Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Butt Sagging, Squattage & You're Fave Strength Training Move

I hope the fitting room associate wasn't wondering what was taking me so long. I was, um, busy trying on clothes, obviously.

Hey, hey, happy Wednesday! Let's chat for a little bit, shall we?

On Monday I decided I needed to buy some new jeans. The pair I had been wearing faithfully were getting loose in all the wrong places (read: saggy butt, saggy crotch, no no no thank you). I'm not sure if squatting in crazy positions had anything to do with the saggage (is that a thing? Let's make it a thing), but needless to say I needed something new in my life! I found two pairs of jeans for a  steal, and now my jean needs have been fulfilled. Bonus: These ones have the perfect amount of stretch for awkward squattage (that's a new thing too). Don't worry; I tested them.

Tuesday after work was gym time! Originally I wanted to hope on the treadmill and get a run in, but all the treadmills were taken except one right next to the stair stepper. My gym has two types of treadmills, one that feels shorter and one that is taller, and of course it was one of the short ones left over. Hmm, I think I'll just lift heavy things for a while.

I completed a full body work out that included everything from glute bridges, planks, bicep curls, bent over rows, oblique bends, shoulder presses, chest presses, dumb bell deadlifts, jump squats... I can't remember the rest, but you get the gist of it!

Then I headed home to celebrate my dad's 50th birthday!

Mr Birthday Dude and his new laptop! He was so thrilled and it was nice to see his reaction. "Is... this what I think it is!?" OH YEAH! He was using my sister's old laptop for the longest time, and the poor thing was missing screws, literally falling apart at the corners and held together with duct tape. He will have so much fun with this gadget!

"Woohoo, I'm 50!" is what he was saying here. Dad, I hope you had a fantastic birthday. We love you so much!

And now we are at today! This week is going by quickly which makes me happy as there is a long weekend ahead. Who doesn't love a three day weekend!? After work, I headed to the gym and got in a 5KM run and a quick strength training session. I focused on upper body mostly and completed back extensions, tricep dips, some core work & some one-legged dumb bell deadlifts. I haven't done one-legged deadlifts in a long time, so I did 3 sets of 5 to kinda re-familiarize myself. I'm sure I'll get the hang of it soon!

I hope you all are enjoying the week so far and have a good evening!

What's your favourite strength training move?

Monday, August 25, 2014

Ta-Ta Tamers, Trails & Trips, Oh My!

Good morning! Who else is sad the weekend is over? This weekend was such a good one. I wish they lasted forever!

Here's a little recap of what I've been up to this weekend. As usual, Saturday was my long run. I took it to the trails to complete 10.1 miles (16.25 km), and added in some road as well to mix it up. I have been enjoying these quiet runs on the trail. Usually I would listen to music while running, but now I find that music just makes me distracted. Do you run with or without music?

Then my sister and I headed up to Nanaimo later on in the day to pick up a birthday present for my dad. Although my dad doesn't regularly read my blog (um, he just mastered YouTube, so small steps), I'm not going to give away the gift just yet. Needless to say I know he will be SO excited, and I'm looking forward to seeing his face on Tuesday night!

Yesterday Ryan and I made some breakfast, hung out, and then headed out for a hike. According to the GPS on my phone, the hike was 6.2 miles, however I must have lost signal along the way because it said we walked a mile in 2 minutes 46 seconds. Somehow I don't think that's possible on a vertical climb!

The views are spectacular, and you can see all over the Cowichan Valley. If you are in the area, I highly suggest you check out this hike! The view from the top is worth it.

Someone didn't want his picture taken. Too bad, no choice!

After the hike, we got cleaned up and my family picked us up. We all ventured to Victoria for the day as an early birthday celebration for my dad. Since the majority of our family is working on his actual birthday, Tuesday, Sunday worked best! We wandered along the harbour, checked out lots of stores, and naturally I had to stop by Lululemon. I have been thinking about getting a new Ta-Ta Tamer for a long time now. A few years ago I ordered one online, used it a few times, and then lost it. Oops. So I finally bit the bullet and bought another one.

And then another one.

I think I am good now. Hopefully that other one I lost will turn up soon!

We ended the evening with a delicious dinner at the Spaghetti Factory, then popped into Chapters to look around before heading home. It was so nice to spend the day with the people I love so much!

A big congratulations to all the runners at the Lululemon Seawheeze Half Marathon this weekend!

Off to get ready for the day. Have a Happy Monday everyone!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Garden Magic & Full Body BLAST Workout

The other day I went out to the garden and saw magic happening right before my eyes. I am happy to report that I have a baby cauliflower growing and a couple baby cucumbers! It is always so exciting to see the literal fruits of your labor, and everything tastes so fresh right grown in your own backyard. I have a hard time buying things like kale now since I have a huge abundance of it, and the same will ring true when my cherry tomatoes ripen. Exciting stuff!

I started off yesterday with a 5 mile run. It was cool and crisp out - perfect running weather.

Overall I felt good despite fallin' off my pace during mile three. Oh well! They can't all be perfect and even, I suppose.

