Friday, May 29, 2015

My new focus

I want to thank all of you that have read my blog over the years.

I've decided to delete this blog at the end of the weekend and change over to my other blog

I think it's time to take my family off the Internet but I love writing and sharing stories and all that social media brings.

My Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest are still the same, but I want to shift my focus to becoming a decent runner/triathlete and I think that this blog doesn't work for that anymore.
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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Bringing in some strength!

So, I've upped my running, but I'm not losing weight. I love running and I look forward to it, but I understand that I need to add more to routine. Insert strength training here.

I spent some time on the Internet looking at ways to balance running and strength training. Right now, I'm squeezing in my runs. Literally. They're squashed between me getting home from work at 3:45 and the boys getting home from daycare at 5:00. That's my 'me' time 3 times a week (I pick up Tuesday and Thursday).
Love renegade rows!

Once the summer comes, me time is even more squished because the boys are home with me and that lovely 1:15 minute window is gone. I'm actually thinking of taking a week or two to determine the wake-up time of the boys and getting up before them to go run a few times a week so that I can get it in.

I read lots of interesting blog posts and articles about how people are able to fit it all in and I think I've set myself a schedule that I will like and will get me some results.

I'm starting out on a 6-week strength bootcamp that I found on the Women's Health website. I'm going to cut my running down to 3 days, strength 3 days and one day of complete rest. I'm excited because I think it'll help me get my body under control.

The strength workouts aren't too taxing and aren't long enough to take me hours to do. It's a great introduction (and I can do them at home).
Basic Plank
Ahhh...the plank

I'm still going to run, because I do love it and once I get closer to my half marathon, I'll start adjusting my schedule to ensure I can fit in all the runs I need to so that I'm ready to do my best at the half.

If you're interested in joining me, the program starts out fairly easy but I'm pretty sure most of you that read my blog are definitely faster than me and in much better shape!

Here's week #1!

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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Tim's Horton 5K recap

I had a lot of fun at this race, but I'm definitely disappointed with the outcome.

The race was really well done and organized and the location was fantastic. There was an option for packet pick-up on the Saturday, but I opted to wait for race morning, because I didn't feel like driving across two whole cities to get it.

I got to Bronte Creek Provincial Park early on Saturday morning to avoid the line-ups for packet pick-up and I'm glad I did. There was a bit of chaos as to collecting bags, numbers, etc. I waited in line for about 10 minutes, grabbed my stuff and headed back to the car to drop off the bag and pin on my number. I changed my tank top to a lighter one that I had in my bag because it was getting really warm.

Bronte Creek Provincial Park (the type of trail we ran on)

I headed to the washrooms (not port-a-potties!) twice before lining up and I ran into my friend Vanessa (who told me about the race) and her friend Ashley. Ashley was running the 10K (a two-loop course) and Vanessa and I were doing the 5k. We started in corral B. There were two school groups 'running' so we decided to line up ahead of most of them since we figured they will walk a good chunk (we were right). The horn went and we were off.

The run was on a trail that was a mixture of packed dirt and some bigger chunks of gravel. It seemed well maintained though because there weren't any big holes and certain areas were more packed than others, so I stuck to those parts. I was right about the students and often got stuck behind lines of them or those that were running and then would stop dead in front of me so I'd have to swerve. There was a water station at 1k, which I ran through but it cleared out a lot of the students so it worked well.

My first split was 6:03 and I was hoping to hold onto that pace. Unfortunately, that didn't happen. I hit a cramp into the second km that I worked out by running a little slower and focusing my breathing, but the third km was sooo slow. I ran 6:44 (of course I didn't know this because my Forerunner 10 doesn't tell me the pace until the end of the km).

 photo IMG_2492_zpszx0khbxa.jpg

I picked it up for the 5 and ran in with an official time of 32:29. My watch said 32:06. I think the chip timing was not working because there was no gun time and chip time. We definitely didn't start at the start line so there should have been at least some seconds taken off. I'm sticking with my watching time.

Either way, I'm not happy with either time. I was hoping for a personal best since I have been running so well lately, but nope, it wasn't to be. I guess I'll have to wait to get my next personal best in the 5k.

