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

 

“Gym Budddddayyyy!”

workoutbuddy

Having a good gym buddy is important to me. Sometimes I lack the motivation to even get to bootcamp, let alone find the motivation to get my butt to the gym!

I’ve lucked out over the years.  I have met some fitness friends through classes I’ve joined, and some friends have taken up fitness over the years and joined me on my crazy fitness pursuits.

My friend Hilary used to wake up during the summer months when she didn’t even have to be up (she is a teacher with summers off) to run with me virtually, every Tuesday and Thursday morning at six am.  She would do her run by her place and I would do mine around my hood.  There were mornings I didn’t want to get up, but I knew I couldn’t disappoint her. Halfway ‘you can do this’ messages and the thought that someone else was going through the same thing as me made me try harder and feel more accountable for my workout.

I have two friends named Alex (Beinsy and Giordano to be specific) that are great workout buddies too.  Beinsy and I have been friends since Uni and over the years we’ve tried some crazy kettlebell workouts, running and cardio feats.  Giordano and I hit up bootcamp and crush some Goodlife Combat workouts together.  All in all, these ladies have helped me reach so many of my goals, that I can’t even begin to list them here 🙂

I’m not saying that you can’t ever do a workout by yourself, because those workouts are important too.  What I am saying though, is that a good gym buddy can sometimes motivate you to push beyond the limits that you set for yourself.  Sometimes these limits are set on purpose, and sometimes they are just mental blocks that prevent you from reaching your next fitness level or goals.  Either way, it’s great to have a workout buddy who will push you out of your comfort zone.

spotme

Top 3 reasons to have a workout buddy:

1.  You will feel like getting up and doing that workout because you’re accountable, not only to yourself, but to your workout buddy.

2.  You will get satisfaction knowing that you are motivating someone else to do things that they wouldn’t necessarily do by themselves either.  Who doesn’t like that little ‘feel good’ “I’ve helped someone!” feeling?! 😉

3.  They point out the positives (at least a good one will!)  When you crush that goal, or do that extra burpee, they will point out and celebrate your accomplishments.  Sometimes it’s nice to get a pat on the back from someone who isn’t you!

Happy Training!

-Bexx

Sporting Life 10K 2013

Sporting life

I ran the Sporting Life 10K this morning.  It’s one of my favourite races of the year- both because it’s a huge race of 27,000 people, and because it is for a great cause.

All of the money raised goes towards supporting Camp Oochigeas, which is a camp that is run for children with cancer.  A lot of people were wearing what they run for on signs that were pinned to their backs.  It was motivational to run behind someone wearing “Run for those who cannot” or those who were running in memory of someone who lost their battle with cancer. It really puts things into perspective- you are still alive, you are running – now give it all you’ve got!

I haven’t been training, so this race intimidated me a bit. My Achilles actually doesn’t feel that bad though, so I’m pretty excited about that! Healing is awesome.

The race itself was awesome.  I used to run with music and now when I do races I find that running without it makes me more in tune with the things around me and also with how I feel.  I used to think that it would be terrible to run without the help of the music, but now I find it invigorating!

I looked up my time on-line and for some reason it’s not there.  I am curious to know how I did.  I know that I wasn’t hitting a PB, by any means, but I’d love to at least know for myself, to see how much work I have to do to start hitting some of those PBs! 😉

I’ve learned a lot about myself in the last year.  I like shorter races, and I think I want to focus more so on getting faster, than distance.  I did a half marathon, and knocked it off the bucketlist.  Part of finishing that race turned me off of running for a bit, and I wasn’t sure why at the time.  Running in my head had become more of a job than something that was fun and that I enjoyed.  For now, I’ll put the half marathons on the back-burner and focus my eyes on the prize(s): some PBs in the 5K and 10Ks 🙂

Best sign on the side-lines of the race: “Fastest Parade Ever!” *grin*  I was quite amused.

2 million dollars were raised today for Camp Ooch, and at the end of the day that’s what counts the most!

