Somethings will never change like my favourite shampoo, runners, my love for Lulu, Starbucks and Kim Crawford. Others have been up for negotiation. It gives me great pleasure to introduce my favourite things from 2010:
Favourite song: One Eskimo – Kandi have a listen while you read…
Favourite Piece of Running Apparel: Lululemon Women’s Brisk Run Gloves
Favourite Race: Vegas Rock and Roll Marathon
I have enjoyed every race that I completed this year, I even won one (for my gender), but my first marathon…in Vegas, the hands down winner!
Favourite Workout: Tabata
Introduced to me by fellow fitness leader Sarah, named after named after Izumi Tabata, Ph.D., a former researcher at Japan’s National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Kanoya, Tabata is a 16-minute intense interval training routine done after a complete warm-up and followed by a comprehensive cool-down and stretch (there’s my disclaimer). 4 exercises are used, each exercise is performed for 20 seconds of activity atfull effort with 10 second rest periods (8 sets) consecutively for a 4 minute duration. I like to use mountain climbers, bicycle crunches, push-ups and plank…ooooo feel the burn!
I love how the bear looks more like a monster or a dinosaur than boo-boo.
Favourite Grocery Shopping Experience: Trader Joe’s
The closest one to my home is 1 1/2 hours away and in another country. So why would someone who hates grocery shopping so much go to that extreme for almond biscotti and lemon yogurt? Thanks to my friend Sharon who guided my first tour, I plan my next trip before I even cross back over the border!
Favourite New Source of Protein: Almond Butter
Favourite In The Car Snack: Nature’s Path Pumpkin-N-Spice Granola Bars
Favourite potion and/or lotion: L’Occitane Almond Supple Skin Oil
Moisturizer no longer required, and it smells fabulous.
This picture was taken on Las Vegas Boulevard. Earlier in the day Conny and I had run the Vegas Marathon. I had just finished complaining about how sore my legs were, and Conny piggy-backed me down the strip. Her legs must have been just as tired as mine (although she never would have admitted it). Not just a fabulous running partner, a true friend. xoxo
Favourite Blog: RachelWilkserson.com
The life and lessons of Rachel Wilkerson: she “gets it”, she “owns it”, she is ridiculous without being ridiculous and she is sorry that she is not sorry. Educational and always a hilarious read.
Favourite TV Series: Sons of Anarchy
courtesy of sons-of-anarchy.net
Sons of Anarchy is an adrenalized drama with darkly comedic undertones about a notorious outlaw motorcycle club intent on protecting their sheltered small town against encroaching drug dealers, corporate developers and overzealous law officers. The club is equally determined to protect their ruthless and illegally thriving arms business. Charlie Hunnam stars as Jackson ‘Jax’ Teller, a man whose love for the brotherhood is tested by his growing apprehension for its lawlessness. Katey Sagal stars as Gemma Teller Morrow, Jax’s force-of-nature mother, who along with Ron Perlman as Clarence ‘Clay’ Morrow, Jax’s stepfather and MC president, have their own darker vision for the club.
bringing me to…
Favourite Leading man of 2010: Charlie Hunnam (and second favourite picture)
Tommy will always have my heart, but there is a new man in town!
What were your favourite things from 2010?
I knew before my feet even hit the floor this morning that my muscles were, as Brian so eloquently put it, commenting to me. The comments weren’t nice, in fact they were down right offensive…effing Accumulator…calves, glutes, shoulders, chest, I would soon find out right hamstring too.
Really, what was I thinking yesterday? Today was to be my first run over 5km since the marathon, so with another sufficient slathering of Muscle Eze, an Advil and my breakfast in hand, I hobbled out to my car to meet the gang at Hayward Lake.
The last time that we ran the entire loop of Hayward was the morning after a wicked windstorm that knocked down what seemed like most of the trees on the east side of the lake, turning our 17km trail run into a bit of a trail blazing experience (Conny would say that it was an adventure, and if you enjoy crawling under and over trees on the side of an embankment that may at any minute roll and crush you, then call it an adventure. And no, I am not being dramatic).
The Hydro crews had done a great job cleaning up the trail, but there were still a few spots where you could see the magnitude of the damage.
