My Fitness Bucket List

my fitness bucketlist

When I was a kid I was not active. I mean, quite honestly if you told me I would one day run a half marathon when I was 12 I would have laughed. Like, a lot. I hated gym class, running to get somewhere or any type of team sport. The thing is, those were the only physical activities I had been exposed to at that point in my life. Fast forward a few years and I now know that there is a huge world of choices and options for how to be physical and active. As I continue on my journey to lead a fit and healthy life I grow braver and more confident in my ability. I also add more and more things to my fitness bucket list.

1. Complete a Triathlon

I bike, I run, how hard could a tri be right? Well when you hardly swim, the idea of a triathlon gets harder to wrap your head around. I have had tons of swimming lessons in my life but know I would need more in order to get triathlon ready. It is something I really want to accomplish in my life but I have no idea when the opportunity or time will present itself. In the mean time I will make sure to keep up on the running and biking portions 🙂

2. Run a Marathon

Half marathon training is a huge time commitment. I can’t imagine doubling that amount of time. When ever I run a half I look at the people passing the finish line only half way through their race. That would be the hardest thing I could imagine. One day I will do it. I need to be one of the people on earth who has run a marathon. If there is a will there is a way and I will find it!

3. Run Disney

I have never been to Disney Land or World but what better way to discover it then to run! The route is mostly flat and full of entertainment and fun along the way. I loved stopping and taking pictures during our zoo run and that would just multiply at Disney. The races are very popular and expensive but Josh and I both want to make this a goal one day.

disney-world-226721_1920

4. Kayak in the Ocean

I love kayaking and I especially enjoy it in shallow lakes and rivers. I am not much of a white water paddler but I love touring. I would love to do some adventuring in a tropical place or on the east coat of Canada.

5. Complete a Women’s Only Race

Josh and I have completed all of our big races together as a couple. He has pulled me through both of our half marathons and I don’t know if I could have done it on my own. However, it is a big goal for me to one day complete a woman’t only run either on my own or with a friend. Women only races always look like so much fun and always have such fun swag. I think it would be an awesome gift to give myself for my birthday.

7k flamingos

6. Become a Group Fitness Instructor

I have no idea if I will ever accomplish this goal but it is something that has been tumbling around in my head for a while. I see fitness instruction as another form of teaching. I would love to broaden my horizons learn some new skills and share my love of fitness with others. I have thought a lot about leading a learn to run clinic at the Running Room and this is something I may do in the next couple of years. Who knows, dream big or go home!

7 Learn Ballroom Dancing

I think I have Josh on the hook for this one before our wedding. I think it would be super fun to learn a new skill and prepare something extra special for our wedding dance. The best way to be active and fit is by doing it with your partner. Ballroom dancing would be something new for both of us and help us build some lasting memories together.

What’s on your fitness bucket list?

Thinking-Out-Loud2

Advertisements

Happy Day

Hello Friends, how’s your day going? I am having a great week so far. Yesterday I was home from work but made the most of my time off by fitting in some extra exercise and pampering. My favourite kind of day.

This morning turned out awesome. After Josh went to work I made myself a yummy smoothie. I was feeling a bit sad about giving up chocolate milk for the dairy free life and decided to buy some chocolate Silk. I haven’t tried to drink it straight and I don’t think I will because it won’t be as good as chocolate cow’s milk, sigh. Anyways it makes an awesome smoothie with chocolate protein powder, blueberries and raspberries.

Perfect Day Smoothie

For the first time in about a week it seemed dry out. It was also about 7 degrees Celsius which is pretty awesome for us this time of year. The good weather and the free morning loured me outside for a run. I am so happy I did because I had the best 5k run I’ve had in a long time! I have been slacking a bit on my runs but yesterday has encouraged me to squeeze more running into my schedule.

November run on my Happy Day

I picked a route that was uphill for the first half and down hill for the second half. It was perfect. I was brave and wore short tights and a long sleeve shirt. I think I finally know how to dress for cold weather running. I see people dressed in hoodies and long pants at this time of year and I know they have to regret that decision after a while. You have to brave the cold for a bit, but dressing in lighter clothes, even in the cold is worth it.

face mask fun

Do some stretching while my face mask sets? Don’t mind if I do. I love coming home from a workout and doing a face mask. I usually need time to cool down and stretch before my shower anyways, its the perfect time to do a bit of pampering. Plus my skin ends up feeling as awesome as the rest of my body does.

