Category Archives: Blogging

Well hello!

I never intend to fall off the face of the blogging world but it is so easy to just not write and not read other blogs.

When I got pregnant I didn’t want to become the blogger that goes from training and racing and going on fun travels to writing only bump updates. Although if you follow me on Instagram (search thechangeofpace) you’ll see those are basically the only photos I post.

However as I quickly learned, pregnancy takes over your whole life! Not that it’s a bad thing, it’s just not what I intended to write about when I started a blog.

So here I am…

35 weeks pregnant and in the homestretch… six weeks since my last post… with not a lot to write!

I could recap the negatives: how brutal the end of 2014 was with house arrest and zero activity for nine days since I got so sick, or how I have chronic pain in my hips and now back that doesn’t allow for much sleep and has me waddling around in a constant state of agony.

I could talk about how I find pregnancy fascinating as a weekend warrior athlete: the weight gain (I think over 30 pounds so far?), how I miss simple things like being able to roll my IT bands (I’m too unsteady now!), and how despite staying fairly active I breath like an overweight, pack-a-day smoker when I walk upstairs.

Or, I could talk about the positives: how this babe is a mover and shaker with body parts sticking out left right and centre (Kelly thinks the baby is practicing ice and rock climbing), how excited we are to meet the little one, and how loved our baby is by so many…already! This is just scratching the surface of everything good.

Let’s stick with the positives and keep right on sailing into the final month of pregnancy. For now, I’m just grateful to be growing a healthy little being.

grateful

I’m not sure what blogging will look like from now on, but I suppose that’s part of the reason my blog name is Change of Pace. Life changes, and along with it goals, priorities and focus change, too.

What’s new in your world?

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How was your year of running?

This is the third year I’m linking up with Miss Zippy to look back at my year of running (see my 2013 and 2012 reviews). Head over to her website to check out a bunch of other people’s reviews!

YearOfRunning2014

Best race experience?
I participated in four races this year and only three running races: a 10km race on my 30th birthday, a surprise 10 miler in Del Mar, California when we were on holidays, a SUP race this summer, and a trail race on our sixth anniversary.

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Del Mar, CA

I loved them all for different reasons, but since this is about my year of running I guess I’d have to say the race on my birthday. It was a small, local race, Kelly ran it with me (instead of ahead of me!), my parents walked the 5k, and my sister and her family unexpectedly came out to cheer!

Passing my parents!

Best run?
Any trail run from this summer was phenomenal.

But, I think my best run was a 10 miler I did in Laguna Beach, CA where I ran along the beaches of Crystal Cove State Park and came across this little cutie. IMG-20140222-00394I remember not wanting to turn back, but I didn’t want to worry Kelly by going for too much longer than I said!

Best new piece of gear?
Remember when I said I am indecisive? I think that comes out in this post! I have two answers for this one.

I bought my Gabrialla Maternity Support Belt at 21 weeks pregnant. It has seemed to really help with the heaviness of my belly as time goes on.

The second item is Japanese Mint Oil. My prenatal acupuncturist recommended it for my aching hips that keep me up at night. According to their site, it helps promote circulation, relieves tight muscles, and is useful in injury rehab among many other benefits. I’ll continue to use it post-pregnancy, too!

Best piece of running advice you received?
I really, really would love to run throughout pregnancy but I think I’m going to have to stop soon.

When I told my girlfriend this she reminded me that it’s such a small blip of time in my running life. I’ve been running for 18 years and hope to do it forever. In the grand scheme of things, taking a few months off  is far from the worst that could happen!

Most inspirational runner?
I have quite a list, but the most inspirational this year have been moms. I love seeing what women are capable of after their world has been completely changed, when they juggle a lot of balls, and still manage to run and stay fit.

A couple professional athletes that top that list are triathlete Beth Gerdes (returned to racing, an Ironman no less, four months after giving birth to her baby girl) and runner Stephanie Rothstein Bruce (who is so honest about her body and comeback, #journeywithsteph).

Beth's second Ironman stats…less than seven months after having a baby!

Beth’s second Ironman stats…less than seven months after having a baby!

Otherwise, I read a lot of running blogs written by moms who inspire me in almost every post they write. In no particular order, here are a few of my faves:

If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be?
Humbling, relaxed, and freeing.

Tell me about your year of running and link up with Miss Zippy! 

