Montreal Runner Mom

Mommy. Runner. Blogger. Writer


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See Mommy Run

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This week my kids unknowingly gave me the answers to the question that I get asked the most: Why do I run?

Pretty much everyone who is a non-runner has asked me this question in the past year and a half. Non-runners seem to be satisfied with a get fit, lose weight, be more healthy type of answer however they don’t seem to understand the desire to run beyond accomplishing those first little goals. So when my kids asked me the same thing this week, I really took the time to go deep and find an answer….not by choice though! Their timing was less than perfect at 7:15am 😉

However, being forced to undergo an inquisition by a 6 and 3 year old will really get to the bottom of any burning questions one might have. They are just never satisfied with the answers given, there’s always another WHY? WHY MOMMY? but…..WHY??? So one snowy morning this week, while trying to get my two little ones dressed in snowsuits, hats, boots and gloves in time for school- I was subject to the KIDDIE INQUISITION.

It went something like this….

Mommy? Mommy….?? Mommmmmmmyyyyy????? Put your snow pants on.

Are you going to the gym today? -Yes

Why? -I have to. Put your snow pants on.

Why? -I always go on Tuesdays. Put your snow pants on.

But why do you go? -I like to run. Put your snow pants on.

Why do you like to run? -Are your snow pants on yet???? Stop talking and get dressed!!!

10 seconds of silence…..

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Mommy? Mommy….?? -Okay now boots, put your boots on.

Why do you run? -BOOTS!!! You’re going to be late AGAIN!!!! PUT YOUR BOOTS ON!!!

And so it went…..back and forth between my 6 and 3 year old, on and on…..they never let up, they never backed down until finally I surrendered to their questions in an attempt to stop the madness.

Here’s what I learned about why I run.

Zach, Chloe….Mommy runs because…

  • It makes me happy
  • When I’m happy I’m a better mommy
  • The physical pain and temporary discomfort make me feel alive and pushing through it makes me feel powerful
  • It makes me healthy and that means I can do more and experience more with you
  • I take my job as your role model seriously and know that my actions speak louder than words
  • It takes discipline and dedication but gives me clarity and inspiration
  • It helps me to sit still and focus for long periods of time without getting restless
  • Habits are inevitable, why not choose healthy ones?
  • There aren’t any drawbacks to making time for myself
  • Pushing myself to be the best I can be teaches you how to embrace a healthy competitive spirit
  • I want you to find your own passion and experience the pure joy that it brings when you pursue it
  • No other activity, hobby, interest has ever made me as happy, healthy, exhilarated or appreciative as running

Mommy? –Yes Zach?

Have fun at the gym. I love you.

Mommy? –Yes Chloe?

I love you, you my best friend. 

I love you too my babies. Thank you for helping me to know exactly why I love to RUN!!  🙂


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7 steps that helped me to run 11km without stopping

When I first started running, I ran too fast and couldn’t keep it up for very long. As time passed, I read more, learned more and tried to understand the concept of pacing. I’m an all or nothing kind of person, so this concept didn’t come easily to me. I’m also a dancer. Dancers are great as sprinters but in general we do not excel at anything long distance. We can give it our all in a 4 minute routine to the point where we need to crawl offstage but ask us to maintain high intensity for longer than that and most of us will need bring in our understudy!

I ran my first 10km in November and truth be told I wasn’t really ready to do so. At that point I was not able to run a solid 10km without taking walking breaks. However I completed the race in an hour, walked at certain points when I had to and still loved every minute.

I also have zero patience for anything math related. So counting, calculating blah, blah, it all just puts me to sleep zzzzzz…. What I needed in order to properly understand pacing was to very simply learn to listen to my body. Not listen and ignore like I usually do but actually hear, listen, understand and comply.

Now that I am officially training for my first half and full marathon, I am taking this concept much more seriously. One of my short term goals this month was to figure out how to pace myself properly in order to run without stopping. I am happy to report that I have finally made significant progress! Today I ran 11km without stopping and progressively ran faster as I went. I was not out of breath and it wasn’t even that difficult. In fact at one point I realized my mouth was closed and I was still breathing through my nose! Yay!!! 🙂

As I approached my target distance, the feeling was exhilarating! By the end I was grinning like a Cheshire cat and people at the gym were staring at me wondering if I had run so much that I had officially lost my mind.

