Ditching the winter blahs

Does anyone else struggle as bad as I do with the winter blues?  I feel like this winter was the worst!  I am so happy to feel spring in the air I could sing.  In fact I think my heart is already singing.  I just couldn’t get motivated to do much of anything this winter.  I struggled through my runs, found not one but two injuries, a torn calf and inflamed posterior tendons in both legs, and only managed to get in one or two workouts a week.  My food choices left a lot to be desired some days and I felt like staying in my sweats whenever possible.  It was a crappy winter.  Good news is, its over for this year!  Thanks goodness.

I feel my energy and my spirit lifted already ❤  I have been doing more trail running and less road running.  I started running with my girls in the double stroller again (man they got heavy this winter, lol) and my workouts are finally lining up.  I am back to healthy eating 80% of the time (minus Easter ;)) and I am generally feeling good.

I have really missed my outdoor bootcamps and the participants and can’t wait to get started next month.  I am doing drop in classes this year as I will be spending basically the whole summer camping with my girls and husband.  I want to soak up every minute of summer this year and I plan to be outside pretty much every day.  We have a new camping trailer and we are going to get full use of it!  My girls love being outside as much as I do ❤

I am so happy to get back to my blog, I have missed writing.  My journal caught most of my dialogue this winter.  I hope to update this on a more regular basis going forward.  I have lots to share and lots of pictures to post.  I want to share my running escapades in the upcoming race season and hope that my legs will hold up to allow me to participate.  They still aren’t 100%, but I am pretty stubborn so I am working hard to mend them.  Trail running is so much easier on them than running on pavement.

I am going to share some workouts that I have put together for my bootcamp classes and some strength workouts that I like to do at home for runners.  I hope you drop back to check them out!

Any tips with staying on track through the winter blues?  I would love to hear them!

 

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Running this town

 

I love this quote.  Running is so good for me in so many ways.  It’s not just a physical thing, like working out.  I used to workout all the time and sure I felt great physically, but running is such a mental game.  It takes a lot of mental strength to be able to train day in and day out and to push yourself further than you ever thought possible.  And somehow in that complete exhaustion you feel wonderful and grateful and thankful for everything.  For your body and it’s capabilities, for your life, your support system, your struggles and your triumphs.  You just learn to appreciate everything a little more.  Maybe it’s just the runners high or maybe it’s the disconnect from our busy lives and reconnecting to ourselves.  Either way, I love it.

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Running has been great this year, I have been able to take part in races in many different locations around the province.  Not only do I get to try out different courses but I also get to visit towns and trails I may not have otherwise.  I recently did the Cape Breton Fiddlers Run in Sydney Nova Scotia and was able to beat my two hour half marathon mark and come in at 1:55:18!  I was so excited!  My pace was right where I wanted it to be and I felt great through the whole race.  Which makes me wonder, maybe I could go faster next time 😉  I will be following the 1:50 pace bunny for the Valley Harvest Half Marathon on October 9/16.  I hope to be able to keep up with her/him.

I have two more races left this season besides the Valley Harvest, both MEC races.  There is a 15k on September 25 and another half marathon on October 23.  That is pretty much all I have left for planned races this year.  I may pick up a couple of 5k or 10k races if the opportunity comes up.

This past weekend I was able to purchase a bib for Maritime Race Weekend.  I got a really great deal on the Tartan Twosome and was supposed to run 5k both Friday night and Saturday morning.  I did the Friday night run but was missing my girlies so much I literally crossed the finish line, got my medal and kept running the other two Kms back to my truck to get home to snuggle with them.  My oldest crawled in bed with me sometime during the night and I woke up to the best snuggles ever.  I was on the fence about the race Saturday morning when she said to me ‘I missed you so much when you were gone last night Mommy’.  That sealed the deal.  We stayed in bed to snuggle and then headed out for a run together later that morning.  I love running, but I really love my girlies ❤

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I recently spoke with a running coach and we intend to meet sometime over the next couple of weeks to talk about my goals for next year.  I have huge goals and really have no idea where to start.  I feel like I need some guidance from a professional runner.  I want to run two marathons next year, my first one to set the pace and the second to try and qualify for the Boston Marathon.  Because really, why set little goals (insert eye roll here) lol.  I figure I might as well just go for it.  Worst case scenario I set a PB, best case scenario I set a PB and qualify for Boston.  There is really no down side that I can see.

My struggle with training for the two marathons is that I also love off road running and want to complete some trail running races next year as well and I really don’t know how to incorporate that into the plan.  I don’t want to wing it and end up with an injury.  I can easily get into the mindset of all or nothing when striving for a goal so I know I need some guidance to help avoid that and a possible overuse injury.