After my shower I made myself some lunch and something wonderful happened. Remember that veggie soup I made in my crock pot on Sunday? Well you can read about this week’s meal plan here. The soup actually tastes good! YAY

Homemade Veggie Soup on my Happy Day

This soup has a beef broth base, diced tomatoes, onion, celery, carrots, peas and beans and turnip. When it was cooking all day on Sunday it smelled horrid. I was sooo worried we would hate it and wouldn’t eat it. Of course it made about 10 servings. I also have a ton of veggies frozen for a whole second batch. Figures it would smell disgusting and be a total waste. But it wasn’t!! I am not always successful with soup, and while this might not be my favorite soup ever, it will be eaten. When I make the second batch I will use vegetable broth and less garlic. I have a history of using too much garlic and the beef broth was cheaper and I thought it would be fine. Yah no, veggie is the way to go. Oh, and don’t put big whole chunks of turnip in your soup. They just don’t go. I will be eating around them.

our new blue chair

Do you like our new chair? Josh found it on Kijiji for free! He surprised me with it last night. I have been wanting to add some navy into our colour scheme and it is perfect. It has a few spots on it but hey, you can’t argue with free. Now I just need some new cushions to spruce up the place and a nice rug. We have a rather large living room area and getting a run the proper size is a bit pricey. I know my kitties would enjoy it though. Marley slid into the wall the other night when he was running. He likes the new chair though.

I had a pretty lazy afternoon but I did head out of my cozy nest to hit up the mall for a little bit. I really had no purpose and shouldn’t have tempted myself with all of that shopping but I was on a mission to pick up some Chocolate Mint Roobios from David’s Tea.

Happy Day: Run Away Freckles

 

This is my favourite tea. It is the best chocolate tea I have tried. It actually tastes like chocolate. Most of the teas claim to be like dessert but this one is the closest. I like to make it with some milk and a sweetener. Even better is adding some chocolate soy milk 🙂 This tea is also really good when its iced.

Later that day I hit up my Monday night Boot Camp class. It was awesome. We focused a lot on upper body which really balanced out my morning run. I am feeling pretty sore today. The night ended with some TV watching and a conservative bed time. Just the way I like it.

What makes a happy day for you?

Tried any awesome teas lately?

October Goals

october goals

I can’t believe it is already October. September was a tough month for me, I didn’t work much and things got a bit stressful, but I still think the month flew by. All of a sudden people are planning for Halloween and Christmas decorations are popping up here and there in the stores.

A new month is a transition and a great time to set some goals. I think this is especially important because this is the time of year when I start to have some trouble with my lifestyle choices. Josh’s birthday, our anniversary, Thanksgiving, Halloween candy and pumpkin baking all tempt me and send me off the rails. I would like to set some clear goals to help me keep accountable and hopefully stay on track.

MUST (2)

1. Be a Fish

As always, I have a hard time staying hydrated. I try to remember my water bottle and to drink before meals, but it is always a struggle for me. This month I would like to love water and make it my best friend. To help me drink more water, I would like to set the goal this month to drink a glass of water before each meal. I thought about trying to keep my water bottle with me, or drink 8-10 glasses a day. I have decided that if I try to drink a glass before each meal, I will ensure I am drinking more water than I might have before.

2. Eat Like a Rabbit

I have a horrible time getting enough veggies in me. I also have a slight dislike for salads and even though I try, veggies are not my first snacking option. I really need to make this a bigger goal in my life. I know my weight will decrease and I will feel better if I eat more veggies. I am setting the goal for October to make a salad for one meal a week. I know this might seem like a small goal. I should really be eating salad every day, but baby steps are okay. I also want to achieve my goals and I think one salad a week is manageable. Hopefully these salads will encourage me to include veggies in other places in my diet.

