Montreal Runner Mom

Mommy. Runner. Blogger. Writer


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Race to find TIME

Okay parents, let’s be real. Many of us feel like we can’t take the time we need for ourselves because of our spouses, children, parents, home, work, business and 5 million other commitments. I have had this mentality my whole life but it became much more prominent once I became a mom.

I did try to make it all work but more often than not I failed. I would make a plan for my day or my week that included special scheduled “me time”. For me that meant, exercise, meditation, reading, writing and occasionally when the kids were babies…sometimes it even meant a nap (!) More often than not though, despite my good intentions I would cancel “me time” because I felt I had other bigger more pressing commitments to attend to. Then after I didn’t follow my own plans, I would berate myself and become more and more frustrated with the lack of TIME.

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I always blamed TIME. There was never enough time to work out for an hour, then shower AND wash my hair! That meant at least 1.5 to 2 hrs of TIME! Read for fun? Yes this used to be one of my favorite things to do when I was younger but now? There was definitely not enough time for that unless I was on vacation maybe and even then! Now I had to get the kids ready and off to school, clean the house, do the laundry, visit extended family, put in hours and hours a week on managing our family business, prepare for and teach multiple classes a week, maintain friendships, attend school plays and shows, do homework with my oldest, play with my youngest, the list goes on. Not to mention feeling guilty about not making scrapbooks and scouring Pinterest for hours designing little mementos that will document each moment of my precious little ones lives. Hmmm…and what about spending some quality time with the husband?

Then I realized this needed to stop. One of the first times that it dawned on me that my priorities needed to change was when I realized that my day was being spent dictated to me by other people. I would make a plan for my day and it would all go to waste when I would open my email. I have multiple email accounts: the main company email, my personal business email and my personal/family email. Each one would be filled with anywhere from 10-50 emails and at least 80% were marked URGENT by the sender. Everyone wanted an answer and a solution to their questions and problems. Then there were the phone calls and voicemails…..

Needless to say I never got anything done for myself and I would always cross everything that I had planned to do off my list because of other people’s priorities. Now this doesn’t mean that I condone not maintaining or following up on your responsibilities. However I have finally after much trial and error come up with methods that works for me and hopefully can help out those of you who feel like you are also struggling to manage it all.

I did a lot of research, read a lot about self-development and drew from the teachings of people like Tony Robbins, Tim Feriss and Jim Rohn. I say I drew from their teaching because the reality is that they give lots of great advice but they are not living their daily lives as a busy working mom of young kids. So I had to adapt and try out different techniques to see what worked and what didn’t.

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Here are some of the concepts that I have applied to my daily life

PERSONAL

I no longer come last. Yes I said it. I come first. That’s hard to say as a mom, I know. Reason being is that if I do not have my “me time” I am just not the best mother and wife that I can be. I must spend time outside. I must run. I must write. I must read. Notice that these are not SHOULD’S but MUST’S.

However I’ve also learned that I can’t do it all each day. So now I made a schedule and I alternate. Running & stretching one day, yoga & meditation the next. Some days I nix both and just read or write. In a perfect world I could spend the first 4 hours of my morning doing all these activities but that’s not reality. So I pick one of my MUSTS each day and do just one BUT I make sure to be deeply grateful for it.

  • Choose 5 minutes a day to turn off all distractions and be grateful
  • Find at least 30 minutes a day to do one of your MUSTS -maybe that 30 minutes is in the morning before everyone else gets up or maybe it’s late at night. Find your time, it’s there waiting for you if you look. Make YOU a priority. I guarantee no one will self-combust because of it 😉

FAMILY

I used to be distracted all the time and never really focused on being in the moment. I have learned that putting my phone on silent and focusing on finger painting with my little one, or encouraging the kids to talk about their day at the dinner table has changed everything. Sometimes putting a hold on the rushing around and letting the kids play outside just a little longer or stay up just a little later is not just okay but amazing and beautiful. Making the effort to get a babysitter and go out with my hubby or meet up with friends even when I am tired and would rather just go to sleep is so very worth it. You can change your state of mind or state of being in an instant.

  • Instead of asking myself “Do I really want to go/do etc…?” I ask myself “What if I couldn’t?” What if I was incapable of even considering these options due to sickness, old age or worse? After pondering that thought, the answer is always YES! Let’s GO!

