08 Jan

12 Months of 2012 – pt. 1

Yes, I’m still recapping my 2012.

It was a good year in that it wasn’t a bad year and sometimes that’s the best we can hope for, right?

You can read Part 2, July through December here.

January

I start 2012 off with a bang in January by accomplishing my biggest goal for the year: a marathon. I never thought that running a marathon would be so much fun, but Disney knows how to plan an epic event, that’s for sure.

In spite of having a terrible bout of runner’s trots (naturally) and stopping at every mile for photo ops with Disney characters, I managed to finish in 5:15. Not too shabby!

You can read all about it here.

Of course the marathon also meant travel to Orlando where my friend Tina and I hit up Magic Kingdom, and both Universal Studios parks. I finally got to visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, but it was Seuss Landing that really captured my heart.

Butterbeer

The Lorax

Later in the month Matt and I went to Niagara-on-the-Lake for his birthday and the Icewine Festival.

Busy month!

February

In February I started learning to play the guitar somewhat spontaneously after years and years of wanting to do it. The hobby stuck with me and I pick up my guitar to practice nearly every day.

Guitar

I also went to the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago while on a trip to visit my sister Vicki.

Jellies

March

I went bowling with Matt and saw a private screening of The Hunger Games premiere.

I also wrote a post about a poll indicating that Black Women are Heavier and Happier with their Bodies than White Women which got a lot of attention.

(source)
“F.A.T. means fabulous and thick, full and tasty, fluffy and tender.” – Mo’nique

April

I celebrated Easter with my favourite Lebanese foods.

I made my own Homemade Fig Newtons. . . multiple times. And ate them all.

Homemade Fig Newtons

And I wrote about how “Athletic” is a stupid way to describe female body types; my favourite body image post this year.

May

I started more seriously swapping out my steady state, moderate intensity cardio exercise for more Interval Based Conditioning exercises like Terrible Twenties and Gut Busters and Sled Push Substitutes. Later I also started doing more tabata sprints as well.

Matt and I went on a date to Colasanti’s a greenhouse/petting zoo/amusement park/banquet facility hybrid. (I know, the concept really doesn’t make much sense unless you’re from Essex County).

Me and a Goat

And I made Homemade Clotted Cream for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee which I thought was a disaster but it actually tasted really good. I consulted Joe Pastry who called it a success, so I stopped worrying about it and enjoyed my tasty butterfat.

Of course I had to make cream scones to go with it.

June

I went to the Freedom Fest – one of the biggest fireworks displays in the world – which is right on the Detroit River.

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And I actually didn’t fuck up a batch of granola for once! I baked this dangerously good granola and didn’t even burn it.

Best Ever Granola


Read Part 2, July through December here

09 Mar

Walt Disney World for Grown-Ups

I talked about visiting Islands of Adventure when I was in Orlando for the marathon in January, for the impressive-but-overhyped Wizarding World of Harry Potter and they fun and under-hyped Seuss Landing.

While we were in Orlando we also visited the main park at Universal Studios (not as fun as Islands, if you have to pick between the two) and the classic Disney Park, Magic Kingdom.

walt disney statue

Getting There

We chose to save money on the hotel by staying off of Disney property and that was a good decision. Our hotel, the Radisson Lake Buena Vista, was on the Lynx Bus line with direct access to and from the airport as well as Walt Disney World and Universal Studios.

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We took the 111 Lynx Bus from our hotel and $2 and 20 minutes later we were at the Walt Disney World Transportation and Ticketing Centre. It’s the transportation hub for all of Disney World where you’ll catch the monorail or buses to all the Disney parks and hotels.

Hot Tip: Our hotel had a shuttle but it’s schedule didn’t always jive with our plans. There are a few hotels in Lake Buena Vista that are on Disney property but are not Disney resort hotels (like the Best Western or the Holiday Inn) that have a more regular shuttle schedule. These hotels are walking distance from the Radisson, so you can catch one of those and save yourself $2.

