Saturday, October 15, 2011

guess what i'm doing this weekend

Tomorrow morning I'm going to be joining 22,000 of my closest friends for the Toronto Scotiabank Waterfront Marathon.

I will be following that little green line there, for the 5km course:

I'm trying not to let the fact I haven't even run in over 2 months sway my confidence (ha!), but I am feeling quite intimidated by the size of this event. I will probably end up filing this experience under "Rae's Stoopid Ideas that Sounded Like Good Ideas at the Time". But alas, it will feel good to hit the pavement again, enjoy some time with a couple of good friends, and feel like I'm joining the fitness world again.

I may even get to see this guy:

Saturday, June 11, 2011

i did it

Just over a year ago I vowed to get myself back into shape by committing to running 5 miles comfortably (at whim) by May 2011.

In the spirit of keeping it random (at whim), I put on my running shoes on the evening of Thursday May 26th and set out to run 5 miles straight. I had butterflies in my stomach, as the longest I'd ever run at any given time was approximately 3.5 miles at once....and I knew I was going to have to give you all the full report no matter how it turned out. I was nervous.

I decided to take one of my normal routes - a mix of residential streets and some paved and gravel paths in my neighbourhood. Running the loop three times would bring me to exactly 5 miles.

I felt really strong and confident for the first 2 miles or so. Oh ya - I'm comfortable running this amount. No problems!

By the third mile, a bit of panic started to set in. Can I do it? I plugged along keeping my regular pace up, much to my surprise.

Mile 4 was an....interesting one. My brain started telling me "Wow - you've gone a long way. Maybe you should walk a bit", but my feet just kept on moving. I turned off my music and decided to just listen to my feet hitting the pavement. The rhythm kinda put me in a trance - it was the oddest thing. I kept on going, listening to my feet and my breathing and focusing on just keeping moving. Before I knew it I was halfway through my third and final loop - the home stretch! My legs were feeling strong and for the first time I started really believing I could do it.

I emerged from the ravine trail with a quarter mile to go. I could see my house in the distance, my husband waving to me as I headed home. My heart really lept....I was going to do it! My breathing was good, my legs felt great, I was getting teary and...before I knew it, I was blowing past him shouting "one more loop".

Wait. What?! Did I just say that?????
Yeah, I did!!!

Why stop running when you still have fuel in the tank, right?

I have to admit, that last loop was a tough one. I had to pull out all the stops: pump up the music, turn off the music, think about work, swear, moan, talk to myself out loud. Ha! But the thing that really kept me going was just thinking about the fact that one year ago, I couldn't even run one loop. Heck - I couldn't even run for one minute last year! I realized that I felt better in this moment than I ever have.

I finished the last stretch with tears in my eyes, dripping with sweat and shaking with excitement. 6.6 miles. 66 minutes. I think I have a new lucky number. ;)

This whole experience has taught me that I can do whatever I set my mind to. The most difficult part is having the courage to set a goal, make it public and kick yourself daily to work toward it. The support I've received from all of you has been invaluable. I would thank you individually, but I fear I would leave someone out, so just know that if you've ever commented on my blog (or seen me on yours) it's because you gave me fuel for this journey that I can stand here today and say: I DID IT!!!!!!

It never felt so good to be this sweaty and exhausted:


Monday, May 23, 2011

it's time

I began this blog just over one year ago. I was fat. I was frustrated. I wanted to run.

I stumbled across this quote as I researched a few "learn to run" programs:

A year from now, you may wish you had started today

It struck me. One year could change my life.

I began this blog with a single-focused mission: to run 5 miles comfortably (at whim!) by May 2011.

It's going to happen this week. I am going to randomly choose one evening this week and head out for my first ever 5-miler. Check back in next Saturday for the full details!


Monday, May 9, 2011

quick-fire updates

Happy Monday, everyone. I'm trying to ease back into blogging after my recent hiatus. I promise to stop by and catch up on everyone's adventures this week. In the meantime, here is a quick update on all-things Rae:

1. Tito is on the rebound
We haven't had any further episodes since last week. We've been monitoring him closely and have been encouraged to see him get back to his old tricks this week. Rather than putting him on some hardcore seizure meds (ie. phenobarb) we are hoping this was a one-time thing that won't appear again. Hubs is convinced it had something to do with his vaccinations, which just so happened to be given the day before his seizures. I dunno. We'll see what happens. In the meantime, Tito has been relaxing and taking it easy.

