Long Weekend Bliss

Last weekend was a long weekend for us Canadians, it was Victoria Day weekend! I took the time off to relax, read, go to the cottage, go for a long run and spend time spreading dirt for my parents in their backyard.

(People kept saying, “Kate, I think it’s soil”, my response, “Of course it is, but when you are spreading it for someone else, it’s dirt”) Here’s the pile I’ve been chipping away at, it was huge, and now it is a little less so.

Here we are before leaving the cottage on Sunday night. We even went swimming! You would think that with the weather we have been having that it would have been warm and wonderful in the lake. Wrong! It was ever so cold. I stood on the ladder long enough for my legs to get numb and then I took the plunge.

On Monday I went for a 10 mile long run in the heat. I did go out during a hot time of day on purpose, sadly, I just wanted to take some time to sleep and read in the morning and hang out with PB and when he had to go and do some nursing school things I decided to go out.

I put my headphones in and chugged along until I reached a well known 5 mile marker where I then turned around and made my way home. I actually listened to Skinny Bitch for the first half and then switched to music on the way back. This was my second time listening to the book and I will report back on what I think later. (*Note: The first time I listened to it/read it I didn’t like it at all, but something has changed since then and I no longer dislike it.)

When I got home I took off my shoes and walked around on the grass and took pictures of the pretty flowers!

My feet were so happy to walk around on the cool grass and be free!

More flowers!

Now I am off to make some dinner and get everything packed for Placement Friday tomorrow. Everything has been going really well there, I have done all the tasks that they originally planned for me (it took 3 Fridays) so now they have me doing really cool things!

Happy Running!

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Wake Up and Say Goodbye

One of my goals for the months of May and June (and a bit of July), while I’m in school, is to get up early and run and do other exercises such as stretching and core work.

So what do I mean by early? With classes starting at 8:30am I get up at 5:30am.

[Source]

When I was working retail I figured out that I could get up 3 hours before I had to be at work and I would have more than enough time for an awesome run, a shower, food, and a little down time before I have to head out the door and walk to my destination.

So when I first started getting up at 5:30am consistently (during first semester I was getting up between 5:30-8am depending on what time class started) I was ok with it. I have always loved getting up early, but the first week of second semester was hard. I had 10 weeks of school and placement ahead of me and for some reason I didn’t want to be in school. During that first week I made a comment on a workout in Daily Mile that went as follows:

“Had no problems getting up this morning! Going to bed at 10pm seems to be working for getting up early. Awesome run! Listened to some music but switched to Run Vegan Run for some company.”

I had a response that made me giggle: “Well done! Lets see how you feel in 2 weeks of these early starts.”

I read that and laughed because it is true, especially for me, you know you feel great when you start getting up early and then down the road you start getting tired and grumble at the need you feel to get up so early, but you won’t stop because you know it’s good for you to do so. You know how good it makes you feel. (Of course there are always exceptions and sometimes taking a day to sleep in makes a world of difference)

So how do I feel in the middle of week 3? AMAZING!!

So how do I do it and keep on smiling? Here is what works for me:

I bought one of those Apps from the iTunes store that has music start playing quietly before you have the alarm set to go off. The quite music aids in waking me up slowly and letting me know that it will soon be time to get up.

When my main alarm goes off (that’s right I use 2 alarms) I have to accept that upon waking up I am going to feel a little sleepy, but that does not mean that I necessarily slept poorly or went to bed late.

I turn on my bed side table light as soon as my alarm goes off, I get out of bed and stretch to get things moving. I grab my water bottle from my bedside table and start hydrating.

Then I make my way to the kitchen to get some food in me before I head out the door. I normally have a bit of a Cliff or Luna bar while I sit on the couch and read some news and drink more water.

I always make sure my running clothes are waiting for me and my shoes are at the front door. I always charge my iPod shuffle the night before (if needed) and load up new songs if I find any.

Then I’m off and running!

Stopping to smell the flowers, and take pictures of them, along the way!

When I get home I make myself a big Green Monster, I have changed the recipe lately so I’ll fill you in on that: 3/4c chocolate or plain soy milk, 2c spinach, banana, Vega Performance Protein vanilla flavour. This is the best way for me to refuel before doing any core work or yoga and before I shower and get ready for the rest of my day!

That’s how I do it, some days are harder than others. This morning my eyes popped open at 5:15am ready for the day and excited to get out and run. Some days I’m dead asleep until 5:30am and groan a little when my alarm goes off. Every day is different and that is just the way life is.

Now I am off to read an relax before bed. One thing I forgot to mention is that I get into bed around 9pm and my light is normally off by 9:30pm and am asleep shortly after that.

Question: What works best for you when you need to get up early?

Happy Running!

*Wake Up and Say Goodbye is the name of one my favourite albums by David Usher

Did I Hear You Right?

I would like to tell you about what happened at lunch today.

