I’ve been putting off this post for 3 weeks now, because I’ve been trying to get to the end of April before my lead is completely eaten way by my husband’s miraculous biological predisposition to fluctuate his weight.
Easter is early this year, and part of me wishes it was deeper into April – I suspect I am going to need a short week somewhere in there. But nonetheless, we are not going to let this full day off work go to waste.
We also went for a run around the sea wall and Stanley Park and I did my first “10K” which is 1/2 walking and running, but the first time I ever did one at all. So, my benchmark is 1 hour and 22 minutes, and I can target improvement each time I try it. And I saw someone I knew sitting on a bench – I know people here! And they saw me “being that girl” running through Stanley Park.
March 29th, 2013 Extra-Ordinary: Sun on my cheeks, clean air to power my lungs, love in my family and chocolate to eat.
If you need the will to run (or to keep running), try running in May in Muskoka 8:30 pm at night on a rural road.
May 27th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary: Running the furthest and fastest I’ve ever done to save my blood for me instead of the blood suckers who live in the forest awaiting sundown.
Maintenance May Day 27:
Signed up for a CSA share even though I have no idea what or where will be happening this summer.
Alcohol is poison. It takes a large dose to kill us but nonetheless it is poisonous. It slows your reactions, impairs our judgement, affects our metabolism and pushes our liver to process out the toxins. But yet, we wrap it up in fancy bottles and talk about strawberry undertones and food pairings.
The detrimental effects of processing alcohol on my body was obvious than when I ran Saturday morning. (see how committed we are?) After consuming about 10 ozs of wine on Friday with delicious food pairings, I ate a healthy, low-calorie healthy dinner and went to bed at a reasonable time. We drove to an area of vineyards near Emile’s parent’s house (read: nice and flat) and started out. The flatness of the area had that dessert oasis effect where things seem much closer than they are. I ran and I ran and I ran and when I finally made it to my goal – a cross street – I checked my GPS and found I had run . . . . . 7/10 kms. Huh? This is not possible! And the worse part? The car was now .7 kms away.
I managed to sprint, stumble, and drag myself 3.3 kms, but it wasn’t gazelle-like nor inspiring. Emile, of course, dug deep and managed to get in 5.0 kms. I walked another 1 km and collapsed by the car.
This is how I know alcohol is poison. Because it couldn’t be my will that is weak.
May 12th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary: Visiting 18 Niagara-on-the-Lake wineries today despite the first-hand knowledge of the impacts of alcohol on my body. Food, wine, summer weather, and good company. Who cares what tomorrow brings?
Maintenance May Day 12:
A day with Emile’s parents – a nice break for two extremely hard-working people (Family)
Baked a vegan chocolate cake that the who family could eat (vegan due to allergies) for my sister-in-law’s birthday on Sunday. (Body/Connection)
Did not steal extra Bergamont Cupcakes at the final winery of the day despite an overwhelming desire of the delicious orange frosting and moist interior despite the host’s back being turned. (Soul)
Oh my God. If you have more oxygen moving around your body, you can run further. This may seem elementary to you, and it is elementary to me. But sometimes it just needs proving. My body was like a busy Dim Sum restaurant’s conveyor belt – a bunch of empty plates and little food.
I told you about my iron issue a week or so ago. And for over a week now I have taken 54 mg of iron* with Vitamin C and B12 a day in addition to my usual diet. I hit the track today awaiting my old friend “the stitch” to return about the 1.0 km mark like it usually does. Nope. Not at 1.2. Not at 1.4. A twinge at 1.6. And back again at 1.8. Hmmmm. This is strange. Have I done anything different? No, less sleep than I should have. Less breakfast than I should have. So, I was not set-up for a good run. Yet, for the first time since the Chocolate Race, I was able to run 1.8 km without stopping. I tried the same thing today and found the same result – 2.0 km without stopping. And a little stitch at that point, but nothing too bothersome.
It’s a Miracle! I’m cured! Now if my stupid calves/shins would stop complaining all the time we’d be in business.
May 8th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary: Being able to start to the push to build my endurance to 5 km. Hooray! . . . . . . . . Wait, if I am cured, I have no excuse to stop running. Dammit.
*I will be dropping my intake once I get my levels to normal.
