11/29/10

To run or not to run...

When faced with many of life's great decisions I will often make a list, outlining the pros and cons, or as I like to call them, the risk to reward factor. Most choices involve risk. Hopefully those same choices involve reward (or there really wouldn't be a choice to make one would think). This minor dilemma is no exception.

The 90th Annual Boxing Day 10 Miler (see website) A race around Hamilton Ontario, on, as the name suggests, Boxing Day.  The idea was thrown out there by Cynthia, who has since signed up and committed to the event. I've mulled it over for days and days and can't seem to get past the "should I?" to actually sign up myself. That's where the list comes in:


Pro: It will keep me motivated to train as the weather gets colder

Con: It means actually having to get out there and run on some potentially frigid and icy days, even when my better instinct tells me to stay warm and dry inside

Pro: Its a fun organized event that will get me moving after a calorie dense Christmas season

Con: It means I have to think "race" on Christmas Day, when I really want to think "second helping of pie" and "third glass of wine"

Pro: Its a training run for the 30k race in March (which I have yet to sign up for but probably will if all goes well this month)

Con: It's a training run that might solidify the fact that I should be signing up for said 30k (I guess this is both a pro and a con depending on who and when you ask)

Pro: I get to spend the morning with friends who will be enduring the same conditions as me

Con: It means I won't be with the other friends and family who are celebrating a day off work with leftovers and cheesy movies

Pro: I get to say "I ran 10 Miles today...what did you do??" and be even a bit smug about it

Con: I have to listen to the answer "I slept in, ate delicious food, and cracked a bottle of vino all before 2pm


So my friends, you can see why this isn't easy. I'm giving myself 'til the end of the week to make up my mind but I would sure love our advice: Should I just do it or what??


So tell me, how do you go about making a tough decision?
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11/25/10

Dear Santa...

Dear Santa,


Remember me? The last time we spoke I was probably 8 inches shorter and missing a tooth but I promise we were once really good friends. Every year I left you those chewy chocolate cookies that you love and you made sure I got the toys I wanted. It was a pretty good deal for the both of us if you ask me.

I'm back this year Santa and I promise I deserve to be on your "Nice" list. In case you haven't been keeping an eye on me I do my best and I am always usually really polite, kind, and considerate. And I promise a big ol' plate of chewy cookies if you can come through for me on a few things.

You see, I'm attempting outdoor running this winter Santa, and as a guy who lives at the North pole I am sure you know how c-c-cold it can get out there! So whats a girl to do on a cold winter morning when a 12k training run is calling her name but bundle up and make the best of it? And that's where you come in. With just a few key items I think I could really kick some winter running butt this year!



Sugoi running jacket. It's water and wind resistant and its purple. What more do you need right?



The Bust Stops Here sports bra from Lululemon. Cuz every girl can use some support. 'Nuff said!




Pearlizumi F3 Thermal Sport Tights. These are performance oriented, multi-sport tights that transfer moisture and keep you warm. It doesn't hurt that they have a reflective strip for added protection during low visibility.


Hot pink CEP Compression Socks. Flirty and functional...I love it! Plus they'll keep my legs and feet nice and toasty on the really chilly days out there.


Santa (or anyone else who might be reading and who just happen to be shopping for a gift for lil' ol' me this year) I'll be a very happy girl on Christmas morning if I find these little goodies under the tree. I'll even leave some carrots for the reindeer if we can make this happen, okay??


Sincerely,
Samantha


P.S If you run into Jack Frost can you ask him to take it easy on us this year? Thanks!!


So tell me, what's on your Christmas wish list?
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11/23/10

Tabata totally kicked my butt!!

I'm not up on the latest fitness trends. I don't know if people are Shredding, going Insane or Latin dancing their way to a healthier life. I'm just not that savvy I guess. So I also don't know if Tabata is new or old, been there or done that, the next big thing or yesterdays news. What I do know is that Tabata kicks my ass...big time!

For those of you who don't yet know (or can't remember because it was so long ago), Tabata is circuit/strength training done in 4 minute blocks. Each set is 30 seconds in length, 20 seconds of intense exercise and 10 seconds of rest. Each exercise is repeated 8 excruciating times.


Each exercise is meant to engage the major muscle groups (lower body, upper body and core) so they might include combined weighted bicep curls with squats or lunges. Other sequences can include pushups, situps, burpees or sprinting on the spot. And believe me, 20 seconds might seem short now but by rep 6 you'll be anxious to just get it over with.

The interval training involved in Tabata is said to significantly increase both aerobic and anaerobic fitness as well as increase fat loss and muscle endurance. All definite reasons to grin and bear it if you ask me but hey, I'm no expert so go ahead and read more about it here. And while you do that I'll be over here cringing. Did I mention that I got my butt kicked?? 


So tell me, have you heard of Tabata? Have you ever tried interval training?

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11/22/10

Running in the Winter...I Need Your Help!!

