Posted in Ten Thought Tuesday

Ten Thought Tuesday: February 21st 2017

TTT

  1. Yesterday, Elliot hit the 8 month mark.  What!?!  This is my third child and I still can’t get over how quickly they grow.  I don’t think I’m ever going to get used to it!
  2. The little guy is working SO hard on crawling.  He just really wants to be able to explore and follow his big brother and sister.  But because of his determination, he face-plants very often.  His head has quite a few bruises and prunes and over the weekend, he got a bloody nose after a particularly hard face-plant.  Oh well, he keeps at it despite it all. fullsizerender-23
  3. Last weekend’s tame weather has me optimistic that I’ll be able to go run outside soon(ish).  In the meantime, the indoor track has reopened so that’s where I’ll go this evening!
  4. My house is a mess.  I really need to get it under control.  I don’t suppose anyone could send me some motivation?
  5. Yesterday, I received some cloth panty liners I ordered from a Canadian Etsy shop called Harp Diapers.  They look and feel seriously amazing, I can’t wait to try them.  Be on the lookout for a review post in a couple of weeks.

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    Zelda, Star Trek and Dr. Who cloth pads.  It doesn’t get any better than this!
  6. This coming Saturday will be our monthly movie night.  I saw that Finding Dory was on Netflix so I’ll try to convince the kiddos that we should watch that.
  7. It’s so great to see the kids growing up with so much love between one another.  This morning, I walked in on them playing choo-choo.img_2904
  8. Tonight, we’re eating chicken breasts.  I’m not sure how I’m going to prep them or what I’m going to serve them with yet though.
  9. This morning, my daughter decided to wear he favourite purple shirt and her Thomas the Train pyjama pants to go to daycare.  Because, why not… LOL.
  10. We’ve started having fun with bath time again.  On Valentine’s day, I decided to put some pink food colouring in the bath water and the kids were totally nuts about it.  Now, I let each of them choose the bath water colour and they love it.

What’s on your mind this Tuesday?

Posted in fitness, Parenting

Sunday Runday: Week 5

sunday-runday

Hello again!

Sunday Runday are a series of posts that I will post (you guessed it!) every Sunday.  In it, I will be writing down my fitness plan for the week.  These posts are meant first and foremost to motivate myself, however if they motivate you too, then that’s awesome!

Please feel free to comment, leave suggestions, give words of encouragement…  If you would like to link to a post you wrote regarding fitness, nutrition or your week’s plan, the comment section of this post is the place to do so!

Right now, each week consists of 3 days of running and 1 day of at-home crossfit-type workout.  I’m planning on expanding to 2 days of the crossfit-type workout once it stops taking me three days to recover.

I am currently following the C25K (Couch to 5K) training program for my runs.

As for the crossfit sessions, they are broken into two sections: strength and WOD (or workout of the day).  They are based on this 6 week plan that Simply Sadie Jane has posted on her blog.  To keep myself motivated and encouraged, I have given myself the following “rules”.

  1. My goal is to finish everything in 20 minutes
  2. If I start a set and my 20 minutes are over, I have to finish the whole set.  This avoids me, for example, doing my lunges very slowly when I see the 20 minute mark approaching so that can get out of doing burpees hehe.

How last week went

  • Runs: I can feel myself getting my running legs (and heart, and lungs!) back.  Despite my qualms about running on a treadmill, I actually appreciated the experience.  It allowed me to check in on my heart rate periodically as well as figure out at what speed I felt comfortable for my running portions as well as for my walking portions!  I also enjoyed not having my phone strapped to my arm for my run.
  • Crossfit: Again, after 4 short weeks, I’m feeling as though I’m getting back in the stride of things.  I was able to complete my 10 minute wall sit followed by plank EMOM without too much difficulty and managed to complete 3 out of the 4 sets of lunges followed by 150 jump rope singles.  Yay me!

This week’s plan

Sunday: Run (C25K week 5, day 1)

  • Brisk 5 min warm up walk
  • Run:
    • (5 min. jog, 3 min. walk) x2
    • 5 min. jog
  • 5 min cool down walk

Monday: Rest day

Tuesday: Run (C25K week 5, day 2)

  • Brisk 5 min warm up walk
  • Run:
    • 8 min. jog
    • 5 min. walk
    • 8 min. jog
  • 5 min cool down walk

Wednesday: Rest day

Thursday: Run (C25K week 5, day 3)

  • Brisk 5 min warm up walk
  • 20 min. jog (oh my!)
  • 5 min cool down walk

Friday: Crossfit!

  • Strength: 5 Burpees, EMOM, 10 minutes
  • WOD:
    • (15 Box jumps, 5 Pushups), AMRAP (as many rounds as possible), 10 minutes

Saturday: Rest day

What are you doing to keep in shape this week?

Happy Sunday!

Posted in fitness, Parenting

Sunday Runday: Week 4

sunday-runday

Hello again!

Sunday Runday are a series of posts that I will post (you guessed it!) every Sunday.  In it, I will be writing down my fitness plan for the week.  These posts are meant first and foremost to motivate myself, however if they motivate you too, then that’s awesome!

Please feel free to comment, leave suggestions, give words of encouragement…  If you would like to link to a post you wrote regarding fitness, nutrition or your week’s plan, the comment section of this post is the place to do so!

