Fitness Friday: Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon training week 8

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Before I get into a recap of my weekly workouts, I have some exciting news to share!

I will be sharing the rest of my marathon training trials and tribulations as a blogger over on the Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon’s website as well as on my own blog. This will be my eighth straight year running this race — two half marathons and six full marathons — so I’m excited to help promote the race somewhat more “officially”, because it’s still my most favourite race to run (yes, even more than the Maui Oceanfront Half Marathon… mainly because it was way too hot during that race that day and there wasn’t enough water on the course). Thanksgiving weekend just wouldn’t be the same without running 42.2 km before enjoying a big turkey dinner with family and friends, so even though I was on the fence about running another marathon this year, I’m glad I signed up.

The reason why I started this blog in the first place was to document and share how my training was going ahead of my first race ever (which was the 2009 Royal Victoria Half Marathon), so naturally I’ve been posting race recaps of this race ever since. Apparently I raced a lot without “training” over the years, which is not something I recommend most people should attempt, but it’s fun to go back and read them nonetheless. I’ve definitely come a long way in terms of speed and knowledge about running and racing!

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    Product Review: HUM Nutrition supplements

    Although the majority of us probably DON’T need to waste our money on vitamins and supplements to be healthy human beings, some of us — like female endurance athletes who live in Canada, are vegetarian, have poor circulation and wacky hormones (*cough* me) — might need to take supplements to support their health to help them continue to do the activities they love.

    HUM Nutrition review

     

    Because I run marathons, work out six days a week and don’t eat red meat, my doctor suggested I take zinc and magnesium (since I sweat pretty much every day) and iron (I’m borderline anemic but my levels have improved quite a bit with supplementation). And because I’m female with a problematic gut, my doctor also suggested I take calcium (when I don’t eat yogurt), a probiotic for my gut health and vitamin D in the winter.

    These are the essential vitamins and minerals I need to add in daily (depending on my diet and the time of year) to support my health so I can keep running marathons and doing other active things I love as recommended by my doctor. And I suggest you also visit your doctor FIRST if you’re not feeling your best to see if you might be lacking in an essential vitamin, mineral or nutrient before buying up the supplement store. (more…)

    If Girls Ran the World: Join me in running and fundraising this October for female-focused charities

    This October, the #sweatpink community is taking on a big, inspiring, community-powered goal that we want you to join us for: we’re collectively running around the world (that’s 24,901 miles — or 39,842 kilometres — which is equal so the circumference of the Earth) to empower girls and women. We can’t imagine a better way to combine what we believe in most — fitness and #girlpower — than the If Girls Ran the World event.

    JOIN%20US!

    Studies show that when women are supported and empowered, all of society benefits. So please join me in running miles and raising funds for female-focused charities.

    My charity of choice is Every Mother Counts for the fantastic work they do to make pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother. Now that I’m at that age where all my close friends already have or are ready to have babies, the thought of going through pregnancy and delivery without a team of top-notch healthcare providers by your side is frightening. So much can go wrong, and I can’t imagine what it would be like to be pregnant without proper healthcare and support. I’m thankful to live in a country where this isn’t as much of an issue, and love what Every Mother Counts does to ensure all women all over the world have access to a similar level of support.

    Aside from committing to running 100 miles (about 160 km) in October, I’ve also committed to raising $250 to Every Mother Counts as part of the campaign. You can help me raise funds for this charity by visiting my donation page and giving whatever you can using the ‘Give Now‘ button.

