March Madness

My kids’ hockey seasons are wrapping up in the next couple of weeks, I’m happy to report, and my son’s soccer winds up this weekend. Looking forward to less driving and more time at home. If I’m totally honest, though, my husband has been shouldering the bulk of the running around for the kids’ activities, so I’m sure he’s going to be ecstatic come March 24th.

Workouts have not been happening for a couple of weeks. I have been totally exhausted (work has been really busy) and have tended to choose more sleep over workouts. On the other hand, my eating has been pretty good, and last week I started using the Lose It app ( and totally love it. I had previously resisted my dietitian’s attempts to get me to food track electronically because I’ve always found anything online to be a pain in the ass (PITA), but this app allows you to scan food labels into your phone and then tracks the nutritional data, to enter your own recipes easily, and is, according to my dietitian, fairly accurate in calorie counts vs. other apps out there. I was already food journaling, but using this tool helped me I was eating plain ol’ too much, even though the food I was eating was generally good for me.

Still making my way through The Book of New Family Traditions (Revised and Updated): How to Create Great Rituals for Holidays and Every Day and have started Sundae Mondays for the kids. Basically, I’m putting together breakfast sundaes for them every Monday morning so that they have something to look forward to that day. Mondays suck for pretty much everyone, and I’ve definitely noticed that it boosts their moods at the beginning of the week to start out with something fun.

Off to do some yoga before bed. Today was a long, tough day at work and my back needs to decompress.

What are your favourite apps?



How Are Things?

I’ve been busy, busy, busy! Installed digital x-ray equipment, did a day of training on the new system, spent two days in Calgary at an orthodontics course, kids have started hockey and we’ve been running to meetings and practices (well, mostly my husband).  Have been getting busier with patients, fired an employee a week ago (unfortunately had to be done, but it was my first firing), and have been doing major organizing at work. There have been a couple of days where I barely had time to eat or go to the bathroom, but it’s been really good to be making headway at work and start to get the business organized.

Having said that, I really hate that so many people describe their lives as “busy” when asked how they’re doing, because most people I know are “busy.”  So enough of that from me.  My life, with kids’ activities, my new practice, and my husband’s new business venture, is kinda crazy these days, but I will have a pretty full schedule for the foreseeable future so I’d better get used to it and work around it. And, hey, it’s still a bajillion times better than dental school!

My eating has been pretty decent, but definitely with Thanksgiving last weekend and going out of town without snacks pre-planned, things got a little off track.  Workouts, though, have not really been happening, and I know I’d feel so much better if I could fit in some activity, and this, of course, requires planning.

I do really wonder, though, how other married couples with kids fit in workouts? We honestly don’t know any couples where both spouses work full-time and both workout. We know couples where one spouse stays home/works part-time, which allows that person to fit in their workouts during the day when the kids are at school, and we know a couple of families where at least one of the parents works out regularly, but the other person really doesn’t, so the “active” one is covered by the other parent at home. Is it just a matter of being really strict with a workout schedule or what?

We are also going hard with kid activities this year, with my son playing hockey and soccer and my daughter participating in hockey, ballet, and gymnastics, so we are scrambling a lot so far in terms of running around and fitting healthy meals, never mind fitting in workouts (even if it is our own fault). Honestly, a couple of early morning workouts would probably be the best thing, but I am so NOT a morning person, especially now that it’s so dark in the morning.  If you have (reasonable) tips for getting out of bed, shoot ’em my way.

All of that being said, one of the reasons I originally started this blog was to help keep me honest in terms of my workouts, so this week I am committing to the following workouts:

Monday – 30 minutes yoga 9pm

Tuesday – 30 minutes stationary bike 7pm

Wednesday – full body strength workout, 30 minutes walking (outside or treadmill, depending on weather) 9:30am

Thursday – 30 min yoga 9pm

Friday – 30 min walk right after work 5:30pm

Saturday – 35 min walk during my daughter’s ballet class 10:50am-11:25am

Sunday – full body strength and 30 min stationary bike 9am

Starting tomorrow night I will pack up my gear the night before, make sure my iPod’s charged, and fill up my water bottle so that it’s easy to just get that workout done.  Honestly, the schedule I’ve laid out is probably a little aggressive considering the week I have coming up, but it is doable. And I already have it in my Google calendar. As extra incentive, if I get all of my workouts in, I will download myself five new songs from iTunes.

