Sunday, February 13, 2011
A very welcome email from my doctor this morning - my Vitamin D is definitely LOW and she has prescribed an additional 1000 IU a day for me with more calcium.
On Friday after my appointment, I had already decided myself to start taking 400 IU a day, vowing that I would stop if she told me to. I swear that even with 2 days of the added supplement, I was feeling a BIT cheerier than I have been, but thought I had to be crazy to think so. Since she is now recommending I take MORE - I'm thinking I'm not so crazy after all.
Osteoporosis runs in my family, so I'm not going to take any risks with this. Not only is it mood degeneration, but it's also bone degeneration (thus my need for more calcium as well), so I may as well take the supplements I need now and be able to continue my healthy lifestyle long into my future with healthy bones and teeth to match.
This is good news indeed. With a little mood lift from the added Vitamin D, a warm-up in the February Freeze we've been having lately outside, and a bright and sunny Sunday, I feel like Spring is just around the corner!
Sunday, February 06, 2011
I was a lazy bum yesterday. Opening Night of my show on Friday night meant we partied until 6AM! Needless to say, I did not make it to my 9:30am Zumba class on Saturday morning. I didn't move off the couch all day. I didn't shower. I didn't even stretch. I was Disgusting with a Capital D. Ugh.
Today started out very similarly. But I was determined NOT to make it Day 2 of couch lethargy considering I'm about to sit for 3 hours or so and watch the Superbowl. I had to get out and go for a run.
The weather in Chicago sucks. It's dark, it's snowing AGAIN, and though it warmed up a bit, that has only contributed to lots and lots of water from the melted snow in the streets. Massive, cold, slush-puddles at every corner.
Not 2 minutes into my warm-up walk, my feet were SOAKED. This was not going to be a fun run. I still can't run the sidewalks because half of the people in my neighbourhood don't believe in shoveling. Most of the sidewalks are still partially covered and are "single lane traffic" only making it difficult to get past Sunday walkers coming home from brunch. So I ran down the middle of the streets, dodging cars the whole way. Every time a car passed me, I got slushed. Yey fun! The best was the fire truck at mile 4.02. I could see the end of the street that would end my run. The only thing between me and the finish line was that big red truck. As he came towards me, I quickly realized that he wasn't stopping to let me by and he was very clearly larger than any of the cars I'd gone head to head with so far, so I jumped into the snow bank, resulting in a full leg soaker to let him by. Lord have mercy. But I finished my run!
One of the best things about today though - despite the snow lashing my face as it came down, the sopping wet feet, the slush, the cold damp weather, one of my shoelaces coming untied mid-run - was a young family with a baby who watched me run past. As the mother was strapping her little one into the car seat, she looked up at me, smiled and said loudly enough for me to hear over the music in my headphones: "Now THAT's impressive!" I took out one ear phone, grinned back at her, gave a breathy "Thank You!" and kept right on running. Determined more than ever to get through this run.
Sometimes the voice inside you is strong enough to carry you through. Most of the time, my voice is pretty powerful at talking down the negativity that makes me want to quit early, or not even get out there in the first place. But on days like today, when the external forces are screaming at you to stop, it's equally as important to listen to those outside voices to draw the strength to keep going. I am very grateful for that woman today. She gave me energy and a renewed spirit and that was exactly what I needed at that point in time. I finished what I set out to do - a 4 mile run in under an hour - and I'm better off for it. And she's right, that is DAMN impressive!
Wednesday, February 02, 2011
You can ask my brothers (who were usually the ones responsible) but I don't think I've ever shoveled a day in my life. What can I say - I got bored sitting at home and I needed to get some exercise today :) Also - I LOVE SNOW! It's the Canadian in me. I especially love the silence of snow - after it snows it gets all quiet outside. And today the sun came out after the crazy storm. Just beautiful!
I'm disappointed that I didn't take before pictures. It was pretty epic! Also that I didn't turn the camera around to get a shot of me after shoveling for an hour and a half - haha!
Tuesday, February 01, 2011
I didn't run this morning. Last night on Facebook I was all like "I don't care how much snow we get tomorrow, I'm going to run anyway." Well, the bed beat me again this morning and I stayed tucked in late enough that I should have just taken a day off instead of attempting to make it to work on time-ish. However, I did finally manage to rise, shower and get my butt out the door.
We got a BIT of snow overnight, certainly nothing to write home about, but the major dump was scheduled to show up this afternoon.
I should have gone running this morning. I should have stuck to my word and all my Facebook crowing. Because now the snow HAS come, and it's coming down hard, and I might just get out a quill and parchment and write home because it looks pretty bad out there. Doh!
I could suck it up and be a bad-ass and strap on my shoes and my YakTrax when I get home and go anyway. I could. But chances are PRETTY GOOD that's NOT going to happen. It's dark. It's REALLY snowing. Cars are sliding all over the street. I really don't want to put my cute hiney in the middle of all that mess and go face to face with a plow.
But I feel guilty so I'm writing this blog. Today will officially be the first day that I COULD have gotten out there and done something this morning and because I didn't, now have forfeited my chance to get my cardio in today. It's not going to kill me. But I actually feel bad about it. Today I let the weather, and the dreariness, and the winter get to me. And I thought I was above that.
Sigh. I might try and find a Spark video and do something at home, but it's just not the same. My bad-ass just got whooped. By a bunch of fluffy white stuff. How sad is that?
