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Has it already been a week?

Has it really been a week already, since I started writing again?

 

We are already in week 6 of training. That’s hard to believe.

My groups is small, but dedicated (for the most part!).

We’ve got people of all kinds of experience levels. A couple of first timers, a couple with 5+ marathons in the books and everything in between.

That’s one of the things I love about marathon training; there is no specific ‘type’ of person who trains for a marathon. Marathon runners come in all shapes and sizes, from all kinds of backgrounds, but they all have one thing in common, the drive to push themselves to achieve something that only a small portion of the population will ever achieve.

 

For myself, training got off to a slow start.  The first 3 weeks were full of prior commitments, then I was in Hawaii for a week. Now I’m back, and it is time to step it up and play catch up.

I’ve been noticing it has been a little harder than I remember it being in the past.  The last 2 Sunday long runs have had their challenges, and I am not the biggest fan of tempo runs, but I just keep putting one foot in front of the other, and plodding along.  The struggles make me question why I’m doing this again, why isn’t a half marathon enough? What if my best races are already behind me?

It’s hard not to compare yourself to other people you see training.  When I see someone I ran beside for the majority of one of my previous marathons, logging runs 30 seconds a kilometer faster than me, I get discouraged. When I see people logging more kilometers than me, or running on more days than me, it frustrates me.

The thing is, the hardest part of marathon training is what goes on in your head.  It is easy to convince yourself that it is too hard to run a marathon. It is hard to convince yourself you are capable of running a marathon.

I have the word believe tattooed on the inside of my right wrist.   It’s there to remind me to have more faith in myself, to believe in my abilities.

It is there to remind me that I can do anything I set my mind to.

I think it’s time to set my mind to marathon training.

 

The Journey of a Thousand Miles….

 

 

The Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins With One Step…

 

Or so they say.

And I am about to start another journey of a thousand miles.

 

After what felt like a disastrous year of running in 2013, which saw me log less than half the kilometers I had logged in each of the two prior years, I took a 2 full months of of running. I needed to regroup, refocus & rehabilitate from a few nagging aches and pains.  I also moved and started a new job, so the break from running came at a fortunate time.

It is amazing how hard running can feel when you haven’t done it for a couple months, so in mid-December, I laced up my shoes again and started the process of regaining my fitness.  I needed to get back to a place where I could run 10K comfortably.

You see, being able to run 10K comfortably is the requirement to register for marathon training, and since I have signed up to instruct the marathon clinic this season it was important that I get back in shape.

I’ve known for a while now that May 2014 would be the next time I attempt that ominous 42.2km(26.2m) distance, and I decided this time around that instead of paying to register for the clinic, I wouldn’t mind getting paid to instruct the clinic.  It has been something I have been interested in for a long time, but it never felt like the right time. This time, it felt right.

On January 7, 2014 clinic started with a 6k run that had me struggling to breathe, thanks to a lovely Christmas cold I was still recovering from.  Between the cold & prior commitments, I was only able to run 9 times in January, which wasn’t exactly the best start to training, but now that February is here, I’m ready to tackle the mileage and get back to wear I was 2 years ago when I ran my marathon PB.

I’m excited to be back at it.

I have to admit that 2013 was a hard year for me when it came to running. And, not being able to run as much as I was used to lead to a struggle with my weight.  Yes, I still work for WeightWatchers, and yes I am still in my healthy weight range, but I am not where I want to be.  As a result, the start of 2014 has been a struggle to get back to eating right, as well as a struggle to regain my fitness.   Now that January is behind us, and a bunch of roadblocks have passed, I’m ready to tackle my running and my eating habits in February, and get everything back to where I need/want it to be.

 

So, from now until May, I’m going to be here regularly, writing about training, and eating, and eating and training.

I invite you to join the conversation on my Facebook Page, Twitter, or Instagram, as I share my struggles and triumphs on the road to the marathon.

 

K.

 

 

 

 

 

It’s all about respect.

We are just a few days away from Remembrance Day here in Canada, and in other Commonwealth Nations.

 

It is a somber day, set aside to reflect on the sacrifices that have been made by military members past and present, to protect the freedoms we take for granted.

It is no secret that I am a ‘military spouse’.  The man in my life is a serving member of the Canadian Navy.  I am proud to stand beside my man in uniform.

 

Over the past few days I have heard a few things in relation to Remembrance Day that have really made me angry.

 

First of all, there is the group of university student who are taking the idea of the red poppy that we all wear in remembrance, and attempting to manipulate it and change it’s meaning, by changing it’s colour. They “don’t care” what Veterans think of their white “peace poppy”, and will be attending Remembrance Day services to distribute spread their message.  I do not disagree with spreading a message of peace, but perhaps their efforts would be better used by bringing attention to the International Day of Peace that is celebrated annually, rather than disrespecting a national holiday of remembrance.

