Friday, 8 December 2017

The Holidays are coming


It has been a long time since I posted a fitness related update, but I wanted to share a little about what has changed for me over the past year or so.  Last January, I did my first fundamentals series in crossfit and was instantly hooked.  Rehabbing my hamstring by then had been more than a yearlong venture, and I just wasn’t feeling the level of improvement I needed to continue (scheduled) running.

Enter crossfit.  The classes and heavier weights allowed me a way to unload the constant stress on my hamstring I was seeing running and cycling and focus on a new for me dynamic: Strength.  I am by no means as strong as other women in my classes, but I do believe I have improved considerable over the past year or so.  The mix of routines also allows me to continue long(ish) runs on Sundays without feeling too attached to a training plan or race goal.  I really love this new approach. 

For the most part, I enjoy my runs much more and the variability of WODs helps me avoid the boredom I get in other fitness classes.   In January, I will be doing my first scaled team competition and I cannot wait! New Year, new goals, new plans.  I have actually sussed out a box in BC for the first week of January when we will be vacationing with my parents.

The main reason I feel a urge to post this, is to emphasize that over time, your fitness goals evolve and change and that is just fine.  Through injury, I felt very disconnected from my running community.  This feeling was not dissimilar to my initial post-partum months.  Over time, I have come to realize that it is ok to step back from running. The community I have found through crossfit is proof that fitness can open so many social doors for you (as can book clubs, wine clubs or whatever fills your boots J)

If you are feeling down on yourself for taking a step back or away from a sport you love I hope this resonates with you.  As we enter the busyness of the holidays it can be hard to stay on top of all the things (fitness, family, friends, etc).  It is ok to let things slip in any direction.  Take a “me night” in lieu of an outing if you are feeling the pressure.  Skip the am class if you were out late the night before.  Put yourself up there with everything and everyone else demanding your attention.



Much love!

Monday, 27 November 2017

Winter Run Gear with Altitude Sports

This month I had the chance to partner again with Altitude Sports to review some new active wear.  I received the Craft Storm Tights 2.0.   You can view the full collection here.




My first test for the pants was an hour long run in -9 (celcius).  I have never owned any wind blocking run pants so I was interested to see how they would hold up.  Fore reference, I was sent a size Medium.  While there was some bunching in the crotch area, I think a small would have been too tight on my calves so I was happy with the fit.  Another pro: in the really cold winter temps layering a good pair of thermal tights underneath would be possible.  There is a draw string at the waist, but surprisingly I didn't feel I needed to adjust at all during my run compared to some of my other run tights.  It is a slightly different aesthetic to get used to but I really think it is worth it.

There are a number of really great features on the pants: 
  • Reflective detailing to show up in dark or dusk running hours.
  • A split at the knee for improved movability.
  • Ankle zips, which while I think this is for x-country skiing, was handy when pulling the tights on and off.
  • A small inner pocket for keys
  • Wind blocking panel down the front of the leg and back calf up to about knee height.
  • Good length so you don't have your ankles exposed on cold days (this is a real problem!)

My second test run was -12 and very windy and my legs did not get chilled at all. I now won't leave for a long run in the cold without them. One of my running partners commented that brands she has tried have been way to tight in the leg. I think the stretch in the back panel on the craft tight allows for that extra bit of give and comfort.


Also in my winter running gear test, these Lole run mitts. At first glance I was sceptical that they would be warm enough but I was pleasantly surprised.  I typically layer mittens over liners and these were a much thinner option (and style points too). 

 


You can read more about the history of Altitude Sports here. I really appreciate the opportunity to collaborate with this great Canadian company!

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

New Review! Smartwool from Altitude Sports



This spring I had the chance to partner with Altitude Sports to review some great seasonal active wear.  I chose a Smartwool Product, in particular the Smartwool Propulsion 60 Jacket.  This is actually my first Smartwool item (apart from socks) so I was really looking forward to the review.  I had my choice of a few items and chose one most suited to my activities and climate.   You can view the full collection here.


