Monday, November 30, 2009

56 HBBC points = 4.2 lbs

Total HBBC points for last week = 56

Total pounds lost last week = 4.2

I couldn't believe it when I stepped on the scale at Weight Watchers tonight (I have started going back to my Monday weigh-ins/meetings - I am a Lifetime Member at [below] goal weight so it's FREE) and had to double check the number.

Feeling great and loving the HBBC motivation. Thanks Amanda!

That's 12 lbs lost since kicking off Project Lean Mean Running Machine at the end of last month. I can do it when I put my mind (and body) to it.

Thanks for all the support!

HBBC Update

run 13mi = 13 pts
F/V = 1

walk 1 mi = 1 pt
light day today

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The day after

My legs (and arms and abs and butt and shoulders) were not pleased with me after yesterday's double whammy, especially not when I dragged them out for 21K/13mi. I was really dragging a$$ through the second half, but got it done with the help of good friends urging me on. I'm thinking this is excellent training for Goofy.

In other weekend news, we went to our local Santa Claus parade last night and managed to squeeze in a couple of walking miles (yay HBBC points!). This afternoon we went to the movies to see New Moon again (my second time, hubby's first) and then watched another movie at home. A relaxing afternoon is just what I needed. Time to start thinking about dinner.

Hope you all had a great weekend! (Do I really have to go back to work already tomorrow?)

HBBC Update

1h Bootcamp = 4 pts
1h Spin class = 4 pts
walk 2mi = 2 pts
F/V = 1 pt

run 13mi = 13 pts
F/V - working on it

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Bustin' Bootie!

Thanks for all the comments yesterday! I'll be donating 5 cans to my local food bank this week thanks to you guys. Tune in next Friday for Round 2! A Toronto Girl Out West and 101 Things, 1001 Days are also hosting Cans for Comments - drop by and leave a comment to stir up some more donations!

This weekend I decided to take a break from the back-to-back long runs and opted for another kind of back-to-back. I hit the gym to bust some bootie this morning with Bootcamp and Spin classes. It was a grueling two hours, and I was surprised to discover that there were a handful of other crazies doing both classes.

What are you doing today?

HBBC Update

walk 2mi = 2 pts
F/V = 1 pt

1h Bootcamp = 4 pts
1h Spin class = 4 pts
F/V - working on it

Friday, November 27, 2009

TGIF! + Cans for Comments

Wow, 6 comments yesterday. I hope that means you were all thoroughly enjoying your Thanksgiving and spending time away from the computer. I hope everyone who has a long weekend is enjoying every minute of it. I can't wait to get my own (measly two day) weekend started. It has been one of those weeks.

Just a note that I had planned on hosting Cans for Comments every Friday in December, but Mel was kind enough to mention it on her post today so we'll go ahead and kick it off a week early. One food donation for every five comments left today! Mel is doing the same thing, so check out her post today too: Giving Rather Than Receiving.

Last night I had a cushion of time surrounding my Spin class so I took advantage and racked up a few extra HBBC points. I stuffed my Nathan Intensity Hydration Pack for Women with a towel and change of clothes and ran to and from the gym for a total of just over 5K. It was an easy way to squeeze in a little more activity and I'm going to try to do it every week.

HBBC Update

run 3.4mi = 3.4 pts
1h Spin class = 4 pts
F/V = 1 pt

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Turkey Day

To my friends south of the border:

Happy Thanksgiving!

Don't miss Tall Mom's Bag of Thanks Giveaway!

HBBC Update

run 6.4mi = 6.4 pts
F/V = 1 pt
visited a new blog from the HBBC list = 1 pt

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Cans for Comments

A charitable initiative is sweeping the blogosphere and I'm excited to do my part. If you haven't already heard about Cans for Comments, allow me to explain.

People leave comments, you donate food.

Every Friday for the month of December, I will donate one can of food (or other non-perishable item) to my local food bank for every five comments posted that day. Stay tuned and get on board if you can! You can participate for one post, one week, or however you like. Every little bit counts, especially over the holidays.


And speaking of the holidays, make sure you sign up for Morning Runner and Tall Mom's First Annual Blogger Christmas Card/Gift Exchange!

HBBC Update

run 4.5 mi = 4.5 pts
60-min high intensity aerobics/strength class = 4 pts
15-mins elliptical = 1 pt
Fruits/Veggies = 1 pt

10K run with the group on the schedule for tonight.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Lunch Runner

I'll spare you the details, but work has been a sh*t show lately. I'm spend most of my days from 8 to 5 on the edge of completely snapping. I've used up all of the tactics I know for staying calm, being positive, etc. etc. BUT IT IS NOT WORKING, PEOPLE. Every day I think it has to get better and every day... it gets worse.

