Category Archives: Cross training

Keeping fit on our California adventure

Well, after 28 days of fun in the California sun it’s back to reality.

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I’ve struggled to write about our trip because it was so fabulous it honestly left me speechless. In the meantime I thought I’d write a separate post about what I did to stay fit. It’s a long one since I did more than just run!

Running
It’s ironic I posted about working out together while we were away as we only ran together once our entire trip! With Harold along for the month, it was best to let him rest while we took turns running.

It was beyond marvelous to run in shorts in February! The other wonderful thing? Running by the ocean.

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Laguna Beach

I ran the Embarcadero in San Francisco, the beach and ritzy neighbourhoods in Carmel, river trails in Newport, and ocean bluffs and a race in Del Mar.

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Carmel River State Beach

We spent the majority of our time in Laguna Beach. All my runs there were incredible: I saw dolphins playing in the surf, ran into Dana Point, ran along the beaches of Crystal Cove and saw a baby sea lion, worked my lungs running uphill for four miles to the top of the hills (and trashed my quads on the way down), and ran trails at sunrise with Kelly and Harold.

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Crystal Cove State Park

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Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park

I embraced every single run and am forever envious of those who get to live and run along the California Coast all the time!

California 10/20
The UT California 10/20 was an out and back 10 mile race starting and finishing in Del Mar and running through Solana Beach and Encinitas. (I found out about the race the day before it after running a speedy seven miles!)

It was chilly the morning of the race and Kelly and Harold walked me to the start about 45 minutes away from our hotel.

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Not really feeling up to ‘race’, my only plan was to take it easy at the start and pick it up throughout. I did a great job of that with my first mile being the slowest and my last being the fastest. I ended up finishing in 1:11:53, which I was more than happy with for a surprise race on vacation!

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It was a great run with tons of bands along the course (that’s what the 20 in the name stands for) and ocean views. It was the first year and over 3,000 people finished!

Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP)
I tried SUPing for the first time in 2008 and fell in love with it. Kelly bought me my very own inflatable SUP (NRS Earl 4) for my birthday this year, and I couldn’t wait to take it out on the ocean in California!!

I was a bit apprehensive, as it’s been a couple years since I last paddled. And I’m timid of surf SUPing; I just like to get out there and paddle.

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It turns out that Laguna Beach is the perfect destination to SUP! The water is generally calm, the ocean life is amazing, and I felt comfortable paddling far out by myself (sorry mom and dad!).

I paddled almost every day we were there (I think I went 11 out of 13 days), went out a couple times most days, and experienced amazing things.

One day when we got down to the beach there was a guy paddling close to shore with a few dolphins alongside him. I was too nervous to go, so Kelly gladly hopped on the board. There were dolphins going under his board and surfacing right beside him. It was pretty magical to watch.

Screen shot from Kelly’s GoPro video

Once he came to shore I was brave enough to go.

The most amazing experience
The dolphins were mostly gone, so I went far out just to SUP. As I was about to turn back towards shore, I saw a huge pod of them swimming and jumping coming towards me. I was about 35 feet away from a massive dolphin highway. There was somewhere between 50 – 100 dolphins from what I could see. I was close enough to hear them breathing. A couple veered off course and came towards me, so I splashed my paddle a bit.

It absolutely took my breath away and I just stood there in shaky awe for at least five minutes watching their natural beauty. It was the most magnificent thing I’ve seen in nature and one of my most peaceful and special moments.

I paddled back to shore, turning constantly to take it all in. I was so happy Kelly saw what happened so I could discuss it with somebody!! (I was also a little disappointed I didn’t have a camera with me!)

On another day there were dolphins swimming under my board and around me. (I had to kneel down a couple times, as my legs got shaky!)

I felt so fortunate to SUP in the ocean again and experience the majestic dolphins. I can’t wait to get back on my SUP this summer in our lakes!

Strength
We each took a yoga mat and one set of weights with us. I strength trained in our hotel room most of the days Kelly ran. It felt good to keep up some strength and core work!

