Life’s Chores You’d Rather Avoid

Sometimes life isn’t always about running and kids around here. Though I mostly blog about running and occasionally my family, I sometimes have to do adult things. Yuck!

Our girls have been spending some time with their Grandparents which has allowed me some down time (ha ha, cleaning, PT, sitting in the sun, etc.). It’s also allow Saï and I to go out to dinner a few times …. but I didn’t take a single photo. We didn’t bother with our phones….it was lovely.

I’ve mowed the long on vacation…

mow lawn

 

…In my running clothing yes!

I was debating going for a bike ride or run after doing the lawn on Monday so I figured why change twice. I’m wearing the Under Armour HeatGear 7 inch shorts and I love them. I love the length, the feel, the touch and how comfortable they are. I’m also wearing the Nike Free Run sneakers and the UA “Run” tank – perfect for summer!

I got the lawn done during a cooler portion of the day by luck and then decided I was too tired to run or bike as the sun came back out and was ridiculously hot. I did some boring stuff like clean my side of the room, laundry and clean out our fridge – nothing photo worthy but it’s just stuff you’ve gotta get done!

What’s the chore you hate doing most?

Ever dress in your running clothing doing house hold chores and then run?

 

Week #4 of MRW Half Marathon Training

Another week in the books however, I feel like I am really slacking on my training. When I look back at what I accomplish in a week (IN THE HOT SUMMER), I’m totally okay with it. I’m still hesitant about that half distance but am moving forward with it as my long runs are really awesome right now.

I’m enjoying running more and more, something that I wasn’t feeling in May and June. Let’s hope that this keeps up and I can increase my mileage a little more (no missed runs) this coming week.

What was Planned vs What Really Happened:

Monday July 18th: Coaching | Nothing. Poor Lilly was so exhausted from the weekend and day camp we took a night at home to rest. I was needing an early night too – we all were!

Tuesday: Yoga | Rest Day + PT Appointment. I was planning to go to yoga up until the last minute. I changed my mine post PT appointment even though he said I could go. I have to avoid lunging so I just decided to take it as a rest day. My SI joint pain is causing my hip to collapse which is causing my knee to collapse. He taped it up and instantly the pain went away…magic!

taped knee.jpg

Wednesday: Coaching & Run | Coached & 3k Treadmill Run + PT exercises. This was our first successful soccer night in regards to Hilary not having a meltdown (or 5). Bedtime was super late and a struggle for Lilly, so I didn’t start my run until 9:30 PM. I only ran 3k, enough to warm up and then do my PT exercises. I really wanted to run 5k but just didn’t feel I had the time.

July 13 Treadmill run

Thursday: Speed Work | 7k Run. No speed work but just getting out for an evening run to test my SI Joint and knee. It was good. I ran into my running buddy and her family as they were getting ice cream (jealous!).

July 14

Friday: Rest | Rest Day. Nailed this one!

Saturday: 14k Long Run | Nothing. I slept in after staying up until midnight talking to my Mom. I also went out with a girl friend of mine that I get to see once a year…so  sleeping in was okay with me.

Sunday: Soccer | 16k Long Run. It was great. HOT but great. You can read more about it in details here (just in case you missed my post Sunday).

Best way to cool down post run…stand in cold sprinkler for 10 minutes. AH..may..ZING!

July 24th long run

Km this week: 26 km

Km in training plan: 62 km

Last Year’s training for MRW: Though I was injured last year during Maritime Race Weekend I still trained for it. I decided to look back at the training and see how it went. Last year’s training went pretty well….and I was in PT at the time – sounds familiar!

Half or drop to 10k? At the beginning of the week I was thinking of dropping to the 10k however after running 16k on Sunday…I’m leaning more towards running my 5th half marathon. I still don’t know why this is a problem/challenge for me. Maybe I’m just way to scared of all the hills Maritime Race Weekend has along the route. Maybe I’m just being a whimp!

