Motivated to Train and Ready to Run

Did you see it??

Today was the big reveal by runDisney of the 2019 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend medals! In case you missed it, you can see the medals and read the entire article on the Disney Parks Blog here.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of this event and I am so excited, both as a chef and as a runner, to be there. After an accident and having to cancel my solo trip back in the spring when I was supposed to run the Star Wars Rival Run Challenge, I have regrouped, healed and rescheduled my trip. I’m crazy excited for what will be both my first Wine & Dine runDisney event and my first 10k.

If that Olaf & Sven Frozen themed medal isn’t motivation for me, I don’t know what is. Maybe it’s the Canadian in me, but that icy finish on the medal…love it!

Ok, but to get that medal takes a lot of work on my part.

I’m not going to lie, it’s been 3 months of sloth recovering from my injuries, and I’ve put on 10 lbs, so I’ve got some work to do to get back in shape. Thankfully, my training has already begun.

Meal Prep

Two of the big issues for me when it comes to getting back on track and maintaining my optimal weight and fitness level, are portion sizes and making better food choices. Nothing helps me with this more than a little meal prep.

I don’t go crazy here. I’m not one of those people that worries about fats vs carbs vs protein, or weighing out each of my ingredients. Kudos to those that do, but I don’t. That just doesn’t work for me. So I do what does work..

I’ve found that spending a couple hours in the kitchen once a week (usually Sunday afternoons) doing meal preparation helps A LOT. My weekly staple prep items tend to be a sugar-free fruit compote (to mix with Greek yogurt or to top buckwheat pancakes), simple grilled vegetables and chopped raw veggies, salads for quick lunches, tuna burgers, and spinach egg muffins. These things are my go-to items that are almost always found in my refrigerator.

 

Then I plan other items to add to the mix just to shake things up a bit every week to avoid boredom. Things like spinach vegetable quinoa cakes, pumpkin quinoa burgers, sweet potatoes topped with Buffalo chicken, or pesto vegetable pasta with roast chicken all add big flavour and keep me excited about food while not going overboard.

As long as its in the fridge and ready to go, I won’t linger in the kitchen and grab the wrong thing, or eat more than I should.

(Happy) Planning My Workouts

One thing I’ve discovered is if I write it down, I’m more likely to do it. And that includes workouts.

I schedule my workouts like I would a doctors appointment. I find mornings work best for me and scheduling three workout sessions per week works well. If I get in a couple more workouts or manage to get in some kind of physical activity with my family above and beyond that, great. But I find if I try to schedule more than three, I end up missing or cancelling those extra days when life gets crazy (or my kids make plans over my plans) and I end up frustrated. If I have an upcoming run, my three workouts tend to be runs as per my running plan (that’s discussed below). Otherwise, it’s three workouts of my choosing: a run, gym session, weights at home, running hills & stairs along the waterfront trail…whatever.

So, like meal prep, once a week I sit down and plan out the following week. I look at what appointments I have, what hours I have to work, where I have to be and when, and plan my three workouts to fit. I do all of this using fitness pages in my Happy Planner. I know to some this might seem silly, adding stickers and washi tape to a fitness planner, but for me it helps. I can add whatever sticker quotes I come across that help keep me motivated for whatever mood I’m in that week, or add a habit tracker sticker so I can track how many meals I’m NOT skipping, or how many meals I ate sugar-free. I’m not saying it’s for everyone, but it’s really helped me. Recording my workouts and seeing the results in writing (how many calories burned, miles I ran, or steps I put in) is incredibly rewarding and motivating for me, and formatting the pages ahead of time help keep me immersed in all things fitness.

Fitness Planner

Fitness Pages in my Happy Planner

As for the workouts themselves, I mix it up. If I have a marathon event on the horizon, I do try to follow the Jeff Galloway training plans on the runDisney site (you can find them here). I love the walk/run combination and have had good success with them for my past runs.

I also love Pilates and try to do a couple short sessions (20 minutes or so) each week to help build core strength, and I mix those up with a couple weight sessions. I have found these critical to proper form on my runs and in building speed.

