Sunday, 14 August 2016

Week 1 With a Coach and a Plan - Not Dead Yet!

Holy Crap I Am Still Alive...

Also, still able to walk.  Hahaha.

I received my workouts for the week late last Sunday eve.

HIIT workouts with running workouts, a rest day, and a cross training day.

What I loved about the HIIT workouts is that I could adjust to my level of fitness.  I chose to do modified push-ups on the floor.

My speed workout was a killer.  I live where there are hills EVERYWHERE.  Some of my sprints were UPHILL, lol.

I tried to do my HIIT workouts in the morning as our weather has been hot and humid. 

I slept in Friday.  Hot sweaty mess after supper workout.  Blargh.  No more sleeping in ;)

Being accountable to a coach and a group of people works well for me.  I made sure my workouts were done each day.

I took my rest day on Thursday (it was supposed to be Saturday) as my muscles were sore.  Carey was glad that I was listening to my body and totally endorsed the rest day on Thursday.  I am feeling the muscles I was definitely neglecting, even with my gym workouts.

Saturday's workout was a pyramid (5 min warmup - then x2 of each one fast and one regular pace -> 1 minute , 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 2 minutes, 1 minute).  This is what I was supposed to do on Thursday.  I really enjoyed this run.  It was hard, but I felt really good and aware of my running, my form, etc.

I was asked to track my food for a couple of days.  I used My Fitness Pal for this, which I used during my half marathon training earlier this year.  I learned then that I was not eating enough during my training.  This time I also made note of what made me feel good and what made me feel not so good.  (I still ate my feelings a couple of times, lol.)

Today was cross training day.  After I watched the Olympic Women's Marathon I did some yoga for 30 minutes.  I was tight for sure, lol.  Felt really good afterwards though.

I was given a meal plan for the week ahead.  Can't wait to see how I feel after this week is over with different fuel for my run :)

Being aware of my body and being told every day to be aware of my body is really making a difference.  I don't ignore pain, I am noticing the muscle groups I am neglecting and focusing on my plan.

I am currently awaiting my workout plan for next week and I am super exicted!

If I am still alive next week, you'll be seeing another post, lol.

If you went from doing your own thing to a coach, what differences did you notice?  Let me know!


Sunday, 7 August 2016

August: Training, a Plan and a Coach!

Yes, You've Read That Post Title Correctly ;)

Last week I signed up for a 5 Day Faster Stronger Challenge at Running Moms.  Carey is a physiotherapist and running coach looking to get moms into badass running shape with her programs.  Last week was HIIT, strides, hills, core and just straight up running :)   (Want to try a few of her HIIT workouts?  She has 3 of them, FREE, right here:  3 Simple HIIT Workouts)

I did my strides on the indoor track at the Canada Games Centre.

I did this HIIT at home with TeenThing.  It kicked our butts!
Carey is super supportive and was ready to answer any of our questions in the challenge (there was a Facebook page for us to talk/vent/share our experiences).  Her workouts are made to fit into a busy mom's schedule (she IS a mom, so she gets how hectic we can be!) She even had a quick Q&A with a nutritionist who gave us tips for what to eat before and after a run.  Carey also has a Running Moms Facebook page (you can sign up for free through her website) where we can post our successes, our not so good days and get support.

I am now signed up for Carey's 28 Day Faster Stronger Challenge.

This challenge starts tomorrow and I am super excited!  I am ready to have someone tell me what to do, lol.  This Challenge comes with a workout/running plan, nutrition plan and Good Form Running Series.  

As a runner, I am stubborn and will not always fall back on my own personal training knowledge.  

I am sometimes also less inclined to kick my own ass, lol.  

I really needed something to push me (wisely) to get over my current running/training plateau.  I have two back to back 5km races in September (Maritime Race Weekend - WOOHOOO!) and this was the perfect avenue to amp up my fitness.

Having a plan set out for me and knowing what I will need to eat each week will make my life so much easier! 

So, the road to a faster and stronger me starts tomorrow.

Stay tuned for my weekly updates, I will be sharing everything here on the blog!!




Sunday, 31 July 2016

Confessions of a Social (Anxiety Filled) Introvert

Sounds Funny Right?

I love being out around people.


I know that my mental illness contributes to my "I can't people" moments.  I've learned that is just a part of who I am now, and that's okay.

I had a really bad anxiety filled "OMG I am going to be out in a group on the open water" moment Friday night.  This was right before my 2nd sea kayaking adventure at East Coast Outfitters on Saturday.  Now, I absolutely LOVE this activity.  Like LOVE LOVE.  But I had this "how can I get out if it" moment that I had to sit down and talk myself out of.