WORK

I no longer work harder and longer but I do work smarter. I prioritize according to MY description of what is urgent not other people’s. The reality is that some issues are time sensitive but many other are not. Turns out that people can wait and will not explode if they fail to receive an answer in 2 hours or less! In fact as long as you are clear about your response time turn around, most people can wait up to 48 hours or more.

I no longer check my email first thing in the morning, late at night or constantly throughout the day. Email is a fabulous tool but it can also be a nightmare that sucks up all your time without you even realizing until it’s too late. I schedule specific times and I limit the time spent answering. If I can make a phone call instead of email, I will. It’s faster and provides a much better source for communication.

What have been some the consequences of these new additions in my life? 

  • I no longer let high maintenance people, social media and tv waste my valuable time.
  • I go to sleep earlier
  • I am actively pursuing my MUSTS each day
  • I feel calm, relaxed and more appreciative of each moment of my day
  • I have less stress and less feelings of not being “enough”
  • I have more self-confidence and happiness and enjoy sharing it with others
  • I feel like I am in a constant state or learning and growth
  • I have discovered a sense of wonder in everyday moments

My self development journey has many facets to it. Running and writing are some of the bigger ones for sure but by far the most important one is the realization was that TIME didn’t need to be found. It was always there waiting for me. I just needed to know where to look. 

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#GoRunnerGo  🙂


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Quitting Coffee Cold Turkey

Yes I did it. I quit coffee cold turkey. I hadn’t planned on it but it happened and I love it. I think I may be slightly drugged….

It has now been 2.5 weeks since I switched my morning coffee for room temperature lemon water and the changes in my body have been incredible. The only other times in my life I have quit coffee were during my two pregnancies and both those times I had awful withdrawal symptoms during the first week. This time it has been so easy!

So what brought this on? Well, I recently learned about the body’s levels of acidity versus alkalinity and a lot of the information made sense to me. I had never really thought about this before and didn’t know much, if anything about it. The most striking information to me was about energy. I always seemed to be tired. The more tired I felt, the more coffee I drank. It helped for a while but never really made a difference other than just continuing the circle of fatigue. So I decided to make the change and see for myself.

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Previously I had about 4-6 coffees a day. At least 2 in the early morning, then again around midday and a few in the late afternoon were always must. I would also always order a coffee after dinner out in a restaurant. That adds up to a lot of caffeine!

However I was eager to try something that reportedly would give me more energy. So I figured why not at least try!

On the first morning, I prepared a large jug of water infused with fresh lemons and left it on my kitchen counter. My husband had no desire to quit coffee so this made it a little harder…..I could still smell his coffee brewing as I poured my water. I will admit it was very hard not to pour myself a cup too!

The first glass was refreshing and surprisingly easy to drink despite the smell of coffee in the house. I made sure to discard the remaining coffee as I poured glass #2 of lemon water. I didn’t want to be tempted. Before long I realized that I was on glass 3. I had been awake for almost 3 hours, had zero coffee and no sign of the withdrawal headache. I continued drinking water all day, not really counting how much but simply always having a glass by my side and sipping throughout the day. I was amazed that by late afternoon, at my typical coffee “pick me up” time, I wasn’t tired at all! This water thing was magical.

Day 2 -Again in the morning it was a bit rough smelling the freshly brewed coffee. However I stuck to the plan and began to drink my water. I realized in that moment that my brain liked the smell of the coffee but that my body wasn’t really craving it. I was simply reacting to an appealing smell. I did consider pouring a cup but then as I thought of the coffee taste versus the taste of the refreshing and energizing (!) lemon water, I actually surprised myself by wanting the lemon water more.

By the third day, it was a piece of cake. I was drinking 2 glasses of water first thing in the morning before eating and continuing all day long. I felt refreshed and energized throughout the day. After a week I noticed my skin felt smoother and my face seemed to look more rested. I also had less cravings for unhealthy food choices. I have always had what I like to call an “addiction” problem with BBQ chips. Yet all of a sudden I had no desire to eat them. It was as if the water was steering me into a path of better food choices as well. Seems crazy I know!

Now 2.5 weeks into this new lifestyle change I can truthfully say that I have no need for coffee at all. The smell doesn’t phase me and I don’t crave it. I have not had one headache and I have actually felt more energized than ever before.

