Sometimes you have to lose your breath to find your heartbeat.

I made plans to go away on the long Canada Day weekend to the cottage with friends months ago. However, months ago, I also did not anticipate that I would be this dedicated to training. While some of my running buds take part in Epic Canadian Race this weekend in Dartmouth, I’ll be chilling at my family cottage with some of my besties, enjoying BBQ, boating and fresh air. Although I will miss running and have major race FOMO,  I think I’ve earned the weekend off, so I’m forcing myself to do so. IMG_1269

I did however make one promise to myself when I decided not to do Epic Canadian: I would run 10k some time around Canada Day weekend. I decided to tell myself this because I realized that Epic was 6 weeks post Blue Nose Marathon, and I wanted to ensure that I kept up my training into the summer. I got an itch to run this week among a couple days of OCR training and boot camps and decided to go for it, completing 10k on the Chain of Lakes Trail (attached to the BLT). Having not actually done this distance since Blue Nose Marathon race day, I was pretty darn pumped to complete it within seconds of my time. Slow and steady!

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I am also 1 week out from Mud Hero come Saturday, so I plan to do the workout at the cottage one morning, with the exception of the tire flips (since I wont have any to flip). My family & friends are going to think I’m crazy. I’m tempted to run as well, yet that would be hypocritical given my statement above about giving myself a break. Maybe the mosquitoes will help me resist.

I’ve also committed to head over to Pictou, NS for Run for the Lobster on July 10 (yes, the day after Mud Hero, I’m crazy). Leaning toward doing the 10k! Who doesn’t want a medal with a lobster on it?!

On a totally unrelated note, I’ve had a lot of people tell me how happy and bubbly I seem lately. All I have to tell them is that I feel great, I have lots to look forward to, and I’m trying my best to continue this upward trend. You have the power to feel like that too, by simply lacing up a pair of sneakers and engaging in conversation with those doing the same.

The reality is, running has given me SO much more than I had anticipated. I didn’t know I’d meet so many amazing people. I didn’t know I’d be brave enough to share my story through #BetterInTheLongRun, I didn’t know there would be twitter chats, brunch dates, shopping trips, future races, cross training, or road trips. I’ve found such a great, supportive community and I’m bettering myself within it. So yes, I have reason to be happy & bubbly, and the physical transformation is only just part of it.

I didn’t come this far just to come this far.

I have my groove back. After the hype of the Scotiabank Blue Nose Marathon, being an ambassador through Team Myles, doing the training and completing the 10k, I really had a hard time feeling that drive to push further in the weeks afterwards. Although I was continuing to work out and run regularly, my runs felt long and full of effort. A running buddy of mine always says “every run is hard, no matter what the distance”. I beg to differ.

Non-runners refer to any running experience they’ve had as this grueling, burning feeling in their muscles, being out of breath, fighting with themselves. These are the things that take the fun out of running and cause people to give up. However, what you may not know is that every runner feels this to some degree, every time they run. I’m not kidding. I’ve dubbed it “the hump”, because although you do feel this at the beginning of your run, it DOES go away, you get over “the hump” if you will. Once it goes away, running becomes a piece of cake (ok well thats exaggerating, but its way easier, pinkIMG_1164y promise).

I realized this after I started being able to run longer than a few kilometers at a time. For me, once I pass the 4k mark, its smooth sailing and I can go forever. Some get over “the hump” after 1k, some after 6k. I’d hate to be the person who has to run 12k before feeling good. What determines this? I’m still figuring that out. Comment below if you know.

I experienced that this week on Wednesday during hill training with some running buds. We did 20mins of 30sec sprint – 30 sec walk intervals on Citadel Hill, followed by a run up, around, anIMG_1162d back down for good measure. Although hill sprints are always hard (if they aren’t, you’re not doing it right), once that was finished the run afterwards was easy. I found a much faster pace than my usual and zipped around the hill like nobody’s business. I hadn’t felt like that in a while!

