Saturday, February 28, 2015

Write your own page, follow your own path

I had a rough night last night up with my sickie big kid, and spent the later hours browsing the internet looking at health and fitness pages.  I was looking at training plans for races, strength building plans and nutrition. I found myself feeling overwhelmed and questioning my own training and habits (mind you I was tired).  But here's the thing, I've been experimenting and learning what works for me over the last 5 years and there are certain things I have figured out.  Yes, I am always learning and tweaking but there are certain things that just work for me right now.  

We know our bodies best, and what is going to work for our lifestyles.  This is what I know for sure, that works for "me": 

  • running three days a week, anymore and my knee and my foot get sore.  When training for a race that's one LSD, one "work" run tempo/speed/hills and one other run at maybe an easy/moderate run or another technical one.  
  • When running Full Body Strength Training sessions works best, as I only have room for 2, maybe 3 days of strength training.  When training for a race bodyweight, TRX, and "lighter" weights 8-10 rep range (ie. DOMS can't effect the run).  I've also learned that I am pretty quad dominant and need to work hard training my hamstrings and glutes.  
  • I know that the more time I give to working on hip mobility and yoga type restorative exercise the better I feel.  I also really suck at making this a priority.  
  • I do better when I am enjoying what I do and my favourite type of "strength" workout is a circuit style workout with lots of intensity.  
  • but I also enjoy a heavy, slow, big rests in between type of lifting's almost relaxing.  This really only works when I am not training for a race though.  
  • I need to mix it up every now and again and add some fun classes in to recharge my fun meter
  • I need to be able to modify my running plan based on my family life, and how my body feels
  • posting my workouts on Daily Mile and sharing them, motivates me, because I am blessed with amazing cheerleaders, so thankful for them.
  • wine is important, and I will have a fluffy wine belly :) no visible abs here! but they are there and strong! 
  • I'm a cheerleader at heart, and want to fill other's with that feeling of awesomeness too. I will cheer you on, and always want to help build you up and not tear you down. 
  • Even if our paths our different I can cheer you on yours :) 
  • lastly this body was built for LIVING and that's what I plan on doing! 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Food...Food...and More Food: What I am loving right now

I've mentioned that I have been reading the book Body Peace and I want to share one of the pages that really has had an impact on me.  An AHA moment if you will.

seriously read it again, let it soak in, what does it mean for you?
I think this quote will mean many things to different people.  But for me it was a way of letting go of "diet" thinking, calorie counting, tracking of food and instead focusing on eating wholesome, energy giving, delicious, filling, comforting, food.  It was a shift in thinking and a powerful one.  

Funny enough, it wasn't much of change in what I eat.  I've been eating in a "whole food" kind of way for a long time, but I've also been entering it diligently into My Fitness Pal and thinking about the calorie content and balancing the macros thinking that all this attention to the numbers would help me maintain or at times lose weight.  I want more then that, I want to not think about this stuff anymore.  

This quote has somehow helped me change my way of thinking.  If wholesome, nutritious, energy giving food is going in my body, I don't need to stress over all the other stuff.  As I let go of the mental energy that the "diet thinking" takes, I find myself better able to listen to my body.  AM I HUNGRY? AM I FULL? DO I WANT SOME CHOC for comfort? YES? OK :) 

I actually feel lighter, and more content.  I am also satisfied and well fuelled and feeling strong! 

Now the danger to this kind of thinking is taking it to the other extreme, and only eating "wholesome" or "clean eats" (I hate that word! so if I eat jubes I'm dirty?).  Again, going back to finding a place of balance I would say that 75-80% of what I eat is "whole foods" and well the other is WINE, and Choc Chips, and FANCY CHEESE and other yummies.  There is a good healthy balance of indulgence there.  The more I follow this, what I am now going to call "eating in the light" the less I BINGE eat the indulgences because they are no longer a forbidden food.  My "weekend" food behaviours swing less wildly and my weekday food habits are less restrictive and that magical place of balance is in sight! 

I"ve gone through this before, this idea of letting go of the all or nothing, black and white thinking in regards to food.  But truthfully, it seems to sneak back in. I'm really working hard this year to finally let go this and find my Body Peace. I want my girls to grow up learning these balanced behaviours and not the "diet like" ones.  

