Thursday, December 27, 2012

holiday runs

So I went on a few runs while I was home over the holidays. It was wonderful to run with my family again, it's been awhile!

I did a 5km run at the KC Irving Centre in Bathurst. It's an indoor track that surrounds a hockey rink:

It's a great place to run. It cost $2 (or you can buy a pass), and since it's beside the rink it stays pretty cool around 14C. And if you're lucky there may be people playing hockey which provides some free entertainment! Another plus is that you go the opposite direction of the walkers, therefore you don't have to be continually passing people. I went to this track and had an awesome run! I ended up running 5km in about 29 minutes.

A few days later I went on an 8km run with my dad, sister Nikki and brother in law Ray. It was super warm out so we decided to run around town. We were faced with some melting snow which lead to some wet feet, but it was warm enough that we didn't mind. Afterwards we took some photos:

Friday, December 14, 2012

99 red balloons

I finished up my final training session. I improved all the challenges we did! We competed in one challenge every week for the first 6 weeks, then we repeated the challenges to see if we improve. The challenges were:

- wall sit for time
- elbow plank for time
- number of push-ups
- 1.5 mile on a stationary bike at level 10
- # of burpees in a minute
- 1 mile run

So today we did the mile run. My original time was 8 minutes, 31 seconds. And today I ran it in 8:08. I'm really happy with this! Especially since I haven't been doing a lot of running recently. I was scared that I would not improve at all. I participated in this program from January-May of this year also. My original mile time was 11 minutes. At that time I was surprised that I was even able to run the whole thing. I think my second mile time (in May) was around 8:30. It's awesome to know that I am still improving!

Today I also took part in a unique fitness class. My roommate Julie is the assistant fitness director at UMaine. In addition taking part in a lot of the behind the scenes things, she also teaches fitness classes. She is honestly the best instructor I have ever had! She is moving on to a new job in Philadelphia, so today she taught her last class. She incorporated using balloons in the class which was pretty interesting and fun... and a lot harder than you'd think!

You can see me down in my squat! Somehow off time from the rest of the class?

The whole crew after the class. I'm in the pink tank top in the front row. Julie has on the white tank top in the very front. It was a great class and I wish all the best to her!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

two weeks!

I love kettlebell. I go to a class every Wednesday at the UMaine gym. The instructor always provides a dynamic workout that is always different. She incorporates different equipment such as a step and a bosu ball to keep things interesting. Today's workout was shoulder heavy and I'm feeling it already! Gotta love that. We also did a move called a suitcase squat:

[Are her knees going over her toes? Hard to tell from the angle. Remember to always have good form!!]
We had two kettlebells of different weights. Start with the weights beside you on the ground, squat down and pick up, stand up, squat down, set weights on the floor, stand up. That is one rep. We did 15 on each side, and then switched the weights to make sure we were even. These definitely got my quads burning.

While I was home I ran twice. Not what I was hoping for, but better than nothing! It also felt easier than I anticipated, yay!!

AND in TWO WEEKS I will be finished my graduate program!! This means I will be moving back to Canada. Directly following the end of my program I'll be going to my parents home for a bit of a vacation. I'm a little worried that since I won't have a fixed schedule or gym membership that I might lose track of working out... especially with all the fun Christmas specials on tv and the delicious treats to eat! So I am planning on setting a December workout goal for myself. I was thinking maybe a mileage goal, but I don't want my strength training to be put on the back burner. Any suggestions?

Thursday, November 15, 2012


I haven't been avoiding you, I swear! AND I have been keeping active!

Running, well, that is another story.

Let's start from the beginning. As I mentioned in my last post (exactly one month ago), I have been working with a trainer twice a week. I also attend at least three fitness classes a week. My favorites are Zumba, kettlebell and kickboxing. I feel awesome, and I am getting stronger.

That being said however, I have not gone running... in a long, long time.

For (American) Thanksgiving I will be going home, where I don't have a gym. SO this will be perfect timing for me to jump back on the running horse! or sidewalk... or whatever.

AND I will be in the presence of my best running partner, my sister!

Please wish me luck with getting back into it. I'm a little nervous that I've lost some of my stamina and endurance but hey if it happens, it happens.

Hope to see you out there!