3. Stay Home

I am making a decrease in eating out a goal for two reasons. Firstly, eating out encourages me to make unhealthy choices. I have been making too many unhealthy choices lately and I need to bring it back in. Secondly, we are on a budget around here and the extra spending on ‘fun food’ needs to end. Lattes, treats, dinners out are all problems for my wallet and waste-line and it needs to end. I would like to challenge myself to only eat out on the weekend. This is probably going to be a hard one for me but I really want to try achieve this goal.

4. Get Moving

By the end of the month I will be starting my half marathon training plan. I also want to keep up on my cross training and also ensure I include strength training in my routine every week. This is something that I was doing well all summer but fell off the wagon a bit in September. My goal for October is to reach 4 workouts (at least) every week. At least one of these workouts needs to include a good amount of strength training. I also plan on continuing my “Workouts This Week” posts to keep myself on track.

MUST (1)

5. Keep ‘Cheat’ Days to Saturdays

This goals along with my eating out during the week goal. I have always made it a choice to not count calories on Saturdays. This is my anything goes day and I don’t feel guilty if I over eat on Saturdays. Unfortunately, this care free attitude has started to trickle into Friday nights and Sundays which has taken a tole on my weight loss. My goal for October is to get strict with myself and keep my cheat meals to Saturdays only.

I know these are some pretty heavy goals. Part of me is worried about having so many goals for one month. But I know these are all things I should be doing anyways. Each one of these goals is very obtainable and like always, I strive for balance and forgive my missteps. But it really is time to get serious and hold myself to some higher standards.

Questions:

What are your goals for October?

Do you hold yourself to monthly goals?

Gorgeous Fall Running

Yesterday I decided to sneak in a short morning run. I had boot camp in the evening so I didn’t want to do anything hard core but it was such a beautiful day, it was too good to pass up. My run turned into a 5k walk/run with lots of picture taking along the way. I still managed to work up a good sweat and started my day in a very good way.

photo 2 (7)

I love the crunch crunch of leaves when you run in the fall. It makes hearing my feet pounding on the side walk a whole lot more fun. I purposely drove to the Running Room and started my run downtown. This way I could enjoy the view of the river and follow some of the trails in town. Our neighborhood is too populated and hilly. I don’t always like running here with all of the traffic. I was really happy with my choice, the views were worth the short drive.

fallruncollage1

I had perfect weather, we are in full fledged Indian Summer mode here. The leaves are changing and the air smells like fall but the sun has been out for a week and we have been getting summer tempeeratures. Luckily I was running in the morning before it got too warm, but I didn’t have to worry about cold fingers or wearing a jacket. I saw tons of people on my run. It was fun to watch moms with their kids and people with their dogs. I passed one guy walking a black Scotty dog, wearing a kilt and a Guinness t-shirt. I wondered what his plans were for the day.

fallruncollage2

Runs like this remind me why I like to run. Sometimes I feel like running is a chore I have to do. When I am running I often feel pressure to run longer, not take walk breaks and to go faster. Yesterday was nothing like that. I stopped when I wanted, walked when I wanted and ran when I felt like it. It might have not been the most intense workout but it was just the ticket on a beautiful day.

Race Day Dos and Don`ts

race day do's and don't

After my crazy race day on Saturday I have been thinking about some of the mistakes I have made on race day and some of the triumphs. I have been running for four years and have completed a number of 5k, 10k, and half marathon races. Not all of these races have always gone smoothly. In fact I have been in tears at the end of a few and have kicked myself for mistakes I have made along the way. Live and learn, right? Today I thought I would share some of my adventures of race days and some of my tips for surviving.

Race Day Do: Train Properly

Some people (my fiance Josh) can show up for race day practically unprepared, only a few runs under his belt and pull off a comfortable half marathon race day. This is a huge annoyance to me because I am totally not one of these people. If you ask any running expert out there, they will tell you how important training is. You need to be physically prepared for race day. Ideally you will have been following a training program of some type and will have gotten in a number of longer distance runs. This training will carry you through race day and past the finish line.

Well what happens when you have to move back and forth between two different cities every month leading up to your race? What happens when you are unable to properly follow a training program and have missed a ton of hill training and a few long runs? Well, unless you are my fiance Josh, race day sucks. Dieing a slow death has come to mind on occasion. On the other hand, properly training for a race and showing up on race day confident can make the day amazing!

