Chilly Temps & Lots of Excitement!

December sure is winding down here! With all the shopping, decorating and trying to stay active, we’ve come down with yet another head cold. I sure hope 2017 brings our family good health 🙂

Late last week we had some bitterly cold temps. I’m talking -15c with a windchill of -31c (5F to -24F). I’m pretty sure all of Nova Scotia stayed inside Friday. The drive to work was insane and they had to close down the highways because of blowing snow.

The cold temps rolled into Saturday when I had a soccer game. However, we all got to play a little soccer. Saï and the girls watched my game (when I scored a goal!) and then there was open play for families. Of course, the girls played a little one on one soccer, we ran around, played with ribbons and a parachute!

img_20161217_1236021

By Sunday the temps were up to +12c and RAIN – kinda nuts,eh! It was my only day to finish Christmas shopping and I got soaked.

Treadmill Running

I ran last night and did a little reflecting on all the races I did this year. All those medals were earned but all came with lessons learned as well.

IMG_20161219_213943[1].jpg

CHRISTMAS!

Our girls are beyond excited for Christmas and I think the fact that we FINALLY decorated our tree last night made it even more exiting. We only got our three Saturday afternoon and it was snow covered and frozen! It took a little time to thaw and made for quite the mess.

We tired to get a family picture last night and this was the best we could get. PJ’s, Santa hats and bright eyes!

Picture_20161220_105523835[1].jpg

I planning to run the #BLTRxmas42 between December 24th & 30th. You are to run the distance of a marathon over the Christmas holidays. I ran it last year and it was a fun challenge to keep running when all you want to do is eat bad food and relax. Anyone can join in… use the hashtag #BLTRxmas42

What’s the one last thing you need to do before Christmas?

Are you having warm weather or extremely cold weather?

What’s one thing you want to see under the Christmas tree?

Double Workout  Day

It’s not it too often I pull off a double workout day, especially if I didn’t plan it or do it during training for a race. However, I managed to do so yesterday.

At lunch time, I quickly ran over to the yoga studio thinking I’d was late as a meeting I had went a little longer than expected. I was right on time, phew! There were only three of us in the class which was fun.

As I went through the warm up, I started to forget everything from the morning and I quickly settled into the class. I was feeling stiff from sitting most of Monday in a meeting and traveling to and from the city.  If felt good to stretch so I’d hold the pose just a little longer than normal.

Towards the end of the class I noticed my left big toe looked dirty…kinda odd I thought. So I looked at my right toe and wondered why it was so clean looking. Did I wear dirty flip flops recently and my toe strap was dirty? Nope, I’m all about warm socks these days (and clean feet). So, I poked it and it hurt. It was a bruise. A bruise from last week’s soccer game when someone stepped on my foot by accident. Apparently, I forgot all about it but it didn’t bother me until I saw it.

I got through the rest of my yoga class and an afternoon at work. Then I picked up the girls, got home and made dinner. I wanted to run, but I had already worked out. Should I run or just relax? And by relax I mean do house chores.  After doing dishes, getting the girls to bed and starting some laundry, I jumped on my treadmill at 8:10 PM.

I was motivated to decorate my treadmill with some Christmas lights from @mittenrunner on Instagram. My girls are going to laugh at the lights tomorrow and I’m sure my husband is just going to shake his head at me. Either way it was a fun way to run.

I managed to get in a 5k but happy to have accomplished that distance. I’m slow getting in some running this month mainly due to the busy weekend and being lazy Monday night. However, I managed an unplanned double workout day. I am taking that as a win!

Do you do double workout days often?  

Ever forget about a minor injury like a painful?

Decorate your treadmill or not? 

My Favourite Running Gifts for the Holidays

Now that the birthday weekend is done (two birthdays and LOTS of cake for our family), I can finally get focused on the holidays. I’ve done a little shopping here an there for our girls but have yet to buy anything for my husband for Christmas…though it was just his birthday yesterday.

A Few of My Favourite Running Things!

Over the last year I’ve tried a few more “things” that have become regular items for me when I run, play soccer, go to yoga or barre and workout at home. I’ll share them with you!  I have not been asked to promote these items by the companies, these are strictly my own opinion.

