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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Golden Sunday


Okay, now back to me! Got up bright and early, and ate breakfast of oatmeal, nutella, milk, banana, coconut, and some of the crushed pineapple leftover from my pancakes. Yum-o! Then I raced downtown for running group, and after hitting every red light (at least 12-15 between my house and the Running Room...are you freaking kidding me?!), I finally made it to the parkade with minutes to spare. That's when the parking machine decided it didn't like my coins...any of my coins...or the coins of the girl ahead of me! ARGH!!!!! Run back to the car, grab my credit card, run back to the machine, back to the car with ticket and then up to meet the group outside, just as they were splitting up to head out...whew...
Today's long slow was taking us to the Alberta Children's Hospital, or 19km. And what a day...the sun was shining, it was only -3C when I got up, so I only had to wear one pair of pants, light socks, a long-sleeved technical shirt, a tech t-shirt over top of that and a light vest. No gloves, no toque, no neck-guard. It was AWESOME!!!! Sun shining, birds singing (heard, but didn't see, but definitely heard the distinctive song of a ROBIN! It's February 28th in Calgary, OMG! Someone tell that bird to head back south for another few weeks!), us three enjoying a nice, long slow distance. I'm really feeling the training, as I am not puffing or struggling or even feeling like I'm working. In fact, I'd like to feel a little like I'm working, but I'll save that for race day. My workout did come at about km 8 though, as we had a rather long hill to ascend. Slow and steady, bent at the ankles, breathing all came together. Turn around, and head on back in. We arrived back in 2:45 with the average pace of 8:55/km, just in time to get some waffles & strawberries (Eau Claire won breakfast from Nike, for having the most people use Nike+) and then after some stretching, a well deserved cup of coffee.
Met another friend for lunch, although I wished we had picked someplace that actually had a TV, or even appeared to care that Canada was playing the US. After lunch, got back in my car, in time to hear the OT period, and Sid the Kid's winning goal! Yeah, baby!!!! Of course, I was still stuck in the 'burbs, so there was no yelling, cheering, high-fives, horn honks or nothin'!!! I was scared to be happy!!! Finally, I am back downtown in my hood, listening to the dull, constant roar of happy, happy Canadians! I live a block of the Red Mile (17th Ave) where all the sports celebrations seem to happen, ever since the year the Flames made it to game 7 of the Stanley Cup. I'm guessing the police are out in full force, but that isn't stopping everyone from honking their horns and screaming at the top of their lungs. Puts a smile on my face, and a tear in my eye...just hope they all go home at a decent hour! After all, it is a school night!!!
Canada did us all proud these past two weeks.
Stand tall, Canucks, stand tall.
Well done, Canada, well done!

Where did the day go?

Okay, there may have been a nap somewhere in the day that wiped out a few hours (yes, I truly nap like a cat!!), but man, it's midnight?!
Weigh-in: up .8, which is fine. I did go over my flex points, but also managed a good sweat every day and generally made good food choices. Even managed to bypass Nanaimo-gate - my coworker decided that I needed an entire tray (144 points worth!) of Nanaimo squares for my birthday, but I foiled her evil plans when I set out plates, forks and a note, telling everyone else to help themselves! Okay, I did eat one square (6 pts) but I tried not to enjoy it! Ha!!! New day, new week, new goals. And another new meeting! Weight Watchers is moving my Faye to another meeting, to cover for a leave, but where she goes, I will follow. Sorry, Weight can't shake me that easily!!
After a quick coffee with H-woman, and picking up cat food for the kids, who really do eat better than I do, I came home and made a lunch of cottage cakes, topped with crushed pineapple and a touch of maple syrup. They're quite easy: 1 egg, 1/4 c milk, 1/2 c cottage cheese, 3/4 c flour, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/4 tsp baking powder, pinch of salt. I make mine sweeter by adding about a tbsp of sugar and a splash of vanilla. Today I also added a hint of cinnamon. Topped with the drained, crushed pineapple, a tsp of real butter and some maple syrup...they were quite delish.
With the belly now full, I stretched out on the couch and woke up about an hour later, totally disoriented!! Decided I wasn't fully awake yet, so I laid down with the furbabies on the bed, and napped for another hour or so. Much better!
Decided I needed to enjoy the day for what it was, so I walked downtown to make a deposit in the bank, and then back to Safeway to pick up some fruit and veggies and milk. Can't believe I was out of milk! When I got home, I pulled a piece of pork t-loin from the freezer and started to marinade it in a mix of evoo, apple cider vinegar, S&P and crushed coriander. Finally seared it in a hot oven, then turned the heat down to roast the meat, along with a tray of chopped sweet potato, apple (hence the vinegar on the pork) and some cinnamon and more coriander. Lastly, I roasted off some chopped up brussel sprouts with evoo. The sweet potatoes and apple roasted up beautifully together, creating almost a caramel sauce on themselves! Holy YUMMY!!!
This was after an afternoon snack of a glass of milk. I HEART milk! I HEART all dairy!! Now, don't quote me, but there may have been some Cadbury Mini Eggs that somehow made their way into my shopping bag, and then my mouth! Just sayin...don't know how that happened! Good thing I'm running 29km in the morning!
Speaking of, guess it's time to really get to bed.
Shout out to our boys on ice & snow, as Canada brought home more 3 more GOLD (and set a record in the process, thank you very much!) and a BRONZE, just for the heck of it. I was also happy to see Finland beat Slovakia, and win bronze, just because I will always be a Flames fan at heart, and love Kipper!
Last day tomorrow! Let's really set the bar, shall we, and show 'em how it's done!

Friday, February 26, 2010

End of the week

Not that it's been a long one, or even that bad at work, but man, am I glad it's over.
Since it's Friday, I allow myself a treat, and picked up my usual "personal vente, 5-shot, non-fat, extra hot latte" girl at till (insert shaking of head here...) only charged me for a tall (I'm not complaining) but seriously honey...look at the size of the freaking cup! Tall...what ever. Just don't run Starbucks into the ground with all your stupidity, or I will have to hunt you down! Breakfast became the raspberry bran scone, although the lemon cranberry looked soooooooo good!
After running a deposit to the bank, I met up with the gang at the food court, and wolfed down a 6" chicken sub on whole wheat, with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and lots of hot pickled peppers. Rounded that meal out with a 1% chocolate milk, which was also my afternoon snack.
Boot camp was HARD tonight, although for safety reasons we skipped the barfy trail. It's been warm the last few days around here (+4 or higher) but cooling off at night, so everything is a giant puddle with a layer of ice on top. We did manage to get a good workout in, and worked our whole bodies, finishing with a great butt routine (I may not be able to sit tomorrow) and some killer abs.
Got home, fighting traffic (oh, that's's going to be a nice weekend, so quick, let's close as many roads as we can, City of Calgary, just so everyone can be inconvenienced as much as possible!!!!) before making it upstairs to the safety of my little apartment. Did a massive load of laundry (way too tired to sort, so wash everything in cold) which is still in the dryer, and cooked up a quick dinner of roasted potatoes and fish burger. It was supposed to be a curried turkey burger, but I can't find the patty I swear was in my freezer. Darn cats! Anyway, I seared up a piece of fish, and toasted a thin bun, while the oven roasted potatoes cooled. It was good, but not quite what I wanted, although turns out the piece of fish was full of bones, which required some destroying of the burger, shredding, sorting and putting back together.

I'm going to "watch" the hockey game (hate watching hockey, especially key games, on my own) and try to hit the sack nice and early. I must be tired, as I slept like the dead last night (and through 30 minutes of my alarm this morning!), so I want to get a good night's sleep in. And congrats go out to the curling women on their SILVER medals tonight. Although I'm sort of glad it's almost over, and I can return to the routine that is my life. I'm not sleeping well, as I'm trying to watch too much of everything, and I have a PVR for crying out loud! Oh goes for a few more days...

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Rockin' Gold!

