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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

5K Training - Week 6, Run 2

This is it. Monday, which was my second run of week 6, was the very last of my training runs that was in intervals. (Yes, I peeked ahead to see what was in store for me!). From here on out, all of my runs will now be solid blocks of running, working up from 25 minutes to 30 by Week 9.

Yesterday's run was two 10 minute runs with a 3 minute walk in between, all sandwiched between a 5 minute warm-up walk and a 5 minute cool-down walk.

I had also decided to try running to the music I have on my iPhone, thinking it might help. I'm not sure if it's because I've run for 6 weeks without music, but I found it more difficult to concentrate on my breathing, which really helps me to zone out and not think about how long I've been running and how long I've got left. It was nice listening to music, but I'm not sure if I'll continue to do so. Also, the most recent music on my iPhone is from at least 5 years ago, which doesn't mean it's bad, but I kind of wanted to listen to some newer stuff, too! And another problem is that I don't have headphones! Ear buds do NOT stay in my ears, so running with them is pointless. I can't even sit with them staying in there. So I also spent my run blocking the speakers on my iPhone every time I passed someone so they wouldn't think I was weird for playing my music out loud :P

The run itself wasn't too tough, except for the fact that it was pretty humid last night, which definitely made for a hotter, slower run. But I pushed through and I think I made better time than my last 20 minute run, but it's hard to tell with the added 3 minute walk in between. It will be easier to keep track of my speed in the coming runs.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

New, Exciting Veggies!

We got some new, interesting, exciting vegetables in this week's basket, along with some old favourites. I've already made my meal plan for the week, so I'm hoping some of the new recipes I'm trying (or upping old recipes by replacing canned or non-local veggies with these) will be winners!

Here's what we got this week:
  • A bag of mixed salad greens (a pleasant surprise, considering they told us they would stop sending these for the time being due to the drought and unfavourable conditions)
  • 1 head of lettuce
  • Swiss chard
  • Romano beans (I still have a bag leftover from last week, and I plan on trying a new recipe with these this week)
  • Yellow beans
  • Celery
  • Broccoli
  • 1 bag of mini red potatoes
  • 5-6 small summer onions
  • 1 large container of heirloom tomatoes - lots of colours and sizes!
  • Radish sprouts
  • 1 bag of white mushrooms
  • Heirloom carrots
  • 2 magdas (they look like striped zucchini)
  • 1 yellow summer squash
With the romano beans, I plan on making a side dish that is tomatoey, garlicky, and oniony :) I'm going to make it with the M&M chicken we've had hiding in our freezer, along with some of the red potatoes.

I plan on vamping up my Mom's pasta with cheese recipe using fresh tomatoes instead of canned. We'll see how it turns out :)

And of course, lots of salads and stir fry veggies will complete meals this week.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

5K Training - Week 6, Run 1

After taking a day off of running yesterday due to being sick, I didn't want to lose any more time in my training schedule, so today was my first run of week 6 instead of yesterday. To tell you the truth, I feel better after running it than I did before! But I'm glad I took the day off yesterday. It was the achy, feverish type of sick, and Tylenol was doing its job of keeping the symptoms at bay. A run may have aggravated it, and it certainly wouldn't have been a great run for me, that's for sure.

Today's run started out tough. I'm not sure if it's because I took 3 days off of running, because I'm recovering from being sick, because I ate a big plate of poutine for supper (homemade and baked, so a bit healthier! Right?), or a combination of all three, but the first run especially was hard to get into.

Today's run was a 5 minute warm up walk, 5 minute run, 3 minute walk, 8 minute run, 3 minute walk, 5 minute run, and 5 minute cool-down walk. You'd think it would be easier than the last run since it was 3 "shorter" runs (ha! I'm just thinking back to Week 3 when three minutes was the long run!), but it wasn't. I'm glad to say it did get easier as I ran. The first run was difficult, while the second run I was able to get into a groove and was actually picking up my pace by the end of the run. The third run was not so bad, either.

Hopefully I can stay on track for the rest of the training schedule, and not get sick again. :)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

5K Training - Week 5, Run 3

Today was my first uninterrupted run of my training. For the first time, there was no walking other than warm up and cool down. I knew it was coming, and I was a bit nervous! Up until now, my longest run was 8 minutes long, and that was only 2 days ago.

