Weekend Round Up – Running Like the Wind

Hello Everyone!  Happy Monday and I hope you all had a restful and amazing weekend.  This weekend was definitely amazing for me.   This past weekend my sister arrived in town from Vancouver for a bit of a visit, and she got in the same morning of the Gingersneezes run club 10k race. So not only do I get to spend some time with my sister I had her in my cheering section during the race which was pretty phenomenal.

Run Club Shirt Collage

Back in April I had started up the Gingersneezes run club, to help build a little running community, and to hopefully help show people who really don’t consider themselves runners that anyone can be a runner as long as they are willing to lace up their shoes and put in some effort.  With the help of my running buddy Susan we started the Gingersneezes run club,  we built a community where no matter what your skill level, pace or experience you would be supported and encouraged to keep on trying.  This past weekend each of the 5 women that joined had the opportunity to show themselves that they really are a group of runners.

Run Club Collage

We had all signed up for the Shoppers Drug Mart Run for Women and Susan and I made sure to ensure the training the run club was doing would help everyone succeed.  Having done the route before in other races I was sure to incorporate hill training (it was one of those nasty routes where they put a substantial hill right at the end of the race) and various strength training exercises in the weekly routine. Each of the run club members were dedicated to showing up every week for our group runs and were even more committed to making sure they scheduled in their weekly solo runs.  Leading up to the race there were nerves and doubts, but the closer the race came the more excited the run clubbers became.

Run Club Love Collage

Each of the run clubbers were encouraged to set some goals for themselves for their first 10k race and were also encouraged to pick a partner to run the race with.  I am beaming with pride to say that each of the run club members smashed the goals they had set for themselves and far exceeded any expectation I had had for them.   All in all it was a pretty amazing morning of huge accomplishments for everyone!

On a personal note I set a PR for myself finishing in 51 minutes and 52 seconds and came in 28th out of 261 participants.  My initial goal was to finish in 55 minutes so coming in almost 4 minutes under my goal felt pretty great.

After everyone had wrapped up their race and a plethora of photos were taken by our cheering section we all headed home to get cleaned up before our celebratory BBQ.  We all gathered back up to share stories of our race and look at some of the pictures that were taken that morning.  After the main meal Susan and I presented our runners with medals in the form of cupcakes commending each of them on their hard work and progress over the past few months.

Run Club Cupcakes Collage

We may have all reached our goal of completing the 10k race but that does not mean that the run club is finished.  Gingersneezes run club will be starting up for a second session beginning September 9th. So if you can run about 5k and are interested in working on endurance and speed drop me a line to join. Just click on this link and let me know you are interested.

Happy Monday everyone.  Have a great day.

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Weekend Round Up – Time to Play the Running Game!

This past weekend was AMAZING! I seriously don’t have enough glorious things to say about it. Despite the kind of not so great weather on Saturday the weekend was pretty perfect. Friday night my husband and I went on over to my mom and stepdad’s for a belated mother’s day supper and some family hangouts, and then Saturday was RACE DAY!! Can you tell I was/am excited?

Running Collage

After over two weeks of not being able to run and being sick all week, I was definitely ready to get moving and go on a run. Seeing how my ankle is still getting back to normal I made a deal to help pace my running buddy and to shout loving, encouraging things at her for the duration of the race and in exchange she would make sure I didn’t break myself all over again. The deal worked out swimmingly.

Saturday started with Susan (running buddy) and I heading over and picking up our race bibs and then checking out the fitness expo that was going on. Which we promptly left because it was so busy! There were some neat booths but just so many people it was awkward and claustrophobic trying to get close enough to see things. Even though it was super crowded we were both happy we took some time to check it out, as we definitely had some time to kill (our race wasn’t until 6:30pm).

Running 2 Collage

Once we had picked up our race kits we walked back home and did some prep for a post race BBQ, then it was time for some lunch and resting. When 6:30pm FINALLY came around it turned out we were right on time for the start of the race, as they had begun their countdown as we were approaching the starting line. Susan quickly re-laced her shoes and then we squeezed ourselves into the coral and began to walk with the crowd towards the start line. With 10,557 participants a race track can get a little crowded but that is part of the fun. Once we crossed the starting line we were focused, we had our plan and we were stoked.

