Month: January 2014

Middle Ground

Ahh Friday – the undisputed Gold medalist in every event it competes in. T-Minus 2 hours to the weekend folks….we made it!

I want to start off today’s post by wishing the happiest of birthdays to my Matthew!! 28 years young today, and still looking like a spring chicken!! Happy Birthday my love!!

HBD Matt

I know I’ve taken quite a detour from my regular blog training chatter the last couple of months. The holidays followed immediately by my 25th birthday got me in kind of a reflective mood, and a bit of that kind of spilled over onto the blog. If that kind of stuff isn’t your cup of tea (and you prefer to read about me touching old people in appropriately in swimming pools)….you’re in luck, because it’s time to put the hammer down and get serious about training again!! Time is ticking!!

I’m freaking out a bit (what else is new) because if I look back at my blog posts from this time last year, I had been swimming for nearly three months, and attending spin classes on a weekly basis. This year, as of today, January 23rd 2014, I’ve done absolutely squat nothing for the Half IronMan.

Hmm……

I don’t know if I’m labouring under the notion that completing the race once (by the skin of my teeth) gives me the luxury of half-assing training, but I’ll tell you this: I can paint a pretty vivid description of my race day for you if I carry on the way that I am now. And the picture is one that may or may not scare your children. If you catch my drift.

I’m struggling a bit with trying to ramp up my running as well. I’ll give myself the credit of saying that every Sunday for four weeks in a row now; I’ve gone down into our basement and run for a minimum of half an hour on the treadmill.

*Insert high five for Sara here*

The longest run I did was about 10K, the shortest was 5K. I’ve been feeling good running, but I know that I need to get my distance up way beyond 10K; and I also know that I don’t have an abundance of time to do it.

I’m trying to stay focused on my first “stepping stone” (side note – I’m so glad that I wrote that post – I refer back to it so often in so many aspects of my life) which is the Chilly Half Marathon on Sunday March 2nd. To be honest with you, although I’ve run several half marathons (6 to be exact – how that happened, I’ll never know), standing at the start line, I’ve never really truly feel prepared for the race. I always find a way to get through it, but I think some of that is more “oxe-like stubbornness”, and less actual athletic ability.

The first “stepping stone” for me in achieving my goal of finishing the San Diego marathon is to stand at the start line for the Chilly Half knowing that I’ve trained properly, and that my body is 100% ready and prepared to run 21km strong all the way to the finish line.

And THAT seems totally manageable.

Part of the struggle with running (as it always has been for me) is keeping my joints healthy while I’m running on top of the classes that I teach.

If “Les Mills fitness classes” and “Running” were both on Facebook, they would not be friends. In fact, they probably would annoy each other so much that they would have blocked and deleted each other by now.

Enemies

Without fail, as soon as I start adding on a regular run to my weekly routine, one of my knees goes down for the count. I can’t predict which one, it changes all the time. This time has been no different, and I’ve been nursing a really sore right knee all week.

It doesn’t at all help that it’s Release Week at the gym and I’m teaching 13 classes this week, but hey, what can ya do.

Release Class

I guess my struggle is knowing how to handle aches and pains like this one. Do I push through and run on it anyways? Do I take the week off running and try to just make it through my classes? My fear with the second option is that there is always going to be something nagging and aching, and if I responded to every one of them by taking the week off from running, then I would never run!

I’m guessing that (as usual), the right plan lies somewhere right in the middle of the two extreme options. I probably can’t take the week off running completely, and I probably shouldn’t be doing a full blast sprint workout either. Maybe a bit slower, more relaxed run would be the right thing to do. Followed by a whole lot of TLC for the knee of course.

I wanted to wrap up today’s post by giving you a quick update on my fundraising efforts for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society! If you remember, part of my BHAG is to cross the finish line of the marathon in one piece, but the other part of my BHAG is to achieve my fundraising goal of $5,000 for the LLS.

