Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Couch to 5K - Part 1

As I mentioned last week, I have recently started jogging again. 

My first REAL attempts at jogging began two and a half years ago, when I signed up for the CIBC Run for the Cure.  This is a 5km run in downtown Toronto with proceeds going to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.  I thought this would be easy peasy – a lot of people from work were doing it; most of whom I assumed were of average fitness level, like me.

Well once they released us from the corrals, it was pretty slow, with everyone trying to settle into a comfortable speed and not crash into others running faster or slower.  Once we had settled, two of my co-workers decided to push this comfortable jogging speed into more of a run.  Boy, was I not ready for that!  As the rain was pouring down, we were hopping up onto the sidewalks to get a clear piece of pavement, jumping over puddles and dodging other runners in order to be able to continue at this ever increasing pace.  We had cleared the majority of the people near us who were jogging at my previous comfortable speed and now were passing others left right and centre.  Then came back the pain I had felt when I had attempted to jog/run in the past...cramps, or as they are more appropriately known in the running world, side stitches.  These darned awful pains in my lungs, causing me to want to slow right down to a crawl and making me question why I woke up so early on a Sunday morning, simply to be in so much pain.  I felt defeated as my co-workers flew past me, looking as if they had all the energy in the world.  I slowly fought throw the side stitches, breathing deeply through my mouth and slowly, SLOWLY began to pick up speed.  As I passed the finish line, I messaged my one co-worker, only to find out that she had just passed through a minute or two before and the other one had dropped out around the 3 kilometer mark.  Boy, did I feel relieved.  Not only had I finished a 5km jog, the majority of it alone, but I hadn’t been completely blown out of the water either.

In hindsight, I probably should have trained for this.  My idea of “training” had been 3 sets of 3km jogs a week or two before the Run for the Cure.  Considering I had never hit 5km in a training run, I’m not sure how I got the idea that I was in the least bit prepared for this.  But in the end, I finished it!  Then came home, dried off and quickly passed out.  I was exhausted!

Now we fast forward about two year and a bit to a few weeks ago.  Somehow, I got the idea into my noggin that jogging would be a great quick workout, super convenient for this time of year when work is hectic and unpredictable and I can’t always make it to my 90 minute Bikram class when I’d like.  So one Sunday morning, well more like afternoon since I love to sleep in, our pups, Kobe and Jadea, were whining for their morning walk.  I decided I’d be the good mom and take them out.  Little did they know that not only were they going to get some fresh air, but they would be my jogging buddies.  I had heard about the Couch to 5K runningprogram before, so I quickly opened my BlackBerry App World to see if there was some sort of app I could download for motivation.  A few apps came up but I decided to stick to a free one for now, to see if I’d actually stick with this whole jogging idea.  An app called “Couch 2 5K” was free for a two week period, which I figured was a good length of time to decide whether I would continue to jog or even need the app.  The app itself is pretty good.  Simply plug in your headphones, click start and it will tell you when to warm up, jog, walk and cool down.  The intervals of each depend on where you are in the program and you can fast forward or repeat a day as well.

Well that’s enough babbling for now – let’s get to jogging and next time I’ll update you on my progress and whether I’m still feeling the app and jogging!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Sort of New Year's Resolution

So this New Year, I didn’t make the typical resolution that I always make.  To eat healthier, to exercise more, to be more organized – quite simply to get my act together and have a fresh start.  I honestly didn’t even remember to make a resolution.  Work has simply been so hectic that I’ve been trying to maximize my down time and not think too hard!  But of course, it can never be so simple.
Since I’m getting married this summer, on a beach nonetheless, I’ve been trying to exercise fairly regularly.  When work isn’t completely nuts, I would go spinning once a week, go to a bikram yoga class and get out for a brisk walk or jog with the dogs. 
The fiance, let’s call him R, and I have also started slowly learning to snowboard.  We took our first lesson two years ago, and then went a handful of times last year.  So we’ve also been anxiously waiting for the snow to fall this season so that we can bust out our boards and hit the slopes…aka the bunny hills.  I’m definitely still learning and terrified of the big scary chair lifts, but going out to a view like this makes it all worthwhile.  

(sorry for the bad quality blackberry picture!  the snow had just started to fall when we arrived and it was just magical..  thankfully the park was also very quiet sunday night, so we were able to get in a lot of runs in a short time)

This past Sunday, after a jog (more to come later) and grocery store trip, we bundled up and made the (short!) drive to Glen Eden.  This is one of the main reasons we continue to go to Glen Eden – its proximity to home.  We can get there in half an hour, and it doesn’t feel like a wasted trip if we are having a bad night or are cold and wanna call it quits.  Although it is a small park, we still have to graduate from the bunny hills, only the green circles waiting for us on the other side.  Glen Eden still has another season or two for us, until we’re comfortable going down the various level hills and I’ve conquered my fear of the chair lift.  Until then, Glen Eden will suffice.

Are there any hidden gems for snowboarding or skiing around Toronto that you frequent?  How do I get over my chair lift fears?

Thursday, January 17, 2013


Welcome to Urban Cottage Life!

Well, after months of reading, stalking and gaining inspiration from many other bloggers, I finally decided to jump right in and create my own blog.  As I'm writing this, my goal is to document our home renovations, share pictures of our furbabies and just use this blog as a way to share my thoughts and ramblings.

I hope you enjoy what's to come...