April Mileage and May Adventures

As each month passes this year, I am blown away at how fast it is happening. It might have something to do with two little girls that are growing like weeds and also up to lots of adventure, who knows! Well, it’s now May and I have a race coming up! Before I get to that, here is how April went.

April, Twenty Six-teen.

My goals for April were to enjoy half marathon training and get better sleep.

Well, I’m definitely enjoying my half marathon training and now into week 6. I ran 93 km this month, went to 3 yoga classes and did 4 IronStrength workouts.

I’ve started to grasp running 400’s on the treadmill and am still sorting out tempo runs but feeling like I’m on the right track. I’ve struggled a lot with my SI joint but that seems to be getting back on track with all the foam rolling I’m doing. I didn’t once make it to GoodLife Fitness Gym but it’s also located in Halifax and I am not. Maybe next month as I do enjoy hitting up the gym.

April Mileage

As for the sleep, I’d give myself a B- as I started off the month really good and then sort of started to fail. It’s really hard to get everything done (work all day, stuff with girls, dinner, dishes, laundry, running/workouts, shower, dog stuff, husband working) before 10 PM which is my goal for getting to bed early.

Since Friday’s are my official “rest days” from running, I’m usually in bed at 9 PM just to catch up on sleep. Yes, I lead a crazy Friday night! I’m not going to lose sleep over it (haha!) but I’m aiming to be in bed by 10 PM each night.

May Happenings:

  • Training for Johnny Miles Half.
  • Try to hit up GoodLife Fitness when I’m in the city.
  • Running 10k at the Bluenose Marathon in Halifax.
  • Both girls are running the 2k Youth Run at Bluenose 🙂
  • Outdoor adventures: biking, hiking and maybe evening dipping toes in some water.
  • Blog more than once a week!

I’m hoping May is a month spent mostly outdoors (when not at work or sleeping), good runs/workouts, time with family and friends and enjoying life. Pretty simple really.

How was your month of April?

Any big plans for May? 

What are you most looking forward to this month? Me, warmer weather.

I Heart Exercise

Well, it’s no surprise to you that I enjoy working out. If you’ve been around the blog a while you’ll know that I love to run, play soccer (when not injured), ski, snowshoe and be active with my kids outside year round.

I’ve grown up play sports since I was old enough to figure it out; skiing at three, soccer at 5 and then multiple sports as a teenager (volleyball, badminton, soccer etc.). We grew up playing “capture the flag” in our neighbourhood, riding our bikes to our soccer games or friends houses.

I guess I’ve always loved to be active. If my Mom was writing this post she would tell you about the time when I was a little one (under 3) and had my “exercise” gear on. Picture the 80’s outfits; head band, pony tail, leotard, body suit and socks that strunched down to my ankles. Oh yes, that was me. I would wait for my “exercise” program to come on the TV during lunch hour. One more, two more…I would repeat over and over again!!! Apparently I loved it!

February is Heart Month and GoodLife Fitness has a “Heart Health Challenge” going on!

You can join the challenge here.

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Daily challenges will be provided. Let’s be honest…who doesn’t need a little help with motivation this winter, I know I do!

Along with the daily challenges there will be exercise tips and recipe ideas. They are also providing suggestions for reducing stress and getting better sleep. For me this is a big one! I know I don’t get enough sleep, especially this week with a sick kid and working full time while my husband is away working. It’s life but it’s stressful so any tips I can get would be great!

Did you know…“Canadian Physical Activity guideline recommends 150 minutes per week of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA). Statistics Canada reports that only about 15% of Canadian adults meet the current guidelines. This tends to be higher in males (17%) than females (13%), and younger adults aged 18 to 39 years (19%) compared to older adults 60 to 79 years (11%). Cardio and strength training both have great benefits for your heart. Your heart needs more than just cardio exercise to stay healthy and strong.”

GoodLife Fitness will have an open house February 15th – 19th where you can learn more about heart health! Open house, yes please!!! GoodLife Fitness has partner with the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre for this challenge.

Though exercise is extremely important to me, so is hearth health. My Dad had a heart attack last year and for someone turning 70 this March, he is an extremely active senior. So heart health is important to me because it hits close to home. My Dad continues to ski, snow shoe, walk and referee soccer in the summer months. He takes care of is heart health and so should we all!

Take care of yourself this month and join us in the I Heart Exercise Challenge!

Don’t forget to use the #iHeartExercise for the month of February!

What’s your number one form of exercise?

When was the last time you thought about your heart health?

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?

 

 

The Struggle Is Real: Make It Happen

Well, you all know how much I have struggled this past year with injuries and it’s all because I love to be active! I got injured while play soccer which side lined me from training for many races over the past nine months.

As I was starting to get my hamstring better, I struggled with just running 5k’s! No lie, for the first 2-3 weeks each run was a struggle. It wasn’t always a struggle to get out the door, as I was keen on training for my next half marathon. This would have been my 3rd half marathon and a personal goal I had set for myself and was looking forward to the challenge. Life sometimes has other plans.