The Attractions

We skipped out on the souvenir shopping on Main Street and the carnival-type rides that we can do anywhere– like the Magic Carpets, Dumbo, and the Teacups– and limited our time to the good stuff.

Granted this is Disney World, not Cedar Point we’re talking about here, so the rides are very tame so that kids of any size can ride them. None of the attractions provide major thrills, but they are entertaining and they have the nostalgic effect of re-connecting you with your favourite characters again.

We didn’t hit up all the attractions, but here are the ones that we did.

(Click for Larger Images)

Main Street USA

Parade 1Parade 2

When we arrived at the park there was a parade on Main Street USA with floats and load music and Disney characters waving to the crowds that lined the parade route which ended in front of Cinderella’s castle.

Local parades have got nothing on Disney; the Magic Kingdom parade is really quite impressive and they have 3 or 4 of them each day.

Adventureland

Pirates of the Caribbean

PiratesPirates

I liked this boat ride through the land of pirates. You can tell that it’s a newer ride and I think they did a good job with this one.

Swiss Family Treehouse

Swiss Family TreehouseSwiss Family Treehouse

This is a walk-through replica of the treehouse that the Swiss Family Robinson lived in. It made me want to move into a treehouse on a desserted island. The treehouse wasn’t very busy so it was worth seeing, but I wouldn’t line up for it.

Frontierland

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Thunder MountainThunder Mountain

We skipped Splash Mountain, to avoid getting wet, and got some fast passes for Big Thunder Mountain. It’s probably the most thrilling ride in Magic Kingdom.

Liberty Square

Haunted Mansion

Haunted Mansion

Tina was most excited to go on dark and spooky this ride. I really liked this ride’s optical tricks. it was one of my favourite rides.

Fantasyland

Cinderella’s Castle

CastleCastle at Night

The obvious disappointment with this castle is that it’s just a passageway. I’m sure countless Cinderella lovers wish it were at least a walk through exhibit if not a Cinderella themed ride.

It’s a Small World

Small WorldSmall World

This might be the most famous ride and it is still as sickeningly cheerful and more than slightly creepy as you remember from when you were a kid.

The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

Pooh RidePooh Ride

This is a newer ride so they’ve done a good job with making the waiting area for it full of fun stuff to see and play with. Also the characters and the animatronics were a lot better than the older rides in the park.

Mickey’s PhilharMagic

We went to this show by mistake thinking we were going into the Winnie the Pooh ride. I’m glad we did because if I knew it were a show I would have probably skipped it. It’s a 3D movie that features the best songs from all the best Disney movies. It was awesome and made me curious about visiting Hollywood Studios park (which is, as I understand it, mostly shows)

Peter Pan’s Flight

Peter Pan

This ride is in desperate need of a face lift. I don’t think it has changed at all since the last time I was there in the ’80s.

Snow White’s Scary Adventures

This ride has definitely changed since I was last at Magic Kingdom. I was convinced that it was much scarier when I was a kid (and the witch actually scared me to tears), but I figured it was just because I was a kid. I just wiki’d the ride and apparently the ride was changed in ’94 to be less scary. I knew it!

They’re taking the ride out of the park when they open the new Fantasyland expansion in 2013.

Tomorrowland

Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor

Laugh Floor

This was an animated stand-up comedy show with monsters from Monsters, Inc. It was much funnier than I expected because there are live voice actors behind the scenes that pick on the audience!

Stitch’s Great Escape!

This is a show, not a ride. I found it boring and a waste of time.

Space Mountain

Space Mountain

Space Mountain broke down while we were in line so we missed out, unfortunately. I was excited for this one.

Tomorrowland Speedway

I wish it were actual go-karts and not carts on a track. I drove and I sucked at it. I came in last.

Eating

There’s not a lot of selection at Magic Kingdom. I was much more impressed by Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, foodwise. Basically you can get chicken sandwiches, burgers, pizza, soup, or salad.

I had soup for lunch and a pretzel for dinner. Nothing to impressive. Except that the noodles are shaped like Mickey Mouse.

