Running is my therapy

I’m angry at the snow preventing me from running my best pace outside on the non-icy sidewalks.

I’m angry at my legs for being too short to fit the regular lengthed lulu winter running pants.

I’m angry because I just stubbed my toe while trying to find my running shoes.

I’m angry because I missed my running group tonight because I had to stay late at work.

photo: http://www.popsugar.com
photo: http://www.popsugar.com

Today is one of those days that you just want to crawl into a ball and hide from the world.  I want to eat a giant chocolate cake, topped with whipped cream, and then finish off a bag of jalapeno cheddar Doritos for my dessert.  There are no rules when you’re angry, apparently – dessert can be chips, and dinner can be cake.

Regardless, today I am a little ball of anger, and that’s not usually the case.  If I ever drank coffee and experienced that caffeine high people claim to need to get their day going, I’d probably bounce off the walls and have no friends left because the pain-in-the-butt sunny disposition that I already possess, would result in people wanting to punch me out.  However, today I’m just angry.

I don’t usually talk about negative things, but I think it’s important to acknowledge when you’ve just had a terrible day, and it’s okay to feel sorry for yourself for a little bit – provided of course that you’re not using your anger to punch someone out etc. Anger is healthy.  My life is not perfect.  It is okay to be angry at so many different reasons that it don’t make sense.

Today is that day.

No one did anything particularly mean or bad to me today.  I just have an issue with letting two hundred things go, without getting angry about them at the time, or speaking up about my feelings. Where a normal person would say something while these two hundred things were happening at the very time they were happening, I just let things go, and process internally.  It’s something I’ve been working on for a while and every now and again, I still have an angry day. I’m having less of them and I’m getting better at telling people how I really feel about things that happen to me, but I’m not perfect by any means.

Life-is-ten-percent-Holtz

“You cannot change the things that happens to you, but you can change how you react to them.”  I read that quote somewhere once, and I try to remember it when something bad does happen, or when someone is a big enough jerk to me that they warrant a flying drop-kick.  (Note: I don’t want you to try to picture me doing one of these, because it will take away from the non-hilarity of this blog post ;))

That being said, I’m not going to eat the cake or Doritos (Sorry, guyssssss!)  I’m going to lace up my shoes and run a long run solo, on the wintery streets of Toronto, in my too long for me winter lulu pants, with my tunes cranked up, and a slight grin on my face, because the anger will dissipate as I run my very first steps out the door.  Running is my therapy.  Anger get out of here 😉

Running in the Rain: 2 Tips for Running in the Rain!

Rain There is something really refreshing about running in the rain, yet I shy away from actually doing it often, because I’m afraid of getting soaked.  I’m made of sugar you know.. so I will obviously melt 😉 iphonerain

I was running the other day, and I saw the gray cloud looming over my head, and internally I scoffed at Mother Nature’s cloud and was thinking that I’d for sure beat the rain.  I was sure that I could out run the cloud, but in hindsight was very wrong.

I was stuck under a little wooden bridge, mostly stuck there on the premise that I did not in fact have shelter for my iPhone and didn’t want in fact want to risk its functionality on account of a ‘little’ rain.  I watched the rain drops hit the little stream that goes under the bridge and was surveying my options.  It slowed down for a little awhile and as I was about to make my getaway, the sky opened and dropped some buckets onto to Cobalt as I stood there.  I could have phoned a friend I suppose…. like on that show Who Wants to be a Millionaire or Cash Cab, but no one would have felt sorry for me at all… haha

As the rain let up a second time, off I went, hesitantly risking my own melting and demise (Fact: This is not true at all.  I will never melt in rain, unless it’s acid hydrochloric rain?!)  It was a calm rain for a little bit, but then reverted back to torrential.  I put my iPhone inside my two shirts and under my sports bra in hopes of shielding it from the rain and continued on my run.

