Sunday, December 30, 2012

Welcoming in 2013

The year 2012 is coming to a close, and it was a wonderful one on SO many levels. I spent the year doing activities that I'd never done before but that always interested me, I made tons of new friends that share many of my interests and goals (and as a social extrovert, that's all good!), I spent lots of time with my tried and true blue buddies of forever, and I loved every moment of quality time with my family. On top of that, I got to write about it all on the "Losing it in Ottawa" blog, where I heard back from SO many of you about journeys you started on yourselves, or how I'd inspired, or how you just appreciated my writing. Seriously, does it get any better than that? I don't think so! But....I'm hoping it at least continues!

I'm very conscious of what I "put out into the world," and while definitely not perfect, I really strive to make sure not to engage in negativity. If someone chooses to poke digs in my direction, I choose to just let it go. I laugh, and let it roll off of my back. I don't have time for that drama and I'm not letting it in, any more. I've really worked hard on not being so "reactive" and I really take a moment (most of the time!) to feel what I'm feeling, and then release it into the Universe. I know, I'm all Zen and stuff now.

I will be continuing on into 2013 with the same attitude, and continuing to seek whatever comes my way. I, however, believe every year in ushering in the New Year with certain "rules" that add to the Karma of what's to come.
In no certain order, I give you my "Rules for New Years Eve."

1) Spend New Years Eve in contact with people you want to remain in contact with in 2013. If you spend the evening wishing you were elsewhere or doing something else, it sets the tone for the year ahead. I believe in spending the time with people I love, laughing and chatting and having a great time. I spend the day with my kids, talk to them at midnight, and make sure to touch base with everyone that I want to feature prominently in the next year.

2) Eat good food. I believe in eating a fantastic meal so that the year ahead is full of great meals and great times celebrating and sharing.

3) Have a clean house. On New Years Eve day, I make sure my house is cleaned from top to bottom. Starting a New Year with a messy house, in my opinion, is just bad Feng Shui!

4) Have epic sex. Ya, I went there. You HAVE to ring in the New Year in the best way possible! It doesn't have to be EPIC sex...but the idea is to set the tone for the next year and WHY THE HECK NOT?

5)Do what you love. Whether it's an activity for the evening, an outing New Year's Day, or just snuggling your loved ones....The year to come should be FULL of all that you love-people, places, food, activity, love, friends, home and family.

Now, obviously these rules are a little tongue in cheek, especially if you know me and my lack of belief in "Karma" in general. I do, however, think that starting off a year on the right foot is paramount to an ongoing attitude that should be pervasive every single day in your life. The attitude will set the way for your everyday. (but I honestly DO all of the above rules so....ahem)

I read something the other day about choosing a word or catch phrase to be the theme of your year. (I think it was from Sharon DV from YummyMummyClub) My theme for 2012 was "feel the fear and do it anyways!" and I really embraced it with each new challenge. I'm going to keep that momentum going for 2013, but I'm also going to think of a new theme for this New Year.  When I have it, I'll be sure to fill you all in!

For now, enjoy your New Year's Eve and day, drink responsibly, and usher in the beginning of something beautiful! 


Monday, December 17, 2012

So, About That 15k....

Yep, you are seeing that correctly! I TOTALLY DID IT!!!

On that chilly Saturday morning, my friend Katie was doing her long run of 28k. I had plans Sunday morning and would have to miss my Weekend Run Club, so I asked Katie if she'd like some company for part of that run. I figured it was a win/win situation for us both. Katie gets some company (albeit at a slower pace!) for some of her run, and I get to go out there with an experienced runner who is also super motivating to me.

Katie agreed and ran from her house to meet me at mine. We set out in a straight "out and back" with me setting the pace. Katie was also kind enough to bring me a Gu to try once we hit the 10k mark. I'd never needed any type of fuel on runs, so this was all new to me as well.

I set out with a million thoughts running through my head. I'd run a 10k distance several times and didn't flinch when even considering doing that again. However, I'd only ever run further than that the weekend previous, when I did the 12k! How was I going to add on ANOTHER 3k to a distance that may have been a fluke in the first place? I also didn't want to slow Katie down too much, but didn't want to burn myself out far from home and having to walk the distance back to my door. I was very anxious about aspects of it, but decided just to GO and do my best. I had a backup plan with my husband if I just couldn't cover the ground needed.

I started my Nike app and put it in my pocket. I didn't want to look at pace or distance, I just wanted to "go with" the run and how I was feeling. The app tells me at each mile where I'm at and what my average pace was so I knew it would update me soon enough. When I hit Mile 1, it said my pace was 9:34 for that mile. That was a whole minute faster than my planned "forever pace" I'd set previously. Never the less, I kept on trucking, with Mile 2 stating about the same. Katie and I were chatting away about everything under the sun and I was feeling pretty good until about Mile 3. (5k)  I decided to walk for a second to re-adjust my pants that were sort of slipping and to give my shoulders a bit of a shake out, as well as to take off my mitts and to open my jacket at the neck slightly. This was under 30 seconds I'd guess, and away we went once again.

