I DID IT! 30 Day Plank Challenge DONE!!!!

YEAH! I managed to actually start AND finish a 30 day challenge! Of course, it started of fairly easy and grew harder over the weeks. Right now, I’m just happy to say it’s completed!

30 days of planking from 1 minute to three minutes and yes, that is a face-plant post plank in there 🙂

That's A LOT of planking!

That’s A LOT of planking!

Learning’s from planking for 30 days:

  • Don’t plank on carpet every day – your elbows will hate you.
  • Go bare foot – you get a better grip and avoid slipping around.
  • Face planting post plank is completely acceptable.
  • You are stronger than you think you are.
  • My triceps hurt the most.
  • Plank when you are on your own! Having little kids around always made it harder. Though they cheered me on and even attempted to plank, it wasn’t fun trying to keep them off me.
  • When you husband (or significant other) tells you your bum is too high, you correct yourself. Not only do you correct yourself, you get pissed off at them for telling you which only makes you want to hold the plank longer.
  • You can surprise yourself!

Running:

I managed a nice 6k runch today even though my training plan only called for 5k. It was really warm and muggy but I was having a great run. The sky was overcast, with the sun poking out every so often. It was perfect.

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Tomorrow is Canada Day! Happy Canada Day to all those crazy canucks out there tomorrow! Hope you have nothing but sunshine, good food and create great memories with friends and family! We are starting off the day with some strawberry picking and some other adventures later on the in day!

Anyone complete a 30 day challenge this month?

Are you celebrating Canada Day? What are you doing?

Happy Canada Day!

MRW Half Marathon Training Week #1 Recap

First off, I’m a tad bit excited to be writing those words “Half Marathon Training Week #1 Recap”. It’s been a long 6 months being on the injured list, thinking I was better, going back on the injured list and staying there much long then anyone would ever want to. Saying that, I’ve had a hard but great week of training!

To recap:

Race: Maritime Race Weekend Half Marathon (Double race called Tartan Twosome 5k & Half for me).

Dates: Sept 12th – early morning (Sept 11th 5k @ 7pm)

Training Plan: Hal Higdon’s Novice 2 Half Marathon

What Was Planned vs What Really Happened

Day 1 – Monday June 22nd Rest DayRest Day! I sure rocked this one! It was really weird not running and I even thought about just doing it anyway but life got busy and I didn’t even have time to run. (2:15 plank)

Note – I was on the road for three days (7:30 – 5:30) this week and my husband was away as well. Busy times!

Tuesday 5k Run5k Treadmill Run (2:20 plank)

Wednesday5k Run5k Treadmill Run (2:25 plank)

Thursday5k Run5k Trail/Hill Run at lunch in the hot sun. (2:30 plank)

FridayRest DayRest Day …. nailed it!  (2:35 plank)

Saturday7k Long RunCross Trained with my lawn mower in the afternoon sun. (2:45 plank)

SundayRest Day7k Long Run (2:50 plank)

This week had it’s up’s and down’s and I wasn’t sure I was even wanting to do my long run after Thursday’s terrible run. I planned on doing my long run Saturday night but after a long day with my family that included mowing the lawn for an hour in the HOT sun, not to mention the beer I had at dinner…I decided a rest day/cross training day would be better.

Sunday’s run didn’t start off great. I left the house around 9 and during the first kilometre I thought it was going to be a struggle the whole time! I actually hated it and all I could think about was “how am I going to get the next 6k done?”

The temperature was cool and the sun was just starting to break through the clouds. I left my subdivision and headed out onto the old highway. The side walks were empty and I just focused on where I was running. On the way out, I hugged the left hand side of the sidewalk and for some reason I thought this was weird.

On my way back, I almost got hit by a car! Crazy, eh! I was waiting at a cross walk, you know, waiting for that little guy to say it’s okay for you to walk…you HAVE the right away”. But the truck that was literally waiting beside me to turn had other plans. The cross walk guy came on, I looked over my left shoulder to make sure the truck wasn’t coming and started to walk across the cross walk. The guy in the truck decided it was his turn too and bolted out in front of me! I threw up my hands at the guy (I was so close I could have hit his truck with my hand) and pointed to the sign. He even looked over at it and kept driving! I was pissed at that point and kept crossing with other cars looking at the truck in shock.

Drives – pay attention. Runners – pay attention to the stupid drives that can’t follow street signs.

As I got closer to my house I picked up my pace and was about 100 metres off from finishing at my driveway. Apparently our girls were really upset that I ran past our house! I just had to finish my last km though! I had a quick cool down walk back to the house and was greeted by two cheering little girls! What a way to come home!

