Blame the parents.

How does a girl raised on Manitoba’s mile roads end up in the Andes? I blame my parents.

I remember our first really big family vacation. We had an old coffee jar with a rosy maple leaf stuck on it with homemade paste. Every week we saved up what would have been our pudding money and put it in the jar. Eventually, we were off to Canada.

We first went to Lake Manitoba, where Uncle Bob took us for drives on the prairie, ice cream at rural gas stations, out in the boat, and plenty of hours in the lake. Then mum and dad decided a train journey was the real way to see Canada, and we hopped one of the last trains to go all the way to Sydney Mines, Nova Scotia.

Not long after, we were all excitedly planning our move away from the hustle and bustle of England to the vast Canadian prairies. Mum and Dad wanted a simpler life, a slower pace. Land.

It wasn’t easy settling in. Every time I opened my mouth at school I got stared at by other kids. At the age of 11 I quickly decided I needed me a Canadian accent. I quickly decided I liked new lands and cultures, and that any new place was a fabulous opportunity to learn and grow.

I guess we weren’t a typical family, uprooting and hopping continents. There were times it seemed like it hadn’t been the best idea. And for the rest of the time, I am eternally grateful. Every tiny part of the world I’ve seen I hold dear and add to a future list of one day returning. I thank them for not just telling me, but showing me that its the experiences, deciding what you want to do with your life and going for it, that its not the things you own that teach you the most.

Posted in Living, Travels | Tagged | 5 Comments

Getting over a not so great run

The one time I mention the next long run coming up, it goes less than great.

Not an epic fail, but cut short. Way short. I woke up super tired, and was beyond tired by mile 7. Seven. I finished 9 and came home wailing declaring I had failed. To which Super Isaac came to my rescue with his amazing googling skills. Iron deficient? Don’t think so, every iron rich food he found is in my staples list. Protein deficient? We think not. Did you eat a good breakfast before you went? Me: “um…uh…..”. Ah hah. Problem possibly solved.

As I mentioned yesterday, there are lots of healthy and natural snacks to fuel a run, and its important to have a snack before heading out. Especially so for an early(ish) morning run, when your body hasn’t had any food all night (I assume…). A breakfast of 100- 300 calories seems reasonable,  oatmeal with peanut butter, or bread with pb and a banana. Lesson learned!

I’m somewhat glad for an icky run though. It’s a good reminder to take a look at your nutrition and make sure you are properly fuelling your activity level. Having lost about 26 lbs. in 2011, increasing how much I eat to the perfect amount is a bit of an experiment (and a tad scary), but necessary.

So what could cause a bad run?

  • Not enough fuel before or during
  • Not enough sleep
  • Sickness
  • Sore muscles/injury
  • Dehydration
  • Overtraining
  • And sometimes, maybe its just a crummy run Sad smile

So in preparation for the next realllllyyy long run… some ideas how to mentally ready yourself after a not so great one…

  • Eat breakfast… think I covered this one…
  • Trust your training so far
  • Know that its ok to have a lousy run and focus on the good ones
  • Get some sleep!
  • Make sure you are eating well (and enough!)
  • Force convince some friends to join you for even a few miles

So the plan next time is know I can do it, eat well, start the morning with my Running Amiga for a few miles, and make Isaac join me for the last few. And I may have to eat and sleep more. It’s a tough life.

Any tips or ideas?

Posted in Running | Tagged | 6 Comments

Natural Long Run Fuel

Look what’s on the calendar for Tuesday. Eeek.

I confess, I’m a bit excited though. The longest run my training plan is threatening me with is 20 miles next Tuesday and I’m almost there. (No guarantees there won’t be a whiny post next Monday though… or for the future 20 milers.)

Don’t be thrown off by the 75 days till race day, I don’t actually have a race yet. Long story but not sure where I’ll be this summer, so decided to get marathon ready, then keep it going (and get faster?? dreaming…) until everything lines up for 26.2 miles of fun and smiles.

So I’ve been reading lots of runner’s stories and stalkingreading Runner’s World to figure out how to eat and drink along the way.  Most resources suggest a snack at least an hour before, 100 calories after about an hour of running, then 100 calories every 45 minutes after that. (You mean I get to eat more? Yippee!) And of course water and replacing electrolytes after 90 minutes.

Never mind the fact I haven’t found sports gels and bars here, I’d rather go with all natural versions anyway.

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For fuel ideas, I’ve heard of bananas, energy bars, homemade gels, all sorts. Of course my favourite book Thrive has great recipes, and I love Averie’s No Bake Peanut Butter Protein bars. I skipped the raisins and chocolate in the ones pictured above, and have made them without the protein before too. So yum! Even Isaac loves them, if you can believe that. Or just good ole raisins for the win, which I have yet to try on a run. (Though not the entire 450g bag pictured… could you imagine…)

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As far as electrolyte replacements, I have tested out and liked Nuun, but obviously have a limited supply! I have yet to try the easy to make sport drink recipes with OJ, sugar, salt, lemon juice and water, but will test it out and let you know. (You’re on the edge of your seats aren’t you.)

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Tuesday I’ll be trying out coconut water, the bottled kind, though the fresh stuff is available in the market. Sellers with carts full ready to hack open and hand you a  super fresh coconut. Can’t wait to try this, but it’s not exactly at the right place in my route this time, and not 100% guaranteed to be there when I am.

Now I just have to prepare my mind. Oh and run 18 miles.

That’s all.

Of course I am no expert, these are some ideas and recipes I have tried or want to try. I’d love to hear any ideas or suggestions!

Posted in Running | Tagged , | 3 Comments