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{thinking out loud Thursday} The weirdest search terms that have led people to my blog this year

“Old man eating spaghetti painting”.

Why someone would need to look that up, I don’t know… but how that term led someone to my blog a few years ago is a real head-scratcher.

I love looking at analytics and finding out how people came across my blog. Not only do these insights help me understand where my readers are coming from, what they’re interested in and what questions they want answered, but also help me to optimize my posts so they’re a bit more discoverable on the interwebz.
Thinking-Out-Loud2

So honour of Thinking Out Loud Thursday, I thought it would be fun to share some of the weirdest search terms that have led people to my blog this year.

Before I get to the weird stuff, some of the most common search terms people have used this year that led them to my blog are anything to do with the FitBit: how it calculates calories burned, how it tracks your calories and if it’s accurate or not. That probably has something to do with this post, this post and this post (a new FitBit Charge HR 2 review will be coming soon!).

But sometimes, much to my delight, I get a totally random phrase show up in my site stats and wonder how in the world that term led someone to a blog about running, lifting and yoga. Most of the time I can figure out what post they stumbled upon, but sometimes… I just don’t know. So without further ado, here are some of the most unusual search terms that have led people to my blog this year and my response to whomever was looking for that kind of information. (more…)

Fitness Friday: Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon training week 8

fitnessfriday

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!

    (more…)

    Workout Wednesday: 4-day beginner upper/lower split strength training program

    upper lower splitAs promised, here’s my current muscle-building workout routine I’ll be doing for the next 8 to 10 weeks! This is a beginner 4-day upper/lower split strength training program focused on building strength and hypertrophy you can do at the gym or at home with some modifications. Each workout contains a combination of push-pull exercises, beginning with major muscle groups and ending with accessory exercises. Because I only have about 40 minutes to workout in the morning, I’ve programmed these workouts as supersets, where you can perform each exercises back-to-back in sets with very little rest time in between. If you have more time or are a true beginner/plan on lifting heavier, I suggest taking longer breaks in between exercises. (more…)

    Tales from the run: The curmudgeonly old bird man

    runlightApparently I am an ignorant runner.

    I know this because the curmudgeonly old man in the trucker hat who often walks my seaside running route with a squawking parrot on his poop-covered shoulder told me so the other day as I ran by during a tempo run.

    And on my way back, he heard me coming and fully turned around with his arms extended in an attempt to stop me, his parrot wildly flapping its wings. “STOP! I need to talk to you!” he shouted as I flew by.

    “Sorry, I need to see where I’m going! Safety first!”

    He may have shouted a few profanities at me but I couldn’t quite hear him.

    Stop during a tempo run? Sorry mister. I’m marathon training.

    So what is curmudgeonly bird man so curmudgeonly about?

    My headlamp. He doesn’t like my 80 lumen headlamp that barely lights the road in front of me because for that whole five seconds when I pass him by once or twice a week, it is “too bright in his eyes”. (more…)

    How I’m changing up my fitness routine for fall

    In three weeks I’ll be running 28 km of rock and root-covered trails with 4,000 feet of vertical for the Finlayson Arm 50. But I’ve barely been out of the trails lately, let alone done much running. My last long trail run was about a month ago when I did 23 km. Then I took a week of vacation. Then got sick. Then helped Matt move. I did manage to go for a  2.5 hour hike this Sunday… but now I’m sick again. Ugh.

    This weekend will be our longest run, where we’re actually going to run the entire race course. I’m going to do it, but it’s not going to be pretty. Although this race was just supposed to be something fun for me to do with my running buddies and to keep me moving and motivated during the summer, I’m looking forward to changing up my fitness routine for fall to something more manageable. Especially considering both my personal training business and freelance writing have picked up considerably these last few weeks, which is awesome, but makes hitting the trails for 3+ hours on the weekend a bit tricky. (more…)

    Why the world needs bloggers

    _Either write something worth reading orI used to be a prolific novel reader.

    Every summer I used to haunt the local used book store near my grandma’s place in Oyama, BC, where I’d stay for the majority of summer holidays. I’d carry an armful of Stephen King, Ann Rice, James Rollins and Tom Robbins back to my grandma’s house, grab a glass of ice tea and an orange creamsicle bar and lounge poolside whilst lost in worlds of vampires, pet cemeteries, subterranean creatures and surrealist seriocomedies.

