Balance Monthly Challenge

Another month, another challenge I will start…cause let’s be honest…I never stick to them. Maybe one of these days I will write a blog post on how not to fall off the Monthly Challenge wagon. Oh wait……here are a few tips for ya!

How to stick to your monthly challenge!

1. Print challenge in colour – colour is so much better on your eyes.

2. Put the challenge in a place were you go every day. Beside your bed/on your pillow after you get up; near your computer; at the dinning room table; on the fridge; with your workout clothing/gear/gym.

3. Have a pen with your colour printed monthly challenge. Cross off the workouts you finish. Seeing your progress is motivating.

4. Schedule it in. We all have “apps for that” so why not just actually put it in your calendar or an app you use to track your daily life (obviously, I don’t have a suggestion for you as to which app to use or I would plug it in here).

5. Recruit a buddy to do it with you and follow-up with them. Make sure it’s someone you like talking to daily as you’ll want to be accountable to them/yourself.

This one is all about BALANCE! Jodi Higgs workouts are awesome…hard but awesome! The furthest I’ve gone on one of her monthly challenges is 15 days I think! Maybe this will help with my running 🙂

Jodi Higgs Balance Challenge

Balance Jodi Higgs

Description By Jodi Higgs:

Balance Lunge (or Bulgarian Split Squat)

The Bulgarian Split-Squat is great for the buttocks and hamstrings, quadriceps and hip-flexors for a few reasons. It stimulates muscles that often aren’t utilised for their potential to engage, and it stretches out other muscles that are often overworked or simply tight. It is a great postural exercise because it engages and exercises the glutes and hamstrings of the front leg, while stretching out the quads and hip-flexors of the rear leg. Tight hip-flexors and/or weak glutes often result in lower back pain and immobility, so unless your knees can’t take the load-bearing here, this exercise is great for strength-building, balance, and flexibility.

You can choose to use handweights to add a degree of difficulty. Also, the higher up you place your back foot, the more difficult the exercise will be. If you’re a true beginner, simply place your back foot in the split or lunge behind you on the ground, rather than elevating it. Modify as needed to suit you!!

Don’t allow your knee or your foot arch to collapse inward; consciously pull them outward to bear the weight of your body as you bend at the knee.

And watch this video first to make sure you’re doing the right thing:

Single Leg/Single Arm Plank

The plank exercise, which we’ve seen before in our Ab Challenge, helps strengthen midsection, upper-body and lower-body muscles along the front of your body. Planks also strengthen inner core muscles that support your joints. The rectus abdominis (six pack!) and transverse abdominis that form your outer and inner abdominal muscles are primary supporters during plank exercises. The abdominal obliques also stabilize the plank position isometrically. Upper-body stabilizers include the pectoral, shoulder and upper back muscles. Lower-body stabilizers include the quadriceps, sartorius and tensor fascia coming down from the pelvis. To sum it up, it’s an amazing stationary exercise that targets just about everywhere!

We’re going to turn this one unilateral too, by raising an arm and/or a leg. Start with the plank though, with all four of your limbs on the ground. If you are in the beginner stages and need to drop your knees, drop your knees. When you’re feeling confident and comfortable in this position, do a three-legged plank by raising one of your arms. Hold that. When you are ready to move on again, lift up your arm and opposite leg at the same time, balancing on one arm and one leg. The demand on all the inner workings of your core is heightened and you will have to work harder so as not to rotate inward. The plank is a stationary hold exercise, so find your breath, tighten everything up, and hold in peace as long as required for that day.

Here’s the video for this plank variation:

Single Leg Bridge

Although the bridge is an effective glute-toning exercise, it also works the rest of your core too, which includes your rectus abdominus, erector spinae, hamstrings and adductors. During a single-leg bridge variation, your hip flexors and knee extensors also work, including the iliopsoas, sartorius and quadriceps. Your hip adductors, including the pectineus, adductor longus and adductor brevis, are also particularly active during this variation.

As with all our more advanced exercises this month, there is a progression to reaching them. So, until you’re comfortable in the traditional bridge position, don’t start lifting a leg yet. When you are ready to move on, you can progress to this…. and eventually move on to the full version.

It is your choice whether you want to hold this position or pulse it, or you can switch it up as the month goes on. The number indicated on the calendar represents seconds or pulses.

