Friday, November 30, 2007

Isagenix Day V : Avoiding Triggers!

Starting weight before Detox (Monday November 26, 2007): 163.5
Current weight (November 30, 2007): 154

Starting waist measurement: 32
Current waist measurement: 31

Starting body fat %: 14
Current body fat %: 13

As I enter the midway point of my first detox it becomes more important than ever to remain focused. I’ve already seen a remarkable change in my weight without feeling like I’m depriving myself of anything.

One of the issues I have to deal with is my inability to eat while at work. I typically see 12-14 clients at the gym and sometimes as many as 8-10 in a row. I’ve had to make some adjustments to the plan such as having my Isagenix or “Scooby snacks” at the gym in place of lunch and then having a later lunch when I get time.

Talking to my clients all day about food and their own food issues can sometimes cause me to become hungry myself when I get home. I’m proud to say that I know what my triggers are and I try my best to avoid them. It’s easy for me to sit down on the couch after work, watch TV and eat. Because I run so much I’m usually able to keep my weight in check but that doesn’t mean it’s healthy to consume so much food at night.

Watching football, my favourite sport, and eating is something that is very easy for me to do so last night instead of watching the football game, I went to bed early. Most of the time we eat out of boredom, stress or even habit, so it’s important to first identify what triggers our eating and then figure out how we can cope differently without turning to food as a comfort.

Weekends can also be tough as your normal schedule of eating is disrupted. I purposely started my detox on a Monday so that I would only have one weekend to deal with. As of today, I’m the lightest I’ve been in a few months and with 5 more days to go, I’m hoping to get less than 150 pounds by next Wednesday.

Here’s today’s schedule:

7:30 AM: Isagenix shake with 1 accelerator capsule
10:30 AM: Isagenix snacks
1:00 PM: Isagenix shake with 1 accelerator capsule, salad with light dressing
4:00 PM: Isagenix snacks
7:30 PM: Salmon, brown rice and broccoli
11:00 PM: Isagenix snacks

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Isagenix Day IV

Pre-Run weight: 155
Pre Run snack: 1 cup of tea, 1/2 banana
During Run: HEED electrolyte drink
Total distance: 7.3 Miles (11.7 K’s)

As I enter day 4 of my 9 day cleanse, I put my energy level to the test today with mixed results.

During my run I managed to keep a consistent pace but there was a strong wind and rain today. The rain didn’t bother me as much as the wind did and that forced me to dig down a little deeper to find the energy to go on.

I knew that I would be pushing myself to the brink today and wondered if my meal last night (oatmeal with peanut butter and egg whites with cheese) was going to give me enough energy to finish my run.

I’m thankful that I had my electrolyte replacement drink with me which gave me just enough of a boost to finish. When I got home though, I felt that my blood sugar was getting too low. I had a small piece of a banana and then had my meal replacement shake and accelerator capsule.

For those of you who doing this program or are about to do this program, you need to make the necessary adjustments to ensure that your health is not compromised. I don’t know too many people who are doing the kind of workout that I have been doing with regards to burning calories ( I usually burn about 1,000 calories during a usual run) If you are working out intensely for more than 1 hour though, then you may have to add a few snacks such as hard boiled eggs, ¼ cup of almonds/walnuts, ½ apple with a cheese string or 1 yogurt to ensure that your blood sugar levels are not compromised.

During these 9 days, the total calories consumed are quite low so it’s important to make sure that you have enough energy to get through your day to day activities including exercise. I know that I pushed myself harder today than I had in my previous two runs which is why my blood sugar levels were low this morning.

One of the great things about this program, though, is that I’m finding out just how much reserves I have in my “tank.” I’m figuring out just how much I can tolerate with regards to calories consumed and energy output. Learning, as long as my health isn’t jeopardized, is never a bad thing.

You have to make this detox work within your lifestyle and your energy expenditures so you shouldn’t feel bad or guilty about adding these extras into your plan if you need to.

Here’s my eating plan for today:
7:00 AM Isagenix shake, 1 accelerator capsule
10:00 AM Isagenix snacks (2)
12:30 PM Isagenix shake, 1 accelerator capsule, cabbage salad with light dressing
3:30 PM Isagenix snacks (2)
5:00 PM Chicken breast, 1 red potato, 1 cup of green beans
8:00 PM Isagenix snacks (2) with 2 hardboiled eggs

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Isagenix Day III

Pre-Run Weight: 157
Body Fat %: 13
Starting Waist Measurement: 32

Post-Run Weight: 155
Body Fat %13
Current Waist Measurement: 31.5

This morning I got up and knew that I couldn't do my run without my morning tea and 1/2 banana. For me, the whole point of doing this cleanse is to give me the ability to talk to my clients about what to expect during the 9 or 30 day program. Anyone who knows me realizes that I wouldn't endorse a product if I didn't like it myself.

With any program that you follow, as long as you do the best you can, that's all you can ask for. If you are having problems following the program 100%, then just make some adjustments so that you can follow it 80%. You will still see great results.

That being said, there are factors that influence how well you can follow a program and though my intent is to follow this as close to 100% as possible, I also do not want to sacrifice my ability to run which is why I chose to have my tea and banana this morning.

