I walk a total of 3.7km 5 days a week. That's almost another 20km a week. Wow.
Really, really looking forward to coffee with the girls, as it looks like all of us will make an appearance! This will be the first time since the beginning of December, I think. Then hopefully H-woman and I will make a run to the Farmer's Market, as that's been since November or even earlier...I am desperate for some good, fresh vegetables. Writing out the list, even as I type. Then I've got to get in a 6km steady run, and prepare for my first clinic group run on Sunday, a long-slow distance of 13km. I'm a little nervous about that, but even if it means I trot in on my own behind every one else, so be it. I have a Garmin; I can set it for 10:1's and I can aim for a good, even pace.
The couch is calling me name, everyone, really it is!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

What have I done???

Tonight was the first night of Marathon Clinic, and I'm afraid!!!! It was a pretty hard-core looking group milling about the Eau Claire Running fact, most looked like they've all run marathons just last week!!! One lady was discussing Boston, and since you have to qualify for that (which begs the exactly did Valerie Bertinelli (did I spell that right) get in?!?!), she's already run at least one. After intros, Garrath (our leader) decided that we were doing time trials tonight, to take advantage of the fact that it's still +6 at 6:30 in the evening! What the?!?!?!? "Just" a quick 5km run to see which pace group we would start out in. Um...I can tell you that, without even having to go outside, but I'll give it my all anyway. I was last, all the way, but I DID NOT STOP RUNNING the entire 5km!! I am very proud of me just for that alone. I've heard really good comments about Garrath as an instructor, and tonight I found out why. He was waiting for me at the half way point, and ran back the entire 2.5km stride for stride. We talked about my Vancouver experience, and running history, and he even managed to get me to speed up a bit. I was officially last (told everyone someone had to stay with Garrath, so he wouldn't get lonely!) but am feeling a bit better about this group. My time was 39:and change, which is under 8/km, which is my fastest pace in forever. Sadly, the group average is about 2 minutes faster then that. Uh-oh...but someone has to finish last, or we don't know it's over, right?!
Day in recap:
Breakfast - nutella-banana-coconut oatmeal with milk
Lunch - just walked to the bank, as I wasn't sure if we were running tonight or not. Had leftover beef burger, gravy and roasted veggies. But I was still hungry, so I grabbed a spinach salad downstairs, which had about 4 cups of spinach, artichoke hearts, cherry tomatoes and feta cheese. I topped it with fat-free Italian dressing. Filled the void, but nothing spectacular.
Had to go the vets after work, to pick up more insulin for Mr. George. Made really good time, as most of the trip was spent in the +15's. If you're not familiar, they are a raised walkway that joins most of the buildings in Calgary's downtown core. I went from 3rd Ave & 5th St SW to 10th Ave & 2nd St SW without having to step outside, or wait for a set of lights to change. Then it was straight up 2nd St to 17th Ave, picked up the insulin and then back home (6th St & 15th Ave)...all in all, a good healthy hike before running club!
Dinner was a very quick omelet, albeit an rather unattractive one. Just once I want it to fold over nicely and stay that way right to the plate. I diced up a couple of roasted red peppers (packed in water) and sweat them off, before adding two stirred eggs with some water and spices (Epicure Roasted Red Pepper dip mix). When it was almost set, I sprinkled on an ounce of goat cheese. It tasted far better then it looked.
Home from run club, and am now debating my weekly schedule. As much as I love/hate Boot Camp, I think I'm going to restrict it to Mondays and Fridays, so that I can focus on running on Wednesday (the group meets Wednesdays and Sundays for group runs, and Thursdays for clinic and a run), because I really want to work on my speed. I'd like to finish a marathon in under 5.5 to 6 hours.
So I think my week will look like this (we'll also see how the foot likes it):
Mondays: 1 hour Boot Camp
Tuesdays: scheduled Tempo run at lunch
Wednesdays: scheduled Tempo (Hills/Fartlek/Race Pace) with the group at 6pm
Thursdays: scheduled Steady Run with group after clinic
Fridays: 1 hour Boot Camp
Saturdays: scheduled Steady Run
Sundays: scheduled LSD with running group
I'm exhausted just looking at it! LOL
Okay...I think I'm hungry (having some water, just to be sure) so I'll have a bowl of Kashi with almond milk (only 3 points and filling), catch a little TV and then hit the sack.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


I may be complaining about my sore muscles, about having to lose weight and all the other "struggles" that I endure every day...but I am alive and well and not in Haiti.
Give your thoughts and prayers, and more importantly, help those that can directly help the Haitian people through this unspeakably horrible time.
Samaritan's Purse
Canadian Red Cross

