Category Archives: Cross-training

A new gig

Remember that fantastic (Walking Dead-like even?) cliffhanger from last week? Sure. Ok.

Welp, I think I’ve dotted and crossed off all of the appropriate letters and I can let you in on my little news.

Folks, I’m leaving corporate and turning granola. Translation: goodbye Goodlife Fitness, hello Trent Athletics Centre!

Granola and bikes

Even the gym smells like patchouli…and I like it.

After, oh, eight or so years with my lovely Goodlife Fitness, I started to realize that my new schedule just wasn’t jiving with their schedule anymore. Which really means, when I only get to hang with mini-Muffin for about 2 hours a night, I’m really not keen to spend at least an hour of that at the gym. Go figure.  And my beloved 6am time slot is also a no-go now that I’m 1) living in the wilderboonies and 2) have a hardworking husband who leaves the house before 5am every morning. (Stalkers and murderers, disregard!)  So 6am = baby duty now.

As I mentioned before, in an effort to maximize my time away from home, I’ve been running at lunch or late afternoon which seems to be working pretty well. But I wasn’t quite ready to give up the gym scene just yet (mostly because my love-affair with running can be described as sporadic at best). Enter Trent Athletics Centre! Hooray! The kind folks there have hired me as a substitute instructor for now and hopefully, someday in the not too super-distant future, I’ll get on the schedule for a lunch or afternoon class. And in the meantime, I’m still able to attend their classes to miraculously try to get my soggy legs back into cycling shape. Yeesh. I mean…I’m super fit and sporty and hiring me was an excellent decision!

Sure.

I think patios count as outdoors, no?

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all win-win. Win because I’m really excited to start something new, I’m already liking the classes at the AC, and yes, I’m pumped to join their team. But don’t be fooled, I’ll miss that Goodlife family crazy amounts too. To all those fantastic 6am faces, have no fear, you’ll see me on a free day buying a day pass just to get a little RPM or Body Pump fix.

But I’ll be the one in Birks and wool socks.

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Just a prediction…

….buuut, I’m guessing this might turn out to be the longest summer for me EVER.

So yeah, I’ll start.

Dear Summer….Really?  Already?!

You’d think that running between 6-7am would be the responsible, smart thing to do in these kinds of temperatures.  Get out while the getting is good.  Guess what?  It wasn’t even remotely good then.

Totally accurate weather forecast.

Actually here is the ACTUAL FREAKING WEATHER from this morning…right about the time I was wheezing my way back up my driveway from a sluggish 6k run.  Yes SIX.  That’s it.  (And yet somehow I still lived to tell.)

I really thought it would be my increasingly gargantuan belly that would do me in on the running scene…not you, dear summer.  Old friend.  I already hate winter….it just doesn’t feel right to begrudge my beloved warmth and sunshine too.  But c’mon, at least give me the early mornings before the blinding heat sets in, mkay?

Great.  Good talk.

BUT all of this heat is making me even more excited for my next little attempt at staying upright (when all I really want to do is curl up on top of the AC vent).  Hello deep water running classes!

I’ve signed up to VOLUNTARILY squeeze myself into a one-piece in public (OMFG) to take part in an oh-so awesome deep water running course running throughout July and August.  Fries n’gravy, if I’m going to look like a whale, I might as well go balls to the wall and make it authentic by flapping around in a semi-large body of water too.

Actually, because my cycling instruction days are now on the decline and the angry sun is going to make it next to impossible to run outdoors sooner than later, I really wanted something that would be active, fun and totally manageable EVEN if you are smuggling a watermelon under your swim suit.  I did the same class years ago with Hooles and then recently tried it again for the Exercise Diaries and really liked it both times.  So if you are wondering what the deuce it’s all about, pop over to read my recap here.  And if morbid curiosity is calling to you about what a 30-something year old woman would look like when stuffed into sausage casing, join the class!  It’ll be like a wave pool once I get flailing around in there.  FUN!

Warning: front row may get wet.

Wha Happa?

I was a bit shocked when I wandered over here to FunnerRunner and discovered that it’s been almost a MONTH since my last post.  I knew I had been slacking a bit, but c’mon…that’s just a little ridiculous.

