Montreal Runner Mom

Mommy. Runner. Blogger. Writer


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New Spring #RunningGear by #CTR!

Today is all about some fabulous new running gear which I was very thankful to receive by the local Montreal company Chaos Hats. They provided me with four CTR items which have been put to good use this week during my training runs!

#GoRunnerGo

Chase Ponytail Skully

First of all as much it’s spring, it still feels cold on many early morning runs. Hats are definitely still a necessity to retain some body heat and keep the ears warm from the wind. The material wicks sweat perfectly and it’s a great combination of retaining warmth at the beginning of the run and not overheating as you get further along. The fit is perfect and I can’t deny the practicality of the ponytail holder. Hats are always an issue without one of these!

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Chase Headband

I wear a lot of headbands and most of them, despite the fact that they all claim to stay put on your head no matter what activity you do, most do not. I hate having to adjust headbands mid run, mid yoga or mid anything! Nothing more annoying than messing around with your hair accessory when you want to be focusing on your workout. So when I saw the same claim on this headband, I figured I knew what I was in for. Well, I am happy to report that I was totally wrong! This headband does actually stay put! Mostly I believe due to the tie in the back. All my other headbands tend to slip off (maybe it’s just my head?) but when I tie the CTR headband, I can make it as tight or as loose as I need and it stays. Not to mention the wide front band that wicks sweat (same great material as the hat).

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Chase belt

Now here’s an item that I can really get behind! See I have a purse problem. I’m usually the girl with the massive oversize purse carrying everything I’ve ever owned. I have the same issue when I run. I need my phone, water, kleenex, lip balm, keys, ID, money and now that I’m training a marathon I need some extra fuel. I’ve been struggling about where to put everything and how to carry it. This little belt was the perfect answer for all the little extras that were not fitting into my pockets and fuel belt. It’s small, light and can stretch to accommodate a number of items. I even used it as the only carrying item on short runs when I didn’t need water or fuel!

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Chase Slapband

Super fun item! It’s great how all the CTR items have some reflective details on them but these little slap bands really did the trick. Not to mention they are fun to use. Just slap and go! Reminded me of the slap bracelets I used to have as a kid. I felt extra safe on the roads during a recent evening run.

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After trying these products I was really impressed with them. All are durable, easily washable and have great practical and stylistic elements. Another plus for me is that they are easy to find at my local mall. Nothing worse than falling in love with a product only to find out it can only be found in a small boutique that may or may not ship to Canada!

All the CTR products are reasonably priced and can be found at most Montreal Sports Experts stores.

Thank you Chaos Hats! I will be using these and more CTR products for a long time!!

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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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False alarm! No spring…just more snow…

Well turns out that Mother Nature is laughing at me….almost immediately after writing my last post it snowed!! One frustrated runner here. Not to say I can’t still run outside however the joy of seeing the clean dry road ahead of me was quickly taken away.

Other than the quick change in weather, I’ve also been under the weather this week so altogether not the greatest training week so far. However I did recently find a fabulous ab workout video that I have absolutely fallen in love with! It’s from a gymnastics club out west and it speaks to my dancer’s soul as each movement works perfectly in time with the music!! So much fun!!

So instead of running these past few days, I’ve been working out my core with these little gymnasts and having an awesome Uptown Funk time doing it!

Hopefully will be back out there in a few days when spring round 2 hits!

#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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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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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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5 tips to beat the Winter Fitness Blues

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It’s officially the dead of winter. If you’re not careful, February in Montreal can freeze you from the inside out. With temperatures ranging from minus 20 to minus 30 degrees Celsius, it can be hard to stay focused on your fitness goals. When most forms of life are hibernating, the idea of waking up early and heading out in the dark to workout can be overwhelming. February is also notorious for seasonal depression and the abandoning of well meaning New Years resolutions.

So how does one beat the winter blues and stay on track during this difficult time of year?

1. Get more SLEEP!

As parents we are keen to put our kids to bed early but we rarely follow our own advice. Children are living proof that getting enough sleep is the key to waking up happy and perky. Yet adults will stay up late watching hours of mind numbing television or surfing the net for no good reason. We tend to say that we are relaxing but this type of “relaxing” actually make us feel worse the next day. We have all heard of the recommended 8 hours a night but it is slightly different for each person. Find out what your body needs and follow it’s lead. Waking up refreshed makes it easier to stick with your workout plans.

2. Plan to FUEL correctly!

During the long, cold months we have a natural tendency to gravitate towards comfort foods. Hot, melt in your mouth, heavy, greasy, savory comfort foods. Let’s be honest here -whatever your comfort food is, chances are it’s not a salad! So planning and preparing in advance is the key to consuming healthy, warm comfort foods that work with your fitness goals instead of against them. There are millions of recipes floating around cyberspace that can fuel your nutritional and fitness needs without resorting to carb loading like an ultra runner each day. Make the effort in advance so that you won’t reach for an old unhealthy standby when you are cold and hungry.

