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Monday, January 31, 2011

Blah Monday

Maybe it's the cold - woke up to -29C this morning - but I just can't seem to do anything tonight! I was going to head to Walmart to pick up a few things, including milk which I am out of. Instead, I've spent the evening saying "I'll leave in a few minutes"'s now 9:25pm! Now I'll go tomorrow after run clinic, since that should be done about 7:30 or so. That's my key...I can't sit. If I sit, I stop. Acknowledging the issue is one step closer to the cure, right??

After a chilly walk in this morning (had to wear long-johns under my pants) I sat and plugged away at work. Nothing to major, but nothing too exciting either. We did hear who our new boss will be, which turned out to be good news. I love the fact that we're not micro-managed at all, and the new guy seems to be of the same frame of mind. We've worked together for about 8 years, but since it's a large department (100+ and counting), we've never worked directly with each other. But he'll be good! This I am confident about...and he's a super nice guy too.

Stayed a little later than usual, as my coworker went home sick at lunch, and I'll tackle what I left off with when I go back in the morning. It's not that we're behind...just don't like leaving things alone that could be done.

Not much as far as exercise today, but the walk to/from work counted, as I walked a little brisker to stay warm, and did some more "sand walking" in the loose snow. Really feeling it in my quads today from yesterday's run, actually. Found out that time trials have been postponed tomorrow, due to the cold/snow, event though the warming trend starts tomorrow. High of -6C...wahoo!!

Dinner was the last of the Tom Yum, with a "dessert" of whole grain bread with some light cream cheese and Saskatoon berry spread on top. Cold = carby goodness. I did control myself (there's still bread in the bag, after all) as I know the key to the new plan is planning and control. I've seen what happens when you fly by the seat of your pants (+5 pounds in 5 weeks) and when you plan (-2.4 in 2 weeks), so planning it is!

And in keeping with planning, I am busy cooking up a pot of steel cut oats for brekkie. Tonight I am cooking it in coconut milk (out of UVAB), and with some pecans thrown in. Smells awesome right now. With some banana or pineapple stirred in tomorrow...that's gonna be some good oatmeal!

That's it for me. Half watching Village on a Diet, although I am getting REALLY tired of all the tears...if I were the trainers/chef/Doctor/oh, hell, any of the experts brought in specifically to help them, I'd be telling the entire town to go F*^% themselves right about now. They are way more patient than I am. I would hope if someone handed me a gym, free trainers, nutritionist, doctors and a chef, I would grab on tight and never let go!!


Sunday, January 30, 2011

Weekend update's brisk out there. It snowed most of the day yesterday, but that didn't stop me from getting Mom out for her blood work and vehicle registration, and the a trip to the farmer's market with H-woman. It was nice to see how busy the market is, considering it's smaller than the Calgary market (which has yet to open in it's new home) and only been operating inside for just over two weeks. People definitely have a need in this city. Came home with some more baklava (OMG, so good!!!) and some organic Polish garlic sausage. I'm thinking red beans and rice or a sauerkraut bake. Or both!

Got home, and was just beat. I really should have gone out and shovelled, but since it continued to snow all night, what was the point. I napped instead!! Had an awesome donair at the market, so "dinner" was a bowl of cheerios with a banana and UVAB at about 9pm. Then I hit the hay about 11, as this morning was our first official long slow of 2011.

After a breakfast of whole grain toast, almond butter and banana, I dressed for the weather. Three layers on top, with gloves and my runner girl toque. First layer is a skin tight "sleeve" as I like to call it. Wicking material, it sits right on my skin, under my favourite Melissa's technical shirt. Granted, it's colour is off...grey when with green, brown when with grey, green when with brown...very hard to match up. Lastly, the Resolution Run 2011 jacket. Warm, great wind-break and let's face it...highly visible.
Garmin sits on my left wrist, with my Road ID on the right. Cheap, cheap, cheap and awesome. Hard to read here, but name and contact numbers engraved (no ink to sweat off) along with a mantra...Left, right, repeat.

On the bottom, two layers...a skin tight, wicking pair of long johns and running pants over top. Double layer running socks, again that wick moisture, and lastly my trail runners. Little grippies on the bottom keep me from falling down, although they are a little ineffective directly on ice. So we'll just avoid that, shall we?

Today's run was a 12km double loop. Trying to keep everyone safe, since we were facing 15-20cm of snow (6-8") and temperatures of -21C (-6F) with a windchill of -32C (-26F). We ran east to Langevin, on the path that the city had yet to clear. It really is like running on loose sand, and with patches of ice underneath, it was downright treacherous sometimes. Cross the river at the bridge and back west to 10th Street. At least on this side, the paths had been cleaned, so the running was a bit easier. Cross the river again, and return to the Running Room...repeat. While most of the path was clear, the 1 km stretch really proved to tax the legs. Which is why, when I was done my second loop and was still a km short, I didn't care. I got my "run on" today...and my sweat on. While it may seem that I was under dressed, I was soaked to the skin by the time was I done. One guy joked that he ran beside me for a while just to get warm!! I stuck to the "long, slow" credo, taking just over 92 minutes to run the 11km. Others in the clinic did not heed that advice...the time trials on Tuesday could be interesting.
After some stretching and a latte and visit with fellow runners, I came home, and had a quick, rejuvenating lunch of scrambled eggs on toast. Topped with some shredded cheese and salsa, it was fast and delicious. And was exactly what I needed after a long run, and before I head out to tackle the sidewalks.

The building beside me had their crew come out and do their walks, which was AWESOME, as they tend to blow their snow over to my side. Happy face!!! Took me almost an hour and a half to shovel my stretch, and I swear with every lift of the shovel, the snow got deeper!! At one point I had to start at the "end" and clear a section, push the next section over and clear it and so on. If I had continued pushing from the start, I would have been digging out from under 3' of snow in no time. As for the main drag, it was so tramped down that I had to work double hard to break it up. Got my second sweat on for the day! In fact, between the run and the shovelling, I earned almost as many points as I normally get to eat in a day!

These two have the right idea!!

After a little rest, and trying to get warm, I made another pot of Tom Yum soup. Into my pot tonight went coconut milk, chicken broth, ginger, chili garlic sauce, brown, white and shitake mushrooms, wood fungus, red pepper, celery, fish sauce, lime juice, chicken, shrimp and cilantro. To change it up even further, I cooked some rice vermicelli and topped it with the soup. Just what a tired, cold body needs on a Sunday night. Lunch for tomorrow is ready and packed in the fridge. Yay!

Okay...that's it for me. Hope everyone had a fabo weekend doing what they love with who they love.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Bunch of girls!

Well...the days of sandals are gone. Boo! It started snowing on the walk home, although all forecasts had it starting last night. Either way, the socks and shoes were back on. Unhappy toes again.

Got home, changed, and drove off to boot camp. Traffic will be the death of me! I honestly don't know how people do this every single day...thank goodness for my walk to work everyday. Got to Edworthy Park just before 5, at the same time as another booter, and the two of us headed to our meeting area. Trainer Josh. Traffic sucked though, so the two of us stood there for a few minutes, and were joined by a third, but no Josh. Finally, because we were getting cold and it was getting late, we all decided to go for a run to warm up, hoping Josh would be waiting on our return. No such luck...we all came to the conclusion that he wasn't coming, but we didn't think that he had changed the camp to indoors. After all, the snow was light, as was the wind and it was only -5C by this point. The 3 of us did some sets of weights...flies, overheads, lats, curls, dips, push-ups before we all disbanded. All in all, my boot camp tonight was 20 minutes long. Back in my car, I text Josh, to find out that yes, the class was changed to indoors, because of the "storm"...what a bunch of girls! Turns out there was an email waiting for me at home. It may not have been a long class, but I did get a mini sweat on and that's important.

Came home hungry - lunch was my usual salad buffet mix (crab & corn salad, some Greek, fresh veg, avocado and mixed fresh fruit). Even my afternoon snack of a Peanut Butter Larabar wasn't holding on anymore. Last night I successfully avoided a fast, drive through meal of filet o'fish (turned left instead of right!) and I am proud to say I did the same tonight. But I did make my own version, sans bun.

