A run in honour of Meg Menzies

“I run because I can. When I get tired, I remember those who can’t run, what they’d give to have this simple gift I take for granted, and I run harder for them. I know they would do the same for me.”

Today was a tough run, but a great one. #MegsMiles

Day 159 and Day 160: If I can do it, you can too!

stronger

Recently, I’ve had a few people ask me how I manage to get family, work, volunteer work and exercise balanced…well to be honest, I can’t take the credit. A good friend of ours just published a book called, “Boardroom to Base Camp,” and in it, he has this exercise called: “The Balance Exercise.” It asks you take the hours in each week, subtract sleep and then divvy up the remaining hours to different things like: yourself, mission, spiritual, community etc. So when I was first completed the exercise it made me rethink how I approached each day because it clearly shows that we have a lot more time than we think. Just to give you an idea: I’m a work-at-home mom. That means I watch my son and also work about 8 – 10 hours each day; Monday – Sunday 😉 but not necessarily straight through.  Now I will admit that he does go to daycare one day per week so I can get out to meetings in and around the city, but that’s it. I also usually do a bit of volunteer work 3-4 times a week (sometimes more or less depending on what’s going on); I exercise 5-6 times a week ranging from 1-2.5 hours each time and on top of that, I make time to socialize with friends. I’m not saying a busy life is for everyone, but I am telling you that there’s a whole lot of time available to get this stuff done if you really want to! 

Anyway, with that I want to tell you about my awesome workouts both yesterday and today – I think the fact that it’s been above zero (well above) has really turned my attitude around. Even despite having another nasty cold again (and it’s quite nasty) I managed to do 35 minutes on the treadmill and another 20 minutes on the bike today! And yesterday was terrific as well. I completed my hill work on the treadmill (which I’m normally against) However, I started out at an incline of 2 and every 1.5 minutes, I moved it up. I believe when I was finished I was somewhere past 11. And I kept my speed at a steady 6! I was absolutely sweating out my cold, and it felt amazing. I’m not sure if I could have pushed much harder, but I’m completely satisfied with both workouts.

In the spirit of encouragement when I know some people are also having a rough time getting out with the transition of seasons and sickness, read this quote. I hope it’s as effective with you as it was with me! 🙂 HAPPY TRAILS!

 

“It is not the critic who counts, not the one who points out how the strong man stumbled or how the doer of deeds might have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred with sweat and dust and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, if he wins, knows the triumph of high achievement; and who, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

Guest Blogger: Roni Davis tackles FASTED CARDIO!

Guest Blogger Roni Davis on RunningKatTalesSo, Kat asked me how beneficial and safe it was to do fasted cardio. I laughed because it’s SUCH a controversial subject. I’ve read some fairly heated debates from some of the top pros in the industry arguing both sides with points that are all really compelling. Below, I’ll provide a link to one of my favorites but if you’re not interested in reading a lot about the science behind it, the two basic schools of thought are as follows:

Pros: Proponents say that you will burn more fat than if you eat beforehand.

Your body stores glycogen to use as its preferred source of fuel during exercise. The idea behind fasted cardio is that your glycogen stores would be somewhat depleted first thing in the morning after fasting overnight. Having less glycogen available to use as fuel, it would switch and use fat stores as its next source of fuel, allowing for a greater amount of actual fat being burned.

The key to this being successful seems to be that the intensity level of the exercise stays in the low to moderate range. When your body exercises at a low intensity, it uses more fat than carbohydrate.

Cons: Opponents say you’re burning less calories and that it’s a recipe for muscle wasting.

Because the work is easier, you’re not burning as many overall calories so you’d have to work for a longer period of time than if you were training hard. You shouldn’t run sprints or do some other high-intensity exercise as the lack of glycogen in your system wouldn’t allow for it. This makes it a definite no-no if you’re training for a race, endurance event, etc. It’s also said that all fasted cardio manages to do is burn off muscle, rather than fat.

My take is that like most things, there are no absolutes. If you spend some time looking, there are studies to support both theories.

The bottom line for me? I train with a team of the most perfect bodies in the world and most do some form of fasted cardio or another first thing in morning. That’s good enough to convince me …when done properly and depending on your goals, of course!

How’s that for a clear as mud answer?

Click to read more on this subject!

Guest Blogger: Introducing Roni Davis

RoniDavis_bio

 

I am super excited to introduce Roni Davis!

Kat: How long did it take you to transform your lifestyle? 

