Where the (Running) Magic Happens.

For the second week in a row, I have had the most perfect, wonderful, exhilarating long run I’ve ever experienced. I’ve gotten to my planned distance, barely feeling like I have broken a sweat and that I could run forever. I’ve been smart about it, though, and stopped when I should, but finishing a new distance strong never fails to make me feel like a rockstar.

I say new distance – while technically I’ve run up to 13.1 miles, I haven’t done anything longer than 7 miles since June so that is where I am basing my fitness off of!

Yesterday afternoon I was not feeling the greatest. I had a sluggish morning at work and then proceeded to eat ALL THE THINGS over lunch to the point of feeling uncomfortably full. When I set off for 8 miles around 4pm, my bed was much more inviting than my running shoes.

Will Run For Coffee. ☕️ first long run since October, this kid is BACK IN THE GAME! ✌️Even these beauties

But I still went! Out of curiosity, I decided to use my Garmin to see what my long run paces were like. The plan was not to check until the end, so as to not get discouraged, but have some form of baseline as to half marathon goals.

Well wouldn’t you imagine my surprise when I check my watch feeling like I’ve ran ~3 miles (although my head knew where I was and knew it was farther) to see that I was already at 7! Throughout the ugly part of my run I was distracted by Jillian in my ear, and then through the pretty part I was busy marvelling at, well, the prettiness!

English-BayMy photography while running is still nausea-inducing so let’s use this one instead. 

There was definitely about a half mile of sprinting switchbacks at a traffic light…I always look that crazy, it’s fine. I ended up tacking an extra 0.5 mile onto the end because I have actually never ran this far in Vancouver, so I got lost! Plus I really didn’t want to stop.

Once I got myself oriented, though, I forced myself to put on the brakes. I could have gone for at least ten miles though, no problem.

Out of the two fantastic long runs I’ve had, plus a couple other memorable ones from half marathon training, I’ve started to realize the same things usually go on beforehand to make them great! They are:

1. Lots of food (carbs) beforehand. I used to think I was that person that ran better on a small snack immediately upon waking, but apparently that is the opposite of the truth. If I can have a solid breakfast and lunch, running about 3 hours after my last meal leaves me feeling strong and fuelled. I also get to be lazy for the rest of the day (evening) and feel zero guilt.

rp_sandwich-768x1024.jpg

2. Easy running throughout the week. Since I’m not exactly training to break any records, I don’t really run fast these days. Janae just wrote a post on how important it is to vary our training to improve, and while that is 100% true, I feel so so much better on long runs when they are my only tough workout of the week.

3. Just freaking recover already! I cringe at how I used to run 5 miles, get dressed, and then immediately sit in class all day, often going hours without eating because I wasn’t hungry. KAJSDAJSHD. I had this weird idea in my head that “running recovery” was really only important if you were looking to break records…but apparently when you treat your body well, you FEEL well.

Obviously Snape

I’ve already gone into a lot of detail about my running recovery (during my better days), so check that out here if you are interested!

4. No pressure. I always get nervous before long runs, I don’t know when that will ever change. But the fact that I have no race hanging over my head (that I have registered for) means that I can run 1 mile or 10, and at the end of the day it doesn’t really matter. The same goes for speed, which is why I’ve been training by time instead of distance until I regained fitness. 8 or 11 minute miles, nobody will ever know!

Welp, I’m off to eat a ton of food. The only meal I ate after my run last night was dinner around 8pm, so the extreme runger is in full force today! Hope you all go rock your weekend. 🙂

What is your pre-run/workout meal? I need some more options!

Best run/workout recently? 

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Thinking Out Loud – The Vancouver Brain.

I feel like my Thinking Out Loud intros are always the exact same. So why fix what’s broken? Hi, I’m Emma, a university student with a dysfunctional brain. Here are my dysfunctional thoughts.

Thinking-Out-Loud

1. Apparently Vancouver is not catching on to this beautiful weather. I took advantage of the sunny blue skies the other day, and was referred to as “the woman in shorts” with that weird side-glance at the grocery store. Don’t tell me how to live my life.

Hi, it is currently January 25 ✌️and I am wearing shorts.