I heart Boot Camp

My heart hearts Boot legs, butt, abs and arms, not so much!! I was another awesome night, despite being stiff and sore from Monday!
The day started as usual, with my nutella-banana-coconut oatmeal, and a glass of milk. Ran again at lunch, and I am proud to say that I shaved a full 21 seconds...yes...TWENTY-ONE SECONDS off my time from yesterday!!! Celebrate every victory! The sun was shining brightly today, and at +5C, it was a glorious day for a 6km tempo run. Managed to restrict my walking to three brief sessions, just like yesterday, but I really tried to keep up the pace. Even remembered to take the iPod today (don't usually run with it anymore...Vancouver ruined it for me...silly rules!), and decided I really like running to the Black Eyed Peas...good beat that is maintained through-out, which is helpful to maintaining a good running pace.
Returned to the office and ate the last of my turkey meatloaf, a few stalks of celery and a carrot. A 1/2c of lightened coconut yogurt with some All Bran for dessert. Yum. Afternoon snack was an Ambrosia apple. I've been very disappointed the Pink Ladies this year, so switched this week.
Got home, changed, wolfed down a slice of rye with some nutella and headed off to Boot Camp. Trainer Josh decided since he was "so nice" to us on Monday by "taking it easy", he was going to really crank it up today! Uh-oh... We started with a good old cardio session...running up the road leading into Edworthy Park. It's just over a km long and goes up and up and up and up and up! At least his rule was whoever reached the top first, take a quick breather, and then "rescue" everyone else on their way down. Thank goodness...although I made it further than I expected. Next time, I'll make it further, this I vow!
Returned to the meeting spot, and broke out the mats and weights. Started with a countdown: 10 push ups, flip to your back and 10 'raise the roof' (full sit up, while pushing your weight up over your head), 9 push ups, 9 rtr's, 8 and so on. Made it down to 4 before the first person finished (who is this keener?!?) and we could all stop. Then we switched it up to...okay, so I've totally forgotten what Josh calls it, but it amounts to this: do a set of something for 20 seconds, rest for 10, next set for 20, rest 10, etc, for a full 4 minutes. Which honestly flies by! We did burpees for 20, dropped to our backs for drop-leg flies for 20, got back up and did thrusters for 20, rest for 10 and finished off with bent over rows for 20. Rest for 10 and repeat. Then we switched to jump squats (I did sumos) for 20, rest for 10, static leg lunges with flies for 20, rest for 10, switch legs with curls for 20, rest for 10 and finished off with...blanking on this one! We did repeat it all though, for fun! Then we dropped to our mats for alternating 20/10 sets of full body bike and scissors. After all of that fun, we did some planks and ab work to finish up the day. I may have to pay someone to go get my coffee tomorrow morning!
Came home from workout, very sweaty (it's dark by the time boot camp is done, and the temp has dropped to +1 - it was brisk, being all wet and sweaty like that!) and cold. Decided it was best to change into dry clothes and start laundry - I mean really...I've run 6km, I've done an hour boot camp, so why not add 3 loads of laundry that involve 3 flights of stairs (down & then back up again) each!!
Dinner was quick but good...I tossed together cauliflower, broccoli, carrot and brussel sprouts with some evoo and threw it in the toaster oven to roast. I also cubed up a potato and threw that in beside. Cooked a couple of the President's Choice light burgers in a frying pan, and then browned some diced up mushrooms in the pan juices. Meanwhile, I mixed up some Epicure Gravy (new this season) in the microwave - it's low sodium and artificial anything/crappola free. Less than 3 minutes, and I had gravy.
Poured that over the burgers & mushrooms, and let it all meld together. Once all my veggies were nice and toasty brown, dinner was ready. Tasted awesome, but I managed to stop myself from eating it all, and now lunch for tomorrow is all packed away!
Sorry for the long post...I do tend to ramble. Over 5 hours of activity in the X-weighted challenge so far, and I have another 6 km to run tomorrow. That's if I can actually managed to get out of bed!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The day after