How do you fit in your workouts when your schedule gets jammed?

A Week in Review: They Can’t All Be Good Runs

As I stated in this post, I missed my workouts Monday and Tuesday, and had to limit my workout to lifting weights on Wednesday.  On Thursday, I had an unexpected daytime opportunity to run 7k.  On Friday, I ran 200m intervals.  I had another 7k run scheduled for Saturday, but my legs were toast after my intervals Friday, so I settled for walking to, from, and around the Regina Ex with my family (probably a total of 3.5k).

Today was a 14k long run.  My legs felt tired from the start.  My GI tract was giving me some trouble, so I decide to go out and back twice, just in case I needed to use my washroom mid-run.  Luckily, the washroom access was largely unnecessary, but even though I made it through my run without “the trots,” I struggled somewhat with fueling and ended up with some GI discomfort later in my run.   Too much GU, Powerade, and water for my stomach to handle, I think.  Usually I use a combo of Gu, Gatorade, and water, but because the race I’m running will have Powerade, I’ve been testing that out.  It seems more concentrated or something and did not sit well today.  My stomach felt heavy and sort of crampy after I took in some Gu and water around the 11.5k mark and I had a heck of a time running through it.  To top it off, my knee started to ache a little around the 12k mark, so I walked the last 1.5k or so.  Ah well, guess all workouts can’t be good.

I’m working around my husband’s schedule again this week, so here’s what my week looks like:

  • Monday – 8k
  • Tuesday – speed/intervals
  • Wednesday – strength
  • Thursday – off
  • Friday – hills + strength
  • Saturday – 8k
  • Sunday – 16k
I’m seeing my physio again this week and have been foam rolling, so here’s hoping my IT band issue stays under control.
What’s your week look like?

Summer: Now Just Around the Corner

If you read Kat’s blog over at Tenaciously Yours, you’ll know that she’s on her honeymoon, cruising the Mediterranean.  While she’s away, she’s posting some of her own material, but is also featuring some guest bloggers.  I was honoured to have her ask me to guest blog for her, because I love her blog and I find her posts super entertaining.  It’s not unusual for me to laugh out loud  as I’m sitting in my kitchen, reading the latest about her life.  So, cruise on over, check out my post about my summer fun checklist, and then peruse some of hers.  You won’t be disappointed.

My first week of work at my summer job was mostly good. It’s nice getting back into a routine because it keeps me from snacking at all hours. I packed my lunch most days, had lots of veggies, made some pretty good snacking choices, drank more water, and ended up losing about 1.5 lbs this week.

Workout-wise, though, I slacked.  I did some core and hip-strengthening exercises, but otherwise nothing else this past week.  I’m booked in to see a physiotherapist next week, so we’ll see what she says about the whole hip-slash-running situation.  I plan to get a run in tomorrow and I’m definitely going to schedule workouts into my calendar for the upcoming week.  I think the key is going to be to workout right after work, before I really wind down.  At least next week.  And then my kids will move with me for the summer, so I’ve got to figure out how to fit in my workouts after that, since I’ll be solo parenting most of the time.  My husband will be there sometimes, since he travels to the city I’m living in for my summer job a couple of days per week, usually, but it’ll definitely be challenging to wrangle the kids on my own.

How do you make sure you get your workouts in, and how’s the summer shaping up for you so far?


Looking Back

Now that I’m fully immersed in half marathon training, I thought it would be interesting to look back at what I was doing this day last year and compare it to this morning’s run.  According to the data from my Garmin, I didn’t workout on May 31, 2010, but I did get in a 15 min run on June 1st.  Apparently, I was rehabbing my IT band at the time.  Surprise, surprise.  Last spring it was my right IT band, and now this year I’ve got funky stuff going on with my left psoas/hip/IT band.  Good thing I’m getting back into strength training!  I think my hips and core need it.

