the Sunshine Award – thank you ladies!

I was nominated for the “Sunshine Award.” This award is given from bloggers to other bloggers “who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere.” I have to say how privileged I feel to be nominated by such a dynamic duo as the gals from “We Shall Have Pie” – Jenny and Tina. Thank you so much for thinking of me and passing this nomination onto RunningKatTales.

Sunshine Award RunningKatTales

The Rules:  Post the Sunshine Award image, answer the following 10 questions and note 10 blogs you wish to nominate.

The 10 questions and my answers:

  • Favorite color: My favorite color is purple.  Always has been. I continually get made fun of because one Christmas my parents got me EVERYTHING in purple and I ecstatically kept repeating, “Oh, purple! My favouriteeeeee colourrrrrrr!!”
  • Favorite animal: I love dogs (when I know them), but ironically after half my life was spent anxious around horses, I have to say they are my favourite animals. And now that I’m living in the Wild West and on a Calgary Stampede committee I really do appreciate how beautiful they are.
  • Favorite number: 44.
  • Favorite non-alcoholic drink: Coffee.
  • Facebook or Twitter: Twitter – I am obsessed!
  • My passion:  Family. Running. Community.
  • Favorite pattern: Pretty well everything except for peasant style.
  • Favorite day of the week: Thursday; then you have the whole weekend to look forward to.
  • Favorite flower: Lily.

And my seven nominees are:

*** These are blogs I follow regularly. I know that you asked for ten, but I thought it would be silly to throw up another three random blogs out of nowhere.

 

Day 100: A delightful #Christmas run & thanks!

YAHOO! Kat from RunningKatTales done Day 100 of trainingYesterday marked my one hundredth day of training, a pretty special milestone for me. And coincidentally I received an email congratulating me on hitting one hundred “likes” as well.

When I began training in August there was certainly a part of me that was a afraid that I’d give up after a month or even a week (despite the blogs purpose to keep me on track). And I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that there are still days now that I get a little anxious thinking: “Holy crap, what if I can’t do it!?” But then I have to remind myself that there will be many little milestones before I hit my goal and I’m okay with that because I believe I can do it. 

And the timing of yesterdays milestone couldn’t have been more perfect. Coincidently, I had been asked to look over a manuscript about perseverance in business and life; it was during this that I was reminded that my own personal success is based on belief in myself (thank you Millar; author Boardroom to Basecamp). It doesn’t matter if your goal is to run a company or run a marathon, if you don’t believe in yourself you’ll never get anywhere. So as I hit this milestone with a mixture of elation and trepidation of what’s to come, I know that in order to succeed I have no choice but to believe in myself.

And in the words of Sir Richard Branson:

I believe in myself. I believe in the hands that work, in the brains that think and in the hearts that love.

And with this milestone on my mind, I had a terrific run. I threw on some Christmas music and ran through my neighbourhood enjoying the beautifully lit homes. I kind of felt like a kid in a candy shop; my head was swivelling in every direction to catch all the lights and decorations. Some houses are just so gorgeous; they’re picturesque with their white lights and red ribbons. Then there are houses where you know some “characters” live there. They’ve got loads of bright lights of all colours, twinkling away. It was great. I didn’t have a PR or PB, but I really enjoyed myself (and even the cold!) I finished confident, feeling terrific and hopeful for what lays ahead.

I truly hope it goes without saying that I’m incredibly grateful for the encouragement from everyone out there who has followed me and my mission to get fit and train.

Thank you P & F for constantly reminding me what’s important and how to keep it close to my heart.

Thank you to my awesome running buddy who listens to me vent, makes me laugh and is just an all-around great friend.

Thanks to my family – I know I’m probably too boisterously honest for a small-town girl, but I was raised to speak my mind (sorry if I embarrass you 🙂 )!

To my WP running buddies: You. YES YOU. YOU. ARE. AWESOME.

To my crew on Facebook and Twitter – especially Lorna – you always “like” my posts, even when they’re boring and I’m appreciative of that 🙂

Thank you ALL from the very bottom of my heart. Your notes, comments, encouragement and “funnies” keep me motivated. It keeps me putting one foot in front of the other (which seems like an easy task until you have to do it for an hour-plus!) – this is OUR milestone!  And I know to some people this all seems like such a silly mission in life, but to me, it’s a big part of my bucket list. And I very-much look forward to checking it off! And also, I don’t give a flying f… what the haters think. Haters gonna hate!

