Done with Whole30, not done with being whole

Posted in Uncategorized on March 4, 2011 by cfjunkie

First Whole30, finally done.  Final results, down 12 lbs, 5 dead hang pull ups, 3 ring dips, about a minute off my mile.  Jeff lost 15 lbs and testifies that his strength is only going up.  Definitely huge improvements in training.  This is the first time in my entire almost year and a half of crossfit that things like muscle ups and hand stand push ups don’t seem out of reach.

Thoughts on general well being.  I used to not be able to fall asleep without a double dose of allergy medication.  Now, I sleep like a newborn, deep and restful.  Energy levels are very consistent, there’s no peaks or valleys throughout the day, I’m not craving sugar or coffee.  Such solid nutrition habits combined with excellent sleep lead me to believe in a big improvement in recovery as well. 

After formally congratulating each other on a successful 30 day nutrition clean up, Jeff and I took a two day break, drank some liquor, ate some peanut butter candy, and I wrapped the food debauchery up with a cheeseburger.  To say that I paid for it is an understatement.  Let’s just say if you want to spend three days in the fetal position whining about how much your stomach hates you, then sugar and bread is the way to go. 

We’re back to being Whole.  I wouldn’t put a time limit on it, I think it is absolutely the way to go.  I don’t think I’m going to get evangelical about it, but I think anyone who is serious about their training should try it.  The results will speak for themselves. 

Twelve days down = coconut/sunbutter everything

Posted in Life, Nutrition, Paleo on February 7, 2011 by cfjunkie

As of right this second, we have made it to Day 12.  Things are looking good.  Jeff has whined about the coffee, and a couple of times we have consumed caffeine after noon but we have drastically reduced the amount and I have discovered that coconut in your morning espresso is a pretty wonderful way to load up on some good fat.  I’m pretty sure nobody at work will be stealing my coconut milk either, which is excellent.

We have ventured into the world of organic, grassfed beef and vegetable grain fed free range chicken. Yum!!!! We made amazing lettuce wraps, with smothered in guacamole, to die for.  This coming up weekend, we plan to go all out and buy all the meat organic.  Fresh From the Farm on Donlads is getting a cow this week so there should be some fresh cuts in the store.  Rowe has a good price on organic chicken, less than wholesale farms.  We will see what sort of delicious ideas our experiment will yield, will keep posted.  The results have me pretty optimistic in most aspects where they matter.

Training.  This is a bit hard for me to determine right now as I’ve been sick the past week, but my run on Sunday felt pretty good and the joints feel nice and limber.  I can’t gauge anything strength related as it has been metcon city around here and lots of running with very little focus on strength, so perhaps this will be more observable for Jeff, I will ask him his opinion on the matter.  Expecting to see some difference now that the sinuses are finally clearing up and this throbbing headache is dissipating.  Is Advil allowed on Whole30?  I’m going to choose not to care. 

Cravings.  Occasional cravings for sweets, mostly during down time.  No issues with cravings during the training week and with Jeff around, lots when sitting around at home by myself reading Jezebel on Sunday nights, unable to keep my hands busy.  There are only so many oranges a girl can eat. 

Fruit.  Refuse to go easy on it, it is just so delicious.

Weight.  Down ten pounds.  Jeff is being a nerd and is refusing to weigh himself.  Which means I have another 7 – 9lbs to lose before the half.

Physical Appearance.  Definitely looking hawt, muscles starting to show up places they’ve never showed up before.  This shouldn’t be, but is an especially motivating factor.

To tell the truth, so far it has been really fun.  Lots of delicious cooking and exploring of new healthy meat, and Sunbutter!! God I love sunbutter.  I would say that 12 days of clean eating is one of my personal proudest achievements.  I’ve tried to go paleo before but for some reason it just hasn’t worked out, whether it was because of social situations, personal cravings or just general laziness.  It’s really easy to tell people you’re paleo, but it just rings of a lie when you’re having cheat meals, days, weekends, and generally acting like a high functioning carboholic.  Binge and regret used to be the cycle. 