Once I was home, I quickly showered and got myself ready before it was time to make breakfast. Of course, breakfast was the usual oatmeal with coffee. So original!

Then later on in the day I headed to the gym. My legs felt good from the morning run, so I hopped on the treadmill and ran another three to bring my grand total to eight for the day. I also completed a strength training work out that focused mostly on upper body, but also threw in things like deadlifts and jump squats to keep my body guessing and my heart rate up. Here it is below:

I switched between 12 and 15 pound weights for the above exercises. For the jump squats, I used a 10 pound medicine ball as that was most comfortable for me to use. Use whatever works best for you, or use your body weight. Throwing the squat jumps into the mix was a great way to keep my heart rate up and muscles guessing. They will be appearing in many workouts to come! 

Oh yeah! I also did a one minute plank before stretching a bit and heading on my way. Let me know if you give it a try and tell me what you think!

After the gym, Ryan and I went for a walk along the trail. Lately we've been going for a walk in the evening, and I find it's a great way to catch up on the day together, get some fresh air, and unwind. There were quite a few people out and about, mostly families and their kids riding bikes, but overall a fairly quiet walk! We completed 2.1 miles, then made a delicious dinner of salmon, mini potatoes & roasted veggies which was enjoyed while watching Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2. Kids at heart!

Hope you all had a good night and Happy almost Weekend!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Celebrations, Running Around & Dem Ocean Viewz

Good morning! It's been a week(ish) since I last checked in, so this post will have lots of photos from what's been happening lately!

Note: Nothing earth shattering or life changing on my end here, but it has been a fun week!

Let's start with the weekend, shall we?

Saturday morning started with a walk with my mom & Marley. We wandered around town and headed towards the beach on our way home. I snapped the picture above when we reached a look out point. The water was so peaceful and calm, and it was relatively warm out despite how gloomy the morning was! That gloom soon turned into sunshine, which turned into HEAT during my run later on that day. Lovely, yes. Painful, yes. However, you can't complain with ocean views like this! So beautiful. 

Stairs of death (that I didn't run down. I thought about it, then ran home).

Here's my splits for Saturday's run! Saturday is usually a long run, but I cut it short because A) I was getting too hot and mentally tired of the heat + humidity and B) I had more important things to do, like attend my friend's wedding!

A girlfriend of mine who I've known since kindergarten got married on Saturday! It was such a beautiful time with so many good people. Congratulations, Sheridan & Scott! Ryan and I had tons of fun, so of course Sunday was spent relaxing. We headed to the beach and went for a swim, ran some errands, then went for an hour long walk before making some dinner.

I was feelin' a big salad with shrimp! We tried a new honey mustard dressing that paired well with the shrimp and avocado. It is a winner in my books!

After work yesterday I went for a hot, humid 5KM run on the trail. What is it with this crazy humid weather? Or maybe I'm just insane for running at 4:30pm in the summer time? The trail was quiet with not many people out and about, so I had the whole place to myself to run and frolick and be free and dream about watching CityLine when I got home. Yeah, it's like my 5 o'clock thing now to drink tea and watch a late-afternoon daytime TV show.

 ...And then I sat on the floor for a while.

Until next time, friends!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A Ryan Gosling Cameo, Gloomy Run + Negative Splits Round 2

Good morning everyone! How was your weekend? Check out the moon up there. That photo was taken this morning at 5:56am before I started my run. So big and bright!

I ran on Saturday (7 miles), then headed to Victoria with my mom & her friend to shop around for a dress. I am attending my good friend's wedding this weekend, and suddenly realized umm... I might need something to wear! I ended up finding a dress and shoes almost right away, so we grabbed lunch and coffees for the ride home before traffic hit. As well, Sunday was a relaxing day spent out on the lake. There is nothing better than lounging on the boat in the sunshine! If you got too hot, simply jump into the water and cool down instantly. We arrived at about 10AM and ended up getting home at 8:30PM. It was a long day, but it was so beautiful and SO WORTH IT (capitals are necessary) to be out there on the water. When I was a kid I would constantly be swimming in the pool until the wee hours of the morning. My parents called me a fish, and that is fitting because I am a Pisces! I come by it honestly ;)

This morning I woke up early feeling rested and refreshed. A good night's sleep is what I needed after a busy weekend. Does anyone else feel extra tired after spending a day out in the sun? I laced up and went for a 5KM loop. Two weeks ago I was 43 seconds off of a sub-25 5KM. I started off this run thinking, "Well, if it happens, it happens. If not, I will keep pluggin' away at it." However, it was a gloomy but warm morning, my body felt good, and overall it was just perfect conditions to push the pace. And so I did. And I am ecstatic.

Boom, negative splits again.

Thank you, thank you.

Here is the route I completed. I kept running along a straight stretch to get the .100 in, then cooled down by walking back home (a whole two or so minutes).

Then, I put some oats on the stove and showered while they were cookin' away!

In the mix: 1/2 cup oats, 1/4 cup Barley flakes (Barley oats?), water, 2 tbsp chia seeds, 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds, 1 tbsp dried cranberries & shredded coconut, small banana and a small handful of freshly picked blackberries. Mmm, so good! Such a good way to start the day, too.