Even with my pre-run ritual, however, my legs felt very tired today. I decided to cut the run a little short (5.3 Miles) instead of my usual 7 miles which I’ll try tomorrow instead. It also didn’t help that it was -9 outside. Luckily there wasn’t much wind so overall the conditions were not too bad.

When I weighed myself after my run, I realized that I had lost 2 pounds. In contrast to yesterday when my weight stayed the same after my run, I realize that I need to drink more fluids today and that I’m in a dehydrated state.

This will be my first “Shake” day but because I cannot make and drink the shake within 15 minutes of making it, while at work, I’ll have to make a few adjustments. Here’s what my eating schedule is going to look like:

• 7:45 - Isagenix Shake with 1 accelerator capsule
• 10:30 – 2 Isagenix snacks
• 1:00 PM – 2 Isagenix snacks, 1 accelerator capsule, 2 hardboiled eggs
• 4:00 PM- Isagenix Shake
• 8:00 PM – 1 cup of oatmeal, 4 egg whites, 1 tbsp. of peanut butter, salad with light dressing
• 9:00 PM – 2 Isagenix snacks

My total weight loss after 2 complete days has been 6 pounds. Now that I’m in the shake phase of the program, it will be interesting to see the rate of my weight loss.

Evening Update:
Well, day III will be over shortly and I cannot believe how easy it has been. Thanks to all those who have followed my lead and decided to try this product as well. I'm sure you will get similar results.

Tomorrow will be my first 5 AM run and I want to make sure I do at least 8-9 Miles. I'll have another update tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Isagenix Day II

Tuesday November 27th
Pre-Run weight: 160 pounds
Post-Run weight: 160 pounds
Body Fat %: 13

I'm about to go for a 5-6 Mile run at 6:00 AM. As promised, I didn't have my usual pre-run tea. When I weighed myself this morning I was shocked to see that I was down 3 pounds already. I went to bed early last night so that I could give my body some extra rest. I'm still recovering from my race on the weekend so the extra rest combined with the lack of food was just what I needed.


I did a nice steady 6.5 mile run today and my energy level was fine. I took a few sips of my HEED (electrolyte replacement drink) but overall I was quite happy with the run. Running, as most runners will attest to, can play havoc with your intestines so I was very curious to see how having only 1.5 hard boiled eggs in my stomach for the past 24 hours, was going to affect me.

After the run I took my first Cleanse for Life drink and my Accelerator capsule. I'm usually very hungry immediately after a run but this drink combined with the Accelerator pill seems to be keeping my hunger in check.

More updates to come.......

Afternoon Update

Well Day II is officially in the books, or will be in a few minutes as I have 2 boiled eggs and my 2 Isagenix snacks.

I have to say that it's amazing how much energy I've had considering I've eaten next to nothing for the past 2 days.
I am looking forward to eating some solid food tomorrow however. To test my motivation, here's a funny story that happened to me yesterday.

One of my favorite "snack" foods to eat are something called Chex Mix. It's something that fortunately for me, they don't sell in Canada. One of my clients knew about my weakness and bought me 2 bags of this and gave it to me yesterday. I've hidden them away in my house and though it will be tempting to eat them, I'm going to wait until well after my detox is finished before having some. I couldn't have timed this any better as the day I finish my detox is my Birthday.

Here's the breakdown today:

7:30 AM Cleanse for life with accelerator
10:30 AM Isagenix snack (2)
1:00 PM Cleanse for life with accelerator
2:20 PM Cleanse for life
5:00 PM Isagenix snack (2)
8:00 PM Cleanse for life
9:00 PM Isagenix snack (2) and 2 hard boiled eggs

Monday, November 26, 2007

Isagenix Detox Day 1

Today I started my first Isagenix cleanse and I'm already pumped about it.

As with the races that I enter, having a goal and then a plan to reach that goal makes the journey that much better. As I finished my race yesterday all I could think about was getting started with the cleanse.

I've decided to put together a journal so that not only can I track my progress but hopefully it will inspire others to try the product.

Starting weight: 163
Body Fat: % 13
Waist Measurement: 33

Day I
I took my first drink at just before 7 AM. I mixed 1/2 cup of the Cleanse for Life liquid with 1 cup of water and some ice. It didn't have any bitter aftertaste and I was able to get it down without any issues. I also took 1 capsule of the accelerator which will help to keep my metabolism and energy levels up.

My 2nd drink came at just after 12:30 and I haven't been hungry at all. I'll take another accelerator capsule and probably 1 chewable snack between now and 3:30 which is when I'll take my next drink. My final drink will come right after I leave work tonight around 8:30.

To answer the first question that is sure to be on everyone's mind. NO I haven't been rushing to the bathroom. I have noticed that I'm more thirsty though and that will surely mean a few extra trips to the bathroom as they day progresses.


I've now completed Day I of the cleanse and am very happy with the results so far. As this is my first detox, I really didn't have any idea what to expect. I haven't been hungry and my energy levels have been amazing.

Tomorrow will be an interesting test as I'm going running in the morning. To stay as close to the plan as possible, I'm going to forego my usual routine of having a cup of tea before my run. I will have 1/2 banana and will take my electrolyte drink with me.