Overall: I feel like it didn’t start off so well but the last part of the week I just felt better. More rest is what I need right now but I’m still able to pull off some good runs. I’m happy with it. If you missed week #3, you can catch up here.

How’s your training going?

Sprinkler post run – yes or no?

Do you skip a long run if you’ve been out the night before too late?

Polar A300 Activity Tracker

Sometimes I find it hard to remember I’m training for my 5th half marathon (in September) because I feel like I’m taking a laid back approach to my training. Sure I have a training plan that will get me to the start line but I also have “other” things I want to do in the summer. Swimming, cycling, playing soccer AND coaching soccer. It’s busy but it’s working.

To help keep track of all my activity, I’ve been using the Polar A300 Activity Tracker. It’s part of the SportChek Ambassador Program that I’m apart of. Now, if you’ve been around my blog for the last year or more, you’ll know I gave up an activity tracker last year as I just wasn’t loving it any more. I found it wasn’t accurate and would often give me “steps” when I was washing the dishes and even changing diapers (wow, that was long ago!). It was pretty basic and in the end I just didn’t want to feel like I wasn’t getting my steps in.

are-set-to-wed-on-2

Fast forward to the six weeks and I’ve hardly taken this one off my wrist. I usually wear a simple sport watch day-in and day-out …yes even to bed. Why? I can’t see with my glasses off and got into the routine of wearing my watch all the time especially when our girls were babies and I was nursing them around the clock. I just liked to know the time and it was easier to look at my watch then put my glasses on and find the bright clock across our room.

The Polar A300 is an activity tracker; so counts your steps, daily mileage, sitting, sleep and when paired with a heart rate monitor (HRM), can track your heart rate, do fitness test and provide other data along the way. I don’t have the HRM with this device so I’m limited to some of the cool tricks this activity tracker can do. Even though I can’t use the HRM functions, this watch continues to surprise me over and over.

Polar Activity Tracker Anna.jpg

Pro’s:

  • It feels like an every day watch.
  • The arm band is super flexible and you can change the colours if you want to (purchase required) and extremely soft.
  • Pretty easy to figure out how to use.
  • Provides multiple “activities” such as running, cycling, indoor exercise, other outdoor exercise. These can also be changed to the activities YOU do. I’ve added Yoga and soccer.
  • Easy to take out the device from the watch strap and sync on a computer.
  • It can get wet – bonus for the summer and busy lives.
  • It tracks your activity in six  different areas (Not worn, Resting, Sitting, Low Activity, Medium Activity and High Activity).
  • If sitting for too long (60 minutes) it will prompt you to get moving (noise, vibrating and a message).
  • It counts your daily steps, mileage in kilometres or miles, what % of activity you have accumulated and it also tells you what activities you can do to reach your goal. Example: 1 hour 10 minutes of walking or 4 hours and 38 minutes of yard work etc.
  • When you hit your daily goal, it tells you so by vibrating with a message on the screen.
  • When it’s your birthday, a cake appear. Seriously…that was fun. See above!

Polar Flow App (I use)

Polar tracking App.jpg

Con’s

  • It can get fuzzy from your clothing (see picture above bottom right).
  • You need the HRM to use all the functions of the watch.
  • I had some challenges syncing it to the Polar Flow app on my phone but manged to get that sorted with Polar’s IT support.
  • I wish it had a GPS tracker in it (which the M400, A360 and V800 to have).  I like seeing my distance and pace when I run or cycle.

Product Details:

  • Weight 48 g
  • Thickness 12,7 mm
  • Water resistant (30 m)
  • Updatable software
  • Memory capacity up to 60 days (with daily activity tracking and 1 hour of daily training)
  • Rechargeable battery
  • Battery life up to 4 weeks
  • Easy sync via Polar Flow app with Bluetooth Smart
  • Data transfer to PC and Mac with a custom USB cable

I really like the Polar A300 and as I mentioned, I haven’t taken it off (maybe once or twice) since I got it. Two thumbs up for this activity tracker!!  The biggest difference for me between this activity tracker and one I’ve used in the past is that I’m less focus on getting in my daily steps and more excited to track my multiple activities. I would recommend this one of the activity tracker I used last year (and no longer use).

