My Favourite Running Gifts for the Holidays

Now that the birthday weekend is done (two birthdays and LOTS of cake for our family), I can finally get focused on the holidays. I’ve done a little shopping here an there for our girls but have yet to buy anything for my husband for Christmas…though it was just his birthday yesterday.

A Few of My Favourite Running Things!

Over the last year I’ve tried a few more “things” that have become regular items for me when I run, play soccer, go to yoga or barre and workout at home. I’ll share them with you!  I have not been asked to promote these items by the companies, these are strictly my own opinion.

5 Running Must Haves This Holiday Season

Qalo Rings

At the beginning of the year I came across Qalo Rings online. They are a silicone ring. I was first drawn to their Blue Line which represents Paramedics/First Responders and thought it would be something that my husband would like. Funny enough, it was exactly what he wanted as his wedding ring would get caught on things at work. We each ordered a ring (dark blue below) and realised the sizes were too big. We contacted their customer service and it was extremely easy to exchange them for a smaller size.

My husband then order a second turquoise ring for me that I originally wanted but it was sold out when we went to make our purchase online. You can also have a special note engraved on the inside, which he did. And the best part about the turquoise ring, it glows in the dark! Our girls think it’s really funny. He also got a second one too that glows in the dark.

Qalo Ring

Why I like these rings: First off, they are super comfortable and easy to put on. I wear it when I run or workout at home with weights as my hands sometimes swell up. It moves with your finger and whatever you are holding or grabbing and doesn’t get caught on anything. They come with a little pouch that I use when I’m travelling. I’m confident my husband and I will have these rings for a long time.

I even wear it when I’m a wannabe-cyclist😉

Anna S Polar Biking

Nuun

Nuun are little tablets you add to water to make them an electrolyte enhanced drink. There are various flavours and as you can see below; I have a nice stash. My husband introduced me to Nuun a few years ago. They are gluten free, vegan, dairy (yeah) and soy free, safe for clean sport and made from plant based ingredients.

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Why I like Nuun: When I first tried this product years ago, I actually didn’t like it.. WHAT?!?! Crazy, eh! It was about two years ago that I received a sample when I ordered a “bad ass mother running shirt” and I was pleasantly surprised. So I bought a tube and then bought a few more different flavours after a while. I am currently an ambassador for Nuun and no they didn’t ask me to write about their products. I like how convenient it is to travel with these tubes and the tablets don’t break. Plus, we then reuse the empty tubs for snacks for our girls or hair elastics in my bag.

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I genuinely like this product and use it often. My favourite flavours are Tropical Fruit, Lemon/Lime and Fruit Punch. I’m hoping my Christmas stocking might have a tube in it this year🙂

Night Runners 270 Lights

These things are great! I did a review last year you can read here. They are lights that you attach to your sneakers so you can see and been seen when running/walking in the dark. They have different levels of brightness and flashing red lights. They are light weight and I don’t feel them when I’m running.PicMonkey Collage

Why I like these lights: First off, they are easy to use. Second, I’m all about being visible when running in the dark. I also like that I can use them for more then running and that they have different levels of brightness. I’ve worn them running, cycling, raking leaves in my yard (true story) and even in the winter months.

Runners, you’ve got to be seen!

Lululemon Yoga Mat

I don’t know about you but when I stretch after I run, I need to have something under me. I usually do my stretches right away and it can involve my daughters from time to time. I’ve gone through a few yoga matts in the last 10+ years but only recently came across this one from Lululemon, which I won at a Yoga Festival this summer. Oh my, this one is the best!

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Why I love this mat: It’s a little thicker then my other mats and very cushioning. It feels good and comfortable under my feet, unlike my other mats that are pretty flat and basic. Basic is good but honestly, until I stepped on this mat I didn’t know what I was missing. When this one bites the dust (hopefully not for a while), I will invest in another one.

Race Entries

You can’t go wrong with this one! Everyone wants a free race entry, so if your significant other, friend or family member loves to run races – buy their race fees for them! Some events have “gift cards” for this type of thing. Or get creative and make them a running card with money in it for the race they want to register for. Trust me, you can’t go wrong.

What’s the one thing you can’t live without? 

What’s on your list for Christmas?

Ever receive a race entry as a gift? I have🙂

December Goals

It’s the last month of 2016, whoop, whoop! Looking back at the last eleven months, I’ve taken some time to review the goals I’ve set {and reset}. Some I accomplished, some I’m still working on and some are pretty much out the door.

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This past year I was challenged with a few injuries, some that sidelined me from running but I kept going anyway with cycling and yoga. I’ll recap more later this month but I wanted to share a few goals for December.

