Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Versatile Blogger Award

Two Lovely Ladies tagged me for the Versatile Blogger Awards,  Linz @ Destination 26.2 and Paige @ Two Runners and a Brown Dog head on over and check out their blogs!! 
Thank you I'll gladly accept the awards.

The rules of the award state that I must list 7 things about myself, and then pass the award/challenge to 7 other bloggers.  That's going to be tough!

1. My Parents are Portuguese, I was born in Germany lived there for 13 years and now live in Canada. 

2. I'm scared of Chickens, you can't trust them ... they always look like they are ready to attack you and up to no good. 

3. If I could live anywhere in the world it would be Paris, Love the food, the culture, the people. 

4. I met my Husband when I was 19 and we have been together for 18 years. This year we are celebrating our 13th wedding anniversary. 

5. I HATE to Fly, ever since I've had my kids I get terrible anxiety.  Before meeting my husband I was even considering working as a Flight Attendant because I loved to travel so much. 

6. My First Car was a Datsun... according to Dad it was a cool car, I didn't think so at the time. I've learned that Dad knows what he is talking about... well sometimes.

7. I've worked for the same company for 16 years and LOVE my job. 

Some of you may have been tagged already but if not…..TAG YOUR IT!
If you are not tag please check out these lovely blogs;

Ali @ Fat To Fit, Jamie @ Embracing Balance, Lynn @ Healthy Lynn, Jess @ Dairy Free Betty, Nicole @ Making Good Choices, Brittany @ Living in The Moment,   H Love @ Keep on Keeping On...

This week will be crazy at work. Long days and working on the weekend. 
My Runs have all been very brief, all I'm able to get in is 3km of straight running after that it's all down hill. I know I should really see my Dr and confirm that this is indeed my IT Band, but I don't think it will happen this week being this busy at work.

Wishing you all happy Running!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Crazy Busy Life and running

I love when life gets busy, but I hate when life gets busy... does that even make sense? 
May is my favorite time at work. 
We are crazy busy and it's only going to get worse until June 4th. 
Before running, crazy busy May was challenge trying to schedule in work, home life,working weekends and birthday parties. 
NOW we have added running and blogging to the mix which is turning out to be a bit CRAZY. 
OH and lets not forget Hubby recovering form shoulder surgery. 

Last week I still managed to find time to run 6 days. 
I'm really happy I did get my butt out even when I was really tired and didn't think I could do it because I felt so much better after.  

I still haven't decided on my next race. 
I think I might only do the 5k on July 11th instead of the 10miles. I know it seems like I'm cheating running another 5k instead of pushing myself to the next level. 
I just don't think I could swing training in the next 2 weeks.
My longest run has been 7k and that was a struggle, my IT band is still bothering me. 
My Best Friends has been ICE and Stretching.  
I've been following the Hal Higdon15K training just in case I do decided to go for it. 
I kind of felt a bit lost after finishing the 10k, I wasn't sure how to continue with my running. 
Being on a training plan ensures that I am out there running at least 3 times a week while continuing to improve on my running and add millage. 

How do you handle busy work/home life while training?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Missing in Action

That's what I am when you look at my Family Photo Albums. 
Was I really there for the Birth of my Children? 
Birthday parties? 
Did I really go on that Family trip to Portugal? 
Did I miss our "once in a Lifetime Disney Vacation" in 2005 and the return to Disney Trip in 2007?
Oh, I was there... but those very few pictures of me have all been deleted or (I'm embarrassed to say) I photo shop them. 
It is sad, sad to think that my kids have very very few pictures of me with them while they were little. 

Growing up I was considered average size. 
I was never active as teen and hated gym class. I didn't play sports and didn't ride my bike or roller blade or anything like that. I was always to worried about getting hit with the ball or getting hurt or making a fool out of myself, so I was more of a spectator. 

This picture was taken December 31st, 1991

I started gaining weight shortly after I met my husband in 1992, back them I weight 115lbs. By the time we got married, 5 years later I was at 135lbs. 
In April of 1999 after coming back from Vacation with my sister and My Girlfriend I had a hard time looking at the pictures, I weight 180lbs. 
I actually stop weighing myself so I'm not quite sure if that was my heaviest.

