Monday, January 31, 2011

One BIG goal =complete

Although I didn't talk about it a whole lot on this blog, the end of January brings about the completion of a really big goal for me. I've repeatedly talked about how eating out can be a problem for me, I waste a lot of money and I don't always make the healthiest choices when eating out. Well, me and my sister were sitting in Wendys on January 1st with our younger cousin and we decided that we were sick of wasting our money. We had moved in together THAT day and realized we could definitely go a whole month without eating out.

So we made the goal, that day that for the whole month of January we would not be eating out, and today marks the completion of that goal :) 

I've brought every lunch, I've made every supper (well, WE made every supper) and cooked every breakfast. With the exception of one poutine this past weekend and a few timbits at work, all the food thats passed my list has been bought at a grocery store (and we didn't even buy any pre-made stuff).

Its actually been an awesome month for eating. Especially since I got a vegetarian cookbook for christmas. I've made a ton of recipes from it including:
-crunchy almond noodle salad
-roasted vegetable cous cous salad
-tofu and broccoli in peanut sauce
-vegetarian chili fries
-crunchy baked mac and cheese
-tofu salad sandwiches

Along with those ones (all leftovers made great lunches at work!) there was also lots of recipe-free meals like sushi, spaghetti squash, pad thai (which I later found out the sauce I use has chicken broth in it), stir fry, salads and more.

It was an excellent month, and although we haven't given up going out for meals forever (in fact me and my sister are going out for lunch tomorrow), I think its changed my perspective on how important making meals is, and how easy it is (really, it is).

Its been a great month and I am so proud of myself and my sister for spending our first month together in a very economical and healthy way :) 

How often do you eat out?  Although this is one completed goal, I am going to continue it through the year with the following goal:

I will not eat out one week per month, every month of 2011.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Not so smart?

So I did something today that may be considered not so smart. I signed up for a half marathon. Sounds alright, right? Well the half marathon is in 11 days? THERE it is. Okay so its not genius but I really just couldn't pass it up. It is the hypothermic half marathon on Sunday February 6th. I ran it last year in St. John's and it was so much fun! Well, it was as fun as a half marathon can be. I honestly am not sure why I think of this one as one of my most fun "races" but it might have been the 2 feet of snow, it might have been the 80% of people that dropped out due to the snow, or it may have been the brunch afterwards. Its not the best time Ive ever gotten (I think I did 2:23) and I was actually the most sore Ive ever been the next day (due to so much extra movement running in lots of snow) but it was a winter half marathon. It was hardcore.

So two of the girls I work with are running it. I have the morning off, and I found someone on Kijiji selling her race entry so I snatched it up. It will be half marathon #7 and I am NOT worrying about my time, or my pace, or anything. Im just going to run it, take walking breaks when I need to, and enjoy the run. It will definitely be included as a long training run (Remember, Im training for a full marathon) in my schedule and Ill take a few days off afterwards.

The thing is, I love "races". I use quotations because I am never really racing and not competitive but something about people getting together to test themselves, their bodies and minds, and see what they can pull off. There is a special energy that surrounds people about to start a half marathon and when they finish, it is even more electric. I have yet to met a runner who isnt at least somewhat excited at the start of a race. I get such a high off of it and I think it will help increase my excitement and training enthusiasm towards the Bluenose.

Anyways, Im in pretty good shape for it. Ran 9 miles today. It was difficult for the pure fact that there was a good 4cm of fresh powdery (slippery) snow on the sidewalks. Besides that (and some bathroom troubles), the run was good. I didn't take any unplanned breaks (Ive recently been doing a minute walking every 2 miles) and was able to finish strong.

Life is about to get a LOT more busy at work, so for the next few months (at least) its going to be a LOT of work and running and not much else. Going to try and focus on feeding myself great foods and drinking lots of water to keep myself healthy, and keep up the yoga and body pump to keep myself strong and injury free.

Enough for now.

Anyone out there running the Halifax Hypothermic Half Marathon?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

What balance means to me.

A lot of people out there have goals to have what they call a "balanced lifestyle". I am among those people. There are always those moments that I stop and realize that one aspect of my life has taken over my mind and the majority of my thoughts. This is a moment when I realize I have tipped into imbalance. So what does balance mean for me:

-Working (5 days a week, ~40 hours a week. Any more or less feels off).
-Sleep (7-8 hours a night is almost a necessity to me)
-Time with friends/family
-Me time :)

Something that is not listed there is cooking/eating. Mostly because me time generally means watching TV and cooking my meals for the day. When I dont get me time, that when I start eating out 4-5 times a week and not bringing my meals to work. When that starts happening I realize that something is out of balance and my time is not being well managed.