And it just keeps rolling in, doesn't it? Women's Hockey - GOLD for Canada! Yeah, baby!! It is our game! And Joannie wins Bronze, which is phenomenal (considering we haven't medaled in women's skating since '88, and the sudden, terrible passing of her mother - no pressure at all!)...we're guaranteed medals in both men and women's curling, so what the heck, let's shoot for Gold again. I'm hoping the ladies of hockey inspire the boys of hockey. Good games, thus far.
Let's was my day? Oatmeal for breakfast, although I forgot about a 90 minute meeting I had scheduled, just after I got it ready. Oh well, cold nutella oatmeal is just as good as hot. For lunch, I piled a mass of mixed greens, sliced red pepper, artichoke hearts, tomato slices, a can of smoked tuna (only 1 point!) and some herbed goat cheese on a plate, and topped with Kraft Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette. Quite fabulous!
Rushed home, changed and headed back downtown with the car for a going away party, of sorts. It's not really going away, as this guy from work is taking a 6 month paternity leave (so his wife can go back to work), so we had a send off night out. Guess it'll be the last of grown-up conversations or something...whatever...good excuse to go watch the hockey game and enjoy a pint. Which was on special, BTW...hard to find Guinness on special. I wolfed down a turkey clubhouse with side salad, as it's running clinic tonight as well. Finished my beer, wished everyone well, and rushed off to the Running Room. Got there with a minute to spare. Luckily it was clinic night and not just a run, so I knew I had a half hour or so for my "dinner" to settle. Talk was about Garmins, as the nutritionist was sick tonight (probably a good thing, given my pre-run choice!). Then we went out for a 10km steady. Garrath ran with C. and I, as he didn't want us two ladies running the "scary bits" of downtown Calgary on our own. Actually I am thankful he joined as, as C. is a bit of a turtle, and he kept our pace up. In fact, after he left us at km #8, our pace slowed a full minute/km. I'd like to run more with him, as he's a wealth of information, and I'm intrigued as to how an elite runner does it (he does 3 hr marathons...I am in awe!). Good conversations (and I'm proud that I could hold one the whole time we were running), some good laughs and great advice.
Home, watched the medal ceremony for Bobsled, and the free skate for the ladies. That Korean girl is scary good!
I think it's time for bed...I appear to be folding into my desk, and my eyes are at half mast...must be all the fresh air and exercise and absolutely nothing to do with a pint of Guinness in my belly.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wednesday quickie

Just got home from running club - okay, so we're really a drinking group that has a running problem! There may have been beer involved...
Got up bright and early and into work at 6:35 (yes, AM), so that I could be primed and ready to register for Melissa's, which went on sale at 7 (and they meant it!!!). OMG, what a lesson in frustration that was! Almost an hour just to get myself registered, and then another 30 or so minutes to get H-woman in...the Running Room site crashed, the Melissa's site was chaos. But good news (and I persevere!) is we both got into the 22km, and have already got the condo booked in Canmore for the weekend. Bring it on!
Food was good today, although since I was up so early, and I'm really not awake at that time of day, I didn't make breakfast or lunch this morning (and we ate out last night). So breakfast was an egg/sausage burrito w/salsa and lunch was a really nice chicken mango salad. Loads of veggies.
I did my hills at lunch today, as I wanted to go listen to Sylvia Ruegger speak at the Kensington Running Room. If you don't know her name, she came in 8th (she is Canadian) at the '84 LA Olympics in the marathon, the first year the IOC allowed women to run longer than 1500 meters! That was after RUNNING ONE MARATHON TO QUALIFY!!!! Yikes! Then she ran the Houston Marathon and won, and her time of 2:28:36 still stands as the fastest time for a Canadian woman...25 years later!!! She was quite inspiring, and a really engaging speaker. Spoke about goal setting (in 1976 at 15 years of age, she wrote on a piece of paper that she would represent Canada in the Olympics - she still has the piece of paper today), perseverance and hope. Glad I did hills at lunch to listen to her. We did run to and from Kensington, at a steady pace, and on the way back, I kept up to Garrath (granted he was running very slowly for him) and the rest of the group easily. Then watched Canada win GOLD and SILVER in woman's bobsled (YEAH BABY!!), before having a pint with the gang. Also celebrated Canada's defeat of Russia in hockey, Clara Hughes getting one more medal before retiring and the women's short-track relay team get silver. Good day for Canada!
Home now, and shortly to bed. Just have to floss and brush. Haven't missed a single night of flossing since January 12, 2009. Just saying...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Last minute changes

Breakfast - check... I don't know if I'll ever get bored of oats/milk/banana/nutella & coconut. I have a happy mouth and tummy when I eat it. And it gives me great energy for my lunch time run.
Tuesday is Tempo day, and I totally rocked it, yet again! Which is funny, because I felt sooooooo sluggish when I headed out. And I couldn't decide if I was too hot or too cold (it was -4C, but sunny, but then the breeze was cold...go figure!) and on it I stopped looking at my Garmin and just ran, telling myself I could stop after 5k and walk (on orders from my marathon instructor). I just kept repeating that mantra over and over...and then finally, the blessed beep signaling that the fifth km was done, and I could finally walk and catch my breath. After about 250 - 300 km, I started running slowly again, and finished out the 6th km before seeing how I did. Holy...that's all I have to say.
km #1 (warm-up): 7:09.39 - yikes...a tad fast for a warm-up!
km #2: 6:42.36 (WTF?!?!?!)
km #3: 7:00.59
km #4: 7:07.68
km #5: 6:53.07 (seriously - who is this person wearing my runners and Garmin?!)
km #6 (cool-down): 8:02.21
Overall, my average pace was 7:10/km, or about a minute faster than my Tempo pace for my time group is posted at! The best part is how I'm feeling after the runs...I'm recovering almost immediately, I feeling good, walking like a normal person, am in little or no pain...there is a lot to be said for training smart. Who would have thunk it?!
Came back and inhaled my lunch, which was leftover Hot & Sour soup (spicy!!) and a half a red pepper, a chunk of cucumber and a good handful of grape tomatoes. Round it out with a small yogurt and then a grapefruit, and I was feeling okay.
I was just eating my afternoon snack of an apple with a piece of cheese (to prepare to donate blood) when H-woman put the call out for noodles for supper. OMG...I haven't have noodles (chicken satay pho with extra vegetables, and shrimp salad rolls to start!) at our favourite Vietnamese place in MONTHS! I am so there!!! Went and donated (bled out in 4:17...I like this being fast thing, apparently) and was in and out of the clinic in just under an hour. Picked up H-woman and we went for glorious, fabulous, orgasmic noodles...sigh...happy belly!
Now home, catching up on blogs, emails, WW news (which will have to wait till Saturday - sorry kids) and watching co-worker Kaillie Humphries & her partner kick some bobsleigh BUTT, and Ashleigh McIvor get her GOLD medal, although she was way more reserved than I would have been, and finally (through many tears) watching Joannie skate beautifully. Gold medals, course records and SNOW at Cyprus...I really do BELIEVE!

Monday, February 22, 2010

I Believe!