After our second Half Marathon, the Goodlife Half. I felt like I was gonna die the whole time. Josh kept me going.

After our second Half Marathon, the Goodlife Half. I felt like I was gonna die the whole time. Josh kept me going.

Race Day Don’t: Forget your gear

It is a common tip to lay out everything you need the night before you run. This way you can make sure you have everything you need before you race and avoid the panic of not being able to find your water bottle on your way to the starting line. You would honestly think this would be an easy thing. As runners, we head out for runs numerous times during the week. Grabbing everything I need for a run should be second nature. Well it seems that even with the best intentions, everyone forgets something. This weekend I forgot my sunglasses and my hat. Why, I have no idea, since I ALWAYS run with sunglasses and a hat. If you always train with something you should always have it on race day. This way you won’t have to worry about squinting or whipping sweat off your forehead when you usually wouldn’t have to.

7k flamingos

 

Race Day Do: Race for Fun not a PR

I am not a PR runner. I have discovered over the years that a time goal only discourages me rather than motivates me. I don’t need a fast time to be a real runner or to enjoy running. I also don’t need to beat my race time to reach a goal. I would rather race for run and new experiences. That is why I greatly suggest racing for run rather than a PR. Pick races that have a fun element involved. Running through a zoo, amusement park, a colour run or zombie run are great ways to race while having fun. Races can be intense, dodging people and constantly being reminded f what km your on and what your time is. Stopping to take some pictures of colourful flamingos is nothing to worry about, but rather a great photo-opp! It will defiantly make your race day more memorable.

colour run

Race Day Don’t: Don’t forget your cheering squad

One thing I really regret about our past races is not have more friends and family along the route to cheer us on. This hasn’t really been on purpose. Josh and I have never done a big race in our home town and it has very rarely worked out that our friends or family have been able to come along with us. I wish this could be different. I wish we could have lots of people with funny race signs cheering us on. I am always really thankful for spectators cheering us on but not having someone to meet at the finish line is sometimes sad. This is why I am planning on making my next half marathon race a local one. I really want to have people out there on the course and see many familiar paces along the way. Plus we won’t have to find a stranger to take our post-race photos!

race medals

Weekend Recap Part One: Toe Injuries and Race Day

I know I have been away for a while but I have lots to blog about and share. This weekend was jammed packed with lots of happenings and excitement. In order to get my thoughts straight and get everything in, I thought I would split up my Weekend Recap into two posts, starting with Friday and Saturday.

This weekend I completed the Oasis Zoo Run 10k in Toronto. This run has always been on my bucket list but, because it is in September, I have never been able to make it work. It sells out really fast and school and work commitments or unknowns have always gotten in the way. This year Josh and I were finally able to commit and had planned on making the event into a little weekend getaway. We weren’t able to do any big trips this summer and we thought it would be a good idea to spend a couple days in Toronto, have some fun and run the race all together. That was the plan anyways.

I haven’t been getting much supply work lately and decided that I wouldn’t book Friday off work. We had a hotel booked for Friday night and were going to visit the Ontario Science Center during the day and maybe do an IKEA trip. I didn’t think I would possibly get called into work Friday but we agreed that if I did, I would work and we would miss out on the Science Center. Well. wouldn’t you know it, no calls all week and I end up working all day in a Kindergarten room. Bummer. While I ran around changing plans and getting ready to work the day instead of blow everything off for a mini-vacation, I walked straight into a door frame, crushing two toes and falling head first into our bath tub. OUCH!!

