Sunday, October 31, 2010

Saturday's Run


 I meant to post Saturday after my run but I was busy all weekend. My schedule for Saturday was a 4 mile run. I was kind of dreading it because I thought I was due for a slower time since all of my times had been getting better. But once again I was pleasantly surprised.

Hard work pays off!

I did mile 1 in 9:58, mile 2 in 10:27, mile 3 in 10:42, and mile 4 in 10:23.  I think it all really comes down to the fact that I push myself every time I run. I'm teaching myself to enjoy the temporary discomfort I sometimes feel because I know in the end it pays off big time. I'm also convinced that running three days a week and getting those rest days in between makes me a better runner, as well.

So far I have lost 6 lbs. My jeans are a little looser and I'm feeling a little leaner. I'm still hoping to lose another 9 lbs by mid December, then another 30 lbs by May. Hopefully I will be able to do it! I'm still tracking my calories faithfully but I think I could cut back a little on the sugar.

How was your weekend? What did you do? Have you gotten any good workouts in lately?


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Loop

The Loop is what I call my favorite place to run outside. It's where I have been doing all of my runs lately. Today I did a 3 miler. I did mile 1 in 10:22, mile 2 in 10:51, and mile 3 in 10:51. The temperature was about
 -3 C or 26-27 F. There hasn't been any new snowfall but it is still covering the ground in alot of places.  I just ran in a long sleeve shirt and my capris. My ears and hands were cold for a little but but I warmed up about halfway through my first  mile.

Today I wasn't as concerned with trying to go fast, I had some stuff on my mind that I was thinking through. It's fun to run with other people on occasion, but I prefer to run alone. I love having the time to look around, enjoy the scenery and air, and just think. Sometimes when I run I think through issues or situations, and other times I just focus on the run and when I am done I feel better about life in general.

I've noticed that when situations arise in my life where I am frustrated, or sad, I often feel the urge to go running.  How about you? Is running a way for you to escape, and think things through, or is it just a way for you to stay in shape?


Monday, October 25, 2010

My Past Experience With Running


I was recently asked in the comment section by one of my readers what my past was with running. I decided to do a post on it since it would be a little long for a comment. Be warned...this is a LONG post. :D

 Really, I don't have much of a past with running for pleasure.  I played volleyball, basketball, and softball throughout high school, which meant I ran throughout high school if you count all of the conditioning and games. Outside of those sports I pretty much never ran just to RUN.  I remember doing that only a few times. One such time was when I was either a junior or senior in high school. I don't even remember why I wanted to go running but I went out in the fields all around my parents house and just ran for an hour and felt so ALIVE!

When I went away to college I played some intramural volleyball and basketball, but I also stayed up super late, ate soft serve ice cream in the cafeteria almost every day, and regularly went to Taco Bell late at night. Basically all of that combined equals GET FAT! I was so used to eating whatever I wanted in high school because I had been so active and it had never been a big issue.

The weight came on really quick. During my Freshman year I remember it was like "POOF!" and I had gained 20lbs. I met my husband Kyle at the end of my Freshman year. He was a basketball player, tall, and very lean. He basically has to try really hard to gain weight. He can eat whatever he wants and he won't get fat. Dating can sometimes be a recipe for diet disaster, especially for the girl!  I ran off and on at different times through college but never really stuck with it or focused so much on just running. I slowly gained weight throughout our dating years, and then during my 3rd year of college, before we got married I lost a little bit of weight...maybe 5 or 10 lbs.

Right after we were married we went to Israel for a semester. I didn't like the food very much at all so most of what I ate was bread and apples. Lots and LOTS of bread. My weight was so up and down when we were there, and I gained all the weight back that I had lost before our wedding, plus some. When I got back from Israel I weighed the most I have EVER weighed in my life....almost 200 lbs! I had told my sister a long time ago to slap me if I ever got to 200 lbs. Being that heavy was a wake up call for sure.

