Running and flowers

I’ve been getting back into running lately. For the past three weeks, I’ve been following the couch to 5k program, and so far, so good. Except yesterday. Yesterday was not good. It was the last day of week three and I needed to get my third run in.

I did not want to run.

I went to a kick-my-butt yoga class in the morning, then ran some errands. All I wanted to do after that was crash on the couch for a while and read my book. The thing is, when my friend Suzanne and I started running together, I made us these motivation calendars. What’s a motivation calendar, you ask? Well, it’s a calendar where you get to put a sticker when you go running. Little feet for running, stars for yoga.

The only thing that made me go on that run was the thought of not getting a third sticker for the week. Not because I really love stickers (but who doesn’t love stickers?) but because if I didn’t go, that empty space on my calendar would mock me every time I walked by it.

So I went running. I’m not going to lie and say that as soon as I started running, I felt amazing. No. I felt like I was on a run I didn’t want to be on. But about halfway through, I got over my crankiness and enjoyed myself. I really, really enjoyed putting that sticker on my calendar!

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Today, Sunday, is mother’s day. My mom is awesome, which is a good thing, because I’m becoming more and more like her. There is no doubt that I am my mother’s daughter and I couldn’t be happier about it. I hope that, when I have kids, I’m just like her. She used to take my sister and I on all sorts of adventures, playing under a bridge (seriously the coolest thing ever when you’re a kid) letting us take all the lessons we wanted (figure skating, horsback riding and step dancing anyone?) and baked, played, danced, sang, read with us all the time. And I mean all the time. She was, and still is, always there for us.

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Every year, since I was little, I pick May flowers for my mom on mother’s day. Last year, I had a nasty cold and I still stopped by the side of the road and picked flowers for her. This year, don’t ask me what happened, but I forgot. I know! How could I forget!? My mom did not say anything, probably so I wouldn’t feel bad, but when my sister showed up, she asked “Where are the May flowers?”

I couldn’t believe I forgot, so I took my two little cousins and drove out to my “secret spot” so we could pick some for our moms. Sadly, my mom only got a small bouquet, as the kids were so into it, yelling “I found one!” whenever they saw a flower, that I just had to leave more for them.

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Here’s a tip: If you’re going to be walking in the cold, mucky woods, don’t wear thin little flats.

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The rest of the day was spent indoors, eating delicious food and spending time with family. And that included doing the dishes!

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Getting back on track

Last week was awesome! I started running again, with my friend Suzanne. On Tuesday, I went for a run, then did two yoga classes, back to back. Power yoga and yin. Wednesday was yoga. Thursday, another run. I ate well: no sugar, no gluten. It was a good week.

Then, the weekend happened.

There’s only one word to describe this weekend: indulgent.

It was a great weekend, packed with family, friends and sunshine.

Friday, there was a surprise girl’s night for my aunt’s birthday. Enter red wine, bread and cheese, and lots and lots of laughing!

Saturday, another girl’s night, this time with friends. Fish and chips, beer, lattes and cookies. Again, lots of laughing and fun times. We even bought a lottery ticket, convinced we were going to win 17 million dollars. Sadly, we did not win.

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Sunday morning, I woke up with great intentions. I went to yoga, went for a run and drank a really tasty sugar-free electrolyte water thing to counter the effects of the booze.

The thing is, Sunday was a perfect srping day. Nice and sunny. The kind of day that’s best spent on a patio with your best friend, eating more fried food and drinking more beer. Followed by ice cream. Oh my. When I got home, I sat on the couch and couldn’t move. Not good.

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So today, Monday, I decided to get back to the awesomeness of eating right. It just makes me feel better. I did have a piece of cheesecake with lunch, but hey, I’m not perfect! I stopped for groceries on the way home and stocked up on delicious, non-gluteny, non-sugary, non-alcoholic food.

Here’s to a great week!

Run baby run!

I’m not athletic. I sometimes have shorts bursts of wanting to be sporty. Like people who play sports. But then I remember that I don’t really like sports. Sports require a lot of coordination. Also, if you play on a team, people usually want to win whatever game from whatever sport you’re playing. I don’t care about winning a sports game/match/whatever, because I don’t like sports.

It’s a good thing I have yoga.

Not liking sports doesn’t mean I don’t like to exercise. I used to go to the gym. I liked it, until I got bored. Also, I used to run. I love running. I still consider myself a runner, even though it’s been a while and I’ve never run more than a 5k.

In the past year, I’ve only been running a handful of times. I was busy. Yoga makes me happy, so I do yoga all the time and I don’t run. But running makes me happy too. Humm, this is a problem that does not require great intelligence to fix (not that I don’t have great intelligence. I’m super duper smart. Just ask my mom.)

I was talking to my friend Suzanne about this a few weeks ago. She just had a baby, and she’s never run before, but she said she wanted to start. Since I’ve been on hiatus for so long, we decided to start together and do a couch to 5k.

If you’ve never heard of this program before, look it up, it’s great! It’s a program designed to get you to run a 5k in 8 weeks.

Today was our first day and it was absolutely fantastic! We had such a great time! I’ve always run by myself before, so this was a treat. Also, it helped that we went to Starbucks when we were done. But mostly, it was the running that was so freakin’ fabulous.

We didn’t coordinate our outfits on purpose. But it is totally something we would do.

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We’ve decided to run together once a week, and do the other two runs on our own. It’s a pretty gentle start, with the first week being a 25 minute run/walk interval sequence. I have big plans for running and yoga tomorrow, so I’m pretty excited!