Toss sweet potato "chips" with some evoo and set to bake in a hot oven on my clay baker. Mix a tin of salmon with an egg, breadcrumbs, shredded Parmesan, onion, celery and red pepper, form into patties and fry up. Side of grape tomatoes and dinner is served. Oh, and the tarter sauce is the same sauce Earl's serves (or at least they used to) with their chicken wings. Mayo, malt vinegar, Parmesan, basil and my addition of capers. Yum.

Trying to stay awake, but I think I'm heading in early tonight. I've got a long day ahead tomorrow, as I have to take mom in for some blood work. Just getting her to remember to NOT eat between tonight and tomorrow morning is going to be a job in itself. So, aiming to pick her up at 8am. That means leaving my house around 7:30...and with the forecast snowfall, it may even take longer. Hoping that also means it'll keep more people home, and not in the labs. Then off to register her vehicle, maybe breakfast somewhere, groceries if she needs some and then to the Farmer's Market with H-woman later in the day. And to round out the weekend...a nice 12km run on Sunday. In -16C temps to boot...knew "spring" last week was short-lived!

Take care and stay warm, wherever you are.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Happy Feet

Don't care if the toes are in recovering from runs and in desperate need of a pedicure. I wore my 'birks to work yesterday and today! Oh, happy day!! Yes, I know it's January and I live in Canada, but it was GORGEOUS here in Calgary the last few days (+12C today) and as long as the snow doesn't get on the toes, I'm okay with it. Unfortunately it's supposed to start snowing overnight, and a small cold front is moving in, so it's back to "normal" shoes for the next few days.

I may finally have a handle on the new WW plan. What I've figured out is that it really boils down to planning. I've been good about planning meals, from oatmeal to breakfast to dinner, and resulting leftovers for lunch, and I was down again this week. It doesn't hurt that my exercise lifestyle has returned to normal as well, as I ran Sunday, Tuesday and last night, and did boot camp Friday and this evening. Add Zumba to the mix in a couple of weeks, and I'll have a pre-scheduled exercise class of some sort 6 days a week!

Boot camp tonight was hard indoors, with it so beautiful outside. And that really drew a lot of people away, as there were only 5 of us that showed for class. But we got put through our paces, focusing a lot on the upper body. Between regular weights and band work, we got our sweat on!! It felt much better once we opened all the doors in the hall, to let the fresh air in. After the hour of hell, came home, inhaled quick pasta (egg, lemon and ham on whole wheat linguine) and went downstairs to finish cleaning up my empty suite, as the new tenant was picking up the keys tonight.

I hate housework...there, I said it. Hate cleaning my own place, yet it amazes me how many times I clean the empty suites around here. Especially this's like it was cursed...which is what I thought the little troll that used to live in there years ago did! She was upset that I took over as caretaker (I think she wanted the job, but the management company picked me) and moved out shortly after. And I've had the hardest time keeping anyone in that suite since! It has seen it share of midnight moves and just outright, blatant walk aways. I can't remember how many times I've scrubbed out that same oven (my MOST HATED job), bathtub (second on the list), fridge, etc. But it's clean and keys officially handed over. My job is done and I think this one will stay for his year at least. I work with him, and he's waiting to bring his wife into the country. He'll be stable.

My back and arms did not enjoy scrubbing and washing floors after boot camp, so I think I'm going to take some vitamin I and head for bed. I'll try to get through a few chapters of Born to Run (started it this week, but I only allow myself 1 or 2 chapters, since I'm reading it just before bed...don't want to be up all night) and then it's FRIDAY! Oh...but I get to start mine with a trip to the dentist. Boo...


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Run club

We're back! Not that I ever really left, but I most definitely slowed down in November and December, with December being a total write-off. So tonight's 8km tempo run was a tad slower than month's past. But that's okay. I have to ease back into this stuff, and I'm just happy I got out there and did it.

Stats: 7.79km, 7:43 average pace, 172 average bpm (YIKES, that's a TAD high, considering my max is 173!!!), finished in 1:00:05. Next week will bring the time trials, and we'll see just where I sit, pace wise.

So, in case you couldn't figure it out, Marathon Clinic started again last night. New leader (Doug) although Garrath will make an appearance, and is helping out "behind the scenes"...whatever that means. I am pacing again this clinic, and while I am the 5-hour pacer, it's a slower 5-hour then last time. But something I am working on, because I want to finish Calgary in 5. Bring it!

Dinner was fast and simple, as I made the egg lemon sauce again for pasta, only this time added sliced non-fat ham and parsley. Quick, simple, filling and had me out the door in time for run club. No pictures though...too busy eating!

Spent a little longer in the pub tonight, as my first pacer K.'s brother passed this week, so we were raising a pint in his honour. That just means I am very, very tired right now and must shut down soon to go to bed. Someone tonight mentioned that they had to leave, because they "had to be at work at 7 and they were worried about getting up that early"...funny...that's what time I start every day. Should I be worried?! Nah...


Monday, January 24, 2011

Down a pint

And maybe that's why I am so freaking exhausted all of a sudden! I can barely keep my eyes open right now, so I'm going to head to bed. Just going to program the PVR to tape the rest of tonight's Come Dine with Me, Canada and shut everything down.

I donated blood was my 39th time. Wow. Sadly, the clinic was dead tonight...hoping it picked up after I left. Blood is very important. Because of the donation, I've had all sorts of stuff for "dinner". Before leaving work, I had my yogurt and apple, to make sure I had a full tummy for donating. I also chugged back a lot of water...that helps with the donation too, as I fill the bag in about 4 minutes. After I was done, I had a bowl of soup (chicken noodle) and a mini coconut chocolate mint cupcake. Literally a two-bite treat. Then home to a ham sandwich and two small baklava, and some more water. Didn't really feel like cooking anything once I got home.

Did manage to get a load of laundry done, in time for running clinic tomorrow. But hauling all that upstairs - almost had to sit down to I know why the nurses say no heavy lifting after donating! Oops!!!

Okay, that's it for me tonight.


Sunday, January 23, 2011

A good day

Started awesome, despite the 7am wake up call. Which, let's face it, is a nasty time to wake up on a Sunday! But I was up, dressed, fed (steel cut oats cooked with UVAB, vanilla and cinnamon, with a banana stirred in), watered and prepared to run. Too bad it took longer to pay for the parking than it did to drive the 10+ blocks to get there!! I was ready to go home, by the time we got to the third pay meter, and then the person in front of me couldn't figure out how to get her receipt. Seriously, it's not rocket science, kids!!! Pick time, put in money, take out receipt. I really have no patience first thing in the's probably good that I live alone!
Met up with some of the group, although many were running 19km today. I did not have 19 in me, so I thought a nice 10km would be a great way to ease back in. Ended up running with my old pacing buddy K. and my fast pacing buddy KM. and off we went. It was already +2C when I left the house at 8:15am, and it only got warmer from there. However, heading west, we ran into a heck of a head-wind until we turned around at Crowchild. Hoping for the tail-wind though proved to be futile, as it appeared to die down the second we crossed the river!! However, the sun was shining, birds singing and we all managed a very decent 8:34/km slow pace for what was the first run back for me and KM. Took an hour and 25 minutes to pound out 10:15km and overall felt great. Had a coffee and a chat K. and Jacqui, the Running Room events coordinator for Western Canada, and got caught up on all the upcoming races...most of which I'm already registered for! LOL!!

After coffee, I whipped home, changed and picked up H-woman. Off to the Farmer's Market we went, meeting up with her cousin and his girlfriend. Quick wander of the market yielded some lean stew beef, heirloom carrots (orange, yellow and purple), some fingerling potatoes and my precious Saskatoons. Brought home two jars this time! Had a quick lunch of homemade falafel...yum, yum...oh, and some baklava from the same stand may have fallen into my bag. May have...that's all I'm saying.

