Running

You may have noticed throughout my blog are spatterings of “I hate running” rants. You may also have noticed that I do it anyways. Why? Because I believe it’s very good for you!

 

It’s one of the only forms of cardio exercise other than fast walking that our bodies are truly designed to do. Man has been running since the damn of time and we’re going to keep running. I don’t believe that we are necessarily designed to run marathons, but I certainly believe that we have evolved being able to sprint, job and walk. So I do all of those things and make an effort to have them make up the majority of my cardio.

 

Finish Line

Finish Line (Photo credit: brixton)

 

A lot of people think that running or jogging is hard on your joints, especially hips and knees, but this is mostly due to incorrect running form. Most people, including myself up until 6 months ago, heel strike. Heel striking is where you run with your forward leg straightening completely and your heel hitting the ground first. This transfers all that impact into your knee and your hips. But if you land on your mid foot with your knee slightly bent and your foot under you (instead of out in front) all that goes away! This is what I mean by saying our bodies are designed to run!

 

Since I have learned this I have switched to minimalist running shoes and started paying attention to my running form. I have more of a lean and try to let gravity do some of the work for me. While I am certainly not someone who loves to run, I have been finding it easier and less painful. I encourage anyone who thinks running is harmful to look up barefoot running, running techniques and heel striking just as a few buzzwords to start with.

 

I have started running more outside because I will be doing 2 Spartan races this summer. Both are only 5 kms, but will still be challenging for me. I have recently discovered Map My Run which shows me my split times and basically allows me to actually evaluate whether I’m improving or not. I love this app!

 

NEW GOAL

 

– Run 5 kms in 25 mins

 

My current time is 32 mins so that would be a substantial improvement… but I’m confident that by the end of June I can do it!

 

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Roasted Chicken and a Run

I am not a runner.

I am not built for running.

I have remnants of childhood asthma.

I have more muscle than the average bear which means I have to lug around more weight than most runners.

Also, I do not believe that “runner’s high” is a thing, you’re all liars, because 99% of the time I am running I am thinking about the fact that it feels like I’m going to die.

At least when I run outside…

Sooooooo I went for a 6 km run outside with my boyfriend this weekend and did hill sprints and proceeded to realize all these things.

BUT I am going to run until I like it! Or at least until I don’t hate it. 🙂

Starting a hill sprint string and upright

Starting a hill sprint string and upright

finishing it in a bear crawl because it was muddy and I was slipping... it was also crazy steep!

Finishing it in a bear crawl because it was muddy and I was slipping… it was also crazy steep!

We did hill sprints up a smaller (but still big) paved hill 2 times in the middle of the run (i.e. after running 3 kms) and then started running back and noticed a ridiculously steep, brambly “hill” (aka sheer cliff) that I thought would be a good idea. Which it was, until we started running back. I had to walk frequently but managed to keep up an ok pace. I am going to try to run outside (weather permitting) 3 times a week.

Some times I wonder how I can love sprinting so much, love lifting so much and generally love all activities SO MUCH, and just not like running. But there is no way that is stopping me!

Also this weekend I stopped off at my local organic/natural butcher…. Marlon’s at 2636 Yonge Street and grabbed a whole organic chicken to cook up with the fresh herbs and heirloom carrots I picked up on my Saturday morning trip to the St. Lawrence… oh yes, I do love Toronto and all the options we have here for food!

Cooking a whole chicken is such a great way to get multiple meals in one shot, and if you guys have been reading for a while, you know I’m all about cooking multiple meals at a time. Obviously it’s not all only white meat like cooking just chicken breast is, but since I’m not in competition prep at the moment, that’s A-OK by me. Yummy crispy skin and the delicious dark meat bits from under the chicken are a serious weakness of mine.

