Running Challenge: Enter A Race!

Last night I finished crafting my 6 week training program for the 15km race I entered in mid-June. After I signed up, my ego was already saying, nah, it’s ok. We don’t need to change. Let’s quit. But my spirit said “YES! Something to challenge me!”

Right then I crafted a running schedule, saw myself completing it, and got really excited. Once you start to make plans for something, you’re investing yourself, and even though I wasn’t running yet, I was already taking action.  Once I finished writing my schedule, my goal was as good as realized in spiritual truth. Conceive, believe, achieve.

My 6 week intensive 15km race training schedule: (adapted from a half marathon training guide so it’s a little intense)

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Then when I woke up this morning my ego piped up again: “I think maybe I made a bit too strong of a commitment.” It said.  “I’m doing it, ego.” My spirit replied, “It’s going to be fun.” So far my ego has accepted that we’re in it together and that it’s not going to be easy. My spirit has won for now!

I really do love running.  It’s mentally and physically challenging and there’s a huge pay-off via endorphins and a slimmer body.  What I don’t like is the toll it takes on my knees.  Last year I injured my knee and ended up taking the winter off.  So while I do love running, it’s not something that I will do every day for the rest of my life.  I guess you could say I’ve been hacking running due to my knee injury.

Running Hacks

Most of the running I’ve been doing lately has been on the treadmill at an incline of 10 or more. I run/walk/run/walk for 10 minutes as a warm-up and that’s it.  Running on an incline is the biggest bang for your buck. Less time, better challenge = better fitness, and less wear on the knee joints.

If you really want a good running workout then try sprinting on an incline.  For example, at an incline of 10, you straddle the treadmill and turn up the pace to 10 (or wherever your sprint pace is).  Run for 10 seconds, then straddle the belt and rest for 20 seconds, and repeat for 5-10 minutes.  Talk about a good workout in a short amount of time!

For long-distance running, I try to set myself up for success the best I can. I am very lucky to have good trails in a forest about 15 minutes from my house. The air is cleaner, the scenery is beautiful, and running on dirt reduces the wear on my body. If I’m in the forest I always run longer than I intend because the environment feels so right.

I strap on my heart rate monitor, press play on my audiobook, and I am in total bliss. There’s the occasional root that gets the best of me, like today, when I fell hard on my butt and pulled the opposing groin muscle, but for the most part I love the challenging environment of hills, twisting trails, and troublesome roots.

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If you’re looking for a challenge, sign up for a race.  

A 5k race is a great place to start. Plan out a training schedule and get excited.  Check off your completed runs every day and keep track of your your daily successes no matter how big or small.  Celebrate that you are doing something for yourself!

Get a heart rate monitor and make it really fun!  I love seeing my heart rate, calories burned, and how fast I’ve accomplished both.  It makes a game out of my game!

Take Massive Action

I overheard some ladies the other day talking about the law of attraction.  Afterward, I kept thinking about “The Secret” movie and how they basically forgot to mention that taking massive action is probably the most important part of manifestation.  You can sit and meditate and ask your angels for help all you want, but if you don’t put their guidance into action, you’re not going to make it very far.

Once you have clear goals mapped out in your mind, it’s time to take little steps toward their fulfillment every day.  Notice the synchronicities that are trying to help you along the way, and act on any opportunities that arise.  If it’s a business you want to start, you can start laying the groundwork while at your present job.  Maybe all you need are 30 minutes each evening to make it happen.  Maybe you need more time, or maybe you don’t need any time at all – once you have a clear goal and the timing is right, your angels can move mountains and you can find yourself on the fast track.  This can happen in any area of your life – you just have to be ready to work and know exactly what you want to make happen.

If it’s a fitness goal that you wish to reach, you can break down your action steps into daily activities that will get your body moving.  If it’s important enough, you’ll find the time.  I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, but it’s going to be worth it.

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You know those little gut feelings that you have?  Start following them.  Set your intentions for your life and then follow the guidance that is offered.  Align yourself with your Higher Self by following those hunches that want you to act integrally.  I always get an uneasy feeling if I’m about to eat something that isn’t in line with my health and fitness goals.  I’m getting better at listening to those feelings, but it’s definitely not easy!  We have habits that are comfortable for us, but if they haven’t gotten us to where we want to go in the past, they’re worth the discomfort that arises when we choose differently.  That discomfort starts to feel really really good once you start blazing that new trail.