Dropped H. off (she had to work) and went on a Purdy's chocolate run for Mom. Also picked up a few things at the drugstore for me, and then after filling up the tank (I shouldn't be shocked, but WHY did gas go up overnight?!?!), dropped in on Mom. Cleaned up her living room, hauled some garbage out to the garage and the bin, clipped the cat's toenails, and then took Mom for a quick drive, so she could get out of the house for a bit. Granted, the quick drive was to the liquor store, but it still counts! We also dropped in on the pet store for some treats for the boys.

Home, where beef stew was waiting for me. Before heading out to Mom's, I browned the stew meat and then sauteed onions, garlic and celery in the same pan. De-glaced with beef stock and red wine, and threw it all, with potatoes and carrots into my little slow cooker, added some bay leaves, set it on low and left. My apartment smelled awesome when I got home.
My family always had bread and butter with our stew, unless Mom made dumplings. I was not even going to calculate the cost of those, so it was a fresh multigrain slice (or two) for me to sop of the gravy with. And I have lunch for tomorrow already to roll. Came out to 5 points a serving, which I am quite pleased with.
Enjoyed a baklava (O.M.G!) and now I'm going to wash up some dishes and hit the sack. Work tomorrow...where did the weekend go?!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

I heart Chinooks!

Let the fresh air in! I've got my living room window cranked wide open, as it's still +4C and after 7pm and dark outside. Chinooks rock! This time last week, it was -21C with a -32C windchill. I will most definitely go running in the morning. Of course the downside of an open window is finding out that the guys with the band still live down the street, and that not enough cars have proper mufflers and too many cars have way too sensitive car alarms!! But I don't regret the fresh breeze wafting in right now.

Last night's boot camp was outside too, and I forgot how much I enjoy that over working out inside. The snow may be slippery but I think it adds to the workout as your core works double time to keep you stabilized. And Trainer Josh likes to use all the items in the area for our workout, so there was no short supply of places to run, lifts to lift and pull and spots to drop and give him 20! We even did some sprint work, pacing ourselves to run at 70, 80 and then 90% of our max. Starting next week, I will return to the outdoor class on Fridays, as marathon clinic and boot camp conflict on Tuesday. So it will now be Monday nights off, Tuesday run, Wednesday run club, Thursday boot camp, Friday boot camp, Saturday Zumba (starts middle of February) and Sunday long runs. Just the kick in the can I need!! Did I mention I signed up for another race last week, and that there's an 8th I'm looking at next week?! And that's just to the end of May. I need to figure out what I want to run the rest of the year, although I do have several planned out already. This year I will be a running fool!

After I got home last night, I just nibbled. My lunch was pretty substantial, so I wasn't really that hungry, even after boot camp. I had found these cute salmon roll ups at the store last week, and for 1 pt each, they seemed okay. And that's what they were...just okay. They were a piece of salmon rolled around a crab mousse and in puff pastry. A very thin bit of puff pastry, that is! Noshed on those, drank water, and went to bed. I enjoyed a very glorious sleep in this morning. Didn't even set the alarm. I enjoy days like that.

After a cup of coffee and constant gazing in my fridge to see if milk had magically appeared, I finally got dressed and walked to the store. Returned with milk, buttermilk (to make a soda bread), UVAB (for my oats), bananas (for the run tomorrow) and a coffee crisp. I was jonesing for chocolate, and I counted all 7 points of it. Ate it slow to savour, and now that is done. Time to move on.

Lunch was potato rosti, perfectly dippy eggs, toast, fat-free ham and a tomato. That kept me going most of the day, when I finally decided it was time for dinner.

I had a piece of salmon that I forgot about, so thought I should cook it up already, along with that little turnip I bought. Not sure which one is having the hacki-sack tourny in my gut right now, but hope it wasn't the salmon! Anyway, I diced the turnip with carrots and Brussels sprouts, and all went in the roaster. I haven't met a roasted vegetable that I don't like yet. The salmon went in the fry pan with S&P, lemon juice and a touch of dill. Round out the meal with a cup of brown rice and I am officially satisfied.

That's it for me. Going to lay everything out for the morning, and make up some oats tonight, so I just have to reheat. I think I'll tackle 10km in the morning, and since it'll be a long slow, it should be just fine. After that a quick trip to the Farmer's Market, as I am out of Saskatoons (gasp!) and then home to do a quick, final clean on the empty suite. Amazing the changes a coat of paint, new floor and carpet make! It looks completely different. I think the new guy will be pleased.


Thursday, January 20, 2011


I really stuck to the new program this week. I DID NOT sit down and eat an entire bundt cake by myself!!! I was good about not snacking, and except for one night, really didn't crave it anyway, and today the digital devil was in my favour. FINALLY!!! Six weeks into the new program and I finally lost some. Okay, so now is not the time to get stupid about it. Head down, concentrate and repeat.

No boot camp tonight, as I wanted to go listen to Dick Beardsley speak. Wow is all I have to say.

Not sure if the above link worked, but if not, go to YouTube and type in Dick Beardsley or Boston Marathon 1982. It's referred to as the Duel under the Sun. It's long (over 9 minutes) but so worth it. I got goosebumps watching it tonight at the talk and again just now. I am in constant awe of people that can run like that. And to hear his full story - he is so much more than Boston - is to hear the tale of survival. Bought his book "Staying the Course" which sounds to be an inspirational read. I also ordered the Duel under the Sun, which is all about the race itself.

Dinner tonight was the last of the Spanish Chicken and Barley. Very good the next day, as the flavours really had time to meld. Lunch was my usual hodge-podge of salads (crab, 3-bean, Greek, Chicken & broccoli), with a couple of small pyrogies and, because they looked so good, onion rings. Sadly, or happily, the onion rings were cold and nasty and went into my trash bin. Dessert as a rice krispie square and an Asian pear.

So, I'll hit up boot camp tomorrow night, which will be outside in the snow! YAY!!!! I do love boot camp but have just been enduring it inside. I so prefer working out outside in the fresh air. There is nothing more painful than feeling trapped in a school gym with a bunch of sweaty people all gasping and panting for air. It may very well be the same outside, but the sounds of pain are masked by sounds of nature!!! That and it's still +1C outside, and tomorrow it's supposed to be about the same in the sunshine. I heart Chinooks!

Okay, I was super tired this morning, so I will start getting ready for bed now. Maybe I'll actually make it there and be asleep BEFORE midnight tonight!


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Fly by post

Just a quick one tonight (I Promise!). Just got in from run club. Yes, I went running tonight!! Temps weren't too bad, wind has finally shifted to the south and warmed up, with the full Chinook expected to hit tomorrow. Rumours of double digits (to the good) abound for the weekend.

Did a good 5.5km run at a good, steady pace (quite a few of us have been no shows, so we were all suffering a bit) and finished in 42 minutes. Then it was a pint at the Barley Mill, and while everyone else noshed on burgers and fries, I sat steady with my "Irish meal replacement in a glass" and did not even nibble. That's because I was a good girl and ate my supper before my run. Dinner was also a quick one - Lemony Chicken Carbanara. While pasta cooks, mix 1 egg and lemon juice together with some S&P. I had leftover cooked chicken, which I diced. When pasta is done, drain and put back in pot - shut off the heat. Add the lemon/egg mixture and stir like your life depends on it!! If you stir quick enough, you'll get a silky, smooth sauce when the egg "cooks". Otherwise you end up with scrambled eggs on pasta. Blech. Added the chicken, sprinkled with some cheese and voila. No veggies, but I did have my Spanish chicken leftovers for lunch and a whole mango as a snack. I'm good for the day.

All right...I am beat, and am going to bed.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Good day

Got up on time...okay, so I hit snooze a few times, but at least the alarm went off, allowing me to snooze!

Packed up breakfast and lunch:
- oatmeal with toasted pecans and Saskatoon berries.
- cottage cheese and an apple. I did take a piece of leftover chicken, but decided last minute to get a bowl of soup downstairs. Vegetable tortellini. It was chalk full of big, chunky vegetables and had a nice clean broth. Afternoon snack was an Asian pear and the Satisfaction yogurt. Thought I'd give it a try, but I think I'll stick with the Greek stuff. No fat and no unhealthy stuff...