Family

Our girls are both at a busy age, though I’m sure every age can be busy. Since last February when my husband started working in Nova Scotia and not travelling to PEI, we’ve got to spend way more time together. Even more so in the last few months with a regular shift-work schedule.

Our weekends are jammed packed but always rewarding. I’m looking forward to some time off over the holidays to just be with my family, get outside hopefully in the snow and be active together….thinks skiing and snow shoeing.

Running & Workouts

Bet you guess that one was coming🙂 My goal is to run over 57 km this month. I’m also hoping to run as much outside as I can which can be tricky when your husband works shift work. I do like going for “runches” and try to get out for a run with my runny buddy Krystol once a week.

I’ll be going to yoga and barre classes as much as my work schedules allows me to. I also have a handful of soccer games this month, so does my husband! Oh and I just registered for Maritime Race Weekend next September. I’m confident 2017 will be the year I finally get to run that half marathon course.

Blogging

I renewed my blog, so you’ve got me for another year. Actually, I’ve had a number of new followers to the blog…so welcome and thanks for following along. If you ever want me to write about something specific to running, let me know. It’s always fun when someone asks you to write about something specific and I get to connect with your readers.

Sleep

Plain and simple: I need more sleep! Young children equal little sleep but so does staying up too late! So, I’m going to try hard to get more sleep in December!

Though I didn’t get through all of my yearly goals that I set out back in January, I did accomplished a lot. Now it’s time to determine what goals I want to accomplish in 2017, write them down and make it happen!

Are you thinking about 2017 goals?

Do you do New Year Resolutions?

Anything you want to accomplish in December that’s on your current goal list?

 

November Mileage Wrap Up

November seemed like the longest month this year for me. Maybe it was the fact that it was darker earlier, the time change or it was just so busy I’ve yet to catch my breath.

As I said in my last post, I’m really looking forward to December; birthdays, work stuff, swimming/gymnastics ending for the girls and of course the holidays. Now, when I say I’m looking forward to the girls lessons ending it’s not because I don’t enjoy taking them or watching them, in fact I love that. I’m just ready after 10 weeks of getting up at early o’clock EVERY SINGLE DAY….to “sleep in”.

Though November seemed long, I managed to get back into working out more which I was starting to struggle with. I feel like I’m getting back to how many days per week I want to be working out.

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I could still get in a few kilometres tonight but wanted a break as I have soccer tomorrow night and would like a rest night. I’m hoping to run a little more then 47km in December as I want to run more kilometres then last year.

I want to get back to my long runs as I’ve been encouraged to do so my my Physiotherapist. My ankle is getting better but we’ve added some more strengthening exercises. Over Christmas last year I ran the distance of a marathon between Dec 24th and 31st and planning to do that again this year. Fingers crossed I can reach my goal!

How was your November?

Any December goals? 

Runners: Do you try to run more kilometres/miles each year?

 

 

From Running to Barre Class

When I’m not training for a race I try to stay as active as I can. However, sometimes it’s easy to fall into “slumps” and I’ve definitely had my fair share over the last few months.

You work so hard to follow a training plan for a race, run the race, enjoy the runner’s high and then what? Now what? Recovery, possibly. Extra recovery, potentially and then BAM! you’ve done nothing for a few weeks or months even.

I was kinda hoping to train for a winter half marathon but feel I might be falling off the wagon on that one as I haven’t had time to do any long runs. I’ve thought about those long runs and even planned them out; mostly an evening run on the treadmill. This past weekend I failed at getting in a long run as the heat from our wood stove sucked me in and I fell asleep on our couch at 8:30 PM. What an excuse!!!

I did get back on track Sunday night with a 7k treadmill run that I didn’t really enjoy but was happy I did it (when it was over, of course). Bad runs are still good runs.

My little wall I stare at sometimes.

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I managed to go to Barre today at lunch and I had 2-3 moments of “I hate this”…” I hurt, please stop” …and “this is going to help my running”. My body felt great all afternoon at work which is energizing when you are working from a desk sometimes.

Confession

It’s been three weeks since I’ve been to a yoga class. And I miss it. I’m thinking my body is going to react with “what are you doing” and in utter shock! Let’s just hope I’m able to pack everything I need and not leave anything behind (like my sports bra and running last week). I missed my soccer game on the weekend as I was at a CAAWS (women & sport) workshop, so I’m looking forward to my game on Thursday. I’ll take that as my “speed work” for the week.

