The Night Before

Today there was lots of stretching and foam rolling (photo shot today at work by the talented Sam Russell)….as an aside – just a typical day at the office! haha

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There was also lots of carb loading, I was on a mission – leave no carb behind! A yummy mix of whole wheat bow ties, red peppers, mushrooms and hot Italian sausage with a sprinkle of light cheese. Perfect pre-race meal.

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I am just an hour away from sleep and then my first race of 2012. I have all my things laid out and a definite case of the pre-race jitters. I am travelling outside of the city for this race about 1.5 hours which I know is a commute for some people but around here you can get anywhere in 20 minutes. I am nervous about getting lost or not making it in time. I’m mostly nervous though about not performing well and letting myself down. I am afraid it is too soon, I am afraid I am going to hurt myself again, and I am afraid to come in last (it’s a VERY small race).

I have run only a handful of races but the night before jitters are always the worst. I have to learn to trust my training! I have a solid month and a half of good base building behind me. I may not be as fast as I was before but I will get back there – I just need to trust my training and enjoy the race.

There is no room for fear.

How do you deal with pre-race jitters?

What are your night before rituals?

Anyone else racing tomorrow?

Follow me on Twitter for updates tomorrow and check back for the race recap!

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Philipsburg, St. Maarten

St. Maarten was beautiful but still probably my least favourite stop of our cruise. I found the residents there to be really pushy (more so then the rest of the Caribbean). We opted not to do an excursion on this stop and instead just went for a cab tour around part of the island. After that we hit the beach for sun, sand, snorkelling and beers. Alcohol in St. Maarten is cheap! Dollar beers? Umm yes please! I wish we were there right now!

 

Other recaps of my trip:

Sailing on the Carnival Valor Part 1

Sailing on the Carnival Valor Part 2

Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos

El Yunque Rainforest, Puerto Rico

 

 

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Anyone ever visit St. Maarten?

Just Running By

Well it’s been quite a while since I’ve updated, a lot has happened! : ) June has been a really busy month for me, it’s just been running by! I’ve had a lot of summer BBQs and parties going on. Last weekend I helped throw a bachelorette party for one of my closest friends which was really fun. I chopped off a few inches of my hair and got it thinned big time.

 

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And so far in June? I’ve run 94 miles. My biggest month ever! This past couple of weeks since I last updated I have run my longest runs ever – last Saturday being the longest at 7.07 miles. I’m also getting my speed back – my run today and yesterday were 10:32 and 10:21 avg pace. A massive 40 second plus drop in speed from last week. I am on my way back, all those tortious interval runs are paying off – with muscle memory!

 

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This weekend I am making my 2012 racing debut with an 8K tune-up race (Run for Freedom) for the Tely 10 coming up on July 22. I am really excited about this weekend’s race – it is supposed to be a beautiful course so I can’t wait to run it.

 

I am almost afraid to say it but I am so thankful that my injuries seem to be healed – it took a long time to come back from being injured but I am here and so happy. These past 2 mornings have been amazing runs and the high I have when I finish is like no other. I will get faster and I will get stronger. Smile Though my paces aren’t near as fast as they were last year this past 2 weeks has given me confidence to be sure I will get back there and I couldn’t be happier about it.

 

Anyone else chop their hair off in the summer?

What was the best thing to happen to you today?

Morning or night-time workout?

Anyone racing this coming weekend?

Any locals running the Run for Freedom in St. Mary’s or the Tely?

A Year Long Journey

A lot can happen in just a year. I know myself over the years as I reflect back I can see changes in myself, my life, and what’s important to me. For example, a few years ago if you had told me that I would be blogging about healthy living  – I would have done another shot and laughed at you. And if you had told me 187 posts ago that I would be here 1 year later still blogging about what I love to do and embracing a community I didn’t know existed? I would have said I sure hope so.

 

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1 year ago today I began a journey into blogging, at the time the vision was a little different. However, as they say: it’s the journey not the destination that matters. I originally thought a year later that I would be blogging about weight loss. If you stop by here occasionally you know that I’m not, simply because the blogging community taught me an important lesson: weight loss is the result of living a healthful life. It’s a result not a driver, you must choose to make healthy choices and weight loss will either happen as a result of that or it won’t.

 

I make choices each day to eat well, relax, run, drink water, get my 8 hours, strength train, do yoga, laugh, and love my life. Those are my choices – similarly I could choose to eat junk, not exercise, be unhappy, and not love my life. You make a decision, you get a result. As I said it’s the journey not the destination.

 

Over the last year I made it my mission to live a balanced life. I had a lot of firsts this year – I graduated university and started my first adult job and began finding my way in this world without the title of student. I trained for my first race, ran outside in the winter for the first time,  tried spinning, got injured, and kept on keeping on. I still struggle at times to achieve balance. Some days are more balanced then others, but that’s okay as long as the good outweighs the bad.

 

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This blog and the community it sits within is part of keeps me balanced. The community of healthy living bloggers I am privileged to be a part of inspire me each day to live life well. Each day I read another blogger’s post is an inspiration to keep pushing for my goals and aiming high.

