Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 year in review...

So, it's been an interesting year on the fitness front. My biggest goal for the year was to do the Calgary Ironman 70.3 and that did not happen. There are a variety of reasons for this, injury being first and foremost amoung them. After the Okanagan Half Marathon in 2009, it became rather apparent that I definitely had some problem with my foot. It turns out I had plantar fasciitis and a heel spur to go with it. This was very devastating to me as it elimated running from my repetoire for the foreseeable future. Unfortunately that killed any real motivation I had to keep at the fitness and things crumbled from there. I managed to gain about 25 pounds and just didn't care a whole lot.

In May, we ran the Mother's Day Run, only extra special for this year, my 4 year old son also ran the race. This is especially special as he's a preemie and the money raised was being donated to the NICU units in our city, to buy specific equipment that they needed or wanted. My sister-in-law and her fiance also ran with us. This is the first time that any family has participated with us!! And, how incredible to watch our 4-year-old finish his first ever 5km race. I was so proud of him and how he'd gone from this tiny baby fighting for his life to a spunky little 4-year old running serious races!!

I also did the Tri Diva Tri Triathlon in May. It was super chilly, but managed to finish my 250m swim, 9km bike and 2.5km bike despite minimal training. It was a fun event as I knew a few other people doing it and for many it was their first triathlon. I also did the Strathmore Women's Triathlon in August and it was a lot of fun. Again, I knew some people doing it, and it gave me the chance to continue to explore triathlon. I was not trained very well for the race, as I had done very little in the way of exercise leading up to it. The day before the race, I decided to use Jeremy's triathlon bike. It was a good decision on my part and I managed to do a nice good race in all three disciplines. Now if only I'd trained harder...

August was also Sebastian's second 5km race. And he even managed to shave a couple minutes off his time from his first race. It was fun, but running at a 4-year-old's pace does not exactly create a personal best. Perhaps I was using him as an excuse to not have to try harder? Hmmmmmm....

Well, something changed in me in August. After doing the Triathlon in Strathmore, I wanted to do better. I knew I could do better. I truly reached a turning point. I no longer wanted excuses and things began to change. First was exercise. It became a priority. I was not going to let any excuse prevent me from working out. I managed to exercise every day for the rest of the month. That made me happy. And, I started watching my eating. I used the Livestrong MyPlate to do this. It kept me very disciplined.

September brought on Melissa's Road Race. This was a 10km and one of my favourite races of the year. I knew I wasn't going to be as fast as I was the year before, but I put forth a good effort, and it was one of my better times at that race!! And for one of the first times ever, my husband beat me in a race, totally fair and square. I was very proud of him!! My reward that day for having exercised for a month every day, was to eat at the bison, and it was so worth every calorie!!

October was next with the Ambulance Chaser Run. This time, I ran with my sister and my son. Jeremy set out to do a personal best, and achieved that. Sebastian, Kim and I set out to finish a 5km. It was fun and we had glow sticks and enjoyed the race. Afterwards, there was Spolumbo's sausages to enjoy along with a playground for the little guys to play on (indoors). Sebastian was not the youngest to participate, another four year old claimed that honour, but there's a good chance he was the youngest one to have done the entire race on his own (no stroller rides for him!!).

The eating and exercise continued through November. At some point, the eating sort of drifted from it's discipline (I blame the holiday season for that!!). I've still kept at the exercise with complete dedication. It's now been more than four months of exercise every day and I have no plans to stop that anytime soon!!

The resolution run will be the way I finish off 2010. It's my plan to go run my little heart out... not sure that it will be a personal best (weather forecast is snow, and cold, and likely the route could be icy), but I know I'll finish strong!! And, what better way to send off 2010 and welcome 2011!!

Oh, and I almost forgot!! I completed my first AFLCA course, and I got accepted into Mount Royal University for the personal trainer certificate. Bring on the credentials to help others achieve their goals too!! Looking forward to that course starting in January!!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Looking back at my goals for 2010...

So, I really can't believe it's the end of 2010 already, but here it is and it's time to look back and see if I managed to accomplish anything I set out to do at the beginning of the year.

1. I did NOT complete the Calgary half Ironman. Sad about this, but was still coming off an injury and just did not put in the time needed to train properly. The Mother's Day run however, I did complete and we raised over $1500 for Neonatal Intensive Care. And, it was my little NICU baby's first ever 5km run. I can't believe he finished it all on his own!! He was amazing!! And if a four-year-old can complete a five kilometre than really, what's my excuse!!

2. Decluttering our house. I did get lots done on this front. I boxed up all the baby clothes through size 18 months. We donated tons of toys and kitchen items, and a whole bunch of books. Both my husband and I also went through our closets and got rid of a bunch of clothes. We also removed all the books from our office, with a plan to only keep the ones we want to see in the next six months. Have only needed one or two, so that plan is working!! And we also put all our cookbooks on probation. They each have a sticker on them, and once we have cooked from them, the sticker comes off, after a year, we'll see which ones we really use or not!! But, I still feel like I could do so much more. More with kitchen stuff and toys especially!!