Also, I’m really looking forward to December and not just for Christmas. My youngest daughter and my husband have birthdays back to back (3rd and 4th) so it’s birthday party weekend coming up. I’m also looking forward to seeing my family and running lots over the holiday break.

How was your weekend?

Got any confessions to share?

What’s one thing you are looking forward to in December that’s not holiday related?

That Feeling Post Run

I finally got out for a run!!!!!!! I really thought I was going to die but it was surprisingly great!

My running buddy, Krystol and I met last night for chilly run and planned on going 5-6k (because that’s all I though my body could handle). The sluggish weekend and lack of physical activity in the last week had me thinking I would just struggle. I thought I would need to walk more then run as I felt “out of shape”.

Really, all I needed was a little kick start run like last night to have that great feeling post run. We bundled up, we had flashlights on our heads and bright reflective clothing and her four legged friend Fletcher.

Oh my…it was cold! I surely wasn’t ready for that. Winter hat and gloves for me, headband and gloves for her. As we set out I was nervous as we had a few hills to climb but we just kept going at an easy pace, chatting away.

Half way through the first hill I thought, this feels good but quickly reminded myself of the other hills to come. Don’t get too excited! Chatting away as we ran in towards town and eventually checked our Garmin. They read 3.2km. At that point, we figured we’d run to 3.5km and turn around to finish with 7k. My heart skipped a beat a little when I though, I don’t know if I’ll make it back.

We stopped at the top of one hill not because I felt it was hard but just because I wanted a little break. We stopped once more for Fletcher, then  we made it back for 7k. Just like that it was done. A super easy pace, lots of chatting and it was done!

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Running with a friend is so much better then by yourself. I needed that run! I felt great afterwards and went home to do my PT exercises for my ankle. Yeah, I’m still in physio for that stupid injury from August.

Back to that feeling. I felt great last night after my run but even better this morning. That post-run high is still lingering in my body and I’m hoping that’s the little fire that needed to be lit to keep me running.

I’m also motivated to run a certain number of kilometres this month and next. I’m not putting to much pressure on myself to meet those numbers as life happens and we have a busy weekend ahead of us. But at least I’ll have fun trying…I hope🙂

How long does your post-run high last?

Any weekend plans?

What’s your motivator for a cold evening run in the dark?

Another Runch Bites The Dust

I planned it out.

I backed my back pack.

I EVEN charged my Green Garmin.

I mapped out a different route to run in my head on my drive to work.

I got through a busy morning and work and accomplished a lot on my to-do list. All was good.

Twelve o’clock hit…..time to runch!

I gathered my gear and headed off to change.

FaaaaRIG! I forgot my sports bra!!!!!!!!!!! You’ve got to be kidding me. I needed this run. I. JUST. NEEDED. TO. RUN!

Should I run in my normal bra….nope. Run with no bra, hell no. Seriously! I can’t believe I forgot my sports bra.

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So disappointing…I just wanted to run.

Never forget your sports bra. Another runch bites the dust!

When was the last time you forgot a key piece of running gear?

What will you run without?

Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends, bloggers and followers.

 

Slugging Along After a Busy Weekend

I feel like I’m just slugging along these last few days. Last week our family was hit by a stomach bug and we all got it in different ways. Little H got it the worst, poor girl and Lilly had a horrible cough. It’s lingered on into a head cold for all of us now and I’ve can’t seem to catch up on sleep.

However, life goes on and somehow as parents you find a way to keep moving forward. Some days I don’t know how we all do it! I did managed to run once on the treadmill last week. It helped that I got some fun running tights from Costco…pretty sure I’ll be wearing them a lot this winter!

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Our weekend was busy and this could be why I’m feeling so sluggish. Saturday morning started with a soccer game for me and swimming lessons for the girls.

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We hit up a Christmas craft fair with my Mom and then a Santa Clause parade later that evening.

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Sunday brought gymnastics class for the girls and both Saï and I agreed while shuffling the girls out the door we won’t be signing them up for ANY morning classes/lessons in the winter. It all worked out in the end and of course we were reminded WHY we sign our girls up for classes like this. Mainly, because they love it but also because we love seeing them happy and active. Sometimes you don’t always see the worth when struggling to get out the door.

We also saw the movie Trolls…oh my, it was really funny! Lilly went to it with a birthday party, so Saï and I took Hilary. I was hoping to run last night on the treadmill but the warmth of our wood stove drew me in and I didn’t. Now if I could only get to be before 10 pm and not 11, I think I wouldn’t feel so sluggish and have some energy to run.

How was your weekend? 

Do you recover quickly from stomach bugs?

Weekend are for relaxing or keeping busy….or both?