THANK YOU FOR SHARING “OUR” TRAINING DAY 100 MILESTONE WITH ME!!!!

Here are tonights stats:Day 100 of Training! Amazing!

  • Distance: 6.44 km
  • Time: 40:08
  • Pace: 6:14
  • Best Pace: 5:15

Day 78: 2 miles slow and missing @Cape_Breton

“There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.”

For the next part of half marathon training, my schedule has long runs slated for Saturdays. Try as I may, I can never run long distances on Saturdays, I don’t know why (mental, I’m guessing). Anyhow, after having kind of a “blah” day, it was all I could do to reverse my Saturday and Sunday runs (which I believe I’ll do permanently). So instead of running four miles tonight, I ran two. And I don’t regret it. At all. I should also mention that it was getting late in the day and I still didn’t want to peel my behind off the couch (we were watching movies) and I got a motivating tweet from one of my online running buddies:

THANK YOU! I needed that push – I honestly thought to myself, I’d rather be running than planking . . . sucker! 🙂

I started out really slow. My quads are still very tight (but thank you Runninbear a.k.a Clair for sending me the stretch video – it helps!) It took me almost half the run to get really warmed up. Once I got going I just cruised around the neighbourhood checking things out. My legs felt incredibly heavy and although I pumped my arms harder, there was no way I was going any faster. I gave in and just ran at a comfortable pace for the duration. It was slippery, but the temperature was above zero – which was delightful!

During my run I noticed that there are about half a dozen homes already lit up with Christmas lights! I had to laugh because it reminded me of walking/running through the neighbourhood this time last year and seeing a house that could only be described as the Griswold’s Part II. The lights were EVERYWHERE! I did manage to snap a picture of it, but now I can’t find it. There are no words to truly describe it.

It also reminded me of Christmas’s at home. When I was growing up, my parents were pretty traditional with the lights: some in the windows, on some trees and one Frosty the Snowman hanging out by the deck. Does anyone (other than my siblings + parents) know what I’m talking about? I would go as far to say that this particular Christmas decoration is vintage. I also want you to note that if you scroll across the photo it says “Frosty Misses You” – this is how my parents saved the photo and sent it to me last year. Notice there is also no snow on the ground? As you can see, Frosty is so old that his colour is faded. The poor thing is just hanging on by the red of his hat. Which is why several years ago, we told our dad to get rid of it or we (the kids) would. Of course, he didn’t so we tied Frosty over the side of the deck so that when our dad got home it looked like Frosty was trying to off himself. But, Frosty still lives today and I expect I’ll be getting photos shortly to prove it!

The whole point of my rambling, is that this time of year is one of my favourite times to run. Yep. It’s cold out. Yep. It’s slippery. Uh huh. It’s hard to breath. Yes. People think you’re crazy. But you there’s no way around it. You cannot beat Christmas lights and spirit. When I still spent Christmas’s in Cape Breton, I would do my usual evening running and it went by that much faster by checking out all the lights and beautifully decorated homes – I miss it. So, the next few weeks I’m going to start reporting back on all the fantastic stuff I see. And if anyone out there wants to submit photos – get at ‘er!

Here are tonights stats: 

  • Distance: 3:23
  • Time: 20:14
  • Pace: 6:17
  • Best Pace: 5:34

 

Is the #plankaday challenge safe?

Surprisingly, no one has written anything explicitly about whether it is or isn’t – or at least, that I can find.

I never even thought about this question until someone who reads my blog posted a comment that it’s important to give your body a rest. She said: “I wouldn’t recommend doing planks everyday. Your body needs to recover so space it out. Recovery builds muscle!!” So first, thank you for taking the time to comment. I wouldn’t have even thought about it and I should have!  Obviously, I hadn’t even thought about this and you guys know that I’m just learning & re-learning a lot of this stuff over. So in a quest to see if it was okay, I took my research to the places I’m most confident in: Google and Twitter (because unfortunately I don’t have a 24/7 trainer who can answer my questions.)