Finally! Finally, I have listened to my body and followed its lead.

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Here are the 7 steps that helped me to run 11km without stopping:

  1. Start already warmed up (walk, stretch etc…be active and break a sweat for 10 minutes prior to starting the run)
  2. Start running but keep it slower than what feels comfortable 0-1km
  3. Maintain a slow to medium pace until it is no longer awkward but actually feels comfortable 1-3km
  4. Step it up a few notches but only enough to feel it slightly 3-6km
  5. Put on some motivating tunes, get competitive with myself and push into some serious running 6-8km
  6. Run as fast as I possibly can 8-10km
  7. Push to run even faster than I ever thought I could 10-11km

  Step 4 is by far the hardest step mentally for me. This is the part when the little devil on my shoulder eating the bag of chips starts talking to me. Today wasn’t too bad though, I knew he was there but I didn’t give him too much attention. Every time my thoughts wandered over to that corner of my mind, I consciously changed the subject -new song, new focus etc…

After a couple of weeks of testing this method, I feel comfortable finally saying that I have achieved this month’s goal and I am ready to move on to start working on February’s goal of running 15km or more without stopping. I need to get to 21.1km for the half marathon and today I finally feel like it’s within reach! My body has shared a special secret with me and my mind has finally listened….it’s all about the pacing baby!

Happy running friends 🙂

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What I learned from a “fitness professional” this week

What did I learn this week you ask? Well, I went for a “fitness evaluation” and I was enlightened by a fabulous fitness professional who gave me awesome tips that will help me to train and prep for my first marathon!!

Ummmm…..wait, no, that’s not what happened at all.

The gym I’m at offers a free fitness evaluation for new members and when they phoned me one evening this week and asked if I’d be interested, I figured why not? It sounded interesting, the guy on the phone told me they would discuss my fitness goals with me and give me pointers on how to achieve them. Test my overall fitness level and pinpoint my strengths and weaknesses. All good things to know, especially since I have just signed up for a marathon!

Or so I thought….

After my workout I headed upstairs to my scheduled appointment. After a quick introduction and tour around the private facility, the fitness dude asked me 2 questions :

  • How old are you? 36
  • What is your fitness goal? Run a marathon at the end of September 

Then he wanted to me step on the scale….ugh. Let’s face it, NOBODY likes that! You know weighing all that muscle is just so embarrassing 😉 However, I am a fairly fit person. I teach dance, I run, I do a little yoga. I might not be Miss Universe but things are pretty good considering I’ve had 2 babies and I’m over 35!

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5km race -September 2014

So I got on the scale…after the weigh in, he breaks out some gadget that no joke looks like something I saw my ob-gyn use during the prep for my last C-section. Then he proceeds to use this contraption to pinch the *muscle* in all the best spots…triceps, stomach, thighs and back. He furiously writes down a few numbers, breaks out a calculator and starts cross checking his numbers with what seemed like possibly Lotto Quebec?!……then with a grave face he gives me the news. Apparently he had scientific proof that I am considerably over the ideal weight for a runner.

Really dude??? Damn, you’re lucky I was too tired from my run to be confrontational!

I politely ask him to explain and he proceeded to tell me that in order to run a marathon at the end of September I should be at 20% body fat and he can help me get there if I splurge for sessions with a personal trainer and nutritionist for the next 6 months. Really?!?….this was a moment when I wish I had a snarky little card to slide across his desk that said…I wasn’t born yesterday JACK!

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I didn’t have that card but I’m sure the look on my face was pretty telling because he started backtracking immediately.

All to say, I can’t imagine how an impressionable young girl with body image issues or an overweight guy with actual health problems would have felt in that situation. I was livid for the rest of the day. This was supposed to be a fitness test and this guy hadn’t no idea about my fitness level at all!! A couple of questions and pinching of body fat may give some ideas but it certainly doesn’t tell him anything about my fitness level. He never even asked me how far or how long I could currently run for. Considering my fitness goal is to run a marathon you’d think this would have been an important question!