After a tired, post-Tabata chat with Cynthia today I realized that I have been shying away from this blog because I have been lacking motivation lately and don't feel quite right about representing myself a a healthy living blogger when I've been embarrassingly unhealthy as of late. I just can't bring myself to write about the copious amounts of junk food I've scarfed and the workouts I've skipped. Just. Can't. Do. It. But then I realized that rather then run from the blog I need to embrace it in my time of need. As Cynthia pointed out, blogs keep us honest and accountable to our audience (however small) and ourselves. Hello! Why didn't I think of that??

So here I am, working through another lull on my quest to a healthy life. I hear it happens to the best of us and I am hoping it will be short-lived in the grand scheme of things, And all the while I am also trying to wrap my head around a somewhat scary, almost unfathomable concept: winter running.

Winter running? Really? Seems like an oxy-moron right? I mean, c'mon, I live in Canada people and while we don't actually live in igloos and travel on dog sled we do get some serious snow and sub-zero temperatures. Can you say BRRRRRR!?


The truth is there are at least 32 things that I would rather do on a cold winter morning than head out for a 10k run but on the other hand I don't want to lose the fitness that I have managed to build up in the last 8 months either. And since moving to Florida isn't a viable option for this gal I am going to have to suck it up then bundle up and get my butt out the door.

In times of sheer desperation (and I would say finding motivation when its -15C outside qualifies as desperation) I must look to small rewards for my efforts. Much like the Starbucks Vivianno smoothie reward of the summer I will be seeking out a delicious treat to acknowledge my hard work and dedication. Enter Starbucks Hot Chocolate with whipped cream.




Yea, I'll run for that!!


But as a new winter runner I could sure use some advice; after all the hot chocolate is only going to get me so far. Share your tips pretty please (with whipped cream on top!)


I've got a few other ideas in mind for motivation but I will leave that for another post and wait to hear what y'all have to say first.


So tell me whats your best winter running tip? Not a winter runner? What's your favorite outdoor activity during the winter months and how do you get motivated to get out there on those chilly days?
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11/8/10

Are you sick of all the pumpkin talk yet?

It goes without saying that the blog world has been overcome by pumpkin fever. 'Tis the season, as they say. I've seen pumpkin muffins, scones, oatmeal, smoothies, squares, pies, cookies, bread, lattes and the list goes on. No wonder there is a pumpkin shortage! (I read somewhere today that grocery stores won't let shoppers purchase more then 2 cans of pumpkin at a time due to a supply/demand issue!) But I must join in on the pumpkin love affair with this:



Meet the Country Garden salad by Dole, otherwise known as my favorite thing in life right now! The salad itself could be a little more substantial (I usually throw in spinach and extra carrots) but what really makes me swoon is the add-ons. What's not to love about dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds and a delicious pumpkin vinaigrette dressing. *Drool*




I can't describe to you how much I adore this salad or how sad I will be when it goes out of season so-to-speak.




Coupled with a yummy veggie burger, topped with spinach, tomato and homemade guacamole and dinner was a tasty success!! Don't ya love it when that happens?


So tell me, whats your favorite pumpkin inspired food?

Looking for a great running blog? Check out my friend/running partner Cynthia's new blog here.



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11/7/10

Boys will be boys....

Let me tell you about a (BBM) chat that I had with The Boyfriend lately. I messaged him with what was about to be every guy's worst nightmare:


"I feel gross"

He responded wanting to know why.

I wrote "I feel large"

Guy response #1 "Dumbass"

I thanked him most sincerely (and by sincerely I mean I raised an emoticon eyebrow at him)

"You're silly if you ask me" he wrote.

Me "I'm not. I've gained"

Guy response # 2 "So? Look good to me"

I gasped and almost did that thing some of us girls do (you know, THAT thing) and fained insult that he was in fact acknowledging my weight gain. Instead, I took the moral high ground and wrote:

"I don't like it". If BBM had a pitiful pouty face emoticon you better believe I would have used it.

His most matter-of-fact response? "You'll change it"

What the what?? Where was my pity party? I was having a woe-is-me moment and he wasn't jumping on the bandwagon? How was I supposed to continue sulking under these conditions??

I didn't know, but I sure tried. "Ughhhhhh! I feel like a blob!"

Good guy response #3 "Sam, you're as beautiful know as when we got together"

Not falling for it! You won't change my bad attitude that easily mister "But I'm mad that I let this happen"

"So use that anger and kick some ass"

I could have thrown my Blackberry across the office. How, oh friggin' how could be make this so simple? I mean, what was I supposed to do, actually do something about what was bothering me??

Oh wait.....that's actually what I was supposed to do. Duh!

And that my friends is how a little dose of Male Mentality (aka Stop Your Whining and Fix Your Problem!) made me realize that all these years when I was bitching about the fact that I had gained weight/been lazy/couldn't run I'd wasted much too much time that I could have used actually improving my life. Who knew!!

Thanks babe!


Here I go, off to do something with myself instead of just sitting here talking about it! Have a great night everyone!


So tell me, has a member of the opposite sex ever given it to you straight and changed the way you think??


*Disclaimer: My weight gain is a few pounds. I in no way believe that this makes me "large" nor is this meant as a judgement of anyone else. I plan to address the weight gain by being more consistent with my healthy eating habits and active lifestyle. If I have offended you in anyway I sincerely apologize as that was not the message or the intention of this post.
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