If you’ve got a fitness goal you want to reach, I highly recommend a heart rate monitor – especially if you’re competitive like me.  It helps me challenge myself every time I wear it.  I’m always the last person on the ice at shinny these days because I’ve always got a challenge for myself.  Today I had to burn 800 calories before I could get off the ice.  I’m hardcore, I know.  At the end of 80 minutes, I had burned exactly 800 calories.  The point is that I have a fitness goal for myself and I intend to reach it.  It doesn’t matter when exactly, but I make sure to take action steps each day that take me toward my goal!

Next time you get a gut feeling that something is off, take a moment and listen to your body.  Start asking yourself questions and listen to what comes up.  I guarantee you that you’ll start to notice things that you previously maneuvered while on autopilot.

 

 

Joy and Grounding in Nature

boysriverThis past weekend was amazing in Toronto.  We took the kiddos for a long walk each day and enjoyed breathing in the negative ions along the Humber River.  Going for a long walk in nature is not only beautiful, but it is very grounding as well.

Kids just naturally gravitate toward nature.  The boys were playing in the dirt and hurling sticks over the rocks and into the water.  Without even knowing it, they were grounding themselves in nature and having a joyful time doing it.  The result: happy kids.

As the weather gets warmer I intend to be out there every day with my boys getting dirty and having fun.  That’s one of the reasons we had kids after all – to take a break from being adults and remember what it’s like to let loose, make a funny face, and be ridiculous!

The grounding effect is just a bonus.  It will calm your nerves and your mind, and reduce your stress. So when is the best time to get outside and ground yourself?  Right now!

 

My First Half Marathon!

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon September 28, 2008

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon September 28, 2008

Many months ago I signed up to run the Scotiabank half marathon in Toronto.  I had the best intentions to train properly, but as the day neared, I had only ran once in the last month!  Mental strength and proper nutrition saved me.

The first 10 K were the easiest.  I crossed this point after an hour and two minutes, and I felt great.  At the 12 K flags I saw my friend in the crowd, which gave me a pick-me-up for a few kms.  Sometimes I listened to music, while other times I listened to Yuri‘s coaching tracks.  It was nice to have him with me, encouraging me the whole way.  Whenever I needed some motivation, I tuned into him.  Most of the time I was present.  I was enjoying the run, and the pace.  I spent most of the race just being happy.

When I reached 16 K, my mental battles began.  Just a little break, I thought, just for a minute.  But I delayed the walking, and continued to run.  Over and over, I kept thinking “you can quit anytime, so why not quit at the end.”  I remembered the saying from one of Yuri’s recordings, and it really helped me through.

The last 500m were the absolute worst.  I had nearly convinced myself to quit when I remembered I had 20 K under my belt without walking, so I pushed on, saying over and over: “you can quit at the end.  You’ve made it so far.  Keep going!”  I think the biggest problem here was that we started and ended in the same place, so I knew exactly how far I had to run.  Although 500m isn’t far, when it’s at the end of a half marathon, it’s like China far!  Finally I crossed the finish line.  My legs were done, and I was smiling.  I collected my medal and joined my friends once again.  My time was 2:11:28.5 – not bad for not training.

We ran at the same time as the full marathoners, so there were people were ending at the same time as me, only they had run twice as far!  Some people just collapsed into the paramedic tent, completely exhausted, and their bodies frail.  I can’t imagine how they must have felt, considering I ran the half and couldn’t even walk.  It’s like someone took a bat to my entire body, giving special attention to my knees and ankles!

Would I do it again?  Maybe.  Now that I have a base time, it would be nice to see where training could get me.  It would be fun to see how well I could do fueled by wheatgrass and green juices!

Would I ever run a full marathon? Never.  Just seeing the marathoners looking close to death is enough to tell me that it’s really not necessary to put your body through that much stress.  It’s quite ridiculous actually!  But then I remember the saying “if it hurts, don’t do it again.”  So this very well may be my last half marathon!

Running is SO Easy!

Treadmill Trainer Volume 2

Treadmill Trainer Volume 2

I just got in from an accidental run that turned out to be my fastest, happiest run to date!