2. I'm a Godparent!
My niece Savannah was christened on Sunday. What a beautiful day.

3. Wine & Cheese
We hosted 50 people at our house on Saturday for a 40th Anniversary party for my inlaws. It was a wine & cheese. I managed to navigate the spread while keeping my snacking under control and enjoyed 1 glass of wine and some sparkling water. Most important: I was able to keep my sanity while entertaining this huge crowd.

What a weekend. I'm wiped! I'm looking forward to getting back to my routine. First on my agenda: meal planning & grocery shopping. Oh, and a date with my running shoes. :)

Saturday, April 30, 2011

need some support

I'm long overdue for a post. Since returning from vacation a week ago, my husband and I have been dealing with a very sick little dog. Our Boston Terrier has been suffering some horrible, inexplicable seizures.

Please keep Tito in your thoughts and prayers.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

random updates

1. Oh hi!!! There you are, never-ending hunger that shows up every time I run more than 10 miles per week. Good to see you again!

2. This is the time of year when I always wish I had the foresight to plant more bulbs for tulips and crocus in the Fall. By the time Fall rolls around again, I will forget this feeling and the cycle will start over again.

3. I'm going on a well-deserved vacation with Hubs next week. Anyone care to guess where?

4. I lost 3 pounds during the Hard 10 challenge. Now, how do I lose another 30-lbs quick before I go away next week?

Hope everyone had a great week!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

hard 10 - day 7

Confession: I drank beer. Actually, make that 2 beers.

I got a little carried away at the Toronto Blue Jays home opener. It was an amazing win (13-3). Go Jays!

Don't worry - I had a salad for dinner and did an extra jog to make up for caloric overload. ;)

Thursday, March 31, 2011

hard 10 - day five/six recap

I survived! I made it through my day of temptation and forcible confinement without being completely derailed. It was tough. One of my work colleagues is gluten and dairy-free, so the focus group facility had some pretty healthy options available for dinner. I had these delicious little lettuce wraps, stuffed with chicken breast and a tangy lemon dill sauce. I avoided the bowls of chocolate and the dessert platter and managed to get down all of my water. Efforts to exercise were futile.

I plan to make up for the lack of exercise tomorrow by doing an exercise class and a run. Wish me luck!

Oh...and an interesting side-effect of this challenge: I have become obsessed with calorie counting. I am taking it veeEERRy seriously. ha!

Have a good one!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

hard 10 - day four recap

Four days down, six to go. I've really started counting the days - is that awful?

Nothing exciting to report yesterday. It is today that has me worried. I am going to be spending all day watching focus groups half-way across the province. This means I have to spend 3 hours on my butt driving to the facility and another 6 hours in a dark room that is stocked to the brim with crappy snacks to tempt me, and then another 3-hour drive home tomorrow. Ugh.

Here's what went down yesterday....

1. 1500 Calories
Breakfast: rye toast w/ Becel, coffee
Lunch: Healthy Choice microwave lunch, granola bar
Snack: yogurt, 6 dill crispy minis
Dinner: homemade turkey burger on thin bun, roasted leeks & mushrooms, salad w/dressing
Snack: melba toast w/Laughing Cow light cheese

2. Water
Success! All I can think about it Diet Coke. Oh my.

3. Exercise
Moderate success. I did some weights and did a walk/jog for 45 minutes.

Monday, March 28, 2011

hard 10 - day three recap

Day 3 of the Hard 10 challenge begins with a new product rave: Healthy Choice Steamers. I decided to try this microwave meal for lunch yesterday. Expectations were low, but far surpassed.

This was probably the best meal I've ever pulled from the microwave. It seemed like real food. It had only 300 calories and was delicious. Miam! And this is what it actually looked like:

Here are the rest of the details for day 3....

1. 1500 Calories
Success! Much easier than day 1 & day 2. I think I must have included more protein due to all of the dairy I consumed.
Breakfast: ultimate energy bar (homemade), banana
Snack: yogurt
Lunch: Healthy Choice steamer, another small yogurt
Snack: low fat string cheese
Dinner: halibut filet with roasted peppers/onion/olives/capers/onion, baguette
Snack: tea and sugar free biscuit

2. Water - success!

3. Exercise
I did a BodyVibe class at the gym last night with my BFF. It was a great workout: low impact, included weights and stretching.

I'm feeling fired up and fighting the urge to jump on the scale before I reach the half-way point in the challenge. Keep pullin', everyone! XO

hard 10 - day two recap

I survived the second day of the Hard 10 Challenge! I know it sounds somewhat ridiculous to be so celebratory about a 2-day process, but this is proving more difficult than I first anticipated! I must have really been falling off the wagon.

