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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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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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  🙂


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Something To Think About…

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For those who have been following this blog for a while now, you will know that I am about to embark upon a massive long weekend. Not only am I leaving the kiddies behind for 5 days but the hubby and I are traveling to NY for a Tony Robbins conference called Unleash the Power Within. We attended a previous Tony Robbins seminar about 10 years ago, we’ve read his books and followed his teachings for some time now. To say we are big fans would be an understatement! His influence on our lives is huge and we hope that by attending this weekend’s seminar we will gain even more drive, motivation and clarity towards reaching our goals.

So as I finish up all the details before heading out tomorrow, part of my “homework” is to answer the below questions. I thought it would be fun to share them with you as I think they are thought provoking and helpful to everyone. Answer them for yourself and see what happens!

What are the top 3 goals you have right now?

  • Run a marathon by the fall of 2015
  • Write and publish a book by the end of 2015
  • Own my new identity as a runner and author NOW

What has kept you from achieving these goals and what have you missed out on? Write down everything it has cost you (think about those you love, friends, colleagues-what are some missed opportunities?)

What has kept me from achieving these goals is the limiting belief system I held about who I was (or who I thought others believed I was). For a long time I felt that my life and my path was set and it couldn’t be changed. That it was too late to find myself. I had wasted too many years and couldn’t change the course of my life at this point. This has cost me time, happiness and self-confidence.

Envision now your life free of fear. Free from the fear that has held you back from the living the life you deserve- How does that make you feel?

  • Invigorated
  • Empowered
  • Grateful

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Go back to your top 3 goals and write down what your life looks life achieving these goals! Celebrate NOW, knowing anything is possible!

After achieving my top 3 goals, my life will change because it will be the beginning of carving out a new path for myself and give me the ability to show others they can do the same.

Why is this event going to be a huge event for you? Or why is this the perfect time for you to attend this event?

It is the perfect time to attend this event because I finally have clarity as to what my goals are. It has taken me many years to find myself and find my passions. Now that I know which direction I want my life to go in, attending this event will help me to work through the challenges I will encounter along the way.

Or to put it a simpler way….

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What’s great in my life right now, and how can I make it even better?

  • Relationships with family and friends are great but I would like to make more quality time with them without distractions. Managing all aspects of life often makes me distracted and I have difficulty living in the moment.
  • Our family business is great and I want to see it remain successful. I finally have the clarity to appreciate it and all it provides us with. I want this to continue and expand.
  • I have improved upon my ability to manage stress and not let the stress and negativity from others affect me but I still feel like I have a long way to go in this area.

What would I like to learn, improve &/or change in my life?

Be more organized, focused and be able to maintain operating at a high level of productivity for longer periods of time

Who will benefit from my growth & learning from this seminar?

Myself, my husband and my children

How can I contribute to others even more?

By writing about my journey and being able to teach others to harness their own potential in the same way. I also want to raise funds through running and book sales for children’s causes world wide.

What’s one thing I can do at this event to stretch outside of my comfort zone?

Be more comfortable networking with my new identity and sharing it with those in my immediate community.

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Finally just a note about posting…this seminar generally runs from 9am-midnight most days so it’s possible that I will skip my usual Friday post. However it’s also possible that I won’t be able to contain my excitement until next Tuesday and you will get a mid seminar, crazy post!! So stay tuned 😉

#GoRunnerGo  🙂


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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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Lest we forget…

Ahhhh…my run today was long and filled with heavy thoughts. Yesterday I hadn’t planned on writing this post but now it seems I cannot focus on anything else.

Late last night, I watched an Anderson Cooper report about a man who was born into a political prison in North Korea. His story is haunting. I was appalled to see the level of depravity and violations of human rights that exist in that country, these camps and that are happening this very minute. I always knew the basics of North Korea’s issues but had never heard details as horrendous as I heard in this report.

North Korea has a policy of 3 generations of imprisonment for offences such as trying to defect. 3 generations. That is a lot of grandchildren being born, existing and dying inside a prison that should really be called a concentration camp. Not only was I appalled at his story but I was shocked there doesn’t seem to be anything being done about others currently living in the same situation.

If you have not heard this story I urge you to learn more. His name is Shin Dong-hyuk and he is alive today despite all odds. He deserves to be heard worldwide. 

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/anderson-cooper-on-north-korean-born-in-prison-camp/

So as I went out for my run today , I looked up at the sky. A beautiful clear blue sky. And I thought of the people inside these camps who look up at the same sky and live a life that can barely be called a life. I thought of these people and others around the world who are suffering from similar and other awful realities that give them only an existence and not a life. I thought of my own family, many of whom died in concentration camps during the 2nd World War. I thought of slavery, both American slavery and other forms of slavery throughout history. I thought of the countless civil wars in the name of religion.

So many of these horrors still exist today. Everyone knows about it and in the case of countries with nuclear power such as North Korea, very often there is little that is being done about it. That in itself may just be the biggest crime against humanity. Places like this are left to themselves to continue their cycle of crimes hidden away from the rest of the world.

In Canada and other countries of the Commonwealth, today is marked as Remembrance Day. On this 11th day of the 11th month and at the 11th minute of the 11th hour, millions of people observed a few minutes of silence for the war heroes of past generations. In America it is Veteran’s Day, a day that honors all those who have served in the Armed Forces. November 11th is recognized all over the world as a day to thank those who fought for the freedoms that we enjoy each day.

Today we wear the poppy, hear the bagpipes and quote from the famous poem-In Flanders Fields

Inscription of the complete poem in a bronze "book" at the John McCrae memorial at his birthplace in Guelph, Ontario, Canada.

Inscription of the complete poem “In Flanders Fields” in a bronze book at the John McCrae memorial at his birthplace in Guelph, Ontario, Canada.

However so many in this world do not have the rights and freedoms that we do. They have no cause to celebrate today. So today instead of just giving thanks and remembering those who have passed on in the name of our freedoms. I would like to challenge myself and everyone I know to do something more. Today let us honor the past but also make a plan for the future. After watching that report last night, I feel as though I cannot go forward with my life and continue to live in a bubble with no regard for these atrocities.

There are so many worthy human rights causes. My challenge is simple. Find one the speaks to you and do something. If every person in the free world took a stand, changes would happen. So get involved. Join a group, write a letter, give your time and resources. Everyone has something to offer. There are many people out there working hard for human rights causes but they need more support in order for real changes to happen.

We are all human and we all should have the same rights and freedoms, no exceptions. 


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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.