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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Rushing through the snow

Winter returned to Calgary today, although it hasn't been gone all that long.  Didn't get quite as much snow as last time, but it certainly got cold.  With a high of -13C, it was a subtle reminder of what is still to come.  The fog, which appears to be a new Calgary thing - don't like it - also added to the morning drive ambiance. I can live without it!

Since I had ART after work again today (oh boy, MORE Graston, please!!!) and I wanted to go to the 5:30 crossfit, I was a little anxious about the drive.  But I took my time, and when I walked in the door here at 5, I knew I wasn't going to make it to the box (see...crossfit lingo...I'm fitting in just fine!) in time.  I still felt the need to sweat, so I decided I did have enough time to go for a run.

So run I did.  Made it down to Eau Claire, and met up with a couple of friends, and told them a "nice, slow" run was on tap for me and my leg/knee.  I was properly layered, wearing my new Skins compression tights with Lulu's Runner-Unders over top.  Would that make them runner-overs?!  I like them, as they have a panel on the bottom to repel water and snow, but the top doesn't have a tie, so they kept sliding down the compression tights.  Will have to work on that, as I hate adjusting clothing while running.  Had on a long-sleeved tech shirt, with a tech t-shirt over top, and my orange Resolution run jacket over that.  Gloves (bright orange, to match the coat) and my runnergirl toque and I was ready for anything.

The paths were snow covered, but not slippery, and the snow had stopped a little earlier.  Ran west to 14th Street, crossed back to Prince's Island, and home.  Round trip was 4.88km, in 44 minutes.  Not bad for someone who hasn't run since November 3rd, although I did walk a bit more than I originally wanted to.  Think I'd still rather do crossfit now, though.  The WOD looked scary but challenging, as I would have learned new things again (knees to elbows and toes to bar) but there is always another day.  Really starting to feel last night's workout...I sneezed and almost blacked out from the abs spasm!!!

Enjoyed my usual pint with chicken lime tacos, at the Barley Mill.  Quite delicious, and they appear healthy.  I don't know what's hidden in the cooking process, but they're soft tacos, not corn, loads of fresh veggies and a chipotle lime mayo to die for.  Yum, yum.

Fading fast, so I'll just finish charging my Nike Fuel+ and hit the hay.  That was my big splurge in San Fran...tracks steps and calories and determines your "fuel" for the day.  I am very happy to report that I am double the average daily fuel earned, than both my age group and the Nike+ community.  Boo-yah!

Today I am grateful for Guinness and wonderful running friends to hoist it with.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Learning the lingo

The difference between crossfit and bootcamp is more than just the cardio's learning a whole new language.  Box - the gym.  WOD - workout of the day.  AMRAP - as many reps as possible.  HSPU - handstand push-up.  I said, PARDON?!?!?

Yes, tonight I learned out to do a handstand push-up.  Okay, so I didn't do a real handstand this evening.  After all, I've managed to go the first 49 years of my life without a doing handstand of any kind.  Can't even do a cartwheel...can barely do a somersault!!  Did I mention I have the grass of a young moose stuck in the suburbs??

Anyway, with some modifications, I tackled the challenge of HSPU and did this version:

I did not make it crossfit yesterday, as I had both shock-wave (which I actually felt...not painful, but not a walk through the daisies either) and the dreaded Graston.  Seriously, what did I ever do to my chiropractor that makes him hate me so??  I even pay for this torture!  I decided to give my leg a rest last night, so knew I had to get to the Box tonight.  I supposed I should be happy that the WOD was all upper body.  We'll see if I'm still as happy tomorrow, when things have totally seized up!

Warm-up started with seal-jacks (like jumping jacks, but clap arms like a seal), hanging rows (using the rings), regular push-ups and squats.  That was the "warm-up".  Then we had a mini rowing race, where we each rowed 500m (I HEART the rowing machines!), competing for time with the other classes during the day.  My time was 2:12...  After we were good and warm, and had a demo for the HSPU, we got down to the WOD.  For time:
  - 50 girly crunches here folks - full flat on your back, sitting all the way up, reaching your arms for your toes.  That's a sit-up!!
  - 5 HSPU (I used a box, and probably 4" of padding to touch my head to)
  - 15 pull-ups (I jump from a box...working my way up to the rubber day!)
Repeat the HSPU and pull-ups 4 times.
  - 50 sit-ups.  Time.  With my modifications, I finished the WOD in 10:38.  And soaking wet.  I looked like a Reebok's commercial, all splayed out on the floor, gasping for air, covered in sweat.  I'm ready for my close-up!  I am already feeling my abs tightening up.  Tomorrow should be fun!