Here's the rundown on what my eating was like on Day I:

6:30 AM Cleanse for Life Drink with 1 accelerator capsule

12:30 PM Cleanse for Life Drink with 1 accelerator capsule

1:30 PM 2 Isagenix snacks

3:30 PM Cleanse for Life Drink

6:30 PM 2 Isagenix snacks

8:00 PM Cleanse for Life Drink

9:00 PM 2 hard boiled eggs (ate one whole egg and 1 egg white) with 2 Isagenix snacks


Yesterday was one of those days which I'll bookmark in my memory bank and use it when I need to have my spirits lifted up.

The race day started off a little different because of the later race time of 10:00 AM. I was only able to eat 1/2 banana and a cup of tea before I left my house. I also had to drop my kids off at their swimming lessons and then head to Whitby for the race.

It was a little colder than I thought so I decided to wear my tights, a long sleeve technical shirt and my jacket. This race had grown in attendance each year and this year was no different as there were over 143 people entered into my race. There were others doing various races such as 5K run/walk and 10 K run/walk.

Just before I started the race I took a sports gel which is something I've never done before a race. It seemed to help as I was able to sustain the pace that I wanted for most of the race. The only part of the race where I slowed down was when I hit a strong headwind towards the end of the race.

By far, the best part of the race came with about 100 Metres from the finish as I spotted my kids. My plan was to have them run with me towards the finish line. Just knowing that they were going to be there motivated me through the tough parts of the race. As I turned the corner I picked up some speed and my kids were able to stay with me for most of it. Unfortunately my youngest was having a hard time so I slowed down to wait for him. As I did this and turned around though, I slipped on some ice and took a nasty fall. However, not even a cut hand and knee could stop me from having a huge smile on my face as my kids and I finished the race hand in hand.

I was surprised at my time as I hadn't trained for this race properly which is why I'm probably feeling more sore than I would normally feel after a race. I'm taking a much needed day off today but will resume my running again tomorrow. My 50 Mile training program is right around the corner and this race helped me get ready mentally for the training that I will be doing.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Final race day preparations

With my race one day away now, I just finished creating my music for my mp3. As was the case yesterday, I plan on staying off my feet as much as possible today (not an easy feat when trying to watch two boys though).

Luckily for me there are some huge college football games to keep me occupied on the couch. I increased my carbohydrates slightly yesterday and will continue to do that again today. I'll also increase my fluid consumption today. It was important for me to get lots of rest last night which I was able to do.

I still have no idea what I'll wear for the race but I'm leaning towards wearing shorts if the weather is above zero. I'll have a few other outfits available just in case though. I'm sure I'll have to wear gloves and a thermal skull cap as well.

The late start for the race tomorrow throws my usual breakfast routine off a little so I'll likely have to eat something easy to digest such as a bagel or banana before heading out. I'll also take a sports gel about 15 minutes before the start of the race and another one at about the 5 mile mark. I'm going to carry two bottles of my electrolyte drink with me which will allow me to rehydrate myself during the race while avoiding the crowds at the water stations.

Here' my music playlist for the race tomorrow:
Africa - Toto
Peace of Mind - Boston
Believe - Suzie McNeil
Rihanna/Chris Brown - Umbrella remix
Unwritten - Natasha Beddingfield
Radio Nowhere - Bruce Springsteen
Learning to Fly - Tom Petty
Akon - Smack That
Running on Empty - Jackson Browne
Run - Collective Soul
Life is a Highway - Rascal Flats
The Untouchable One - Tom Cochrane
Stronger - Kanye West
Slide - Goo Goo Dolls
Let's See How Far We've Come - Matchbox 20
Skater Boy - Avril Levigne
Man in Motion - John Parr
Here I Am - Kelly Clarkson
The Way I Are - Timbaland
No Easy Way Out - Robert Tepper

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Passion won out over common sense today

When I started running a few years ago I quickly realized that running, for me anyways, is more than just about getting an amazing cardio workout. It took only one trail run to realize that I get a stress reliever, a mental workout, an escape from reality and a peaceful inner feeling all rolled up into one. It's something that is impossible to explain to people and although I've met hundreds of runners, there's only a few that I've met who truly understand what I'm talking about.

This is probably why I have such a love/hate relationship with races. On the one hand I love the race day experience but what I hate is the fact that I have to stop running for a few days prior to the race.

Whenever I'm not running it's something that I'm constantly thinking about and when I see someone running on the street, especially if it's at a time when I'm not supposed to be running, all I want to do is lace up my shoes and hit the pavement.

If I'm doing a Marathon (26.2 Miles/42 KM's)or Ultra Marathon (50 KM's) I usually take 3 days off before my race. With shorter races such as the one I'm doing on Sunday (10 Miles/16 KM's) I take at least 2 and sometimes 3 days off.

I decided to go for a shorter run today which leaves me 2 days of rest before Sunday. I probably could have used the extra day of rest, especially with my Plantar Fasciitis still not completely healed, but I needed to run today.