OK now on to the fun stuff, FOOD!!! 

I'm lucky that as a stay at home mom I have more time to grocery shop, prep and cook meals.  But even then I often fall into a "I'm too tired to cook" mode and well dinner becomes take in, going out, or pretty boring eats at home.  I love the pics of FOOD PREP that people share on Instagram and FB where they prep a week's worth of healthy food to make things easier for them.  But the idea of eating  mostly the same thing each night bores me.  I've been doing something a little new of late that is working really well and wanted to share it.  Who knows maybe you will get a few ideas that will work for you.  

So Monday is my kitchen day and I love it! I work out in the am and then hit the grocery store armed with my meal plan and groc list.  I also down a shake after my workout because there is no way I will make it through the grocery store with out stopping to eat cereal out of box in hunger.   Once home I eat lunch while the oven heats up and then I start prepping!  

Typically I will make a batch of hummus, bake some chicken, roast various veggies, make freekeh and some kind of a soup.  If the kids are lucky I might make some muffins or cookies. Kayleigh is still peed at the one time I made choc chip cookies with beans in them! All of this turns into easy meals.  

I am in love with these, I call them Nourish Bowls.  They are so easy to change up each week based on what I feel like roasting veggie wise.  Hummus is always a must in them! 

Even Ryan loves these and the kids will eat components of them  with other stuff I make for them.
A hearty comforting bowl (ok usually two bowls) of soup for a dinner and a lunch or two each week is something I really enjoy.  

The kids don't really love my soup :( So I usually make them a grilled cheese and tomato soup for dinner,  when we have soup.  Or if  it's a Mexican tortilla soup like this I will make them sweet potato nachos and cheese with avocado and salsa. I try to make a "similar" dinner for them.  Yes I am guilty of making more then one dinner, I want what I want and I don't want the drama of making them eat stuff they hate, and it works for us. 

Monday and Tuesday are easy and I am going strong, and then I start to lose steam.  Tonight I was tired and thought about making breakfast for dinner and then found this amazing and easy recipe for Pizza Crust with chickpea flour! It was so easy to make, and really savoury and filling as well.  The toppings were a cinch as I still had left over chicken and sautéed onions, garlic and bok choy from my prep on Monday.  

Easy Peasy and Voila!

pssst. I doubled the recipe and it made 4 crusts...I ate TWO! 
Prepping on Monday doesn't get me through the whole week but it's a good start and my fridge is full of bit and bops (is that a thing?) for snacking and getting creative.  

The other thing I am LOVING right now is making my own treats!  Whether it be energy balls, choc cups or NUT BUTTER! 

Salted Tahini and date cups 

Almond and Coconut Butter Choc Cups

and OMG the best NUT BUTTER EVER! 

walnuts, almonds, pecans, dates and coconut oil! 
These treats are so filling and satisfying and leave me feeling CONTENT.  

I know I spend a lot of time posting pics of food and sharing recipes on FB/Instgram and I wanted to share why with you.  This stuff makes me happy, makes my belly happy and my soul happy.  I love getting new ideas and seeing like minded people finding their own way as well.  So hopefully, you find a little treat in here you might like making too.  

Oh and don't forget this stuff as well :) 


Monday, February 23, 2015

Coming back JOYFUL

I had almost 2.5 hours of fighting, I mean running in the snow yesterday to think about running.  Despite the ankle deep snow, sometimes knee deep snow, the wet heavy snow, and that one really high snow bank I actually enjoyed my run yesterday.  The weather was warm, my face was uncovered and I could easily breath in the fresh air.  My mind felt free and light, not being tethered down to a dreadmill.  I was happy.

It is winter and I am running and I am happy.

Last year, this was far from the case.  I hid inside the gym on the dreadmill, last winter training for my spring half.  I ran once in the snow and hated it.  Every run was a chore.  I was chasing a new PB.  I was burnt out after two winters of training.  I had a rough year last year.  I did try some new things in an attempt to shake off the burnout that was quickly chasing my heels.  I got my road bike and loved learning to ride.  I had moments that felt childlike again and full of weeee.  My favourite race last year was the Olympic Duathlon, I was really really proud of it.  But I didn't allow myself to just enjoy something new and be playful.  I drove hard to strive for bigger and better and I burned myself out.  I am a slow learner at times, it takes me awhile to finally listen.  But I did eventually, and I canceled doing the iron duathalon.  It felt awful to do so but once done I instantly felt like an elephant had been lifted off of me.  I started to exercise based on what I wanted to do and not what a training plan had me doing.  I joined a new gym and started doing fun classes again.  I started focusing on weight training again.  I didn't run much.  I gave myself permission to not run.  I gave myself permission to have fun. I gave myself permission to rest when needed and to not feel like I had to be "hardcore" all the time.  I gave myself permission to take the time I needed.