Just finished watching the Ice Dance, and Canada winning GOLD!!! They were beautiful to watch...hope you all caught it. So proud!
Back to work today (man, weekends are short!) and I am proud to say that all of my tax forms are produced, printed, copied, stamped, stuffed and mailed,! Whew...and well before the end of the month. That makes me very happy...and now bored. What ever will I do for the rest of the week?! Oh, don't worry, everyone...I'll be sure to find something to occupy my time.
Oatmeal for breakfast (I am donating blood tomorrow, so hopefully all the oatmeal has helped with my odd little iron problem - sometimes I am just shy of the minimum, but I most certainly don't ever feel anemic) and lunch was leftover Chinese. I think the nice waitress added more chili flakes word, but it was HOT & SPICY today! I still have hot & sour soup for tomorrow, although I think I'll try to mellow it down a little before then.
Boot Camp was HARD tonight - after our warm-up, Josh had us doing drills where we pulled each other with the band would be around my waist and I would be "sprinting" to the end, with my partner pulling all her weight against me. It was hard...maybe even harder than the barfy trail! In fact, I dubbed this spot BT Junior! After that, we moved to our mats for some more upper body work (I love how my arms feel) and then core. Although we did one move that involved rows and dead lift, and now I have a slight spasm in my back. Not liking that...going to do some soft stretches and take some vitamin I before I go to bed. Hope I can get out of it in the morning!!
Came home, and made dinner of spinach (see above) stuffed chicken, orzo and fresh veggies. The chicken didn't come out as pretty as I would have liked, but it was tasty. I sauteed onion, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, olives and spinach together, adding crumbled feta once it was off the heat. I also had a chicken breast marinating in Epicure souvlaki seasoning and evoo, which I then sliced almost in half, butterflying it. I spread the spinach mix in, and then closing it up, put it in a hot frying pan. Seared both sides, and then cooked till done over medium heat. Meanwhile, chopped up some cucumber, red pepper and tomato, and cooked the orzo. Once the orzo was done, I added some Greek dressing to it, and served it all up. YUM! I am a good cooker!! Again, the plate looks really full, but I am using the salad plate, and not the dinner platter.
Some pics from our night of wine-tasting...can you tell I prefer the reds?!?! And really...didn't have THAT much to drink! Honest... H-woman and I, after we finally found a place to sit down!!! Three hours on carpet-covered concrete is hard on the feet! No wonder we had to drink so much!
Lastly, I leave you with my little lump of love, Coco Chanel...first she uses me as her personal pillow, and then it's on the floor, acting a little skanky...curious! But dang cute!!!
That's if for me...till tomorrow, then.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Today is my birthday...

Nana, nana, nana, nah...Happy Birthday to me...nana, nana, nana, nah!
I did skip yesterday's post in favour of going to bed, so quick recap of the day.
- down 1.8 at WW, and hitting the 46 total lost (again...). Fifty is in my sights, and I will hit it soon!
- coffee with the ladies was fabulous with loads of laughs. I love those conversations where someone says something and everyone bursts out with a good old belly laugh. The whole morning was like that.
- H-woman and I decided to try and find something "Canadian" to show our patriotism, but sadly, unless either one of us is a small child, there is NOTHING in Calgary for us...and we went to the Bay, Roots and Lulu. Apparently all stock is in Vancouver, being snapped up at a record pace.
- after a quick stop at the Post office (I was picking up a copy of the Spirit of the Marathon on DVD, and a book called Super Eating - a revolutionary way to get more from the foods you eat. I'm interested in this, as I'd like to eat for running and get the most out of my foods. I'll keep you all posted on was it has to say), we also made a side trip to the Farmer's Market. I didn't really need a lot, but we haven't been for weeks. Enjoyed a plate of moussaka and Greek salad from the Greek Ladies, and picked up some olives for me. I had just picked up veggies and cheese at Safeway, so they'll have to do until next time.
- came home, napped a little and then met up with H-woman and S. for our trip to the Calgary Winefest, which was a lot of fun. Tried many, many, many wines and nibbled on beef on a bun, pulled chicken, lots of cheese (3 booths, all serving different samples...H. & I were in HEAVEN!), mini brownies and cream puffs, and for me, lots of water. After all, I had a long, long-slow distance to run today, and waking up hung-over would be bad! Didn't really find anything that wowed me like last time, but I do have a couple of new favourites to hunt down.

So, that was I woke up 1 year older. I am FORTY-SEVEN?? How on earth did THAT happen?! I am happy to say I don't feel a day over 46...kidding...I feel great (for my age) and can't wait for the next 47 years. Not even sure if I've hit middle age yet...and why is it girls don't get sport cars and younger mates?? All we get is hormonal (yet again), sweats and hot-flashes. Super!!!
Got up at 7, had a breakfast of oatmeal (including milk, banana, nutella and coconut) and a glass of moo, before heading down to the Running Room for today's 26km LSD. This will be the furthest I've run since last May in Vancouver and I am most interested in how my legs/shins & feet are going to take it. We did stick to a long-slow pace, actually just a hair faster than what is recommended in our training (program says 8:59-10:00 and we did 8:51). Felt good till about km 22-23, when my one hip started bothering me. Feels like it wants to pop, so I'll focus on some more stretches tonight to try and work it out. I can walk pretty good, and go up & down stairs like a normal person! Yay... The day started clear but cold (-15C/5F) but warmed up through the run to end this afternoon at +5C (41F). All in all a great day for a run.
My family is low key when it comes to holidays/celebrations, so in typical fashion, I am home alone on my birthday...but H-woman and I are heading out for Chinese soon! I don't want people to feel sorry for me, but my Mom (suffering from Alzheimer's) doesn't want to deal with the "fuss" (it's her birthday tomorrow!), my one brother and his wife are in Australia and my other brother - well, that's a whole other blog story!!! That's okay...I'm a big girl now, and can make my own fun!
Happy Birthday to all Pisces out there, and Happy Sunday to everyone else!
Sad to see the Canadian fall in the ski cross (ouch!!!) but still not giving up hope on my country.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Skipping down the Barfy Trail!

That is what we, of the Boot Camp group, lovingly refer to our latest workout area. Grabbing our weights, we jog down the trail, drop and do push-ups, pick up the weights and job further, drop and do dips, etc. This goes on for about 30 minutes! And yes, most of us are feeling a tad nauseous by the end the run! I realized today though, as I struggled to keep up with the group gripping my 16 pounds of weight, that when I ran Vancouver, I essentially did it "gripping" 16+ pounds of extra weight! No wonder my runs lately have felt much better.
Since it's Friday, I allow myself a treat of Starbuck's. Five glorious shots of espresso with a little milk makes Carol a happy lady! I may have also indulged in a Lemon Cranberry scone...yum, yum!
Off to the chiropractor before lunch, which was great timing as my ankle was bothering me a little. Not from the running, but I think more from standing so much in the last few days, working on these tax forms. But I am a week ahead of schedule, which makes me very happy! I am going to try some of the stretches the physio dude at last night's clinic suggested, to see if that helps at all. Lunch was a simple bowl of soup (tomato vegetable - although I hate it when the deli adds potatoes and corn to what is actually a fantastic tomato soup...kind of ruins it for me) and a tuna sandwich. Apparently the deli had major problems this morning, and didn't appear to have a lot of food available at lunch time. The manager looked very stressed!!
After folding and stuffing several hundred tax forms (finally moved to a desk, as my feet just can't handle standing for so long anymore), I packed up and headed for home to change and go to Boot Camp.
There were about 8 of us there tonight, which makes me very happy! There were rumours that there weren't going to be enough for the 5pm class, and Josh would have to lump everyone at 6. I hate 6pm's just that much too late. Five is perfect. Anyway, we warmed up with a couple of loops of the park, and then got right into the weights. After some squat thrusters and then mountaineers, we grabbed our weights and headed on down the trail. Incline presses at the log, then off down the trail...bicep curls and triceps dips at the set of benches, then on down the trail...many, many squats and then on down the trail, ending with push-ups in the snow, and on down the trail. Good news is when you reach the end, you get to turn around and do everything in reverse back to the start!! Argh!!! But I love how I feel after it's over, and how strong I am becoming. And this is also benefiting my running. It's all good!
After popping briefly into Safeway (sometimes I'm very "European" in the sense that I shop almost daily for what I want that night) to pick up some salmon and goat cheese, before getting home and changing into dry (and WARM) clothes, and threw supper together. I pan roasted the salmon, and just before I took it off the heat, I poured on some Kraft Fig & Balsamic Vinaigrette. Took the salmon off to rest, and threw artichoke hearts, roasted red pepper and grape tomatoes into the pan, and seared them quickly, adding a touch more vinaigrette. Poured it over a bed of mixed greens, topped with some goat cheese and then the piece of salmon. Delish!!!!

