1st Run after a 2 Week Hiatus
I have been fitted for my brace at Soles in Motion on Baker Drive by specialist Alex Josey. Alex is very knowledgeable in her trade, she helped me a lot and was very easy to talk to. If you suffer from any kind of injury I highly recommend going to see her.
After a 2 week total exercise hiatus I have to say I was very apprehensive about going out again last night. I completed the Moose Loop at an average pace of 7:20. This includes the numerous stopping breaks. It was a 7.8k route so all in all I'm pleased with the result. My ankle burned and throbbed a bit along the way but the brace did it's job as today I am pain free and no swelling. I'm going to call that a win! Did my plant based diet have any affect on my ability to get right back at it? I still have 3 weeks to go before I can truly make a statement to that effect.
Plant Based Diet - the good
The flavours of the food I've been trying are amazing. I hate onions! I honestly don't know why anyone enjoys them. They smell like armpit and I can only imagine that if I were to lick a hairy sweat encrusted armpit that they would taste like onions. Grosse right? I also hate beans. Disgusting!
When I put my mind to something, when I truly commit to something, I always go all in. I'm going to have to get over my hatred for onions and beans and just plug my nose and dig in. I can honestly tell you that no nose plugging is required. The delicious flavour of these dishes overpower the armpit taste/smell of those nasty onions and I don't even mind that nasty bean texture that would typically have me gagging and running from the dinner table.
Dreams - vivid! I can remember each of my dreams since switching to plant based. They are like watching a movie. They are vivid and exciting and sometimes a bit strange. I don't know for sure if this is a side effect of going plant based, but it's kinda cool.
Sleep - I have a much better sleep. I don't sleep as long. I find myself going to bed later than usual, sleeping like a rock and waking up much earlier than normal feeling fully rested.
Cravings - I am (was) a sugar addict! Pure sugar. It would be nothing for me to make a pot of brown sugar fudge (just brown sugar, a bit of milk and butter melted down and boiled to the soft ball candy stage) and eat the full pan in one sitting. Candy sweet tarts, rockets and bottle caps were my nightly treat. I could eat Nutella from the jar like it was pudding. My sugar cravings were so intense that I would find myself foraging the pantry for anything sweet I could get my hands on. Daily. I am proud to say that I haven't had a craving or missed my candy addiction in a full week or more. I love the natural sweetness I get from dates and grapes. My sugar addiction has been kicked to the curb and I didn't even notice.
Headaches. Ugh. I'm a chronic migraine sufferer. I can typically keep them at bay with my 6 hour dose of Advil. Since switching to plant based, that 6 hour dose isn't helping. My headaches are there, constant and extremely annoying. They suck and if I wasn't someone who digs in to a commitment I would already be hitting the cheesesteak and ice cream. I'm giving it 3 more weeks. I have committed to that. If after my 30 day trial these headaches don't improve, despite the other benefits, I will be throwing in the towel.
The Downright Ugly
Bathroom issues - since fruit and veggies are full of water, I have been taking more trips to the bathroom. I am typically well hydrated to begin with and my visits to the bathroom have always been frequent. I never dreamed they would or could become more frequent. Well they are. That is extremely annoying! I literally had to return to the washroom just 5 minutes after the last. Crazy! Ain't nobody got time for that!
#2. Even with all the additional hydration and extra fiber in my new diet, I couldn't go. 3 days passed and I couldn't go. I'm pleased to say that after my run last night things have begun moving again. It's too bad that the butt clenching toe curling urge to go happened mid way through my 7k run.
cold soup is not something I've ever personally tried before, in fact I never even knew it was a thing, however, I tried it and lived it! No better time than Summer to try this delicious soup served cold.
8 English cucumbers peeled/seeded/diced
1 yellow onion
1 jalapeño seeded
2 avocados seeded/peeled/diced
2 green bell peppers seeded/diced
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup fresh cilantro chopped
4 clives garlic (2 tsp)
2 pears peeled/diced
Add all except pears and cilantro to food processor and process until smooth. Stir in pears and cilantro. Serve cold.