Monday, October 15, 2012


I mentioned a little while ago that I signed up for a program at the UMaine gym called 'Big Bears to Little Bears' (I HATE that name by the way). It consists of you being set up in a team, and meeting together with a trainer twice a week. There are challenges and you can gain points to compete against the other teams. You can earn points by going to training sessions (duh), fitness classes, submitting a diet log and healthy recipes, weight loss, and your improvement on the challenges. Challenges include things like holding a wall sit for time, holding plank, doing push ups, and running a mile. I participated in the program during the January semester and had great results.

This semester I signed up with my friends Kate and Jess who are in my grad program. So now, my weeks generally look like this:

Monday - training
Tuesday - run
Wednesday - fitness class, usually kettlebell
Thursday - training
Friday - fitness class, usually kickboxing (or off depending on my schedule)
Saturday - fitness class (or off depending on my schedule)
Sunday - fitness class

SO as you can see there isn't much time for running! I have been feeling a lot more balanced since starting this program. Prior to this program I felt weak and I had lost most of the strength I had gained during the winter semester's training program. Even just four weeks into this program I feel more well-rounded and that I am focusing on all areas of fitness.

That being said, I don't want to lose all of the mileage I have worked so hard to gain! How do you balance running and 'other' fitness?

Saturday, October 13, 2012

valley harvest run

Last weekend I participated in the Valley Harvest Run in Wolfville, NS with my dad, sister Nikki, her husband Ray, their nephew River and Ray's mom. River & Ray's mom did the 5k whereas the rest of us participated in the 10k. It was Thanksgiving day which made the race extra special. Knowing that we would be having a turkey dinner later in the day was definitely a motivator for this race!

It was a GORGEOUS day. Clear beautiful blue skies, no wind. It was chilly, so I left my fleece on until the beginning of the race. I ended up stashing it on a fence near the start line and then retrieved it afterwards.

The route was an out and back that had 3 hills. At the beginning of the race the entire road was closed which was a great way to spread out at the start. After the first km or so we only had one side of the road for us to run. And I just have to say that people drive way too fast when going by runners! Especially a race!! All it takes is one slip in your footing and you could be in front of a car. I urge anyone who runs on the road to be VERY cautious of drivers and remember to wear reflective clothing as it's getting darker earlier now!

Anyway, back to the race. At the very beginning of the run I saw a guy ahead of me who had a shirt that said 'PUSH' on the back. So I thought to myself 'ok, I can push'. And so, I pushed myself and it paid off. It's funny how something so simple can stick with you. I reached the 5km marker with the FANTASTIC time of 25 minutes!! Seriously, the FASTEST I have ever run 5km. I felt elated and surprised when I looked down at my watch and saw that time. I thought to myself 'if I can keep this up I can finish in 50 minutes!!'

Sadly, I could not keep it up. Around the 7.5km mark the pain (followed by doubt) started to set in. My right knee was hurting really badly. There was something that just wasn't right. It felt very tight along the outside of my knee with every step. And with pain like this, thoughts such as: 

What if something is really wrong?
This hurts so bad!
I should keep running...
Should I stop?
Am I really hurting myself?

start entering your mind and it's hard to block them out. I continued on with a very slow pace and was ecstatic to see the finish line. I finished with a time of 1:03:43 which is a PR (from my previous 10k of 1:09). My original goal was to finish in under 1:05 so I'm super happy!! 

My knee ended up REALLY hurting me for the rest of the day and the next day. It was stiff and sore when I put my weight on it. I put some ointment on it and walking around helped. However I think what helped the most was the glorious Thanksgiving meal my Nanny prepared! yumyum.

I went for a brisk walk on Tuesday (2 days post race) to test out my knee and I had zero pain! It has been fine ever since.

Other finishing times: Ray - 58 mins, Nikki - 1:01, Dad - 1:02

And as always, here are some pictures from the race:

Me, dad and Nikki post race, all wearing the race shirts

Medal - my iPod doesn't pick up the incredible level of detail.

Ribbon around the medal.

So I leave you with one question. My next race I want to try to inspire someone by wearing a shirt with something motivating on the back. Any suggestions?


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

MS run!

Phew, long time no see! I would like to use being busy as an excuse for my lack of posting but that isn't really it. I kept meaning to post and then ended up getting sidetracked and not coming back to it.

