Day 190 & Day 191: Cross-training and 5km of exploding pain in shins

If you’re going through hell, keep going.

Yesterday was a cross training day at the gym. I did thirty minutes on the AMT and then I did what I will describe as “hell-for-abs.” I bought this app called iBootcamp and it kicked my arse (well, my abs.) As I am still paying for it today (ouch!) The workout really did feel great though and I enjoyed the gym more than usual (I always like people-watching; except for the cocky teenage boys who smell bad, I could do without them.)

shin splintsThis evening I had planned on an 8km this evening, but I only did 5km. Now, in my head, that is a bit of a fail. However, after the first 250m, I almost turned around. But I pushed myself to do another 250m, and then another and then another. Finally, I told myself if I did at least 5km I could call it a night. I didn’t want to quit because I didn’t have the energy, or the weather or not the right kind of music on my iPhone, I wanted to throw in the towel because I had the absolute worst pains in my shins. They were EXPLODING with pain. My right leg is still throbbing!

Despite being an absolutely beautiful evening, the entire run was awful. Just awful. The mosquitos are out already and I have bloody legs and arms. At any rate, I guess I will have to make up for missing the 8km but I am pretty proud of myself that I kept going even though every bit of me wanted to quit!

Day 177 and Day 178: walking (or running) on sunshine.

“Your body will argue that there is no justifiable reason to continue. Your only recourse is to call on your spirit, which fortunately functions independently of logic.”

walking on sunshineLast night I was pressed for time, as I left my run to the end of the day (of course…) I completed 4.84km on the treadmill in 28:00, which I was really pleased with. It isn’t my fastest time, but for treadmill running it is remarkable improvement. For some reason, I always find it takes more effort to go the same distance. Why is that? I googled (naturally) to see what other people are saying. So far it seems somewhat split. Some folks find treadmill running way easier than outdoor running, and the other half seem to believe (like me) that treadmill running is more challenging. I do believe part of it is obviously mental, but when I did a little more digging I learned that if the machine isn’t calibrated properly it can give results either way (e.g.: the machine may say you’re only running a 11 minute mile, when in fact you may be running a 10 or 9 minute mile; OR it could say you are running a 9 minute mile and you could be running a 11 minute mile – make sense?) Now, I’m not sure if the machine I was on last night was calibrated properly but I ran my little heart out and was sweating like a pig when I finished. Whatever the case, I had a good workout!

Here are last nights stats:

runkeeper at trico centre

I love running outside, especially now that the ice has cleared. However, I will tell you that loose gravel is the pits! I slipped a few times today; I didn’t fully wipe out but I was darn close! I really struggled with the run this evening. My legs felt really heavy and my whole body just felt tired. It was one of those runs where within the first few steps you know it’s going to be a doozy. The temperature was perfect and I did a few minor hills, but other than that I was pretty pleased when all was said and done.

Here are tonights stats:

runkeeper calgary

Tomorrow is a rest day – YAHOO!

Hope everyone is happy and healthy out there!

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.”

Day 151: 5km on the treadmill and 15 minutes on the AMT

funny comic girl on treadmillOkay, so yesterday we got a major blast of cold weather (like a 20 degree difference). Generally, I would suck it up and go out however, that’s after becoming acclimatized to it. NOT after the previous day being +11. So I felt really unmotivated to run outside. I kept putting it off and putting it off; I went back and forth on my plans: Ill run at the gym… No. I’ll run outside… I’ll run at the gym… No. I’m not going to run. No I’ll run outside… this went on until I realized it was 8:45 p.m. and I just couldn’t motivate myself.

I knew I had to make today count, so I went to the gym and hit the treadmill. I started off at 5.5 speed and incline of 4. Then I wasn’t paying attention when I was lowering it and got to -3 on elevation. Uhhh – hello?!?! When was this feature added to treadmills?! I smirked my entire run. Now, I didn’t run the whole thing at -3, but I did a good chunk. And for anyone who participates in the Cabot Trail Relay Race in Cape Breton (May) and running leg 14; you need to either get one of these or get to a gym that has one. Awesome.

Anyway-  had a great run despite my hate of treadmills. Then I hopped on the AMT and did another 15 minutes – by the time I went to pick F up at daycare, I was wiped right out (but in a good way!)

Hope everyone is happy and healthy out there!

Happy Friday & Happy Trails!

Day 146 & Day 147: Snow running and Cross Training!

Calgarys Sidewalks photo 2 Again, I’m combining two training days in one post. Yesterday was a gorgeous day so I hit the road for a 5km run. I had initially planned to do somewhere between 8km – 10km, however, the sidewalks were absolutely treacherous so I cut it at 5km. In fact, that’s why I took photos because despite being absolutely glorious I couldn’t wrap my head around how people with mobility issues are supposed to manoeuvre. I’m able-bodied and I had to run out into traffic to cut across Anderson. And I’m not above going out there to shovel on my own, God knows I’ve shovelled our neighbours pathways several times this winter, but I wonder why the city doesn’t do this? Anyway,  I also didn’t stop the time at stoplights because my hands were so cold; so the time isn’t really a terrific reflection of the run. It was nice to get out though, I have spent the last several weeks working out mostly indoors. It seems I’ve caught some other bug again. Actually, I’m not sure I ever fully recovered from the first one to be honest! Runny nose, sore throat and horrendous headache. Oy vey!

Here are yesterdays stats:photo 3

  • Distance: 5.03km
  • Time: 34:49
  • Pace: 6:55
  • Best Pace: 5:25

Today I was up early and headed to the gym for cross training. I did about 30 minutes on the elliptical followed by about 10-15 minutes on the mats between YOGA and Tabata workout. I am always wary before a long run that I don’t push too hard; I want to preserve as much strength as possible! 🙂 Anyway, that’s it for workouts. It is a fantastic day out there, Calgary! Get at ‘er!

 

 

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!

Day 144 and Day 145: snow, CT and hill training – giddy up.

Someecard Funny!So I’ve been a tad busy lately so my blogging hasn’t been on track (sorry!) But despite that, I have been going full tilt with training. The day before yesterday I completed cross training at the gym on the elliptical and then did some yoga. It felt great! And yesterday I did about 40 minutes on the treadmill, varying my speed and elevation. I started out at 5 for both and gradually got myself up to 15 for elevation and 6.5 for speed. It was good. Got my sweat on. Due to my flu and other stuff over the past few weeks my training was thrown off a bit in terms of distance, but I plan to get back on track (literally and figuratively) within the next week.

Stay tuned!

Happy trails 🙂