“I am the Doctor”

“Are you kidding me?”

These words rang out from my mouth this morning, not 100 metres into my run.  

I twinged my back.  I stopped.  Did some stretching and wondered whether to continue.  I’m not amused with this summer’s running journeys.  First, broken arm in May, then strep throat in July, then a twinge in my back today.  It’s become the lost summer of running for me.  Training hasn’t been consistent and I find myself going backwards in terms of pacing.  I hate to be negative, but c’mon!!  The running plan has been deviated against, again, and again.  Enough!

On top of the above mentioned moments, cue the humidity.  This morning was no different.

 Caption Humidity at 88%


After the back twinge, I decided to go for the run.  If my back got any worse, and it decided to give out, I’d be hobbling home in a hunched back position, but it was worth the risk.  I turned my Garmin back on, and pushed forward.  

I was able to keep a comfortable 12 to 12:30 pace with the humidity situation.  7.5 kilometres was my overall mileage.  Not terribly far, but with a twinged back, it’s was as much as I felt I could run for the day.  There are limits to my insane choices.  I made it home and started a series of stretches.

The twinge is still there, so it’s time to bring out the heat and beats.

SunbeamThumper Thingy 

The green thing above sits on my shoulders and is an electrical heating pad.  While it can’t reach the twinged area, I’m hoping it loosens up some of my shoulder area that might be causing some of the muscular pull in my middle back.  The Thumper is amazing to help loosen up the back muscles as well.  I’ll be turning to it a few times today.

I’m no stranger to having a muscle twinge in my back.  However, it’s happened less and less over the years, as I have seemed to have gotten it under control for the most part.  Every, now and again, it occurs. 

On the upside, I went into a shopping mall on Friday and picked up this….

dr who

It’s light, made out of polyester, and I said to myself, “You know what?  I could wear that while running”.  I have no idea when that will happen, but it will happen sometime in the not too distant future.

Happy Running.

Do you ever get back pains?  What’s your remedy?  





I had good intentions

I really did have plans to get up early for my long run.  Alas, at 5am I awoke to our house guest, aka 6 month old kitten Wasabi chasing around our cat Le Chat.  I then realized I would not be getting up in an hour when my alarm was to go off.  So, um, yeah, I did what any unrested person would do.  I turned the alarm off and went back to sleep.  Finally got up around 8:30am.


And yeah, I paid for it today during my long run.  I finally got out about 11am.  Not the most ideal time to go running.  According to my Garmin, it was about 77 degrees and humidity was at 39%.  I was feeling sluggish, so I took it easy and lowered my intervals way down to a 2 minute / 45 seconds.  I don’t usually lower my intervals but my lower back is giving me some pain on my left side, similar to what I feel at the 15K mark of a run, so I wasn’t sure if I could maintain a long run for a 5 or 10 minute time frame without a gait/recovery change. I’ll be doing some extra stretching and rolling today.

It was not a great run, but I enjoyed being outside today and felt accomplished that I got it done.  Next weekend is the 15k race I’m scheduled to run, and although I know I’m not ready for this in terms of getting a time I will be happy with, at least, I know I will finish.



Who’s training for Dopey?

It’s been an amazing August in terms of weather for running.  This past week I’ve had several runs, logged in around 40K and feeling pretty good about it as I’ll be starting my Dopey training very soon.  If there are any other Dopey challengers out there, do let me know.  Would love to hear about your training over the months.

I plan on sticking to my marathon training program I used for Goofy 2010.  I modified it to incorporate two LSD’s back to back on the Saturday and Sunday so that I would get used to the fatigue.  Whatever distance I ran on the Saturday, I would run double the distance on the Sunday as it was a half marathon on the Saturday and full marathon on Sunday for the Goofy.  This time around, my plan is to also incorporate an emphasis on training from Thursday-Sunday, as the Dopey is a 4 day event.  As well, training runs and/or cross training Monday and Tuesday.  My goal is to finish upright and standing.  I want to enjoy the course(s) take lots of pictures, and enjoy my vacation so that I can participate in other activities in between races.  I’m really looking forward to January 2014!!

As the weeks progress, I hope to talk about my training, and share how it’s going along.

In the meantime, I came across these little dandies in the Loblaws grocery store recently :


These have been a refreshing treat I’ve enjoyed after my run.  If you are in Canada, go check them out!  They are made by an independent company called Chapman’s – A few years ago they had a terrible fire, but they rebuilt back their business and seem to be growing strong!

How to keep on track during the holiday season

The holiday season is upon us and there will be much to celebrate this holiday season.  For some of us, we planned, trained and ran our races with much success.  Congratulations to everyone.  Whether it was a PB, a first 5K or first marathon, or anything in-between; what matters is that you proved to yourself that you can challenge yourself, and ultimately, at the end of the day, you can say, “I did it”.  Insert applause here

Now that the running season is over, and the weather in some regions is getting colder, will you continue to run outside?  Perhaps you will take to a treadmill, or take up another activity.

I myself have just begun training for a half marathon in January.  In the past years I’ve continued to set a race in the winter season only because I know myself.  If I don’t, you’d most likely see me sitting on the couch, glued to my favourite TV programs, eating comfort food.  Yes, the hard truth is, I too can slack off, however, I know my weaknesses, and the colder months really do not appeal to me, so I plan ahead and ensure I don’t make excuses during the winter season, so I register for a race or two to keep the momentum going.