By the end of the run, what muscles weren’t stiff to start with were now pretty fatigued, but it felt great to get back to running some distance and fantastic to be back on the trails.
When I am on vacation, I usually use the opportunity to go and check out other instructor’s classes. Since there are no classes going on at my facility this week, and I didn’t feel like paying $20 to drop in at the ladies only gym, I decided to make the short trek across my driveway and kick my own ass this morning.
With a long run scheduled tomorrow I decided there is no better time to do “The Accumulator”. I use this workout every forth or fifth week in my Body Camp class and almost always receive a bit of hate mail. It is a full body, bang for your buck, 54 minute, 72 set session, that can be done anywhere using little or no equipment. So better late than never, here is my Christmas gift to you..
Each exercise is done for 30 seconds with a 15 second rest break between exercises.
Round 1: Side to side squats, jumping jacks, alternating right and left leg lunges, bicycle crunches
Round 2: Side to side squats, jumping jacks, alternating right and left leg lunges, bicycle crunches, plank
Round 3: Side to side squats, jumping jacks, alternating right and left leg lunges, bicycle crunches, plank, leap frogs
Round 4: Side to side squats, jumping jacks, alternating right and left leg lunges, bicycle crunches, plank, leap frogs, tricep dips
Round 5: Side to side squats, jumping jacks, alternating right and left leg lunges, bicycle crunches, plank, leap frogs, tricep dips, side to side shuffle
Round 6: Side to side squats, jumping jacks, alternating right and left leg lunges, bicycle crunches, plank, leap frogs, tricep dips, side to side shuffle, push-ups
Round 7: Side to side squats, jumping jacks, alternating right and left leg lunges, bicycle crunches, plank, leap frogs, tricep dips, side to side shuffle, push-ups, burpees
Round 8: Round 7: Side to side squats, jumping jacks, alternating right and left leg lunges, bicycle crunches, plank, leap frogs, tricep dips, side to side shuffle, push-ups, burpees, high knees
Round 9: Round 7: Side to side squats, jumping jacks, alternating right and left leg lunges, bicycle crunches, plank, leap frogs, tricep dips, side to side shuffle, push-ups, burpees, high knees, participant’s choice from previous 11 exercises
I incorporated free weights from the third round on, adding an overhead press to the side to side squats, frontal and lateral raises to the alternating leg lunges, and held a 10lb weight overhead in the side to side shuffles. Bicycle crunches were performed from a tabletop position (oooo the burn), I added a jump to my leap frogs and to my burpees and although my push-ups were done from my knees, they were Pilates style.
So what was my exercise of choice…burpees, what can I say, I am a glutton for punishment!
How are you staying active over the holidays?
Some ran, some walked, some coughed, some hungover feeling a little under the weather, some fabulous, some new, some who don’t share my passion for hills, I think that someone thought that we would be playing tennis, but we all had one thing in common, we jingled! Thank you to all who came to the 7th annual Jingle Bell Run this morning.
The group was in fine form, Barry’s big bell, Mur played Santa giving out toques, Rae serving the champy and OJ (that tradition is a keeper by the way) and it’s not Christmas without the cocktail weinies…I love my running family!
Merry Christmas everyone.
On Saturday I grazed all day. Three open houses; one in the morning after run clinic, mine in the afternoon and to a friends in the evening…chocolate covered strawberries, cocktail weenies, crackers, sushi, more chocolate covered strawberries, crab cakes, three kinds of spinach dip. On Sunday, my stomach rumbled all day.