After Israel, we moved up to Canada for Summer 2009. I was tired all the time, sluggish, and generally just felt horrible. I desperately wanted to lose weight/ knew I needed to lose weight. I didn't want to be overweight the rest of my life. I have alot of family that is overweight/ obese and I wanted to be different. I wanted to be healthy and fit. I wanted to get in shape before I had kids and teach them healthy eating and exercising habits. I ate fairly healthy during the summer, and tried some exercise videos. I tried running a few times but absolutely HATED it. Looking back now its sad but funny. I hated it because it was hard. I hated it because I would get so out of breath after a mile, and two miles was killer. I hated it because I was ashamed that I had let myself get so out of shape. Throughout that summer I ran a little here and there, I went back and forth between feeling determined and helpless, but I lost about 10 lbs overall.

At the end of the summer, Kyle and I went back to California for him to finish his last year at college. I reached out to a family friend, and she became my workout buddy. We decided to meet at a local park. The first day was so hard for me. It took a total of about 60 seconds for me to get out of breath and I couldn't believe how physically weak I was. It was hot and I was fat and slow. I stuck with it, though, and kept meeting her to work out, and did some workouts on my own. In between jumping pullups, girl pushups, and squats, my friend would have me do a little running. It started out with little bits like 400 meters or 1/4 of a mile, then slowly progressed. After a little while I started to enjoy the running.

My friend moved to a different city that was about an hour and a half away, so I started doing my workouts on my own. After a bit, I asked my sister if she wanted to be my running/workout buddy. We would get up at 5:30 and go running at 6 am a few days a week, then lift weights 1 or 2 times a week. The lifting weights was off and on, but the running was more consistent.

I started out just doing 2 miles each time. Every once in a while I would do 3 or 4. I noticed that I was getting faster and I loved it. Some of my best running days were when I had rested for a day or two before, and then went running by myself. Those days reminded me of that one run I remember doing in high school. The run where I felt so alive.  I lost about 8 more lbs while I was living in California, I was running consistently and increasing my mileage.

After Kyle graduated this May I didn't run for a little while. I got really sick and didn't run for a whole week, then the next week we were packing to move out of our apartment. After those two weeks we went to my parents house and stayed with them for about a month. I only ran a few times, and ate alot of ice cream. Just keeping it real. I ate ALOT of ice cream. There is something about's so hard for me to stay on track.

Anyways, this July, Kyle and I moved back up to Canada.  I ran a few times, but didn't have any plan. Then at the end of September I decided...THAT'S IT! I'm doing this, all or nothing. I asked my sister if she wanted to train for a marathon with me. I knew that if I had a race that I was training for it would help me stay consistent. I signed up at an all ladies gym close to where I live that I absolutely love, and now I lift weights there four times a week. I made a training plan for the marathon and have been sticking to it faithfully. The race I want to run is in the L.A. area in May 2011.

My first post on this blog is titled, The Beginning.  I titled it that because I knew this time would be different. This time I would stick with it. This time I would reach my goals. I have learned to love running so much, that I plan on doing it for the rest of my life.

If any of you actually read this whole thing

I would love to hear your history with running. Please comment!



First Snow Run

Hey guys,

I was so right! I knew it was going to snow soon and today it did! Kyle (my husband) woke me up and told me to go look out the window. I was so excited when I saw it and took pictures immediately. Here are the pics I took.

Today was my first time running outside where there was snow! There wasn't any on the sidewalk though so it was nice. I wore capris, a 3/4 length shirt, some gloves and a beanie (known as a tuque [too-k] here in Canada) and I wasn't cold at all. I felt great!  I saw some kids making a snowman, and the park that I circle on my run was so beautiful...I wanted to get a picture but I didn't want to carry my camera on the run. When it starts to snow more I will get some pictures of Kyle and I in the snowfall and post them.

I can't believe it, you guys but I ran even faster today (by a bit). I did 3 miles in 31:41. I did mile 1 in 10:25, mile 2 in 10:40, and mile 3 in 10:35. Granted I felt like I was going to barf at the end of mile 2 through mile 3 because I had some samples from Costco  (try-outs! yee-ah!)  like 30 minutes before my run. I didn't eat much at all but I run best on an empty stomach or near empty. I used to do my runs in the early morning, get up and eat a banana then go and it was great. Maybe I should start doing that again.....

