261 Fearless: Inspirational Women

With March being Women’s History Month, I was asked to write a post about an inspiring female in my life (as part of the 261 Fearless Ambassadorship). I sometimes find this one hard as I feel like I have many inspiring females in my life not just one. Can I narrow it down?

So I thought about it a little more. Who really inspires me and why? Who motivates me? Who do I look to when struggling or facing a challenge? Who is that person? Or Who are those women?

Who is an inspirational female in my life?

Growing Up.

As a child, I grew up playing soccer. Soccer in the back yard, summer team, indoor soccer, competitive soccer and recreational soccer when competitive soccer wasn’t available. Mia Hamm was inspiring to me as I saw her as a strong, talented and successful female when I was this little kid. I LOVED soccer growing up. If I wasn’t at the soccer field, there was a good chance I was playing soccer at home or training (fartleks, speed work and long runs).

She was a role model for me. To be completely honest back then I didn’t even know any Canadian female soccer players, so she stood out for me.

mia hamm

Canadian Athletes.

As years have gone on, I’ve come to seek out Canadian athletes mainly through the Olympics as I want to know who they are. I want to know who our future leaders are going to be. I want to be able to list off female athletes as easily as I can male athletes. Over the years Clara Hughes (Cycling & Speed Skating), Heather Moyse (Bobsledder) and of course Christine Sinclair (Soccer) have been inspiring. All Olympic athletes, all with a story to tell and all with determination and dedication to their respective sports.

They are inspiring because of their success in sport but also in their success off the field/ice etc. They have become motivational speakers, mental health promoters and visible in the communities/country making an impact on the younger generations of females in sport.

Work Related

Over the last few years, I’ve had the luxury of working with success women in the sport, recreation and physical activity fields. I’ve learned from their leadership roles, their confidence and their passion. It’s made me think about how I want to be seen in a leadership role, how I want to be more confident and live my passion through my work. PS – I love what I do.

I’ve also been really lucky to work alongside many of my University classmates and friends who are doing amazing things within their work/positions. As they succeed, they inspire me. For those locally who read my blog, I’m talking about Dawn S, Kerry C, Gabby G, Rachel B., you gals inspire me.

Currently.

Who inspires me currently: Friends & Other Moms. My mom, my friends who are mom’s, bloggers I’ve gotten to “know” online. Seeing them balance work, single parenting, children, passions, training for races, challenges and obstacles is pretty inspiring. It’s also inspiring to know I’m not alone in this parenting world and other Mom’s have suggestions to share.

Running bloggers who share amazing tips, things to try, food recipes to eat and support when you are down and injured. A few inspiring female running bloggers: Suz, Kyla, Heather, Helly, and Michelle.

Local female runners also inspire me. When they share their run social media or in a twitter chat, it’s inspiring, it’s motivating and exciting to see how they are succeeding. It’s also inspiring when someone asks to run with you because they know you like to run.

My runny buddy (mother runner), Krystol.

pirates

So, no I can’t say that I have one female that is inspiring to me. I simply cannot narrow my list down. I’m lucky to have so many inspiring females cross my path and motivate me along the way.

Who inspires you? (Male or Female)

Why do they inspire you?

Do you have a female blogger that inspires you? Share their blog below 🙂

 

 

 

Goodbye January…

…and just like that January 2016 is over! I don’t know about you but most months seem to fly by but January just seemed to hang on.

Though January started off rough with a nasty head cold, I eventually got off my butt and got moving again. It took a while but I finally made my 2016 goals; took a blogging course, skied, did yoga, ran and more.

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Yoga

Oh yoga, I love you. Honestly, yoga makes me feel so much better physically and mentally too. I’ve been going once a week unless my work schedule doesn’t allow for it. I’ve challenged myself this year and learned forearm stands and eight angle pose. Limitless is my word for 2016.

Running

I sure got a slow start to running this year and it really was a struggle. I decided after participating in a #beatyourownbest contest with Nuun that I needed to focus on building my base for half marathon training.

Apparently, I run better when I am training for something, who knew. So with this,I am focused on running three times a week, going to yoga once a week, strength training through DVD workouts and PT exercises. I’m building my base to beat my own best this year.

Total Mileage: 66 km (2016); 28 km (2015 injured) and 48 km (2014).

