Monthly Archives: January 2011

Recovery-schmecovery

This morning, after teaching my usual Friday morning spin class, I reminded the gals to make sure they got a good breakfast – “WITH PROTEIN!” – to recoup those glam gams.  (Yep, I teach cycling at a gym…may not have mentioned that during my enthralling running stories.)

Yes, this is an entirely accurate portrayal of how I look during a 6am spin class.

So then I started thinking about how well, or really not-so well, I treat my body after working out. 

Let’s take last weekend for example.  I ran 18km (more like a never-ending crawl straight into the arms of death) , “stretched” (put my hands over my head while gasping for air) and then headed home.  Then I’m pretty sure I ate a few handfuls of Party Mix (deelish), had a shower and then made a playlist with Muffin (old school hip-hop…wha, what!) for our super fun cottage party that night.  Throw in some leftovers, a bran-blueberry muffin…and zero water and zero protein.  Skip a few hours ahead to where I celebrated my awesome athletic prowess with my bestie, alcohol.  I may or may not have had a slice of pizza between the living room dance party and the sofa black-out.

Huh.  So what could I have done to recover a bit better?  How can I starting walking the big talking that I’m giving to others?

So in an effort to redeem myself as a somewhat responsible fitness instructor, here are some of my fave protein sources for post-workout recovery!

  • Liberte Greek Yogourt 0%  Plain Non Fat Yogurt

I can’t get enough of this stuff.  Major source of protein…super creamy, no fat, very little sugar.  Toss in some frozen berries and you’ll have a satisified and happy belly.

  • Cottage cheese & tuna – seriously my parents have been eating this concoction since Jane Fonda was the shizzle and we had the exercise album to prove it.  Take equal parts (or to your liking) and mix it on up for a wicked lunch treat.  (But eat it in your office because people are mean.  I’ve learned that the hard way.)  My college roomie (Hi Harv!) starting adding a splash of Italian dressing into the mix, which is pretty tasty too.
  • Peanut butter – if you run, I don’t need to say another word.  Except that I will.  PB is like an overpowering force for most runners.  It calls to them from the back of the highest cupboard, unsuccessfully hidden behind jars of pasta sauce and Metamucil.  I’ve learned this from reading copious amounts of scientific research on the subject.  Or not.  But I bet I’m right.  On another pb/runner addiction note, I was happily eating a spoonful of peanut butter last night (100% peanuts – I’m trying!) and Muffin looked at me and snickered.  Me – “What?!  Lots of people do this.  I’m not weird!”  Muffin – “Serial killers probably think they are normal too”.  Nice, huh?
  • Black beans (with cilantro and lime juice)

    Black beans = justifiable use of a sombrero

It’s good protein, fibre and makes you feel like you can justify a big margarita on the side.  And a sombrero.

Just a couple of faves from me…what do you eat after a work out?  Share the love, peeps.

PS – here’s an overall good site for fueling and recovery:  Performance training foods (Runner’s World)

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Because I love my readers…all four of you.

I really shouldn’t share this with you, but I’m going to because I love most of you each and every one of you and think you deserve the best. 

Here it goes…Running off the Reese’s.

This. girl. is. hilarious. 

Check it out.  But don’t really because she is wildly funnier than me and I plan on shamelessly stealing a lot of her phrases.  (“Arch-run-emy” =  mine.  I have too many of these not to steal this.)

But seriously, check it.   And then come back here and pretend to read my rice cake-minus peanut butter-dry posts.   That way when I drill you (“Seriously, didn’t YOU READ MY BLOG ABOUT THIS ALREADY?!?), you can at least look me in the eye and rattle off the titles to appease me.

Long run…and a not so long run.

A little late on my weekend long run update, but my fingers are just starting to thaw out.  Ooh, and I have a message for you winter…

Yeah, you heard me.

Stotes and I headed out early Saturday to get our 18k out of the way so that “we” (or possibly just me) could get cracking on the real weekend plans.  Hello wine…it’s been awhile. 

Nothing too eventful except that we looked like ethereal, huffy-puffy, snow angels for about 17km of the run.  So much so, that I’m convinced I definitely have permanent damage on my cheeks from the layer of permafrost that settled in.

We actually ran most of the Peterborough half-marathon route (that we are considering doing at the end of February) to get a taste of the terrain.  Not too shabby…definitely some hills, but this is Peterborough and that’s a given.  It’ll be my first time racing on home turf, so it’s kind of nice to get a sneak peek. 

On another note, I’m an early morning exerciser.  So when I foolishly  “convinced” myself on Tuesday morning to stay in bed, I should have known I was asking for it.  Because of this stupid, stupid challenge and my stupid, stupid big mouth, I knew I had to make up some mileage after work for my laziness that morning.  Rookie move, Nat.  Rookie move.

Here’s a pretty close depiction of me…minus the svelte thighs and me with more vomit on my chin.   

Yep, I pounded out a solid 3.4km.  And it only took me 72 minutes(ish).

(PS – big shout out to Hooles who has done me a solid and loaned me her Garmin until a) I can come to grips with the untimely demise of mine and get off my wallet to buy another one or b) she pops out her lovely bundle of joy in a couple months and starts cranking out miles again, all Boston-like.  It’s highly unlikely that I’ll admit Garmin is gone forever, so I would go with option B…the one where Hooles has to pry hers out of my chubby, sweaty little hands.)

Tragedy strikes early

It was a bittersweet morning.  But mostly bitter.

First, the good stuff.  The ‘cats are probably the best invention ever.  It snowed on and off all day yesterday, so this morning’s run was good  and gushy.  Perfect for testing out my magical shoes.  And the ‘cats took it like we owned the joint.  If it weren’t for my poor athletic ability and lack of stamina, people would have mistaken me for a Kenyan this morning.  Kicking asphalt and taking names.

