Review and GIVEAWAY: See and be seen with Knuckle Lights for runners

I live in a rural area with hardly any streetlights, so all of my early morning or evening runs have an added level of sketchiness. It’s hard to see where I’m going, it’s hard for drivers to see me coming on the twisty and hilly roads in my neighbourhood, and who knows what kind of creatures are lurking just off the road in the bushes (seriously — even deer out here have been known to attack people and dogs, so my wariness is justified).

I have a headlamp for my early morning runs, but it only lights the way in directly front of me, not my periphery (where the creatures are hiding, haha). I also have to wear my headlamp with a hat, as the light presses into my forehead uncomfortably. So I was super excited when Knuckle Lights reached out to me to see if I wanted to try their handheld lights made for runners. (more…)

Stress plus rest equals growth: Why I’m taking a year of rest

Last week, I was having a conversation with a colleague about my lack of motivation for blogging, writing, and side-hustling in general.

“It’s not that I don’t like doing it, and it’s not like my life has gotten exponentially more stressful or busy that I don’t have time to sit down and write,” I explained. “It’s just that when I get home I’d rather chill out with my fiancée and watch Netflix, or relax in the hot tub with a glass of wine instead of sit at my desk on my laptop. And now on the weekend, I’d rather peruse wedding and home furnishing boards on Pinterest instead of writing a blog and posting comments for an hour or two after breakfast like I used to do.”

Am I losing my motivation? Am I becoming one of those boring people who waste time instead of putting every extra second into trying to find a way to either make more money, serve others, or have a higher purpose?

My colleague offered some suggestions to help get me back on track, such as reaching out to do more coaching or teaching. They were good suggestions, but none of them felt right to me. (more…)

Race review: Vancouver Island Trail Running Series race #2: Mt. Tzouhalem

I don’t think I’ve ever been so unprepared for a race as I was for Mt. Tzouhalem, the second race in Vancouver Island Trail Running Series.

Not in a physical, that-took-a-huge-toll-on-my-body-and-mind-and-I-almost-died kind of way, but in a I-don’t-even-know-what-race-I’m-running kind of way.

Usually when I have a race or event I get everything packed the night before: I decide what I’m going to wear, lay out my running clothes, pack gels or a banana and water, pack a spare change of clothes, and charge my Garmin.

On Saturday, I looked up where I was supposed to be about 2 hours before the race started (I knew it was in Duncan but I didn’t know where), got changed out of my pajamas and into running gear about 30 minutes before I had to leave, threw some stuff in a bag (but not my Garmin because it was almost dead), decided to grab my handheld water bottle last minute even though I thought I was only running 7 km, and headed out the door.

I arrived at Providence Farm in Duncan—which is a beautiful spot, by the way—about an hour before the race was scheduled to start. When I checked in, I discovered I was still registered for the long course distance of 13 km instead of the short course distance of 7 km. I thought I had switched, but I forgot to confirm. Oops!  (more…)

What DNA testing can tell you about your health

This past November, I decided to do some research on my family tree for Christmas gifts. I bought the AncestryDNA kit, which happened to be on sale for about $70 at the time, and a one year subscription to Ancestry.ca so I could access historical records and their extensive database of user-created family trees.

What I discovered was definitely worth the cost and time spent poring over records, photos and information. The DNA test told me I’m 91% Great British (Scottish/Welsh/English), with a little bit of Italian/Greek, Scandinavian and European Jewish. I also found out my 6th great grandfather John MacColl was a key witness in a famous murder trial in Scotland in 1745, and was featured in the novel “Kidnapped” by Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson (author of “Treasure Island”). (He was described as “a ragged, wild, bearded man, about forty, grossly disfigured with the small pox, and looked both dull and savage.” Sounds like we’re related, alright!) I also found out my 4th great uncle Hugh MacColl was a logician and wrote a few novels, which are on Amazon for sale.

I was also able to connect with a distant relative on my mom’s side who has the MacColl family bible from the 1800s, and another relative in New Zealand who sent me a ton of information and photos of my 3rd great grandparents on my dad’s side, who immigrated to New Zealand from England in the 1800s and owned a sheep farm that’s still around today. (more…)

Why I’m still diligent about tracking exercise and nutrition

One of the best things about logging and tracking your progress – be it keeping a personal diary, bullet journaling, logging workouts or tracking nutrition – is looking back at certain points in time when you remember feeling at your best (or at your worst) to see what was going on so you can either disrupt or adopt certain habits and behaviours.

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Gear Review: Running and lifting in Swiftwick Socks

A few months ago, the nice people at Swiftwick sent me three pairs of their running socks to test out and review. Because you can only get a good feel for workout clothes — and socks in particular — by wearing them during all kinds of workouts in all kinds of weather and conditions, I took my time putting each pair through their paces. Also, I’ve only been running once or twice a week, so I wanted to make sure I got a good feel for each pair as they are all a bit different in terms of material, cushioning and compression.

Yes, socks can be as custom as running shoes are these days! (more…)

Race Review: Vancouver Island Trail Running Series Race #1 – Cobble Hill

I wasn’t planning on actually running much of the hilly 12 km short course at the first race in the Vancouver Island Trail Running Series (VITRS) this past Saturday since I haven’t been running much lately and wasn’t feeling good this past week, but I couldn’t help myself after I started to descend after the first of many steep climbs.

The course follows a fun network of hiking and mountain biking trails around Cobble Hill, and I LOVE running on twisty-turny downhills that aren’t too steep. Once I get into that downhill flow on the trails — you know the kind when you expertly navigate every rock and root with minimal effort and feel like you could run forever — I can’t be stopped.

The Cobble Hill race, held on Saturday, April 8, was the first event in the VITRS. It featured a long course (18km) and a short course (12km), as well as a kid’s race. Even though the weather was rather gloomy, there was a great turn out at this sold out race. (more…)

Blogger rant: Why I’m over sponsored social media posts

Happy Saturday, friends!

I’m sorry I haven’t quite got back into the swing of regular health, fitness and wellness related blog posts, but I promise I’ll post something substantial again soon. To be honest, around the time I started studying for the GMAT thinking I’d be going back to grad school I was feeling rather disenchanted with the whole blogging and fitness/health side passion I had going on. Perhaps I was still bitter from the Mode Media fiasco and doing $1,700 worth of work promoting brands and not seeing a dime of it; or perhaps I enjoyed my two-week Maui vacation a little too much and decided I’d rather have true downtime outside of work (which has gotten insanely busy) instead of side hustling. (more…)

Recipe: Healthy banana chocolate chip protein muffins

The nice folks at Naked Nutrition sent me this massive tub of protein powder to try a few weeks ago. Since whey protein doesn’t sit well with me in protein shakes (and I prefer plant-based protein in general), I decided to use it in baking last week.

Not just for Rickys and Bobbys!

I threw together some banana chocolate chip protein muffins for snacks during the week and was really happy with how they turned out, so I made some again this week and measured everything this time so I could share it with you guys. (more…)

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