Good thing Trainer Josh said he'd take it easy on us, since it's the first day back after the holidays. My teeth hurt today! But it is a good pain! I like the pain of stiff muscles, because that tells me I've work. Now when the pain is associated with redness and swelling, that is bad. And thankfully I don't have any of that.
After rediscovering my ab, inner thigh and butt muscles this morning, I walked into work. Breakfast was the usual oatmeal concoction (not tired of it yet), with a turkey meatloaf sandwich waiting for me for lunch. I have to come up with something to jazz it up tomorrow.
Marathon training, which started on Sunday, dictated a 6km tempo run today. The goal of a tempo run is to maintain a heart rate in the 80% range of your maximum for 20-30 minutes. Granted, I am not at the speed to run 6km in 30 minutes, but I was willing to give it my all. I headed east from the office, going under the Centre St Bridge, down to Langevin (4th St E), crossing the river (this is the first point I walked, roughly 1.5km into the run), and returning all the way to 10th St W. Again, I allowed a brief walk (doing my best to maintain a good pace) at 3rd St W, before running to 10th St. Crossed the river again (and walked half way) before running it back in to the finish. I did have to do a weird little loop of the building in order to hit 6, but that's fine. I am pleased with my numbers, and more importantly, how good my foot/ankle felt. Took 49:35 to run 6km, averaging 8:16/km (fastest yet) and maintaining an average HR of 159 (still high at 91%). Also burned off 389 calories.
Went to the chiropractor after work, and after a quick session, he determined that I don't need to see him for about 10 days. Walked home, and whipped into Safeway for some apples, celery, mushrooms (for supper tomorrow) and milk. Finished the walk home (still feeling good!), and started supper.
Actually the chicken was marinating since last night in evoo and Epicure souvlaki seasoning. In order to not c"cook" the chicken, I didn't add the lemon juice until today. Made a salad of green pepper, grape tomatoes, cucumber, kalamata olives and feta cheese. Then I cooked up some orzo pasta to eat on the side. Whole wheat pita and homemade tzatiki (plain yogurt, garlic, cucumber and lemon juice) rounded out the meal.
Oh, and keep an eye on those food labels. The Safeway Eating Right brand of multigrain pita is higher in fat, calories and lower in fibre than good old Safeway Brand whole wheat ones! Good to know. Ate dinner, and am drinking back some water, to offset the salty (but GOOD) olives.
I've already earned 3:21 minutes in activity for the X-weighted Challenge, and will earn even more tomorrow, between the 6km run and Boot Camp. That's if I can get my butt out of the bed, of course.
I am beat...there is no other way to describe it, so I think I'm going to clean up and hit the sack. I was awake for no reason in the middle of the night (menopause popping in for a visit?? I freaking hope not!!) before managing to fall back asleep. But since I got home, I've been barely able to keep my eyes open, even dozing off during the 6 o'clock news!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Boot Camp Bliss!

All day, it's all I could think about...Boot Camp starts tonight! Yay!!
Doesn't everyone look happy?! That's Trainer Josh in black! And yes...that is a big ol' pile of snow that we were working out in!!
Started the day late...furbabies woke me up at 4:15 hungry, so I got up and gave them both a nibble. Then I couldn't fall back asleep until, of course, just before the alarm went off at 5:30! Typical...exhausted, I hit snooze, and did such a successful job that I slept quite nicely till 6:20. Have I mentioned that I start work at 7?! I ended up getting in about 20 minutes late, but I have a very awesome boss. She knows I get my job done, and done right, so she doesn't freak out about start/finish times.
Breakfast was banana-nutella-coconut oatmeal, which is just what I needed. I was HUNGRY this morning.
Since Monday is an off day, I worked a bit through lunch (still felt guilty about coming in late) and then went for a quick little walk through the park. It's such a shame to waste a beautiful day in January, and the sun was shining and the temp about +7C.
Lunch was leftovers from last night. Whole wheat penne, marinara sauce, turkey meatloaf and some green salad (ate all the brussel sprouts last night).
Then I began to bounce...I was very excited and looking forward to returning to Boot Camp! Finally it was time to leave (I felt like a kid at school, waiting for that bell to ring), and I raced home, changed, grabbed my gear and headed out.
It turned out to be a big group, but mostly all regulars, although there were a couple of faces I didn't recognize. We started with a nice run to warm up (class starts at 5, so the sun is starting to set, with the temperature dropping), which I managed to run the whole time (roughly 2km). Then we grabbed our weights and reintroduced ourselves to lunges, squats, flies, curls, kick-backs, overhead extensions, push-ups, dips, crunches, obliques, etc. About halfway through, Josh had us sprinting, with "rest" periods of squats. I think the highlight was stamping out a patch in the snow (still about 8-10" deep) and laying down our mats to do the ab work! Already feeling body parts seizing. Yay!!!!!
Came home famished (and realized that I left my water bottle sitting out on the table in Edworthy park...crap), so I whipped up a very quick dinner of fresh canned salmon (caught and canned by our company owner - okay, professionally canned at the fishing lodge, but still) mixed with capers, green onions, celery and light Miracle Whip. I spread that on rye bread and toasted it with a slice of skim mozzarella, and served it beside a carrot and some cucumber. Quick and satisfying.

