Thursday, September 27, 2012


Sometimes you need to dig deep for motivation.

Recently I made a motivation wall to remind me what I'm working for:

My motivation wall includes a picture of my sister Nikki and my boyfriend Jamie after a race we did a few years ago, my medals and race bibs, a note from Jamie wishing me luck before a race and the fitness class schedule at the gym. And since I haven't shown them off yet, here is a close up of the medals from the Maritime Race Weekend:

 The one on the left is for the 10k, the right one for the 5km. And this giant mother for running the two races back to back:

And for some more motivation I have a picture submitted by my dad. He has been running for a few years and was definitely an inspiration for me to start (and stick to it!). He began by running on the treadmill and then moved his runs to outside. Recently he met an amazing milestone:

He achieved 1000kms!!! Not to mention using a completely smashed iPod. His iPod has been like this for at least 6 months, but he persevered and continued to run and use it regardless. Way to go dad!!

I'm excited to be running the 10km in the Harvest Valley run with my dad in 10 days. 

 I also signed up for a 5km race this weekend in support of Multiple Sclerosis Research. I signed up because all the cool kids were doing it (aka girls in my grad school program). Our team is called Each Step Counts and if you would like to donate to a very deserving cause please visit this website.

What do you use as motivation?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

terrible 10

UGH!!!! That is the only way I can describe today's run.

I took about 10 days off from running following my last race. This was kind of by accident. I meant to take a few days off to recover, but then life got in the way!

So after 10 days off, I thought I should try to run 10k today. PROBABLY not the best idea.

So my terrible run all started last night when I returned home from the gym and couldn't find my iPod touch. I really couldn't imagine it being stolen as it was within view at all times while I was working with my trainer. Also, I remembered it being in my pocket as I walked to my car. Regardless, it was missing. All was not lost though, as I had my older nano which I used for my run today.

So despite the lost Ipod, I tried to pump myself up by dancing around my room a bit before heading out. I was looking forward to the route I had mapped (I use map my run) as it incorporated running in the woods as well as running through campus. 

It was a gorgeous day... clear sunny skies, great temperature with a medium breeze. LOVED IT.

And then, about 2 minutes into my run it hit me:

"this sucks" 
"why is this so hard?"
 "i want to stop" 
"my legs are sore"
"i should probably stop" 
"i have so much farther to go"
etc etc etc

After what felt like a lifetime I did complete the 10k. I estimate that I ran about 7.5k and walked the rest. It really wasn't a terrible run but the constant mental block made it feel insanely difficult! It was a huge reminder that so much of running is mental.

I found this article on runner's world that talks about overcoming those horrible mental blocks. I'm going to try to incorporate some of their suggestions into my next run.

While running I try to say to myself at least once "you're doing it!!" so I can really appreciate the fact that I made it past the first step - getting into my workout gear and onto the road. Other mantras I use are: 'you can do it!' 'you've done it before!' 'not much farther'. I also try to make myself smile when running feels really difficult. It may sound silly but it helps. And if someone sees you smiling and running, then they will know that you are having a great time, and maybe you will motivate them to run too!

How do you get passed your own mental blocks? 

Update: Found my iPod. Wasn't stolen, just misplaced! :)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

next race!

I signed up for my next 10km race today. I will be participating in the Valley Harvest Marathon in Wolfville, NS on October 7th. I'm really excited for this race as I will be doing it with my sister Nikki, my brother in law Ray and my dad! I enjoyed the Maritime Race Weekend but I missed having some running partners.

My other latest exercise endeavor is participating in a program called Big Bears to Little Bears at the UMaine campus gym. I see a trainer twice a week with two friends. There are weekly challenges where we compete against other teams. Included in the package is an unlimited pass to fitness classes. Saw my trainer for the first time on Thursday. SO SORE the next day. But in a good way! During the summer I put strength training on the back burner as I concentrated on running. Now I am trying to find a balance between running and strength which can be difficult. I don't want to push myself too hard, but I don't want to hold back when I could be doing more!

My plan for the next week:

Sunday - 5km run, fitness assessment (consists of running 1 mile, doing push ups and sit ups)
Monday - training
Tuesday - 10km run
Wednesday - 3km run, fitness class
Thursday - Training
Friday - 6km
Saturday - yoga

How do you balance running with cross training and strength training?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

i did it!