Mickey Noodle

28 Feb

DIY Marathon Medal Frame

From this:

DIY Medal Frame

To this:

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I’ve been wanting to frame my marathon medal since I ran the race in January. I finally got a couple of pictures printed out from race day and put together a little shadow box of my marathon keepsakes.

Get a shadow box frame.

Shadow Box Frame

I found that shadow boxes were deeper that I wanted for my medal display so I opted for this shadowbox frame that I picked up from Michael’s craft store for $17.00. It provides only about an inch of depth between the glass and the medal.

Use Scrapbooking Material

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That blue paper is a 12″x12″ square of sparkly, navy blue sheet of scrapbooking paper which perfectly fit my 12″x12″ frame. It cost me $1.00. I went with navy because I thought the gold medal stood out really nicely on this colour, plus my race bib had a strip of navy on it too.

I wanted to put some marathon/running themed scrapbook stickers, but they were basically all out at Michael’s. Someone had the same idea as me, perhaps?

Print Some Pictures

I stopped to take lots of pictures of during the race and my friend Tina took a bunch for me as well, so I had plenty to choose from for my frame. I probably would have purchased official race photos if I hadn’t taken any, though they are quite expensive ($20 for two 4×6’s) compared to the less than $0.50 to print them from Shopper’s Drug Mart.

I printed out my favourite pictures and taped them to the scrapbook page along with my bib from the race.

Pin the Medal

DIY Medal Frame

I used safety pins to set my medal in place on the cardboard backing of the frame (though I suspect straight pins would be easier, but I didn’t have them). I wanted the medal to hang at an angle from the corner, so I taped it in place with some heavy duty masking tape. I’m not sure how long it will stick, but it works for now and gives me the effect that I was going for. I might have to adjust my choice of adhesive if it starts to slip. Any suggestions?

I tucked the lanyard in the back of the cardboard, and put the frame backing on top to hide it.

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So after a very minimal time commitment and minimal cost I ended up with a sweet homemade collection of my marathon memories. Fun times.

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13 Jan

Packing List for a Destination Race

When I was getting ready to leave for Florida, I found that it was really helpful to make a packing list of everything that I was going to need for my big marathon race to make sure that I didn’t forget anything.

I put all of my “race day” stuff in a separate bag within my luggage so I wouldn’t have to do much to get ready the night before the race. All I needed was to pick up my bib and put out my race day bag on Saturday night so I was ready for the brutally early 3:20AM wake-up call on Sunday morning.

Word to the wise: Put all your running gear in a Carry-On, because if it gets lost, you’re fucked. Just imagine getting to your destination and not having your running shoes with you. Not good.

The night before the race I laid out my stuffed fanny pack, bib, race clothes, and running shoes

Race Day Packing List

Clothes:

-Running Shoes
-Socks – 2 pairs, in case it’s too cold to wear just one
-Underwear – especially if you have a certain pair you prefer to run in
-Shirts -bring an extra long sleeve shirt in case of cold weather
-Running Shorts or Tights or both
-Sports Bra
-Headgear – headband, hat, hair ties, hairpins
-Compression Gear – shirts/pants/shorts/sleeves if you wear them
-Warm clothes for the start – sweatshirts, sweatpants, gloves, hat, earmuffs (You can toss these on the side of the course mid-race. Most races will collect them to donate)
-Extra safety pins for your bib

Gear:

-Sunglasses
-Camera & Battery Charger
-MP3 player, Earbuds, & Charger
-Vaseline/BodyGlide/athletic tape for chaffing
-Bandages – in a ziploc bag to carry with you
-Food and Fuel – dates/gu/shot blocks/powerade/etc.; whatever you’re used to eating and drinking on course
-Knee Braces
-Fuel Belt with bottles or Camelback
-Extra Toilet Paper – in a ziploc bag to carry with you
-Fanny Pack – to carry fuel, bandages, toilet paper, and camera
-Watch
-Tylenol
-Sunscreen

Paperwork:

-Race Forms/Waivers, Bib, and Chip – if you get them in advance
-Proof of time – if you want to try to move up in corrals
-Pace charts
-Travel Itinerary
-Passport -if necessary

09 Jan

Walt Disney World Marathon Recap

I ran the Disney World Marathon on Sunday, January 8th. My first official marathon.

