Montreal Runner Mom

Mommy. Runner. Blogger. Writer


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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! ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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 toย 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 ย ๐Ÿ™‚


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My Running Favorites

Fellow runners!! It’s time to play a little game called My Running Favorites.ย 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”ย -a nice mix of spring and fall ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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.ย 

FlRunnerboy

50statecanuck

thedancingrunner

BubblesandBooyah

JenChoosesJoy

4boyslotsanoise

Earth Zen Mama

JustFeelItFitness

MyMamaJourney

Stampedwithaheart

ThatExtraInch

Thanks for playing runners!ย 

#GoRunnerGo ย ๐Ÿ™‚


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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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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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?ย 

#GoRunnerGoย ย ๐Ÿ™‚


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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 ๐Ÿ™‚

Eeeesh….now that it’s written down and starting back at me I’m really starting to feel freaked out!ย 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰ย 
  • 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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?

๐Ÿ™‚


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Race Day!

Today is race day!! Montreal Resolution Run here I come! Woohoo!! So excited!

Yesterday I spent the day in the car driving home from an awesome family vacation in Connecticut. Holidays were fabulous but I over ate and over drank to the max and am now feeling slightly more sluggish than normal. Oh well, ’tis the season!!

However on the positive side, the running was awesome in CT. With no snow, super mild weather and running trails along the beach and through wooded areas, it was just pure heaven! So I did get in some good distance and speed training, which was great. And although I’m a little stiff from from the 8 hour car trip back, it’s nothing I can’t handle.

Overall, I am rested and ready to run ๐Ÿ™‚

My last 5km PR was 30min 40sec back in September at the Montreal Rock n’ Rollย race. I am wondering if I can maintain that time or even better beat it. I know I could beat it easily if conditions were the same. When I did the 10km in November I hit the halfway mark at 27 minutes. However I am unsure of how the winter weather will play into it. When I trained on the course over a week ago it did take much longer but hopefully those disasters were just a fluke. Seeย the 5 reasons why for all the details!

So….the question remains, am I really ready to run uphill, in the dark and freezing cold?? Ummm….I’m honestly not sure but I will find out soon enough. If nothing else, this will be an experience to remember!

Time to eat well, hydrate, rest up, pack my bag and get mentally focused for this race.

Ommmmmmmmm…………………………………………..

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Let the countdown to the run begin! 5.5 hours till race time!

Send some good running vibes my way please!

๐Ÿ™‚


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Holiday Running

We did it!! We are finally on vacation!

All the stress and preparation from last week has come to an end and the big road trip was completed in record time. My family and I have finally arrived in Connecticut ๐Ÿ™‚ There’s nothing like pulling up into the driveway and greeting loved ones you haven’t seen in months, gathering around the table to share food and memories and just plain old relaxing on the couch and catching up on movies.

All of this has the makings for a great holiday season. This and……..NO SNOW!!! So fabulous holiday running here I come! First of all the view from my room this morning was just amazing and inspirational. If this doesn’t get you excited to go outside, nothing will!

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I must admit that I bounded out of the house this morning like an overexcited puppy. I just couldn’t wait to get outside and run without slipping on the ice, tripping in heavy snow, avoiding snowplows and wearing 10 layers of clothing! It didn’t even matter that it was raining hard. It was misty, cool and I ran admiring the beauty of nature all around me and enjoying the rain in my face.

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I even ran along the beach, drinking in the salty smell of the water. It was one of the loveliest 10km I have ever run! There is a particular joy in running in a new location; not really knowing where you are going, not checking the time, just turning down streets and paths in the hopes of discovering something new and interesting.

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I am so grateful for this week and the opportunity I have to be with family during the holidays and run in such an inspiring and beautiful location. This week I will drink it all in, taking advantage of the beauty of this lovely little town and it’s scenery. Each day I will run longer, faster and better than the day before. After 5 days, I will rest for 2 then conquer my upcoming race!!

Wishing everyone a fabulous holiday week and a very Merry Christmas! Hoping Santa is good to all of you tomorrow evening ๐Ÿ˜‰ See you Friday, happy holiday running!


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5 things that have me running scared from my next race

Today I had planned on a fab post listing the 5 awesome tips to follow in order to be well prepared for your first Canadian winter night race. Instead this has become the 5 things that FREAKED me out for my first Canadian winter night race!!

Here’s what happened…….

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1. Run on the route

Twice this week, I drove 35minutes away in order to train on the course for my upcoming race which is 11 short days away.ย I have never done this before but have heard it’s a wise choice and it can really help in being properly prepared to run your best possible race. So off I went! Then I started and holy crap…this route is insanely hard! It is all uphill, all of it, forever and ever. The entire 5km is uphill, I nearly collapsed. Both times. Now I ‘m just scared to go back.

2. Cold weather clothing

Okay so I normally am well prepared for cold weather running. However when the entire race is uphill, I sweat a heck of a lot more than normal and my running gear no longer works for me. I started out frozen from -13 degrees Celsius plus windchill and ended up feeling like I was running in July and wanting to literally strip down to shorts and a tank top! Must recalculate the amount of clothing.

3. Headlamps and headaches

This race starts at 5:30pm, it is already pitch black by then so I went out and bought a headlamp. Turns out, headlamps are super uncomfortable and give me migraines ๐Ÿ˜ฆ ย First it was too loose, then too tight, I fiddled with it for most of the run and ended up taking it off and nearly threw it into the bushes I was so frustrated.

4. Night vision goggles

Ummmm…..so turns out I can’t see ANYTHING at night!! Now I should have known this as I wear glasses to drive at night but sadly the thought never occurred to me. I should probably wear my glasses all the time (for distance) but both glasses and contacts always end up being uncomfortable so I just don’t. I’m quite used to slightly blurry vision and it works well for me. Except when running in the forest at night!! Where the heck is trail??? I seriously need some night vision goggles.

5. Yaktrax, schmaktrax

All good when running on the streets around my house but not so much on this trail. With all the uphill, they just kept sliding off my shoes or getting stuck too much to one side causing me to run, hop, skip and eventually trip and fall. Without them I slipped on the ice, with them I tripped over my own feet. Yet another thing that is just not working for me.

Honestly the entire time I was out there, I just kept moving in order to try and get back to my car. I can’t even say I actually ran. I was more of a trotting, stumbling, hopping, cursing hot mess.

11 days to go….for the first time ever, I’m actually dreading a race.