Regardless, you need to be caught up on my recent runs! As I mentioned before, I ran a 5k on September 29th with some girls (and a husband) from my grad program at school. The run was to support research for Multiple Sclerosis, and was in Brewer, Maine.

The previous week had been super rainy, so I was hoping the rain would hold off for the race. It was overcast (yay!) with heavy drizzle (boo). The biggest problem I faced during this race was GLASSES. Ole four eyes over here had to stop and clean her glasses. They were fogging up and just covered in droplets. I have worn contacts in the past, but went back to glasses a few years ago. This is an indication of why running with glasses sucks!

The race had a small participation number of 31! I didn't realize this prior to the race but this was the first year they had runners as it's traditionally a walk for MS research. So that explains the small numbers.

My final time was 32:08 and I placed 18/31. Happy with this considering the weather!

Team Each Step Counts prior to the race

Stay tuned as soon I will update about the 10k I did this weekend!

Thursday, September 27, 2012


Sometimes you need to dig deep for motivation.

Recently I made a motivation wall to remind me what I'm working for:

My motivation wall includes a picture of my sister Nikki and my boyfriend Jamie after a race we did a few years ago, my medals and race bibs, a note from Jamie wishing me luck before a race and the fitness class schedule at the gym. And since I haven't shown them off yet, here is a close up of the medals from the Maritime Race Weekend:

 The one on the left is for the 10k, the right one for the 5km. And this giant mother for running the two races back to back:

And for some more motivation I have a picture submitted by my dad. He has been running for a few years and was definitely an inspiration for me to start (and stick to it!). He began by running on the treadmill and then moved his runs to outside. Recently he met an amazing milestone:

He achieved 1000kms!!! Not to mention using a completely smashed iPod. His iPod has been like this for at least 6 months, but he persevered and continued to run and use it regardless. Way to go dad!!

I'm excited to be running the 10km in the Harvest Valley run with my dad in 10 days. 

 I also signed up for a 5km race this weekend in support of Multiple Sclerosis Research. I signed up because all the cool kids were doing it (aka girls in my grad school program). Our team is called Each Step Counts and if you would like to donate to a very deserving cause please visit this website.

What do you use as motivation?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

terrible 10

UGH!!!! That is the only way I can describe today's run.

I took about 10 days off from running following my last race. This was kind of by accident. I meant to take a few days off to recover, but then life got in the way!

So after 10 days off, I thought I should try to run 10k today. PROBABLY not the best idea.

So my terrible run all started last night when I returned home from the gym and couldn't find my iPod touch. I really couldn't imagine it being stolen as it was within view at all times while I was working with my trainer. Also, I remembered it being in my pocket as I walked to my car. Regardless, it was missing. All was not lost though, as I had my older nano which I used for my run today.

So despite the lost Ipod, I tried to pump myself up by dancing around my room a bit before heading out. I was looking forward to the route I had mapped (I use map my run) as it incorporated running in the woods as well as running through campus. 

It was a gorgeous day... clear sunny skies, great temperature with a medium breeze. LOVED IT.

And then, about 2 minutes into my run it hit me:

"this sucks" 
"why is this so hard?"
 "i want to stop" 
"my legs are sore"
"i should probably stop" 
"i have so much farther to go"
etc etc etc

After what felt like a lifetime I did complete the 10k. I estimate that I ran about 7.5k and walked the rest. It really wasn't a terrible run but the constant mental block made it feel insanely difficult! It was a huge reminder that so much of running is mental.

I found this article on runner's world that talks about overcoming those horrible mental blocks. I'm going to try to incorporate some of their suggestions into my next run.

While running I try to say to myself at least once "you're doing it!!" so I can really appreciate the fact that I made it past the first step - getting into my workout gear and onto the road. Other mantras I use are: 'you can do it!' 'you've done it before!' 'not much farther'. I also try to make myself smile when running feels really difficult. It may sound silly but it helps. And if someone sees you smiling and running, then they will know that you are having a great time, and maybe you will motivate them to run too!

How do you get passed your own mental blocks? 

Update: Found my iPod. Wasn't stolen, just misplaced! :)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

next race!