Click on the photos for bigger versions. See all of my marathon photos here.

Getting Ready:

The morning started out so early that it was actually late. A 3:20AM wake-up call got me up from a restless night of little sleep. I tossed my clothes on, brushed my teeth, and read through the motivational quotes that my friend Tina gave me for inspiration. I shoved a muffin and granola bar in my mouth and headed down to the hotel lobby for my 3:45 cab to Epcot and the marathon starting line.

The Starting Line:

Getting between the drop off point and the starting line meant a 20 minute walk. Tina walked with me and the 20,000 other runners all the way to the corrals even though she wasn’t supposed to. The morning was chilly, but not uncomfortably cold. I wore a light jacket to the start then handed it off to Tina before she left me for the spectator area.

I was more than pissed that my kickass music playlist was a no-go since my iPod decided to stop functioning just days before the marathon. I had no music to pump me up for the run and would only have myself and my thoughts for the next 26 miles. I was a concerned that I would run out of thoughts. :/

Waiting in my corral, my stomach was upset. A little bit from nervousness, but mostly from the cabbage I ate at an Irish Pub the night before. I know what you’re thinking Who the hell eats cabbage the night before a marathon?!? I have no words to explain my lack of foresight that evening.

I hit up the porta-potties at the start line just as the elite runners were about to take off. The extra toilet paper that I put in my fanny pack was genius! I patted myself on the back for at least that foresight.

The race started at 5:30 but, since I was in corral E, I didn’t start until 5:45. Mickey Mouse counted us down, there were fireworks, and then the runners took off.

Miles 1-9 –Excitement:

Mile 1 and 2 came and went before we hit Epcot centre. We ran through some of the World Showcase (I remember Mexico and Norway, but can’t remember if we ran through others) and then right out of the park.

Tina was waiting for me at mile 4 with noise-makers, cheering, and words of encouragement. She was waiting for me again at mile 9 and it was always so inspiring to have her cheering me on.

In spite of already having taken 2 bathroom breaks, I was keeping about a 10 minute mile pace. I was feeling really good at this point and getting excited to come up on the Magic Kingdom at Mile 10.

Mile 10 –Running through Magic Kingdom:

I would rate this one of the top experiences in my life; even higher than crossing the finish line. There were so many spectators lining Main Street USA making so much noise that you couldn’t help but be motivated by all the energy that was pumping through that place. I probably could have flown through Magic Kingdom on all that energy, but I stopped for photo-ops.

The anticipation builds as you are about to enter Cinderella’s castle too, which is the pinnacle of marathon running awesomeness.

And then out you come, feeling like a princess, with a whole bunch of snap-happy photographers there to take your picture.

Miles 11-13 –Coming off the high:

I was still in high spirits (although my stomach was not so I stopped again to use the porta-potty) after coming out of the Magic Kingdom in the part of the race. We ran past the Grand Floridian and the golf resort, both of which made for good scenery.

I spotted Tina again just before the 13 mile mark though the spectators were bit far from the route barrier so I didn’t get a chance to stop and talk to her at this point which was disappointing because I knew that I wouldn’t see her until the finish line and I wasn’t even halfway done.

Mile 14-16 –Three miles from Hell:

I run the back roads of Essex County so I’m intimately familiar with boring stretches of road, and yet getting through these 3 dull miles between Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom was tough. They call this an area “rarely seen by the public” but that’s just because it’s so awful. Hey Disney, let’s stop kidding ourselves and call it what it is: the worst part of the marathon course. You’re halfway through and there is nothing to look at, hardly any spectators, and very little incentive to keep running. At one point we even had to run past a garbage dump which smelled like ass and made me wonder out loud, “Are you fucking kidding me right now?!” to everyone around but no one in particular.

