What’s one thing that every parent, student, spouse, caregiver, entrepreneur, and salaried or part-time employee (so pretty much everyone who has to juggle working for a living with multiple responsibilities) is always striving to achieve?
Balance. Or more specifically, work-life balance.
It’s a term that often gets thrown around in lifestyle and career magazines and in the blogosphere, and one that I always have trouble defining. A few years ago, entrepreneur and former Facebook market development director (and Mark Zuckerberg sibling) Randi Zuckerberg famously said (well, tweeted) that in order to be successful in life and business, you can only pick three things to focus on out of the following five important categories: friendship, work, time with family, fitness and health, and sleep.
I have to disagree with Ms. Zuckerberg. I believe you can make time and focus on the first three (friendship, work and time with family) by giving the last two (fitness/health and sleep – I’d also add mental health to that list) your attention every day. It’s something I’ve done for the past five years, and it has allowed me to run multiple races and qualify for the Boston Marathon, become physically and emotionally stronger and more flexible, start and grow a personal training business on the side, advance in my communications and writing career, maintain longtime friendships and make new ones, and foster and grow healthy and happy relationships.
So how do I do it? How do I balance everything while finding the time and energy to work out, eat healthy and set aside time for passion projects and self-care every day? (more…)
Even though I appreciated the slightly cooler running temperatures this week, I don’t appreciated the wet trails, dark and foggy mornings, and dry, brown leaves all over the ground reminding me that winter is just around the corner. And as a chronically cold person who has to wear five layers of clothing when exposed to temperatures under 10 degrees C (you think I’m kidding), I feel a true sense of dread I when I realize our west coast Winter Is Coming.
Me from October – May.
At least I should be done the majority of my must-do-outside training runs before the weather takes a turn for the worse — I can’t believe I only have two big long runs to go! After this weekend’s 31 km run, I’ll be doing a 34 km, then heading over to Seattle for the Beat The Blerch half marathon. Is anyone else doing that race? I’m so excited for the birthday cake aid stations!
I usually like to save Thursdays for deep, well-thought-out and researched blog posts about health, wellness, fitness, mindfulness and nutrition… but this week all my brain capacity has been sucked up at work on a big project that has me feeling like I’m back in Uni writing a year-end term paper, only this time it’s actually important and effects people’s work. SO, that said, here’s a collection of things on my mind or that I’ve discovered over the past few weeks and love.
Where did August go? Why are the leaves turning brown already? Why are there Christmas decorations at Costco?? I’m not ready for tall boots, layers, infinity scarves and pumpkin spice lattes. I don’t even like pumpkin spice lattes!
I definitely prefer warmer climes, and as soon as I noticed a smattering of dry, yellow maple leafs on the trails near my house, I started researching our next tropical vacation and decided we needed two weeks this time.
Fall, you sure are pretty but please go away.
The only good thing about fall — aside from the prettiness of the leaves when they just start to turn, not when they look all dead and brown on the trail — is that marathon day is just around the corner, and October has the perfect race-day temperatures. No more of this running for 3+ hours in 28 degree heat. Although I love the warmth, even I have my thresholds. (more…)
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!
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…)
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.
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.
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!
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.
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…)
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…)