I signed up for my next 10km race today. I will be participating in the Valley Harvest Marathon in Wolfville, NS on October 7th. I'm really excited for this race as I will be doing it with my sister Nikki, my brother in law Ray and my dad! I enjoyed the Maritime Race Weekend but I missed having some running partners.

My other latest exercise endeavor is participating in a program called Big Bears to Little Bears at the UMaine campus gym. I see a trainer twice a week with two friends. There are weekly challenges where we compete against other teams. Included in the package is an unlimited pass to fitness classes. Saw my trainer for the first time on Thursday. SO SORE the next day. But in a good way! During the summer I put strength training on the back burner as I concentrated on running. Now I am trying to find a balance between running and strength which can be difficult. I don't want to push myself too hard, but I don't want to hold back when I could be doing more!

My plan for the next week:

Sunday - 5km run, fitness assessment (consists of running 1 mile, doing push ups and sit ups)
Monday - training
Tuesday - 10km run
Wednesday - 3km run, fitness class
Thursday - Training
Friday - 6km
Saturday - yoga

How do you balance running with cross training and strength training?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

i did it!

I ran my races last weekend!! Really happy with my results and that I felt good during both of my races. My stuffy nose seemed to magically go away while I was running, which was amazing. The races took place in Fisherman's Cove, Nova Scotia. The routes were along the water and provided BEAUTIFUL scenery. So many times I wanted to stop and take photos!

I finished the 5km run with a time of 31:21, which is a mile pace of 10:05. We ran the 5km at 7pm, and had gorgeous weather and a beautiful sunset:


The 10km took place the next morning, at 7:30am. I finished with a time of 1:09, which is a mile pace of 11:06. My goal was to finish in less than 1:20, so I am very happy with my time! I'll be interested to see what my finish time is for my next 10km when I haven't ran a 5km the night before!

Some more photos from the event:

Prior to the 5km race with one of my supporters, my bro-in-law, Ray.
Happy while running the 5km!

Runners in the 5km race, you can see me in purple!

ARRRR!!! Me and some pirates

The Tartan Twosome medals. Anyone who ran in 2 events (5km + another) received one!

I will post more pictures soon of the 10km race, and when the official photos are released. I also have some new exciting race and exercise plans that I will share with you soon!

Are you taking part in any fall races? Tell me about it! 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

this is it!

Only two days until the Maritime Race Weekend! I will be running a 5km race Friday evening and a 10km race Saturday morning.

AND OF COURSE! This is the week I get a cold. I have felt FINE all summer and then boom, a cough, stuffy nose and pounding head. Maybe it's from stress?

Regardless I am still feeling good about the race. Ran 10.5km this weekend and it went really well! I'm happy it's been so cold out around here lately, it has made running SO much better!

I had decided earlier this week that I would run around 4km today, take tomorrow off, then do the race Friday. Now that I'm feeling sick I'm not so sure. I want to run because running reminds me that I am prepared, but I could probably also benefit from rest.

Should I run a slow and easy 4km or just stay inside and rest?

Look forward to pictures and updates from the race next week!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

it's been awhile

I'm still here! Still alive, still running. Last week was a really busy week as I was taking a shorten course from 8-3 every day. And to balance things out this week I have tons of free time! Feels great.

I just finished a re-do of week 10. I ran 11km on Sunday morning and it KILLED my knees. While I was running I felt some discomfort, but I pushed on. I got home, stretched, and went about my day. In the evening it was very painful to bend my knees. I iced my knees which seemed to help. Thankfully the pain was mostly gone yesterday and I went for an easy hike with no problems.

This week is week 11 of my running program:
M - 3km 
T - 6km
W - off
T - 5km
F - 3km
S - 13km

I am going to tweak the program a bit. Overtime I have realized that this isn't the best program for me. I don't like running two days in a row. And as the Maritime Race Weekend is only 10 days away I want to be cautious of my knees so I don't get injured!

So instead I already took Monday off. I'm going to run 6km today, 5km Thursday and 13km on Saturday. On Friday I will do some walking to keep my muscles loose.

Lately I have tried two different oatmeal recipes. Oatmeal is fantastically cheap and reminds me of fall and winter. The last week has been really chilly and oatmeal is a healthy way to warm your belly! That being said, one recipe I tried was's Overnight Oats, which is actually for cold oatmeal:

It consists of cooking oats overnight in the fridge with Greek yogurt, milk, and fruit. I added some peanut butter on top. I wasn't a big fan! I thought it was a little chalky tasting. It could be my discount oats that did it. Either way I suggest you try it as it's a great alternative option to eat oats! Maybe you will be a fan.