Do you use an activity tracker?

Birthday wishes on your watch, yah or neh?

All opinions in this blog post are my own thoughts and experiences. These products have been provided as part of the summer SportChek Ambassador program.  Thank you SportChek!

Seven Eighteen AM

That’s what time my alarm when off this morning. Hummm….

I was supposed to get up at 5:45 AM but apparently I set my alarm wrong 😦 The plan was to be up and out of the house around 6:15 AM to start my long run of fourteen kilometres. The girls are away at their Grandparents house and my husband had left for work at 5:15 for work.

My first reaction was SHIT, I was supposed to do my long run I missed the day before (due to lack of sleep and pain in my hip (SI Joint). Meh….I’ve got nothing else going on so I decided I’d get ready and head out for my run.

Though I was slow getting ready, I got out the door at 8:06….but ran back in as I forgot to put body glide on my legs. Never trust a pair or short-shorts in the summer heat when you’ve got thunder thighs.

I restarted my Green Garmin for the second time and off I went with the plan of running 14k. I’d run out 8k and then run back a slightly different direction to get home for 14k. My pace was great (for me) around 6:22 for the first few kilometres and then slowed down a bit.

Super sweaty run.

July 24th run.jpg

The sun was out and it was H-O-T!!!! Unsure of the temperature, I did my best to stay hydrated with the two bottles (one water, one Nuun) and enjoy the few shady breaks I got from some trees here and there.

Maritime Race Weekend half marathon is super hilly (in my mind) so I  decided to run an extra hill on the way out…nailed it! I kept going towards a double hill…you know, once you get to the top of the first one you have to keep going as there is another incline you couldn’t see at the bottom of the first hill. Fun times!

At the half way point and I took advantage of more shade and ran into a subdivision for 1 minute and back out again. Chews and gu’s were consumed. The heat was building even more and I decided to do that hill again on the way back. Nailed it too 🙂

After that I took more walking breaks as the heat was just getting to me however, my legs just felt great and my pace was still consistent (minus the walk breaks). At some point I decided to keep running past the short way home and run 16k. I did a little more walking during those last two kilometres but I was fine with that.

I even scouted out a sprinkler to run in however, I decided it was too far onto the person’s property for me to run though…too bad. I made it home and finished in 1:46 with a 6:36/km pace. That felt good.

Splits July 24th running

I quickly went to our back yard and turned on the sprinkler (remember, the girls aren’t around). I didn’t care I was on my own and I just stood in the sprinkler for a good 10 minutes cooling down. After that I sat and stretched which turned into a yoga session on the deck in the sun.

Oh how I love long runs again!

How far is too far to run through a sprinkler on someone else’s lawn?

Anyone run today? Hot run, cool run?

When’s the last time your alarm didn’t go off and your run started much later then expected?

Mother Runner Life’s Adventures & Challenges

Motherhood is no joke! Before I had kids I new parenting was going to be hard but you don’t actually realize how hard it actually is going to be until you have a child(ren).

I love my kids dearly and love watching them grow, learn and succeed. With our youngest she is learning the alphabet (she’s 3.5 yrs) and doing really great with that. Our oldest just finished her first year of school where she learned to read books, write stories and loved her science, math, music and gym classes.

Being a mom who works full time outside of the home takes me away from all the little things I was able to do on maternity leave (1 year in length with each girl). Laundry happens at night, dishes sometimes sit for a day and bigger cleaning happens a little less because… it’s just life. My husband is a Paramedic who works shift work so he sometimes has to sleep during the day.

