Thursday, April 25, 2013

Running and Gratitude

Yesterday I went for my first 10 mile run of this training session!! I knew it was going to long, slow and hard. To keep myself motivated I decided before I went to think of something for which I am grateful at each of my mile markers.

This had two purposes:
a) kept me feeling positive and happy (its hard to feel negative when you are focusing on the good things in life.

b) It simply gave me something to think about rather than how much further I still had to run or about how tired my legs were getting etc.

Here's my list:

Mile 1 -  I am grateful for the sun that is warming my soul. Corny I know but after such a long cold winter it really felt good!!   11:02

Mile 2 - I am grateful that I have made the choice to lead a healthy lifestyle. (mile 2 just happens to be right outside Tim Hortons, our local donut shop). I am so happy that I choose running rather than donuts and coffee!!   10:32

Mile 3 - I am grateful that I was taught that I can do anything I put my mind to, no limitations here :) I took a short walk break at mile 3 to drink some water and eat a few of these yummy gummies.   10:03

Mile 4 - I am grateful for  all my "cool" running gear - including my fuel belt water bottles, Garmin and iPhone. 10:40

Mile 5 - I am so grateful for half way marks and awesome play lists that keep me moving and groovin  down the long hilly highway.  10:36

Mile 6 - I am so grateful for the amazing people in my life who have been such a positive influence and helped me along my fitness path. I took another short break for water and fuel. 10:49

Mile 7 - I am so grateful for compression socks, need I say more?!?!   10:47

Mile 8 - I am so grateful for my cheerleaders, both IRL and online. My life is filled with people who support me each and everyday. They encourage me to live my life to the fullest. THANK YOU!  10:27

Mile 9 - I am so grateful for my second wind that helped push up the last few hills. Another water, gummie break :) 10:29

Mile 10 - I am so very grateful that I have learned to love myself for who I am. Not an easy task!!  11:11  ( I had to walk up the very last super steep hill - Luckily the Manitoba half marathon is FLAT)

After my run I was still very grateful - For my Vega recovery drink, my Luna protein bar that served as lunch (after 1hr 45 min run I had to quickly cook dinner for my girls as we had a dress rehearsal to attend) And of course I was super grateful for a long long HOT shower!!!!

Do you practice Gratitude??
How is your training going? At this point I think meeting my time goal at the Manitoba  Half Marathon is a real possibility!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


That is the only word that can describe my feelings today. I know its simple and rather boring, but the truth of the matter is that I am simply quite sad.

The fact that someone turned what is supposed to be a momentous occasion - Crossing the finish line at the Boston Marathon - into a tragedy is just so sad.

I'll likely never run a full marathon, much less run Boston, but i still know the feeling of crossing that finish line. The sense of accomplishment and pride that you finally met your goal after weeks and months of hard training is surreal. That feeling was taken away yesterday and that makes me sad.

So today I am doing what many other runners are doing, putting on my favourite race tee and running. Its really all that we can do at this point. We runners are a tenacious group and together we stand to show our support for those affected by yesterday's tragedy.

If you can get out and run and pray for Boston.

Monday, April 15, 2013

CrossFit 101

Yesterday 20 brave Red Lakers who were ready to take their fitness to the next level were fortunate to have 2 terrific CrossFit coaches make the 3 hour drive from their box in Kenora to put on a 4 hour CrossFit 101 clinic.

David and Jay from CrossFit Kenora, kept our bodies moving and our spirits soaring as they instructed us in the basic CrossFit exercises.

We started at the very beginning and moved through 4 different squats: Air squat, Suitcase squat, Goblet squat, and Front Squat. We used light dumbells and worked on our form. One of the best exercises we did were wall squats in which we faced a wall to help us work on pushing our hips back and keeping our knees back. It was a whole lot tougher than it looked.

We followed that session with a 4 min squat tabata (8 rounds 20 sec on 10 sec rest). My legs were SCREAMING at the end of the WOD on which I scored 11 reps as my lowest score.

Next Jay taught us 3 shoulder moves: shoulder press, push press, and thrusters. I love that CrossFit is so modifiable and that just using a PVC pipe can offer a terrific workout while focusing on form.

learning shoulder press

After our tutorial with pipes we moved onto dumbbells and took about 30 mins to practice.