As for the next two days? Well, I'll be missing my running but I'll use my time to work on the mental aspect of the race. I'll be doing lots of mental imagery and trying to figure out what songs to put on my mp3 player to motivate me.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Rainy days = fun running weather

Todays' run was a nice easy 8 miles and what made it great was the fact that I got to run with a friend and also because it was raining. I've made no secret of the fact that I love running in the rain and so does my friend so during our run today we talked about everything except the fact that it was raining.

In fact, the only time the weather did come up was when I landed in a big puddle and then when a car nearly splashed us towards the end of the run.

It's amazing how refreshing it is to run in the rain and I can't think of a better way to have my last run of the week before my race on Sunday. It will be interesting to see if I have the discipline to take tomorrow off from running though. If I don't run tomorrow then I'll probably do some light weight training or stationary biking then take days off completely.

I'm hovering right around the weight that I want to run the race in so we'll see how I am on race day.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Why Isagenix?

As a Nutritionist, I get approached by different companies who want me to endorse their particular product. Before I'll put my stamp of approval on anything, I carefully do my research on the company and also try the product out myself. If my Bachelor of Science Degree from Ryerson has taught me anything it's that I look at everything with a suspicious eye.

Many products claim to be fantastic but when you get down to the nuts and bolts of it they fail miserably in delivering on the promises that they tell you. When I was approached, by a good friend and excellent personal trainer, about Isagenix I was of course skeptical. After doing more research and more importantly trying the product myself, I have become a quick believer in their product.

What Isagenix is all about is creating a healthy lifestyle through proper food and supplements. This is something that I preach to my clients about on a daily basis. You have to make small changes to what you are doing in order to get the best results that will last a lifetime. Many of the products that they have, such as protein bars and meal replacement shakes, are items that I recommend to my clients already. However, most of the products available in health food stores contain artificial sweetners such as aspartame or splenda. I'm very happy to say the Isagenix line of supplements do not contain these harmful substances.

What I'm most excited about though is the Detox that I will be doing next week. As a creature of habit, I'm reluctant to try anything new right before a race so I'm going to start my cleanse next week. I will be detailing my journey on this website so please stay tuned. I've been skeptical of cleanses in the past but I've already used some of the products that I'll be using on the cleanse so I'm very excited about getting started. Each of us have so much undigested food in our intestines and a cleanse will help the body get rid of these toxins. If you are eating "clean" but aren't absorbing the nutrients properly, then what's the point right? Everyone that I've talked to, who has used this product, has seen great results. This goes far beyond just losing weight because you will feel better as well.

My goal is to ensure that everyone of my clients begin with doing a cleanse. This is the best way to ensure that they will get the best results from my meal plans.

Finally, you probably have noticed that I've changed the name of my company to Cruz Control Sports Nutrition. I decided to change my companys name to create more a splash as we enter a new year.

For more information about Isagenix visit my link:

Why I love races

I still remember doing my first race 2.5 years ago. It was a Duathlon which consisted of a 2KM run, 30 KM bike and then a 7 KM run. Having never competed in anything like this before I went into the race with only one goal.....finish!

Leading up to that race I had injured my ankle so bad that I could hardly train for the month leading up to the race. The race was on a Sunday and on the Saturday I purchased an ankle brace to see if I could put any weight on it. I found that more frustrating than helpful so I decided not to use it. I kept putting off my decision to race or not and decided to see how it was on the morning of the race. Somehow when I got up on Sunday my ankle was better. Not great mind you but well enough for me to at least put some weight on it.

The only training I could do leading up to that race because of the injury was some light biking. This didn't put much pressure on my ankle so I was able to at least do something.

Running, however, is a different animal and the impact that it has on your body can be tough. Some injuries I'm able to run through but this one I wasn't.

When I got up that Sunday morning and knew that I would be able to race I couldn't get the smile off of my face. It was a long drive to Orillia but I remember thinking about how lucky I was to be able to run again.

That first race experience is something that I'll never forget and I can still see the course in my mind today. I met so many amazing people along the way and that's part of what happens on race day. You get to run with people who all understand how important running is to them. There are people from all different shapes, sizes, ages and ethnicities. There are people who are running with a baby stroller to people running side by side one another talking along the way.

Races give you a chance to fully experience what it means to be a "runner." NO you don't HAVE to enter a race to be called a runner but if you get a chance to enter a race, even if it's just one, I strongly suggest you do so. You won't regret the decision and you'll always remember the experience.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Quality vs Quantity

Did you ever have one of those mornings where you just couldn't decide what to do with regards to working out? Well, that's the kind of morning I had today. I went to bed early last night with the intention of getting up at 4 AM and going for a 5-6 Mile run. With my race coming up this weekend, there's no point in running too much, which I've been guilty of doing in the past. Instead, I want to focus on doing short, quicker runs. As I got up, though, I kept thinking about how nice it would have been to take another day off from running, then run 3 days and take the next two off. I kept second guessing my decision to get up and that was making me angrier and angrier. This went on for about 5-10 minutes before I finally got myself out of bed and went for the run.

I know that if I hadn't gone today I would have had to do something later in the day but I also know how much I hate working out/running in the afternoon. The run today was one of the better ones I've had and I think it had much to do with taking the last few days off. I also think that the weight training I've been doing has helped to strengthen my legs a little more.