2. My life frequently flashes before my eyes. I’ll be walking through a parking lot, a car will drive up about 10 feet away from me and I instantly have a vision of being hit, flying across the sidewalk. It’s fine…

3. I’m hungry. It’s Thinking Out Loud Thursday and thought you ought to know. <— name that scene / movie!!

4. Don’t run with your phone in your sports bra, people. Not only will you end up with a horrifying amount of chafing (still rockin’ a scab, btw), your phone will decide it is acceptable to do this:

Just a warning to all my  ... This is what happens when you run with your phone in your sports bra.  Plus the chafing, oh the chafing

5. I’m going on a cruise! I have no idea how this wasn’t #1 but I guess that just shows you the state my brain is in right now. One of my friend’s dad is the captain of a cruise ship, so three of my friends and I are going on a Bahamas Cruise over Reading Week. This is the girl that has never been on an island, never been on a boat and is terrified of being submerged in water. And yet I’m beyond excited!!!

6. But mostly for the free food. I mean, that’s what everyone prioritizes, right?

7. Vancouver is trending on Twitter! Not that I tweet. Ever. But I just randomly logged on for kicks and, hey, I guess we rock more than I thought. (which is hard to do considering I absolutely love this city!)

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8. My first film assignment is on a short film called “Death’s Marathon”. Which is ridiculously appropriate since that class (3.5 hours of boredom) always feels like a slow shuffle towards my death.

9. Does anyone know where to buy one earphone cover? You know, that squishy thing that you put in your ear? Well, mine randomly fell off a week ago and I’ve just been listening to music without it, but it is actually quite painful and I would prefer to stop. There are also the (totally irrational) electrocution nightmares.

10. The Kinesiology application is going well! I’ve finished the first draft of all my answers and found my references! Now it’s time to edit and polish before pressing that scary SUBMIT button…

Please name the scene from #3 or I will cry. 

Tell me your reading week / spring break / random life plans!

The City Gym Workout

For most of you lucky folks, your gyms are juuust starting to calm down. The massive hordes of resolution-ers have dropped off, and you can finally use your squat rack / bench / treadmill <— you know what I’m talking about!

Now, I’m not hating on the resolution-ers. I absolutely love to see people committed to starting a fitness journey. What I don’t love is not being able to move from a mat for 5 seconds before I see that someone has snagged my spot!

no3

And for some of us, that is the case year-round. There are certain places in the world: popular cities, universities, universities in popular cities that are busy everywhere, all the time.

So, with this in mind, I bring you The City Gym Workout: minimal equipment needed, all of which you can bring to a little corner of the gym and do yo thang. You could even do this at home, if you are a lucky duck with a solid setup! This is, in my opinion, an awesome workout for runners because it incorporates plyometrics, core stability, balance, and strength all in one fun lil’ package.

The usual disclaimer: while I may be a wannabe kinesiology student / personal trainer, at the moment I am neither. So please use your personal discretion and recognize that this is what works for me and may not work for you. 🙂 

Equipment: 

BOSU ball

Moderately heavy dumbbells (think bicep curl weight)

Medicine ball

Exercise mat

CityGymWorkout

Yes, I most definitely had way too much fun making this graphic. The picture is of the bridge I drove across when I showed up to Vancouver for the first time in my life! Which was also the time that I moved here. 🙂

Some notes on the exercises: 

  • For single-limb motions, do ten reps per side = twenty in total!
  • The bosu squats, russian twists, and lateral lunges can all be weighted or unweighted, depending on your fitness / energy levels
  • Bosu squats
  • Renegade rows
  • Half ball jumps
  • Please google any others that you are unsure of! Safety + proper form > all

 

I plan to do this on those days that I just can’t drag myself out of bed early enough to hit the gym before class, and have to squeeze in during peak times. Fun fact: last week my gym was at capacity, meaning I had to wait outside until someone left. #UniversityGymLife.

Have a happy Wednesday!

What do you do when someone steals “your” equipment at the gym? 

I very seriously consider making that a legitimate excuse to skip a workout…then force Mature Emma to show up and get it together.

Sometimes I Wear Nice Clothes & Answer Questions.