I also got my eating back on track this week. Lots of hot weather calls for fresh veggies and fruits and lots of water. I feel much better! I also experimented a bit in the kitchen and altered one of my old favorites to create Chicken Peanut Satay – The Healthy Way. Try it out!

 

Here was my past week in a nutshell:IMG_1105

  • Saturday: OCR training at 360fit (two weeks till Mud Hero!)  
  • Sunday: 10k hike – 3 hours with my partner and our dog, rough terrain and gorgeous views!
  • Monday: 5k flat-ish run
  • Tuesday: Rest day best day!
  • Wednesday: 20min 30:30 hill sprints followed by a quick hilly run
  • Thursday: Superhero Training at 360fit
  • Friday: Rest day even better day!

Back to the top tomorrow with another round of OCR training at 360fit! Planning ahead, I’ve decided that I want to do another 10k before Maritime Race Weekend in September. Any must-do races that you suggest? Comment below. Have a good week all!

 

Chicken Peanut Satay – the healthy way

This is a variation on one of my favorite dishes to make at home. Originally this would be FULL of cals and fat, but I’ve tweaked it to create the perfect post-gym meal. Enjoy! (serves 4)

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
  • 2 chicken breasts, diced
  • 1 head of broccoli, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper (you choose the colour!)
  • 1/3 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/3 tsp evoo
  • Crushed peanuts for garnish (optional)

Sauce

  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • dash of sesame oil
  • 1 tsp hot chili sauce (like rooster brand)
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger

Directions

  1. In separate saucepans, cook rice and quinoa as per package instructions
  2. While rice/quinoa is cooking, saute chicken in evoo until fully cooked, add broccoli, peppers, onion and let simmer for 5 mins on med heat
  3. While the others are cooking, in a small saucepan melt peanut butter over med-low heat. Add all sauce ingredients and stir for 30 seconds, remove from heat.
  4. Combine cooked quinoa, rice, chicken, veggies, and sauce in one pan.
  5. Add garnish (optional) & enjoy!

*Variations: Leave out the chicken for a vegetarian meal!

Planes, trains, automobiles, sneakers.

It has been a while since my last post, for a few reasons! Last week I pretty well lived at 360fit, and this week I have been travelling for work.

Last Week: 

I stuck to my plan to get to a few classes at 360fit. I went Monday (Boot Camp) and Wednesday (Tabata) as planned, but then on Thursday I decided to go back to the gym for Superhero Training (yes that’s what the class is called!) instead of running. Thursday was a day of firsts! Although very sore from the previous workouts of the week, I did two things for the first time ever:IMG_0919

  •  A push up from my toes (successfully)Does this mean I have to try them from my toes all the time now? I’m exhausted just thinking about it.
  • TIRE FLIPS. Yes. Self explanatory, wonder woman style! Total bucket list. Anyone need those extra tractor tires in your backyard moved? I’m your girl! Oh, is that a kitten stuck under that big tire? Melissa to the rescue.

My gym IMG_0937buddy Jody, my partner Shamir and I also decided last week to sign up for MUD HERO! So, on July 9th I’ll be doing my first ever obstacle course, complete with climbing walls, slides, rope ladders, running over cars, and a whole lot of muddiness. Thankfully we also signed up for a training course at 360fit to help prepare. So, again despite being unbelievably sore, off we went Saturday morning to do the most ridiculous, but fun workout with Devin Sherrington.

To top it all off, somehow I found what little energy I had left to do the Sole Sisters 5k on Saturday evening with some Team Myles Alum. This is a fun run, not timed, and all women. I dressed up in my tutu and frolicked around, running, walking, eating chocolate, enjoying myself, and bringing my medal count up to 3! Hehe

This week:

Travelling threw me for quite the loop. I had tried to set realistic goals for my trip. Since I was recovering from a few boot camp classes and a 5k the previous week, I thought I would give myself a break and go to the hotel gym 1-2 times for a light workout, nothing crazy. I promised myself to stick to healthier meal options, while allowing myself to enjoy my trip and meet my friends for dinner. If I was going to eat badly, it would be one dinner with my friends, not to be wasted on catered food at the conference I was attending.