Work was...I think I'm getting some new tasks sent my way, which will be awesome. A - because I get to learn more and B - because I am, for all intents and purposes, done my work for.the.month. It may be a long two weeks!

Came home, changed and just made it to boot camp. It's amazing...if I leave my house by 4:28, I'm pulling up at boot camp with a good 10 minutes to spare. 4:32 and I'm almost late! Literally ran in the room at 4:59!! Craziness...anyway, we had good, all over, boot camping fun! Happy good times!!!! Equally painful parts of cardio (jump rope), upper body (lats, flies, curls, extensions, push ups), core (drop leg flies) and legs (lunge walking, squats). Our goal was to hit 800 reps! Yes, 6 stations with 25 reps each and one station of 50...repeat 4 times! I am proud to say that when the front runner finished, I only had 125 reps to go. Usually just starting my 3rd loop by the time the jocks are finished their fourth. I went hard tonight! Also signed up for a Zumba class that Survivor is putting on. The instructor is considered one of the best in Calgary, and I've already heard raves about her. Unfortunately didn't realize until after I signed up that I have a half marathon on day one, but I think that's a good enough excuse to get me out of class that day!

Home from boot camp, where I put together Spanish Chicken and Rice. It was posted on the WW site this week and looked really good. I did some variations though.

Into the new Epicure Everything Pan went evoo, onion, garlic and chicken breasts (they called for thighs...blech). Add Spanish Paprika (luckily for me, Epicure sells a delightfully smoky version), cumin seeds, S&P. Throw in roasted red pepper strips and cherry tomatoes (I had grape, so that's what I used) and I added quartered baby artichokes. Add the rice (again, switch up here...they called for white rice (WTF??) so I added my quick cooking barley instead. Way more protein and full of fibre) and stir till coated. Add 1 can chicken broth (and a bit of water), cover and cook till barley is tender. Test for seasonings (more paprika) and add 15 sliced green olives and a splash of Sherry vinegar. Heat through and enjoy. Verdict...OH-MY-GAWD!!!!!!!!!! With my variations, the recipe changed from 10pts per serving (4 large servings) to 8 and I am happily satiated. And I have lunch AND supper for tomorrow already done.

Part of my goal this week was to try something new from the grocery store, so I bought a Chayote Squash. Found a recipe for a salad of sorts with roasted red pepper and a tangerine dressing that I will try later this week.
Doesn't it remind you of Audrey II?? "Feeeeed me..." Okay...I may have just dated myself. I hate getting old!
Also bought a turnip.
Yup...the long hated root vegetable from my youth. But...I also despised Brussels sprouts and since I brought home a good pound of them last night, I'd say I've become a fan! I'll try it roasted and see whether it's an adult taste or if I still hate them.

Enjoying a little wine after dinner, and rehydrating after boot camp. And I will go to bed early tonight. I hope...that's the goal anyway.


Monday, January 17, 2011

Something is wrong here...

Mom's grocery list:
2% milk
whipping cream (for cereal)
mini wheats (with brown sugar frosting)
chocolate chip cookies
double chocolate cookies
jelly beans
licorice allsorts
Boost (because it's good for her!)

My grocery list:
assorted fruit
cheerios (because they're good for me!)

Mmmm...guess if I make to to 75, I'll get to nosh on cookies for supper too!

Still blinking cold out there (sad, sad, sad story out of Toronto - just freaking sad) BUT it's supposed to warm up tomorrow. Fact is, it's 6 degrees warmer now than it was as 10:37AM, so I guess that's something.

Exercise consisted of walk to and from work, and then hauling groceries and cat food into Mom's. Did some tidying up there, and came home, whipping into Chapters to pick up the Born to Run and Blogging for Dummies. Let's see what I can do to this site to jazz it up a bit, and get 11 followers...I would have said a dozen, but that's just crazy talk! I also picked up what appears to be a helpful "de-cluttering" type manual. Again, let's see how it works.

I forgot to turn my alarm on last night, so slept nicely till 6:35am. That does not work so well when I usually start work at 7, so ended up working till 4:30 today. Threw my whole day off! As it was, I came home, jumped in the car, drove to the vet's for food, drove to Coop, went to the bank, went to the liquor store, dropped everything off, unpacked the groceries, cleaned out the fridge, gathered up garbage, emptied and reloaded the dishwasher, checked the mail and left. Good thing I grabbed some sushi and edamame at the store for me, because I knew I was not going to whip up dinner at 8:30 (when I got home). I will be making this really tasty sounding Spanish dish tomorrow night though, so I'll let you all know how it works out.

Packing up for bed. Yes, the alarm is on.


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Busy day

And really, I felt like I didn't really do anything. Stayed inside for one thing. Liars...all weather people are liars!! The wind did not shift did not slow down...and therefore, it did not warm up! HOWEVER...there is a big rain storm over Vancouver Island and Vancouver, so that should mean CHINOOK by the middle of the week! Glory be...just have to hold out for a couple of more days.

I did bake a loaf of bread (soda bread...very dense with oat bran, wheat germ, oatmeal and whole wheat flour) which has been outstanding with my Saskatoon pie filling spread on. I am in the process of mixing up another batch of steel cut oats (oats, UVAB, vanilla, water, toasted pecans - will top with some Saskatoons each morning) and I have lunch ready and in the fridge. My dinner was meatballs, roasted in the oven, along with potato roti (both from Ikea), which I topped with a "mushroom" sauce. Take one can cream of mushroom soup, add some sour cream and dill, heat through. I also roasted the last of my Brussels sprouts to make for a full meal. With the leftover mushroom sauce, I made chicken & noodles. Pan fried a chicken breast and the last of my fresh mushrooms till cooked through. Boiled some yolkless egg noodles, dice the chicken, toss everything together. Looks very good and filling. With dinner though, I was very Swedish, as I ate my gravy covered meatballs with Saskatoons on the side. Seriously, you have to try this one day! YUM!

I also baked up a batch of the Ginger Oatmeal cookies from the new WW cookbook. Can't say I'm overly impressed as they still work out to 2 points per cookie and these are some seriously small cookies!! Let's put it this way...the recipe says you are to get 30 (I got 21 small cookies) and I mixed the whole thing up in a measuring cup!!

Managed to stay within points today, which I am pleased with, since the biggest exercise I did was wash the dishes. Granted, I did a lot of dishes, but I don't think I broke a sweat! We'll see what happens when I tackle the litter boxes next.

Sunday night already...sigh...


Repeat of the Tum Yum

It was THAT good! I took the rest for lunch on Friday and made everyone perk up when they smelled it as I walked back from the microwave...yum!

Walked home in the frigid cold...I can handle it for so long before I'm done. In fact, it's not really the cold that I have a problem with. After all, I am a hearty Canadian. Far be it for me to complain about snow and cold!! I am having issue with the wind, however. It's takes a bearably cold day of -23C and turns it into downright miserable of -32C! I was debating going to boot camp one more time, but had to wait for the floor guy to call and come by to measure a suite for new flooring. He was to call at 4...I heard from him yesterday!! Oh well, I laid on the couch, snuggled with the cats and then enjoyed a pot of KD for supper.

Got up bright and early (for a Saturday) and met up with H-woman to go check out the newest farmer's market. The Kingsland market did run during the summer, but now they are in a permanent home (former car dealership, and very easy to get to) and this weekend was their grand opening. Wandered through, checked out who's there (quite a few names from the Calgary Farmer's Market, which doesn't reopen until February, due to their recent move), and sampled some wicked good soup (the lady forgot that flavour t home, so couldn't buy any), Saskatoon berry pie filling, pork sausage. We left before the giant Saskatoon berry pie showed up, which is probably for the best! I left with some steel cut oats, Saskatoon berry pie filling, fresh soft goat cheese with Saskatoons & cinnamon - can you sense a trend here? I think Saskatoons are Canada's answer to the acai berry!