The toes were bad, really bad. I felt sick to my stomach and honestly thought I may have broken one, less than 24 hours before our race. I was so mad! My training has been perfect. I have had amazing runs and was feel so ready for this race. This 10k was going to give me a burst of confidence in order to begin training for my next half marathon. And here I was with a bruised and swollen foot and hardly able to walk. Not to mention I was expected to run after four year-olds all day long. Luckily we worked it out that it would save us some time and gas money if Josh drove me to work, so I didn’t have to drive on Friday. I wore some comfortable shoes, popped some pain killers and got down to business. I was pretty sure half way through the day that I hadn’t broken a toe, I was much too functional, but it still didn’t feel okay to walk or run for that matter.

going to TO

I got through the day and we finally made our way to Toronto to pick up our race bibs and check into our hotel. I was so happy that we made it in time to get our race kits the day before the race. I like everything to be laid out and ready to go for race day and I don’t like the added stress of standing in line to get my bib before a race. Plus they always put awesome goodies in race kits, including yummy snacks to eat while you are watching TV in your hotel room the night before a race 🙂

Everything was going really smoothly (minus crazy foot pain) until we got to our hotel. We had booked the hotel late and were looking to save a bit of money by staying at a less expensive hotel, so we weren’t expecting the star treatment or anything. Unfortunately what we got was just a hilarious disaster. We showed up and found construction workers everywhere. To get to the ‘front lobby’ we climbed through a patio door into a hotel room and found two women sitting at cluttered desks. The whole hotel was a mess, there were paint buckets and wet paint signs in every stairwell. Almost every room had tape on the door describing what needed to be fixed in that room. There were no working elevators and we had to search for quite a while to find a stairwell that didn’t have workers in it. When we got to our room we found that the heating system didn’t work and the whole room smelt like a dirty construction sight. The whole thing was horribly disappointing. I was already upset about an injury and missing our fun day, a dirty, smelly hotel room was too much. When Josh turned on the heat and discovered a burning smell and I found a dirty bathroom waiting for us we finally called down to the front desk to complain. We were quickly upgraded to a slightly better room and felt much better.

To calm ourselves down and salvage what was left of our night we decided to go out for some dinner. We were looking for something close by, simple and yummy and settled on Swiss Chalet. It was the perfect choice. I don’t think my meal had any vegetables in it unless you count the spinach in the spinach dip appetizer we ordered. Carb loading? Okay maybe it wasn’t the best option but I am not regretting it. I spent most of the night watching TV with my foot elevated, happily munching race kit goodies.

swiss chalet collage

Saturday morning was crazy. I can’t believe we made it to the starting line in one piece. I thought I had set everything out the night before and was organized for the run but I think my swollen foot distracted me. We had to get up super early and get to the zoo in order to beat the rush of 5000 runners. Unfortunately our crummy hotel`s breakfast didn`t open until 7am. We ran in grabbed some bread and peanut butter and scarfed in down in the car, guzzling water the whole way. Luckily we were only running 10k not a half or longer. We got away with the poor planning this time. After standing in washroom lines and finding our corral I realized I had missed a few essential things. I broke a hair elastic and made Josh go back to the car with me. When we got back I realized I had also forgotten my sunglasses and hat. With no time and a sore foot I didn`t want to go back to the car again and decided to go without. In Josh`s words I was a mess. I wasn`t even sure if I could run the whole race on my foot and I always run with a hat and sunglasses. before the race

Here we are before the run. We seem like we have everything together right? Hahaha, not so much. We really lucked out in the weather department. We had mostly cloudy sky’s for our entire run with not-to-warm temperatures.

creeper selfie

The guy behind us is looking into your soul right now. Poor guy seemed pretty grumpy and probably wasn’t that impressed that he was getting stuck in our selfie. This was right before start time and the corral was getting pretty crowded.

andrew

Someone bought his race bib from a runner who couldn’t make it. We called him Andrew all day.

zoo collage

These are some of the animals we passed on our way through the zoo. It was really cool to have the animals be our race day entertainment. At one point it looked like we might have been running right through an animal exhibit. Everyone around us was glancing around waiting to be jumped by a tiger. I know why I wear a hat when I run. It drove me nuts to constantly wipe the sweat off my forehead. I missed my hat! The route was really really hilly. I knew the zoo was kind of hilly so I was somewhat prepared but it always seems worse when you are running your but up a cliff to reach the finish line!