Race CollageBefore we knew it we were passing a 5k marker which as it turned out was a fraud, we were really at about 3.5km, the 5k marker was likely for the 1/2 or full marathon, as utterly disappointing as it was to find out we hadn’t run 5k in just a little over 20 minutes we were still on target.

The runners and all of the wonderful supporters on the side lines made always make the Ottawa Race weekend such an amazing event to participate in. We finished our race in 65 minutes and decided that the 10k we have planned for August will be dominated! As a congrats for a job well done and because it was pretty windy and chilly out, we stopped and grabbed ourselves some tea on the way home. It was a perfect ending to the race.

Shortly after we arrived back at my place, some friends (whom had participated in the 5k earlier that day) joined us for a tasty (albeit late night) BBQ and we shared our stories of our recent victories.

Race StretchingSunday was much more laid back. After about 2 weeks of rehab and stretching only my legs were definitely feeling the race. So it was time for the farmer’s market and some gentle yoga to stretch things out and reward my limbs for doing so great. The rest of the day was a write off filled with movies, book reading, and more relaxation. It was a great way for me to start off my week of planned rest and recovery.

I hope some of you were able to participate in Race Weekend, if not the running at least in the cheering aspect of the weekend.

Happy Monday!

This week is the last week to enter the giveaway so don’t forget to tell your friends about it, and don’t forget to enter!

Struggling

This is going to be a short post. Kind of more like a rant than a post but I hope someone out there can relate I feel like I am going batty. The past couple days (okay it has been over a week) I have been struggling with respecting injury and as of this past weekend illness (just a cold). I know I have mentioned before how important it is to listen to your body and to remember to take breaks and relax when you need to but for me it is likely the most challenging part of my fitness journey.

Relaxing and taking it easy or recovering always seems to feel somewhat counter productive to what I am trying to achieve. I want to build this healthy, fit, active lifestyle and resting and relaxing is a puzzle piece that just doesn’t seem to make much sense to me. I for some reason seem to feel like there should be a designated time or place for such a luxury.

DR3Like a beach vacation or a trip to a cottage, those are designated relax times.Times like now when I am in the downward phase of my training for a race (um…this weekend) taking some rest to recover just feels so innately wrong. So making myself sit back and relax/ do nothing becomes a huge inner struggle. Luckily I have a great husband, good friends, and an amazing trainer to keep my ego in check (I am assuming it is my ego that is making me so thick headed when it comes to this type of stuff.)

So what am I doing? not much to be honest. I am doing my rehab moves to help strengthen my ankle and build up some more stability and I am stretching. I know these are essential components to healthy training but sometimes I get this “if you don’t sweat it doesn’t count” mentality. So I am doing my best to respect my injuries and my sickness and I am learning how to take a step back, which by the way is surprisingly difficult. I am hoping that soon enough I will be able to acknowledge that rest is just as important as physical exercising when it comes to training so that I can learn how to properly integrate it properly in the future.

Have you ever had to deal with something like this? How do you find balance between rest and training?

I hope everyone is having a great Wednesday!

Testing the Waters

The rain has stopped and the wind has died down and my Exercise Buddy and myself were finally able to get back outside to go on a run. It is much more frigid outside but running on a treadmill for over an hour is so monotonous. So hit the pavement and completed 10.75km, which felt great.
running pathAfter a bit longer of a run then I have been doing lately I decided that it was time to try something new. To go against my natural urges and decided to explore in my yoga practice a bit. I figured a good start would be looking for a slower, more stretching based yoga class, especially after such a long run. Instead of going for my first choice of Hatha, Hatha Flow or Power I signed up for a Kundalini class. I figured to date my yoga experiments have worked out well, so why not give this a go;

  • Yin wasn’t bad and provided a great stretch and seriously exercised my patiences – longer poses meant accepting the sensations longer.
  • Ashtanga was always a delight forcing me into more challenging poses with each class, and
  • Hot classes, although I am not a huge fan of the temperature, always provided a nice challenge.