1. 1500 Calories
Breakfast: kashi cereal with skim milk, coffee
Snack: ultimate energy bar (homemade), grapes
Snack: yogurt, almonds
Dinner: homemade turkey burger on a thin multigrain bun, salad w/ fat free balsamic, roasted leeks & mushrooms in a bit of olive oil
Snack: low fat vanilla frozen yogurt

2. Drinking Water
Success! I gulped down my last 3 glasses just before going to bed. NOT recommended, lol.

3. Exercise
Not quite as stellare as Saturday, but I did squeeze in 3 miles on the treadmill and another good hike with the dog.

20% there! Hope you're all kickin' butts and takin' names, too!!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

hard 10 - day one

Yesterday marked the first of 10 days in the "Pull a Hard 10 Challenge" issued by Dawne. The challenge was inspired by Dawne's daughter, who was encouraged to 'pull a hard 10' while competing in the Ontario Erg Championships. This instruction from her coach lead to a fantastic result.

This isn't about moderation, or making small changes that are sustainable for life. It's about giving it your ALL for a short window of time in order to boost performance.

For me, this means:
1. Getting back to a disciplined meal plan: 1500 calories per day. Period.
2. Drinking water: 10 glasses per day. Drinking water also means NOT drinking diet soda.
3. Exercise like a crazy mo-fo.
4. Blog it.

I can say that Day 1 was a success. Let's review the components...

1. 1500 Calories
This was hard. So very, very hard. This should be a huge wake-up call, because it probably means I have been eating waaay too many calories lately.
Breakfast: scrambled egg w/ whites on whole grain toast, banana, coffee
Lunch: greek salad, rice paper tuna wraps with basil and veg
Dinner: delicious halibut meal courtesy of Rachel Ray recipes! :)
Snacks: fat-free chocolate milk & dill rice crackers

2. Drinking Water
I just barely managed to get in my water. All I could think about today was diet Coke. Totally addicted - gah!! I didn't give in.

3. Exercise
Three solid activities today: zumba class, one-hour hike with the dog, lifting arm weights until I felt a good burn.

Wow. I am pooped today. And now I have to do it all over again. :)

Friday, March 25, 2011

secret weapon

Last week I mentioned a new secret weapon in my weight loss efforts. I thought it was time to 'up my game' in preparation for Katie's March Madness weight loss playoff. Unfortunately, my secret weapon wasn't quite strong enough to beat my competitors. Despite a 2 pound loss, I was out in the first round! How humbling.

Did you guess the secret weapon? I'll give you a hint...

Just kidding. It isn't Laser Cats - but it's something just as surprising. I, Rae, self-proclaimed hater of indoor exercise, joined a gym.

I'll give you a minute to pick yourself up off the floor.

I decided to join the local GoodLife fitness club with my running buddy. I know, I know. It's very unlike me. But folks - it HAD to be done. It is almost April and we got dumped on with another 4 inches of snow yesterday. I am so sick of the treadmill. I needed to spice things up a little. We've been attending Zumba classes a few times a week and have actually hit the weights a few times. I have been surprised by how much I enjoy it. I am going to hit the gym pretty regularly for the next month or so and then plan to back off a little as I incorporate more outdoor (trail!) running when things thaw out. Variety can't hurt, right?

It turns out I have a brand new motivation to kick things into high gear: upcoming beach vacation! Hubs and I have booked some much-needed vacation time in April for an all-inclusive trip down south. We've decided to play a game of "last-minute deal roulette", so we don't know where we're going yet. We'll probably end up in Cuba, Dominican Republic or Punta Cana. Any recommendations??

Have a great week, all!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

march madness

I love me a good challenge. Just as I was beginning to lament the fact that winter is still rearing it's ugly head and it will be a long time before I can golf again, Katie from "Are You Willing?" inspired me to pull up my socks and give my all through her March Madness challenge.

This 3-week challenge is all about weight loss. The participants are going to square off against one another in a round robin tournament.

Starting weight: 225
Goal: 218

I'm going to pull out a secret weapon to help me achieve my goals. I'm not ready to announce it yet...shhhhh!

