Gratitude is the BEST Attitude + Life is Freakin’ GOOD!

 

Well hey there, party people!

As you can see it’s been quite the party around here in my Christmas pajama pants with my pumpkin spice candle burning every second of the day when I’m home.

I have been thinking about my blogging schedule and how difficult it can be to blog every day. Truth be told, I do not want to be putting posts out there just for the sake of having a post, so you will notice that my posting will be a bit more sporadic – but still frequent, and I will be on Instagram and Facebook almost daily, too! You know, so you can get your daily dose of me because my life is so interesting ; ) This thought came about yesterday afternoon as I was transferring files onto my new computer. I thought about all the time it takes to edit, write, and try to be creative with every single post. Couple that with podcasting every week and it can be a challenge! I am taking a break from the podcast for now until I get everything installed on my new computer, so please be patient with me as I get things up and running! For those who don’t know, blogging is NOT my 9-5 and is simply a hobby, and while it’s kind of fun to treat it like a full time job, it’s just not realistic being that I work all day and blog at night. Maybe one day my focus will solely be on the blog, but for now I want to be bringing you guys valuable content on a consistent basis and NOT feeling like I am stuck for words when it comes to writing another post. Does that make sense? I feel like I am kind of rambling (okay, I am) but I wanted to get the thoughts out there : )

How was your weekend? Today is my Monday, but my weekend was fantastic. On Saturday night after work I went to the pub with a couple girlfriends from high school, had a delicious caesar and a chicken burger with sweet potato fries…because LIFE is supposed to be fun, and with that comes food! I thought about going for my tried and true chicken taco salad – not because it is a salad, but because it is actually extraordinary, but I was cravin’ fries and so that won me over. I’m all for balance – you guys know that! We spent a good three and a half hours there chatting and catching up, and you bet I was out like a light once I got home!

 

 

Sunday morning I took to the trails with my favourite, cutest dog in the world. I might be a little biased but I mean, LOOK at that face. Ryan and his brother went to pick up a new bathroom vanity we purchased. Yep, another home project! So, while they were out I thought it would be a good opportunity to get my body moving & for Nala to burn off some energy.

 

 

We walked just over 5km (give or take – I don’t measure the distance during walks) in almost an hour. Nala had a blast running all over the trail, meeting new puppy friends and people friends, too. At one point during my walk I was listening to this great song, the air was crisp but not too cold, the sun was shining through the trees, and Nala looked back at me with the biggest smile on her face. I felt like my heart was going to explode. I love being out there on the trail because it brings me so much gratitude for what I have in my life. Despite all the bad things going on in the world whether it’s political, hurricanes, forest fires, etc, I feel like I have so much to be grateful for and being out there in nature made it hit me in full force. But hey, that is a GOOD thing because like I say, gratitude is the best attitude! : )

 

 

Speaking of gratitude, I am so happy for yesterday’s long run. My 20 miler was hard, but good, and yesterday I had 15 miles (or 24km) on the plan. I had some quick oats with banana and a small scoop of almond butter beforehand, then did 8km in my neighbourhood before hitting the trail for the rest. Since fall is approaching (insert happy dance here!!!) it is getting darker earlier and also staying quite dark until almost 6:45am. So, I waited until then to get my run started, which meant I had lots of time to let my pre-run meal digest (I woke up around 5:20am). No tummy troubles on this run, my fuelling was on point, I hydrated when necessary and despite a bit of soreness in my quads, felt GREAT for the whole run. I even reached my 15 miles before I was home, so I had about five-ish minutes on the trail to just take in nature and cool down. That’s when I began to think of things I am grateful for on that Monday morning: running, my support system, Mother Nature, my dog <3 Life is pretty freakin’ good when you stop to slow down and be mindful!

 

When I got home I stretched, foam rolled, had an ice bath, and had coffee on the deck with Ryan. We bought these awesome picnic style benches for our deck, and although it’s not going to be sunny all day every day with the new season coming, it was so lovely to be outside with him chit chatting with a hot cup of coffee. I mean, is there anything better?