I’ve been completely and totally blown away by the generosity of everyone that I know. So far, with very little effort on my part, I’ve raised $1,315 towards my $5,000 goal, and I have some plans in the works for making up that remaining $3,700.

First of all – I’ve planned a shopping party to take place on Thursday March 6th at a local yoga clothing store in my hometown. The amazing store (Lole Atelier) has agreed to give all customers that night a 30% discount, and I’m going to be bringing in catering as well for shoppers to snack on. I’ve been working on gathering as many amazing prizes as I can for a silent auction, with 100% of the proceeds going towards my fundraising efforts for the LLS.

I’m really excited for the shopping party, and am really hopeful that it will bring me a big step closer to the ultimate goal.

My brother by the way is doing fantastically well! He’s at home, and needs to put on about 40 pounds (oh if I only had that problem…), but otherwise is right as rain! His bloodwork is good, and initial screens show no signs of Leukemia. Hurray!

I’ll leave you today with the link to my fundraising page for the LLS, if you are looking to start your weekend off with a good deed, then here’s a wonderful opportunity to donate to a cause very near and dear to my heart!

CLICK HERE TO DONATE NOW!!

Thanks for your support – and have a great weekend everyone!!

The Best Year of My Life

 

I don’t normally give a hoot about my birthday. I’ve never really been one to throw a big birthday party, or go out to a bar, or really do much of anything, at least for the past couple of years anyways. Call me crazy, but from about the time I turned 21 onwards, I’ve always looked at birthdays as “another year older” and another year of lost youth that I would never be able to reclaim.

A couple of months ago, I stumbled across this quote, and I only wish that I could find who it was that said it:

“Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many.” – Unknown

Unknown, whoever they were, was very wise with what they said. And I’ve taken their words to heart.

In so many ways, my 24th year was the best year of my life. In so many ways, it was also the very worst year of my life. There were so many amazing, uplifting moments of love and laughter that I cherish and hold close to me, and also so many black moments that I wish that I could sew away into the folds of time and pretend never happened.

I learned so much in my 24th year, but this year, I am ready to move on and to move forward. I’ve decided that my 25th year is going to be the very best year ever, and it’s going to be that way, because I’m going to make it that way!

I’m a lucky, lucky girl. I have an amazing family, a wonderful boyfriend, strong and meaningful friendships, and an overwhelming passion that I get to live and breathe every single day.

Really….what more could I possibly ask for?!

And so, I’ve decided to live each and every day of my 25th year with the intention to soak as much joy and as much happiness out of each and every minute that I can. I have no doubt that there will be hard moments, maybe even totally miserable moments. But I’ve learned from my 24th year that life is too short to be miserable. Even for one minute.

I’ve had the best birthday weekend I’ve ever had, filled to the brim with all of the things that really and truly make me happiest (including a massage, laser tag, cheeseburgers, hours and hours of group fitness, an animated movie about squirrels, time with Matt, sleeping in and shopping), and I can’t wait to see what the rest of my 25th year has in store for me!

This is going to be the best year ever. And it all starts tomorrow. WOOHOO!!

I did float the idea by Matt that perhaps I shouldn’t have to do a 12km run tomorrow because it is my birthday after all…………….

Suffice to say; it did not go over well. Sigh 😉

The happiest of weekends to you my friends, and stay tuned next week for some more running/training specific talk!

-Sara xoxo

A “To Do List” for 2014

Hi Everyone, and Happy New Year!!

Sorry for the long hiatus, I guess I was taking a bit of what you might call a ‘digital detox’ over the holidays, and although it did feel (really) good, I’ve really missed writing and all of you terribly! It’s good to be back!

This Christmas may have been the lowest key holidays that I’ve ever had. Normally we are traveling somewhere north (either to visit my mom’s family or Matt’s family), or at least all over the GTA visiting different friends, but this year we just kind of stayed put and breathe easy for a few days, which was nothing short of a miracle. In 12 days, Matt and I probably got more sleep then we got in the previous 4 months combined, and got to spend some time on our own around our house, which was also really nice.

