You are doing WhaaaaT?

I took a little time off to distract myself from my exciting Race to Kinvara. I am getting to be like a little kid before they go to Disneyland….I CANT Stand IT!

FullSizeRender-3But I have a lot to do and sitting around day dreaming about Ireland is not getting things done.

August, my pal Joe is going to run from San Francisco to Anaheim. About 28 miles or so a day. some days more, some days less. We are raising money and awareness for Spinal Muscular Atrophy. You can read all about how this all began here.

Today the details began.

We began planning the little stuff. The focus today was food. We are essentially camping in a hotel. The challenge is how to meet Joe’s nutritional needs and cook in a hotel room. Sure it would be easy to go out everyday and eat in a restaurant, but when you are trying to get all the nutrient requirements in for a multi-day marathon, eating out for every meal just is not going to work. We need to control

all the details from taste to nutrition. Bland is his prefference for running. Bland tends not to keep resturants in business.

Breakfast:
The confevsation went like this… “I don’t like to eat too much before I run.

Swell. You will need to supply your body with actual fuel.

I know… but it needs to be bland.”

We talked about options. It is important that he gets carbs and lots of them of a multi day event like this. Oatmeal will be the mainstay of breakfast. And not that instant stuff. Old fashion steel cut oats – QuakerStyle. Secretly, this makes me happy – I love a great bowl of porridge! Apparently he likes apples, nuts and cinnamon. Perfect. I can control content, he gets 3 food groups for a meal, he is happy and I am happy. 4 food groups if we add dairy. That will be optional. Now… cooking it.

When I was a kid, my parents took me around the world. They instilled a love of travel beyond the love of home and things. I would rather spend my money on going somewhere than on TVs, Cars and furniture. Traveling is expensive, especially with kids, but my mom economized and provided us with great food so we could walk in the footsteps of kings.

My mom brought with her a trusty Electric Fry Pan – with lid. This was what it looked like:
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You name it, my mom made it in that fry pan. We had eggs, soup, pasta, stirfry, and countless other meals from a single source. We had a camp kit – all the things you would need in a kitchen: can opener, knives, cutting board, colinder, wash basin, condinemnts, spices, oils etc. It fit in a plastic bin. The Frypan went in a suit case. When we flew, the Frypan and a elecrical converter came with us. Between that and the hotel coffee pot, you can make anything. Ever have soup in a coffee pot? I have. She even warmed up bread by wrapping it in foil and placing it on top of the Fry Pan lid while dinner was cooking.

The advantage to this was her picky eaters (Hello Mike I am looking at you) would still eat and she saved a TON of money so we could see and do things like wander around the Louvre in Paris, or Chill with the Pope at the Vatican or even wave to Paul Bunion as he talked to us from across the parking lot.

Food is the one thing you cannot do without on vacation. Cooking and doing dishes is the least fun part about vacation – but it afforded us to do the fun things.

Shopping in a grocery store in another country really is a cultural experience. It became part of the vacation. Trying foods that were new, or laughing at the unusal nature of flavour combinations – all new to us of course. became part of the experience. Food is the one thing that brings people together on the same level.

Although our 500 miles for SMA is not a vacation, It will be an adventure. Providing our own food is an important part of this. Shopping in places I have never been will be an experience that isn’t new to me. I hope to find fresh farmer’s markets along the way but I am open to all new experiences. Which means…If you live there and are having a BBQ, I’d LOVE to come! Thanks in advance! Here is our route so you can make plans ūüôā
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So the menus for the days have come together with flexible options open for contingency plans.

This trip is a million plans within a plan… and its all coming together.

You can help support this adventure by visiting here

We simply want to help as many people as we can, and play a part in defeating this disease. When I run, I always remember the faces of my younger brothers. ~Joseph R Kolinksy

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#WhyIRun

I was challenged this morning by my coach Brian

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at Running Down a Dream23 to post a video about #whyIRun.

That was easy.

I run for all sorts of reasons, but I started because someone told me I couldn’t. Nothing gets my dander up more than being told I am not capable. ¬†I narrow my eyes, focus on the goal and say in the dreaded whisper I give my staff “Watch me”.

I also run because I believe in being kind. You may be asking yourself, “What has that got to do with running?” I figure, if I have to work anyways…work to make a difference.

If I am going to run, I might as well raise money for a great cause. Check!

My cause is simple. I run to support children and their families who cannot help themselves and are in need of support. That is also a big reason why I am proud to say I help start a charitable foundation from the ground up. We are still little but I have a vision and just like the reason why I run, don’t tell me I can’t do it. I will drag you, Mount Robson and part the Red Sea to make it happen. People who are nay sayers have tunnel vision, are somehow misguided as to my reason for the charity and think I am in competition. Let’s get one thing straight right now. Any charity that helps children and their families who cannot help themselves is not in competition with me, they are in PARTNERSHIP with me. It will take a boatload¬†of kindness to change the world. If we all work together we can change the world. I believe it to be true and it will happen. It just might take longer than expected.