It wasn't easy, the pull to sign up for races and to make a race goal would come up when listening to other peoples training goals.  But I would tell myself that these were their goals and not mine.  There was a time when I felt like I had to keep up with all the races that everyone was doing, I didn't want to miss out.  There was a time when I felt like I needed to have a full race calendar and be striving towards some kind of race goal to be worthy? WORTHY? Worthy of what? I put all my self worth in this "running persona."  It's not a new game, I have done it before, put all my worth into some sort of external basket, at one time it was scrapbooking.  No wonder it's so easy to burn yourself out and when that basket is empty you feel lost.

I let myself take the time to just be.  I took a break from running.  I admit that when I saw people out running I would get that little green jealous feeling (come on runners you know what I'm taking about ).  When my friends started talking about races they wanted to do the following year, I told myself I wasn't allowed to even think about it till December.  I knew I still needed time to just be.  Slowly, I started running again.  I went out with out my garmin for a few runs, and just ran.  I ran without a planned distance or goal pace.  I paid attention to how my body felt and more importantly my spirit.  I felt happy and light after each run.  I started to rediscover that JOY I first had when I started running.  I ran for a few weeks like this just enjoying it without jumping on any race sites with my CC in hand. I truly let myself come to the decision of doing another Marathon because I WANTED to and not because I felt like I HAD to.

So it's winter and training is underway and it's not easy.  It's cold and the snow is a pain.  The treadmill is a mental soul sucking device.  I struggle to keep my strength training up and fit it all in while honouring rest days.  Yet despite all of this, I am happy! Yesterday's run was tough physically but I had a grin on my face for most of it.  I realized that this awful snow was actually a gift.  The snow forces me to slow down, to take my time, to watch the terrain, and take walk breaks when needed.  The snow helps me realize that just covering any distance out there is something to be proud of.  I forget my garmin, I forget the numbers, I actually stop caring about my pace.  I run because I like running.  I love how my body feels when I am running.  My spirit feels joyful when I run.  Yesterday, the snow helped me remember my goal this Marathon.  I want to run with JOY.  To celebrate this healthy body and mind that can do this crazy thing.  My WHY is evolving!

I read this awesome post on FB last week, about a lifter who's WHY has changed.  My why has changed.  I'm running now because I enjoy it and it's honestly my favourite way to sweat.  I don't feel like filling up my calendar with races.  I am so looking forward to my first summer in years, free of training!  I am going to camp and travel and enjoy my family without the pressure of training for a race.  I am going to bike and run and lift heavy things because I want to and how I want to.  Right now I am exercising because it is what makes me feel good physically and mentally. It helps me deal with my anxiety and it makes me feel good in my skin.  I'm not doing it for badges of bad ass honour,  or to burn calories like in the past.  I am doing this for me, and my true self not the crazy voice in my head (I totally just made myself sound bat ass crazy).

So my little moral of the post is this, take the time, grant yourself the time to recover from pushing pushing pushing, and rediscover where your joy is?  Find your WHY :)

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Body Peace: Content, Happy and Present

I made a new years resolution this year, not to lose weight, not to PR, not to get stronger but to find BODY PEACE within myself.  I have struggled with my body image since I was a wee girl on the swings in Kindgarden.  I have written about struggling with Bulimia most of my teen and young adult years, gaining weight and lots of it, losing 100 pounds and the struggle to maintain that.  I have been all over the Body Image Map but have never settled into a place of peace.  It's time.  I am tired of the fight and ready to let go of my insecurities and fears. I have spent much too much time, brain power, and soul fighting this body of mine.  I want and need to find this, what almost seems magical place.  I even bought this book:

They have a great FB group too! 
Through one of the journalling exercises in the book I came up with THREE WORDS that describe what Body Peace would mean/feel like for me.  I want to feel CONTENT  and HAPPY with my body and PRESENT in my life.  The funny thing is I do feel content and happy in my life, but when too focused on body stuff I don't feel present in my life, in the things that really matter and that needs to change.