As well as training for my half, I usually spend the month of November ensuring I eat properly, and avoiding food temptations, to properly equip myself, like ‘foodie combat shields’ in preparing myself for Christmas and other holiday gatherings.  I’m finding the word ‘no’ is becoming a regular word being said to my spouse in the grocery store lately.  I think he’s getting used to me prying him away from the candy aisle, although I have found a couple of unwanted treats in the cart while standing in the cash line waiting to pay.  Sneaky, he is!

What works for me is to completely rid myself of any treats so that when those holiday parties do begin, I’m not tempted to go overboard.  Psychologically, this works for me.  Perhaps it’s because I’ve ridden my body of any sugars and/or sweets and the cravings for them are reduced as the December parties begin.  However, I’m also a foodie in regards to other indulgences such as hors d’oeuvres, cheeses, and other munchibles.  So how do I avoid stopping myself from overindulging during the Christmas season?

Here are some of my tips:


Parties are usually scheduled weeks in advance.  When the party day arrives, I ensure I’ve prepared myself.  If an early evening party, I ensure I eat a healthy lunch and depending at the time of the party, I sometimes will eat lunch a little later in the day to ensure I don’t arrive at the party famished and grabbing at any little niblet.  If I know I won’t have a lot of time during the day, I will prepare some healthy snacks to eat a couple of hours prior to the party.


Unless my hands are tied behind my back, which hasn’t happened (yet) at any party I’ve been to, standing by the table of goodies and expecting me not to nibble is not beneficial.  Therefore, I try to make a point of standing away from the table and make conversation elsewhere in the room.


Water helps to fill you up.  Try drinking a glass or two during the night.  Add a little lime or lemon to taste.  As well, this also will cut back at any liquor content you may be drinking.  That too holds unwanted calories.


When you do decide to eat, fill a small (get a dessert plate if you can) plate up with the most healthful foods first.  Pile on those carrot sticks, celery sticks and fruit.  Of course, don’t deny yourself of a few goodies.  Just be choosy in what you do prefer, and eat the healthy food first.  You’ll find by the time you get to the goodies, you may not want them anymore.  Another alternative is to only take small quantities at a time.  Perhaps you won’t keep going back to the table as you’ll realize you are full by the time you get to the second go round.  If it’s a potluck party and you will be contributing a dish, make sure it’s something healthy for you to eat and enjoy.  One never knows what everyone else will be bringing to the buffet, but at least you will know, you will have one go-to dish that you can indulge on and enjoy without regret.

Enjoy the holiday season.  I do believe moderation is key, so enjoy a holiday treat here and there.  You most likely earned it.

As always, no matter what activity you are up to, I wish you continued success during the winter season.  Keep reaching to achieve your goals!

Are you still training during the winter season?  What are some of your tips for eating properly during the holidays? 

How Do You Measure Success?

I am a firm believer in setting goals.  In relationship to running, my goals change depending on what race I am running, or the type of commitment I give to a training plan.  When I first starting running, my first goal was to train and finish a 5K race without stopping to walk.  It didn’t matter to me how long it took me to finish; only that I did.  I remember on race day, I was about 3K into the race, and all I wanted to do was walk.  My stubbornness kept me going and I finished the race keeping with my goal.

Those days are long past, and I’ve learned a lot about running, but more importantly, I learned about my own body and how it reacts when running.  One of the things I learned, is that walking during a race, isn’t a bad thing for me, and usually my race plans do incorporate a walk/run interval plan.  I generally do better from a time perspective with this type of plan than a full out running plan.  Although, I initially had a goal of running a race non-stop, my success when learning how to run, was really based upon learning about myself, my capabilities as a runner, and finding out what works from a training perspective.  Sometimes, we find our successes are not necessarily measured by our initial goals and our successes help to build us up to be the best runner we can be.

As time moved on, and many races later, I’ve had different goals.  Many goals were to finish a race.  Such was the case with running the Goofy Challenge.  Although, I did measure my success in physically finishing the Goofy, I also measured my success in staying positive during the race.   Positivity definitely played a role in physically getting me over the finish line.

I’ve had other goals, such as timed goals.  As well, I sometimes have seasonal goals such as running a number of races during a specific time frame, or making goals as to how many times per week I train.

I think it’s important to note, that success can also be measured in how you feel towards your running.  Are you still excited to put on those running shoes after a long day at work?  Do you still enjoy that feeling you get when you cross the finish line?  Perhaps your success is based on motivating your children or family members towards an active lifestyle.  It might even be about running for a cause and raising money for your local charity.

Do you put to much pressure on yourself to achieve your running success?  Goals can be a tricky thing, and it’s always important to stay realistic.  For example, if you’ve run a 5K race and your time was 37 minutes, it would be unrealistic to set your next 5K goal at 25 minutes.  A more suitable goal might be to shave off a few minutes, depending on one’s training schedule and endurance level.  While it’s always great to strive for new goals, putting too much pressure on unattainable goals; which may seem enthusiastic to some, only leads to frustration and disappointment if not within reach.

No matter how we measure our success, it’s important to know, that you can change your goals or focus.  You can learn something new about yourself each and every time.  Sometimes, the best observations come from being in the journey and having those ‘A-HA’ moments you never thought you’d have.  When I think about all the stories of the disappointed NYC Marathoners this past week, and how they found a way to adapt to the cancelled race and move forward to help the victims of Sandy by donating their time to the clean up effort, I can only think how some were emotionally fulfilled.  Some may even say, their success was in their motivation to help their fellow man, to help them ‘cross the finish line’ in order to build back their lives; putting aside their personal goals and unselfishly giving of themselves.

How do you measure your success?  Is your success always what you set out to do or do you find new successes as you go along?  Do you find success even when you don’t achieve your goals?