Today's run consisted of a 5 minute warm up walk, then 20 minutes of straight running, followed by the 5 minute cool down walk. TWENTY minutes! And I did it! And it was EASY for me! And yes, I enjoyed it :)

As usual, I concentrated on my breathing, and once again, when the run was over, I wasn't out of breath at all. It was my legs that were screaming by the end, and my lower back was a bit stiff while running, but is fine now. I really prefer an uninterrupted run to the ones I've done in the past. I find the stopping and starting to be difficult, since I am considerably more tired each subsequent run. However, in my mind, I knew my run today would be long, and I was prepared.

In my 20 minute run, I ran 3.03 km!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

5K Training - Week 5, Run 2

Sunday was my second run of this week. It started out on a difficult note from the moment I stepped outside of my wonderfully air conditioned house - it was HUMID outside! And not just a little bit, so much so that I found breathing a little difficult (at least compared to non-humid weather) just doing my warm-up walk! I was tempted to turn around and go back inside the house to run another day. However, in my mind, I'd already made the commitment to run, and was already prepared. I figured I'd push through it and get it over with, that way I'd be able to relax the next day and watch Hell's Kitchen and Masterchef :)

Run 2 consisted of the usual 5 minute warm-up walk, an 8 minute run, a 5 minute walk, an 8 minute run, and a 5 minute cool-down walk. My longest stretch of running yet by 3 minutes! My first run was surprisingly easy. I managed to run 1.38 km in that 8 minute stretch. Not fast in the least, but I'm happy with it, considering the humidity. I also calculated how long it would take me to run a 5K at that pace, and it was just over 30 minutes! My goal is 30 minutes, so I was pleased to see that :)

My second run, not surprisingly, was much harder, and much slower. I was only able to run 0.9 km at that speed. Sigh. However, I pushed through it and didn't stop, even though I felt the humidity getting to me! I just slowed my pace about halfway through, and trudged on. Hopefully my next run will be on a less humid evening.

I am now past the halfway point of my training schedule!! :)

5K Training - Week 5, Run 1

I'm a bit late on this, but Friday evening I went out for my first run of Week 5. This week is different from the previous weeks in that each of the three runs is different from each other (previous weeks had all 3 runs the same, as you may have noticed). Friday's run consisted of a 5 minute warm up walk, 5 minutes running, 3 minutes walking, 5 minutes running, 3 minutes walking, 5 minutes running and 5 minutes cool-down walking.

I found that each successive run was more difficult than the last. When I'm in the groove of running, I'm concentrating on my breathing and I don't really notice being tired. However, when I have the chance to stop and walk, I find that starting back up again at the next run is more difficult, and by the last run, I'm beat!

I just hope this is a good sign for being able to run the 30 minute stretches later on! :)

Thankfully, no ice cream truck this run! However, I did come home to have a delicious Black Jack Cherry frozen yogurt in a waffle cone. Mmmmm :) A bit of a healthier choice than the ice cream of my first ever run!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

This Week's Veggies!

My favourite day of the week has come and gone again. Curious about this week's veggies? :)

  • Swiss Chard
  • 2 broccoli
  • 1 head of lettuce
  • green beans
  • yellow beans
  • radish sprouts
  • carrots
  • Romano beans (I believe!)
  • 4 yellow potatoes
  • 6 small red potatoes
  • white mushrooms
  • mixed salad greens
  • 2 zucchinis 
  • a big container of heirloom tomatoes (I got a black one (Black Krim or Black Prince) and a yellow one to try in there!)
  • 3 yellow onions
 There seems to be somewhat fewer vegetables this week, but it's still enough to last the week, and considering the really bad drought we seem to be in, I'm just happy we're getting vegetables at all! Plus I still have some leftover from last week (there were a lot of vegetables last week!), such as basil, turnip, celery, some lettuce, a couple of carrots, and I still have peas from a couple of weeks ago that are still good. I also used up last week's potatoes in a potato salad for dinner.

On the farm's blog, it indicated that the conditions are the worst they've been in 50 years, with a small pond they have on the farm completely dried up. Does anyone know a rain dance? If so, now would be a good time to do it! (And send the rain to Shawville, QC while you're at it!)

