Work it like it’s your job

Hey, so I will admit there has been a little bit of summer hiatus, but well justified I assure you and most importantly I have survived! While on my break I completed my accounting designation which was a feat in itself and also went on a whirlwind trip to Europe! Highlights were Greece and experiencing the World Cup in Berlin both were equally EPIC!

As you know I started my Personal Training in February last year, and it is almost over. Presently we have kicked into high gear with four visits a week, and one by myself. Basically I am moving into the mental thinking that I am training like it is my job.

One other thing that I tried today was to go to the Gym at Lunch time. To do so I have to stay an extra hour at work, since I take 2 hours to go to the gym and get back. I wasn’t sure what to expect? Was it going to be less busy? How would I feel?

Well I can tell you that it was slightly less busy than the normal 4-5pm rush, but one thing that I definitely noticed was the people I normally see at night were there at lunch too. This had me thinking to myself, “You are here 2 times a day….and most likely 5 times a week” Well in actuality it showed; most of their physics reminded me of the Greek statues I saw on vacay!

One thing is that this is a little bit of an eye opener for me, it really shows the dedication that these people have and what you can accomplish if you have this type of conviction.

One of the things that I liked the best is that it broke up my day at work even though I had to stay an extra hour. My morning was short and I was looking forward of getting out of the office and the afternoon wasn’t that long either. All in all I think it’s a better use of my time, since most lunches I eat alone at my desk.

Well here is hoping that I get a super base and foundation during my last 6 weeks with my Trainer and that I continue to enjoy the lunch time workouts.

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I can’t believe I put that into my mouth.

So I had a good streak for a while and now it seems to have gone downhill. I have been super busy with work and getting ready for my vacation!  Presently its in 29 days, not that anyone is counting 2-3 times a day.  Things have really ramped up in my training this week, which is amazing.  My personal trainer was off for a couple of months and even though I was going to the gym, I was not pushing myself as much as he is pushing me now.  We are really working hard to get to my goals for my vacation and I have had to modify them slightly which is disappointing, but on the other hand, now I am going to have tonnes of time with him after my vacation which will help me learn how to build and monitor my own routines which consequently was another goal of mine.

Other notable things to mention are I had a personal best for the 40th Anniversary of Ottawa Race Weekend where I was able to break the dreaded 2hr timeframe.  I have run several half’s before and never broke the 2hr mark.  I have been close 2:01, 2:03 ect but this time 1:59! Which is awesome considering for the Army run last September I came in at 2:10. 

So what did I do differently? One thing is I trained less??!!??  My trainer has been trying to get me to focus on anaerobic exercises rather than Aerobic.  I have a proven endurance (Aerobic) but I lack in strength (Anaerobic) if you want more info on this Google studies for fast twitch fibers and slow twitch fibers (Muscles).  So along with my strength training at the gym, I actually went down to one run a week.  Let me tell you that this has been a hard transition.  You are brought up saying if you want to lose weight, you need to do cardio.  Where my trainer is saying, if you want to lose weight you need to put on muscle mass, eat to maintain the muscle and in doing so you are going to get cut.

Another thing I did was I tried PowerGel. Now one thing that all runners should know is that you should never do something on a race that you haven’t done in training.  That is if you drink water during training don’t take the sports drinks at the water stations.  (Though they are so watered down, I don’t think it would make a difference.  But one thing is for sure if you don’t train with PowerGel don’t take one at the half way mark.

Lets back up a little. Race day was going great; I had my coffee, and didn’t have any breakfast.  (I know its weird but I don’t eat before a run)  I always remember my mother telling me not to eat before I went swimming, and since I am not a morning person, I would rather sleep than have breakfast.

Moving on, the race is going great, it’s a little hot, but my pace is really good. (Even though I only been doing one run a week)  I don’t know why I thought of this, but around the 7k, I started to think if I should have a one of the PowerGel that they give out at the half way mark.  I could feel my pace slowing down a little, and then the Pros and Cons started.  I debated that since I didn’t train with it, the gel might not stay down, but I also thought “well is that so bad” 

So as I am approaching the station, I put my hand out, and take one. When you are running you don’t really have the opportunity to choose.  (Secretly hopping for Latte flavour)  I look down, and its tangerine.  Well this is either going to be good or very bad, or it was the later.  However after taking the Gel, immediately I could feel a rush in my brain of happiness and my pace started to speed up!  In fact I was able to maintain my pace for the rest of the race.  That’s some amazing stuff in the packet, my only necessity is to find a flavour I actually like.