But with the very good, comes the very tragic.  Grab Kleenex – this one’ll getcha.

Before each run, for the last 4 years, I put my trusty Garmin outside for a couple minutes to get a GPS signal before starting my run.  (Non-runners…a Garmin keeps track of distance, pace, calories, sanity, etc.) This morning, in a moment of lunacy, I propped it up on top of the sidewalk garbage can, instead of on the building ledge like I always do.  You’re thinking I’m an idiot.  That’s ok…because 99% of the time I am one.  But in this story, you would have done the same (or not, but let’s say you did because I’m already sad). 

So, Garmin’s steadily resting on garbage can gathering signals and waypoints and spy secrets from space.  I walk into the gym – DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF THE GARBAGE CAN – and stand in the entryway chatting to the Cool Running gals.  This whole process took about 3 minutes.  MINUTES.

The fiasco

Let me paint you a picture...literally.

We leave the gym and saunter over to the garbage to get my sole source of running data for the past 4 years/best friend and what do you know, the garbage is GONE!  GONE!  In the 3 minutes that I left Garmin unattended, the garbage folks came and emptied the can.  At 5:50am!!  Whattha…seriously, what government worker is working before 6am??  I’m government too…so I know that’s not normal, people!

My solution? I’ve put a desperate call into the city public works dept. to see if one of the collectors grabbed it first before scooping it in with the rest of the overflowing trash.  And I’m pouting.  Both don’t seem to be doing much. 

Also, this may force me to simply guesstimate my kilometres for this little challenge.  So I guess I ran, ooh like, 1000k this morning sporting my wicked ‘cats, so I’ll probably reach my goal by the weekend.  I’m really good at guesstimates.  Got an A in it actually.

(PS – Feel free to take up a collection in memory of Garmin.  Proceeds can be made to the “FunnerRunner Garmin Replacement Investment Opportunity Fund”.  Overflow funds will go to the “I really want UGG earmuffs for the hot tub and dog walking adventures Fund”

Why grapefruit is hilarious

Check it.

Wildcat (Felis silvestris)…or (Funneris-Runneris)?

I’m super, super pumped for tomorrow’s run!

Whaaa?  You must be thinking this is a guest blogger or some peppy, optimistic, ILOVEICEANDSNOWANDFREEZINGMYDONKEYSOFF!! runner.  Nope, still bitter ol’ winter-hater me.

And yes, it’s still taking place at 6am…yes, it’s still going to be pitch black….and yes, Mother Nature continues to crap up outdoor surfaces with inordinate and (ironically) unnatural amounts of precipitation.  (Editor’s note: this is not a weather blog, although it seems like one)

So why the excitos?!  Because these bad boys landed on my doorstep last night!

Wildcats! Suck it, ice!

My new kicks…with “superior traction” (to keep me from cracking my tail bone), a “protective…mesh trail cage” (to keep slush, sticks, crap from creeping into my toes) and an outer layer that “provides quick drainage” (to protect from gangrene and amputation). Now that my friends, is a shoe.  Best part?  They’re called “Wildcats”.

Honestly, I couldn’t be more hard core.

Yeah, but is wearing Wildcats?

Photo source

 

Country roads, take me home…eventually.

I headed out on Sunday for my long run, cursing the brown sugar snow that ensued from Saturday’s all day snow-a-thon.  Knowing that the roads, sidewalks, shoulders, etc. would be complete crap, I oh-so cleverly mapped out a route that was a little bit country, a little bit foreign to me.  This was so that I could, basically, run in the middle of the road without too much traffic (aka: elderly ladies with zero driving reflexes and honking, skiddy truck guys giving me the finger while wildly pursuing me like eventual roadkill).  Pretty smart, huh?

So smart and off the beaten path (we’re talking a whole 5ish km out of town) that I somehow missed my turn…I’m thinking it was somewhere between Black Eyed Peas and Florence and the Machine.  Anyhoo, not too big of a deal, except that my 17km turned into a 19km.  Yay – forced distance! 

I won’t even report my pace, because I’m confident that the driving Miss Daisy’s, who typically force me off the road, could have schooled me. 

Hey spandexer...get your head out of your ass and your ass off the road!

Blue Monday?

Photo Source

So rumour has is that today is supposedly the crappiest day of the year.  Or maybe not.  The scientists (fairly generous job classifying  here) behind Blue Monday can’t quite carry the seven or find the square root of the equation or whatever to determine if it’s the 3rd week of January or the next.  Regardless, it was -31C this morning.  Now that’s depressing.  Blue Monday-schmonday… winter, you officially suck.

That being said, stay tuned for my long run recap.  Spoiler alert!…I get lost and can’t feel my toes for a good chunk of it.

Definitely NOT wiser

Three reasons why I know that removing my wisdom teeth has definitely made me stupider.

1) I’m fairly certain that “stupider” is not a word, but I can’t think of anything else.

2) This morning’s 6am run took place in balmy -20C wind chill weather….seriously. (That’s -4F, in case you use pool temps to gauge everyday weather.)

3) My diet over the last 3 days has consisted mostly of Cool Whip, soup, and creamed corn.  Not the most energizing foods to eat before running.  Or putting on socks.  Or anything other than changing the channel from Price is Right to Happy Days.

But, I am happy to report that Stotes and I pulled off 9k before work – despite the blustery conditions.  Not too mention it’s kind of like I iced my entire face for an hour.  My dentist will be thrilled at my dedication to his post-op recovery instructions.

Goodbye wisdom teeth…hello Jello.

‘Nuff said.  I’m puffy and surviving on jello, creamed corn and Tylenol 3’s.  I’ll be amazed if I get off the couch this week let alone log any miles.  We’ll see!