Anyone have any exciting recipes using these vegetables? Feel free to share! I love to try new recipes with these.

Friday, July 20, 2012

5K Training - Week 4, Run 3

5K training is hard enough on its own, but you know what makes it much harder? When you've just started your run, and you hear the delightful jingle of the neighbourhood ice cream truck, playing its taunting music as you run by. Okay, done. It's gone. But wait! Alas. As slow as it is, that damn ice cream truck is still faster than you, and it comes back around the corner from another side street as you run past. Fine. Think you've escaped it? In the last minute of your last, tiring run, you hear that jingle yet again in the home stretch. Damn!

And that was my reality on my last run of week 4 ;)

That's right, 4 weeks down, 5 to go! Almost half way there :)

This past run was easier than Run 2 of this week, because I waited an extra day so that the weather would be cooler and I could be sure to get the best time possible. And it worked! There was a pleasant wind as I ran that was a little cold during warm up, but definitely welcomed during the runs. I took the same 3.98K route that I took the past two times as well, and I finished it about a minute faster than before! It doesn't sound like much, but I know that 1 minute can make a big difference.

It feels really good to push myself to do something I never thought I could do. As each week goes by and I complete longer and longer runs, it gives me the confidence to know I can do the following week. This week will be difficult. But it's doable. And using this blog to keep me accountable is working!

Week 5 starts today... stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

5K Training - Week 4, Run 2

Sunday marked my second run of week 4, and consisted again of 5w, 3r, 1.5w, 5r, 2.5w, 3r, 1.5w, 5r, 5w. (Yeah, a bit of short hand. W = walk, R = run. I know you know, though :) ). This weekend, our air conditioner broke down (we seem to have some luck with things breaking down when it's really hot! Remember Mr. Mazda?), and our house was HOT. It completely hindered my motivation to get out and be active when I felt like a melted lump on a log at home! However, I did push myself to get out and run, and I'm glad I did.

The run was harder than the last one, but I think it was because of the heat and humidity. I'm proud that I pushed through and ran anyway, even if it wasn't necessarily my fastest run. The fact that I did it is key!

Today was supposed to be my last run, but I decided I'm going to do it tomorrow. With the weather being nicer tomorrow, I want to try and give myself a good chance of running quicker than I did last time. So, stay tuned for another update!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Smarty Pants

The other day I was making supper which consisted of stir fry veggies (including snow peas). As you may have discovered from previous posts, Lily LOVES snap peas. However, I've given her snow peas in the past, and even though they taste pretty much the same (I can't really tell the difference in taste!), Lily decided she didn't like snow peas at all.

Anyway, Lily was standing on her stepping stool helping with dinner when she saw the bag of snow peas on the counter. She mistook them for snap peas since they were at the back of the counter, and so she asked for some snap peas.

Being sneaky, I said "Sure!", and didn't tell her that what I was about to give her was snow peas. I took one out of the bag and gave it to her after taking off the ends.

Well, she took the pod from me and was about to put it in her mouth when she stopped and looked at it, studying it. She was quiet for a few seconds, then turned to me and said, "These are snow peas, Mommy. Are these snow peas?" I was completely surprised that she knew the difference in looks of these peas! I couldn't lie, so I told her that yes, they were snow peas. But I encouraged her to take a bite.

And that's how Lily learned to like the taste of snow peas. ;)

What a smarty pants!

Friday, July 13, 2012

5K Training - Week 4, Run 1 (Getting Stronger!)

Well, here I am. 4 weeks in. 10 runs done. And it feels great. Amazing, actually. Looking back to 4 weeks ago, before I'd completed my first run, I was skeptical. Not skeptical that I'd be able to complete a run, I knew that following a couch to 5K plan would work, if I stuck to it. No, I was skeptical that I'd enjoy running. But here I am. Today, I actually enjoyed my run! In fact, looking back to 5 or 6 weeks ago, before I committed to doing the Army Run, I was convinced I'd never run. It was always a goal, to run in a race, but that first step of signing up just kept getting pushed back. I'm glad I took that first step.