So my apologies.

BUT! the good news is that you haven’t missed much.  I ran a couple of marathons, learned to knit AND drive standard, and dug a pool in our backyard, but that’s about it.  No biggie smalls.

But outside of all of that awesomeness, I have been up to some (actual) stuff.  So without further ado, let’s just see…

WHA HAPPA?

  • I made freaking trifle.  You’d think that I had cured cancer the way I have been up-talking this feat, but no, just assembled some ingredients to pull off a dish only marginally better than Rachel’s.  You see, the impetus behind making this dessert for my April recipe of the month was that I thought that I had received a trifle dish for Christmas last year.  Turns out that it was a punch bowl.  Don’t ask.  Being the Masterchef that I am, I went with it.  Guess what?  It takes a hella lot more fruit and cake to layer a punch bowl than a trifle dish.  By the last layer, I had used every piece of fruit in the house (frozen, fresh, green peas dipped in sugar…) to scrape together something that looked remotely triflin’.  Thank mercy Cool Whip makes everything taste ok, so although it looked like a giant bowl of randomness, it tasted just dandy.  Masterchef tip #1 – just add Cool Whip.  (And say it like Stewie)  Here’s the recipe that I had intended on following (before dipping into weird fruit territory).

My mammoth trifle

Aerial view…yes, that is an ENTIRE pineapple on the top layer.

  • I started CrossFit.  Well, kinda.  I started the beginner “on-ramp” program because the lovelies at CrossFit Kawartha offered it to me at no cost as part of The Exercise Diaries.  I’m just trekking my way through it right now, but first impressions are that I would totally, totally do this all the time (if I wasn’t getting more mego-p by the day).  The two instructors/owners are awesome and the actual CrossFitters are bad ass.  You can read my intro post about it here…more to come once I wrap up the on-ramp program next week.  If you’ve never heard of CrossFit, head on over to YouTube to check out the bad-assery of it.

We actually did these this week.

  • I committed to biking to work for the month of May as part of our local Shifting Gears competition.  I even got a new-to-me bike on Kijiji so that I don’t have to ride my super speedy/death-trap pedals road bike.  And I soon realized that biking to work sucks.  I rode my bike the first two days and that’s it so far.  Yikes.  So my goal is to ride at least three times next week, but like I said, it sucks.  Not so much the biking (however it turns out that my sweet Kijiji bargain weighs about 80 times more than my speedster so that’s not helping) but I hate packing my outfit, trying to leave early so that I’m not late(r), getting changed in the bathroom stall, having sweaty helmet bangs all day, not having access to my car after work for errands, and so on.  I could never live in Europe…Tour de Work = annoying.  But apparently biking is good for me and an “easy” way to keep the ol’ legs moving.  We’ll see.
  • We had an ultrasound!  Our mini-muffin seems to be truckin’ along quite nicely and was wriggling away during the exam.  Hooray!  Almost halfway already – I can’t believe how quickly these first few months have gone by.  That said, I’m pretty sure the gals who hugged the toilet for the first 12 weeks could shank me for saying that, but so far I’m digging this pregnancy job.  (Ask me that after this long weekend when I’m ready to shank all of my tipsy friends in a sobriety induced rage.)

Mini muff @ 18 weeks

  • And lastly, I said goodbye.  Our dearest Dudes and T-Money have made their way westward and I’ve lost my mid-week workout, shopping, WINE and bitch partner, not too mention THE weekend go-to gal.  The good news is that those brother-husbands we scooped have bound us for life!!  Muwahaha!  It might not be a Wednesday WINE session, but I’ll see you very  soon and very often, dearest Dudes.  Love and misses to you both already!

Ignore B-Mac in the middle…we always miss him.

And one more because I’m hormonal and weepy and feeling all nostalgic.

Just doing what we do best…looking retardo.

Catching up

Even though blogging has been tossed on the back burner for awhile, I have actually been doing blog worthy activities (other than sitting on the couch “researching” the internet).

So let’s play a little catch up!