The other thing I have to consider is that 80% of my training is done with a double stroller.  So, I have to make sure that either the weather permits or find an alternative.  The gym will work for most runs if the weather is bad but the child minding there maxes out at 2 hours which won’t leave me enough time to complete some of the runs.

Anyway, it is going to take some juggling and a whole lot of commitment to get to where I want to be with my running.

Long term goals (talking like 3 years) is to run the Trans Alpine race.  Man, if I could rewind about 10 years I would have kicked my a** into gear and got really good at running a lot sooner.  But we all know that is not possible so onward and upward.  No time like the present 😉

Here are a couple of race pics I thought I would share from recent races.   And as always a couple of my cutie pies ❤

 

Summer Hiatus

Summer was amazing.  Running, camping, family, bootcamps, beaches.  Just amazing.  It always feels too short but that is summer here in the maritimes.  I had planned to blog all summer but it just kept getting bumped to the bottom of the list.  My girls are growing WAY too fast, my baby is already one.  It makes me a little sad.  She is walking and starting to talk and is in to everything.  My two year old takes up every spare minute I have.  She is so intelligent.  Too intelligent.  And she plays me like a deck of cards.  She keeps me on my toes to say the very least.

My summer bootcamps were great, although attendance was low, which I expected due to summer vacations and other commitments such as summer sports.  It was still fun and we still got our fitness on 🙂  The next session begins September 13 and is filling up!  I am so excited to get started.  Fall is the best season for outdoor workouts.

My running is coming along awesome!  I am just about to do my second half marathon this year.  It is the Cape Breton Fiddlers Run in Sydney, Nova Scotia.  Check out the link http://www.capebretonfiddlersrun.com.  My goal is to do it in under two hours.  I missed the mark by just a few minutes last time so I know I can do it!  I clocked 155kms last month and that was the most mileage I have had in a one month period this year.  My long runs get easier and easier and I can’t wait to up my mileage next year.  The only thing holding me back right now is the large lack of sleep from being up with the girls all hours of the night.  It takes it’s toll on you after a while.  If and when they start sleeping better, hopefully I will start sleeping better and will be setting my sights on some longer runs next year including off road races and marathons.  For now I am enjoying running with the double stroller and my girls are too ❤

Life is busy.  Isn’t everyones though?  Sure seems that way.  I want to be home with my girls as long as possible, hopefully until they both start school, so I have four after school kids, and spent the summer painting and redecorating the basement to accommodate two exchange students.  It is going to be a busy fall but I am looking forward to having a full house.  I love company and the girls will benefit greatly from having other cultures under our roof and school age kids around.

Here’s a few pictures from this summer.  We had family photos done last month, there are some race photos and a few from mud hero.  It was a great summer and I am looking forward to getting back to blogging, working out regularly and routine.  I am a creature of habit and I love my routine!

Time Flies

Only 3 more weeks until the MEC Half Marathon!  Wowzers!  Where did the time go?  Training is going great, I fully intend on finishing in under two hours.  That has been my goal all along and I am pretty confident I got this.  Counting it down to the big day 🙂

Bootcamps are going great!  I have a great group of women and we have lots of fun and laughs along the way.  The weather has been great and we haven’t had to reschedule a class yet.  I can’t believe we are 4 weeks into the first session already.  Like I said, time flies.

I rarely get a chance to blog these days, most ‘spare’ time, if you could call it that is spent either in the garden pulling all those dreaded weeds, doing workout plans for my classes, working out or running.  Unless of course my girls are both awake, then we are usually hanging out, soaking up some vitamin D at the playground or on the trail.  Love my girlies ❤

I hope to be able to get back to the blog a little more someday soon.  That is my goal and will hopefully get bumped up on the priority list soon.  It has taken back seat for a while.

Meanwhile, summer feels like it is almost in full swing here.  Everything is green and lush and beautiful.  It smells like summer ❤  I love our yard during the spring and summer months.  It almost feels tropical on a humid day.  It is totally grown in and I love that every window I look out is a beautiful green landscape.

We got to spend the weekend away with friends this past week and it was so great for us and for the kiddos.  I soaked up every minute of the kids running wildly through the grass with kites and balls and bubbles.  And well dirt bikes too 😉  It was so much fun to watch them all play together.  I love outside play and so do my girls.  It is the best kind of play.

I hope to get on with some more updates and recipes soon.  In the meantime wish me luck and speed on my first half marathon in 11 years!  Honestly, I need to slow this clock down somehow.  Any tips on that would be much appreciated, lol.