H. and I went for breakfast, since a latte and food samples weren't quite cutting it. Went to a favourite, Diner Deluxe. It's like walking back into your grandmother's 70's kitchy kitchen! Arborite and bold colours, funky lamps, metal chairs, kitchy art on the walls. And GOOD FOOD!! All fresh, all made with butter, salt & pepper (it's actually a "warning" on the menu!) and local ingredients. I had the meatloaf hash with poached eggs. In a small cast iron skillet was a layer of spinach, the BEST hash browns (crispy and soft at the same time), a piece of homemade meatloaf, red pepper jelly and two soft poached eggs. Came with multigrain toast and fresh rhubarb/strawberry preserves. And lots and lots of the best coffee ever!

Dropped H. off (well, technically left her there, as she was going to yoga nearby) and went to Walmart to pick up a few things before driving out to Cochrane to pick up a prize I won during the final marathon event for Marathon Quest 250. I won a man's tech shirt. It's a man's medium, but it fits and will be perfect as a first layer for cold, winter runs. Came home, flopped on the couch and then just as I forced myself back up to go out and shovel, the floor guy called. He came by, did his thing and left, while I finished cleaning up the sidewalks. Once again, it wasn't a lot of snow but it was packed down pretty good. My back is getting sore from all the extra workout I'm giving it lately!

I tried to decide what to make for supper and decided on Tum Yum again because it was so good and so very simple! Into a pot went a can of coconut milk, 3/4 of a carton of chicken broth, chili garlic paste, ginger, dried shitake mushrooms, dried wood fungus strips, carrots, celery, red & yellow peppers, chicken and shrimp. Season with fish sauce, lime zest and juice and voila!! Glory in a bowl!! I was full and satisfied and content to lay like a log the rest of the evening.

Watching the weather reports though, I decided to sleep in this morning instead of getting up and going to run club. It's still freaking cold out and that wind refuses to stop. It's supposed to get better this afternoon, so I'll head out later for a good loop (or two). Ate some oats with almond milk, almond slices and a scoop of the Saskatoon pie filling. Sipping coffee and plotting the day...what ever will it bring?


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Yum yum in my tum tum

This month's Chatelaine is certainly hitting the mark with me. But the day first...
Legs were certainly telling me, all day, how hard we worked at Tuesday's leg-a-licious leg-a-thon! The pain that was in my quads yesterday shifted to my butt and hamstrings today. Sitting was a joy, as was standing back up again! And my shoulders were a little sore too, which worried me about tonight's boot camp. I thought for sure we'd be in for Arm-a-geddon, but turns out we were in a cardio mood. And by we, I mean Josh!!

The walk home didn't put me in the best frame of mind to head to boot camp. The daytime high hit a magical -21C, and that was before the wind and light snow that started to fall. I knew I had to change, wait for the car to warm up (my next house is going to have underground parking or a garage...this I vow!) and then drive to the camp. And even worse is leaving, all wet and sweaty back into the cold, cold night. But as much as I thought this, I wouldn't let it deter me from going (yay me) and off I went.

While I was expecting a ton of arms tonight, Josh seemed more content to have us run like maniacs! After a run/lunge walk warm-up, we alternated cardio with some intense weight sessions. One minute of push-ups followed by one minute of jumping rope. Followed by 1 minute of curls, with one minute of burpees. One minute of squat press with 1 minute of sprints. And on and on and on it went. My average heart rate says it all...157. Normally, because there is "down time" in boot camp, my average is around 130 for the hour. Today, my top was soaked through, my face beet red and my heart rate through the roof. Excellent day!
Came straight home (avoided a grocery store can be done, Amy!) and got started on a bowl of Tum Yum soup, from Chatelaine. Into a pot went a can of coconut milk and 3 cups of chicken broth, kafir lime leaves, lime zest, a pinch of sugar (balance sweet, sour, salty, bitter...), celery, carrots (more sweet), a tomato, broccoli, dried mushrooms, dried wood fungus (like a mushroom...I use it for hot & sour soup a lot), fish sauce, lime juice, chili paste, ginger, garlic. Okay, so I improvised a should be a guide, not law. As well, the recipe called for chicken and shrimp, but I forgot to pull the chicken out of the freezer. I went with all shrimp, and WOW!!! Topped with a smattering of cilantro, it was so good, I had to force myself to STOP eating it. I have a healthy portion left for lunch tomorrow, and I'm guessing it'll be even better the next day. Double wow...
With a content tummy, I'm sipping on some water and thinking about sleep. I was up again this week at weigh-in (which I'm sure had nothing to do with the whole freaking bundt cake I ate this weekend!) but as noted beside, I had no one to blame but myself. I did resist all cakey/cookie goodness today though and am happy to report that I'm actually sitting here a point shy of a full day, and without using a single exercise point. And I'm not hungry. Goal this week, besides the Weight Watcher's challenge of using the Power Foods, is to stay within my points and not go overboard. I don't want to get into the habit of exercising to eat, and I need to see the number on the scale actually go down. That is my mission. The other good thing that results from boot camp/running clinic, is that when I sweat, I tend to have less cravings for sweets and treats. It's like my body knows those won't help it be the lean machine it needs to be, and steers me away. So, bring it! At least it's supposed to be warmer on Sunday, so I will get out there for a good long run. After all, I've got a half marathon in 30 days that I should at least be semi-prepared for!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


What started out as a lovely, albeit freaking cold, day quickly turned into a pissy one after I was told I was "too loud". All my life, I've been "too"...too tall, too skinny, too fat, too loud, too quiet, too redhead, too brown, too happy, too sad, too fast, too slow. Really?? I had really hoped to have outgrown all those feelings. After all, it's taken a very long time for me to get to the point where I truly heart myself, and all it took was one person to say "too". I know it's not my boss that is complaining...I'm sure I could sit there, swearing like a trucker, burping and throwing garbage around, as long as my job got done to the same high standards I set for myself. No,'s someone that works nearby, and that doesn't have the balls to come right up to me and say "sorry, but you're bothering me" and I would do my best to work on my levels. I do know I have a loud voice (drama training...voice must reach the very back of the theatre as well as the front) and do try to be considerate, since I work in a cube-fame, but instead you had to run to my boss like we're all a bunch of 4 year-olds. Seriously pissy mood!!! I just kept reminding myself how much I love my job and working there...and that coworkers are just a cross we have to bear.

Walked home in the frigid cold...sadly the wind had picked up again, so the -19C of the daytime suddenly became -31C with the windchill. I was frozen through by the time I got home. Kitty cuddles helped with my mood, before I whipped down to Costco to pick up my new glasses! I ordered them on December 17th, but I guess "old-people" glasses take longer to make! Yes, I am now the proud wearer of Progressives...Trifocals! Yikes!! When did I get old?!?!

I think they look pretty sharp (picked them out, all by myself) and so far haven't had any issues with them. Drove to Eau Claire (don't think I hit anything!), but since I was running late at this time (didn't leave Costco until after 6) I decided against changing and going out for a run. Instead I grabbed a coffee and waited for the frozen popsicles that were my friends to arrive. Sure enough, they showed up shortly, as everyone cut their runs short tonight. Seriously cold outside!

Went for a beer (of course) and got home relatively early. I'm going to take advantage of the early hour and head for bed and try to face tomorrow with a better frame of mind. Or is that asking "too" much??


Tuesday, January 11, 2011


We had a "leg-a-thon" at boot camp today! I'm pretty sure I won't be able to walk down my stairs to work tomorrow! The legs are still shaking and boot camp was over 2 hours ago.

Pretty much a normal day. Work, "quick" walk at lunch (I now know how cows in a field feel...herded along with everyone else, at the mercy of the lead cow...mooooo...) and then back to the office. My lunch was last night's taco leftovers, but I made a lasagna out of it. Layer of taco mix, salsa, layer of cheese, layer of tortilla, repeat. Heat till warm and bubbly, top with some sour cream...yummo!