5 Running Must Haves This Holiday Season

Qalo Rings

At the beginning of the year I came across Qalo Rings online. They are a silicone ring. I was first drawn to their Blue Line which represents Paramedics/First Responders and thought it would be something that my husband would like. Funny enough, it was exactly what he wanted as his wedding ring would get caught on things at work. We each ordered a ring (dark blue below) and realised the sizes were too big. We contacted their customer service and it was extremely easy to exchange them for a smaller size.

My husband then order a second turquoise ring for me that I originally wanted but it was sold out when we went to make our purchase online. You can also have a special note engraved on the inside, which he did. And the best part about the turquoise ring, it glows in the dark! Our girls think it’s really funny. He also got a second one too that glows in the dark.

Qalo Ring

Why I like these rings: First off, they are super comfortable and easy to put on. I wear it when I run or workout at home with weights as my hands sometimes swell up. It moves with your finger and whatever you are holding or grabbing and doesn’t get caught on anything. They come with a little pouch that I use when I’m travelling. I’m confident my husband and I will have these rings for a long time.

I even wear it when I’m a wannabe-cyclist 😉

Anna S Polar Biking

Nuun

Nuun are little tablets you add to water to make them an electrolyte enhanced drink. There are various flavours and as you can see below; I have a nice stash. My husband introduced me to Nuun a few years ago. They are gluten free, vegan, dairy (yeah) and soy free, safe for clean sport and made from plant based ingredients.

20161130_1530361

Why I like Nuun: When I first tried this product years ago, I actually didn’t like it.. WHAT?!?! Crazy, eh! It was about two years ago that I received a sample when I ordered a “bad ass mother running shirt” and I was pleasantly surprised. So I bought a tube and then bought a few more different flavours after a while. I am currently an ambassador for Nuun and no they didn’t ask me to write about their products. I like how convenient it is to travel with these tubes and the tablets don’t break. Plus, we then reuse the empty tubs for snacks for our girls or hair elastics in my bag.

fb_img_14668864443541

I genuinely like this product and use it often. My favourite flavours are Tropical Fruit, Lemon/Lime and Fruit Punch. I’m hoping my Christmas stocking might have a tube in it this year 🙂

Night Runners 270 Lights

These things are great! I did a review last year you can read here. They are lights that you attach to your sneakers so you can see and been seen when running/walking in the dark. They have different levels of brightness and flashing red lights. They are light weight and I don’t feel them when I’m running.PicMonkey Collage

Why I like these lights: First off, they are easy to use. Second, I’m all about being visible when running in the dark. I also like that I can use them for more then running and that they have different levels of brightness. I’ve worn them running, cycling, raking leaves in my yard (true story) and even in the winter months.

Runners, you’ve got to be seen!

Lululemon Yoga Mat

I don’t know about you but when I stretch after I run, I need to have something under me. I usually do my stretches right away and it can involve my daughters from time to time. I’ve gone through a few yoga matts in the last 10+ years but only recently came across this one from Lululemon, which I won at a Yoga Festival this summer. Oh my, this one is the best!

Valley Yoga Fest 2

Why I love this mat: It’s a little thicker then my other mats and very cushioning. It feels good and comfortable under my feet, unlike my other mats that are pretty flat and basic. Basic is good but honestly, until I stepped on this mat I didn’t know what I was missing. When this one bites the dust (hopefully not for a while), I will invest in another one.

Race Entries

You can’t go wrong with this one! Everyone wants a free race entry, so if your significant other, friend or family member loves to run races – buy their race fees for them! Some events have “gift cards” for this type of thing. Or get creative and make them a running card with money in it for the race they want to register for. Trust me, you can’t go wrong.

What’s the one thing you can’t live without? 

What’s on your list for Christmas?

Ever receive a race entry as a gift? I have 🙂

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!

IMG_20151224_184735_edit

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

IMG_20151227_133432_edit

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.

IMG_20151226_205839_edit

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?

 

Dear Santa {Friday Five Linkup}

Dear Santa,

Thank goodness for auto correct because that almost said “Dear Satan”. Another confession, this is the first time I’ve done a “Friday Five Linkup” hosted by Mar on the Run!