Soon enough it was time for the GU and the turn around point. Since I'd never tried them before, and didn't bring any water, I wasn't sure how it would go. They are kind of like a pudding type thing, and after the first "YUCK" bite, I didn't find it too bad. We walked a minute while we pushed the Gu out of the packet and removed our neck warmers and wiped our noses.

I now knew we had to cover the distance all over again and it felt a little overwhelming. I told myself to just put one foot in front of the other and keep trucking. I also decided to slow my pace a little so that I'd get there and not burn out. I'm pretty (okay, a lot) stubborn, and I had told myself last weekend that I was GOING to get this 15k distance in the next week, and gosh darn it....I wasn't going to settle for anything less. We stayed around a 10:00 pace from then to my home, stopping for traffic lights occasionally, or traffic. I'm not sure if it's when the Gu hit, but all of a sudden I felt much lighter and much better. I KNEW I had this and would make it to my door with the distance not only covered, but at a faster clip than intended and feeling pretty fantastic all in all.

About 2k from home, Katie started my pep talk. She's good like that. She said she really struggled her first 15k, and that "9 miles" was one of those "milestone" run marks, and here I was doing it! She said she was impressed by my focus and my steady pace throughout, and that I didn't seem to be struggling. I was still chatting away and able to talk quite normally. I'd DEFINITELY had moments in there where that wasn't the case, but I honestly did feel like I'd caught my second wind.

We rounded the corner to "home" and I was just ecstatic! (but also happy it was done! LOL) We high-fived and hugged (I'm turning into a hugger now apparently! Who knew?) and Katie continued on her way.

As soon as I opened the door, my husband and my daughter were standing there asking, "Did you do it? Did you make it?"  I could barely speak with emotion, so I just showed them my ipod screen, as you see above. My daughter, who is really my best little cheerleader, hugged me tight and said, "I KNEW you'd do it Mummy!"  My husband gave a little grin and a "Well, I'll never catch you now! I keep trying and you keep going further! But I like the chase!"  He also told me he was very impressed and inspired by all the changes I'd been making-which is pretty motivating all on it's own.

There was no rest for the wicked though, I had to hit the stores after a shower and some food, and surprisingly, my legs felt totally fine. I haven't had any soreness or stiffness at all-except in my upper back and shoulders/neck area.  I assume it's from the way I hold myself when I run-which is likely rigid, a stance that's par for the course with me.

I'm doing the distance (hopefully!) again this weekend to support Katie's birthday (and her last long run before her marathon in January)with the fabulous, wonderful women in my little community of awesomeness. The incentive is to help Katie out, but brunch and beer at the end doesn't hurt either.

After riding that high for the day, I went to my sister's yesterday and was asking about borrowing a dress for a fancy dress evening coming up. No, I don't own a dress. I tried on many dresses and fit them all, including the dress that my 20 year old niece wore to her high school graduation a few years back!!! I also fit a few other dresses of hers-granted mostly stretchy ones and a gamut of sizes but I don't even care. I'm feeling on top of the world and I'm ready for 2013 and even bigger, bolder, better, scarier dreams.

My December challenge involved more gym time that made me nervous, and conquering the 15k. I have some January goals already set, several of which aren't fitness related at all.

I'm truly just getting started!!!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Still Runnin'!

It's been a pretty mild December up until I've still been enjoying lacing up my sneakers and running outside. A few days were a bit more tip-toeing in some parts where there was packed snow or ice, but mostly, it's been smooth sailing.

Last week, I had two 5k's planned and then a longer 10k run on the weekend. I guess I drank the Kool-Aid hardcore because I ended up hating my one 5k run so much I made it a 10k, ran with friends for Run Club and we all decided to change a 5k to a 10k, and I did a Forrest Gump and on my Sunday 10k run with Run Club (Weekend Edition) I just kept running all the way home, making it 13.45k on my Nike app.(which is always slightly off and probably closer to 12k)  In total, for those of you that aren't math savvy like me (ha!) that means last week alone I ran 32k. Whaaaaat?

Two of those runs were with my friend Katie, marathoner extraordinaire. She had a longer run to do on Sunday (25.7k or something equally as crazy!) so ran with me the extra distance to my home. That Katie. She's quite the motivator and is always encouraging me and making me believe I can do incredible things that even I don't believe I can do. As we were running along, she was saying that she really believed I was ready for 15k, easily. She said my pace was good, my mindset and inner fortitude strong, and that even after 10k that day and other days that week, I had picked up my pace, was still chatting, and still had gas in the tank to do that run home.  When I bid her adieu at my house, I walked in knowing that in the next week or so, weather conditions permitting, I'll be running a 15k. Simple as that.

Not only did I run 32k last week, I also did Pump classes, Yoga and Zumba. I feel like I'm really keeping my focus, fitness wise, and we're already mid-December. Not. Too. Shabby.

Don't get me wrong though, I'm still totally not sleeping up to par and am still indulging in the odd cookie or muffin and such. That's just how I roll.