So, today's run consisted of 16 minutes of running, 15 1/2 minutes of walking. It started with the usual 5 minute warm up walk, followed by a 3 minute run, 1 1/2 minute walk, 5 minute run, 2 1/2 minute walk, 3 minute run, 1 1/2 minute walk, 5 minute run and the final 5 minute cool down walk. I started my first run when my phone told me to, and even though it was the same amount of time running as the long runs last week, it didn't feel long at all. I was surprised when my phone told me that I only had 1 minute left of running. I wasn't tired in the least. Even my first 5 minute run was not difficult.

Overall, the biggest obstacle I felt today was my legs. They were definitely feeling it after the first long run was done, and by the end of the second long run, they were done! That last run was definitely a slow pace. However, oddly enough, my lungs weren't tired at all. Not a bit. I wasn't winded at all from running! I remember thinking, "What the hell!" as I was running. I controlled my breathing, and it seems to be paying off. I feel like this week will be awesome to build up my leg strength if that's the biggest obstacle right now! I'll have to push myself to go faster next run.

The route I took today was 3.98 km, including the walking times. So close to 5K!

Awesome Vegetable Delivery!

I think Fridays are my most anticipated day of the week. It's like Christmas once a week, getting new surprise vegetables magically appear in the cooler I leave outside for the Vegetable Fairies. Or is it Veggie Claus? Whatever. :) The result is fresh, local veggies that I get to sort through, take pictures of, and blog about. I know you love to read about my veggies, too! ;)

So here's what I got this week:
Yum, yum!
  • Celery
  • A bag of white mushrooms
  • A bag of 6 potatoes
  • a bunch of carrots
  • 2 heads of lettuce
  • 2 small onions
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 bag of pea sprouts
  • 1 bag of radish sprouts
  • 1 bag of mixed salad greens
  • fresh basil
  • 4 small turnips
  • some Swiss chard
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • yellow beans
  • 3 small broccoli
  • 1 carton of heirloom tomatoes
Lily was also very excited about the delivery! She wanted to help me unpack, and she thought that the tiny onions were cute :) No snap peas this week for her. However, this week marked the return of the cucumber (these are honestly the freshest, most delicious cucumbers I've ever had!) and radish sprouts, and we got a number of new vegetables - the turnips, basil, and sweet potatoes were all new additions to this week's basket. I'm very pleased with this week's supply!

I still have some veggies leftover from last week as well!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

5K Training - Week 3, Run 3

Yesterday was my final run of Week 3, and I'm happy to say that it went well again! I made sure to go right away after Lily went to bed to avoid falling into the lazy couch trap. Plus, I thought Hell's Kitchen and Masterchef would be on, though when I got back from my run I found out it was cancelled due to All Star Baseball. Who cares about that?! lol

Anyway, the last run of week 3 was the same as the first 2 - 5 minutes warm up, 1 1/2 minute run, 1 1/2 minute walk, 3 minute run and 3 minute walk (repeated twice), followed by a 5 minute cool down. Nothing really new to report on this, I concentrated on my breathing and had no problems with any of the runs. I'm a little nervous for Friday's run, since my shortest run will be 3 minutes, but I'm sticking to it and I can do it!

Another week down, another 6 to go!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

5K Training - Week 3, Run 2

It's hard to believe, but I was actually looking forward to getting out on today's run. The weather today was perfect - hot when the sun was out, but clouds came over often enough to cool you off, and a nice cool breeze to top it off. I went out today at 8:30 pm, so I had the benefit of a nice cool evening on top of that.

I went straight after coming home from a BBQ at a friend's place, after having had a burger and salad and a couple of drinks over the course of the afternoon, as well as getting some good exercise on their trampoline (and I'm serious, that is good exercise on there, especially when trying to control how high you jump with a 2 year old! I could feel it in my thighs after the jumping. So much fun!). Today's run was the same as last time - 5 minutes warm up, 2 repetitions of 1 1/2 minutes running, 1 1/2 minutes walking, 3 minutes running, 3 minutes walking, then a 5 minute cool down.