Anway, I am off! I hope you guys have a fantabulous day. Bye for now!

Friday, August 8, 2014

The Longest Four Day Week In the History of Four Day Weeks

Here is the revised picture a coworker sent to me:

And this is 100% accurate.


You'd think the days would go by zipping fast because there's only four rather than five, but for some reason this week just dragged on. And on. And on. And it didn't end. And it's still not done. Perhaps it's because I have been extra frustrated and kind of stressed out this week. Lots has been on my mind (revolving around the same subject), and it's gotten to a point where my mind is jam packed with a bajillion thoughts and it gets distracting. Hopefully this funk passes soon. Have you felt that way before!?

Save my soul. Anyway, let's look back at the (incredibly slow moving) week.

Tuesday I took a rest day. My hip was hurting a little bit thanks to overstretching it on Monday, and I was advised by a certain smart man in my life that "it's better to take a day off than injuring yourself more and having to take off a whole month, OR MORE." Yes, oh wise one. I have to admit that the day of rest was much needed, and my Wednesday's run was great!

Wednesday: 6.31 mile run, 20 minute strength training that focused on squats, standing leg lifts (to strengthen the outer hips), tricep dips, and core work. I have also been walking on my coffee break + lunch break at work (hooray, fresh air and MOVEMENT!), which rounds out to 2 miles if I am only walking on one of my coffee breaks. I try to do this every day, but sometimes the afternoon coffee break is missed!

Thursday: 4.35 mile run + 30 minutes strength training.
3 x 10 squats
3 x 10 push ups
3 x 10 shoulder press, 3 x 10 chest press
1 minute plank
4 x 25 weighted oblique bends
3 x 10 bent over rows
3 x 12 bicep curls
2 x 25 weighted plie squats

I am not too sure what is on the running plan for today, but it'll be an easy paced run since my legs are a bit sore from yesterday's work out!

I'd have to say that the phrase below definitely applies to me lately. What the heck. Negative Nancy over here or what? Admitting is the first step, riiiight? And the next is probably changing the environment that is causing the stress. In the works, people. In the works.

Anywho, I am off! Have a fantastic Friday!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Long Weekend Recap + New Goals!

Hey, hey! Happy Tuesday.

The only good thing about long weekends ending = a short week ahead. Does anyone else wish days off could last forever? Here's a quick recap of what I got up to this weekend.

Saturday was a pretty relaxed day with nothing exciting to report. I completed my long run (20.2km) Saturday morning, stretched, hung out in the garden, picked blackberries and read my book. Oh, and ate some delicious fish and drank even better wine. Great ending to the day!

Sunday was a scheduled rest day, so I took the time to sleep in and try my best to not let my restless legs get the best of me. Sometimes when you know you should be resting, that's when you want to work out the most! Like Saturday, the day was pretty easy going. Ryan and I made breakfast (pancakes pictured above with a syrup made out of the blackberries I picked & blueberries from his yard), then just watched movies and puttered around before heading to my house to meet my fam for an evening of boating!

We cruised all over before anchoring in Ladysmith to watch the Ladysmith Days fireworks. I didn't snap any firework pictures (surely you all know what they look like) because I was too busy bundled up in a sleeping bag watching the show. Do you ever put your phone away and simply enjoy the moment? It's nice doing that and living without distractions, if only for a short moment!

And then this happened. After my run (5.27 miles/8.48km), I thought it would be funny to lay a pair of shorts over Marley. Poor guy does not like this heat! He also doesn't look too impressed, but it was funny nonetheless. I finished Divergent (the book I was reading) earlier that morning, so I am impatiently waiting for my sister to finish the second book in the series. Luckily the movie comes out on DVD today, so I think that is what I'll be doing! I heard it is so good. Have you seen it? After having a quick shower and getting myself ready for the day, Sarah and I headed to Nanaimo. I am in the market for a dress for my friend's wedding that is quickly approaching, but unfortunately nothing caught my eye (mind you, we only went to one store and Starbucks, soo...). Everything looked young. Lots of florals, neon colours on clearance and I just wasn't into it. I will find the perfect dress soon!

Since it is a new month, it's time to set some new goals!

A little background: I used to be able to hold a plank for the whole "Lose Yourself" song by Eminem (that's over 5 minutes, people). Needless to say I am working on my planking abilities (if there's any shred of ability left) to get back there!

- Hold a plank for 2:30 minutes. <--- The original goal was 2 minutes, but I tried that on Saturday and made it to a whole 2 minutes and 1 second before I decided to lay on the floor and play my farm game. So, uppin' the time now.
- PR in the 5KM <--- This doesn't necessarily have to be in a race, per se, because I do not have any 5KM races on the horizon right now. I am judging this by a loop that I run.
- Strength train at least twice a week
- Stretch after each run <--- I fall off this bandwagon all the time and crash so hard. So hard. I am making an effort to get in at least 5-10 minutes of stretching in after each run. So far, success!

I will update you on any more goals that pop into my head as they come!