That's about it for me...weigh-in, coffee & catch-up with the ladies and then the Calgary International Winefest tomorrow night! Should be fun, except I will be doing my best NOT to get toasted, as I'll be hoofing 26km first thing Sunday morning! Can you think of a better way to welcome 47?!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Smokin' Steady

Pretty much a typical day at the office, although I have finished printing, stamping and copying the 1300 tax forms that I've been working on all week. Now they just have to be stuffed and mail. A full week ahead of schedule! Yay me!!
Breakfast was my usual oatmeal (I heart Nutella), with a glass of milk as a snack first thing...I was so hungry when I got up this morning. As I came home at lunch to pick up something for a coworker, I decided to take advantage of the walk and popped into Safeway to pick up a couple of things, including lunch. Ended up with a green salad (which I added extra grape tomatoes and lettuce to) and a turkey wrap. Afternoon snack was a piece of cheese (from our Healthy snack basket) and an apple.
Came home, and did my usual cook/eat/change and out the door routine, making it to the Running Room in time for tonight's talk. Dinner was fast, but good...I made clam chowder. In a pot, I sauteed off a slice of bacon (diced) along with some celery, carrot and onion. Once the bacon was crispy, I added some of the clam water to de-glace the pan, and then the drained clams and a can of cream of potato soup. To that I added enough milk to make it "soupy". Ate it with a toasted whole wheat thin-bun.
Which was about stretching and injury prevention. Got some good advice on how to stretch out my oh-so-tight shins too. Then we headed out for the 8km Steady. Everyone broke into their pace groups, and then that's when I realized...I was my pace group tonight! We all took off, and for about 2km I managed to stay right on the heels of the 4:45 group...yes, that's the group that running a whole hour faster than my group!!! They finally started to pull away after that point, and then I lost them when a) I had to stop and tie a shoelace, and b) I got stuck at the lights! But I wasn't that far behind, which made me very happy. My average pace was 7:23, whereas the 5:45-to finish pace is 7:59. And it felt good. Did a lot of stretching, before coming home.
Going to try and catch some Olympic highlights (thank god for shoot-outs!) before crawling into bed. Really focusing on getting enough sleep, as I always seem to be lacking in this department.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wednesday hills

We officially ran hills today, not just a hilly course! After warming up with about 3km, we started up Centre St, with the goal to push ourselves to tempo pace for the middle section, and to finish the 5th hill as strong as the 1st. I think I did okay...but I am slightly sick, as I enjoy hills. Don't love them, but I do like the feeling of pushing myself and feeling that exhausted but elated feeling at the end. I think I did good.
Ended up at the pub, which appears to be our usual Wednesday ritual, but while everyone else eats, I stick to the Irish meal replacement plan of a pint of Guinness. Well, I was feeling festive tonight, so I had two! And now I have the hiccups and I am very, very, very sleepy!
Nothing spectacular with food, so no pictures, and I forgot my Garmin at home, so no running stats!
Despite the snow this morning, it's almost all gone now, and it's a balmy 0C outside...absolutely perfect to run in earlier.
Heading for bed, where I'll dream about hills and running and perfecting my form.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Shrove (Pancake) Tuesday

Had it marked in my calendar, because this brings back memories of growing up. Despite not being Catholic, or Anglican, or even overtly religious, my Mom always made pancakes for supper on Shrove or Pancake Tuesday. We always had them with fried eggs and bacon, but tonight I wanted something a little different. But I'll get to that soon.
Grabbed breakfast as I was running out of the house, as I was late to bed last night and way groggy this morning. Don't know why, really. But breakfast turned out to be a glass of milk, a banana wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla with nutella and a peach yogurt (from our Healthy Snacks basket at work). That held me over till lunch, where I went out (despite not really wanting to) and ran my 6km Tempo. Hearing Garrath's voice and words of advice in my ear, I slowly got into the first km (7:47), before turning on the guns (really try to run, engaging my glutes...harder than it sounds...) and for the next 4 km, average 7:10 (7:04, 7:08, 7:16 & 7:10) for all 4, before making myself STOP AND WALK starting km 6. This is the "cool down" km, and for the last few runs, I've been taking it too fast. So Garrath suggested I walk it. What I did was a compromise: I walked about 250m, before starting into a light jog...actually the walking really worked, as I found it very difficult to go any faster than I was, and I finished my cool down km at 8:33. Came back, and since I wasn't organized enough to pack lunch, I bought downstairs (again...). Today it was meat stuffed cannelloni with salad and garlic bread. I let them keep the bread.
Quick trip to the vets for food and insulin (George seems to like it, so what the heck...let's keep it up, shall we?!), where there were a pair of English Bulldogs that just wanted to love everyone - so cute! And this wee, little Yorkie that sat in the nurse's arms just a shaking and quivering...poor little dude had just come out of surgery. Once I got my doggie fill, I came home and started to get dinner ready.
Back to Shrove mentioned, it's also known as Pancake Tuesday, with the theory that one would use up all the "bad" stuff (butter, eggs, flour, sugar) before lent arrived. I don't care...I HEART pancakes for dinner. I decided to make Cottage Cakes (Weight Watcher's recipe with slight variations by moi): this is a half recipe, and it makes two very large pancakes.
1/2 c 1% (or fat free) cottage cheese
1 beaten egg
3/4 c flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
the recipe says to add parsley & hot sauce at this point, but I prefer sweet over savory, so I add a tbsp of brown sugar and a splash of vanilla. Mix well.
In hot skillet, cook till brown and flip.
I served them with maple peaches and another pan heat peaches, pecans and maple syrup, allowing the maple syrup to reduce somewhat. Put a dab of real buttah on the cakes, and top with the peachs...O.M.G!!!!!
I also love the salty sweet combo of bacon and syrup, so I did allow myself 3 slices of nice, thick REAL bacon. Heavenly!

So, as a non-Catholic, non-Anglican, non-practicing Agnostic...what am I doing for Lent? You see, the whole 40-day sacrifice thing intrigues me. What am I willing (and able) to give up for 40 days?? One year it was alcohol...another, chocolate. Have I mentioned that my birthday always falls in Lent? It's hard not to drink or eat chocolate on your birthday! So I mulled all day...
- no swearing...too bad most of it is so mindless, I don't even know when I'm doing it. Probably wouldn't last a day!
- no cookies...this one has possibilities.
- no cheese...sorry, so not ready to break up with cheese!
- no dips...I think this is the one I'm going with, but I'm going to expand on it. See, I've been having dip for dinner (spinach artichoke or feta red pepper, or what have you) when I've been lazy and it's easy. So instead of no dips, it'll be "no easy way out". No dips, no pre-packaged, no 'quick & easy' that has been processed in any way. I will plan, I will prepare and I will also avoid buying breakfast, lunch or dinner in the next 40 days. Yes, my birthday is in there, and I may wish to go out for dinner, but it'll be one night, and I'll prepare for it as best as I can.
There...for Lent (is that what non-Catholics call it??) I will give up "easy". Check back at Easter!
Cried watching Maelle Ricker win GOLD earlier, in what can be described as one of the scariest sports to watch, but also so very exciting. Another hidden loonie did the trick!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Family Day blues

