Let’s Catch up on March!

Please excuse me for my absence this month…because this month I became A DOG MOM!! And since I don’t have kids, I can only imagine that it’s pretty much the same thing as being a real baby momma (said sarcastically, but also kind of wondering if it’s true🤔); given that you barely have time to yourself and whenever you decide to be productive she wines, cries or is just so cute you can’t get anything done! Oh, and my sleep has suffered because I have to get up multiple times in the night so she can go pee. But it’s totally worth it because I love her soooooo much!! So there you go, I’ve pretty much caught you up on my entire month in a few short sentences…okay well not entirely, but that’s definitely been the highlight!

Here’s the rest…and some more about my dog😉

Currently Obsessed with: Of course it’s my dog! She is an Australian Cattle dog (also known as a blue heeler), her name is Kylie (after Kylie Minogue to honour her Australian routes) and she is currently 3 months old. I’ve wanted a dog FOREVER and my husband finally agreed last year that we could get one. We decided on this breed because we wanted a medium sized dog (she will get up to 35-40lbs) that I could run with and that were smart so my husband could teach her tricks. We’d been looking for the last 6-8 months and finally found her and she is the best…I think she will be making many appearances on here in the future❤️

Currently Reading: Marathon Woman by Katherine Switzer, which I’m reading for the second time. It’s about the first woman to officially run the Boston Marathon. I read this book after I ran my first marathon and wasn’t sure I wanted to run again. It inspired me, not only to run another marathon, but also to chase that Boston dream! I don’t usually re-read books, but since I have big goals for BMO I thought it would give me some extra inspiration.IMG_0100

Currently Eating/Fuelling with: Since I almost always struggle with GI issues on long runs and fuelling properly on races, I’ve really committed this training cycle to figuring out my race day nutrition. In the past I’ve tried to use a few different types of gels and bars, but this time I’m only exclusively using Endurance Tap gels. They are the only thing that I don’t get sick of, give me enough energy to get through my long runs and don’t upset my stomach during or after my runs.

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Currently Drinking: I think I’ve talked about my ginger-ale obsession on here before…I love it! And I also love Ginger Kombucha, which I feel much less guilty about drinking after a long run since I feel like I’m also getting some hydration from it (not sure if that’s actually true?!) I think I’ve had one after every long run this month and after every tough tempo workout…I’m obsessed!

Currently Wearing: Since it’s FINALLY warmed up [a little] this month and I can wear shorts again, it means I can also wear my mid and knee high pro-compression socks!! This is a double win since I’ve also upped my mileage this month and have way more tired legs. I’ve been rocking them pretty much everyday to help during and after my workouts…I love them!

Favourite Photo I Took This Month: It’s obviously with my dog Kylie!IMG_0098

Miles Ran: 175.6mi/283.3km

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The Run Down: How Bad Do You Want It? by Matt Fitzgerald

After some mental meltdowns last year during some of my races, it made me realize that my mental game or “mental fitness” as Matt refers to it in his book, needed some work. I’ve always known that running is at least 50% mental (arguably more), particularly in the longer distances, yet I’ve never put much work into it during my training. Yes I’ve used mantra’s and visualization, but I can’t say I’ve truly worked on it, and since I’d heard a lot of praise about the book from fellow runner friends, I decided to pick it up. I can definitely tell you it lived up to the hype!how-bad-do-you-want-it

The Run-down: The main idea that Matt talks about in the book is his term “mental fitness”, which he describes as a collection of coping skills- behaviours, thoughts and emotions- that help athletes master the discomfort and stress of competition. The main idea being that we are all driven by something different and that no one strategy of mental training, just like physical training, can be used for every person. He uses each of the 12 chapters in the book to illustrate different types of mental strength by telling the stories of a variety of different athletes and how they came to develop their own personal mental fitness. I think this is what makes the book such a good read, the story telling and the inspiration behind each athlete he uses.

