Montreal Runner Mom

Mommy. Runner. Blogger. Writer


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Magic Holiday Moments

It’s a holiday weekend! Yay! 4 beautiful days together as a family 🙂

4 days with no work, no school, no schedule -just good old fashioned family fun. Sleeping in and taking it easy. What could be better?

I can often be very much of a type A planner. I like to know what’s going to happen along with all the details of how it will unfold. Many times I have used the holidays to schedule tons of activities and play catch up on work. Not this time! I am planning to have 4 days of pure bliss.

Here are my “non plans” for this holiday weekend

2 short runs and 1 long one Of course I LOVE spring running but I also have some new gear to test out from CTR, a local Montreal brand with great looking running gear. Check back for a full review on these items in about a week!

Encourage my children to join me in some peaceful meditation –My little 3 year old princess actually loves this and asks to do it many evenings before bed. My son is 7 and a little skeptical about the whole thing but I’m sure it will grow on him in time.

This is one of my favorites meditation pieces!

Play outside & take my kids on their first bike ride of the season –Montreal is supposed to be 12 degrees tomorrow!

Make plans to catch up with friends –Both out of town friends and local ones!

Celebrate the holidays with my family A great combination of Passover & chocolate Easter eggs

Have 4 consecutive nights of family dinner This is super exciting because normally this only happens once a week. Our business is open 7 days/nights a week and my hubby and I often laugh about how we just pass each other on the driveway most of the time.

Read a new book –Bookstore here I come!

Plan new blog posts and spend time advancing the writing of my own book LOVING this new found passion!

Have a movie night with the kiddies –No explanation needed! 🙂

A little spring cleaning! -Not always fun to do but so lovely once it’s completed!

Although these sound like simple things, they are the makings of MY magic moments.What are your holiday weekend plans? How do you make magic moments?  

Wishing Everyone a very Happy Easter and Passover!

#GoRunnerGo  🙂


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Cross Training for Parents 101

This past weekend we finally had some “mild” weather….

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Dressed for “mild” weather

With this lovely weekend forecast, hubby and I decided to take the kids sledding on the mountain. It has been such a cold winter that we really haven’t had the opportunity to enjoy many outdoor activities. So when given this opportunity, we went for it! We anticipated a lovely day of sledding on the mountain with a few hot chocolate breaks in between.

We definitely got what we wanted….and as always with kids, we got more….much more!!  😉

Mistake #1

Walking from the car to the mountain was equivalent to marathon distance for a 3 and 6 year old waddling in snow gear.

Kids: Are we there yet? Are we there yet?

Us: Yes!! This is it guys, we are here!!

Kids: Then why are we still walking??

Mistake #2

It did not occur to us to put a rope through the sleigh in order to pull them back up the mountain.

As we passed other families pulling their smiling little ones on sleighs, our kids just stared at them and then gave us the evil eye as they exclaimed…Mommy! Daddy! Look at THOSE kids!!! Look what THEIR parents did!

Mistake #3

Picking Chloe up the first time meant picking her up EVERY TIME. If we did not comply she promptly fell face down into the snow…possibly on purpose?? And once she was down, Zach followed…before we knew it we were all down….

Chloe: Mommy?! Mama?! Daddy?! UP!!!!

Zach: Me too?? Pleeeeeeeeease!!!!

Us: No. Let’s all lie down and nap.

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No one wants to get up so maybe we should just make snow angels?

Mistake #4

Leaving the snacks in the car.

Within 5 minutes of getting to the top, both kids announce they are hungry and want a snack.Whaaat??? Seriously guys? No joke, they had eaten nonstop during the entire 20 minute car ride it took to get to the mountain.

Unexpected Bonus: Cross Training!!

Fabulous full body workout trekking up the mountain carrying 35lbs of little girl 😉

(Minor) Drawback

I carried Chloe a few times, then like a good wife passed the duty on my husband. He was NOT impressed!