This past weekend was a prime example of being what I thought was a good parent and then feeling like a terrible parent the next day. The plan was to take the girls to the Zoo then my boss’s house for a swim while my husband slept Saturday. I figured, no problem.

But first, I had to run 12k!

July 16th long run

I got up early and headed out the door around 6:40ish and had a great run. I returned home to the girls getting dressed and just hanging out with Saï. I stretched, showered and started getting ready for the day. I made a picnic lunch, packed the girls up and off we went by 10 AM (my husband was asleep already).

It was extremely hot outside but that didn’t really bother us. The Zoo was fun. Hilary got on the horse for the first time which was really awesome. It’s one of Lilly’s favourite things to do at the Zoo is ride on the horse.  We had snack, some water and even bought some french fries (yeah, at the Zoo) to go with our lunch.

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I was feeling good at this point. My legs felt good and energy was great. After lunch we drove over to my boss’s house and swam for an hour or so. It cooled us off in the heat of the day. We got home to spend a little time with Saï before he went to work. I made dinner and got the girls to bed, had a beer or two, then crashed around 9:30. It was a long day but a good day.

Summer beer……

IMG_20160716_175123[1]

Sunday’s plan was to go to the beach with some friends; swim and have a picnic. Great plan but it was a rough day with the girls. They wouldn’t listen, they wouldn’t clean up their mess. They were just giving me a hard time all while I was trying to keep them quiet so Saï could sleep after his second night shift.

We got to the beach late but had a good time. Hilary even went in the water all by herself – this is a big step for her!. Then it was time to head back home. By mid afternoon I crashed and took a much needed nap for an hour. The rest of the night wasn’t great – minor things going wrong that just added to the day’s negativity. I even threw in a soccer game later Sunday night.

Being a mom and runner can be easy peasy sometimes however, sometime it’s a struggle and sometimes it’s just plain old exhausting and HARD. The big thing is to keep going no matter your pace (which I’m not happy with lately) and get in whatever distance you can (I ran 3k last night just to run at 9:30 PM – crazy).

Life happens. Runs need to happen in order to be ready for race day. Sometimes you just have to know when you are doing too much between running and entertaining your kids.

Mother runners: what’s your biggest challenge getting in your runs?

How do you entertain your kids in between training runs and life?

What’s your favourite summer beer?

 

Week 3 Maritime Race Weekend Half Marathon Training

I’m finally feeling like I’m getting back on the running wagon again! This past weekend I actually enjoyed my whole long run…something that I haven’t done in a few months.

What was Planned vs What Really Happened:

Monday July 11th: Coaching & Rest Day | Coaching & Rest Day. Pretty much nailed this. I coached my oldest daughter’s team (Under 6 year olds).

Tuesday: Yoga | Yoga Class…felt so good. And I went to Physiotherapy earlier in the day for my SI Joint. I’m seeing some progress but it’s going to take a while. You can read about yoga here.

Wednesday: Coaching & Run | Coaching & Rest Day. On Wednesday’s I coached both my daughter’s teams (under 4 parent/tot and then Under 6’s). After coaching and getting the girls to bed, I just couldn’t bring myself to do anything.

Thursday: Hills | 7k. Since it was such a hot day, I decided to jump in the sprinkler with the girls before making dinner. Best choice of the day!

I went for an evening run after the girls went to bed. It was a super HOT and humid day therefore the run wasn’t awesome but I did it. I’m also adding in my PT exercises here and there.

July 14 sprinkler

Friday: Rest | Rest. Nailed it 🙂

Saturday: 12k Long Run | 12k Long Run. It was expected to be another super hot day so I planned to get out running early and managed to start around 6:40. I think next time I need to go earlier.

This was the first run that I’ve done and actually enjoyed it. My pace was steady between 6:22 and 6:26/km until I got a side stitch around 5k, then after that eased up I threw in a good hill for the fun of it. Maritime Race weekend is known for it’s big hills, so I best be training on them.