This sort of happened, but not really. The mentality that I went on my trip with was so vIMG_1022ery different from what the old me would have. Instead of being unhealthy and indulging, I stressed myself out about not working out, and not having access to healthier options. The catered food did not make it easy to choose wisely. There were cookies, cakes, pop, white bread, pasta salads, and very few things I should be eating. By the time I was out for dinner with my friends, I hardly felt like eating unhealthy food at all (who am I?). I did have a few too many glasses of wine on my trip, I must admit.

I got to the gym once, and just did a 5k run on the treadmill. Although this was my plan to give myself a break, I wanted to be working out every day because of what I was eating.

Take the road less traveled. 

I think I’ve asked in every blog I’ve written, between my Team Myles blogs and this one, “Who am I?”. While I was travelling and worried about getting off track, a good friend and trainer of mine told me to remember how far I’ve come. Always take the time to reflect back. It is very important to think and appreciate each and every thing you’re doing for yourself. If you find that you are beating yourself up about a missed workout or a bad food choice, remember what it was like when you did that every day. Pat yourself on the back for the fact that missing a workout or eating badly is abnormal now, count it as a hiccup and begin the next day with intentions to point yourself in the right direction again.

So to answer my own question, Who am I? I’m the same girl, I just decided to do things a little differently, and I’m pretty proud of that.

 

Burpees, like everything, happen for a reason.

It’s been a good week! I have raved about 360fit in the past. This is the gym that I was so lucky to work out in while a member of Team Myles, and whose trainers helped me go from couch to 10k in 12 weeks.

This week I found out that 360fit is not getting rid of me just yet! I filled out a ballot for 3 free months at the Blue Nose Marathon Expo and guess what?! I WON. (I never win anything!!). If this is not a sign that I am destined to be fit, I don’t know what is.

If you have not tried 360fit  I totally encourage you to check them out. They offer 1 week of unlimited fitness classes to newbies, how could you not? The workouts are challenging, fun and the atmosphere is welcoming. They push you to your limits. Their trainers are awesome. Do it! I’ll come with you!

Last week – a recap: 

I stuck to my workout plan for the most part, aside from getting out to do some hill training. Instead, I did a rather hilly 6k and could hardly walk the next day. Success! I have felt like I was in a funk when it comes to running lately – just not able to find a comfortable pace, going much slower than I usually do. I think I’m finally starting to come out of it.

My eating last week was….ok. I started out strong, having prepped a lot of wonderfully healthy food to get me through the week. By Thursday I was pretty tired of it. Lesson learned. I may have slipped and fell into a pizza. Friday, I offered to drive out to pick up our team’s kits for Sunday’s 5k race..which just so happened to be located INSIDE the Chickenburger in Bedford. So there’s that. Back on track this week!

On Sunday a few Team Myles Alum did the IWK 5k in Memory of Jessica. It ended up being an absolutely gorgeous sunny run, despite the fact that it was pouring rain when I woke up that morning. Although it was hot, I felt good and ran at a much more comfortable pace. We danced, sang, laughed, high-fived, and enjoyed every minute (well…except maybe the hilly minutes..). Great run for a great cause!

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Trying battle ropes for the first time ever. Melissa turned badass!

 

 

 

Here’s my plan this week: 

  • Monday: Boot Camp at 360fit (done…all the burpees. So sore.)
  • Tuesday: Rest – I can’t move.
  • Wednesday: 360fit Zumba or Boot Camp.
  • Thursday: 6-8k Run
  • Friday: Rest
  • Saturday: Sole Sisters 5k!

On Sunday I’m flying out to Toronto for work and returning Wednesday. I’m going to try to hit the hotel gym a few times and enjoy some catered food – without indulging too much 🙂 Stay tuned and follow my instagram and twitter accounts @betterlongrun for updates.