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Cross Training for Parents 101

Despite the craziness and a few difficulties, we really did have a great time. We got in some unexpected workouts (!) and we were all 1000% EXHAUSTED by the end.

And there’s nothing better than enhancing exhaustion with a massive hot chocolate sugar overload….

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Awesome Parenting Tip #25: Exhausted kids? Give them a cup of sugar and let the fun begin 😉

Only one thought remains….we have done our duty as parents and encouraged our children to enjoy the great Canadian outdoors. Skating was checked off the list and now sledding too. Yay!

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So can SPRING hurry up already????? I am sick of this winter wonderland!!

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#GoRunnerGo  🙂


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#HempLove and Give-A-Way!

#HEMPLOVE

As I journey through the months leading up to my first ever marathon, I have taken on a more serious approach to eating clean. So when I was offered the opportunity to sample and review #HempHearts for Manitoba Harvest Foods I was really excited! I had seen their products in local stores and even previously tried the HempPro 70 Chocolate Protein Powder  after receiving a sample of it through the #SweatPink community. I love the protein powder and have been using it ever since however #HempHearts were new to me.

So first question if you don’t know anything about this product, is what is hemp exactly? Well all the details you need to know can be found here and here! 

However very simply put, hemp hearts are raw shelled hemp seeds. They have a taste similar to pine nuts or sunflower seeds, they come in this fun little package and they pretty much go with EVERYTHING! From smoothies, shakes and yogurts to salads, soups and pasta, you can use hemp hearts to season pretty much any meal or snack. And as per the company’s info –Hemp Hearts have more protein and omegas and less carbs than the same serving of chia or flax. Now how awesome is that? Not to mention my kids LOVED them!! They had so much fun sprinkling the hemp hearts on their food and it was an easy sell taste wise too! Can’t beat that 😉

To top it off, if you are in need of a little inspiration Manitoba Harvest Foods has a fabulous Recipe Page that lists simple to prepare and delicious meal and snack ideas. I encourage you to try some out, they are amazing!!

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I really enjoyed sampling the #HempHearts and will now be adding them to my grocery list along with the HempPro 70 Chocolate powderwhich has a smooth and delicious chocolaty taste!!

GIVE-A-WAY ALERT!!! Manitoba Harvest is giving away a bag of Hemp Hearts to one lucky reader!! All you have to do is comment on this blog post and like my FB page: Montreal Runner Mom. Then follow @ManitobaHarvest on IG or Twitter and tweet about the giveaway. Use the hashtag #HempHearts for a better chance of getting noticed!!

Winner will be chosen at random and announced on my FB page on Wednesday February 25th 2015 then Manitoba Harvest will send out your prize 🙂

I am so proud to support this fabulous Canadian company and their delicious, healthy and easy to use products! Thank you Manitoba Harvest Foods and Sweat Pink!! 

Don’t forget to enter the GIVE-A -WAY today!!!

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#GoRunnerGo  🙂


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Valentine’s Day

What does Valentine’s Day mean to you? Is it chocolate and flowers? A romantic dinner for two? DIY Valentine’s cards that took 2 hours to make for your child’s school friends? Or just a random warm and fuzzy commercial reason to help us get through the most arctic month of the year?

For my family it’s definitely all of the above but also a little more…. Yes, the hubby and I will go out for a nice romantic dinner. Yes, our little ones for weeks now, have eagerly been anticipating a chocolate, heart and teddy bear filled day. And yes, it is a super commercial excuse to buy junk we don’t need. Doesn’t mean we won’t participate a little though…after all it is also just plain old fun 🙂

Despite all this, I would also like to propose a little more. Maybe this year in addition to the typical Valentine’s celebrations, we could actually take a moment to teach our children that it’s more than just chocolate and flowers.

This is a great opportunity to show our kids that love comes in many forms. Family love, friendship love, romantic love, love for the activities and ideas we are passionate about, love of nature and so much more!