I had to make my fourth annoying bathroom stop to relieve my stomach ache and I stopped at the medical station to pump some biofreeze onto my right knee which was beginning to bother me at this point. At the medical stations they also had vaseline available. I considered reapplying some since I knew most of it had been wiped away during all my bathroom breaks, but I thought people would start to wonder when they saw me sticking my hand down my pants in public, so I refrained. In the end, the chaffing wasn’t so bad.

The highlight of this stretch was my photo-op with Pocahontas, Meeko, and John Smith from my favourite Disney movie. After that I gave a little fist pump and ran off at a quicker pace.

Mile 17-21 –Animal Kingdom:

I was relieved to see an ass on the side of the road. And falcons. It meant we were entering Animal Kingdom and most of the remaining miles would be through the theme parks. Animal Kingdom was open to the public by the time we ran through so there were lots of people around cheering on the runners. It wasn’t nearly as energetic as Magic Kingdom though where the spectators were lining the streets just to see the runners come through. I’ve never been to Animal Kingdom before but it was cool to run through the jungle trees, see the Tree of Life, and Mount Everest.

As we were leaving the park I stopped to get a photo with Minnie and then Mickey. That was my most exciting celebrity sighting.

Miles 19 to 21 were on a stretch of highway between Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios where I started to add lots of walking intervals among my slower running, decreasing my pace to about 12 minute miles. At mile 20.5 there were some entertainers lining the road and asking people where they were from. I shouted “Canada!” into the mic and the guy says, “Canada? Um, okay?” which made me confused. Was that the wrong answer?

Mile 22-24 –Hollywood Studios:

My left shin was really starting to hurt and the biofreeze did nothing for my knee. I kept my walking intervals but just being in the park motivated me to run a little more than I had been on the highways.

I felt that there was a lot more to experience in Hollywood Studios compared to Animal Kingdom. There were more spectators and there were more sights to see, like the tower of terror, a costume design studio, and the iconic sorcerer’s hat. The spectators there had a lot of energy, maybe because we were so close to the finish. Everyone was shouting, “Only 3 miles to go!” but 3 miles feels like a long time when you’ve already run 23.

I grabbed some candy and chocolate at mile 23. I pocketed the chocolate for later because the richness didn’t sound appetizing, but I pounded back the candy.

At mile 24 I stopped for my fifth and last bathroom break in an actual public bathroom which felt positively luxurious in comparison to the stinky porta-potties I was getting used to. I tried to force myself to run as much as possible for the last 2.2 miles.

Mile 25-26 –The Boardwalk and Epcot:

Because you don’t need a theme park ticket to check out the boardwalk, it was lined with lots of spectators there just for the race. The energy was really building at this point with just a mile left to go and so many people cheering on the runners, it felt pretty good to be almost done despite the pain I was feeling.

We ran through the World Showcase in Epcot again which was much better during the day when you can really experience it. No one was stopping for pictures at this point because the race was almost done. I stopped for a quick picture with the Beast in France, my favourite Disney leading man, and Mushu from Mulan in China.

Before I knew it I was rounding the corner toward the finish line.

The Finish:

The energy from the crowd here was intense! I figured Tina was somewhere out in the stands so I was just waving at everyone like a celebrity on the red carpet and hoping that I she would see me. (I ended up finding her just passed the finish line)

I was so happy with my race that I crossed the finish with a huge smile on my face.


Marathon By the Numbers:

Final Time: 5:14:50
Goal Time: 5:15ish or whatever
Training Miles Run: 347.5
Bathroom Breaks: 5
Food Eaten on Course: 2 dates, 1 banana, 2 Clif Shots, 1 pack of candies
Cups of Powerade Consumed: 30+
Body Parts in Pain: 4: lower back, right knee, left shin, right foot
Disney Characters I Took Pictures With: 26 (See all of my marathon photos here.)

