Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Who's That Runner?!

No, it isn't anyone famous-at least outside of my small family. Nope, its my super supportive husband dressed in running shorts, an ancient (and I mean OLD) t-shirt, white cotton long socks, ASIC sneakers and a set of over sized earphones with his eyes on the family treadmill. Before I could ask, our 7 year old beat me to the punch-"Daddy-what are you doing?!"- with equally measures of alarm and curiosity in her voice. My husband, probably tired from the harassment from our child (and the odd concerned comment from myself-I'll admit) has decided to get healthy, hence, the treadmill action.
Now I can't put my finger on the hair that broke the camel's back that has set him off to "get healthy," but I'm glad something has pushed him in this direction. For the past 4 years his weight has steadily increased and his former half-marathon ready self had no motivation to run or do hardly anything active (excluding the odd round of golf). Recently, one Friday night, he declared his intentions, and then some, to get healthy. He would start monitoring his calories, run every day on the treadmill while catching up on his Breaking Bad episodes, and when he felt his fitness was up to his personal standard, he would venture outside to run. I watched for the first week to see how this would go or if it would simply be a lofty goal said and quickly forgotten. But, day after day, he dutifully tracked his calories (which he would announce his deficit each evening) and ran on the treadmill (much to the protest of our 7 year old-she's had to resign herself to the upstairs tv and give up her monopoly on Netflix).
Some evening during the second week we talked about his calories and I urged him to track his calories for eating and exercise separately so he would get a more accurate picture of his caloric intake. I had just read an article on the epic failure of these calorie tracking apps, which assume a calorie eaten is equal to a calorie burned, surprise, surprise they aren't equal. I could see that with my own adventures in calorie tracking. If all calories were created equal I'd weigh 80lbs by now with all the running I do, instead I've still got that "Mommy pouch" to work off. He didn't like that (I could sense by his silence when I burst the calorie bubble) but in the end he's started to track them separately.
So, it's now been 3 weeks of our child having two running parents again. I certainly need to get used to taking my runs in the early morning or ensuring I leave early enough for work so I can fit in a run before making supper since the post-supper run time is now dedicated to hubby. I get yelled by my 7 year old in the evenings when I come home from work sweaty from my run and my husband now gets to torture our child by chasing her around the house, sweaty after his treadmill runs. Life is good.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Hitting the Local Trails

This weekend I re-discovered a local trail I haven't run on in quite a few months. It was one of those spur of the moment decisions, I had originally planned to do a big loop of both trail and road but when I approached the fork in the road to the trail system I decided to give the longer out and back trail section a go. I am so glad I did. The tall tress that line this section of the trail had changed into their orange, red and yellow color combinations, the trail itself was covered in orange pine needles and snow was lightly falling. I quickly discovered I wasn't the only runner who thought this route would be a good idea, I passed or was passed by at least 10 other runners during my 1.5 hours on the trail route. All of us had on smiling faces, happy to be out in the woods, enjoying our run. I certainly wasn't speedy but I enjoyed myself so much I found myself heading back to do the shorter out and back the next day. I jumped onto a couple of ATV trails that I followed until they became too overrun with swampy water. I know I shouldn't support the ATV'rs since their use of the trail system is frowned upon by the trail marshals, but their twisting, rocky and rolling trails are the only technical trail experience I seem to get before any of Jodi and Karine's trail races-where some technical experience can make a huge difference in a runner's race! Next weekend I'll try and venture out a bit further where there is a great side trail just another couple of miles down the trail. I think my hamstring has recovered enough that it can handle a wee bit of jumping from rock to rock.
All in all, it was a great weekend of trail running :-)

Monday, November 4, 2013

It's THAT time of year again

In order to improve at something a person needs to be motivated and consistent. To that end I've continued my training plan even though my next race isn't until May 2014. I'm taking the lax approach to it though. If I don't finish every run during a given week I simply repeat that week so I don't do too much too soon and don't fall off the wagon completely and fall into that 3, 5k run a week rut I seem to fall into every December. Don't get me wrong, I think every runner should take a week or three of easy runs during any given year but for me, I've had more than my share of "off" weeks this year so now that I'm healthy, my feet are happy and my mileage is back up I'm don't want to lose this good base I've got.
On average I'm managing 55-65kms a week at the moment with that steadily climbing over the next couple of weeks. Now that I'm pleased with how my running is going it's time to shake up my nutrition. I've been slowly cutting out dairy simply because it doesn't make me feel great and the drawbacks outweigh the benefits of it. On top of that I'm being very conscious of my protein intake. I aim to have two meals or snacks a day with 30mg of protein each, and smaller amounts of protein in all of the other meals. My carb intake is always a struggle. If it isn't balanced properly I find myself craving 10 slices of toast at 8pm. Making sure I get enough protein helps with the carb cravings, and whenever I do succumb to carbs I try to make them multi-grained. All that said, I haven't (and won't!) given up my addiction to diet pop/soda-I think we all can have one vice!
On runs I sometimes wonder why I bother. I won't be an Olympian..I know, I know..gasp! So what the heck am I doing this for? To test my limits. Otherwise I'd be back as the person I was 8 years ago; sedentary, eating emotionally, with stress induced asthma and irritable. I look back at that period in my life and I can see how I got there and how alot of people got there and are still stuck there. School, work and normal daily life stresses just all became my whole world and I wasn't taking time for myself where I wasn't connected to some piece of technology. When I noticed I couldn't get up the stairs in my home without huffing and puffing I knew something had to change. Running has been my path back to my true self and I am forever grateful for the time I can have to work at it, the wonderful people I've met through it and the knowledge about myself that it has shown me. I haven't found my limits yet so that's why I train, that's why I pay attention to my nutrition. I'm not sure what the future will bring but I want to be healthy for it and be the best runner I can be.