The medal was cute, the post food drinks and food were great (Timbits, timbits and more timbits!) and there was a nice place to sit and wait for Vanessa and Ashley to come in. I'll definitely do this one again at some point.

Tim Horton's Timbits

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Friday, May 22, 2015

5 Favourite Summer Fruits

The warmer weather is here and that means eating better and for the first time ever, visiting a Farmer's Market!
I'm linking up at Eat, Run, Pray DC , Mar on the Run and You Signed up for What? to share my five favourite fruits and veggies of the season!

I'm actually thoroughly excited to visit the Farmer's Market. I'll be going to a local one on the weekend until school finishes and then I might hit up one during the week with my boys. I hope it will be not so busy and kind of an educational experience all at the same time.

Anyway, in keeping with this week's Friday Five, here are my favourite Summer fruits (I'm not a huge veggie fan)!

1. Strawberries
Honestly, I can rarely get enough of these. I'm turning my boys into strawberry-holics as well. Not sure what it is about them, but I buy them year round (this year we're picking and freezing), but I put them in my salad, in smoothies, on yogurt and just eat them for a snack at any time (especially with whipped cream). They are so yum!

2. Raspberries
When I was younger, we lived at my aunt's for a couple months while we moved back from Arizona to Ontario. My aunt had raspberry bushes in her backyard and we'd spend hours picking out all the new raspberries each day. When I moved in with my husband, I discovered that he had a raspberry bush in the backyard as well! Unfortunately, the frost we had a couple winters ago has destroyed a lot of them so our yield has gotten smaller and smaller, but I love sharing the story about my aunt's house every time the boys pick one off the bush.

3. Peaches
I love me some peaches! I leave them out on the counter to soften too. I prefer my peaches to be a little softer than the harder versions. The only issue with this is they don't last as long so I only buy 2 or 3 at a time so that I don't run into that problem.

4. Cherries
Alright, I'm not a huge cherry fan and often don't eat them. But I've decided to include a few fruits that my boys absolutely adore. Cherries is one of them. My older son was so pleased when he saw them in the grocery store last week. He's still learning how to eat them without me cutting them up because of the pit so things are still messy but hey, he's eating fruit!

5. Blueberries

Again, not my particular favourite, but definitely my younger son's favourite. He usually has them with dinner because trying to get vegetables in him can be a huge fight but he usually gives in for blueberries.

What are you favourites?
Do you hit up Farmer's Markets?
What's you favourite thing to buy at one?

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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Miles this month!

Now that the weather has been a lot nicer, I've been very motivated to get out and run (but also to move in general).

Unfortunately, I've had to back out of the Sulphur Springs 10K this weekend because of commitments that my sons have (soccer, kindergym, dentist) that weren't completely set when I registered. Instead, I've registered for a 5K run on Sunday morning. I could have signed up for another 10, but I've been having a tough time with a really tight left calf so I figured 5K and pushing for a PB is a good goal (I have to figure out what that is though).

I'm up to 22 miles thus far and I have at least 4 more 4 miles runs and a few smaller runs planned. I'm hoping to at least surpass 30 miles, which I know for some isn't a lot, but for me it is. The trick will be maintaining that.

I'm trying to set my 'short' runs at 4 miles as opposed to the 2 or 3 that I previously did and it's working so far. My time isn't the greatest at 4 miles so I need to make sure that I'm ready to go as soon as I get home so that I finish before the boys get home from daycare on the days that my husband picks them up but I can see it dropping (except for days that it's sweltering)!

I'm mostly happy with where I am right now. I'm still fighting the weight issues and so I've added a walk during my lunch break on days I don't run. I made the mistake of walking on a day when I had planned to run later in the afternoon too and my legs were like lead. Lesson learned.

I had upped my calories to 1500 (on MFP) because I was struggling to stay in my calorie goal, but I was gaining weight so I dropped it back down to 1200, been a lot stricter with my eating and am ensuring I burn some extra calories each day. I'm also hitting my step goal on my Fitbit which helps. So far, I haven't noticed much but I'm praying it's coming.