Our second WOD of the day looked like this:
3 rounds for time:
7 thrusters - 15 lb dumbbells
7 bentover rows 15 lbs dumbbells
7 burpees. (we could choose from: standard to the floor burpee, squat thrusters, steps puts or jumping depending on our skill level - I did standard to the floor burpee)

I finished all three rounds in 2 mins 48 sec.

After a brief rest and snack break we moved into dead lifts (my favourite CrossFit move) David explained how the dead lift may just be the best exercise out there. It works your entire body and can be done without a partner, unlike the back squat). I love dead lifts because they make me feel like a BEAST!!

From Dead lifts we moved into the squash courts and through wall balls and learned proper ball slams. It is so much easier to slam a 10 pound ball vs the 60 lb ball we have at the firehall!!! 
wall balls

We ended the day with one last WOD - 3 rounds of Fight gone bad.

We set up 5 stations 1 min at each station - 

box jumps
bent rows
push press
ball slams
wall balls
1 min rest 

This WOD was a KILLER after 3 hours of working out but we ROCKED it as a group. People we yelling and cheering and motivating each other the entire time. We truly felt like a CrossFit box!!

push press

I have to say that this experience was one of the BEST in my entire life! I felt so empowered and learned some very valuable tips that will help me perform better.

Do you CrossFit?
Do you have a Box?
What's you favourite exercise?

 * All photo were taken from CrossFit Kenora's facebook page.

Sunday, April 14, 2013


Its not secret that running is definitely on my brain these days.

I wrote an earlier post on how I joined Spring Shape up, a program that gets you ready to run the Manitoba Half Marathon.  This program starts really slow but builds a terrific foundation to help a person "finish" the half marathon.

At this point in my life I want to do more than just "finish" I am ready to PR and I don't want a little PR I want to kill it! My best official half time is 2:19. I am hoping to be faster than 2:15. My Manitoba time 2 years ago was close to 2:30.

In order to achieve this goal I have been hitting the pavement hard 3 days a week.

Mondays I run with the group - an easy 2 miles plus hill repeats.

Saturdays we have a "long run" as a group down Nungessor road.

The only problem with this is that the so called "long run" isn't actually long. Its actually shorter than my base line short runs of 4 to 5 miles. Not to mention all the "long runs" are interval run/walks. I am not planning on intervalling ( if that's even a word lol) the race so they don't really help at this point.

This little problem had me rethinking my running schedule.

So for the last two weeks I have been running my own LSR and joining the running group for some short camaraderie. Although they run intervals we are adding a little push into the running portion (sub 9 min miles) which is somewhat working as speed work for me, I hope.

This weeks was a terrific run. The weather cooperated, I had a strong head wind on my way out, but that worked into a tail wind for my way home! Bonus!!!

I finished a solid 9 miles in 1:38. That time had me super pleased as Red Lake is super hilly and the Manitoba race is super flat. I had nice negative splits and would have killed that last 2 miles had they been flat.

Have you been out running??
ARe you training for a race or a PR??

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

What's on my Menu and work out updates.

Hi again.

What we eat plays a huge impact on our body and its ability to work hard. Good food equals good results, bad food, bad results it's just that simple.

Choosing healthy foods, however does not mean you have to sacrifice flavour and variety. If I have learned anything over the last few months its that healthy food actually tastes so much BETTER than processed garbage.

Here's a sample of what' been on our menu lately:

Fruit salad

fruit, yogurt, homemade zucchini muffin and coffee!

Chicken soup

homemade guacamole
Healthier "apple crisp" - homemade apple sauce, granola and Greek yogurt.

Now for my workout recap:

I have been keeping a pretty standard schedule of running 3 days a week - 2 short 1 long with my longest being 8 miles!

I also joined an outdoor running class. We start with a warm up, then we spend 1 hr doing strength and cardio intervals. We follow that with hill repeats to strengthen our hearts and legs. Last, we run. so far the runs are short, but its only been 2 weeks and the class is meant to fit a variety of fitness levels. I am one of the strongest so its definitely not pushing me too much, but I really enjoy the social aspect and 

I am also still cross fitting 3 days a week, again 2 short workouts and 1 long workout. My favourite WODs of late: Cameron and baby Jorge. both had me try new exercise like squat cleans and triple unders!