On the way back home I decided to take a few walk breaks and the heat was really starting to increase. I needed the walking breaks as it was just getting too hot. Though the temperature only read 18c (felt like 23c)…I could have sworn it was feeling like 28c. I was literally dripping in sweat (but happy) when I got back…there wasn’t a dry spot on me.

Happy Runner!

July 16th long run.jpg

Random running moment: As I entered back into my subdivision I came across this lady. She was walking out of her driveway with a lawn mower (it was off). She stop when she saw me and didn’t move, so I wasn’t sure if I should run behind her or in front of her and the lawn mower. As I approached her she looked at me and said “you’ve been running for a long time, I saw you up further on the highway”. I just responded with “yes, it’s a long run day” and kept going. I think she though I was crazy for running that far in the morning heat.

Sunday: Soccer Game | Soccer Game. It wasn’t the best day as a parent. The girls weren’t listening, were rude and fighting with each other. Everything seemed to go wrong (I dropped my dinner, my large glass of water was spilt everywhere, I went to the wrong soccer field). Just. Not. My.Day. I even had to take a nap mid afternoon as I was just exhausted from everything. I eventually made it to soccer and played. It was great but we lost.

If you are wondering where week #1 and week #2 updates are….I didn’t write about them only because I didn’t have a training plan figured out. However, all the workouts I did are updated in my training plan.

KM this week: 19k

KM this training cycle: 36k

Overall: I’m easing into this training and so happy I finally enjoyed my long run.

Do you think non-runners think we are crazy running at 7am?

Anyone run or race this weekend?

Would you jump in a sprinkler with your kids?

 

Yoga Aches and Pains

Yoga has been one activity that I started doing more regularly last year. There is a local studio near my work that offers a variety of classes but I’ve mainly been going to their lunch time class on Tuesdays when my schedule permits.

I missed a few weeks due to work meetings which I’m okay with but I always notice how much of an impact yoga really has on my body when I miss too many classes in a row.

Earlier this week, I went to yoga after missing two weeks and I really enjoyed it. It relaxed my body, challenged my muscles and eased my mind. However, when I woke up Wednesday morning I couldn’t understand why up upper arms hurt. It took me a half hour of being awake to remember that I went to yoga the day before

My arms even ached on my run Thursday night which reminded me that running isn’t just your legs working. Really, I should be doing more yoga at home and not just the 20-30 minutes I do post long run (and 5-10 minutes on short runs).

I wore the Under Armour HeatGear Capri’s for the first time and loved them. They didn’t move around or fold over in the waste like another pair of capris I have. I felt great in them – you know that feeling when something just fits your body and it makes you feel good? Well, these capris did it for me.

yoga July 12th

They have a signature moisture transport system that wicks away the sweat to keep you dry. If only that worked on the rest of my body (lower legs/ankles and arms). Yoga class in a small space in the summer time can get really warm fast. Thank goodness they had some fans going towards the end of the class.

The other thing I liked about the capri’s is that I could wear them under my dress and it just worked as an outfit. Double bonus!

Now, I have to be completely honest with you, I didn’t want to share the photo of me doing the tree pose. Why? Well, all I could see were flaws. My leg is too forward, my hair is a disaster (post class), my glasses have a reflection, I can see the chub on the side of my shirt. I got the instructor to take the photo for me quickly after class and have sat on it all week. Do I post it or not. So…I just decided to post it and whatever…that’s me, not my favourite shot but honestly, feeling comfortable in my own yoga abilities and the clothing that I’m wearing.

Happy Friday! Any weekend plans?

When’s the last time you hurt a day after a workout and took a while to associate it with your workout?

Do you wear capri’s in the summer to yoga class?

Ever double up your workout clothing for every day clothing?

All opinions in this blog post are my own thoughts and experiences. These products have been provided as part of the summer SportChek Ambassador program.  Thank you SportChek!