These pictures were taken a month apart, one in April 1999 while on Vacation and the other at a Wedding in May 1999
I HATE these pictures!! When I look at them I don't see me. I'm not sure who that person is in those pictures. I didn't feel like that. I felt great and confident, I didn't see myself like that.
I'm not sure how I got there, I guess the fact that we were always eating out as newlyweds, going to the movies and weren't very active people helped towards me putting on 45lbs in 2 years!! 
During my 1st Pregnancy I actually lost weight, a combination of eating healthy and walking during my lunch hour to keep active. 
When my daughter was born in February 2000 a very healthy 7lbs11oz, I weight 165lbs.  After having my Son in 2003 I was still at the same weight and content at being there. 

The turning point for me was gearing up for my sisters wedding. 
I remember so clearly going with the Bridesmaids for a dress fitting and the dress my sister loved for us to wear only went up to size 12. WHICH obviously was WAY to small for me, I believe at the time I was a size 14/16. 
I felt awful and insisted we should get the dresses and I would loose the weight for the wedding which was ONLY 2 months away.
The very next day I started the South Beach diet.

 My sisters Bridal Shower July 2007, I photo shop the picture... 

 my sisters Stagette August 2004

 Wedding September 2004
In 2 months I ended up loosing 15lbs on The South Beach diet and fit into the size 12 dress. 
This diet worked for me. I didn't have to count calories, I just watched my portions. I ate whole grains, lean protein and healthy fats. I had no problem following the plan and it never made me feel deprived. Mostly importantly it taught me how to eat. 
August 2006
December 2007
May 2008
August 2009
During the last 6 years I've maintained my weight between 145lbs - 155lbs still following a modified South Beach diet. 
However it was only in 2008 that I joined a Cardio and Conditioning class at the local Rec Center once a week and started to walk on the treadmill 3 times a week. 
I realized that no matter how clean I ate the only way I would see any change in my weight would be to incorporate some form of exercise.
I mostly still follow the South Beach Diet ways - I load my plate with veggies, healthy carbs, lean protein and healthy fats and snack on Fruit during the day.
I have also moved towards eating more whole foods, eliminating processed foods and Chemicals. 
In December 2009 I took up running and it truly has made an incredible impact in my life... this is me now:

Siss & Me and the kids April 2010

to be continued ... 

Monday, May 10, 2010

Here comes the Sun

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!! 
Thanks to all the well wishes.
It's has been a lot of 'sweat' to get to where I am today and I am so happy that I believed in myself and did NOT give up like so many times before. 
I honestly could NOT have done it without all your support and encouragement and learning from some of the seasoned runners.

now back to regular scheduled blogging...
Finally a good pain free run. I've been Icing and stretching everyday and low and behold I actually had a great run today.  
I felt Amazing and LOVED my run today.
I decided to take a 14min warm up walk, stopped and stretched and then ran for 35minutes followed by another 14min cool down walk. Success!! 
7.34km in 1:04hr, glad I'm back to running
Why is it that it always takes me the 1st mile to settle into my run? I was huffing and puffing for the 1st mile, having a hard time finding my pace but after that 1mile things start to settle in and the rest when great. 

This past week has been really challenging to find time to run. 
With hubby recovering from surgery there just doesn't seem to be any extra time for me. 
Run home from work and make dinner, help kids with homework, eat dinner, clean kitchen, prep for breakfast, make lunches, help kids with bed time. It's like I'm a single mom with 3 kids ... you get the point, I'm non stop busy. 
It has been really frustrating and the lack of sleep certainly doesn't help. 
I get really cranky when I don't get my 8hrs sleep. 
I'm even thinking that I might need to start running in the morning before work! 
That would mean I would have to be up by 5am!! 
Double YIKES!! 
I simply don't know if I can pull that off... something to think about.

What's next on my running agenda you might ask... well since today's run went so great and I have renewed confidence in my running I'm looking at signing up for the Acura Toronto 10-Miler
My only concern is that this race is on July 11th which is exactly one week after I come back from my 2 week Vacation in Portugal. 
Will I be able to get 6 training runs in while on Vacation?  
I think that would be a big accomplishment, I've never even visited the gym while on vacation never mind going for a run. 

