National Physical Fitness and Sport Month

genuinely love being active. Shocker, right? 😉

All jokes aside though, running, moving my body, and feeling healthy is such a passion of mine that it feels extremely strange when I don’t make fitness a priority. It’s such a part of my life these days that I have a difficult time understanding how some people can just not want to work out!

And then I take a 90 minute nap and understand a little bit. 😉

A few weeks ago, I decided to help spread awareness of National Physical Fitness and Sport Month with the help of Bankers Healthcare Group and their graphic from the BHG 360 blog! Although it was officially in May, they are working to keep the momentum going through June, an idea I could not support more! Seeing as Bankers Healthcare Group provides physician loans, you’re probably wondering about the connection. Over at BHG, they think health & fitness go hand in hand, and decided it was right up their alley to support this cause in such an aligned community (health, fitness, & wellness)!

Their initiative, Spring Into Fitness, features advice from bloggers, trainers, and active people in general. It’s geared towards encouraging people to set up a fitness routine, discover/maintain the motivation to keep it up, and “healthify” their life! Although I may already have a well-established fitness base, not everyone does. My mom, for example. She’s gone through spurts of running and yoga, but has never been able to keep something up long-term. And because I (obviously)

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want her to stick around for quite some time, I will most definitely be showing her this graphic to help her get a kick start!

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I love that the end of this graphic says “Favourite Workouts” and has a little blurb on how to “revamp your routine”. You can force yourself through that hour on the treadmill all you want, but if you would rather be dead than slog away on a machine it’s not something that will have a permanent place in your life. And if there’s no desire to do it, there will be no motivation either.

There are SO MANY OPTIONS out there that there is absolutely no reason for a person to ever say “I hate exercise”. Machines make you miserable? Run or run/walk outside! Bike ride! Yoga bore you to tears? (I’m guilty!) Give a pilates class a try. I’ve been getting sick of my weight lifting in the gym these days, so I’m planning to try out some group exercise classes and powerlifting techniques. Don’t let yourself give up!

Motivation –> Fitness + Nutrition –> Physical + Mental Health –> Overall Wellbeing 

They are ALL essential components to a healthy lifestyle. I’m so glad that BHG reached out to me about this initiative, as it is one of my biggest goals in life to help others enjoy a living well and staying fit. It’s not all about miserable gym sessions and dry salads, people!

MEC Half Marathon Race Recap

Let’s just preface this recap with a little spoiler, shall we?

I DID IT!

Hills be damned (and they were pretty darn monstrous), on June 14 I ran 13.1 miles in 1:47:16, a six minute PR from my first half marathon last year.

I was honestly so excited for this race! I had absolutely no nerves (until the morning of, of course), and just couldn’t wait to put my fitness to the test and see what my legs can do.

readytorunMy moms phone was on black and white, so all of these pictures are as well. #facepalm

And seeing as this was only my second half marathon and the first one I’ve raced, I already know I can do better. 🙂

My plan was to listen to podcasts for the first ~10 miles, both to keep me distracted and from running too fast early on. I would then plug in some Eminem and drop the hammer for the last 5K.

Miles 1-3: 8:19, 8:14, 8:32. I didn’t even notice a hill during that mile, but apparently there was 150 feet of elevation gain. WOULD HAVE BEEN NICE TO KNOW since it seemed like I was just slowing down for no reason whatsoever and basically sucked at running. 😉

Miles 4-6: 8:09, 8:28, 8:36. It was a constant struggle between “woah, don’t go too fast” and “this isn’t a leisurely stroll through the park YA LAZY.”

Miles 7-8: 8:57, 7:40. THAT. HILL. It was one of those that just kept winding and winding around, so right when you think you’ve reached the top you really have around 28 miles of climbing left to go. Well not really but you get the idea. The faster downhill mile that followed was not fun AT ALL because all I could think about was how I would have to run right back up it.

Miles 9-12: 8:09,8:02, 8:08.  These really deserve like eleven paragraphs because they felt sooooo long. Once we reached the bottom of the hill, we ran through some trails in a park and it just took forever to get to the turnaround. I spent the entire time dreading that hill – the further we ran, the closer it moved to the finish line. I seriously gunned it when we finally hit the turnaround, though, because I knew I would lose time on the hill. I actually walked for 5 seconds because I was just so tired but somehow I pulled myself together and maintained a solid split.

Mile 13, 0.1 nubbin: 7:37, 6:31. OMG I’M GOING THE WRONG WAY THERE IS NOBODY AROUND ME AKSJDHAJSKD. I’m going to stop at exactly 13.1 miles and die before wandering back to the race seven hours later to console my poor mother. <– my exact thoughts. I made it to the top of the last downhill just before mile 13 and knew I was nowhere near the start/finish line! What gives! I was all alone, there were barely any signs and I was stressin’ big time. Luckily I kept running because finally I made it to a course marshall who ensured me I did in fact go the right way.