    Want a chance to win a FREE registration for the If Girls Ran the World event? (A $25 value). Simply fill out the giveaway form below!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

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    When you register, you’ll receive:

    • Access to the If Girls Ran the World month long global challenge
    • Your own personal fundraising page for the cause that means the most to you
    • The opportunity to set your own individual fitness and fundraising goals
    • Inspiring emails filled with fundraising coaching, fitness tips, and custom (healthy) global recipes crafted by nutrition experts delivered as we reach various geographical milestones
    • Exclusive access to join in four online RunSocial community runs to virtually explore Death Valley, Banff, Tibet and Bali
    • Exclusive access to local If Girls Ran the World in person run groups/meet-ups
    • Opportunity to take part in weekly fitness and fundraising challenges with prizes such as an Oiselle prize pack, a Fitbit Blaze, a year supply of Kind Snacks, Hoka One One shoes, a $500 donation to your cause of choice, and more
    • Hero Kit including tech tee and globe pendant necklace for the first 500 people to raise $250

    Pretty sweet, right? Collectively and virtually run around the world to benefit charities that empower girls globally AND have a chance to win awesome prizes? Sounds like a worthwhile cause to me.

    The event starts on October 1, 2016, so donate, register or enter to win now (the contest closes on October 1 at midnight) to be a part of the movement!

    How many miles do you plan to run in October? Comment below to enter to win a free registration to If Girls Ran the World event in October!

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    I’m linking up with these sexy RRCA Certified Running Coaches: Susie of Suzlyfe, Rachel of Running on Happy, Debbie of Coach Debbie Runs, and Lora of Crazy Running Girl

    Fitness Friday: Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon training week 7

    fitnessfridayHappy Friday, friends!

    We’re experiencing a bit of a heatwave here in Victoria right now, which is awesome and I love it (my happy place is 25-30 degrees C — that’s 77-87 for my American friends)… but it’s making for some slow and sloggy runs.

    On Tuesday I wasn’t feeling good in the morning so I saved my tempo run for after work. My legs were heavy and it was too hot and humid, making for a half-assed tempo run at best. On Thursday I ran at my normal 5:00 a.m. time (when it’s cooler and dark and scary, which makes me run faster) and felt much better.

    Here’s how my week of workouts shaped up:

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    All diets and fitness programs are wrong. Some are useful.

    All models are wrong, some are useful.If you’ve been entrenched in the health and fitness industry for awhile, either as a professional or as an enthusiast, you probably already know that there is no single diet or exercise program for everyone. Following a paleo diet and doing CrossFit might yield fantastic results for one person, but might not be the best program for another (even though said Paleo-CrossFitter might try to convince you otherwise).

    Aside from external factors influencing our overall health and fitness level (such as proximity to a gym or rec center or outdoor parks; availability of fresh fruits and vegetables; finances to afford new running shoes or home gym equipment, etc.), us humans are privy to myriad intrinsic factors that can determine whether or not a diet or exercise program will give us the results we’re after. Intrinsic factors, such as genetics, hormones, physiology and movement patterns, past injuries and what generally floats our boats (I’d rather go for a trail run than attend a hip hop dance class, just sayin’), are unfortunately harder or completely impossible to change. And although I think we know we have to work with what we’ve got to become the best version of ourselves, we’re never quite satisfied with that and constantly play the comparison game, hoping to find that magical solution that will transform our bodies into the taught and toned fitness “celebrities” we see enjoying their #greensmoothies and admiring their #gainz in the mirror on Instagram.

    I keep seeing everyone post about The Whole 30 Diet and the author of that book looks like a model, so I want to do it, too. That guy on Instagram who’s super jacked always posts pictures of Poptarts and ice cream and talks about IIFYM — I want to try that diet, too. That one blogger quit sugar and dropped a ton of weight, I’m going to quit sugar, too. Even though I’m marathon training and LOVE carbs, I’m going to cut them about because someone on Twitter raves about their high-fat, low-carb diet and how it’s great for running performance and I want to be a better distance runner, too. (more…)

    Fitness Friday: Marathon training week 6

    fitnessfridayHappy Friday, friends!

    I’m finally back in the swing of marathon training after a few inconsistent weeks due to travel, festivals and vacation. Since Monday last week I’ve been hitting all my workouts as planned, and my legs have been feeling really good despite taking two weeks in between long runs.

