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This upcoming weekend I will be running my first race since the girl was born two months ago.

But that’s not the only first I will be experiencing.

This weekend will also be the first time I am away from the girl for more than a couple of hours.

Yes, I will be leaving my family at home while I run my first race with two of my friends.

Before anyone freaks out about the fact I am leaving my two-month-old overnight please remember that everyone’s situation is different. Even though I do breastfeed I also must supplement her feedings with a bottle. As a result, she will be fine at home with her father and I will be fine in a hotel with a breast pump.

The original plan was to get a hotel room and go as a family but my husband suggested I go alone for a couple of reasons:

1. He feels it is important that I get a bit of a break and time to myself.

2. It will be infinitely easier for our three-year-old to be at home than in a hotel room, especially when the girl requires attention.

I had to think about it for a few days because at first I felt bad about even considering leaving my family. Then I realized it really would be best for the reasons stated above.

We did a test run last Friday where my husband got up with the girl throughout the night for feedings. I still woke-up too to pump but he did all the bottle feeding.

Both of them passed with flying colours.

But really, at the end of the day, this is what is best for my husband and what he would prefer to do so I can run.

And the way I see it, he trusts me to be home alone with our kids so there is no reason why I shouldn’t trust him to do the same.

Besides, I’ve never met a person, male or female, who can handle the sound of a crying baby better than my husband.

Dirty diapers are a whole other story.

When you go to races do you prefer to go with family, friends, or solo?

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I am generally a solo runner.

This has more to do with the fact that not a lot of people run where I live rather than me not wanting to run with people.

I have attempted to fun with various friends before but it has never really worked out. We are all mothers with young children so it is difficult to find a time that works best for everyone involved.

Until now.

Yes, I finally have a running buddy and I couldn’t be more excited.

I knew I needed to find someone to run with now that the days are getting shorter. The only time I can get out for a run without the kids is once my husband gets home from work. By the time we have supper and I get ready it is already getting dark. I am not interested in running by myself in the dark.

I also knew I needed to find someone who I wanted to run with, who liked running, and who was available when I was.

She was sitting across the desk from me the whole time: My co-worker. (I’m currently on maternity leave but technically she is still my co-worker)

As soon as I thought of it I texted her to see if she was interested. She wrote me back right away saying she was so I grabbed my marathon training plan and figured out a schedule. We will be running together three times during the week on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. I will still do my long runs on the weekend by myself because she will not be training for a marathon but she knows there is a standing invitation to join me.

We started this week and let me tell you I love having a running buddy!

The time goes by quicker.

We get to catch up since we don’t spend seven hours across from each other anymore.

And I get to push someone, which in turn pushes me.

We are currently doing a 3:1 run/walk ratio to build a base before the mileage increases on the training plan. I keep telling her my goal is to push her, not kill her. I am succeeding so far.

My love for running has increased in just two short runs all because I have someone to share it with.

And not only do I have her in real life but I also have another friend who I am “training” with. I put the word training in quotes because we live over two-hours away from each other but we are both training for our first marathon, which we will run together. We have already figured out how we want to tackle the training and the actual marathon. I’m hoping we can get together for a couple of long runs together once the mileage increases. We figure if we train the same we should be able to race the same.

Running with friends; I doesn’t get any better.

Do you prefer to run solo or with a buddy?

 

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It’s September and as I sit here trying to remember where the month of August went, I’m also excited for what September has to offer.

To say I’ve been looking forward to September would be an understatement.

September means the start of Strong Start, a playgroup that meets twice a week where Lincoln can play with his friends and I can socialize with my friends.

September means the start of pre-school for our little man. He will attend one, possibly two, mornings a week and a few friends and I have already discussed going for a weekly walk together while the kids are learning and having fun.

September means experiencing Jason Mraz live in concert for the second time. I. Can’t. Hardly. Wait.

September means my first race/event is a little over a month away. I will be participating in a 10K on October 7. Eek!

I haven’t been running as much as I would like but I make each run count when I can get out there.

Running post-pregnancy is taking some getting used to and not for the reasons you may think.