I’d pack my gym bag in the morning and lace up at lunch time to complete my “runch”, finish work and take care of the girls on my own if my husband was away. There were many nights of running on the treadmill after a full day’s work, dealing with the girls, dinner, dishes etc. Some nights I would get everything done only to remember….I still needed to run or do a workout. The struggle was real on those long days but the running and workouts never felt better!

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My gym bag and stuff.

As I moved along my training, it started to feel better. The struggle was now all about trying to get the dishes done versus my running 🙂  Then, I sprained my foot and the tears just rolled off my cheeks as I saw my first race of the year slip away. How could this happen so close to a race I’ve trained so hard for?

Oh dear, the struggle was real and I’m sure if you’ve read my last blog posts you’d know how much I truly wanted to run at Maritime Race Weekend….not once but twice in the Tartan Twosome. Luckily, I was able to volunteer and be a part of the running community.

We all struggle but it’s really up to us with what we do with that struggle. We can choose to sleep in and miss that early morning run, we can choose to eat that box of chocolates (oh yes, I love my chocolates), we can choose to say I’m just too tired to run {insert your own workout activity here} and we can choose to do dishes over that training run.

To me, being active and living a healthy lifestyle trumps many other things in my life; like deep cleaning my house, laundry, mowing the lawn and the dishes can always wait until the morning. I’d rather go outside for a run or hit up GoodLife Fitness Gym when I can and take advantage of all their classes. I’d rather go for a run with my running buddy or workout at the gym with a friend then do it on my own – THAT motivation is the best!

My most recent struggle had me starting my workout (yes, last night) at 8:45 pm. You read that right, I started my workout as I kept putting it off. I knew I needed that workout for so many reasons and it felt great afterwards. In the end, I try to fit in work outs throughout my daily life and I make it a priority over other “things” after all I’m taking care of my physical and mental health. I choose to work through the struggle of being injured {AGAIN}! Somehow, I just Make It Happen!

Do you struggle to get your workouts in?

What motivates you to get active?

#makeithappen

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.

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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?

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!!!!

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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!

Weekly Workouts, Hamstring Update & Upcoming Races!

It’s been another good week of running/workouts. I’ve been working hard on getting my hamstring back to 100% and signed up for two races!

Monday: I had the quickest workout at GoodLife Gym. Did 15 minutes on the bike and then ran 3k. I wanted to run more but ran out of time as I had to get back on the road with our girls. Though it was quick, I was happy to get it in.

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Tuesday: Ran 6k; 3k on the treadmill and 3k outside before the sun set. Both were great runs!

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Wednesday: Ran 7k on the treadmill. It was a slow run and felt like it took forever for some reason.

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Thursday: Osteopath appointment – not allowed to workout for 3-4 days. Everything on my right side was pulling my hamstring which was causing the pain when I sit. Hopefully I’m all good to go and will see some improvements in my hamstring. I already feel better than before.

Friday: Required rest day.

Saturday: Required rest day thought I managed 12,270 steps on my Fitbit. We had a busy day with the girls. Swimming lessons for Lilly and Hilary decided to climbing the stairs a ba-gillion times (I was exhausted), then a play date in the afternoon!

Sunday {today}: An easy day (hopefully). I’m hoping to get an easy 3-4k run on the treadmill at some point today if the girls will cooperate 😉

Hamstring Update:

My hamstring is feeling good. As mentioned my whole right side of my body was out of whack, so said the Osteopath. That’s why I was still feeling lots of pulling on my hamstring and my glutes were pulling as well on my hip flexors etc. So far so good.

I’ve been doing little things over the last few weeks to try and feel better:

  • Sitting on an exercise ball at work
  • Using my stand up desk at home more and at work when I can
  • Foam rolling EVERY day
  • Doing my PT exercises and squats every day

I’m hoping to get back to a regular running/workout schedule that includes a new workout (see tomorrow’s book review post) and bringing back yoga. I had to stop yoga because it was over stretching my muscles and I was having MORE pulling/pain.

Races

I’ve registered for two races! The first one is the ATF 5k {local run and fundraiser} that I ran last year; you can read about that here. I also signed up for the Bluenose Marathon 10k, which I also ran last year; you can read about that here. My plan is to take them easy and finish without any pain. Last year I PB’d at both races; 28:00 at ATF 5k and 57:17 at Bluenose 10k. PB’s are not on the agenda right now; pain-free running is.

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Over all, another good week of running, resting and getting my hamstring stronger. Make sure to come back tomorrow for a running book review!

Weather report: Though we still have a TONE of snow, it’s finally warming up. It’s going to be plus 8 degree Celsius today and tomorrow it’s going to be +13C – WOAH! Melt snow melt!

How was your weekend?

Sign up for any races/runs?

Do you still have snow where you live?

PSS – I wrote this post twice – lost the first one because I forgot to hit save…ALWAYS hit save 😉