Christmas is only one day, yet we celebrate it all month. And what about Christmas Day? There are horrific reports out there that the average holiday dinner with all of the trimmings is good for 6,500 – 7,500 calories! I couldn’t find an actual breakdown for that outrageous amount of calories, I have to assume that must include everything that passes one’s greedy lips from the moment they wake up Christmas morn until their bloated body hits the sheets at night, but here is what I did find courtesy of Diabetes.com
|Holiday Goody||Calories||Diet Tips||Calories|
|Roasted Turkey – 6 Ounces Dark + White Meat, Untrimmed||450||Roasted Turkey – 3 Ounces White Meat – Trimmed (no skin, no fat). White meat contains a little less calories than dark. Add 30 more calories if you prefer dark meat.||130|
|1 Cup of homemade stuffing||400||1/2 Cup of boxed stuffing prepared with no calorie refrigerated butter spray.||110|
|1 Cup of Giblet Gravy||300||1/3 Cup of Giblet Gravy||100|
|1 Cup of Mashed Potatoes||350||1/2 Cup of Mashed Potatoes prepared with skimmed milk, no calorie refrigerated butter spray||100|
|Stuffed Celery – 1 stick||100||1 Stick of stuffed celery prepared with reduced fat cream cheese.||40|
|2 Sweet Pickles, 10 Black/Green Olives||125||2 Black Olives, 2 Green Olives||25|
|1 Cup of Candied Sweet Potatoes||400||1/2 Baked Sweet Potato w/ small pat of butter, dash of cinnamon, a couple of packs of no calorie sweetener.||100|
|1/2 Cup of Cranberry Sauce||200||1/6 Can of Cranberry Sauce – Jelled or Whole Cranberries||100|
|2 Rolls With Butter||300||1 Roll With 1/2 Pat of Butter||125|
|1 Cup of English Peas with Butter||150||1/2 Cup of English Peas with refrigerated no calorie butter spray||60|
|2 Glasses Sweetened Tea, Wine, Punch or Cider||300||Unsweetened Beverages – Unlimited||0|
|1 Slice of Pumpkin Pie With Topping||450||1 Slice of Autumn Pumpkin Pie||150|
|1 Slice of Pecan Pie||650||1 Cup of Fruit Salad||100|
|1 Cup of Egg Nog||400||1 Cup of Holiday Egg Nog||100|
|Grand Total||4,575||Grand Total||1,240|
Even with the “diet tips”, that is still a huge amount of calories for one sitting…eat, drink and exercise responsibly my friends.
With Christmas just around the corner, the countdown clock to finding that perfect gift is tick ticking away. It seems simple enough, so what do you buy the running enthusiast in your life? I am well aware that your heart is in the right place and that although you may not share the same passion for fitness, you still want your gift to come across as sincere as well as supportive.
How about let’s start with what not to buy:
1. Scales – they may seem practical, but a scale screams “you are fat”.
2. Thigh Master – screams “your thighs are fat”
3. Shake Weight – one word…ridiculous.
4. Diet or cooking light cookbook – once again screams “you are fat” and “you can’t cook”.
5. Toning Shoes – they scream so many things “yes, your ass does look fat in those pants”, “the running hasn’t done a damn bit of good” and if you honestly believe that a pair of shoes can magically tone your backside then you need to read Toning Shoes
6. Workout attire with tummy control – see 1.
I shouldn’t have to, but feel the need to say that the gifts noted above should not only not be bought for running enthusiasts, they should not be bought for a non-fitness enthusiast either.
These gift ideas are also included in the what not to buy category, unless they have been specifically noted on a Christmas list:
1. Gym membership
2. Personal Trainer sessions
Now that we have the inappropriate out of the way, here is the gold! What to buy the runner on your holiday shopping list:
1. A new watch: it could be the full meal deal with a heart monitor and a gps or just a basic watch with 10/1 capability.
2. Running glasses: every runner needs a pair of running glasses or two.
3. Socks: runners can never have too many pairs of socks.
4. A subscription to Runner’s World or their running magazine of preference.
5. Traction aid for shoes or winter gear: not something you will always use, but great to have for those cold wintery runs.
6. Gift certificate(s) to his/her favourite running, apparel and/or athletic shoe store.
7. MP3 or Ipod: running with music is a great motivator.
8. ITunes gift card for their new music source.
9. Running logbook or an inspirational calendar.
10. Stocking stuffers: hand and foot warmers, gels, bars, anti-chafe bar, lip balm, led light…
With just over 10 days to go, are you getting‘er done?
I checked off my marathon last week, and today checked off my hall closet. It’s hard to imagine that a family of three could accumulate so many pairs of shoes in six years. But I guess when one of three’s feet have grown 8 sizes in that time, it is a little more understandable.
