October 19, 2011

There is an alien in my belly

I'm 8 weeks along now and man, this little Lima bean has taken a toll on my body. I never realized just how exhausting it is to grow a little human inside you.

Of course, in the first trimester it's not just the fatigue that knocks you on your butt, but there's the nausea to contend with as well. I must admit morning sickness has been kind to me compared with many of the stories I've heard from other pregnant women. I learned quite early on that the trick to dealing with the sudden urge to vomit is to immediately EAT SOMETHING!! ANYTHING!!! which is rather the exact opposite of what your sick stomach is encouraging.

The compulsion to eat is impossible to resist. I've been known to wake up from one of my now necessary afternoon naps between shifts to run to the fridge, grab the brick of cheese and just bite off a hunk. Who needs a knife? Am I right?

Since peeing on a stick on sept 20th, I have managed to do 15 mins on my elliptical machine and I went for one 30 minute walk. I'm really hoping my energy levels improve come second trimester as simple tasks such as carrying a basket of laundry upstairs now cause me to pant and need a 10min rest. Consequently, I haven't even entertained the thought of going for a run.

September 19, 2011

Fall fitness

I have been active this summer if not posting. I was quite busy with work but there was lots of camping and hiking and swimming on the weekends.

Now that summer is over, I'm working on getting back into a routine. Last week I went for my first run since May (yikes!) and was pleased to find I could still run 3km straight, albeit at a very slow 8:10/km. The 2nd run that week showed my pace dropping to a better 7:50/km. And hopefully today's run will either be faster or further. I haven't decided what route to take yet. I'll know when I hit the road I guess.

For once, I'm actually working on eating healthier as well. Not so much because I feel the need to lose weight, and not even really for myself. But because my husband and I are trying to get me knocked up. Every time I pick up a piece of food now it seems like all I can think about is the ingredient list and wonder if it would be good for the theoretical baby. I've been having smoothies for breakfast a lot lately, and today I've tried my first Green Monster. And I am definitely now a spinach-in-your-smoothie convert. You truly can't taste it.

It's funny thinking back to my first few posts which were about the 30 Day Shred and how grueling and painful that program was. I really am in way better shape than I was 2 years ago when I started this fitness journey.

April 19, 2011

On your marks, get set......

Anger. I somehow just deleted the entire post. So, once more, with feeling.

I ran my first road race this weekend. It was trial by fire....or more accurately, trial by sleet. My husband and I both registered; he for the 10K, and I for the 5k. I spent the month leading up to the race training as best I could - there is a very convenient 5k loop at the end of my driveway that I ran 2-3 times per week. My consistency improved a good amount, and I also improved my running posture a tad as well. Any time I came back from a run with aches and pains or questions, my husband was there to help fix my running and answer inquiries. It was like having a free personal trainer. Very convenient.

Now I say I got into a very consistent pace, but by no means was it a fast pace. I run about a 12min/mile. I learned just how slow that is one day during a run. There was a woman speedwalking about 500m ahead of me. It took me 2.5km to catch and pass her. Oh dear.

In the week before the race I got a very ill-timed visit from Aunt Flo, who decided to stick around for the race. I also began checking the weather....snow? Oh dear.

Finally, April 17th rolled around. I had spent the night living dream after dream about different ways the race would turn out. I must say, by the time I finally woke up I was more than a little confused but, I think, less nervous than I would have been if I hadn't already woken up, gotten ready, and run the race 3-4times in my sleep. I ate a small breakfast of bread and molasses, then my husband and I headed out.

We arrived at the fitness centre which was to be the starting point, and picked up our t-shirts, numbers, and little ankle bracelets with chips in them to track our finishing times. And at 9:50am we headed out into the miserable 3*C sleet pelting us in 40km/hr winds. What a joy that was.

At 10am sharp, we lined up and were, in short order set off to the sound of the airhorn. I decided to line up near the back of the pack, since I knew I'd be among the slowest. I turned on my Nike+ GPS app as I waited for those in front of me to begin moving, then I started running as well.

About 0.5k into my run I fell into my usual pace. There were 3 participants behind me and 2 about 20m in front of me. About 1k in, I realized that the race website's promise of, and I quote, a very flat out and back course, was bull crap. We were constantly running up and down small hills, and the mid point was a long uphill battle into the wind. How I managed to keep moving forward is a mystery. But my perseverance paid - I forced myself to continue at an even pace uphill allowing me to pass the 2 running in front of me. I kept them at my back the rest of the race. I even came close to catching 2 more further ahead who had stopped to walk up the hill.

It was on my way up the hill that I felt a strange snapping sensation in my calf and thought "this is going to hurt later."