As promised earlier this year, I’m doing my darndest to keep my 2012 resolution to try one new recipe a month.

Reach for the sky!

(Please disregard numbers 1, 2 & 4 for now…I’m a work in progress)

Let’s back up a scootch and pretend like I am a domestic goddess chef extraordinaire… and that it’s February.

The month of love brought a couple of recipe challenges including one that I didn’t even force Muffin and I to eat…in fact, I made it as a “gift”.  Enter The Pioneer Woman’sThe Best Lasagna. Ever.

Best. Lasagna. Ever. (this is not mine, obs)

Source

My plan was to make two small-ish dishes – one for us and one for our dear friends who just birthed a brand new bebe (“Congrats on your new bundle!  How about some salmonella to go along with that unrelenting fatigue and incessant crying?!  You’re welcome!”)  Turns out that I’m bad at cooking AND math.  I just didn’t have enough of “spreading out ingredients to make two lasagnas” for us too.  However I’m totally confident that it turned out exactly like Pioneer Woman’s 612 “OMG this is so goooood!” comments lasagna.  What?  Just let me have that.

So although it was a new recipe, I felt like I needed to tackle something that we would actually consume ourselves in order to meet my 2012 resolution.  Enter new recipes #2 and #3 (in one month!!).

I saw all of these deeeelish looking grilled sandwiches on Closet Cooking (another Canadian blogger…wha, whaat!)  and could barely decide which one to devour create.  After much drooling and panting, I eventually landed on Bacon Guacamole Grilled Cheese Sandwiches served up with Creamy Mushroom and Roasted Cauliflower Soup.  Both dishes = TO. DIE. FOR.  The soup was fantastic (even with half milk, half light cream, sans wine) and surprisingly easy, and the sandwiches…well, unless you’ve had your taste buds burned off in some sort of tragic hot pizza eating incident – this will change grilled cheese for you – FOREVER.

Clearly not my actual dish again...mine looked JUST like this though. Ahem.

Soup, soup - so good for the soul. Stealing photos - also good.

Source for both images.

And just quickly, because we all know that I’m no foodie blogger and I’m running out of synonyms for “yummy”, March’s recipe was super successful and awesome as well.  Because I’m that good.  I stumbled across this little number on Pinterest (of course) – Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken and whipped up my own rendition of fried rice to go along with it.  Muffin and I eat A LOT of chicken breast and it was so nice to change it up a bit.  Super tasty and a definite keeper.  That said, I totally under estimated how long it would take to cube, dip, roll, brown, give little massages to, sing lullabies for and french braid the chicken’s hair.  Plan for some extra prep time to baby that whiny, self-absorbed little chicken so that in the end it is totally your sticky, sweet bitch.  Yum!

Seeing a pattern...not my actual dish.

Source

Alright, enough with the food.  (Is anyone else gnawing on the couch arm right now?  No?  Just me?)

Running is ramping back up for me (and likely everyone else in North America too).  The weather is a little warmer, the days are much brighter, and so running is seeming a bit easier.  Big selling point for me.

Last month’s virtual race went swimmingly, so swimmingly in fact, that I’ve signed up to do another virtual race!  They are just so darn cheap fun!  (Did I mention that I won a prize last time too?  Not surprising for people that know me and know that I win stuff.  Sorry losers, that random prize has my name all over it.)  So at some point this week (Friday, I’m looking at you) I’ve got the 10k Jelly Bean virtual race!  Again, you can do the race where ever your little legs will take you and there are four events to choose from (5k, 10k, half-marathon run or half-marathon bike).  Or you can do any combination of all four…if you are a giant keener nerd.  As for me (and probably most of the other cool kids), 10k it is.  Tomorrow is the last day to sign up and you have to complete your event by April 8 – just in time for Cadbury egg snorting!  That seems like sound logic to me folks…one little race + mucho Easter candy consumption = balance.  Sign up here…now.

And finally for our little catch up (wasn’t this fun? Just like old friends getting together over coffee, except that one annoying friend dominated the whole conversation) …one more awesome thing I did while I wasn’t here – deep water running.  Read all about it here.  (Spoiler alert, I didn’t drown but somehow still managed to look like a beached whale in a one piece.)