    Here’s a breakdown of how my week has gone so far (which I can now properly recap thanks to my new Believe Training Journal!):

    FRIDAY (last week)

    I was home on staycation, so I did a random upper body and core workout in the garage for 35 minutes before cleaning the house for two hours (a workout in itself). (more…)

    A speed boosting track workout you can do almost anywhere

    A speed boosting track workout teaserWhen I was out for my tempo run last week, I took a different route and ended up behind the Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence (PISE) at Camosun College. As I was running around the campus, I noticed they just installed a brand new outdoor running track that I totally plan to take advantage of now on my interval run days, because up until now I was using the ol’ telephone-pole-on-a-flat-road method to time my intervals. I have an interval timer on my phone (and I’m sure my Garmin does it too) but I can’t be bothered to set it up/get bored quickly and prefer to run intervals by predetermined landmarks.

    If you’re like me and can’t be bothered with a timer / love variety on your training runs, try this fun  speed boosting track workout you can do almost anywhere — all you need are some predetermined landmarks, such as telephone poles (which are between 38 to 91 metres apart, or you can determine the distance with your Garmin watch), trees or driveways, on a 200 metre stretch of flat road. (more…)

    Recipe: Healthy blackberry peach crumble {vegan, low sugar}

    Healthy vegan blackberry peach crumbleOver the last two weeks or so when we’ve taken the dogs out for a walk after dinner, I’ve made a mental note to myself to bring a bucket along next time to pillage the blackberry bushes lining our street, which were starting to overflow with perfectly ripe black globes or deliciousness.

    I kept forgetting, of course, until I saw our neighbour post on Facebook about the blackberry haul she collected that day. “Dammit! Those berries were mine! I want to make a crumble!” I said to myself as I leashed up all three dogs (for protection from hungry bears? To keep the neighbours away?) and set out to get every last ripe blackberry on our street.

    Aside from Gus diving head first into the bucket when I bent down to try and get a few big ones hiding at the back (and proceeding to gobble up as many berries as he could before I could yank it away), I collected a decent berry haul — just enough to make my healthy blackberry peach crumble! (more…)

    Five Things Friday – Sunfest, staycations and sunshine

    5tfHappy Friday!

    Every day has been like a flexy Friday for me this week because I’ve been on vacation since last Thursday. Instead of packing up to go camping again after Sunfest we decided to stay home and do things around the house. I had a ton of freelance to do this week so I agreed, on the condition that we get to take to dogs out to Mystic Beach today. It will be Gus’ first trip to the beach, so follow me on Instagram if you love puppies and want to see 45378 videos of them frolicking in the ocean.

    Without further ado, here’s a random collection of things I’m loving this week. (more…)

    Monthly Goals – August

    With only just over two months to go until the Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon, I figured it was time to up my accountability game by sharing my monthly goals (thanks to Ange and Carmy for the idea and hosting the link-up!). Marathon training has been solid during the week, but weekends have been a struggle — mainly since I’ve been away travelling or doing the complete opposite of training/health/wellness by attending music festivals. Well, I’m now on holidays for a week at home and plan to refocus and get back on track with training and health.

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    Before I share my goals for the month, I feel like I should share a recap since my last fitness struggles update. (more…)

    The surprising reason why I haven’t been able to lose weight

    The surprising reason why I haven’t been able to lose weightRemember when I signed up for the Tone It Up Bikini Series Challenge after the Phoenix Marathon in February, lost an inch or so, then gained it all back (and then some) a few weeks later?

    I decided to do some research into why I’ve been struggling this time around to get down to my racing weight for the Goodlife Fitness Marathon in October, which I can usually do when I really put my mind and body to it. And although summertime BBQs, patio drinks and chips and salsa has contributed somewhat to my predicament, the surprising reason why I haven’t been able to lose weight comes down to approximately a handful of berries, a lick of peanut butter, and a couple more pieces of my daily dark chocolate quota (yes, I’ve started eating chocolate again – but not as much!) per day. So roughly 150-200 extra calories per day.

