Monday Morning Must Reads – links we loved!

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Jackie   JACKIE’S PICKS

DSC_0815_3 2   MANDY’S PICKS

  • I’ve been on a Pinterest pinning frenzy the last few months, looking for patterns to sew some cute dresses for my little girl (of course, I haven’t actually made anything yet!). I came across City shorts for gym shorts.  They are pretty cute, although I’m not sure how practical they would be for running.
  • If you are ever looking for a jogging stroller (or any baby equipment for that matter) Jogging Strollers on Lucie’s List always has the lowdown on what to pick.

Have you read (or wrote) anything lately that we should read? Let us know!

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Monday Morning Must Reads – links we loved!

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Jackie   JACKIE’S PICKS

  • I know this is kind of the opposite of what we do here, but this was a funny and an enjoyable read: “Why I Don’t Run Ever by Calling Through the Fog.
  • This is a great post  at Shut Up + Run on why there should be no excuses not to run. This is instalment #2 of her 5 part series. Worth the read!
  • The Olivia Palermo Guide to Accessorizing Like a Pro. Okay, nothing to do with running but this chick always looks amazing. (Who is she anyway?)
  • This is an informative and inspiring post about running lean and fuelling your body. This article inspired a change in my eating habits. 🙂

DSC_0815_3 2   MANDY’S PICKS

  • I always love reading about how exercise affects the brain.  This article talks about how the brain can be healed and shaped through deliberate efforts.  Spoiler alert: exercise is one way!
  • From the same website, here’s an interesting study on the effects of physical activity on children.  I’ve really been enjoying this website in general.
  • I’m always inspired when Jackie includes an errand into her run (a trip to the mechanic or the grocery store) so I thought this post was neat to read.   Basically, it is advocating that runners include “A to B” runs into their routine to show others than walking and running is a perfectly acceptable form of transportation.
  • Do your knees crack and pop?  My right knee has been cracking when I go up stairs, and it’s never happened before.  I thought I’d try some of these exercises to see if they help!

Have you read (or wrote) anything lately that we should read? Let us know!

Fitting in Strength Training

The last few weeks, I’ve been trying to find a strength workout to add to my workout schedule.  In the past, I’ve used lots of different online workouts, books, dvds, and apps.  I tried some of them out again, but nothing was really exciting me.  I used the Nike Training Club app for a few workouts, and while I like it, I was finding some of the moves over my ability right now.   

After scouring the internet for the perfect workout for me, I decided to just piece together some moves that I really like into my own routine.  I usually try to fit in a workout while my baby girl naps in the morning.  She usually sleeps for about an hour and half, so I wanted something quick that I could fit in, shower, get ready for the day, and still have a bit of time for some chores.  

For this workout, I just need some weights, an exercise ball, and my basement stairs.  🙂   This is what I came up with:

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I’ve been doing just one round.  It’s enough to work up a sweat and feel like I put in a good effort.  On the weekend, when I have some more time, I’m going to fit in two rounds.

What is your favourite strength training workout?
 

Mandy   DSC_0815_3 2

 

A Tale of Two Books

The other day a fellow runner commented on my blog post about How to Make a Training Schedule That’s Right For You. He mentioned that I might want to check out the book Meb For Mortals. I did, and I have been meaning to order the book. So I quickly went to Chapters.ca before I forgot and purchased that book, and another book I had been meaning to buy.

They came in the mail today and it wasn’t until I opened the box that I made a connection that made me chuckle:

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If I ever wonder what is holding me back from reaching my full potential as a runner … It was summed up in one little box from Chapters.

I’ve quickly paged through Meb’s book and it looks fantastic. It seems very descriptive yet uncomplicated, well laid out and interesting. I can’t wait to read it. I like how he not only tells you what exercises to do, but gives you full page pictures of how they are to be done.

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Sometimes a book can be overwhelming with its options, details, charts and explanations. This book has a simple, straightforward theme:

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Did you pick up on it?

By the way, You Gotta Eat Here also looks amazing. And, I may as well be honest and tell you I also ordered You Gotta Eat Here Too. It has awesome, although not healthy, not healthy at all, recipes from the show with great stories to go along with them.

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Yes, there is a burger in there – and yes it is covered in poutine. Oh..my.

Both books seem sure to please. With any luck, Meb will have more power persuade me to run, think and eat like him than John Catucci has to make me make that burger…

Have you read Meb for Mortals? (Or You Gotta Eat Here)  What holds you back from reaching your full running potential?

Jackie

Jackie

Check In: Half way through my C25K

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After a break from running, I’ve finally gotten back into a regular routine by using a couch to 5k app on my phone.  This week I finished week four, and I’m now officially half way through it!

For the most part, I’ve been enjoying the program.  Running is definitely not as easy or enjoyable as it used to be for me, so having a simple structured schedule to follow has been helping me to get motivated.  The first couple of weeks it was a struggle to get myself out the door, but I’m starting to look forward to getting out for my run.  I usually go in the evening, once my little babe is down for the night, and it’s a great way to relax and end the day.