So this year, I will encourage my little family to do the following:

  • Tell a friend why they love and appreciate them
  • Call a grandparent and let them know they are loved
  • Remember and acknowledge the love they had for someone who is no longer in our daily lives.
  • Identify the things they love most about themselves and about the world around them.
  • Remember to love with their words and their actions all year long, not just on this cinnamon heart filled weekend 😉
  • Look for unconventional sources of love in our community and around the world. It is important to teach children that all love is beautiful even when it is different from our own.

No matter how many things differentiate us from one another, the one thing that binds every single human being on this planet together is love. We all want to love and be loved. Even though we are bombarded daily with news stories and images of atrocities world wide, each and every person wants the same thing. Love.

So from my little corner of the world to yours…Happy Valentine’s Day! May you be surrounded by the ones you love and pass on some love to others too.

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#GoRunnerGo  🙂


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Kids and Competitive Sports

A topic that comes up a lot in my life is kids and competition. There seems to be two camps and I see both within my job as a dance studio owner and also as a mom. There are the ultra competitive families who are in it to win at all costs and there are those who just want their kids to have fun. That second group often wants to compete as well but they want to do it for fun…sometimes I even wonder if it’s just for the prestige of saying they or their children are competitive athletes….

Competition just for fun? Sure it’s fun but I believe there has to be more to it than that.

When I started running, I knew instantly that I would race. It wasn’t even a question in my mind. The major reason I enter races is because I need to feel that I am in a constant competitive state with myself in order to improve. Every race has as a goal to beat a previous race time. Nothing else. Yes it’s fun, yes it’s exciting but there is a purpose. The purpose is become a better runner with every step I take. Running is a competition against myself but without the competitive environment of a racing, I believe it would be so much harder for me to improve.

In terms of my dance students I believe it should be the same. If you are going to be in any competitive sport, dance or otherwise, it should be because you have as a goal to achieve your absolute best. And that takes WORK. Serious hard core work. Work means sacrifice and sacrifice is not always fun. However the results are 🙂

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I once had a client who told me that when her children were young she felt that they weren’t naturally competitive enough. They didn’t seem to strive to be the best they could be in anything. Knowing the best way to lead is by example, she took matters into her own hands. She signed up for a triathlon. Just like that. A triathlon. She had been athletic in high school but now she was a regular mom with a job and 3 kids. She began the training and had her kids watch as much as possible as she ran around her neighborhood, swam laps in her pool and biked everywhere. She even found the previous year’s winner online and showed her kids the winning time to beat.The kids timed her, encouraged her and were there at the finish line cheering her on. She was so determined that she even made the podium at the race. She wanted to show her kids that as much as anything is possible, it also takes a serious amount of hard work to achieve something big.

My client told me this story backstage at a dance competition moments before her daughter was to go onstage. Her daughter was by far one of the most naturally competitive kids I have ever taught. This lovely little girl also had a brother who was a competitive hockey player and a sister who was a competitive swimmer. All three kids were academically competitive and successful as well. It was amazing to see how the experience of watching their mom train and compete in a triathlon years before had really shaped their outlook on life.

This is what it comes down to….hoping and wishing for good luck do not bring success. Incredibly hard work and pushing yourself to your limits do. Competition is a good thing for everyone because it pushes you to be the best you can be. I really believe that if children learn to be competitive in sports at an early age, they will carry that through into their adult lives and careers. However they also need to be taught that being competitive is not always going to be fun and games and actually that is the most important part of the lesson.

I found my client’s story to be incredibly inspirational. It is the reason I want my kids to see me run and be there at every finish line that I cross. I want them to know that it takes hard work but that the rewards of being competitive in sports or anything else are what give you the results and ultimately the life you want. When my children are a little older and they find something they love to do, I will wholeheartedly encourage them to pursue it competitively in order for them to learn what I believe to be are some very valuable life lessons.

What’s your take on kids and competition? 

#GoRunnerGo  🙂


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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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My first 10km…DONE!!

This past Sunday I ran my first 10km race! Words can barely express the emotion of that day and those moments during the race. I am still on a high and my legs are still recovering!