The 1200 Calorie Diet

I'm hoping that all these things together will help get me where I want to be. If not, I need professional help!
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Friday, May 15, 2015

5 Ways to Organize your Running Gear

This is something I need help with (just ask my husband).

Organization is not my greatest skill. I'm working on it though and maybe I'll get some ideas through the Friday Five Link Up. I'm linking up at Eat, Run, Pray DC , Mar on the Run and You Signed up for What?!

I don't have five things, but I've talked about the three things that I use when running (clothes, shoes and gadgets) and how I currently organize them (which needs help).

1. Running Clothes Drawer
My running/workout clothes drawer started as just that, one drawer. However, after many races and lots of race t-shirts, I've now taken over two drawers with running stuff. The next time I get a chance to have time to organize my plan is to begin getting rid of workout clothes I don't wear anymore whether they are too small, too big or I haven't worn them for a long time. I have plenty of clothes like that.
It's not that bad. They're still in the drawers and the drawers do close.

2. Shoes
Right now, when I come in from a run, my shoes sit in the front hallway until the dry out a bit. Once they are dried out I put them in my gym bag since I'm trying to stick to a schedule and I'm not sure if it's going to be a day at the gym on the treadmill (if it rains) or a day outside. At least if I stick them back in my gym bag I know where they are when they are needed.

3. Running gadgets
This includes my watch and iPod. When I'm not running, they're on the dining room table. Need to find a better place for them but I know that on the dining room table I can find them easily. The charger for both sits on the counter (what I call my 'charging station') and I charge when necessary. Any ideas on storing these nicely would be appreciated!

Many chargers now use a micro-USB connector, meaning one charger can suffice for multiple gadgets
Ya, this is what mine is like. Maybe a little more tangled.

I think the biggest problem is that I'm a bit of a mess. I don't really know how to keep myself organized and my lack of time to get organized doesn't help either. I can't wait to see if there are some tips people have to keep it all together!

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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

I want to run!

For some reason I'm feeling really, really motivated this week to run. Maybe it's the weather or the fact that I've been feeling really good in my runs or that I'm in a Workweek Challenge on Fitbit, but I want to go!

On Monday, after work, I managed to get in 4 miles and also managed to get my 5k time down to 31:16 for this outdoor running season. I was quite pleased!


Today I'm hoping to squeeze in another 4 miles and possibly more depending on how quickly I get home and changed. I already have my running stuff laid out on my bed so it shouldn't take long.

I'm not going to be able to run my next 10K race I had scheduled for May (too many conflicts that arose after I registered) but I want to keep increasing my miles since I have the Nike 15K coming up in June.

I've also been working on justifying a wanted purchase for me. I've been eyeing the Forerunner 220 lately and right now, the amount I run doesn't justify the purchase. Therefore, I'm thinking that if I run more I'll be able to justify that purchase.

Garmin Forerunner 220 0
So beautiful!

I'm hoping the weather continues to cooperate for my outdoor running. I love it 100 times better than running on the treadmill (although the treadmill is 100 times better than running in the snow and dealing with my asthma).

I'm also honestly planning to hit up the pool on Thursday. I need to get over the fear of the unknown with lap swim and just go. I can do it right?

Anyone else feeling really motived right now? 

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Monday, May 11, 2015

Mother's Day Giveaway!

We are excited to bring you another Mommy Scene giveaway featuring 5 natural brands and celebrating 7 days of Mother's Day! After all, Moms deserve more then 1 day!
7 Days of MotherĂ¢€™s Day Giveaway
Each of these natural products is perfect for pampering yourself after a long day, or serves a practical use for health and cleanliness. Many of these products are handmade, and all are crafted from natural ingredients! One lucky winner will win all of these wonderful products and the chance to try something new!
Dr. Fedorenko True Organic Bug Stick