It has also helped my running. I used to have to drink a lot of water before a run and try to time it properly so I would not have to find a bathroom along the way. It was a complicated balance of drinking enough and being able to make it through a run without a full bladder. Now that I drink regularly, I don’t need to stock up before a run. I am simply well hydrated at all times.

I have also experimented with different tastes. Sometimes I infuse with lemons only, other times I add lime or oranges to the mix. Each version has a slightly different taste but all have the same results.

You can do the research yourself…

  • Learn how lemon water gets your metabolism going first thing in the morning
  • How it is immune boosting and anti-aging,
  • How it detoxifies the body
  • The anti-inflammatory benefits of lemon water
  • How it is a great option for post workout recovery

And so much more…..but for me it has been more simple. By replacing coffee with lemon water, I have seen my energy levels rise and stay high all day long, it has helped me make better and fresher food choices and ultimately has had a positive impact on my running. For these reasons alone, it is so worth it!

Cut up some lemons and pour yourself a glass today! I guarantee you will see the difference for yourself!

Lemon Water blog post

#GoRunnerGo  🙂


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My Running Favorites

Fellow runners!! It’s time to play a little game called My Running Favorites. Share what makes a great run for you!

Here are some of mine. I’ve tagged some runners below to get the game going but feel free to join in even without being tagged. Post your own version by answering these questions and adding some of your own before passing it on other fellow runners.

Have fun and keep running!

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Location: Trail, Road or Indoors?

I cannot say it enough, I LOVE to be outside. I don’t always want to start but once I’m outside EVERYTHING changes for me. I connect to the sky, the wind, the air, the people, the trees and I feel alive. Trail running is by far my ultimate favorite but it’s not always very accessible in my area. I often have to contend with suburban road running but I make it work in my favor by choosing routes that take me through city parks and green spaces. Nature is beautiful!!

Time of Day: Morning, Noon or Evening?

Timing is always my ultimate battle!! Running first thing in the morning by far makes me feel incredible and starts off the day like nothing else. However if I haven’t had enough sleep the night before it’s an epic battle to get myself outside before 9am. Being that I mostly work from home, it’s also very easy to slip into procrastination mode and delay the morning run when deadlines are looming. Problem is once the run is delayed it doesn’t often actually happen. The key is to push myself out the door no matter what. Lots of self talk and sometimes a few threats usually do it!

Weather: Sunshine, Mild or Hot?

When it’s still warm enough to run without gloves and a hat but cool enough to bring along a light pullover. That’s my perfect season, I call it “sprall” -a nice mix of spring and fall 🙂 And sunshine!! I need lots of sunshine!

Fuel: Before, After and sometimes during?

Bananas and peanut butter are my best friends on short running mornings. Longer runs call for an oatmeal and maple syrup breakfast. During a run it’s water only although I will soon need to figure out some additional fuel as my distance increases. Afterwards can depend on the day but scrambled eggs mixed with spinach, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes are a reoccurring favorite!

Accessories: Music, Watch and more?

My iPhone is my life. Plain and simple. Music, Youtube, MapMyRun. Nothing else needed. When the weather is warmer I do use a fuel belt for water and my phone but if it’s cool enough for a sweater I just throw my phone in my pocket and off I go!

Rewards: Food, Wine or ….?

Wine, more wine and a little vino too 😉 Running makes me feel better about drinking my calories!

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What makes a great run for you? Answer the above questions and add some of your own before passing it along and tagging more running friends. 

FlRunnerboy

50statecanuck

thedancingrunner

BubblesandBooyah

JenChoosesJoy

4boyslotsanoise

Earth Zen Mama

JustFeelItFitness

MyMamaJourney

Stampedwithaheart

ThatExtraInch

Thanks for playing runners! 

#GoRunnerGo  🙂


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My 4 Essentials for Spring Running

It’s officially the first day of SPRING 🙂 

In honor of this beautiful spring day, here are my 5 essentials for SPRING running that I can’t live without!

Face cream: Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream

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There is just nothing like Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream! It’s fabulous on any area of chapped or dry skin. It protects your skin and smooths out any rough patches. I received mine as a gift for Christmas this year and have used it on every outdoor run through winter and now into spring as well. Best places to apply is across the cheekbones and nose. I find it’s especially useful on early morning spring runs when it’s still quite cold out!