What's on your menu? 

This quote really had me thinking! Whats your opinion??

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

An Anniversary and an update.

This week marks my second Runiversary!!!!

It's true. 2 years ago April 2, marked my first ever run. I had just joined "Spring shape up" - a program designed to you get moving and in shape before summer. It also coincides with training for the Manitoba Half Marathon held every Father's Day in Winnipeg, Manitoba..

I started out that first Saturday morning with plans to WALK the 5K distance. I was in decent shape and easily walked 20 km a week if not more. We joined up as a group at the start of a hwy to nowhere and did a group warm up. Then our trusty leader instructed us on how to run. She gave a great demo that had us running along side her. She had us run to different milestones and integrated walking intervals. She played many tricks on this nonrunning mamma! For example we would run one telephone pole and walk the next; or she would have us run 20 steps and walk 20 steps. Before we knew it we were done an entire 5K!!

I was shocked and felt very very accomplished! Who knew I had what it took to be a RUNNER!!
My running experience didn't end there. The class was held 3 days a week - Monday, Thursday we did 1 hr long boot camp style workout followed by a run of varying distances. The workouts were tough and the runs challenging. I was by no means fast, nor could I run the entire distances. Saturdays comprised of a long run that was designed to build our endurance for the up coming half marathon. We ran short intervals starting with 5 mins run 1 min walk and worked out way up to 7 and 1 intervals for the big race.

And yes I did run that big race!! The instructor convinced me that I could do it, and while I hit the wall many times and had minor injuries including crazy painful blisters (before I discovered running socks) and some minor IT band and runner's knee issues. I still crossed that finish line with 2 other girlfriends a mere 10 weeks after my first ever run. It was an exhilarating feeling!!

So here's my advice - GET OUT THERE AND TRY!! You don;t have to be a runner, or in perfect shape or fast. Its ok to go slow or go short. Its ok to walk when you get tired. JUST GO!!!! It will get easier. There will be set backs. Just keep moving forward :)

Now for my Sugar Detox Update! - I haven't been perfect. There has been the odd cup of coffee or tea with a tiny bit of honey. There have been homemade mini blueberry muffins. There was some flavoured almond milk and vanilla yogurt. But I have not had one cookie, or piece of cheesecake (that is wasting away in my fridge as we speak). I have not had ANY Easter Candy or M&Ms. Not one!!
So I am still considering this a success!!

Do you run?
Do you remember your first run?? Tell me about it :)

Monday, April 1, 2013

I'm Detoxing!!!

Hi again,

Before you get all worked up, No I am not a drug addict. But, I am taking this week to detox.

Laura over at Mommy Run Fast is hosting a Short but Sweet Sugar Detox.

It only lasts the week but will definitely be long enough for this Fit Mamma to clean out my system.

This is a HUGE CHALLENGE for me! I am not necessarily a sugar addict (denial??). I don't eat copious amounts of candy or other sugar laden snacks, but I DO use honey daily in my coffee and tea. I DO eat a handful of M&Ms several days a week. I DO eat flavoured yogurt or sweetened almond milk. I DO bake each and every week.

While I have TIDIED  up my diet over the last 3 months It is far from being CLEAN. So I guess in a sense its time to do a little internal SPRING CLEANING.

HERE are MY perimeters for this detox:

NO - sugar, honey or maple syrup added to foods.

NO - pop or sugary drinks (this one is easy for me)

NO - flavoured yogurt or milk

NO - cookies, candies, or baked goods.

NO - granola bars

I will eat: Protein bars when necessary.

I will eat bread etc. even if it has sugar on the ingredients list (I am a runner after all)

I will eat both fruits and vegetables and may have a glass of 100% juice.

I will do my best to read all ingredients lists and avoid where I can and TRY my BEST to eat whole foods. But I am a busy mamma who needs to keep her kids happy and fed. I refuse to make separate dinners.

Have you ever gone through detox?
Do you consume a large amount of sugar?

I was surprised this morning that I actually didn't mind my coffee sans honey! Who knew!!