I used an apple corer to seed the cucumbers. It was strangely satisfying.
Cube the avocado while still in the skin then scoop out with a spoon. Easy and mess free.
Redemption 1/2 Training Back On!!
I'm so excited!! Met with my Doc Thursday. He wrote me a prescription for an ankle brace and cleared me for running again!! He also made me step on the scale with which I promptly asked him where he kept the scalpels. Agh! 220 lbs! Are you kidding me? I have been refusing to weigh myself for about 4 years. I knew I was packing on pounds like a Real Housewife packs for a night out, but I really did not know I had put on that much! What an eye opener! He told me I didn't have to look, but it's kind of like a nasty car wreck, you want to look away but you just can't. In any case, after years of fad diet after fad diet and the constant yo yo weight I'm now going to get serious about not only my health but my fitness as well. I went to Soles in Motion on Baker drive and was fitted with a wonderful ankle brace. 1/2 marathon training picks up again tomorrow!
Powered by Plants
On one of my recent training runs with co race director James Penny, I was in awe at how easily he was taking to the long runs. The change in him in one short year has been incredible to watch. As he ran past me almost effortlessly he hollered back "plant power!!" Jimmy has been trying to get me to move to a plant based diet for weeks and well, he's finally convinced me. I'm giving it 30 days. My Doc visit really opened my eyes to just how unhealthy I really am and the 2 week training break I had to take due to the uncertainty with my ankle made me realize that I really need to see if I too can become "plant powered"
I have to say that this past week has been incredibly easy to stick to. I hate beans. The texture literally disgusts me. I was fearful that I wouldn't be able to stick to a nutrition plan that was BEAN based. GROSSE! I gave it a chance anyway. The recipes I found in the "Forks over Knives" cookbook have been easy to prepare, exceptionally delicious and to quote my hisband "bite your face flavourful" ha! Whatever that means? After a week of plant based meals, my family is 100% on board for plant based nutrition! They too are amazed at just how good these meals taste.
I will post my favorites here occasionally during my 30 day plant based trial so if you're interested in trying some of these dishes out yourself, feel free! All recipes were taken from the Forks over Knives Cookbook.
Positively Pink Salad
1 beet raw, peeled and chopped
1 Pomegranate seeded
1 bunch of cilantro chopped
1 cup of frozen corn thawed
1 avocado cubed
1 can of navy beans rinsed and drained
1 box of couscous (about 4 cups cooked)
Combine all ingredients into a bowl and toss
1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1 tsp garlic powder
3/4 cup nutritional yeast
Whisk until smooth
Pour over salad and toss to coat ( not all the dressing is required)
the easiest way to seed a pomegranate is to cut it in half and beat the outside skin with a wooden spoon, the seeds fall right out!
when cutting an avacado cut it in 1/2 around the pit, twist to seperate then chop down on the pit with a sharp chopping knife. Twist the knife to remove the pit. Use a paring knife to slice the flesh while still in the skin. Once it's cubed, use a spoon to scoop out the flesh.
Currently I’m being blessed with the stamina of a male neutered housecat with a bad paw, or in my case a bad ankle.
Maritime Race Weekend redemption ½ training has been put on hold. For how long? I have no idea. I have a Doctors appointment with my family Doc so hopefully I’ll figure out where I go from here.
I haven’t been able to run for 11 days now. I can barely walk. My sanity is suffering. Lord, give me healing or give me death! (possibly a bit over-dramatic)
my MRW in training shirt that I was proudly wearing during my last long run --- 11 days ago!!
When I began training for my redemption ½, I noticed my ankle was giving me a bit of push back. It wasn’t really liking my new training plan, but I continued on. In the back of my mind I was thinking, it’s just cranky, I’ll R.I.C.E. (rest, ice, compression, elevation) it and carry on. I attributed the ankle tenderness to running on the shoulder of the road, putting more pressure on the outside left due to the curvature of the shoulder.