How do you insure you keep up your training while on Vacation in a different Country?  

Friday, May 7, 2010

Couch to Runner in 20 weeks

I finally finished what I started many many months ago, 4 to be exact.
Yes me, I went from sitting on the couch to running my First 10k this past Sunday, all thanks to the 13-week walk/run plan.
I'd like to take you back to my very first post, running for for 1min and 30sec and walking 3minutes repeating 9 times was a struggle. Can you believe that ... a struggle, now that just seems silly I ran 10k and felt great the whole time. 

Many times I wanted to call it quits, many times I had to repeat session, many times I didn't think I could do it. 

Sometime I had Ankle Pain, sometimes I had Shin Pain, sometimes there was calf pain and then there were Shin Splints, which made me take 2 weeks of running.

Since I took up running in midst of the Canadian Winter running was done on the treadmill 3 times a week.
Runs were squeezed in after coming home from work before making dinner for the Family or even late at night. 
Once Spring came around I took my running outside and made a new running friend Dennis (aka Garmin), which helped me track my km's, pace, time and even Calories burned.
There were even some lunch time runs and early morning runs. 

I have discovered so many running blogs and healthy living blogs and have made many friends and I am so grateful for each and everyone of you. I have learn so much from all of you and received to much support. 

Many times I wondered if this day would ever come, was I meant to be a runner? 
Or is this just not me? I have NEVER ever been a physical person why would I NOW at 37 become a runner?  

I am proof that this plans works, IF I can learn how to run anyone can. 
In a later post I will go over the plan I followed and outline all the things that have taken me from a walker to a runner. 

in 4 months I have:
  • gone from walker to runner 
  • lost a total of 17lbs 
  • went from a size 8 jeans to a size 4 
  • went down 2 bra sizes 
 taken December 30th, 2009
taken May 2nd, 2010 

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Sporting Life 10km Race Recap

Rain, rain go away come back some other day ... Mother nature must have heard me and decided to hold off the rain until after the race. 
It was a prefect race day morning nice and cool, the temperature was 18C and NO rain in sight. 
For my 1st 10k Race I picked the Sporting Life 10k. It takes place in Toronto and runs down Canada's most famous street - Yonge Street with the finish line just outside of Fort York.
The race is mostly downhill with a small uphill at the 3k mark. It is considered one of the fastest Downhill 10k's and a great place to set PR. 

I spend most of my Saturday running around trying to find Coconut Water, apparently there is a shortage... some sort of problem with the supplier not being able to meet demand. DARN, I was really counting on that to keep me hydrated during the race. 
I also had to run out and buy a hat after so many of you suggested that this was a MUST have for a rainy run. 
HOW could I not have a hat?? 
You SEE I'm not a athlete or I should that say I was never and athlete and really never saw a need for a baseball/running hat. 
Funny story... my hubby actually gave me a baseball hat as a Birthday present YEARS ago and I was actually MAD at him as to why he would think I would ever wear one. I took that sucker back and got myself a nice Sun Hat. 

I also laid out my various running outfits, since I wasn't sure what the weather was going to be like I had: running tights, Long sleeve running shirt, running skirt, running tank top, windbreaker... You can see I was VERY confused by what to wear.
More confused was I by how to attach the timing chip, I was worried it was going to fall off during the race... but I finally figured it out and the chip never moved once during the race.

I'm excited that we get to keep the timing chip as a souvenir!! AND certainly this was much better then the ankle bracelet I had to wear at Harry's Spring Run-Off.

I started my morning bright and early ... 5:30am, and actually managed to get a good 7hrs sleep. 
I tried to keep Breakfast simple as with my last race since it worked out so well.

A bowl of Oatmeal with 1/2 Banana and a cup of Green Tea, and since I couldn't find Coconut water I took the easy road and had some Gatorade before the race. I don't think I will be doing that again, I'm not a Gatorade drinker and I just don't find it did anything for me.
I made sure that I had my Oatmeal before 6am, that way I would have plenty of time to digest and it would not affect my run. This works perfect for me.
Since the Family was not going to be able to join me at the race, due to Hubby's injury  they did the next best thing and watched the Race Online
How great is that!! The Kids absolutely loved it and didn't feel left out at all. 