That is because my company doesn't observe Family Day. Now, before we all get upset and call the labour board, let me clarify. My company is national (sort of) and thinks all things should be equal for everyone. That is to say, even though I work at the Corporate Office, we don't call it that, and if there's something for one person, it's for all of us. No I in Team and all that. Which is a good, because we have offices in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and BC, and BC is still holding out on a provincial holiday in February, none of us get the day off. We do however get an extra day at Easter, observing Easter Monday. I don't know of anyone else who gets Easter Monday off, other than maybe catholic school teachers! And we get a half day on Christmas Eve and a half day on New Year's I'll work in February. If I'm dying for a break, I'll use a vacation day.
Of course, it made for a slightly creepy walk in this walking in a scene out of some apocalyptic movie! Reminded me that I do indeed live downtown, in not one of the "best" areas...I walked a little faster and carried my keys in full defense mode! I was ready to take down anyone who got too close!
Good day at work - glory be - finally got the program for the tax forms working, and have printed off about 200 of the 1300 to do! Copied and stamped and ready to be stuffed...just need the mailing labels now. Little walk at lunch, mainly because every building I wanted in to was locked, and I needed to withdraw some cash. Did enjoy the sunshine and + temperatures for once, although I wasn't running today. Hope it holds out for tomorrow's tempo.
Legs feel good, even after yesterday's run. Lats and arms are still sore from Friday's whipping though, so I was not looking forward to tonight's boot camp. I was right to be scared!
Got to Boot Camp, and for a while there I thought maybe I didn't get the memo...saying class was cancelled. Finally another person showed up, and we both sat there wondering where everyone was. Finally, we spied Josh across the way. Turns out the 5pm class was indeed cancelled, and to be amalgamated with the 6pm class...but Josh was understanding that we didn't get the email, so he worked us both into a sweaty mess. We ran to warm up (oooooo...there's the legs from yesterday's run!!!) and then hit the cross bar for chin-ups and more lat work. Josh really had me push it today, and I felt the difference almost right away. He also said, grudgingly I think, that it appears that I was learning lots from the marathon clinic, as my running looks really good now...gosh...blushing now! Anyway, we finished that and moved to the mats for a quick circuit of drop-leg flies, lunges, step-ups, incline presses and a sprint. Repeat 3 times, collapse to ground! Finished off the evening following the owl (they are quick!) and then some good old v-sit, bench presses and jack-knifes. I'm feeling it in my abs already.
After a quickie visit with H-woman, I came home and inhaled my cold, leftover stir-fry, while some more dumplings fried up in the pan. Now I am sated and ready for bed again!
Going to watch some Olympic highlights and then hit the sack, I think. This old body needs her rest!
Oh, and don't forget (well, do forget, because that may increase my odds of winning!! LOL!!) to head over to Jaime of Embracing Balance to check out the latest giveaway. Yum, yum, yum!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Chinese New Year's dinner

I had dumplings (good luck, as they symbolize fortune) and a wicked good stir fry of veggies, noodles and shrimp. Kicked up the stir-fry sauce (okay, so I cheat!) a bit with some chili paste and dipped my dumplings into rice vinegar with chili & fresh ginger.

I have a very happy tummy right now, and leftovers for lunch.
Can it get any better?

Hypothermic Half

In Calgary, this is an aptly named February run. I guess it's the kick-off race to running season, and is sold out quickly every year. As this is a usual marathon clinic LSD day, and we were to run 23km this morning, our illustrious leader, Garrath, pulled some strings, and got permission for the marathon group to run in the morning wave (two waves, as seating for brunch at the finish was limited), but no timing chip or swag...or food, for that matter! However, the one catch was he didn't want us treating it like an LSD (long, slow distance) but as a race, pushing ourselves to do our best. K., my pace bunny, and I decided we were going to finish this is 2:30, which would be a personal best for us both. So far my fastest Half was my first, in 2004 (2:45), and I've just seemed to slow down ever since.
Once again, we Calgarians woke to the city encased in frost and ice again, and a humidity level of 97%. Since the city is normally described as "semi-arid", you can understand my frustration with 97% humidity in the dead of winter!!! The paths were slick in some spots, but I only heard of one fall out of the entire group, so that's good. We started off strong at 9:00 am (okay, 9:05) in -8C temps and foggy skies. Unfortunately we didn't get far before my co-runner had to stop...I shan't go into details, other than to say that she has a delicate...well, bowel. Watched everyone run past, but that's's early and we'll catch 'em. Didn't get much further though, before she waved me on, saying she would catch up to me. She never did. But I took the training thus far to heart, and did my best to maintain a good pace, with the anticipation of doing a negative split for the second half. This was pretty much a straight out and back, with very few hills, and landmarks I know. Which makes the run easy...instead of saying "I have 15km to go", I say...I only have to get as far as Crowchild Bridge, then I only have to get to 37th St and so on. Really broke it up nicely for me, and I managed to stick to, for the entire run, a steady 10:1. I couldn't seem to get faster than 7:54, but man, I tried! Saw K. on the way back, and she didn't look good...hope she made it okay. I'm sure I'll find out all the gory details on Wednesday at group run.
I crossed the finish line with an unofficial time of 2:46.40, or a pace of 7:56. Burned 1596 calories (trying to stay warm in the cold helps!), and maintained a heart rate of 154 or 88.5% - a little on the high side, but again, part of the battle is just staying warm.
Once I crossed the finish line, I had to jump in my car (which was parked a couple of blocks away), and race to the 14th St Bridge, where I was marshaling for the second wave. I just made it to my spot as the first runner (they left the start line, about 6km away, at noon!) raced up, right at 12:15. He was clipping, let me tell you! Cheered everyone on, and got them pointed in the right direction, but Holy Mother, I was COLD!!!! I did have dry gloves, toque and a big fleecy sweatshirt, but I was still soaked underneath it all, and it only warmed up to -2C by the end of the day. Brrrr...I just kept moving, dancing and clapping my hands - mainly to keep feeling in my fingers and toes! No, scratch feet were about the only warm part. Fingers and face were a different story - I swear at one point I looked like I got Botox! Nothing was moving!!
After the last (or close to last) runner passed me on the way back, I gathered up my cones and headed back to Ft Calgary for some much needed brunch. As a volunteer, I got fed. Yay! Simple buffet, but probably the best scones and jam I have ever had, EVER, and the fluffiest, real scrambled eggs with cheese, real thick cut bacon and the freshest fruit salad I've seen in months. And tons of variety of fruit. I vote for Ft. Calgary for all future brunches...the staff were friendly, the food awesome and the location interesting, as it really is where the city of Calgary started.
After I filled my belly, I came home, finally changed into some dry clothes, and then wandered off to Safeway. It is, after all, the Chinese New Year, and I am in the mood for dumplings and whatever else I can get my hands on. Came home with chicken & pork dumplings (Safeway brand, frozen, and really good!), some Shanghai noodles, snow peas, shitake mushrooms, broccoli and other goodies to go into a stir fry with some shrimp. Just thinking about it, I'm getting hungry, so I'm off to make some dinner. Pictures may follow later.
Kung Hei Fat Choi

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Giving back to the community

After weigh in, I walked down to the Running Room to hand out packages for tomorrow morning's Hypothermic Half. I believe that we, as runners, shouldn't just run the races, but should help out at a few. You certainly get a better appreciation of what goes on behind the scenes...after all, if it weren't for the volunteers, we'd all just be a bunch of people running around with numbers on our chest!
The walk there and back was brisk! In typical Calgary fashion, a cold front blew in overnight. Yesterday, the high was +6C (43F) and today it was -8C with a -14C windchill (or about -6F)...big difference! Hoping it blows back out (it is supposed to) tomorrow, but it most likely won't happen till AFTER we run the Half. Drat...I was looking forward to a run without having to wear everything I own at once!!
I am doing my best to envision a successful run tomorrow - I am picturing myself crossing that finish line in 2:30...I can do this!! In fact, I spent the afternoon envisioning...okay, napping, but dreaming was involved!
Got up and made my usual pre-race meal. Garrath has told us to treat tomorrow like a race, even if we aren't registered, so that we can get a feeling for our actual marathons coming up. I've been eating this meal for years, and find that I have good energy the next day, and don't have to worry about any funny business south of the waist! I changed it up once years ago, and let's just say it wasn't pretty!!
While I got some water boiling, I started frying off some red onion and garlic in that I added a roasted red pepper (packed in water), some sundried tomatoes (dry packed, that I reconstituted in boiling water), a can of smoked tuna, fresh basil, spinach, capers, kalamata olives, lemon zest and juice. Ate it on top of whole wheat linguine, and topped it all with some light crumbled feta. YUM!

I'm going to spend the rest of the evening catching up on the Opening Ceremonies, and then back to bed...the race isn't horribly early, but I do need to get down to the area and parked, in enough time to pick up our special race bib and get going.
Hoping everyone has an awesome Saturday evening.

Kicking Choc-luck's butt!

Down 2.2 this week, even after an afternoon of various forms of chocolate and deep-fried goodness! I HEART Boot Camp!
More later...

