I’ve Been Down & Out

It’s been a full week of nothing. Well, nothing but feeling absolutely miserable. I think I had every symptom in the book: nausea, head ache, sort throat, stomach problems, light headed, dizzy….did I mention nausea? I seriously wasn’t sure if I was ever going to get better. It started Nov 12th and I only started to feel better yesterday.

It’s been a long time since I’ve taken a break from running/working out for this long but my body had some other plans for me. I would start to feel better and then BAM…all the symptoms would hit me hard for hours on end. It sure isn’t fun being sick and trying to take care of two little girls on your own since my husband was away for 5 days.

Monday night I had planned to do some baking but all that happened was cooking up some home made chicken soup and laying on the couch next to the fire watching a show. I was getting annoyed with feeling ill so before bet I did a 1:25 minute plank since I stopped doing them last week.

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Yesterday, I decided to go to yoga class at lunch. As I ventured off to studio in town, I wasn’t sure how I would feel but I was determined to go and enjoy it. Luckily, most of my symptoms were gone yesterday but my stomach is still yucky today. Yoga class was GREAT! I even managed to hold the “birds of paradise” pose for the first time on both legs – this is progress!

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I was hoping to get back to the 21 day fix with my co-workers today but I’m not sure if my body is up for that…I did bring my running clothing to work as well. We’ll see what happens.

How’s your week going?

Anyone else sick right now? Sure hope you don’t get what I have.

 

 

Summer Fit Gear Exchange {Canada}

One thing I love about the blogging community is how motivating it can be. A group of fitness/runners/healthy living bloggers are excited to share the Summer Fit Gear Exchange {Canadians only} lead by Brittany at Running Mama Journey. Check out below how to participate!

Summer Fit Gear Exchange 

Are you interested in a summer fitness gear exchange?  

To help fellow fitness enthusiasts reach their goals?  

To make new online friends and motivate others?

Blogging friends, join us to help keep other fellow fit Canadians motivated and excited about fitness and feeling good about where we each are on our path to living a healthy lifestyle.

“Gear” can be anything from: clothing, water bottles, food, head bands, hair clips, rehydration tablets, speed laces, notebooks, DVD’s, yoga accessories. Basically, you should find out what the person is into or share some of your favourite go to’s! Really, the items are endless that you can get.

Interested in participating? Heres how it works:

  1. Fill out this form to participate.  You’ll need to fill it out by June 7.
  2. Look for an email from me by June 10th with your pairing. It will also be fun if we commit to following all the participants so as part of this initial email I will include participants usernames for the various social media platforms.
  3. Email your partner by June 15th. This is the person who you’ll send “gear” to.  Get to know them a little! Introduce yourself.
  4. Dont forget to send a little group love! Tweet, instagram, Facebook message not only your partner but @runningmamajourney and some of the others included in the email you received.
  5. Shop and have fun! You should spend $40 on the gear (this can include shipping costs roughly $10).
  6. Send your partner their gear, and include a motivational note. Ship package so that your partner receives their items by June 26th.
  7. If you’re a blogger, please write a Summer Fit Gear Exchange post to be live on July 6th. I’ll aim to have a link-up on my site just prior to this date.  Lets work together, and if you do not have a blog don’t worry! You are welcome to email mymamajourney@gmail.com to share your post (2-3 paragraphs and pictures showcased throughout the day on July 6th on http://runningmamajourney.com/ ).
  8. During the month, and when you promote your post on social media, please use #SummerFitGearExchange

Sign up and you will receive an email soon.

Hope you will join us, Piper 🙂

Have you ever done a fitness gear exchange? Or other exchange?

Upper Body Workout: Arms

Lately the only upper body workout I am doing is picking up my 30 lbs 2.5 year-old and carrying multiple grocery bags/backpacks at the same time! So really, I am lacking in my upper body workouts big time, whomp, whomp 😦

I’m not very good at monthly challenges even though I start out pretty solid so I’m hoping in June I’ll sick to it a little more. My plans are to do these along with my running plan and PT exercises for my hamstring and glutes.

Plank Challenge:

plank 30 Day challenge

I would love to be able to hold a plank for 3 minutes plus! So…bring it on June!

Arm workouts:

Tone arms in 7 days

Pretty basic – works for me!

And I’m sharing this last one because it made me laugh 🙂

arm workout

Do you do much upper body work outs?

What’s your favourite arm workout?