The last time I ran I was pregnant. I learned to listen to my body and not push myself too hard. Now I have to re-learn how to listen to my body and know that it’s OK to breathe hard again. My joints are still loose pregnancy and it’s important not to push myself to the point of injury. It’s all one big balancing act – one that I have missed dearly.

September also means I am one-month into my post-pregnancy weight loss journey. Teagan was born on a Saturday. I recorded my weight the night before I had her and am using that as my starting point. Saturdays will also be weigh-in days.

It is not a pretty number but it is going down. I’m not prepared to share the exact figures yet but I have lost 26 lbs so far. Most of that was simply from giving birth but the rest is the result of clean eating (most of the time), exercise, and breastfeeding. I’m aiming for a healthy weight loss of 1-2 lbs a week and will check-in each week.

I know that weight loss isn’t the be-all to end-all, and my ultimate goal is on overall health and fitness, but each pound lost will make everything else easier to accomplish. Especially my goal of completing a marathon.

I am also excited to join the FitFluential family as a new Ambassador – more on this in the next few days.

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A few days ago I mentioned that I am excited to be participating in two different projects related to health and fitness.

The first one is the Mezamashii Run Project from Mizuno, the makers of running shoes and gear.

From their website:

Mezamashii is the Japanese word for eye-opening, or brilliant. The Mezamashii Run Project is our
quest to deliver a more brilliant running experience to dedicated runners everywhere.

As a participant I was sent a pair of Mizuno running shoes so I could experience my own brilliant run.

Yesterday I had that run.

I took my Mizuno Wave Rider 15 running shoes

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and my favourite running partner

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and ran on my favourite trail that meanders along the Kettle River.

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It was, in a word, brilliant.

Or mezamashii.

The sun was shining and the air was crisp, making for perfect Fall-like running conditions.

It was the run I had been waiting for since having Teagan.

The kind of run that makes you want to keep running.

The kind of run that makes you realize that you can get back into it after being sidelined for whatever reason.

Here’s to many more Brilliant Runs.

Thanks Mizuno.

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It’s Friday.

I can’t believe how fast this week has flown by and if I’m being honest here (and that’s exactly why I’m here) I did not run at all this week.

It turns out that trying to follow a schedule, running or other wise, just doesn’t work for me right now. I had all the intentions in the world to go for a few runs in the evenings this week but little Teagan had other plans in the form of crazy long cluster feeds.

I was initially bummed out about it and felt like I was failing at being able to do it all. My motivation to run was there but I was having a hard time physically getting out the door.

Then my husband said something to me with respect to sleep that helped put it all into perspective.

You see, I haven’t had a real sleep schedule since Teagan was born either. I sleep when I can and if that means going to bed at 8:00 pm instead of the usual, and what I consider normal, time of 10:00 pm than that’s what has to happen right now.

Similarly I have to forget about following any sort of strict plan with respect to running and exercise. I simply must fit it in when I can.

And that’s ok because that’s what works for me right now.

I fully expect it to change as we all settle in to a routine and as Teagan gets older.

Yesterday that meant completing a 20 minute workout while the kids both napped. Maybe I should have slept too but in reality I was either going to work out or waste time on social media.

I think I chose the better option.

It’s tough to not compare myself to other new moms who seem to be able to fit in daily exercise. But then I remind myself that I also have a 3-year-old who demands my time and attention too making it that more difficult to fit it all in.

In a perfect world our whole family would follow the same schedule but that’s never going to happen.

Not now and not in the future.

So instead of beating myself up over it I’ve decided to just go with the flow.

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It’s been almost 2 weeks since Teagan joined our family and we are slowly getting into a routine. Andrew was home for the first week, which was awesome and made the transition so much easier. Now, we are on the tail end of my first week home alone with not one but two kids.

So far, so good.

Teagan is (knock on wood) a very happy and content baby.

Lincoln has been cooperative so far but we do notice once Andrew gets home he is more prone to tantrums. My theory is that Linc figures since there are two of us home then Teagan doesn’t need as much attention. We’re slowly figuring it out.