After my 11km yesterday I sat around in my running clothes for awhile (bad idea I know) and was feeling super cold. I thought a great way to warm up and to get some recovery food would be oatmeal (again!):

This time I made hot oats with cinnamon, nutmeg, flaxseed and half a banana. I topped it off with some peanut butter. It was delicious and warmed up me instantly.

I'm also going to make this oatmeal based recipe soon as a replacement for granola bars: Banana Oatmeal Cups

What are your favorite ways to enjoy oatmeal?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

first 10k, then the world


Finally ran 10k. Ran in 1:11:44 which I am really happy with considering my race day goal was 1:20. It was a fairly flat route, with lots of stoplights which I appreciated on my first 10k run!

My legs are feeling pretty stiff and dead now, so I'm going to stretch out, drink lots of water, steal some of my boyfriend's protein powder, and then have a long cold shower.

Hope everyone is doing well with their own goals!

Monday, August 20, 2012

vacation again!

The great thing about being in school is that I get a lot of mini vacations. I love it! I can't believe that I will be finished in December. By the time I will finish I will have attended university for 7 1/2 years. THAT IS A LONG TIME! I really can't imagine not living the student life. Working 9-5 EVERY day?!? No summers off?! No month long Christmas break?!? These things scare me.

However, for all the good that comes from being a student, having these multiple vacations can really throw off my running schedule. I am a creature of habit and order. I like having a plan, and being thrown into vacation mode can snowball for me, where I end up laying around and doing absolutely nothing!

So as you may have guessed I'm on vacation again. Back in Halifax for a week as I finished my summer practicum.

Last week I was on week 9 of my training program:
M - 3k
T - 4k
W - off
T - 5k
F - 4k
S - 10k
S - off

I stuck to fairly well. Even ran 4k after I had driven for 7.5 hours on Friday! BUT I did not do the 10k on Saturday. It is my first 10k and I am a little nervous, but also excited.

This will be week 10:
M  - 3k
T - 5k
W - off
T - 5k
F - 3k
S - 11k
S - off

Since I didn't make the 10k on Saturday I'm going to tweak week 10 to:
M - off (I visited my nanny for the day... probably the only valid excuse I will ever have)
T - 10k
W - off
T - 5k
F - 3k, or off depending on how the 5k goes
S - 11k
S - off

I have 3 weeks left of my training program! I am really proud of how much I have done and it will feel SO good to complete it. Getting super pumped for the Maritime Race Weekend!

What race(s) are you training for? Are you looking forward to running in cooler weather, or do you love the heat? Let me know!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Another east coast runner! - The 16km Hurdle

 Hello everyone! I am Nikki, Jeannie's older sister, and a fellow east coast runner! I have been running on and off for a few years and have run a few 5ks, and around 5 10k races.

So I am training for a half marathon. I haven’t signed up yet, but I have told myself that I am going to run 21.1 km in October. I am following a training plan by Run Meter, an app for ipod. So far, the training has been going well... that is until I reached week 9.

Each Saturday is a long run day, followed by a day of walking. The Saturday in week 9 is a 16.5 km run. And I don’t know what it is, but I can’t. I just can’t. My husband, and running partner, has told me that I give up even before I leave the door. AND IT’S TRUE! And I am disappointed in myself for not just doing it but I am not there yet.

Physically, I am 99% sure I could do it. Mentally, I’m getting there (3 weeks behind schedule now) but am at about 85%. I haven’t had this kind of mental block in my running before. I think it comes when I map out a route and IT IS FAR. LIKE, REALLY FAR. And it’s been hot and humid. LIKE, REALLY HOT AND HUMID.

Has anyone else had this problem? How do you find the motivation and convince yourself that it is possible?

Things that hold me back:
1.       Myself
2.       90% or higher humidity
3.       Temperatures at 25 celcius or higher

How I’m getting to 16 km:
1.       Reading motivational quotes on Pintrest (works!)
2.       Psyching myself up
3.       Repeating that I can do it!!! (sounds lame-o, I know but it’s helping)

I NEED to get ‘er done this week. Fingers crossed the temps stay low and the light stays longer (the sun now sets at 8:20.. first sign fall is on its way!). I’ll keep ya posted.

