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 🙂

THANK YOU!! Can’t wait for @BAMCalgary

Thank you!

Guest Blogger: Melanie Bowen + exercise and cancer

cancer_more than ribbonLiving with cancer can be one of the most difficult things that you do in life. You might be wondering about your future and what you can do in order to feel better each day. The truth is that exercise and a healthy lifestyle can be wonderful options for just about any cancer patient. It does not matter if you were recently diagnosed, undergoing treatment or are in remission, exercise is still a great way to improve the quality of your life. There are a few ways that exercise can accomplish this for anyone who’s suffering from mesothelioma, breast cancer, or any other type of cancer.

Exercise helps you both physically and emotionally. Physically, exercise helps to provide you with more energy and releases feel-good endorphins into the body. If you can remember that great feeling you got after your last workout, just imagine that feeling being incorporated into your daily life and the impact it will have on you during treatment. As a cancer patient, you may be dealing with anger, depression and sadness. Exercise can help you to feel more alive and energetic when things around you seem glum.

When it comes to the emotional aspect of exercise, it is easy to see the benefits that it can have for you. For one, just getting away from your everyday surroundings is a way to feel better in general. Whether you decide to join a local gym or just make regular trips to the park, it is easy to see why so many people exercise every single day, whether they have cancer or not.

As always, you should speak with a health professional before you begin an exercise regimen. Your doctor will be able to tell you how much exercise is enough for you considering your current state of health. This will help tremendously when it comes to helping you get the best out of your daily routine, especially during treatment. Exercise is healthy for just about anyone of any age, so incorporating it into your everyday schedule is a fantastic thing for when you’re undergoing cancer treatment or are even in remission. You will find that the benefits you reap from exercise help tremendously when it comes to your physical strength and your ability to feel better about your situation. Speaking with a knowledgeable health professional will help you to determine what is right for you when it comes to an exercise schedule.

Melanie Bowen 

Yoga Magazine shares my story in their Feb issue!

kat macaulay yoga magYou guys, I am so excited!

I’ve had a really awful week, but it just took a turn for AWESOME! Today I was minding my own business, snuck outside to grab the mail and there it was… the February issue of Yoga Magazine with my story in it! I wrote them over a year ago to tell them about how yoga had changed my life and a few months ago the Assistant Editor contacted me to see if they could use it. Of course I was thrilled and said yes!

yoga magazine kat macaulayI know how important it is to share the struggles we all have. From juggling life with post-partum depression to gaining weight (and trying to lose it). And I know how important it is to know that you’re not alone and although it’s hard to swallow your pride (in my case, very hard) the benefits of sharing far outweigh keeping up appearances. I also should say that I find it offensive when people act as though adjusting from single, no worries to having a plus-one, is a breeze. So in the words of Michelle Tanner: Puh-lease get real.

Thanks to Yoga Magazine & Martin Gill for including me in this – I’m so honoured! 🙂

Rest Day: the #Chaturanga #Challenge is born!

yogarat_Chaturenga ChallengeAfter my 9.5 mile run yesterday, I took a rest day today. But I have to tell you, my legs feel great – not a bit stiff or sore – it’s unbelievable!

So since it was a rest day, I decided to do a bit of Yoga this evening. I was supposed to be focusing, but I couldn’t stop thinking about how I should really challenge myself to incorporate yoga into my daily routine. I used to be really good at doing it in the morning, but life has gotten pretty hectic, so in light of not wanting to make excuses (like being too busy) it’s on the list! And as a result, I’ve developed the “CHATURANGA CHALLENGE” [duh duh duh]

WHY? You may ask…

I love how I feel after I do yoga, so why not incorporate a little bit every day? This part of the sun salutation strengthens arms and wrists and it also tightens core muscles (Oh snap!)

First, watch this video to see proper form. It is difficult (or at least it is for me) but you can modify and complete from your knees. It is amazing how fast your strength will increase. Trust me!

* Modifications: You can get a feel for this challenging position by practicing it standing upright. Stand and face a wall, a few inches away from the wall. Press your hands against the wall, slightly lower than the level of your shoulders. Imagine that you are trying to push yourself away from the wall, but the firmness of your shoulder blades against the back prevents any movement. Lengthen your tailbone into your heels and lift the top of your sternum toward the ceiling.

* Beginners Tip: The completed form of Chaturanga Dandasana is quite difficult to perform at first, until your arms, back, and legs are strong enough to support you. From Plank Pose, begin by lowering your knees to the floor and then, with an exhalation, lower your sternum to within an inch or two above the floor.

Here are the rules:

  • Pick a start day – this will be Day 1. 
  • On Day 1: complete one (1) chaturanga
  • On Day 2: complete two (2) chaturanga’s
  • And so on… until you forget to do them, or you just cannot possibly complete any more!
  • Make sure you tweet about it or leave a comment to let us know that you’ve completed your chaturanga’s for the day!

