30 November 2011

Confessions From The Queen Of Excuses

I am my own worst enemy when it comes to my running.  In a perfect world I would want and get to run every single day.  I would never get injured.  Every run would result in the elusive runner's high.  Unfortunately life is decidedly not like that and won't be anytime soon unless I win the lottery.  Of course, I would have to buy a ticket, but I digress...

The reality of my life is such that I should be able to run as often as I want/need to.  I'm a stay at home parent.  We don't fill our days so full that there is no opportunity to run.

Recently, however, my brain is not allowing me to realize this.  Someone out there must feel that they identify with the following excuses at least one; please tell me I'm not alone!:
  • It's too cold (seasonal - sometimes it's too hot).
  • It's raining too hard.
  • It's too early/late/dark.
  • Spud is heavy in the stroller.
  • Spud will only sit still for about 20 minutes - if I'm lucky - before he wants to get out to run.
  • I just don't feel like it.
  • I feel like I'm holding other people back since I've lost all my speed.
  • I'm self-conscious about the weight I've gained over the summer and how I look in my running clothes (I'm not overweight, but am not comfortable with my current weight).
I am stuck in a vicious cycle.  I make excuses, don't run, feel fat and lazy, still don't run because I don't see the point, and all that serves to do is perpetuate those feelings.  I know that self doubt and a lack of motivation are my main issues.  If I don't have a desire to haul my butt out the door I won't go.  Eventually to get back on track I'm going to have to ignore the extremely loud voice in my head that is telling me I'm not good enough and that I should quit.  Short of a frontal lobotomy I'm still trying to figure out how to effectively do that.

There are excuses I need to tell to shove it right off the bat.  Weather can't be an excuse.  I live in Vancouver, BC, for Pete's sake!  It's going to rain and it's going to rain often.  My weight can eff off too.  Yes, I'm feeling bad about it.  Mainly because I am comparing myself to how I looked back in May after a full marathon training cycle.  I notice it far more than anyone else and am my worst critic.  I need to get back the mentality I had when I bought my first pair of tights.  I cannot see myself running down the road.  So what if things are moving about?  If anything at least I can say that I made an effort to get out and better myself.

The time of day is a huge issue for me simply because I can't go out early or late on my own.  Neither Colin nor I are comfortable with it.  We don't live in a terrible neighbourhood, but prefer that I don't take the risk.  If any of my friends reading this are interested in either early, early or post-kiddo-bedtime runs message me!

My struggle really lays with the oft-cursed stroller, the expectations of a 4-1/2 year old, and my willingness to deal with both.  It is far too easy to say it's too much effort to get everything together for a >1 hour run.  And yes, it is easier (and warmer, drier, etc) to stay home.  But I'm only doing myself a disservice.  In the long run - totally unintentional pun - no one cares if I run but me (well, maybe Colin, but that's because he has to live with me).

What I need is to be held accountable.  Ask me how my non-training running is doing.  Come January ask how my marathon training is progressing.  Ask if I sucked it up, threw on the rain cover, and took Spud out with me.  Essentially, continue to give me the kick in the butt I so obviously am in need of.

The best I can do is try, but I know that I need to because, at the end of the day, it's about taking care of myself and setting a good example for Spud.  It's about what I do and about how I feel about myself.

23 November 2011

Hydrating for Black Friday!

I know that many of you are preparing to celebrate Thanksgiving on Thursday.  There's nothing like spending time with family, stereotypically watching the game - which ever team you support, and relaxing on a day off.  

Of course, there's the day after Thanksgiving to look forward to as well.  In Canada we have Boxing Day (the day after Christmas) to ransack the stores in the hopes of finding good deals.  I'm incredibly jealous of Americans since Black Friday is 100 times better than that.  For all of you crazies who are going to brave the stores please remember to be well hydrated!  You can't race for the good stuff if you're feeling sluggish or crampy!

Nuun is offering discounts on their boxes of regular and U-Hydration flavours until the 25th.  I know that I'm late to the party in telling you about it, but there's still time to order!  

If you don't get your delivery before Friday you can always hope that it'll be there for you to sip on when you do your shopping online on Cyber Monday.  Apparently warm Nuun is delicious!

17 November 2011

Three Things Thursday

1.  If you are from Greater Vancouver you'll already know which areas of town to avoid because of useless drivers.  If you're not and ever come here stay the heck away from Richmond (or if you fly - because that's where the airport is - get out ASAP)!  Confusing roads, annoying drivers and just plain not where I wanted to be this morning.  But I wanted the car love my husband and he had to work there today.  So I braved the roads and was thankful that it wasn't raining since that would have made it worse.  Glad that part of my day is over!

2.  Spud has his first ever field trip today.  He's going ice skating - also for the first time ever.  I'll be the proud mum in the stands with the camera...

3.  My friend, Gina, is going to try to kill me this afternoon.  We haven't been running together as much as we'd like lately so I jumped at the chance to join her.  Unfortunately I think that I just might die tonight as it's an interval run.  My body no longer understands what it's like to run fast.  However, the threat of thundershowers might just make my turnover quicker!  I told her last night that she might get a strength workout in by dragging my body home.  I'm only kidding a little bit.  

16 November 2011

Christmas Card Swap

It's that time again!  Zaneta at Runner's Luck is hosting her second annual Christmas Card Swap.  This is a great way to find new blogs and, if you're like me, look forward to something coming in the mail during the holidays that isn't a bill.

Here's the info if you want to join me:*

Send an email to Zaneta (runners.luck@hotmail.com) with the subject “2011 Christmas Card Swap” and include the following:

Blog Title and URL:
Mailing Address:
Introduce yourself in a couple sentences:  (so that others in your group can get to know you)
Additional Information:  (if you feel you can only send to 1, 2, or 3 people instead of 5 or more, its totally cool!! OR if you are willing to send a card internationally or not!  Just let me know!)  