The other thing I heard today was a DJ on the local radio station saying that he doesn’t wear a poppy because he doesn’t like putting holes in his clothing.   Yes, you read that right, he doesn’t want o wear a poppy because it will put holes in his clothing. To him, a few pieces of (replaceable) clothing are more important than showing respect for the thousands of (irreplaceable)  men & women who have died for the country he calls home, as well as those who have sustained permanent injuries fighting for our freedom.

 

All I really have to say on this matter is this:

 

If you do not stand behind our troops, feel free to stand in front of them.

 

 

 

Thanksgiving Insanity!

I don’t know what has gotten in to me lately.

I’ve always loved to cook, and I’ve always loved to bake, and I’ve always loved to entertain.

 

But I think having the space to do it all, up at the lake house, has sent me in to overdrive!

 

N & I are hosting a family Thanksgiving Dinner this year, we are having it on the Saturday of the long weekend so that everyone can be there.

I may have taken “homemade” to the extreme.

 

Over the summer, I learned to bake bread.  We don’t buy bread anymore. Every couple of weeks I spend a Saturday baking, and make all our bread for the next few weeks.   A couple of weekends ago, I made extra.  I took those extra loaves and cut them up in to small cubes and dried them. Yes, I made my own breadcrumbs for my homemade sausage stuffing.  I finished up the stuffing last night, and it is sitting in the fridge, letting all the flavours combine for a few days before the weekend.

 

Another thing I (re)learned over the summer was making pastry. So far I’ve put this skill to good use with never-ending pies. made with blackberries picked from our own yard. I’ve also used homemade pastry a couple of times to make quiche from a WeightWatchers recipe.  It’s gotten to the point that I keep cubed butter in the fridge incase I have a pastry emergency.

For Thanksgiving Dinner, the pastry is being put to use in a homemade pumpkin pie.

In our house we really have to watch out for hidden ingredients in food. N’s son cannot have preservatives, artificial flavours or artificial colours, so this makes shopping for groceries a little more challenging. We have to read the ingredients on everything we bring in to the house, and keep everything that is ‘safe’ in a special cupboard.  So with this in mind, I got it in my head that making pumpkin pie at home would be easier than trying to find a canned pie filling that met the requirements. Add to the fact that N ‘challenged’ me by telling me that homemade pumpkin pie would never taste as good as the canned stuff.  Well, challenge accepted!

Last week we went up to the Old Farm Market in Duncan and picked up the necessary ingredients, and I got to work.  I roasted the pumpkin and “pureed” it by hand, since I currently don’t own a food processor. Then I popped the puree in the freezer until I had time to make the pie.  This past weekend I pulled the puree out of the freezer and let it defrost while I made the pastry.  Then I mixed up all the ingredients for the pie filling and popped it in the oven. The whole house smelled amazing, and when I gave N a taste of some extra filling I had baked, he had to eat his words. In his opinion, this is the best pumpkin pie he’s ever had.  Thank you very much!

Now the pie is in the freezer waiting for its big moment!

So the pumpkin pie is done, so is the homemade cranberry sauce and the stuffing. I’ve got one more pie to bake tonight, and then all that’s left to do is wait for the big day to cook the meal!

So tell me this, are you a home cook?  do you enjoy it, or is it a chore?

Are you hosting Thanksgiving this year, or are you looking forward to being a guest and enjoying someone else’s hard work?

 

Boston…

My thoughts are so very much with the City of Boston, the runners of the Boston Marathon, and the families of those injured and lost.

 

Yesterday was a hard day as a runner.

To see the finish line, a place that should be filled with such joy and pride, turned in to a place of devastation and fear.

 

My first thoughts when I heard of the explosions was of all the people I knew personally who were running. Thankfully they are all safe and sound.

My second thought was absolute shock at the images I was seeing.  Blood stained sidewalks, the finish line torn apart.

 

I just can’t imagine.

The Boston marathon isn’t just a day!  The Boston Marathon is the culmination of months and years of training.

I just can’t imagine what it must be like for those who have dreamed for years of being there, and then having this happen.

 

It kills me that this was ‘aimed’ at spectators.

Spectators make the race. Having loved ones at the finish line to call your name as you complete the event has more meaning than most people know.

To target these innocent people, it kills me.

An entire family was torn apart. An 8 year old boy died, his sister lost limbs, and his mother is in serious condition, all because they wanted to support his dad and see him cross the finish line.

 

Yes. This is a lot of random thoughts spouting out of me right now. My brain has been filled with randomness since it all happened.

 

I want to also acknowledge the thousands of runners that started the race, but never got to the finish line. They were stopped with less than a mile to go.  They dreamed of this day, of crossing the Boston Marathon finish line for years, and someone took that away from them.