Sitting at my computer enjoying some raw chocolate pudding and a fabulous green juice, I simply had too much energy to sit still.  So I got out my ipod, downloaded Treadmill Trainer Volume 2 onto it, and set out for the boardwalk.

This is the first time I’ve finished the entire workout, and I seriously had a smile on my face the whole time!  There are 2 spots where Yuri says you can stop, and I’ve taken him up on his offer times before, but I was in the zone and feeling like I could just kill the workout.  And I did!  I even ran home after I finished stretching!

I love his workouts and the way he talks to you as if he’s right there beside you.  I even talk back to him and answer all of his questions out loud!  For example, when the workout was over he asks: “How are you feeling right now?” Amazing!  “How did you feel 10 minutes ago?”  Amazing!  “How did you feel when you woke up this morning?”  Umm…not this good…no.  (I had to talk myself into going to yoga this morning)  Then I patted myself on the back (because he told me to) and congratulated myself on running 10 k in approximately 45 minutes…and I’m not a runner!  For comparison, I ran a 5k in April and my time was 29:41…and I was dead tired and wanted to throw up…a lot.  What a difference!

I just recently started running, and I’ve only run two 10 k’s before tonight.  I usually just do 5 k’s because I get bored of running after 30 minutes.  But since I signed up for a half marathon 5 months ago, and put off training until pretty much right now, it’s time to get serious…hence the Treadmill Trainer series of workouts being downloaded to my ipod.  After tonight I feel certain I am going to have a competitive time in the run, and I really can’t wait to do it!  I think I’m going to do intervals during the run.  I’ll just listen to the Treadmill Trainers even then.  That would be funny.  The motivation he gives during the workouts is priceless.  I’m seriously going to listen to the training audio when I run the race.

I should definitely add:  I highly recommend Volumes 2 and 3 plus all the hill running stuff, but only get Volume 1 if you are JUST starting out.  It involves walking and running, perfect for beginners, but you may find it too slow if you have any experience.  That being said, Volume 2 will kick your a** no matter what level of runner you are!  If you disagree and think you’re some big time runner, then you HAVE to try it.  It’ll step up your game so much and you’ll be thankful for the challenge!!!  Happy running 🙂

Raw Food Praise – I WANT to exercise!


It’s amazing the effect that eating raw has on my desire to exercise.  Last night I took the dog for a 5 k run.  Today after work I went to a hot yoga class, and after I biked home I went for another run with a friend.  It’s really nice to have a running partner because you have that little bit of added motivation.  When you have someone calling you and asking if you want to go running, it’s like an alarm going off and motivation calling you!  If you get several running partners, there’s a guarantee you’ll be running a few times a week!

I haven’t had much to eat today, which is kinda weird considering the amount of exercise I’ve had, but I don’t feel much like eating anything right now.  When you eat raw, natural, good quality foods, you are more in touch with your nutritional needs, wheras when I eat cooked foods, I think I need food all the time!  I’d eat late at night all the time when I was on cooked food. 

When I eat raw, I only go into the kitchen when I am truly hungry…or if I can’t wait to try a new raw recipe!  Also, on cooked I always cleaned my plate, but on a raw food diet, I just stop eating when I’ve had enough.  I eat raw dessert for breakfast if I feel the desire!  And when I have dishes that are rich in nuts or other heavy raw ingredients, my body steers me clear of them for a few days.  Never, ever on a cooked diet did my body tell me anything!  I remember years ago when I didn’t have any idea the effects that food had on my mood or energy level.  Now, I know the second I have eaten something that doesn’t agree with me.  I can just feel it. 

And since you only eat when you’re hungry on raw, there is no breakfast, lunch, dinner schedule…you eat on your own hunger schedule…that being said, I think my hunger level just rose…so apparently “dinner” tonight is going to be around 11pm!

Marinara Salad

Marinara Salad

Dinner: Marinara Salad

Time To Make: About 3 minutes

Would I Make It Again: Yes!

Ingredients: 1 cup leftover Marinara Sauce, (recipe in Eating for Energy) an avocado, 6 stalks asparagus, 1 yellow pepper, 3 green onions, and 1/2 a cucumber.  Variations:  Whatever you have in the fridge!