Have a great weekend everyone.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

ABCs of Rae

A. Age: 34
B. Bed size: Queen
C. Chore you dislike: cleaning the toilets
D. Dogs: one Boston Terrier...Tito!
E. Essential start to your day: Grande Americano from Starbucks
F. Favorite color: today it's lime green
G. Gold or silver: silver
H. Height: 5’7"
I. Instruments you play(ed): I play the bass and acoustic guitar and used to rock-out in a garage band in high school/university. I also play the piano and am married to a drummer. Very musical household!
J. Job title: Director, Consumer Research
K. Kids: Not yet
L. Live: Toronto
M. Mom’s name: Mary
N. Nicknames: Rae (my name is Reagan), Raegun (from a love of 50's & 60's sci-fi movies),
O. Overnight hospital stays: Once for extreme dehydration. I had the flu when I was 10 and refused to drink anything...I was a stubborn thing!
P. Pet peeves: bad drivers
Q. Quote from a movie: Hmmm...I dunno...."Goonies never say die!" ha ha
R. Righty or lefty: Both...I'm ambidextrous. I write and draw with my left but play golf and other sports like a righty.
S. Siblings: I have a younger sister
T. Time you wake up: 5am. Everyday. I am incapable of sleeping in.
U. Underwear: Yes. How does one respond to this? LOL
V. Vegetables you don’t like: green bell peppers
W. What makes you run late: meetings that run late. It's a chain reaction!
X. X-rays you’ve had: My wrist after I broke it snowboarding. It was S-shaped.
Y. Yummy food you make: I'm famous for my cassoulet and my pistachio-crusted lamb chops on mint cous cous.
Z. Zoo animal favorites: penguins

Thursday, March 3, 2011

takin' pills

No, I'm not medicated. But I did suck-it-up and take a piece of this proverbial medication since my last post:

Thanks to all who offered such sympathetic and encouraging comments in response to my freak-out of Charlie Sheen proportions (ie. epic!). Double-thanks to those who forced me to take a hard look at why things were the way they were. I'm not normally one for self-loathing and glass-half-empty perspectives, but I was at my whit's end.

You were right. Things got better. Batch cooking helped. Forcing myself to get in some exercise really helped. Requesting & gaining approval to hire 2 new team members helped even more. ;)

Love you!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

gandhi lied

I had to snicker when I stumbled across this quote the other day:

"A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes."

I call BS on that, Gandhi! How do I know this is a lie? All I've been able to do lately is THINK about running and I'm no closer to becoming an actual runner.

WARNING: If you like coherent thoughts and well-written content, I suggest you read no further. Here comes a totally random and disjointed rant. It will be written in a stream-of-consciousness style and I can't guarantee it will make sense.

Thing is, I'm having a really difficult time finding balance in my life lately. Things that used to be manageable like a 1-hour commute and housework and running are starting to become ridiculously irritating as I pull off 14-hour days at work. I'm forgetting how to juggle. Balls are getting dropped everywhere. My husband thinks I'm a stranger. I haven't picked up the dry cleaning that was ready two weeks ago. Shit. I spend all night tossing and turning with a zillion thoughts and 'to do' tasks spinning through my mind. I'm not doing the things that make me happy. I don't understand why I can't make these things a priority. I read about people going out for a run at 10pm and I can't imagine myself doing such things. Not when I get home at 8pm (if I'm lucky!) and I have a 5am wake-up call on the horizon and haven't even thought about what I'm going to eat or wear the next day and I have a 40th anniversary party to plan and the dog hasn't been out for a walk yet. I really need to learn how to delegate. Hubs has been helping out with making meals and stuff, but it's shit food (chicken fingers!? KD, really!?!) but how can I criticize when he's trying to help?? I've been drinking 5 coffees a day. I've been stopping at the drive thru on the way home. That's what happens when you haven't eaten anything all frickin day. I've gained 5 pounds in the last 2 weeks. I'm struggling. I need help. I'm not good at asking for help. I feel I don't even have time to make a plan for myself to get back on track. And I don't even have kids!! Crap. How the hell do working moms ever fit it all in...well, they probably don't work 70-hours a week. I should really get a housekeeper. FUck.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

long overdue

A couple of weeks ago I was given the Stylish Blogger award from Bobbie at Journey in Running. Thanks for thinking of me, Bobbie! Your blog has been a great source of information and inspiration on my own running journey. I love how you share the details of your marathon training without being all technical and "pacey" (yes - I'm coining that phrase!). It doesn't scare us newbies away. ;)

The Rules for the Stylish Award:
Make this post and link back to the person who gave the award
Share 7 things about myself.
Award 5 great bloggers.
Contact the bloggers to tell them they've won!