I like the idea of not cheating.  It’s very refreshing to be accountable for every piece of food that goes in my mouth, to myself.  Nobody’s birthday or wedding should dictate what choices you make.  That’s all this experiment really is about, making the choice to eat well for the sake of being well.  How very, very simple. 

Oh yes, coconut has found its way into everything, and makes helluva a dessert out of pretty much any fruit.  Really, fluff it up in the magic bullet and you pretty much have whipped cream.  Delicious/amazing/whole.

Jeff and Marina do the Whole30, severely diminish their coffee consumption, don’t die……presumably

Posted in Uncategorized on January 26, 2011 by cfjunkie

Those two glamorous carefree people in the picture, yes that’s us, and yes, we’re officially doing it.  The whole Whole30 thing, for the whole 30 days.  This is exactly the kind of thing we need to teach ourselves new habits and coach ourselves out of being lenient and making up excuses for our shitty diet.  Oh and would be nice to perform at the gym a little better and not feel like every workout is the valentine’s day massacre.  If you’ve been at Tidal the past while you’ve probably met the Van Beeks, or as we like to refer to them, the Blarshes, Blarks or Van Teeks.  Yes, I do mean Allison and Court, Alli of the two bowls of lucky charms for breakfast fame.  Well, they have gone pretty strict paleo and have kicked our ass.  So if those two carboholics can eat kelp noodles and it hasn’t killed them, then I think we shall be just fine. 

 I’m skimming over the rules right now and I can’t decide what is going to be the hardest.  I guess in my books it will be coffee, alcohol and dairy.  In that order.  Also, I’m reading the Loren Cordain’s book right now and he is quite liberal with his fruit intake recommendations, which makes me more confident of our success.  Processed meat will also be tough.  We’ll have to break up with bacon, and no more deli meat for breakfast when we’re rushing to the box on Saturday mornings.  We’ve started cooking on Sundays for the whole week the past few weeks and am already feeling pretty good about my meal planning.  Even though I will have to say goodbye to my days of wrapping pork tenderloin in bacon, I am looking forward to a new nutritional challenge.

The Whole30 rules make it pretty clear that if you are looking to test your will power and then go back to your old ways, this is not the place to be.  What do I hope to take away from it? Accountability.  I want to be accountable to my body and my workout, for the choices that I am making and the output that I am able to produce.  I guess I just really want to do well, that’s all.

What do we have to look forward to? Leaner bodies, meaner workouts, better sleep, faster recovery, and of course, video blog entries.  Wish us luck, see you all in 30!

On self image, Crossfit, and what Jersey Shore has taught me about myself

Posted in Crossfit, Life on October 2, 2010 by cfjunkie

I was logging into Jeff’s computer a couple of nights ago to do some facebook creeping or something equally as productive, when I was encountered by a picture on his desktop screen.  It was a picture of me from the Element challenge.  I’m at the top of burpee with my hands over my head meeting in a clap.  What came to my mind next has left a bit of a bitter taste in my mouth.  I did not think that it was incredibly sweet that my boyfriend would want to have a picture of me to look at every time he’s on his computer.  I also did not think that I’m captured doing what I absolutely love, totally in my element and that I’m very proud of what went down at that challenge, and he is proud enough of me to put it up.  No, all those things didn’t even cross my mind as I sat there for a minute looking at the picture.  The only thing going on in my blank brain was “Oh my god, I look FAT!!!!!!”.

For years I have been notorious for avoiding taking pictures, and bitching if I was somehow forced into it.  Probably from the age of 10 I have been feeling like a fat kid.  When we moved to Hong Kong we lived about 5 minutes from the beach, so we spent a significant amount of time just hanging out by the water, and that’s when I started to notice that I was a bit of a chunk compared to the other kids.  I wasn’t very athletic, never learned to play any team sports, so I’ve never had an activity that could validate to me the usefulness of my own physical being.  My mom always told me that I would lose the baby fat as I grow, and that I would be tall (yeah right), so I had these delusions of this tall thin girl that I was going to morph into.  Years went by, and the baby fat didn’t go anywhere and my self image was going nowhere fast.