I mustache you some questions…

I’m a little slow to the game with this…story of my life lately! Thanks to Leslie @ Triathlete Treats and Kristin @ Sweat Courage for tagging me.

mustache

I love reading questionnaires on other blogs, so I thought I’d play along!

Four names other people call me other than my real name.

  1. Abs or Ab – lots of people call me this from friends to coworkers to my niece
  2. Abby – my real name is Abigail, but I think only my Dad calls me that
  3. Flabby Abby – my old track friends
  4. Bertha – oddly it’s Kelly’s pet name for me

Four jobs I’ve had.

  1. Babysitter
  2. Lifeguard/camp counsellor
  3. Lifeguard and swimming instructor
  4. Communications Advisor – my grownup job

Four movies I’ve watched more than once.

  1. Adventures in Babysitting – I think I know every line
  2. Beauty and the Beast
  3. Blood Diamond
  4. Crazy Stupid Love

Four books I recommend.

  1. Summer Sisters by Judy Blume – best beach read
  2. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein – best book about dogs and friendship
  3. Anatomy for Runners by Jay Dicharry – best book for injury prevention if you’re a runner or athlete
  4. A Trip to Lazibonia – it’s a kids book and my favourite at my Grandma’s house. I couldn’t find it anywhere, so she gave me her copy!

Four places I’ve lived.

This list is super boring, as I’ve only truly lived in one place!

  1. Edmonton, Alberta
  2. Does backpacking Australia for three months count?
  3. I did ‘live’ in Pennsylvania for six weeks one summer while working at a camp
view of downtown Edmonton at sunrise from the trails

view of downtown Edmonton at sunrise from the trails

Four places I’ve been.

  1. Hawaii
  2. Australia
  3. Thailand
  4. New York City
Hawaii

Hawaii

4 Mile Beach, Port Douglas, Australia

4 Mile Beach, Port Douglas, Australia

Ko Phi Phi, Thailand

Ko Phi Phi, Thailand

Rickshaw ride, NYC

Rickshaw ride, NYC

Four places I’d rather be right now.

  1. Hiking in the mountains
  2. Reading under an umbrella on a beach, preferably with a cold drink in hand (I’d take almost any tropical beach) / playing in the ocean
  3. On a run in a new, big city
  4. Exploring Brazil

Four of my favorite foods.

  1. Perogies
  2. Raspberries fresh from the garden
  3. Pizza
  4. Scallops

Four things I don’t eat.

Almost any popular ‘blogger’ food…

  1. Sweet potatoes
  2. Kombucha
  3. Watermelon
  4. Avocado

Four TV shows I watch.

I only watch tv on Netflix, and I’m currently only watching two shows.

  1. Homeland
  2. Lost – 10 years late to the game but just finished season one!

This summer I did watch Nashville (I admittedly became obsessed)  and How I Met Your Mother.

Four things I’m looking forward to this year.

Baby on the brain!

  1. Meeting our baby – due in early March
  2. Seeing Kelly as a Dad
  3. Maternity leave – no work for a year!
  4. Cross-country skiing – new cross-training

XCAbbyNov13

Four things I always say.

  1. I don’t know…what do you think? (I could win as the most indecisive person you’ve ever met.)
  2. Why don’t you decide? (see above)
  3. I wish I were running
  4. You’re a good boy – to Harold

Feel free to play along and answer some in the comments or on your blog!

Taking a break

Instead of leaving this space silent, I thought I’d write a little post to say I’m taking a blogging break.

I’m not sure for how long, but I know I’m not making the time for it right now. I want to enjoy summer, weekend getaways, and warm evenings instead of worrying about blogging.

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Plus, my favourite things to write about are running and racing, and I’m not doing either of those. (Fingers crossed I’ll be running soon!)

I’ll still be reading blogs but probably not leaving many comments. Hope you’ll stick around for when I’m back!

In the meantime, have a fantastic start to summer and good luck to those who are racing- I’ll be virtually cheering for you!

When’s your next big race?

Spreading the love: Liebster Award

I love to read other bloggers Q&As to learn more about them and pick up some good tips and quotes!

liebster

Two of my favourite bloggers nominated me for a Liebster Award: Erin at Sweet Sweat Life and Kristin at Sweat Courage. They’re both training for Ironmans this summer. Erin is training for her second at Wisconsin and Kristin her first at Mont Tremblant. Check them out!

I have 14 questions to answer since some of there Qs overlapped.

