14 June 2017

Achievable goals

My goals for fitness are not inspirational, but they are achievable!

I am well aware of my strengths and limitations, and try to be very conscious of what I actually want out of exercise etc.: to be able to keep up with my kid, to be able to be self-sufficient in day-to-day life (which can involve running to catch up with the kid or the bus, heavy lifting of the kid or furniture, etc.), and to be able to sustain health and flexibility for as long as possible. I don't need to run a marathon, but I do want to be able to climb stairs and tie my own shoes when I'm 90.

But once goals are met, you need new goals.

My previous race goals were very humble:

  • Don't be the first to give up and walk
  • Don't be the last to cross the finish line
  • Don't sustain any injuries

I managed those goals in three separate 5k runs, so my goal for the most recent run was to run the whole way.

It's kind of funny, because when I alternate between running and walking, I see it as a failure in myself. Other people call it "doing intervals" and see it as a deliberate strategy. Maybe I need to think about how I see myself and judge myself?

Because I did meet this goal for my most recent run - no walking - but it added a minute to my time! I was being conscious of pacing myself so that I'd be able to make it, and as a result, ran slower overall - 35 minutes as opposed to 34. (Both of these are pretty slow anyway!)

But, a big plus was feeling great at the end of the race. Instead of throwing myself on the ground at the end and begging my kid to bring me water and juice and feeling like my chest was going to explode, I was able to walk away feeling amazing, like the champion of champions (actually 22nd in the middle-aged-lady class, but who's counting).

Now, we are hitting the too-hot-to-run season of the year, so unless I find a race that starts at dawn, I'll just be running solo till the weather is cooler.

I am thinking though, maybe my goal for the fall will be to sign up for a 10k?

09 June 2017

Great run today!

Nice run this morning. I was still feeling a bit stiff from Tuesday’s run, so adjusted my route to avoid that climb, but when I was nearing my usual end point I wanted to keep going so I didn’t a different short-but-steep climb, and still wanted to keep going, so added an extra couple of blocks at the end. Total of 3 miles in 30 minutes.

Feeling good!

Also spontaneously signed up for a 5k for Sunday, but now they’re saying the weather will be hot and humid... Not my ideal. But, I like having an external goal to focus on.

06 June 2017

Back at it

Wow.

Well, I survived my 5k back in April, although my time was pretty poor! Shortly after we started, my phone fell out of my armband, resulting in a tangled mess of cords... sigh. I had to stop and put it all back together because otherwise I would have been running with my hands unmanageably full. This never happened before, and hasn't happened since - why race day! Argh.

To be honest though, I haven't run much since. With four or five hours a day marching on the picket line (in all kinds of terrible weather), I found myself sufficiently worn out (especially my feet) that I could not bring myself to go running on the regular.

Then, back to work a few weeks ago, I got bronchitis again, and was again not up for much!

So, I am back to the inhaler. This time, it's the Symbicort Turbuhaler, a combination steroid/bronchodilator, in the form of an inhaled powder. I think it's working, but I'm also having side effects, like fast/irregular heartbeat, trouble sleeping, and my vision seems blurrier. I may have to go back to my doctor and see if I can take something else.

But I did manage to get out for a run today! Just a couple of miles, but it felt good to get moving. I had a bit of a steep hill in there, and was definitely feeling it in my legs after that! But more importantly, my lungs/heart felt up to the challenge. (n.b. I definitely waited till after the run for my inhaler - usually when I take it I feel like I need to rest for twenty minutes!)

02 April 2017

What a month!

Where to begin...

One month ago, I went on strike. Some of those days, I was out on the picket line - basically 4 hours of walking at a slow pace. Which was fine, except for the weather, and the ensuing bronchitis.

Most of the time though, I was in an office, on the communications committee, trying to manage social media without any wifi. Not easy! In fact not doable, so I was also working on it at home, from 6:30 in the morning before I went to the office, and as late as 11 at night.

Recipe for burnout! Actually, I bet that contributed more to the bronchitis than the picket line. Anyway, I will be back on the picket line starting this week, and could not be happier!

Anyway, I have not been doing a lot of running. And then last week, I remembered that I had a 5k coming up (here's the link, should anyone care to sponsor me - it's for a good cause!), so I needed to get moving. I still have a bad cough, but my lungs don't have that rattle-and-wheeze they did when the bronchitis was raging.