I tweeted several times asking people if they knew whether planking a day was safe. There’s a group operating under @PlankADayNation and @PlankPolice who responded with this:

When I checked out the link, there was some good information on proper form and all that jazz, but nothing that says it’s okay to complete daily. It does outline the benefits of planking such as being an awesome core exercise (which helps with posture and can minimize lower back pain). It does suggest that quality is better than quantity, but still nothing stating whether it’s good/bad daily. And before you snap and say, “Doesn’t she get that NO pain NO gain rule?” Yes. I understand that when you work muscles, they will ache. If you want results, you must push. But I’m not worried about the pain in so much as derailing my training due to injury.

After TRX last night, I am sore. And just as NeNe Leakes is Very Rich, I am VERY SORE! So despite the fact that tonight was supposed to be speed training, I won’t be making it and I’m not even sure I could even complete my #plankaday.

So, I’m asking you – friends, athletes, experts – Is the #PlankADay challenge legitimately safe?

Day 75: 5km #run & #plankaday challenge fr @ChatelaineMag

Today was a 5km run day at a slow and steady pace. Ordinarily that wouldn’t be a big deal, I mean, I’ve been running 5k’s for a while now. However, I have never run a 5k the same day that I completed the #plankaday challenge from Chatelaine Magazine. What’s that, you may ask…

The “challenge” defined:

Complete one plank per hour for twelve hours (Learn more) And being the stubborn person that I am, I decided to really challenge myself and do at least one minute continuous plank; I’m proud to say not only did I do one minute continuous, but I actually completed several two minute continuous planks. If you are better at math than yours truly, that would be at least 12 minutes of planks; But I finished the challenge with 21 minutes of planks! I also have to tell you that my son did a few planks with me for moral support. Although he did more of a downward dog and when I was nearing the end of the challenge, he came over looking very serious and gave me a pat on the back. I laughed and then laughed some more.

Hence, the reason I feel like this explains why my run was a little tougher this evening than usual. The temperature was pretty nice around -2 or so and I had lots of fuel in my system, but lifting my legs and trying to pump my arms was a bloody nightmare! It didn’t matter how hard I tried to pump my arms, I could not get my legs to go any faster. Seriously. When I began my run, for the first kilometre or so, I was running at a pace almost two minutes off of my normal long distance pace. I finally got warmed up and got it down, but there was no negotiating with my body to go any faster this evening. I guess it’s a good thing that the run tonight was supposed to be at a slow and steady pace. The sidewalks were treacherous as well; between the slush in some areas and sheer ice in others I was elated to hear the coach come over the headphones to tell me the interval was complete.

Tomorrow is a cross training day. If I can get my act together, I plan to hit the gym early in the morning. Not sure what I’m going to do (we all know how much I hate biking). Thinking about hitting the elliptical up and maybe some weights (though I may have to wait and see how the old legs/arms are feeling after these planks!) What’s everyone else doing these days for cross training? And if I can’t make it to the gym in the morning, it will have to wait until tomorrow night because I get to see my best friend tomorrow! She has a layover here in Calgary (from Halifax) and I cannot wait to see her! It feels like Christmas Eve! YAHOO!

Tonights stats: 

  • Distance: 5.02 km
  • Time: 31:37
  • Pace: 6:18
  • Best Pace: 5:37

 

Anyway, friends, hope everyone is happy and healthy out there! Happy Trails 🙂

Twitter Plank-A-Day Challenge. Yes please!

I LOVE Twitter. And this is why: there’s tons of useful information on pretty well every topic you can think of. For anyone out there trying to physically challenge themselves, you should check out @fitfluential. Very cool. It’s a group of fitness enthusiasts who share what they’re up to – so you can follow along and try out the things they do. And there are loads of other enthusiasts as well – just search “fitness.”

For example, @SarahStanley started the plank-a-day challenge,where you add 20 seconds to the plank EVERY day! But you know how I found out about her? Through a blog I follow (and vice versa) – and then through her Twitter feed – @Evelinruns (here’s her blog).

I’m still about 20 seconds behind, but I’m going to keep trying! This morning I did a plank for 2 minutes and 20 seconds (yesterday I did three planks to make up for missing it the second day of the challenge – I forgot!!). Anyway, as I did the plank this morning I started to sweat about 60 seconds into it.  And as I started sweating, I starting slipping on the tile (I’m real graceful like that). My son rested his hand on my back to help. He tried to do a downward dog so he wasn’t left out, but quit.

I’ll be following this one through, but I’m terrified at what this will look like; I may have to cut it down to 10 seconds per day – but at least I’m doing it, eh?!

Good luck to all those plankers out there!