I actually had today off, as it was another trip to the doctor's for Mom.  Just a script refill, but such a pain.  I think we're good till June now.  I did make sure we both walked out of there with our flu shots, though.  One less thing on the list.  Picked up chocolates, got the refills done, made sure Mom was settled and lunch put away, before heading for home.  Then, at the advise of my hair guy, I was back at the salon today to get Threaded.  All I wanted was some shape to my eyebrows, but he felt my sideburns needed to go as well (damn menopause!)...well, I now have no (or very little) hair on my cheeks, chin, sideburns, neckline, lips and quite the lovely pair of shapely eyebrows.  Didn't hurt too bad...couple of times I jumped, but the girl that did it was wonderful.  And she swears the next time it won't hurt as bad, as the hair grows back finer.  The price we pay for pretty!!

Made an amazing dinner, thanks to Giada, meatball stew.  Mixed x-lean hamburger with half an Italian sausage (uncased) and spices and made meatballs.  Once they were browned, I threw them, a can of diced tomatoes, a quarter cup of barley, some beef stock, zucchini, red pepper, mushroom, carrots and more spices and let it burble all afternoon in the slow-cooker.  Sprinkle with parmesan and WOWZA.  Delicious! According to WW, it's 11 points per serving, but they're counting all the calories from the vegetables in the total.  That's okay...for 11 points, I'm full and I have lunch for tomorrow.

Time for sleep...returning to work tomorrow, and happy to be leaving early.  It was very foggy again in Cowtown, and that means ice on the truck and on the roads.  And snow...yay...more shovelling!

Today I am grateful that I am physically able to do stuff.  May not be picture perfect, or exactly how the pros do it, but I try each and every time.


Friday, November 16, 2012

Thursday, November 15, 2012


I joined Crossfit.  Yes, I understand it is yet another reason to have my head examined, but with Trainer Josh "retiring" from bootcamp, I had to find something else to do.

Crossfit is hard work.  Today's class, for example, was short and sweet, but I was still soaked to the skin, as if I had done an hour bootcamp.  I am learning the difference between a hang power clean and a push press. I am learning that I can do pull-ups, with some assistance (for now).  I am learning, that with some practice I can do box jumps.  And I am learning I still hate burpees with every fibre of my being!!!

Monday's WOD (workout of the day) was a 20 minute AMRAP (as many reps/rounds as possible) of 10-10-10.  10 push presses, 10 kb (kettlebell) swings, 10 box jumps.  I pressed 35 lbs, I swung 18 lbs and I jumped 12", a total of 7 times through.  That's 70 reps of each.  That's HUGE.  Sadly, I discovered that I could not sit down without assistance on Tuesday!!!  Actually, I really like that kind of know you worked hard.  Much better than the stabby "I'm injured" pain, which my left knee wants to toy with.  It's shock-wave for you on Monday, knee.  Be afraid!!

Today, after a warm-up, we did a 10 WOD #1 of DU (double-unders) ladder (5-10-15-20-25-30-35-40-45-50-45-40 back to 5).  I cannot do double-unders.  I can barely do single-unders.  This is jumping rope, by the way.  So, a DU would involve 2 rotations of the rope under your feet when you jump.  So not happening!!!  It's like the pat your head and rub your belly at the same time...every time I focused on moving the rope faster, my feet sped up, and I couldn't coordinate the double swing.  Or, I'd concentrate on jumping higher, and then slow down with the rope.  Gah!  Basically, I jumped rope, snapped my bare legs and cursed under my breath for 10 minutes.  I could not manage 1 double-under.  But I kept trying.  And there's a goal for next time.

After a quick break, we started WOD #2.  Another AMRAP, this time 10 hang power cleans, followed by 10 lateral over-the-bar burpees.  Yes, it's as hideous as it sounds!!  After the cleans, drop your bar, and then do a burpee, jump over the bar, do another burpee, jump back till done 10.  Have I mentioned that I am not a fan of the burpee?!  The clock started, and with music pounding, we all went at it.  I managed 3 rounds...I am pretty comfortable with my clean (gosh, don't I sound all pro and everything?) but my burpees slow me down.  Still...that's 30 more cleans and 30 more burpees than someone sitting on their couch did, right?

I'm planning on Crossfit 3 times a week, to start, and then some running, just to keep the cardio up.  I am still struggling with the "weight/not walking to work/no where to workout/pissy about working in the NE/eating like crap" chapter of my life right now.  I need routine and a plan.  It'll all come together.

Not sure what I'm grateful for today, other than getting my sweat on.  I do love that when working out, I actually drip.  Good thing Crossfit "gyms" are not all fru-fru.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

And then I was abducted by aliens...

How does a month go by???  My last post was when I was sitting in the Vancouver airport, waiting to go to San Francisco and then...NOTHING!

I blame my smart phone...I hardly sit at my desktop anymore.  The 955 unopened emails that sit in my Outlook are testimony that I have been sucked in the vortex of easy email on the Crackberry.  If only I could blog from it...nah, keyboard too tiny!

