Marathon Taper Thoughts

 

Hey everyone!

How’s it going? What have you been up to?

I am currently tapering for the Victoria Marathon that is only NINE days away. Okay, that is mind blowing. I remember counting down to the marathon when it was 40-something days away, and that felt like plenty of time. Now it is coming up full speed ahead, whether I am ready or not! I was thinking about this yesterday evening that if you want to reach a goal, it’s important not to think about the time that it will take to achieve that goal. Why? The time will pass whether you are working towards that goal or not. When I first registered for the marathon Christmas time of 2016, it felt like October 8th was lightyears away. However, the time between then and now has gone by in a flash and before I know it, I will be toeing the start line and crossing the finish line!

 

Training has been going well over on this end. I have been sleeping well, eating well (for the most part!) and being mindful of the upcoming race and getting my mind in shape, too. Positive thinking, visualization (that final moment when I cross the finish line & how damn excited I will be!), and positive mantras and affirmations are becoming part of my training routine as well. I have been recovering just as hard as I train, and I can’t wait for everything to come together on race day.

 

 

Since I am tapering (my mileage is decreasing leading up to the marathon), I am taking ALL the recovery measures possible. This includes sleeping in when I can, continuing to do my athletic therapy exercises three times per week, fuelling my body with healthy foods, Epsom salt baths, icing, and lots of foam rolling and stretching. To be honest, it’s kind of nice to have shorter workouts because it allows me to get more of this recovery business done. I mean, I did as much as I could before, but now that my workouts aren’t as long or as intense, it makes things a bit easier. Plus, Nala likes having me around more often to take her for post-run walks (my runs are still a bit long for her to join me), as seen in the first picture. I’ve also had more time for things like Netflix, where I’ve started (FINALLY) watching the Gilmore Girls. It’s the little things, guys.

 

 

My Believe journal has lots of tidbits inside about mental strength as well as different run workouts. You can guess which one I am focusing on right now. I know I have put in the work, so now it’s all about maintaining a positive attitude and trying not to FREAK the F OUT during tapering! Oh, is that a sore muscle? Does my foot feel funny? I swear all of these mystery things suddenly pop up during taper time – the exact time that you DON’T want your foot to feel funny or your muscles to be super sore. I’m sure it’s all psychological anyway, but I mean, it can be quite the distraction and worry. However, I just keep my blinders on and try not to worry. If you know me in person, you know that I worry ENOUGH about things and while I do worry about the marathon a little bit, ultimately I am over the moon with excitement waiting for next Sunday to arrive!

Plus, it’s also on Thanksgiving Sunday which means I will have my mom’s stuffing waiting for me for dinner. Yep, perfection!

I hope you guys are all doing well, and I will chat with you again soon! : )

Why I Blog

 

If there is one thing that my mother has taught me that really sticks like glue in my brain it’s that making memories is so important. These days memories are captured on a phone and shared on social media for the world to see, and that’s okay, but it is also important to make memories offline, too. Today I wanted to chat about why I blog, and making memories is a big part of my WHY.

When I first started blogging during college I did it for the sake of having something to do. I would read fashion blogs mostly, before I was introduced to health and fitness blogs, and I thought. Hey. If she can do that, why can’t I? This attitude has branched out into other areas of my life as well (Hey, if she can run a marathon, why can’t I?) and it has given me the opportunity to try things I may not have dared to try in the first place. While I draw inspiration from a number of different places, I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel inspired by things I see online, too. There is something so powerful about social media, both in a positive and a negative way, but for me I hope to showcase more of the positive side on my blog. Or as I like to call it, my little corner of the Internet. My blog is MY place to share what I want to share. Yes, I want to be mindful of what my readers want to see too, but at the end of the day, my blog is an extension of my own voice. I do not try to be someone else. I type the way I would speak. And to be honest, it is a lot easier for me to put down in words how I feel or the point I am trying to get across than it is for me to speak those things outloud. Throughout elementary and high school, writing was my thing. I was an English nerd, and I think it’s safe to say that I still am. I am passionate about writing about things that mean a lot to me, whether it is writing about a weekend with Ryan and Nala, or a camp fire with my family. Writing is probably the biggest way I can express myself, and most of the time YOU get to read all about it after I hit publish.

My blog is like a journal, though it is no replacement for putting pen to paper. Believe it or not, I still do the old-school journal entries from time to time and let my thoughts pour out. Sure, it’s a lot faster for me to type than it is to pen my thoughts, but on a similar note it does serve (kind of) the same purpose. For me, blogging is a way for me to share my life with people. I am not here in the blog world sitting on a pedestal with my holier-than-thou attitude, because at the end of the day, we are all human. We have blood running through our veins and we all have our own special set of skills and talents. In a way, blogging can be a funny thing. I used to look at blog posts or Instagram posts from my favourite “influencers,” we will call them, and think to myself that their life is perfect. Newsflash: social media can oftentimes show a person’s highlight-reel, not their REAL LIFE. My blog shows my ups and downs. I talk about being in funks, having a great run, having a crappy run, being so sore and exhausted that I skip a workout. Yes, it’s fun to show all the good stuff, but it’s important to me to share that my life isn’t perfect either. I am extremely blessed in my life to have the family and friends that I have, the most amazing partner & fur babies, and a home that keeps me warm at night. However, who am I to say that I never cry or get upset? I am no different than anyone else who has a bad day. Perhaps other people just share less of those moments on their blog — and that’s okay, too.