Forever trying to beat the heat and race the darkness, Nikki

** I JUST looked at week 10 and it’s 18 km!! WHY DID I DO THAT? Need to get 16 outta the way first.**

Sunday, August 12, 2012

moving on

My big news lately... I moved! Only about 10 minutes down the road from my last place. But this is far enough that I have to find ALL new routes! Which is scary but exciting. I am sad that I will no longer have the route over the river... but there is a hill close by which is good news! I haven't done ANY hills in a long time so I think I am going to try to incorporate some soon.

I also purchased some new running gear lately:


but in a pinkish color. Both purchased from Dick's Sporting Goods. So excited to try them out!

Have you bought any new gear lately?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

times flies when you have no time

I have been so busy with school!  I can't believe I haven't updated in a week. I trust you I have not been slacking on running though.

This past Saturday I ran the farthest yet.. 9km. It was BRUTAL!! SO hot, absolutely no clouds. I took a lot of walking breaks but I got it done, and feel more confident to do it again.

I started week 8 of my training program:

Monday - off (went canoeing  and swimming)
Tuesday - 4km
Wednesday - walk 30 mins
Thursday - 4km
Friday - walk 30 mins
Saturday - 6km
Sunday - walk 30 mins

I might change it up a bit because I don't have a lot of free time tomorrow (Thursday) and I am supposed to move on Saturday. I'm thinking I will walk again on Thursday, run 4km Friday, move Saturday and do 6km on Sunday.

As my schedule says I ran 4km yesterday and it was my fastest time ever!! I ran it in around 20 minutes. I am SO happy with my time and hope I can improve the speed of my longer runs as a result. 

One thing I noticed that is different while running in Maine is that fellow runners don't seem to acknowledge each other (or maybe it's just me?). I want to change this!! On my last few runs I have waved at every other runner I see, and it feels awesome! A huge motivation and confidence boost. It's like saying 'Look I'm doing it!! And so are you!!'. Do you wave or acknowledge other runners? What is the running etiquette like in your town?

I haven't had much to brag about lately in the food department, but I thought I would share a meal from this past weekend. This was an 'I need to get groceries' lunch, which consisted of eggs, almost bad spinach, frozen vegetables and turkey in a wrap. It was delicious but a little salty:

My new obsession lately has been flavored seltzer water. Specifically Polar Seltzer Water. I love the bubbles but it doesn't make me feel disgusting like pop does!

And a picture of me canoeing with my friend Sarah:

Last thing is that I'd like to give a shout out to my readers in Russia! I don't know who you are but thanks for reading!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

feeling good

Last Wednesday I tripped while running in the woods. This morning I fell down the stairs. WHAT WILL NEXT WEDNESDAY BRING?!?! I'm scared.

That being said I had a great run tonight! Well, I say that now that it's over. Every run I do is difficult and tonight was no different. HOWEVER I am really happy with my pace!

Yesterday I ran 3km and my pace was 10:38/mile which is a little slow. Prior to trying to up my mileage I was running closer to 10:10/mile pace.

Tonight I ran 6km and my pace was 10:17/mile!! I am really happy! Now I'm off to take a COLD shower and have some supper!

Note: I include my walking breaks when determining my pace.

Monday, July 30, 2012

do over!

I went home this weekend to Halifax for a wedding (which was actually in PEI). My weekend was filled with spending time with family (both mine and my boyfriend Jamie's)!

Lots of laughing, eating, and sleeping. And of course lots of driving (21 hours in 4 days, ugh).

AND absolutely no running. So this week I am going to re-do week 7 of my running plan. My eating has also fallen towards the not so healthy side recently, with this weekend being the worst! To counteract my weekend I am planning on monitoring portion size more closely this week and increasing my water intake.

Six and a half weeks until my dual-run (5k Friday evening, 10k Saturday morning) and I want to be in my best condition!