On top of it all I have been given the go ahead to start running again. This makes me excited but I have yet to hit the pavement.

I have a bunch of excuses for why a run has yet to happen and none of them are truly justifiable.

1. Teagan is still too young and floppy for me to run with her in the Chariot. On the surface this is in fact a very justifiable reason not to run during the day. Babies are fragile and their little noggins don’t need to be rattled around. But realistically, running with the Chariot scares me. I don’t know if I’ll ever run with it and for now I am breathing a sigh of relief that I can’t do it for Teagan’s safety.

2. I’m tired at the end of the day. Again, seemingly justifiable considering I just gave birth 2 weeks ago. But I know running gives me more energy so there’s no reason not to run.

3. I’m breastfeeding so I can’t leave Teagan’s side. This would be valid if I didn’t time things accordingly, but Teagan eats roughly every two hours giving me plenty of time to go for a 30 minute run before she needs to eat again.

4. The laundy needs to be folded, the dishwasher needs to emptied, etc. Such a lame excuse. These things can wait and besides, I have a husband to help out with household chores.

I really have no idea why I haven’t gone running yet. I’ve been wearing a new pair of Saucony Kinvara 2 running shoes on our daily walks and I definitely have the desire to run again.

Don’t you just love the glow of a new pair of shoes?

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Maybe it’s just a matter of getting it out there that will push aside the excuses. That and the fact that I’m registered for a 10K the beginning of October, and have the blog to hold me accountable, should be more than enough motivation.

And as if that wasn’t enough, I also found out recently that I was accepted to participate in not one but two amazing projects related to running, health, and fitness (more on those in a later post).

Having said all this, tonight is the night.

I’m going for a run once Andrew gets home and the weather cools off. I’ll take a picture as proof to myself and all of you once I’m done and will post it tomorrow.

After all, I’m not going to make it to 26.2 sitting on the couch.

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On April 28, 2012 the Rick Hansen 25th Anniversary Relay will be making its way through Midway and I am honoured to be a medal-bearer for this event.

Rick Hansen is a well-known Canadian who had a dream twenty-five years ago to make the world a more accessible and inclusive place, as well as to find a cure for spinal cord injury. Rick Hansen suffered a spinal cord injury in 1973 when he was thrown from the back of a pick-up truck and became paralyzed from the waist down. He did not let his injury slow him down and later went on to become the first person with a disability to graduate from the University of British Columbia with a degree in Physical Education. He has won 19 international wheelchair marathons, the world title four times, nine gold medals at the Pan American Wheelchair Games, and he represented Canada at the 1984 Olympics.

On March 22, 1985 (I was four-years-old) Rick and his team began the Man In Motion World Tour. For 26 months they wheeled over 40,000 kilometres (the equivalent of three marathons every day) through 34 countries, raising awareness of the potential of people with disabilities. I have no memories of the actual event because I was so young but I do remember learning about Rick Hansen in school growing up.

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In 2010 the celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the MIMWT began. On April 24, 2011 Rick and his team began retracing the Canadian segment of the MIMWT relay, beginning in Newfoundland, moving from one Man in Motion to Many in Motion. Over the course of nine months, Rick and his team will have travelled 12,000 km and visited 600 communities across Canada. Over 7000 participants will join the relay in their communities as a representation of the original relay. Each medal-bearer will carry and hand-off the Rick Hansen Medal as it makes its way across the country.

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Communities had a chance to submit names for potential medal-bearers but a contest was also held to select participants.

I decided to take a chance and submit my name. I thought it would be a great opportunity to be a part of something uniquely Canadian and an experience I would always remember.

Opportunities like this don’t come around often and I am thankful to live in a small community where something like this is possible. Midway is home to 620 people. For Midway to be a stop on something as significant as the Rick Hansen 25th Anniversary Relay is a privilege and honour. I will be joining two other medal-bearers in Midway and I know it will represent something different for each of us.

I do not have a disability myself but I am grateful every day that I am able to move freely and do what I love: run.

If the relay is heading to your community please take the time to cheer on the medal-bearers. I’ll be sure to post a recap once the relay is over.

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