In other exciting news, I went dress shopping last week and while I'm SO not a dress fan, I tried on some SINGLE digit dresses. Sizing is really quite ridiculous though, in general, so I'm not too hung up on that side of things. You can take a range of sizes depending on what the material is, what the cut is, and where an article of clothing is made, but it still made me do a little dance in the change room.

I'm fully prepared for the journey to get even slower as I get closer and closer to my goal. One of the things I look forward to with each step though is what NEW goals I'll be considering and what personal victories I'll be celebrating. It's more than just posting about my workouts, for me. It's a written reminder of where I've come from, where I am now, and where I'm hoping to see myself in future. It may seem like "just one more run," but to me, it's a reflection of a whole new person that a year ago wouldn't have been writing about anything remotely close to these posts.

As the future unfolds, I'm sure the posts will evolve with it....and I'm so excited about what that future will bring.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Workin' It Out, Winter Edition

Even though yesterday was a balmy +18C or something, I'm pretty sure that at some point the winds of winter will be howling their cold deathly breath down our collective backs and the mere thought of leaving the warmth of our cozy homes will fill us with dread. When that time comes, I move my workouts to the comfort of my living room or basement, pop in a kick butt DVD workout and the sweat starts flowin'!

As you've read on here before, I'm a big fan of Shaun T and I loved the "Insanity" workout. I didn't finish Month 2 because summer came and the living was easy, but there's something extra special about doing a workout so intense you feel like you *just* might not make it out alive. When you do, the sense of victory is almost superhero epic.

In the light of home workouts, when you open up your email and see one from Emily Coleman of Beachbody, with words like "I saw your blog has some awesome posts relating to fitness, exercise, and living a healthy lifestyle" and she asks if you'd like to check out some of their new products and talk about them on said "awesome" blog, you immediately do so. You don't need to twist my arm when it comes to Beachbody programs, that's just truth. I wasn't even paid to say that either!

She sent me some links to look at and get some feedback on and share with all of you, so you too can go and fall all sorts of in love with Beachbody and okay, Shaun T himself.

So, first there is this:

If anyone knows butts, it's the Brazilians, am I right? This looks like a well rounded (see what I did there? HA!) workout, but obviously with moves specifically targeting the glutes. I don't know one single woman that doesn't want a nice butt, and this looks like it's a good all over body workout but will definitely give you definition where you want it!

Next up is the Les Mills Pump Cross Training Deluxe Package.

As a frequenter of Goodlife Fitness, I've done many Les Mills workouts, including Pump. The package also contains DVD's for the Step, Attack and Combat workouts, the risers and the weights. I'm a HUGE fan of Pump so the ability to actually do this workout at home on days when I don't feel like trekking through the snow REALLY appealed to me. These workouts, in my opinion, are some of the most intense classes Goodlife offers, and I love, love, love that they are available from Beachbody for home consumption!

For all of you crazy P90X'ers, there's also a Certification Program that will allow you to bring a new facet of training to any of your clients in a workout that is known to be tough, and bring results. I personally don't have any experience with it and the thought of me teaching it kind of made me laugh out loud, but I know many of you hardcore trainers out there will jump on that STAT.

The next is a surprising one for me. If you read my blog at all, you know I'm not a fan of cleanses specifically because I don't think drinking shakes teaches you anything long term. You lose weight, sure, but you can't live on shakes and supplements and as a lifestyle, you need to eat real food and for some, that's trickier to figure out than not. However, you can only learn that skill when you practice it. So, when I checked out the link for the Beachbody Ultimate Reset, I was a little skeptical.

I was happy to see that the Reset involves eating REAL food at each meal, as well as supplements added to that. It's about eating whole, unprocessed foods and learning how to choose the best foods for our nutritional intake. Honestly, this is one cleanse that I'd actually consider doing-and that's really, really big coming from me.

Now, I saved the best for last. Can you guess??

Oh ya baby!!! Shaun T!! I love this video preview and how he says "You should be SCREAMING. Your neighbours should know you're working out because they can hear you!" Oh, so sadly accurate.

Shaun T asks if we think he's insane. Clearly the answer is YES, but don't we all love him for it? "You survived "Insanity", now I'm coming to GET YOU!"  That scares me in the best way possible. As I stated above, I'm kinda insane myself because I love me some Shaun T craziness. I love sweating so hard its pouring off my face onto my floor. I love completing a workout, being starving and then needing a nap. "Asylum" looks SO exciting to me that I reviewed this and then immediately put it on my Christmas List. No joke.

So, there ya go, some Winter Workouts to see you through the bluster into the sunshine of Spring! Can you imagine doing these programs in the privacy of your own home and then peeling off your sweater come warm temps and showing off how ripped you've become, while everyone else was hibernating and layering on an extra padding all winter? C'mon!

I wasn't paid for this post, and the words and reviews are totally my own personal opinion. I'm a big Beachbody lover, and these new programs are just some of the examples of why. I love the gym, I love running, but I also love home workouts. I also know that the gym isn't accessible to everyone, nor is tons of expensive equipment. These types of at home kits really provide all you need to work it out, spring, summer, fall or winter!