Here’s the video for single leg bridge:

Pistol Squats

(not for the faint of heart!) Holy crap. Admittedly, I’ve never tried one of these until this week and I pretty much laughed it off as impossible the first time. By the third night, I did one unassisted. Then, and only then, did i decide to include it here. It’s totally possible. Just impossibly challenging. and perfect for us!

Fortunately, there are a number of ways to assist ourselves in getting better at this exercise, that include a strap, a pole, chairs, or even an open door.

This squat is one of the top underrated exercises in existence. The benefits of mastering the pistol squat are enormous… the pistol squat requires great balance, leg strength, flexibility and coordination. Chances are you will never see anyone get this movement on their first attempt due to the difficulty of the exercise. If you work diligently on pistols, you can build up to performing them while holding a heavy weight in your hand. To start with though, you’ll be holding straps wrapped around a post or chairs to help your balance. Pistols strengthen the hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes, and hips, but one of the most valuable benefits they provide is injury prevention. They significantly strengthen the knee structure over time. They can also even out strength imbalances because you perform them on just one leg. Single leg squats greatly reduce the stress placed on the lower back and spine making it a more ‘back friendly’ exercise option for those with back problems. No other body weight exercise builds lower body strength like pistols.

So, follow these progressions and don’t be discouraged:

Along with balance, one of our themes this month is definitely about progress and challenge, about acceptance of where we’re at, and about the lengths we go to make positive strides.

 Balance Challenge and Description By Jodi Higgs – You can follow her on Facebook here.


Please note: I did not create this challenge. I am not a personal trainer, doctor or medical professional. I’m sharing workouts on my blog to challenge myself (ha ha) and to share with others. Thanks.

Monthly Challenge: Yeah or Nay?

Are you good at balancing?


To The Women I Saw Trotting Up THAT Hill Yesterday

Thank you!

As I drove to work I noticed you on the sidewalk running.

I don’t know if you are a long time runner or newbie.

I don’t know if you are training for a big event or just out to be active and doing something for yourself.

I do know that I wanted to beep my horn at you but thought you might think some creepy lady was beeping her horn at you for no good reason.

I do know I wanted to roll down my window and say “Good Job” and give you a thumbs up! But I didn’t –> random lady giving thumbs up…ahhh creepy!

Fast forward to my lunch break – I had a 7k awaiting me.

I procrastinated just like I’ve done with some projects at work {dang} but managed to get my running gear on and headed out.

It was hot yet again.

I forgot my Flipbelt so I had to carry my phone in my hand – not cool. I may have pocket dial a good handful of people – sorry about that friends 😉

I ran my normal route and hoped that the hills would treat me well today.

I managed to run 3.5k and hit the half way mark of my run feeling strong on the hills.

Then I turned around.

I saw “that hill”.


That hill you were trotting up and I was tired, hot and mentally not into my run anymore. I was questioning why I would even think about fitting in a 7k run during my lunch break. I even thought I’m not even half way through my half marathon training and this sucks.

I wasn’t loving my run.

Then I thought about you….you trotting up that hill. I don’t know if what I saw was you trotting or running but you sure were not walking up that hill.

It gave me some motivation. I just had to keep one foot in front of the other and I’d make it up “that hill”. That long, long, long incline.

You motivated me to finish that hill and the next one, then I slowly finish my 7k.

So, to the lady who I saw running up that hill yesterday on my drive to work – Thank you. Who knew seeing you running hours before I would help motivated me to finish my run.

Cheers, Piper

Foam Rolling, Sleep and Sunshine

What do these all have in common? My run yesterday!

It all started Monday night. It was a “stretch and strengthen” day in my Half Marathon Training Plan but I decided to foam roll and just lay on the ground. What a painful thing to do to yourself…..but feels so good afterwards! This may be my new favourite thing, I’m not very good at it …..well, not very graceful but no one had to witness it.



I did however have a few laughs when I was rolling my upper back/shoulder area and my pony tail got caught in the roller and pulled my head back. #notgraceful Yes, very funny, I know!

I also went to bed early for the first time in weeks. Lately it’s been 11 or 11:30 before I turn out the light and the only person I have to blame is myself. Hilary’s been up once a night around 3am a lot lately …. that’s always a happy moment for me 🙂 I’ve had a lot of my plate and trying to “fit it all in” I end up staying up way to late. Not Monday night. I was in bed before 10 pm and slept all night long….so did both girls #morningwin!