I have to say a HUGE THANK YOU to all of you guys commenting on Friday’s post! I definitely felt a little nervous posting such a big and risky decision on the internet, so hearing all of that support made me feel so much more confident in my decision. Rockstars. ❤

^I wrote Monday’s post on Friday, hence my lack of appreciation of your awesomeness yesterday. But it is most definitely there!

Okay guys. You have no idea how much I wish it was Thursday right now so I could link up with Amanda and dish all my insane thoughts. I have so much to tell you! But for now I will just say that I am tensing every single muscle in my body to not spaz at my roommate who is yelling on her phone again….

I am quite literally in the hallway with my earphones in playing music full blast AND I CAN STILL HEAR HER!!! You guys know that super angry looking devil emoticon? Yeah he’s here right now.

kill-me

Okay. Moving. On. I’ve been working on my Kinesiology application after a super long day, so there is limited brain function over here – hence the scattered thoughts! I’ve decided that it is the perfect time for a lil’ ol’ survey – so grab some coffee (and hopefully some peace and freaking quiet!!). 🙂

I stole this one from Laura, mainly because it is the most recent one floating around the Interwebz and I don’t want to be that creeper looking at someone’s post from 2011…

1. What is your current health goal? 

PR in the half marathon! Ultimately I dream of running sub 1:45, but I have decided that is a bit too lofty of a goal to accomplish during one training cycle. So I’m just going to chip away at my 1:53 PR until it comes naturally. 🙂

2. What is your biggest irrational fear? 

Hmmm….the microwave beeping before I pull my food out, my cell phone dying, toenail polish chipping off…shall I continue? My biggest fear is of being submerged in water, but I can’t decide if that’s irrational or not. I’ve never drowned nor come close to it but I won’t even set foot near a pool, let alone the ocean. (and I had a friend ask me to do a triathlon! HAHAHAHAHA)

heartpalpitations

3. Do you enjoy wrapping presents? 

Is this even a question?! Michael Buble playing in the background, sitting by the fireplace with my dearest madre getting gifts ready for Christmas? It’s probably my favourite part of the holiday season. But wrapping presents for any other occasion…I usually use a bag with tissue paper. 😉

4. What’s your favourite cross-training activity?

Lifting weights! I tried the elliptical once and lasted approximately 37 seconds. Truth.

5. If I came to visit you, what would we do?

I would take you on a run along the Seawall, and then we would get smoothies at Whole Foods before wandering around every. single. aisle. After that, we would probably attempt to go shopping on West 4th ave before dying of boredom an hour in, and bail to go eat more delicious food (preferably Heirloom) and explore Vancouver.

Heirloom-SH-MAINSource. 

6. You have two weeks off work and two round trip plane tickets to ANYWHERE. Where would you go and who would you take? 

Toulouse, France. I don’t really need to take anyone because one of my closest friends actually lives there, and I haven’t seen her in far far too long. But if I had two tickets, I would bring our other friend Naomi in a heartbeat (she is from New Jersey; we all met on a volunteer trip)

7. What’s the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you during a run or race? 

Well, that’s a rather pointed question, isn’t it? I haven’t really had any disasters…but it was pretty awkward getting into the elevator with a regular at my old cafe when I was breathing so hard I couldn’t form sentences nor use the buttons (numb fingers, thanks Alberta winters).

8. Tell me the three best days of your life. Or at least the first three that pop into your mind. 

1. Finishing the Calgary Half Marathon. I felt on top of the world for pretty much that whole week.

HALF MARATHON

2. My first day back at work this past December, after being away for three months. I basically skipped around the cafe for six hours and got paid. (in case this wasn’t obvious, I would work there for free)

3. One random day during first semester. I have no idea which one it was, but I remember feeling so happy with where my life was that I almost started crying. A combination of good friends, confidence, fun classes and a surprise visit from your boss from aforementioned cafe will do that to ya.

9. Okay, you HAVE to eat a fast food mea. What restaurant would you choose and what would you order? 

Cookie dough ice cream from Marble Slab, hands down. And if you don’t consider ice cream a legitimate meal (crazy pants), a burger from In’n’Out. Plus a milkshake. The fact that there are none in Canada is tragic irrelevant.