3. Find the SUNSHINE!

Here’s a tricky one. Montreal often has clear skies and beautiful sunshine even when it’s minus 25. This is a great bonus but it doesn’t happen every day nor does this hold true for all cold weather cities. So what to do when you need a little vitamin D to get you going? Well if it is a nice day, spend some time soaking in the sunshine from indoors, like a cat on a windowsill. Find the rays of sunlight that are filtering through the window and take a moment to stop, close your eyes and feel the warmth. When the days are long and dark, feel the warmth of the tropics at your nearest hot yoga studio. Yoga is a fabulous compliment to running as well as many other sports and fitness activities. Hot yoga and a little imagination will make your savasana feel like a beautiful day on the beach in Cancun.

4. DRESS for success!

Again this is a case against us parents of “Do as I say not as I do”. The reality is that most kids love winter and love playing in the snow. They never seem to be cold and they’re always happy to be outside. Meanwhile their parents are huddled nearby complaining about the weather. What’s their secret you ask? WINTER CLOTHES. When was the last time us grownups wore snow pants, hats, neck warmers and proper gloves? Too many of us are preoccupied with our children and making sure they don’t get frostbite but we run out of the house in jeans, no hat and a jacket that we would only let our kids wear in the fall. No wonder it’s hard to follow through with our fitness goals, many of us are too frozen to even think of working out!

5. Connect to NATURE!

If you can follow the above advice then this one is easy. Nothing says childhood nostalgia more than indulging in ice skating, fort building, skiing, snowshoeing, sledding and general outdoor winter fun. In the winter our first instinct is stay indoors but if we are well rested, well fueled and properly dressed, we CAN be active throughout the winter. If you can be active in nature no matter the weather, then you will be more inclined to stick to your goals instead of hibernating the winter away.

And when all else fails remember…. 

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Are you still on track with your fitness goals from January or has winter got you down? If so how do you fight back?

#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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What I learned from a “fitness professional” this week

What did I learn this week you ask? Well, I went for a “fitness evaluation” and I was enlightened by a fabulous fitness professional who gave me awesome tips that will help me to train and prep for my first marathon!!

Ummmm…..wait, no, that’s not what happened at all.

The gym I’m at offers a free fitness evaluation for new members and when they phoned me one evening this week and asked if I’d be interested, I figured why not? It sounded interesting, the guy on the phone told me they would discuss my fitness goals with me and give me pointers on how to achieve them. Test my overall fitness level and pinpoint my strengths and weaknesses. All good things to know, especially since I have just signed up for a marathon!

Or so I thought….

After my workout I headed upstairs to my scheduled appointment. After a quick introduction and tour around the private facility, the fitness dude asked me 2 questions :

  • How old are you? 36
  • What is your fitness goal? Run a marathon at the end of September 

Then he wanted to me step on the scale….ugh. Let’s face it, NOBODY likes that! You know weighing all that muscle is just so embarrassing 😉 However, I am a fairly fit person. I teach dance, I run, I do a little yoga. I might not be Miss Universe but things are pretty good considering I’ve had 2 babies and I’m over 35!

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5km race -September 2014

So I got on the scale…after the weigh in, he breaks out some gadget that no joke looks like something I saw my ob-gyn use during the prep for my last C-section. Then he proceeds to use this contraption to pinch the *muscle* in all the best spots…triceps, stomach, thighs and back. He furiously writes down a few numbers, breaks out a calculator and starts cross checking his numbers with what seemed like possibly Lotto Quebec?!……then with a grave face he gives me the news. Apparently he had scientific proof that I am considerably over the ideal weight for a runner.

Really dude??? Damn, you’re lucky I was too tired from my run to be confrontational!

I politely ask him to explain and he proceeded to tell me that in order to run a marathon at the end of September I should be at 20% body fat and he can help me get there if I splurge for sessions with a personal trainer and nutritionist for the next 6 months. Really?!?….this was a moment when I wish I had a snarky little card to slide across his desk that said…I wasn’t born yesterday JACK!

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I didn’t have that card but I’m sure the look on my face was pretty telling because he started backtracking immediately.

All to say, I can’t imagine how an impressionable young girl with body image issues or an overweight guy with actual health problems would have felt in that situation. I was livid for the rest of the day. This was supposed to be a fitness test and this guy hadn’t no idea about my fitness level at all!! A couple of questions and pinching of body fat may give some ideas but it certainly doesn’t tell him anything about my fitness level. He never even asked me how far or how long I could currently run for. Considering my fitness goal is to run a marathon you’d think this would have been an important question!

I did put in a complaint to the gym manager and now I have to wait and see what comes of it but needless to say I was not impressed at all.

Now maybe some of what he said is true…I know that I do need to revamp my eating habits a little in order to train properly for this marathon. I’m certainly not eating like a runner yet however I do exercise 5 times per week and for the most part eat pretty healthy. However, there could have been so many ways to have a positive discussion about eating and working out in order to better reach my fitness goals without making me feel awful.

Fitness dude failed big time.

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