Happy running,

-Bexx

5 Ways to Stay Inspired This Spring

As the lovely Spring weather arrives, I want to make sure that you all stay inspired.  I sometimes use these to help myself stay inspired, because inevitably we all need it at times 🙂

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A few of the things I think that you can do to feel your best while embracing this wonderful new season:

1-       Always make sure that you’re challenging yourself and not letting yourself plateau- you won’t stay inspired, if you aren’t changing it up.  Needless to say, this doesn’t mean ditch your favourite spin class altogether.  It means change things up and add new things into your routine.  Try a new barre class, join a social media #plankaday type challenge and you’ll be really surprised how much this inspires you to improve and do better. The encouragement from those around you will help especially when it comes to social media. 🙂

2-      Keep a positive attitude- You will do more, achieve more and celebrate more success if you have a positive attitude about fitness and health.  It has happened to all of us- bit by the ‘bittter bug’ – we have a negative attitudes sometimes.  It’s not always going to be sunny out, but the sun is still there somewhere behind the cloud.  It’s up to you to find it, harness it, and get that inspiration back!  You own this… do it up!

3-      Write down your goals and check them off when you complete them- I’m a big fan of lists and setting goals. I get extreme satisfaction from checking things off of my list and writing the date that I completed them beside it.  (See my Life KPI List)  There is a lot to be said about the positive reinforcement that is found through keeping a running tally of your accomplishments.  It’s all to easy to focus on the negative, but the positives will continue to take you to that new level.

4-      Look for others who are on similar journeys to your own- power in numbers! When you feel like giving up find a group of similar people who are on the same path that you are when it comes to fitness.  Maybe it’s joining a class to really keep you inspired, and rev up, or maybe it’s calling up some of your girl friends and going on a hike.  Either way surrounding yourself with like-minded people helps you maintain your path, but also reinforces the healthy choices that you’ve been making on your own.

5-      Inspire others- sometimes when you inspire someone else, the positive energy comes right back to you.  It arrives in the form of that ‘feel good’, I’ve helped someone else’ type feeling and it reminds us of our own accomplishments, how far we’ve come and where we’d like to see ourselves as well.  I’m not saying do things solely to inspire others, your heart also needs to be in it for you.  At the end of the day if you set a great example for those around you,  they will not be able to resist being inspired by you too 🙂

Happy  ‘Spring’ training,

-Bexx

One thing has got to be like the other…

woman's world
My early 90s ‘fitness’ influence…

Since I ran that first lap in high school fitness became a very big focus for me.  I’m not by any means claiming to have been an athlete, but it was always important to me.  I would do crunches and crazy workouts in my bedroom before bed at night, that I had cut out from my Mom’s Woman’s World magazines, dreaming of the abs that I could have just like the girl in the demo pics.

I remember being so self-conscious about my body and never really knowing what to do about it.  My mom would tell me I look fine and encourage me to wear bathing suits that actually fit and instead I would sit on the shore with my jeans shorts on and my big t-shirt not really listening.

I wasn’t sure where my fitness journey was taking me, but I DID know it was important.  I think the key to success is really arming yourself with the right tools.

You cannot have fitness without eating right – just like you cannot appreciate how hard you work and how great you look, if you do not love yourself.

Now there has been some controversy about the recently released Dove ad.  Some are obviously pointing out the ‘yeah that’s great, but they’re still trying to sell you soap.”  I’m not going to disagree with that, but I’m going to really have to strain my brain to really convince my own self that this type of video is really transcending into soap sales.  I think Dove is trying to make a statement, a lot like the Nikes and the Under Armours of the world.  They’re trying to really resonate with their current and potential consumers.  Either way, whether successful or not, we’re definitely all aware of the campaign and talking about it, so they’ve obviously done something right.Love luck

I think the message is evident though – they’re trying to empower women to appreciate who they really are, and to question their harsh judgements of themselves.  We’ve all been guilty of it.  We all look in the mirror and complain instead of celebrating the things we’re good at, and the things we have.

I used to position things in my head as… “I’ve been doing it wrong for a while now…. ”  Instead I want to be more like my little inspiration’s “Daily Affirmation”  and celebrate the things I am good at.  I have struggled with healthy eating, but that does not mean that I am doing poorly.  I push myself at Femme Fitale every week.  I am trying to make the changes I want to see in myself, and the existence that I create for myself.  I’ve been working hard on the physical fitness aspect for a long time now, and I just need to marry this dedication to healthy eating.