Tips for running in the rain:

1) Embrace it; laugh about it; dance in puddles – bring out the inner child in yourself that hasn’t done anything super fun in a long time.  You’ll be happy that you did!

2) Try and have a dry place to store your electronics.  Sometimes I even run with a little baggie in my sports capris pocket for occasions like a random rain storm.  As fun as dancing in the rain is, you don’t have to have to shell out hundreds of dollars for a new iPhone 😉 rainsummer

I hadn’t felt that refreshed in a really long time.  I also must have looked a little bit crazy laughing in the rain.  It was just what I needed.

Happy Training,

-Bexx

Summer Gym Bag Essentials a la Bexx

What does your summer gym bag need in it!  Here are 3 of the things that I don’t leave home without!

1- SPFSunscreen-  I must admit that I have tried a few different types of sunscreen, mostly because I burn and turn into a lobster shortly after being in the sun.  If you have ever vacationed with me or played a sport with me, you’ve probably at some point been asked to help me apply sunscreen to my back.  You’re welcome.  My skin thanks you.  Don’t be embarrassed or think it’s not cool to put on the sunscreen.  I’ve been there; I’ve blistered.  Just don’t.  If you’re outdoors for any sport, make sunscreen your best bud! Coppertone SPORT is my absolutely favourite!wahta

2-  Water.. (or Wahta, whichever you prefer really.)  Make sure you bring some with you wherever you go.  You never know when you’ll be stuck outside in the heat, or on a smelly streetcar.  When you’re playing sports or running, make sure you bring some with you in your fuel belt or in a large water bottle.  No sun/heat stroke for you! Sometimes when water feels like it’s  just not enough, grab some Wahta and try it out.  Fun to say and drink, it’s a new one that I love to carry around.

3nuun energyNuun Energy–  I was asked to review these, and I absolutely love these tablets.  I have tried the Cherry Limeade and they’re my favourite so far.  They give me that little boost of energy that I need in the afternoon to keep me on track for my upcoming workouts in the early evenings! I’m must confess I used to have soda in the afternoon, but I’m trying to give it up.  This is a great alternative for me.  I don’t drink coffee, so this is my only source of caffeine.

Happy Summer, guys!  Hope the heat treats you well!

-Bexx

The Better Person

I’ve written similar posts to this oBetter personne before on workout buddies/support systems, but tonight made me realize just how important it is to surround yourself with great people.  Well that’s not fully the truth – this whole weekend has made me realize this.

Ultimately your friends are there to support you when you need it, and also tell you when you’re being ridiculous.  I’m pretty ridiculous sometimes, as you know, so it’s always nice when people are around you to give you that reality check.  (I hear “Oh Bexx!” a lot because of my silly antics. hah)

I think the better the people you surround yourself with, the better person you become.  iI’s like when you have a running buddy.  When they are a bit faster than you at first it seems discouraging (if you let it.)  “I’ll never get there!” *pounds table with fist*  As the weeks pass and you keep up with them, less out of breath than last week, you realize that you too are improving.  You are becoming what you surround yourself with.  (I don’t recommend running with an Olympian in this analogy….like we all have goals and it’s great to surround yourself with greats, but if you’re trying to speed up to an Olympian you may just end up feeling worse about yourself, and that’s not the point.  I’m sure you get my drift! 😉 hahah)

Tonight I got together with some old university roomies that I mentioned in my NYE list post, and we had dinner, caught up and discussed our individual lists.  Jay Skyped in because he couldn’t make it to Toronto (more crazy snowing going on.)  We never judge each other on our respective lists, accomplishments or goals, we just listen and celebrate with a Kidstreet clap (please see 17 second point of the video for an example) when someone has accomplished something amazing etc. We discuss and laugh, and overall end the evening with some awesome YouTube clips.

