My September 3 workout for those who want to give it a try!

Below is a link to the workout I completed today. Additionally, I did about 30 minutes on the elliptical. I should add that I did stretching both before and after (nothing special, just the usual).  If you have a workout you want to share, please share!! 🙂 And if you have any feedback or additions you would make to the workout, I’d love any feedback!

Sept 3 RunningKatTales Workout

Happy Trails!

Sabotage: beware of those who may try to throw you off your training!

Okay. So the title sounds a little dramatic, but I’ve learned that some people (little, big; young and old) may try to throw you off your game, do not let them! Hectic schedules, late days at the office, last minute calendar changes, cranky kids and pets – these are all things that can throw you off. But don’t give in!

For instance, this morning was my gym training day and P decided to make frittata for breakfast. This particular frittata consisted of eggs, bacon, hash browns, cheese, and some veggies. My typical breakfast on workout days is: oatmeal, banana, blueberries, coffee and water. For anyone out there who exercises, you frigging well know there’s no way you can go to the gym with eggs in your belly – are you crazy?! Do you know what happens to people if they have eggs before a workout? Oh no. No way.

Needless to say, I really wanted to eat the darn thing and it took major willpower just to eat my regular breakfast.  However, it wasn’t a huge battle to say “no thanks” to P; and he didn’t put any pressure on me to eat it (though it really wouldn’t have taken a lot to get me to eat it, sadly). He’s incredibly supportive of everything I do (even when he totally disagrees.) But this got me to thinking about those people in life who may try to throw your routine and training off the rails, whether intentionally or not, it makes the journey just a little bit trickier!

I’m fortunate enough to have really phenomenal support from lots of places. I attribute this to being open about my beliefs and goals. The people I surround myself with know what I’m up to and are superbly encouraging. Side-note: I have great friends who I laugh and cry with, share worries and scares with and celebrate victories and milestones with. However, not everyone is this lucky; sadly sometimes you have to identify the negative and cut them loose – it ain’t easy but boy when it’s all said and done it feels great!

I must admit that this most recent attempt to lose weight and complete half-marathon has been completely different than anything else I’ve tried before. Maybe it’s because I’m a little older and wiser (hah!) Or because I have a wicked group of people who surround me (they’re motivated and driven just like me). I believe it’s because they’re not competitive and can happily celebrate  the accomplishments in my life and vice-versa. And it’s great to share these things with the people who have been marvellous cheerleaders. (Thank you pals!)

Now, I can’t honestly sit here and pretend I’ve never been a saboteur (albeit not intentionally). But I have been that friend to encourage another drink or treat – so let me apologize! As a former saboteur, sometimes we forget how hard it is to train and eat properly if we’re not in the same place. I have had friends who would pressure me to drink or eat junk. I’d have to remind myself that they just wanted me to have fun and cut loose. Which is why it was awkward to have to say, “No, I’m trying to do X.” Sometimes they’d give me shit for it and tell me it wouldn’t make a difference. But it does. And luckily for me, I don’t have a problem with being honest; so I could say, “Frig off. I’m trying to stay on track. This is my goal.”

Which leads me to the following. For anyone who has a hard time being vocal, here’s a pretty simple way to stop the sabotage:

  • Have a heart-to-heart. Like your family, your friends may not know what they’re doing. Telling him/her that you need his/her help to lose weight may make him more supportive.
  • Distance yourself. If your friend doesn’t change his or her behavior, you may need to take a breather from that relationship. (This is hard, but life is short and if you want to reach your goals sometimes you need to cut certain people out.) – AMEN, Sista!  
  • Find support elsewhere. Whether it’s a support group or another friend who’s trying to lose weight or reach the same goal, find people who are on the same page and can help you keep those healthy habits. – I have been lucky and have a good pal to run with on weekends. This keeps me on track throughout the week. 

I found the following on and laughed because I think we all know people like this:

Some things a sabotaging friend may say or do:

  • “Boy, I feel fat today. Do I look fat?” The problem? She’s thinner than a toothpick while you’re several pounds overweight.
  • You’re at a restaurant and your friend digs into a juicy burger, saying, “I don’t know how you can eat that salad. I would just die if I had to eat that all the time.”
  • You mention you’re joining a gym and your friend says, “I heard that exercise can actually make you fat. Oh, you haven’t heard that? Well, I’m sure it won’t happen to you.”
  • You’re at a bar and mention you’re on the wagon to lose weight. Your friend shouts, “A round of tequila shots, bartender! Hey, just one drink won’t hurt, right?”
  • You’re on the way to the gym and your friend calls with an emergency. You skip your workout to help, only to find out her ’emergency’ was not wanting to watch American Idol by herself.