 

The Balance Project as a blog allows me to write about something I am truly passionate about, living healthy. I truly appreciate each and every person who stops by my blog, tweets me, posts on my daily mile, or leaves a comment. That connection is what I love most about blogging and why I started blogging in the first place. Though as I mentioned the vision of the Balance Project has shifted, the reason it came to be – connecting with a community of like minded people has not. I imagine as long as I keep writing here (and I intend to for quite some time) that the vision will change just as I will change, and that’s okay, after all it is about the journey not the destination.

 

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Heartfelt thanks to each and every one of you who visit my little blog, here’s to another great year to come. xo

Posted in Me

Workout Recap & Plan June 11 – 17

I had another great week this week – I ran 21 miles, managed 2 sessions of strength training, and ran my longest run ever 6.6 miles. It was a great week! Smile Lets jump right into the recap!

 

Monday I ran bright and early in the morning and did 3.43 miles in 40 minutes. This run was a little rough just because my legs didn’t feel like loosening up and I just couldn’t really get into it. Tuesday I ran 3.41 miles in 40 minutes on the treadmill before Body Pump. This run was pretty good as far as treadmills go. Body Pump was great, I upped my weights and really pushed myself so I found the class good but challenging.

 

Wednesday I ended up taking as my rest day because I wasn’t feeling well. Thursday I got back at it with an interval run. My goal for my intervals was 7:55 min /mile. I blew that out of the water managing a total of 2.73 miles in 30 minutes (intervals below):

 

I1: 7:10
I2: 7:32
I3: 7:26
I4: 7:19
I5: 7:32
I6: 7:23
I7: 7:51
I8: 7:22

 

Friday was a slow recovery run I did 2.62 miles in 30 minutes very early in the morning before work. I really enjoyed this run, it was a great way to start a very busy day. Saturday I ran after a night out with work, I thought it would be awful, but my legs actually felt really strong. I guess the beer Friday night helped? haha

 

Sunday was a big day for me, it was one of those runs you just want to thank the running gods for a run like I had. It was my longest run ever at 6.6 miles in 1 hour 12 minutes giving me an average pace of 10:54, faster then any other run that week and I had done Body Pump right before hand. It was crazy but my legs just fell into a motion and I went with it. I felt great and I was just so happy to be running! About 1 mile from being finished though I started thinking about carbs and water. It was the first time I had ever considered that I may need to consider carrying water and fuel on my long runs. This run was a huge breakthrough for me, finishing off my week at 21 miles.

 

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Last week was great I felt strong and I was loving life! After the week prior, it was much needed! Lets hope this week brings the same:

 

Type Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday  Sunday
Run (Minutes) 50 min 40 min 35 min 36 min 40 min  75 min REST 
Elliptical / Arc (Min)              
Class    Body Pump   Body Pump      
     

 

How was your workout week last week? Anyone race?

How long does a run have to be before you carry water or fuel?

What do you use for fuel during a long run?

Any suggestions for carrying water?

El Yunque Rainforest, Puerto Rico

One of the most memorable parts of this entire trip was getting to visit a rainforest. It. Was. Amazing. Unfortunately our boat was almost 2 hours late docking in Puerto Rico so we really only had enough time for our tour and a beer at Senor Frogs but it was still a great time. I would highly recommend this tour as you get to see various parts of the rainforest and learn a lot along the way. I also got to try some local coffee, it was good but super strong!

 

Other recaps of my trip:

Sailing on the Carnival Valor Part 1

Sailing on the Carnival Valor Part 2

Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos

 

 

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The Lower Part of the Rainforest

 

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The water in this “pool” is supposed to be good luck. Ironically 2 people drowned in it so you can’t swim there anymore.

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La Coca Falls

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Yokahu Observation Tower

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Top of the tower 98 steps and what a view!

 

 

Have you ever been to the rainforest?

Anyone visit Puerto Rico? I’d like to go back and see Old San Juan

What’s the best coffee you’ve ever had from another country? I’d say Blue Mountain from Jamaica is my favourite!

Happy National Running Day

 

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I originally had a post planned today to recap Puerto Rico as part of my vacation recap series but then I discovered it was national running day! So I knew I had to celebrate with a post dedicated to all things running. Unfortunately I was not able to celebrate myself today by running as I was off sick with some sort of stomach bug but I will hopefully celebrate double tomorrow! Smile Below you will find some of my favourite running related posts:

 

Running Safety – Tips and tricks for running safe and sound.

 

Review of Mile Markings – A book that inspired me on a whole new level on why I run.

 

Sneaker Tips & Fitting – I had a professional fitting, months later I am still lovin’ my Asics 2160’s. I encourage everyone who runs to have a professional fitting and find the right sneaker for you!

 

Favourite Running Websites – There are a lot of great websites out there, these are some of my favourites!

 

How To Survive Winter Running – I live in Canada so if I want to run outside I have to be able to brave the cold!

 

Some of my Favourite Gear – Some of my favourite pieces of gear are outlined here, I have since switched to a Garmin for tracking GPS, which I also love.

