Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Body Blah

While I continue to maintain the positive outlook I described in my last post, I do at the same time feel very yucky in my body. I seem to have developed a severe carbohydrate and refined sugar ADDICTION. This has the result of giving me the constant blahs... falling asleep in afternoon meetings, yucky tummy translating into yucky (or missed) runs. But it hit me today (pardon the obviousness of it all) I actually have a CHOICE about what I put into my mouth. I don't have to eat the cookies just because they are there (though I think this is a distinctly female trait, guys seem to be able to eat one cookie and forget about the rest of the package).

I feel so much more cognitively functional and athletic when I drop the processed food, fill up on fruits & veggies, protein and properly hydrate with liquids other than diet soda and coffee. Again, pardon the obviousness of it all. But it really hit me today as I walked passed a plate of chocolate, chocolate chip cookies left over from a potluck at work yesterday and automatically grabbed one that, yes, I ultimately have control over what I put in my mouth. Hardly revolutionary I know, but I so often eat on auto-pilot and therefore when I am not hungry. I guess many people do. There is this primordial brain reflex that kicks in: COOKIE, EAT!

So, here is my goal... for one week I will:
~think before eating ANYTHING and evaluate whether I am really hungry
~eat 5 servings of vegetables per day
~drink large quantities of good old fashioned plain water, I am after all living in one of the most water-rich countries in the world!
~not eat junk food. I know that is a very lose definition, I won't bore you all anymore than I already am, with my definition.
~NOT exceed the Canadian Food Guide's recommended 6-7 servings of grains (and I will respect the serving size)

That's probably enough. Need to keep it simple for my little brain.
The goal is not to lose weight but rather to feel more energetic and more fluid on my runs.

One week.


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Now IS that moment

Remember the movie "While you were sleeping"? It's a true chick flick from start to finish which means, despite the fact that it was not exactly cinematic genius, it is one of my favorites. The plot of the movie is irrelevant to this post but there is this one great scene in the movie, which I believe is genius. The patriarch of the family around which the movie centered is sitting at the kitchen table eating doughnuts and talking with his son. His son, played by Bill Pullman (one of the times he played the nice guy who doesn't finish last) is trying to work up the gumption to tell his father that he does not want to take over his father's business as had been his father's lifelong plan for him. Anyway the father is talking about family and life. He says something to the effect of (very loosely paraphrased) ~ there are so many worries  in life, so much illness and strife and fighting and conflict, but sometimes, just for a brief moment everything is fine. Everyone you love is okay. No one is ill. No one is fighting. Just for a moment. To which Bill Pullman's character replies "this is not that moment dad" (and goes on to tell him that his lifelong dream of his son taking over the family business will not come to fruition).

Well, for me, this IS that moment. The clouds of the past few months have lifted. I have learned a ton and figured out some very important things. I am functioning so, so much better. No one in my circle is ill. No one in my circle is in conflict with each other. Of course there are worries for me and mine but they are not consuming and, let's face it, on the global scale of worries, they are minuscule. Now IS that magical moment that the father figure in "While you were sleeping" described. I feel so fortunate first to be living it but also, and just as important, to realize while I am still in the moment, how sweet it is. No looking back and saying "remember how great it was when", life is great right here and now.

In the category of not-so-great was the 10 km race I ran today. Though in the Pollyanna spirit of this post I will mention that it was wonderful to be out on a (winterish) spring day in bright sunshine busting a lung running. It has been 5 weeks since this race and I truly thought I would shave close to a minute off my time at that race. Instead, I added 15 seconds. Hmmm. I ran 39:22 - 70 seconds slower than I feel I am in shape to run. I ran the first km in 3:54 and thought "okay, don't get nervous, that was just a warm-up km... it'll probably be the slowest km of the race." Nope! 3:54, 4:01, 3:58, 3:45, 3:56, 3:55, 4:08 (into a ridiculously strong wind), 3:40, 4:10 (wind), 3:52.