Here are 7 little-known facts about me...

1. I am a published poet. I once submitted a poem to a publisher on the insistence of a high school teacher and it actually got picked up, much to my surprise.

2. I am allergic to everything found in nature. Animals. Pollen. Trees. Grass. The sun. Everything.

3. Two years ago, I became a golf fanatic. I play at least once a week in the summer and took my typical score from 120 to 92 last year.

4. I know how to solve the Rubik's cube and can usually do it in less than 3 minutes.

5. I love vegetables, but the most disgusting food on the planet, in my opinion, is the green pepper. Putrid little things. Yuck.

6. I was a total tomboy growing up. I always had more fun skateboarding and fishing than playing with dolls.

7. I love all-things aviation. Growing up, my grandfather (who flew Lancasters in WWII) used to take me to air shows across the country and I really treasured our time together sharing this hobby. I was a member of the Royal Canadian Air Cadets and I worked as an airframe mechanic "intern" at my local airport during high school...but this really involved a lot of oil & spark plug changes and tire removals. It also meant I got to go on the occasional flight - and that made it worthwhile. ;)

I know I'm supposed to pass the award along to 7 bloggers, but I think all my blog buddies are fantastic. SO, if you haven't already received it, please take the Stylish Blogger award and feel free to use it.

Have a great week, everyone!

Monday, February 14, 2011

feelin' the luv

I decided to let the creative juices flow today while I mapped out an EPIC lunch-hour run through the streets of Toronto. What better way to increase my mileage than to force myself into a unique loop pattern:

This run will have me logging 6.79 km - longest distance ever tackled in one session. I think my heart will thank me. ;)

Happy Valentine's Day to all my blog buddies. I hope you have a great day with your loved ones and families.


Edited to Add: I survived! I managed to pull this off within my 90-minute window. Despite a wrong turn or two, I stuck to my Valentine's pattern, lol. Thank goodness for baby wipes and an afternoon free from meetings. I was a hot mess afterwards!

Friday, February 11, 2011

trying new things

Life would be pretty boring if you didn't try something new every once in a while, no??

New Thing #1: Zumba
This week, I tried my very first Zumba class. I was invited to attend the class by my mother-in-law, of all people. :) It took place in a community centre just outside of the looked something like this, only with more 60-something year-old ladies shakin' their groove thang:

To be honest, I had a blast. The instructor was an absolute riot and the music took me back to my university days when I spent time in the reggae and soca clubs of Detroit with my Bahamian roommate. I'm going back for more next week.

New Thing #2: Lindt Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt
Don't let the name fool you - this stuff is to DIE for. The best part? One itty-bitty square can annihilate a chocolate craving for less than 50 calories.

This is definitely a responsible way to indulge. The Chili flavour is next on my list.

New Thing #3: Going Scale-free
That's right...I didn't get on the scale once all week. My schedule was nutty and it was the last thing on my mind. It seems that NOT obsessing may have been a good thing, because I'm down 3 pounds this week. Woot!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Monday, February 7, 2011

naive enthusiasm & kudos to Chris K!!

Yesterday morning, during a leisurely brunch with my in-laws, I somehow agreed to attend a Zumba class with my mother-in-law. She seemed quite excited about her new-found exercise program and was quick to recruit my sister-in-law and myself to attend with her this evening "just to try it out". What have I gotten myself into? Normally I am not into aerobics classes. For some reason, I agreed to participate. I guess I had one glass of cava too many. Oh....and my sister-in-law has since opted out.

I hope everyone had a great weekend - one full of good food, good friends, good running and a Superbowl victory in your favour! I want to give a shout-out to a blogger buddy who had a particularly stellar weekend: Chris K who qualified for Boston!

That's right...Boston! Chris has been a major source of running inspiration for me over the past several months. It's hard to believe one would have time to train for a Boston-qualifying marathon, when you spend all your time organizing fashion shows & swim suit calendars and having toga parties, but it can be done! :)

Now, go over to visit Chris at BQ or Die and congratulate him on his accomplishment!


Thursday, February 3, 2011


Can you think of a better way to celebrate 50 pounds down?

I didn't think so! :)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

share worthy

I just stumbled across a FANTASTIC website that I must share:

Eat Right Ontario

That's right! This site is brought to you by the government of Ontario. Apparently the government felt it was finally time to educate the Ontario public that poutine is not a food group and we really should be consuming more water and less product from the Molson and Labatt breweries between meals! I jest. This really is a cool site.