I kinda wanted to run Tuesday during my lunch break…kinda being the important word here! After I foam rolled I got all my running gear in my bag so I had no excuses in the morning. When I went to bed I still wasn’t convinced I wanted to run but when I woke up I was all over it. Why? Mainly because I wanted to go to bed before 10pm.

After a conference call with my colleagues, I got changed into my running gear and headed out for the planned 6k. It was some friggin’ hot out! Once again, I ran a hilly route on the sidewalk as I didn’t feel like running on the trail. I don’t know why but this route (the hills) get me every time…they are long…L-O-N-G inclines that then turn into a hills. Four of them!

I was quickly regretting running at lunch as it was super hot. When I got back to the office, I looked at the temperature and it was 28 C (82 F) but felt like 32 C (89 F) – HOT if you ask me. I guzzled my Vega Hydrator in seconds, ate lunch, then my second lunch and finally got back to work.

Ahhhhhh, 6k done outside … Happy Piper 🙂

What time do you go to bed? Be honest!

Have you foam rolled before? 

Still hot or cooling off where you live?



Half Marathon Training Week #5

Holy crap, I am exhausted! This working full-time, taking care of two girls full-time (with my husband away a lot) and training for a half marathon is starting to take a toll on me. Well, let’s be honest…I really shouldn’t stay up so late catching up on emails, Facebook and Instagram.

The one thing I did not account for when starting this training was how much sleep I need. Oh and deodorant, shower gel, shampoo/conditioner and FOOD! I’ve gone through my toiletries faster then I ever imagined and am rungry ALL.THE.TIME!

If you missed the first few weeks, here you go –> Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, Training Plan. Last week I forgot to add up my totals, whoops! Week #4: Total mileage Week 4: 41km (25.47 miles) Total mileage Training: 127 km (78.91 miles)

Week #5 What was planned VS What really happened!

 Monday: Stretch and Strength NOTHING! I took a rest day. Actually, I went on a date with my husband 🙂

Tuesday: 6 km 7k Run (Treadmill) Fairly good run.

Wednesday: 7 x 400 @ 5k Pace5 x 4oo’s @ 5k pace CRAZY!!! Okay, 400’s are just crazy, I can’t even think about doing 800’s….ever! Never say never 🙂 You can read about my 400’s here 🙂

PR Track Workout

Thursday: 5k + Strength 6k and no strength workout. I ran during my lunch break and it was a route I haven’t done in months. I forgot how hilly it was and had to take it a little slower than normal. My legs were tired and my head wasn’t into it. I decided to run 6k instead of 5k – should have just stuck to the plan.

Friday: REST DAYREST DAY – sure knocked this one out of the park!

Saturday: 5k5k I was 100% not wanting to run today. I had a rough day with the girls and my patients were thin. I really wanted to get my long run in (13k) today but I physically and mentally just couldn’t pull it off. It was 8:40pm when I put on my running gear and another 10 minutes later when I jumped on the treadmill. Somehow I was in a terrible mood at the beginning and a completely different person after my run. I felt so much better, happier and more relaxed.

I posted this on Facebook:


Sunday: 13k13k. I was kinda dreading this run…why? Well, I didn’t really want to do it on the treadmill but it had to be done. So I put the girls to bed and jumped on the treadmill at 7:48 pm….Hilary was still up talking and singing but not crying. I hit the start button and got my little tablet all set up to watch “Blue”. I tried hard not to look at the time or mileage as I didn’t want to be disappointed with how far I had to go! 

Each time I did look at the mileage, I would say…I only have 10 more to go, 7 more to go, 3 more to go. The last 1.5km I managed to increase my speed and really push my legs/body.

Just like that I’m done week #5 … HAPPY 🙂


Five Weeks Done!

Today, I woke up feeling pretty good but my arms hurt. I thought that I must have really relied on them during my run but then remembered that I mowed the lawn and it was only my right arm that hurt (from pulling the cord). Guess I got my upper body covered by mowing the lawn 🙂

Total Mileage Week 5: 36 k (22.36 miles)

Total Mileage Training: 163 k (101.28 miles) since July 21st! 

Have you done any track work?

How much deodorant, shampoo/conditioner have you gone through when training?

When was the last time you DIDN’T want to workout but did it anyway?