7k long run

Not sure about a pre-run self picture 😉

Later that afternoon, I even managed a 20 minute nap – a much-needed nap. Thanks Sai 🙂 And of course a dance party before bedtime with our girls!

A run that started off so bad turned into a fantastic run, just what I needed. I even managed to drop some time! I’ve been running around 6:17/6:18 per km and managed 6:07 during that 7k! Not too bad. I’m still very far away from what my normal speed was last year but that’s 100% fine, I will get back there in time.

Oh and a big shout out to those who race the EPIC Canadian 10k and 5k this weekend – and those who did both in that order! My running buddy Krystol got two new PB’s!!!! Congrats!

How was your weekend?

Anyone ever confront a stupid driver before?

Dance party before bed time, yes or no?

The Key is just Being Active

The other night I took Lilly to her soccer practice with Hilary in tow. It’s always entertaining when I take both girls somewhere as Hilary doesn’t like to sit still. Okay, it’s more entertaining for other people not me. I’m not sure which one ran around more during that one hour  soccer practice but I do know they both had a blast.

Lilly was with her friends and listening to her coach while Hilary and I walked the track with her friend and parent and another mom. All of our children go to day care together and will be in the same school in September!

We walked the track together and got to know each other a little more. What we did for work, what our husbands did, sleep challenges with our kids etc. Eventually we got talking a little more and I learned that one was a “gym rat” (her words not mine) and the other is starting her first Learn to run 5k in August! They learned that I like to run, a lot 😉

After walking a few laps the little ones wanted to get out of their strollers to play in the sand pit/kick the soccer ball around too. I got thinking about gyms and they are not a place I frequent very often. When I’m visiting my family, I do like to hit up GoodLife Fitness, especially the female only gyms.

We have three local gyms within 10-30 minutes of where I live but I just haven’t brought myself to look into them. I love to run and be outdoors. I love to be active with our girls all year round. I do value what a gym can offer people and I do value the opportunities that it can lead to.

This next statement has always been something that I believed in and use in the work I do daily. The key piece is that “being active” is important no matter what activity you are doing. Being “active” at the gym, outside, inside, with people, without, on a plan, fly by the seat of your pants – it’s all good. It’s all good because you are making yourself healthier and happier.

My run on Thursday sucked (sorry, Mom) but it did. I honestly hated it. I looked at my watch WAY too much. I stopped a few times to catch my breath after a long hill. I even stopped once because I just didn’t want to run – even though I was ½ a km away from being done my run. Once I finished and had a chance to cool down, I was relieved it was over.  Though I wasn’t happy at the time, I sure was happy after I got my activity in.

one-workout-away-good-mmod

Don’t get me wrong, I’m super thankful I can run and that I could do so on my lunch break, rather than 8:30 at night. It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t good and it was far from awesome. BUT – I was active. And that’s all that matters!

Does it matter to you what people do to be active?

Do you like going to gyms?

Do you like to workout with others or on your own?

Half Marathon Training – Maritime Race Weekend

Well folks, training for my 3rd half marathon has begun! I’m training for the Maritime Race Weekend Tartan Twosome (double race). I’m running 5k on Friday Sept 11th (evening) and a half marathon Saturday Sept 12th.

Website: www.maritimeraceweekend.com

Location: Cow Bay, Nova Scotia

Number of runners: 5,000

Theme: Pirates!

Fun facts: this races has been named Best Designation Race by Canadian Running Magazine (a MUST RUN) and has the BEST BLING / Finisher’s Medals ! (seriously, the medals are ah–ma –zing!)

Past participation: I ran the Tartan Twosome last year – 5k Friday and 10k Saturday where I got two Personal Bests!! Review for 5k here and 10k here.

Training Plan for 2015:

MRW HALF Training Plan

Piper’s Maritime Race Weekend (Sept 12th) Half Training Plan

Thoughts:

I’m really excited for this race as it will probably be my first race of 2015. That’s what happens when you spend 6 months on the injured list!

I am using the Hal Higdon Novice 2 Training Plan and have adapted it to kilometres. Last year, I used Hal Higdon’s Intermediate Training Plan and loved it! I wanted to use it again but felt that I’d be jumping into TOO much running for where I am at with my hamstring (which is really good at the moment!).

HAL HIGDON HALF MARATHON TRAINING Novice 2

HAL HIGDON HALF Marathon Training Plan Novice 2

I’m scaling it back a bit but that’s not to say I won’t adapt the weeks as I move along. I’m planning on doing some cross training: DVD workouts, cycling and swimming with the girls J Yes, I’m totally going to count swimming with the girls as part of my training, ha ha!