Here are the songs I chose to download for my new running music. I got some ideas from this Women's Health Magazine article, and thought of some on my own:

The Prodigy - Firestarter
Refused - New Noise
Outkast - B.O.B
Fatboy Slim - Rockafellar Skank
Daft Punk - Around the World/Harder Better Faster Stronger (remix from their live album)
Franz Ferdinand - Do you want to?
MGMT - Kids
MSTRKRFT - Bounce (All I do is Party)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

get up and try again

One great thing about Portland was that I finally got to check out Whole Foods. It was pretty amazing! Their fresh food looked delicious and they had so many options. I wasn't able to get a full grocery load so I picked up a few treats for myself:

I bought a re-useable sandwich bag from Built and two Justin's single serving Almond butter. One original and one maple! 

Yesterday I ran 3km. It was incredibly difficult. My legs felt like lead. I just could NOT move them any faster. I ended up finishing, but it was a struggle.

I am usually a morning runner. I think I perform better in the evening, but usually by the time I get home I am feeling too wiped out from my day that I can't force myself to run. This morning I woke up and felt like I really needed an extra hour of sleep, so I gave that to myself. When I came home this evening this is how I felt about running 6km:

Do I have to?

Today was the first time since I started my running program that I have really felt like calling it quits. 100%, not doing it. So, I told myself not to think about it and just get dressed and go. So that's what I did!

After my last trail debacle I decided to try out another trail nearby. This trail is one straight path that goes along the river. I'm glad I gave trail running a second try! Beautiful wide paths, and I actually saw real live people!!

The trail goes directly beside the river which is gorgeous and if I decide to run on a hot day, I can just jump right in!

During my run, I am feeling great and I am SO happy that I forced myself to come out. And then...

BOOM! I took a huge nose dive (probably over a root)! I scraped up my knee and jammed my finger a little. More than anything I was SO embarrassed, and thank that there was no one around to see. I kept running (a bit more cautiously) and made it home in one peice.

And on that note, I am going to bed.

Monday, July 23, 2012

lost & found

I've had a few very interesting runs recently. On Friday, I decided to finally try out the UMaine campus trails. I have gone on the trails once or twice before, for very short walks. I set out with a little map, my iPod and my sense of adventure to complete a 4km run. Ten minutes into the jog and I'm feeling fantastic. Why have I not used the trails until now?! It was sunny out but the tree cover provided wonderful shade. The trails were wide and even, with a fairly flat route. I'm loving every minute!

My first turn approaches and the trail isn't marked as clearly as I had hoped. No worries! I find it on the map and keep going. Fast forward to about 15 minutes later. I have NO idea if I'm on the right trail or not! Have not seen a sign in awhile. Almost trip twice. Have to resort to walking. Go through a very swampy area leading to TWO soaked and muddy feet. Roots everywhere and the trail has somehow become about a foot wide. I end up crossing paths with a man on a bike (first person I have seen by the way) who tells me where I am going. I end up back on the right path, feeling very discouraged! [I would like to note that I wasn't really lost... I always knew the direction of the road and the woods really aren't that thick. It would have just been very annoying to have to go to the road and walk around, would have made my run 3x as long!]

I am happy that I got out and tried something new. However I think it made me realize that I am definitely a city runner! One good thing was that I finally tried out my new hand held water bottle:

It was amazing! It was a little sloshy but I definitely appreciated the water and the small pouch to hold my keys. Will be using this again for sure. I purchased it at the Running Room for $15.99 Canadian.

This past weekend I went to Portland, ME with my friend Sarah. Sarah ran the Old Port Half Marathon and did amazing! So proud of her. Especially since there was a mix up with the cab and she almost missed the start!

While Sarah was off being amazing I decided to stick to my running plan and run 7km. I decided to run around Back Cove. There is a beautiful trail that is very flat and right next to the water. There are water fountains along the trail which I have never experienced before. I was SO grateful for them as I did not bring my trusty water bottle. 
I was unaware that my planned run was along the race route! Fortunately they still had the trail open, but I did have to be aware of those doing the race. I was going in the opposite direction of the runners but it was wonderful motivation to keep going and I hope my cheers helped some of them stay motivated too!

Portland is a beautiful city with lots of trails and parks! I would love to visit again.

Sarah and I in Portland!

Ashlee and I in Portland!

This week I will be starting week 7 of my 12 week training program. Over half way! I want to celebrate this milestone with some new running music. Any suggestions?! I prefer to run to upbeat dance music.