Giving of self for others is a HUGE reason why I run…HUGE.

The other reason of course…this is a no brainer, is COOKIES

ba70b2e156ac36981dff4a301bddedbbchocolate-chip-cookiesjammie_dodgers_2655228bDamn I love cookies. They are a ritual in my #CivilizedSaturdays and are that special treat for me where they used to be my daily/hourly food of choice.

I lost 5lbs in January. Total over three years 117lbs. Think about that for a moment.

I have a lot of extra skin now. I am not ready to have it removed because it will interfere with my goals this year. Next year I will take care of the that. But I look back at photos of me, old clothes I used to wear. I got rid of everything except one pair of pants, and they kinda look like circus pants. They don’t have a fly because they didn’t put zippers in pants that big. But then someone says something to me about how heavy I am and I think…. you small minded F#$%T%#$

It sure doesn’t take long for someone to be mean.

JUST BE NICE PEOPLE! Jeeze… it isn’t hard! Okay, it takes practice to be nice, but it IS doable!!

Meanwhile….back to #WhyIRun

I am going to challenge YOU all of YOU who read this blog to do 3 things:

1. go friend me on Facebook because its fun and then I can see your video a little easier

2. Record a video and challenge 3 friends to comment on why they run. Tag me in it so I can see it.

3. Use Hashtag #WhyIRun #whyIWalk

Here is ME challenging YOU. I feel like Romper Room, I see Karen and Sharon and Tiffany and Scootadoot and Chef, I see Jenny and Ebone and Barbara and Cristina and Patty, I see Tammy and Mer and Charlotte and Kathy, well, I see all of you.

Let’s inspire the world to move more.

Motivational Monday: The First Woman Marathoner

b32fae27b92f579431222ab722144c0bToday is Boston Marathon Day. I will not qualify for quite some time. Perhaps years, but I will keep trying. Why is Boston so important? Lots of reasons but the big one is Katherine Switzer, the first female in 1967 to officially run for the Golden Unicorn. 

I was born that year.

For me it is unfathomable that a woman would not be allowed to run. In those days  the conventional wisdom of the time was that running more than a mile and a half was potentially deadly to women. Ha!

The first unofficial female runner to race in Boston was the year before in 1966 was Bobbi Gibb. She ran it in nursing shoes because they were sturdy. So lets be clear, Bobbi Gibb ran 26.2 miles in nursing shoes because they were STURDY. There just wasn’t running shoes made that would fit womens feet.

Today I am running in the river valley because I can.

I wear women’s adidas glide 4.

I wear coolfit pants from Nike Women.

I wear Sweatyband hair bands for women.

I run because the only man who might dare tell me I can’t won’t and he is my Doctor.

Men have told me I won’t make it.

Men have told me it will be too hard.

Those men can suck it.

I run to honor the tenacity of the women who forced the hand of men to let run in races.

I run to honor the support of every woman I ever encountered.

Here is to the women’s Boston winner today and all the women runners there today 46 years later after the first woman was¬†allowed¬†to officially enter.

Congratulations, you all are my inspirations.

Why do I run?

fat-girl-running-fh-outline1I had some friends over last night for a Chick Flick night. We all have big fitness events coming up this year and we were talking about our fitness goals. One friend asked me why I started running.

Huh…good question. I replied with “its faster than walking. Training with walking takes up a lot of time and running is faster.”

Well, it is for most people…I am slow. Yet I still run.

As I laid in bed last night I noticed a trend. I use to fantasize about travel, fella’s, travel and travel before I fell asleep. This has been the way I would make myself calm and¬†accepting¬†of sleep. I now fantasize about races, distance and speed before I fall asleep. My priorities have changed and so have my goals. I think about race destination holidays rather than a lay on the beach type holiday.

This lead me back to the question of why do I run?

When I was training for my first half marathon I did a lot of walking. I would be gone for HOURS. All morning or all afternoon and it was boring. I did it for 2 reasons, I wanted weight off and I wanted to prove to people I was capable of reaching this goal. My husband didn’t think I could do it and said so. My dad kept saying “a half marathon is pretty far” There were two people in my life who believed I could do it aside from my children (My children believed in me because I ALWAYS mean what I say and say what I mean when it comes to them). My coach believed in me and my mom¬†believed¬†in me.

