Liv to run

Lots of random ranting, whining, and attempts at being humourous as I run, run, run in pursuit of higher mileage and better races.

Friday, December 30, 2005

New Year's Resolution

I know New Year's resolutions are usually a bad idea, because they're mostly a setup for failure. We make them in good faith, and then don't fulfill them, and then feel bad and resolve to not make resolutions anymore. C'est la vie. But what the hell, 'tis the season, so I'm going to give it a shot anyway, and everyone who reads this will be a witness, which might just pressure me into achieving my goal.

So here it is: I'm not going to lose weight (depressing) or do better in school (unlikely) or be nicer to my little brother (he thrives on conflict. Really :)) But in the year 2006, I am going to run 1000 kilometers. (That's right, kilometers. I'm Canadian, I'm entitled to use such bizarre measurements ;))

Considering I've logged about 350km since I started counting this past May, it should prove a challenge. But as I'm steadily increasing my weekly *ahem* "mileage" (kilometerage? nah.), I think it's totally doable. And it's such a great big number, would be SO satisfying! So fingers crossed that this is one resolution I will pursue until the end.

Happy New Year to all, and cheers to crazy runners everywhere!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Organizational skills, and mad computer skills too!

First of all, I would just like to say thanks to everyone who has commented on my blog - what do ya know, I abandon it for a week and when I come back, there's been a flurry of activity! It's great to know people out there are reading (and perhaps even enjoying!) my silly rants, so I just thought I'd let you all know that I really appreciate it. Plus then I get to read your blogs and it motivates me. Aaaaawwww!

So in the spirit, I decided to finally tackle the issue of adding links to other blogs that I enjoy reading. Who knew how long it would take me! Man, I am such a computer dunce... nevertheless after more than an hour I've finally managed to add the section and now I am oh-so-proud of my savvy self - just don't ask me how the hell I did it!

I am also pleased to report that the winter running schedule is going great, which is a small miracle considering how many holiday dinners I seem to be working it around! I was a little hesitant at first to actually try planning my runs ahead of time, because it sounded like a setup for failure and of course THE GUILT. But actually, the structure is really helpful - it gives me well thought-out goals and I constantly find myself psyching myself up for my next run and really looking forward to it! So far, the only one I missed was today, and that was because I had a yucky stomach bug - luckily a short one though, so I should be back on my feet by tomorrow.

Now all I have to do is find a race to go with all this hard work!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Runnin' in a winter wonderland

One thing about moving out of rez for the holidays is that it cuts me off from running in the oh-so-warm indoors. As a student, I have full membership to the TWO gyms on campus and thus a flat and temperate run is never more than a five-minute walk away. Of course, I enjoy running outdoors far more than doing mindless laps, but when it's sub-zero and snowing, I have to admit my preferences shift a little.

But, being at home as I am, unwilling to give up running for three weeks just as I'm finally getting back into it, I have no choice but to slog it through the snow and enjoy it.

Surprisingly, I did. Wearing a new pair of comfy leggings, a turtleneck sweater and fleece gloves (not to mention my new running shoes on their inaugural outdoor excursion!), I jogged an easy 3k around the neighborhood, and I have to say, it was lovely. It IS nice to see a change in scenery and incline once in a while. Even breathing in the cold air was alright - an optimist might term it "invigorating". Whatever. The point is, I liked it, it worked, and I'm sure as hell going to do it again!

Progress update: 12k total last week, aiming for 14 this week, and moving on up - weather be damned!

Monday, December 19, 2005


Food, food, food. I'm home for the holidays, and eating like a cow, and it's great because wonder of wonders, I've actually LOST two pounds this week!
That whole "eating like a cow" thing though - really, what is that supposed to mean? Because as far as I know, all cows ever eat is grass - granted, they munch all day long, which is a pretty accurate description of my eating habits, but it certainly isn't the protein-and-complex-carb gorge-fest that people usually are referring to when they use the expression. I guess it's mostly just because cows seem so fat. Interesting. Which brings me to my next observation: what about "eating like a bird"? Seriously, we feed birds all through the winter at home, and they are anything but light eaters, and certainly not delicate. Seeds, seeds everywhere, and they go through pounds a week! And don't even get me started on hummingbirds (who would need a lot less food if they stopped fighting with each other over feeders all the time!) So again, it must be a size thing. Funny how we associate eating habits with size. Which begs the question, should I really be consuming less food to stay slim?
I sure as hell hope not. I fancy myself more of a bird than a cow, anyway.

Thursday, December 15, 2005


I love the holidays. Do you know why I love the holidays? Oh yes, family togetherness is great. So are gifts, Christmas carols and truckfuls of good food. But the best part about the holidays is what they signify: the end of exams!!!