    Those few extra nibbles a day (which I accounted for in MyFitness Pal) added up to a small weight gain and now maintenance, even though I’ve been in a small calorie deficit almost this entire time. Which wasn’t actually as much of a deficit as I thought, based on MyFitnessPal logging data from two years ago when I made a concentrated effort to lose weight. (more…)

    The surprise secret to motivation and consistency when it comes to eating right and exercising

    The surprise secret to motivation and consistency when it comes to eating right and exercisingI’m often asked by my online coaching clients how to stay motivated to work out and how not to “fall off the wagon” when it comes healthy eating. Like most of us, they know what they need to do to lose weight and how to get healthier, but fail in the execution of even the most well-thought-out plans. Although having a personal trainer or nutrition coach can help you with the what and how, they can’t help you with the why. That part — which is the hardest part when it comes to being a happy, healthy human — is entirely up to you.

    Not only is it up to you, it has to come from within you. From a place buried deep down inside that you might only see glimpses of now and again during shavasana at yoga class. Or when you experience a runner’s high on the trails in the forest. Or when you’re playing with your kids. Or when you’re laugh-crying over beer at the pub with your best friends you’ve known since middle school. Or when you’re watching your dog run full-tilt alongside the ocean at the beach. Or when you’re hugging your parents.

    Those experiences. That feeling. That’s the surprise secret to motivation and consistency when it comes to eating right and exercising

    (I know that probably doesn’t make a lot of sense. But just bear with me here… there is a point, and I will get to it :)) (more…)

    IDEA World Fitness Blogfest 2016 recap

    Blogfest 2016 RecapIt’s Monday and I’m still tired and sore.

    But heading down to Los Angeles for IDEA World Fitness Blogfest 2016 was so worth it.

    In case you want to just skip to the good parts, here are the highlights:

    • Meeting Ariana, Beth, Megan, Susie, Jessica, Lea, Christiana, Ashley, Ivanna, Carleeh, Stephanie, Kelli, Teresa, and Jamie and Alyse (as well as many other fabulous bloggers) in real life and getting to hang out with them for the entire weekend
    • A sweaty group run through downtown LA
    • All the free food, swag and snacks we got – seriously, I’ve never been so spoiled at a conference. Sweat Pink and all the sponsors truly outdid themselves! Buffet breakfast and lunches, all the protein bars, yogurt, hummus and veggies we could possibly eat, and lots of take home goodies
    One whole suitcase full of free swag!

    One whole suitcase full of free swag!

    • Watching 90-year-old Elaine Lalanne (Jack Lalanne’s wife) take on Tony Horton in a push-up competition
    My goal is to be able to do this at 90!

    My goal is to be able to do this at 90!

    • Hearing Amy Van Dyken‘s story – it was truly inspirational and she’s a very funny lady
    • Getting my butt kicked (and slapped by Susie during a plank exercise where we had to partner up and try to push the other person off balance) in bloggers-only a workout with Gunnar Peterson
    Everything hurt after this strength and cardio circuit with Gunnar Peterson

    Everything hurt after this strength and cardio circuit with Gunnar Peterson

    • Late night Whole Foods dinner runs, business chats and celebrity spotting with Ariana
    • Getting yelled at by Jillian Michaels during her BodyShed workout
    "I heard you guys were trainers, so I turned the 'what the fuck' button up all the way for this circuit" - Jillian Michaels, explaining our workout

    “I heard you guys were trainers, so I turned the ‘what the fuck’ button up all the way for this circuit” – Jillian Michaels, explaining our workout

    • Doing a combo workout of Insanity/P90X/Turbo Kick/Cize and Country Heat (I couldn’t take that one seriously) with the Sweat Pink crew
    country heat workout

    Yeee haw!!

