Sunday, November 28, 2010

Weigh In Day!

So I stepped on the scale this morning, expecting to see that 1.5lb loss I've been seeing all week...and it turned out it was a 3.5lb loss instead!!!  I am so happy.  That is half of what I had gained since San Fran.   I also saw a 4 inch loss, but I never really put much stock in the inches because I am never sure I am measuring where I did before.

So, my buckling down is getting me back to where I should be.   I'm going to admit it here, though.  I will likely indulge in some treats this afternoon while Hubby watches the Grey Cup and I read my novel cover to cover.   But rest assured, at 5:45 tomorrow morning, I will be back on the bike to keep doing what I'm doing and blast that weight off!

I'm Officially a Novelist!


It's late.  I'm tired.  But I'm a winner! :)   I decided that with only 4000 words left for a win on NaNoWriMo 2010, I might as well just plod onward and finish this puppy off once and for all.   According to the NaNo Word Count Validator, I finished with 51,584 words...Scrivener (the novelling software I used for the project) only counted me at 51,532.  Honestly - anything over 50,000 is a win and I'm not certain I did a very good job of scrambling my text before I validated so I think I'll believe Scrivener more :)

Writing a novel in 30 days is a daunting task to begin with...to finish it in 27 days is exhilarating.  I can't believe that I now have this amazing little book that I can edit and add to and polish to perfection.   Hopefully I can turn it from the flaming ball of crap it will likely be (when I actually load it onto my Sony Reader tomorrow and start reading it) to something I can be proud to call my own.  In the meantime, I intend to revel in the fact that I just wrote a book.  I quit Facebook and I wrote a book. 

Sure, it was hard.  Sure, there were days I wanted to forget the fact that I even started to think I might have a story in me.   Sure, there were days that the flaming crappiness of it all made me cry (just kidding on that last one).  All that matters now is that I wrote a book and I'm going to do a little dance of joy!

and yes.  I did buy the t-shirt :)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

#amwriting

I have less than 4000 words to go until I have reached 50,000 words in my NaNoWriMo novel.   I actually think I can wrap it up in that many so I might actually need to add in an epilogue.   No matter what, though, I've decided to finish it tonight.  Won't be going to bed until I do.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Day 5 and holding strong!

The first week of starting over is always the toughest.   I had really let myself go in the month since San Francisco.   Every day this week, I have been diligently recording everything that enters my mouth and remembering to see it all as fuel.   It hasn't been easy.  A few days, I have strayed over my calorie allowance...but not to the tune of 20 peppermint patties...we're talking maybe 200 cals tops, here.

The scale is telling me that I've lost a pound and a half so far, though I know not to trust a weekday weigh in...the only one that really counts is Sunday (though, with that reasoning, why does my diet minder journal have a spot for a daily weigh in?)

It has felt amazing to haul my ass out of bed at 5:45 and get moving.  I'd forgotten how productive I feel for the rest of the day and I haven't found myself dragging once all week.  Gotta keep that up!  I've also incorporated the 100 Pushups program into my workouts AND have been working on how long I can hold myself in plank position (Thank you, Ben, for making me think of adding this in).  I'm only at 40 seconds, as of today, but that is already more than I was on Monday (31 secs).   Just little ways to sneak in strength training when I have no desire to do any of my videos and I fall asleep just thinking about picking up weights for plain ol' reps!

It is 123 days until we leave for Mexico and I have 23.5 lbs to lose before then.  I think I can do it.  Help me stay strong over the holidays....

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Tasting the NaNo finish line

I crossed the 42,000 word mark today on my NaNoWriMo novel and am feeling like I should take advantage of a horrible TV night (thanks to the US Thanksgiving) and boost the count even further.   I have this unwritten little goal to finish the book this weekend - well in advance of the deadline (I guess it's not an UNWRITTEN goal any more, eh? LOL)  It would just be nice to finish ahead of time and get my life back...guess we'll see if the pull of Netflix and Mad Men draws me away from my computer...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Ahhh...Spring Race Registrations

As part of my whole "get back on track" resolution, I decided it was high time I stopped faltering and just registered for some spring races already. Being the medal whore I am, I signed up for a small Half Marathon in March and a 10K at the end of May - both with advertised finishers medals. I still need to register for a couple more on my wish list, but their registration sites aren't up yet.