I decided to go with my favorite Running outfit; 
what else but a running skirt. Seriously if you haven't run in a skirt yet you need to try it, I'm sure you will love it as much as I do.

Once at the Race site I could NOT believe the Sea of people as far as my eyes could see. It was just AMAZING to see all these runners lined up all the way down Yonge St.. They were expecting over 14,000 runners and it certainly felt like it.

All Race picture were taken with my Blackberry, hence it being blurry
I was in the Purple Corral which had an estimate time of 1:15hr for the 10k, I felt comfortable with this time. I positioned myself in the middle of running pack and anxiously awaited the sound of the horn. 
Our Corral was 'released' at 8:21am and off we went without a hitch. Most of the runners around me seemed to be running at my pace, which when I checked Dennis (aka Garmin) was WAY faster then I usually run. I felt good and didn't think that I need to adjust my pace at this point so I continued. 
The km's where just flying buy and next thing I knew I was at the half way mark and I was ONLY 28min into the race. 
I'm not quite sure what happened, but it seems that as soon as I hit the 5k I started to have a twitch on the outside of my knee and a pain that ran all the way down the side of my leg that was getting worse with every step I took. (Now I know that this is called IT Band Syndrome, on Sunday at the race I just knew that it was a nuisance and I wanted it GONE)  At that point I took a minute walking break to see if I could walk it off, but when that didn't help I stopped and stretched my leg and massaged the area, nothing seemed to help the situation. 
I was NOT going to let that get to me, so what if I wouldn't finish with my estimated time. What mattered was that I was there and that I was running. That I had the courage to take this on even when it seemed impossible. 
So the rest of the way I ran when I could and walked when running was too painful. 
I was so happy to see that finish line!!
I manged to run across it with my arms held up high, stopped Dennis and saw the time was 1:10:16!!
  Thank you to the nice Girl at the finish line that offered to take a picture of me with my Blackberry!! 

Look at my BIG Smile! Injured and still came in below my estimated time!! 
YOU bet I'm Happy and I will be back next year to beat that time and come in under the 1hr mark FOR SURE!!

Chip time: 1:10:16.1
Overall: 10225/11918
Females: 5339/6691
F35-39: 795/961

Everyone received a Tech short sleeved Shirt and Medal. Overall it was an Amazing experience and I can't wait to do it again next year and set a new PR for this race as well as receive a medal without any spelling mistakes
 I really didn't run DOWNTOEN

Although 10k seems like impossible distance to run, I am prove that NOTHING is impossible and everything is achievable with a bit of training. Just believe in yourself.
Even when I was hobbling down to the finish line I was thinking that I would be back next year and what possible race I could do next, could I even do a 1/2 marathon in September?
I certainly did catch the running bug and I like how it makes me feel like I can do anything. 

Thanks for all your emails, tweets and comments on the blog they have been overwhelming!!

Now an update on Hubby, he went into surgery on Monday due to his separated Shoulder. The Surgery took way too long due to him having some complications with his heart. 
He is now on blood pressure medication and we are going to see a Cardiologist sometime this week when he feels better from the surgery. We are hoping that this was just from the sever pain he was in during surgery which quite common.
I'm playing nurse (minus the outfit) for the next couple of days.
Can't wait to be back out running.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

That's Right I did it, Sporting Life 10k

Chip Time: 1:10:16... actually I thought I would have come in at 1:15.
I am VERY VERY Happy with my time!!
It was my first 10k race and were it not for my leg cramping up and having to hobble the last 2miles I would have come in under 1hr AND that I can NOT believe.
I'm very very happy that I hang in and didn't give up and finished with a smile on my face. 
I will post a detailed Race Report tomorrow or perhaps Tuesday, as Hubby is going in for surgery Monday and we will probably be at the hospital all day. 
For now I leave you with a picture of Me and My BLING!! I just love race medals ...

This Picture was taken when I got home, since I didn't have anyone at the race waiting for me.
Thank you all so much for your support and kind words, I don't think I could have done it without you!! !!