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……

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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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Surprise 15km Success!

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I did not expect to have a great run today…I woke up with a headache and a very annoying recurring hip pain, the temperature outside was minus 25 (!), I knew I had a very packed schedule of things to do today and everything got off to a really late start because my car wouldn’t start and hubby had to come back to boost it after dropping the kids at school. So by the time I got to the gym, I was super cranky. In fact I almost didn’t go. It was one of those times when you are in major conflict with that inner voice- I don’t want to go to the gym. You have to go to the gym. Don’t want to, have to…..

However, I am so glad I did because…..I broke 15km of continuous running this morning! Wow! I did not expect things to turn around like that! This makes me feel confident that the half marathon is well within reach. I managed to get into The Zone despite my cranky morning and stay there until I reached success 🙂 Of course now, I am dead tired, super stiff, sore and seriously in need of a nap but it feels AWESOME!!!

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Perhaps I owe some of today’s success to the Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods products that I have been sampling the past few days? Not sure but maybe, just maybe! As a #Sweat Pink Ambassador, I have been fortunate enough to be able to sample some of these fabulous products and will be providing feedback at the end of this week after I try out a few more recipes!

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Blog review and FB giveaway coming up this Friday! So stay tuned!

#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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7 steps that helped me to run 11km without stopping

When I first started running, I ran too fast and couldn’t keep it up for very long. As time passed, I read more, learned more and tried to understand the concept of pacing. I’m an all or nothing kind of person, so this concept didn’t come easily to me. I’m also a dancer. Dancers are great as sprinters but in general we do not excel at anything long distance. We can give it our all in a 4 minute routine to the point where we need to crawl offstage but ask us to maintain high intensity for longer than that and most of us will need bring in our understudy!

I ran my first 10km in November and truth be told I wasn’t really ready to do so. At that point I was not able to run a solid 10km without taking walking breaks. However I completed the race in an hour, walked at certain points when I had to and still loved every minute.

I also have zero patience for anything math related. So counting, calculating blah, blah, it all just puts me to sleep zzzzzz…. What I needed in order to properly understand pacing was to very simply learn to listen to my body. Not listen and ignore like I usually do but actually hear, listen, understand and comply.

Now that I am officially training for my first half and full marathon, I am taking this concept much more seriously. One of my short term goals this month was to figure out how to pace myself properly in order to run without stopping. I am happy to report that I have finally made significant progress! Today I ran 11km without stopping and progressively ran faster as I went. I was not out of breath and it wasn’t even that difficult. In fact at one point I realized my mouth was closed and I was still breathing through my nose! Yay!!! 🙂

As I approached my target distance, the feeling was exhilarating! By the end I was grinning like a Cheshire cat and people at the gym were staring at me wondering if I had run so much that I had officially lost my mind.

Finally! Finally, I have listened to my body and followed its lead.

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Here are the 7 steps that helped me to run 11km without stopping:

  1. Start already warmed up (walk, stretch etc…be active and break a sweat for 10 minutes prior to starting the run)
  2. Start running but keep it slower than what feels comfortable 0-1km
  3. Maintain a slow to medium pace until it is no longer awkward but actually feels comfortable 1-3km
  4. Step it up a few notches but only enough to feel it slightly 3-6km
  5. Put on some motivating tunes, get competitive with myself and push into some serious running 6-8km
  6. Run as fast as I possibly can 8-10km
  7. Push to run even faster than I ever thought I could 10-11km

  Step 4 is by far the hardest step mentally for me. This is the part when the little devil on my shoulder eating the bag of chips starts talking to me. Today wasn’t too bad though, I knew he was there but I didn’t give him too much attention. Every time my thoughts wandered over to that corner of my mind, I consciously changed the subject -new song, new focus etc…

After a couple of weeks of testing this method, I feel comfortable finally saying that I have achieved this month’s goal and I am ready to move on to start working on February’s goal of running 15km or more without stopping. I need to get to 21.1km for the half marathon and today I finally feel like it’s within reach! My body has shared a special secret with me and my mind has finally listened….it’s all about the pacing baby!

Happy running friends 🙂

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Time to #SweatPink !!

So here goes a little fun! I am officially a #Sweat Pink Ambassador 🙂

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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. 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 😦  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.