Last night, I met up with my sister-in-law, Tabitha for my run.  Tabitha is also doing the C25K program.  When I was getting groceries earlier this week, I drove down a street lined with blossoming crab apple trees, and I kind of obsessed about how beautiful it was.  We both have been running the same boring routes over and over again close to home, so we decided to drive to this neighborhood for our run.  It was worth it.  It even smelled great!

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-Amanda

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Starting Over

So you may or may not have noticed that we’ve had a break in blogging throughout 2014.  While Jackie kept on running during that time, I took a loooong break from running.  The reason being that, this fall, my husband and I welcomed our first baby girl into the world. Yay!

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During my pregnancy, I had planned to keep running and I thought I’d be able to jump right back into it when my baby arrived.  I definitely underestimated how pregnancy would affect my body and how tough it can be to adjust to a new baby. One icy cold winter + morning sickness + fall-asleep-the-moment-you-sit-down tiredness + cankles to end all cankles + a new little baby + ANOTHER icy cold winter = 15 months off from running.  It wasn’t my plan, but here I am.

(I would really love to insert a picture of my pregnancy ankles here, but they were ghastly.  I’ll spare you.)

Now that spring is here and we are getting some beautiful weather, I’m ready to get back into it.  By “back into it”, I mean start over completely from the beginning.  Starting over is tough!  I’m hoping to run a 5k race in May, so I decided to try a Couch-to-5k program.  I’ve done a few training runs, and it’s been interesting.

In some ways, I feel like I did when I was first started running.  I’m out of shape and just running for a minute at a time is an accomplishment.  I feel like I’m trudging along.  When I first started running, I felt embarrassed to run where people might see me, and I felt a tinge of that again.  In other ways, I feel even worse.  It’s hard not to compare yourself to where you were before: how fast you could run, how far you could go, and how you felt doing it.  And with less time than before, it’s hard to make time for yourself to get out there.  On Wednesday, I went for my first run with my daughter in our jogging stroller.  I couldn’t even finish my last running interval.  My lungs were burning and my calves were stinging.  About half way through I was thinking, “You know, you really don’t HAVE to start running again.”

As difficult as it was, I loved it at the same time.  I didn’t love it while it was happening, but when it was over, I definitely felt accomplished.  I had that great feeling in my lungs where they feel worked and cleaned out.  It’s exciting to think that in the next few months, I’ll get to experience the joy of reaching certain milestones over again.  Probably best of all, I have a new running partner to keep me motivated.  She doesn’t have much to say, but she loves to be out in the fresh air with me and I love getting out with her.

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-Mandy

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People Watching at the Track

After having some decently warm weather this weekend, (-4°C now feels balmy to me) we are back to the bitter cold in Southern Ontario.  I am so ready for spring!  I just want to go for a run without piling on 100 pieces of clothing and worrying about falling on my butt.

On Monday, I had the day off of work, so I decided to head to the indoor track in the morning.  Running inside on a track can be a little monotonous, but after three months of icy sidewalks, it was glorious.  In past winters, I used the track regularly, but this year, I kind of forgot about it.  There’s something about the place that I love.  IMG_20140224_120733

Good memories are one of the reasons I love it.  The first couple of years that Jackie and I started running, we used to meet up at the track early in the morning to run together.  I would usually sleep in, and wake up to a call from Jackie to get my butt over there.  (“No, I wasn’t sleeping.  Yes, I’m already up.”)

Like I said, running in an oval…in one direction…inside can be BORING, and you might forget how to make a right turn, but what it lacks in scenery, it makes up for in people watching.  On Monday, I was there for just over an hour, but it went by so quickly.  I credit that to how much there was too look at.

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The track during the day is mostly used by retirees to get their exercise during the winter.  And it gets really busy!  It’s nice to see walkers and joggers in their 60s, 70s, and 80s taking care of their health.  All fitness levels and speeds are represented.  You can see that some people have always been fit and are maintaining it, while others are trying to get back into shape.  It’s nice to see the social aspect of it too.  The track is filled with old friends chatting away, couples holding hands as they walk, and the regulars joking around with each other.

Along with the retirees, there is a good variety of other people who use the track.  Runners from the university track team often train here.  They are always inspiring to watch.  They are so fast and have such good form.  Sometimes, when they are running a warm up lap, I run my hardest so I can pass them and feel speedy.  🙂

There are also always one or two really strong women putting in a good workout.  Whether it’s doing walking lunges around the track or burpees between laps, they always put me to shame.  On Monday, there was a lady who ran up and down the stairs of the arena for almost the entire time I was there.  That’s tough!  She hardly even broke a sweat.  What I was mostly impressed with was her leg muscles.  Holy cow, the stairs definitely paid off for her.

I saw at least two people jogging in jeans!  I wanted to take a picture for the blog, Jogging Jeans, but I am not stealthy enough for that.  I also like to think that they just showed up to walk, but were inspired to run a little bit.  So, I can’t hold it against them that they were wearing jeans.

Anyways, that’s why I like my local indoor track.  There’s lots to see and keep you distracted while you’re getting in a workout.  I’m going to try to get in a few more runs at the track until the sidewalks start to clear in the next couple weeks (or months).  Sigh.

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