During this condensed two month second semester for school we are at the school 3 of the 4 days for lunch and I pack my lunch everyday, no ifs ands or buts. I always pack the same things, in rotation of course so I don’t get bored: cottage cheese or yogurt and fruit, almonds, apples, pears, oranges, carrots and cucumbers to dip in hummus, pita and light Laughing Cow Cheese, salad with chickpeas, edamame…I could go on forever, the list is rather long. To save you from a post that is solely a list of food I will stop there.

So what happened today when I pulled out my lunch of cottage cheese, strawberries and blue berries with some almonds? A girl in my program looks at what I am eating and says…

“You know that fruit is basically all sugar, right?!”

This is the same girl who once asked me why I was always eating when she saw me; my answer, because we normally see each other at lunch and the time I have an afternoon snack (I didn’t actually answer her because the question was so stupid).

So how did I react today?

Sadly not with the answer I wanted to, which would have been, “Anything I am eating is better than the Brisk Iced Tea and chips you are eating, or the nothing you normally eat and sit there and tell me how hungry you are and how you want to lose weight by taking diet pills.”

What I actually told her was how healthy fruits and nuts are and that I like cottage cheese. I, again, did not feel the need to justify anything to her, what’s the point?

This happens to me a lot, it happened at my full time retail management job too, people see that I bring a healthy lunch or dinner on a daily basis and start questioning my food choices and ask me if I count my calories or if I am trying to lose weight. It’s like these people think that the only reason someone would pack a healthy meal is if they are trying to lose weight.

That is not the case, I like food that fuels my body, food that gives me energy and makes my tummy happy.

Question: Does this ever happen to you? Do people ever question your healthy choices?

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In other news everything at school is going well and I feel much better than I did last week. Last week I was feeling a little overwhelmed with the volume of school and placement, but I think I have the hang of it and I know that the, now, 8.5 weeks will fly by (but I’m not counting, ha!).I am really happy that this session is happening during the spring because that means the sun is up just after I am and it is so easy to wake up, especially when I go to bed between 9-10pm.

I love running early in the morning!

Question: When do you like to workout? Do you do it before school/work or after? What works best for you? I prefer morning workouts, but sometimes I know that it just is not possible to workout in the morning so I am able to cut out time in the afternoon to do so. I always book my workouts in my iCal the week before so they are scheduled in there and that time is for me.

Since this post is severely lacking in photos….

You get to see a picture that we took at the Dollar Store before seeing Iron Man 2 (great movie!)

Happy Running!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mums out there!

Yes that is right I spell it with a “u”, that is how I was taught to spell it by my Mum and no one has been able to change my ways. PB spells it with and “o” and I spell it with a “u”….sometimes we “argue” over how we will spell it as a future family. I bet I will win!

Here are the Mum’s that I love!

With my Mum and Dad after running the Ottawa Half Marathon back in May 2007. My Mum stayed out in the rain for almost 2 hours and was waiting for me at the end!

With PB’s Mum at the end of the PEC Half Marathon this past October 2009. It was also raining and we were greeted with open arms at the end!

My Grandma and Grandpa in Ottawa June 2007 after my graduation. I do not have a good picture of us together on this computer and I know she would want me to represent here with a good picture.

To all the mothers and mothers to be out there, thank you for everything you do!!

Happy Mother’s Day and Happy Running!

Placement Friday: Public Health

I know it is no longer Friday, but I still wanted to report back on my first placement day at the Public Health Unit.

I got up at 5:30am, like I had been doing all wee, and I went for a run! It was a nice, but kind of chilly for this time of year, 3.5 mile run in 30 minutes at 5:45am.

I like to track my workouts on my calender with star stickers because it makes me feel like a star, and I have a lot of stickers left over from when I was a camp counsellor. After that I had a delicious Green Monster and showered, I ran for a shorter period of time today because I knew I wanted more time to get ready. Of course I could have gotten up a half hour earlier, but I really didn’t want to.

Once I was ready I packed my food for the day. I knew that if I didn’t have enough I was only a 5 minute walk from my school and could go get fruit or tea there if I needed, and there was also a healthy cafeteria/store near the Public Health building.

I packed some tea and my travel tea mug from Lululemon which keeps my tea hot for a very long time. I made some shortly after getting there and didn’t get it just sit down and drink it until lunch, about 3.5 hours later and it was still piping hot!

Worked with Corporate in the morning, it isn’t all that busy on a Friday so we walked around with my supervisor and met people, and we talked about our backgrounds, it was great because she actually took the program that I am taking now so it was great to hear everything and see that what I am doing now really does pay off. We took a break around 10:30am and then did some replacing of documents in binders.

I had lunch by myself because my placement supervisor was out running errands. It was nice to have an hour to myself to sit and eat and read blogs and the news. While I didn’t do much in the morning it is still overwhelming to go into a new place and meet a lot of new people and be introduced to how things are done somewhere else.

On to lunch!!