Fresh Air

I’ve also been trying to get some fresh air during my lunch break. I love being outside in the winter with the sun beating down and the cooler air. I can’t always go for a run or snow shoe during my lunch break but I can always take 15-20 minutes to get out for a walk. I started doing more of that last week and loving the fresh air.

Rosy cheeks after a lunch time walk

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One thing I haven’t done is is hit up GoodLife Fitness. I have a membership but the closest GoodLife Gym is about 45 minutes away and I haven’t been to my parents place where they are surrounded by them. I plan to go in February because I do enjoy a good gym session, especially in the winter!

February doesn’t look much different than January. Though I’m hoping to get a little more skiing (downhill and cross country), snowshoeing and skating in.

Have you kept going forward with your 2016 goals or resolutions?

If you chose a “word” how’s that going?

How was your January? 

Any plans for February?

 

 

Five Signs You Need To Go Run

One: You are CRANKY!

Two: You’ve been sitting to much at your desk and realise how much your hips / hip flexors hurt.

Three: On your drive home from work you see multiple people running. They are all bundled up because it’s freezing outside, they are even wearing bright coloured clothing and reflective lights. Your first though is “good for them” and smile as you drive by.

This thought turn into “I wish that was me”. Which then turns into “I’m jealous they are running”, followed by “planning out when you can run next”. Feeling satisfied, the next runner you see…“Good for them”.

Four: You have zero energy or patience when your three year old has the biggest meltdown when you pick her up from day care. Since you have no energy or patience you let her have her tantrum and sit and wait. Seriously, you do nothing!

Tantrum over and you think…that’s kinda how I feel about running right now!

Five: After arriving at home you are asked “What’s wrong?” Your first thought is “good question” but you respond with “I don’t know!” with your hands in the air as if you are questioning yourself. After a good conversation with your husband you finally say….“I think I’m cranky AND I NEED TO RUN”. He agrees.

So, after you and your husband get your kids to bed, you jump on the treadmill and knock out 6 km. The best 6k you’ve run in oh….over a week because you’ve had a nasty head cold. The kinda of run that leaves your clothing soaked in sweat and a BIG smile on your face. You pour yourself a cold glass of water, pop your favourite Nuun table in the tall glass and a few ice cubs, then sit by the fire to stretch.

The “crankies” are gone, thankfully.

jan 6th run

True story!

 

Forty Two Point Two Done

Honestly, running a marathon over the holidays was a last-minute decision. I saw the posting on the Facebook group and thought “that would be fun”. I seriously thought it would be fun but most of the runs were a struggle.

Day 1: 10 km ~ 1:04 Christmas Eve

This was a terrible run outside and it was an easy out and back on fairly flat grounds. I was dressed way to warm, had a long coat on as it was raining. Took it off around 8k and felt so much better. Though it was a struggle for most of the run, I did feel great afterwards.

Day 2: 6 km ~ 37:02 Christmas Day

Another terrible run outside but got it done. It was super warm outside and I could have run in shorts and a t-shirt but I didn’t want to blind anyone with my legs 😉

TTP Christmas Marathon

Day 3: 5.2 km ~ 30:59 Saturday 26th (Boxing Day)

This was an awesome run that almost didn’t happen. My family drove to Halifax and Saï and I planned on running together but were exhausted after getting up at 4 AM. You see, Hilary fell out of her big girl bed for the first time which had us up so early and the three of us couldn’t get back to bed.

We drove back home that night as our first winter storm was coming Sunday morning and I wanted to be off the road. On the way back Saï decided not to run as he was starting to feel horrible (man cold coming on) and I decided to not run. As we got closer to home I changed my mind again and decided to run.

The girls were already in their pj’s (smart idea for night trips) and once we got them to bed I went running. IT FELT SO GREAT! I was running fast and my legs/feet felt like good. Mission accomplished.

Day 4: 10 km ~ 1:10 Sunday 27th

This was a treadmill run and I was planning for 7 km which turned into 10 km. I started to watch Scandal again and got lost in it and decided to keep running. I was dripping in sweat and my clothing was soaked. Honestly, if it wasn’t after 9 PM I probably would have kept running. Even though the man cold took over Saï, he ran earlier that day.

Day 5: 6km 41:10 Monday 28th

This was another hard run. Maybe because I ran 10k the day before, maybe not. Maybe because it was my first “snow run” of the winter. I was just happy to have it done.