I have posted my method for roasting chicken before but in case you’ve forgotten, here it is:

Whole Roasted Chicken (using Jamie Oliver’s method)

Ingredients

  • Whole chicken (5 pounds)DSC_0059
  • 5 carrots
  • 2 onions
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • olive oil to coat the bird
  • Salt and pepper to season

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 475 F DSC_0066
  2. Remove chicken from fridge and let sit at room temp for 30 minutes
  3. Wash and roughly chop the carrots, onions, and garlic and line the bottom of a shallow roasting pan and drizzle with some olive oil. No need to peel the veg  at they are just being used as a trivet for the chicken.
  4. Drizzle the chicken all over with a little olive oil and sprinkle with the herbs and salt and pepper all over including inside the bird
  5. Place the chicken on top of the veggie trivet and stick it in the centre rack of the oven and immediately turn the oven down to 400 F
  6. Cook for 1.5 hours, basting once in the middle or until the internal temp is 185F.

I absolutely love whole roasted chicken, and when I know it’s organic and raised right that make it that much better… not to mention the taste is always so much more flavourful!

 

 

April goals

*Peeps head around corner*

 

Hi…

 

*waves shyly*

 

Soooooooo, how are you guys? I know I kind of disappeared off the face of the planet about 2 weeks ago, but I swear I still love you all!

 

I’ve had a really rough… um, 3 months. But it’s the start of a new month and a few things have changed! Most notably that my boyfriend is now permanently living with me instead of crazy back and forth commuting… yay! But also, supposedly, my busy season at work SHOULD be winding down (my schedule so far does NOT reflect this, but here’s hoping). With these changes I am trying to refocus on my fitness and especially incorporating couple workouts in the morning. So I figured why not make some April goals?!

 

April goals

 

  1. Eat clean with no cheat meals until Aprils 20th when I am going to Niagara and drinking lot’s o’ wine with my boyfriend for our anniversary. I figure it will be equivalent to about 3 cheat meals and therefore I need about 3 weeks with no cheat meals to properly earn it 😉
  2. No gluten, at all, not even a little, not even when in Niagara!
  3. Run OUTSIDE 3 times per week (weather permitting) – I hate running outside so this is the big one for me
  4. Weight train 3-4 times per week – my main goal at the moment is to lean out a little so weights will be a little lighter and less rest between sets, with some metabolic movements… you’ll see.
  5. Workout in the MORNING at least half the time

 

Alright, 5 is a good number for goals.

 

Here’s some random thoughts for you, probably more for the girls, but I’m sure it’s somewhat applicable for the guys too.

 

Window shopping at Eaton's department store. (...

Window shopping at Eaton’s department store. (Toronto, Canada) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Do you guys avoid shopping when you have gained weight? I do. And I have been avoiding it since after my competition even though I desperately need some more clothes. Like many fitties out there I use clothes as a non-food reward for fitness goals. I meet a goal and I generally go and get some clothes to give myself a pat on the back. But while I was in competition mode I didn’t really do that because my size was fluctuating so much. And then after the competition I didn’t want to go shopping because shopping when you don’t feel good about yourself is pretty much the worse experience ever…. can someone please explain to stores that they will sell more if they don’t have fat mirrors and fluorescent overhead lighting?! Well I finally went shopping and have some nice clothes to wear for spring and despite some of the outfits looking outright horrendous on me, I actually feel good about it! So don’t avoid shopping when you feel out of shape, it’s akin to punishing yourself and that’s not really productive… it’s spring and we all deserve to look good whether we have gained or lost or leaned down or bulked.

 

Strategies and plans

Keeping up with the Blogging Challenge, today’s topic is strategies to keep of the holiday weight. This flows nicely from my November Promise since one of those is to not use the holiday’s as an excuse to be unhealthy! So here are some of the strategies I use and implemented last year where I really wanted to not go crazy over the Christms season like I have in the past.