On top of all this, I come from a Russian family.  I myself am still first generation, even though I don’t sound it, my sister is the only one in our family to be born outside of the mother land.  Being a female of Eastern European descent entails some very messed up paradigms.  Like for example, you are expected to always look ready to go to a semi formal wedding reception.  At all times.  No exceptions.  Doesn’t matter if you’re going grocery shopping or dropping off some mail at the mailbox in the corner, you better have eyeliner on, otherwise people will assume that you’re sick or something is wrong.  My very first job in Toronto after school was in a Russian law firm in North York, and this stereotype was an unsaid rule in that office.  No part of management ever came out to me and said “you need to dress like a skank to fit in here”, but every woman in that office dressed up to go to work.  Business casual? Try Euro skank formal.  Before long, I was wearing 4 inch patent leather stiletto heels EVERY DAY! For whom? For what purpose? I still don’t know.  But I blended in with the ladies, and not standing out was a bonus there, at least for a while.

I’ve always had a rocky relationship with food.  I’ve always managed to sucker myself into putting serious restrictions on my diet to get thin.  When I was in high school, I managed to do some sort of half assed research and come out with the decision that to be healthy (aka skinny) I needed to stop eating meat.  Which I did, for a good four years.  I was very proud of being a vegetarian.  Here I am diminishing my ecological footprint, not supporting animal cruelty, yada yada yada.  And yet, I was still kind of chubby (by my poorly informed Russian standards) and I couldn’t for the life of me understand why.  I eventually got off the veg bandwagon, thank god.  I finally decided to take my weight loss into my own hands.  For a good long time my diet consisted of one meal a day, 8 million black coffees followed up by a couple hundred diet cokes, and a pack of cigarettes to chase it.  Oh and about 3 to 4 nights a week I would get completely obliterated on various combinations of Guinness, jager and red bull.  What. A. Joke.

Fast forward to where I am now, for a little reflection.  I found Crossfit about a year ago.  I have changed completely, inside and out.  I am no longer obsessed with some elusive number on the scale, I’m just never going to weigh 120lbs, and I don’t need to, because I don’t think I’d be able to aspire to a 3 bill deadlift at that weight.  I quit smoking.  I stopped binge drinking.  I’ve overhauled my diet to levels of paleo most people aspire to.  My damaged heart has completely recovered and I probably added a good 10 years to my life span.  All wonderful things that I am very proud of.  I joke about getting huge a lot, my new favourite word being “beefy”.  It’s mostly a joke, although the last time I got on a treadmill I felt like a bit of a rhinoceros in a hamster wheel.  I obviously don’t ever want to get actually beefy ie: Dave Tate, and not be able to freely get in and out of a vehicle that is lower to the ground than a medium sized SUV.  I am, however, ok with the fact that I am just not going to ever be skinny and I really don’t want to because it would put a serious damper on my athletic ability.  I am completely ok with the way my body looks and feels.

Or am I?  Why is it that when encountered with a picture my first reaction is to think such negative things about myself?  Have I really made peace with  my appearance or is it all an act to try and bolster the validity of my training?  Is there still something that is telling me that I am not good enough?

Case in point: Jersey Shore.  I’m sure we are all familiar with Angelina at this point.  That girl is absolutely terrible, and I mean awful.  She’s messy, inconsiderate, she lies and just generally stirs up shit for no reason.  We all hate her for this, and enjoy that she gets berated.  As it appears that she is not really concerned about her personal hygiene issues, nor is she interested in treating any one with respect, the beatdowns on her have come down to two things.  Slut shaming and name calling.  Pauly refers to her as a beached whale and Situation yells at her to lose 10 pounds and then talk to him.  While we were all laughing as a group I said “Yeah she is kind of fat isn’t she”.  This bothered Jeff, he did not think I should have said something like that aloud.  I immediately went on the defensive implying that he has said worse things about better people, but that was just a hapless attempt at trying to justify why I would say something so bitchy and stupid.  This has been bothering me.  Angelina is obviously a slim girl.  Hell, Jwow’s fun bags alone probably weigh as much as Angelina does.  So why would I put her down like that? I should know better, right?

I think all of this is a little bit sad.