Came home, changed quickly and back out into the cold (currently -21C) to boot camp. Josh as feeling extra-specially leggy today, so we worked them till we all almost fell down. Squats, lunges, jump squats, jump lunges, more squats, wall sits, even more squats, sprints, more squats and then the beloved (yet brutal) booty-burn!

Stopped in at Safeway on my way home (where I'm sure I was weaving because my legs were shaking so badly!) to succumb to advertising. Saw an ad where Campbell's Chunky soup was poured over mashed potatoes as a dinner. Since it was so cold out, I thought it would be a perfect supper. Got potatoes (need those for mash), soup, some more bananas, apples, nectarines, tomatoes, shrimp - didn't I just go for groceries last week?! Came home, boiled the potatoes and put them through a ricer (like a giant garlic press). It makes fabulously silky smashed potatoes. Since I had fat-free evaporated milk in the fridge, I wasn't worried about them being too many points. One cup of potatoes, topped with half of the can of soup. Now, maybe next time I need to pick a "thicker" style, but I found it a little weak. I did just boil down the remainder of the broth to thicken it, so will have the rest for lunch tomorrow.

Okay...I need to have a cup of tea to ward off any chills. I had such a bad one last night, I was fully dressed with a fleece under my blankets and with a throw over top...remember, I'm the one that usually wears Birkenstock sandals in December! And while I aimed for an early night, it was still 11 before I made it to bed. Tonight I am aiming for 10:30. Baby steps...which may be all I can do for a couple of days!


Monday, January 10, 2011


Baby, it's cold outside!! At least the wind has died down, which has the temps at "only" -18C without windchill. It's almost pleasant! Okay, so that wasn't quite the right word for it. Not nearly as miserable as yesterday. That's better...

After swinging by Indigo to pick up a book on blogging (I've been threatening to 'upgrade' for some time now...I may just do it!) and Born to Run and leaving with nothing (crappy bookstore - they had NOTHING that I wanted), I came home, and wondered what to have for supper all the way home. If it weren't so dang cold, I was going to continue to walk into Safeway to get some shrimp and cilantro, so I could make Tum Yum soup, but then remembered that I still had some veggie ground round in the fridge. I decided then and there (and because I already had everything at home) to make some taco filling and make a soft taco for supper.
Into the frying pan went the veggie ground round, celery, green pepper, onion, black beans, pepitas (raw pumpkin seeds) and tomato sauce. The spices were a blend of Epicure Guacamole dip mix and Taco seasoning, with a bit of S&P to taste. Once burbled, I put it on the whole wheat tortilla, added some diced tomato, shredded lettuce and shredded cheese.
Rolled up (not very well) and ate dipped into salsa and sour cream. Rounded the meal off with the rest of the tomato.
I also blended up a bit of hummus. I ate the rest of my store-bought brand (Safeway Eating points per serving) and decided to try out my latest Shopping Channel purchase (must quit channel surfing when tired!) and blitzed up my own in my new Elite Personal Blender (like a Bullit). That is waiting in the fridge, where celery and cucumber will be dipped into it when I get the munchies the rest of the week. And now I have chickpeas ready to make into a nice curry tomorrow night, since the weather this week is calling for nothing but soups, stews and other assorted hot comfort foods. In fact, I am wanting to try the latest Campbell's marketing ploy, because it honestly looks good. Put mashed potatoes on plate and top with favourite heated Chunky soup. Yum! Or maybe I was just hungry when I saw the ad! Rither way, I want to try it one night.
Went back out into the cold after supper and got the sidewalks cleaned up again. We're supposed to get a reprieve tomorrow, but the snow returns on Wednesday and on. It's all cardio, right?
Sipping a cup of tea to warm back up again (I sweat so bad, I catch a chill quite quickly, despite two layers of pants, a top, jacket and big-assed sweater over top, gloves and toque) and planning when to head for bed. Part of my 21-day "me" makeover, I need to concentrate on getting enough sleep EVERY night, not just on the weekends.
That's it for me.


I am fully registered for SIX races to the end of May, as of right now. All are in Calgary, as I've got the convention to go to in Montreal in April, although don't think for a minute that I didn't check out what races were available out there, when I was out there!


February 20th - Hypothermic Half - notoriously cold run, as it is February, in Canada. But it is also the unofficial "start" of racing season.

March 12th - Diakonos St. Patrick's Run - 10km. Just because I couldn't find a marathon (yet...wait for it!)

March 26th - Roger's Insurance L'Arche Half. Just heard about this morning! First time run for me.

April 17th - Calgary Policeman's Half. Very popular run, as it sells out every year. Last year I ran it under someone else's name and PB'd. Well, for me...perhaps not so much for him! Has a killer hill in the last 5 km.

April 30th - The Big Run - through the beloved (choke) Blood & Guts Park in NW Calgary. This will be my 3rd time running this race...the hills are NASTY but the race itself is quite nice and hopefully will pick up in popularity. It is the same weekend as the Vancouver Marathon, so we do lose a lot of runners to that.

May 29th - Calgary Marathon. Marathon #4! FOUR!!!! Un-freaking-believable! I am aiming for sub-5, and since I now know the course (that's always my downfall) I aim to do much better. I also aim to be running this race at goal weight, or darn-tootin' close to that. That should help immensely with the speed.

Now I just have to figure out what I want to run in June, July, August, September (Melissa's - no discussing it!), October (a return to Toronto, perhaps??), November and December. Just as long as one April, not too far away, I am running in Boston!


Sunday, January 9, 2011


While picking up milk and such yesterday, I passed by the fish counter, where I spied a whole trout for sale. Mmmmm...instant flashbacks to my childhood. You see, we went fishing every weekend. I mean every, single weekend that the rivers were open (we grew up in Canada, after all). Fist off, my family really enjoyed it, but I think we also did so much because this way we always had fish in the freezer. Once, after a particularly good run, we smoked a whole pile and had them in the cold room. While other kids munched on boring old popcorn while watching TV, I indulged in a whole smoke fish! looked odd, but it was the most amazing thing ever!!

Anyway, I had to buy the fish, so that became dinner tonight. Back to the morning though. I did not get up and go down to the Running Room for run club. The wind was howling, the snow was blowing, and I actually listen when the police say "if you don't have to go out, don't". I didn't, so I didn't!! After a nice lie in, I got up, made a coffee and got a small pot of oats going on the stove (steel cut oats, UVAB, water, toasted walnuts, cinnamon stick and vanilla). Once cooked, I mashed in a banana...hearty, stick to your ribs breakfast.

I did get in some exercise today as I did 3 loads of laundry (that means 6x up and down 3 flights of stairs), washed a massive bunch of dishes (step one in reclaiming my kitchen for cooking!) and went out and shoveled the walks (the first of many times this week, I'm sure). The last was a killer workout - despite the cold, I came back in majorly sweaty. Good thing I had a nice hot supper planned.

I started by roasting a bunch of cut up Brussels sprouts, tossed with a bit of pancetta (have a package of bits in my freezer) and olive oil. While those got brown and happy, I cleaned up the trout (made sure the scales were removed, cut off the head, etc) and then tossed it with some S&P and flour. Heated up a frying pan good and hot, added some oil and then the fish. I may have set of the smoke detector in the process, but the memories of a good old fish fry came flooding back!!! Flipped the fish, and heated up a wild rice cup in the microwave (Minute Rice - tasty and simple). Dinner was served...I thrilled myself when I remembered how to de-bone the whole fish too (just like in the cartoons, I have a perfect fish skeleton in my trash right now - it's the little things that make me smile...), and I had the best treat ever...extra crispy fish skin. I'm sure some of you are turning green, but seriously, I'd take you down for a piece of crispy fish skin! Simple pleasures...

In keeping with the whole kitchen reclaiming, I've already washed the dinner dishes, which I'll put away shortly. Then I'll pack up lunch and breakfast and then hit the hay. Back to work, and for 5 whole days this time...that's going to hurt!