I did put in a complaint to the gym manager and now I have to wait and see what comes of it but needless to say I was not impressed at all.

Now maybe some of what he said is true…I know that I do need to revamp my eating habits a little in order to train properly for this marathon. I’m certainly not eating like a runner yet however I do exercise 5 times per week and for the most part eat pretty healthy. However, there could have been so many ways to have a positive discussion about eating and working out in order to better reach my fitness goals without making me feel awful.

Fitness dude failed big time.

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MARATHON entry & January Updates

It’s done!! I have officially entered my first MARATHON! Woot! Woot!

It was a bit of a spontaneous moment. I was absent minded and scrolling my way through FB recently when I noticed a coupon code for the Montreal Marathon. Then before I knew what had happened, I grabbed the code, headed on over to the site and inputted my credit card number. I know I have some shopping issues but this may have been my worst case of impulse shopping ever! In literally less than 5 minutes flat I had paid for and was officially entered in a full 42.2km marathon.

Now it’s not like I’ve never though of this before. In fact, it has been the plan all along. However, once it was done I was a little in shock. It had all happened so fast! Then I noticed that I had personalized the bib to say Montreal Runner Mom and I felt overcome with nausea. OMG….who am I? This was just not me….or was it?

Later that day I went out for brunch with some friends and told them the story. They got a good laugh at my expense and pretty much thought I was nuts. One very practical friend quietly mentioned to me…don’t you think you should try a half first honey? Hmmm…maybe she had a point? Okay I thought, I’ll keep that one on the back burner!

So I went home and promptly registered for a half in July.

Consequently my spring/summer race schedule now looks like this…

  • 10km in May and another in June
  • Half marathon in July another in August
  • Then we hit end of September and it’s the big one, the full MARATHON!!!
  • I also planned on one final half marathon in November just because I like that particular course so much 🙂

Eeeesh….now that it’s written down and starting back at me I’m really starting to feel freaked out! It’s okay I suppose…..I’ve always been a little extreme so I guess this is no different. Well, looks like it’s going to be an all or nothing summer baby!

On different note, I was accepted for another ambassador gig! This time for Girls Gone Sporty. Also a fabulous organization and an inspiring community of women. I am excited and eager to move forward with this new adventure 🙂

So looks like January has been a productive month so far. Here’s the current recap:

  • I joined and actually am attending the gym 3 times a week! Each time, I run without walking for a solid hour. Sometimes I choose the flat route and I run fast, other times I choose the hills and it’s a slower pace but lots more leg work. I feel like the combination of both have really kept me on my toes 😉 
  • Scored 2 ambassador gigs and 1 writing gig.
  • My quest to read 100 books in a year is moving along nicely -see QUESTS.
  • Entered all my spring/summer races including the MARATHON!
  • Finally, on the business front, we are currently supporting Free the Children and raising money to buy goats for families in developing countries. We are only a couple of weeks in and we have raised enough for 2 goats and are well on our way to a 3rd.

Yup, January is going well 🙂

I feel like the days are going by so fast and sometimes it’s hard to hold on to each individual moment. However I try to remain thankful for each day, as each one brings me one step closer to my goals and ultimately creates the kind of life that I set out to have.

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How is your January shaping up? Are you sticking to your commitments?

🙂


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#NoExcuses

#NoExcuses Fitness Challenge Week 1

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Okay everyone, so as per my last post Time to #SweatPink!! I am now a SweatPink Ambassador 🙂

One of the first emails I received from Sweat Pink was the inspiring #NoExcuses Fitness Challenge. This challenge involves following the fitness guidelines they send you each week for an entire year…yep that’s certainly a long term commitment!! At first I was skeptical that I could follow it, however turns out it’s super easy, fast and FUN!

Each day this week I have incorporated the #NoExcuses suggestions into my day. Monday’s planks were done at home, Wednesday’s and Thursday’s exercises were easy to add in to my evening dance teaching. I simply included them as part of the typical warm up routines for my jazz and hip hop classes! Tuesday and today (Friday) happen to be gym days when I use the treadmill anyway, so this worked out perfectly!

