{Fitness: To race or not to race..}

*This is kind of a long rant, so if you wanna just skip to my new healthy recipe for a yummy salad topper, scroll down to bottom :)*

So it’s been awhile since I last did a fitness post, so I thought I’d give you guys an update on what I’ve been doing the past 3 and a half months since my last race.

Physical fitness is still a very big part of my life that I’m loving. I’m still staying active, working out 5-6 days a week with a mix or high intensity cardio aerobics, metabolic training, 75 min power yoga class once a week and the occasional Jillian Michaels circuit DVDs when it’s too cold to go to the gym.

Oh Jillian, you kill me..

So what happened to running?

Well… I have to make a confession. I could probably count on one hand the number of times I’ve run since the Last Chance Half Marathon back in November.

There are a few reasons why I’ve been slacking in the running department, the most prominent one being that the weather here in cowtown this past winter has been bitterly cold. This equals zero motivation to get those running shoes on and head outside. I’m not sure how I trained this same time last year, because I’ve become a total chicken about working out in these sub-zero temperatures.

I was going to attempt a 12km today, but promptly cancelled those plans when I woke up and saw the temperature reading -20C + even colder with windchill..egads!

Indoor running?

Ever since I started running outside a couple of years ago, I absolutely loathe the treadmill. The boredom of not actually moving anywhere makes my runs feel so boring and long which sucks out all the enjoyment out of my workout. It’s probably the reason why I hate spinning too, it’s that feeling of being trapped and stationary. Not to mention the thought of being in such close proximity to a super sweaty and stinky person is real turnoff to me. *cringe*

I have tried the indoor track, but after about 6km (approximately 42 laps), I was really starting to feel like a hamster running around in a wheel..

This hiatus from running has also made me question: to race…or not to race..

A few negatives I’ve experienced with racing:

1. Weight gain – I usually put on about 5-8lbs when I train. I know it doesn’t sound like much, but on a short petite 5’3″ frame like mine, I definitely notice it in the fit of my clothes. This is probably due to a combination of muscle gain in my legs, my hunger getting out of control (eating more) and feeling entitled to more treats after a long run.

2. Not fitting into my skinny jeans – My calves and thighs put on more bulk when I train. I recall 2/3 of the way through my training for the marathon, I could no longer zip up any of my knee high boots over my calf or fit into most of my jeans = not physically feeling my best.

3. Constant aches and pains – I have a history of plantar fasciitis which flares up during my long training runs. I feel I’m injury prone – often dealing with joint pain in my hips and left knee which would cause me to take week-long breaks from working out. Plus my feet would look absolutely dreadful (hello black toe nails)..

4. It’s pricey – races are not cheap, ranging from about $60-80 per race.

5. Takes time away from my favourite classes at the gym – The reason I joined my gym is because of the fun classes they offer, and usually when given the choice, I’d rather doing a class than do a run on my own for an hour. * I’m even thinking of getting my group fitness certification later this year :)*

6. I neglected strength training when training for races – Since November, I’ve reacquainted myself with strength training (3x/week), something I didn’t make time for when I was training for races (too sore, tired or no time). Because of this, I’ve seen noticeable physical changes to my body: more definition and tone in my upper body and core, my legs are less bulky and are more slender and toned and just an overall feeling of being stronger. I’ve also lost a few pounds without any changes to my diet.

Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy running. It’s a great way to enjoy the outdoors (in the spring/summer time) and catch up with my running buddies. But instead of doing it competitively, I think I’d rather do it casually, the 10-12km once a week. As a result, I don’t think I’ll be signing up for anymore races this year other than the couple I’ve already registered for.

I realize I could still sign up for races and do them for fun, but knowing my competitive spirit, I know I would want to try to run a personal best every time. The amount of work and effort that would go into accomplishing this is something I don’t feel like I want to commit to at this time.

Alright, enough fitness talk. Onto the recipe..

Here’s a fun and easy way to jazz up your salad while adding extra protein and healthy fats = staying fuller longer. It comes together quick and you can substitute your favourite seeds, nuts and seasonings to your liking. Plus they’re just so much better for you than croutons.

Salad topper base recipe (inspired by Angela at ohsheglows):

  • 2 tbsp regular oats
  • 2 tbsp flour (I used whole wheat flour)
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 2 tbsp hemp seeds
  • 2 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 2 tbsp black sesame seeds
  • 1 egg (you can use flax seed if you’re vegan)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt

Directions: Pre-heat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment or a non stick mat. Mix all the base ingredients in a bowl, add in a whisked egg. Now add in your desired flavourings – be creative!

Mine as an asian-inspired mix: red pepper flakes, chinese 5 spice, sesame oil, black pepper, soy sauce, garlic powder, brown sugar.

Mix together and then spread the mixture onto parchment/silpat onto a baking sheet.

Mmm…seedy nutty goodness..

Bake for 15 minutes at 350F and then remove from oven. Flip the large piece and then break up with your hands. Bake for another 5 minutes and then cool completely on the pan. (You can bake it longer if you want it crispier)

There you have it, an easy homemade salad topper in less than 30 minutes from start to finish. Store in an airtight container in the fridge and enjoy as needed.

5 Responses to “{Fitness: To race or not to race..}”
  1. Love the salad topper! Races are tough….you want to do it for “fun” but that is not really part of running a “race” 🙂 Trying to gather the courage to sign up for my next half…me and running are kind of in a love hate relationship right now.

    • Glad you like the recipe 🙂

      Yes, I think thats what I’m experiencing right now! A love hate relationship…sigh…Yes, races are tough and I feel like the pressure of having to be faster with each race is kind of sucking the fun out of running. The more races I did, the more I focused on time and pace and obsessing over my garmin 😦

      I think this break from racing will rekindle my relationship with running hopefully 🙂

  2. David says:

    Which ones did you sign up for? I’m doing the Calgary half and Melissa’s… I think I’ve ran like 3 or 4 times since the last chance half… (not including running after the bus) This weather is definitely not helping…

    • I have a free bib to the Run L’Arche in Mar, signed up for the Policeman’s Half in April and doing the 22km Melissa’s (too good to pass up).

      I know!! It’s like a vicious cycle of crappy weather lately, seems to conveniently get super cold on weekends, when I am planning to do some longer runs outside 😦

      I was considering the Calgary Half…we’ll see how the weather fairs for training 🙂

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] a Comment  So for those of you that have been following my blog, you might remember that post I made earlier this year about how I wasn’t going to sign up for anymore races. How I was […]

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