I showed up to class and noted that it was a small class (four of us to be exact) which is sometimes refreshing,it is nice to get a bit more space and just a tad bit more attention from the instructor. Before the class began the instructor stopped by to find out that it was my first Kundalini class and was so sweet in explaining what the next 90 minutes were going to resemble; some chanting, some meditating, focusing inward (she actually explained it as “mind yoga”) and said that our class would be focusing on “balancing the positive mind” something I was in serious need of.
morning inspirationThe class started off with some chanting, followed by setting an intention, and then moved into shaking out the day and getting into it. All in all the class was pretty interesting, it definitely was not at all what I had thought it would be, and I am still undecided as to whether or not I would go back. On the way out of the class I remember thinking “well that was a bit weird” but for all its weirdness I was feeling much more calm minded, and centred, so something must have worked. For anyone interested in a Kundalini class but has never tried one, I would recommend it, but with the precursor that it will be unlike any yoga class you have ever tried.

Weekly Goal Update: I finished my book! and it was amazing (My Year with Eleanor if anyone was interested). And on a scale of 1-10 on yesterday’s clean eating scale I would have given myself an 8, I had 6 servings of fruits and veggies, and besides the probably large amounts of oil in my restaurant meal and my glass of wine I feel I did great and that I am starting to get back on track.

Happy Wednesday everyone!! We are almost there the weekend has almost arrived.

Sock Holes

After successfully completing two 5k races without incident *knock on wood* my running partner and I were amped to set a new goal for ourselves and get in as many runs as we possibly can before it starts to snow.   The way we figure it we have at least until mid to late November before the weather forces us inside.  So we set our sights on the next logical distance, 10 kilometers.  For me the 10k distance is like the freaking Loch Ness Monster, besides completing one 10k race several years ago it seems almost impossible for me to attain that distance without major pain or injury (enter foot injury and extreme knee pain here).  Although I am a little nervous about acquiring a new injury I figured that seeing how we had been slowly building up our endurance and my foam roller was waiting for me at home to sooth my raging IT band and hip flexors this new goal was completely attainable.

The run started off with my saying “you know if we get tired we don’t have to do the WHOLE run, we can just turn around” and “I am not too sure about this lets just see how we are feeling” and ended when my running buddy triumphantly pointed out that we just had 2 minutes and 29 seconds of running left before we had our 5 minute cool down! I am not saying there weren’t parts of this, what felt like forever, run that I didn’t want to say nuts to the running and stick with the walking (we were running 7 minutes on with a 2 minute walk) but finding out that we had actually almost completed our first run, despite me feeling like giving up was such a huge boost I felt like I could have run for another 20 minutes!  But in all seriousness there is no way my legs could have squeezed out another 20 minutes.

photo (34)

Once finishing off our cool down I hopped on my bike and headed home, which honestly felt like the hardest thing ever, I mean who bikes with cement legs?! Arriving home with a 9.5k run under my belt, cement legs and a freshly burrowed hole in my sock what was a frustrating day had just been painted in rose colouring. It is funny how pushing yourself to new limits help you to focus in on the happier things in life.

Later in the evening I got to work creating some more delicious recipes to share with everyone.  I had some taste testers coming over that evening so it worked out perfectly.  The recipe turned out nicely, there is still a bit of work to be done but I will be sharing something new and delicious later on this week.

Happy Wednesday everyone! The work week is half over and a glorious long weekend is right around the corner! 

Gearing Up for Training

Training for running is something I actually enjoy, but lately because of my knees/hips I have been a little slow to give myself the push I needed to get running. So as previously mentioned I signed up for a the Ottawa Race weekend 10k. So I guess there’s no choice,it is time to start training.

I have been running about 2 days a week,mixed with other forms of cardio. So upping my distance and speed shouldn’t be too difficult. But this race I would really like to have a good time so I think I might actually train properly this go around.
running woman
I have the running room manual on 10k training, I have couch to 10k, and a couple months ago I was checking out Disney’s half Marathon and the training program they advocate. I have iMapmyrun, Run Tracker, and numerous other iPhone apps that I downloaded some time ago hoping it would jump start my training, and I guess it did.

So here is my plan…for the first couple of weeks I am going to use the couch to 10k, just to get me back into the grove of longer run periods, while phasing out walking breaks.

Seeing how most of the running apps I have are useless on a treadmill I will be ignoring them for now. Until around April when the weather warms up and I can start practicing outside, which by the way is always a hit to your ego after running on a moving floor for months.

So the goal is to run a full 50minutes without any walking breaks…and the hope is that within that 50minutes I will be able to run 10km.

Any good running songs to recommend?