Andddd I’m Back!

Holy moly was last week incredibly stressful!  

As some of you may already be aware of, I am currently working towards a degree in politics.  During the summer I am taking some final year courses to jump ahead and lighten my work load for next year.  So this past week I have been busy reading and preparing for my presentation I had to make to my prof.  This included hundreds of pages of reading and an intense meeting with my prof.  It was my first upperclassman presentation so I was nervous going in but I absolutely killed it and walked away with an 85%.

Unfortunately, the time I spent on my school this past week meant that I had little free time to blog.  But, I do want to let you now that I still continued fitting in workouts.

  • Tuesday: Ran 6km, hill repeats
  • Wednesday: Gym workout focussing on arms and shoulders
  • Thursday: Gym workout focussing on abs and back
  • Friday: Gym workout focussing on legs
  • Sunday: Half marathon Race (will post a recap)

I am back now and my school load is pretty light now until July when my term papers come due.  Today I hope to post the details of my gym workouts and lifting schedules, as well as post a race recap from my half marathon race this past sunday.  

I hope Y’all have stuck with me and forgive me for my long absence.

Live fit and free! 

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Race Recap

When you sign up for a race in the middle of May, even if it’s located in Canada, you’d expect the weather to be beautiful.  It’s such a lovely time of the year, the flowers are starting to blossom and the weather warms up.  After being cooped up inside for the duration of winter, come May it’s such a wonderful feeling to run in shorts and a tank top.

Last year this 5k was on such a hot day that extra water had to be ordered.  Men ran with no shirts on and there was not a single person there wearing pants.  This year was a different story.

The reality of living in Canada is, even if it’s May, the weather is never set in stone.  That was a fact that was reiterated Saturday.  I woke up to a frosty morning with north east winds blowing in temperatures below zero.  By the time it was time to leave my house, the sun had peaked out and the temperatures were hovering just above zero. 

It was an outdoor race where the race packet pickup and post race food was organized to be outside in the park that it was being held at.  Luckily the location had a pavilion to set up everything as the skies were covered with ominous looking clouds (no rain ended up falling though); it did provide shelter from the chilly winds though.

By the time the race began, the weather had warmed up to around 7 degrees Celsius.  I opted for shorts, a long sleeve, and a jacket on top to block the cold wind.  It was a bit cold to be wearing that beforehand but by the first kilometre, I was warmed up.

Then the Canadian weather did something it does often and threw a curveball.  About halfway through the race the clouds cleared, the sun came out, and the wind dropped.  My body that was so happily clothed in a jacket all of the sudden became a hot mess.  Thank goodness this was only a 5k because if it was any longer I would have had to transfer my pined bib to my shirt underneath and shed the coat.

Now as for my actual race performance, it wasn’t all that bad.  Unfortunately, I woke up with the “runs” on race day (no pun intended) and didn’t want to risk eating breakfast and having a mid-race crisis to deal with.  This meant that my race turned into a fasted cardio workout.  Normally this isn’t a problem for me as I often workout early in the morning before breakfast.  However, the race didn’t start until 10 and by the time I lined up at the start my stomach was growling.  It was a good thing to experience, racing on an empty stomach, but not something I will do again.  At the 3km mark I ended up focussing a lot on the ache in my stomach and by the finish I felt weak from my low blood sugar.  Immediately I scarfed a banana down.  

I ended up running just under a 5:00 kilometre, finishing in 24:53.  This isn’t close to a personal best, but I wasn’t expecting to challenge that record for this race.  Coming so close on the tail of term paper season and exams and following a one week vacation, my training was not tiptop beforehand.  I came second for women 20-24, losing to the first place finisher by 12 seconds.  Unfortunately, I had first place in my grasp but was unable to achieve a negative split and was passed in the last kilometre.  I think it was a mix between the empty stomach, change of weather, and mental acceptance (that I was not going for a personal best) that left me flat at the end and unwilling to kick it up to maintain first place.

This race was a good learning experience and I did have fun participating in it.  My mother came out to support me and that made the morning wonderful.  She was adorable running from kilometre to kilometre to cheer me on and snapping pictures.  Every time I saw her (at the start, 1km, 3km, and finish) I couldn’t help but smile.  It does make a world of difference having a good support system at races for me!  

