Tuesday, January 26, 2016

~Run For L'Arche 2016: 5 Winter Running Tips~

When I first started running about 8 years ago, I would run from about April till October and stop for the winter. I wasn't a fan of treadmill running, and I needed a bit of a break from then triathlon training.

A couple years after doing that, and having to start at what felt like square one in the spring with my running, I decided to continue running in the winter. At first I did some solo runs outside in the cold, dark and snowy sidewalks, and then we invested in a treadmill. I wasn't really a fan of the treadmill though so it didn't get used that much that first winter.

The next winter (2010), I had done my first half marathon in the fall and had fallen in love with that distance. I found an amazing running group and so I started training for my next half marathon, in February! Running in the winter is very different, at least where I am. The weather and road conditions really become a factor in staying safe.

So here are my tips that I have learned over the years for running safely in the winter:

1. Be prepared- know the conditions. Dress for the temperature, and the wind chill. Layer, layer, layer! It's not about looking good, it's about staying warm! Last year I put together a running attire guide that I refer to depending on the temperature and conditions. Invest in good layers, a pair of shoe grips, a warm hat and gloves. Maybe even a balaclava if you are brave! I also suggest bringing a dry, warm set of clothes to change into right after your run is done, if you aren't running to/from home. Nothing worse than freezing post run because your running clothes are all sweaty!

2. Be flexible- sometimes you need to alter your training plans because the conditions don't allow for your scheduled run. Often I will change my long run when I know a snow storm is going to blow in the day I'm supposed to do it. Or I will run on the treadmill so that I don't risk falling on the ice and injuring myself.

3. Stay hydrated- just because it isn't hot outside doesn't mean you don't need water! Make sure you hydrate well before going out for your run. If you do carry water while running (I do when running 10K+), make sure you do what you can to prevent it from freezing! Start by filling your bottles with warm water. You can also wear your water belt (or camelback) under your jacket, protecting it from the wind. Having Gatorade or other sugary drink has a lower freezing temperature. Some people also like to carry a hand-held water bottle so that the heat of their hand reduces the freezing, however running with a handheld water bottle only hurts my back (puts me off balance).

4. Run with someone or let someone know your planned route and approximate length of your run- when running in the winter there are so many other factors to think about- cold, ice, snow, and with those come potential hazards. I've slipped on the ice and fallen while running in the winter, as have a number of my running friends. A few times people (not me) have had to go to the hospital for stitches or for concussions due to falls. It's also good to carry ID and your emergency contact information, so the Road ID is a great thing to have on you while running or cycling, winter or not. I have a Road ID bracelet that my husband bought me.

5. Have fun! This may not be the time to go for a personal best. It is not worth risking injury so I like to think of winter races and running as just a way to stay in shape and keep me prepared for the races later in the year that don't have snow and ice to slow me down. Slow is better than injured! That being said, my two personal best half marathon times are from races in February so it really does depend on the conditions of race day and the training runs leading up to the race.

What's your winter running tip?

Thursday, January 21, 2016


It's been awhile since I've done one of these posts and I always enjoy reading them!

Watching… Suits! Still! On the 5th season so I'm also caught up!

Harvey is so dreamy!

I'm also watching The Bachelor for the first time in a few years! A few blogger friends decided we needed to have a weekly girls night to watch/discuss/laugh about the Bachelor events so that's what we are doing!

Ben is also sweet and dreamy!

Reading… The Big Leap for personal development. It has it's purpose- if you are looking to get over your fears and develop yourself personally or professionally then it's a great book. I'm looking forward to reading something a bit lighter once I'm done it though!

Drinking… water, water and water! Big goal this year is to drink more water. I have a harder time doing this at home since I'm running around doing stuff and my water isn't always within reach. So I'm now filling up multiple bottles and keeping them within easy access.

I also found a new, delicious white wine... Jacob's Creek Moscato. A friend brought it over and we destroyed a bottle. I must restrain myself to one or two glasses a week though.

