April Running Challenge

Why yes, I’ll join in! How about you? I sure love little challenges and sometimes fail at them…but that’s the whole point, right! Give yourself a little challenge and see if you can do it. You might just surprise yourself!

I recently read Jill’s blog (fitness AND ultra runner extraordinaire) at  JillConyers and she shared the “Run This Year” Instagram/Facebook challenge. So, I’m sharing it with you!

Hope you will join in 🙂

Image

Common, it will fun!

MORE INFORMATION / RULES / HERE

You don’t HAVE to run every day.

You get to take pictures of yourself (and post them).

You’ll be part of the cool club 😉

Okay, I’m just trying to convince you go join me (and everyone else that’s doing it).

So, are ya in ?

#RTYApril @RunThisYear

Are you doing any challenges this month?

Do you set your own challenges?

What’s your favourite challenge to share, got any on Pinterest?

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Outdoor Family Fun

One of my favourite things to do with my family is to be outside; all year around. The weather doesn’t scare me away from doing the things we love and the life long activities that we want to instill in our daughters.

I grew up playing soccer all summer long (and indoor in the winter), downhill skiing, riding my bike everywhere and I even walked to school. I walked 17 minutes one way to school from Grade 6 to Grade 9, then had to take the bus as it was too far away to walk to. When I was in University I started working in the Environmental Education field which then lead me to the Outdoor Recreation/Education world.

I learned how to cross-country ski, kayak properly, snow shoe, winter camping and started running a lot more. It’s because of sport and being active as a child that I am where I am today. I’ve learned life-long skills that I continue to build upon. As a thirty something adult, this past winter I tried Speed Skating and Sledge Hockey for the first time! Nothing like building your physical literacy as an adult! They are both amazing sports.

Now that we have two little girls we hope to be able to transfer our love for being active and see where it may take them. Both our girls love to be outside at almost 4 years old and 17 months old; the outdoors is not a stranger to our daughters.

We decided as a family to give up our television cable last year but do have some dvd’s that are appropriate for them and watch them occasionally. They get less than the recommended daily screen time which I’m completely fine with. They are still young and would rather play with toys or be outside.

In Canada, we are seeing more kids sedentary, more inactive and are becoming more overweight and obese. Don’t worry adults…your on the same path too. How do I know this, well…it’s my job to know this information as I work in the Physical Activity world.

For all you Canadian readers out there, I am confident you remember “ParticipACTION”, you would probably remember Hal Johnson and Joanne McLeod?!?! I remember as a kid the commercials that Hal and Joanne had  on TV that promoted healthy lifestyles.It’s funny what things stick in your mind from when you were a kid/youth. Now that I have refreshed your memory or made you Google Hal and Joanne,  ParticipACTION has a new campaign called “Bring Back Play”.  Sounds simple, right?

It’s time we bring back play to our children…and I’m not just speaking to Canadians. If you are reading this, then I’m speaking to you. We need all kids around the world to get a little more active. ParticipACTION has some great resources that you can use to become more active WITH YOUR KIDS! Let’s get serious people, adults need to be active too!

For winter (and maybe into spring) activities, check out their resources here: Winter Bring Back Play. They even have a mobile app you can download. Think quick and easy games you can play WITH your children! Sweet, eh!

 

Do your kids get 60 minutes A DAY of physical activity?

Active Healthy Kids Canada releases a “report card” on physical activity (active transportation, physical education, after school time period, etc) each year. The 2013 Active Healthy Kids Report card can be found here: 2013. This information is one way we understand that kids aren’t getting enough daily physical activity.