Moving forward, my next race is a half marathon in two weeks time.  More importantly is my goal race coming up at the end of June.  As of next Tuesday, the 14th, my new running schedule starts in preparation for my goal race.  This new plan includes tempo , hills, kilometre repeats, and progression runs.  I’m excited to see if sticking to a plan that incorporates these specialty runs will make me see some improvement.  Also, I will be sticking to my INSANITY plan so that could also help me see some changes in my speed.

Yours in fitness.

Rest Day

After yesterday’s unplanned rest day, today I feel ready to go!  Mind you I’m currently sitting in a  desk chair and have been for 4 hours now so I have a lot of energy stored up!

Also, because I’m sitting in my desk chair without piles of work to be done, and have been for the entire morning, I have had a lot of time to think.  Where does my mind wander? To my INSANITY  journey of course.  And what does this wandering produce? A burning desire, yes a desire, to do an INSANITY workout.  As I sit here and think about my INSANITY program and what I committed to, I feel so terrible that I’m “resting” (my mind substitutes “skipping” here) for two days.  But is there anything I can do about it?

I have this unwritten rule that the day before a race is a rest day, but depending on the week, may include a sloooooooow 3-5km jog; the length depends on the length of the race the next day.  Unfortunately, I don’t think an INSANITY workout would be equal to a slow twenty minute jog…

So where does this leave me?

I am writing to ask for some feedback.  In my heart of hearts I know that an INSANITY workout would be pretty intense to do the day before a race.  But… my race tomorrow isn’t a goal race. So, should I continue with my INSANITY plan? If I do does that mean I am more concerned about my overall fitness and not just my running? Is that a bad thing? But then what about my knee? It doesn’t hurt right now but I’m also not even standing on my feet.  What would happen if I start jumping around?  Should I give INSANITY a try and if my knee acts up then stop? Should I keep with my rest plan and skip INSANITY?

Please offer your opinions as otherwise I will just be left to my own mind wandering for the entire afternoon as I sit glued to my office chair.

Okay ya’ll… I have some bad news.

Okay ya’ll… I have some bad news.

Last night I was supposed to do the Cardio Circuit.  After work when I got home, I had a very large dinner so instead of doing my INSANITY right afterwards, I went for a walk in the beautiful spring weather to help digestion.  Long, boring story short, it was after 8:30 before I got in the INSANITY mindset.  

Now, as I’ve brought up numerous times, I have a race this Saturday.  Even though this is not my goal race (a race that I’ve specifically been focussing on to achieve a personal best), I still take race days seriously and want to perform to the best of my ability.  So why do I bring this up again?

As I started to warm-up for my INSANITY workout, I felt a pain in my right knee.  It was on the inside at the base of my knee cap.  Being a runner, I’m very familiar with aches and pains but this didn’t feel like the typical soreness that comes with pushing your body to excel in a sport.  

To describe the sensation, it felt like someone was stabbing a knitting needle into that area.

Not good, not good at all.  My mind went on high alert and sent out loud warning signals.  Because I have a race this Saturday and because I want to be able to continue with my running schedule and INSANITY for the duration of the summer without worrying about a pesky injury, I decided it was best to take an extra rest day.

It was a tough decision to make, knowing that this would throw me two days off of my INSANITY schedule, but sometimes you need to listen to your body and the signals it’s transmitting to you.  I’m really hoping that this situation can heal up in the two days that I’m giving it off and I’m praying that it doesn’t come flaring up during the race.

I’ll let ya’ll know how it goes from here and you can be sure that I’ll be back to my INSANITY regime on Saturday after my race.

Pure Cardio

As some of you may know, my passion remains with running.  Coming up, I have a 5k race at the end of this week and a half marathon the last weekend in May.  

Alongside INSANITY I am trying to keep up with my running schedule.  If you are a runner you’re probably familiar with weekly long slow distances that accompany the majority of running plans.  Today I went out and did my long run, around two hours, and by the time I got home my knee was ready for some ice and rest.  Because of this, I did not do my INSANITY workout today.  I do not feel all too guilty as I still went out and ran for quite some time; even though it wasn’t a HIIT workout, I feel as if it could be classified as “pure cardio.”

I will get back into the INSANITY grind tomorrow and continue it this week.  However, I will be taking a rest day on Friday, the day before my race, to let my muscles recover and prepare for Saturday morning’s event.  As of right now, I am still planning on doing the INSANITY workout on Saturday after my race, as it’s only a 5k.