Flash forward to my run this morning, which was 6k at an “easy” pace (it’s based on the numbers I ran through the McMillan Running Calculator) plus 6 x 30 sec intervals at 10k pace.  Let me just say that 1) I am terrible at holding a steady pace, 2) the “easy” pace didn’t feel that easy, and 3) I am a slow runner, but better slow than not at all!

I followed up this morning’s run with an hour session with my personal trainer this afternoon.  Why, you might ask, did I do that?  (Yes, it seems a bit crazy, even to me, given that I’m just getting back into regular workouts.)  Well, my trainer will be moving away to Calgary in a couple of weeks, so this is actually the last week I’ll be able to work with her!  So sad about that…

Anyway, it was either today or Thursday morning at 8am, which didn’t work for me.  I really wanted to get my run in and knew that there was no way that was going to happen after my workout with her (hello, trashed legs), so I laced up the shoes and got out there.  My legs are totally dead now, so I’ll be taking it easy on the stationary bike tomorrow – or maybe I should take my actual bike out on the road tomorrow.  It’s supposed to be a nice day, after all, and what’s more pleasant than going for an easy cruise, perhaps down by the river?

On the food front, I didn’t do a great job nutrition-wise today.  I had a small glass of OJ before my run this morning (I’m experimenting to see what my stomach/GI tract can handle), and then by the time I was done my run, I had to quickly shower and get out of the house because we were getting spray-foam insulation installed in our basement and the process is totally stinky.  Needless to say, there was inappropriate refueling after the run.  On the plus side, I had a nice salad for lunch; a Larabar before my workout; a post-workout shake afterward; beef tenderloin, whole wheat baguette, and roasted asparagus for supper.  I snuck in a couple of indulgences at supper tonight, because it was a dinner celebrating me being done 3rd year dentistry, and if you can’t indulge on the day you do 2 workouts, when can you?  So, it was a glass of red wine and some yummy cookie dough and brownie chunk ice cream for dessert.  Yum yum.

There are a whole lot of things I should get done tomorrow, and I don’t really want to do any of them.  I guess I should at least start by putting together a to do list tomorrow morning…Other than that, my day is wide open.  Such a great feeling.

Have a great day tomorrow!  How’s your to do list looking these days?



Lipstick, Legwarmers, and Kings of Leon

A few random things today:

1. Love the Kings of Leon and just downloaded a few albums I didn’t have from iTunes while watching their performance at the O2 Arena in London on Superchannel.  If you don’t know the Kings of Leon, please please PLEASE Google them or go to iTunes!

2. Missed my spin class earlier this week – Monday at 6am just wasn’t going to fit into my schedule – so my trainer said I could hit another of her classes later on.  Today was “later,” and involved half and hour of spinning and half an hour of full-body strength.  I doubt I’ll be walking properly tomorrow as my legs are currently feeling like rubber, but I feel great right now!  Nothing like a tough workout to get the blood flowing.  Downloaded the data for this workout from my Garmin, and here’s what my heart rate looked like:

Max heart rate: 184 bpm

Avg heart rate: 164 bpm

Considering my max is somewhere around 187 (and that’s running), I would definitely say I pushed it today.  Patting myself on the back right now.

3. Have managed to stay out of the kids’ candy all week!  I feel like that’s major accomplishment.  Seriously.

4. To meet my goals for the week, I’ll be fitting in a workout tomorrow.  I’ll likely be stationary biking, but depending how my IT band/knee is feeling tomorrow, I might go for a very short run.  Just to recap, I injured my left IT band while training for a half marathon this summer – after I started to taper.  Go figure. Have been struggling with it ever since, and while I’ve been giving it lots of rest, I’ve slacked off on the hip strengthening exercises my physio gave me.  That combined with a reduction in my overall strength training is I’m sure what’s keeping my IT band nagging at me.  Oh well – can only focus on so many things, and right now, that’s making it through dental school, looking after the kids and household, and fitting in the workouts I can when I can.  Dedicated rehabbing of the IT band?  Not so much.

5. I am terrible at picking out lipstick colours.  Not sure why?  Maybe because I usually judge colour on the back of my hand. LOL  Went to Shopper’s this morning and got the cosmetics lady to help me.  Was actually able to try the lipstick on.  Walked away with 2 new lipsticks, one by Lise Watier and the other by Pur Minerals.  I am totally excited to wear them around, like, everyday!