DC_linkup

As a mother runner, there are many things I want for Christmas. Maybe some new gear, races registrations or new trinkets that have nothing to do with running. There are also a few “other” things on my wish list…

One:

What I really want for Christmas is sleep. That’s a lie, I want more than sleep but I’ll get to that in a minute. Santa, I would like to sleep all night.

I know, I know…that’s asking a lot with two young children but this Mama needs some sleep. Why? So I can stop looking and feeling like a zombie during the work day. Not to mention, my body needs some time to recover from all this running I’m doing and want to do. Really, I want my kids to sleep as well, yes you guessed it: all…night…long!

Two:

Solo bathroom time! I want to pee and poo by myself again. Yup, I do both. And yup, usually have an audience…seriously, I have no sweet clue why these two little rug rats want to be in the bathroom with me or have to have the door open. I guess they just love me that much! I’m pretty sure that used to be a normal thing to do – you know, use the bathroom on your own  but it’s been so long since I’ve done that I can’t remember. Foggy mommy brain Satan.

Shit, I mean Santa.

Solo bathroom time sounds like an easy thing to do rather than multi-task your toilet skills while breaking up a fight between the girls; or reading them a book (seriously, that has happened before); or explaining to Hilary what I’m doing play by play. Yes, that’s happened too, urgh! Forget about reading the newspaper or catching up on Facebook (cause you know you all do that while on the toilet) while in the lieu, it’s all about the kids – not pee or poo! {Note – I’m reading way to many potty books}

Three:

Let’s get honest, I want some running stuff. It doesn’t matter what it is, surprise me. Running keeps me sane…especially when I have very little sleep in me.

IMG_20151210_202341.jpg

Mother Runner wearing a faulty children’s hair clip

Four:

Family. I want my family all together for Christmas – we just need and want some time together. That would be a fantastic gift.

Also in the family department Santa {oh, I got it right}, I WANT…yes a WANT….I want my niece’s surgery to be painless not only for her but her parents too. THAT would be nice. Now it’s on Dec 17th  which is before Christmas as you are well aware big guy. Please keep Ava, Paul and Jen in your thoughts that day. I know you will be busy as we all will be but I’m asking for your support and love that day.

Five:

I want some snow, just enough to play in with our girls Christmas day.

Thanks Satan.

Shit, I mean Santa.

Sorry about that….it’s now 2:23 am. This was way better to write then to try and fall asleep AGAIN for the fourth time.Ha ha, jokes on me, I know….kids rule our world but at least I got my run in last night!!!

PS – I’ll leave out some vegan cookies and almond milk for you 🙂

Thanks, Piper.

PS. If you write “Piper” on the gift bag of sleep or solo bathroom time I’ll know it’s from you 🙂

What’s on your wish list?

Do you think you’ll have a white Christmas this year?

What the one gift you are excited to give someone else?

Favourite Gifts for Runners

What do you get a runner who has everything? {I know that’s what my husband is thinking}. The good news is that I don’t have “everything” but I do have a lot of favourite items I consistently use year round. You can never have too many ideas for gifts.

There’s a lot of “stuff” out there for runners from clothing to sneakers, from medal racks to yak tracks and fueling food to books. Each runner is different and each runner might not have tried it all. Having gift receipts might be handy for the person you are buying for as it gives them the option to exchange or return if necessary.

gifts for runners.jpg

My Favourite Running Items

These are a few of my favourite things (sing it, it sounds better). Some have been gifted to me and some I may have gifted myself 😉

Compression socks. Oh my how I love compression socks during long runs, post runs and when my legs are tired. There are many brands out there: ProCompression, CEP, Tiux etc., with various colours and sizing.

PROCompression Socks

Headbands. These can be great stocking stuffers and I may have bought some Frozen themed ones for my girls this year! I find headbands tricky as most slide of my head 😦 I have an awesome set of Asics headbands but they don’t stay put which is so disappointing. I’ve been using the same one from Sparkly Soul for a few years and recently bought two Badass Mother Runner {BAMR} headbands and love them! Again, different colours and styles are available.

head bands

Fuel. This can be a tricky one but I’m a big fan of GU’s for long runs – they work for me. I’ve tried other stuff but it never sits well with me. I’m also a fan of Vega products not just because my husband is a vegan. However, in the last few months,  I recently found my new favourite “fruit punch” Nuun. I’ve tried many flavours but fruit punch was the best one (to me) and I’m down to my last tablet…hint hint Saï.