What does everyone else do when they're snowed in?
Sunday, January 30, 2011
I don't usually run on Sundays. I don't usually drink coffee. Today I did both.
Since I skipped my regular Friday long run and subbed in walking 2.5 miles to work instead, I was actually really craving a run today (Ok, maybe it's not the coffee - maybe I just AM a crazy person - did I just say I was "craving" a run? Woah). So the plan was to allow myself to sleep in for as long as possible (Mission Accomplished - I didn't wake up until noon today), have a sexy breakfast, and then head out for a nice long, leisurely jog to see if I could accomplish my 8K distance (5 miles).
It's a dark day here today - very overcast and threatening snow. We've already gotten a winter weather watch warning (how's that for alliteration?) in effect for Tuesday-Wednesday. They say we're in for a doozy of a snow storm again - lovely - so I best be getting a good run in today anyway since the conditions were pretty near perfect for running weather - 30 degrees, clear streets with only a few slushy patches, and overcast so there isn't glaring sun in your eyes - and it could be dicey over the next week. Maybe I'll finally get to used my YakTax.
Anyway - the cloudy skies allowed for a very late awakening this morning which was lovely. It's what's made it so hard to get out of bed during the week too. When my room is still dark, I think it's night - therefore, I continue to sleep! Haha. After finally rolling out of bed, I padded to the kitchen to make that sexy breakfast. Two toaster waffles - one with peanut butter, the other with Nutella, a tangelo orange, 6 strawberries and a large cup of coffee with a new skinny caramel macchiato creamer...mmmm. Even though I don't usually drink coffee, especially at home, I had a coupon for a free bottle and it looked delicious so I got it. I usually only get coffee one other time a week. On Wednesday afternoons before I go swimming, I get a decaf grande skinny latte from Starbucks. The warm milk tides me over for a late dinner post-swim and the little bit of caffeine gives me a boost to get through my tough workout after a full day at work. Since I feel a definite difference between when I do and don't "fuel" like this before I go to the pool at night, I decided to try it as well on my run today to see if it made a difference there too. Umm, yeah, it for sure did.
Firstly, running mid-afternoon after you've had a ton of sleep and a proper meal is way different than running first thing in the morning on only a banana - which is my usual routine. I noticed this on Christmas Day when I did a 5 mile walk/run down the lake and back. My energy was amazing that day as well, so I knew I was in for a good time today too.
Secondly, the coffee just gave me a wicked boost of energy, and it was all I could do to keep telling my self to SLOW DOWN before I burned myself out after 2 miles.
I decided on a couple of different mantras before I left for my run that have been working for me lately. Besides "SLOW DOWN" which I actually use a lot on my long runs, today I also used "You Have All The Time In The World" and "Push It Through". "Push It Through" works really well for me if I'm feeling tired or if I'm having any pain. Whenever I say it I do that meditation technique of imagining a wave washing through your body from your head all the way down through your feet and out on to the ground. Usually this technique is done laying down, but I've been able to use it a lot on my runs as well. Every time my foot hits the ground I push a wave through my body and out onto the pavement. It's been extremely effective for pain in my legs. "Push It Through" and I can usually wash the pain or the tenseness or cramp out of my leg and out through my feet. "You Have All The Time In The World" was really nice today. Kind of like "SLOW DOWN", it reminded me that I was out to have fun today and relax and that I really wasn't trying to set any records (even though I did). And I could actually use it today and know that I was speaking the truth because I really don't have anything else to do today (except maybe a couple of loads of laundry) so I really didn't have to be in a rush, which I often am if I run before work. So that made a huge difference in knowing that I didn't have anywhere to be except right there doing what I was doing.
So of course you want to know how I did right? Haha. Well - I did what I set out to do. A full 8K, 5.02 miles in just over one hour, 1:02:50. BAM!!!
I got emotional again when I finally stopped running for the first time since I hit 5K for the first time back in November. That's an amazing feeling to have. When you accomplish something that is so huge, so life changing, that your emotions just let go and you cry like a baby in the middle of the street. I am changing my life. I have mantras for creeps sake. HAHA! What the heck is that? I've lost almost 80 pounds and I can run EIGHT FREAKING KILOMETRES!!! FIVE MILES. Holy crap. I am disciplined enough to run that far, to control my breathing and my body and my mind for five miles. Just a year ago I wasn't disciplined enough to press the power button on the remote control to turn off the television on a Sunday afternoon. THAT was the crazy person, not this. This person that I am now is FAR from crazy. This person is disciplined, and steadfast, and determined and beautiful. This person is the person I want to be, the person that I need to be.
I don't know that I want to pick up a coffee habit again just so I can run faster and longer, but at least it's worth it to know what it does for my training. I'll go back to my tea for the week I think, but I might make a treat of it on weekends as long as I'm running. It doesn't do much for my sleep (I'll have to see what happens tonight when I go to bed) but I'm hoping the strenuous exercise will counter-balance the caffeine consumption and I'll sleep like a baby. But for now I am just so proud of myself for what I was able to do today. And a full 3 months before I have to run my 8K Shamrock Shuffle too! It's my goal to be running at least a 10K by that point though, so that's the next goal. Now that I know I can run 5 miles, 6.2 will be a piece of cake right? Right?
Time to hit the showers. And maybe get to that laundry now. I have a BUNCH of sweaty running stuff to clean - and it's SO worth it!
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