Bootcamp = check

Bootcamp is done.  Enough said…well except this…

 

Bootcamping and, surprise, RUNNING!

Although I have been a little MIA on the running scene these last few weeks, I have managed to keep my ever-loving-expanding booty on the move.  By pumping my own gas?  Taking out the trash? Walking into Baskin Robbins vs. waiting in the car while Muffin fetches me a double scoop? Nope. Nope. And definitely nope. (He refuses to take the blame when ordering freakish amounts of dessert on my behalf.  SO selfish.)

Bootcamp, y’all.

For the past 3.5 weeks I’ve been sucked in the the cult that is Soldiers of Fitness.  I won’t liken them to Nazis or anything because that would be too accurate inappropriate, but let’s just say I find myself doing things under their instruction that I wouldn’t normally even fathom doing (e.g. drag an 110lb tire through the slush at 6am…).  Whether you call it brainwashing or fear or whatever…it seems to be motivating me.  Because I’m a sucker…and it was free.

Anyhoo, I haven’t mentioned it much because I’m actually being paid to write about it over here (and here), so yeah…my little brain can only muster up so many words to describe the ruthless and relentless experience that is Soldiers of Fitness.  (But c’mon over for a visit with a bottle of wine and I could be schnapped into telling you exactly what I think of endless chin ups, squat thrusts, sandbags and PRONE FREAKING PLANK POSITION!!)

However, much to my annoyance, I like it.

When my body wants to just roll over in bed and mentally flip the bird to instructors Dimacakos & Suurd (because I’m a gutless baby in real life), my head reminds me that it’s actually kind of fun.  And that I actually enjoy being kicked in the arse (metaphorically – they’re not that mean).  And that I haven’t challenged my physical limits like this in a long time.  Then my throbbing quads quickly respond with “you’re an idiot” and I find myself layering up for another wet and dark morning at the park.

Not exactly as depicted.

That said, I did hit the pavement this weekend for a little 9k jaunt and it felt goooood.  (Likely because I wasn’t dragging three tires from my waist while doing it.  Ahem, SOF.)  It seems like this love affair with that hussy bootcamp is wrapping up just when I need it. After December, I needed a break from running.  I checked out the other side of the green grass.  Now I’m ready to be reunited with my true love.  It’s all very Ross and Rachel but I think you get me.  Running, I’ve missed you.

So what’s on tap?  This weekend’s Peterborough Half?  Not quite.  But Dudes and I will be out there bringing MORE COWBELL as we refresh and replenish folks at a water station.  I’m pumped to be cheering at a local race – especially because I know how important it can be to hear a few rah-rahs! when your legs feel like they are made of wet paper towel.  So fill me in…who’s running this bad boy? Whaddaya need…gatorade or water?  Jujubes or licorice?  I’ll be watching for you, but I doubt you’ll miss us…we’re the two crappy volunteers accidentally passing over our mimosas while buried face first in a tub of Big Feet.  Best.race.ever.

Because it's what matters.

But as you know, being the best cheerleader ever just isn’t enough to motivate me.  I have to pay cold hard cash for a race bib in hopes of keeping up any training plan.  So really, what is on the race agenda for me? (Meaning that I’m actually running and not just bellowing “You call that running?!” in a hot chocolate/Baileys fueled rant.)

No turning back

Ta-da!  On April 22, if everything goes according to plan (evil finger tap), I’ll be heading to the Smiths Falls Spring Fling Running Thing! So I’ve got exactly two months to remind my legs that we likey running…and maybe even convince them that we likey not coming in dead last in a teeny-tiny inaugural race.

Best cheerleader ever.

The streak is over

Big day today!  BIG!

After my delightfully lazy streak of non-running (11 days sans Garmin, ipod or ‘cats) I’m back!  I managed to drag my ever-lovin-expanding body out of bed this morning to waddle my way through 7.5km of pure magic.

No snow.  No ice.  No problem.  A January miracle!  Kind of.  It turns out that not only is eleven days of non-running not awesome for your fitness level, it’s also not awesome for your motivation level.

