Monday, January 6, 2014

Running on Carbs Returns

Hi folks! Happy New Year and welcome back after a two week hiatus.

It feels like a lot longer than that in some ways and yet, as vacations often do, it sped by much too quickly. Ready or not, it's Monday January 6th and I'm back to blogging, back to work and back to my pre-work, 5:30am swim workout. 

All after having stayed up way too late last night watching the first episode of Downton Abbey Season Four.

Actually, let's be honest. There is no way I'll be able to survive a 4:50am wakeup call after going to bed at 11pm. So my swimming career resumes on Wednesday. 

Even with a bit of a sleep-in, heading back to work on less than 8 hours sleep after two weeks off  should guarantee an interesting day full of misplaced pens, dropped books and forgotten details. Thank goodness for green tea.  

The last two weeks were a wonderful mishmash of quiet time with Doug, family gatherings, friends new and old, delicious meals, red wine, television shows, leisurely magazine reading, trying new recipes and, despite all odds, getting in almost daily workouts. 

For those of you who know what Coles Notes actually are, here are the Coles Notes version of the holidays.

In the Kitchen

We hosted my family for a pre-Christmas dinner and tried our hand at blue cheese scalloped potatoes, stuffed tomatoes and a ham. We rocked it all. Thankfully we had a lot of leftovers because they descended again the next evening after their power went out.

The ham bone was then transformed into a very delicious French Canadian split pea soup that kept us warm during the oh so cold days after Christmas.

On another cold night we attempted a shrimp jambalaya from my Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Cookbook which was tasty but a little too labour-intensive for my liking. Way too much standing by the stove and stirring to make sure the rice didn't stick.

We then made a homemade pasta sauce using an army of oven-roasted cherry tomatoes, parmesan cheese and a wee bit of cream. The roasting tomatoes smelled fabulous and the sauce was assembled in minutes. It was delicious and went very well with the steak Doug made. The only problem was that Bubba Gump's idea of four servings looks a lot like our idea of eight servings so we ended up with a lot of pasta and sauce.

Keeping Fit

Over the holidays we started almost every day with a bike or a run. It was nice not to set the alarm and to get up whenever the sun started shining into the bedroom. We ran a lot - on warm days with clean streets, through snowstorms and on snow and ice-covered roads.

I also happily headed down to the basement several times to ride the bike and even managed to bend those crank arms twice. In those two workout alone I did 580 squats. Insane.

We ran the Boxing Day ten mile race in Hamilton. I went into it not expecting to do anything other than run the thing and have fun doing it. Little did I know what was about to happen. It turned out that changing up my running route back in November and adding a few hills to every run made a difference. I ran stronger than I have in a long time. As I approached the 9k mark of the race and easily ran to the top of the nastiest hill of the route, I began to think I could actually PB. I had run the race twice before and did it in 1:45:something and then last year I did it in 1:42:42. I did some quick math and figured that, if I did not stop at all AND if I managed to keep each of the last 7 kilometres under 6:20 min/k, I could finish the race in under 1:40:00. I pushed hard. I ran into the wind and refused to yield. I ran up and down the smaller hills and refused to slow. The closer I got to the finish,  and as each kilometre's time beeped on my watch, the more realistic my goal became and the more I refused to give in. I hated the thought of backing off and then seeing a 1:40:something on the clock at the finish.

As I ran the last kilometre up a gentle but tiring uphill, I spotted the finish line and then, as I got closer, I spotted the time clock. I saw it change to 1:39:00 and I picked it up a bit. I crossed the line at 1:39:25 and, for the first time in my life, knew what it felt like to dig deep and pull off a time that didn't even look like an option when the gun went off. It's been over a week and I'm still grinning about it!

I'm not exactly grinning here but I'm pretty happy and very proud! 

I also headed back to the pool twice last week after a month of dry land work. I swam 1700m the first day back and felt it in my arms, back and abs for two days afterwards. I rested up and then went back last Thursday and did 2000m, feeling stronger already. I signed up for the next Masters class on the way out, knowing full well that the first few sessions are going to be rough. I'm rested now and ready for another few months of tough workouts. Triathlon season is fast approaching and I want to be at my best. Which means sucking it up for a few weeks and finding my swimming fitness again.

Other Bits and Pieces

I had an appointment for a hair cut and colour a few days ago. I was looking through my magazines for a photo of a hair colour I liked. I found this one and brought it in with me.

The colourist and my hair dresser liked the photo so much they convinced me to try the cut as well as the colour. 

So for the first time since Grade Nine, I have bangs! And my hair turned out a lot redder than it looks in the photo. A tribute to my Irish 'roots'. 

I also took advantage of the Boxing Week sales and bought some boots that are pretty fun, a few sweaters...and may have splurged at the Coach Boxing Week sale. 

Dexter and I came through all the holiday feasts and are still friends. He kept me in line and helped me prevent highs and lows before they happened. In fact I am proud to say that I had several 'no hitters' during the holidays. No hitters are days when I don't hit the high or the low line on my Dexcom graph (high is set at 12.0 and low is set at 4.0). I've also figured out an overnight basal rate that seems to be working well. Once I settle in and my dinner insulin has left my system, I flatline until the morning (which sounds awful but, in blood sugar speak, it's not - trust me). 

Other than that, I have a bunch of goals set for 2014 and a few more in the works. 

Those, my friends, will have to wait until tomorrow. 

It's good to be back - I've missed you. 

1 comment:

  1. (1) Your new haircut is really cute. (2) Major congratulations on the big PR on Boxing Day. That's a major achievement.

    Glad you're back to blogging.