3. Using my Starbucks mug. I can say this was one of the easy challenges. Now, I almost never leave the house without my mug (or my kids for that matter), if I plan to visit Starbucks. It's fantastic!! Even my husband is mostly onboard with this one. Early in the year, I took my son for a hot chocolate and brought his cup. He nearly had a meltdown when he realized he wasn't getting a paper cup. But, we chatted about it and eventually he came around. Now he brings his own cup even!! And for Christmas this year, we got cold reusable cups, so next summer, passion tea lemonades and chai fraps will be in reusable cups too!!

4. Trying to pay down debt. Well, failed miserably on this one. Ended up owing on taxes, so that didn't help, and then my husband lost his job, so we never really got to work on this much. I'm hoping for 2011!!

5. Hmmm... something that scares me, never really tried anything this year. In part because there just wasn't the cash to devote to it. I know it's probably an excuse more than anything, but hey!!

6. Reading. I read a lot more this year than some years, which was awesome. I even started reading the Harry Potter series again lately. I still love O Magazine and read every issue cover to cover. And I've been reading a bunch of blogs as well as novels even. Still wish I read more, but every bit is more than not!!

7. I really need to make the journals for my boys a priority. It was not this year. I took them to work several times, but just never got around to doing much.

8. Never really volunteered at any races. We cheered on athletes at the Calgary Police Half Marathon, and a couple of triathlons, but that is about it. Didn't even get to volunteer at the Calgary Marathon this year!! Oh well, can try harder for 2011!!

9. I took my first fitness course this year, and was accepted at Mount Royal University into their Personal Trainer Certificate which starts in less than 3 weeks!! I'm very excited for this. It's the first step into a new career direction, and I couldn't be happier!!

10. And watch less TV, I definitely did this!! I taped the shows I loved, and hardly watched anything else. Sometimes I didn't even watch the ones I taped!! Being primarily nightshifts for my worklife has definitely assisted in that. Furthermore, I started taping some of my shows only in our basement so that if I want to watch them, I have to be on the treadmill or trainer to do it!!

So, all in all, I succeeded on at least half of them, and some are sort of half successes, so really I guess I should be proud of those efforts. Next up I'll have to see what's in store for 2011!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Other people working out...

So tonight I tried to see if anyone would run outside with me. Almost had a running buddy, but she didn't have outdoor gear, but might bring it tomorrow...

However, I went down to the gym, thinking maybe weights, maybe running, and settled on the treadmill. There are three treadmills in our work gym. And in a matter of minutes, all three were being used in full force. It was great. Three women, all in a row, using their break from work, to exercise. I was very impressed. It's so nice seeing people be active like that. Especially before the new year even!!

So we will see, if tomorrow, I do, in fact, having a running buddy... it's only supposed to be -11!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The side benefit of a gastro bug...

So, I had decided to make my goal for December to simply be "staying the course". In other words, I didn't want my weight to go over 175lbs. I just wanted to stay happily where I was. I knew there would be lots of temptations over the month with holiday treats and fancy dinners etc, and figured staying where I was would better than trying to lose more, and not, because of the temptations around me.

But then a nasty gastro bug went through our house. First my oldest son, then the baby, then the husband, and finally me. I tried so hard to not get sick, but inevitably, that was not to be the case. So, instead of staying the course, I ended up with two days of hardly any eating. It was not pleasant. I hate feeling like that. I still managed to get in some exercise, simply for the timing of it all, with one day simply walking on the treadmill, and the next day, doing a short run, which felt about a hundred times harder than it should have!!

The end result was, the weight continued to drop. So rather than stay the course, I dropped an extra five pounds. Suddenly, I've been weighing in, just under 170lbs. This is huge!! I couldn't be happier. I know there are still a bunch of days left for December, but there's more hope now, and my new "stay the course" is about 5 pounds less than I imagined. So, I still doubt I'll lose much for weight for the rest of December, but I'm happy that I'm likely going to be about 5 pounds less than I thought I would be!!

I'd still have rather not had the bug in the first place though!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A streak continues... 128 days and counting...

I haven't been blogging a whole lot lately, but I can assure you, I am still out there, being active and trying to eat well. As a matter of fact, my resolve to exercise every day is still in full force. Today was day 128. Last week, I even did stuff through a nasty little flu (granted I was only walking on the treadmill, but it was still something!!). I wonder if it is considered a habit yet, or at what point it would be. I really make an effort every day to find a little time to devote to exercise. And I aim for a half an hour. A few days have been more like 20 minutes, but the vast majority are at least a half hour, sometimes longer.

And, I've varied the activities immensely. The majority of days are still running, but because I don't want to injure my foot again, I'm very aware of including a variety of activities. So far this has included running (outside and on the treadmill), cycling (on the trainer and outside), swimming (laps and laps and laps), walking, weight lifting, resistance bands and ball workout, the rowing machine, and maybe even the occasional workout dvd (although that might have been before I started this streak). I continually update my wall calendar at home and it's fun to see all the green marker on there for each day of exercise.

I'm not sure when the streak will end, but I love it. I love that I take some time every day to be active. I think it sets a good example for my kids about being active. Plus, just this month I was reading in Oprah Magazine about the importance of taking time for yourself, and that in order to be the best person I can be, I need to take time for myself every day. So, that's what the exercise has been. And I love it. I crave it. So, how many more days will this streak last...