^Also, it should be known that I actually ran 0.35 miles at that 6:31 pace but am chopping off the extra distance because I don’t have an official time yet and I do what I want!

finishline

Overall finish time: 1:47:16. 

No age group / placing stats yet, but I will update this as soon as they are available! THIS WAS SO MUCH FUN!!! It was totally no frills, but I had such a great time from start to finish and crossed the line feeling like a million bucks. I actually joked with my friend that ran the 10K that I could go lift some heavy things instead of going home. Obviously I didn’t, and I crashed hard a few hours later, but it was a cool feeling while it lasted. 😉

Of course now my brain is all: hmmm, 1:47 on an obnoxiously hilly course, find a flat one STAT and get that 1:45, girl! On it, brain. On. It.

What was the most exciting part of your weekend? 

Should a hill at 18km be illegal? 

Friday Favourites + An Attempted Taper.

Happy Friday friends! Even though today is technically my Monday, after a one day weekend… womp womp. The life of a part-time shift worker. 😉

^ Funny story: on Monday, I had to ask my coworker what day of the week it was because I genuinely had no idea. My random start times / days off from work are throwing me off like no other! So although it might not feel like it for some of us, let’s cheers to the weekend anyway! It’s been a minute since I linked up with Heather for some Friday Favourites action. Here’s what I’ve been loving this week! 🙂

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Half Marathon Excitement. I can’t say I’ve been loving the (self-imposed) taper week, but I’ve got all sorts of butterflies for my race on Sunday! There are differing opinions on whether or not a taper is necessary / beneficial for a half marathon, but my legs did not feel very rested going into my first 13.1 so I figured I might as well give it a shot! I did my longest run of 12 miles 10 days out, and yesterday ran my last “hard” run of 1 mile each: easy / HMP / easy / HMP / easy. I’M. SO. EXCITED!!! I can’t wait to see what these legs can do!

New Closet Organization. After going from approximately two feet of closet space at UBC, to two temporary racks on a wall, to absolutely nothing while my floor is painted, putting together a fancy new closet organization system has me all sorts of giddy. We purchased this IKEA PAX Wardrobe, so now it’s just time to tackle the construction!

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Cappuccino and Macchiato Mastery. Well, maybe mastery is saying a little much, BUT YOU GUYS!! For the longest time I just could not make these two drinks. Because they are on the small side (6oz and 4oz, respectively), the milk is much more difficult to steam correctly and pour. After trying (and failing) approximately 7 billion times Tuesday afternoon, I finally got it on Wednesday! I’m so impressed with myself.


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Frozen Smoothies + Granola. This girl is incapable of functioning before a peanut butter berry protein smoothie topped with dark chocolate granola. I’m not mad about it.

This morning's beauty: Strawberries +  PB protein powder + coconut milk +  dark chocolate granola.  Heaven!  I'm going to go out on a limb and say that my bodyweight x 5 squat had a little something to do with this.

And a random assortment of things making me happy this week that will go unpictured:

  • disgusting white converse thrown into the washing machine –> my babies are beautiful again
  • couch time is the best time
  • fudgsicles as post-run mid-morning snack DESSERT.
  • re-watching Harry Potter & The Philosopher’s Stone for the 37th time and quoting the entire moving / driving my dear mother absolutely insane. (She’s secretly impressed)

SPEAKING OF WHICH… I may or may not have had a little freakout Wednesday morning due to the chaos in my room that comes with not having a closet. This quote was the first thing that popped into my mind and I’m still laughing about it. You know you’re a true HP fan when…

But seriously. That was me to a T. Have a lovely weekend everyone! I’ll catch ya on the flip side with a race recap, so stay tuned. 🙂

What is your favourite breakfast dessert? Fudgesicles are definitely making a comeback for me.

Any one movie / book that you ALWAYS quote? 

My Second Half Marathon: Training Peak Week

I totally did not follow a training plan for this half marathon. Back in December, I recommitted to running regularly and focused on lacing up 4x per week, building up to a weekly long run of 10 miles. I ran whatever distance/pace I pleased, but it was generally pretty easy.

Once I arrived at home, my running definitely took a hit! There were a few weeks where I did less than 15 miles, and I skipped a long run on more than one occasion. The one run I didn’t want to skip, though, was a twelve miler! I felt like I needed that run mentally just to remember that I could actually run that far, hah.

I also ran fast last week for the first time in who knows how long! It was the day before I ran long and MAY not have been the smartest plan, but it was pretty darn fun.

Here is what went down for my last week of “training”:

HalfMarathonTraining

Monday: 5 miles easy. 

Tuesday: OFF. I was expecting to do my 12 miler on Wednesday, National Running Day!

Wednesday: 6 miles speed. 2 miles @ 7:15, 1 mile @ 8:04, then 3 miles treadmill progression @ 7:44 average. I spent some time around 6:57 pace and felt surprisingly good!

Thursday: 12 miles @ 8:30. I think the part of this run that I am the proudest of is that I actually ran UPHILL. 993 feet of elevation gain later, I stumbled in my front door and just about died.