Laughter yoga
This was something I just had to experience! There’s a group in Laguna Beach that meets 365 days a year. I went on a chilly morning and met with four others including the director of the Laughter Yoga Institute, Jeffrey Briar.

It was the most bizarre class I’ve ever attended, but it certainly accomplished what it prescribes: I was joyful for the rest of the day! There is something to be said about starting your day laughing by the ocean with a group of warm, friendly people.

Staying in shape
Despite dessert twice a day most days I feel pretty good. My fitness is definitely much higher than when I came home from China last year, and I don’t have an Ironman to worry about in four months!

What’s your favourite way to stay active on holidays, or do you take it as a time to rejuvenate?

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.

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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?

Doing what I can training

While most people are writing about their strong weeks preparing for Ironman Coeur d’Alene or other spring/early summer races, I’m following the ‘doing what I can’ training method. Have you heard of it? It’s not as popular as most methods out there, but I hope it’ll work for me! (Don’t get me wrong- I love reading about people’s training and all their amazing progress and workouts!)

I knew that coming back from five weeks away from home, structure, and proper training would be tough. I was looking forward to it! However, I didn’t expect to be sidelined again.

The good news is that it’s not {currently} my knee. The bad news is I’m on a running hiatus.

I’ve been a biking machine the last week and am not detesting the trainer yet. (I think it helped to step away from it for those weeks.) My bike is definitely a work in progress, and probably always will be, but it’s been fun to get in some mileage.

I’ve also been waking up in the 4am hour to get in the pool.

Today I aqua jogged for the first time in years. And I had fun doing it! When my knee hurts, even pool running hurts. So it was nice to be able to mimic running today!

I just really hope to make it to the start line in less than 12 weeks, whether I can run or not. I’m trying to be smart, keep my knees and hips healthy, and trying to get the rest of my body on the same page!

Did you have a nice long weekend? I had four days off for Easter and loved every minute of them!

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Do you ever pool run? Like it or loathe it?

Thanks for taking the time to read my three Thailand recaps! I’m hoping to get my China posts written and up this week being that we’ve been home for nearly three weeks now!

Cross training crazy

I’ve been trying a new thing— staying positive while injured! Last year I was sad more days than not. It wasn’t fun for anyone! (In my defense, I couldn’t do much of anything except for swim using only my arms!)

This time around I’ve been trying to switch it up and burn calories, sweat, and get that endorphin rush I love so much. (All without aggrevating my knee.)

Shovelling snow – approximately 300 calories

After one spectacularly heavy snowfall, I shoveled for 45 minutes. I was out of breath and had to stop twice for a quick break. My chest muscles were also sore for the next couple days.

Cross-country skiing – approximately 375 calories

We went to new to us groomed trails the other evening. The trails were incredible and we had a ton of fun! I can’t wait to get out there again.

Lap swimming – approximately 425 calories

We started up our gym memberships again. The last time I swam was Ironman Canada. I swam 3km on Sunday morning and then 2km before work on Monday. My arms were feeling it Monday morning!

Cycling on the trainer

This always gets a sweat going for me! I’ve been trying to test my knee and ride a bit harder lately. {Knock on wood} it’s been going ok.

Strength training and LOTS of physio exercises

I’ve been  regularly strength training for the past few months, about three times a week on average. I’m really enjoying it and would love to maintain the routine. I’ve also been diligently working on all my physio exercises.

Walking the dog

We always walk Harold, but I’m counting it as cross-training! It’s a nice way to get that fresh air I’ve been missing out on.

Practicing yoga

I’m still new to yoga, but I really enjoy it every time I practice. Some days I attend an hour-long class, but most days I do what I can out of one of our Sage Rountree books.

Visit this website for a calorie calculator for almost any exercise you can think of, including playing an instrument and house work!

What kind of cross-training have you been doing lately?

Do you have a go-to workout? Mine is for sure cycling.