With the half being only 17 weeks away, I guess I'd better hammer out my training plan. I'm thinking something 12 week that I can start in January. Any suggestions out there?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Doug Coupland on Twitter

I got a gift card for Indigo today and decided to treat myself to a little post-birthday shopping spree online. About once a year, I get a hankering for a new Doug Coupland book and the recent deep freeze here had made me really want to just curl up and read (usually when I should be writing). So, I moseyed on over to coupland.com to see if he had any new releases and, lo and behold, he does (and it managed to fall into my online shopping cart at Indigo). While I was on his site, I also happened to notice his little Twitter link which made me wiggle with glee. I don't know why I didn't check for him sooner. I tend to love his take on the world so now I can have a happy little dose whenever he deigns to send one out into the twitterverse. Yay!

(I also picked my self up Hal Higdon's Marathoning and a book on raising twins - somehow I managed to satisfy all of my tastes in a single shopping cart!)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Why NaNoWriMo?

For many, the thought of writing a novel in just one month is really and truly daunting. For me, it seemed like it would be the only way I could force the story out of my head and ensure I didn't hold onto it forever. I knew that if I was ever going to write a book - I needed to do it fast and furiously.

I first heard about National Novel Writing Month a few years ago - probably around 2006. The whole thought of writing 50,000 words in just 30 days scared the crap out of me and I tried to push the very concept to the very back of my mind where it would preferably never surface again. Then in 2008, I was wandering around my computer to migrate some files over to another hard drive and I came across a manuscript I started in 2003. It was only a few pages long and was a true testament to my writing procrastination. Around August of that year, I started to think maybe I should give that month long novel thing a try. Of course, as the tale goes, I suddenly found myself pregnant and was not feeling so hot by the time November arrived so I never got any further than registering at the NaNoWriMo website and then I abandoned it before I could begin.

In 2009, through a brain that was well fogged by the first 5 months of caring for twinfants, I knew there was no way I could commit the time necessary. Once again, there was no novel coming out of me that year either.

Fast forward a year to 2010 and I had just spent months and months immersed in my online social networks, fundraising my ass off for Team in Training. I used every tool I could to drum up money or rounding up attendees for events or holding contests and raffles. By early summer, I was burnt out on Facebook. I wanted to quit it so badly, but I knew I couldn't until I was done in San Francisco and had thanked everyone once and for all for helping along on my journey. Unfortunately, I had several months ahead of me where I felt like I needed to check in constantly so I wouldn't happen to miss out on something someone said or suggested. It was becoming exceedingly unhealthy as each day passed. Finally back from California, I drafted up a letter of resignation and posted it on my FB profile. I gave people my contact info and told them I was returning to the land of the living and if they wanted to spend time with me there, they were more than welcome to contact me..but I wasn't going to find myself trapped in the time sucking void any longer.

Now, with the roughly 5 hours a day I had been finding myself lost on there, I needed to find something to do on my computer that could use the time and distract me from the fact that I had deleted my account and wasn't returning. It was the perfect opportunity to get my book out of my head!

On November 1, I put the twins down for their nap and sat down at my computer. I had originally thought I would just add to the existing manuscript (though it is kind of a no-no in nanoland to do that). In a last minute decision, I created a new folder on my computer and then started to type an entirely new book, using the title of the original one for my starting point.

Now, 21 days into the challenge, I have no doubt that I can finish the book in the time allotted. I have 36,595 words written and 9 days to go. Is the book a best seller? Not yet. It's still kind of a flaming ball of crap in serious need of some major editing. It might never top the bestseller lists, but I already know it is the kind of book I would like to read. Often when I am writing and I stop for the day, I find myself anxious to return to my computer so I can read how the story ends. It is exciting that way. And who knows...maybe in a few years you will walk into a bookstore and see "The Loracian Stone" by C.A. Nicholls on the shelves there. I hope it'd be the kind of book people will want to read but only time will tell. All I know is that when November wraps up, I will have the base to start working with and to see if I can actually turn it into something fantastic!

Sad Confession :(

Ok - I am a bad girl. All year, I worked so hard to train for my races and to lose the weight I gained during and after my pregnancy. When I left for San Francisco, I was down 40lbs from where I started on January 1. And then I slacked off. I blame part of it on my dark days after finishing my Team in Training journey. Another I indirectly blame my twinners for deciding that sleeping through the night is an optional activity after they had done so well up til then (teething be damned...mamma needs her sleep!)

Of course, I suppose I could have just sucked it up and foregone the extra few hours of sleep to get on the bike or to haul my ass out the door for a weekday run...though honestly, I kept telling myself it was ok to sleep longer because I was technically still recovering. Can you hear all of my excuses piling up yet? Perhaps you can hear the crinkling of discarded candy wrappers in my garbage can because I NEEDED the tub of peppermint patties the size of my head for while I was working on writing my book!

