Category Archives: Favourites

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!

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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! 

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Yoga for runners, part II

It has been almost a year since I last posted my favourite yoga poses. Since then I’ve attended more classes, tried more DVDs, and I still use my books and the Yoga Studio app.

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However, some of my original favourite poses still feel the best to me.

I am a workout at home gal, but I simply love the soothing energy the instructor provides at class, from her cues to her voice.

The most beneficial cue to me is when she reminds us to breath into a stretch. After she says it and I focus on doing so, it’s a lot more comfortable.

Here are five poses that I love now.

  • Fire log pose
    My hips are a constant hassle, so I try to take care of them focussing on exercises to help them out. In turn, they need some work to stretch them. This pose opens my hips up so nicely. It also helps to stretch the groin.
  • Wide-legged forward bend
    I’ve been battling super tight hamstrings, my left in particular. This pose feels awesome on them, and if I shift slightly it reaches even deeper or focuses on one side.
  • Warrior two
    I like this pose for the sole reason that it makes me feel fierce and strong, which I suppose is why it’s called warrior and named after an incarnation of Shiva, a fierce warrior!
  • Runner’s lunge, toes down
    from the athlete's pocket guide to yoga by sage rountree

    from the athlete’s pocket guide to yoga by sage rountree

    The first time I did this, the stretch was too intense in my tibialis anterior muscles (beside the shin). I worked into it, and now it’s not painful but man is it good!

  • Thread the needle
    This feels so good on my shoulders during a lunch hour class when I’ve been working at a desk all morning.

I am still very much a beginner at yoga but hope to continue practicing and learn more poses.

What’s your favourite pose? 

How often do you practice?

Thanks for reading! I scheduled a few posts to go up while I’m cruising the California coast with my family. I don’t expect to be online much, so I won’t be commenting on blogs or writing trip updates on here. However, I hope to post to my Instagram feed (thechangeofpace) when the mood strikes!

2013 reflection (in photos)

I saw a year in photos on Amy’s blog and loved the idea. I promise this is the last recap of 2013!

Here are my monthly highlights from the year.

January

We spent this month hibernating at home and spending time with Harold before an extended vacation.

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My 29th birthday!

February

The highlight was definitely going back to Thailand, sightseeing, playing in the ocean, and taking a nice break from winter!

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Chaweng Beach

March

We finished our Asia trip with two weeks in China. We had a blast, but the true highlight was probably coming home to Harold!

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At the hutongs in Beijing

April

After five weeks in Asia with lots of food and not a ton of running, I had my work cut out for me to get ready for a June Ironman. I worked hard in April and rode countless miles on the trainer!

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May

We snuck away to the mountains in early May for our first camping trip of the season. It was good to be back!

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Patricia Lake

June

Ironman Coeur d’Alene pretty much dominated this month! Kelly got a huge personal best, and I bested my time by a whopping 55 seconds!

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On the run…

July

This was a busy month with lots of training, the Tour d’Alberta bike ride, and Kelly’s Dad’s 60th birthday party. However, the highlight was probably seeing family at my cousin’s wedding!

with my niece (and always in flats!)

with my niece (and always in flats!)

August

I had a great August, from an awesome Jasper camping trip to Whistler for the Ironman to an Okanagan holiday. Hands down the best part was having Kelly and Harold surprise me in Whistler. Despite my exhausted arms, I proudly carried Harold around after the race!

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September

This was another great month with the end of our BC holiday, trips to New Orleans and Vancouver, a camping trip to celebrate Kelly’s 30th birthday, and our fifth wedding anniversary.

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October

After a busy couple months, it was great to be home in October! We spent a lot of time on the trails.

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November

The highlight of November was a Jasper trip to cross-country and downhill ski. We love that town!

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December

We had a fantastic Canmore trip at the beginning of the month, but Christmas was definitely the highlight. We had a marvelous few days full of family, food, and fun, and we got spoiled rotten. With such busy lives, it’s great to slow down and catch up with family!

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This is just a snapshot of 2013! I have a lot to be thankful for: another year of health, a wonderful husband, a supportive family, a body that carries me through many adventures, the means to travel, the list goes on and on.

Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy, adventure-filled 2014!

Tell me a few highlights from your year! 

2013 – year of running

I love year in review articles, blogs and photos. There’s something about compacting a year into a simple snapshot of highlights that I find intriguing.

I’m linking up with Miss Zippy’s #yearofrunning13 again for a review with a triathlon twist. (Check out my review from last year.)

Best race experience?
This is a tough one to answer. I only completed three races, all triathlons, but they all meant a lot. I am going to go with Ironman Coeur d’Alene.