Friday, February 12, 2010

Cocoa Spice Rubbed Roast Pork

O.M.G!!! That was the best thing I've ever made...ever. And I'm a good cooker!!!!
While I fried up two onions in a pan with evoo, S&P and sage, I mixed the dry rub of dark cocoa (Epicure sells an amazing variety), cinnamon, coriander, white pepper, sea salt, nutmeg and cloves. I then rubbed it all over the boneless rib roast, and seared it in a hot oven (425F). When the onions started to brown, I added a cup and a half of water, and let it all cook down till the water was gone. I then threw that on top of the roast, and threw it all in my slow-cooker. That was just before 11 pm (I like to start things late), so I put the cooker on low and went to bed. It stewed all night long (smelled VERY good in here this morning) and on into this morning - yes, I carried (in a cloth bag) my crock pot and pork roast to work - finally shutting it off just before the potluck started at 11:30. We then shredded the pork with two forks - could have used toothpicks, it was so tender - and mixed the onions and juices together. Meanwhile, I ran across the street from work to the little corner store, where they had the perfect size dinner buns to eat the pork on. The crock pot was licked clean!!! I wasn't sure how it would go over, but everyone raved!!! I will definitely make this again, but may add either broth or wine (or both) to make it a little more saucy.
So what else was on the menu for a "Choc-luck"?? One group brought a whole schwack of samosas (not exactly chocolate or Asian - we were celebrating Valentine's and Chinese New Year) which were really good. Make at a local shop, and by the sounds of it, rather cheap. Think I'll have my coworker pick me up a box the next time she swings by there. Some of our Asian ladies brought treats from home, in the form of dumplings (man, these were GOOD!) and some traditional egg dish that had the preserved duck egg in it (thought the pieces were vegetables...hmmm...). It was interesting (I'm usually pretty willing to try new things) - not sure if I could eat a whole bunch of it, but it was interesting. Round out the savory side with some Ginger Beef (a Calgary/Asian specialty) and raw veggies, and we move on to the sweet side of Choc-luck. Homemade "Skorr" bars (I really needed someone to take them away from me!), brownies, chocolate cake, cupcakes, fudge and the best part??? Fresh fruit complete with a chocolate fountain!! Yes, we had a chocolate fountain at our potluck - we know how to rock out a potluck! Loads of delicious fresh fruit, pound cake, cookies and squares to dip into the fountain. Good news is I took my camera to work...bad news is, it sat in my purse the whole time! Oy... could hear the hum of hyperactive people through-out the department all afternoon. But man, I started to crash bad about 2 pm. And I was bloated and full and uncomfortable, and I thought...'how the heck am I going to survive Boot Camp??'.
I got home, changed and forced myself to get to Boot Camp, where we (all FOUR of us's the middle of February...have all the resolutioners out there bailed already?!) ran the Barf least that's what we call it! We pick up our weights and we run...and whenever Trainer Josh stops, we stop and do fun stuff like push-ups combined with sprints, extensions, lunges with curls, etc, all broken up with more running. All told, the trail is just under 2 km, and combined with all the extra work (and running with 16 pounds of weights in my hands), I was puffing pretty good by the end. Then we got down with our bad band selves!! Did a ton of band work (lats, rows, more extension, curls, etc) and to finish the hour off (or us...not sure which) we switched it up to core, with tons of abs. I will feel this tomorrow, but again, it's a pain I like.
After a quick visit with the parents (daughterly duties involved) I came home, had some cottage cheese, and then a small bowl of whole wheat pasta with sun-dried tomato pesto. Feel much better than I did this afternoon, and I am thinking it's going to be a successful weigh-in tomorrow.
After a quick coffee and catch-up with H-woman (it's been ages), I'm home and ready for sleeping. I have recorded the Opening Ceremonies (oh, so sad for the Georgian Luger), so will watch that tomorrow, as I knew I was going to miss the beginning tonight. I heart PVR's.
Go Canada Go!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Steady Thursday

Very proud of myself, as I worked out the issues with the Dataload program at work ALL.BY.MYSELF!!!! I did come close to calling IT, but then I figured it out. I am S.M.R.T! Even did a little dance! Let me 'splain...I have to take data from an excel spreadsheet, and format it into this program called Dataload, so that it can then take a tax form in .pdf (Adobe), and print off 1300 individual tax forms. Easy, right?? Except the government changed the form since last year, and you actually have to program in if you are hitting enter or tab, and how many times. There's one part of this form where the you tab 19 times in a row, and that has to be entered in the formula. Now I just have to figure out how to get it off my desktop and network onto the laptop, so that I can start printing, and not tie up my computer. Bad news about MUST NOT interrupt can't go checking your emails while Dataload is going, or it will have a hissy-fit and shut everything down. Learned the hard way!!
Remembered to bring my breakfast and lunch today, which was oatmeal (my usual) and leftover baked pasta from the night before. Some green salad and some of the fruit salad rounded out the day.
Walked home in the sunshine (yay, Chinook!!!) and after nipping into MEC - oh crap!! So, I purposely go into MEC to pick up some reflective strips to put on my jacket, and I FORGOT THEM IN MY PURSE! I scare me some days... Anyway, after MEC, I went into Safeway to pick up what I need for the potluck tomorrow and something for dinner. Came home with bean sprouts, broccoli slaw and that fake crab stuff. Which I tossed with some orange pepper, celery and ww linguine and PC Korean BBQ Sauce. It was yummy, I forgot to take a picture! Oops...
Went down to run clinic, where we talked about hill training and running etiquette. And after that, during our steady run, the one girl with us kept doing every opposite of what he just said to do...I'm sorry...were you in another room?!?! Grrr... But she did not take away from my most fabulous run. We did just under 7.5km, in just over an hour, and our pace was a decent 8:16 (considering our pace is really supposed to be 8:59, this rocks!). But what I loved the most about this run is that my breathing was calm and controlled (the non-listener was gasping and panting the whole way) and my heart rate was 138bpm or 79% of maximum. That is awesome, and really more telling of how well this is all coming together this time around. I feel so much stronger than I have in forever, and I know I'm going to rock out the marathon when it comes.
We are running the Hypothermic Half on Sunday, but even though we are unofficial (some of the class is registered) Garrath is still expecting race pace from us all. In fact, he pointed out at clinic tonight that I have to hoof it, and it would be great if everyone could help, since I have to be at a marshaling station by 12:15, for the second wave! No pressure!!! But K. (my pace bunny) and I are aiming for a 2:30 finish, which would be a PB for both of us. After tonight's worries.
I should go off and get the potluck stuff ready (we're having a Choc-luck tomorrow, in celebration of Valentine's day), so I thought I would make Chocolate Spiced Roast Pork & Onions (go big or go home) to be different. I'll let you all know how it works out.
Happy Friday!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

First day of Hills training

So, after carefully packaging up my lunch and breakfast, I promptly left it sitting in the hallway, and didn't realize till I got to the office. Drat! I could have used breakfast, since I had a dentist appointment at 8:50. I grabbed a coffee, but nothing to eat (bad) and headed off. After sitting in the office for about a half an hour (dental emergency) I was getting really hungry...and getting the starting of a caffeine (read - lack thereof) headache. Finally the receptionist offered me a Starbucks card for having to wait ('kay!!!) and then the chair opened up. I just needed a filling repaired, but my dentist is a very thorough man, making sure I was frozen from my waist to my ears, practically! Finally got back to the office around 10:30 (famished) but realized that until the freezing started to let out, I wasn't eating anything! Crap!!!
I did grab a salad downstairs (chipotle chicken with tomato, avocado, red cabbage, black beans and shredded cheddar on a huge pile of greens, with a light vinaigrette) but had to sit and stare at it, willing feeling to come back into my lips, teeth and tongue! I finally managed to get some chocolate milk into myself, which helped take the edge off. FINALLY the freezing came out about 2:30 and I could eat. OMG, I was STARVING.
Came home, changed, ate some leftover baked pasta with some cottage cheese, and headed off to the Running Room for Hills Training! Yay, yippee, yahoo, whoot-whoot...;enthusiastic enough? Garrath believes that you don't just run up and down hills, but that you should warm up and cool down, and still get in some decent mileage, all the while combating hills of 600m. Tonight we were scheduled for 5k, which involved 4 hills. We did 8.39km and three hills, but what hills they were!
After starting out at a nice pace, we ran along the river to 10th Street...our first hill. It was a lovely night for a run, cool and clear, but the pathways have started to ice over, which caused some footing problems. After making it to the top (no stopping or walking) we crossed the ridge to the Crescent Height Stairs (you've heard me talk about these before), which we walked down (safety first), and then curled around to run up the Curling Club hill. This one is be-otch, because it doesn't just go up nice and steady, but has a few mini climbs in it. This was the first time EVER that I have run it without having to walk or stop! We then ran over and down Centre Street, curled around and under and then prepared for our last hill...Centre Street!! We were instructed to run to the 1st set of lights, and then we were done. Our pace bunny misunderstood however, so we ran TO THE TOP! It's actually at a strip mall called Happy Hills! It lies!!!! But we made it (one of our group did sound like she was stroking out, but she made it) and then ran back for a blessed beer. Overall we did 8:39km, finished it in 1:17 and I maintained an average heart rate of 143 (82%) which rocks!!! My recovery is getting awesome.
Just got home from my one pint, and thinking I need something to eat. I am hungry.
That's it for me.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Running Machine