My time was 1hr6min. Not fabulous by any means but I am happy anyway as it was my first attempt at a 10km. My goal was to make it through at a comfortable pace and enjoy the experience, which I did. However….I did also notice that I had made it to the 5km mark by 27min into the race! This would have been a HUGE PR for me if this had been a 5km race! My last PR for a 5km was 30min back in late September. The second half of the race slowed me down mostly because of the insanely large hill! However the satisfaction of my time in the first half totally made up for it 😉

So here goes the full 10km story!

We changed the clocks back an hour the night before the race which technically meant we all got an extra hour of sleep….lol…never mind. The kids woke up at 4:30am which was really 5:30am according to their internal body clock. It was a very early start but honestly I was just too excited to care. We had extra time to eat, relax and get organized without the usual rushing and craziness of a typical race morning.

The weather was just perfection! The snow held off and although it was just below zero degrees, the sun was shining and the skies were blue. It was so beautiful!

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Excited to begin!!

The race was organized by the Running Room and was in support of a local charity for the intellectually handicapped. The location was just magnificent. Oka National Park. It is so beautiful. Words cannot express the sense of peace that overwhelms you as you enter the park. I actually felt guilty that it’s only 1hr30min from my house and I had never been there before. Made a mental note to return soon….great running trails, beautiful beach, camp sites, ski trails…..basically fun family activities for all seasons 🙂

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View from the chalet

In addition to my husband and kids, this was the first race that my mom attended. She had never been to a race before and it was so nice to have her there. Nothing like your mom cheering you on to make you feel like a superstar!

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My mom’s first time attending a race

1500 people ran the 10km. It was a good crowd, not too huge but large enough to get some good energy going as we warmed up. Excitement and anticipation filled the crisp fall air….and then something strange happened. In the last few minutes before starting I felt overcome with emotion. I was chatting away with the other runners and stretching when it just hit me. I got all choked up. I felt so grateful for this beautiful day, for my family, for doing something that makes me feel so amazing and being able to enjoy the outdoors surrounded by other happy runners. This had never happened to me before and it totally took me by surprise. Other than the not so practical side of holding back the tears as you begin to run, it was a very inspiring way to begin a race!

As I mentioned earlier, the first half of the race I was super speedy and thrilled about it! Second half was a lot harder but I pushed through and even manged to snap a pic of the gorgeous view of the last 2km as I ran! This probably didn’t gain me any respect among the serious runners…they most likely thought I was some kind of crazy running tourist! LOL

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Can’t believe I took this while running!

As I came towards the end of the race, I realized that I needed to enjoy these last few minutes because it was almost over. This was another first for me…up till now the only thoughts in my head towards the end of a race have been: is it over yet…I can’t breathe…I’m not going to make it…and OMG, my legs HURT!! This time was different, yes I could feel all those things but my mind was in a place of calmness, peacefulness and appreciation. It was surreal and beautiful.

Hubby snapped this pic (that's me running in the red) in the last km of the race.

Hubby snapped this pic (that’s me running in the red shirt) in the last km of the race.

In a flash it was over. What seemed like an event with so much lead up was now gone.

What an experience! And a new medal to show for it 🙂

new medal to add to the collection!

new medal to add to the collection!

I crossed the finish line and for the first time ever after a race….I was STARVING! Never before have I been so happy to get my medal and move on the snack tent! Mmmmm….bagels, fruit, chocolate milk….ahhhhh…happiness! I quickly ate as much as I could before heading up the hill to meet the family. I could see my kids running down towards me screaming “I WANT A BAGEL TOO!!” I quickly ate as fast as possible before I had to hand over the rest of my snacks to them….sigh…always a mommy!!

After relaxing in the chalet and having lunch overlooking the water, we took the ferry back across the lake and headed for home. What a beautiful day. I couldn’t have asked for a better first 10km experience!

On the ferry!

On the ferry!

Beautiful view from the ferry as we crossed the lake.

Beautiful view from the ferry as we crossed the lake.