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I wasn’t as fit as I should have been going into it but still managed to squeak out a personal best. Plus, Kelly had a huge breakthrough and I love racing with him!

Best run?
Again, a toss up! (Can you tell I’m indecisive?!) I loved our family trail run in Jasper on our first camping weekend of the year. I have been falling for trail running more each year, and watching Harold hit switchbacks is priceless!

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My second best run was one steamy morning on Ko Samui with Kelly when we ran long beside coconut groves and the ocean.

Best bike?
Hands down my favourite road bike was when Kelly and I went to Jasper for a day trip and rode on a freshly paved road closed to vehicles! I also saw a bear scuttle up a tree that day!

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Best swim?
I’m not sure if there is ever a best swim for me, but if I have to choose I say Ironman Canada. It was my slowest Ironman swim out of the four I’ve done, but it was surreal with the fog on the lake. I kept popping my head up to look around and take it in!

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Best new piece of gear?
Hmmm…I have to go with something simple for this. I love my SpiBelt! It’s a great way to store my phone, toilet paper, and anything else I need on a run without having to hang on to a ton of things, having them bounce around in a pocket, or leaving them at home.

Best piece of running advice you received?
The quicker you finish, the less it will hurt. My husband gave me these words of wisdom about halfway through the marathon at Ironman Canada when it felt like my ankles were breaking. And he was right! They hurt no matter my pace, so if I ran faster, I’d finish faster!

Most inspirational runner?
Kilian Jornet continues to inspire me, but since he was my most inspirational runner last year I’ll choose a new one!

This time I have two. They’re both Canadian women marathoners. Both broke the 28-year-old marathon record at the Toronto Waterfront Marathon in October.

Lanni Marchant ran a 2:28:00 and Krista DuChene ran a 2:28:32. They also are busy women, with Marchant as a practicing criminal lawyer and DuChene a mother to three kids under eight.  Next time you hear the excuse of someone being too busy to workout, tell them about these world-class marathoners!

If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be?
Surprising, challenging, fun.

Tell me about your 2013 and then link back to Miss Zippy’s post!

Spare time

Although participating in an Ironman and crossing that finish line is such an indescribable feeling, the week after is pretty great too!

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(You better believe I’ll be posting Ironman Coeur d’Alene photos at every opportunity!)

I came home from work and wasn’t in a mad rush to get out the door again.

I ate junk without thinking about it.

I took Harold on leisurely walks.

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I visited with my niece, sister, and brother-in-law.

I took out both my cruiser and my mountain bike not once, but twice.

I went to the Farmer’s Market on a Saturday morning and perused many booths. (Not normally possible when Ironman training.)

I lazed around for an entire long weekend and took two naps.

Nap

That being said, I can’t wait to get back at it and get ready for Ironman Canada!

I took last week ridiculously easy, riding my road bike once, and running and swimming naked (sans watch) once each.

This week I hope to pick it up a little. My legs are feeling pretty good and my bike ride was really strong (if only it could be on race days)!

I’m trying to be smart about it and take more time than rush back into it and struggle for the next eight weeks.

Plus, I think I could use one more week to enjoy this spare time!

What are your favourite recovery activities?

Friday faves

Thank you for all your kind comments on my Oliver Half Iron race report. My armpits and heel are healing nicely!

This Friday I thought I’d write about a few things I’m loving lately.

1. Guess what I got in the mail this week? A gorgeous bracelet from Breanna at The Soul Shakedown! She makes beautiful bracelets and sells them on her Etsy shop, Bracelets by Breanna. I won one the other week and had a tough time choosing which one I wanted. I went with the turquoise and elephant bracelet since I adore elephants.

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Love it!

2. Babies. The goslings have finally arrived! Harold and I found them on a walk the other day. There is something so amazing about all the baby animals in spring.

Goslings

We haven’t seen ducklings yet, but I’m on the lookout!

3. Family. My parents watched Harold for us this past weekend and always take great care of him.

When we pulled up to our house early Monday morning, we were shocked to see my mom weeding our yard!  Talk about kindness. I’ve completely neglected the weeds this year and they were out of control.

4. Nike. Kelly bought me this Nike Touch Tailwind tank the other day. Not only is orange my favourite colour, but I also am in love with the soft texture and the cute back!

Click photo for source.

Click photo for source.

5. The sky. One of the things I love most about cycling is being outside and being in awe of everything I see, from wide open fields and soaring mountains to farm and wild animals to beautiful skies.

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I had to stop during my ride last night to snap this photo. Beautiful, right?

Happy Friday!

What are you loving lately?