My goal for this week is to stay healthy and just do some short mini-tempo runs and then rest for 2 days. It's taken me a long time to realize this but I do know now how important it is to have quality runs instead of just doing lots of long runs every week.

When it comes to my goals for the race I have three of them:
1. Ultimate Goal - This would be my personal best for this length of race.
2. Acceptable Goal- This is my time range that I've set for myself.
3. Anything less than this Goal- If I have a "bad" race I still better not finish worse than this time or I'll be disappointed.

Because I haven't done any speed work I feel that #1 is most likely not going to happen so I'm concentrating on #2.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Enjoying my 2 days of not running

After running for 6 out of last 7 days, I did the smart thing this weekend and stayed off my feet. I decided to do some light weight lifting on Saturday and then took Sunday off completely.

With my race coming up next weekend and my lack of speed training, I realized the best thing that I can do is to rest. I'll run the next 3 days (Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday), take Thursday and Friday off, do a light walk/run on Saturday and then my race on Sunday.

It will be interesting to see how close I can come to meeting my goal time, which I'm keeping to myself.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Visualize your dreams

During my run this morning I kept thinking back to races that I've done in the past. As I was running down Westney Road I was thinking back to the Marathon I did in Jacksonville and as I climbed the hill from Hwy2 and Harwood to Salem Road I was thinking of the many hills I used to climb during my training for the Mississauga Marathon. Every step today made me think back to different races that I've done in the past 2.5 years.

Then I started to think ahead to my upcoming race next weekend. Because I've done that race and route a few times, I'm quite familiar with it and that will help come race day. I was remembering different parts of that race and where I was able to speed up in some areas and slow down in others.

Just as I try to visualize my upcoming race, it's important for you to visualize what your goals are. This will keep you focused and will allow you to conceptualize a plan that will make your goals become attainable. You really need to look into the future to see what your finished product will look like. Some of my clients keep pictures of themselves from years ago to help motivate them. Others purposely buy clothes that are 2 sizes too small and keep them as a reminder of what they want to fit into.

When I look at my upcoming race, part of what is motivating me is the fact that my kids will be there cheering me on. I know that when I see them I'll get an emotional burst and that will carry me to the end of the race. When you have long races, or long goals, it's important to have milestones which you can mark along the way. Breaking your ultimate goal into smaller goals can give you the confidence to continue in your pursuit of what you want.

I'm going to take at least one and possibly two days off and then use next week as a "mini taper" to get ready for the race next weekend. As stubborn as I am, I know that the only way that my Plantar Fasciitis will heal is by giving it some rest so that's what I'm hoping to do.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Nervous and excited about my next race

It seems like such a long time since I actually raced with a time goal in mind. I haven't been doing any speed work so I'm keeping my goals realistic and also a secret at the same time. In fact, the last race where I went in with a time goal was the Niagara Falls 50KM race in June.

Since then, I've done 4 more races but my goals were to finish strong and I didn't have the added pressure of a time goal.

There's something about the race day experience which seems to bring out the best in me so I'm hoping that happens on the 25th. Knowing that my kids will be there cheering me on at the finish line will give me extra incentive. I know that it will be difficult to duplicate the success I had at this race last year but I still believe that I can meet my own expectations.

Sometimes it's important to challenge ourselves so that we don't become complacent. I still have memories of the last Marathon where I failed to meet my own expectations and at times I think that it has prevented me from trying to achieve my Marathon goal time. At the same time, though, I've re-discovered my love of trail running and I realized that training for a Marathon, with a time goal, and an Ultra Marathon, with my goal being just to finish, are two different animals.

Fear of failure can be just as strong as the fear of success so it's a fine line that I walk with regards to picking my goals. My mind will play tricks on me at times and will try to coax me into training for another Marathon with the goal being to erase the bad memories of Mississauga 2007. Then I remember the fun I have running in the trails and how I want to complete my first 50 Miler before attempting anything else and I realize that I've made the right decision.

As I ran this morning at 5 AM I realized that I seem to have lost some of the speed I had this time last year. It will be interesting to see just how I do next weekend.
I'm hoping to enter that race at my lightest weight possible (155 or lower) with the hope that the lighter weight will translate into a faster time. I guess we'll find out soon right?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Trying to lead by example

One of the things I love to do when I meet new clients is to get them to guess my age. I've yet to meet someone who has been able to guess my age correctly.
When I do tell them my age I almost always get the same response and that is one of disbelief. Then, when I tell them that I was once over 240 pounds I really have their attention.

I take pride in the fact that I don't "look" my age and that has everything to do with the way I try to lead my own life. I honestly don't believe that my clients would listen to what I have to say if I didn't look healthy myself. Would you take advice from a Dr. who is 20 pounds overweight him/herself? I know I wouldn't.

This isn't to say that I eat "clean" 100% of the time but it is something that I strive for. If you reach for perfection then eventually you will achieve your goals. However, if you constantly live off yesterdays' achievements then you'll never make improvements on your health. How many people do you know who have told you that they have lost 30 pounds in the past year? However, when you look at them now they are the same way they were before. Are you impressed by the fact that they "once" looked great?

