April 6, 2010

Run for your Life

Grab a tea bloggies....this post is a wee bit long but hopefully it offers up some ideas & inspiration to those of you looking to kick your health up a notch!

As I'm sure you can tell, I am very passionate about my & my family's health. I've belonged to a gym since I was 18 and have been educating myself on all things nutrition & wellness ever since. I have always been amazed at what the human body can do & endure, and nothing made me more aware of this than the experience of giving birth to Chloe.
My workouts have changed quite a bit over the last few years. I used to do just weights & cardio at the gym, but a few yrs ago I began practicing yoga and it really helped to balance out my training.
Now running, is not something that I ever used to enjoy. In fact, my mom loves to remind me that I had 2 lead feet growing up...but I insist on reminding her that this was because I never wanted to take the time to come inside from playing to go to the bathroom....and therefore, I couldn't move very fast. Duh!
I digress. I started running about 3 years ago and it did not come naturally to me. I would run for 10 minutes, walk for 2 min. Gradually I built up my endurance to be able to run 20 min straight.

One of my goals was to enter a race shortly after having Chloe, so I was really pumped to complete my first 5K race on Sept 2oth (3 months after having her)
I had only completed 2 practice 5K runs before the race so I wasn't sure what to expect. Well, after finishing, I couldn't wait to sign up for a 10K! If you happen to be in Toronto on May 2nd you will find me at the Sporting Life 10K. Training for this has been a great challenge, and so without further babble, here are the steps I've taken to prepare for this and keep the junk out of my trunk the rest of the time!

PLANNING: The first and most important thing I do, is plan in my workouts for the month. When I do this, I first look at what opportunities I will have to myself (where Chloe is with Mr Swell or grandparents). On days when I know I'll be home with her all day - I plan to jump on our spin bike in the basement or I do a P90x or Yoga DVD. With my current focus being on training for a 10K - the majority of my workouts are obviously running. Each week, I do 3-4 runs that include: 1 easy run, 1 long run, 1 interval/sprint run & 1 negative split run (run faster for the 2nd half). The other days I do power yoga or circuit weight training. Here is a copy of what my workouts for April will look like. {Click to enlarge}

GET INSPIRED: I live in a constant state of needing inspiration - hence my deep appreciation for the blog world! Here are a few resources that I go to for my daily fix:
Blogs: The Fitnessista, A Foodie Stays Fit, Nourished Fitness, Oh She Glows
Podcasts: Ben Greenfield Fitness, The Nutrition Diva, The Because Show. These are great for long runs!
Nike plus running system. Although it may not be as accuate as higher end Garmin model, I love my Nike sportband. It communicates with the Nike sensor chip I have velcro'd onto my runners to tell me my time, distance and that I'm having a good hair day.

I love my Nike NZ Shox. I may or may not own about 10 pairs so that I can coordinate the colors of my shoes with my shorts. Serious runners mock my choice of shoe, but I find them very comfortable and have no blisters except on the days I forget to pack socks.

Lululemon All Sport Bra: If you are a BF Mama or just really blessed in the upper chest area, this is hands down the most supportive bra out there....and I've tried about 542 different bras that didn't make the cut.

Tunes: I use my Shuffle for most runs, but for longer runs I like to use my Ipod Touch so that I can listen to podcasts. They really help make the run go by fast and it's nice to get 2 birds stoned at once.
And the music doesn't stop when I swim laps...for this, I pop my shuffle into my H20 audio case!

MORE PLANNING: Every night, I take a few minutes to set out my gym clothes for the next day & prep the coffee pot to start brewing at 7am. Some nights I also prepare my oats for the morning so that I just have to reheat them. I find that having these things done, really helps my morning go smoother and ensures I stick to the plan!
NUTRITION: I'll end with this one. What you eat is going to be 80% of your result. It's so important to start your day off properly and so I eat the same thing for breakfast every morning and then I follow my workout with a protein shake to rebuild & refuel. Try this tomorrow for breakfast and then come back here and give me a hug:

- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1 cup steel cut oats
- 1 tsp agave, maple syrup or honey
- 2 tsp slivered almonds
- 1 tsp chia seeds
Method: bring water & milk to a boil and then add oats and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the rest and serve with a little cold almond milk. This makes 2 servings and is very customizable!