 

On Being Injured – I got injured after my first race and it wasn’t fun but it taught me a few lessons on running and having patience.

 

Running in Toronto – A great run I had while on a business trip in Toronto last summer.

 

My First Race – I love going back and reading this post and remembering the feeling I got when I crossed my first finish line. Smile 

 

 

What did you do to celebrate National Running Day?

What’s your favourite inspirational quote on running?

If you blog – share your favourite post on running in the comments! I’d love to read it.

Workout Recap & Plan June 4–10

I had a great running week – I finally feel like I am back in the training groove and I am loving it! Smile I hit 20 miles this week, so I was very excited about that! Also, did my first 2-a-day run and I loved it. I have been catching up on everyone’s blogs since my vacation and reading my newest Runner’s World and I am just so excited to be back into and have a race coming up on the calendar. I am in running mode, and it’s kinda great. Winking smile Anyways lets get right into the recap shall we!

 

Monday was a planned rest day and it was lovely. Tuesday I hit up the treadmill at the gym because it was cold out and I was going to Body Pump so I figured that was the best plan. I had a great workout both on the mill and in body pump. I did 2.7 miles in 30 minutes on the treadmill followed by Body Pump. Though I wasn’t as sore the next day after class as I was last week so I think it will be soon time to up my weights.

 

Wednesday was a 30 minute morning run outside and it was freezing out – it’s pretty much winter temperatures here the last week which was great. I did 2.6 miles in 30 minutes which was a little slower then I did on the treadmill the day before. I think my legs were just feeling a little sluggish which happens. Especially at that hour in the morning in the cold, I am not kidding when I say I wasn’t awake until I was about a half mile from home. Smile 

 

Thursday was an unexpected rest day. I woke up planning to run and then my bed was so warm that I decided that I could run after work and go to body pump just like Tuesday. Turns out my day and life had other plans and I didn’t get home until after 10pm. Such is life! Smile 

 

Friday I did an interval run that was pretty well painful. It was one of those runs where I felt my aerobic capacity has decreased significantly since lowering my training and I just knew I had to push through the pain to get back to where I was. I find when you have runs like this one you just know that your pushing through because there are better things to come. So that’s what I did and it sucked and I got through it. I just keep saying to myself – can’t stop, won’t stop!! I ran a total of 3.6 miles in 40 minutes. Intervals were supposed to be at 8:30 pace, a pace that at one time was very comfortable for me. I will get there again.

 

I1: 8:37

I2: 8:43

I3: 8:41

I4: 8:44

I5: 9:30 <- Dying

 

Saturday was my first scheduled 2-a-day! I did the first 2 miles in 22 minutes and they felt what I thought was pretty good. That evening I want back out and did another 2.7 miles and my legs felt so loose! I foam rolled in between and stretched but I guess the first shorter run just causes your legs to loosen up because I felt great! I can’t wait to tackle another one of these. Smile 

 

Sunday I did my long run in Bowering Park where I have never run before. It was so scenic and I really enjoyed it. I find when I run new routes I tend to go a little faster and push more because I don’t know the mile markers by heart. I did 5.3 miles in 60 minutes and then walked .7 miles back to my car rounding out my run at 6 miles.

 

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This week my big goal is to break my personal longest distance of 6.2 miles during my long run. Also I just took a look back at Daily Mile and my biggest month of mileage is 69 miles last August at the height of my race training just before I injured myself the first time so my goal for June is to blow that record out of the water. It’s only June 5 and I’ve already got 20 miles under my belt. Smile 

 

Type Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday  Sunday
Run (Minutes) 40 min 40 min 30 min 31 min 30 min  rest 70 min
Elliptical / Arc (Min)              
Class    Body Pump   Body Pump   yoga  
 

I need to update my playlist – what’s your latest fav workout song?

Anyone ever experience an interval run like mine on Friday? How do you push through?

What’s your mantra?

Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos

The first stop on our cruise (recap part 1 & part 2) was the beautiful island of Grand Turk in the Turks & Caicos islands. This island was stunningly beautiful, all white sand and clear beautiful beaches.

 

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When we arrived here we went for a little walk down the beach before we were going on our trolley tour. I would highly recommend this tour, it took just over an hour and a half but you got to see almost all of the island and it was reasonably priced ($30 approx). With a short tour then you get to spend the rest of the day at the beach! Plus you get to ride in a trolly, who doesn’t want to do that?

 

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The island has some beautiful historic homes right on the beach. We also got to see the old salt ponds that are no longer in use. It was a very interesting and informative tour.

 

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Of course no trip anywhere is complete without trying the local brew, I highly recommend this one!

 

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After the tour we headed to Margaritaville for lunch. I know Margaritaville is cheesy and overpriced but they make a strawberry margarita to die for and best nachos in the entire world. I am going to attempt to recreate the volcano nachos but I doubt I will come close!

 

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After Margaritaville we headed to the beach for some swimming and snorkelling and then headed back to the ship.

 

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Anyone visit Turks & Caicos before?

Any Margaritaville fans?

What’s your favourite Margarita flavour?