This week:
Monday - off (did some leisurely swimming)
Tuesday - 3km
Wednesday - 6km
Thursday - off
Friday - 9km
Saturday - 5km

Monday, July 16, 2012

busy bee

What a busy week! Back in Maine, getting settled back into the school routine. Managing to keep on top of my running which I'm happy about.

Just completed week 5 of my training which included:
M - off
T - 3k
W - 4k
T - off
F - 3k and I did kickboxing at the UMaine Rec Center! (Beautiful new gym, check out their facilities!)
S - 6k
S - walk 30 mins

I actually ended up doing the 6k today (time 39:39, pace 10:35, 3 - 1 minute walking breaks). I ended up waking up too late on the weekend and so by the time I got up it was WAY too hot! Today was beautiful though. It was a tough run which I attribute to me not sticking to my schedule. So I want to make a point of trying to stay on track.

Some photos from my run today:

Two photos while I'm crossing a bridge.
View of the bridge from another part of my run.

The route I've been doing lately has allowed me to check out my current neighbourhood a little bit which is nice. I go over that bridge twice (there and back), which allows for gorgeous views and a nice breeze. Today I ran through the University of Maine campus which has great tree cover. My only complaint is that in a lot of areas the sidewalks are TERRIBLE but there is usually a wide shoulder, so I run there instead.

My running schedule (week 6) for this week is:

M - off (but I ran the 6k)
T - 3k
W - 5k
T - off
F - 4k
S - 7k
S - walk 30 mins

I am trying to increase my strength, and so I am trying to incorporate more strength workouts in my routine. I find this difficult to do on my own, as usually by the time I get home from a run (even just 3k!) I am WIPED out. I think the heat has a lot to do with it. This is why I attended kickboxing last week. 
I want to do kettlebell on Wednesday, but I'm not sure if I'm up for a 5k AND kettlebell. Looking for some opinions here... should I keep my current schedule and try to do a 5k and kettlebell? I could also switch my T/W run and do 5k tomorrow and 3K & kettlebell Wednesday, but then I would be doing a 6k and a 5k back to back. Let me know if you have any insight! Thanks

The beautiful UMaine Rec Center lit up at night!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

a day in the life

I started out today with a 5k run. It was amazing! Perfect weather... sunny and hot but not humid, with a bit of a breeze. It was fantastic. And I came home with a healthy glow, aka sweat:

I haven't posted much in terms of food so I thought I would take a few pictures of what I ate today. Sorry the quality of the photos isn't great.

Post run snack consisted of cottage cheese, 1/2 banana with a little bit of honey bunches of oats on the top. I've been trying to incorporate cottage cheese into my diet because it's high in protein, and relatively low in calories and fat.

Next was lunch. I opted for one of my favorites: eggs! I fried two eggs and toasted two pieces of sourdough bread. I put avocado and a slice of deli turkey on the bread with some spinach. Cherry tomatoes on the side!

For supper I grilled with my friend Sarah. I had shrimp skewers and corn on the cob. So delicious!

I hope this gives you some ideas for healthy meals. If you have any favorite healthy recipes (especially those including cottage cheese!) please send them my way.

Friday, July 6, 2012

maine living

I'm back in Maine now to complete a 6 week practicum for school. I'm sad and a little nervous to leave my running buddies behind. That being said, I have some new inspiration as I recently signed up for not one, but TWO runs! The two runs are a part of a running weekend called Maritime Race Weekend. I will be running a 5k on Friday evening, and the next morning I will be running at 10k. To top it off this will be my first ever 10k! I'm really excited to do this and also scared, so I'm hoping these two feelings will meld together to boost my motivation.

The race takes place around Eastern Passage and Cow Bay in Nova Scotia. It's going to be along the coast which will be beautiful. The two races have a pirate theme which I LOVE! They are calling the two races together the Tartan Twosome.

You can check them out on facebook here.

I recently bought some new products I tried out today. One was Body Glide which is an anti-chafing and anti-irritation balm. I used it this morning on a 3k run. I thought it was fantastic! It was not greasy, as opposed to the Vaseline I was using previously. It held up despite the fact that it was really warm out. I am looking forward to trying it out on a longer run soon. 

 And finally...

Nikki [left] and I prior to a VERY hot 6k that we did last Sunday morning.