So I have the book!  I went on vacation in Punta Cana and took a WHOLE WEEK OFF exercising (first time in almost 5 years!) and I ate and drank as I pleased.  I came home and instead of jumping onto a restrictive de-fluff regime like usual I just went back to my normal healthy routines.  I say I returned to my normal healthy lifestyle but not quite, as I have been less restrictive and enjoying foods I normally don't eat and generally being more relaxed.  I have moments of panic where I think OMG I need to cut back, I need to start "diet habits", I need to do this on MONDAY! I call this this Monday Syndrome, and sadly it was my way of mostly maintaining my weight loss for a long time.  I would be super restrictive and "clean eating" during the week and then go "off the rails" on the weekend.  Major training for endurance sports only made it worse as I would think "Hey I have burned 2000ish cals and need to eat those all back plus more".  This was not a balanced and healthy approach for my mind or body.  So here I am being more relaxed during the week and more balanced on the weekend. I am not getting on the scale everyday and trying to use pictures of myself as a way to "check in".  A number on the scale can send me into a funk but when I see a picture of myself I usually see a fit and healthy girl.  This is a much more body positive method for me.  

So here's the thing.  I have had the book for weeks and I am on like Chapter 3? Yep! Despite all my excitement and eagerness for the darn book I am avoiding it.  Instead, I am "relaxing" on food rules, and scale habits and coasting by.  I have moments of panic like I said when I think this is not for me and I need to go back to what "works" for me (TOTAL LIE).  I almost think that I am using the "body  peace" as an excuse to indulge and not really do the work.  I have spent the last two years or so stuck in this place.  I desire this "body peace" and I vacillate between being very "on point", restrictive and weight focused or being in this more relaxed and indulgent place that is filled with uneasiness.  It's a cycle.  Literally, I spent Sept till Dec very focused on getting leaner and with great results only to now feel burnt out. I now find myself on the other side wanting to say "EFF it" and eat all things and enjoy myself.  

If I really want to achieve this Body Peace, I need to do the work.  I need to get passed my fears and insecurities and get uncomfortable.  A friend told me today that she thinks I am "so close".  That really hit home for me.  I remember another friend Heather saying once, that when you feel like quitting you are so very close to achieving your goal.  The easy road out would be to stay in the cycle, but if I am brave and persevere I could find CONTENTMENT and HAPPINESS and find that wonderful feeling of being present in my life and all the blessings that I have been given.  Life is so very short and precious to be wasted on worrying about a number on the scale, or number on my garmin, or the size of my pants.  I have been gifted an incredible body that can do amazing things! I am going to run my 5th full marathon this year and so far I am doing so because I truly want to and enjoying each step.  This is a gift!

I had a Boudoir photo shoot done recently with the amazing Laura Carew Photography and what a gift it was.  It was a chance to see my body as beautiful, with both it's curves and softness and it's strength.  It truly did wonders for my sense of self and the pics were done post Holiday Indulgences!

I like the way pictures make me feel.  I find they are much more empowering then stepping on the scale.  So I am trying to do less and less of that and to use pictures to remind me that I am healthy, fit and happy.  

This morning I was feeling "fluffy", so during my workout I played around and had some fun and had my daughter take some pics.  Now instead of feeling "fluffy" I feel strong and happy.  

This past Friday I went on a date with my hubby and we enjoyed an incredible meal, wine, and music.  It was amazing, to just be present enjoying each other's company instead of worrying about what to eat.
I love getting girly, because usually I am just a yoga pant and sweaty hair girl
It was wonderfully refreshing to wake up Saturday morning and not feel guilty.  So maybe slowly but surely I am getting closer to this magical Body Peace place.

One thing is for sure, I am worth it!  My girls are wroth it! and I want to role model to them that there is freedom to be had! 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2015 Goal: the Pistol Squat

I am making one simple goal for 2015! 

I want to master the pistol squat! 