Roni: That’s a tough one. I started in March of 2007 and I’d like to say it took “X” amount of time but I can’t specifically list a date that I could say, “this is the day I was done”. In many ways, I feel like it’s still a work in progress. The bulk of the changes took place over the course of the first year or two but I’d say by the end of the first year, I knew this was the way my life was going to be from then on. There was no going back.

Kat: Do you think anyone can do it?

Roni: Absolutely. I’ve seen SO many transformations from every day people who just quite simply set their minds to do extraordinary things. It ALL comes down to how badly you want it. It requires a change in your mindset. A “I will no longer accept average” and “failure is not an option” type mindset that literally makes anything possible. Once that happens, the body will cooperate…true for anyone.

Kat: What is a typical day for you? (Gym/Life etc.)

Roni: A typical day starts with fasted cardio (usually about 60mins) between 6 and 6:30am, then breakfast, then getting my kid off to school. I do my own workout for 45-60 mins, shower and then start training clients. After work is Mommy time and I start all over again the next day.

Kat:What is the biggest myth about bodybuilding?

Roni: Oh my goodness, there are SO many it’s hard to pick just one. Perhaps that we’re all on steroids? Or one that annoys me the most specifically re: women is that it will cause us to get big and bulky and make us look like men. The only thing lifting does for us is make us healthier, stronger, curvier…and tighter. What gal wouldn’t want that? 🙂

Kat: What would you like people to know about the sport?

Roni: I’d love for people to know that they don’t have to want to be a “bodybuilder” or get on stage or have big bulging muscles to use the basic fundamentals of what we do to shape their own bodies into anything they want them to be. Muscle building takes TIME and HARD work. No one just wakes up “jacked” one day thinking, “OMG! When did I turn into Arnold?!” It’s a LONG process that literally allows you to carve out just about any shape you want and fix your trouble spots. If you’re willing to work and be patient.

***You can catch Roni here or on her Facebook fan page!

I’m proof that anyone can run…

 

 

running_kat_tales_anyone can run

Day 130: an amazing day all around. Personal records, awards and a very special birthday party! Love life.

This weekend was incredible, but today was especially so.

Last night I celebrated a very special occasion with a good friend, but I managed to maintain my long-run eve ritual of pierogi pizza and four beer (I think I may be a little superstitious.) I managed to get a really good nights sleep, was up early had a couple more pieces of pizza and a banana (no porridge today), lots of water and hit the road.

When I got Eau Claire I was horrified to find that the washrooms were locked. I started to panic a bit thinking I’d never make it through that distance without going. Then, I saw the beautiful glow of “the Running Room” sign. I KNEW if they had a washroom in there that they wouldn’t deny me. I slipped in and asked the cashier, he jokingly said no…and then my face must have dropped because he started laughing and said, “Of course you can!!!!” PHEW!

feathered friends under the centre street bridge calgaryThe sun was shining, the temperature was terrific, I put on a podcast from Judith Briles and hit the trail along the river. The first thing I came across were our feathered friends under the Centre Street bridge – holy mackerel! They were just camping out on the ice. It was so funny I just had to stop and take a quick picture. There were loads of people out (mostly serious runners – you know the kind I mean. The ones who don’t acknowledge you on the trail.) I like the theory laid out in the letter “Hey Fat Girl” (which is awesome) where they say that “elite” runners bow down to the rest of us, but I have a healthy amount of scepticism about it. I held my head high and proud; I was smiling from ear to ear; I made eye contact and I said”Good morning!” to literally everyone I met this morning; walkers, runners, bikers – everyone! But in my case, the elite runners pretended I wasn’t even there – uhh hello, I’m wearing a bright yellow jacket, you ain’t fooling anyone! So about half way through my run I decided to start keeping track of how many ignored me; you’ll be interested to know that about 8 out of 10 did. Sad, eh?

18km running route around calgary But nothing (not even personality-lacking elite runners) were going to spoil my run today. I came to my turnaround point and an older lady said, “Way to go. Running is tough. Just keep going.” I was so grateful to her for taking the time to say hello and encourage me. I was feeling great (when usually at a turnaround point I don’t.) My pace on the final leg of the 18km stretch was faster than it had been, I even had it down to 5:06/km at one point for about 2-3 km. I stopped for water twice using my handy fuel belt. I felt great. My legs felt great. My chest felt great. It was amazing.

When I finally finished I probably could have cried. When I first started training I didn’t think I would make it back to 8km let alone 18km. But here I am.