What I got out of it: I think the main thing I wanted to get out of the book were tools and strategies to use during my races and training; but I think what the book made me do is see where I’ve gone wrong in the past and how to prevent it in the future. For example, in chapter 2 he talks about “bracing yourself for competition” and not looking past it to the future. I’ve definitely been guilty of overlooking the present and instead looking too far ahead to what’s coming next, which he describes as failing to prepare for it to hurt and “not being on top of your suffering”. He goes on to describe how this mentally leaves the door open for you to be overwhelmed by the difficulty and sometimes pain of it all, which I can say 100% happened to me at the Finlayson Arm 50k last year.cropped-img_0008.jpg

The other thing I got out of reading the book was the questions I’d never thought to ask myself before, like: WHY DOES THIS MATTER TO ME? WHO AM I DOING THIS FOR? The questions that come to mind when you’re in the pain cave and you want to quit. I would have thought I knew why if you’d asked me before, but when I really stopped to think about it, I don’t think BECAUSE I DO is a very compelling answer when you’re whole body is screaming STOP. These are the types of tools I’m hoping will make me a stronger runner this year.

Why you should read it and when: Obviously you should read it if you compete in any form of endurances races; but I would say no matter what distance you run {ride or swim}, this book would be a huge help! Even if you’ve never experienced the effects of a full mental breakdown during a race, read it for mental protection…because trust me, it’s not pretty!

So that’s the why, what about the when? I think the best time would be when you’re training for a goal race, that’s what I did and I’ve found it really helpful to try out the different tips he uses in the book during the training, as well as to work out the kinks before race day!img_5068

So there’s my two-cents on the book, I hope you like it as much as I did!!

Let’s Catch Up!

Oh hi, remember me?! It’s been a while since my last post as I’ve been MIA for the last few months! I had a major switch up to my work schedule which pretty much turned everything else on it’s head and, as you can see, it’s taken me a while to sort my sh*& out…BUT I’M BACK! And since it’s been so long, I thought the best thing to do would be to take a page from Christina’s (aka the athletarian) book and catch up with a coffee date post. So grab your favourite mug, fill that sucker up and I’ll get you caught up…

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photo by Hilary Ann

Finish Lines Crossed: Since I ran so many back-to-back races from June-Sept, I was desperately in need of a “racing” time out. BUT I did pace 2 races at the end of October for the Rock n’ Roll series in Vancouver; the 10k and the half, which were both no pressure runs and really fun! Other than that the last few months have been all about building my base for my 2017 races and playing in the snow.

Favourite Adventure: I’ve been super lucky as my weird schedule (Weds, Fri, Sun off) matches up perfectly with one of my trail running friends (who also happens to be an amazing photographer), Hilary. So my favourite adventures have been with her in the last few months, and since I can’t pick just one my TWO favourite are:

  1. Elfin Lakes because it was my first snow-run of the year.img_0026
  2. Cypress Mountain because we laughed our butts off and worked our abs more than our legs! img_0038

Currently Eating: Since December was SOOOOO glutinous (I think my cookie count was up to 6 or 7 a day), my husband and I have decided to do the 21 day sugar detox for the month of January. So I’m currently eating all the veggies and all the protein, but dreaming of all the candy and chips (hopefully those cravings stop soon!).21-day-sd

Currently Reading: How Bad Do You Want it? by Matt Fitzgerald. 2016 taught me that my mental game needed some work so this book has been a HUGE help! I’m going to do a review of it in a week or two…I’m on the last chapter!how-bad-do-you-want-it

Currently Obsessed With: Running obvs…but in terms of gear, my favourite item has to be my Lululemon “Run for the Cold” pullover. I’m obsessed and I’ve definitely worn it more than I care to admit in the last 30 days!

Currently Signing Up For: my first race of the year the Vancouver First Half on Feb 5, and other than Seawheeze (which I’m so excited to run for the fourth year), I don’t have anything else on the calendar…YET. Stay tuned for an upcoming post on my 2017 goals!

Okay, I think that’s enough about me for now, what’s new in your world lately?