Friday: OFF. I was too busy eating donuts for National Donut Day to bother with exercise.

Saturday: 7 miles easy

Sunday: total body strength. Man I suck at strength training these days. I love it, but it’s so much harder to fit it into my schedule than going out for a run! Plus I’ve been prioritizing running lately with races coming up so everything else has been taking a hit.

TOTAL: 30 MILES. 4 runs, 1 long and 1 speed. Time to taper! Who knows how to do that, anyway?

Twelve Mile Musings.

I ran twelve miles yesterday for the first time in 377 days. I know this because the last time I did it was the day of my high school commencement! I felt wiped out for a few hours, but was back to myself by around 4pm (I finished at 11am). Eating every two hours, despite not being hungry at all, is definitely what I need to do following a long run! Otherwise I will end up (unintentionally) with something ridiculous like burning 1000 calories and only eating 800 until I die at 3pm.

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Speaking of dying…that did not happen when I ran up a hill. Twice. I normally avoid hills LIKE. THE. PLAGUE. But my next two races are supposed to be rather hilly so I’m trying to be a smart person over here. Anyway those miles were slow, but I never felt the urge to stop.

That came at mile 10 with a brick wall. I literally hit 10 miles and have never felt a greater urge to walk in my life! Seeing as I’ve run that distance a bunch of times by now this was super weird…it is lucky I was approaching a big downhill or things could have gone… downhill. 😉

A random cyclist tried to impress me by biking hands free as we approached from opposite directions. I’m sorry buddy but after 90 minutes of running, not much impresses me.

not-impressed

How much slower are long run paces than half marathon race pace? I did this run at an 8:30 pace and would love to run 13.1 between 8:00 and 8:20 –> 1:45-1:50 pace.

This will only seem unrelated to my run if you have never ran long before. Crusty french bread dipped in peanut butter = THE FOOD OF THE GODS.

Speaking of which…my stomach is growling again. The life of a runner. Time for round three of dessert (you wish I was kidding). See the first GIF.

Obviously Snape

 

I’m thinking a coconut banana muffin and some quality HP time is in my future. And bed because I’ve only had one coffee today (cue shocked expression).

What is the most you’ve ever eaten at one time? 

What is the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever seen a person do to get attention? 

WIAW // Eating for Balance + Recovery

I think my biggest obstacle with getting back into blogging is finding a timeslot for it! When I was at school, I had a much stricter routine with my days (necessary to keep up with a college course load!) so blogging happened at the same time every day. Now that my work (and life) schedule is different every day, I’m finding myself ready to collapse into bed without having blogged yet.

But here I am! Hooray for me! It’s 10pm, I’ve been up and going since 5am, and am surprisingly still a functional human. Which I definitely credit a part of to my eats lately. There has been tons of fruits, vegetables, oatmeal and protein, with a solid injection of more indulgent meals out and desserts. Since I’m so active at work in addition to working out a lot, I think the extra calories have done me good! Or is it well?

But lezbehonest – nobody really cares.

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No school –> my grammar begins to cause physical pain. Let’s prepare ourselves with pictures of my delicious meals from a day trip to Banff. Thanks to Jenn for hosting the WIAW linkup!

Breakfast at Wild Flour Bakery

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Organic yogurt with berry compote and homemade granola. YUM. There was the perfect amount of everything in this meal, and it actually lasted me four full hours before I got hungry again. My stomach going longer than three hours is basically unheard of, so that was cool. Ish. But I really like food so eating every hour is a fun time for me.

Lunch at Bear Street Tavern

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I really cannot explain it, but sometimes the thought of meat makes my stomach TURN. I had been craving a panini, though, and this goat cheese & veggie one hit. the. spot. Lately when I eat sandwiches I’ve been turning them into four open-faced toasts, so that I can taste all the delicious ingredients without being overwhelmed by the amount of bread. But still eating it all because CARBZ.

Dinner at HOME.

dinner

would follow up a comment about meat grossing me out with a meal of steak and mushrooms. What can I say, though? The heart stomach wants what it wants. Also greek salad because veggies are friends.

I definitely ate some snacks throughout the day, but apparently they were nothing noteworthy because I have no pictures of them! I do have a foggy image of unwrapping a Quest bar in desperation mid-car drive, though. 😉

I think it’s also noteworthy that while this was my second rest day in a row, I woke up on Friday even more sore than after a workout! My best guess is that recovery is FAR more important than any of us realize and our bodies take full advantage of the R&R (and nutrients) we give it.

Speaking of which, as you are reading this I am off for my last long run of 12 miles before next week’s half marathon! I say 12, but would be fine with 10. I really just want a PR (< 1:53), and I could really care less if it is ten minutes or ten seconds. As long as I cross the finish line grinning like a lunatic, I will be happy. But to do that I should probably grind out a distance I haven’t ran in OVER A YEAR.

Wish me luck, and happy Wednesday!