Week 1 #NoExcuses : January 12th-17th

Monday: 30 sec. planks (any variation)

Tuesday: Run or walk for at least 1 mile

Wednesday: 10 burpees (any variation)

Thursday:  20 squats (any variation)

Friday: #FREEFriday -Choose your own exercise

Saturday: Share a healthy snack or recipe

Sunday: ZenDay – Share how you relax and zen out

I have no idea what next week will bring but I am eager to receive the next email on Sunday and find out! I thought that this ambassador gig would be fun and a great way to connect with others and it is however I didn’t anticipate it adding a little bonus to my workouts in such a fun way!

It has certainly been an inspiring and motivating week!

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My goal and mission for 2015 is very simple…to consistently do things that force me to live outside my comfort zone. I have created QUESTS that will help me on my journey. Whether it be related to business, fitness, running, blogging, reading or even my relatively new passion for creative writing, I am committed to reaching new heights this year!! This week has been an amazing start and has made me so happy and motivated!

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Happy weekend everyone!! 🙂


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Time to #SweatPink !!

So here goes a little fun! I am officially a #Sweat Pink Ambassador 🙂

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One Lovely Blog Award

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Montreal Runner Mom was nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award by Earth Zen Mama! Thank you Jenn! I love these blogs awards. They are great fun to write and a fabulous way to learn more about our fellow bloggers 🙂

So what exactly does this mean? What must be done? Here are the details.

Once nominated, one must….

  • Thank the person who nominated you for the award.
  • Add the One Lovely Blog logo to your post.
  • Share 7 facts/or things about yourself.
  • Nominate other bloggers you admire and inform nominees by commenting on their blog.

So here we go!

7 things about myself that my readers may not know…..

1. Early in our marriage, my husband and I used say we wanted 4 kids….then we had Zach and changed our desired number to 3….then we had Chloe and changed our desired number to 2. Love those little buggers but it turns out that the energy required to raise 4 kids was just not in us!!

2. Worst car accident I ever had was the time I hit a boat. Yes, a boat and no I did not drive into the river. I was coming home late after a night out and was driving too fast down a residential street. As a stop sign approached, I hit the break pedal at the last minute and stopped short. As I did my open purse flew off the passenger seat and spilled the contents of my makeup bag on the floor. Of course being the girly girl that I am I didn’t want to lose my favorite lipstick….so I made the incredibly stupid decision to reach down and get it….while driving….I kept my left hand on the wheel and reached over. Next thing I knew I had driven up a driveway, across the lawn and into the side of a very expensive boat. The impact knocked the boat off its stand and it landed parallel to my car. The entire front engine of my car was pushed up into me and I was pinned into my seat. Oh and it turned out that the owner of the boat had just cancelled his insurance, the season had ended the day before. Oups….

3. I once went winter camping. It sounded fun but turns out I had to build my own igloo and sleep in it. It was cold, I got frostbite and it went down in history as the reason I HATE winter.

4. I love napping and wish I could nap every day. I believe that every country should follow Spain’s lead and close up shop between 1-3pm so we can all nap.

5. I used to be vegetarian. I was really into all things veggie and vegan for all the health and animal rights reasons for a long time. Then I got pregnant with my son and craved steak like never before. All day and all night all I thought about was a huge massive piece of filet mignon. I caved, enjoyed my steak and never went back. Maybe one day I will but for now filet mignon with béchamel sauce is my BFF.

6. Riding a mule down the Grand Canyon was an experience I will never forget. Absolutely breathtaking.

7. Today at the gym I learned how motivating it is when an elite runner chooses the treadmill next to you. This guy looked like one of those elite Kenyan runners that you see on tv at the starting line of the Boston or NYC Marathons. He ran so fast, for so long and barely broke a sweat. I probably looked like a chronic asthma sufferer next to him but boy I was motivated!! 🙂

Here are the blogs I nominate to receive the One Lovely Blog Award:

Thanks again, Earth Zen Mama for the nomination!

Have a lovely day everyone 🙂