05 Jan

Hello from Orlando!

My friend and I arrived in Orlando yesterday afternoon to sunshine and palm trees. It’s been years since I’ve travelled anywhere where there is palm trees.

The weather here is perfect: in the low 60s, but felt warm enough in the bright sun to walk around without a coat. I guess this weather is unseasonably cold for Florida so I saw a few people sporting very heavy down jackets and one lady was wearing a fur coat. Someone even told me to “stay warm”. Oh Floridians!

Yesterday we spent the afternoon in Downtown Disney which is store after store of Disney paraphenalia. And since Tina and I are both sick and were exhausted we came back to the hotel for a nap. Our hotel has a hot tub and a pool (which is ICE COLD) so we could lounge in the hot tub and then run and jump into the pool for our own spa-like experience.

Today we’re heading to Magic Kingdom! Woot!

I’ll try to check in again but I’m on a hotel computer and I have some anxious kids standing behind me waiting to use it.

19 Dec

And so begins the taper

Saturday night I made the idiotic decision of having a very spicy stirfry at Chanoso’s for dinner at 10pm. I got an 8 on their 1-10 scale of spiciness which was perfect for my heat tooth but not so good for my intestines.

It wouldn’t have been so bad if I weren’t planning to run 20 miles on Sunday morning. So I guess there will be no spicy food the night before the big marathon. Lesson #1 learned.

To spare myself from being miles away from home and having to squat in the woods, I decided to run my longest run of marathon training on the treadmill at the gym (in close proximity to a bathroom). I wasn’t too happy about it, because the weather on Sunday was pretty mild and would have made for a nice run, but luckily there was a decent movie on TV (Kingdom of Heaven) to occupy my boredom.

The run actually went really well. It took me 3:06 (not including bathroom breaks) which is a 9:18/mile pace.

I wasn’t as tired as I had expected to be. Unfortunately I forgot to vaseline my chaffing spots so by mile 9 my ribs and back were raw from all the rubbing against my sports bra and by mile 13 my ass was starting to chafe too. Ass chaffing might be the worst thing in the world. Lube up before you run! Lesson #2 learned.

I took a quick break at mile 13 to refill my water and eat a few dates as a snack. Once I stopped running I noticed that my right knee was hurting just a bit. I’ve never felt knee pain before so I was a bit worried about whether to keep running but I decided to give it a go. It was only 7 more miles. My knee felt uncomfortable but not painful while I ran so I just let myself run through it and after a while I didn’t notice anything. Today it feels a bit ‘off’ but I don’t think it’s anything serious.

So now that my big 20 mile run is out of the way it’s time to taper for the marathon which is only 3 weeks away! Eeeek!

The next big things to do before the marathon are 1) massage. Scheduled for Thursday.  2) put together a packing list of all the things I’m going to need so I don’t forget anything important (like vaseline or moisture wicking underwear).


Holiday Health Challenge Update:

This is week  5 of my Holiday Health Challenge with less than a week to go before Christmas. I was lazy this week and didn’t do a great job sticking to my plan.

1) Keep a food journal – B-

I got lazy and missed a few days of journalling and I wasn’t really considering what I was eating. I would look at my journal and say ‘I ate a lot of nuts today’, but then eat just as many the next day. It was pure laziness and lack of planning.

2) Eliminate processed sugar – C

Not a good week for this at all. I really want to do better this week bit in the week before Christmas I’m wondering how?

3) Floss my teeth every day – B

I think I only flossed 4 days this week.

4) Start the day with lemon juice and water – C

I missed 4 days.

5) Run 150 miles – A+ – (177/150 miles)

I ran all 39 miles I had scheduled for this week and so I smashed my goal of running 150 miles before Christmas by 27 miles. This might have been my best week of running ever with an amazing 5 mile run, a 3 mile run in 23 minutes where I beat my own PR!!!, and of course my big 20 miler.

6) Squat 155lbs for 5 reps – A+

I smashed this goal last week and this week I got up to 8 reps at 155lbs. I tried for 160lbs and got 4 reps! Yowza. I’m rockin’ it.