Training… I'm currently in Alison and Amie's Beachbody Challenge group this month so I have been sweating like crazy doing all the T25 workouts! It's been great staying accountable to others and cheering everyone on! I'm also noticing some muscle definition, definitely stronger and perhaps a little less squishy?

I also start my training next week for the Run for L'Arche 5 Mile that I mentioned earlier this week. This is a great distance and I've enjoyed doing this race in the past.
Listening… I need to update my playlists! I've been listening to Adele's new 25 album (I love a few songs, some are meh).

Wearing… I did a huge purge of my closet last month (when I thought we might possibly be listing our house and moving). I got rid of 3 garbage bags of stuff! So I've decided to only add items to my wardrobe that bring joy and I know I can get a lot of wear out of. No more spontaneous purchases at the grocery store or buying something just because it's on sale. I need to love it, be comfortable in it and it has to be versatile. Some trendy items are okay, as long as I know I will get lots of wear out of them.

Eating… I'm cleaning up my diet. For the last 6+ months I've had the attitude that I can eat anything (in moderation) because I workout. Well while working out definitely prevents me from gaining a ton of weight, not watching what I eat is not helping me reach my fitness goals. I was snacking way too much in the evening, not eating enough, eating too much, eating lots of processed food that wasn't given me lasting energy, etc. Not anyway! I will still allow treats but I don't need the whole bag of chocolate or ice cream every day! Prepping healthy snacks and meal planning better on the days I'm at home for lunch will also aid in this clean up.
The most delicious energy balls!! So good! 

Loving... my new mirror/jewellery armoire that Santa brought me ;) My bling is all organized and accessible now! 

Planning… Audrey & Leo's birthday party next month! Hard to believe they are almost another year older. Hubby made me promise I wouldn't go crazy with the planning... I'll try!
Dreaming… of our trip to New York in the spring! So much planning to do!

Dreading… that we still have 4+ more months of winter left. We have been lucky that we got a late start to winter this year but I'm done with it now! At least the kids are enjoying some time in the snow but we are starting to get some cabin fever!

Excited… to catch up with a bunch of friends from University on Friday! I've missed this annual event for the last few years so I'm looking forward to seeing old friends!
Thankful… for so many good things in my life! There have been some recent disappointments (goodbye dream home...) but I know that things will work out in the end and I just need to be patient. It can always be way worse and I have it pretty darn good!

Tell me something you are currently doing!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

~Run for L'Arche 2016: Getting Back to Running~

New Year, New Training Program!

I took a 2 month hiatus from running to give myself a mental and physical break. I needed to change things up, for both my body and my mind. And it has done wonders!

Now that we are into the new year, I am ready to get back into running and start training for my first race of 2016- Run for L'Arche 5 Mile!

I've done this race a couple times- both the half marathon in 2013 and the 5 Mile in 2015. It's so well organized, a great flat course, great logistics (love Eau Claire races) and for an excellent cause.

The first Run for L’Arche was held in 2011. The inspiration for the event came from a trip to run the Marathon Medoc in France by a group of runners from Rogers Insurance and L’Arche Calgary in 2010. Since then, the Run for L’Arche has raised over $150,000 for L’Arche Calgary’s homes and programs for adults with developmental disabilities. Every year, the event hosts 500 participants in the Half Marathon, 5 Mile and 1K Fun Run Walk events. There is a pancake breakfast at the finish line and all participants get a medal! Win- win in my opinion!

This year I'm going to get my family involved and sign them up for the 1K Fun Run since my almost 4 year old asked me when her next race is!

Here is my training schedule for the next 8 weeks, starting next week.

T25 refers to Focus T25, a Beachbody total- body strength training and cardio workout program done at home.

I'll be posting some training tips, my training progress and a few details about Run For L'Arche and L'Arche Calgary over the next 2 months. I am open to suggestions so if there is something you want to see me write about, let me know!

Do you run in the winter? On the treadmill or do you brave the outdoors? 