Keep warm and safe, wherever you are.


Saturday, January 8, 2011

21 days

Woke up to the winter storm blowing in...the wind had most definitely shifted to the north, and was picking up speed. It's going to be brisk out there!

I was up bright and early to go get my hair done. It's only been 7 weeks, but I was this close to chopping it all off myself! I hate it when it starts to curl up in the back, touches my ears, gets in my eyes. I am so not a girl when it comes to my hair! You'd never know by that last sentence that my hair used to be to the middle of my back. What was I thinking?! Oh, that's was the '80's! Big hair was so in then...yes, I am THAT old. Graduated from high school before many of you were born - that would be you, Amber. LOL!

Returning home, with greys destroyed and hair short and sassy once again, I stopped quickly into London Drugs before heading for home. I had to pick up some more night cream, for my 21-day test. More on that later. Once home, I was starving (had a 5-shot latte for "breakfast"), so whipped up a quick egg bake. Into a ramekin went a slice of back bacon, a slice of polenta, some herbed brie cheese, 2 cracked eggs and another slice of bacon. Bake till the eggs are set (I over baked just a tad - the eggs would have been awesome if they were a bit dippy) and turn out onto plate. Ate with a sliced tomato. Heaven.

Did some work around the building, hauling the recycling off to the drop point - which in gale force winds was a ton of fun, by the way - and then a quick stop for some milk, OJ and other items I forgot on Tuesday, and then to the vet to pick up needles and food for George ($70 for needles...good thing his insulin is cheap) before returning home to deal with the maintenance dude regarding my empty suite. Tried to do laundry, but was beaten to the machine. I'll grab it first thing, as I've decided I'll run in the afternoon, when the winds are supposed to die down. It's not that cold out (-14C right now, but the windchill is double that) but it's just plain miserable to run in a high wind. Since I'm technically not training for anything, and not pacing, I don't feel guilty about staying inside, nice and warm, until later in the day.

Made an awesome dinner of Ravioli Lasagna (in this month's Chatelaine, along with some other yummy recipes I can't wait to try). Into a frying pan went celery, onion, garlic and mushrooms. Fried up a bit before adding Yves Veggie Ground Round (the recipe called for Italian sausage...ground round is what I had) and then a tin of diced tomatoes and some fat-free evaporated milk (again, the recipe called for heavy cream and milk - skinnied it up a bit). Add some S&P, chili flakes, red wine and basil, and the seasoning was done. Mix in a handful of spinach (for green and more veggie oomph) before adding a package of fresh spinach cheese ravioli (not cooked). Mix well, pour into baking pan and top with shredded cheese (4-cheese Italiano, to be exact). Bake till golden. Worked out to 12 PointsPlus points, as this whole pan was divided by 4. Nice, large servings, tasty and easy. Next time I'll mix some cheese through-out, just for more a lasagna feel, as this will be made again.

So, back to 21 days. It has been said that it takes 21 days of repetitive behaviour to form a habit, whether good or bad. And I've put that theory to test...take flossing, for example. I challenged myself to floss every day for 21 days...that was January 12, 2009 and I have not missed since! Seven hundred and twenty-six days and counting! So, one night, I was feeling...I don't know...old (?!) and decided that I needed to be more "girly" when it comes to myself. This is a fine line for me though, as I believe (and have seen evidence) that over use of cosmetics and creams and such leads to really poor "old" skin, which I don't want! But I thought, okay, I floss, so what else can I do? I've almost always gone to bed with make-up on, I've usually removed any mascara by rubbing it off with my fingers, etc. I admit to some genetic luck however, as my skin isn't that bad, and I haven't really had many problems. But those dang birthday numbers keep racking up, and one day there won't be enough dye or money to cover up anymore, so I should start acting like a grown-up. Perhaps there was wine involved when I came to this conclusion, but whatever. I went to the drug store that day to buy eye makeup remover (which I have been using for quite some time now, along with a face cream with SPF in it for day time use) and walked home with over $200 of stuff!!! You'd think my face was "hungry" or something.
The 21-day challenge started then, as I remove the eye makeup, then use a makeup cloth to clean the face, finish with a wet facecloth (I abhor soap on my face), dot some eye cream around my eyes (although I have earned every single one of those lines, dammit!) and then finish off with a night cream that is supposed to even my tone. After the flossing and brushing, I apply a lip balm that has really helps with my dry lips. That was 27 days ago, and I am proud to report that I haven't missed a single night. Oh, and I'm also trying that stuff that's supposed to help grow your eyelashes, as mine are pretty short. I also started really wearing makeup during the day now too - not just mascara and blush, but foundation, eye shadow, lip stick. I have to say, looking closely the other night, I really do think my fine lines have reduced, and I admit to not having any sort of breakout since. I used to have one spot on my temple that looked like a minefield...I hate being proven wrong! Can't really tell if my eyelashes have grown, but I'll keep tracking that. Maybe it takes longer than 4 weeks.

Now, if I'm so good about starting these kinds of habits, why am I having trouble losing weight?? So, here's my next 21 day challenge. I will follow the PointsPlus program, as it is stipulated in the handouts, online, at the meetings, and I mean really follow it. I will purge my fridge, cupboards and pantry...I will ensure my kitchen is a "cooking-friendly" place again, not the disaster zone it is now, and I will have all my running/boot camp gear lined up and ready for use every day. Twenty-one days...that's all it takes. Simple. Right?



Thursday, January 6, 2011

Hurts to sneeze

Yes, the title is accurate. I sneezed last night and I swear I was close to blacking out from the pain! I am one solid mass of stiff, sore muscles. I wouldn't have it any other way! I returned to boot camp tonight, despite the pain, and pumped out a good solid hour of sweaty Tabata good-times! Sprints - pulling someone behind you, curls, lunges, squats, dips, wall sits with curls and lifts, bent-over rows, lat pulls, jumping rope, burpees! We finished with crunches, plank, superman and Russian twists.

Weigh-in did not go well today. Man, I HATE the first week in January. Took freaking forever to get my coupons and then weigh-in. Yes, gained again - I have yet to lose an ounce on the new PointsPlus program, but I'm hopeful that with the holidays behind me and the full on return to running and boot camp, that the results will be different next week. However, I did succumb to exhaustion and hunger on the way home and somehow ended up in the McDonald's drive-thru. Oh well, I still have weekly points allowance and earned loads of activity points today, so it's eaten, done and I've moved on.

Last day of work tomorrow and then it's the weekend. I will be up nice and early on Sunday to go for a long run, and I do need to do some work around my apartment and in the building. In other words, no different than any other weekend.

That's it for me...going to finish my water and start thinking about going to bed.


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Wiped out...

I can feel every muscle, from my ankles to my ears slowly seizing up...leaping right back into boot camp may not have been my most brilliant idea. Or taking the month of December off, for that matter!! Just as long as I can move tomorrow.

I hemmed and hawed and finally dragged my sorry butt down to Eau Claire, missing the running groups by about 15 minutes. That's okay, as I had no intentions (or need) of doing hills training, so I strapped on my headlamp (it is pitch dark at 6pm, after all) and headed out for a nice, steady run. I maintained a good pace, picking up speed the last couple of klicks, and managed a 5.52km run in just over 40 minutes. Heart rate was good, legs felt good, everything seemed to work well. And it was a lovely evening for a run...temps in the positives, clear, no snow (on the paths).

Before running, I wolfed down what may become a staple and favourite. While I baked off 3 slices of prepared polenta (3 pts), I heated up in a pot a cup of salsa with a half cup of black beans. When the polenta was brown and the beans bubbling, I threw them on the polenta, tossed on some shredded TexMex cheese and some no-fat Greek yogurt (plain, in lieu of sour cream) and devoured. Tasty, gave me good energy for the run and some wicked staying power. I will do that again, and again.

I did enjoy 2 pints of Guinness at the pub afterwards, watching Canada win silver in the Juniors. A negative person would say we lost gold, but in my mind, we won silver. Better than bronze or nothing at all, right?