10. Have you ever met a celebrity? 

ABSO – FREAKING – LUTELY. I met James and Oliver Phelps, hugged them, and then cried. (don’t worry, I was able to hold it in until leaving). The only thing that would have been better was meeting the Queen herself, but that day will come too.

JamesOliverAutographs were $60…photographs $100.

11. Share a picture of yourself in non-workout clothes! 

This was surprisingly not challenging…thank you, Italy. ❤

rp_DSCN0244-768x1024.jpgThose shoes gave me blisters, but damn they look good hey? 

12. If you could choose to have a  do-over and switch careers, what would you choose and why? 

Well, since I’m smack dab in the middle of a “career change” (but still in university), I wouldn’t change a thing! I wouldn’t even start my first year as a Kinesiology major, because the Media Studies program allowed me to meet my wonderful friends, have a (much needed) break from science, and succeed in Computer Science! Yes, I am actually thankful for that because it’s what gave me the courage to study science again.

13. If you won the Olympic Gold Medal – how do you think you would react? 

I would probably give it to Shalene Flanagan. I’m not even American but damn that girl deserves it.

14. What do you want for Christmas?

I’m so incredibly thankful for everything that I received a month ago, there are no “things” that I have any desire for. But if everything works out this fall so that I’m in Toulouse for Christmas 2015…I wouldn’t complain.

15. What skill do you lack? 

Spontaneity. I’ve gotten a lot better at it since moving to Vancouver, but I still get anxious whenever I don’t have at least a day to prepare for whatever is happening.

All right, Liz and Christine! You’re it!

I’m copying Laura! Pick one, and tell me your own answer! 

Marathon Monday Returns.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are on week THREE of consistently running / increasing mileage! And I feel like I have come way further than I could have hoped to in such a short time span. I did quite literally stop running for two months, after all. This means that Marathon Monday hosted by the speed demon Christina is officially back!

MarathonMonday-700x265

The first time I ran for an hour was two weeks ago, and although it may have been a pretty dumb thing to do, I think it worked in my favour! I hadn’t run longer than 35 minutes since…October, so it was quite the jump. But I didn’t die and aside from some nearly-locked hips a couple days after it, all was well.

Will Run For Coffee. ☕️ first long run since October, this kid is BACK IN THE GAME! ✌️I ran out of coffee beans, so I ran to get some. Obviously. 

I’m planning to hold it there for a while until the distance feels more comfortable. My goal is to be able to casually crank out a 7 miler before school, so I need to get past giving it “long run status”.

Does anyone else do that? It’s so weird. Mentally, I can wrap my head around an easy 6.2 miles. It’s two loops of my usual route, feels long-ish but not terribly so, and doesn’t psych me out beforehand. Add 0.8 of a mile, though, and suddenly I’m all sorts of nervous. Thank goodness I don’t have to worry about distance for a few months though, right? But I still know that 60 minutes = roughly 7 miles. So the brain chatter continues.

7-milesI’m quite a bit slower than this these days. 

For all intents and purposes, all these runs are easy! I’m just base building right now so I could give a hoot about pace. (did that sound nerdy? Sorry I’m not sorry I’m obsessed with owls.)

Monday: 20 minutes My hips hated me after Sunday’s run, so I knew a short little jaunt was necessary to get them moving. I then proceeded to spend a solid 20 minutes on hip openers in the middle of my dorm room. Classy.

Tuesday: lower body strength. Nothing crazy, more focused on stability + balance.

Wednesday: 30 minutes. 

Thursday: upper body strength. My bench press sucks you guys. It is actually horrific. So I’m sorta obsessed with improving it right now. I’m so feminine. How much can you bench, bro? 

women-bench-press#SingleForLife. But got a laugh out of it anyhow. 🙂 

Friday: 31 minutes. I did my usual 3.1 mile loop plus a bit of back & forth running at traffic lights. Anyone else physically unable to stop during the middle of a run? I also went to yoga that night.

Saturday: OFF. I joined our house flag football team! Lots of fun and mud ensued.