[Side note – Matt got us the most incredible king sized mattress for Christmas, seriously, how did I ever sleep on anything BUT this thing????]

That being said, by the time January 1st rolled around, I think that both of us had had enough of lounging around the house and were ready to get back into our routines and our crazy daisy lifestyle. It’s amazing what a few weeks off work will do for your perspective. I’ve set a goal for 2014 to be religious about taking more time off across the whole year, rather than saving it all for the end of the year. By the time December hit last year, I was feeling really bitter and short-tempered and frustrated about work. 12 days later, while all those stressors are still right there where I left them in December, I just felt a whole lot better equipped to deal with them. And less likely to throw my stapler at someone’s head and tell them where to go.

Just sayin’ 😉

So here we are on January 2nd, and I’ll bet that if you follow lots of health and fitness blogs, that you’ve seen a lot of chatter about goal setting, New Years resolutions and challenges upcoming for the brand new year. So have I.

I’ll tell you a little secret, between you, me and the Internet. I set New Years resolutions every single year (even the years that I wave my hand at them and say that I won’t bother this year, I still do, just secretly so that no one knows about them) and I fail at them every single year.

Usually my New Years resolutions are about weight loss. “This year, I lose 20 pounds by cutting out chocolate and junk food and strictly reducing carbs.” “This year, I fit into a size 8 pair of jeans.”

One time, I actually bought a size 8 pair of jeans and hung them on a hanger over my closet door so that I could look at them every day for inspiration. I never did fit my big ass into those damn jeans!!

Anyways, this year, I thought I might try a new approach to New Years resolutions and New Years goal setting, and I thought I would try it in a totally different way then anything I’ve ever done before. Rather than setting “goals”, I’ve created a “To Do” list for 2014. The criteria for an item to make it onto the “To Do” list is simple. It has to elicit some sort of physical reaction from me. That’s it.

One thing I’ve learned from the past year and a half of crazy BHAG chasing is that sometimes you just have to trust your instincts. I think that sometimes you can only mess things up by thinking too much about them, because really, if you think too long and hard about anything, I’m pretty sure that you can find a way to talk to yourself out of it. Too much money, too long of a distance, too different a sport, too risky, not enough vacation time………

Enough.

What if instead of thinking too much, we started to trust that little voice inside us that used to guide everything that we did when we were kids? It’s rarely wrong, and it’s still there. I think that it’s just that as we grow older, the stern voice of reason becomes so much more loud and over-powering, that that meek little voice of passion and excitement fades away or becomes secondary. This is my best effort at reviving it!

And so before the voice of reason over-powers the decision to even post this ‘To-Do List’ for 2014, here goes nothing. A list of things that make me excited, that I plan to get done in 2014:

  • Run a full marathon
  • Eat a cheeseburger at Webers restaurant on Highway 11
  • Go sky diving (I know….just…..I know)
  • Organize our storage room (yes, this excites me…I live a sad, sad life….;))
  • Ride Leviathan at Canada’s Wonderland
  • Go on a weekend getaway with Matt (not involving a race or any sort of athletic endeavor!!!)
  • Start and finish writing a novel
  • Do Edge Walk at the CN Tower
  • Take 50 yoga classes
  • Read at least 4 new novels
  • Complete the Muskoka Half IronMan bike course with a smile on my face
  • Share the link to my blog on Facebook (yep, I still haven’t done this almost a year and a half in. Talk about a chicken)
  • Improve the organization and functionality of my blog
  • Buy a DSLR Camera and start to take pictures more regularly
  • Put up an “inspiration wall” in our basement beside the treadmill
  • Take 50 dance classes

And there she be!! I can’t wait to get started on making this stuff happen!!

Before you leave today, I want to hear at least one item that’s on YOUR “To Do” list for 2014. If you could turn off the voice of Reason for just a minute, and listen to that inner-child, what is one thing that you really WANT to do this year, if you could do anything?

Happy New Year to all – and happy listing!!

-Sara xoxo