Go to this page and post a quick comment stating that you’re in so that she can cross reference and double check entrants.

You need to have your info in to her by December 2nd so that she has enough time to organize the groups, send out addresses, and allow us to mail and receive the cards before Christmas!

Hope you'll join in the fun!

*Does not guarantee a card from me.  If you'll be devastated by that loss please let me know your address and I can send you one too. :)

08 November 2011

If I'd Waited Until Thursday It Would Have Been A Month...

Greetings from the land of rain.  To quote How I Met Your Mother right off the bat, "You know what they call this in the 'couve? Barbecue weather."*  Autumn has officially arrived in Vancouver.  Well, it showed up a while ago, but it wasn't big enough news to write an entire post about.  To be honest, it's darn near winter.  They've closed the ever popular Grouse Grind which is apparently fun, but climbing 2800ft just for the heck of it still intimidates me!  And they've opened at least one of the local mountains for skiing/riding. 

I haven't been blogging lately and it's been kind of nice.  What kind of crappy blogger does that make me?!?  I've been reading blogs and commenting, but when you aren't running it's hard to come up with things to write about.  And, let's face it, what runs I were getting in were either so short or so slow they would have been exceedingly boring to read!  Not too much has happened in the last month.  Ran a little, walked a little, worked a little, Spud dressed as Mickey Mouse for Halloween (3rd year, 2nd costume because he outgrew the first one).  That said, if you've been stalking my blog - coughmumcough - you'll notice that the only updating has been to my mileage.  As of today I have run 936.38km/581.84mi.  I had higher hopes at the start of the year, but after burn out I'll take what I end up with!  

Speaking of burn out I think/hope/pray that I'm over it.  While I am running I'm not getting out quite as much as I'd like.  Ideally I'd get to 4 days/week.  Right now I'm at 3 so it's not much to add another day in there.  Having Spud in playschool really helps because I can get a longish run in on one of those days.  I thought I'd see what I had in me the other day so I picked one of the biggest hills to run up and over.  I proved to myself that, yes, I could still do it.  However, my hill training has completely gone to pot.  I wasn't silly enough to try and run without stopping.  I did intervals.  I'm sure that all the drivers coming down the road (and up for that matter) were wondering why I was choosing to run up it.  At about half way I was wondering the same thing!  At least the downhill was fun.  After 1.7km up getting to run 2km down was lovely.  My shins didn't quite think so later that day, but it wasn't raining, the view was great and downhill is what I love running the most.

Fun gear I have bought/won since I've been away aka "nothing helps you get back into the swing of things like new running gear"!  

CEP Compression Socks:  I won a pink pair on Facebook at the start of October. You can never have too many pairs of compression socks.

The green socks are next!  And if not then the green sleeves!

Sugoi Midzero Zip:  I had time to kill one morning before work so I was perusing the aisles of Winners (that's TJMaxx/Marshalls up here).  Usually I laugh at how crappy all of their stuff is - with the exception of their toys/books.  But I started looking in the women's athletic section and was completely surprised to find a Sugoi top.  And a nice one at that!  So I had Colin stop by the next night after work and pick it up for me.  He had to go back the day after that to get one for my friend so we continue on our tradition of being twins!

There is no reason to ever turn down a deal as good as the one I found: $35 for a shirt that retails for $100.  It reminds me a bit of Grimace from McDonalds, but I'll just have to come to terms with that.    

Any idea what he actually is?

All joking aside it really is a comfortable shirt.  It's still a little warm - I was pretty hot in it this morning.  However, I'd much prefer to be too hot in the rain and soaking wet than wear my water resistant shell and have it not breath well enough.

Under Armour Recur Over The Calf Sock:  When I saw these at work I really wanted them!  They're just this side of obnoxious.  The picture doesn't really do them justice - they are fluorescent.  I'm not sure if I'll wear them running (I'd need a new skirt since mine will clash terribly), but they seem like they'd stay up if I were to try. 

Let's Talk Racing:

I registered Colin for a race this morning.  It's the first half marathon in Vancouver (aptly called "The First Half") in 2012.  I volunteered at it last year and it's a well run, relatively flat course.  Unfortunately I am going to be signing up for the full marathon clinic and this was sort of Colin's "fairsies" for that.  It took all of my willpower not to sign up myself at the same time.  Not only is it the first race he's doing that I haven't, but a ton of friends are running it too.  Alas it is now sold out so I will be a spectator extraordinaire come February.

Our plan after that race is to continue training for the BMO Vancouver Marathon.  It's at the start of May so we'll have plenty of time to prepare.  It's a brand new route this year and I think it'll be a nice change from last year.  We'll register for this one in December since that's when the price will increase and I really don't want or need to be hit with an extra $20.

The "Fun Race" of the year will be the Seattle Rock N Roll Half Marathon.  We'll both be running it.  I'm super excited about it since there will be many bloggers/Hood To Coast friends there.  I'm a little apprehensive about not knowing the route, but I'm sure I can suck up all the hills they're sure to throw at us for 21.1km/13.1mi.  Thanks to Megan (who's flying out for the race!  Yay!!!) for reminding me that there's a $20 discount on Friday to celebrate 11.11.11!    

So.  That's what's going on here right now.  I can't guarantee that I'll write every day, but I don't think it'll be as long as this last hiatus/sabbatical/random disappearance.  Hope your running is going well too!  I appreciate you all for sticking around - except for that one person who left a couple of days ago (I understand, though, since I wasn't here...).       

* If you're from Winnipeg then it's completely acceptable to say "The Peg", but no one calls Vancouver "the 'couve".  Unless you're a tool.

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