I found today to be a little tougher with the runs, but I think it was because of my trampoline jumping just prior to my runs! My legs were already a little tired from that, so running was a bit more effort today. But I pushed through and made better time than I did last run. Not once did I have negative thoughts about running. In fact, the whole time I was running, I felt like I was well on my way to running a 5K! I'm not saying I could do that tomorrow, or next week, but that I know I will be able to do it when my training is over. Go me!

I haven't even felt sore after a run in a long time (except for the lower back pain, which likes to rear its ugly head in the mornings. Tomorrow should be fun... ha!), and today I feel really good after my run and (of course) cold shower! Awesome after-run reward! :)

Saturday, July 7, 2012

5K Training - Week 3, Run 1

So I'm getting to that usual point in an exercise regime where I'm really digging in my heels at keeping going. It was really hot and humid yesterday, and I just didn't want to go out in that (understandably), and I stalled and stalled. It was 9:30 pm when I was still humming and hawing over getting off the couch and running, but I'm glad to say that I kicked my ass and got off the couch, and went for another night run.

This was my first run of week 3, so they've upped the running intervals. This time I did my 5 minute warm-up walk, followed by 1 1/2 of running, 1 1/2 of walking, 3 minutes of running and 3 minutes of walking, repeated twice. Finally, the usual 5 minute cool-down.

I was a little nervous for the 3 minute run, so I kept my pace steady instead of trying to widen my stride as I did last run just to make sure I could run for the whole time. Well, I did it, and it made me confident that I'm ready for it, as well as that I will be ready for longer running stretches next week! It wasn't so bad when I kept my pace steady, and it helped that there were only 4 runs. I think I actually prefer fewer runs that are longer intervals, it makes the time go by a little quicker if I get in the zone and concentrate on my breathing. In fact, I even felt that the 1 1/2 runs were more difficult this time around than the 3 minute runs!

The only issue I'm having with my running is I am starting to get lower back pain, and it's not muscle pain, but it feels like it's actually in my lower spine :( Anyone have any tips or equipment I can get to help with back pain after running? It's worst in the morning after I wake up, and I have to constantly stretch out my spine to "relieve" the pain (though it hurts while stretching it).

Thursday, July 5, 2012

A Wonderful LONG Weekend!

I'm a bit late to post this, but better late than never! This past weekend was a wonderful long weekend, and busy as usual!

Friday was an exciting day as it was my second fresh, local organic vegetable delivery! I really look forward to Fridays to find out what I get each week, and to plan delicious and different things to make with them. Here is a picture of last week's produce:

It includes:
  • a head of lettuce
  • 1 bag of mixed salad greens
  • 1 bag of pea sprouts
  • 1 bag of snap peas
  • 1 bag of snow peas
  • 1 bag of 6 potatoes
  • 1 bag of swiss brown mushrooms
  • 1 bunch of swiss chard
  • 1 bunch of carrots
  • 1 head(?) of broccoli
  • 1 large zucchini
  • 1 white onion
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 bag of scapes (they have a slight garlicky, oniony taste - very good in the place of either vegetable)
You may be wondering what some of the recipes I've been making with these are. Last week I made a stir fry, a quinoa salad with zucchini and mushrooms, a hot swiss chard and artichoke dip, and lots of salads, toasted tomato sandwiches (yum!), and eating raw snap peas. Lily LOVES snap peas. She asks for some at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, an indulgence I'm all-too-happy to give in to! :) So far this week, I made a homemade mushroom soup (so good!), lots of salads and raw snap peas (of course), and just the regular steaming of some veggies.

Hot swiss chard and artichoke dip

One more day until the next veggie delivery! I'm going to buy a new cooler this week to receive them in, since we've been borrowing an old one from my Mom.

Back to the topic at hand, on Saturday we went strawberry picking at Proulx Farms with my sister, brother-in-law, and nephew. We picked 2 baskets of berries (and Lily ate quite a few while picking!), which ended up being made into 8 jars of jam, chocolate covered strawberries, plain strawberries for snacking, and I might finish the last of them (those that are still good, that is!) into a strawberry loaf. That evening, I got together with a few friends for some drinks and appetizers (this was what I made the swiss chard and artichoke dip for!) - good fun, better company! :)

Sunday was Canada Day! Lily was very excited about this, and kept asking if we were GOING to Canada Day. No amount of explaining that Canada Day was just a day of celebrating changed her question! :P In the morning, we ended up stopping by my best friend's place to pick up Lily's very own Canada Day shirt. We returned home for Lily's nap, and I made some lemon cupcakes to bring to the BBQ we would be attending at my Mom's place. When Lily woke up, she helped me decorate them by putting the red sprinkles on top of the white buttercream icing I spread on them! She did a great job, and loved helping.