7) Make my walks with Bagigis 5 minutes longer – C

I think she only got 2 long-ish walks this week. Bad puppy mom.

8 ) Take all my vitamins – A+

Done and Done.

11 Dec

18 mile training run

18 mile run
Fakest smile ever.

How I really felt after the run.


18 mile run

A little bit like this.

18 mile run
And a little bit like this.

Today I ran 18 miles in my training run for the upcoming marathon. This is the first Sunday in a few weeks when the weather has been nice enough to run outside. It was sunny and cold—my kind of running weather.

My technique was to run a 9 mile loop, then back to my house for a bathroom/water/cookie break before running a different 9 mile loop.

The first 9 went really well. I had a lot of energy and had a good tempo going. I finished the first 9 miles in 1:23 with no walking breaks.

The second 9 was a little rougher going and took me 10 minutes longer. I definitely slowed my pace and walked whenever I felt tired. I didn’t pick a very good route for this one because it was boring, windy, and extra cold. In my last 3 miles, though I did run by Santa Claus in front of a Christmas tree shop who gave me a high five and told me to “keep on truckin’!” It definitely kept me motivated. I can’t wait to see what Disney characters will do!

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I am not exactly looking forward to running 20 miles next week knowing what my legs felt like after my run today. But at least that will be my last long run before I start to taper. I don’t understand how some runners complain about the taper. I’m excited for it!


Holiday Health Challenge Update:

This is week  4 of my Holiday Health Challenge and I think I did much better than last week.

1) Keep a food journal – B

I only missed 2 days of journalling.

2) Eliminate processed sugar – B

3 days without desserts again this week. Woot!
Matt and I made some caramel corn last night to eat while watching Just Got With It (which was really funny by the way) which ruined me for the weekend.

3) Floss my teeth every day – A-

I only missed a couple of days.

4) Start the day with lemon juice and water – C

I missed a bunch of days this week, unfortunately. Again I’ve been waking up later and later every morning :/

5) Run 150 miles – A – (138/150 miles)

I ran 30 of the 32 miles I had scheduled this week.

6) Squat 155lbs for 5 reps – A+

This week I squatted 155lbs for 6 reps, in each of 4 sets. I had an amazing workout on Friday night. So good that some guy came up to me and said, “I see you here all the time. You work out hard! Do you play sports?”

I did 4 sets of each of these exercises:

Squats: 155lbs x 6reps
Deadlifts: 155lbs x 5reps
Dumbbell Rows: 60lbs x 5reps
Bench Press: 125lbs x 4reps
Turkish Get-Ups: 10lbs x 8reps (<—my new favourite exercise)

7) Make my walks with Bagigis 5 minutes longer – C

I did a pretty bad job at this, but she did get a day at the doggie spa with extra special scented shampoo 🙂

bagigis

8 ) Take all my vitamins – B

I only missed a few days this week.

04 Dec

Getting psyched

So I’ve taken my last kickboxing class that I prepaid for. I decided to take December off so that I can get ready for the big marathon coming up on January 8th. I don’t want to get injured and I want to focus more on my running from now until January. Kickboxing classes are, by far, my favourite workout and I love going. I’m going to miss it this month.

I started training for the marathon just after Labour Day and have been slowly incrementing my weekly mileage. The main structure of my training has been:

Marathon Training Structure

Tuesdays: 4-5 mile runs with either uphill intervals or aerobic intervals.

Thursday: Easy, 6-10 miles. I increment these every couple of weeks.

Sunday: Long run. I started with 9 miles and have been incrementing by 1 to 2 miles per week.

Click the photo for my full Training Schedule:

marathon training

Today’s long run was 16 miles.

I wanted to run outside today but it was pouring rain almost all day long so I headed to the gym for a looooong run on the treadmill. At least I was entertained by watching the movie Mona Lisa Smile and some shows on HGTV. I ended up getting the run done in 2h 35min, just under 10 minute miles.