The service was designed to provide easy-to-use nutrition information to help improve the health and quality of life of residents of Ontario (or anyone with internet access, really!) through healthy eating. The site includes a wealth of nutrition tools, and offers many additional resources to support you in developing healthy eating habits. All the material is provided by Registered Dieticians.

1. Featured Articles on Food and Nutrition
The site includes a wide range of interesting topics that are updated on a regular basis. FAQs ask the questions you should be asking.

2. Ask a Registered Dietician a question by email or phone
EatRight Ontario allows you to ask nutrition-related questions and receive feedback by phone or email from a Registered Dietitian. I gave this feature a test-run the other day. I inquired about serving sizes for the less common fruits (pomegranate, dates, star fruit) and was pleased to see a detailed response in my inbox within 3 days (including links to additional helpful articles on serving sizes).

3. Customized, Interactive Meal Plans
My favourite feature of this site! Enter your gender, age, and specify your eating requirements from a detailed list of options (including weight loss, athlete, or simply low-cost eating for 1 or 2!), and away you go....a fully interactive meal plan! The meal plan allows you to swap meals, get recipes in an instant and even create a shopping list in an instant.

It is so refreshing to see government and Big Business across the globe focusing on the issue of healthy eating. From Michelle Obama's ability to turn her White House garden to soapbox, to Walmart's recent announcement of healthy food options (though I'm still a little skeptical of this one!). Seeing resources like this available help knock down excuses and empower us to make better choices.

And now, a quick update on MOI:
Diet: average
Exercise: average
Weight loss: average (-2)
Running: nada (temps hit -24C or -13F last week and are just now warming up!)
Attitude: humble
Stress level: high

I'm looking forward to enjoying the weekend after a 70-hour work week. I'm going to use the time to recharge and get out there for a good run or two.

Have a good one!

Friday, January 21, 2011

auto pilot

I feel a little like this woman lately.... Mindlessly going about my business. Not paying attention to what I'm doing...on auto pilot.

Do you know what happens when you cruise along on auto pilot!?...


My weight loss has been at a complete standstill this month. Being sick didn't help, but let's face it - I have stalled when it comes to exercise and eating well.

I am going to dedicate my weekend to getting back on track. Back to basics. This includes getting around to reading all of YOUR blogs.

I hope to have a good update next week - including some weight loss!

Have a good one!

Saturday, January 15, 2011


I stumbled across this image today and just had to share....

Today is going to be the day I get back on my feet (literally!) since being struck with a cold virus. I am a little dehydrated and my lungs feel almost asthmatic, but if I don't at least get a good walk in today, I think I'm going to go bonkers.

Monday, January 10, 2011

germs are not for sharing

Just as I was getting cocky about making it through the winter without illness, a cold has knocked me on my butt. I'm going to be MIA for a few least. It isn't pretty, folks!

Why does this always seem to happen when I'm getting into my running 'groove'?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

one year can change your life

I'm going to deviate from my usual cheery style today and start this post by admitting I hate New Years. It's not the celebration or spirit of the holiday and I detest, it's the plethora of empty promises it creates. You see, as I look back on 2010 I realize that I started my year with the usual promises of losing some weight and getting fit BUT the champagne-induced enthusiasm quickly waned and I watched the scale creep up to almost 310 pounds last year.

Like so many others, it seems a change of date on the calendar wasn't enough to get me started. Hmpf. Go figure.

Fast forward to the spring. As southern Ontario went through it's typical thaw, I began to see my neighbourhood come back to life as well. Joggers started to appear. First one or two brave souls, then a few regulars, then whole groups as the local running club hit the pavement. My thought process was simple: I want that!

My blog was born as a way to stay accountable and document my thoughts. I began this process with one simple goal: give myself one year to be able to run 5 miles comfortably and at whim. I figured I'd better keep things simple. I'd focus on running and let the rest fall into place.

As you can see, a lot changed around here last year:
- I managed to lose almost 50 pounds
- I can now run 3.5 miles comfortably and at whim
- I dramatically improved my diet
- I maintained this little blog and made many friends along the way

The biggest change I've observed in myself since last year is my new found confidence. I enter 2011 knowing I WILL DO THIS.

I'm filled with optimism about what's to come. My goal remains unchanged. I will be able to run 5 miles comfortably and at whim by my one-year anniversary in late May. Until then, I am setting mini-challenges along the way. I won't bore you with all the details, but they will include things like actual timed races and mileage goals.

Have you set goals or resolutions for the year ahead? Let's finish what we started!