For the most part I was pretty good, but there were a couple of pairs of boots that did not meet the “have worn in the last year requirement” (or even the last five) that I did keep, because can you ever have too many pairs of black boots? I realize that seven pairs might seem excessive, especially the Kiss boots, but they all vary in heel styles and heights, some are short, some are tall, and I am ok with it.
Not on my list but something that I didn’t realize until yesterday that I had been neglecting, was cleaning out my baking cupboard. For those who know me, know that I only bake once a year (which was yesterday), so why do I have a baking cupboard? It is was a cupboard filled with delicious intentions, but in all honesty I would rather have another plate of food than have dessert, therefore depriving my family of homemade baked goods. I am ok with that also, but deep down inside the guilt is too much so I host an annual Christmas bake exchange.
So with one last thing to do on my list, 40 Christmas cards to write, my quarterly accounting package screaming at me, an Open House to host, a Christmas tree to buy and decorate, as well as all the presents to go under said tree…I guess I am just getting started.
When I left Vegas last time, I certainly didn’t think that the next time I would be there would be to run a marathon, who would run a marathon in Vegas? But on Sunday December 5th, 2010 at 11:45:14am somewhere on the property of the Mandalay Bay I became a marathoner! Oh yeah, done and have the medal to prove it, and it is quite the medal.
I have to say that Maple Ridge was well represented at this race; our plane was full of familiar faces. Also well represented were cowboy boots and large belt buckles as the National Finals Rodeo were also in town.
Famished after we landed, we dropped our bags in our rooms and went in search of food, and our fascination for pork belly began much to Soraiya’s disgust (hey,don’t knock it til you try it).
Finding race package pick-up was a bit of a wild goose chase, but it did give us a chance to ride the monorail, see Toby Keith’s bar (mmmmm, I love that bar) and walk the catwalk at the Wynn. After picking up our race packages we headed into the health and fitness expo and had a celebrity encounter (Soraiya also had one earlier in the day when she saw Haiden from BB) with Mark McGrath aka Sugar Ray.
We finished Friday evening off by mostly getting lost in our hotel lobby and with some fantastic people watching at Studio 54.
We swore that we weren’t going to do any walking on Saturday, and save our legs for the race…whatever, we visited Freemont Street (FYI – Freemont Street is best viewed in the evening) and then travelled at warp speed back to the strip where we enjoyed the sights, sounds and food at the Bellagio and some successful gaming at Planet Hollywood.
After getting lost again in our hotel lobby, a mediocre pre-race meal, and witnessing two ladies in the same zebra print dress pass and look at each other in astonishment, we shut the lights out 9:30pm, yes 9:30pm.
Surprisingly I did manage to sleep and got up at 4:55am without much difficulty. After successfully executing my pre-race routine, we headed down to the lobby to meet the gang, and then over to New York, New York (again getting lost) to meet Tanya, Selena and Tanya’s fabulous husband Doug who had flown in the night before to surprise her, and thank goodness he did as he ended up saving our bacon (nothing to do with pork belly) on more than one occasion. It was kind of funny as we were getting into the elevator at 6:00am, people were getting off to come back to their rooms after a long night/morning out.
Thanks to Doug dealing with all of our gear check items, we made our way to our starting corrals as the race was starting. The energy was amazing, the music was pumping, the Blues Brothers were dancing on top of the start line arch…this was it. The first wave (including Colin) went out at exactly 7:00am; our wave crossed the start line at 7:18am.
My plan :
• Run 10/1 for the entire race.
• Walk and drink at each of the water stations because I was unable to carry enough fluid in my pack.
• Eat ½ Cliff Shot every second set.
• Run a 10 minute mile, with the goal of finishing in 4 hours 22 minutes
• Finish the race in 24 sets – 4 hours 24 minutes.
• To make the noon last call at the MGD tent for my free beer and to see Bret Michaels play at the Finish Line Festival.
Running down Las Vegas Boulevard was totally surreal. I knew that I would probably have an anxiety attack if I got too caught up in it, so I put my headphones and game face on. I had tried to come up with a profound mantra before the race to help keep me focused without success, but once out on the course it came to me “Don’t think, just run!”