But enough whining. 18 more working days and I am out of here for 3.5 weeks. That is enough to keep my marbles in place, at least for now.

So today I was feeling particularly close to losing my cool and fortunately I had my running gear with me. I hit the streets over lunch (in the rain!) for a quick 6K which allowed me to clear my head, re-group and face the afternoon refreshed. It worked.

Any other tips for keeping it together?

HBBC Update

Monday: feature HBBC button/link on blog = 1 pt (hey, it's a start)

Tuesday: (so far) - run 4.5 mi = 4.5 pts

H.O.T. tonight...

Monday, November 23, 2009

Weekend Wrap-Up

Another weekend come and gone!

On Friday I had a fondue-style girls' night after work. Broth fondue, cheese fondue, chocolate fondue... it was decadent! I tried not to over-indulge, keeping in mind Project: Lean Mean Running Machine.

Saturday morning it was time for Long Run # 1: 17K/10.6mi. I slept in a little after a late night Friday and set out on my own along park trails to get it done. Along the way I stumbled along the parade route for our local Santa Claus parade taking place that day. They hadn't started yet, but I was able to peak at the floats as they got everyone organized. Other than that, it was pretty uneventful, but an absolutely beautiful morning. It's unheard of to be wearing short sleeves late into November around here, so I am enjoying every minute of it while I can.

Saturday afternoon/evening, we were off to the Toronto Gourmet Food & Wine Expo with Sarah and her hubby. It was indulgent. We had a great time, sampling various drinks and bites. Knowing I had a long run the following morning, I limited my wine tastings to two (plus a spritzer) and used most of my tickets on FOOD. Yum. :)

The next morning it was up and at 'em for Long Run # 2. This time, I had company. About 20 of us headed out together, most running a shortened route and a handful of us doing 28K/17mi. It was another gorgeous morning, especially once the sun peaked out from behind the clouds. The kilometres ticked by easily and once again I was surprised at how well I was able to handle the back-to-back. With about 6K to go, I even managed it pick it up significantly enough to bring my overall average pace down by 15 seconds/kilometre.

On Sunday evening I met up with some ladies from my running group for my first ever hot yoga class. (Thanks to Aneta for letting me know about this great local studio.) It was definitely a different experience and was it ever HOT in there. (That should be no surprise, I guess.) I definitely enjoyed it and I think it was the perfect activity to work the kinks out of sore, tired running legs. I feel fantastic this morning.

And that wraps up my weekend. How was yours?

Today we kick off the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge - start racking up those points!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

TIaRT: Unconventional Races

It's time for TIaRT and OOKate asks:

What's the most unconventional race you've ever run? Have you run a race like North Carolina's "Take Pride in your Hide" naked race? Does your local running group have "prediction runs" where everyone guesses their finish time, and the winner is the person who has the closest guess? How about a Mud Run? If you could make up a wacky race, what would the twist be?

I've run three races that you could call unconventional, two of which I have run twice and all of which I intent to run every year if possible. These are definitely some of my favourite races.

The City Chase is a unique urban adventure that requires participants to exhibit teamwork, resourcefulness, determination and the ability to make decisions on the fly as they search for ChasePoints scattered in unknown locations throughout the city. ChasePoints are designed to test teams with a variety of physical, mental, and otherwise adventurous challenges.

Mud Run is Canada's Dirtiest 10K and the most fun you can have running off road. The Mud Run is definitely NOT your ordinary trail run. It has hills, river crossings, climbing walls, tunnel crawls, hay bales and lots of mud. Everyone finishes with a spectacular romp (but in most cases a dive) in a world-renowned mud pit.

Runners are invited to explore the stunning vineyards and sample Niagara's premium wines at the Runner's Expo, along the Picturesque Course and at the Finish Area Street Party.


The week is going well. I had a killer workout at H.O.T. on Thursday (my arms, chest and shoulders are screaming today) and a speedy 10K with the group last night. Tonight I was hoping to make it to Spin, but the time slot doesn't work for me so I'm running at lunch and hitting the gym to squeeze in whatever I can after work. Then it's off to see New Moon!

Happy Thursday (almost Friday)!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Poutine, crepes and a half marathon

Hubby and I, along with another couple, will be spending a weekend in Montreal in April for the half marathon.