Challenge accepted.

“I love my house, I love my hair…..I love my pajamas… and I can do anything good… Yeah! YEAH! Yeah!!! ”

Happy Thoughts,

-Bexx

Being a Gym-rat and Weight Training like Arnold…

Back in the day... when he wasn't busy with the nanny... too soon?! ;)
Back in the day… when he wasn’t busy with the nanny… too soon?! 😉

This week I have eased back onto the fitness train with an awesome cardio, strength and muscle-building routine with my friend Beinsy.  A friend of hers designed the routine, and she used it when she was in fitness competitions.  We do 3 sets of 3 different exercises.  We repeat these three exercises (20 reps of each) 4 times.  I’m sure there is a much better and less complicated way to say that, but alas, I am me and that’s just how I say it 😉

Today’s morning workout was hard on the lower back, but other than that I feel much stronger than I did when I started on Monday.

We did the workout Monday, Wednesday and this morning.  Week 2 will be amazing.  I start kick-boxing again, so I am sure that will also help.

I’ve honestly missed some good old weight training in my workouts.  I think that I often forget the value of adding these into my workouts.

I will soon be training for the Sporting Life 10k and need to get the running training in there too somewhere.  For me, balance will be key.  I’m not sure how I’m going to fit it all in, but I need to make sure that I at least try!

Are there any favourite circuit/weight training routines that you use?  What do you find the most effective in your training?

We workout!! Beinsy and I as Gym-Rats (Halloween-ish ;))
We workout!! Beinsy and I as Gym-Rats (Halloween-ish)

Always looking for some great advice and tip sharing!For now I will settle into this new routine of being a true ‘gym-rat’!Happy training!-Bexx

The Return of the Mack…er…Bexx

lacing up I picture my return to running like the first part of the Chris Morrison video in Return of the Mack when he’s walking down a hallway all blinged out, cool and suave, and the lights are shining down and he looks so confident, calm and collected like he belongs.  There’s a ‘no big deal’ attitude about the way he walks down that hall (click here if you care to watch and see what I’m talking about.)  When I lace up for the first time back, I’ll probably just have a ponytail, and won’t be wearing as much bling, but I think I could totally find a tunnel around here somewhere to start and look/feel like I’m in the video.  I have no idea what this has to do with anything, but I promise I have somewhat of a point to make 😀 (I’ll also never be quite sure why I have so many obscure pop culture references from the 90s in my head….I ought to get checked out ;))

Having only been out of commission once with a pulled hammy, I never really understood how people felt when they were injured and couldn’t do anything.

I healed the hammy in two weeks, and had welcomed the break from my crazy fitness routine at the time.  Now having suffered from this pain in the back of my ankle/heel, for about 6-8 weeks, I have not only exhausted all of the people who I can complain to, but I have also learned to appreciate how crappy an injury can be.  I mean don’t get me wrong, there are worse things in the world than a small injury like mine, but when the doctor told me today that I could run again, I wanted to jump up and give him a bear hug.  I don’t think that’s really welcomed or legal… so I held back.. but the point is, when you receive good news like that, it’s good to have brought a buddy that you can hug when there is good news.  I’m sure I had another point, but I’ll go with that one.

I am going to get myself some new running shoes, lace up and hit the road.  Not right this minute (because I’m busy typing away to you guys) but sometime soon! This rest has given me a new perspective, and I need to figure out what routine will work best for me.  I can’t just add everything back into my workout schedule, but I’m overall just happy that I can run.  Obviously I will have to take it easy and do lots of wonderful stretches, but I’m so thankful to be back.

A duck out of water is like a runner without a shoe?  I’m sure you get what I’m trying to say.  Either way, I believe John Malkovich puts it best in Burn After Reading when he says: “You  f*ckers, I’m back!” (I would have probably used the word b*tches instead and said “I’m back b*tches, I’m back… but I wasn’t in charge.  Sad really. )

xox

-Bexx