Must intake some more water, and then hit the sack. I've got 6km to run at lunch tomorrow, so hopefully all the muscles are cooperating.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sunday recap

The tenth day of January Unbelievable...
Dinner from last night: brown rice cooked with some wild rice (for even more fiber) and some Epicure Herb & Garlic dip mix. Roasted some spinach with grape tomatoes in evoo and balsamic vinegar, just till the tomatoes started to split. Lastly, a piece of salmon from M&M meats (herb & garlic, hence the rice), which was easy-peasy to cook (unwrap from package, place in oven). I was planning on making tonight's dinner last night, but didn't have one key ingredient and didn't feel like going out to get it! Hence reaching into the freezer and improvising.

Slept in today till 10, after a Medium marathon last night - I have the whole season on my PVR - made for odd dreams, I tell you. It was glorious though, even with the usual 5:30am wake-up to feed the furbabies. Puttered around, tried my new espresso maker (like my old one way better, although this one steams the milk, while my old one doesn't), had some kashi, banana and almond milk for breakfast, and after much debating and delaying, finally got my butt out the door for a run. Goal today - 10km. Walked to my usual starting point, which is about a klick from my house. Then, after walking the nasty, treacherous bridge, which the City hasn't shoveled in FOREVER, I started to run. Realized that the Garmin was set for the distance, and not for run/walk pacing, so I just kept my eye on the time, and tried to walk when 10 minutes had passed. It was a lovely day for a run, although I'm still happy I wore a light coat over my shirt...I would have chilled up quickly. Isn't perspective funny? I'm thinking it's almost too warm, at +6C (43F) while Caitlin ran her first marathon in the Disney Marathon in Orlando, thinking they were going to freeze to death in a chilly 19F or -7C. Wow, Calgary, Alberta was warmer than Orlando, Florida. Yikes!!!
I tried to maintain a good steady pace while running today, as this will have been the longest I've run since Melissa's on September 26th. Felt butt hurt, but I think that had more to do with the X-weighted Fitness Challenge yesterday! This does not bode well for what Trainer Josh is going to do to me tomorrow! Uh-oh!! Ran 5km out, totally forgetting that in order to hit the magic 5 number, you have to run up a big-assed hill!!!! I walked it...really concentrated on pushing off on my toes, feeling the full flexibility through both feet and up the legs. Hit the 5 mark and turned around. Ran down the hill, but slowly, as it was still snow covered, and icy in some spots. Headed for home, this time challenging myself not to run for 10 minutes but to get to certain landmarks. In other words, from the hill to the foot bridge where you have to walk anyway, and then run until I hit the edge of the neighbourhood that surrounds the park. Which, by the way, if one can afford the $1mm+ homes in that area, surely to goodness one can afford snow removal!!! But I digress...after walking for a minute, I then ran to the next river crossing, walked a minute, ran to the next neighbourhood, and then ran to the end.
Garmin says:
603 calories
162 bpm or 93% of maximum. Need to focus on lowering this, as a good cardio burn is roughly 80%.
Stopped in at Safeway on the cool-down walk home (again, 1km) and picked up what I needed for tonight's supper. I also picked up something for lunch (sushi), 1% chocolate milk (recovery fuel) and other stuff...somehow I managed to spend $50 on cheese and brussel sprouts!!!
Came home, ate, checked in with the parents (they are still alive) and made supper. Italian meatloaf: ground turkey, eggs, breadcrumbs, milk, Epicure Pesto & Sun dried Tomato dip mix, marinara sauce (made with diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and Epicure Marinara sauce blend) and mozzarella cheese. I also shredded a carrot and added that, for extra veggie goodness. I did brown the top a little too much, but I LOVE chewy cheese, so it's not all bad. Rounded out dinner with some whole wheat penne pasta, and the marinara sauce and oven roasted brussel sprouts (just evoo & salt). I now sit here, extremely satisfied.

Lunch is ready for tomorrow (leftovers) and I'll whip breakfast up in the morning (oatmeal with banana, nutella & coconut).
Can't believe it's almost 9 pm already. Okay, must start shutting things down and heading for bed. I have to get my gear ready for boot camp tomorrow afternoon as well. I seriously can not wait!!

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