Yes, that's right, I've studied my ass off all semester long, and now it's done, and for three blissful weeks the pain will go away. I can go out, play guitar, watch movies, read books (that I chose!), and exercise at my leisure without any guilt about time better spent working. Ahhhh...............

So I'm off for a run, and then to replenish my depleted carbs with many many many pints of beer. Hooray!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Not about the numbers

So far, so good: I have already surpassed my planned schedule and maybe... though I don't want to jinx it... but just maybe the crisis is over. I love to run, I want to run, I miss it!

Here's the thing: I think I may have been screwing up royally, not with my training, but with my eating. My last couple of years at university have seen my weight gradually increase, and increase... never quickly, but always relentlessly. It's gotten to the point where I now weigh in at 137 pounds, and at my modest height of 5'3'', I decided enough was enough, and I was going to lose a few pounds or bust.

So, apparently, I busted. I ate less, I ate carefully, but the weight kept coming, and I was getting worse and worse at running. People kept offering me "comforting" advice: "You're probably gaining in muscle, not fat. Muscle weighs more you know, it's really dense." Well, ha ha and goody for me - I don't want to be a heavyweight and that's that! True, I run foremost because I love it and I want to improve myself - but fuck, part of that improvement should be shedding a couple of pounds!!! And I got myself so mired in guilt and disgust that I was pretty much... pounding... my head against the wall.

Reconsidering, I think my friendly advice-givers were probably right after all. I'm not a big person, but I have a lot of muscle, and exercising (especially some of the weight-bearing activity that I recently added to my routine) is bound to up its density. And that, for all that the models on billboards say otherwise, is a good thing. After all, I would rather have a strong athletic body than a weak and tiny one. I'd rather be strong and tiny, I guess, but how often does THAT happen?!

So I'm eating more again, and I have to say, it feels really good to do so - I forgot how much I LOVE to snack, love to fill my stomach six times a day instead of shoving in three stupid meals at set hours. And even though I know I won't stop obsessively weighing myself, I'm going to at least try to embrace whatever benefits are coming from my exercise - even if that means the numbers go up. As long as I look good and feel good, fuck the rest. I'm gonna go eat some chocolate and run, baby, run.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

A stab at sanity

Well it may not be New Year's yet but I can't wait that long to make a resolution: I am going to pull my running out of the trash can no later than this very week. My plan of attack: forget that I ran 11k less than a month ago. Forget that I raced (quite competently, I might add!) this summer. Hell, forget that I even know how to bloody run! I figure, if I start from square one, I can't get discouraged, because I will make small enough goals that I am sure to achieve them. And if little by little the goals increase, well then, I'll eventually end up where I want to be. No one said this shit was easy, or fast. But if Runner's World gush is anything to go by (and the magazine is the closest thing I have to a Bible!), "the struggle of the journey make the accomplishments worthwhile." Oh poo. But I'll buy it anyway.

So here's the intended plan for the week - my mantra: "I am a tortoise. That is a good thing."

Sunday: 3k - walk 200m, run 400m
Tuesday: 3k - walk 200m, run 800m
Thursday: 3k - run the whole bloody thing

On the off-days I'm going to work in some stretching and strengthening a.k.a. yoga, pilates, weights.

And that should keep me fairly happy, and moderately sane.


Thursday, December 08, 2005

Yoga Bear

Okay, okay, so knowing myself I realized after my 11 hour (!) sleep and my burger for breakfast that I can't *really* do absolutely nothing with my body without feeling like an utter tub of lard (not to mention looking like one!) So I decided to rekindle my rocky relationship with that most overtaken by pop-culture of ancient Eastern arts, that's right, I'm talking about yoga.

Yoga and I are definitely one of those on-again, off-again couples. I don't always have time for it and it doesn't always have time for me, although we both seem to agree that the moments we spend together are inevitably worthwhile. We generally flirt during the holidays when I have many an afternoon to my leisure, and break up during term because I am just far too swamped with work to idly glide about in strange, slow, time-consuming postures.

Ironically, of course, it is exactly when the pressure is getting to me the most that doing yoga would actually be of the greatest value. But it's like running in that sense: unless you *make* the time for it, that time gets eaten up by other worthy pursuits such as obsessive television watching and internet surfing. And there really just isn't a moment to spare.

However, having gotten off my butt for the past half hour and completed my first yoga session in many months, my body is telling me something to which I should probably listen: it LIKES yoga. It WANTS to be limber instead of stiff, sore, and constantly achy. So maybe, just maybe, it's time to take this relationship to the next level. Because hey, if it ends up getting me back on my feet and running again, it'll definitely be worth going steady.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


Churned out 2 miles yesterday and again today. It feels like I'm slogging through water or sand! Personally, I think it's time to find something to blame for all this. Maybe my socks? They seem like as good a candidate as any. Damn you to hell, socks!