 

Last night I ran. The calendar had a rest day scheduled, but I couldn’t not run. I needed to run.  This attack hit home. I needed to run!

 

My thoughts are with everyone impacted by this event, but I can tell you one thing for certain, this will not stop me from running, this will not stop me from racing. If anything this fuels my fire and makes me want to run & race harder and stronger.

 

 

Sorry for the absence…

2013-02-13 10.38.16

I apologize for the lack of updates lately, but I’ve injured a hand, and typing too much causes it to start throbbing.

I have to save all my typing time for work.

I have many updates & topics planned for when I return.

 

Thanks for your patience.

 

K.

617 Doughnuts?

2012 in Review:

So, now that 2012 is behind us, I can sit down and reflect on what I accomplished.  And since I really am a numbers geek, this is just going to be a pile of statistics.

In early 2012, I made it my goal to get a marathon time that started with a 3.  I wanted that elusive sub 4 hour marathon.  I’m happy to say that in May, I achieved that goal.  I also managed to pull of a 10K OB of 49:02 just a week before the marathon.  Unfortunately, the rest of the year didn’t go as well.

On the bright side, my training was much more consistent in 2012.   I can officially say that I ran 453km further in 2012 than I ran in 2011. And, in December of 2012 I ran a total 85km! That’s 85km further than the big ZERO I logged in December 2011! Or, time wise, that’s a total of 9644 minutes in 2012, vs. 7118 minutes in 2011!

2012 statsI ran 163 times in 2012, vs 103 times in 2011. I raced 7 times this year, vs 9 times in 2011 and 12 times in 2010!!! If you’re a numbers geek like me, you can click the image to the left and check out more of my stats on DailyMile!  Over there you will see that I burned the equivalent of 617 doughnuts worth of calories!

I think the biggest thing for me is that I ENJOYED running this year, even with the fact that I am now more focused on results than ever before. I think hiring a coach, and changing the focus from running every run as distance for speed, to running with a long term goal, has brought back the pleasure. Now instead of going out run 5K as fast as I can a couple times a week, I’m going out and running a variety of runs for different lengths of time, with different purposes.

I’ve set some big goals for 2013, including setting a PB in every distance I race, with my first race just 5 days away! This years big race is going to be a marathon near the end of the year, and there will only be one marathon this year. Instead of a full in May, I will be focusing on the half, in preparation for my best marathon ever at the end of the year!

I can’t wait to see what the end of year stats look like for 2013!

6 years ago today!

6 years ago today, on January 2nd 2007, I walked in to a Weight Watchers  meeting for the (second) first time!

I remember the day clearly, I was home sick from work, but determined that was the day I was going to join. It took me ALL DAY to shower, and work up the energy to drive across town to the meeting room to join.

When I walked in the room, I was greeted with a cheerful “KIRSTY! Welcome back!”. You see, the women working that night were the same women who worked at the meeting I had attended, and lost 25lbs at, 2 years earlier.

Here I was, walking in the room wearing my ‘fat jeans’ again, embarrassed to be back, ashamed to have put all the weight back on, and hoping no one recognized me! And here they were, greeting me like a long lost friend. They didn’t care that I had put the weight back on, or that I hadn’t been to a meeting in 2 years, they just cared that I was back again, ready to give it another try!

I wasn’t sure if I could “do it” this time. I mean, I knew I could lose weight, but I wasn’t sure that I could get it ALL off and keep it off!

But after I went back the next week, and the week after, and the week after that, it became a routine, it became just what I did!

Here I am now, 6 years later, at my goal weight for four and a half years, living a life I never expected.

 

I recently recorded a video, and uploaded it to the WeightWathers “I’m only human and I did it” Project! If you click the link, and then click “user uploaded”, you can watch my video, as well as other videos of real people who have real lives, and still achieved real weight loss on the program!

 

It’s that time of year when people are starting to make resolutions to lose weight, get in shape, eat better, quit a bad habit, and so on.  My decision to join WeightWatchers wasn’t a resolution, my decision to join “after Christmas” was based on not wanting to be watching what I ate over the holidays.  If you are thinking about losing weight, or becoming healthier at this time of year, I highly encourage to to take that first step, be it in to a WeightWatchers meeting room, a gym, or just out your front door to go for a walk.

 

Do whatever you need to do, just do something. Don’t sit around waiting for someone else to do it for you!

Guest Post – Christina – Watching the Weight.

“Watching the Weight.”

That was the whole point, wasn’t it? I mean, as someone generally unfamiliar with Weight Watchers, I could at least know what to expect given the name of the game. I knew what my ‘why’ and ‘what’ was, and I was ready to learn the ‘how’.

September 28th was the first time I entered the meeting room. It was a brisk Saturday morning, which meant pealing off the layers I had bundled myself up with, trying not to tip the scale against my favour. Slowly, I unveiled what was underneath, which to tell you the truth I hadn’t been very proud of as of late.