For lunch I had some cottage cheese with strawberries and blueberries. It was very yummy and kept me full all afternoon! I have been playing with what to take for food during the school week, trying to figure out what keeps me full the longest because at school (except for Tuesday) we are 8:30am-12:30pm a half hour break and then 1-4pm and we are in a computer lab and not supposed to eat in there. I also munched on a very juicy orange during my afternoon break.

The afternoon was filled with working with HR and it was great and busy, I love being busy! We talked about HR and what I knew about what they did and then talked about what I was doing for them. Essentially I am helping them continue on their path to make everything electronic rather than having to go to someone’s file to find something. I was interesting and I am looking forward to being part of this project and hopefully being part of completing this step for them!

I got to leave at 4pm which was really nice, since it was Friday no one really stays past 4pm anyway and they said taht 7.5 hours was more than enough for a placement student, and I completely agree!

I ate a Caramel Nut Brownie Luna bar on my way home while listening to some music to close out my first day.

I felt really comfortable at Public Health and really liked the people that I am going to be working with. I am looking forward to the next 9 Fridays that I will be with them. I might be counting down the weeks 😉

I hope that everything had a great Friday and a great weekend! I hope to post more about the cool things I learn during my placement, even if they are really only cool to me.

Question: What do you take for your lunch? I am always looking for ideas because sometimes I find myself staring into my fridge and thinking that I have no clue what to make, even though I have tons in there. I would love suggestions!

Happy Running!

Breathe Deeply

Appreciate the moment

Morning!!

I am about to start my third day of second semester, they are work like days 8:30am-4pm, except Tuesday which was only four hours, yay! I am ok with the longer days though, second semester will be done in ten weeks, actually after five weeks I will be done two classes and picking up two more. So really who can complain?!

On to more exciting news…

I wanted to share the new running shirt I got yesterday! I was so happy yesterday after finding out I got five A+ marks (I had five classes). I was really surprised with accounting because I went into that exam terrified that I had forgotten everything.

There was cause for celebration, and it can in the form of a visit to Lululemon! YAY!! I knew what I wanted and was on a mission.

The classic taking a picture of yourself in the mirror with cute running clothes on! Those short I have on I have had them for almost 4 years and they are still perfect! (Also from Lululemon, they are the speed short I can’t remember what they were called back then, maybe it was the same name, hmmm?)

I found it a little weird taking pictures of my chest, but hey, that’s where the writing is so take pictures I did!

I also bough a new All Sport Bra this is on my Stuff I Love page! It is the perfect running bra! It is a cute light – medium blue! I didn’t go in intending to buy it but once I saw the colour I was in love!

So how did my test run with the new Run: Energy short sleeved shirt go? It was amazing! The shirt is so light weight and breezy and it was perfect for my 4 mile run this morning!

Now I am finishing up my Green Monster and I need to finish a little bit of homework for my new accounting class and then I am off to school!

Question: What is your must have piece of workout clothing or gear?

Breathe Deeply. Appreciate the Moment

Happy Running!

Reading, Shopping & Negativity

Here are some articles and blog posts that caught my eye this week:

Relax Your Achy Feet– FitSugar (After all the running and walking I have been doing during my 4 days off before starting school again tomorrow this is exactly what I needed to find this week)

25 Reasons To Do Yoga – Huffington Post (After I read this list I made a conscious effort to go do some yoga after)

Personal Trainer Takes Your Running Questions – Globe & Mail

Chickpea Burgers – (never home) maker (I am making these on Tuesday so I will let you know how it goes. They look so yummy!)

Kicking The Coke Habit For Good! – Oh She Glows (I don’t drink Diet Coke very often, but I drink it enough to know what I want to stop drinking it all together. I could really use your help and encouragement!)

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I also wanted to bring something up that happened yesterday…

I was out shopping for some professional clothes for my placement (and maybe something more, *knock on wood*) and I was so surprised by the negative thoughts I had going on in my head. I am pretty sure that if my Mum hadn’t been there that I wouldn’t have bought anything.

After the third thing I tried on I asked myself why I was being so negative? Why did I think everything looked bad, why did I think that nothing was cute enough. Then I decided to just shut my inside voices off and let my Mum do all the talking. Boy does she ever have good taste! I am so thankful for her because we found some amazing clothes that will make me look so cute and professional!

After letting everything go I was in a happier mood and had a lot more fun on our shopping trip. I was in such a good mood that after we got home I jumped into my running clothes and headed out for a run even though it was humid beyond my wildest dreams. My Mum told me that May is going to be like June, and June is going to be like July, and July is going to be like Arizona…wow!

Questions: Have you ever let negative thoughts let you leave a clothing store without buying something, even though deep down inside you knew you it suit you? How did you deal with this?

I have dealt with such a problem many times. I normally just make faces and eventually tell myself I’m being silly. I think it always helps when you have a friend to help you because they don’t see what you see.

Happy Running!