I hope you had a restful weekend and a fantastic Monday!


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Winter is Almost Here


I hope you are having a good weekend. Today was cold and gray out but it felt great! The temperature is steadily dropping, and even though I have never lived somewhere where it snows it feels like winter is coming soon to me!

This afternoon I did my 3 mile run. I completed all 3 miles in 32:28. Mile 1 I did in 10:40, mile 2 in 10:56, and mile 3 in 10:52. I was thinking to myself when I started running that 1) I should have waited longer after I ate, and 2) that every run is not a great run so I shouldn't have huge expectations since my last 3 mile run went so well. But it's cool that I did so well again....I am really happy! I think that running three days a week and only cross training in between really helps me get the rest I need and helps me to run better. Sometimes I feel like running on my cross training days but I think I will just stick to my program since it seems to be working.

I have even more good news. I have lost another 1.5 lbs! . Keeping consistent with my training, and tracking my calories, even when I go over my calorie limit really helps. I have lost inches, have gotten faster at running, my clothes fit better, and I feel stronger and more fit.

Every victory, no matter how small, is a victory! I hope that you take the time to notice and celebrate the victories in your life, whether big or small!


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Running Strong


Today was a great day! I hope yours was the same way.

I went on a walk with the dogs this morning and it was chilly out but so beautiful.  I am feeling more and more fit every day and its so exciting.

So I have some great news...I got a new pair of running shoes today! They are Nike Air Pegasus +26 and the color is white, silver and  magenta. Here's a pic!

Todays run was a 3 miler @ 12: 16. I went to my brother's high school track to change things up a bit. I did mile 1 in 10:56, mile 2 in 11:00, and mile 3 in 10:24. I was so proud of myself for going that fast. My times are steadily improving and its cool to see. I was really tired today, too and was wondering if I would be able to do 12 minute miles then I went and did them all faster than I have been in a while.

How have your workouts been this week?


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Importance of Stretching


How are you doing today? I hope you had a good day.  My lower back was killing me today and I thought about skipping my weights workout, but I did it anyways and I feel alot better! Most of the time when my lower back is bothering me it makes it hurt even worse if I sit most of the day or am not active.  I was wondering why it was feeling like that, but after my workout when I started stretching I figured out what the problem was.  I should have known that it was because my hamstrings were tight.

You see, for some reason my muscles will get rediculously and unusually tight and it takes alot of stretching and massage to make it normal. My shoulders used to be rock hard all the time from tension and tight muscles and even if I massaged them daily it didn't help all that much. It is something that I have kind of just gotten used to, but every once in a while it gets so bad that I can't ignore it.  I should probably just stretch every morning when I get up, after my workouts, and then every night before I go to bed but I haven't made that a habit yet. Maybe I will have to try that out and see how it works.

I always try to stretch after I run but most of the time I don't spend as much time on it as I should. I also need to have a warmup that I do as a routine before each workout.

Tomorrow my run is supposed to be 3 miles! I actually really wanted to go running today because I saw some people outside running when I went to the post office.  I love seeing people running, it really encourages me and I always want to cheer them on!

How about you? When you see people running does it make you happy? Do you have any suggestions for a good warmup? How often do you stretch, and for how long?


Monday, October 18, 2010

Mellow Monday


I hope you had a good Monday.  My days are usually pretty laid back since I can't work in Canada yet, and today was the same. I ran some errands, went to the gym to do my weights and then went for a run. The weather is beginning to cool off. The last few weeks it has been about 70 F during the day but today was 58 F. It felt wonderful when I was running outside!

Today was 2 miles @ 12:16. I did mile 1 in 11:35 and mile 2 in 11:25.  Wednesday and Saturday of this week I will be doing 3 miles and my mileage will start increasing each week. I'm interested to see what my times will be when I add on miles.

Last night I watched "How to Train a Dragon" and I really liked it! What did you do this weekend?

Have you been working out, and if you have, what have your workouts been like?