My 16 mile run this afternoon left me chaffed and a bit bloody but not even all that tired. I’m getting very excited for the big marathon!


Holiday Health Challenge Update:

This is week  4 of my Holiday Health Challenge and I think I did much better than last week.

1) Keep a food journal – A

I only missed one day of journalling and I was much better about journalling while I ate rather than waiting until te end of the day to say “oh shit, I ate too much.”

2) Eliminate processed sugar – B

3 days without desserts. Woot!

3) Floss my teeth every day – A-

I only missed a couple of days.

4) Start the day with lemon juice and water – C

I think I only did this 3 days this week. I kept waking up too late to do much of anything in the morning. Gah, winter mornings. The bed is so warm… who wants to leave get up?

5) Run 150 miles – A+ – (108/150 miles)

I ran all 30 scheduled miles this week, even squeezing in a 5 mile run before kickboxing. 

6) Squat 155lbs for 5 reps – A+

I did it!!

7) Make my walks with Bagigis 5 minutes longer – A

With all the heavy rainfall this week Bagigis didn’t get a walk every day. But all the walks were longer than normal.

8 ) Take all my vitamins – C

I forgot a lot this week :-/

20 Nov

I’m going to Disney World!

So, this is happening:

WDWmarathon

On January 8th I’m going to be running my first ever real marathon! (Not counting my solo 26.2 this summer of course)

I first decided last March that I wanted to run this marathon but I wasn’t sure if it would actually happen in 2012. I’m so happy that it is!

The Walt Disney World marathon is so cool. It winds 26.2 miles through Disney World so runners can experience all 4 theme parks—Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios— by foot. The course is lined with entertainment and practically all the Disney characters who are even available for photo ops.

Truth be told, my priorities for the race are 1) surviving, 2) not getting injured, and 3) getting photos with the Disney characters. Finishing the race in a particular time isn’t really as important to me as just plain finishing.

The race is only 7 weeks away (wow, just writing that is making me nervous!) but luckily I’ve already been training for it since Labour Day with this training plan. I’ve just been waiting patiently until someone confirmed that they would travel to Florida with me, and half expecting not to end up going at all.

But on Friday night my girlfriend Tina and I booked our Florida vacation for the new year. I’m happy to go with her because it’s been over a year since we’ve travelled together and I love travelling with her. We’re planning on hitting up Disney World, Universal Studios, and of course running (Tina is planning on running the 5K race).

I’m excited. I’m ecstatic. I’m nervous as hell.

Isn’t a marathon at the beginning of January such an awesome way to kick off the year? My Holiday Health Challenge is taking on a whole new meaning, since I want to be in tip-top shape for the big run.


Holiday Health Challenge Update:

Two weeks into my Holiday Health Challenge and I think I fared well. I’m still having trouble with the whole “no sugar” business so I’m trying to focus on not eating desserts rather than specifically sugar. It’s still been hard. Very very hard.

1) Keep a food journal – A

Again I wrote down all my food intake for all but one day this week. While I’ve been writing down my food I haven’t been doing anything about the things that need improvement (like the too many grains and not getting enough protein that I’m eating). Maybe this week I will try to plan what I eat before I eat it.

2) Eliminate processed sugar – F

I didn’t eat sweets 2 days this week. An improvement from last week, I guess. Baby steps.

3) Floss my teeth every day – A+

Every. day. I use floss picks which are way better than cutting off the circulation to my fingertips with regular old floss.

4) Start the day with lemon juice and water – A

Every day but once this week.

5) Run 150 miles – A

Logged 27 miles this week as planned. I’m at 61 miles since Nov 6.

6) Squat 155lbs for 5 reps – A

Getting there. I did 2 reps at 155lbs. I’m not sure how my form was though because I don’t have a weightlifting partner. (I really need a partner).

7) Make my walks with Bagigis 5 minutes longer – A+

Done and done.

8 ) Take all my vitamins – A+

Done and Done.