Well, today I stepped on the scale and hauled out the measuring tape. I'd been weighing in and watching my weight creep up, but the measuring hadn't been done since the week before we left for California. Today, I let the reality slap me across the face a few times as I saw the scale tell me I was 7lbs heavier than a month ago. The tape was the worst, though. 5 inches. Youch. That stung.

So, what am I going to do about it? Well, what can I do but buckle down again. My food journal is the thing that kept me on track before so now I will once again write everything down and try to stick within the rough calorie allowance I give myself. I'll head to bed earlier so that an interrupted night won't leave me as sleep deprived because I definitely need those early morning workouts. I went from a manageable 20 lbs to lose before Mexico in April to a daunting 27lbs.

My first goal is to drop the 7 I just gained before Christmas. 7lbs in a month = do-able. And with my announcement to my hubby this morning that I m not baking this December - I think it might actually happen. Then I will work my butt off (and my belly and those jiggly thighs) to lose the last 20 before I get on that plane. I think I need to register for that half marathon I've been faltering on so I have a training schedule to follow again.

As for today..I am giving myself one last bad girl day. A place to wallow in chips and chocolate covered pretzels while I write. Tomorrow I am going to haul out my old Richard Simmons Foodmover and concentrate on staying within my calorie allowance while attempting to stick to the Canada Food Guide so I know I'm being healthy. Tomorrow I become good diet momma again and strive towards making something of myself that my daughters won't one day be embarrassed to walk through the mall with (Well, until they are teenagers anyway - nothing will save me then LOL)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Really Freaking Cold Run

After Team in Training, a bunch of us decided that we would like to keep running together on Saturdays. It has been kind of sporadic for the last month, but today 3 of us ignored the fact that it was freakishly cold (-21*C) and we got out there and ran. We didn't go far...just under 4K, but it was really about the coffee at the end and laughing with great friends.

It was also a great opportunity to see exactly how bad we are at dressing for the super cold of Calgary! We all overdressed...by a lot! I had been super worried that I wasn't going to have enough warm running clothes to get me through the winter, but that fear was laid to rest today!

I love running with friends! Love love love my Runner Girls! Can't wait til next weekend!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Last Chance Half (Not too late for a race report)

This past Sunday (Nov 14/10), I ran in the Last Chance Half in Calgary with one of my Runner Girls, J. We had signed up a month before we did Nike Women's Half on the premise that if we were going to spend the bulk of the year training for something, why not run another one while we had that training in the bank! Seemed like a brilliant plan until the hills in San Francisco killed me! LOL

Following our return from SF, I really only managed a couple of 14K runs in preparation and J joined me for one of them (being her only run). We were going on a wing and a prayer. My only goal for the race was to significantly beat my Nike time, which wasn't going to be hard because it had taken me nearly 3 hours to run that one. When a little birdie had tweeted that there were finishers medals at this half, I knew I had something to chant in my head when the going got rough! My usual mantra of "Coffee and a Cookie" was replaced by "Gonna get a medal"

Start time was 10 am, with an option for a 9:30am early start. All of the documentation we got at package pickup said that if you were planning to come in later than 2:30, you should consider taking the early start. We were torn because we knew we'd be on the cusp of that, but decided to start at 10 anyway.

And start we did...way too fast. J wanted to go at a run 20, walk 1 and we'd agreed to stick to a 6:15-6:30 per Km pace. Well, every time I glanced at my Garmin, it was blinking 5:30 or 5:55 but we were feeling ok so we went with it for a while. I made it on the 20:1 until the 50 min point where I sputtered out "Go on without me - I need to scale back to 10:1 so I don't die!" J promised that if she felt herself running out of steam, she'd drop back to rejoin me.

I found myself falling into a nice and easy 6:45 pace and figured I could maintain that for the rest of the race. By the time I hit the turnaround point, I was still feeling good and it looked like I could still hit close to a 2:30 finish. Another of our Runner Girls, K, was meeting us in the last half to run us in and as I came around a bend, I could see the two of them ahead of me. I tried to turn up my speed to catch up with them but spasms in my quads pulled me up short. Slowing down got rid of them immediately so I took it as a sign that I was meant to keep to my own pace.  It was right around this time that I was running right near Martin Parnell (The Marathon Quest 250 guy)...I cheered him on a bit and then he pulled ahead of me and was soon out of sight.  It was still super cool, though.  That guy is a real inspiration (and so tall)!