Maintenance May Day 8:
Visited the Trinity United Church to watch a movie about Dr. Burzynski and his fight for his seemingly effective cancer treatment to be accepted by the general medical community. Definitely one side documentary. Definitely where you hang out on Tuesday nights in Huntsville if you are a bit crazy. Definitely one of those nights where you wish your youthful good looks didn’t stand out so much in the blue hair forest. Definitely made us talk on the drive home. Definitely going to the next movie next Tuesday night – after all the crazies are the most fun. (knowledge)
Completed a personality test as a pre-screen for an interview. Hopefully, I have a personality. (career)
Part of the learning I had from the dietician we visited last week was to try to do all of your exercise at one time in the day. Your body starts off by burning carbohydrates, then moves on to burning fat after that. If you do little spurts, you probably will not burn as much fat if you completed it all at a time. This caused my husband – who just last week nodded his head in agreement of my assessment of endurance runners as crazy – to increase his running distance to 10K. But both Saturday and Sunday, he ran 10K (only walking a couple of laps). Now I think he is crazy too.
This lead me to change the way that I do exercise too. Often, I would do two or three bouts of working out in a day as I accomplished other things. Sunday, I completed 66 minutes of cardio/strength training followed directly by a 3K run. This was not fun, but I’ll try it to see if it garners better results for me.
I choose to run on a side road out here near my house. The local tracks are great, but the continuous round and round – I think I am going to tip over sometimes. And I lose count. (How hard is it to count to 12.5 or 25?) No only that – it was a nice spring day out – people were out. When I run with other people around, I don’t want them to see me stop or collapse. So I push myself to go a bit further around the bend until the people are out of sight. It is effective.
I do not trust dogs. Several of you have dogs and you know that I rarely touch them (they smell) and I don’t like to be close to them. I think it is because I could be seriously injured or killed by a dog. I know, I know . .. you will all say to me. . . “Buttons here is so gentle, so well trained”, but the fact remains if Buttons decided to use his teeth and weight to attack me, I would be maimed. My cat often decides to attack me and it is generally futile – he doesn’t have the strength to be able to seriously injure me beyond a deadly case of cat scratch fever. I was assaulted by a Doberman while swimming in Fairy River a couple of years ago. He wanted to play, but in water over my head he was much too strong for me. I was badly scratched on my legs and I was certain I was going to drown. The dog was not on a leash nor was he trained well enough to return to his owner when called. (Please note, I did not engage this dog in any way except being in the same beach area.) That was one of the most terrifying events of my life.
I am not writing this to say that dogs are evil, or dogs should be destroyed, but I do believe that a dog must be trained and kept on a leash (if not at home). For the dog’s safety as well as mine. Bottom line: if my cat wanted to kill me, he’d probably have to sneak into my bed and put arsenic in my mouth. If a dog wanted to kill me, most wouldn’t need arsenic.
So, I am nervous around dogs – big and small (they are all dogs). While I ran down the street, I passed a house where everyone was gathered at the foot of the driveway in lawn chairs. Why do people sit in the front of their property like that? When I ran by, all FOUR of their dogs started chasing me and barking at me. They did not return home when their owners called them. It was frightening, and I burned some more fat by bumping up the pace trying to outrun their territory.
May 6th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary: Running down the street with four tiny little yappy dogs (mini yorkshire terriers?) barking their hearts out at me. I was frightened and felt ridiculous about feeling frightened. Afterall, wearing other clothes I could have been an heiress with my accessory dogs on Rodeo Drive.
Maintenance May Day 6:
Agreed to have my résumé presented to another employer by a recruiter. (Career)
Any opportunity to catalogue my life, efforts and results is interesting to me. To be able to take the chaos of life reduce it to a graph or chart makes me feel good – I have it under control. So, this is bliss for me – I’ve been waiting to write this particular entry for weeks.
It was 5 weeks ago that I decided that I needed to deal with my Shrunken Shorts Syndrome and my husband needed to look at his Ski Jump Shirt diagnosis. We committed ourselves to a month of exercise, healthy restricted calories and a 5K race at the end of it. I’ll admit, we cheated a bit – we started in the last week of March. We did consider having a binge instead, but we thought it would be too hard of a transition – and my pants were already too tight. It became a common sight to see me in workout clothes and weighting out food on our scale.