Day 6: 5 km ~ 34 minutes Tuesday 29th

I was planning on getting dropped off about 5 km from the house and running home but started to not feel well and figured I’d run the 5 on my treadmill. However, when I got home I changed my mind again and ran in the snow.

The streets and sidewalks were covered in snow but my Yax Traxs helped for the most part and I took it real slow. This run was just about finishing 5 km and finishing the last little bit of the forty-two point two.

Total: 42.2 km = roughly 4 hours 37 minutes and 11 seconds of running.

Day 7 – I can rest…oh and shovel snow most of the day since we got 25 cm of snow last night! So glad I participated in this challenge and had my husband do it as well. Hoping to do this again next year!

Have you wrapped up all your Christmas things?

Any New Year’s Eve Plans? 

Major goals for 2016?

Christmas & a Marathon

It’s hard to believe Christmas is over and done with, especially when seeing lots of “2015 recaps” and 2016 goals popping up in emails and news feeds. I’m not ready to even think about 2016 goals.

We had a great Christmas here. My husband has been home for closed to 12 days, Santa arrived, lots of food was eaten and we even logged a number of kilometers. Yes we, my husband got out for a few good runs too!

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We had our first snow storm on Sunday night and getting another storm Tuesday night. Welcome to winter!

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Marathon

No, I don’t have any plans for a 2016 marathon…at least not yet. I’m not sure if a marathon is in my near future but I was happy to jump on board this Marathon adventure.

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What Marathon? Well, over the Christmas break a running group {Timberlea Tundra Pounders) I belong to, put out a challenge to run the distance of a Marathon over seven days (Dec 24th -30th) as a way to keep you active over the holidays and over indulging in food.

#ttpchristmasmarathon:

  • Day 1: 10 km (1:04:xx) Terrible run outside.
  • Day 2: 6 km (37:02) Terrible run outside.
  • Day 3:  5.2 km (30:59) Fantastic evening run that almost didn’t happen (picture above).
  • Day 4:  10 km (1:10:xx) Great treadmill run that was only going to be 7km turned into 10km.
  • Day 5: Today – hoping to get out this afternoon.

It’s been fun to see how everyone is doing with their marathon distance when juggling Christmas, work, family time and yes the snow too! So that’s my update for now. If you celebrated Christmas, sure hope it was great!

Anyone else running a lot right now?

Ever run a Christmas Marathon?

Anyone thinking about 2016?

 

You Know Your A Runner When…

Ever have one of those moments when you realise running is taking over?

You know you are a runner when you pack your bags for the weekend and forget to pack a change of clothing. As in t-shirt and pants for the day. Don’t worry, you’ve remembered to pack your winter running gear, two outfits for the gym in case you decide to stay inside. As you are running you make good decisions like the running sneakers you are wearing are going to remain “outdoor” runners since you now have salt caked on them from the roads.

Yup, I packed all my running gear as we left for the city yesterday morning after Lilly’s swim lessons. However, I forgot to pack clothing for today. The girls spent the afternoon with their Auntie Laura and I shopped! I shopped for more hours then I care to admit but feel like I’m ready for birthday celebrations later this week.

sisters

Birthday celebrations? We have two special birthdays this week; a 3rd and 40th to celebrate. So I had to find presents for these two special people.

This morning I managed to sneak out for a run while the girls spent some time with Grammy and Grandad. After I returned, I saw these branches on the ground and thought it was a sign. A for Anna (my real name) or “A” for Adventure which we will be attending a book launch called “A for Adventure” later today.

pipers run a for adventure

Though I sit here in my clothing from yesterday, I feel good knowing I at least packed extra clean underwear and got my morning run in. Who cares that I forgot to pack my every day clothing, right???

How’s your weekend ?

Ever pack your running gear and forget your real clothing?

Anyone celebrating December birthdays?

What I Love about the Running Community

Ever find yourself in a community and realize it’s the right one for you? Well, I often find that happens in the running community, whether that is with your local running club, small group of mother runners, online chat groups or social media networks. The running community is no different then the cross fit community or triathlon community – we’re all nuts in our own ways 😉

Kidding aside, when you find a community that speaks to you, you embrace it and develop a sense of pride for those people around you (online and off). This year I feel like my running community has doubled or tripped between local clubs or online chat groups. I feel lucky to be involved in all these running communities and that has change the way I run.

Running What I loved About

I started a “Running: What I Love About” series. If you missed the first two, you can catch up here:

What I Love About The Running Community.