The one thing that stood out to me tonight that I wasn’t expecting, was that I have let far too much time pass in between when I had seen these people last.  I was on the outside of some of the inside jokes, and I’ve fallen behind in their lives unintentionally.  I’ve gotten so wrapped up in my own ‘stuff’ that I have forgotten to reach out as much as I should.  I’ve missed important proposals, dance caves, DJ Earworm mash-ups, and important life milestones, like getting dream jobs.  I am adding another goal to 2014 – to make sure that friendships like these do not get put on the back-burner for other ‘stuff.’

We talk about goals; we talk about failures; we talk about things that wouldn’t even make sense if you repeated them ten times; we laugh; we reflect on the things we can do better, and the better people that we can become.

*thankful*

*plays fav mash-up smiling*

-Bexx

Winter Wonderland: What to add to your winter workout gear!

If you’re reading my blog from California a) I’m jealous and b) this post may not pertain to you, unless you plan on visiting me in Canada. *This is perfectly fine and welcomed.*

I workout close to home, so I tend to boot it home and shower here versus showering at the gym.  I also tend to change at work from work clothes into my gym gear (suit-up, if you will) to save time too.  I’m not sure how many  of you do this as well, but regardless I think there are a few items that you should have on hand for that walk home or to the gym to make your winter wonderland walking a success.

The Miss Molly (Source: http://www.graceandlace.com)
hipster toque
(Source: http://www.etsy.com)

I’m a huge fan this season of leg warmers.  One may say I have a bit of an obsession with them.  My favourite to put on these days over my workout tights to keep the ‘pistons of power’ (Read: legs) warm, are from Grace and Lace.  They recently appeared on Shark Tank, so it’s a bit of a wait to get them sent to you, but SOOOO worth it.  They’re cute, warm, and if you put them under your boots, the little lace part sticks out and gives your outfit some pazazz! *spirit fingers*. Your legs also stay warm, which is ultimately the goal at the end of the day.

The second piece that I love for winter is a nice loose toque that I like to refer to as ‘the hipster toque.’  Now mine is bright red and has a pompom on it, and it cost a dollar.  However, you could go more upscale with your ‘to and from the gym toque” –  the world is your oyster.  It’s great for after the gym – you can throw it over gym hair that may not be acceptable looking to that hottie on the street who’s checking you out.  Think about it, a nice little toque adds that ‘you’re cute’ factor to some hair that could potentially otherwise just look like a sweaty mess. Think about it.  Functionally, your head stays warm as well – BONUS! 🙂

roots pants
(Source: www.canada.roots.com)

The third item is a nice comfy pair of jogging pants.  These days my favourite pair are from Roots.  They’re the classic-style baggy jogging pants.  They can go over your workout shorts, capris or tights, and they add that extra barrier between you and the winter wind.  I love how comfy and baggy they are.  They’re also great for lounging on a regular day, or perhaps at an après-ski type situation by a cozy fire.

For all of you starting some awesome new years resolutions at the gym, hopefully this helps!  For you pros out there, feel free to add some of your tips/favourite gear in the blog comments section! Sharing means caring!

Happy Training!

-Bexx

Gym Bag Essentials- Bexx

In Bexx-ercize Your Workout Closet I let you guys in on some Bexx favs when it comes to workout clothes.  Now I rarely switch up my essentials, but most recently I’ve decided to add some new items that I now absolutely love! I am not affiliated with any of this brands (opinions are all my own) I’m just being honest because it’s what I wear :))  Let’s start with the head and work our way down:

source: www.sparklysoul.com
source: http://www.sparklysoul.com

Sparkly Soul headband  With my new fringe, I need to keep my hair out of my eyes.  This non-slip headband not only does the trick (I have a silver thin one) but it stays in place. That is key – plus, it sparkles – need I say more? 😉

Sporting the Under Armour long sleeve with Duke the dog.