The thing that drives me is my desire to look better than I am now. An old football coach of mine you say that if you aren't getting better you are getting worse, there is no in between. I feel that I am in better shape now then I was when I was 10 years younger. My goal, though, is to look even better in 5 years than I do today.

What keeps me motivated is seeing how people look TODAY not yesterday. If someone is trying to convince me to endorse one of their nutritional products but they don't look like they are in shape themselves then they have already lost me. If I was a client looking to get healthy, I would expect that the person working with me is also committed to a healthy lifestyle.

Running has certainly helped keep me in shape but if I wasn't eating properly the majority of the time, then it wouldn't matter how much exercise I was doing.
In a few weeks I will be starting a Detox from a company called Isagenix who I'm forming a partnership with (
I can't tell you how excited I am about doing this and I will be documenting my progress on my website so keep checking back for updates.

As someone with a degree in nutritional science, I was a little skeptical about the product but the more research I did, the more convinced I was that this was something that I needed to get my clients on, as well as myself. Keep checking back here for regular updates.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Turn your "desires" into "goals!"

The difference between a desire and a goal is that a goal is more definitive. For example, my desire, since I started trail running was to complete a 50 KM race and then a 50 Mile race. It wasn't until I picked a race, however, that this desire turned into a goal.

I was able to follow a specific training program which brought me up to my goal of the Haliburton 50 KM trail race in September.

I knew that once I had completed this goal that another one would be right around the corner and that is to complete a 50 Mile race. I've picked the Sulphur Springs 50 Mile race in 2008.

All I have to do now is register for that race once and then find a training program. Most of the programs I've seen are 6 months in length which means that my training will have to start in December.

As a tune up for my training I've decided to run 2 races in the next 2 months. Both are 10 Miles in length (Whitby 10 Miler, Novemer 25th and Boxing Day 10 Miler in Hamilton). I've done both of these races in the past and had a great time doing them so I'm looking forward to doing them.

I haven't done any speed training in a long time and with the Whitby race less than 2 weeks away, now is not the best time to start. Instead my goal will just be to do the best I can on that day. Between now and then I'll just continue doing what I've been doing and then rest for 2 days prior to the race.

Monday, November 12, 2007

My body still hasn't caught up to the time change

After a good weekend of running, I decided to take today off. It was a toss-up between doing an hour of weights or an hour on the stationary bike and I opted for the bike today.
As good as I feel when I do weights, there's something about working my heart that I enjoy more.

I've found that since the clocks went back an hour, I'm having a difficult time staying up past 9 PM. I also seem to get up at hours such as 3 or 4 in the morning thinking that it's later than it is. Hopefully this will get corrected sooner than later.

Right now, as I wait until my 50 Mile training program starts in January, the goals for me are to stay healthy and try not to overdue my running. Most of the programs that I've seen online recommend starting out very slowly and that will be difficult for me. The first week has the mileage anywhere from 15 to 20 Miles per week. I realized that this past week I ran over 40 miles so I'll need to make sure that I don't burn out before my training program starts.

There are a few things I'm going to start to do differently and that is train in Miles instead of KM's and also the amount of time spent running instead of my average pace. The other thing that will be the hardest for me is to learn how to take long walk breaks.

Training in Miles just makes sense since the race will be marked in Miles. When I did my marathon in Jacksonville Florida I found that I was constantly trying to do the conversion of KM's to Miles in my head.

Utilizing time spent running instead of just running for a certain distance will also help to prepare me to run the 50 Miler. For example, one of the programs calls for running 2 Hours on Saturday and 3 Hours on Sunday. It doesn't matter what speed I go because the objective is to prepare my body to run for long periods of time. This will help keep my speed down as I won't want to run too fast for fear of burning out.

Several of the runners who I know who have successfully done multiple Ultra Marathons utilize the 20 minute running, 5 minute walking philosophy.
I've never attempted this type of training but it's hard to argue with what has worked for them. Taking 5 minute walk breaks when I usually struggle to take even 1 minute, will be one of the hardest things I'll do.

I'm lucky that I have friends who have completed many 50 Milers so I'll be leaning on them for support during my training.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Runners everywhere today

During my run today I noticed more runners than I usually do. Obviously the colder weather didn't deter too many people today. I even passed the same runner twice as I guess we were doing opposite loops.

As the weather turns colder don't be afraid to run outside. When I first started running it was towards the beginning of fall. When I look back, I can't believe what I got myself into. For me, the winter months meant one thing....hibernation! I used to hate being outside in the winter so how was I going to go for a run in sub freezing temperatures?

I think what helped me most was the fact that I was in a running clinic and our goal race was the 2005 Boxing Day 10 Mile race in Hamilton.
The members who were in that clinic were very encouraging as I didn't know the first thing about what to wear while running in the snow. I still tend to overdress too much but I hate starting out too cold.

The months of November, December and January of 2005-2006 were cold months but I can't remember not going out for a run because of the weather. I do remember coming home from one run and having to put my hands in warm water immediately as I could barely feel them but beyond that, the running was fine.