We spend the majority of our waking hours immersed in a culture that makes a lot of money off women thinking they are not good enough.  Would we buy make up if we thought we were already pretty without it? Would we pay plastic surgeons to shove silicone balloons in our tits or suck the fat out of our thighs if we already thought our bodies were great?  I think conspicuous consumption would take a serious hit if we were all of a sudden all ok with what we see in the mirror.

I am incredibly lucky to have found Crossfit, and the community of women that it encompasses.  I’m not saying Heather Bergeron doesn’t wear mascara, I’m just saying she’s got no kip muscle ups, so her choice of face paint is kind of an unimportant.  I have already overcome a lot through training and being around the community.  I am going to make a conscious choice to not  judge myself and others on their appearance, especially when my views are clearly still very skewed by societal paradigms.  I suppose it’s a battle all women go through, it’s just that us in the Crossfit world, are given a real opportunity to find real peace and contentment with our physical selves.  Wasting it, is not an option.

The Challenge and all things Hawt

Posted in Uncategorized on September 22, 2010 by cfjunkie

I finally got my feet wet in some competitive cross fit with the Element Team Challenge this weekend.  I was on Team Hawtness, aka Herman, Michelle, Nic, Britney, Mike and myself.  Great experience, if you’re looking for a training goal or are interested in maybe doing it for fun, I suggest you sign up next time either the individual or the team challenge comes around.  I had a fantastic time, my team was really cool and their enthusiasm was infectious.  We placed 14th and had a blasty blast doing it.  The energy of a bunch of people yelling at you takes the wods to another level.  Never in my life did I think I could get 5 thrusters at 95#. 

The half is a looming!!! Less than a month left.  I can honestly say that I’ve been slacking.  Hard.  I have a very strong dislike of running, and my heel has been in pain since May (my visit to the chiropractor has been nothing but a big waste of money).  And now that there is no Judy or run camp to motivate me, I find running alone to be a miserable experience.  I’m still going to run the half, I’m not quitting, but I’m probably not going to run very much, I’ll just kind of come out and hope for the best.

I’ve been lifting a lot.  Just did 6 weeks of 5, 3, 1’s.  At 5Rep BSQ and DL today.  Hoping to hit some numbers.  Oh and my deadlift is up to 235!! Finally!!! 225 was getting really annoying.  After this stupid half marathon is done, there will be no more running EVER and lots of lifting ALL THE TIME.  I’m obviously lying running is important.  But it sure as hell won’t be done in misery inducing amounts. 

Still at the Adelaide, doing my thing.  Oh and I’m following suit with the Element Real Food Challenge.  They’re not eating crap for 60 days, I’m doing the same, in sympathy, and because for some reason Sundays are giant diet slacking days for me, and I’m starting to annoy myself. 

p.s. Crossfit Markham’s new space is badass, will need to travel back to my beloved Markham for a  wod in my favourite GTA box 🙂

Dear Run Camp…

Posted in Uncategorized on September 5, 2010 by cfjunkie

The Goodlife Half is in just over a month!!! We are going to be the last to run it in the fall as Goodlife is giving up the fall slot to Scotiabank and will resume its activity in May of next year. 

I absolutely can`t wait to run this thing with my favourite crew of all time!  I`ve been training without you guys  the past month, and it effing sucks.  I miss the camaraderie, the community, the love, the tears, the pain and suffering doled out by the Jude and the sheer steel will of everyone to not give up because none of us want to live with the guilt of letting each other down.  I miss you guys dearly, and although my inability to train with yàll is so horribly unfair, I am not going to let you down come race time.  I`m very grateful that you are all still around, telling me about your crazy workouts with the Jude, updating me on your progress, keeping me in the loop and making me feel like I`m still a part of the group.  I love the banter over email every week.  You guys are hilarious and motivating, and I miss and love you all dearly.

The changes, the globo, and the awesomeness of making training schedules

Posted in Crossfit, Life, Training on August 23, 2010 by cfjunkie

Hello again dear diary!!!! After a brief hiatus your faithful junkie returns, and oh so much has happened!!! I promise not to leave you hanging, I know you’re in bad shape and in need of some serious updating.  Not to worry, I’m back and back for good this time and promise to be as active on here as I am in training life.