    • Checking out all the latest, greatest and weirdest in fitness and health at the expo (LOL at that car-buffer massage thing)
    • Hearing and being inspired by lectures from David Katz, John Berardi and Yoni Freedhoff at the nutrition and behaviour change summit (these people are smart and get it – follow them if you aren’t already!)
    So much good stuff at the nutrition and behaviour change summit

    So much good stuff at the nutrition and behaviour change summit

    • Did I mention all the free food and swag?

    Blogfest sessions
    On Thursday and Friday, we sat in on a series of blogger-focused lectures and workshops, which included sessions about how to use SnapChat, how to collect/use emails, content marketing, iPhone food photography, blogger round tables and peer reviews. (more…)

    Blogfest bound!

    new-spa-badge-1Happy Wednesday! I’m checking in briefly this week on the blog since I’m off to the IDEA World Fitness Conference and Fitness Blogfest with Sweat Pink in Los Angeles today! I feel like I’ve been super neglectful of my blog and personal training business these past few months (while focusing almost all of my extra time and energy into freelance), so I’m hoping to get inspired to give my online presence a boost, meet some of my favourite health and fitness bloggers in real life, and earn some NSCA CEUs (continuning education units so I never have to take that exam again, ugh). Here are a few other things I’m looking forward to:

    • Attending a few nutrition lectures by the super smart Yoni Freedhoff, a Canadian doctor, assistant professor at the University of Ottawa, author of The Diet Fix, and founder of an ethical, evidence-based nutrition and weight management centre in Ottawa
    • The massive expo with tons of new fitness and health products I want to check out
    • The celebrity workouts with Gunnar Peterson, Jillian Michaels and Cassey Ho (yes, I’m doing them. How could I not??)
    • The gala party!

    I’ll no doubt be Instagraming and SnapChatting over the weekend, so follow me there (runliftyoga on SnapChat and runliftyogi on Insta) if you’re interested!

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    Who’s going to Blogfest and IDEA Fit?? What are you most looking forward to? If you’ve gone before, do you have any tips to share for what to bring, see and do?

    14-week summer marathon training plan (incorporating Tone It Up workouts!)

    If you asked me last week how I was feeling about my upcoming marathon training program, I’d have been on the fence about even starting. Due to some health issues, I’m still not 100% sure I’ll be attempting to BQ, let alone run, at the Goodlife Victoria Marathon this October. But since I’m playing the waiting game right now, I thought I’d write myself a summer marathon training plan structured around my upcoming travels (Blogfest!) and vacations (Sunfest!), and at least start doing some more frequent and longer runs leading up to the Beat the Blerch Half in September.

    So here’s what I came up with:

    It’s kind of a mix of the FIRST marathon training method, but with an extra 5K or 11K run a week added in (depending on my flex day schedule) since I’m limited to an hour workout in the mornings, plus Tone It Up workouts from the Beach Babe 4 DVD to supplement the strength and stretch portion of my training plan.

    I know I won’t be able to hit my tempo and interval run pace targets just yet, but it’s something to shoot for while I continue to pick up my 5K pace with the Ocean Spray® PACt® cranberry extract water #evenbetter challenge over the next week.

    This past week I did three runs: Wednesday was a decent 26 minute 5K with a few sub 5:00 kms in the midst (full disclosure: I had to stop once half way through to throw up – running at that speed after taking my iron supplement sans breakfast is NOT a good idea); Friday was a slow and sloggy 4.5K run I just wanted to be over and done with, and Sunday was a decent 10K run that actually made me enjoy running again.

    I don’t know what’s up with me and running right now. Some days I can’t wait to get out there, and other days I’d rather be doing anything else. Which is funny, because summer on the island is prime running weather – you’d think it’d be harder to get out there and run during our dreary, wet and cold winters. Sure, it gets hot and muggy; but if you head out the door early enough, it’s lovely and pleasant.

    Hoping to get back to this level of run fitness soon!

    Hoping to get back to this level of run fitness soon!

    Hopefully this new marathon training plan, the #evenbetter 5K challenge and the IDEA World Fitness conference next week will help to inspire me and pull me out of this summer fitness funk.