I ran my races last weekend!! Really happy with my results and that I felt good during both of my races. My stuffy nose seemed to magically go away while I was running, which was amazing. The races took place in Fisherman's Cove, Nova Scotia. The routes were along the water and provided BEAUTIFUL scenery. So many times I wanted to stop and take photos!

I finished the 5km run with a time of 31:21, which is a mile pace of 10:05. We ran the 5km at 7pm, and had gorgeous weather and a beautiful sunset:


The 10km took place the next morning, at 7:30am. I finished with a time of 1:09, which is a mile pace of 11:06. My goal was to finish in less than 1:20, so I am very happy with my time! I'll be interested to see what my finish time is for my next 10km when I haven't ran a 5km the night before!

Some more photos from the event:

Prior to the 5km race with one of my supporters, my bro-in-law, Ray.
Happy while running the 5km!

Runners in the 5km race, you can see me in purple!

ARRRR!!! Me and some pirates

The Tartan Twosome medals. Anyone who ran in 2 events (5km + another) received one!

I will post more pictures soon of the 10km race, and when the official photos are released. I also have some new exciting race and exercise plans that I will share with you soon!

Are you taking part in any fall races? Tell me about it! 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

this is it!

Only two days until the Maritime Race Weekend! I will be running a 5km race Friday evening and a 10km race Saturday morning.

AND OF COURSE! This is the week I get a cold. I have felt FINE all summer and then boom, a cough, stuffy nose and pounding head. Maybe it's from stress?

Regardless I am still feeling good about the race. Ran 10.5km this weekend and it went really well! I'm happy it's been so cold out around here lately, it has made running SO much better!

I had decided earlier this week that I would run around 4km today, take tomorrow off, then do the race Friday. Now that I'm feeling sick I'm not so sure. I want to run because running reminds me that I am prepared, but I could probably also benefit from rest.

Should I run a slow and easy 4km or just stay inside and rest?

Look forward to pictures and updates from the race next week!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

it's been awhile

I'm still here! Still alive, still running. Last week was a really busy week as I was taking a shorten course from 8-3 every day. And to balance things out this week I have tons of free time! Feels great.

I just finished a re-do of week 10. I ran 11km on Sunday morning and it KILLED my knees. While I was running I felt some discomfort, but I pushed on. I got home, stretched, and went about my day. In the evening it was very painful to bend my knees. I iced my knees which seemed to help. Thankfully the pain was mostly gone yesterday and I went for an easy hike with no problems.

This week is week 11 of my running program:
M - 3km 
T - 6km
W - off
T - 5km
F - 3km
S - 13km

I am going to tweak the program a bit. Overtime I have realized that this isn't the best program for me. I don't like running two days in a row. And as the Maritime Race Weekend is only 10 days away I want to be cautious of my knees so I don't get injured!

So instead I already took Monday off. I'm going to run 6km today, 5km Thursday and 13km on Saturday. On Friday I will do some walking to keep my muscles loose.

Lately I have tried two different oatmeal recipes. Oatmeal is fantastically cheap and reminds me of fall and winter. The last week has been really chilly and oatmeal is a healthy way to warm your belly! That being said, one recipe I tried was's Overnight Oats, which is actually for cold oatmeal:

It consists of cooking oats overnight in the fridge with Greek yogurt, milk, and fruit. I added some peanut butter on top. I wasn't a big fan! I thought it was a little chalky tasting. It could be my discount oats that did it. Either way I suggest you try it as it's a great alternative option to eat oats! Maybe you will be a fan.

After my 11km yesterday I sat around in my running clothes for awhile (bad idea I know) and was feeling super cold. I thought a great way to warm up and to get some recovery food would be oatmeal (again!):

This time I made hot oats with cinnamon, nutmeg, flaxseed and half a banana. I topped it off with some peanut butter. It was delicious and warmed up me instantly.

I'm also going to make this oatmeal based recipe soon as a replacement for granola bars: Banana Oatmeal Cups

What are your favorite ways to enjoy oatmeal?