Where to start… I can’t even beging to figure out where I can sum up everything that has happened.  Let’s start with the obvious.  No I’m not working out at the box anymore, and yes I have gone globo.  And I absolutely miss all of you very very much.  This is what happens though, sometimes things don’t go as planned and I will just have to make do with what’s put in front of me.  No use dwelling on all the negative things, god knows I have lost way too much sleep doing that.  I just want to focus on the positive that has come out from my move.  Even though I did not leave on the best terms, they are my terms. 

I have also learned that disappointments don’t come without opportunities.  How does that saying go, when one door closes…?  I’m training at the Adelaide Club now, quite a change from the chalk and dirt and bumpers.  It’s pretty swanky.  There are showers, a hot tub, a steam room, excellent towel service, a health clinic fully outfitted with a serious range of physiotherapists and of course, oodles of yoga classes to choose from.  It was awkward at first, but I can safely now say that I love it.  Especially since I have recently stumbled upon a York women’s olympic bar that feels so brand new the metal still catches the clips!! I have christened her Thelma and officially adopted her.  I have gotten used to the lay of the land around there and can now plan my wods accordingly so as to make sure I have all the equipment I need in one place.  The bars on top of one of the squat cages is awesome to do pull ups on and although I get some gawkers while I’m kipping, I think they are getting more or less used to me.  I keep to my self and get my work done.  It’s hard on my own, but it will only teach me to depend on myself and only myself, because in the end it isn’t the group dynamic or the coach that’s going to be winning the Crossfit games for me.  It’s me against my mind, so call it a test drive.

My lovely training partner Matt should be returning from his vacation soon enough, and as per my post right before the regionals, you can see that he is an absolute beast and is buckets of fun to train with.  Plus I recently made buddies with a guy who’s interests lie in Olifting, so I feel as though I will be alright. 

Of course the most important part of riding solo is, you guessed it, the programming!! I get to do all the programming for myself, to work on my weaknesses or showcase my strengths, to finally focus on lifts the way I’ve always wanted to, and to tailor all of this around my training for the half.  Good bye days of lazy amraps and cheese benchmarks that are arbitrarily selected for no purpose, I have serious goals to hit and can’t afford to waste time and money on somebody else’s complete lack of programming competence. 

So!! Back to the drawing board with strength.  5’s, 3’s and 1’s.  Deadlift on Monday, Back Squat on Friday, some overhead work thrown in mid week and of course lots of Olifting.  Peep if you want to check out where I’m getting my metcon ideas, badass stuff on there.  Ramping up the runs, there is only 9 weeks until the half.  Tuesday has officially been renamed two-a-day-tuesday, wod in the a.m. and run after work.  It’s a hefty schedule but I have worked my ass off these past three weeks and I only look forward to the next nine.  This is another reason I feel leaving the box was the right decision on my part.  I am no longer mentally drained from being somewhere  I don’t want to be.  I walk in the gym, do my work, and go home knowing I have worked my ass off to the limits of my capacity, and no bullshit in the way.  It’s quite satisfying, and my body feels it.  I feel I’ve finally found my focus, now only to ride it out and train smart, eat smart and kill this half marathon.  I am excited looking ahead!

What else… well, Henry of Pelham has a fantastic Baco Noir that I’ve fallen in love with.  If you like a deep dry wine I suggest getting a bottle.  Very tasty.  Oh and KStar has put this up, I’m doing wod #1 as soon as I’ve posted this.

Hope everyone had a fantastic weekend and happy training this coming up Monday!!! This junkie is off for some beauty sleep.

Travel and Tourism: The yunkie goes to Markham, takes a much needed break

Posted in Travel and Tourism on July 19, 2010 by cfjunkie

This weekend the better half and I ventured outside of the city limits and drove ourselves out to beautiful Markham, Ontario for the afternoon.  I’ve never previously been to Markham, and taking in the scenery was pretty sweet.  I mostly marveled at the square footage of real estate, I think their garages are the size of my house.  Sight seeing aside, you will remember a little while back I attended a Level I Cert in Milton, and I mentioned in my post meeting up with some folks from the Crossfit Markham crew.  They have been running their operation from a garage out in the burbs of Markham for almost a year now.  They are looking to move into a brand new space in about 3 weeks, so I wanted to go up and check out the garage before they take off.