July 1st, I ran my best 10k this year. My ankle didn’t bother me at all. I was able to run in the middle of the road where it’s pretty much flat, no pressure at all on the outside of my left ankle. It was a great feeling running without pain. The day after the Epic Canadian 10k was my long run day. I was supposed to do 15 or 17, not sure, I didn’t measure it. It was horrible! I barely made it. I think I did more walking than running. My ankle was burning with pain. That evening the R.I.C.E method wouldn’t even take care of it, it was throbbing, burning and the swelling would not subside.
my treasured Epic Canadian 10K medal from my best 10K this year! Praying it won't be my last!
I went for a very short walk 3 days later and it swelled up again. It has been swollen ever since. I went to see a Doctor at the Walk in who told me it was an over-use injury and was possibly fractured. He advised me that I needed an x-ray and if I continued to run on it I would end up in a boot for the rest of my life. WAIT! WHAT?! SHUT.UP! That put the fear of God in me, no kidding! I had my X-ray Monday, Tuesday I was informed that there was no amoralities found in my ankle. PHEW! Wait. What? Hence my appointment today with my family Doc. I pray that he will be able to shed some light on this injury or whatever it is so that I can get back to my training. Maritime Race Weekend is just 9 short weeks away and at this rate I’ll be starting from scratch! Not enough time! I’m freaking out!
When most people can’t work out, they don’t eat as much. Not the case with me. When I can’t work out, I eat MORE! I am a stress eater and these past few weeks have me stressed to the max. I don’t stress eat anything good either. Chips, Pop, Candy, Sausages, Hamburgers, Pizza, Garlic Bread, Donairs, Ice Cream, whatever, you name it, I’ve ate it. Gah.
My running buddy and co-race director Jimmy has me intrigued with this plant based diet. His stamina and health has sky rocketed since he watched the “Forks over Knives” documentary on NetFlix. I haven’t watched it because I don’t have NetFlix, but just watching how Jimmy has changed this past year has made me want to try it out. I borrowed the book from the Halifax Regional Library and I’m starting to change how I eat.
Monday I treated my family to gorgeous vegetable skewers and “dill”icious bean dip. To mine and my families surprise, they were delicious. Definitely a recipe keeper. Tuesday was leftovers, yesterday I made couscous bowls. The sauce was a mixture of Tahini, cilantro, lemon juice and garlic. The couscous was layered on a bowl of salad greens and mixed vegetables. The sauce drizzled over top. I thought it tasted like a bowl of KFC! I didn’t mention that because obviously my taste buds are less than normal, however, both my husband and my daughter said the exact same thing! This tastes like fried chicken! Yup. Another recipe keeper for sure. Tonight I’m going to go with Black Bean Cauliflower Wraps. I’m going to try this plant based diet for a while. I’m going to give it 30 days. I need to do something. I need to get out of this funk I’m in. I need to get healthy and above all else I need to start running again! I run to remain sane.
myself and running buddy/co-race director Jimmy during one of our successful long runs
I have taken screen shots of the recipes mentioned in the blog if you want to try them yourself. Of note; these are for a family of 4 so keep those quantities in mind when measuring ingredients.
When I lined up at the start line for this years Epic Canadian Maple Leaf 10k I was pretty hopeful that this would be a PR race for me. The weather was absolutely perfect! The skies were overcast and it was just cool enough. I was beginning my warm up stretches and a lady pulls in beside me and she says "Are you ready for the hills?" ACK! Why is that a 4 letter word? HILLS? You mean there are HILLS on this route??!! Every single time I hear that word before a race my butt cheeks tense up and I get inside my head. That part of my head that says "you know you're going to bomb this right" Well, I didn't. I took 13 minutes off my last 10k time! Yep I sure did! This race was totally EPIC! Hills and all!