Blogging is a fun and different way for me to connect with people. It’s not that I am anti-social (although, I would say I am an introverted-extrovert, which I believe is a real thing). I actually enjoy sitting down with my laptop and tuning in to Healthy Living Holly. Plus, I can do it anywhere. I can pack up my laptop and sit out on the deck in the sunshine while sharing my weekend with you. I can hang out in a coffee shop with my thoughts and spill them all out onto the blog for you guys to read. Some people don’t understand WHY a person would blog, and hey. I get it. I had a coworker once ask why I blog. I didn’t go into this big long song & dance, but I basically said that it’s just a fun way for me to journal my adventures and life for those who want to read it. Her reaction: “Why would anyone want to read it? I don’t mean that in a mean way, but I mean, what do you talk about?” Instead of reacting I just shrugged it off, then probably wrote a blog post that evening because here’s the thing. Even if someone doesn’t understand why I blog or why I run, I will do it anyway, because at the end of the day it makes me happy. So, why wouldn’t I? I think it’s more important to do less of the things you dislike and more of the things that make your soul and heart shine. Blogging and running are just two of those things, and that’s just part of the reason why.


So, long story short: I blog to share my memories with you guys. While this blog is for YOU, it is also for ME to look back at my races, my adventures, my marathon training – you name it. This blog is equally ours, and I am thankful that you are part of my journey : )

Running Lately + Changes to the Blog Schedule

Hey everyone!

It has been a little while, hey?

I think today’s title is fitting because I wanted to do a recap on my training lately because it has been going really well, but I also wanted to touch on my sparse blogging. As I alluded to in my last post, I will not be posting every day anymore for the sake of wanting to bring you all content that is truly meaningful to me and not just posting for the sake of posting. That being said, I am taking some well needed downtime for the next couple weeks to figure things out in my personal life (disclosure: I’m fine, Ryan is fine, Nala and Simba are fine, and nothing dramatically life changing has happened), as advised by my doctor. I will explain more later as I get more clarity, but if you are a friend or a family member that is reading this, you know what is happening : )

So, I will stop being so vague eventually and hop into the good things that have been happening! I have been making a huge change to my routine this last week-ish and it has been great. I especially like getting cute Snaps like this from Ryan because there is nothing cuter than Nala. Nothing.

 

We have been having a mix of hot weather and fall crispness which has made morning runs so much more enjoyable. Plus, I haven’t been doing them at the buttcrack of dawn which is even better! I don’t know if it’s been my pre-run coffee (which I almost never do) or the fresh morning air, but running has just been perfect this week.

 

 

This picture was snapped after Friday’s run. I needed that run. Running has been such a RELEASE lately. I had negative splits during this run of 10:02, 9:20m 9:11, 8:42, 8:35, and 8:30. I felt amazing, and yesterday’s run was equally fantastic.

Again, I had coffee pre-run, and ended my run on the trail near our house. I am so grateful to live near this trail! It sees (almost) all of my good runs, bad runs, mediocre runs, fun runs – you name it. Plus there is something about nature and running that just feels so right. I’m not sure if I’m even explaining that properly, but trust me. It is the best.

 

 

Although Saturday’s run was a bit slower than Friday, the miles went by in a flash and I felt fantastic when it was finished.

 

 

Running is like a moving meditation and can be so therapeutic. I know I have said that before on the podcast (which is coming back soon – just trying to get everything figured out still!), but you can go for a run with a million thoughts and questions in your head, and then as soon as your run is finished you suddenly have all the answers. I highly recommend trying it! It’s cheaper than therapy ; ) Ha! But of course therapy is always an option should you feel you need it. Just thought I would put that disclaimer out there before people jumped all over it.

 

 

I’ve also been enjoying breakfast out on the deck when the weather allows! Today is a pretty rainy day so I made a speed run to Costco for staple items and The Running Room where I purchased a new pair of my marathon shoes to break in before the marathon in 21 days (OH MY GAWD!), then spent the rest of the day baking an oatmeal banana loaf and lots of couch time with the dog. Sundays should be spent either a) running some kind of race or b) recharging for the week ahead, don’tcha think?

 

I hope you all had a lovely weekend! I am off to grab a slice of banana loaf, maybe have an Epsom salt bath and relax. Don’t worry, friends. I will be back on the blog sooner rather than later : )

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!