    But then I had to go to university, and had limited time to read for fun. I felt like if I had time to be reading something, it should probably be textbooks and research papers. Even though I took every English Lit course I could as electives, assigned novels simply couldn’t be enjoyed; they had to be scrutinized and dissected and written about for letter grades.

    I didn’t get back on the book wagon until after I graduated university and secured a full-time job. But even then, any time I had a moment to spare to read I felt like I should be doing something else instead; something productive. I should be writing, I thought, because that’s what you need to do if you want to improve your writing skills as a communications specialist and freelance magazine writer.

    So I started a blog.  (more…)

    {Friday Favourites} The best reads about health, fitness and life from around the web this week

    Life In LeggingsHappy Friday, friends! How was your week? My training for the Finlayson Arm 25K officially started this week, so I’m heading out for my first long-ish trail run (12km) tomorrow morning in Gowlland Tod Provincial Park. Time to pull the ‘ol hydration backpack out of the closet and charge the Garmin! Even though I know it’s going to be a slog (the trail has a ton of climbs and I’m feeling pretty out of shape at the moment), I’m really looking forward to spending a few hours in the trees.

    I’m linking up with the lovely Heather of Life in Leggings as per usual to share some of the most interesting reads in health, fitness and life I found around the web this week. (more…)

    {Friday Favourites} The best reads in health, food, fitness and life this week

    Life In LeggingsHappy Friday, friends! How was your week? Even though this week was a short one for me it felt like it was never going to end. Last weekend I got to see one of my best friends get married before jetting off to Vancouver the following day for a Shania Twain concert (Yes, Shania Twain. I love her. Don’t judge me), then had a very busy week at both jobs. I can tell my introverted self needs a bit of a slower weekend to recharge. So other than some causal hang-outs with good friends on patios, I plan to take it easy this weekend!

    I’m linking up with the lovely Heather of Life in Leggings as per usual to share some of the most interesting reads in health, food, fitness and life I found around the web this week. (more…)

    {friday favourites} My favourite links from around the health and fitness blogosphere this week

    Life In LeggingsHappy Friday, friends! I’m linking up with the lovely Heather of Life in Leggings today to share a few of my favourite links from around the fitness and health blogosphere this week.

    First off, thank you for all the great comments and feedback on yesterday’s slightly controversial post. I’ve been wanting to write about it for awhile because I do think it’s an important issue to shed light on for several reasons, but as someone who’s not entrenched in the bodybuilding or fitness competition world, I felt I could only provide an outsiders point of view. But since the article I discovered the other day and quoted in the post supported most of my thoughts about why “competition prep” is becoming so popular, I felt the time was right to talk about it. Not to pass judgement on anyone, but to shed light on the possible underlying issues of the use of restriction and discipline in order to feel worthy, negative self-perception, and unrealistic body image goals that could potentially lead to psychological issues such as disordered eating behaviours.

    But I digress. On the the awesome reads from this week! (more…)

    Giveaway time! Enter to win an H2O Audio Interval 4G Waterproof Headphone System!

    FullSizeRender2Happy Wednesday, friends! I’m happy to report I’m finally back to workouts this week — I started with some light resistance training on Monday and 30 minutes of yoga yesterday. I’m sore everywhere. Oh how I missed you, DOMs.

    My plan is to finally head out for a run on Thursday this week. I’m so glad I didn’t end up signing up for a spring race like I had planned to, otherwise I’d be mighty disappointed in my cardio fitness right now. I have no races planned in the near future, however, so I have plenty of time to build it back up again.

    Speaking of races, I’ve been seriously considering getting back to triathlon again. I did my first race in 2010 and fell in love with it. But then I went and became an event organizer and communications person for a local triathlon race series and that experience completely crushed my desire to participate again. When you breathe swimming, biking and running 24/7 from an event organizer perspective, swimming, biking and running is kind of the last thing you want to do in your free time (on the rare occasion you have any).

    When I was training, though, I would have LOVED to have had this for the pool. The H2O Audio Interval 4G Waterproof Headphone System is a waterproof case AND headphones for your iPod shuffle so you can rock out in the pool during swim training. (more…)

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