My top 5 strategies for avoiding holiday weight gain

  1. Starbucks has christmas cups… and Nanaimo bars!!!

    Healthify your favourite treats… love a Starbucks peppermint mocha? Get it skinny. Love Nanaimo bars? Dream up a wicked protein fortified low sugar version *** note that I have actually dreamed up a recipe for this as I was enjoying a non-healthified Nanaimo bar from Starbucks, if it’s any good I will share the recipe***. Other fitness blogs are an amazing resource for healthy alternatives to your holiday cravings, so get creative in the kitchen and that way you can have your cake and eat it too!

  2. Bank your calories…. typically I know if I am going to a dinner party or out with friends a few days in advance, so that gives to time to create some wiggle room in your diet. Eat a few less almonds, have a smaller portion of meat, have no oil on your salad for the 3 days before you go out. You can probably cut 750 – 1000 calories in those days without too much effort. Then you can eat those “extra” calories when you go out without it affecting your waistline.
  3. Run off those calories that weren’t banked… no you can’t out exercise a bad diet. Hopefully you know that. But logging an extra 15 minutes on the treadmill on your runs in the week after you over-indulge (assuming you run/do cardio 3xweek) will burn about 500 calories or one large cupcake!
  4. Choose your splurge… If you are out to dinner, or at a party choose to have ONE splurge. Do you want to drink some spiked egg nog? Don’t have that cheesecake. Are you eyeing up that chocolate ganache for dessert? Choose a salad for dinner. That way you still treated yourself but you didn’t go way overboard.
  5. Keep your goals in mind… don’t use every party as an excuse to indulge. Read an Oxygen Magazine or some fitness blogs and inspire yourself to eat well 90% of the time. If you set a goal to run a race, make sure you aren’t falling behind on your plan because the holidays are getting in your way. Hold yourself accountable to your plan.

So what is my plan to keep my goals in mind a la #5?

  • Do not eat indulgent food at home OR at work… only when I am actually out with people and at an event
  • Limit alcohol to only the weekends, preferably only 1 day
  • Get to the gym at least 3 times per week and run 3 miles each time (for the race goal) as well as lifting heavy to build some muscle with those extra calories (for the competition goal)
  • Eat NO gluten, and aim for low carb meals
  • Drink lots of water which helps keep me feeling full and helps flush out any bad things I do eat!

What are your strategies?

Gratitude and goals

Firstly I would like to say thank you! I got some amazing responses to my little confession. I think nights, like many other people are a big problem for me. I can eat well all day and then its 10pm and the ice cream is calling my name! But I know how to fix that 😉 don`t buy the ice cream! lol enough of that though.

The love of the blogging community is amazing and I really appreciate every single comment.

That is the gratitude part of the post. Now for the goals.

So the picture I posted this morning sort of hinted at a couple of goals that I have for this month. One of those things is that I will set new goals. I discussed this with my boyfriend today and realized that like many people after a competition, the lack of structure is going to lead to bad things for me. So how do I introduce structure back into my life without dieting? Well, like Miss Lisa over at Figure911.com I think this should be a `lifestyle`and not a diet. But I also recognize that I am goal oriented and that I need to ease out of the structured eating otherwise I will go way overboard.

So GOALS … but not just any goals… SMART goals.

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-based

Goal #1: Run a 10 km race and an obstacle race (like Tough Mudder, Zombie Race, or the Spartan Race) by the end of July 2013

Goal #2: Climb a mountain in 2013 with my boyfriend. Options include, Machu Picchu or Kilimanjaro depending on the amount of time off we can get from work

Goal #3: Compete in my second fitness event before the end of 2013 (I have to decide which one and in what category, but I am leaning towards figure and the Toronto Pro Supershow)

All of the goals will need plans and specific steps to keep me moving towards them and to actually achieve them. Since both my boyfriend and I LOVE planning (him to a ridiculous extent, me to a more reasonable one… love you babe) this will be no problem. I’m pretty sure he has already ordered some travel brochures for the climb and started looking up races to do together.

Also, I think I will be joining in on She’s Losing It’s Blogger Challenge since I had already planned on writing my goals today.