The way back was easier as I was now running downhill with the wind pushing me forward. I almost tripped over my feet a couple times from the forward momentum. It was during the last 200m before the finish line that the road became a wind tunnel between the buildings. I swear there came a point when I was putting all my effort into running on the spot so as to keep from running backwards! I was near the limit of my endurance by this point but somehow managed to finish strong and finally cross the finish line. Ah, sweet relief.

I kept a very consistent pace of 7:35/km the entire race and finished in 38:31 - meeting my inspired goal of not finishing dead last. In fact I finished 22 of 27.

I moved up the crowd a little bit to cheer on the rest of the 5K finishers and to greet the first of the 10K racers. Somehow the sun had come out right at the end making the outdoors endurable again. I watched as my husband and six other 10Kers were directed up the wrong street (!) by one of the volunteers right at the end and had to double back, adding a good 3mins to their times. My husband lost 20 places to that mistake and is still bitter about it.

We went inside together and discovered that the volunteers had put out fruit trays, which was unexpectedly wonderful. We both grabbed some orange slices and stretched and sat. By now I was starting to feel whatever it was I'd done to my calf during the run, and I spent the rest of the day hobbling around quite painfully. Amazingly though it worked itself out and I was walking mostly fine on Monday.

Before leaving, we went out to the finish line again and cheered in the last of the 10K runners - a 90yr old woman who finished in 1h20, probably faster than I could have done!

So that was my race experience. We are running another race together in 2 week's time, and I'm quite excited. Apparently racing is addictive!

February 04, 2011

Omg yay!

I got promoted :D I'm going to be training at the call center now :) Which means I can count on a regular (though backshift) mon-fri schedule. So excited!

It also means I have no excuse not to work out regularly, heh....

January 30, 2011

Back to the Races

Well, I'm not literally racing yet... but after about 3 months off I'm finally back into running. My Dad lent us an elliptical machine which has been extremely useful now that the ground is quite snow covered and the trail I usually run in is impassible to all but snow mobiles. I've also been doing some free runs on wii fit - which isn't the most accurate (or effective) way to run, but hey, at least it gets my blood pumping a bit.

My husband and I also just re-registered for the Run Nova Scotia series and he's currently training for a 10K in April. He wants me to run with him, but I'm not confident I'll be ready for that length of run by then. I just don't have a consistent enough work schedule to train effectively. I try to get as much exercise in on the weekend as I can but when I work from 9am-11pm all week with a 1hr commute, there is just no way I can get up early in the morning to workout and still function all day.

Looking forward to trying for it though.

July 14, 2010

mini adventure time

The husband and I just celebrated our 2yr anniversary on July the 12th :) Yay us. Unfortunately we were unable to see eachother the day of (just another perk of working 14hr days with a 1hr commute both ways) so we decided to make up for it by leaving on what we have dubbed the "Road trip of Loooooove."

And what will this roadtrip involve? Well, a fair amount of exercise. We're heading across the province for 2 days to go hiking, swimming, geocaching and camping. There will probably be some romantic wine and dining going on as well as it is an anniversary mini-vacation. I'm quite excited. Some of the places we hope to check out are the Kejimkujik Seaside Adjunct, The Ovens National Park, Rissers beach, and of course the various museums and parks from Liverpool to Lunenburg. We'll be visiting some old college friends along the way too. I'm really quite excited - although I know I will be super exhausted come Friday night when we get home - and then I have to get up at 6:30am to go to work.....Meh, not thinking about that now!

Anyway, it should be really quite fun - and a good entry back into gentle physical activity. It appears that my ribcage injury is going to be with me for some weeks more, so it seems this summer I may be out of the races, pun intended.

July 10, 2010

Injuries and Maladies

Where have I been the last 3 months you ask? Well, I have no excuses up 'till late May, and to be quite honest I was too busy to blog. But my runs were getting great, I could do 20mins nonstop at about 10min/mile...and then.....I caught a cold

And I suffered laryngitis...sore throat....laryngitis....sore throat....nausea and fatigue.....sore throat....coughing and muscle aches.....coughing.....laryngitis and diarrhoea (tmi I know)...coughing and sore throat(did I mention I work at a call centre?)......coughing and nausea......sore throat and fatigue......stuffy nose and coughing......more coughing......DISLOCATING the cartilage in my RIBCAGE by COUGHING(!)......sneezing and stuffy nose....and finally, coughing. For the record, I still have a bad cough and my ribs still hurt. I'm pretty sick and tired of being sick and tired. In fact, I've felt so horrible that I've gone twice to outpatients for the first time in memory, and the cough syrup bottle count has reached a whopping 25bottles. That's approximately 2.5L, nearly $150....

So yeah, it's been a long time since I went for a run

April 20, 2010

New toys

My husband and I got a wonderfully large tax return this year (thank you first time homebuyer's tax credit) and after quite responsibly putting 2K on our student loans and into our emergency fund, we split the remaining $800 and went shopping. Among my more relevant purchases is the Ipod Touch. And ooooh what an engrossing little device that is.