    How’s your fitness routine going this summer? Are you in a running rut as well? What keeps you motivated during the summer to work out? What races are you training for right now?

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    Linking up with the lovely:

    Annmarie at The Fit Foodie Mama, Nicole at Fitful Focus, Michelle at Fruition Fitness and Jen at Pretty Little Grub

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    Also linking up with these sexy RRCA Certified Running Coaches: Susie of Suzlyfe, Rachel of Running on Happy, Debbie of Coach Debbie Runs, and Lora of Crazy Running Girl

    What happens when your ‘after’ is worse than your ‘before’: a Tone It Up Bikini Series recap

    If you follow my Instagram account, you probably noticed my #tiucheckins and #tiubootycalls for the Tone It Up Bikini Series Challenge lessened in frequency over the last few weeks.

    I promise you I WAS doing the workouts (with a 5-10K run on the weekend and usually just chores on Saturday), but my nutrition was less than stellar over the past three weeks. You know that saying, “abs are made in the kitchen”… well, I want to know where this kitchen is that makes these abs, because that would be fantastic.

    Delicious meal at Diner En Blanc!

    Delicious French-inspired cuisine at Diner En Blanc!

    All kidding aside, I struggled to find a balance these past few weeks. Usually I’m really good at eating well Monday to Thursday, living a little on Friday and Saturday, and returning to normal by Sunday. Maybe it was the onset of summer that triggered vacation mode and the desire to have chips, salsa and vino almost every night; the lovely patio we have in our backyard that just looks too inviting NOT to have family and friends over almost every weekend (hence more drinks and snacks); or all the events and activities we’ve been attending that involve even more drinks and snacks. (more…)

    Challenging myself to be #evenbetter in 2 weeks with Ocean Spray®: My 5K run challenge!

    Challenging myself to be #evenbetter in 2 weeks with Ocean Spray®_ My 5K run challenge!In two weeks, I’ll begin training for my third and final attempt at qualifying for the Boston Marathon while I’m eligible for the 30-35 year age bracket. (This means I need to run a 3:35 marathon time to qualify – which I’ve done – BUT actually need to train for and run a 3:30 or less to get into Boston.) Even though I’m only 31 and could keep trying to hit that 3:30 before I turn 35, I feel like I will need a break after this attempt due to general life busyness and other fitness goals I’d like to focus on – I love running, but I really don’t love marathon training. It always makes me feel really run down and those long runs really beat up my body if I don’t take a long enough break in between training cycles.

    I’ve really been enjoying strength training and the Tone It Up workouts these past few months since my last BQ attempt in February of this year, and although I’ve still been running a 5K to 8K once or twice a week to maintain cardio, I’ve been taking it much too easy and letting my pace slip down more and more each week.

    That’s why I was excited when Ocean Spray® challenged me to be #evenbetter by setting a healthy goal I could obtain within two weeks, making myself accountable to it by announcing it on my blog, and updating my readers and social media followers about my progress in reaching said goal over the next two weeks. So what’s my #evenbetter challenge goal, you ask? (more…)

    thinking out loud: Why I’m changing up my approach to exercise right now and a few exciting things!

    Happy almost Friday!

    Happy almost Friday!

    First off, the exciting thing I alluded to in my two previous Friday posts is not happening 🙁 Well, it will happen, but just not as planned. More to come on that in a few weeks! #vagueblogging

    But there were two other exciting things that happened over the past two weeks: I wrote my first article for AskMen.com (yes, I know it’s called Ask Men, but they have female writers too), so check it out if you want to know which pieces of Bri-approved home gym equipment you should get that don’t take up a ton of space and are relatively affordable. The second exciting thing was that I finally became an official member of Oiselle Volée!

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    I’ve been a fan of their running apparel since the beginning (I have still have an original pair of shorts and sports bra) and everything they do for females in the sport of running, so I was more than happy to contribute to their athlete fund to get their awesome singlet and represent for real this time. (more…)

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