We love Montreal, our friends love Montreal, we're always looking for new race experiences and we get a great discount on a two-bedroom suite because hubby spends so much time in Montreal for work. So here we are!

No doubt many a poutine and crepe will be consumed as we take to the streets for three days of antics, running a little 21K along the way.

This race is part of the Canada Running Series and they are currently offering discounts for registering for 2-4 events. Time to start working on that 2010 race calendar.


On the workout front, tonight is H.O.T. (and I think I've recruited a friend from my running group!), tomorrow is 10K, Thursday is 6K with a buddy at lunch and Spin after work (then seeing New Moon!!!), Friday off and weekend long run distances TBD.

I've successfully lost 7 lbs since kicking off Project: Lean Mean Running Machine and I feel fantastic. All of my work pants are officially too big. I've been hoarding some gift cards so a shopping spree will be in order soon.

Don't forget to sign up for the HBBC!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

24 miles, 24 hours

Yesterday morning hubby and I headed out for a 15K (9.3mi) run together. This was the longest distance he has run since his race and also the longest distance we have run together in several months. We kept it comfortable, enjoyed the beautiful morning (short sleeves and capris/shorts in November!) and had a great run.

I had an ice bath after the run and refueled properly, doing the best I could to recover adequately for a long(er) run the next day.

This morning I met up with several friends from my training group, many of whom who are going to Goofy as well, a little north of here. We had a scenic route in the country planned which would offer quieter roads and pleasant views. And hills. Big ones. (What else is new?)

The run went really well. I expected to be more worn out than I was, since I generally take a day off or go for a short run the day before a long one. My legs were a little sore during the last 10K, but my energy level was great and I was even able to pick it up toward the end. 25K (15.5mi) done.

40K (24.8mi) in 24 hours. Still a long way to go til Goofy, but a definite confidence-booster.

Hope you all had a great weekend! I have some exciting news to share this week so stay tuned. I'll catch up with everyone soon!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Three Things Thursday

1. Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge! Everyone should get on board with RunToTheFinish for another round of healthy holiday competition! It's pretty simple; we just have to track points according to the following list and bust some bootie over the holidays. She has PRIZES!

1 Point per mile (run/walk/snowshoe)
1 Point per 3 miles biked
1 Point per 30 minutes of weight lifting, Pilates, yoga, stretching or abs
1 Point per 15 minutes of another form of cardio (i.e. kick boxing, aerobics elliptical)
1 Per day where you reach a minimum of 7 servings of fruits and veggies

CLICK HERE to sign up.

2. Last night I had a great 10K (actually, 10.5 - but who's counting?) with the group. The kilometres ticked by quickly as we chatted away in the peaceful darkness of a November evening. Tonight is SPIN!

3. Our very own Morning Runner is hosting this week's TIaRT and she wants to know:

What is your favorite race? Do you live for the marathons or crave a 5k? Would you rather race in the morning, afternoon, or at night? Do you like big races with tons of people and encouraging crowds or do you prefer the smaller hometown races?

The beautiful thing with racing for me is: I don't have to choose! There is a plethora of options out there year-round in all distances, any time of day, big, small or in between. I can appreciate a small town race with just a couple hundred participants (our own local Rebecca Run and Hartwell Half come to mind) as well as the big boys with several thousand (such as Ottawa or the Toronto Waterfront). I also love to race every distance from the 5K to the marathon. I suppose the simple answer would be: I love variety.

My only problem is narrowing down the options (perhaps you will recall that I ran 9 races in 10 weeks this spring).

How about you?

P.S. (okay, maybe this is Four Things Thursday): Lil Runner is giving away some Clif Quench and you can enter here.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month


After my morning run yesterday, I had a thorough butt-whooping at the gym in the evening. H.O.T. class presented another round of intense intervals from burpees to mountain climbers to walking lunges to step-ups to planks to jumping jacks, and the list goes on. I even hopped on the elliptical for 20 minutes before the class for a little warm-up. I love a good workout before my weekly dose of The Biggest Loser.

Project Lean Mean Running Machine is well underway and pretty soon I'll be adding the HBBC to the mix for added motivation. Bring it on!

Tonight I'm meeting some people I have not seen enough lately for a 10K (or so). Since adding varied exercise to the mix, I actually love running more. Imagine that!

The awesome weather seems to be continuing with sunny skies and cool (but not too cold) temperatures. Jess made a comment about finding it funny to be wearing a jacket in November; we're just lucky not to be wearing full-on winter gear at this point. The best is yet to come.

Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Morning run

I have a class at the gym tonight and plans at lunch, but I wanted to squeeze in a run, so 6AM is was. The cool, dark and quiet morning was eerily calming and it was a great way to start my day. I truly wish I had the discipline to do this more often, but the truth is that I'm surprised I managed to get up today. I'm just not a morning person during the week.

So the run was nice and I took a slight detour to scope out some new running/walking trails being constructed in our neighbourhood. We've been promised ~9K of trails and I can't wait to explore more thoroughly as progress continues. With winter looming we probably won't be able to fully enjoy them until next spring, but it's definitely something to look forward to.

Not much else to report here. My tummy is grumbling for some breakfast; one thing about running in the morning - it makes me extra hungry all day!

I'll leave you with a post-run sweaty pic that I took for Prior Fat Girl's Proof is in the Pictures:

Don't mind the nasty cold sore on my bottom lip, which is also the reason I could only half-smile. Ouchie. :(

Have a good one!

P.S. The Daily Cadence is hosting a Box O' Stuff giveaway - check it out here and please let him know I sent you!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Weekend Wrap-Up


For the first time in ten days, I took the day off completely from any exercise. It was a much-needed break and I busied myself with other things. There were many preparations for a semi-surprise Birthday party for a certain someone the following night.


Saturday morning I met some of my Goofy training buddies, a.k.a. Team Goof-Eh?, for a long run. Many had opted to do the longer run on Saturday, which also worked for me knowing I had the party that night. We set out on a very hilly route for 23K, but a wrong turn had us back at the finish line closer to 20K. I was particularly tired after a heavy duty week and the hills had taken a lot out of me, so I called it quits along with a few others. It was a beautiful day (although windy) and I was able to lose my outer layer and run in a short sleeve after a few KMs.

Saturday afternoon was spent cleaning the house from top to bottom. Nothing like the looming possibility of overnight guests (they didn't end up staying) to get the house cleaned up. Between the run, cleaning and last minute party preparations, I was pooped by late afternoon. Fortunately, adrenaline kicked in as we got ready for one awesome party.


Time for another run! I decided to do this one on my own, which allowed me to sleep in. It was even warmer this morning and I ditched the long sleeve almost immediately. I have always taken the day off after a two-hour run so my legs were really feeling it at first. I got into a groove eventually and coasted along ticking off the KM's much easier than I expected. 16K done.

The mini back-to-back this weekend gave me some confidence for the much longer back-to-backs coming up. Overall - success!

After the run I had just enough time to shower and get ready for a friend's baby shower. Busy weekend! It was a fun afternoon but after this busy weekend I am just about ready to crash.

Hope you all had a great weekend! I'll be catching up on what you've been up to soon.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Three Things Thursday

1. My legs are torn up from all of this cross-training. I'm feeling pain in muscles I don't even recognize. Owwie! When I showed up for Spin yesterday, I knew I was in trouble because my legs were screaming from the drills in H.O.T. on Tuesday. Sure enough, I could not fully participate in the class. I did what I could, but my legs were not too happy. I'm meeting some friends for 10K tonight, but I'll take it easy and hopefully the legs will hold up. I'm thinking a rest day is in order for tomorrow before my first set of back-to-back long runs this weekend.

2. We leave for Florida exactly two months from today for the Goofy Challenge!!! That leaves exactly 9 weeks of training (including taper) and one of those weeks will be spent in Cuba, which leaves approximately 6 weekends available for long runs. I'm sticking to my plan of taking a laid back approach with less running and more cross-training. This won't be a "race" by any means, but I still need to adjust to the mileage again. I'm going to incorporate a few runs in the upper 20's (KM) and at least one 20-miler. Better get started on that...

3. Coach ran the NYC Marathon on the weekend and sent us some thoughts:

New York City is special. Those of you who have been will agree, I'm sure. Their marathon is a reflection of that specialness. The city embraces the race. They appear to be genuinely glad that you have come to run their race. They are proud of it, and it shows. Over 40,000 runners; over 8000 volunteers; over 2 MILLION spectators! I remember running up 1st Avenue at about the 16-18 mile (26k-30k) stretch. It is 8 lanes wide and was TOTALLY filled with runners as far as I could see (at a least a mile or two both ahead and behind me). The crowds are 6-8 deep along both sides and just ROARING as we go by. I've heard noise like that in Boston, but only at Wellesley College and at the finish! Here we were out in what is often the "dead zone" in many marathons, and people were going berserk. Wow! What's even more amazing, is that wasn't the only spot like that: the same sort of thing had gone on earlier in Brooklyn and would occur again later entering the Bronx. Given that description, can you imagine what it was like in Central Park for the last couple of miles?!? Really, words escape me. This is a MUST DO marathon, folks!