On a personal note, through my job, I get to attend the Global Conference on Physical Activity for Children where they will release the 2014 report card. Needless to say, I’m pretty excited for this conference, to learn more and bring this information back to the communities that I work with.

~~~~~~~~~

Please note: These are my own opinions, however I was asked to write a post on outdoor play from ParticipACTION to help promote Bring Back Play. I was not paid for this post. I know I could  write multiple posts on children, youth and adults being active as I am very passionate about the topic as I have a lot of thoughts. I am a full believer in outdoor play, natural playgrounds, getting dirty and dealing with the mess later if it means my children are going to grow, learn, play, be healthy and happy. 

Don’t forget to check out their #sneakitin for April 7th – 11th –> more information here!

Do you play outside?

Do you take your kids outside to play?

How much TV do you/your kids watch? 

A Morning Run with the TTPer’s!

This weekend the girls and I packed up and went to visit my parents. We celebrated my father’s birthday with a little cake which ended up all over the girls face’s and in their hair – awesome! Ahh well, they sure enjoyed it 🙂 I also managed a quick trip to Costco and a run with the TTPer’s!

TTPer;s???? Timberlea Tundra Pounders running group. I grew up in Timberlea and my parents still live there so I joined the group mainly online but with the intentions of running with them when I visit my family. Friday night I checked the Facebook group and saw there was a run for 9:30am. I checked off  the “maybe box” as I had to make sure someone could be with the girls…Grammy, Grandad and even Auntie Laura said yes. (Lucky me).

I double checked the time and it was moved to 8:00 am. Oh me, oh my…did I really want to run that early? I dunno! I hummed and haa’d about it for a few hours and then decided that I would go. A little motivation from my family and a comment from Piratebobcat helped.

hills

Saturday morning:

Hilary didn’t sleep well and came in bed with me and bounced, rolled over, kicked and kept me awake for a while. She finally woke up for the day at 6:47am, before my alarm was scheduled to go off. I took this as a sign from her to go run.

Looking tired before the run!

Looking tired before the run!

Everyone got up, we ate some breakfast, I got dressed and was out the door at 7:50 to meet the running group. When I arrived Tom was there so we chatted for a bit. Then Dave and Bryan arrived…..that was it. No one else was coming…..I wasn’t too sure about this. Running with three guys is a little intimidating.

We started off as a group of four then slowly moved into groups of two with Bryan and I leading the way. Up this l-o-n-g and gradual hill, down another, up another l-o-n-g gradual hill, another short hill.

Bryan looked really familiar to me so we played the who do you know game. I started with the soccer world as I played and coached girls soccer for a few years. No connections. He had an accent….it was British, so we talked about England and I told him that my husband was from England. Then I asked where he lived and we actually were just about to run by his house….that’s when we made a few connections. He was neighbours to people I grew up with and we found out we knew even more people in common.

We ran the whole time…slowed down a little but than picked up the pace again. Down, then up and down another hill, flat for a bit until the last little bit then UP another hill, down a short hill and done!

I was pooped! 5.18km in 31:58….I was pretty happy with that time considering the amount of hills we had.  We all high-fived each other …that was awesome! I then said to Bryan…“hope I didn’t slow you down”…he responded with “I was just trying to keep up”. After we stretched I asked if he knew my father….and he did, he knew both of my parents. Small world 😉

My legs felt great, my lungs were full of life and it wasn’t even 9am yet! I arrived home to happy girls playing with my sister. My father cooked me a late breakfast (spoiled, yes I know) and then I hit up Costco for my favourite cheese and a few other things.

We had an afternoon visit with a great friend of mine, Kelly…..the one who’s wedding I was in last year (Operation Get Fit for you newbies). Since Lilly attended her wedding last year, she calls Kelly a Princess….since she was all dressed up in her wedding dress. Lilly just loves Princess Kelly.

We had planned on  staying all weekend but I decided to pack up and hit the road after dinner. We are getting another storm today…. 😦  The good news is that it’s not snow but just freezing rain, rain and more rain AND that the snow from last Wednesday’s storm has almost melted away!

Do you run with a running group?

Ever run with someone and play the “who do you know game”?

Best weekend moment?

 

My “Selfie” Picture Post {Happy Birthday Dad}