Sorry...too tired to post yesterday, and quite frankly, really didn't have a lot to say. Work was the usual Monday, but I did get my one report (the one with all the pretty graphs and charts and data and stuff!) finished way ahead of schedule. Which is good, because I now have my typical February project (gotta love tax season) to get going on...and to remember what I did last year! I have got to start writing this stuff down! I have to remember how to write the script (oh, have I mentioned that I AM NOT a techy??) for a Dataload program to produce 1300 tax forms to be sent out by the end of the month. And no, they're not T4's...those would be easy! Oh well...I've cleaned my plate at work, so that I can focus on this for the next three weeks.
Food yesterday was good - usual oatmeal mix, followed by my version of Mexican mac & cheese for lunch. All I did was cook up elbow macaroni, and added some of the leftover nacho cheese dip I made Sunday, with some milk to loosen it up a bit. Added some diced green pepper for extra veggies. It was good, and held me over till boot camp.
Which was also good...after our run to warm up (not that cold, -6C, but still really humid and foggy, which makes it hard for me to breathe), we did a circuit of weights and core, Tabata style. After getting my sweat on, and realizing that the next round of classes start Monday (man, that was fast!), I came home and ate dinner. Rustico tomato sauce with ground pork over pasta. Since I made a little crock-pot of it, it became dinner tonight.
I was too tired (fighting with my boy cat all night over sleeping, and how much I'd like to do just that) this morning to pack lunch, so I bought. Our deli makes a very good version of the "McMuffin", so I had mine with ham, lettuce & tomato and a side of baked hash browns. Then I went out and totally kicked 6k's butt!!! Where is this coming from?! I rocked out the 6k, averaging a pace of 7:16 today. And I managed to do 1 of the km at 6:54 and two at 7:06! Bring on the marathon, I say! Okay...maybe that was hasty...let me get hill training out of the way!
Lunch was a beef burger, but I had a very large green salad on the side, and no mayo on the burger (just mustard, cheese, pickles, lettuce and tomato). In fact, I think the cook downstairs feels sorry for me when I order salad, because I do seem to get a LOT!
Came home, fixed one of the tenant's windows (fastest ever, I might add...I'm getting at it!), and then had dinner of leftover pasta sauce, layered with bowties, zucchini slices and mushrooms. Oh, and some Havarti cheese may have been thrown in for good measure. It was tasty, and is already packed up for lunch tomorrow. Along with some fruit salad (oranges, grapefruit, pineapple, blueberries and coconut, with a touch of dried mint). Just have to throw the oatmeal concoction together, and I'm good to go.

Dentist appointment in the morning (oh, joy) and then tax forms all day (further joy) followed by our first night of hills...the bliss never ends in this house!!!
Hope everyone has a great week.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Just a quickie

Up yesterday at weigh-in - was expected after Friday night, but not as much as it was...that was a bit of let-down, as I managed to find what I lost the previous week. Oh well...just makes me resolve to get back down that much harder this week.
After breakfast at Cora's with two old friends, I came home and CRASHED! I just laid down with the furbabies because they were so cute on the bed, and woke up 3 hours later! Oops!! Didn't feel like going for my 6k steady, so I opted to do laundry instead. Dinner was a hodge-podge of whole wheat tortillas, artichoke dip and chicken nugget things from Safeway. I was back in bed (and asleep) just after 10.
Got up bright and early for our 19k LSD. It was, once again, cool (-12C or so) and foggy, so everything in Calgary was covered with a layer of frost. I mean EVERYTHING! But the paths weren't too bad...we took a slightly different route today, which took us up a very long hill, which I am proud to say I ran the whole thing, head held high! Across the top, down into Edworthy (where I have Boot Camp) and back to Eau Claire. We even did some speed drills, pushing to race pace for 500 meter bursts. Our average pace was 8:57/km, which considering our average should be 8:59-10, I thought was pretty good. Heart rate was a respectable 142 (82% - getting stronger - Yay!) and I burned a total of 1252 calories (there went Friday night's wine and munchies!).
Came home (after a quick latte) and showered and changed, to go to a friend's baby shower. Well...friend isn't the right word - see, she used to be one of my WW leaders! And then, with a career change, she left us and her mother took over. She too, left, and then the meeting was closed and long story short, I'm up a few friends and down a few leaders and back with Faye on Saturday mornings! So, it was really nice to see J. again (it's been over 2 years) and her mom - even knew one other person at the party. I'm not much into babies, admittedly, but I do love buying them clothes, because it's all just so darn freaking cute!!! I got little Malcolm a hoodie and matching sketchers!! C.U.T.E!!!!! Did some visiting, controlled the eating (I had just come off a 19k run, so it could have been ugly!!), and then headed for home. She lives WWWWAAAAAYYYYY out in the ' scared me a little!
I am home now, and had dinner of salsa, guac, ww tortillas (not chips!) and some nacho cheese dip. I am full and satisfied. Going to make some pasta and have "nacho" mac & cheese for lunch tomorrow, and then head for bed.
Back to the grind tomorrow, and Boot Camp (oh, how I missed you on Friday)...must lose what I found this week, and then some.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Friday nighty-night

Just got home from a friend's surprise birthday party at the Ranche. I tried to get there for 6, but as usual I got confused, and totally missed the turn! I wasn't too late though, although I did miss the "SURPRISE" part. There were some friends I haven't seen in awhile (met most of this group about 17 years ago, and it's nice how it has stayed pretty much the same, between marriages and kids, etc.) so it was nice getting caught up and shocking them all with my new look. I still enjoy the double-takes people do when they look at me.
I had researched the menu (had no idea what was going on tonight) but it turns out that P. had arranged for munchies and we got our own drinks. There were little appies being walked around (I felt so 'black-tie') of bruschetta, smoked salmon wrapped around baby arugula and roasted prawns. Then the table was set up with more fire-roasted prawns (these things were the size of a lobster tail, I swear!) with two dips, duck breast (which was freaking AWESOME), some home-made sausage and pate (could have been wild meat at that), a pickle platter, some veggies, a ton of fruit (and the best cantaloupe I've had in years) and cheese. Some rustic breads and crackers rounded it out. I indulged in two glasses of wine (yummy) and had a little bite of everything I wanted, and nothing I didn't. Then I switched to water. The birthday cake came out, which they then sliced and handed out. I took a small corner piece, and to my delight, it was a wonderful carrot cake with cream cheese icing. As it was a tad rich, and I was getting full, I didn't eat it all, and was okay with that.
No exercise today, mainly because of the party, but I did walk to and from work, and to and from my chiropractor's at lunch. So I guess there was some exercise.
Left the party early (everyone was heading off to the birthday girl's house), as weight watchers is at 7:30 in the morning! Man, I am dedicated!!!
We'll let you know how it goes tomorrow. I'm going to bed now.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