Today’s plan was a 5k run! After two days of running 5k’s on my treadmill, my legs and body were a little tired. Not to mention I am still rocking the 30 day plank challenge each morning. I’m up to 2 minutes and 25 seconds – holy poop! It’s hard most days but today for some reason I got through it with very little struggles. Not sure what that means for tomorrow’s plank (2:30).

Today’s run was nothing but a struggle! It was terrible! I started off with a few hills (bad idea) in the shade and ended with a flat trail in the direct sun. It was rough but I feel great now!

hard run june 25

                 

Would you rather run hills first or flat trail during a training run?

Would you rather run in the shade or sun your entire run?

Running, Swimming and Father’s Day

That pretty much sums up our weekend!

Lilly finished her swimming lessons Saturday morning and she’s moving on to the next level (in the fall). Though it was only her first swimming lesson, we saw a big improvement in her confidence in the water.

Later Saturday, we went to a birthday party (it’s birthday season right now…that’s what happens when you become friends with people who are on maternity leave at the same time as you – #allthebirthdayparties). It was great, we were outside by a lake. The bugs weren’t bad, the kids played some games and even swam in the lake! Brrr!!! I got in up to my knees as I didn’t have time to locate my bathing suit.

swim fun

We celebrated Father’s Day Saturday night with a BBQ dinner which was more like “how many veggies can you fit on your plate” kinda meal. That’s what happens when you are married to a vegan 😉 I was wanting to make home-made burgers but with the busy day we had, we all had sausages of various kinds!

Roasted parsnips, carrots and asparagus. Onions and mushrooms, spinach salad with strawberries, tangerines and nuts. Chicken feta and spinach sausage for the girls … Sai had a vegan one.

Father's Day Food

Father’s Day Food

Father’s Day Fun

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I was planning on going for a run after we got the girls to bed but was feeling lazy. Eventually, I got a little boost and headed out for a 6k run. You’d think I’d make my running routes easy since they have been so hard lately but nope…I decided to run some long inclines and even ran up my “hill repeat” hill THE WHOLE WAY! Apparently, my fitness isn’t too bad! It doesn’t matter that I walked once I arrived at the top of this hill, does it 😉

sat run june 20

It was another hard run but felt so good. When I arrived at home, I still had to do a 2 minute 10 second plank since I forgot to do it first thing in the morning. After running 6k I figured it would be okay. Well…..never plank in front of your husband.

Within the first few seconds he said “should your bum be THAT high?”. So of course I lowered my butt/pelvis towards the ground more. Then at the end he says “shouldn’t you be controlling your breathing?”. Once I collapsed on the floor (2:11) and caught my breath, I looked at him and said “Why don’t you give it a try?” and his response was “nope, I’m eating my ice cream”.

Sunday was supposed to be spent in the garden and mowing the lawn but it rained and RAINED and RAINED! As I write this a large swimming pool in my driveway is filling up! Awesome for puddle jumping. Then after breakfast I remembered that I should get planking before the day got away from me. Just before I was about to “assume the plank position” I looked up what time I should be doing – just for clarification, ya know! Guess what????????? It was REST DAY!!!!! I cried inside – complete happiness!!!!

How was your weekend?

Did you celebrate Father’s Day?

Anyone run, swim or bike this weekend?

Fun Stuff Friday!

It’s FRIDAY!!!!!!!!!!! I’m really looking forward to our weekend start in a few hours. We have our last swimming lesson, a birthday party, Sai is home and we’ve got the BBQ lined up! I’m trying to ignore the rain that is falling down as I write this and thinking of sunshine all weekend long.

Update on my hamstring: I had a fantastic treadmill run Wednesday night, no pain 🙂 However, my leg is still tender from the cupping – oh well…..I’m just hoping that it helps me get better…pain is temporary – right?!?!

Okay, here are some fun friday things for you:

1. For those of you who don’t live in Canada, I wanted to share this article with you!!!! Check out this article “Gorgeous places to RUN in Canada”I’ve let to run in any of these places but might add these to my list of places and races to run at some point in my life. I *might* be able to tick off Appin Road in Prince Edward Island this summer. Fingers crossed.

2. GoodLife is challenging Canadians to stay active with a nation-wide campaign and contest called “Random Acts of Fitness”!

With the warmer weather upon us, Canadians are taking their fitness outdoors so we want to capture that enthusiasm and share it with as many people as possible. As an added incentive, we’ve created a contest element, which could land you and a friend an exciting prize.

How to enter: It couldn’t be easier….simply snap a photo of yourself doing outdoor activities and share it on Instagram or Twitter using  #FitCanadian to be entered to win the following:

One person will win:

  • A one year GoodLife Fitness membership and a LifeChanger for you and a friend
  • Team Training at GoodLife Fitness for you and a friend
  • $500 Reebok gift card

For more details you can go here, contest ends August 31st.