Pic from here

This will not be like my past goals of doing one chin up! Which I have not even come close to being able to do.  Mind you I have never really worked on it consistently, but still something tells me that one is a really really hard one to get (like running a sub 4 marathon, pipe dream, lol)  

But this one, I think, no I know I can work my way to this one!  It's also the perfect goal because it means that I have to have the hip mobility, glute strength, and overall strength and balance to master it.  This will keep me in check while training for the May Marathon.  When I finished my endurance training in Sept I struggled to get ass to grass in a squat because my hips were so tight and my glutes and hamstrings weak.  But with my focus on strength training I soon built the strength and flexibility to easily come down and load weight on too.  I worry that as I switch back into more of an endurance focus I will lose the strength that I have built, so I think this goal will help me maintain that balance between the two.  

I found this awesome progression link on how to work your way to the Pistol Squat and I'm already doing many of them.  I love seeing the progression happen and getting closer to that goal.  

What are your goals this year?

Wednesday, December 31, 2014


The house is quiet and I am tucked in by the fire with my coffee and thinking it's the perfect time to blog a recap of this wicked year!  I was blessed beyond measure this year with health, family, friends and fun! Truly a mix of FIT FEATS and WICKED TREATS!

I started the "racing season" with the Manotick Miler a small local race that I love.  The kids come and do the little race and I get to run with my girlfriends.  This year Big Rig was there for the best tasting burgers and beer after! Like I said FIT FEATS and WICKED TREATS :)

A happy preview of what was to come in Pellee :) 

Fit Fam :) I love that the whole family is into sweating and having fun.
With the Miler under my belt and the roads finally clear and dry it was time to get my new ROAD BIKE out for some long distances. After a long long winter of biking in a dank gym it felt amazing to be outside.  2hrs on a spin bike is very very boring!  I have to say that having a bike this year brought me all kinds of childlike joy and weeeeeeeee, as well as exciting firsts.  I am still awfully proud of the moment when I first successfully managed to take a drink from my water bottle while riding my bike!

The first big "scary" was the CHEO 70km ride with friends.  Heck if 70km and riding in a large group wasn't scary enough, I had to drive DT and find parking! I'm telling you this biking thing really pushed my comfort zone in all things this year and helped me own my big girl panties.  

Muriel, Kelly, Josee, Donna, Allyson and I, I loved having these girls to laugh and celebrate with.  WIZARD RIDERS!
70km my furthest distance ever at the time, in the cold rain that turned my feet into ice blocks! I stopped once to take a drink as I wasn't yet comfortable drinking and driving.  My proudest moment was when I finished and one of the race marshals came up to me and said he had been trying to catch up with me but couldn't do it.  He asked how long I had been riding and I said a few months :)

Next up was the Pelee Island Half Marathon with some of my very bestest of friends.  We took off on a 4 day adventure together.  This weekend was amazing for so many reasons.  My phone didn't receive data well so I was essentially unplugged.  The Island truly felt like a retreat, everything seemed to pass by in a slower more relaxed mode.  We rented bikes one day and toured about exploring like kids.  We took a million selfies :) We drank wine, ate deep fried pickles, and had Bailey Lattes.  Oh and then we ran a half marathon!  I love that I got to see Sue-Anne and Liz finish their FIRST half marathons! Oh man the goosebumps! truly one of my favourite moments!  My all time favourite moment was after the race when Liz came over with her plate full of food and her eyes full of happy tears and then we all started crying!  A weekend of soul filling sisters.  

I trained HARD for this race, really hoping that I might be able to pull off a PR but the HEAT omg the HEAT got to me! It was truly the hardest half I have ever run.  I fell apart at the end and walked a lot.  I've never walked in a half before.  Proud that I still managed to squeak in under 2 hrs at 1:57:18 :) 

After a fun and restful weekend away it was time to get back to training and get ready for my first Duathlon! I had a lot of fun training for this race with my running buddy Rachael, we shared some great long rides and jello leg bricks together.  This was my favourite race of the year.  I loved how new it was, I loved the transition zone that made me feel like an athlete.  I know that sounds silly but it did.  The kids did a 2km race in the am, and then hung around to cheer me on.

this makes me all sorts of happy :) 
My Rachael :) oh how I miss our runs and chats and looking at your spit!  

