What Have I Been Up To?

Please excuse my absence! I’ve been crazy busy with midterms so I haven’t been able to blog since my half in September. That being said, I’m back and am going to make the strongest effort to blog three times a week, (Monday, Wednesday and Friday). If you follow me on Instagram, I always post when a blog goes live so make sure to follow!

Ok, let’s play catch up. Last time I posted, I had just run the Oakville Half Marathon.

Screen Shot 2017-10-02 at 11.11.50 AM

Prime finisher’s photo.

It was a really awesome race, and I learned a ton about my body and things I can refine for next time. I initially registered for the Hamilton Marathon Road 2 Hope (the half distance), however due to my crazy midterm schedule, I haven’t been able to train as much as I would want. My body also took a solid two and a half weeks to recover fully from Oakville, so that ate into my training time. Just recently, I made the executive decision to bump down to the 5k distance which I know I could run comfortably. I’m not looking for a pr, but if one came my way I’d be pretty happy. My plan is to make this race my last race of the year, and then come back strong for a half in the spring.

I strongly suggest the Hamilton Marathon if you’re looking to BQ. The race has an amazing course that’s pretty flat, making it optimal for record times. Their “Run the Hammer” and “Hammer the Hammer” challenges are closed, but all the other distances still have spots free and it’s super affordable. Race weekend is just under two weeks from now, so register soon!

 

-Running Fast, Lifting Heavy

Fun (active) things that are on our vacay agenda

Today Daniel and I leave for Barcelona! It’s my first time leaving the continent (North America), however since Daniel’s dad lived in Czech Republic for a number of years, he’s been to Europe quite a few times. We plan on breaking up our trip as follows:

August 3rd – leave Toronto

August 4th – arrive in Barcelona

August 7th – train to Madrid

August 9th – train to Lisbon

August 15th – leave Lisbon/arrive back in Toronto

While I plan to eat my weight in churrasco and tapas and drink my fair share of Sumol and sangria, we planned a decent amount of activities that are not only active, but ridiculously fun as well.

– City Bike Tour (Madrid): this was all Daniel’s idea, but I’m actually really excited for it. Since we’re in Madrid for only two days, we can cover a lot of ground this way. I’m not really sure what I can expect to see, but I’ll definitely do a review when I get back.

-Surfing (Lisbon…well, beach near Lisbon): this is probably what I’m looking forward to the most! Although I swim, I’m not really familiar with any other watersports despite having waterskiing available to me at my grandparents’ place. Right now, the tide is pretty low near Lisbon which is perfect for beginner’s surfing. Here’s to hoping I can actually stand up!

-Running Tour (Lisbon): this is still up in the air, however it would be a pretty convenient way to get my long run in while on vacation. Apparently, you can run through some really scenic parks, and some runners have said they ran just over 8mi while on one of these tours!

My wifi connection might not be reliable, but I’ll attempt to blog these activities as they happen. Worst case scenario, I’ll do a vacay recap when I get back to Toronto.

 

-Running Fast, Lifting Heavy

Are you training at the right intensity?

Daniel sent me this really cool article that I want to share with you guys about training at the right intensity. Definitely have a look! It puts things into perspective for sure.

http://www.runnersworld.com/rt-web-exclusive/train-at-the-right-intensity-ratio

 

-Running Fast, Lifting Heavy

What’s in my Bag for City Chase

City Chase is tomorrow!!! Gah, I’m so excited! This is hands-down one of my favourite races. Daniel and I try to do it every summer, however last summer we couldn’t make it due to our busy schedules. I wrote a Throwback Thursday post about City Chase a while ago, so check it out! I’ll break this post up into segments, so I’ll post what’s going to be in my bag, and then a link to the website or applicable already-posted blog posts.

What’s In My Bag:

Clif Shot Energy Gels: I love these things! I’ve blogged about them quite a few times and have nothing but good things to say about them. Since the race can take quite a long time, energy gels will definitely be needed.

