How is May Already Over?!?!

Is it just me, or did this past month go by super quickly?!? Before I know it, the summer will be over and I’ll be starting my final semester of university. I’m going to attempt to hold on to every inch of summer I can!

This past month was interesting, as it saw the rehab of knee, which meant no half-marathon. This made me kind of sad, because this is something that I worked really hard towards and it flopped. That being said, I know what I did wrong and what to fix going forward. Enough about my knee…below is what my month looked like!

Total Mileage This Month: 14. Not much I can do about this unfortunately. Though I feel that June will definitely be higher.

Best Performing Blog Post: Ironically enough, the best performing blog post this month was April is Done! I guess you guys like to read about how the month has looked as a whole.

How was the Strength Training this Month: Like I said on Monday, I wish I made more strides in the strength-training department but everyone’s bound to have off-cycles. I’m looking to make crazy gains in June so watch out!

Cool Products I Tried this Month: I posted this on Instagram a bit ago, but I’ve fallen in love with Clif’s Nut Butter Filled Bars. I’ll probably be doing a review on them in the near future, so keep your eyes pealed.

Clif Bar Nut Butter Filled

The coconut almond butter is my favourite flavour, but they have a hazelnut one that tastes like Nutella. Mmmmmm 

Cool Things I did: Treetop Trekking hands down. Read my review for it here.

Treetop Trekking Grounds

So much green space! The actual area where the treetop trekking takes place is just beyond the trees. This photo doesn’t do it justice, it’s huge!

What cool products did you guys try this month? Anything I should try/do a review on?

 

-Running Fast, Lifting Heavy

 

 

 

 

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End of 6 (?) Week Workout Cycle

So I kind of dropped the ball on this. I have a calendar that I write all my workouts in and when my workout cycles start/stop. I totally didn’t pay attention to the fact that my current cycle ended three and a half weeks ago…woops. On the upside, I get to cycle in pre-workout again! Anyways, without further ado, here’s what I’ve been up to the past while strength training wise. Keep in mind my knee is still healing, so my stats aren’t nearly as high as I would like them to be.

 Leg & Shoulder Day

Name of Exercise Start Finish Increase
V-Squat (legs) 140lbs 160lbs 20lbs
Standing Calf Press (legs) 75lbs 140lbs 65lbs
Hip Adduction 190lbs 210lbs 20lbs
Hip Abduction 210lbs 220lbs 10lbs
Dumbbell Shoulder Press 30lbs 45lbs 15lbs
Standing Shoulder Press 55lbs 80lbs 25lbs
Dumbbell Lateral Raise 20lbs 45lbs 25lbs

Leg Day was tricky due to my knee. Half way through the cycle, I had to change up my workout in order to accommodate my injury. Also, with some of the shoulder exercises, they felt kind of awkward on my rotator cuff so I couldn’t cover as much ground. I also learned that doing dumbbell shoulder press and standing shoulder press in the same day REALLY tires out your shoulders…probably won’t do that again.

Back & Bicep Day

Name of Exercise Start Finish Increase
Reverse Grip Lat Pulldown 75lbs 140lbs 65lbs
Concentrated Bicep Curls 20lbs 30lbs 10lbs
Barbell Deadlift 90lbs 100lbs 10lbs
Barbell Preacher Curls 35lbs 50lbs 15lbs
Low Row 70lbs 140lbs 70lbs

My deadlift had next to no improvement because of my knee.

Chest & Tricep Day

Name of Exercise Start Finish Increase
Incline Bench Press 40lbs 55lbs 15lbs
Assisted Dips 70lbs 30lbs -40lbs
Cable Flyes 17.5lbs 29lbs 11.5lbs
Tricep Kickbacks 15lbs 30lbs 15lbs
Dumbbell Bench Press 25lbs 35lbs 10lbs
Tricep Press 100lbs 120lbs 20lbs  

 

End of 6 (?) Week Cycle

Totally underestimated how hard incline bench is.

I’m really proud of how far my dips have come! I think I could definitely do one unassisted; I just question how many I could do. I had the same issues with the tricep kickbacks as I did with some of the other shoulder exercises. It feels really funky on my rotator cuff for some reason. As a side note, the weight on the cable flyes is per arm and not cumulative.

This next cycle, you guys will see me do a bit of a switch up. Rather than do a 5 x 5 style, I’m doing a 3 sets of 10-15 reps and different exercises. I only plan on hitting each muscle group twice rather than three times, because some of my gym sessions take way too long and with summer schools starting soon, I need to conserve time.

 

-Running Fast, Lifting Heavy

Treetop Trekking Long Weekend Date

Since Daniel had the day off on Monday for Victoria Day (a holiday in Canada), we made it our mission to do our activity of the month that day. Daniel surprised me and took me to Treetop Trekking (the Brampton location), which was about a half hour drive from our house. For those of you who don’t know what treetop trekking is, it’s essentially what it sounds like; you spend most of your time trekking up trees in a variety of different ways with a zip line component sandwiched in there somewhere. The courses can vary in difficulty but no matter what, you’re always harnessed in.