I had challenges – a bag of marshmallows disappeared quickly at a campfire one night (and even the raw ones on subsequent days). The Kitchener Food Show dessert samples slowed things. Emile faced and won numerous food challenges at work – functions with chef made cookies, pizza and butter tarts. There were days I just wanted to eat macaroni and cheese and be done with it. And sometimes we indulged, other times we held out. And we’re feeling pretty proud of ourselves.
So, if you want to a month of fitness (that will hopefully lead to another), here is my advice:
1. Be obsessive about it – every calorie gets logged, every minute of exercise, and every day you weight yourself (with a digital scale). Plan your days around food and exercise
2. Brag about it – tell everyone you know this is what you are doing, so you have to deal with social shame if you don’t follow through
3. Create an outside force – sign up for a class, a race, or target a wedding, or something to keep you focused for the short-term until your results are motivation enough.
4. Find someone more committed than you are to share the challenge – my husband fit the bill perfectly
5. Compete only with yourself. You’ll always find someone healthy, fitter, eating more wheatgrass, but who cares about them. This is about you!
And here is what we did in Fit April:
|Distance Moved (km)||93.8||112.2|
April 30th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:
Susan Loss: 10.2 lbs (Goal!) Emile Loss: 21.2 lbs (What the hell?)
The morning finally arrived. Our race. Our chocolate race. We were up at 8:00 to dress and have a good solid breakfast to power ourselves through 5K. Instead of taking the shuttle, we drove to Port Dalhousie ourselves and found parking on a nearby street. The day was one of those perfect days – sunny but crisp, cool but the potential for a wonderfully warm afternoon. We were prepared – a new firm sports bra (for me – nice to have the girls strapped in tight) and new long running pants for Emile (for those turkey legs of his). A good night rest, a solid breakfast, no alcohol, and a month+ of training.
Could we make our goals of a personal best? Considering the chocolate pits stations on the course? Hills? People?
Goals: Emile: 34:00 Minutes Susan: 38:00 Minutes These goals are based on our best average times on an indoor track – no hills, no crowds, no chocolate and controlled climate.
The chocolate race course is a an out and back one meaning you run 2.5 kms and then loop back to finish where you started. I have never run more than 1.5 kms without stopping, Emile has consistently been able to run 5 km only stopping for a water break each km. We agreed we would not wait for each other (like I’d be doing any of the waiting!), but simply run the best race that we could. As we were separated, I could not tell you what Emile’s strategy was, but mine was to just keep going. I had a target to run from the start until about the 1.75 km mark where a very steep hill marked the entrance into Westcliffe park – and I made it. At the 2.25 km mark, I had some Gatorade and a chocolate dipped marshmallow and strawberry on a stick. Hello, yum!
At the 3 km mark, my old friend the stitch acted up, and I had to walk and stretch a bit, but I kept going as fast as I could. At 3.5 km, I thought I was done, but I didn’t like other people passing me, so I found something to keep going,
And finally, seeing that finish line across the parking lot and Emile waiting for me, I managed to dig deep, ignore my shins, ignore my lungs, and ignore my stitch and ran as fast as I could.
I blog to you about many EOs – mundane, silly, ironic, funny, but today’s EO is one of the most emotional ones yet for me. When I crossed that finish line, tears – and not from the wind – came to my eyes. I am so proud of myself! So proud that I ran 90% of the race. So proud that I could turn such a difficult winter into an accomplishment. We set our goals modestly, and trained for this race and we set fair goals based on previous results.
2 chocolate croissants, 1 chocolate milk, 4 truffles, 1 brownie and 1 chocolate martini (yeah, a real one) each awaited our celebration at the end of the race. Why are more races not like this?
April 29th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:
Time: 29:55 (personal best, and -4:05 from target)
Overall Finish: 58th (!!)
Category Finish: 6th (OMG!!!)
Time: 34:25 (personal best and -3:35 from target)
Overall Finish: 126th
Category Finish: 32nd (!!)
We Run for Chocolate! (updated with official timing)
I tend to stay clothed in most situations. I am not one of those people who think nudity is natural. Nudists make me feel uncomfortable. I don’t really want to see much more than your limbs, face and perhaps chest. Please leave your clothes on, and I will leave mine on for you. Think of it as proper etiquette.