Week 8 Training and Date Night

Wow!  Time is flying!  Can’t believe I am in week 8 of my training already and I can’t believe how much improvement I have seen and felt in the last 8 weeks.  Last week I clocked 34km with my double stroller and my long run was 14k with both the girls in it.  It amazes me that after running that far pushing that much weight that I am not even winded when I stop.  I would have never dreamed I could do that before.  But I am and it is awesome.

I am so syked to do my long run this week solo and see how my time has improved.  I have two 5kms, a 9km and then my 16km on Saturday.  I can’t wait for June 26 to run my first half marathon in almost 9 years!  I have two more coming up later this fall too!

My goal is to accomplish the three half marathons this year and then work on my trail running so next year I can take it off road and do longer distances.  I actually prefer trail running but unfortunately the run meets are held on the same night as my bootcamp 😦  I hope to get out with the group at some point another night during the week.

Two weeks ago when my husband was home we had a date night and decided on a compromise.  I wanted to do a trail run and he wanted to go biking.  So we did both 🙂  And check out my new swag!  My awesome hat from Nova Scotia Trail Running.  I ❤ it!

We finished date night up with a pint and some wings.  Both were delicious!  Hey, everything in moderation, right!?

 

Week 6 MEC Half Marathon Training and Bootcamp # 3

I am currently in week 6 of my half marathon training and am getting pretty excited to be hitting longer distances.  This past Saturday I left my front door and headed out towards the ocean.  I managed just over 13k in all my hungover glory lol.  I think it was the fresh salt air ❤

I don’t get out too much these days, I would much rather stay home and snuggle my girlies most Friday nights, but I managed to make it to my sisters birthday party and four whole beer later had to switch to coffee.  I think I used to be able to have more than four beer before being ready for bed.  Oh well, at least I will make a cheap date for my hubby when we actually do get out haha.

I don’t know about you but when I am not feeling a run sometimes just switching up the route makes all the difference.  Today when I set out I normally have a few routes I use but decided today to head in a different direction and see if I could shake out the running blahs.  I don’t know what it is but every couple of weeks I seem to hit a wall for a few days where I feel like I really need to push myself to get through it.  Most of the time I love running and it feels great to be out there.  Today, I felt like I had to talk myself through each kilometre.  All 7 of them.  It was such a mental game.  The best feeling though is when you are done.  That is what keeps me going the distance.  I refuse to be a quitter!

At least I look like I enjoyed my run today, my skin is glowing 🙂

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My appetite is crazy right now from the increase in miles and the workouts and all the other stuff I have on the go.  We are expanding the veggie garden this year and I have been shovelling dirt for the past two days.  I definitely don’t need an upper body workout this week.  Or next.  haha.  I am so excited to get my veggies going this year 🙂

Tomorrow night is the third outdoor bootcamp class I have held and will be the last drop in class before the session starts May 17.  I am having so much fun with it!  Every class has been a different workout so far.  I like to use similar exercises but use fun games and challenges to complete them.  I love partner and team exercises and a little friendly competition to amp our boot campers up!

Here is a pic of my workout plan for tomorrow.  We have the perfect space for the class.  There are readily available tires for us to use so this class is going through drills with the tires.  We always start with a warm up and finish with a cool down and I like to try and fit a quick challenge in between the main workout and the cool down.  Sometimes it is a team challenge, sometimes core challenges or partner activities.  This week it involves a lot of burpees.  I don’t want to give away the surprise though so that is all I will say 😉

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I am going to try and snap some pictures tomorrow night to share as long as all my boot campers don’t mind 🙂

Smashing 10k Personal Bests

Today was race day.  And I killed it!  Not to boast, but I am pretty proud of myself.  My pace was 5:15 and my chip time was 52:28.  It was a beautiful morning, the sun was shining and I was ready to race.  I am realistic, I know I will never be first.  The first place 10k runner ran a 3:26 pace.  I will never touch that.  I did however, shave 10 minutes off my 10k time and place 79 out of 171 runners.  My only real competitor is me, so I call that a win.

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After the race hubby and I hit up a pub for some brunch (salmon eggs benny) and a well deserved beer.  Both were delicious.

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We then went to MEC, only one of my favourite places in the world, no big deal.  Where I scored a sweet deal on a new hydration belt, pictured below.  I am pretty pumped to try it out this week 🙂

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I also got some new Nuun tablets to try, which I am equally excited about.  I have heard great things about them.  These particular ones are Citrus fruit and seem to be one of the most popular flavours.

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I got to spend the afternoon with my girls and play outside in the warm sunshine.  All in all it was an awesome day.  I just love family time ❤

I hope everyone had a great weekend 🙂