After my big finish a few weeks ago, the plan was to take a few days off from running.  A. few. days.   But because I am “goal oriented” (read: lazy unless I’ve forked over at least $60 for a race or have publicly committed myself to some retardo goal) that plan quickly morphed into sleeping in everyday, not working out at all, and generally being the antithesis of new year’s resolutions.  Most people buck up on January 1st, whereas I was busying myself with ways to incorporate melted cheese into every meal. (PS – totally doable)  But with a snow storm about to land on our doorsteps tonight, I decided that the streak would end today.

And it wasn’t that bad.  It was actually kind of nice.  No pressure, no desperate distance, no pace required.  I just ran until I didn’t feel like running anymore.  I ran like a regular person (or Forrest Gump if you will), rather than some kind of kilometer junkie trying to get her fix.  So last year.

BUT!  Was it wonderful enough to convince me to tackle 2012km in 2012?  Nope.  Not even close.  So you see that little ticker on the upper right-hand side of the page…ignore it.  I just can’t think of what I want to put there yet.  It’ll likely be a picture of myself or something as equally awesome.

Enough said.

So what are my goals for 2012?  (Because just relying on my own discipline and motivation are clearly not going to cut it.)  Without further ado…

Seriously...that's it.

Yep.  Setting the bar at “realistic” for this year.  I’ve had a few of these on my to-do list for awhile (*cough* wedding vows *cough*) so what better way to follow through than to publicly announce them?!

As for running and fitness goals?  Welp, I’m just not ready to commit to anything for a year yet, so in the meantime…here we go:

January-February goals (a bite size time frame, if you will) are to run at least x2/week and do Body Pump/weights twice a week.  I figure that’s enough to get me out of bed at least. Also, I’m back to teaching endurance spin each week (yay! I’ve missed you bikey!), so I figure now is the best time to mix up my workouts before I get the racing bug this spring.

That’s how early 2012 is shaping up for me.  What about you?  What’s your plan?  What are you hoping to accomplish this year (besides teaching me how to drive standard)?

Stay tuned for a non-running December/holiday re-cap!  What’s the big news, and more selfishly, what did I get for Christmas!?!  Anticipation!

Life outside of running

So now that you are all (painfully) caught up on how my loggin’ the joggin’ is trucking along (what?! I believe in accountability!), it’s time for LIFE OUTSIDE OF RUNNING! Yes, I do have one.

First, an update.  Remember the push up challenge that was taking everyone by storm?!  After a solid start all around, it turns out that we all soon realized that push ups suck.  And are super hard. So, super sucky.

Push ups = not as fun as dry humping

And when the going gets tough, the tough get outta dodge.  Well, at least 80% of us do.  One brave soul heaved and sweated and pushed his way to victory!

This guy!...wait....

Actually, no…it was this guy!

Eduardo!

Way to go Eduardo!  He followed the whole six week program and breezed through 100 consecutive push ups – no sweat.  Well maybe a little bit of sweat.  (And tears? C’mon…you can tell us…) Awesome job, Dad!  Your prize is in the “mail” (aka. there is no prize).  Plus you can gloat, brag and rub it in all of our faces…because let’s face it, if we weren’t such babies, that’s what we would do too.

(Just FYI – I started week 3 about 3 times before throwing in the towel and declaring that push ups are stupid)

In weather news (which is coincidentally tied to running news…so much for life outside of running), ol’ man winter is sneaking up on us like a Kardashian on a wide-eyed basketball player.  I’ve even brought out the ‘cats on a few occasions this month!  And just FYI…they are still ah.mah.zing.  Not so ahmahzing that I’m asking for a snow-ice-death mix, but they make crap weather much more bearable.

Return of the 'cats (ignore my 5:45am face)

With winter comes the only real reason for ever wishing November to end… CHRIIIIISTMAAAAAS!  Muffin and I kicked off our annual holly-jolly traditions with a trip to the tree farm…

Hard at work

Where he did all of the work…as Piper and I had a little photo shoot…

Not so hard at work

It was the first time EVER in our tree harvesting years together that we found a half decent tree with little to no arguing/scene making/stomping/crying.  And he didn’t even swear!  A Griswold miracle!