Check the pic above, that’s Chris Cristini, the man around the Markham box.  I first heard of him last year, when vids of his performance at the first Ontario challenge popped up.  Formerly a muay thai fighter, he placed an impressive 4th at the Ontario sectionals this year.  Due to school commitments he wasn’t able to make it out to Calgary, but let’s hope the West doesn’t get comfy yet, he’s coming next year.

The garage is fully stocked with bars, two sets of bumpers, a pull up bar, couple sets of rings, kettle bells, med balls, dumbbells and all the other Crossfit paraphernalia you can think of.  It’s a fully stocked gym, in a garage.  The vibe is very relaxed, as we pulled up a few minutes before class Chris was casually chatting up the members and greeted us warmly.  We gingerly sauntered around the place as more people rolled in, warmed up a bit.  Kristi, who some of you may remember from the old CFTO space, also came by, I officially met her at my cert, and she looked ready to rock with her sweet Union Jack chucks.  There were about 8 or so people in the class, all levels of fitness.

The WOD (programmed by Chris’ lovely mom, also a coach)
4 Rounds for time of:
20 catch and release KB swings
10 knees to elbows
10 HSPU’s
30 jump squats w/bar

It was awesome, and it majorly sucked, in that crossfitty way we all know and love.  We took our bells and bars right out on the lawn in front of the Cristini house, which was a little spotty from what I’m sure is a lot of workouts past.  Took me 15:20min, Kristi absolutely smashed it in something like 12min.

All in all, if you get a chance, I urge you all to make it out and pay Crossfit Markham a visit.  Chris made sure to introduce us to all the members in the class and stuck around afterward with us just chatting for probably an hour, just sharing his take on things.  He’s excited to be moving to the new space.  He’s in school right now doing kin and is looking to get into Chiropractics, to become what he called a “super trainer” and focus his box on all around wellness.  His passion for Crossfit was very refreshing and his openness inspiring and inviting.  It reminded me why I love our community and I love our sport.  He’s the real deal, a Crossfit stud in the making, and does not appear to have a jaded bone in his body, no chip on his shoulder, just bucketloads of enthusiasm and an incredible metabolic capacity.

Thanks Chris, and the rest of the Crossfit Markham crew, for having us.  We are very excited for your expansion and will stay in touch as you grow.  Keep up the lack of bullshit, it was great 🙂

On to training.  You probably have seen me around the gym the past week, not running because I somehow managed to get effing shin splints, and modifying my wods because I managed to somehow get super overtained again.  This was expected, I think my body is just rebelling against the training ramp up.  I took it easy this week, 3 rest days, in hopes of healing up a bit.  My muscles still hurt though, and no amount of water or sleep seem to be helping.  Back to normal tomorrow though, it’s probably largely mental.

Didn’t really get to watch much of the games, will need to catch up a bit on Wednesday.

In other news, 405.  That’s what my boyfriend deadlifts.  Let’s all go home.

Here we go…

Posted in Uncategorized on July 6, 2010 by cfjunkie

The Goodlife half is October 17, which gives me exactly 15 weeks to get some serious training done. I am currently through 15 weeks of run camp already, which means come race day I will have 30 weeks of training under my belt.

My current training schedule, according to the books, looks something like 2 runs + 3 wods + 1 lift + 2 rest days = successful running capabilities. In reality it looks more like 2 runs + arbitrary amount of wods when not sore + not really any lifting = moderately successful running capabilities, but not really as good as they could be. Couple that with some negligible nutritional habits (as of late) and a serious case of the lazy, and you get me, call me Joe Average, on a hot day.

I have been underwhelmed with my performance and work ethic the past few months. I’ve really stuck with the running, but I don’t feel that I have used all resources available to me to make myself a better runner as well as athlete, ie I haven’t gone for a single LSD solo run that Judy told me I should be doing from the very beginning.