Without further ado, here we go:

1. What was the inspiration for your blog and its name?
I had been reading healthy living and running blogs for a few years before biting the bullet and starting one on the Runner’s World blogging platform, The Loop. After a while I decided to start a wordpress blog, so Change of Pace was born. It was named after a love of many activities and a change from running focused to triathlon. Now my focus is changing again- simple running, biking for fun, and whatever else comes my way!

I love the writing outlet and have ‘met’ so many great people.

2. What’s your favorite topic to write about?
I love to write about running and triathlon, and travel. You know I love talking about Harold, too!

HaroldOverlander

My favourite posts to read are generally about people’s training!

3. What keeps you motivated?
A lot of things keep me motivated: love of running and activity, a love of eating, and challenging myself, to name a few.

4. If you could have a super power, what would it be?
Travel in the snap of a finger. I could train somewhere tropical in the middle of winter after work and be back the next morning! And the expense of travel would be cut in half.

HK_hike2

Hiking in Hong Kong

5. What’s your biggest fitness goal, or A race, this year?
Well, since I don’t have any races planned I have to say getting a healthy body back. My left side continues to plague me, in particular my hamstring, piriformis, iliac crest, and calf. (Silver lining – for the first time in a couple years I can’t feel my knee at all!)

The only race I actually have marked on my calendar (haven’t signed up yet) is a SUP race!

SUPing in Maui

SUPing in Maui

6. Describe your perfect day.
We would be on a holiday- Jasper or somewhere tropical/beachy. I’d sleep in until about 7 then Kelly, Harold and I would go for a trail run. After that we’d grab something delicious to eat before going on an adventure- a hike, kayak, or somewhere we could sight-see.

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We’d finish off the day eating supper outside while watching the sunset. Oh, and it would be hot during the day and warm in the morning and at night! And I’d eat ice cream and a nutella/strawberry/banana crepe at some point during the day!

7. Do you have a mantra, and if so, what is it?
My fitness/race mantra is You got this or Drop the hammer when the going gets tough.

8. What’s your go-to dinner?
Mexican – most likely grilled black bean burritos!

9. If you could give your 16-year-old self a piece of advice, what would it be?
(Thank you Erin for a couple of these!)
Be brave.
Travel more.
Don’t do things simply because society expects you to do them.

A much younger Kelly & Abby!

A much younger Kelly & Abby!

10. What is something that you love about yourself?
Physically I like my strong legs that have carried me thousands of miles.
Otherwise I like that I’m inquisitive and that people feel comfortable talking to me. (My girlfriends used to call me Barbara after Ms. Walters for my interview skills!)

11. If you could pick your dream career, and money wasn’t an issue, what would you do?
Travel writer!
Cycling/trail running guide in Jasper, Alberta. (Who wouldn’t want to run and ride with me there?!)
I’d also love to run a small personal training business, focused on empowering women to feel good about themselves! 

EndofRoad

12. What are two goals you have for 2014?
Hm- this is a tough one.
Clean our spare room and donate items I haven’t used/worn in over a year.
Figure out if I’m going to use my personal training certification professionally this year or just personally and for family.

13. Where is one place you have never been that you have always wanted to go?
Brazil is on the top of my list, and Nepal is on the top of Kelly’s. I’d be happy with either! 
Lately cycling in Europe has really piqued my interest, too. (This is where my super power would come in handy!)

14. Are you going to pass the torch and nominate 11 other bloggers?
I’ve seen this on quite a few blogs lately. If you’re reading this and want to take part, consider yourself nominated!

Answer one or some of the questions above!

KT tape winner and yard renos

Thank you to everyone who entered the KT tape giveaway! It’s surprising how many people use it and for such a variety of ailments. I wish there was a cure all for sports-related injuries.

The winner is Lisa! I’ve sent her an email.

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For those of you that haven’t tried it, I recommend going out and getting some. In Canada I know Shoppers Drug Mart and Sport Chek sell it. Check out the KT website for store locations in the States.

Kelly’s the hardest worker I know, and once he gets an idea he acts on it.

On Friday evening he discussed some yard reno ideas he had. Saturday morning he woke me up to tell me he was going to the hardware store. By the end of the day our deck was gone. And by the end of Sunday I had a garden box! I am beyond excited to try my hand at growing a few vegetables this year.

I’ll post some before and after photos once everything is finished.

For now, I’ll leave you with Harold’s reaction.

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He’s not sure about this!

What’s your favourite garden fresh vegetable? Any advice on which ones are easiest to grow?!