Today I got the most amazing massage. Unlike most of the massages I have received in the past, this one was earned. My aching hips, my poor thighs, my screaming calves. And apparently my shoulders and lower back also were tight with knots. (these knots were discovered after a gut wrenching traverse across my back). My therapist wondered what was going on. I explained Damn You Fit April and noted I the extra exercise recently.
I like the ritual of massage – the therapist leaves, you take off your clothes save your underwear and leap under the blanket. The therapist then knocks, enters the room and proceeds to massage you with only one body part visible at a time. Half way through, the therapist lifts the blanket covering their face so you can flip over. It works well. No full nudity needed.
After I was safely clothed again, I paid (ha ha! Take that Emile’s company!!). And slowly returned out to my car focused only on how much better my body felt. Word of advice, don’t wear short sleeves for a massage overwise you get oil all over the inside of your coat. And don’t plan anything except home after a massage as your hair looks like you’re a silly girl who grew up in the suburbs who has decided to grow deadlocks to make some sort of statement about government and corporate pigs ruining the world.
April 9th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary: “You’re looking good.” from the objective person in your life who sees you almost naked regularly. Yeah You Fit April!
I ate something today that should not exist. It is against the universe.
Do you remember in that movie . . what was it. . . well, never mind. I don’t think it got 2 thumbs up. It doesn’t matter. Anyways, Rosie O’Donnell – who is friends with Uma Therman (in the movie, I don’t really know about Uma and Rosie in real life, that also is not material to this post) – enters a convenience store. Uma has just left the store and the clerks are ogling her. Rosie goes on a rant about how it is against nature to have big breasts and a small frame. She rants on while shaking some playboy magazines or such and screaming “Big Boobs = Big Butt. That is the way it works!”
Anyways, the scene was something like that. I liked it. I took it to heart. I’ve used the concept it many times over the years to get over stuff. Smart = Not gorgeous. Cheap = Short Life. Glorious 1969 Barracuda = Gas Guzzler. Artist = Tortured. Fresh White Bread = Calories. It’s the way of the universe. Parents use it all the time to cheer up sad children. (“Little Johnny, I know that you are terrible at sports, but you are great at math. Everyone can’t be good at everything, honey. You’ll see – that’s why I put up with your father.”) It is a construct that we use to make sense of an unfair world.
Well, today I ate Tofu Shirataki Angel Hair Shaped Noodles. What is this? Well, it is noodles made with tofu and yam flour. It comes a sealed bag with the noodles floating in liquid (presumably water). We used it for our Annual Easter Pad Thai dish. Nothing says easter like Pad Thai. We have tried many iterations to reduce the calories of Pad Thai, the problem is that white rice noodles are high in calories and do not fit in Damn You Fit April. Low Carb pasta is pretty good but the calorie count is high still. The broccoli slaw worked okay, but kinda made Pad Thai into a vegetable stirfry.
This product contains no GMOs (genetically modified organics), no cholesterol, little to no fat, no preservatives, is gluten-free, is vegan, has only 1 net carb (for those of you who know what the means), 2 grams of fiber and 1 gram of protein. You can get in macaroni noodles and other shapes. It is reasonably priced – 226 for $2. And the kicker?? It has only 20 calories per serving. And the serving was normal sized: 113 g. You could eat 5 servings and only 100 calories (that is only 10 minutes of running people!).
Don’t you hate those types of products that tell you the serving size is something like 58% of the package? Really? Like I am going to buy a “single” serving Iced Tea bottle and only drink 3/8 of the bottle and then put it in the fridge for tomorrow. Nobody does that. And if you do, I don’t want to hear about it. I digress.
But back to this seemingly miracle food. What is the price? What is the trade-off? The universe must balance out.
Well, the package does have the ominous directions of “Boil for 2-3 minutes (or microwave for 1 min) to reduce the authentic aroma”. Huh? And this is true, it smelled like Shrimp Mr. Noodles. But, after draining, rinsing and microwaving for 1 minute, the smell had dissipated. Then noodles looked fragile, they will probably fall apart in the stir frying process. Nope, they stayed true to form. Surely, they will taste weird. Nope, tasted pretty much like noodles. Do little children work to their fingers bleed to make these? Are they cutting down the rain forest to plant soy beans? Do I want to know?
April 8th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary: The best Easter Pad Thai yet. Nervously waiting for the universe construct to right itself. And don’t even get me started on the PB2 powder sprinkled on top of the Pad Thai used in place of the peanuts.