I bought an armband to carry it in while running, and the Nike+ sensor is on it's way. I'm looking forward to testing it out - it looks really quite informational. I went for my first run using the armband today, and other than some confusion regarding what to do with my headphone cords (i eventually ended up feeding them through my sleeve and up the back of my t-shirt), everything worked out fairly well. Seems I am slowly getting back into shape after the winter months of inactivity. I no longer feel nauseous halfway through my excursions.

Now for those people out there with Ipods looking to start running, there is a C25K app that you can download (unfortunately it is not a free app, and does cost $4) that allows you to listen to your own music and chimes at the appropriate intervals. I think that if I were still doing that program I would likely download it, as the one complaint I had with the c25k podcasts I listened to is that I didn't really like the 20mins of repetitive techno, useful though the podcasts were.

I've also discovered that there is a free SparkPeople app, convenient since I've already set up a profile through that particular site. But I've also discovered Lose-it, which is an easier app to use and which remembers the food that you have previously entered so that you don't have to search every time.

March 31, 2010

Fatter and out of shape

This morning I finally overcame that part of my brain which insists laziness is my best friend. I went for my first run of the season (2.8KM according to Map My Run) and it nearly killed me. But it felt good to be out and about getting my blood flowing. Although I must say the overwhelming nausea I experienced on the side of the road wasn`t too pleasant. But now that I consistently have 3 days off a week, I have no excuse but to run often and get my butt in gear.

Now, regarding Curves....I won`t be getting a membership. The facility is very nice, the staff is friendly, the hours are good, the cost is reasonably. But I didn`t realize that Curves is not a normal gym. You actually have to follow their 30min circuit training plan. Don't get me wrong, it is well planned out and I`m sure it`s very efficient at burning fat in the shortest time possible- which I well imagine is the goal for most women with normal jobs. But alas, that is not my intention.

I wanted to join a gym where I could just hop on a treadmill, or elliptical, or stepper, and just go. I don`t want to follow a regimented workout listening to gym music and waiting for a voice recording to say "Change station." I don't want to lift weights and then hop up and down on a converted trampoline as part of my cardio circuit. I want to be left alone in my own little world, listening to my mp3 player and just productively passing the 3hrs between my shifts.

I have therefore resigned myself to the fact that until I have more tenure at work, I will be passing my afternoons sitting in my car, in a parking lot, with a book. On the brightside, I'm catching up on a lot of reading I've wanted to do in the last few years.

March 22, 2010

Well, I'm getting fatter

Long time no post. Which, as I'm sure you have already predicted, means that I have not been exercising. The return to the 30DS lasted about 2 weeks. And I was faithful to that plan for those whole 2 weeks.

And then I got thoroughly drowned in my new job. Not a step up in the world by any means, but it is higher paying and more hours. It is also primarily backshift. For the last 2 months I have been working 4-1am, and have a 45min commute. My days have been consumed with exhausted sleeping, and my nights spent in training, wishing I was home with the husband I only see a couple days a week.

Lucky him, he works weekdays, and unfortunate me, I work nights and weekends. It's become rather lonely in our big empty house with no one but our cats for company - not that they really come indoors that much now that spring has swooped in with its many flocks of birds in tow.

As can well be expected, the loneliness and exhaustion (I've always been that strange girl who likes to go to bed at 9pm) have manifested themselves as stubborn laziness. Why would I work out if I could instead be sitting on the couch eating chocolate and watching Stargate Universe?

As can also be expected, this change in lifestyle has resulted in tighter pants, uncomfortable panties (tmi, I know) and acne. Par conséquent, my self esteem isn't where it was at the peak of my fitness pursuits. Leading to a spiral of self pity induced snacking and sci-fi movie watching. A vicious cycle indeed.

However, I do have one chance to escape this ever tightening noose about my neck. My savior? Split shifts. Now that I am out of training I have 2 options for getting in a 40hr work week; work five 8-hour days each week, or work four 10-hour days (a combination of two 5-hour shifts separated by a 3-4 hour break.) Considering the money I've been wasting on gas commuting 100km every workday, the money conscious decision is to work four days a week. Which is exactly what I'm doing.

So now, every workday, I am stranded in a town 50km from home, with seemingly nothing to do but sit in my car in a parking lot listening to an audio book and dozing off. Or, I could join the local Curves and spend my time between splits in a productive fashion. The only drawback is that $40/mo gym membership that I'm not entirely certain I can afford.

So that is where I sit at the moment. I haven't been into the gym for information yet - it took me 2 days of wandering through town to find the place, and when I finally did locate it, it was of course closed. For now I have 2 days off work, so I'll be leaving the final decision for Wednesday when I make my final Curves pilgrimage.