Do you plank? How often?

Don’t forget about my Cordskinz giveaway here!

Images/workouts found on Pinterest. I’m not a fitness training, personal trainer or Doctor. Please consult the professionals before starting any new workouts.

Gym Workouts & Hamming it Up.

I’ve been doing my best to stay positive even though I’m not allow running right now! Yup, I’ve gone from running 1k, 2k, 3k, 4k each week for a full week to running 5-8k and now I’m not allow to run!

Why – well I’m still having pain in my hamstring after I run, even on the treadmill. My physiotherapist said that my hamstring can’t take the blunt force of running at the moment therefore I need to focus on strengthening my muscles. Specifically, my hamstrings, glutes and lower abs.

I can bike, swim and power walk outside and that’s what I’m doing.

Fast legs on stationary bike

Fast legs on stationary bike

I managed two sessions at the gym over the last few days while visiting family/work meetings. For both workouts, I did the following:

  • 10 minutes elliptical
  • 30-32 minutes on the stationary bike
  • PT exercises (Bridge, Lunges, Hamstring Curls with a band and Bird/Dog ab exercise)

And to be honest – my glutes are killing by the end of my PT exercises, so … it’s working! So far, I’m okay about not running but that might change next week when I can’t get to the gym at all. Let’s hope my little power walks will do it until June 3rd when I see my physiotherapist again. Or, maybe…just maybe I’ll jump on my old bike and go for a bike ride – this might not be pretty!

Until then…I’m trying to enjoy the sunlight and hamming it up {getting my hamstring stronger}.

The winner of the Canadian Reebok Spartan Race giveaway is:

Winner: Victoria  (I’ll contact you asap)

Today I decided to go for a power walk at lunch and it took everything in me to not lean forward and propel myself into running mode!

Nice little 4k runch - I mean walk.

Nice little 4k runch – I mean walk.

After my first kilometre, I decided I wanted to see how fast I could walk a km and this is what happened:

1 km – 9:22

2 km – 9:09

3 km – 9:04

4 km – 8:50

Negative split, right?

Total: 4 km in 36:27 {9:05 pace}

I threw in a few hills along the route. Not bad for power walking!

How have your workouts been going?

How fast can you walk a kilometre / mile vs running?

Stationary Bike or Real Bike?

I Gave Up My Fitbit Flex for the Week

The battery is draining as I write this…well actually, I got an email notification that by Fitbit Flex has a “low battery”. Last week I read a blog post by Amy at Crazy Mama Runs. Her post “Why is my Fitbit on my Dresser” caught my eye. I read it and then read it again. I totally got what she was saying.

I got my Fitbit Flex Dec 27th and have worn it every day since; trying to reach my daily goal of 10,000 steps. Most days I hit that goal and some days I don’t. One of the main reasons I got it was to track my sleep since I thought I was getting very little sleep. Tracking my steps couldn’t hurt, right? Turns out, I sleep okay but have to little ones that wake me up a lot. So really, I’ve learned nothing new. I wrote a review for my Fitbit a few months ago.

There were days when I was so closed to my 10,000 steps that I would literally walk around the inside of my house just to get my goal! Crazy, eh!!!!

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After reading Amy’s post to essentially “take a break” from her Fitbit for a month, I thought…I’d like to do that too – or at least take a week off and go from there!

The sleep function doesn’t always work and really….with my day job {Regional Physical Activity Consultant with the Province}, I know how much activity I should get in a day or week. I know I should get up from my desk and sit less, I know that walking at lunch time even for 15-20 minutes is good moderate activity. AND, I know that on those days I work out/run, I get a heck of a lot of steps at a VIGOROUS intensity.

Steps are steps. I could walk around my house all day and not go outside once and still reach my 10,000 step goal. Remember, steps are steps. I have done this by chasing after my girls, going up and down the stairs, using my stand up work station, making meals etc. The key here is they are just steps. On days like these, really…what health benefits am I getting by hitting my 10,000 step goal if it’s just steps around the inside of my house. Not to mention, there have been NUMEROUS times I’ve “reached” my 10,000 steps by the following:

  • Changing a diaper
  • Bathing the girls
  • Washing dishes
  • Lifting my arm in the air

Don’t get me wrong, I know these tracking devices do different things and are motivating for lots of people. Heck, it’s motivating for me to…at times. However, some days I was getting so focused on my steps that it was starting to become silly. I loved the challenges mainly to keep me accountable. I never needed to “win” them but enjoyed reaching my daily goals.