Running Clubs

To me, running clubs are the hub of a running community. Be it a group of 2-5 mother runners that meet every week while their children are with someone else or groups of 25-50 who meet at the local coffee shop after completing various distances, running clubs are their own community.

Meeting up for weekly runs become a tradition for lots of runners however it can also be the start of not only early morning runs but life-long friendships. You train together and go to races together. You meet up for a lunch time run since you work in the same area. You may even plan your weekend around your weekly run with your running club. They are important to you, running is important to you and the two just go hand and hand.

Running clubs are socials for the active-minded people who may or may not share a post-run adult beverage or brunch together. Members in the club can make you do things you didn’t think you’d want to do; like run a longer distance, sign up for a new race or dress up in a costume and run in it!IMG_20150725_083958

 

Met up with an old friend and new friend from TTP Running Club this summer.

I belong to a few running clubs though I rarely get out to run with them because of our family schedule. However, when I can get out to the runs, I’m welcomed like I’ve been there from the beginning only I get to introduce myself again to those I haven’t met at past events. Running clubs are welcoming and I love how they include everyone – at least that’s my experience.

I truly believe that running clubs can change your life. Whether it’s getting more active, losing some weight, making new friends or increasing your weekly mileage.

Social Media Groups

There are so many social media platforms out there now and to be honest, I find it hard to keep up. I’ve slowly increase which ones I use and I’ve decided not to add any more because I simply cannot keep up with it all.

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At Bluenose Marathon speaking as part of a panel with these fine fella’s!

Some of the best running tips I’ve learned through social media; through this blog and others, RunATCan twitter chats, mother runner groups and Canadian Runner’s groups on Facebook. I’ve learned about training plans, fueling, tapering, cross training and about races around the world that have peaked my interest. I’ve met new friends and yes, they are friends. When you continually have conversations with them you build a relationship and end up asking how their race went.

Running Atlantic Canada {@RunATCan} is mainly those runners in Atlantic Canada who chat once a week on Sundays for an hour. There is usually a topic with 6 questions. This is where I learn about other races and what local runners are doing, where they are racing and even about products they love. It’s not exclusive to Atlantic Canadians so feel free to check them out on Twitter.

Bluenose Weekend 2015 Running Room Runatcan

Bluenose Marathon with John Stanton & RunATCan peeps. 

Thanks Paul for the photo – see runners are helpful when you lose your own photo, they share theirs with you 🙂

The other great part of this group is going to a local run and meeting up with them, waiting for them at the finish line or having them wait for you. You are apart of an online running community that moves into your “in-person” life at events or for meeting up for training runs.

Networking

One thing I love about running is the networking; whether that is for work or pleasure – you network when you run. You meet new people, you learn about a great place to have lunch or you discuss a project at work. In some cases in the running community you see race directors coming together, sharing ideas, promoting other events and even running of volunteering at other events.

pace bunnies

Networking is about building up your community and the runners community always seems to be successful with this. It’s about building up your opportunities to train, to volunteer, to meet people, to challenge yourself and to learn from others.

Supportive

When you suddenly see yourself on the injured list, you start to question “why me”. What did you do, why did it happen to you, why now? Sometimes you’ll get an answer to your questions but there is a good change you might not. Your running buddy loses their partner, your office chat about your weekend runs are no longer, your blog updates about your increasing miles decrease in enthusiasm.

pirates

However, when you do becoming injured you suddenly become supported by more people the you think you know. Your encourage and offered tips on what to do, who to see, that your not alone. You feel that community around you.

When I had the opportunity to pace the 10k at Valley Harvest Marathon, I didn’t really think of how I could impact someone else’s run. Yes, I knew that people would want to finish before me, with me or close behind me. I was excited when I got an email from Sandye saying that she’d be keeping an eye out for me. What was even better was meeting her just before the 5k mark, chatting along the route and then seeing her finish well before me.

sandye and I post race

Though it was hard to hold back at the end of the 10k so I’d finish on time {1:09:59), I felt like I did the job I was supposed to do and supported the runners (community) to finish on time.

For me, the best thing about the running community is how supportive they are of one another. That could be the runners themselves or race directors. It could be waiting for your new friend to finish their race and celebrating with them. It could be learning about a new sports bra that won’t disappoint.

If you aren’t part of a running community, it’s time to get immersed.

Do you belong to a running club? How often do you go?

What’s your favourite online running community?

What do you get out of your running community?