Week 7 1

Clif Bars (Nut Butter Filled): this is more so for Daniel since he’s not a fan of the energy gels. My love for these bars goes deep! They’re so delicious.

Clif Bar Nut Butter Filled

Under Armour Trail Hydration Pack: this is the actual bag I’ll be taking with me. I took a backpack last time that strapped up across my chest, but it bounced quite a bit and seemed kind of cumbersome. I’m hoping that by taking a hydration pack, I’ll eliminate the bouncing aspect, and we’ll have quite a bit of water to carry with us that I could always refill while we’re en route.

Under Armour Trail Pack

Goddess Garden Sport Natural Sunscreen Stick: I actually received some samples of this (along with their Everyday Natural Sunscreen Lotion) to review, so this will be the trial run and then I’ll make a product review post sometime next week.

Goddess Garden

KT Tape: I’m not putting this in my bag, but I am wearing it, so I figured I’d put it in here. I need some sort of support for my knee as I noticed I’ve still been getting the odd twinge of pain after runs.

KT Tape

It’s supposed to be 24 degrees (75.2 degrees Fahrenheit), so it won’t be too hot, but it might be muggy. Wish us luck! We’re looking to beat our time of 4:57:00, so wish us luck!

 

-Running Fast, Lifting Heavy

 

Brand Ambassador Issues

I have the worst luck. Either that or I don’t do enough research. As you guys know, I have two brand ambassador agreements: one with Insane Labz and one with American Metabolix. Since Insane Labz doesn’t sell whey, I’d get stuff like bcaas from them and my whey from American Metabolix. Last week I was running low on pre-workout and decided to order a pre-workout from Insane Labz called Psychotic. It has great reviews and tastes great, (I’ve had a sample of it before). After entering my shipping information, I got an error message saying that they don’t ship to Canada. Uh, excuse me? When did this happen? Why wasn’t I notified? Apparently the issue lies with some Health Canada snags so they’re halting on shipping here. I tried a few more times after that with no luck, so I figured I’d give American Metabolix a try.

Although I’ve never taken Havok, (the pre-workout from American Metabolix) before, I had high hopes since their whey is pretty on point. Again, I punch in my shipping information and realize that the shipping is $100!! That’s insane! I can easily buy two or three tubs of pre-workout at GNC for that price. What I want you guys to understand is that if I had these issues prior to becoming a brand ambassador, I would’ve never agreed to it. It’s put me in a position that forces me to buy product that isn’t Insane Labz or American Metabolix. Frustrated, I reached out to both companies. This is the email I sent to Insane Labz:Screen Shot 2017-06-13 at 12.58.56 PMKeep in mind, the email address that I sent this two was in an email that I had received from Insane Labz THAT DAY, so in theory it should be correct right? Wrong.

Insane Labz Email 2I could literally strangle someone at this point haha. I decided to move on to American Metabolix and direct message them on Instagram. I successfully managed to get an email address from the person who responded to me on Instagram for the person who coordinates the brand ambassadors. I sent this email:American Metabolix EmailSTILL NO RESPONSE. With anger building, I went back to Instagram and messaged Insane Labz via a direct message which looked something like this:Insane Labz DM

No one’s really helping me out, no one’s will to budge. I shouldn’t give free advertising to companies that won’t even ship to my country or will ship but at the price of my first-born child. Frustration doesn’t even cover how I feel. Moral of the story is to make sure that if you are a brand ambassador, make sure it’s for a reliable company that will deliver to your country!

Do you guys have brand ambassador/sponsor horror stories?

 

-Running Fast, Lifting Heavy

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

 

 

 

 

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

Redefining Goals

I have 22 days until my first half-marathon. 22. That’s not a lot. I’ve put in work though and have changed up my nutrition, so I’m hoping that that won’t be in vain. Wish me luck!