My first test for the jacket was a 45 minute run in about +2 (celcius) weather.  I was overdressed but I didn’t overheat. I think this is a real pro of natural fibres – they keep you just the right temperature and are more breathable.  I also did a 90 minute run in chillier weather and was really impressed with the warmth of the jacket with just a really light base layer beneath.  My final test was my 5k run commute home with a small pack. I wanted to see whether there would be bunching or if the breathability would be impacted.

I received a medium and it was really roomy without looking sloppy.  For layering, a medium was ideal but a lot of my run tanks are very fitted so a small would have been ok too.  The sleeve length was great! I have a problem with short sleeves on things so I was happy to have a jacket that actually came down to my wrists.   Overall, I really like this jacket.  The only things I might have added are more reflective tags for visibility and maybe a tuckable hood.  I like the look of hoods more than the functionality.


Pros

  • Great for moderating body temperature as you run.
  • Good length of sleeves for longer arms. Note: there are no thumb holes which I really appreciate because I sometimes think thumb holes make an item fall firmly in the workout wear category while this jacket is a bit more versatile
  • No restriction to movement at all!
  • Even with a small pack on for my run commute there was no visible sweat marks or damp spots (this can be a real pain in cooler temps when you stop for a light to change).
  • Two roomy pockets with easy to access zippers.
Altitude also included 2 pairs of socks and I have been wearing them almost every other day.  The hide and seek sock are great for ankle boots and more comfortable than the Secret Sleuth ones that were in my Christmas stocking this year.


Now that I have a new appreciation for the Smartwool line, this tank in on my wishlist!  I would be interested in seeing how these fabrics respond in the summer heat. 
You can read more about the history of Altitude Sports here. I really appreciate the opportunity to collaborate with this great Canadian company!

Thursday, 5 January 2017

New Year Wishes

It is January 5th. I have had five days to reflect on some of the things I hope to achieve in 2017. I love this time of year. It has that September back to school feel.  We gain minutes minutes of sunlight each and every day as we head down winter's bell curve towards spring.  Whether you lean towards resolutions or goal setting, or you are perfectly content with where you are, this time can be full of newness.

I have tried to organise my thoughts for 2017 into areas I need to work on and explore more of. Some of them are harder than others, while some should come quite naturally (I hope).  In no particular order, my 2017 will look something like this:

No More Gluten! 
On December 23rd we received W's official Celiac diagnosis.  He has a biopsy in follow up to his positive blood test.  J also has a biopsy scheduled for January 20.  We (I) decided that the simplest thing to do would be to make our entire household gluten free. This does not mean I won't eat gluten outside of the home, but we greatly reduce the risks of cross contamination by eliminating it at home. My past weeks have been a whirlwind of baking new things, cleaning out toasters and cabinets, vacuuming ALL the crumbs and packing lunches and snacks.

I toyed with the idea of turning this into a food blog but thankfully much greater cooks than I already have magnificent blogs and resources.  I may from time to time share the things that we are doing to adapt, but that is about it.

Find a Babysitter/ Date night
W is three and we have never had a babysitter. My in-laws help us out from time to time, but we have only gone on about five dates since he was born (three of those were to celebrate our anniversary).  This is not a sustainable pattern. It is becoming more evident that we need to spend time on our marriage so we will be instituting a once a month date night (or afternoon).

Health/Fitness
I have been seeing a really great Chiropractor who is finally helping my tendinitis,  In addition, I have been working with a trainer to strengthen my running patterns and will be taking an 8 week training course specifically for runners in the new year.  I also have a fairly big goal to run Wild Horse Traverse in June. I am setting one race goal this year, and this is it!!

"This challenging point to point race starts on the beautiful beaches of Okanagan Lake, in Kelowna, BC and traverses through Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park, along the Kettle Valley Railway (KVR), past vineyards & parks on the Naramata Bench and finishes on another beautiful beach, all the way in the quaint town of Naramata."
Personal 
I am spending time on body image. I am not sure exactly what form this will take yet, but it might involve a social media cleanse, unsubscribing to emails etc.  I find myself in this rabbit hole of researching "health" and fitness things ALL the time and it is exhausting. So this is more a note to myself to work on this :)

I would love to hear your goals for the new year!