I'm so tempted to put my name in the lottery right now...

P.S. Hopefully we'll be reading lindsay's NYC report soon.... *hint hint*

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Wednesday Catch-Up


Mark is recovering both physically and emotionally. It appears to be a hip flexor issue, but he is on the mend. Fortunately, it is nothing too serious. UNfortunately, this has made him question his decision on Sunday. I believe he is forgetting the pain he was feeling at the time. Thanks again for all of your support; Mark has been reading the comments and I know it is helping him feel better about the whole experience.

Edit: I just came upon a post that Kenny wrote yesterday and it rings very true: Braving It. Thanks, Kenny.


After a one-week running hiatus, I hit the streets on Monday evening for a 5K. I felt amazing and ticked off progressively faster splits, with my final K just 2 seconds off 5K race pace!


Project Lean Mean Running Machine is going great since kicking it off last Monday. For the first time in a long time, I feel focused. I worked out like crazy last week despite not running - yesterday was my 8th straight day at the gym! I’ve taken yoga, spin and interval classes and worked out on my own as well. I’ve also gotten back on track with healthy eating again. This girl didn’t eat a single piece of Halloween candy! And when hubby ordered a scrumptious-looking pizza for Sunday night, I made my own healthy version - a tortilla pizza with veggies and turkey pepperoni. I had to take a picture:

The best news: I’ve lost 4 lbs and I’m only 6 away from my lowest weight last year.


I got a super awesome surprise belated Birthday gift in the mail yesterday from Tall Mom.

Hand & toe warmers, GU Chomps, Roctane GU x2, a Mojo Dipped bar, Luna Bar and Luna Moons (only the wrappers remain…), a Pink String for breast Cancer, a fun “Today I Feel” magnet and a sweet card. I was utterly spoiled! Thanks Mel!

Happy Hump Day!

Monday, November 02, 2009

Thank You + Photos

Thank you so much for your outpouring of comments and support; it means a lot to both of us.

Mark has been pretty bummed and is having a hard time dealing with the disappointment, but I'm trying to help him work through it. No doubt it's hard to see 18 weeks of hard work and dedication trickle away, but I hope he is proud of what he has accomplished, whether or not he has a medal to show for it.

It's important to remember that regardless of what happens on race day, completing the training is an achievement in itself. He pushed himself to the limits, reached several new records along the way and learned a lot in the process.

There will be another marathon.

Here are a few photos from the earlier stages of the race.

Patricia and I with Mark keeping warm in the school before the start. We wore the costumes most of the day and many runners got a kick out of it on the course.

Here's Mark lining up for the start:

We ran down to the nearest street corner to watch him run by:

Then we hopped in the car and bolted to about the 10K point.

Here's blue M&M handing Mark a gel:

Next up was the just after the half way mark.

And finally, we bolted to 30K where Patricia and her hubby Ueli got ready to pace Mark for the remainder of the race. Here they go, Team Yellow!

And unfortunately, you know what happens next.

Mark already has his eye on the Mississauga Marathon, where we both ran the half this year. He's already recruited his pacers!

Special thanks to Patricia and Ueli for being there to support both of us all day long and to my Mom, sister April and her boyfriend Andrew for coming out to the finish line.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Not his day

Unfortunately Mark finished his race in the medical tent, after being picked up on the course at 35K.

He's had a nagging pain in his calf and hamstring for about five weeks, which reared its ugly head early in the race. It didn't become a problem until the long stretch of downhill after the half way point. When we saw him at 30K (and our friends jumped in to join him for the last 12K), he was visibly pained but still hanging on.

Unfortunately, I got the dreaded phone call shortly thereafter when he had to pull out of the race around 35K. The pain had become debilitating, shooting from his piriformis all the way down his leg and even into his foot. He made the tough but smart call to get help, and fortunately our friends were there and were able to call me to let me know.

I eventually found him at the medical tent (they suspect it's a sciatic issue, but he'll get it checked out at physio tomorrow) and got him home. For now, he's enjoying a stiff drink and some pizza and he is in good spirits. He knows he made the right choice and he knows there will be other marathons. But it still hurts.

I'm not sure if this makes it easier or harder to swallow, but he was on pace and running a beautiful race. Sometimes the best laid plans... well, you know. He'll have another shot at this.

Thanks for all of the support; I'll keep you posted and will share some pics shortly.