Sunday: 60 minutes

My Sunday long run was a beauty. The plan was to do it on Saturday, but the weather had other plans. One rainy Friday run was enough for me, thanks! I ran all the way down to Whole Foods, enjoyed a fantastical green smoothie and then took the bus back to my dorm for a few hours of laziness. Total bliss.

Time for the Monday grind! Have a wonderful week everyone. 🙂

My Life-Changing Announcement

How’s that for a dramatic title? Apologies that this post is coming out later than usual – a cancelled morning class = leisurely shower + stretching for Emma. So basically I’m lazy, sorry.

In my English class on Wednesday, I had an epiphany. I was just sitting there, an average level of boredom, when my professor asked us about the significance of a certain character in the novel we are studying (My Year of Meats, if you’re curious!). And then, all of a sudden, I had an overwhelming sense of who freaking cares??

I used to adore English. The analysis of plot and characters was genuinely fun to me. And while I always have and always will love writing, that’s the only part of it that brings me joy anymore. Not the readings upon readings about theories and (quite honestly) total BS.

Even the Bachelor of Media Studies is not quite for me. I was really only hanging on to that for the journalism aspect of it, so that I would be able to work for fitness companies and do health journalism. I do love my one journalism class, but that is only available as graduate degree.

I’m transferring to kinesiology. 

BOOM. The girl who hated science is now choosing to study it. And I know it’s going to be a hell of a lot of work. The biology and physics will probably make me cry. Finals will be incredibly stressful. I will be out a fair bit of money as I make up the credits. But I will know that it will all be worth it in the end because I’m pursuing my true passion, not taking the easy way out. And thanks to The Great CompSci Sufferfest of 2014, I know I’ll succeed.

^ This is providing I am actually accepted into the faculty…

So there you have it! Maybe you care and maybe you don’t, but once I get into the actual kin portions of the degree (Versus biology) I’m sure this blog will become wonderfully geeked out with exercise science. You know you are excited!

Now please pray for me that I

a) Actually get in and

b) Don’t fail biomechanics

Does anyone have a similar experience? 

I don’t need to take calculus…right???

Some Sweaty Thoughts

It’s an attractive title, I know. But I’m sitting here on my bed, sweating as I type this post and deemed it appropriate. Sorry Amanda. 😉

Thinking-Out-Loud

1. I didn’t wear a coat yesterday. TEN DEGREES in Vancouver. It’s the truth. I strolled out of my room bright and early at 9:30am (I’ve gone soft) without a care in the world. But most definitely with a hot mug of coffee.

image-16Some things just cannot be sacrificed.

2. But it’s just as warm in my hometown? Like really Edmonton. You couldn’t have given me a nice winter while I gave you eighteen years of my life?

3. I have a confession: I’m writing this post for the second time. So it’s a bit less wordy, bit more to the point angsty. Hey, I’m a teenager, I’m allowed.

snape-displeased

5. I ALSO HAVE AN ANNOUNCEMENT! But I’m not telling you until tomorrow. Suckers. Well actually I probably would, but I have approximately 7800.1 words to say on the subject and that doesn’t feel very in the spirit of Thinking Out Loud, am I right? Just know that it is equal parts exciting, frightening, and delusional.

6. 200 pages of Film Art were consumed by my brain yesterday. And I would much rather it be consumed by McDreamy.

mcdreamy

7. Does anyone know the name of this yoga pose? I’ve been obsessed with it ever since doing it in a class a couple weeks ago, but it doesn’t seem to exist on the inter webs. It’s basically a pigeon pose, but kneeling like you are going to propose. It is probably the most painful thing I’ve ever experienced but it let’s me walk after running and I kinda like to walk.

One-Legged-King-Pigeon-Pose-I

8. I still haven’t run in the rain. I always wimp out and head to the ‘mill. Which results in the pleasant scenario of emma + nonstop football. hooray for university gyms.

9. I should really delete Facebook again. Because as much as I want to say that I’m not even fazed by a stupid act of pettiness that I just discovered, it sorta bugs me. GAH. Maturity, please come to me faster.

What are your thoughts on Facebook? What should I do? 

I really like it for meeting people at university, but…STUPIDDRAMAUGH