Tag Archives: working out

30k in the books

I can recount how I felt at every single kilometer during the run. Every kilometer marker had a little saying on it, and they were perfect for that moment. It was those little things that kept me going. It was the cheering from the crowd that kept my legs moving during those last two kilometers.

I ran my first 30K run yesterday, and even though I injured my foot 5 weeks ago and haven’t trained for the last 4 weeks, I was able to finish it.

When I crossed that finish line, I cried. I cried because I finished, I cried because I finished it in under my original goal time, and I cried because I was exhausted.

I started the race with the boyfriend, his sister and his father. We all made it to about the 5K mark together, but then the boyfriend took off (which was surprising because he had sprained his ankle only two weeks ago and it was still swollen, but he was determined to cross this run off his bucket list). I stayed with his sister and father until I felt like it was wearing on me having to constantly look for them in the large group of people who we were stuck running with. So I kept to myself and just focused on finishing.

It wasn’t until I hit the 10K mark (where the first timer was shown) that I realized how well I was actually doing. I hit the 10K mark at 53 min. The shortest I’ve ever run a 10K before was 65 min. So I was doing pretty good. However, it was around this time that I had to change my running style because I was beginning to feel the formation of blisters at the bottom of my feet.

Around the 13K mark I thought I would take the next 7K fairly easy because I knew what was coming for me, hills, and lots of them. The last 10K were reported to be extremely hilly. But then all I could think about was the boyfriend saying “if you want to make up time, you should make it up between the 10K mark and the 20K mark”, why? Because that was the flattest part of the run. So around the 15K mark, I started to pick up my pace. I was also half way completed which was extremely motivational.

Our first big hill came about the 18-19K mark. I wasn’t sure how well I was doing on my time, and I continued to keep my eyes open for the boyfriend. I wasn’t sure how long he would make it given his ankle, but I was happy for him since I hadn’t seen him at all!

I hit the 20K mark at 1 hr and 51 min. I was so happy! At this point I thought even if I have to walk the rest of the way, since I haven’t even ran in over two weeks, I would be happy with running 20K in well under 2hrs. But of course I kept going, I was going to give it my all, no matter what!

There were spectators along the entire route. There was always people cheering you on, which really helped push me along. Especially the last 10K. The hills never stopped. We would get a nice downhill to recover, just to go up another massive hill.

Then I hit the 26K mark. I was running downhill, giving my legs a well deserved break when I saw it, the biggest hill I have ever attempted to run. It kept going, and it was steep! I was about a quarter of the way up when I felt a pulling sensation in my left calf. But I fought through it, until my legs decided that was the end. They began to protest. I had cramps in both calves. I tried to push through this, but my legs were led. So I walked up the hill. The cramping began to subside about three quarters of the way up, I thought I would try to run again. One step and my legs protested. So I walked the rest of the way up.

I felt defeated. I felt like after all this, with only 3.5K left, I was going to have to walk the rest of the way. I would jog a little, but my legs wouldn’t let me go. People I passed long ago were all passing me. I thought that the boyfriend, his sister and his dad had to be done by now.

Then I remembered, no matter what time I finish the entire run, the fact that I completed it is good enough for me. I just ran 26K without stopping, how could I be upset about that? And it was then that I got my second (or maybe my third, or fourth) wind. I was able to run, slowly, but I was running.

I could see the finish, but I hadn’t passed the 29K mark yet, so I knew I had a little over a kilometer. The path took us back into the city streets, where people were lined, cheering. Some were early finishers. Everyone was so supportive, letting you know you didn’t have too much longer to go, that we were almost there. I almost gave up a couple of times, my legs felt like they were going to collapse. But I kept going. I passed the 29K mark and I thought that if I stopped now, that would be so stupid. I would be so mad at myself with under a kilometer to go.

The path took us around a short corner, and that’s where I saw it, the end. Something came over me and I started to sprint. I passed well over 20 people. I couldn’t get to the end fast enough. I could see the clock, and I wasn’t sure if I was delusional because of exhaustion, but the clock said 2 hours and 56 min. (which I actually meant approx. 2 hours and 52 min for me because I didn’t cross the starting line for a couple of minutes after the timer started since there were so many people who had to cross at the beginning).

Relief came over me. My legs felt like jello, I was shaking, I couldn’t think straight, and all I wanted was water. I started to cry. I may have been the only one crying, but I didn’t care. I went into the runners area where they were handing out snacks and drinks and I looked everywhere for the boyfriend. I wanted to run (walk fast) up to him, hug him and tell him how proud I was of him and then I wanted to cry. But I couldn’t find him anywhere. All I could think about at this moment was “I would have waited for him if I came in before him”. So I headed up to the seating area where his mother was planning on meeting us. I get up there and I don’t see the boyfriend, his sister or his father. So I could only assume they were still downstairs getting snacks and drinks and I just missed them because of all the people. So I asked his mother where they were. Her response “no one has come in yet, you’re the first”.

I was the first?!?! How?!?! All I could think was how impossible that is. She must have just missed them running in. It was hard to tell who was who when they ran past the finish line. How could the boyfriend end up behind me? I didn’t see him, and I kept my eyes open for him the whole time.

