Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Can you tell - which one is real? Oh the struggles. I love them.

The following may or may not have occurred this past Saturday morning. I was out for a 10K run - by myself on the gorgeous Galloping Goose. Saturday was my first training day of many as I train to do my very first, and hopefully not my last, Half Marathon.

The alarm goes off at 7:15 AM. I jump out of bed. No hesitations.

I start out strong. My breathing is calm. Effortless. Peaceful. In one word - ease. Each breath is like the flight of a dove with each flap of their perfect wings - my breathing is consistent one breath after another.

I run out looking ahead. Head is high. I am eyeing the first hill and I hit it hard. I tackle the hill with ease. I pump my arms, hold my head up high, and breathe in the fresh air and feel blessed to be smothered by the sun.

My shoulders are free. My arms are flexible and with each step I feel strong.

The other runners run past. They smile. They say 'hello'. They comment on my stride and compliment me on my early morning dedication.

I see other runners joining the path - and I push myself to catch up to them. Setting benchmarks a long the way - forcing myself to catch them. And as I catch them I challenge myself to pass them. And I pass them.

My legs are light. Light as feathers. If someone could experience my legs they would say 'her legs are light as feathers'. With each stride, I am closer to my goal.

As I turn and go back, I am half way. I have to force myself to turn around. I have committed to doing a 10K, but I feel strong and feel like I could go on longer.

As I approach my finish line - I pick up my speed. I start a sprint. I finish strong. Instead of walking at the end of the interval, I run all the way home.

I stretch - I drink a tall glass of iced cold water. I take pride in my hard work for the day, and I excited that day one of training was a huge success.

******************* Now, this too may or may not have happened.********************

The alarm goes off at 7:15 AM. I lay in bed. I tell myself that missing day one of my training plan isn't a bad thing. I will do it next week. I toss and turn. I pretend that the alarm didn't go off. I sigh. I weep. I put one leg off the side of the bed and with struggle - I put the other leg off. I practically crawl to the loo - asking myself why I choose to punish myself.

I head out on the Galloping Goose. I set my intervals to 10 and 1. I start to run. Within a minute I notice  my breathing. It sounds like I am having a heart attack. It's very unattractive. Strangers passing by try not to stare. I am pretty sure that I saw someone plugging their ears to try and escape the noise.

I head towards the first hill. I pray for the watch to beep and the first interval to be over so I can walk up it. It doesn't come. I have to force my head up. Keeping my eyes on the top. I curse. I say words that a lady shouldn't say. I curse. I realize that I shouldn't waste my energy on cursing and try and focus on the top of the hill. I get to the top of the hill and celebrate that I made it.

My shoulders are tense. So damn tense. I check in - and they feel like they are up to my ears. I feel like I have a humpback. I feel that I need a sports bra to keep them in place - and strap them down. I see people running by and staring. I overhear '... mumble mumble - hump back running - I never knew...'.

Down the path I see a tall runner join the path. He has a bright orange shirt. I see him getting farther and farther away. I try to just keep him in my sight. He is quickly out of sight. I come around a corner and am excited to see the orange shirt bent over tying his shoe. I try and speed up a bit - as I am excited that I will pass him. As I get closer - I realize that the orange shirted man is not that - but a large orange and yellow 'Construction' sign.

My legs are heavy. So damn heavy. I sort of feel like they are short tree trunks. If someone was feeling my legs - they would say - how does she move with these beasts. They tighten up with each step. I feel like I should call 911 to have help carrying them home.

I had planned where my turn around would be. I am close to the turn around - and I decide to cut it short by about 20 steps. I stop for a couple of seconds and catch my breath.

I see the end. I struggle with myself to make myself run to the end of the path - without stopping regardless of the intervals. I curse. I force myself - there is no ease at the end.

I get home - I make it to the back deck - and try and make myself stretch. I pull myself up the stairs and cry that there is not a cold drink in the fridge - so have to have a glass of tap water. I force myself back outside so that I can sit on the rocking chair on the deck and try and bring my breathing and body temperature to where they should be.

Alrighty oh.

This was just a fun comparison to how I sort of wish my training went - and to what sort of really happened. I am sure that you can guess which was which. Which 'may' have happened, and what 'may not' have happened.

I am not going to lie - as much as I complain - it was a lovely day. In the end I felt strong - I felt proud that I accomplished what I set out to do - regardless of how much I tried to talk myself out of it. This was the first of many Saturday's that will be hard - but I know that it's something that I can achieve so I am fully committed.

Ok - now how about this for a salad?

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It was C&C's Cobb Salad for our family reunion. It's exactly how you see it.

Place everything in rows on a large platter - and serve it with your favourite dressing.

Romaine lettuce
Peppers
Grape tomatoes
Bacon
Cucumbers
Hard boiled eggs
Bacon
Avocados

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I whipped up a dressing with basil, buttermilk, feta cheese and kosher salt and pepper.

Loves.