There is something about hearing the national anthem play. It warms my heart and I can feel tears start to form at the corners of my eye. I mean, how blessed are we to live here? Any time you get out for a run in the Spring or Summer and even Fall and Winter, you can honestly praise God for our many blessings that come simply by being born in this Country. God Keep our Land! There was plenty of excited chatter at the starting line, but when that anthem began to play, not a peep could be heard, not an engine started and every man in the crowd removed their caps. It was an amazing sight. All standing at attention to pay respect to this Nation. Glorious and Free. Happy 150th Canada! The horn blasts and we're off.
This race is a delightful mix of road and trail. It is not a double loop or a full out and back, it's a circle. I love races like this and there is a very specific reason why. You don't go back the same way you came so it keeps you engaged. You are treated to new scenery around every corner. There is plenty of room on the road for racers to space themselves and the pavement and trails are very forgiving on old decrepit joints like mine. We began our journey down past Lake Banook and up around Sullivans Pond. I'm not going to lie, the whole time I could hear that woman's voice in my head "are you ready for the hills?" I was of course, I mean, really, we are runners and we run in Nova Scotia, can anyone tell me of a route where there 'aren't' hills? Everyone talks about hills like they are to be feared, those poor hills have a bad reputation and it's my aim today to remove that stigma surrounding them and stand up proud and strong for those hills! YOU GO HILLS! (ok, maybe that was a bit over the top). Seriously though, hills are EPIC and here's why. Only 1/2 of them are up. I mean that pretty much sums it up doesn't it? Think about it. Going up, you are giving your butt a serious workout. I love hills for the Kardashian butt it gives me. The whole time I'm climbing a hill I'm thinking about how great my butt is going to look in those jeans. That gets me to the top! Once I crest the top then it's down! There is always a down! It's the down where I find my groove! I can turn on beast mode and kill the next 1/2 a kilometer all because I was able to turn on the down hill after burner. I can't imagine a run without hills to be honest, how boring would that be? 10 km of flat nothingness? No burst of energy? No recovery mode, just 10k of flat boring blah. Go on a race down a train track, if that suits your fancy, if you want to KILL a run and feel great doing it, then I say do the EPIC Canadian!
After turning the corner from Sullivans Pond, we continued on up towards Mic Mac Mall. The route from Mic Mac Mall to the Shubie trail system was amazing! All down hill! I really got my spring in my step and it felt awesome!
Heading into the Shubie Trail System was a wonderful surprise! I had no idea when I started this race where the route would take me, I have never been very good at reading maps. I was so surprised to see that I was going into Shubie Park! I love this trail! My only regret is that I didn't stop to take any pics along the route, I will have to do this route again someday because it truly was fantastic!
All along the route, we were treated to kilometer markers that had pictures of EPIC CANADIANS on them. Nice touch and I really wish I had have stopped to take a few pics of those, but once I get in my groove it's hard to stop, that and well, the skies opened up again and I really didn't want to bring my phone out in the downpour. I remember the 1km marker was Gord Downie and the 9k marker was Mike Meyers!
At around the 8k mark, we were on our way out of Shubie and heading back to Lake Banook. With only 1/2k to go, we were treated to a huge Canada flag hanging above our heads and numerous other Canada flags marking our last 1k to the finish. I was losing a bit of steam around the last k, but just seeing the Canada flag and realizing I was running in an EPIC Canadian race for Canada's 150th birthday was enough to push me into beast mode and I finished this 10k a full 13 minutes faster than my last 10k! This wasn't a PR race for me, believe it or not, but it certainly was a great one and I cannot wait to do it again!
Huge congrats to race director Tim Chestnut on a fabulous event! Happy Canada Day!
I began my running journey in March of 2009. I began my journey of faith in September of 2012. Running releases stress from my body while my new found faith releases stress from my mind.