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Sudsy Dough Moldable Soap

Sudsy Dough Moldable Soap - 2 12oz containers

Sudsy Dough is a new interactive bath toy that doubles as a moldable scented dough and a cleansing soap! Kids can squeeze and squish Sudsy Dough in the bath, rub it on as a cleansing body wash, or take it outside the tub and make custom-shaped soaps! Sudsy dough shapes will dry to become scented soap shapes when left out in open air. Each ball also has a surprise bath toy hidden inside! Sudsy Dough is infused with Shea butter & Coconut Oil and is Paraben-free, phthalate-free, and sulfate-free. Available in fragrances Merry Mango, Sassy Strawberry, Bubbly Blueberry, and Awesome Apple.
It's the Balm Lavender Gift Box

It's the Balm Lavender Gift Box

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3 Wythe and Berry Creams

3 Wythe & Berry Creams

Wythe & Berry Apothecary offers botany-based, natural, handcrafted wellness products, rooted in genuine aromatherapy. This package contains a trio of oil-based creams including Cedarwood; Lavender, Chamomile and Lemon and Eucalyptus. These creams are handcrafted, completely natural and package in glass as to avoid toxins from plastic leaking into the product. Each 4 ounce cream is plant based, with the main ingredients being Cocoa Butter, Shea Butter and Apricot Kernel Oil.
Buds and Scrubs Facial Serum

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Enter to win one of these fabulous products!

This giveaway is hosted by Dr. Fedorenko. The giveaway winner will be chosen May 17th, 2015. Giveaway is open to US entries and void where prohibited. No purchase is necessary to enter. Mommy Scene and the affiliated blogs are not responsible for brands who do not fulfill prize obligations. Entrants may receive a thank you email from one or more of the participating brands.


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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

My Fall Half Marathon is set!

I finally decided on my half marathon for the fall. 

Some of you may remember that I have been torn between Scotiabank in Toronto or the Niagara Falls Half Marathon. Well, I decided to go with neither of those options.

After speaking to my running guru (a mother at my school who runs really fast and whose father is a legend in Canadians running consecutive Boston Marathons. She has run a few as well) I've decided to run the 'fast' Hamilton Road2Hope Half Marathon on November 1st.

Now I'm sure some people will say *gasp* the day after Halloween? Well, my boys are still young. As in bed by 8:00 pm young. Halloween is exciting at our house, but it's also done fairly early! We try to have everything wrapped up by 9, since we don't want the doorbell waking up the boys. Therefore, heading to bed early isn't a big deal.

Plus, after I finish the half marathon, I can eat all of their Halloween candy guilt free!
halloween candy bucket

Anyway, I'm aware that it is a full 7 months away, but I'm planning for this one. I'm really, really gunning for my best half marathon time. I aiming for anything below 2:30!

I was told this race is a good PR race because of the 4km of downhill running. This appeals to me. I'm sure my legs will be screaming once it's done, but I like me some downhill running.

I've spent the last couple days reading some race reviews from Nicole at I've Always Been A Joiner and Christina at The Athletarian and I'm trying to learn as much as I can about the race day before heading out (7 months from now)! I've learned parking is easy, the shuttle is well run, the start line is crazy and there is good food at the end. Sounds awesome! The start being crazy isn't horrible for me since I'm not aiming for an amazingly fast time and I'm used to bobbing and weaving.

The Red Hill Creek Expressway during the Road2Hope Marathon in Hamilton.

I'm really excited for this. Part of me is thinking of trying to find someone who is willing to pace me to a sub-2:30 half marathon, but all of the runners I know are all really fast and I'd definitely be holding them back a ridiculous amount. I'll just have to stick with the pace bunnies at the race.

My training will begin in August, which is nice because I find training in July and August difficult with our all over the place schedule. The heart of the training will take place September and October when things are more routine with school for the boys and work. Now I just need to find a training plan I like.

It's nice to have this decision finally made and now I can start working towards my goals!

Anyone else planning to run Road2Hope Half Marathon?

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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Motivate Me Monday (on a Tuesday!)

I have a lot of things to juggle. Kids, a full-time job, exercising, cooking, cleaning and of course, blogging. On any given week, one of these 'balls' tends to drop and get away from me. Typically, it's cleaning, but last week, it was blogging (and maybe cleaning too)! Hence, my lack of posts last week.