So after all that….on Sunday I woke up with my Fitbit put away in a drawer and yes I’ve thought about it. On Sunday {Mother’s Day} I was walking up the stairs swinging my arms naturally and thought “yes, I’m getting my steps in” and quickly realized NOPE, I’m not. While we played outside with the girls on the bike that afternoon, I thought “this would have been a lot of steps!”. Again, they weren’t adding up because I didn’t have it on.

So far, I don’t miss it and actually enjoy having nothing on my wrists but a hair elastic {runners problems} when I sleep. I’m enjoying the freedom. I know I should get up from my desk and sit less, I know when I should move and that being active is a healthy part of my life. I don’t miss the trying to get my steps in or having to reload my app to get it to update…that’s more time off technology which I kinda like.

I might wear it on the upcoming weekend since Lilly is running her 2k run, I’ll be on my feet all day or I might just forget it at home! That’s where I’m at and you bet tonight after I do my treadmill run and PT exercises that I’ll probably think “those steps would have sent me over my daily goal”.

Again, this opinions are my own. I’m just an injured runner changing it up for the week and will see if my Fitbit Flex makes it back on my arm or not!

Do you disconnect from technology often?

Are you concerned with how many steps you get in a day?

Do you know the difference between moderate and vigorous activity? 

Walk a Mile in My Shoes

Oh man, I walked a few miles on Sunday with my dog Maclean. She’s been hanging out at my parents place for the last year as it’s been a struggle for me to properly take care of her with the girls/work/being a single parent for chunks of time. If you are new to the blog, my husband works in another Province and was away 2-4 weeks at a time.

The funny thing about Maclean is that she loves my parents house more than ours! Actually, I think little kids stress her out. She was a sled dog for the first 6 years of her life, so little kids weren’t really something she was used to. However, she loves when Lilly and Hilary give her treats which she got a lot of this past weekend 😉 She turns 13 next month.

Sunday afternoon I decided to take her out for a nice long walk. It was like Christmas for her. She was jumping on the snow banks, peeing everywhere, running, being playful with me and listening to all her commands (sitting to cross the street, turning left/right or gee/haw). She didn’t forget which way to turn but I forgot which was left (gee or haw?) and which was right as she turned into the middle of the road one, whoops!

Anyway, I didn’t think I was going to walk her so long…so I just put on my dress boots which are normally GREAT to walk in. Can you see where this story is going? We went for about a 1/2 hour walk and she was loving it. It was sunny yet cool out and the road (that day) was clear. (Sorry, no photo of my boots, apparently I only take photo’s of my running sneakers).

When I got back to the house I realized that I was probably going to have sore feet but what I didn’t realise is that I was going to have sore shins!

Oh man, I’ve been in pain ever since! I tried to foam roll it out…bad idea. After I got a shower last night I ended up massaging my shins which felt great but I’m still sore today. I used to run with her in the winter – which really is like sprinting just to keep up with her. You can read about that here from a few years ago. Give me a few days and I’ll be good to go.

Lesson learned: don’t walk any miles in those shoes again with Maclean.

What’s the worst pair of shoes to walk in?

Ever get shin pain from walking in non-walking shoes?

Physical Activity Break at Work

One of my many hamstring problems is sitting. The longer I sit the more my hamstring hurts. It no longer hurts when I run or when I stretch but I can’t sit for more than an hour.

That can be challenging when you sit at a desk all day, have a three-four (or longer) hour meetings or travel for work. I’m trying to utilize our stand up desk every so often or I sometimes turn my desk into a stand up desk, which helps. Ideally, I would love to have a permanent stand up desk that is fully functional (moves up and down as needed).

Since I don’t currently have that at work, I’m trying to adapt my work space. I put soft foam balls under my hamstring to elevate it, stand up, set up a make-shift stand up desk and sometimes do little work outs.

Besides going for a walk to the library and getting the office post today, I’m giving this one a go!

5 ways to burn calories while at your computer

I found this on Pinterest but it’s from Skinny Mom. It is more focused on burning calories at work but for me it’s a chance to get up from my desk, move a bit, stretch my lets and hopefully…HOPEFULLY, avoid any hamstring pain.

Do you have a stand up desk at work?

Ever do these types of workouts AT WORK?

How do you break up sitting all day at work?