Having tromped and bossed and demanded “bigger! better!” all day at the tree lot, I had worked up an appetite and was pumped for gingerbread house making.  Also known as the reason for my season.  Nothing says good clean fun like snorting icing from a plastic bag while arm wrestling your husband for the extra jujubes.

Gingerbread, you complete me.

My new BFF...for the next 30 seconds.

Happily, things are definitely starting to look a lot like Christmas around the Bootman homestead.  Even with all the gingerbread barf everywhere.

Next random topic…the Exercise Diaries are going swimmingly!  If you haven’t had a chance to pop over yet, you are lazy and a crap friend.

(I’ll let that sink in a bit)

However you can still redeem yourself!  Scoot over and check out how I fared with the Runner’s Life pro-stars.  (Yes!  I actually wrote about running for once.  Who am I?!)

Off to Runner's Life to pretend like I know what I'm doing

I even made a return to hot yoga.  It’s all in the name of research…but you’ll have to wait to read all about that adventure.

Trying to take a change room photo without looking like a creeper

And (almost) lastly, when I’m not running or writing, I’m doing what every other 20-40 year old woman is doing…I’m on Pinterest.  If you haven’t devoted every waking minute to it discovered it yet, c’mon out from your rock or Facebook or wherever you are currently wasting your free time and start wasting away your days on Pinterest…with me!

What it is...

That said, you’ve been warned.  Pinterest is the new crack-cocaine, but more addictive.  And prettier.  And your teeth won’t go all weird.

...how it usually plays out.

And finally, finally, a little something festive for your screen saver.  My gift to you.  You are WELCOME.

Holiday special! Ornament available for 3 easy payments of $19.99

Zumbusted

This Exercise Diaries thing is really testing my coolness factor.  Scoot on over to see how I did in Zumba this week.

Spoiler alert…

The {pause} to an era

The end of October came and went and I haven’t even had a chance to update you all with my news! Blogger-blasphemy!   But things have been busy around here…

Very busy and important

With only two months to wrap up this running challenge and a mere 500-ish kilometers still to go, some changes HAD to be made.

In keeping with my new “If you’ve got time to sweat, you’ve got time to run” mantra, I took a look at what had to go so that I could make a little more time for pounding the pavement.   At least temporarily.

**Clark Griswold drum roll**

I’m taking a break from teaching cycling.

This might not be earth shattering news to some of you, but it’s a big deal for me.  It’s the end pause to an era.

I don’t talk about my cycling class too much here on FR and it’s not because I don’t lova- love it…it’s just that it’s a part of me.  I don’t really think of it as blog material (clearly I have a very strict screening policy in that department) but only because it seems like forever that I’ve been getting up a few days a week for my lovely 6am ladies.  I’ve been teaching spin at the same club for almost seven years.  SEVEN years.  That’s longer than any other job I’ve had and it’s my second longest relationship. (Hi Muffin!  Don’t worry I won’t quit you…I need someone to whine about running to) And yes, there has been some love-hate…mostly on pitch black, freakin’ freezing, “STUPIDSTUPIDIHATESTUPIDSPIN” mornings when I’m trying to drive through an iced up windshield -but for the most part, cycling is a part of me.

Halloween spin sweaty heap...yes, those are ghost shorts.

Let’s be serious.  I have THE best gals in my class.  I’m not even going to sugar coat that one. Hands down the hardest working, most committed, clearly crazy women that drag their schweet gams every week at 6am to hear me wheeze my way through another 75 minute class.  And their not even being paid to be there!  Coming at 6am!…their own free will!…despite the option of sleeping in!  Just to keep me company.  Saints, I tell ya.  Between holidays, birthdays, deaths, babies, weddings – the “regulars” and I have been through it all together.   So when I said that after this two-month hiatus I’ll be back (in a less Terminator tone though), I meant it.

Goodbye...for now.

So pavement…it’s just you and me.  Goodbye October, hello Mo’RUNber!