Stop! It’s Runnin’ Time!

Running and I have always had an on again off again relationship. I usually go through running sprees, particularly when I’ve signed up for an event and gotten carried away and forgot to train. I still manage to survive the runs, albeit they are only 10 or 5kms not 1/2 marathons. I’ve always wanted to do a half marathon, but school has always gotten in the way. I was training for one a few years ago, during my fourth year of university, and after making it to the 13km mark in my training, school overwhelmed me and I lost my ‘mojo.’

Now that I’m done school, I’ve decided to step it up and finally complete this goal of mine! Typically, I’ve always timed my runs, but just the overall start to finish time. I map out my routes (I used to have the Nike+ in my shoe, but I ran through some mud one day and ruined the chip) on the computer so I know how far I’ve run. This week, when I decided to stick to my training, I decided to map out my route, and work on my pacing. I originally set my pace at 8min/km because I haven’t been running much lately, but my cardio is still good from the gym. I wrote out where on my route I needed to be at what time in order to keep my pace. Let me just tell you, this is the best thing I could have done!

1) My goal pace was easily surpassed. I ended up running just under 7min/km
2) I was much more motivated to keep running rather than walk. I could see where I needed to be, and was able to push myself to go past that.
3) In 2 days, I’ve shaved almost 15 seconds off my overall time. (I know, it’s only been 2 days, I’ll let you know how tomorrow goes!)

I just can’t believe it’s taken me 8 years of running to realize how effective this is!

Sunday – 3km in 20:50
Monday – 3km in 20:37

Tomorrow I’m gunna add a km, and hopefully keep my pace.

How do you motivate yourself when you run/exercise?

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To Paleo or not to Paleo

After reading this post, I became interested in the Paleo lifestyle. I’d heard about it before when a friend tried it, but she couldn’t quite commit. After researching more about being Paleo, I realized it’s just not something I can 100% commit to right now. I’m not making excuses! One of my part time jobs is in a family home, where I am making whatever food my boss has left out for me to make. Also, I still live at home and when my mom comes home on weekends, I tend to eat whatever she cooks, although during the week I could probably cook Paleo for myself. Lastly, there are some food items I’m just not quite ready to part with yet (okay, so this one may be a little bit more of an excuse). For these reasons, I don’t think I can fully commit, but it sounds like a good way of eating.

Instead, I’ve decided to make a few little lifestyle changes that coincide with Paleo but that are more feasible at this point in my life.

1) Cut out sugar – this includes in my coffee and tea, which I started today. Also, no sugary juices, candy, chocolate, etc.
2) Eat more veggies – increase the veggies in each meal.
3) Cut out grains – no more bread, rice, pasta! This one is going to be a lot harder to do, as most meals that I can quickly make involve one or more of these.
4) Decrease dairy products – I’m still stuck on whether I need to take calcium supplements if I do this (does anyone know?) I just really love greek yogourt so this one is going to be tough.

Have you gone Paleo? Would you try it?

On a completely different note, my brother got sworn into the Canadian Armed Forces today, and leaves for basic training next week. I’m so proud of him!

 

Fit4Less

I signed up to a new gym today, and am quite over the moon about it. Well, more so the price than the actual gym. So in Canada Goodlife has created a “lower-end” gym called Fit4Less. It has all the weight machines, free weights/barbells, and cardio machines that Goodlife has, it just lacks the classes, showers, saunas, etc. But really, I’m a student, all I need is somewhere to get my exercise on. I never shower at gyms anyway, so I can deal.. The only thing I was actually upset about was that there are no water fountains. There are taps in the bathroom, so I guess that will suffice. Also, there are individual change rooms rather than a men and women’s which is kind of nice, except they smell a little sweaty. Anyway, this lower end gym only costs me $10 a month! Can you believe it? I used to be at Goodlife, and paid over 4 times that!! If you have one of these in your area it’s worth signing up for if you can look past the showers, water fountains and classes.

Here are some cue cards I made for my trips to the gym so I don’t feel so lost.

I hope these can help you at the gym too!

Who doesn’t love to eat?

Lately my boyfriend and I have been obsessed with cajun popcorn. Now it may not be 100% healthy, but I’d say that it’s much better than buttery popcorn! Here’s the recipe:

1 bag of popcorn (not buttered or very lightly butter)
1tbsp margarine (melted)
2 pinches cajun seasoning

After popping the popcorn, pour the melted margarine over the top then sprinkle the seasoning and toss. It’s so tasty! Not overly greasy, and enough flavour that you don’t miss the extra butter.

Some other healthy options I love:

Apple & peanut butter
Greek yogourt & hemp granola (I recently discovered this little gem!)
Pita & hummus
Hazelnuts (unsalted)

What kinds of healthy snacks do you enjoy?

Busy Bee Weekend

This weekend involved a ridiculous amount of driving. In two days, I’d say I drove almost 12 hours! It was all for a purpose though. Saturday morning my stepsister and I ran in the Toronto Women’s 10km run, it was really exciting since it was her first one! Post race, I had to stealthily rush us to shower and head to our parents house where my other stepsister and I had planned her bridal shower (one month till the wedding!) It was amazing, she was so surprised. I ruined it when we pulled up though She saw her friend’s car and thought it was fishy… the best explanation I could come up with? “Maybe she is at someone else’s party?” (Note: this friend lives an hour away from our parents…..) Oops!!

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So attractive! I didn’t beat my personal best :( Maybe the 10km in October will be better.

Easy at Home Fitness

Back in January, I gave up my monthly gym membership in an effort to save money. Since then I’ve been on a constant hunt for easy at home workouts that don’t require a lot of equipment. Thanks to many magazines and a few great blogs (here, here, and here) I’ve been able to create this.

  

There’s an envelope for each day of the week. Each day contains a variety of workouts for a certain body part (eq. Thursday is full of ab workouts). I think this will help me workout more since I won’t be doing the same workout every single day. Fingers crossed!

Here’s a peek into Sunday’s envelope!

On another fitness related note, my 10km run is this Saturday with my step-sister. Fingers crossed I can beat 1:06:19! I have another one in October so hopefully I’ll be able to improve even more on that one!

 

Berry Tasty!

I’ve had some quinoa sitting in my cupboard for a little while now, and just haven’t found a reason to make it. I decided to try to make this tasty looking snack yesterday. One change I made to the recipe, since I didn’t have fresh ginger, was that I sprinkled a little bit of ground ginger on top instead. I must say, I LOVE the smell of simmering quinoa, it’s just so.. toasty? heavenly? nutty? I don’t know how to describe it, but I love it! I have never had quinoa that did not have vegetables and italian salad dressing on it, so this was a huge jump to new flavours. I also hate oatmeal, and I was a little nervous that it would taste and feel like oatmeal. P.s. This is definitely a good post workout snack as it has almost 11 grams of protein!

Verdict: Heavenly. The warmth of the quinoa mixed with the cinnamon made me want to drool just smelling it! It’s definitely a good snack, I feel like it’d be great on a cold winter evening, but even now in the summer it’s amazing. I do wish I’d put a little bit more fruit in. Also, I think I would take the ginger out next time, I don’t really like it.

Did you ever notice that quinoa kind of looks like little eyes? Creepy, right?