Anyway, I'm back and here to share my plan for this week:

Monday - Run - 3 mi
Tuesday - Beach Body Mommy Cardio (I'm kind of doing her 4.0 program)
Bikini Body Mommy
Wednesday - Run (not sure how long since I'm running with a coworker)
Thursday - Swim (??)
Friday - Run - 3 or 4 miles
Saturday - Long Run (10K)
Sunday - Rest (Mother's Day!)

I'm also doing a plank challenge where I attempt to add 5 seconds each day to my plank time. I'm only up to 50 seconds. I clearly need to work on my core!

I really need to get myself into the pool. My try-a-tri is about a month away and I haven't been swimming since last summer. I'm just so nervous about jumping into a swimming pool and attempting to do laps with other people around. I'm worried that I'm going to do the wrong things or get in people's way. Can I do breaststroke or does it have to be front crawl? Do I need a swim cap or not? So many things go through my head before I attempt to head to the pool that I end up talking myself out of it!

OMG, this picture just brings on the panic!

So, any tips from lap swimming pros on how to approach my first attempt at lap swimming??

I'm linking up for #MotivateMe Monday with Janice at Fitness Cheerleaderr and Rachel at Running Rachel. Check out their fantastic blogs!
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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Mercedes-Benz Oakville 10K recap

I was looking forward to this race, but also quite nervous about it. I wasn't sure if was going to survive the entire 10K. Then I reminded myself that I've done half-marathons and that a 10k isn't too much.

Packet pick-up was available Friday night and Saturday during the day at a local New Balance store. Friday night I was busy, so I decided to go on Saturday once my youngest had gotten up from his nap (my husband and older son were out for the day). We popped in quickly, grabbed the packet and headed out. The shirt is very nice but the best part was definitely the pack of KT Tape!

I packed everything the night before for race day, but was torn about what to wear on top. I went with an Under Armour heat gear shirt, a long sleeved shirt and a running jacket, but I put a t-shirt in my backpack just in case (I'm glad I did).

I left at 7, ate a Luna bar in the car and had a few sips of water and headed to the train station where the shuttle was bringing people to the race site. There were lots of buses so I wasn't left waiting very long.

Appleby College (the start line)

I got to the race site and spent some time inside one of the buildings, then decided to go for a walk to check out how much the school has changed in the past few years. Just a quick back story, I went to high school there, but I also worked at the summer camp there for 10 years so Appleby College holds a lot of special memories for me. I made my way back up to the race area, grabbed a warm cup of apple cider (just to hold), hit up the port-a-potty and then headed to the race corrals. I placed myself at the back of corral C and just before D. The announcer was hilarious which helped the time pass. The first wave (A &B) went of five minutes before our wave so it helped to have a little entertainment.

We started off at 8:20 and it spread out pretty quickly! I found myself having lots of space to run in and not having to zig zag around people. My goal was to stay under 7:00/km for the first 5 km and then be alright with my pace going to 7:15/km.

We ran past all the boats out in the marina!

The race went through a bunch of the side streets and man were there some hills. Nothing horrible, but they were consistent and things that I definitely didn't notice when I drive down there in my car. I'm very proud to say that I ran through all those hills though. I refused to let myself walk even though the big, gradual one at 8k to 10k was a killer. I only walked twice, for about 15 seconds each, to get some water/Gatorade.

I made it up the last big hill, ran through the chute (by myself) and came in with a chip time of 1:10. Not great, but I'll take it.
 photo IMG_2422_zpsp2o0hqyp.jpg
Not a huge fan of my medal, but I'll add it to my collection.

Once I got through the medals and water, I went to grab some food. I stood there for 2-3 minutes and the line-up never moved forward, so I said screw it, grabbed a couple booster juice samples and headed for the shuttles back home.

Overall, it was a great race. I didn't need my music (save for one moment with a foot dragger who drove me crazy), beautiful setting, well organized and good weather! I'll definitely do this one again in the future, but I'll be ready for those hills!
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