Well, food is good! And luckily Ryan is the KING of cooking in this house and made a bomb-ass breakfast for us. “I wanted to make you a nice breakfast after your long run because you deserve it!” Seriously. He is the best. I am eternally grateful for him keeping me fed when the RUNger hits!

 

The fruit salad even had some local honey drizzled on top, and he added KALE to the eggs. All of the veggies and fruit are from a local farm, so it was definitely a “Holly” kind of meal. Fresh tomatoes, thinly sliced potatoes, fluffy scrambled eggs – all in all a delicious run that also helped me warm up post-ice bath!!

We spent the rest of the day relaxing at home, and then I got the oil changed in my Jeep and we grabbed some Starbucks for the way home. No pumpkin spice latte here. I’ve had my one for the season, so I got my fix in early! All in all it was a great weekend full of quality time with my little fam jam (aka Ryan and the fur babies, lol) and my long run yesterday was the cherry on top. I hope you guys all had a great weekend too & I will catch ya back here soon!

The LONGEST Run + Long Weekend Vibes, Pt 1

 

Hi everyone!

How’s it going today? I hope you all enjoyed your Labour Day weekend whether you are in Canada or in the USA.

I took the long weekend to RELAX and just soak in time with family. We went to a wedding on Saturday which was beautiful, followed by breakfast at their house on Sunday morning. However, Sunday was sad too because we spent the majority of the afternoon at a beach side memorial for my (unofficial) aunt Nancy.  It was a beautiful day with lots of family spent celebrating her life. Plus, it was nice to be by the beach and once the crowds started to clear and things started to get packed up, we wandered down towards the ocean and I snapped some pictures.

Bonus: the view of Mt Baker from the beach we were at. And look at that snow! Crazy talk. Maybe snow means cooler weather, and THAT I can get behind. I’m sick of it being a balmy 86 degrees in my house. Puke.

 

 

We stopped by a farmer’s market en route home from Victoria and picked up some corn (well, my dad did) and our favourite cookies, and then had an easy Sunday night in. Ryan and I also ordered dinner to pick up from Original Joes and spent the evening watching Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix. Well, he watched the whole thing. I went to bed at 8:55pm (if we are being specific lol) because I had my LONGEST run of my training plan yesterday.

Twenty. Miles.

Twenty.

2-0.

Yikes! I was nervous for this one. I thought about splitting it up between outside and the treadmill, but then I gave myself a reality check. I can’t do that on race day. I need to experience the challenge in full force, not spend time setting things up in the shed for a treadmill run and giving myself a break. Nope, gotta get out there and do it!

I spent about 10km running near my house while it was starting to get bright outside. I started this run just before 6am, and of course it is DARK out at that time now compared to the beginning of summer when it was bright at 5:15am. Then, once it was lighter outside I hit the trail. We live near the Trans Canada Trail & so that’s my go to trail to run on, just not in the dark. There’s something a bit unsettling about running in the dark on the trail alone. Even if I had a running buddy or Nala with me I would still feel uneasy. Nevertheless, it was nice and bright when I was on the trail and I ran out towards Lake Cowichan. For those who live in my area you’ll know that’s a bit far from where I am. Like… Far, LOL. BUT! The sights were amazing and nothing beats the smell of NATURE on the trail. Nature is neat! ; )

 

 

I mean, can you beat these views? I LOVE where I live. Vancouver Island is freakin’ rad and I don’t think I could ever live anywhere else. Mountains and oceans and rivers and lakes. I love it all!

 

 

It was a stunning morning, and I am so proud of myself for this run. Public service announcement: There is NOTHING wrong with saying you are proud of yourself. Honk your own horn & sing your praises if you did something brave, cool, awesome, weird, whatever. I’m not proud because this run was fast, because it wasn’t. It was slow and an “easy” pace, but it was the DISTANCE that made me feel proud. 20 miles (32km) is a big deal! Not going to lie, I felt like bursting in happy tears after this run. This was the longest run of my training plan, and I am 33 days away from the marathon. This has been such a journey, but it’s not over yet!