*** I had a teacher who had to do 100 a few times a day, so I know we can do this! I’m setting my goal to 50 for now. I think it’s manageable if they’re done right.

So – are you in?

Day 79: 4 mile run through the neighbourhood

“Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up, it knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve. It doesn’t matter whether you’re the lion or a gazelle-when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.”

-Christopher McDougall

This morning I woke up and couldn’t even think about going running. I didn’t feel like it. I’m certainly no gazelle and if you asked my son, he would say I was more like a bear 😉 Now, I’m not sure if I’m just hitting a wall or if it’s the fact that my legs are killing me. I’m not sure if it’s time to just give my body a longer rest, or what. It took a lot of motivation this morning to get going. I read a few blogs and a few things on line. Reviewed my favourite quotes. Completed a round of planks. Ate my regular porridge, consumed some caffeine + water. Then when I just needed a little push, I was recipient of a teeny bit of coaxing from the peanut gallery and I finally hit the pavement.

The first thing I noticed was that I had shin splints (Shin splints: known as medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS), can usually be attributed to overloading the muscles of the lower extremities or to biomechanical irregularities. Muscle imbalance, including weak core muscles, can cause lower-extremity injuries, and inflexibility and tightness of the gastrocnemiussoleus, and plantar muscles (commonly the flexor digitorum longus) may contribute, as well. Increasing activity, intensity, and duration too quickly leads to shin splints because the tendons and muscles are unable to absorb the impact of the shock force as they become fatigued; also, the tibial bone-remodeling capabilities are overloaded.) I immediately thought, what the heck, do I need new sneakers? I probably do. But this is likely due to using and overexerting muscles during TRX on Wednesday and nothing is quite back to normal. As I had feared, it has interfered with my training so now I’m a little hesitant to go back for more abuse!

Despite the aches in my muscles, I still pushed faster than I have the last few runs. I certainly didn’t enjoy my run that much today, but it was a beautiful day for an outdoor activity (I even saw a guy running in shorts!) The temperature is warmer than it has been, so everything is melting but the ice that is left is extremely slippery. In less than a second I almost bailed twice, startling the fellow behind me (sorry!) For those of you out there training for longer distances, do you only focus on the running & weight training? Or do you also attend classes?

Anyway, that’s it for the day. Tomorrow is a rest day and I’m contemplating doing some yoga tomorrow evening at the Trico Centre.

Here are todays stats:

  • Distance: 6.44 km
  • Time: 37:25
  • Pace: 5:48
  • Best Pace: 4:50

Hope everyone is happy and healthy out there!

 

Day 77: #Speed training at the track. Ouch.

“The five S’s of sports training are: stamina, speed, strength, skill, and spirit; but the greatest of these is spirit.” -Ken Doherty

Tonight was speed training at the indoor track because it was way too slippery outside. I’m not much of an indoor runner (as you know) for a few reasons: (1) it’s boring, (2) I feel like people stare and (3) it’s too stuffy. I do find a huge difference running on the rubberized floor though, my knees are thanking me rather than hating on me this evening. However, my quads are still incredibly sore from TRX the other evening. No joke. I’m still bracing to go down and up stairs, as well as sitting (first time I have ever wished I had those senior handles in the loo). But the stubborn person that I am, I cannot bare the thought of losing another day of training so I felt like powering through it. Not going to lie, literally half-way through I was almost ready to quit.

The internal struggle:

“Don’t be silly Kat, no one else would continue in this pain. Quit. You have blisters on your feet. Your quads are burning. Your chest is burning. You’re red and sweaty.QUIT!vs. “You can do this. You’re half-way done. Everyone else has had awesome runs this week, join them. Dig deep. Take a break if you have to, but DON’T QUIT!!“.

So, I grabbed a quick drink of water and hopped back on the track. And then when I had about six minutes left I took another break to stretch. I didn’t quit.

In total, I did ten minutes of sprinting and twenty minutes of regular pace running. So the intervals were one minute sprint, two minutes regular running (sometimes slow). I have absolutely no idea how many laps I completed, but I didn’t really care this time I was just thrilled to finish. I felt really good for the first 15 minutes, but it took a lot of willpower to continue the sprinting once I hit the halfway mark. I am proud to say that I finished on a sprint interval and finished strong. I took a half lap around the track just walking – my legs felt like rubber! It reminded me of the days when we would be training for basketball and had to do suicide after suicide after suicide (without the throwing up afterward). I wouldn’t say it was completely miserable because I actually felt like I showed the track who was boss but I would say that I’d take hill training over speed. Nuff said.

To cool down was some yoga and of course, planks. I did lots of stretching and drank lots of water and now I’m just relaxing in front of the tube.

Hope everyone is having a terrific Friday out there!