Exercise is a pretty big part of my life...obviously. Running is one of the best things thats ever happened to me, but now that Ive started really getting into yoga and body pump, Ive become really happy with my exercise routine. Before August, I would run 3-5 times a week and do not much else. I was healthy but I wasn't really getting any healthier or stronger (workout rut much). Now my strength is getting better by the week. My flexibility and balance is definitely getting better and guess what, running is going great! I managed 8 miles yesterday (in about 1:24) but they felt great. Even in the last 2 miles I felt strong and steady.

Friends and family are obviously important to everyone but sometimes I feel like this part of my life sometimes get pushed aside for work/exercise or other things. Its the absolute most important part of my life so I need to start making more solid commitments to see people (including my parents in Dartmouth, who I haven't been to see since I moved to Halifax, and my best friend who I have to take the bus to see).

Thats what balance means to me. My life is never completely balanced...ever! There are always days/weeks/months where I feel like I am dedicating too much of myself to one of those aspects. For the next few months it may be work and exercise due to marathon training (and hoping to step up my responsibilities at work) but in the end, it will all balance itself out :)

Time for body pump and work, and maybe grocery shopping after work. Another busy but wonderful day!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Days off!

...well really, day off. But yesterday I only worked for 3 hours (although it was from 7-10am which was kind of hard) so I kind of consider it a day off. Today was also lovely for the reason that I was not working.  That being said, neither of these days were that relaxing.

Yesterday was spent at work in the morning. Then a quick trip to the grocery store to pick up some food! Still going strong on the no eating out for a month  and its going really great (been 2 weeks today). Although we are spending about $100 a week for groceries (for 2 people). I dont think its too much, its just a lot to spend at once (rather then the $10 bucks spent on a lunch or $20 spent on a supper). The rest of the afternoon was spent making sushi and yummy nacho dip. I also made it out for a fast but tough 3 mile run and an awesome yoga at 108 for Liz's TGIF class (one of my favourite in the city).

Last night I went to a work friends house for a games night. I was hoping to make it downtown afterwards to hang out with my sister but I think I ate something weird and was left with some serious stomach cramps. Not cool...and not something I usually have to deal with. My hypothesis is that I had too much dairy (one dip I ate, had sour cream, cream cheese and cheddar cheese) because I really dont eat too much of it so I dont think my stomach reacted all that great.

Today was another busy day with the OptiMYz health expo, yoga and some eating (although my stomach is still feeling a little off). Tonights plan is to get my butt down to Lower Deck with my friend Mel. Im planning on taking it pretty easy on the beers because Im going to do 8 miles in the morning. 8 miles will be the longest Ive run since my epic 15 miler in October (Novermber?) and it only goes uphill from here! So excited to be training for a marathon, even in the early stages, it scares the shit out of me (but it also gets my butt moving off my couch and out the door to run).

Ill leave you with a picture from earlier today. Myles (the Bluenose Marathon mascot) and me and some of my lovely lulu ladies.

See you in 4 months, Myles.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Marathon Training

So its happening. I have my training plan written out. I guess its pretty a pretty tentative schedule, considering my long runs could be anywhere from friday-monday depending on my work schedule. BUT this is it, on May 22nd Im running a freaking MARATHON. That amazes me, and I havent barely started training for it but I know I can do it. This schedule here only calls for 4 really long runs (more than a half marathon) so I think I might bump that up by one and do another 14-16 miler in February (on the 27th probably) depending on how Im feeling.

So the plan is, 3-4 runs a week (3 min, 5 max), 2 yogas and 2 Body pumps. And one rest day. That may seem like a lot but I have the option of choosing very relaxing yoga classes that will aid in my recovery after long runs. For example, 108 Yoga in Halifax ( has a Nourish class Sunday evenings that are half Yin yoga and half yoga nidra (aka half hour of savasana!) which is amazing after long run days.

This workout schedule is being combined with a very improved diet! I recently moved in with my sister in Halifax and we made the goal of not eating out for the whole month of January. Its now January 12th and Im still going strong! Not that I think eating out was so so terrible but I was just doing it way too much and not always making the best choices when eating out. Now I know when I do go back to eating out from time to time, Ill enjoy it so much more, and think of it as a treat, rather then a necessity.

Something that makes it a lot easier to make this switch is that I freaking love to cook! I got a new vegetarian cookbook for Christmas and so far I think Ive made 5 or so recipes. And they've all been great! Ill try posting my favorites on here from time to time.

One of the other things Im working on right now is trying to remind myself (fairly often) that running a marathon (and being healthy) is not my only goal in life. Ive been majorly slacking on some of the other goals in my life and I need to refocus and find a way to balance all my passions!

Otherwise, Im loving life right now. Busy, but manageable and balanced.