Up until this point in my life I never felt like my mom believed in me. I always felt like I was a¬†disappointment¬†to her. This had nothing to do with what she said or what she did. It was just perception on my part. Her and I went out for coffee on morning and I began venting about people who discount what I wanted to do. She said to me, “You are like your dad. You decide to do something and you do it. It’s like there is no question in your mind. That’s how I know you will do it.”

She was right. When I decide to do something, I feel it, then believe it, then I do it.

So when I crossed that finish line, The fat girl who finished last, The first person I saw was my mom. She brought me flowers, she hugged me and said “I knew you could do it, I don’t know how you did it because it was so far but ¬†I knew you could do it and I am so proud of you!” The next person was my coach, she said “You don’t feel it, but you looked so strong crossing the finish line” – That was when I cried. My kids walked with me on the other side of the fence for the last part of the race. That meant more to me than anything.

So as I think about why I run, why I walked was a big part of it. I walked to eat ice cream on Sundays. I walked because I could. I walked because it was the first step to getting healthy.

Why do I run?

  1. I run because of the way I feel after. Everything is pleasantly tired. My lungs feel full of clean air. I breath bigger and I feel powerful.
  2. I run because it makes me strong.
  3. I run because it is my meditation. Me alone with my thoughts. I plan, I write, I set goals, I work out problems in my head while I run.
  4. I run because it reduces inches off my body. Exercise don’t make me lose weight, it tones, firms and builds lean muscle. It makes me taller and firmer. Clothes fit better.
  5. It makes me hungry. After I run, I could eat a cow that is walking by – I am a¬†vegetarian¬† I am HUNGRY. I crave food that is fresh, juicy and good for me. I don’t want sugar and crap. My body tells me what I need and I listen – for the first time ever in my life.
  6. I run for the challenge. I set goals and distances and I love amazing myself. I fist pump the air when I reach a goal. You can hear me cheer myself on through the rough patches – up hills and fartleks – I chant “do it do it do it” Then I end with YES! Way to go girl!
  7. I run because I want to start race destination holidays. I want go places because there is a race I want to enter.
  8. I run because I sleep better. There is nothing as satisfying as a worn out body kind of sleep.
  9. I run because it makes my brain feel refreshed and smarter. Weird but true.
  10. I run because walking hurts my healing mcl and running makes it feel strong and pain free. Weird but true story.
  11. I run because I can and no one can tell me otherwise.

Two years later and I am still at it, thanks Mo

Happy New Year! This is my second year for the Mo project and wow, I am still at this! The good news it, this is no longer a diet or whim, this has become a life changing process. Physical exercise is now the same as breathing. You just do it. Eating healthy is like sleeping, it feels good. I am not the svelte diva I dreamed of, but I am fit, strong and smarter. Brain food does that – so does exercise.

My goals for this year are simple:

  1. run in my first race
  2. run a 10k
  3. begin training for a half marathon in January. (the plan is to go to a destination half and run the Tinkerbell with my daughter, she wants to run the 5k and I will run with her complete with tutus and wings! Then I will run the half the following day)
  4. continue with the plan laid out for me by my dietician.

None of these seem hard anymore. Two years ago when I decided to walk the Edmonton Half marathon I thought I was doomed. I have very little support. My mom was the only one who said, ‘you are like your dad. When you decided to do something it gets done. I know you will finish.’ I kept hearing people say things like wow that’s far, I’m not sure you can do it. Well, suck it pal, I DID do it. Yes it was hard, yes I wasn’t fit or light enough, but yes I did it anyways.

I am now more fit than ever before, I am lighter than I was and I am still losing weight at a save and healthy rate. I can do this too. I want more hardware. That is the part that has become addicting to me. Why you might ask? It symbolizes the hard work and tenacity that goes into goal completion. I will let you in on a secret if you promise not to tell anyone.

When I am facing a difficult situation, I carry around my half marathon¬† medal in my pocket or my purse. I touch it to remind myself I can do it. I have sat through difficult meetings, had hard conversations, planned out strategy holding my medal – secretly in my hand or pocket. It doesn’t give me confidence, it reminds me of what I am capable of. 308822_10150354457561337_111659_n

Knowing I did that makes my next goals seem easy. Not that they will be, I am not naive enough to know training isn’t important, but I will tell you this: Once the training is done your muscles know what to do. It is the mind that will let you down. Believing you can do it makes the difference between thinking you can and knowing you can. It’s easy to quit. It is not easy pushing yourself.

Bring on 2013. I am ready and more driven then I ever have been to date. That is the best feeling ever.

Now if only I can get my garmin working on my new computer I will be a happy camper…seriously this is boggling my mind!

Happy New Year!

 

Life can change on a dime

We last left off with me training for the Calgary Half Marathon. Ya, that’s not going to happen.