There are many runners who actually prefer to run in the colder weather and while I'm not one of them, I do like the challenge that running in the winter presents.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

My longest run since Vulture Bait

It's hard to believe but today's 16 KM run was the longest I've run since early October when I did my 25 KM trail race in London.

I'm flirting with the idea of doing a 10 Mile race in November and another one in December and then start to train for my 50 Mile trail race next spring.

The hardest part about running 16 KM's is that it's what I call the "in-between run." I didn't have to use any gels as I opted to bring along an electrolyte drink instead (Hammer) but I didn't take enough walk breaks as I usually only do that when I'm running 20 KM's or more. The one disadvantage of running alone is that I don't stop frequently enough so that's something I have to get better at. I also ran faster than I should have to make it count as a "slow run."

Tomorrow I'll do another 16 KM's but will really try and concentrate on taking more walk breaks and also slow my pace down somewhat.

I'm going to gradually add a few KM's to my long runs each week and try to do 2 of them back to back. One of the keys to running long distance is to increase endurance and when I was training for the 50 KM run in Haliburton, I ran back to back long runs and I believe this really helped to prepare me for that race. I've been looking at several running plans for completing a 50 Mile race and most of them stress the importance of running back to back long runs.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

I won't make that mistake again

Ever since my 50K trail race I've been using my fuel belt to run with during my morning runs. Up until then, however, I didn't carry water with me if my run was 10 KM's or less. As I started to run again after that race, my morning runs have been 12-15 KM's depending on the day and how I feel. Because of that, I decided to bring water with me as sometimes those last few KM's can be tough if I'm dehydrated.

Today, for some strange reason, I decided to do my 13 KM run at 5 AM without my fuel belt. Even though I know the importance of having water with me, sometimes carrying the extra weight of the fuel belt around my waist can be tough.

The run started out fine and not having the extra weight did seem to help, at least initially. However, as I entered the last 6-7 KM's of the run, all I could think about was water. I thought about how nice it would be to have my HEED (electrolyte drink) with me today and much it would have helped. As I passed one gas station I thought about heading in there to get a drink of water but didn't.

It was colder today than it has been this week and when it gets that way it's easier to forget to drink as you don't "feel" as dehydrated as you do when the temperatures are warmer.

I wondered, though, if my "craving" for water had more to do with me not having water with me. I thought about my clients and how I tell them that I will never say you can't have a certain food. If I do that, I tell them, then it's the first thing you will want to have. It's human nature to want things that we are told we cannot have. I'm sure that this had something to do with that today.

Those last few KM's were tougher today than normal and thankfully I had some good music to listen to as I raced home. I felt like my mind was constantly trying to tell me to take a walk break today and that's something that I fought off. I know that if I had taken a walk break it would have been harder to get going again.

Needless to say, the next run I do I'll be packing my water bottle with me.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Take control of your greatest asset.....YOU

There are so many reasons not to choose to live a healthier lifestyle, and it's so easy to say, "I'll start changing my life tomorrow." For many people, however, tomorrow never comes.

We are influenced by so many negative things in our life such as dealing with colleagues at work, family members who not supportive and disappointments or feeling that we are being treated unfairly at work/home. This has a cumulative effect on our mental psyche and at times the stress can feel overwhelming. I'm sure the last thing that many people think about during these times is exercise and eating healthy.

I have yet to encounter a totally "stress" free day and yet I know that my stress is controlled somewhat by how I'm feeling about myself. For me, running releases any negative stress that I've been carrying. It's almost as if I'm leaving those negative thoughts on the side of the road as I'm running.

This is not to say that when I return from my run that everything is rosey. Running does allow me to think clearer, though, and I find it easier to put things into perspective. Whenever I get bad news, going for a run is the first thing that pops into my mind. It has become my therapy and I know that there are people who share this same philosophy so it helps to know that I'm not alone.

Many people try to take control of everything else in their life but sometimes forget about taking care of themselves first. This doesn't mean you have to become self-centered but the reality is, if you don't take of you who will? When you analyze the factors that are preventing you from achieving your goals, the common denominator is always the person looking back at you in the mirror.

I talk with my clients about creating a positive cycle of energy and that starts with how they are feeling about themselves. Instead of worrying about factors that we have no control over, why not take control of what you can first? It would be nice if what you do has a trickle down effect on those around you, as this can help to keep you on track. It shouldn't be your main motivation though. We all have an inner strength that must be unleashed and once it is, you will realize that the only person that was holding you back all these years was you.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


It never ceases to amaze me at just how amazing I feel after running in the trails and today was no different.

My friend and I decided to either run from his house for a 10K or meet at the trails. The deciding factor was going to be rain. Thankfully when I got up at 5 AM to check the weather there was no rain in the forecast so it was the trails.

Running at 6:15 meant that the first part of the run was going to be in the dark but thankfully Ken brought an extra headlamp for me so off we went. The headlamp worked very well and after about 1/2 hour the Sun began to rise and we didn't need them anymore.

There came a point during the trail run, as it always seems to, where a gentle calm comes over me and I realize how special it is to be running in the trails. Today's moment came when we were on the bridge. Ken calls it the "Stand By Me Moment" and as we ran across the train tracks high above the trails the scenery around us was simply amazing. I guess there is an element of risk as we run across the bridge but that's actually the last thing I'm thinking about.