Off and Running

Alright, so I’ve shared what works for me. What works for you? Do you use a food journal? An exercise log? What are your favourite meals to prep ahead?

Anyone else have a run coming up, runDisney or otherwise?

 

 

 


How NOT to Train for a Marathon

Fall

Down for minimum of six weeks with a broken radius.

Accidents Happen

Life doesn’t always go according to plan.

For instance, I had planned to train for and run the runDisney Star Wars Rival Run Challenge in April at Walt Disney World. After successfully registering for the challenge, I put in the hard hours of training, logging many miles on my running shoes, did the research on a proper diet and ate well, and I put in time at the gym doing cardio and weight training workouts to prepare.

Then, as I was decorating for my daughters 13th birthday party, I had an accident and all that went out the window. I fell. Hard. Long story short, I have a badly broken wrist with possible nerve damage and the surgeon tells me “there will be other marathons.”

He’s right of course, but that doesn’t take the sting out of it.

One minute I was just 30 days away from my first solo trip to do the challenge, a trip that was both a birthday present and a challenge to myself for my 50th birthday, and the next I was just thankful to have only a broken arm and not having lost an eye or having broken a leg as well, and wondering if I’ll one day be able to pick up and yield a chef’s knife once again.

Cancelled Plans

I cancelled my trip.

I believe all things happen for a reason even if we may not always know that reason, and I try to focus on the positive. In this case, the reason escapes me, but I am happy I spent the time training and getting myself in good shape. No doubt about it, that will help me in my healing and rehabilitation process.

So, this is day five of me sitting on my butt, trying to learn to do for myself with just my left hand/arm, trying not to think too hard of what might happen during or at the end of my recovery, and I’ve already got my eyes set on another runDisney marathon and a new challenge.  

I guess this means that for now I won’t be sharing any training progress notes with you, but don’t count me out.

After all, I am a chef, so maybe I was meant to run the Wine & Dine challenge??


Running for Charity in Toronto

We did it! And what a great way to see the city of Toronto.

STWM5kaThis morning we ran the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon 5K Charity Challenge in support of the Canadian Celiac Association. It was great! With a 5:30 am wake-up, and a 6:30 am hike to the shuttle buses, it was cold, but great!

STWM5kd

While normally we would push to run for a good finish time, this morning we took our time and tried to enjoy the scenery. After all, when else can you walk/run through the streets of Toronto without the worry of traffic or traffic lights? Still, we did break into a run several times and managed a decent finish time, so we’re happy. I’m so proud of our girls (who are not runners) who endure early wake-up calls and cold, dark mornings to participate in a sport that is not really their favourite. I’m even more proud to say they do it to raise funds to help others.

STWM5kcSTWM5ke

 

 

 

 

 

 

This was our first run in Toronto, but I can guarantee, it won’t be our last.


Run Registration Day

It’s finally here: tomorrow is run registration day for the runDisney Star Wars Rival Run Weekend!

20180420_072139From past experience, I know that the runDisney events are very popular and sell out fast, so it’s imperative that you’re ready when it comes to registration day.

Here are a few things I’ve done and recommend to help with the registration process:

  1. Know Your Race Registration Date and Time. Okay, maybe this is obvious but I’m mentioning it anyway. This is key to getting into the race of your choice. These events sell out fast, and you need to be ready not only on the day of registration, but also at the moment the registration process opens (in this case, noon my time tomorrow). I’ve cleared my calendar and set a reminder alarm on my phone for one hour prior to the opening moment that will allow me time to get set up and be ready with all of my devices.
  2. Account Preparation. The registration process for runDisney events recently changed, so my first step was to go to the runDisney page and make sure my account was set up and ready to go. Don’t wait for registration day! Create and sign in to your page and get familiar with how it looks and works days in advance.
  3. Know Your Information. Past experience has taught me what information to have ready when I register: the exact race or challenge I want, estimated finish time or proof of time (POT), t-shirt size, etc. You don’t want to waste time trying to figure this out once the registration window is open. The new registration process also allows you to register more than one participant at once, so know who you’re registering.
  4. Light or Dark Side? This year, the Star Wars Run Weekend is a rival run and that means choosing to run for either the light side or the dark side. This one required no thinking for me…but I’ll let you know which one I chose in a later post.