The ½ marathon and the first ½ of the marathon route was an out and back that went from one end of the strip to the other (that’s a $20 cab ride each way), it was really cool to see the wheelchair athletes as well as the first ½ marathoners (including Colin) on their return. Although I felt that I could run faster, it was pretty crowded so I stuck to my comfortable target pace for the first half of the race.
As we approached the Luxor I could see the marathon turn right sign and ½ marathon straight ahead sign. It was hard making that right turn knowing that the ½ marathoners would cross the finish line in less than a mile and I still had another ½ marathon to run…”don’t think, just run!”
The only redeeming quality of the next 13.1 miles was that they weren’t totally flat, and of course the glory! Because there were a lot of out and backs along the streets it gave me an opportunity to see everyone. I saw Conny and Tanya a couple of times, we even stopped for a hug, Chris saw me but I never did see Soraiya.
Hitting the 17-mile marker was a big deal because it was a turn back point and once we turned back you could see the Luxor again. Kilometer markers were also used on this part of the course, which kind of messed with your mind a bit…”don’t think, just run!” Passing the 30km mark was interesting because this was the point where my Dad thought that I would seize up and hit my wall…”don’t think, just run!” By this point my pace was slowing and my body was starting to hurt. In my mind I thought that it would be my left foot and right IT band that would give me the most trouble, instead it was my quads and hamstrings on both legs. From set 19 on it got progressively harder to go from my walk break back into my run.
At mile 23 I hit my wall. I wasn’t out of breath or anything, my legs hurt, there was no end to this out and back, I could see mile 25 on the other side of the road and I was just ready to be done. I thought about something that had stuck with me that Peter Shankman said last month “did you know that when your brain says “I can’t do this anymore,” your body can still give another 50-70%”. As much as I wanted to, I didn’t stop until my next walk break, I think that may have been the hardest 4 minutes of my entire race.
As I approached the 25-mile marker, Tanya was on the other side of the road and yelled to me that I was just about done; we stopped for a quick hug…”don’t think, just run!” I passed the 25 mile marker and up onto West Hacienda Avenue one last time. As I went over the final overpass there were so many people cramping up and hobbling, and although I felt that my run wasn’t much faster I felt awful for passing them.
As I made the final right turn onto Las Vegas Boulevard the street was lined with smiling faces and people cheering. It absolutely killed me to do so because I was so close to finishing but I had to take my last walk break. I re-focused and started my final approach to the finish line. As I came into the chute and could see Colin cheering me in, I had no kick left so instead I threw up the horns and crossed the finish line.
So how did I do?
|Pace||5 Km||10K||10 Mi||13.9 Mi||16.8 Mi||20 Mi||ChipTime|
Overall: 2584 out of 5154 · Division: 145 out of 391 · Gender: 806 out of 2141
Proudly wearing my Rock and Roll Las Vegas Marathon medal I quickly found Chris and Soraiya (who qualified for Boston) and the celebrations began. The finish line was broadcast online so although my family couldn’t be there, they were able to see me finish the race and before I had a chance to call them they had already sent me a couple of congratulatory texts. We also received texts from some of our Maple Ridge running family who had also watched us cross. What a feeling!
I never did get my free beer (there was some confusion about needing photo ID), but I did get to hear Bret Michaels, I even saw him in the distance. Thanks for coming Bret!
After a quick shower, another pork belly sandwich, some well deserved wine and a power nap I slowly made my way down the strip with Conny and Colin to Vince Neil Ink to immortalize the day.
The rest of the evening will remain in Vegas.
I would like to thank all of the race organizers, volunteers, amazing cheer squads and bands on the race route. Although I did not indulge I would like to thank the Naked Sandwich Shop for handing out beer, as well as the ladies giving out M&M’s and the lady serving rice crispy squares, your hearts were all in the right place. Thank you also to my family, my running family, friends and clients for all of your love, support and encouragement. Special thanks to D for getting this all started, Conny, Colin (Quarter-turn), Soraiya, my running husband Chris and his beautiful wife Lysa – love you guys!