Saturday, October 16, 2010

A Few Changes

Yesterday I did my weights then went to the mall for a while. I want to start Christmas shopping soon so that I have most of it done by the beginning of December so I can just enjoy the holidays without feeling pressured to get all my gifts.

Today I ran my 2 miles around my favorite loop. I finished mile one in 11:35, and mile 2 in 11:47. I was a little tired and tried to slow it down but I am still running faster than the 12:16 pace. I think next week when I am doing 3 or 4 miles a day then the 12:16 pace will be nice.

I lost another .2 lbs. Some people don't pay as much attention to those little amounts but I appreciate every little bit and try to celebrate. I am thankful that I have actually accomplished my goal for the week to lose 1-2 lbs! I hope to do the same next week, too.

On a side not, I dyed my hair for the first time in my life today! I was dying it dark brown but as of right now it's pretty much black. I like it, though!

I hope you have a great weekend!


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Alone Time

Today I had the house and the afternoon to myself. Sometimes it is nice to have a little time to yourself and just relax. No running was on the schedule for today, but I did go to the gym and did my weights and ab workout. It felt weird not to be running.

The weather outside was sunny and warm so I decided to go for a walk/hike in Whitemud Park. I took a few photos of the area. I hope you like them!

I really enjoyed my walk and just taking my time looking at animals and enjoying the warm sunshine. I hope you enjoyed the photos!


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Feeling Good


I hope you had a great weekend and enjoyed the beginning of this week so far. I had a fun weekend with family, enjoyed my first Canadian Thanksgiving, and didn't eat too much! Yay!

I also took a few days off from working out and re-evaluated my workout plan. My weights plan will stay the same but I will be doing lighter weights and moving up more gradually. For my running, I made a training plan on Runner's World. It is a 12 week plan to get me ready for a half-marathon. I don't know if I will actually run an official half marathon in 12 weeks. I might do one just by myself if there isn't one around here for me to do.  Then after the end of the 12 weeks, I will make another plan that will be for 16 weeks to get me ready for the marathon I want to run in May. Anyways, I feel alot better about running after making this 12 week plan. It has me running 3 days a week, and the beginning part of it will be 2 miles @ 12:16, and then gradually move up.

Today was my first 2 mile run, and I did it outside at one of my favorite one mile loops close to where I live. I like this loop because 1) I know it is a mile long; 2) it is really pretty; 3) it is close to home; and 4) it has some gradual hills so it is varied. I like to run one mile one way, then turn around and do the second mile the other way to get the most of the hills. It was so pretty outside, a little warm but not enough to make me sweat, and it was nice to not run on the treadmill. My first mile I did in 11:17, and my second I did in 11:20. I didn't feel like I was trying super hard. I am convinced that running outside is easier for me than running on the treadmill! Today is proof.

I have been doing really well at tracking my calories on Spark People the last two days, and the people on there have been really encouraging so far!

Oh! I almost forgot the best news of all. I have lost 1.2 lbs! It was nice to finally see the number on the scale move down. I lost inches last week but no weight according to the scale. Hopefully by Friday I will lose another .8 lbs to make it 2 lbs for the week. I'm trying to focus on being happy about eating healthy and working out regularly and not just focus on my weight. If I stick to this then the weight will have to come off sometime!


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Thoughts on Holidays

This weekend was pretty laid back for me. A little too laid back I think (I didn't track all of my calories...OOPS!).  I went for a walk on Saturday evening at the dog park and all of the leaves have fallen from the trees now but I am enjoying the beauty of each season here.  Today I went for another walk with my husband, Kyle, around a super rich neighborhood. One of the things we love to do is walk around nice neighborhoods looking at the houses and talking about things we like and don't like. It's nice just to be outside enjoying the fresh air and each other's company. 

So I just signed on with a website called Spark People (it's free and better than the other calorie calculator I talked about) and as you know I recently have made a very solid committment to getting into shape and finally losing ALL of the weight that I have been wanting to lose for years. But here is the kicker...tomorrow is Thanksgiving here in Canada. Now I don't believe Thanksgiving equals an automatic food free for all, but there is alot of delicious high calorie foods around during that time...ummm...pumpkin pie? And I freely admit that I am also contributing to this by making two different kinds of cake. Yes, I am guilty, but I love baking!