This being said, the new training equation looks something like this 3 wods + 2 run camp runs + 1 lift day + 1 LSD run on my own (as per Judy’s progression) + 1 rest day = from yunkie to (beefed up) gazelle in 15 weeks. This appears like a lot of training volume, on paper, so I’m guessing it’s going to feel even worse than it looks.

I’ve written down the lift progressions to play off the run progressions. I’m going to be tired as »±¥”, but if all goes according to plan and there are (god forbid) no overuse injuries to fight with, I should be a stronger athlete, not just runner, come race day. I refuse to buy into the whole sacrificing strength for endurance baloney, I’m not even close to peaking strength wise, too early to throw in the towel and join the running room. But thanks for the advice, coach.

I am looking to improve my capacity under load, and the only way to do that is to train under load, consistently, so that come race day, after I’ve tapered for a week, I will be a superstar. I take this little tidbit from Claire MacKenzie who shared this knowledge with me when discussing her own training, what with all the paddling that she does. Rob Orlando is a big proponent of training when he’s tired as well, we’ll see if any of this methodology sits with me.

What I know for certain is that I will probably be pretty depressed the first month and a half or so. I remember very well how hard running hit me when I first started, I was a complete mess. This shouldn’t be as bad because I now know what to expect from a run, but I’ve also never put my body through as much mileage, so I suppose we’ll find out.

I will let Jeff know that he needs a contingency plan should I turn into a completely miserable prick.

There you have it, my shiny brand new goal with my shiny brand new programming, oh how I love starting all over.

Saying goodbye to our brief state of police, and why I would give up my kingdom for a race…

Posted in Uncategorized on June 29, 2010 by cfjunkie

If you are like me and have been living, working and playing in Toronto  and not under a rock the past little while, you would know that the G20 madness was in full swing as the democratically elected state figureheads converged on our great city for a weekend of meets, greets and ceremonial (and very likely ineffective) policy making.  I work right at Queen and Yonge and frequently run around downtown in my frenzied daily errands, and over the past month and a half I’ve seen the streets turn from vibrant to practically dead, with nothing but swarms of bored looking black uniforms at every corner, keeping us safe no doubt.

Jeff and I decided to respectfully ignore our right to peaceful protest and chose to stay home instead, to do things of very lazy nature, like nap, cook food and discuss things that had nothing to do with world politics, like the wisdom of tricep dips in relation bench press numbers, as purported by Louie Simmons.  We occasionally flipped on the TV to see torched cruisers and rowdy hipsters in black masks smashing the windows of corporate symbolism, which was all far too dramatic for our low key weekend, so we just turned all that off and went back to napping.

I’m glad that we are done with this ostentatious spectacle.  Other than a prohibitive price tag, it’s a bit early to assess if there is anything concrete that has come out of the summit, a few initiatives have been publicised but as we know all too well initiatives do not equal policy.  Good riddance to the dignitaries, they should probably get back to their crumbling economies in fragile recovery, and let us enjoy our streets in peace again.  Oh and in case you were wondering, my Bucks had its windows safely intact and my cheery baristas supplied me with my daily dose of delicious Americano without incident.

Summit aside, let’s talk about the real goodness of last week.  The RC2010 crew ran its first race!!!! The Night Crawler, a scenic 5 mile path on the CNE grounds.  We were short one gazelle, the doctor and our beloved Edward, but we could tell they were there in spirit.

I woke up the morning of race day all jacked up and ready to go, my stomach all butterflies, the sun shining nice and bright and although a bit humid, it looked like a phenomenal day for a race.  I packed a perfect paleo lunch/snack bag, got all my gear and runners ready, all I had to do was get through a day at the office and it would be race time.