I’ve been looking at my Strava account and all the runs I’ve been doing, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to re-evaluate my goal time for the race. Initially, I was aiming for a sub 2:20 time, which would mean an average pace of 10:41/mi. While I could hold that pace for six MAYBE eight miles, I don’t think I could do it for 13.1. I thought about changing my goal to be a sub 2:25 time, which would add up to an average pace of 11:04. Much more manageable I think.

I’m still torn though. I’ve had some pretty fast runs recently that make me think I’m capable of a sub 2:20 time. That being said, I’m still struggling with nutrition during runs and that definitely slows things down. 10:41/mi or 11:04/mi?!?! I’m so lost. *rant over*

 

-Running Fast, Lifting Heavy

Compassionate Running

What if I told you that there was a different side to running races; one that didn’t consist of following the pace rabbit or smashing a personal best, but rather running for a cause or charity that you’re passionate about. I like to call this: Compassionate Running. To be quite honest, I never thought about Compassionate Running until I ran my first 10k race last August. So here’s a debrief on how that 10k race helped shape the concept of Compassionate Running.

At the beginning of last summer, I decided that it was time to put all my running to use and run my first 10k. Living in Toronto is a blessing, because there’s always TONS of races in the city and surrounding areas. After seeing a flyer for 2XU Toronto Women’s Run Series at work, I decided to give it a try. Not only was it a series of runs that promoted women participating in the sport, the proceeds went to the Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario, (POGO) – this is definitely something I can get behind. Fast forward to August: I ran an amazing 10k at the scenic Sunnybrook Park in Toronto, made amazing memories, and raised money for a great cause. The perfect end to my summer.

Eventbrite Photo

Post 2XU Toronto Women’s 10k. All smiles!

What if you feel like running for a charity or cause that currently has no race scheduled? This can leave some runners in a bit of a pickle. I recently came across a website called Eventbrite, that has listings for events both in the States and Canada.

Everything from races to concerts is on their website. What really caught my eye is their non-profit fundraising page.

Eventbrite Photo 1This page is really cool, because it helps people who are creating events, (a stroll for pediatric cancers for example), big or small, in coordinating their fundraising efforts. I encourage you to check out their website if you’re looking for a race or thinking about starting your own initiative!

 

-Running Fast, Lifting Heavy

February in Review

February is done!!! That means warmer weather and less snow (hopefully)! This past months saw a few different changes, and some new changes on the horizon!

 

Total Miles: 36.1

I’m totally cool with this! It puts me on track to beat last year’s mileage, (my goal), and puts me in a good position for half marathon training. That number actually had the potential to be higher but I missed a few workouts.

Total Treadmill Miles: 17.8

A little less than half my runs were on the treadmill…yikes. It’s a convenient option for sure, but I actually hate running on the treadmill. It’s pretty monotonous. I’m hoping that better weather will allow me to run outside a little more.

Favourite Strength Training Exercise:

I’m going to have to go with Assisted Dips. I used to HATE this exercise since my upper-body strength is nowhere near my lower body strength. But since I started my current strength training program four weeks ago, I’ve noticed that I can do the exercise with less and less weight – I started at 100lbs for 20 reps total, and now I’m at 70lbs for 25 reps total. I’d call that success!

Races: I kept it light in February and didn’t do any races. This month has a 5k on tap, so watch out for a review!

Cool Stuff That Happened:

I finally joined the gym that I was talking about and I love it! It’s not too busy, and it has everything you need. It also has an indoor track and an Olympic-size swimming pool.

I also became an ambassador for Insane Labz and American Metabolix! They’re both amazing companies that I love, so I’m glad I get to represent them. Don’t forget to check out my discount codes page to get some serious discounts!

Lastly…I reached 100 followers on the blog! Like I’ve said before, this is pretty cool because I never thought 100 people would care about what I have to say. So thanks guys!

 

-Running Fast, Lifting Heavy