A little more steady today

Woke up feeling great after the last two Tempo runs...ankle felt good, legs strong, etc. Didn't run at lunch, since I knew we had the Steady run coming up after marathon clinic. Instead, I wandered over to the bank, which was far enough...the fog of yesterday turned into baby-powder fine snow overnight, making everything just a little on the slick side.
I had packed my usual oatmeal for breakfast, but decided at the last minute to save that till tomorrow...I wanted an egg burrito from downstairs. They use whole wheat wraps, and it has peppers and onions in it (okay, some chorizo as well), and I always dip it into salsa. Yummy way to start the day!
Lunch was a turkey sandwich on whole wheat thintini, but that was it. So I also got a bowl of soup (cream of mushroom, which according to the deli's website, doesn't even have cream in it!) and a tossed garden salad (no dressing). That filled me up. Afternoon snack was a grapefruit (worked off the calories just peeling it to eat it!) and the new Asano yogurt (more calcium) - still 2 points a serving. I miss yogurt that a spoon can stand up in, frankly!
Came home and was so tired, I actually set the alarm and laid down for about 45 minutes. Not sure if I slept, but I did feel a tad better afterwards. Dinner was another quickie, as marathon clinic starts at 6pm. I tossed whole wheat rotini with a diced regular tomato, some sun-dried tomatoes (not in oil) and a teaspoon of evoo. Topped it with some shards of Parmesan, and dinner was served. Again, thought to take the picture AFTER I ate! Oops!!
Marathon clinic was a yoga class tonight. What I learned is that I am not bendy! At all!!! Even my arches won't bend, as we did one move that should be used to torture terrorists with! With respect for the fact that we all just did yoga, Garrath sent us out on a shorter steady run of only 6km, but it was up a rather impressive hill. It started out slow - we had a girl join us tonight that thought we were the 5 hour group, not realizing we are the 5.5 hour that with the fact that the humid, cold air was not getting along with my lungs - it was a struggle to get going. BUT I ran the whole hill, and didn't slow down, maintaining a decent pace the whole time. Sadly, once we got to the top it was all residential, and therefore really loose snow or ruts. My ankle is not pleased!!! As I said, I'm getting weary of running in sand! Yes, I burn more calories, and I'm really working my butt, but I'm getting tired of having to work this hard every run. A dry path would be a treat one day!
Finished the run, did some serious stretching (my right hip wants to pop so bad - good thing I'm seeing the chiro tomorrow) and after picking up some Gu/Carb Boom and a new one (Vanilla Orange - tastes like creamsicles!), I am home. Okay, one more side stop to dump the recyclables, and NOW I am home, and in jammies. I may even make it till 10!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

And the Tempo continues...

I was tired legs felt like lead. I had no energy. While running, I accidentally stopped the timer, and ended up about a half kilometer into the run before I realized...and yet, I still managed to pull off a 7:31/km tempo for 6km! Where were these legs last year?!
Breakfast: nutella/banana/coconut oatmeal. It is a daily repeat, but delicious, and I like it!
Lunch: tried the Safeway Eating Right Turkey & Bean chili. High in fibre (6 gr) and low in fat, a half a can is only 4 points. And it has a bit of a kick to it! And the best part is I could pronounce everything in the ingredients list. Rounded that out with a green salad (with evoo & balsamic) and an apple. Afternoon snack was one of the new Yoplait yogurts...the one with extra calcium & vitamin D. It was yogurt...nothing special. Most certainly not Liberte Coconut!!
Dinner: since I was in a huge hurry today (had to pick up Mom in the deep southwest, and drive to the deep northeast for a CT scan this evening) and I had a piece of snapper in the fridge, I decided to make "fish & chips". I took the piece of fish, and rubbed a bit of evoo on it, and then dipped it into some panko crumbs that had S&P and Epicure Fine Herbs mixed in. Then, beside the fish in the baking dish, I put some of the McCains Roasted Potato chunks. Baked till done, and with some malt vinegar on the potatoes and tarter (miracle whip, relish & lemon juice) sauce, and I had a close substitute for the real thing, without all the deep-fried goodness! Unfortunately I was so hungry, and in such a rush, I forgot to take a picture!
CT scan went good, I think. Let's see...30 minutes to get there, 30 minutes waiting, 5 minutes for the scan, and 30 minutes to get home. Yup...that's the night in a nutshell! And explaining to Mom for the 18th time why we were doing!
After a quick trip into work to drop off an Epicure order (I was too tired last night), I am home and in my jammies, and after this post, am aiming to be in bed by 10pm.
Let's see if I can rock the 8km Steady tomorrow night as well as I rocked the Tempos this week! This kind of running, I like!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Awesome Tempo run

Started typing in the title as "Rocked the Tempo Run" and it popped up, as I've used it before. Probably last week...but this week I killed it even more!!!! Last time I rocked it, I managed a pace of 7:56/km. Today was 7:37/km!!! YA-FREAKING-HOO!!!!! The 'to finish' tempo pace is 8:09, so I'm really happy with the progress I am making.
Dad came home today, but not via the Carol mentioned, I found a service that picks up and delivers, in an ambulance type vehicle, to make the transportation easy and comfortable for the patient. Dad said they were really nice, and quite awesome, so I'm glad it all worked out. After all, as great as my job and my boss are, I can't just pick up and leave whenever I want! Guess I could, but then I'd find I have all day to choose from, if you get my drift!
Breakfast was the usual oatmeal concoction, and lunch was a turkey sandwich on a thintini bun. Some light havarti and some celery to munch on the side, and a 1/2 c of 1% cottage cheese managed to fill me up. Rounded the afternoon off with a peach yogurt.
For once, I didn't have to rush off somewhere right after work, but I still jumped in the car (habit!) and whipped over to the vet to pick up some needles for George.
I just had to take a picture of his feet, as they are just adorable! He has the extra toe on every foot, but his front feet look the goofiest...and he was just sitting there, falling asleep standing up...silly man!
As I was leaving the vets, I then decided to take advantage of 10% Tuesday at Safeway. Picked up some much needed stuff, and managed to walk out of there $100 poorer, but I think I did okay. Cupboards and pantry are full, and I had a nice dinner of Epicure souvlaki pork tenderloin, a sliced tomato and some sliced cucumber and a side risotto.
It's one of those packaged things (couldn't do one that had "meat" in it...yuck - how processed has that got to be, for meat to stay safe on a shelf??) and I had to chose carefully, to find the one with the lowest sodium. While it is wickedly convenient (2 minutes in the microwave), it wasn't worth the effort.
It was rather bland, and mushy, and nary a "grilled Mediterranean vegetable" to be seen. Now I know...lesson learned.

I must head down to the office to drop off an Epicure order I've been sitting on for a few days, and then it's back home to bed! I am wiped out.
Tomorrow night will be Mom's CT scan, so that will be an interesting adventure, I'm sure. She's already called me twice about
I have to say though, with all the parental stress over the last week, I managed to leave Safeway tonight WITHOUT a bag of cookies, a box of chocolates (the Valentines and Easter stuff is competing for shelf supremacy right now!) or a bag of chips. Well done me!
Celebrate the small victories, people!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Monday quickie

- Got up way too early and worked way too hard! Hate the first day back.
- ate oatmeal, celery, carrots, hummus, sushi (I was still hungry), apple & almond butter through the day.
- raced home, changed and raced to Boot Camp. Got our butts kicked again!
- raced home, changed (deja vu?!) and raced to Mom's, after inhaling melba toast and Epicure roasted red pepper dip. Went to hospital to visit Dad, hauling yet more crap. Good news is even more crap was subsequently hauled back home, as he didn't need some of the stuff. And he may be coming home tomorrow.
- if Dad is released tomorrow, I found a medical service that picks up and delivers (bed to bed) patients in Calgary. Which is good, because I had no idea how the hell I was getting him home!!
- dropped Mom off, nipped into Co-op to pick up something quick for "supper", and got home about 9:30. Ate a turkey & havarti sandwich on a whole wheat thintini bun.
- finished writing up the rental receipts for February, and now I am exhausted and am going to bed.
Night all!

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