I'm thankful that the rain held off and that we were able to get in a great run. It's the best way I can think of to kickstart my running week.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Sometimes you just have to run

I guess my body's internal clock didn't get the memo that the clocks were being put back by one hour because I got up at my "normal" time this morning (6:00 AM). The plan today was to meet up with some friends at 8:30 and do a medium run (12-15 KM's). After getting up that early though, I knew that I couldn't wait that long as my body was saying RUN now! I tried to fight off this urge for as long as I could by adding some new songs to my MP3, but this proved fruitless and eventually I went out on my own for 15 KM's.

I've found that my best time to run is within the first hour of getting up. If I wait any longer than that I feel out of rhythm. I've become such a creature of habit and I don't like deviating from what has worked for me. My routine includes a cup of green or regular tea and 1/2 banana. I find that anything more than that will causes discomfort.

My children said that they saw me running this morning which is something that really pumps me up. I've always believed in showing by example. Whenever I get a chance to let my kids see me running I'll take it. I'm hoping that my enthusiasm for running has a positive effect on them although I'm very mindful on not pushing it on them. My oldest did say that he wanted to try and do cross country running at his school next year. Of course I'll be there cheering for him.

Because I was overweight as a child, whenever I see a child who is overweight it really upsets me. My immediate thought turns to the parents and I wonder what they are teaching their children and what kind of example they are leading for them. It's so easy and tempting for parents to give into their child's wishes for McDonalds instead of teaching them the importance of eating healthy foods. Children are exposed to so many stimuli from commercials to magazines, and very few of them taut healthy eating and exercise. It's our jobs as parents to create a healthy atmospher for our children to thrive in. Are you doing everything you can to ensure that?

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Wow, that was a wakeup call

I just finished my run in the Rouge Valley and it made me realize the difference between running on the road vs the trails. I picked up my friend on the way to the Rouge and she is the one who did so amazingly well at the 50K trail race in Haliburton. We both have done different races since then but she hadn't been on the trails since that race in September. We both commented today on how difficult the run was today.

Just as there is a big difference between running on the treadmill (YUK) and outside, there is even a bigger difference between running on the road and running in the trails.

Since my 50 Mile trail race is still months away, I'm glad I have time to build up my endurance and conditioning over the winter months so I won't be winded by the time that race comes up.

Just being in the trails today, though, was an amazing experience and there were so many people walking their dogs (one was even walking her cat) that I couldn't help but smile at them as I ran by them. There were leaves everywhere on the ground which made for softer footing but at the same time covered over some rocks. This forced me to make sure that I lifted my feet high off the ground to avoid any tumbles, which thankfully I did.

Tomorrow it will be back to the roads for 16-20 KM's but I need to ensure that I get in at least one trail run per week. Today made me realize that more than ever.

Back to the trails today

Today I'll be running in the Rouge Valley and it will be the first time running there in months. I haven't done too much trail running since my last race in October so this should be fun.

It's starting to get real frosty in the morning so that means extra layers of clothing (yuk). I tend to feel the cold more than most of the people I run with especially on my hands so thermal gloves/mittens today will be a must.

The one good thing about today's run will be seeing some familiar people who I haven't seen in a long time so that will make the run that much more special.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

If my shoes could talk, what would they say?

After a fun night of taking my kids trick or treating, I got up at 4AM today for my morning run. Getting up today was a little difficult but what kept me going was knowing that I was going to be running in a new pair of shoes which I purchased from the Running Room on Wednesday. I've had the same shoe (Mizzuno Alchemedy) for the last year and a half. I've tried using several other brands but these are the ones I love the most.

I always know when it's time for a new pair of shoes because my plantar fasciitis gets progressively worse.

There's something special about that first run in my new shoes and today was no different. At about the 5 KM mark it felt like something was stuck to the bottom of my right foot. It wasn't a rock or pebble and although it was annoying, I wasn't in any pain so I kept going. Everytime I pushed off with my right foot it seemed like the bottom of my foot was stuck to my sock. My first thought was that there must be a hole in my sock and I was feeling my insert. It's those little things like holes in your sock which can become very annoying when you are running. With still another 6 KM's left to go, I had no choice but to just keep running. Eventually I just blocked out this feeling but I couldn't wait until I got home to see exactly what this was.

When I took off my right shoe, my sock was covered in blood, much to my amazement. That "sticky" feeling was the bottom of my foot stuck to my blood covered sock. I looked around for the cause of this and noticed that I had a blister in between two toes. I usually notice these things but for some reason I didn't even realize I had one.

I've been pretty luckly lately as I used to lose toenails and have blisters on a regular basis but this is the first time I've had something like this happen. Of course it figures that it would happen during my first run in my new shoes.

I usually change my shoes every 3 months or every 600 to 800 KM's. I have a separate pair of trail shoes as well as my road shoes and I usually average 50-70 KM's per week, so you can see why I need to change my shoes regularly. Each of my shoes have unique stories within them ,and whenever I eventually get around to donating them I'm a little sad to say goodbye. These new shoes that I have now already have a first story to tell. I wonder what the next 790 KM's will look like?