6. Went out for supper with friends last night.  Was starving.  Ordered a salad.  Yeah, I’ve reached that point where I can happily turn down the burger and fries and go for the healthy option.  Just to clarify, I’m not talking about some crappy tossed salad with a few grated carrots.  It was a Chicken Napa Valley salad from Jerry’s Food Emporium: mixed greens & seasonal vegetables, pecans, sunflower & pumpkin seeds, raisins & feta cheese with a zesty honey citrus vinaigrette & herb rubbed grilled chicken, with a small crusty roll on the side.  Now that’s a salad, non?

7. I’m wearing leg warmers right now.  No, they aren’t the same as the ones from the 80’s.  They are actually functional.  The ones I have are from Lululemon and allow me to wear my capri-length running tights when it’s cold out.  Love them.  No, really -they’re cool now.

Okay, I’m gonna sign off now.  I’m sitting here in my sweaty workout clothes, having finished my skim milk and oatmeal with raisins.  Think it’s time to shower.

Thanks for reading, and have a great weekend.  Do something that makes you happy. 🙂

That Girl Who Orders Salad

Looks tasty, right?  Er, not so much.You know the one.  You go to a nice restaurant with good food, or McDonald’s with not-so-good food, and she orders a salad.  Seriously?  Not french fries.  Not a burger.  Not a steak.  Salad.

I used to wonder at that girl.  Why would you order salad when you could order something better, something delicious, and fatty, and worth the price?  Please, I totally agreed with Homer Simpson when he chanted, ” You don’t win friends with salad.  You don’t win friends with salad.”  Heck, there’s even a book called Skinny Chicks Don’t Eat Salad.  (Not dissing the book, ’cause I haven’t read it.  Just sayin’.)

Now, I know why she does it.  I have become that girl (well, woman).

Don’t get me wrong.  I will not order a side salad or a salad with just greens.  Uh-uh.  It must follow my normal eating guidelines.  What does this translate to?

  • at least 2 cups of veggies (not usually a problem – it’s a salad)
  • 3 oz or so of meat, preferably lean (grilled chicken, grilled shrimp, and sirloin steak are what I usually choose)
  • dressing on the side, so that I can limit it to 1/2 to 1 tbsp
  • 1 to 2 servings of starch

Getting a healthy starch is the tricky part of the salad order, because from what I’ve seen, it’s usually garlic bread or cheese toast or, with my favourite salad, banana bread.  Sometimes you can get rice, whole wheat pasta, corn, or beans, but not that often.  I try not to get hung up on this, though, because my diet is healthy enough that it can absorb the occasional piece of garlic bread.  Don’t they say it’s all about moderation?

Restaurant Salads I Seem to Order A Lot:

Why I’ve Become That Girl:

Oh, I totally get why you don’t order salad when you go out.  I don’t order salad all the time, either.  If I go to The Keg, it seems wrong to order anything but steak (although I did order some fish there last time I went, and it was pretty good).  I will also order fish fairly often, depending on how it’s prepared, partly because it’s healthy and partly because I can’t seem to make good fish at home.  Plus, I don’t enjoy it when the house smells like fish.

Salad is one of the few things you can order that can pretty much guarantee that you’ll get a few servings of veggies at a meal.  Why is that important to me?

  • Because veggies are good for you (vitamins, minerals, fibre, water, etc.)
  • Because I need to eat lots of veggies to feel full and not want to gnaw at my arm later
  • Because I try to eat healthfully most of the time, and that means I need to make healthy choices most of the time when I eat out, too
  • Because veggies are low-calorie and filling, and I want to lose weight
  • Because I feel superior to you when I eat lots of veggies and you order a clubhouse and fries (I’m only partly kidding)

I’ve had a fantasy for the past fifteen years that I could eat all the chocolate and bread I wanted and lose weight.  Not gonna happen.  Isn’t it Einstein who said that the definition of insanity was “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results?”  Well, I’ve made major changes to how I eat and how much I exercise, and it’s working.  If that means I order a salad when everyone else order lasagna, so be it.  You can be sure I won’t be the one at the table regretting my order later.