So I've come to the conclusion that there is nothing for it but to hibernate. Winter is descending, after all. Maybe the bears have it right... maybe the sensible thing to do is pig out on food, huddle up in a warm place, and sleep and sleep and sleep to my heart's content.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Ode to a treadmill and to teeny-bopper music

Okay so normally I am not a fan of the treadmill. When I run I feel like I should be going somewhere, even if it's just around and around a track - at least my progress is measured in something other than numbers on a screen. But yesterday the treadmill became my good good friend, so I have to give it its due: at last, I had a decent run again: no aches, no pains (no speed either, but that's secondary) - just 2 miles of blissful running, with none other than Avril Lavigne herself blasting in my ears.

That's right, I admit it. I generally have pretty eclectic taste in music, and although I consider this a good thing, it means I will listen to some embarrassingly odd stuff once in a while. So no, I am not 12 years old, but I can bang my head and pound my feet with the best of them to silly teeny-bopper punk rock. And as I discovered to my surprise yesterday, she makes a pretty damn good companion on an easy recovery run.

So yay for trying strange things while running - once in a while you discover something totally unexpected!

Saturday, December 03, 2005


Muscle memory is supposed to endure. You learn to skate, ride a bike, you never forget how. So how come I feel like my body has, within the span of two weeks, forgotten how to run?

Seriously. Two weeks ago my running was really progressing. I did a 25k week (I know that doesn't seem like a lot, but that's serious commitment for me!), and capped it off with an amazing run that lasted an hour and a quarter. I was elated! The marathon was in reach! Anything was possible! And I didn't even hurt.

Scratch that. I didn't hurt until the next day, which was when my knees, never my most stalwart attribute, started to whine - in their silent but painful, knee-ish way - like nothing else. So, I did what any sensible athlete does - took two days off exercise, stretched, iced. Fine. But then, feeling fully recovered, I attempted to run on the third day - and found my legs were like lead after a mere couple of laps. So I cut the distance short and tried again the next day. Surprise - same thing. It was as though every step I took, I had to peel my shoes off the track, and my shins in particular were turning into granite.

This was obviously a good time to re-evaluate. And I came up with my oh-so-brilliant aforementioned plan to cross-train for a while till I was fully healed. I did this diligently all week - went swimming, spinning, rock climbing, weight training, stretching - even took a day off to rest! Man, I rocked this week. I was exercise goddess. I was on fire. And then today, I tried to run.

Well, I eked out a mile and I was done for. And not even a fast one at that. From the waist up, I could've gone for an hour - but unfortunately legs are just a teensy bit important in this business we call running. Can I chalk it up to the lack of running this week - do I just need a little patience until I get my running muscles back into the swing of things?

Or have my goddamn legs actually managed to forget how to run?

Friday, December 02, 2005

Sugar wars

An athlete is supposed to be a person of scrupulous tastes in matters of food - we are told to pick food that is rich in nutrients, low in fat; load up on iron, and calcium, and fibre, and omega-3's.... yada, yada. So I know that the better quality food you eat, the better you are likely to perform... an you look a lot less tubby, on top of everything.

I was also informed yesterday morning that "kids these days" (am I a kid these days? probably) are ruining our arteries and our bodies with crapola food from McDonalds and company (and I bet these experts haven't even SEEN the food at my damn cafeteria...) - and that the current average age of a heart attack patient is about 35-40 and dropping. Scary, isn't it? So scary that I virtuously ordered myself a grilled chicken sandwich with tons of veggies on multigrain bread for lunch, with a chocolate milk to drink - not bad, right?

That was lunch.

Hours passed by, as they do, and I was hungry, and thirsty, and cranky, the whole bit. This is the part of the day when Second Cup becomes my friend. But not my body's friend, apparently. Because I think: hm. I should have some tea. That would be something to be relatively proud of, right? Maybe I'll even make it a green tea and blow myself away.

Not likely.

The call of the caramel corretto is irresistable. And a regular is just too small. Let's go for a large. Okay, I'll compromise: no whipped cream, please. But, the server, genius that she was, put whipped cream on it anyway.

While I was contemplating whether or not my waspish politeness would permit me to inform her of her error, my eye was caught by the incredibly delicious looking gingerbread men on the counter. Obviously set out there to be the cause of my downfall. What's a girl to do? I walked away $7 poorer, guiltier, and fatter. But the sugar rush was GREAT.

Eating healthy will have to start today, I guess.

Yeah, right :)