If you are on Facebook these days, you may have seen lots of “make-up free” selfie’s to support Cancer. I too was tagged in two friend’s pictures but have yet to post my selfie. Why, I don’t know. Maybe because I wanted to know more about the whole campaign or I just haven’t gotten around to it.

Or because my father had cancer. Maybe, maybe not. I read this post from Daisy last night and it really hit home. It made me thing about my Dad.

Today’s my Dad’s 68th birthday….sixty-eight!!! I can’t believe he is that old, he really just doesn’t seem THAT old, ya know!

In November 2006, I was living in Ontario dating Sai and I got a call saying that Dad had been diagnosed with Cancer. Tongue cancer….weird, eh! He never smoked a day in his life so why did he get tongue cancer? I just didn’t understand then and to this day I don’t know or understand why but I do know we are lucky our Doctor’s moved fast.

December 14th he had surgery. This was really hard for me as I was away from home, Sai was back in Illinois and I had a four hour drive one way to do a presentation to a school. It was just me and my thoughts. I thought a lot about my Dad, worried a lot, cried a fair bit and stayed glued to my phone. Surgery was done and successful…I could breath a little easier and my four hour drive home wasn’t as stressful.

Sai and I drove home for Christmas….really to spend time with my family. Dad spent Christmas in the hospital so we went to him for Christmas mass/Christmas morning. I’m pretty confident none of us really cared what was under the tree that year. We just wanted our Dad home and healthy.

On Dec 26th, Saï and I got to pick him up from the hospital as he was being released. When we walked in, he was pacing his room. Bags where packed and for some reason we had to make sure we got his Naglene bottle from the fridge which had his watermelon juice in it (we had juiced a watermelon for him a few days before). Once we had his bags and Naglene bottle he bolted! Seriously, he bolted out of the room to the elevator….we caught up and waited for the doors to open. In we went and down the few flights. The doors opened and he started picking up his pace again! He ran out of the hospital. He actually RAN out of the hospital doors on a snowy cold December 26th day.

We ran to keep up with him. And then once outside he stopped. “Dad, why are you running?” I asked. He replied with “because I don’t want them to tell me I can go home today”. Fair enough Dad, fair enough.

So, I’m not going to post a make-up free picture of me but I’m going to share with you my Dad. He is simply the best Dad…I’m sure my brother, Paul and sister, Laura would agree.

1. He used to take me out of school for the day and I would go on his school’s ski trips!

2. One time when I was completely hungover, he drove me back to University, an hour away. He didn’t yell at me for being irresponsible but shared a few stories of when he was young and had too much to drink.

3. He taught me that sport and being active is the way to live a healthy life and that it can take you anywhere.

4. He is the reason I started down the path of Outdoor Education/Recreation and Environmental Education.

5. I’m just like my Dad…we have the same personality 🙂

6. He taught me {and my siblings} how to ski.

7. He drove me {and my siblings} all over the Province to play soccer…and coached us too.

8. He gives up his time {and hard earned money} to help me out when I need it.

9. He still cheers on coaches the Montreal Canadiens from his chair every game.

10. His motto for life: Word hard play harder.

My wedding day with Dad (almost 2 years post surgery)

My wedding day

My wedding day

My Dad loves to dance….we were doing the Jive as “our dance” but he then decided to throw in some hip hop moves I was unaware of 🙂

Dancing away

Dancing away

We share the same passions, three generations skiing. My dad lives to ski and this is no exaggeration.

Lilly's first ski!

Lilly’s first ski!

He love spending time with his grandchildren. Hanging out with big sister Lilly while Hilary snuggles with Mommy. Lilly was just over 2.5 here and Hilary was a few months old.

2013

2013

Instead of a makeup free selfie picture of me, I write about my Dad and how frigging glad I am that you beat Cancer.

Happy Birthday Dad, I love you. 

I don’t normally share my blog on my personal Facebook … but today I will. Take this as my make up free selfie.

Enjoy your Friday 🙂

 

We Survived {spring} Snowmageddon

It’s over and done with…thank you snow gods! I love snow and usually, USUALLY don’t mind shoveling the nice fluffy white stuff but I am done with winter.

The storm went down like this:

Breakdown of the storm

Breakdown of the storm

Records are saying we had 40+cm of snow fall and up to 102km winds. Here are some other stats from around Nova Scotia:

Greenwood: 102km/h & 42cm *close to were I live*
Yarmouth: 96km/h & 41cm
Sydney: 85km/h & 22cm
Halifax: 100km/h & 21cm

Peak Wind Gusts:
Cheticamp: 172km/h <– Oh my!!
Brier Island: 141km/h
Baccaro Point: 137km/h
Beaver Island: 102km/h

Source: Nova Scotia Weather Service