I want to learn how to beat my sugar cravings, but I also want to be realistic in my eating and do something that I can maintain for a lifetime. Most of the time I hope I make smart, healthy choices about what I eat, but I will also eat some of the foods I love in moderation, as long as I am within my calorie range. After hearing a recent success story from my sister-in-law and how she has conquered the sugar cravings I am wondering if I should take a break from sugar for a while (a long break) to try to eliminate my craving for it. What do you think? 

Let me know what you think about the sugar question, but also, what are your thoughts on holidays and weight loss? Are holidays a problem for you? And if you are one of the strong people who have no problem with holidays, share your advice, please!


Friday, October 8, 2010

First Friday

So this is the end of week one's "formal" workouts, and today I was feeling worn out. I did my 10 minute warm up walk, 1 mile @ 1% incline, 4.5 mph (11:06 minute mile), then I just had to walk for a bit I was so hot. I walked for about two minutes, then did my second mile @ 1% incline, 5.0 mph (12:00 minute mile).  I shouldn't have worn capris to workout in, I really have to wear shorts because I get soooo  hot in that gym when I'm running! I think I have pushed myself really hard this week too so I was feeling it today. My left are is extremely sore and I think I started out too strong with the weights. I tend to think I should be able to do a certain weight, or a certain pace just because I used to be able to, but it takes time to get back into a routine!

Thanksgiving is on Monday, October 11th here in Canada. First of all its super weird to have Thanksgiving, second of all the gym is closed that day so I will miss my weights workout. At least I can run outside still. It might be nice to go for a relaxed run outside and see how I feel compared to working out on the treadmill.

Tomorrow I will probably just go for a nice long walk but I will do a post still.

Happy Weekend!


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Banana Split

Today I did similar cardio to Tuesday, 1 mile @ 1% incline, 4.5 mph (11:06 min mile), walked 1 minute, then did another mile the same as the first. The difference today was that I shortened my walk in between miles to 1 minute instead of two. I'm hoping that next week I won't need to walk at all. I think the walk break might be just mental but I'm not sure, I felt like I was pushing myself hard.

After my run I did my weights workout and abs. It still takes me about an hour to do the weights and abs, so it is still about 1 and 1/2 hours I am at the gym. I don't mind though, I feel great!

So for some reason I have always resisted counting calories to help me lose weight. I don't know why I just though it would be horrible and annoying. Today I changed my mind, though. I decided to start keeping track of my calories taken in and calories put out through exercise. I started using My Calorie Counter on, and I was even able to have a mini banana split tonight, and totally without guilt! And I'm still under my calorie limit of 1,600 per day, which means I can eat something before I go to bed if I feel hungry. Why didn't I do this earlier?

So if there is anyone out there trying to lose weight and you are resistant to calorie counting, I encourage you to try My Calorie Calculator and see what you think.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Rest Day

Today was a rest day and I really welcomed it! Just weightlifting for two days made me very sore, and I needed a break. I didn't do a formal workout but I did go for a walk with the dogs and my mom-in-law. We are taking advantage of the sunshine and good weather while we can!

Daisy May is on the left, Wags is in the middle.

There's Bandit on the left making use of a tree, and Wags is in the middle again.

An interesting tree that we saw, and a little bit of the river in the background!

I hope you enjoy the photos! I'm bummed that I didn't get pictures of Edmonton a week and a half ago when it really just looked like was gorgeous! Now many of the trees that were so colorful have lost their leaves so it looks drab. I will just try to be thankful for the sunshine and the 70 F weather!


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Day 2 Workout

Today was my second day of working out hard! I wasn't sore at all earlier in the day but now I'm feeling it a little bit. For my cardio, I did a 5 minute walk warmup, then ran 1 mile at 1% incline and 4.5 mph (11:06 min mile), then I walked about 2 minutes, and did another mile the same as the first. After my run I walked on the treadmill for a few minutes then went and did my weights. Except I forgot to do my back exercises...oops.