In other news…..

3. Last week, ParticipACTION released the 2015 Report Card on Physical Activity for Children & Youth. Basically, we need to get children and youth OUTDOORS MORE!!!!

infographics

For those with kids, how much time do your kids spend outside? 

And the Women’s World Cup has been pretty awesome. I regrettably did not purchase tickets to watch some games in Moncton…and am kicking my butt now. whomp whomp But, I have lots of friends attending some games and they are loving it! Go CANADA GO!

Canadians – have you run in any of the locations in Canadian Running Magazine’s article?

Non-Canadian Residents – any places on the list (in article) that you’d want to check out?

Do your children get enough DAILY physical activity?

As an adult – do YOU get enough DAILY physical activity?

Have a great weekend. 

Cheers, Piper!

Injury Running Recovery: Minimal Pain & Moving Forward

It’s been two weeks since I saw my Physiotherapist and I’ve managed to have very minimal pain! That’s a BIG win in this long road to recovery. I’ve been running almost every other day, fitting in my PT exercises and planking {1:55 today}.

My PT exercises haven’t changed from day one. I have four of them that I do and they take me a half an hour to complete!!!!! Crazy, eh! Though they haven’t changed, they have been modified over the last 5 weeks. My first physiotherapist gave me way to many exercises to do rather than just focus on a few – she also focused only on my hamstring.

Chris is more focused on this injury and giving me exercises that will help me get stronger and are more focused towards strengthening my running muscles; if that makes any sense. What I mean by that: each exercise he has me doing, is directly related to running or the motions of running. He’s also assessed my whole body and identified that my glutes and lower abs were weak, so we have been working on those too.

don't be pushed rwe

Current Pain level: is anywhere between 1 – 4 out of 10 and usually sets in about 24 hours after a run but not every run. One run out of four/five it tends to hurt. I usually ice it and the pain goes away. Apparently this is normal and good.

I had a physio appointment this morning and I was really looking forward to it. My hamstring is getting stronger *yeah* but my glutes are still not there.

New adaptations to exercises: I only have to change one exercise to put the stress on my glutes a little more. Single leg bridging! So I will do:

  • Bridging (10 normal, 5 single leg and 10 normal) 25 in total
  • Bird/Dog x 10 / each leg/arm
  • Hamstring swing/curl with a band (not sure what it’s called). It’s all about controlling the eccentric movement (controlling the movement) x 20 – three times (hope I said that all right)
  • Lunges x 20 each leg – twice (This has been adapted from a lunge lean forward to a stepping lunge).

As I’m getting my treatment done by Chris this morning he says to me “we’ve done cupping before, right?” and I respond with “no”. He suggests we try it as I am game for anything! Just before putting the cup on he says “it could hurt but we can stop when/if you want to”. I say…”okay, go for it”.

He puts the cup on and rubs it from one end of my hamstring to the other and back again a few times. Well…it hurt but I figured I could handle it. He does it a second time and I start to say a few words – none of them were swear words {Mom you’d be proud}.

I couldn’t stop “laughing” as he was doing the treatment. It was that “laugh” that you are hurting so much but don’t want to cry in a roomful of physio patients kind of laugh. Each time, it hurt even more. Honestly, after that I can’t remember if he did it once or twice more but it HURT SO MUCH! Not once did he say “wanna stop”….BUT he did encourage me and told me I was doing great!

And you know what? That’s what you want in a GOOD physiotherapist or coach. Someone who is knowledgeable, sensible but can push your limits because they know you can handle it and you will be better off for it.

Afterwards, it felt SO GREAT!

Current Plan: So what now, you ask? I asked the same question too, to Chris. I can increase my volume (distance) but not my speed. I’m super happy about that because I’m keen to run longer but my body isn’t ready to run faster yet.

I asked if I can start Half Marathon training next week and he said “yes”!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 I’m just a little excited and extremely happy! Next week will officially be 12 weeks before my 3rd half marathon and 17 weeks before my 4th half marathon!

Though I’m not 100% yet, I am FINALLY on my way! I can’t wait to run tonight, I feel like a kid standing outside a candy shop just waiting for the doors to open. I have to get through my work day and night with the girls so I can jump on my treadmill tonight and get running!

If you’ve missed other recent posts about my recovery, check them out: Injury Running Recovery – Low and Slow Running Recovery – So Far So Good

Have you ever had cupping done before?

Ever cried at a physiotherapy appointment?

Anyone starting to train for a race? (5k, 10k, ½ or Full?)