2010 left me with a torn MCL. It had been healing nicely until recently. Long story short, my Doc and I feel it would be smart on my part not to keep training and rest up until further medical action can be taken…awesome. Ask me how happy I am? I could power through the pain, but to what avail? It is not worth having a lifetime injury over a half marathon. I give up.

Now, that depressed me for a while, hence my silence here for a bit.

I get into a routine and then it stops, then what the heck are you suppose to do? In my case I took time off. I am in the habit of maintaining weight, so that is good…I suppose. It takes a different mindset to maintain. I have been thinking about the emotional side of eating. I have a friend whose child is in the thrust of it. Thinking about it in terms of how it affects a child was heart wrenching. I know because I lived it. This has had me on a roller coaster of emotions, and how am I dealing with it? I am using the strategies that I have learned with my life coach. My problem is I want to fix everything for everyone. Ug…impossible I know. I actually just want to fix stuff for people I care about and that sends me through emotional turmoil. I let myself cry now and that is something I never did before. I use to eat so this is huge for me.

This week I decided I needed to get back into fitness. I was sleeping after work, so clearly I needed more energy. It sounds screwy but the importance of exercise in making you feel like you are energized is huge. It helps me sleep, it regulates my eating and it makes me feel good. I have not been feeling good…crappy actually. My life looks fabulous on paper but it feels terrible.

I jumped into the pool and the first thing I realized was I missed swimming and I hate running. I was reading BearRunners blog about how boring swimming is. I can see that for some people. Swimming for me is near effortless. Sure it wears me out, but I can find my rhythm and go without thinking about form. I can get outside of my head and plan or work things through. Today I had figured out lots of stuff. Then went to write about it. Before I knew it I had swam 2000m I hadn’t swam in months, and 2k was rattled off like nothing. Obviously my fitness level is fine. My shoulders are barking at me a bit right now, but I feel great.

What I feel like when I swim…

What I look like when I swim

I am pulling back with my goals. I need to live my life and not just go from goal to goal. This is good. That means life is balancing out for me. I learned things today that I wish I knew a year ago. The bottom line is, I know it now and it is good. My life is completely different from a year ago and I love it and me.

Tomorrow’s plan? 2000 more meters, that is an hour of my day. I need it for the stress relief. Friday will be my long swim, 3000m. Ironman swim distance is 3.8km. Maybe this summer I will shoot for that, but for now… easy goals, one day at a time.

 

Holy Crap 16km is far!

I walked 16km today. HOLY CRAP that is far! I learned a big lesson from my last soul sucking experience and these are the changes:

  1. Bring 2 ipods because your’s suck and the battery life is dismal – CHECK!
  2. Eat the right fuel – CHECK!
  3. Hydrate well before hand – CHECK!
  4. Walk a route that was inspiring and not soul sucking – CHECK!

I did all those things but…

I have been having a ton of emotional issues I am dealing with. I learned a few things about relationships. Care to glean from my limited vast knowledge? It does not matter how hard or how much you love someone, you cannot make them love you back. You have to accept it and move on, or your life will be filled with empty promises and heartache. Message received, loud and clear. My big lesson this week was ACCEPTANCE. I need to accept that I cannot change things. I know this prayer. It rings true for me today. Walking 16km with these thoughts in my head did bring tears to my eyes, but it also brought affirmations about where I am today. I am stronger than I thought, I am wiser than I thought, I am more capable than I thought. I am a goal setter and achiever. Thank heaven for that. The goals seem to pull me through the hard times and get me over the bump. I needed to rely on the CBT I learned in the spring. This prevented my walk from becoming a pity party. I focused on the party I plan to have on August 22. I am heeding the advice of Another Goal Setter and throwing myself a big party to celebrate my achievements. I will celebrate my 44th birthday, I will celebrate 1 year of the Edmonton Tourist Journey and I will be wearing the medal I will have earned from completing the Edmonton Intac Derby Half MArathon. I then went through the guest list in my head. I have decided to invite everyone who has been supportive of my year long journey, who cheered me on when I walked/swam/changed my life.

I will send out invitations about a month before the half marathon. I don’t expect everyone I invite to come, but I do hope some of you will. If you get a chance to peek at the guest list and notice your brother/niece/friend/coworker is not on my list, please remember that this is MY list and MY party. I reserve the right to celebrate in my own way, inviting the the people I want to be with. I want this party to be an emotionally safe event for me. Your favorite people may not be MY favorite people, shocking I know, but true.

Next Sunday I need to walk 16 more km. I will continue to do all those things on my list but I will add bring painkillers for my knee ( I am recovering from a torn MCL that happened in October 2010). I will practice acceptance and CBT to lessen the heartache this week. I am strong, I can do it. Besides I now have a support network that runs deep AND I have Mo.