Post-run I did some stretching, legs up the wall, laying there on the floor. You know, the important things. I also took an ice bath and drank coffee in the tub while my legs were submerged in the freezing water. Then, I warmed up with a shower, got dressed, and flopped on the couch with a magazine and more coffee.

 

 

We also went out for breakfast to a place called The Old Fork in town. They make a mean breakfast, and I devoured the whole plate. I ordered an omelette called “a boy named Sue” that had roasted red peppers, asparagus, turkey and Parmesan cheese, and I added avocado for some healthy fat. I subbed my toast for fruit salad, but still took the hashbrowns on the side becauseeeee hashbrowns, of course! The rest of the day after that was pretty relaxed, mostly because my legs were exhausted and getting up and down the stairs right now is proving to be a painful challenge, ha ha! I took a bit of a nap too, so there’s that ; )


I hope you guys enjoyed part one of the long weekend & long run recap! More to come tomorrow in lieu of a podcast episode.

Track Thursday & River Adventures

 

Happy FRIDAY!

So, as you could probably tell I did not have my poop together yesterday & thus no blog post was posted for Thursday. Ah, sorry about that! I am back to it this morning & I wanted to recap my track workout from yesterday.

Yep, remember my last track workout? The one where I pulled my groin??? I did that same workout today, and I’m happy to report no groin muscles were injured in the process.

The workout is a 2 mile warm up, 4 laps of the track sprinting on the straightaways and recovering on the curves, then another 2 mile cool down.

I admit that I was nervous going into this workout again. There is something about the TRACK that is intimidating. Does anyone else feel that way? I don’t know if it’s because I psych myself out, or say I can’t do it, negative self talk, etc. Whatever it is, it didn’t help how I felt going to bed on Wednesday night. I even thought about taking the workout to the treadmill, but really. What is there to fear? I was getting in my own head. When I woke up yesterday morning, I was a bit nervous still, but I ended up having a REALLY great workout and even had negative splits (when the latter part of your workout is faster than the first. So in a 10km race, if you “negative split” that means you ran the second 5km faster than the first).

Warm up splits: 9:40, 9:35

The actual mile lap itself: 8:16

Cool down: 9:23, 9:06

The workout went by FAST and by the time I finished, I was the last gal at the track : ) Surprisingly there’s quite a few people there at 6am, but you gotta get there early to beat the heat!

 

Pretty sky post run!

After my run I drove home to stretch and get ready for the work day. Ryan is on holidays right now (he had been fishing this week), so when I came home for lunch he was home hanging out with Nala. We were trying to decide what to do Thursday evening, and so we decided to go to the river!

The river is only a 15 minute walk from our house, and Nala LOVED being outside on the trail. Usually she is not much of a swimmer, but she actually went in and SWAM tonight! Proud dog mom over here. We would throw sticks in and she would jump in, of course losing the sticks, but would paddle around in circles before coming back to us. Both Ryan and I went in to about waist-height, and Nala would swim towards us, chomping on water as she went. Life truly is better with a dog! ; )

 

Such a peaceful place : ) Anyone else out there LOVE the water? I grew up with a pool in my backyard and would always go to the lake, beach, and river with my cousins. The water holds a special place in my heart!

I hope you all have a FANTASTIC weekend! It’s a long weekend, so be sure to enjoy every last second of it. See ya next week!

Progress is NOT Linear + Saturday Fun

Hey guys! Happy Monday. I know I am posting later than usual, but I wanted to compile all of my thoughts for this post before I put it up. It is a lot of word vomit (meaning, I’m going to let my thoughts flow without much rhyme or reason), so there’s your heads up ; )

Some days you kill your long runs, and some days you don’t. It’s normal.

Why am I talking about this? Today was one of those long runs that didn’t go according to plan, and I had to force myself to change my perspective and be happy in the mile that I was in as I was running. Let’s rewind. I woke up at 5am ready to get my long run in early before it got too hot outside. Okay, that went well. I had my pre-run breakfast of cereal and threw in a small spoonful of peanut butter for extra sticking power. Not bad, either. I geared up with my hydration belt, my two Honey Stinger gels, had my house key, phone, and headphones when I headed out the door. Good. Watch was fully charged and picked up a signal before I even got one foot out of the door. Perfect, I’m ready!