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What do you mean this is not my house?

I follow several blogs, some of which are fitness, cooking or general. I am still looking for a photography blog to follow, any suggestions?  With regards to the fitness ones there is usually a little segment or rant (lol) on gym etiquette. 

What I haven’t seen or read is one about etiquette in the locker room. (Sorry Girls, this is either going to be hilarious, or disturbing, or maybe even a combo of the two!)

This is where you think you are

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and this is where you are

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Since my return to the gym I have seen it all, some things I just find strange….

Like the guy at my gym who mixes his shake in the locker room….sounds normal right, but three times a week I question on why he brings the entire container of protein powder with him. I am not talking about a small container either; it is one of those pails with a lid, not the twist off kind.  (10lbs)

I always question the guys who stand naked at the bathroom sink and shaves. Not only I am wondering why your shaving at 6pm, (perhaps you have a dinner to go to) but why are you doing it in the buff, especially when we are given free towels.

I have only seen this once but when I did I almost died. Walking through the change room something caught the corner of my eye….no that can’t be right at all.  And on my return, I was corrected yes I did see this correctly, this man is blow drying his armpit hair….I will leave this alone.

Its funny how after a while being somewhere we get accustomed to it and start to believe we are at home. I guess this is why some of this stuff goes on there.  But as a point of gym etiquette, perhaps it would be best to shower, change and leave. 

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Nelly…Is it getting hot in here?

It Mothers day and while I should be spending it with my mom, I am here writing my next post.  Well the post is long overdue, and I will be seeing my mother later today.  I am also getting super excited that its getting nicer outside which will bring more photography posts and more outdoor activities.

Speaking about photography….recently on a trip to Mexico, I was reminded again about temperature!  No I am not saying that I was reminded that we could experience a temperature above 2 degrees…we maybe just a little.  I leading into something that I always forget while I am on vacation.

Ever take your camera out of the bag and the picture you take doesn’t seem right.  Almost that you can see the heat in the photo?  Well you can!  

 

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And you look at the picture after you have taken it, and it doesn’t look all that clear?  So you look at your lens for condensation and there is some but not too much.  (Thats the difference between those two photos)

But wait there is a mirror in your camera, and that mirror is between the body and the lens, that just came from a chilly air conditioned hotel room, to this wonderful hot as blazes respite from the terrible winter in Canada.  Ah crap there must be condensation inside.

 

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Thats better, take off the lens and let the air come to the same temperature.  No more condensation and no more heat in your photo.  (Thats the only difference between the two)

So secretly as I write this, I hope that I never forget this again and equalize the temperature in my Camera when going from a cool place to a hot one.  If so, allot of frustration will be saved.

 

 

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Vacations the nemesis to all fitness plans

So leading up to my vacation, everything got crazy added with some sickness and my life came crashing down.  Well not really but I did miss some blog postings, ( I try to do now each week) and to top that off I haven’t been running as much.

Excluding the weeks of craziness; I am actually going to blame my personal trainer.  Since I have several half marathons under my belt; he told me that it really isn’t necessary to keep on doing the training plans.  There has been a lot of research with the different types of cardio, both anaerobic and aerobic.  The type of training that I was doing was designed to build up my endurance and since I have that under my belt; what I actually should be doing right now is more sprinting to build up my strength.  This along with my weight training should provide better results.

He also mentioned that sprinting, for smaller distances have been shown to build more muscle and burn more calories than going on a long distance run.  So to keep my trainer happy, I have gone down to one run a week.

I will keep you updated to see how it goes, but really I won’t be able to tell if this is the best plan ever or my Achilles heel until race day.