So let's see...what has happened since October 12th?

Landed in San Francisco, took the BART into the city, found my hotel (a block and a half from the station), checked into the tiniest room EVER, walked (yes, walked!) the hills of San Fran looking for Beach Blanket Bimbo, only to arrive exactly 1 minute before they closed the doors, and was therefore forced to sit at the stage.  And by at the stage, I mean with my knees firmly squashed against the stage, and having to carefully look up (didn't want to see what I didn't want to see!!!) to watch the show.  After all that, it was just m-eh.  Found an Irish pub after, so I could have a Guinness (okay, two) and then finished the night off with a couple of slices from the pizza joint across the street from the hotel.

Hit the Expo first thing Saturday morning, which was good, since the line-ups wrapped all the way around Union Square most of the rest of the day!  Yikes!!  After breakfast at Sears (not the store, but a diner up the road from Union Square), we wandered into DSW, where, somehow we managed to misplace 2-3 hours and a quite a bit of cash!  I tend to get frustrated shoe shopping, as there's hardly ever my size, and when there is, it's just a hair too tight.  But I still managed to come home with a pair of Reeboks for Crossfit, a pair of red Vans and...crap, can't think of what else I bought there!  That's just sad.  More wandering, dinner at a fabulous Italian place we stumbled upon, before heading back to the hotel for an early night.

Woke up at the crack of stupid, to meet up with 24,999 other insane people at Union Square, for the race start at 7am.  I am so thankful that a) my hotel was a half a block from Union Square, and b) I screwed up and put down my per km pace and not my per mile pace.  I was in corral 2, rather than corral 5 or 6 where I should have been.  Took them over 30 minutes just to get to the start mat...I needed all the help I could get!

The course is a nice one...yes, there are hills.  It is San Francisco, after all, but all in all, nothing too daunting or that bad, really.  Ran from Union Square down towards Pier 1 (is that where the store name came from???), and then along the waterfront past Fisherman's Wharf, and Ghiradelli, before our first hill.  After a little run up, we bobbed and weaved our way to Golden Gate park, and some really big hills.  Sadly (but from a cooling perspective, perfection) it was foggy and misty the whole race, so not a lot of good views, but the run through Presidio was nice, and through the big park, and then off to the Ocean Highway.  I spent the entire race freaking out that I wouldn't make the cut-off (1:30pm - "strictly enforced" if you read all the hype) and therefore all that would be for not.  I felt the blister form early on, but kept forging ahead, and when it blew at mile 20 (and trust me, it blew!), I leaned on the endorphins to make the pain go away and kept going.  6:16, I think was my official time, or a mere 10 minutes before the finish line closed.  But I got my necklace, which I wear every day, and my hug from the fire guy, and even some TLC from a great group of medics ("OMG - you have a baby toe growing on your blister!").  Toured Alcatraz that night (rule #1 - keep moving) and did a 5 stop wine tour on Monday, walked all over San Fran on Tuesday, before flying home (and changing flights to avoid huge layover in Vancouver again) on Wednesday. 

Would I do San Fran again?  Probably, as it was fun, but I'll do the Half next time.  Same bling, half the pain!!!

Marshaled for Halloween Howl and Rogue's Run...let's face it...I just like to dress up.

Back to Banff for Winterstart 2012, my last race of the season.  Sold my Last Chance Half bib, and marshaled instead, and that's it for me until February, and the Hypo Half.  Going to pace for my favourite instructor in January (he's teaching the Half, but I'm registered for Vancouver marathon again, so I'll adapt the training) and while I've committed to a "mile a day" in December, I'm really easing up on the running till then.  Need to get Mr. Left Leg sorted out for good.  And my weight.  Gah.  Next topic...

Crossfit started on Saturday, and it's a good pain.  That's what I keep telling myself.  It's not as much cardio as bootcamp, but twice as much hard work.  Did a ladder WOD (workout of the day) of 21-15-9-15-21, in which we alternated between squat presses (35lb bar) and pull-ups (I used a box), for a total of 81 of each.  Monday was a 20 minute AMRAP (as many reps as possible) WOD of 10-10-10.  Presses (35lb), kettlebell swings (18lb) and box jumps (12").  Discovered that my left leg is not particularly fond of the box jumps, but it'll just have to learn to love them.  I will not quit!!!

Marshaled again on Sunday (every runner should volunteer once a year, if not more, for a race, whether it's package pick-up, marshaling, handing out the food need to give back) for the Last Chance Half, and had a blast cheering on my friends on a cold November morning.  Good thing I had the world's cutest dog join me for the job.

Such a muffin.  And that's what I'm grateful for today...doggie kisses from a friendly little guy like Joey.  Thank you J, for bringing him along on Sunday.  I know the runners appreciated him too.
A bit rambly, a month late, and missing oh, so much of my life, but here it is.