Treetop Trekking 1

A brief snippet of what Treetop Trekking looked like…the photo doesn’t do it justice!

Our day began with pulling up to the Heart Lake Conservation Area gates and receiving directions as to where to go. Parking was plentiful and there weren’t really any stressors there. The rates were really affordable, and the bonus here is that there are student rates. Yay for having a valid student card! After going to a tiny welcome desk, we signed some waivers, got a wristband with our start time on it, and then made our way over to the equipment.

Treetop Trekking

Daniel after he got all suited-up.

The guy who helped us get into our equipment turned out to be one of the guides that were floating around the course. He was pretty thorough with explaining how to put stuff on, however since Daniel and I have both been rock climbing recently, it was more of a refresher than anything. Suited up in our harnesses and helmets, we made our way to the start of the course, which was in the forest and more removed from the waiting area. Here, our guide taught us how to safely lip ourselves to the trees, and how to safely zipline. After that, we were free to climb!

I’m not one that’s afraid of heights, but some of these obstacles were pretty high! They tested not only my balance, but they tested my teamwork with Daniel as well. Since Daniel went first through every obstacle, he would yell back to me what he did and if he thought it worked or not. Due to Daniel blazing the trail, I didn’t fall! The most challenging course was probably Kingfisher, which is advertised by the guides as “higher, harder, longer”. Boy were they spot on with that. You even have to sign an additional waiver which says that you as a climber acknowledge that it’s a harder course than the rest of the courses. The ladders seemed harder to climb on this course and the landing platforms could barely fit two people. So challenging, but so rewarding. The icing on the cake is that for an extra $17, could take a final zipline across Heart Lake at the end of Kingfisher and take in some pretty nice views.

I LOVED this date. It was amazing and challenging and super hard all at the same time. I will 100% be going back…especially since I won two VIP passes for taking the best photo that week.

Treetop Trekking 2

The winning selfie!

 

-Running Fast, Lifting Heavy

Product Review: Liftcorp Apparel Urban Wrist Wraps

A while ago I wrote a blog post about the HORRENDOUS service I received from Liftcorp Apparel (the company that makes these wrist wraps)…this was the product I was waiting for. Definitely give that post a read if you haven’t already, because it somewhat prefaces what will be said here.

After feeling that my wrists needed more support, I was on the hunt for some wraps. I somehow came across Liftcorp Apparel’s site and was pleasantly surprised to see that their wraps were only just over $16.00. Since they’re based in Australia, they use AUD, however CAD is pretty much on par so I really wasn’t paying extra for it. After waiting forever for these wraps to come, they finally came and I was able to try them out for a while before writing this review. Here’s what I have to say about it:

-The only pro to these wraps are that they support my wrist pretty well

-I’m a newbie to the wrist-wrap world so I don’t know if this is supposed to happen, but the thumb loop digs into my thumb like crazy. To the point where I have to unwrap between sets so it doesn’t rub my thumb raw

LIftcorp Apparel Wrist Wrap

You can see here where it digs in.

-One of the wraps is already falling apart! The stitching seems to have come out on one wrap where the velcro attaches to the wrap

LIftcorp Apparel Wrist Wrap 1

Where the loose thread is is where the velcro is starting to detach.

I’m pretty disappointed by this product. I honestly wish I just took my money elsewhere. I’d even be ok with paying more than I did. Anyone have any recommendations?

Running Fast, Lifting Heavy Approved: definitely not.

 

-Running Fast, Lifting Heavy

Week 3 of Physio

I’m pretty sure I talk about this in pretty much every blog post, but I tore my meniscus two weeks before the Mississauga Half Marathon, (yes I’m bitter about it, haha), and have since began physio. After having to research different physio clinics based on some recommendations from my doctor and from you guys, I settled on Athlete’s Care which has different locations all over the Greater Toronto Area as well as Ottawa. Out of respect for the other patients I couldn’t take any photos in the clinic, but I’m going to give you an in-depth review of my experience thus far. FYI, I’ve had three sessions so far and my physiotherapist thinks I’ll need 4-6 more.

Logistics of the Clinic

The clinic itself is a little confusing to get to. I Google Mapped how to get there but since I live close by, I had a rough idea of where I was going. Google Maps told me I had to walk down a certain street that would later feed into the street that Athlete’s Care is on, however you literally cannot walk down this street; it only goes north and not south, (the direction I need). LUCKLY I know Scarborough well enough that I could get my bearings, but for someone who isn’t familiar with my neighbourhood, this could be troublesome.