Okay...I am exhausted and it now hurts to sneeze. Boot camp tomorrow is going to HURT!!! Wish me well.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

My boot got kicked!

I did it...I returned to boot camp tonight. I won't lie...seriously wondered how the hell I did this before! Seriously wondered how on earth I could keep lifting the weights above my head! Seriously wondered what I was thinking going to 10 lbs, when 8 was all I could handle tonight! BUT...I got my sweat on, and I feel great. Knew mostly everyone, and for once I wasn't totally last. Wasn't at the top of the class either, but I wasn't the only one heaving, forcing lunch to stay where it was and sweating like a bear in the woods!!! I can't wait for Thursday!!

Stopped at Safeway on the way home, to pick up "a couple of things", it's 10% Tuesday. That means if you spend over $35, you can get 10% off your bill or 10x the Airmiles. I always go the airmiles route, but tonight, my list was small and I wondered if I would even hit the $35 minimum...$142 later, and I wasn't so worried any more!! What the frick did I spend my money on?!?! Okay, so I bought a WW cookbook (the new PointsPlus) and a DVD (although it was on sale!) but still...for someone that had like 7 things on her shopping list, how I came home with two very full go-bags of stuff is beyond me. Of course, by the time I made it home (stopped at Walmart for litter), it was late and I was in no mood to make dinner. So I had a turkey wrap (found some awesome, albeit slightly salty, roast turkey slices for 1pt (3 slices)) and the last of my pickled herring. Not the most well rounded meal, but I am satisfied and ready to head for bed.

Speaking of...I will most definitely need the restorative powers of sleep tonight, so I'm going to shut down and go to bed. Night all.


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Gee, that felt great!

Finally got my sorry butt off the couch and out the door, and I'm happy I did.

5.86km, 45:54.09, 7:50/km, 482 calories burned, 11 PP activity points earned. I ran the entire way, only stopping for the red lights (I obey all traffic signals), and for the most part felt really good. The lungs didn't want to play at first, but a quick shot of Ventolin and they opened right up. It was a perfect day for a run, sitting at -1C (about 30F) with little or no wind. I also tried to think positive about all the idiots out there that don't bother to shovel their walkways (that includes the City, by the, bridge decks are sidewalks too!), as I appreciated the extra workout my buttocks were getting! It's just like running in the sand, for those in land of no snow. Good thing I invested in a pair of trail runners, as they really helped grip in the slipperier sections.

Going to dry off (yes, despite the negative temps, no hat or gloves and only one layer, I still manage to sweat like I just came out of a steam room!), have a quick bite to eat and then off to feed some cats.


2011 Goals

I don't call them resolutions...instead they will be goals, something to shoot for. I do better when I have a target in sight, such as a race to train for. So here goes...

1. I will enjoy each day for what it is. I cannot change yesterday, and I have no idea if tomorrow will even each day, I open my eyes and appreciate that.

2. I will be at goal weight (174 - there, it's in black and white) at the end of the year. That doesn't mean I have a whole year to get there...I will be there by that time. I "found" quite a few pounds over the last year and they need to go!!

3. To achieve #2, I will do boot camp (already's starts on Tuesday!) and put my whole self into the new WW Plan. I will!!! And running resumes this week. Clinic officially starts January 25th, but I need to be back in form before then.

4. I will get my house in order. I know on my death bed, I won't say "gee...I wish I kept a tidier house", but I still need to get rid of some crap and organize! I think that's what held me up in the kitchen, as it was so disorganized, it was easier to take something out of the box than to make it from scratch. That changes this year. And looking around, I have piles everywhere. I need to get out from under this!

5. Pay off one credit card. Seems small, but it'll be huge for me...I am a self-confessed credit junkie, and I want out from under this monkey! What I really want is to buy my own home and I can't do that if I'm stupid with debt.

6. Run at least two, possibly three marathons in 2011. I will register - correct that - just registered for Calgary in May and I'd love to run Toronto in October again, as it was an awesome course and I PB'd there. Good news is that while Goodlife has moved to May, Scotiabank has moved to October, so we'll see what the cash flow looks like for the year. See #5, after all. I'll also look for something in July or August, so that I don't slack off from training. I have just over two years to meet my Boston target of a 4-hour finish, so I must train, train, train. I'll also do a few Halfs in the year too...already registered for the Hypothermic in February, I'll register for the Policeman's in April, probably the Big Run in May and most definitely Melissa's in September. I see a lot of running in my future.

7. Do more things. I need to go hiking more, sign up for a class, do something different. Try something new...

Think that's it. Going to go change and go for a run in the sunshine.


Good Intentions

Another year...they really do start going by very quickly, the older you get. Take note of that, you youngens out there!!

After enjoying my New Year's Eve feast and Criminal Minds marathon, I was just about to head to bed when I remembered that I forgot (is that right?!) to go feed a friend's cats during the day! Oops!! So I got dressed, and headed out into the night. Weaving through traffic ( closers at 1:30am on New Year's Eve?!) and drunk people (who think standing in the middle of the road to hail a taxi is a good thing!), I fed the cats and returned for home. That took almost an hour! Unfortunately my timing is perfect, as I re-entered the downtown core just in time with the police locking it down to investigate Calgary's first murder of the year!!!! ARGH!!!! Finally, after some serious bobbing and weaving, I made it home and in bed by 2:30am.

Got up yesterday, feeling like dirt. You'd think I'd been drinking all night, but I think it was the lack of sleep. After a couple cups of coffee, I made a "brunch" of some of the leftover potatoes and panchetta hash browns, a couple slices of the olive bread (OMG!) and two perfectly dippy eggs. Dippy eggs LOVE olive bread!

I made Caesar salad and Cherry-O-Cream Cheese pie for dinner at Mom's later. My Caesar is a recipe I've been following for eons...mix olive oil, Dijon mustard, Worchestershire sauce, S&P, garlic (lots!) and lemon juice. Let sit, then blend in one egg yolk before tossing with romaine and croutons (I tossed cubes of the olive bread with evoo, garlic, S&P) and loads of Parmesan cheese. The pie is also a family tradition...we had it every year for New Year's day dinner.

Into a bowl mix 1 block softened cream cheese, 1 can condensed milk (NOT evaporated!), 1/3 c lemon juice and some vanilla. Blend till smooth and pour into a prepared graham wafer crust. Let sit in the fridge till it firms up and then top with cherry pie filling. Simple and oh, so freaking good!!!

My brother, using the ham bone from Christmas, made an amazing pot of ham-bone soup. He, like my father before, threw everything into the pot...potatoes, carrots, barley, split peas, white beans, celery and apparently tapioca. Said he grabbed it in error once (thought it was barley) and found it was a great way to thicken the soup, so now he uses it all the time. Couldn't tell it was in there. So we enjoyed a good, hot bowl of soup, toasty croissants for dipping, salad and then pie for dessert. A nice way to start the year. Swung by and fed the cats (no police blockades this time!) and I was home and in bed at 10, as I had full intentions of getting up and going down to run club this morning.

The alarm went off at 7am, and after getting up to feed the cats, I took a look in the mirror, shut the alarm off and went back to bed. I looked (and sort of felt) like I had one hell of a bender last night! What was that?! Slept a little longer, and woke up with a sneezing attack. I do hope this doesn't mean a cold is pending. I'll take some vitamins and orange juice and stop this in it's tracks!

After some more coffee, I made myself a giant pancake. My mix is buttermilk and whole wheat, and I skipped the egg addition (said it was optional and I didn't even miss it) to make it even less points. While the pancake cooked, I mixed up a banana, maple syrup and a touch of cinnamon. Topped the whole mess with some pom buds. Easy to do...cut a pomegranate in half and spank with the back of a wooden spoon over a not wear white while doing this! It is messy.

So now I sit here, pondering about 2011, my goals for the year and a run today. Mr. Garmin is cleaned out and ready for a new year, and I updated my Running Room trainer for 2010. I ran 1,766.12 km last year, or 1,097 miles! I plan on doing that and much more in 2011.