I felt on fire in the 5km, got caught up in the excitement and instead of easing into the race  gave the 5km my all! 24:20....oops :)  I felt that later :)
The bike was my favourite part of the race! I felt like I was flying, I pushed really hard and gave it my all.  I  was so scared going around the corners at the turn around points, and had to unclip one foot each time just in case!  My legs were dead at the end! I have to say that 10km run after was gruelling! and to do 4 loops sucked! I am so thankful my kids were there high giving me at each turn! I can not imagine running a half let alone a full marathon after a bike! WOW 
Got to love small races where you place FIRST in your category and THIRD overall in  your gender :) makes you feel like a super star!
So as you can see there have been many Fit Feats but what about the WICKED TREATS?  We started our amazing summer off early in Norland and carried on all summer with many weekends spent with my family.  Norland summers can be summed up by boating, wake boarding, boat drinks, dock sitting, camp fires and most of all FAMILY.  

So many amazing memories made this summer, our best summer yet! 
Even I got up for about 30 sec's! 
We also spent many a weekend with our camping buds the Jenn/Darryls and even ventured into the sweet life of Trailer Living! 

Nothing like sitting in the lake, waves lapping on your legs chatting away with your girlfriend :) 

So many more adventures to come in this baby :) 
We were very blessed this year and treated ourselves to a membership at a local outdoor pool.  The girls spent so much time in the water this year.  Kasey literally became a little mermaid.

It was a crazy summer and we were away SIX WEEKEND IN A ROW from the start of the summer with trips to Norland, Camping and a week's rental at Sandbanks Summer Village! And with all that fun I took my bike with me everywhere!
she's a beauty 
I managed to keep up with my Half Iron Duathlon training despite all the fun we were having.  I trained HARD!!! and I partied hard!  I had the fluff to go with it :) I might not have always been able to follow my plan perfectly but I did my best and I was getting in long long rides, and hard runs.  I would get up early and do my best to get the training out of the way so that I wouldn't miss out on the fun with my family and friends.

It was all worth it when I got to enjoy views like this!  I was certainly in my happy place :) 
The ride I am most proud of was doing just over 100KM's (109 I think?) with my friend Josee.  We tackled this ride together, cheering each other on, encouraging each other, and near the end moaning and grumping together as we struggled to keep pushing.  My ass felt like it melted over the seat at one point!
This curly girl got me through my nerves and anxiety and helped me push outside my comfort zone! 
It was right after that ride that we headed to Sandbanks to for a week and I forgot my running shoes! I had never done that before! I ended up taking a week off of running for the first time in years! It was the first of a series of eye openers that told me that I had burnt myself out.  Run's ending in pain limping.  No longer finding any joy in the things that I once loved.  I ended up making a very hard decision and for the first time ever, didn't follow through on a race I had signed up for.  I backed out of the Half Iron Duathlon and it was like a huge weight was lifted.  I joined the Athelctic Club and made my mission having fun!  I started taking classes again.  I still had the Army Run Half Marathon to do but I wasn't training HARD for it.  I didn't do speed, tempo or hill work. I figured my Half Iron training had left me with enough fitness to get me through.  I have to admit as the race came closer I was DREADING IT! I even thought about not doing it.  But I sucked it up and went in with the attitude of just having fun!
still managed to just squeak in under 2hrs at 1:58:58 :) 
After the Army Run, it was truly time to just let go and have fun.  We headed to Las Vegas with our good friends and got CLASSY/MESSY for 4 days!
Oh Yeah!! 
Seriously living it up with my girl Laura! 

drunken 2am getting my awkward dance on! 
Oh Vegas! you were so naughty :) I will admit by day 4, I was done and very anxious to get home to clean Barrhaven and my girls.  Once home I continued on my journey of letting go and rediscovering my joy.

let it go 
I took my time healing so to speak.  I didn't put any pressure on myself to sign up for any races in the new year.  I slowly got back into running, even leaving my garmin at home.  I took my time and let my body and mind rediscover my love of running.  Then when my heart was ready I took the plunge and registered for the Ottawa Marathon.  I am both excited and nervous, but I have something going into this race that I have not had before.  I am at peace with myself (mostly lol).  There is no pressure and I am going to just do my best and truly enjoy the journey.  