I have kind of figured out that in these beginning stages it will probably take me about an hour and a half to do my workout, maybe even two hours if I stretch longer, which I would like to do. Hopefully I will be able to get the time down to less as I get faster. I was really proud of myself for running faster today, it was hard but worth it!

Tonight I watched the Biggest Loser. For me, it really helps me stay motivated, to see these people who are very overweight and some even morbidly obese work out and change their lives in the process. It is very inspiring and it has changed alot of people's lives. I mean they lose ALOT of weight really quickly but many of them keep it off and really have changed their lives. Hopefully more people realize that they need to make a change, then do it! Both America and Canada have a huge problem with obesity and it only seems to be getting worse. I hope that in some small way I can be an encouragement to people I know as I get into shape, to show others that is is possible and that is is VERY worthwhile.


Ipod Nano Giveaway!

So wasn't I JUST saying that I needed to get an ipod? Well the new ipod nano with multi-touch is the one that I have had my eye on...hoping that maybe I would get it for my birthday or Christmas, or hoping that I will be able to buy one for myself soon. Preferably before winter starts so I don't go insane on that treadmill....

Anyways, Lukas VanDyke is having a giveaway on his blog, and he is giving away the new ipod nano! Here is the link....check it out and please enter!

Let me give you a little bit of info on him and his work. I have loved his photography for a long time. He shot both my brother and sister's weddings and did an amazing job! He is a newlywed and his wife and him work together doing sweet! He is very experienced and has done this for several years...need I say more? Check out his blog and see for yourself!

I will be posting about today's workout later...


Monday, October 4, 2010

First Workout

Today was my first workout. I did a 5 minute walk warm up then I ran 2 miles @ 1% incline, 5mph (12 minute mile). You would think that 2 miles at a 12 minute mile pace would be easy right? Well I was sweating profusely and I had to distract myself to just continue on. If I was doing it outside in the cool air it wouldn't be a problem at all, but for some reason running on a treadmill is really hard for me. It's supposed to be easier than running outside! What's with that?  It doesn't take very long to get out of shape both physically and mentally. I guess I'm relearning endurance and how to push myself to work hard.

After running I did my weights workout. So far my plan is to do weights Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. Monday and Tuesday I work chest, shoulders, triceps, quads, upper abs, and obliques. Thursday and Friday I work back, biceps, hamstrings, calves, glutes, and lower abs.

I felt so good after my workout. I love the feeling of tiredness and happiness that I get after I push myself. Today I was tired and didn't feel like working out, but I told myself that I would feel better if I did and I was right. The self discipline that I learn through working out is something that is also very useful in other areas of my life. My mantra today when I was running was "Do the work";  I needed something that would help me push through, something to focus on.

I made a goal to stay consistent with my workout plan and hopefully lose 15 lbs by my birthday...I have about 2 and 1/2 months to do it so I know it is possible. I'm happy that my first day was successful, hopefully I will keep it up and reach my goal. I hope that by getting into shape, and becoming healthy and fit I can encourage other people to do the same!


Friday, October 1, 2010

The Beginning

Today is October 1st, obviously. But this month is the beginning of the end of me being out of shape. I'm so excited. I've talked about weight loss and getting in shape for a long time but this time I am actually going to do something about it. My sister and I are going to start training for a marathon.

I started the first steps of this new beginning about two weeks ago when I got a gym membership at an all ladies gym that I absolutely love. I needed a place where I would be excited to work out, feel comfortable, and somewhere to run during the winter! An added bonus is that I can attend any of the classes they have. I have only tried Zumba so far but it was fun. I think the classes will be a good way to not get bored with my workout routine.

The official start of training is Monday, October 4th but I am so so ready. I know running long mileage on the treadmill will be hard for me, but I'm hoping to run outside for as long as the weather stays nice, and hopefully I get a new i-pod before it gets too cold. I need something to keep me pumped!

I will be posting all of my workouts on here to keep a journal of what I've done and how I've personally improved. I am excited to see what I can do, what my best really is, and to to not only physically change, but mentally become more disciplined.

Stick with me!!



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