Under Armour AllSeasonGear Long Sleeve-  I live in Canada (eh?) and so keeping warm in between workouts, and on my way to and from the gym or my workout classes is important.  Everyone wants to steal this shirt.  I can’t blame them, but that’s why I practice sprints every now and again – you never know when someone is going to try to punk your favourite workout shirt.

lululemon Run: Inspire Crop II
lululemon Run: Inspire Crop II

Lululemon Run: Inspire Crop II– These are my new favourite running capris.  I like that they come up a bit higher on the waist than most workout pants. When you’re kicking butt at burpees the last thing that you want to worry about is losing your pants.  (Trust me I’ve been there….hah.)  There’s also a drawstring in the front in case you’re really worried.  My legs are a bit short, so the capris are a bit longer on me, but I still love them. There’s also a great pocket to store things (like keys) in the back.

procompression
Pro Compression Train Low in Pink

Pro Compression Trainer Low Socks– I love these socks. I own some full length (up to the knee) compression socks, but I also love this lower version which still provide the foot with compression while you work out.  I alternate between different kinds of socks, but these are a current favourite.  I have them in pink (as pictured.) They’re lightweight and have great moisture control for the feet.  Stink and sweat be gone!

My shoes are always Asics.  I own about five pairs, so I won’t bore you with that 🙂

That about sums it all up – these are the things that are currently my ‘gym bag essentials.’ (I also carry Bath & Bodyworks PocketBac Sanitizing Anti-Bacterial gel in my gym bag too, for the record!)

Hope you all enjoy your training and workouts while looking super fab,

-Bexx

Running like a NorON

runningleaves
Source: http://www.runningwithcake.com

Whenever I have the chance to come home in the Fall, I try to take it.  There is just something about the Fall that really makes me smile.  I love the temperature, crunch and smell of the leaves under my feet while breathing in the cool air.

I haven’t been running as much as I’d like due to this pesky Achilles, but being away from my normal gym routine, and gym buddy, with limited gym access here up in Northern Ontario, I decided to hit the pavement and do one of my favourite runs.  It’s actually one of my favourite runs to do in the winter, so I figured that Fall would also do 😉

I always get nervous being in a small town running because people slow down to see if they know who you are, and I always feel like I should run faster, to make sure that they know that I am in fact an athlete. (I don’t know why?! Maybe because I’m slightly cray ahah)

NorON
Source: my camera

I did in fact run faster than my regular speed and I felt the fresh Fall air rushing through my lungs, and I could hear my footsteps echoing through the street.  (I was also a little out of breath, and could also hear that echoing through the streets too, but let’s downplay that part for the sake of the story haha)

I got to the centre of my little town of Cobalt (“if you don’t live there it’s your fault…” There is a song about the town that has that line in it in case you were wondering) and decided to run the stairs that are there.  I tried to take two at a time, and figured Rocky would have been proud. (Not so proud that I wasn’t wearing a hoodie… fail on my part.  Maybe next time.) When I got to the top, I must admit I was a little winded, but continued on my merry little way.

When I got to my street I ran by the houses and up the little incline toward home, and ended my run in front of my driveway, like I have done for more than 15 years now.  It always makes me smile, no matter how hard the run was/is.  It’s that familiar feeling, where times fades away and you are taken back to the very first time when you felt that feeling and sense of accomplishment.  This feeling never changes, no matter how many times you come running in.

I’m proud of being from Northern Ontario, and I miss it quite a bit.  In University I met a guy named Matty D (you may know him) from Canada Sudbury.  When he found out where I was from he said “Oh, wow a fellow NorON.”  I thought he called me a moron to be honest and was kind of taken aback.  So, as I do ever so politely, I responded with “Like, WHAT?!?” He said “NorON you know.. like a Northern Ontarionian without it being weird.” (He may not have said it exactly like that, but again for the sake of the story, work with me here.)  The term stuck with me, and for some reason still makes me smile.

I enjoyed my run tonight.  Every single moment about it.  And so I will continue this week to go on my runs here in Cobalt – running in a way that only a NorON would know…

-Bexx