Last night I attempted to go out and shovel the snow but the wind was so bad I didn’t want to risk it. Plus the wind didn’t stop last night so I would have shoveled for no reason. It was nice to curl up on the couch and watch a movie.

This morning I had the pleasure of leading Team “Dig Out of the Driveway”….with my two side kicks: La La Lilly and Hipster Hilary. Luckily we have an AMAZING neighbour who came over and used her snow blower on 90% of our driveway!

Team Dig Out of the Driveway

Team Dig Out of the Driveway

Okay Spring…we’re all ready for you. This rain, snow and ice pellets that you have forecasted for this weekend – don’t even think about it.

Do your little kids wear sunglasses on sunny days?

Since it’s Spring…what’s your favourite thing do to ?

 

Because I Love To Run

I can genuinely say that I love to run. However, I didn’t always feel that way.

Like when I was 14 years old and training for soccer. Running, doing Fartlek training and then being tested. I probably hated it because I was being tested. I even hated drinking water back then too but would drink it because I knew I needed it. I now love drinking water….it’s all I drink, for the most part 😉

I love running on a cool fall day, on the snow covered ground, with rain falling on my face in the spring. I love how I feel after a hard run on a hot summer’s day. I also love that I have the opportunity to run on a treadmill.

I recently saw this video thanks to an awesome Canadian Running Blogger group I belong to and just had to share it.

 Do you LOVE to run? 

Or is Running something you just do?

If not running, what do you LOVE to do?

 

How to Survive a Winter Storm (in the Spring!)

We’re about to be hit with another snow storm in Nova Scotia. Yes, it’s still March but technically it is spring. We’ve been watching the warnings on the weather network, local tv news stations, reading it in newspapers and it’s plastered all over Facebook – “Another Wednesday snow storm to hit Nova Scotia”. Urgh!

This time around, we have had multiple days to prepare for the “White-Juan” that hit the Maritimes back in 2004. Cancellations, road advisories, rescheduling events are consuming people, along with preparing for the storm.

 

Winter Storm Survival in NS Pipers Run

How to Survive a (late) Snow Storm in the Spring:

Be prepared:

  1. Stock up on food. Snack food and food you can make if the power goes out. The storm may only last a few hours to a few days – be prepared for the unknown.
  2. Stock your wood pile if you have a wood stove or fire-place. If you don’t bring the wood inside before the storm, there is a good chance you won’t be able to get outside during the storm.
  3. Get extra water for toilets (power outages), and drinking water.
  4. Double check your batteries and flashlights are ready to go. Also, find any extra candles and matches.
  5. Charge your cell phone, lap top, IPad, IPod etc – might be a while until you can do so again!
  6. Do all your dishes – a load of dirty dishes in your dishwasher isn’t fun if the power goes out for days. You’ll probably need them during the storm anyway. Get ’em done!
  7. Make sure the laundry is up-to-date before the storm, or as close as it can be. You don’t’ want to run out of clean underwear do you?
  8. Buy some special treats for you and your family. Popcorn, chips, M&M’s, Jr. Mints. And yes, I bought my favourite Jr. Mints today…I can’t believe I did that…ha ha!
  9. Never to early to have propane in your BBQ!!! Winter bbq can be quite fun!
  10. If you have a generator, make sure it’s working.
  11. Take out the shovels you just put away. I know, you may get emotional doing this but trust me, it’s better to have them out and ready then struggle last-minute to find them.
  12. Partner up with your neighbour to watch each other’s kids while you clear the snow from your driveway, invite them over for a meal….reach out and support one another.

snow on wednesday

What to do during the storm?

  • Have fun. Enjoy the day home with your family or by yourself.
  • Play inside and build a fort with cushion’s from your couch and blankets from your bed.
  • Run on your treadmill, workout with those weights, roll out that yoga mat that is collecting dust.
  • Get outside and jump in the snow…then shovel. Always play first, work hard second.
  • Snuggle on the couch and watch a movie….remember that special treat you bought? Perfecting timing!
  • Get crafty….thank you Pinterest.

Winter snow storms can be a stressful time; blowing snow, wind gusts, power outages, damages occur. Be patient….it will pass over eventually. Just try having fun in the meantime and know that the weather is going to warm up in a few days 😉

Good luck Nova Scotian’s, Maritimer’s (PEI, NB etc).

What’s your best tip to survive a winter storm?

Do you prepare for a storm (snow, rain, hurricane, etc) ?

Do you buy storm chips? Apparently, this is a big thing to do!!!

Also….I’m just going to say….keep an eye on the number of babies that are born in December! 😉 Just saying…9 months is a long time. 🙂