So I’m as ready as I can be, and if all goes well, there are just 219 days left to go!

 

 

 


Marathon Training Continues…week 6

Yep, still running and still training!

bday shots

balloons

Ok, truthfully, it was my 50th birthday on the weekend and I did take some time off from running, but not from exercise. It’s been pretty hot here and things were crazy given we were in party planning mode, so I focused more on core and strength training last week, rather than putting in the miles.

Party over, celebrating done, house back in order…it’s now time to jump back in. And I’m happy to say I’m jumping back in with a couple new items.

After listening to my frequent rants over my issues with my old running watch (I won’t name names here), my husband lovingly gave me a new Garmin Forerunner 35 for my birthday. I love it!

Instantly, the fit was so much more comfortable than my old watch and it’s definitely a better size for my wrist. While I haven’t used it just yet, it is out and synced to my phone, charged and ready to go. Now I just need to read the manual and figure out all the features.

gifts

And…In the spirit of wearing things on your wrist while running…my fabulous husband also surprised me with a Magic Kingdom 45th Anniversary Limited Edition Dumbo MagicBand! Dumbo is one of my favourite Disney characters and I had my eye on this beauty some time ago but never picked it up. So hubby did…and apparently (according to our paperwork) he managed to order the last one in stock. It’s the perfect item for my solo trip to Walt Disney World in the spring. gifts b

So thanks to my better half, I’m now ready to continue my marathon training in style with (hopefully) a little less frustration, and I look forward to running my next runDisney event with my pal, Dumbo.

Let week six begin!

 


Slow Running

 

“Today I shall be one run stronger.”

Source Unknown

 

If you run, you’re a runner.

I run. Slow. But I run.

I don’t run great distances. But I run.

If someone had told me three years ago that I would one day be addicted to running, I’d have laughed. Hard. But running has become my form of active meditation.

I started out walking trails in my community and fell in love with being outdoors, walking alone along a wooded trail, just me and my thoughts. Then I heard about John Stanton’s run/walk technique and began to incorporate small runs into my routine.

Run 2 minutes, walk 1 minute.

Run 1 minute, walk 1 minute.

It worked and it felt great, but it wasn’t easy. I suffer from digestive issues and once I hit a certain point in my training, I became sick. I would have to switch to a liquid diet, give up my run/walks and build my health and stamina back up again. Every time.

It was incredibly frustrating. Running had become my way to deal with anxiety and stress, to relieve a lot of tension, and to just get time alone to reboot. I happened to mention it to my doctor during a regular visit and he told me that running means your body has to put its resources into your leg muscles and pulls blood from your digestive system in order to cope with the additional strain to your muscles. He suggested I give up on trying to accomplish long distance running, and to focus on keeping with the run/walk technique and/or shorter distances until I found a balance that worked for me.

It was a lot of trial and error, trying to find a distance/time long enough that I felt I had an adequate workout, but not one so long that I suffered the digestive consequences.

Today I stick with the run/walk technique, running more than walking, and I keep the distance to 10K or less. My regular sessions are between 3 and 5K which are short enough that I can squeeze them into my schedule without making excuses (along with Pilates and resistance training on off days).

I’m happy to say I’ve signed up for and completed a few 5K runs now, and completed a few virtual 10K runs. I struggle with speed so have yet to register for an official timed 10K, but I’ve got my eyes on one in particular so that will be my next milestone. In the meantime, I work on speed and technique so when that day comes, I’ll be at my best and can put in a time that I can be happy with.

runDisney Star Wars The Dark Side Half Marathon Weekend

runDisney Star Wars The Dark Side Half Marathon Weekend 5K

So I may not be a marathon runner, but I run. And I am stronger today than I was yesterday because of it. Mentally and physically.