IMG_20151129_204456_hdr

Belts. I’ve had two different belts to put stuff in when I run. I don’t use the FLEXR belt anymore as it doesn’t fit much it in. A few years ago I won a Flip Belt and use it on almost every single outdoor run. I can fit a lot in it {cell phone, Gu’s} and it’s comfortable and easy to use. I also have a Nathan fuel belt that I bought for my longer runs; I can just squeeze in all my long run stuff plus water.

IMG_20140426_211247_edit_edit

Seasonal gear. One of my favourite items I received last year from my husband was this amazing winter toque from the Running Room. It’s really warm and my pony tail can fit through a little hole. I also received a great pair of running gloves – crucial for winter runner in Nova Scotia!

IMG_20151129_083040

Safety Tools. It’s so important to be visible to others when running outside, especially now while it’s darker longer than it’s light outside. YOU’VE GOT TO BE SEEN! I always run with a vest on at night and there are many different types out there. Last year I also received an awesome headlight or torch as my husband calls it. Investing in a good headlight is worth it.

This past year, I had the opportunity to review Night Runner 270 lights that go on your sneakers. These too are amazing! They are extremely easy to use and can’t even feel them on your shoes when running. They light up the street in front of you and anything reflective!

nightrunner270 lights

The other items I received as a gift from my husband {remember he’s a paramedic} was a Road ID. In case something happens to you, you can have critical information on this ID and contact information.

road id pr 5

Gym Membership.  Not all runners like going to the gym to run on a treadmill…me, I love having access to a treadmill. Memberships to gyms like GoodLife Fitness can come in handy on those bad weather days in the winter or when you want a air conditioned place to run in the summer. If you are not a gym goer but want access to the occasional opportunity, day passes are great stocking stuffers.

REGISTRATION for a race! This has to be one of my favourite gifts to received and I’d be 100% happy to buy registration as a gift too. Even if you can’t register the person for the actual race, you can find out the fees and make a creative card to put the money in for their “registration”. They can either choose the race they want to go in or put it towards a race that they just couldn’t afford.

These are just a few of my favourite things {again, it’s better when you sing it like the Sound of Music}.

What’s your favourite running (or workout) gear?

Ever buy something new for a runner friend and they didn’t like it?

What do you want for Christmas {or other holiday} this year?

Note: This post is not sponsored and reflect my opinions only. I was not asked to write this post on behalf of any products lists. These are simple products that I’ve come to love and use all the time.

T’was the Day After Christmas…..Time to Get Moving Again

T’was the day after Christmas (okay, four days after Christmas)

And no one had moved.

They sat on their butts eating chocolate and food.

In hopes that something would change their attitude.

The motivation to move just wasn’t there.

Laziness had taken over the desire to care.

The opportunity to get active was under the tree; new snowshoes, new mitts and new workout gear!

Outside there was no snow but cooler temps were here, so it’s now time to use your workout gear.

Time to get active and visit the Gym, GoodLife Fitness is a great place to begin.

You’ve got cardio, weights and classes galore.

IMG_20141222_160232_edit

Don’t waste your time sitting or in front of the screens.

Post workout you feel the sensation of a high, your endorphins are running and reaching the sky.

Don’t lose sight of that feeling, that feeling of oh so great.

Tomorrow’s another day, so let’s get things straight,

2015 is a New Year so let’s make it the best.

It’s time to get off your butt and get rid of the stress.

Let’s have fun with being active and the rest is the test!

Running, Cross fit, Cycling or Walking,

It doesn’t matter what you do as long as you move.

Now that the holidays are quieting down,

Let’s commit to a healthy New Year ahead.

Pack up the decorations and start hitting the gym

You never know what mood it will put you in!

~~~~~~~~~~

Hope you all had a great holiday, enjoying time with family, good food and drinks! I’m trying to take advantage of my GoodLife Gym membership over the holidays while balance the hamstring injury! Fun times!

Anyone run over the holidays? 

Or did you take a break from working out?

OR – are you injured like me and thinking about running/working out?

Please note: This post was written as part of the GoodLife Fitness Blogger Ambassador Program.