It was so strange because I could speak to my friends who were on the sidelines in a normal tone of voice, I was not out of breath at all but I could not turn over my legs. It was almost as if my central nervous system wasn't firing. At one point I could hear someone coming up behind me and I thought, okay, let them pass... and it was as if I literally had to remind myself that I could run faster, that I could increase my turn-over. Like the proverbial dream where one is being chased and one cannot run. So I am not sure WHAT that means I am lacking. I feel like I am lacking a bit of everything actually - endurance, aerobic fitness, speed, technique, self control when it comes to not eating refined sugar and white-flour based products :) Working on all of these things would probably be beneficial but how do I train my central nervous system to fire faster? How do I remind my body that it can run fast? Drills? Core work? Running into traffic?

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The gift of nothing

This is what I want for my next birthday, Christmas, Valentine's Day, La Cocotte's birthday, Mother's Day etc. etc. The gift of, absolu-and-I-really-mean-zip-zilch-the-big-doughnut-hole-tely nothing. I am drowning in stuff. Clothing, used running shoes, books, CDs, cassette tapes(!), prizes from road races, crap upon crap upon junk upon stuff and it feels so oppressive. The feeling of getting rid of stuff, of simplifying life, of actually making it possible to clean our apartment is SO empowering! I seriously think I have enough clothing for the rest of my life now. I don't want to buy, receive or acquire in any other fashion anything else ever. As an aside, I am also getting rid of ALL of my maternity clothing and nursing bras because I figure if I do, I will definitely get pregnant this month.

So... in the spirit of lightening, making space, getting rid of the piles, I am thinning my running wardrobe which, after being sponsored for 4 years, is considerable. I am getting rid of quality stuff, half tights, micro fibre t-shirts, wind jacket, stuff that is used but still very serviceable. I could just put it into the Salvation Army bin, which I will do with my other stuff, but I like the thought of this running stuff to which I have grown attached, being used by another passionate runner. So, if you are female and in need of some pretty decent running gear, I will be happy to pay the cost of mailing it to you - there are about 15 pieces of clothing. I am 5'8" and weigh 125-130 pounds so if you are anywhere around that zone, this stuff will fit you. It is mostly tops with some tights.

Leave me a comment or shoot me an e-mail piccolapinecone-at-gmail-dot-com and I will happily send it off to you. As I said, I really like the thought of another runner using it.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Spring Training Camp in Oregon

Just back from a week long spring training camp in C.oo.s B.ay, Or.e.gon. Distance aficionadoes will understand the significance of doing a distance training camp in that particular town. In fact, there was no training camp per sey, I brought La Cocotte to visit some family who happen to live there. I used the warmer, wetter weather as an opportunity to jump start my training. I got a decent week of running in:

Thursday- 15 hour endurance event - 3 flights with a 19 month old toddler. Let me tell you, even flying with the world's most angelic toddler (a.k.a. La Cocotte) was very wearing after 15 hours.

Friday- first work-out in ages, also first time doing a work-out with the baby jogger (and of course La Cocotte inside it).
6.2 km warm-up
2 X 2 km: 8:00, 8:01 (400 m easy jog btwn)
2 X 1.6 km 6:05, 6:28
4.2 km cool-down - 19.6 km total

Saturday- 18 km in 1 hour 25 minutes with La Cocotte

Sunday- sans training partner. 6 km warm-up. 6 X 1 km: 3:41, 3:48, 3:41, 3:48, 3:41, 3:48 (one direction was into the wind)
4.1 km cool-down. 18 km total.

Monday - 16.4 km in 1 hour 24 minutes with La Cocotte

Tuesday - sans training partner. 6.6 km warm-up. 5 X 1 mile: 5:55, 6:03, 6:41 (uphill, into the wind), 6:07, 5:54
3 km cool-down 17.7 km total

Wednesday -  11 hour endurance event, 3 flights with toddler - this time the prevailing westerlies were in our favour

Thursday - on 5 hours sleep and severely jet-lagged. am: 7.5 km. pm: 13 km. all with la Cocotte.

It appears I have established some kind of momentum which is great with spring road race season right around the corner. Time to think about what my non-reproductive goals look like for this year.


One of these mammals outweighs the other by 3 pounds. Guesses?

My training partner and I focusing before our run.

Toddler says "up!"

Monday, March 7, 2011