Around another bend, I suddenly ran into them. J's back had started spasming and it was killing her to run. K said she'd stay with her and we'd meet up at the finish area. As it turned out, for the last 8K, we leap frogged along the path. She would run when she could and my pace started to really fall back.

When I finally crossed the finish line, I was in the lead, but I didn't know by how much. For at least the last K, I was running 9 min/k and seriously dragging! I collected my medal and a bottle of water and pulled out my camera so I'd be ready to snap J as she crossed...its a good thing I did it then because she was only 34 seconds behind me!

My finish time: 2:31:14!!!! A PR by 20 mins and 16 secs!!! WOO HOOO!!!!

And my medal:


Finishing this half was much easier on me than Nike was. When I finished Nike, I went through a really rough mental patch that it took almost 2 weeks for the darkness to lift. It was finally on one of those 14K training loops of the reservoir that the darkness fell behind me and I knew I was up for the challenge again. This time, I was elated and could enjoy it more. I was stiff for 3 days after, but now I am looking forward to getting together with my Runner Girls again tomorrow and taking it easy fr the rest of the year. I have 2 5K fun runs on the schedule for December but I won't do another longer race until 2011. For now it will be all about the coffee and a cookie with friends after the run :)

So I've decided to start a blog...

After months of following the blogs of other running mommas, I decided to start one of my own. The only thing stopping me before now? The fact that I don't see myself as being only a running momma! Yesterday, I woke up from a dream with the thought that I could blend my interests into a single blog and go from there. The words Read.Write.Run.Mom. ran themselves through my head and here I am!

I recently quit Facebook and have found myself with a ridiculous amount of time on my hands and it is translating into my exploring my interests and developing my life further. The time sucking void of Facebook had denied me this for almost 4 years (I refuse to say I was addicted, but it definitely wasn't healthy).

So, who am I and why should you follow my blog, you ask? I am Cori. Voracious reader, aspiring authour, fun runner. Even though Mom comes at the end of the name - that is who I am first and foremost. I am the mother of the most gorgeous identical twin girls on the planet. They are almost 18 months old and are an almost constant source of joy in my life. While I love them to death, when I was pregnant I made a pact with myself that I would not stop my life just because I became a mom. They deserve to have a vibrant mother who doesn't put her own life aside for 18 years and then flounder when they move away. I am staying at home with them for the time being and it has been hard to put my career on hold, but it has made me examine my priorities in life and to set goals for my future. For our future.

As a runner, I'll never lead the pack but I am really only competing with myself anyway. I started running in February of this year when a dear friend (a marathoner) was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. The first words that escaped my lips were "I need to find a run for lymphoma and do it!" My husbands response was "but you're not a runner!" to which I replied "then I guess I'm gonna become one!" I started with Couch-to-5K and never looked back. In April, I signed up with Team In Training to do the Nike Women's Half Marathon and I raised over $6600 for the cause while falling in love with being a runner. To keep myself motivated throughout the year, I ran races as I hit certain distances. Two 5K, Two 10K and then my first half. A month later, i ran my second half. It has been an amazing journey and I am glad to have found something I love doing because it will help me keep my weight from creeping up and will show my daughters that it is important to be active.

Now for the writer part. Everyone I have ever known has always said "I totally have a book in me...one day I'll get it out". I really did have a book in me. I started with a title almost 8 years ago and wrote about 1600 words on it before I got discouraged and set it aside. The idea never really left me, but I was always to scared to sit down and start typing. Finally this year I decided to use my departure from Facebook to sit down and get the book out to see if it was worth having out of my head. I had signed up for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) a couple of years ago - found out I was preggo and dropped out. Then thought I'd do it in 2009...but I had 6 month old twins and was beyond busy. THIS year - I'm doing it. I threw out the old manuscript and started from scratch with my original title and an opening line...and now I'm seeing where it goes. I'm at over 30,000 words so far and I don't hate it yet LOL. Maybe I have a best seller in me...or maybe I have a flaming ball of crap. Guess only time will tell, but at the end of November, I'll have written my first novel!

As for reading...I LOVE books. I love words and stories and immersing myself in them. I am never without a book to read (Thank you Sony Reader) and, since discovering blog reading software (yeah - I know. I'm a bit behind there. I blame facebook), I have an endless amount of reading material I can call on at any point in the day. I will read anything that has a great story to it and am always looking for recommendations. I particularly love a good fantasy with an epic quest.

So that is me...hope you'll be back for more.