Finally, don’t self-sabotage. If someone is trying to push you off the rails use that fuel to keep yourself on track.

Don’t make excuses.

In my quest for information, I found these 10 Golden Rules for Friendship. They’re great.

Fix You: A weird pump up song. No?

Okay, so this is going to seem a little weird, but any time I’m having a particularly hard work out or running session I switch on “Fix You” by Cold Play. I don’t know what it is, but as soon as it starts I get a jolt of energy and I can dig a little deeper.

With the following lyrics, it is a bit of a weird pump up song (I’ll admit):

When you try your best, but you don’t succeed
When you get what you want, but not what you need
When you feel so tired, but you can’t sleep
Stuck in reverse

And the tears come streaming down your face
When you lose something you can’t replace
When you love someone, but it goes to waste
Could it be worse?

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

And high up above or down below
When you’re too in love to let it go
But if you never try you’ll never know
Just what you’re worth

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

Tears stream down on your face
When you lose something you cannot replace
Tears stream down on your face
And I…

Tears stream down on your face
I promise you I will learn from my mistakes
Tears stream down on your face
And I…

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

Several years ago when I was going through school in Halifax I volunteered at the Olympic Torch Run kick-off. It was a really cool event to attend (and volunteer at); it got everyone excited for the Vancouver Olympics. Kind of neat because it was a Coca-Cola event and I ended up working on the Coca-Cola account leading up to the Olympics and even got a taste of it! Any way, that’s totally off-topic. At the event, they dimmed the lights and a video came over the jumbo screen. It was Coldplays “Fix You” and a montage of Olympic highlights. At the time, I was still running (not as much as I once had) but I felt completely overwhelmed with pride for these athletes. I still get goosebumps.

I can’t find the original video, but I found this one.  What’s your weird pump up song?

Avoiding injury: good ankle stretches

Ankle injuries suck. 

And realistically, who wants to hobble around if they can avoid it? If you weren’t already aware, the ankle joint is one of the major weight bearing structures in the body; which is why it’s important to stretch it. A few days ago I mentioned that my ankle felt tight while running (even after stretching.) I’ve had many rolled ankles in my day and want to avoid it if at all possible. So in an effort to take all proper precautions, I came across these from the Livestrong website. Hope it helps someone out there!

Ankle Roll

An ankle roll is a basic ankle stretch that can help warm the ligaments both through the top of the foot and along the back of the ankle. It’s easy to do as part of your regular warm up. From a standing position, spread your feet shoulder-width apart. Plant your left toe into the ground while your right foot remains flat. Rotate your left ankle forward and back, as if you were drawing a circle with your heel. Repeat five to eight times before stretching your other ankle in the same manner.

Stair Stretch

A stair stretch makes for an ideal conditioning stretch for both the ankle and the calf muscles, but it is not recommended if you have poor balance. Stand at the edge of a bottom stair, with your body facing the flight of stairs. Move backward until your heels hang off of the stair. Carefully drop your heels downward while still supporting yourself on the stair with your toes. Hold for a count of 10, suggests the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society. Repeat 10 times if possible.

Ankle Alphabet

Try an alphabet stretch for the ankle, which is especially effective for children. Sit on the ground with your legs straight out in front of you. Using your big toe as the “pencil,” write out the alphabet in the air in front of you, suggests the American Academy of Family Physicians. To make the stretch a game for younger athletes, have participants stretch in pairs and write letters and words to each other while they take turns guessing what the words are.

Band Stretch

For a deep stretch before exercise, use a resistance band to direct your ankle gently and get a full, all-encompassing stretch in every direction. Sit on a weight bench with one leg straight in front of you and one leg supporting you on the ground. Leave your foot and ankle dangling off the front of the bench. Wrap a resistance band across your instep, gripping the ends in your hands. Very gently move the band to the left and the right, getting a good stretch in each direction, suggests “Stack” magazine. Hold each stretch for 20 to 30 seconds before repeating on your other leg.

If you have any stretches that will help, please send them along – I promise to post!

Day 12: Glorious, glorious rest day!

Today is a rest day – THANK GOODNESS! I’m not too sore, but just need a break. I love rest days. However, they’re not to be confused with my cheat days. Yesterday I indulged and today I’ll get to put my feet up (well as much as you can put your feet up with an 18-month old running around.)