Enjoy!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Goals. Shall we?

I have been thinking about writing this post all week. Seriously! We have been having wireless router issues at our abode - and yesterday afternoon - I finally got Mr. C to call our internet provider and fix it. It's sort of bad that I knew that a call had to be put in to get it sorted - I just didn't have the time or the energy to do it. As a result - I didn't spend any time outside of work online - and had full evenings. So... not sure if it's a good thing or a bad thing that the wifi is fixed.

Last week I ran in The Goddess Run. My cousin, Margo, came down from up island and we did it together. We have been planning the run for quite some time. When we initially talked about doing it, and picking which distance that we wanted to do - we agreed on the 5k. My goal at that time was to be able to run the entire run without stopping. "My goal"... I haven't set goals for myself. Well maybe little ones - here and there - things to help me get through the week. I am not much of a goal setter. I have dabbled in why - and I think that I have discovered the answer. Maybe.

I think that I am afraid, or hesitant, or weary of setting a goal for the simple fact that if I don't accomplish it, I have failed. When I think about possibly failing at something - it sort of disables me with fear - and the fear then sort of takes on a role of it's own. That little bit of fear is sort of a little bit like the 'devil on my shoulder' (as my brother likes to call it).

Some people are happy with using fear as a motivator. I am not one of those. For me - I am able to recognize it - and instead of accepting it and working with that - I will talk myself into believing that the little devil on my shoulder is right - and that the fear has won.

I have a plan though. I am working at recognizing the fear - figuring out what is causing it - trying to work with it - and then kicking it in the butt. There are some things that this won't work for. For example: I am afraid of snakes. I have no plans to overcome that.

So, my goal for running the full 5K at the Goddess Run - was sort of the first fitness goal that I have set for myself. I had a 'plan' for the 10K run that I did in the end of April. My plan was to run as far as I could without stopping and then starting my 10 and 1 intervals. My plan worked. I didn't have a time - I just wanted to be strong and healthy, be prepared, and run the best run that I could.

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My goal for the Goddess Run was reached. I started out with my cousin and my fave running friend Steph. Margo and I ran the entire race together - we ran the entire 5K (with about an 8 second speed walk up a hill - the walk was actually faster than the run at that point). I wanted to set a goal time - but I thought one goal was enough. However, the goal that I was going to set was going to be under 35 minutes. I ended up finishing it in 35 minutes and 9 seconds. I guess I should have set the goal - because I would have been so close to achieving it.

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For me - setting goals are going to be something that I am going to work on. I am going to start small - and work my way up. I am going to set realistic goals - so I know that I can achieve them. I am also going to set goals that will challenge me. And remember that the challenges are not set so that I will fail - but to make me achieve things that I set out to achieve.

I have a couple of goals that I am happy to share:
1. Run the Half-Marathon in October at the GoodLife Marathon
2. Set a running schedule for myself so that I can reach Goal #1
3. Finish our bedroom - before the end of June
4. Lose 10 pounds before the end of summer
5. Have my phew's favourite chicken wings - be mine

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#5 - my phew's favourite foods are: Caesar Salad, Wings and Ribs. I think that he could probably sustain himself on these foods. I get his approval when I make anything for him - but recently I made a new chicken wing recipe for an appetizer for my mom's birthday. He gave me a thumb's up - and gave them a rating of 4.5 out of 5. Hmm? He admitted that his favourites were the Louisiana Style from M&M's. I'm sure you can imagine my dismay. Challenge Accepted.

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Apple Cider and Honey Wings
(I made a huge amount of these as I normally do - so this recipe could be cut down if you aren't making as much - I knew that I made enough when my phew asked 'How many wings are here?' when I set the platter down in front of him)

*I always cook my wings first - without the sauce. I can do them earlier in the day or even the day before - and then saucing them up slightly before wanting to serve them.

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4 dozen chicken wings
Kosher salt and Pepper
1 cup of honey
2/3 cup of apple cider vinegar

Pre-heat the oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spray a baking rack with cooking spray and place the rack on the baking sheet. Place the wings on the baking rack (they can be squished together) and season them with kosher salt and pepper.

Bake for 35 minutes. You want to have the skin become crispy. Remove them from the oven and let them cool and then place in a sealed container and refrigerate until wanting to sauce them up before serving. Or just remove them from the rack and place on another lined baking sheet.

For the sauce: Whisk the honey and apple cider vinegar together. Add in kosher salt and pepper.

Reduce the oven to 400.

Place the wings on the lined baking sheet and brush on half of the apple cider and honey. Bake for 15 minutes.  Brush on the rest of the apple cider and honey. Bake for another 10-15 minutes.

The skins will be gooey and sticky.

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Remove from the oven and serve hot. They look deelish - if you sprinkle a few sesame seeds on top. Serve with a sliced apple, carrot or celery.

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My goal is to make these wings perfect - so that they are better than his current favourites.

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Loves.

Enjoy!