As soon as I showed up at work, a giant black cloud covered the entire sky and menacingly threatened to rain.  It very quickly dispersed and got clear, then came back and threatened some more.  I glued myself to hourly weather forecasts, they were promising thunderstorms, hale, tornadoes and hurricanes.  Every time I looked out the window I got queasy,  I could sense that the run gods did not want to let me run.  Then…. the building started shaking.  Everyone at my office didn’t waste time on standing around wondering what the hell is up, we grabbed our shit and were downstairs in about 4 minutes flat trying to figure out if we were at war or if we were all crazy.  Of course we now know it was just a teensy little earthquake, but at the time I was already a giant stress ball and the shaking of the ground was just NOT something I was impressed with.  On my way to the gym to change into run gear, it rained on me a little bit.  Judy of course sent us her typical cheery email that said “Don’t wear any jewellery in case of lightning, see you all at the start line!!” Thanks Jude, there wasn’t enough freaking out going on I was now going to be struck by lightning.

The gods, however, had a different plan and parted those terrible clouds to reveal a gorgeous, if humid, sunny evening for us to crawl the night as a team.  We arrived, checked our shit, got a shirt, met up with the rest of the crew, did some warm ups, and before I knew it, we were at the start line!!  The clock started and off we went.  A race has a cool competitive feel about it that I’ve never really been a part of before.  Run camp is all jokes and chit chat, we focus, but we’re also all friends.  The race was all business, no chitchat, no bullshit, just a quiet run.  Judy paced us the first mile, told us to take a water break and walk a bit then keep running.  I ran at her side, she yelled at me to watch my pace and not pass people I should not be passing.  It reminded me of my first Ashbridges negative split where she made me run at her heel and I felt like a puppy.

At the halfway point, I was rearing to tear out of the gate an push harder, so the Jude let me off her leash, sending me with her wisdom of watching the pace, the breathing, the hills and the water.  I tore around the turnaround like nobody’s business, I was on the home stretch!!!! For the next mile or so I hit a steady fast pace, I picked a person, caught up passed them, caught up, passed, and so on, I held up this way for about 9 minutes.  Then came the dreaded wall.  I took one last drink, passed the 4 mile mark and pretty much thought I was going to die.  I had two cramps in both of my sides killing my breathing rhythm.  My right knee was sore and my left heel was tense, and it got hotter and hotter with every step.  Didn’t help that the hot blond girl who was my pace bunny for most of the race was now kicking my ass about 20 feet ahead.  I was done mentally because I couldn’t see the end.

And yet, as we hit the last incline, I just focused my brain on Judy’s voice telling me to take small steps, and I flew up the hill with a bit more ease, my breathing got slightly more even and I slowed down a little so as to better pace this last stretch.  It was a lot of self pep talk, “it’s all mental, you’re almost there, don’t look at your watch, you’ll make your time, just run…”.  Kind of how you shut your brain off 50 burpees into a wod, I was trying to go to the same place.  My goal time for this 5 miler was between an ambitious 42 minutes and an average 48.  My chip time was 46:03, I made it perfectly in the middle.  For a first race, I say this was a genuine success.

Jeff was there of course, at the start and the finish line, which makes him an awesome boyfriend and an even more awesome coach.  He cheered everyone on and went to the pub with us after, which was both sweet and cool, especially because he didn’t have to be there, none of the other CFTO crew seem to really care what goes on with the Run Camp, so it meant a lot to all of us, not just me.

Other highlights included seeing Claire Bear run the race, because for weeks she was purporting to hate running and insisted she was going to walk this whole thing anyway.  Good job Claire, that was some seriously well deserved carrot cake.  The Larsh, even with her bum knee, smoked those five miles with a just under 40 chip time.  Sofia Killed it, Michelle and Laura and Nicole kicked ass, their respective significant others also get a shoutout for coming out, you guys rule.  Mark absolutely smashed it and Amy sprinted to the finish like a champ, not to mention that without her there was no way in hell we would have ever found where the run was.

Judy = best run coach ever, can’t wait for 5 more months of run camp madness.  Oh and I just got a message from the Larsh about shirts, we’re getting shirts!!!

Everyone will agree with me though, that the highlight of the night was Benjamin describing how Judy rides a bike.  Am I right or am I right?

One more long weekend and then the shenanigans are over, I start training for the Goodlife Half, it will be time to ramp up the runs and, you guessed it, I will have a whole lot more programming to philosophize on.  For now, Team Hobart, over and out.