Cupcake decorating! Yes, I cheated and used canned icing :P

We then headed over to my Mom's place for a family BBQ, where there were 21 attendees! It was a big event! There was lots to eat as everyone brought a little something to share. Lily got her toenails painted by her great-aunt, with the colour matching perfectly with her sandals. Lily did some swimming in the community pool with her uncle and cousins. She also found a nice big caterpillar, which we put back in a tree!

Hello, Mr. Caterpillar

Matching shoes and toes!

Swimming with Uncle Scot

No fireworks this year, but maybe next year we'll last that long!

On Monday, we went to the beach with my best friend and her family. We spent a good part of the morning and early afternoon there, enjoying the swimming, seeing the pirate ship, playing in the sand, and a picnic lunch. It was nice being able to spend a lot of time with them there, it was the perfect day for it!

Lily then played out back in her kiddie pool with her best friend while the adults got the chance to sit and talk (and keep the wild kids under control!).

Finally, on Tuesday we went to my best friend's place for dinner to celebrate her son (and my Godson)'s THIRD birthday! It was just a small gathering for supper, since the big birthday bash will be in a couple of weeks for both of her little munchkins (the other turns ONE soon!). Happy birthday, little man!

See, told you we were busy ;)

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

5K Training - Week 2, Run 3

Yesterday was my final run of Week 2, meaning once again, next run, things are going to get a little tougher! This past run was my best run yet, though. It was the same as the last 2, with 5 minutes of warm up, then 6 alternations of 1 1/2 minutes running, 2 minutes of walking, followed by a 5 minute cool down.

Just like I posted last week, I decided I was going to really push myself and work towards longer strides as much as possible. For each of the 6 runs, I managed to run the first half of each minute and a half with long strides, and when I got the signal that it was half over, I slowed my pace to make sure I could run the whole time. It worked out well for me, as it split the run nicely and seemed to make the time go by faster. I (gasp!) actually enjoyed my run for the first time! I also beat my time home by at least 2 minutes, so that during my cool down walk, I was weaving back and forth across the street until the time was up.

I'm pretty pleased with my run, but once again, next run will be tough.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

5K Training - Week 2, Run 2 (Night Run!)

Happy Canada Day! I'll talk more about my long weekend in another post, but I thought I'd write a quick update on today's run. Today I went for my first night run! We only got home from being out at 9:30, and I was due for my run and wanted to stay on schedule, so I got into my running gear and set out at 9:50.

Once again, it was a 5 minute warm up, followed by 6 repetitions of 1 1/2 of running, 2 minutes of walking. It finishes with a 5 minute cool down walk.

I don't know why, perhaps it was the not-so-running-friendly food I'd eaten all day, but I started out my first run not really into it, feeling tired and not very much like running. As I started my second of six runs, I passed a big group of hoodlums. That's right, hoodlums. They were shooting off firecrackers, and they were firing them off sideways. Needless to say, they fired one off in my general direction, and I saw it fly by me, not too close, but it certainly didn't feel accidental, as they were laughing afterwards. Thankfully that was the only incident, but it was a little scary while running alone in the dark.

After that, I got into a zone while running. With all the sounds of firecrackers and fireworks (the pops, bangs, and squeals), I found it entertaining to imagine myself in a battlefield! Fitting since the run I'll be doing in September is the Army Run ;) I even got to see some fireworks as I ran. It was kind of nice overall, minus the one firecracker incident.

I also saw a firefly and a bunny on my run! :)

My last two runs I pushed myself harder than the first 4. Especially during my last run, I really widened my stride, trying to cover as much distance as possible. I didn't last too long with the long strides, but I think from now on I'm going to start each run with running that way for as long as possible. I'm sure it will help improve my time in the end.

No picture today, it was too dark to get a decent one on my iPhone!