Featured in

Featured in: Tiny Buddha, Halifax Media Coop, Fine Fit Day, Simplify the Season, La Presse, Filles, Le Canada-Français

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Writing on a high

Ah, that feeling!

Writing on a runner's high, that is.

The crocuses are blooming. The birds are chirping. The skies are a pale cerulean blue. I ran my run in a t-shirt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! For the first time in 2013!

Thank goodness, 'cause I needed good conditions this morning. This was the last "hill day" of my half-marathon training plan (will be replaced by "speed work" as of next week), and it involved running up 10 bad ass hills.

Total distance of the run: only about 8 km.

Length of each hill: about 300 m / close to 1000 feet.

Steepness of the hills: very steep.

Internal dialogue:

Hill 1: Let's start slowly, I'm just warming up

Hill 2: Still warming up. Funny, I didn't remember this hill was that steep.

Hill 3: Getting there. Do I really have to run 10 of those? Sh**.

Hill 4: OK, J, stop thinking and just go. You know you can do this. Breathe.

Hill 5: Actually starting to feel good about this. Halfway point! Yeah! Not that hard after all.

Hill 6: Bring on the hills! I think I could run 20 of those little bastards!

Hill 7: Hmmm... beginning to feel fatigued. Maybe 10 hills will be just perfect after all.

Hill 8: Goodness, legs, could you be any heavier than that? Come on!

Hill 9: That's it, I'm dying. Someone call the paramedics.

Hill 10: Last one. Gonna kill it. Take that, bitc*! Look at me, I still have stamina!

Recovery run to the house: Feeling on top of the world! Rrrroooooaaaaarrrrr!

Post-workout snack, stretch and shower: Aaaaaaahhhhhh... this is so good...

This running high put me in the mood to share my training successes. After all, I'm only 4 weeks away from being done with personal training, and also 4 weeks away from running my first half-marathon. Here are some numbers.

Starting weight: 148
Goal weight: 128
Current weight: 130

Starting body fat: 22 %
Goal body fat: 15 %
Current body fat: 16.9 %

Size of jeans: tiny. But I am not fooled: they have made the sizes bigger. I'm about as big as I was in my teens and there's no way I would have fitted in a zero back then. (Of course they have also made everything stretch, which certainly helps squeezing into small sizes.)

Resting heart rate: 55

Other measurable gains (from both running and weight training at the gym): Shoulders and quads looking pretty darn good. Six-pack in the making (a shadow of it visible under certain specific lighting conditions). A nice, firm, high, rounded butt (had none before I started). Hey, who said a gal was not allowed to brag once in a while?!?

Regular push-ups (on toes): around 40
Push-ups with a clap: 3 x 15
Body weight pull ups: 3 x 8
Holding a plank: pretty much forever

Feeling empowered, energetic, strong, sexy, confident in a bikini: 100 %

As of now I can run 18 km comfortably, at a reasonable pace, without being too bothered by my piriformis/IT band issues. The Bluenose is a tough, hilly course, so I'm not setting any specific time goal for this first half. I just want to finish it strong, with my knees still in one piece.

Yes, this all requires hard and consistent work, but it's so worth it. Put on your sneakers and go!


  1. Inspiring Julie!! Great job on your success - proud of you and teeny bit jealous! 6 pack under certain lighting conditions? Lol - I wish!

    1. Oh ya, and only at certain times of the day, too. :-)

      You should be proud too, A. You have made incredible progress. Can't wait to run the half "with you". :-)

  2. Tu es formidable! Quel feeling ces premières courses de la saison sans le manteau et tout le tralala!!! Tu m'impressionnes, y a pas de doute que tu es prête pour ton demi, surtout après ces super côtes! Et pour les abdos, je suis persuadée que c'est mieux que ça.

    1. Il y a quelques années, tu as été mon inspiration... alors merci! :-)

  3. Thanks for commenting on my blog! I love finding new blogs to read.

    You are at my goal weight! How inspiring. I am just getting back to running, but I stick to a nice, flat high school track for now :) Great job being so close to your weight goal!

    1. I'm glad I found your blog, AStrongNewMe! Keep up the good (and consistent) work, you will reach your goals I'm sure! :-)

  4. Way to go on the hill training! I did 6 miles yesterday and made myself run up the hills, even though I hate them. We're doing Ragnar again in the fall and those hills are butt kickers!

    Thanks for your comment, I look forward to reading more!

    1. Hill training makes you so strong, it's totally worth it. Good job!

  5. Hi Julie! Great post! I love the play-by-play thoughts to go with your running. The bunny up there is great too. :D

    All hills feel like I'm running up the side of an Egyptian pyramid.

    :-) Marion

    1. Hi Marion!

      I'll remember the pyramid analogy next time I run uphill. :-)

      I fell in love with the bunny picture as soon as I saw it. But then again, my judgment was affected by a runner's high. ;-)

  6. Those are great numbers, Julie!

    You will kick it in the half, I'm sure!!

    1. Thanks Dr. J. Working on the mental as much as the physical, so I appreciate your encouragement! :-)

      I just took my resting heart rate: 52 (I checked twice to be sure). And I had coffee an hour ago! Teehee! :-)

  7. Awesome!!! I'm going to put my shoes on right now1