Now that I have accepted this, the only thing that has bothered me is watching my friends on Garmin connect.  As I see there runs I get well a little jealous and feeling a little lazy.  But we all have different fitness goals and I have to be satisfied with that.  I guess, I can keep track of my sprinting……

So back on track, this past week I was in Mexico between Cancun and Playa del Carmen, a last stitch effort to get rid of these winter blues.  Oh how amazing it was.  It actually was fairly easy to eat well at the resort and also boost my calorie intake which will make my trainer happy (Though I am still one the fence about increasing calories when I want my fat % to go down) ; oh yeah the eating healthy does not include the all inclusive drinking that was going on!  So to combat the nemesis, I exercised.  Most all inclusive have amazing gyms, which surprisingly enough not many people use.  It is like a private fitness club.  I also did some laps in the pool and one run.

I wanted to run further but the only place to run was along the beach, and it was actually allot harder than road running.  There was also an amazing wind in the morning, (The only time that you could run before it got way too hot) that slowed me down.  I ended up doing a 5K but that is respectable.

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/479816283

So now that the vacation is over it is time to do a goal re-check.  Otherwise I am going to fall off this fitness train.  (Lets be honest, I am technically now just holding on by one hand a flailing in the wind)

1) One long run a week.
2) Now that the nice weather is here, it is time to bike to work
3) Three anaerobic runs before my workouts
4) Gym three times a week, more if possible
5) Hesitantly, unceasing my calorie intake to 2500.

BTW if you guys know of any healthy foods that I can eat as snacks that are low fat and high in protein let me know.

Cheers!

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Did you see what they were wearing?

I guess this is only a problem in colder climates, but perhaps not. This is a special time of the year, it’s a time of excitement where we are wishing the winter blues away and patiently awaiting spring….Hey Mother Nature I am talking DIRECTLY with you; in case your iphone alarm didn’t go off, it is now spring so enough with the -20 degree weather alright!

Well now that that is over, and we are periodically having nice days, I find it very hard to figure out what I should be running in! I know it sounds weird and this is not my first spring that I have been running, actually it has been years; yet I still find this a difficult concept to grab.

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I find it really hard to figure out when I should stop wearing my running pants, you know the ones that you wear with a under liner (Glorified long underwear) that are spandex and make my legs look amazing, and trade them in for my running shorts.

Sure it’s easy enough to adjust your jacket, most winter jackets have zippers that can be opened to allow for air circulation in the spring during the transition period, but when do we drop our pants?

It always happens you get really excited about spring and sport the shorts and you begin your run and it’s basically a Sh*t show since you’re so cold, so on the next run you wear your pants and your way too hot.

I guess there is no *winning* during this period, and all we have to do is take it like a runner!

 

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Do you go with the flow?

Last time you saw some snap snaps aka photos was when I was playing around with depth of field. (What is in focus in a picture, versus what is not) to which I am sure there will be more fun on this to come. This time I wanted to work with movement.
So when trying to think of what I should do, the standard things came to mind…setting up my camera at night to see the lights of cars stream by (Mind you I still love those), taking photos of some water flowing ect….but them bam! It hit me like my morning rush. I should take a photo of coffee moving! That way I can turn a photo project into something I love.

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Espresso!!!!!! Okay, so as I have mentioned before I am an accountant, but I also play coffee slinger on the side as a Barista, and have been one for 8 years. (No math aloud to figure out how old I am…) Espresso is not only a great form of Coffee it is an art form, and I am not talking about the fancy latte art either.
Let’s look at the movement. It’s almost like taking an action shot of a sports player about to make a goal. (I will leave that one out for debate?)

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Here is one of my favourite shots

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It shows all three parts of the espresso. I explain espresso like a poem. Espresso is made up of three parts. The Crema, Body and, Heart. The Crema is the sweetest part of the Espresso shot, followed by the Body. The Heart is what I call the scorned lover. Its bitter and takes over the shot. It’s the black part at the very bottom. Eventually the black part will take over and all the crema, and body will be gone. (This is why Espresso is best enjoyed quickly).

Coffee Explained

You can see the transformation here, where the bitter lover takes over.

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All gone!

PS: Did you know Espresso, it both a roast and a grind?

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