The clinic is located on the ground floor of an office building so it has a very clean appearance. The only thing missing is the fact that AC seems to be at a minimum in the clinic. I find this odd since people are moving around and generating heat. I also am always running behind, so by the time I get to the clinic I’m sweating and that really doesn’t make for a great combo.

I had a little hiccup with my insurance on the first visit. I have two insurances, (one through my dad’s work and one through my school, both of which cover physio WITHOUT a referral), however when I informed the front desk of this, they immediately told me that they don’t bill directly to my dad’s insurance company and my school insurance wasn’t going through. This kind of irritated me, because I went from thinking that I wasn’t going to have to pay for anything that visit to having to pay almost $100. I always have issues submitting claims to my dad’s insurance myself, so I was hoping that it could be done for me. I guess not. I was also able to submit the claim to my school’s insurance without any issues so I guess that’s the route I’ll be going.

The treatment area is a giant room with hospital-like beds and curtains that can be drawn around them. I’ve never been there when it’s been super busy, but I’d imagine that it would kind of suck – after all, I almost hit someone with a tennis ball as I was doing an exercise.

The Physiotherapist

Uma! I have nothing but good things to say about her. She’s super sweet, attentive, and listens to all my concerns. She always asks how I’m progressing and what’s normal vs. what isn’t. She also cracks some jokes with me during those somewhat painful massages which is nice.

The Treatments

Uma has me doing a variety of exercises that strengthen my knee, surrounding areas, and test my balance. She’s really through when describing what to do, and gave me a new set of exercises to do in addition to what my doctor prescribed to me.

 

How am I Progressing?

I told Uma this, but I feel like my progress has kind of plateaued. I made huge progress the week following the tear, and then somewhere after my first physio session is when it stopped. Uma said that in her experience, she finds this is common since the meniscus gets such poor blood supply. If I haven’t progressed further than where I’m at right now, I’m supposed to get an MRI and we’ll go from there. I don’t think this will be necessary though, seeing as I went for a short run yesterday with no pain. I was advised though to ice my knee post-run regardless of if I felt any pain, which seemed to do the trick.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Got to roll out the glutes! Check out my my review on this roller here:

What kind of experience have you guys had with physio? Anything else I should be doing additionally that you guys found beneficial to speed up the healing process?

 

-Running Fast, Lifting Heavy

What Do You Guys Want to See?

I’ve had this blog for seven months. Seven! It honestly feels like longer than that. I feel like I’ve learned so much, read some awesome posts from you guys, and have felt an immense amount of support when I really needed it the most. Thanks for making this blog something that I look forward to writing and not something that I dread!

Seeing as I’ve had this blog for seven months, I feel like it’s time to reach out to you guys. I love writing about training, product reviews, etc, but if I want you guys to read my blog, I have to write about something you want to read. I have a few ideas, but I’d love some feedback. If there’s something on your mind that you’d like to see that I don’t have listed, put it in the comments! I’d love to see what you guys come up with. Here are my ideas:

-A regular posting schedule: I try to do this already, but I’m not super diligent with it

-More photos in each blog post?

-A YouTube Channel: I’ve thought about this for quite some time. Although it’s not the blog per se, it’d be kind of cool to get content to you guys on the days where I don’t post to fill in the gaps, (for example, I’m thinking Monday/Wednesday/Friday for the blog and Tuesday/Thursday for the vlogs). This would be pretty cool, so I’m hoping that some of you guys would be interested in this

-Q & A: I’m thinking of doing a Q&A type thing in which I answer some questions that you may have for me in a blog post

Thanks for your help guys! I love this little community.

 

-Running Fast, Lifting Heavy

April is Done!

The hardest month of my fitness journey is done! If you’ve been following along with my blog for the last little bit, you might’ve heard about my recent injury. Needless to say, it’s been tough to navigate. Despite that, I still got some decent mileage in, some great workouts, and wrote about some pretty cool stuff. Here’s what the month of April looked like for me:

Total Mileage: 45.7mi

This definitely had the potential to be higher if I hadn’t injured my knee. That being said, I think this is still pretty good. I found some cool trails and started to get the hang of taking gels and chews while on the run.

April is Done 1

I also mastered the art of selfie-ing mid-run!

Best Performing Blog Post: Half-Marathon No Longer

It sucks that I had to write that post, but it’s good to share not only all the good stuff that happens with running and weight lifting, but all the bad as well.

Favourite Product This Month: Clif Shot Energy Gels

Week 7 1

Like jam in a packet.

Favourite Strength Training Exercise: Although it’s a part of my abbreviated leg day, I love doing lying leg curls. It’s a great way to work your hamstrings, and you can do it unilaterally or isolaterally.

Worst Thing That Happened This Month: My meniscus tear. *insert crying emoji here*

 

How was the month of April for you guys? Anything exciting happen?

 

-Running Fast, Lifting Heavy