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This next part has nothing to do with running, but everything to do with helping me become a yoga teacher! Please click on the link to watch my video and help make my dream come true! If you’ve watched it before, please watch it again, every view counts! Thanks!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FymAS1je9o0

Run for the cure

This morning I participated in a 5k run for “Run for the cure” to help in the fight agains breast cancer. Ok, it was actually a 5k walk, not a run! I haven’t been running lately. Participating in a 30-day yoga challenge meant I had to chose, I couldn’t do it all. It was still lots of fun and we had a big team, called Pink Power. It started off cloudy and I was hoping the rain would hold off, but as soon as we started out, it started to drizzle. Not pouring or anything, so it could have been worse! It was like being at Niagara Falls, where there’s a mist everywhere. There were 10 000 people there, all wearing pink!

Now I’m off to the final class of my yoga challenge. Lots of people from the challenge are going to be there, so it’s going to be one big yoga party! I can’t wait!

Positive motivation, from me to you!

Yesterday I came across some very disturbing pictures and messages online. I’d heard of thinspo, short for thinspiration, but I had no idea how awful it really was. Girls are posting and liking pictures of emaciated young women as their inspiration. This is what they aim to look like. I refuse to post any of the pictures I saw, but some of them had messages like “I only feel beautiful when I’m hungry”, “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” and “Your stomach is not growling, it’s applauding”.

When I started this blog, I decided it would be my happy place. I could go on about how horrible and dangerous these thinspo photos are, and how damaging they are to young and not so young girls everywhere, but I won’t. Instead of adding to the negativity, I decided to create my own form of inspiration. Let’s call it Blisspo. I know that word makes no sense. That’s not the point.

What is the point? I think it’s about balance. I try to eat right and excercise, but I also like brownies and watching tv. Sometimes I think it would be nice to be a little slimmer, usually when I wear a bathing suit, but I work out to be healthy, not to be skinny.

So here is the first ever collection of Blisspo photos I created just for you. Enjoy and don’t take it too seriously!

Just add water

It’s been really hot the past few days. I live on the third floor, so there’s no escaping the heat. I’m not complaining, partly because I know this is just a taste of what’s to come!

Yesterday, I was supposed to spend the day with a friend, but she drank too much wine at a wedding the night before, tsk, tsk! It was such a beautiful day that I couldn’t just stay in. It might have been a good idea, since the end of the school year is close and that means lots of papers to grade and report cards to fill in. Yuck. I decided to go running along the canal instead.

It’s very pretty but it can also be quite smelly. The water’s not stagnant, but it doesn’t move much either. I saw a guy doing stand up paddling. I really want to try that. Maybe not on the canal thought. I’m pretty sure I would fall in the water several times and canal water is yucky.

I hope he didn’t think I was a stalker.

Going running along the canal was also number 23 on my list of 101 things to do in 1001 days. I put it on the list because it’s one of those things I always said I would do, but never actually did.

Today was another hot day. Since it was Monday, I had to work, but Julie and I decided to go have lunch at the marina. It was much cooler there and we had a nice breeze. Lots of ducks, too.

I forgot my camera (I know, strange!) so Julie took some pictures with her phone. She took one of me eating my lunch. My skirt is kind of blowing up, but I’m still decent.

After work, I wanted to test something out. If it’s 40 degrees outside and 40 degrees inside the yoga studio, is is still hot yoga? Or is it just yoga? I wondered if I was crazy going to hot yoga on a day like today, but I was going to be hot no matter what I did, I figured it might as well be something fun.

Turns out, hot yoga is hot yoga, no matter what the temperature is outside. It was a great class. It wasn’t as hot as usual (31 degrees) and the fans were on, but I still got plenty sweaty. It was a fearless flow class, where the ultimate goal is an inversion. We worked on handstands. That stuff is hard! My hands and arms were so sore! I can still only lift one leg at a time, but I kind of hop around and pretend I’m a cirque du soleil performer. It helps with the motivation.

When I got home, it was still pretty hot, so I decided to have dinner at the beach. I grabbed a few things and put on my swimsuit. Now, I don’t know about you, but for me, the first time I put on a bathing suit in the summer is a slightly traumatic experience. I didn’t think I would go swimming, but I wanted to be prepared in case I got the urge to fling myself into the lake.

I ate, I read a little and dipped my toes in the water. It was windy and perfect.

It’s supposed to rain tomorrow, so I guess I’ll be getting more water!

Frog feet

After dinner I went for what was supposed to be a run, but turned out to be just a walk. My ankle has been hurting lately, making me think maybe I need to look into those weird shoes with the toes that make your feet look like frog feet. From what I’ve heard, people who had all kinds of aches and pains while running don’t have them with these funny looking toe-shoes.

I don’t see a difference.

I’ve been finding it very hard to motivate myself lately. I’m tired after work and all I want to do is sit on the couch and watch the food network. Maybe if I had new running shoes…

After I finally got my butt out of it’s groove on the couch, I went to Leamy Lake, which is just a 5 minute drive from my place. I thought it might rain, because it was really windy and the leaves were turning, but it was fine.

The first thing I saw when I got there were Canada geese. They even had baby geese! Goslings, I think. I got as close as I dared to take a picture, but those are scary animals, all beaks and long necks and weird honking noises. You don’t want to mess with them. They’re not very smart either. Once, I had to stop on the highway because one genius decided to walk across 4 lanes. He was in no hurry, just slowly making his way to the other side.

After the excitement with the geese, I walked around the lake. It’s really a bike path, so there are all these kids on skateboards zooming around and making me freak out because I think they’re going to fly off their skateboard, hit their head on a tree and fall into the lake. Then I’ll have to go in to save them, and it’s swampy and gross. None of them wear helmets. Makes me feel old.

Lovely bike path/dangerous skateboard accident waiting to happen.

Any tips on the frog feet shoes? Yes? No? Have they changed your life? Made you feel like you were a frog who can run? (Because really, I don’t think frogs run. They hop. Or climb trees. Or swim.) Thanks!