Lip balm: Burt’s Bees Beeswax

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Burt’s Bees Beeswax is by far my favorite lip balm. It keeps your lips soft and silky on long runs even with only 1 application. I love the cool minty sensation that lingers on your lips and you can’t beat feeling good about the all natural ingredients!

Lightweight running sweater: Running Room Kangaroo Pullover

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I used Running Room Kangaroo Pullover in early fall and now I find myself breaking it out again in early spring. It is lightweight yet warm. A fabulous combination! I also love the center “kangaroo” pocket. It has a zipper on each side and is perfect for holding essentials.

Leggings: Lululemon Trail Bound Running Tights

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The Lululemon Trail Bound Running Tights are cozy, soft and like most Lulu products have great wicking fabric. They fit easily and don’t stretch out or move as you run. There’s nothing more irritating than readjusting and pulling up your leggings as you run! I find these to stay put no matter how fast or how long you run.

What do you love about spring running?

Have any favorite spring running gear that you love?

#GoRunnerGo  🙂


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False alarm! No spring…just more snow…

Well turns out that Mother Nature is laughing at me….almost immediately after writing my last post it snowed!! One frustrated runner here. Not to say I can’t still run outside however the joy of seeing the clean dry road ahead of me was quickly taken away.

Other than the quick change in weather, I’ve also been under the weather this week so altogether not the greatest training week so far. However I did recently find a fabulous ab workout video that I have absolutely fallen in love with! It’s from a gymnastics club out west and it speaks to my dancer’s soul as each movement works perfectly in time with the music!! So much fun!!

So instead of running these past few days, I’ve been working out my core with these little gymnasts and having an awesome Uptown Funk time doing it!

Hopefully will be back out there in a few days when spring round 2 hits!

#GoRunnerGo  🙂


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#Spring Called & Outdoor #Running is Back!

As the sun comes up and filters through my windows, it beckons my soul to come outside and join it.

In careful places, the grass is peaking through the old snow covered blanket.

The wind is crisp and light, still cool but no longer biting and cruel.

It’s happening….SPRING is coming!

It may still look like winter to you southern folk but here in Canada it's the beginning of SPRING!!

It may still look like winter to you southern folk but here in Canada it’s the beginning of SPRING!!

This week was the first week since December that I have ventured outside to run. Although there were some milder days earlier on, the roads were too packed with snow and ice to risk getting out there. All that changed this week. The roads are finally dry AND the temperature is showing signs that it remembers how to warm up 🙂

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Wearing running shoes OUTSIDE!!

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Pavement! I see pavement!!

The treadmill at the gym did it’s duty over the long, cold months but I’m DONE with that now! Back to the great outdoors!

Thank goodness it’s happening early this year because truthfully the gym was becoming the biggest bore ever. My motivation for going to the gym had been waning in these past few weeks, it was becoming all duty and no fun. One of my biggest motivations for running is what I gain emotionally from being outside and connecting with the world. So without it, I can only go so long indoors before running just seems stale and uneventful. I need the sun shining, the wind in my face and the entertainment of watching the world go by as I run.

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The sun! I see the sun!

Normally I’m running between 12-15km at a time, except for the occasional 5km run on days when life is too busy or I’m not feeling 100%. It was truly a struggle to run that much on the treadmill but outside it is much more manageable! So now that I am outdoors again and I have that half marathon scheduled for the summer, it’s time to get going and push towards the 21km mark!

So let us all raise our water bottles to spring, to the end of winter hibernation and to the next 8 months of outdoor running!!

#GoRunnerGo  🙂


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Live With Passion

Life will never be the same, life is changing…..

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What an outstanding 5 days I have just lived!! It is almost impossible to properly describe the Tony Robbins live experience. I thought I knew what to expect. After all, I have been reading his books and listening to his audio programs for years. I was wrong. So very wrong. Never did I expect such insight, such personal growth and such a deep soul searching spiritual experience all wrapped up into the best rock concert EVER!

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Words can truly not even come close. Tony had us focus in on our beliefs and values and how they literally shape every decision we make in our lives on a minute by minute basis. Oh and did I mention that along with 7,000 other people, I walked on FIRE?? Totally crazy I know but I would do again in a heartbeat.

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Burning the logs all night….

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Laying out the hot burning coals to walk on

There is not a human being on this planet that would not benefit from a Tony Robbins Live event. All I can say is GO. Find a way or make a way but GO. Your life will never be the same.

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YES!!

#GoRunnerGo  🙂