Monday, January 18, 2016

~What's New Around Here~

The New Year is off to a pretty good start. Winter has most certainly arrived, with its cold and snow. I would be lying if I wasn't slightly envious of my in-laws who are back in Phoenix. Audrey keeps asking when we can go visit them in their "new house"!

We booked our flights to New York last week so we are in the planning stages of our trip! We go in May, to celebrate our 10th Anniversary! We are so excited for this trip- it will definitely be something we can check off our travel bucket list! If you have any tips, please share them! I know a few people have been so I'll be checking your trip recap posts for ideas too.

We have been trying to take advantage of this snow- we went tobogganing with the kids last weekend. One of them liked it...

I've been doing Alison's Beachbody Challenge this month which has been good for keeping me accountable with food, my biggest weakness. I can manage to get my workouts in, but I have a hard time saying no to chocolate or any treats! So while I am not completely cutting myself off (that is just a set up for failure of me), I am reducing them, and trying to eat more balanced overall so I don't get the 4pm energy crash.

Audrey and I made energy balls to help with this. They are soooo good!

I have also been getting my workouts in as soon as we get home from work/dayhome on my work days so that it's out of the way and I can relax in the evening rather than getting too pumped up before bedtime. The kids are somewhat helpful in letting me workout.

Hubby joined a local Club downtown so we went for an orientation lunch last week. The kids enjoyed time with Grandma W while we had a fancy lunch! It was really good and I think it will be a great venue for future R+F events and other member events throughout the year.

The countdown is on for Audrey & Leo's birthdays next month so I'm starting to plan for their party. I'm still in denial that they are getting older... I'm not!

I've been visiting lots with friends who just had babies so filling any baby fever I might have! They are so sweet and cuddly but I must say I am enjoying the independence of my children at this age!

Leo is cutting at least 2 molars right now so he is a real treat! Poor kid! So clingy and wanting Mommy, and I'd be lying if I said it didn't make me feel a little good!

Work has been super busy for Hubby and I both. The days go by very quickly. My R+F business is rolling along and I have big goals for this year so I'm working on those!

Our house hunt continues. We actually put an offer on my dream home just before Christmas, but long story short the realtor/owner decided it was better for her to rent it out than sell it. It was very disappointing but I have to believe something as good or better will come along soon enough. I'm slightly relieved that we don't have to madly rush to get our house ready for listing.

I'm also about to start preparing for my first race of the year. More details coming up on that soon!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

~Highlights of 2015~

2015 was a spectacular year- for my family, professionally and my fitness goals!


Started off celebrating the New Year with good friends! After the kids went to bed, we had a nice dinner, some bubbly and played games to ring in the New Year!

Leo had just started crawling!

 I was also in the thick of half marathon training. And questioning my sanity on a regular basis!


Leo turned 1 and Audrey turned 3!! We had a joint Dr. Seuss "Cat in the Hat" party!

I ran the Hypothermic Half. It was hypothermic!

My dad came for a short visit.


I returned to work part-time after maternity leave. It was a smooth transition.

I also ran the Run for L'Arche 5 Mile


I started my own business as a Rodan + Fields Independent Consultant. Huge step out of my comfort zone and it was one of my greatest accomplishments of the year!

Audrey also started ballet!


I did the Run for Women 5K and PR'd!!


Leo started walking!

Audrey got her first bike!


My sister and I did the Stampede Road Race for the 4th year in a row!

Audrey did her 2nd race, with wings and loved it!


I went to Toronto for a long weekend with my bestie!

We also had a family staycation- unfortunately I had the flu for a large part of it but we still managed to have some fun!


My bestie K had her first baby, Kali!


We had an amazing family photo session with Whitney!

Halloween was so much fun- the kids loved Trick or Treating!


We went to Phoenix for some sun and relaxing! 

Hubby and I escaped for a weekend in Las Vegas and ran the Rock n Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon


Christmas was so magical this year! The kids were so excited the entire month, waiting for Santa! We loved all the family time!

Spending New Years Eve with our best friends was the perfect way to end a fantastic year!

2015 was one of the best years yet! I know 2016 will be even better!