I also had a pretty special birthday to celebrate today – my son is turning two tomorrow. When I got home, we had our close friends and family over for an incredibly sugary cake and it just made the whole day even more wonderful. So thank you for coming out – we’re so lucky to have extended family here and friends who are our family by choice – you.are.awesome. 

Finally, I’ve heard good things happen in threes and I checked my email and found out I was nominated for the “Sunshine Award,” by the wonderful ladies at “We Shall Have Pie” – thank you 🙂

So that’s it. The end to a wicked weekend. I did it. 18 LONG kilometres. Only a few short weeks and I hope to hit that half marathon mark – YAHOO!

Hope everyone is happy and healthy out there.

Here are todays stats: run keeper calgary runner girl

  • Distance: 18.05km
  • Time: 1:54:36
  • Pace: 6:21
  • Best Pace: 3:55

Here are my personal records:

  • Distance
  • Duration
  • Calories burned
  • Elevation climb

Do you need a buddy to keep you on track with your New Years goals?

If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.

Okay. So thank you Facebook for prompting this blog post (and sorry if it ends in some ranting). I’ve seen a few status’s from some people who are annoyed with the influx of new bodies at the gym because of New Years fitness and health goal/resolutions. Sadly, most of the comments are: “well, give it a few days/weeks and they’ll quit anyway.” Look, I ain’t naive. I know that it’s no secret that people make New Years resolutions that are next to impossible to keep (eg: six pack abs in four weeks). I know that sometimes we get so excited trying to make positive changes in our lives, that goals get out of hand. And don’t kid yourselves, we’ve all been there: too many changes too fast – trust me, I know. I also know first-hand that some people are just jerks. Period. They take more pleasure in seeing somebody else fail, than succeed (God only knows why).

Let me tell you a little story.

Last year I decided (after several attempts) that I was going to start going to the gym early in the morning. I had made grandiose new years resolutions that I would finally get back into shape; I would go to the gym every day; work out – yadda yadda yadda. It took a while, but I finally got the nerve to go. I arrived super EARLY that morning. I was so proud of myself. I signed up for the machine I preferred (you know the one I mean; the one that has absolutely NO ONE directly behind – no one needs to see that). I started doing my thing. Then, out of nowhere, I got accosted by a regular (who, I came to find out from the fitness center monitor, regularly humiliated people and also favoured the machine I was on). He accused me of not following protocol. (Seriously guy, it’s 6:30 a.m… protocol?)

I looked at the board and realized someone erased my name off of the sign ups – obviously an honest mistake. But this guy was just a dick (side-note: thank goodness none of my resolutions were to stop swearing; some year I will but this ain’t it). Anyway, I told him that I had signed up and it must have been erased. He rolled his eyes, hopped onto the machine beside me and turned to the woman there and started bitching about me within earshot. SERIOUSLY? I was already self-conscious as it was, the last thing I needed was some gym-freak making it more uncomfortable. And he did. It took me a few days and maybe even a week or so to comfortably get back at it. But I eventually I did. I even managed to say “Hi!” to him one morning (mostly just to get a rise out of him).

So here’s a thought for all you people out there who have no patience for the “newbies” at the gym: why don’t you just try to encourage them? It’s not easy to go, especially if you haven’t been active. It takes a while and some confidence to get into a new routine. And for some people, it literally is a struggle every day. And seriously, what the hell do you gain by taking pleasure in someone else’s failure especially when you can share in helping them succeed?

Mumbai Personal Training

You all know that yesterday I needed motivation to get out and run and within a few minutes of asking for help, one of my online pals gave me the encouragement I needed to get going. It’s that easy. It’s that support and encouragement that helps people achieve their goals – no matter how big or small. And I believe we’d all be better off if we just learned how to support each other more.

And with that, I’m asking that if anyone out there needs a running or workout buddy, whether in person or online – I’m your gal! Call on me! 

Truly. I need it as much as anyone else!

And for goodness sakes you old gym rats: OK. So you find it severely annoying when your routine is messed up because a “newbie” is using YOUR machine at the gym. Cut them some damn slack. Instead of being a jerk. Just talk to them. Give them a pat on the back. Or shut the hell up and carry-on with another piece of equipment. It’s that simple.

Okay. That’s it. Really. I hope that if you made a resolution, that you will stick to it. I’m only three days into not eating stuff that comes in a package and I’m thinking, “oh no, a whole year of this?!”

But I have faith. I know I can do it and so can you!