I was nervous – I’ll be the first to admit. All I could think about was the number that represented who I was that day. I had an idea of how much I weighed at the time, but I knew that the late serving of waffles I had consumed in the wee hours of that morning would be haunting me.

I ripped off the band-aid, gasped a little, and waited for the attendant to give me back my card, clearly labelled with my current weight. I bundled myself up, swallowed my pity and sat down in the crowd. I was wide-eyed and ready to get my head back in the game. The number was higher than I expected – not by much – but still enough that I realized quite abruptly that I needed to smarten up and take control again.

It really helped to have my roommate (let’s call her ‘A’) along with me. As I previously mentioned in a former post, ‘A’ had participated in Weight Watchers before and was really great about teaching me tips and tricks that would inevitably help me to succeed. I was grateful for that. That, along with a strong support network, a positive leader, and an optimistic outlook, was exactly what I needed.

That was September 28th. Today is December 16th and I am happy to share that today, 9lbs are gone. It was those 9lbs that had gotten me down before, and my outlook is better than ever. I will continue to press forward and I feel like I have a strong footing to get me closer to my next goals and milestones.

It hasn’t been easy, but it has been a fun, challenging experience. I’ve held myself accountable in so many ways and learned how I can succeed without depriving myself of those things that I really enjoy. I’m building new routines and habits – some old that needed some dusting off, and others are completely new to me. I think that’s what the meetings are best for. When you get the opportunity to hear from other members who have their own little secrets to success, you gain so many different perspectives. I love those moments when you say “Yeah… that is such a great idea!” and you can turn around and try implementing that strategy in your very own day-to-day.

This also makes me love the new focus on Weight Watchers 360 – teaching more about the ‘how to live’ versus ‘what to eat’. It’s like that saying about how we should teach man to fish, instead of giving him a single fish. It’s those routines and lessons that we learn that will give us long-term success.

Well said, Confucius.

 

Next time I’ll take more about my routines and how I’ve found success as a Weight Watchers member.

Guest Post – Inching towards ‘onederland’.

Recently, with the impending launch of WeightWatchers 360°, I thought it would be fun to look at the Program through the eyes of a member.  I thought it would be interesting to see how they work the program, and how the transition to 360° impacts them.

I asked 2 members to help me, 2 members of different generations, 2 members with different life experiences and points of view.  I’d like to introduce you to Karen.  I love her perspective on the program.  She originally got her Lifetime Membership 2 years before I as born, so she has seen many incarnations of WeightWatchers.  Karen is here to represent the 50+ crowd.

I hope you enjoy this look at the program from different perspective.

________________________________________________

I was asked to write my thoughts about the new Weight Watchers 360 program.  My last meeting was the introduction to the program.

 

Let me start with why I joined Weight Watchers.  I have been a lifetime member since 1974  (I was 19 years old and newly married) and it took me only one card (16 weeks) to lose my original weight goal.  I think it was around 45lbs.  Now the program way back then was very restrictive.  You had to eat at least 3 fish meals a week and were supposed to eat liver. (though I told my leader she’d never see that on my diary. )  You had to turn your diary in every week and the leader went over it and returned it the next week.  I’m not at goal right now and have been back on the program since late summer of 2010 I came back because over the years since 1974 I’ve been at goal or just above it and then I stopped paying attention and my weight creeped up and up till I had a substantial amount of weight to lose.  This time it’s not about vanity.  I’m not 19 anymore I’m 58 and it’s all about my health.  I want to go into my 60’s fit and healthy.  I want to be able to ride on a cycling vacation next year and I don’t want to worry about heart problems or diabetes.  So no matter how long it takes me this time around I will be my normal seat on Saturday mornings listening to Kirsty teach us about whichever program is the current one.

 

This is my third program since I’ve been back and I’m hesitant to make changes to a program that has worked for me but I’m willing to give it a try.  I’m not sure how the new program will work so thank heavens they didn’t change the points part of it. I’m inching my way to “onederland” and my goal and decided when I returned to Weight Watchers that I would eat as I would “normally” because that is the only way I would be able to stay at goal this time around.  I would control portions and fats but wouldn’t deprive myself of my favourite foods.  Looking at the etools on line I see that there are lots of new ideas to keep me focused and help me get there and stay there this time.

 

I’ve found that I have to definitely add an exercise program to my food program and will make it one of my routines.

 

I’ll keep reading the new program materials, track and exercise and we’ll see what the next few weeks bring.   With all it challenges my goal is to maintain over the holidays.  Have a couple of my Mom’s buttertarts and track them and start the New Year not having to re-lose any of my “hard lost” weight.

 

I’ll let you know my experiences with the new program in a few weeks.  Have a great holiday season.