Then his sister came in, then his dad. But the boyfriend was nowhere to be found. I was so worried. What if he took himself off the course because of his ankle. His sister said she saw him and he was hurting around the 21K mark. “What if he can’t finish? Why would he even start the run knowing his ankle is sprained and still swollen?” I couldn’t take my eyes off the runners coming him, praying he would make his way down that ramp and into the stadium.

Finally, around the 3 hour 40 min mark he comes limping in, but slowly running. He did it! He made it even with his bad ankle. I was so proud of him! I couldn’t wait to tell him.

I already knew I loved him more than anything, but it was that moment, when he limped his way over the finish line, that I realized I could not be more in love with anyone in my entire life. It may also been a side effect of the high you feel from running, but I was so incredibly happy, happy with life, happy with him, just happy with everything.

It was one of the best days I’ve had in a long time!

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I’m in love!!

I’m completely and utterly in love with fitness. So lame, right? But hear me out. It has nothing to do with it being a new year, new resolutions blah blah blah… I’m not one of those people (anymore) that make a new year’s resolution to lose 10lbs, 20lbs and work out hardcore for the first month or two and give up when I realize it’s too hard. No, that’s the old me, the me that made those resolutions years ago.

Last year I made a new year’s resolution to run a half  marathon, and guess what? I did! The resolution came from the fact that I started running before new year’s eve. It wasn’t long before. I remember I got on the scale in mid December and almost cried.

In my first year of university, I put on the freshman 15, however, my 15 ended up being 25lbs. And when I started to lose that weight in my second year, I promised myself I would never get back to the weight that I was (unless I was pregnant). When I got on the scale in December of 2010 I was over the weight I promised myself I would never reach. So what did I do? I started running, like the next day.

In the spring of 2011 I joined a bootcamp, which really helped with my training for a half marathon. I signed up for a half marathon in August and by the time it rolled around, I was 15lbs lighter. Yes, I was trying to lose weight, but it wasn’t my usual goal tactics. I set a fitness goal to run the half marathon and because I had that goal, it made it easier to lose the weight.

Since the half marathon, I’ve continued to lose weight (although I’ve put a little holiday weight on) and I am now 20lbs lighter than I was a year ago.

I am in love with fitness. Look what it does!

Of course, if you want to lose weight, you have to change everything about your habits. You not only have to start working out, but you also have to eat healthier. I made those changes. But that’s just part of fitness. I like to splurge on greasy, fattening foods. Sometimes I like to go to a Chinese buffets twice in one week (ok, ok, not often, I just did it once last week and I felt horribly guilty about it). But if you don’t have that piece of cake, or chocolate, or an extra spoon of pasta, then you will start to resent your chosen healthy lifestyle and most likely give up on it.

I’ve learned to control what I put in my body by balancing out how much I work out versus what I’ve had to eat. I also have to look at what eating too much, or unhealthy will do to my goal of running a marathon. How will I ever be able to run that long if I stuff myself with hamburgers on a weekly basis?

I pretty much eat the same thing every single day for breakfast and lunch. I’ll have Ezekiel bread with margarine and homemade jam with a coffee and only a little bit of cream for breakfast and a salad for lunch. The salad is usually the same, various vegetables with a little bit of feta cheese and light Greek dressing. Sometimes I will add quinoa or chickpeas or tuna. But rarely do I eat anything else. To keep variety in my day, I’ll eat something different for dinner. However, now that we are living on our own, I have to come up with healthy, easy, fast, dinner options. This is going to be the biggest challenge. But I have a new goal, and I am fairly confident that because I have set a new fitness goal I will be able to keep to it.

I am going to be running 30k in March. I’ll let you know how it goes and if fitness and I are still having an affair.

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A Bucket List for Schmucks

I’ve recently been inspired by a fellow blogger over at The Next Moment to write a list of things I want to do in my life, also known as a bucket list. However, these are things I would like to complete before I’m 30 and in no particular order (I will add to the list if/when I get inspired):

  1. Sky dive (this may not happen, but I’m going to put it up here)
  2. Run a half Marathon
  3. Run a full marathon
  4. Travel to Greece
  5. Travel to Paris
  6. Attend a cooking class
  7. Become a fitness instructor
  8. Look (and feel) amazing in a bikini
  9. Find a job I love
  10. Buy a house
  11. Own a real diamond (in any format, preferably in the engagement ring format)
  12. Go an entire day without being negative
  13. Make a new friend (a good one!)
  14. Let go of expired friendships
  15. Buy a real pair of sunglasses (not the $20 ones)
  16. Go to the airport and hop on the next plane (without planning beforehand)
  17. Buy a really expensive pair of shoes just because I want them and not because I need them
  18. Teach somebody something new
  19. Volunteer for Habitat for Humanity
  20. Keep my hair blonde
  21. Buy a coffee for someone in line behind me at Tim Hortons (The boyfriend already did this when he was supposed to do it with me there)
  22. Do something really nice for someone unexpectedly
  23. Read more (I know this is vague, but I can’t chose how much I want to read since I used to read ALL the time and recently I don’t read at all)
  24. Go to a strip club
  25. Throw myself the BEST 30th Birthday party ever!

What’s the number one thing you want to do in your life?

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