Question: What are you challenging yourself with this year to lead a more healthy life?


Summer said...

Definitely MORE posts like this!!! I love your tips! You are awesome. =) And inspiring.

Care said...

Good luck on your run! It's funny to see how different people are. I can tell you are a type "A" girl. Very impressive!

You would be shocked to find out what I did to train for my half marathon last month. LOL. 2 year old shoes, didnt buy any new clothes (wore yoga pants and some old jacket), no garmin/tracker thingy, no water band, not much of anything really. Oh and I am a late night girl. I'd run after eating some pizza at 10pm... I am a total running/fitness oxymoron. LOL! You put my type to shame :)

PS: I got the icing sheets. Love them! Thank you :)

Do I store them in the fridge or freezer?

Cassie said...

I love this post! You're so inspiring. A runner friend of mine keeps telling me how important scheduling is. I'm going to try your oats recipe. Sounds super tasty! Looking forward to hearing how you do on your 10k :)

Kate said...

I'm not quite as organized as you, but I do sign up for runs to keep myself motivated.

Hubby and I just completed an 8K in Toronto last weekend and we're signed up for a 10K in Mississauga in May.

Knowing that I'm signed up keeps me motivated to run several times a week, knowing that if I don't, I'm going to be a disaster on race day.

Good luck with your 10K!

Francis said...

Thank you for sharing your tips,you are very inspiring! not to mention super organized!

My inspiration to run is mainly to loose weight and stay fit, but I have always wanted to do a 5k, I have done walks for a cause but hopefully I will do a 5k run soon

Jacqueline and Andy said...

This was fun to read! I was a self proclaimed "runner hater" at one point several years back. And after my wedding, without all the planning to occupy my time I decided to go from non-runner to marathoner. It was the best experience. I loved training for it more than I loved running it :)

Running is great because it's versatile. You can do it anywhere, alone or with friends (even with Chloe!). Congrats on signing up for the 10k. I enjoy the half marathon distance best. It's a reasonable commitment that provides a good challenge.

Care said...

I wanted to come back and say I woke up this morning, remembered your post and thought "maybe I could run in the morning", so I put on my shoes and hit the treadmill. Just wanted you to know you inspired me. Now I just have to try oats... :)

Jen said...

You are hot stuff... so jealous. xo

Teri [a foodie stays fit] said...

this was a GREAT post!

And I'm totally flattered that I'm one of your daily reads!!

Meant to be a mom said...

You are so good and self disciplined. I need to try to be more that way.

Jarrett, Jackie, Tatum & Stella! said...

What a great post - You're very organized and so inspiring!!

As of last week I started back at the gym, running every other day and am training for a 10K in May. It's a lot to balance while working full time but I know it will all pay off and I will feel that much better about myself at the end of the day.

Your positive attitude and helpful tips give me that much more motivation, so thanks you!

Brenda said...

Great post. I am hoping to start training again soon. I signed up for a mud run and it's 10K. Also check out muffintopmama blog. she has a hot mama every month. You should be on there.

Karen said...

Just the inspiration I needed today! Thanks:)

good luck with the 10k!

~ Kelly Ann ♥ said...

Love this post- it's so helpful.. This is my goal to do after the baby born is a 5k--I'm saving this post. Thanks sweetie-

Have a great weekend!

Kelly Ann

Juliana said...

I love posts like this, good luck on your run!

terrid614 said...

what an adorable blog! i love your running ideas and laughed out loud how you coordinate shoes with attire! very couture! i am also in awe that you can do your own hair for twenty bucks! wow...so jealous. i wish i was that talented! AND it looks amazing! good job. i found you thru blog frog and now following! hugs, ~terri

Erica said...

I left you an award on my blog!

That one girl said...

Hey, are you a non-dairy girl? We swear by almond milk over here!

Ange said...


That's so funny! My "type A" seriously gets out of control sometimes but I can't turn it off! I envy your method!

It would be best to store the sheet in a large ziplock bag at room temp.

Ange said...


That's awesome!! Isn't it great to change things up a little?

Ange said...

@That one girl

Yeppers! I used to do soy but switched to almond about 6 months ago and never looked back!

Delishhh said...

What a great post. I am always looking for inspiration and you have all the links here. Thanks for sharing!