Montreal Runner Mom

Mommy. Runner. Blogger. Writer


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Running in the Rain

Okay so it’s not my favorite type of run but there are days when I just don’t have a choice. Today was one of them.

Granted the rain is melting away what’s left of the snow and cleaning up the city but it’s also bone chilling to be sweaty and rain soaked at the same time! The good part is that it pushed me to keep running no matter what in an effort to stay warm!!

These were my thoughts during this morning’s rainy run……

5 Reasons to RUN in the RAIN (1)

So my rainy run turned out to be fun after all and now that I have these 5 reasons, I will have no excuse but to get out there again next time it rains!

Happy running friends!

#GoRunnerGo  🙂


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1 year RACE-A-VERSARY fast approaching!

I am a month and a half away from my first race of the season and super excited about it! It’s amazing to see how far things have come in just one year. Last year at this time I was prepping for my first race EVER -a 2km run at Ottawa race weekend. At that time, I had never run with others, never followed a training plan, still ate whatever I wanted without much thought put into it and never even attended a race as a spectator. Yet I thought I prepared…..Lol!

I had no idea what to expect and had no idea how much I would fall in love with racing. I loved the crowds, I loved the excitement in the air, the feeling of anticipation at the starting line and most of all the feeling of being a superstar at the end! Okay maybe I didn’t love everything in between those moments though….

A year ago I thought 2km would be an easy race. Boy was I wrong. Although I had been running a few months by that point I had no idea how difficult it would be, especially when you throw in incredibly hot weather, hundreds of other people, nerves, walkers with strollers and more….I especially didn’t anticipate preteen boys zooming past me calling out “excuse me ma’am!” as they went. Yep…that was a humbling moment for sure.

There was about 2 minutes of that race where I thought I was the bomb then another 9 and half minutes where I kept telling myself to continue moving or risk dying of total embarrassment on the course. However I managed to get through it and came out truly loving the intensity of it all. It was only afterwards when I found out that I had pneumonia and was ridiculously sick that I actually felt better about hard it had been! 😉 Check out the full story of my first race HERE!

Since that moment so much has changed. I have read a lot and feel much more educated. I’ve learned how to train properly, how to fuel properly and how to build mental strength. I have now run several races-mostly 5km’s and one previous 10km. The 10km was tough but so worth the feeling of accomplishment at the end. It was actually my favorite race to date. This year I chose to go back to Ottawa Race weekend to honor the moment of how I started racing. However this time instead of it being my first race, it is my warm up race to a season of much more intense running. This time I will run the 10km and aim to make better time than I did in November. See the full story of my November 10km HERE. Later this season I’m registered to run a half and a full marathon so this race weekend is an important one for me as it lays the groundwork for the bigger races down the line.

This time I will not be running while battling un-diagnosed pneumonia! This time I am running with so much more more. Not just with good respiratory health but with better eating habits, much more intense training behind me and a stronger mental mindset. Last year Ottawa Race weekend symbolized the beginning of my running journey. This year Ottawa Race weekend is even more symbolic to me as each step I take is one step closer to completing my ultimate goal of completing a full marathon.

A month and a half to go….1 year RACE-A-VERSARY here I come!!

Let's Run This

#GoRunnerGo  🙂


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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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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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Better Late Than Never!

Hello blog land! 

I’m officially a few hours late with this post but it has been a crazy day…..and a crazy week! Trying to get EVERYTHING done before Spring Break begins on Monday has pretty much tipped me over the edge.

March happens to be one the busiest months in dance studio world. First week is Spring Break but instead of closing and taking the week off we hold a day camp so we actually end up with more work than we would on a normal week! Annnnnd…..It’s officially the start of competition season which means I have been drowning in planning, scheduling and rehearsing.

Other than work, I’ve also been planning for next week’s trip to New York with the hubby. We will be leaving the kiddos with their godparents for 5 days (Cue crazy laughter….bahahahahaaaaa)  It will also be our 11 year wedding anniversary and we will be celebrating in style, sans enfants 😉  Okay so our reason for choosing NY may sound romantic but really it’s because we will be going to a fabulous Tony Robbins conference -see My Ultimate MOTIVATOR for all the details!!

All exciting stuff but just a lot of planning and preparation for our trip, the kids trip and tying up the loose ends at work.

So the question is how much running did I get in this week? Ummmm…..not much honestly. Life took over and I only ran twice and not for very long either. All I could think of was how fast could I finish the workout so I could get some real work done. Same goes for writing and healthy eating, basically the whole week was a bust.

It’s okay though, I’m not going to get too upset with myself-just aim to do better next week. Although maybe some early planning would have helped…I will admit to being a HUGE procrastinator. I can put off doing something for 3 weeks then get it done in 30 minutes once I really have to. On the other hand, maybe finding an extra 5 -10 hours a day would help me during times like these…if anyone knows how to do this PLEASE pass along your info!!

The highlight of my week was coming home last night from teaching and opening the mail. Naturally I threw the bills and other boring letters over to my husband and went straight for the package 😉 Turns out my favorite aunt, who happens to be one of the most amazing, loving, caring and generous people I know, sent me a book. For no reason. It’s not my birthday. It’s not Christmas. She just saw it, bought it and sent it along to me….from Singapore. Yes, she lives in Singapore. No one should ever send anything via the mail from Singapore, they charge you the equivalent of a small mortgage.

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Thank you my fabulous Aunt!!

Your little gift will help me to refocus and JUST RUN this coming week!

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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!!  🙂