As a final fun :)  I had a lot of fun dressing up this year!  Despite living in workout clothes and leggings and rarely doing my hair or make up, I really do love to get girly! I had lots of fun dressing up this year.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

26.2 Again

It's been a while since I've blogged, truthfully, I was feeling a little burnt out.  Not from blogging of course but from trying to push for bigger and better all the time.  I had lost the fun.  I stopped enjoying the thing that has brought me so much joy since starting this fitness journey.  So this summer after running the Army Run I decided to take a break from running.  This summer on vacation, when I forgot my running shoes and took my first week off in 4 years was a bit of an eye opener.  So I decided to go on a Mission: Operation Find the Fun Again!  I joined The Athletic Club in Kanata as a treat just for me.  Instead of waiting for a year for it to open in Barrhaven.  During my orientation when they asked me what my goals were, I said to HAVE FUN!  I started doing classes again, something I usually didn't have time for in my training plan or was to afraid of hurting myself to do.  I started going to an Anti Gravity Yoga Class and letting go literally!  I started doing a barre inspired class and even the occasional TRX class too.

First day at GL May 2010 and First day at TAC Aug 2014, despite the physical differences both these pictures have the same inter excitement at all the possibilities ahead! 
Along with playing and enjoying classes again, I decided to start a strength training program and really give strength training my focus.  After a summer of biking and running for very long distances my body was in dire need of getting strong and building muscle again.  When I started my hamstrings were so weak that a regular body weight bridge was difficult.  Now I'm loading up the bar from the squat rack and doing hip thrusters!  I had forgotten how motivating it was to focus on strength and to see gains week after week.  Where as with running I feel like my pace is now my pace, I don't seem to be getting any faster LOL :) Biking I saw myself get faster but again it was new.  

Aug to Sept, 14 pounds and 17.5 inches lost!  
I so enjoyed the rhythm of going to the gym and following a strength program, every now again I would look at the treadmill and feel a little sick to my stomach.  I was worried about spring and feeling like I needed to get back to running but the thought of doing so filled me with dread.  So I told myself that I didn't even need to think about it till December.  I took the anxiety and pressure off my plate and when I did a funny thing happened.  I found myself in November wanting, actually wanting, to go out for a run.  I wasn't running much maybe once a week, and when I went I would leave my garmin at home.  I felt like I needed to reconnect with my inner runner, and rediscover why I loved it.   It worked, and I found myself enjoying the run with JOY!  It had been so long since I had enjoyed a run without a negative inner dialogue.  I still wasn't quite ready to make the big decision yet though.  Would I do a half or a full in the spring?  If I was going to run a marathon in 2015 it had to be spring because I was not spending another summer  training for a big race.  I fully plan on enjoying our new trailer and summer adventures this year without the stress of a training plan.  I won't be inactive by any means, I will travel with my bike and running shoes but will go as far as my heart desires and not because I HAVE TO.  BUT a spring MARATHON, means WINTER training!  Last winter I barely ran outside in the cold/snow at all! You can get away with that with a half.  Training for my first and 2nd marathon, two winters in a row did me in.  It made me hate winter.  So despite feeling the joy and urge to run come back, I wasn't feeling very motivated to sign up for a FULL.  So I said, just wait, just see how you feel. 

now let's just double that and we are back in the game! 
Then one day I went out for a long run, a 10 miler, and I came home riding the high! I knew then, that I was back, that it was time.  The credit card came out and  I registered for the May Race Weekend Full Marathon.  This was the race where my life long dream of running a Marathon came true.  This is the race I ran crying almost all the way, and listing to little messages from girls cheering me on.  This was my best race ever! So I kind of feel that it's fitting to be going back now, feeling renewed.  

I dare say I"m actually enjoying my winter runs so far, mind you that might change when the -20 hits lol
My plan for this Marathon, is to recreate the feeling I had during the first one.  I trained hard but didn't really have any expectations for time.  My goal is to run happy and with as much JOY as I can.  It's a blessing to be able to do this and I don't want to take that for granted.  

I also plan on blogging the journey, I'm hoping it will help me stay focused on the joy part and away from the garmin stats LOL.   

So here's comes Marathon number FIVE! EEEEEEEEEEEEE

PS. Discovered this magic sauce while making bacon roll ups with friend last night and I am already dreaming about a grill cheese sammie slathered in that sauce after a 20 miler!  Almost makes me WANT to run it :) LOL.