It is always worth it in the end, going out and doing something I love.

Happy Me.  I have awesome friends.

The struggle is real.  REAL.  So, to show you the weirdness that is me, here are some of my confessions:

  1.  I get the heebie jeebies just about every morning on the bus.  Especially if it is full.  I have to listen to my meditation app, a podcast, or turn up my music and try to make myself small so no one is touching me. I only talk if it is necessary, like if the bus is on fire.
  2.  I love people watching, just sitting out amongst the everyday hustle and bustle, but being in a large crowd turns me into a flight risk on occasion.  The "world is closing in on me" feeling sneaks up and turns me into a panic stricken ball looking for the nearest way out.
  3.  I get excited to make plans with my friends to do something AWESOME.  About 4 to 24 hours after the fact, my brain hijacks my heart and starts to plan an escape route. 
  4.  I can work a party like a rockstar, once I've had time to analyze the room. If there are too many "in my face people", I start to plan my stealth, ninja-like, exit.
  5.  I love being in crowds and meeting new people.  Depending on my level of social energy, you may get the low down of who I am and what I stand for, or you just get the Cole’s Notes version of me.
  6.  I may want to spend every weekend out and about, but that drains the fun out of me.  There are days I don't leave the apartment, and it doesn't bother me at all.  Silence and a reboot are what I need.

In the right environment, I will flourish.  I just need to be with the right energy.

So, if I seem a little "stand offish", I'm not.  I'm just feeling you (and my surroundings) out.


Sunday, 24 July 2016

Why I Will Sometimes Run Tech Free

I Get Caught Up.

In looking at my Garmin.

Checking my pace.

How much time has passed.

How far I've gone (and sometimes I have not even hit 1km before I am looking down).

When the anxiety kicks in I get caught up in things that are out of my control:  the weather, my body, etc.

FitSnap works for my tech free post run pics :)

I forget why I am out on the road.

I get concerned with things that steer me away from what I love: that feeling you get when it's just you and the road.  The early morning air.  The feeling of awareness.  Seeing things you may not see later on in the day.  Deer, muskrats, herons.

Being able to work out your issues before you start work, look after your family, or just kick back and enjoy the day.

Running tech free takes the expectation off of myself, I don't log much in my apps or onlineTo me it defeats the purpose.  I started out running as an addition to my workout routine and loved it.  When I can recapture that feeling, it charges me back up again.

Then I remember Garmin/Strava/Social Media are tools, and not definitions of who I am as a runner.

Let's face it, I don't want my most favourite tools to end up like my FitBit.


Sunday, 3 July 2016

Lessons Learned from a Less Than Ideal Race - Canada Day 'EPIC Canadian' Edition

My 10km Epic Canadian Race on Canada Day was Hot and Humid!

Post Race Me :)
We went into the long weekend here on the East Coast of Canada (Nova Scotia) with some hot and humid weather.  This was my first summer race.  Ever.  My previous 10km races were a while ago.  A Bluenose 10km and a Valley Harvest 10km.  I was a sub 1 hour 10km girl then.  Three years ago for the last one, lol.

Lesson #1:  Keep on hydrating the night before, even if you think you are adequately hydrated and keep an eye on the weather.

I woke up a little late on Friday, had my usual coffee and oatmeal and got dressed.  The meal was a little later than I would have liked, but I needed food.

Lesson #2:  Stick to your alarm and get up on time to make sure you eat long enough beforehand.  Also, drink more water.

I met up with some friends after hanging around the post party area for awhile.  We chatted and then it was time to head up to the start line.  I was feeling the heat and my body was sore from increasing my weights at the gym.  We hopped in close to the front and soon we were off!

Lesson #3:  No matter how excited and pumped you may feel.  STOP STARTING FAST!  For some reason, at at least one race, I forget this lesson and start out faster than I should.

I ran with a RunAtCan Twitter bud and did 10 and 1s with her up until 4kms.  Then I was not feeling so great.  With the heat, the late breakfast, and going out fast, it was a recipe for nauseous stomach.

Lesson #4:  Always have 3 "goal times".  One for an ideal day.  One for an okay day.  One for a "Oh My God I May Not Make It Through This Day Alive" day. 

At 4kms with my stomach wanting to empty its contents, I knew I was not going to pull out a good time.  It became an "Oh My God I May Not Make It Through This Day Alive"  goal time day.  I took water at every water stop after that.  Some for me, some over my neck.  I had electrolytes in my water belt (Nuun).

Lesson #5:  All races teach us a lesson.  Good and bad.  Embrace the run and if you can, finish strong.

I got a little of my mojo back in Shubie Park and felt okay.  Hit the turnaround (with some tunes being played on the race route) and started back downhill.