7k flamingos

This is at about the 8k mark. I look red and tired. These flamingos were awesome though and very exciting to see when I was tired and hot.

race medals

We look a little rough but we made it through. We ran the race in 1:14. I wouldn’t normally post my race time. I am a slow runner and although I usually own that I always get a bit touchy with my race times. But we ran a super hilly route and stopped for pictures along the way so I am pretty happy with an hour and fourteen minutes. It was an awesome day and the slice of pizza I ate afterwards was the cheery on top. We walked around the zoo a bit before heading home. The rest of the day was for napping and movies.

 

 

Weekend Recap

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a good weekend. Mine was pretty low key with some fun with family and friends mixed in. That’s exactly the way a weekend should be.

The weather this weekend was pure fall. It was actually pretty cold! Josh and I refuse to turn our heat on yet so we have been huddled under blankets all weekend. I broke out the winter clothes this weekend and put away some of my summer stuff. Its jackets and scarves from here on out I think. Hopefully we will at least get some good weather for our race this weekend!

photo (8)

Holy freckles! I think I might need to change my foundation. The people who promised they would fade when I got ‘older’ lied, lied BIG time.

Remember the Pumpkin-Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies I made on Friday? Well they were a big hit at my cousin’s bridal shower! Everyone loved them and asked for the recipe. I am pretty impressed with myself. It isn’t often I get such praise for my baking efforts. The shower was a family shower so men were invited. Josh couldn’t go because he was working, so he was pretty happy when there were a few cookies left over after the shower. We defiantly finished them up on Saturday night.

pumpkin oat cookie

 

Sunday morning was all about the long run. Josh had to work early in the morning and left me to head to the Running Room on my own. We had 10k planned and I was really nervous to run it all by myself. I am a very slow runner and often lose sight of the rest of the group, 10k is a long time to run without your partner in crime. It was also super cold out and my stomach was doing flips. I was sure there was no way I could get through 10k without getting sick and was almost convinced not to go at all. I knew that if I missed that run I would regret it in an hour and would be mad at myself all day. I decided to give it a try.

I am so glad I got up and went out for my run. It was such a good run! We had a fairly hilly route and not my favourite one for scenery, but the weather was perfect! I might have been cold before my run but the crisp air was ideal for easy running. The sun was shining and everything went perfectly. Oh, well I did make a wrong turn and ended up running an extra .5k but other than that it was fine! I stuck with the group for the most part and felt great afterwards. I wish I could bottle that feeling and sell it!

After my run I booted it home in order to get cleaned up and deal with my mess of an apartment because my friend Jenn was visiting me from out of town. Jenn and I met when we worked together at a Provincial Park. We are both teachers and became pretty close friends quickly. Jenn lives about an hour away so we don’t see each other too often but make an effort to visit as much as possible.

Even though I was getting more tired and soar by the hour, after my run, I suggested we go for a walk and have a coffee at one of my favourite sports down town, The Silver Bean. Jenn hasn’t spent much time in my town before and I wanted to show her one of the prettiest spots in town. Of course I wore Keds with no socks and am regretting the blisters today but other than that it was a lovely walk.

cafe view

This is the view from the cafe patio. It was a cloudy and cool day and the picture doesn’t do it justice. This is an awesome spot on a summer night but a fall afternoon is also nice! We got hot drinks and cookies to warm us up and had a nice chat outside on the patio. I love visiting with my teacher friends. We understand what each other is going through and always end up laughing at things other people don’t get.

coffe date

Jenn ordered a hot chocolate while I got a London Fog. I was instantly jealous when I saw it. I haven’t had a hot chocolate in so long, they always seem so decadent and sugary. But now I am craving one like mad. If you are going to drink a hot chocolate I think it should be a fancy one from a cafe with chocolate drizzle on top.

After our walk Jenn and I flaked out and watched some girly movies on the Net-flicks. That was good because I think I could have fallen asleep at any time. Josh came home from work to find us snuggled under a blanket on the couch. Hey, that’s what  Sunday afternoons should be like right? After Jenn left we made an easy dinner and I quickly fell asleep on the couch. Josh had to wake me up and send me to bed.

I would say all-in-all a wonderful weekend! This week is going to be all about planning our race weekend and looking forward to some fun adventures in Toronto. I am very excited.

Question:

How was your weekend?

What was the best thing you did this weekend?