On Tuesday, I ran 1.5 miles to the picket line, then walked for 4 hours, then walked 1.5 miles home. On Wednesday, I walked 2 miles to strike HQ, and 2 miles home. In boots with 3" heels. Not sure what I was thinking, but my calves were absolutely killing me for days.

I took a couple of days off after that, but this morning I went for a run and I feel great! When I was getting back to the beginning of my circuit, I wanted to keep going, so I threw in an extra leg with a steep climb to wear myself out. 2.5 miles, or 4km.

Can't wait for Sunday!

03 March 2017

I'm Back! Again!

Well, another break from blogging, but I thought I'd check in!

I have only gone for two runs in 2017, due to the perils of the Canadian winter. Even though this winter has been relatively mild, it's still been difficult due to ice. Snow melts during the day, sidewalks are wet, temperatures drop below freezing overnight, and in the morning it is treacherous to walk, let alone run. I was pleased though that the last time I made it out, about a week ago, I ran a solid 2.5 km without thinking about stopping, and could have run longer if I had more time. Doesn't sound like a big deal, but considering how much effort the C25K took last summer, I feel pretty good about it!

I have made up for it a bit by swimming! I am a pretty terrible swimmer - can't put my face underwater without holding my nose - but I like it anyway, and it is a real workout as it uses muscles I never use otherwise. Farthest I've managed is 12 lengths (300 m), but again, considering how out of shape I am, I consider that pretty good, too!

Right now I am recovering from a bout of Norovirus I picked up on the weekend at a big community event. Ugh. Taking baby steps with eating - most of the week, it's been ginger ale, apple juice, graham crackers, chicken noodle soup, and saltines. Not what you would call a balanced diet. Hoping to be back to normal very soon though.

12 November 2016

Brrr

What a chilly run yesterday! I wore fingerless mitts, which helped some (although I think I need full mitts), and last night finished knitting this:

It's a headband to keep my ears warm, with a hole for my ponytail. Will try it out tomorrow!

Despite the cold, the run felt great, and I could have gone farther/longer. I think the glutes exercises I've been doing are helping with my running, by making me stronger. Did 15 reps each side this morning (goal is to increase by 5 every 6 days, and get to 30 by the end of the month or so).

05 November 2016

A bit woogy today

Started off yesterday morning with a 20 minute run. My phone was refusing to acknowledge the headset (aftermath of the bath I guess?) so I ran without music, but it was fine. I had been grumbling to myself about needing to invest in cold-weather gear (it was about 5 C yesterday morning), but got over it and just wore regular tights under my shorts and a long-sleeved t-shirt over my top, and it was fine. No excuses!

Then I went to see my physiotherapist, who was happy to report that my back is a lot better, but did some IMS on my pecs which hurt like crazy! I don't even know if "hurt" is the right word, it's just this intense spasm reaction that isn't really "pain" per se, but boy did it make me yell.

This morning, I woke up to a bit of vertigo, which I do not like. My shoulders are even though (in August when I had vertigo, my left shoulder was up 2" higher than my right). So I don't know what's going on. I even got a good night's sleep last night, even if I was out late!

Still managed to get some exercise in this morning: 30 sit-ups, plus this routine for glutes, which I am doing for the month of November. And then a giant breakfast.

Look at all the B12! I am guessing that's from the kippers.

The other thing I'm trying out is Intermittent Energy Restriction. I was going to try this before, thinking it would be easiest to fast on the days when my kid is at his dad's house, but as it turns out those were the days I enjoyed eating the most, because I could eat out, or eat things the kid doesn't like, like eggplant with lots of garlic! So this time, I've worked out that Monday and Thursday are good days for me to fast (not really fast, but keep calories under 600), and then I can enjoy grownup meals when my kid is away. IER has been correlated with better heart health and blood sugar levels, but most interesting to me is the research showing cognitive benefits.

Not fasting and running on the same days though! That would be nuts.

So for now, my schedule looks like this:

MondayFast
TuesdayRun + Glutes
WednesdayGlutes
ThursdayFast
FridayRun
SaturdayGlutes
SundayRun + Glutes