Cruising along and hit 7kms.

Bottom of the hill.

PAIN IN MY CALF.  Similar to the pain during my training run for the Bluenose Half.    I was pretty close to crying.  For real.

I stopped for a minute.  Walked.  Ran a bit.  Walked.  Ran a bit.

Chugged along in the gross hot and humid conditions.  Water and Nuun when I needed it.

I sucked it up after my freezie fix about 500m (give or take) out from the finish and ran to the Finish Line.

My chip time was 1:08.  Two minutes less than my last goal time.  And really, not a bad finish at all considering the conditions.  But I will admit, in that moment, I was so upset that I did not finish in under an hour.

Final Lesson:  STOP BEATING YOURSELF UP.  (For me:  Remember that your surgeon told you to run and enjoy it.  You are NOT going to pull out a fast pace like you used to do with the OCD in the knee.)  Run because you love to run.

So,  I am back to my physio exercises for my calf.  Will continue to do my gym workouts.   Back to yoga classes at the gym (I need a teacher to guide my form).  Keep my weight training going and ease up on myself.  Do some nice easy runs once the calf is happy and enjoy the ride until the next race in September :)

What lessons have you taken away from your bad race??


Monday, 20 June 2016

My Love/Hate Relationship with June

The Month, Not a Person


The month where summer starts.

We (kind of) get warmer weather.

Kids are gearing up for their summer vacation.

Everything is in full bloom.


The month I was diagnosed with a mental illness 5 years ago.

The month I was lost.

The month I broke down.

Photo courtesy of the American Psychological Association

Every year I mull this over.  Awful, right?

Yes and no.

I take time to try and remember the signs.  I want to remember so that I never forget.  Knowing the signs reminds me of how I felt before I broke down.  This is important.  If I remember then I know when I need help.

That being said, there are times that I have a bad day.  As someone with a mental illness, I can say that I worry about that day becoming the next.  And so on.

This is where Anxiety is a big jerk.  This is when I take some Ativan.

But you've said in the past that movement is medicine.

Yes, it is.

But sometimes moving itself is a struggle.

Every day is different and it is on the days I DON'T want to move that I struggle to move the most.  Getting out of bed, getting dressed are sometimes the biggest ones.

Making sure I keep moving is why I have been signing up for more races.  Having a goal, a target, works best for me.  Keeps me moving forward.

"The Plan" to keep moving.

I have signed up to do Maritime Race Weekend in September to give me a month to work on my 5k pace after Epic Canadian 10k on Canada Day.

Will be looking for an October/November Race of a smallish distance and will probably end off the year with the Resolution Run.

After those races, I can plan for 2017.  No half in the spring though, lol.  Will save that for the fall.  Smaller distances so winter training isn't so daunting ;)

What does your race calendar look like until December?



Saturday, 4 June 2016

Post Half Marathon Chaos and My Next Race

It seems like forever since my Half Marathon

I recovered.

I took some time off from running.  (Work and family stuff has kept me busy over the past little while.)

Celebrated my Dad's 65th Birthday in Cape Breton with a big feast at my Aunt and Uncle's place in Boularderie.

Then once I got home and settled, I sat down and thought about races.
Not having anything to train for put me in a little bit of a funk.  Not unusual really.  But I forgot that feeling.  I had to take a step back because it took me by surprise and freaked me out a little bit.  Feeling that way makes me afraid I am getting sick again.  Once I was able to figure out that it wasn't my illness creeping back in, then it was all good.  Of course, it did spike my anxiety a little bit....grrrrrrr.  That required a visit to the local marsh to see the baby ducks!

I've made a decision that the remainder of my races this year would be shorter distances.  5k and 10k races to work on my form and speed.  That leaves more time for me to enjoy my running and the summer months ahead.  Early morning runs will be placed back in my calendar and weight training scheduled in the evenings.

You said next race?

I sure did!

I am running a 10k on Canada Day.  The Epic Canadian is a local race I have yet to run, but I am familiar with the route.  Some of my local Twitter peeps will be there and I heard there is cake and sno cones afterwards.

I will run anywhere for food, lol.

2016 EPIC Canadian Course 10K
Photo of race route courtesy of

Sprint Triathlons?? 

Yes.  I am considering these in my future.

But I need to do some things before I take on a swim/bike/run combo.

I need to learn to swim again.  I can swim to save my life, but for technique and form, I need to take lessons.

Also, extra gear will be required:  a road bike, shoes, swimsuit/cap/goggles, etc.

For now, I will focus on the swimming aspect.  Maybe lessons in the fall.
That's where things are at now!
What's new with you?  Summer Plans?
Feel free to share :)