Only, my legs didn’t seem to be ready. I have been adding in more hills a couple times per week, and either I was not fully recovered from my hilly run on Saturday or I stretched things too far in yoga on Friday night, but my left hamstring was not happy. “Hmm… Maybe I should turn around and go back home,” I thought. Nope, had to keep going. Something in the back of my head kept telling me not to quit, and so I kept going for 5 miles (or 8km). Well, once I reached that far my hamstring was just plain old sore and aggravated. So, I looped back home (fortunately I was not far from home!) and stretched, foam rolled, and did some laundry. I knew that I wanted to at least try to get out there again, so I spent an hour puttering around before I decided to give the treadmill a shot. It wasn’t the best, but it did the trick, and I took breaks as my body needed.

Here’s the thing. It is so easy to get caught up in the thought that you should constantly be getting better with every single run. And I mean, in some ways you do. Mentally, you get tougher. Physically, you learn to either endure when things get hard or listen to your body and pull back and REST when needed. It is so easy to think that progress should be an upward climb day in and day out, but it’s not true. Progress is not linear. It is not a straight arrow that shoots for the sky and never backtracks or gets tangled up in an obstacle along the way. I am slowly learning to accept this and do what I can with what I am given on that day, but here’s some #REALTALK: I have those moments too!

So, in the end I got the miles done, even if it wasn’t how I had planned. I still fueled with my gels, stayed hydrated, and took things easy, but I mentally had to make the switch and force myself to get into a better head space. Not every run is going to be sunshine and rainbows, and that’s okay! What counts is how you bounce back and dust yourself off.

 

Post run I stretched, foam rolled, and made a big smoothie (as per usual). I also took an ice bath and snapped that glamour shot at the beginning of the post while soaking in the freezing water. Ryan is fishing today, so unfortunately I didn’t have anyone to refill my coffee whilst ice bathing (#firstworldproblems), but I felt like my legs needed the extra recovery. Around lunch time I had another athletic therapy appointment where she really worked on my hamstring, so I’m hoping that it will be feeling back to normal by the time Wednesday’s run rolls around!

Now, let’s go back to a GOOD run that happened on Saturday.

 

For the last couple weeks my Saturday run has been 5 miles. This is perfect because I have mastered a 5 mile loop that starts and ends on the trail near my house. I slept in about half an hour past my alarm (story of my life), but still managed to get my run in before the work day. Plus, I couldn’t skip it and do it after work because it was also my dad’s birthday on Saturday and we were going to my parents’ house for birthday dinner right after work. So, I put in work before the work day!

 

I conquered the same hill I did the week before, and of course had to snap some scenic pictures during my cool down walk home. This trail is exactly .150 meters from our house. I am so thankful to have such a gem so close by!

 

 

The best part of this run? I beat my last time by two minutes. YES! I will take it. I posted in an Instagram picture that it’s little victories like this that keep the motivation going. Now, I just have to remember that the next time I try to get down in the dumps about my running! In all honesty though it really is not bad, and I think I am shaking off that funk I was in last week. Hallelujah!

Aaaand the one thing that got me through work on Saturday? Black forest cake. I mean, the thought of it anyway.

 

 

Fortunately my dad’s favourite cake is black forest cake, and that is my favourite, too! So I knew for sure I would enjoy the meal ; ) I even had two pieces, because… WHY NOT! We also had spaghetti with turkey meatballs and garlic bread for our main meal. It was a super fun night and some of my cousins from up island came over to celebrate. It is always so much fun whenever we get together, so it was a treat that they were able to visit and celebrate my dad’s birthday with us! : ) My dad is one of the best human’s in the world and he deserved to get spoiled, and get spoiled he did!


So, I guess what I’m trying to say is take the good stuff with the not so good, but find the GOOD in everything : ) I hope you all have a great week!