For the last several months, I’ve had cheat days. It’s one day of the week where I allow myself to eat a treat (or a few.) I feel like it’s a reward for the hard work I’ve put in. And let’s be serious, what the heck is the point of living if you’re constantly on a diet and always depriving yourself? I say, have a cheat day.Enjoy it and don’t feel guilty.

My cheat days consists of a couple of glasses of wine (or beer), maybe some chocolate and then something fun for supper or lunch. And for all you people out there who are thinking: “wow, that’s totally going to mess up her training and weight-loss!” I tell you this: I do not care. Let me reiterate: I DO NOT CARE. If I’m one of the lucky ones that live to the age of 80.4 (the age  Stats Canada says is average) do you really think reflections of my life will be not sticking to strict healthy eating EVERY day? That I’ll sit there and say, “Gee, I can’t believe I let myself have a chocolate bar. I know it was that damn chocolate bar that would finally did me in.” No. I won’t. In fact, I learned from a pretty cool lady that sometimes you should just do what YOU want to do (so long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else, that is.)

My grandmother (Mimi) was famous for eating an egg a day. Poached. Runny. (I know, sick right?) Now, when she had some cholesteral issues, the doctors suggested that she lay off the eggs. At this point, my grandmother was in her 80’s. She totally disregarded the advice and lived until 94.

Now, I’m not saying go crazy and have Wendy’s 3x that day; or eat a whole container of Häagen-Dazs.What I am saying is to live a little. Yes, yes – do so in moderation. And if you find yourself falling off the wagon after a cheat day it’s not the end of the world. It’s hard to keep cheats to one day, cause let’s be honest after a cheat day (e.g.: my birthday) it’s hard to resist that last piece of cake. Ask yourself “if I eat this cake, I’ll have to work just a little bit harder, am I willing to do that?” OR you can say “F— it.” And do it anyway. Whatever you decide, just be sure it makes YOU happy. Don’t worry about those people around you who think that because they resisted something that they’re somehow stronger. Or the elitist who will put you down because heaven-forbid you put REFINED sugar in your body. The actions and consequences are yours to own. Eg: you see this double chin, yep, that was McDonalds every day through uni. Oh the muffin top? Beers Thursday through Sunday around the same time… etc…

This is what I’m having for lunch today. I figure the veggies must cancel out the cheeseburger?! Whatever. It’s summer. 

Here is something I found on

For those of you who exercise regularly and eat a healthy balanced diet, have you ever considered giving yourself a “break” day? A day where you throw caution to the wind regarding your wellness regimen and allow yourself to cheat a bit? If you’re in the midst of trying to curb your sugar addiction or are on some sort of detox, I’m not talking to you. I’m talking to those who genuinely deserve a health-cation. You health-conscious individuals may want to give yourself a cheat day each week. Here’s why.

  1. Recovery: If your workout schedule includes lots of intense cardio or weight training, a rest day allows your muscles to recover and recuperate, setting you up for another week of workouts. Go for a massage, jump in the hot tub, or pay a visit to the sauna or steam room to help improve circulation.
  2. The Pleasure Principle: I’m all about everything in moderation, so if you’re eating healthy and exercising, indulging with a tiny sweet treat or a glass of wine here and there isn’t going to throw you off the wellness wagon. However, if you need to harness your cravings, take a page out of celeb-trainer Harley Pasternak’s playbook and schedule a cheat day. Pasternak thinks cheat days keep you from feeling deprived since they give you something to look forward to. Sandra Bullock is a fan of weekly cheat days, and Pasternak incorporated a cheat day into his 5-Factor Diet used byJessica Simpson and Eva Mendes.
  3. Dieters Gone Wild: The 4-Hour Body author Tim Ferris labels his Saturday cheat day “Dieters Gone Wild.” Taking the cheat day to the next level, Ferris gorges on all of his vices one day a week so for the other six he doesn’t even want to look at them. By dramatically spiking your caloric intake, Ferris says you can increase fat loss by ensuring your “metabolic rate doesn’t down-regulate from extended caloric restriction.” I’ll take his word for it (is it Saturday yet?!). But I do know how my body operates, and you know what’s happening with your body too; so if one day of total indulgence is too much for you, have some cake and eat it too — just don’t overdo it.
  4. R ‘n’ R: Sleeping in and staying in your pjs until noon once a week is good for the mind, body, and soul — I can’t stress enough how important sleep is. If your body just naturally wakes up early, try going to bed earlier on a Friday or Saturday night to clock some extra hours of snoozing on the weekend. It’s a great way to give yourself a kick start before the next week of work begins.

Enjoy your cheat days. You’ve earned them!