Right now, each week consists of 3 days of running and 1 day of at-home crossfit-type workout.  I’m planning on expanding to 2 days of the crossfit-type workout once it stops taking me three days to recover.

I am currently following the C25K (Couch to 5K) training program for my runs.

As for the crossfit sessions, they are broken into two sections: strength and WOD (or workout of the day).  They are based on this 6 week plan that Simply Sadie Jane has posted on her blog.  To keep myself motivated and encouraged, I have given myself the following “rules”.

  1. My goal is to finish everything in 20 minutes
  2. If I start a set and my 20 minutes are over, I have to finish the whole set.  This avoids me, for example, doing my lunges very slowly when I see the 20 minute mark approaching so that can get out of doing burpees hehe.

How last week went

  • Runs: I’m pleasantly surprised by how easy the runs are.  This is the second time I’ve done C25K (the first being about 2 years ago) and I’m finding that my body is adapting much more quickly this time around.  I’ve had minimal trouble with the 3 minute part of the run.  However, I did notice that my asthma seems to be acting up, so I guess I’ll have to start taking my inhaler again.  Oh well, small price to pay.
  • Crossfit: Last week’s workout went impressively well.  Though looking at it, it seemed lighter than the previous workouts (I even finished with almost 4 minutes to spare out of my allotted 20 minutes!).  Of course, it’s always fun when there’s some jump rope involved.  I’m eager for the weather to get warmer so that I can work on being able to do double unders.

This week’s plan

Sunday: Run (C25K week 4, day 1)

  • Brisk 5 min warm up walk
    • 3 min. jog, 1.5 min. walk;
    • 5 min. jog, 2.5 min. walk;
    • 3 min. jog, 1.5 min. walk;
    • 5 min. jog.
  • 5 min cool down walk

Monday: Rest day

Tuesday: Run (C25K week 4, day 2) – See Sunday run

Wednesday: Rest day

Thursday: Run (C25K week 4, day 3) – See Sunday run

Friday: Crossfit!

  • Strength: Alternate Wall Sits (1 min) and Planks (1 min), 10 min. EMOM (every minute on the minute)
  • WOD:
    • 150 singles (jump rope!)
    • 20-20-10-10 lunges (x4)

Saturday: Rest day

What are you doing to keep in shape this week?

Happy Sunday!

Posted in fitness, Parenting

Sunday Runday: Week 3 (+ weeks 1 & 2)

sunday-runday

I mentioned in an earlier post that one of the things that helped keep me motivated to get out and run was to schedule my runs.  I’ve also restarted the C25K running program to get back into running.  I thought I’d start sharing each week’s schedule with you guys so that those of you who want to follow along with this noob fitness mama, could do so.

So basically, I do three days of running and one day of at home crossfit.  Two years ago, I found this blog in which the author shared a 6 week at home crossfit plan.  Her fitness story inspired me to get active.  Now, since I don’t have her level of fitness, or the same equipment as she does, I’ve taken that 6 week plan and have modified it to cater to me.  My long-term goal is to be able to rock it out as is.

The crossfit sessions are broken into two sections: strength and WOD (or workout of the day).  To keep myself motivated and encouraged, I have given myself the following “rules”.

  1. My goal is to finish everything in 20 minutes
  2. If I start a set and my 20 minutes are over, I have to finish the whole set.  This avoids me, for example, doing my lunges very slowly when I see the 20 minute mark approaching so that can get out of doing burpees hehe.

Since I didn’t do a post like this for the first 2 weeks, I’ll write them out below.  Today, I’m about to start week 3.

Week 1:

Sunday: Run (C25K week 1, day 1)

  • Brisk 5 min warm up walk
  • 60 sec. jogging, 90 sec walking x8
  • 5 min cool down walk

Monday: Rest day

Tuesday: Run (C25K week 1, day 2) – See Sunday run

Wednesday: Rest day

Thursday: Run (C25K week 1, day 3) – See Sunday run

Friday: Crossfit!

  • Strength: 4 sets of modified pushups (on my knees): 20 – 15 – 10 – 5 with 2 minute rest between sets.
  • WOD: 15 lunges, 5 burpees, 25 bear crawls (5 sets)

Saturday: Rest day

Week 2:

Sunday: Run (C25K week 2, day 1)

  • Brisk 5 min warm up walk
  • 90 sec. jogging, 2 min walking x6
  • 5 min cool down walk

Monday: Rest day

Tuesday: Run (C25K week 2, day 2) – See Sunday run

Wednesday: Rest day

Thursday: Run (C25K week 2, day 3) – See Sunday run

Friday: Crossfit!

  • Strength: This 5 minute HIIT workout (OMG that was hard!)
  • WOD: 20 dips, 20 wall balls, 20 crunches, 20 sec. plank (4 sets)

Saturday: Rest day

Week 3 (this week!):

Sunday: Run (C25K week 3, day 1)

  • Brisk 5 min warm up walk
  • 90 sec. jog, 90 sec. walk, 3 min. jog, 3 min. walk x 2
  • 5 min cool down walk

Monday: Rest day

Tuesday: Run (C25K week 2, day 2) – See Sunday run

Wednesday: Rest day

Thursday: Run (C25K week 2, day 3) – See Sunday run

Friday: Crossfit!

  • Strength: Front squat (holding weight above chest) 8-5-3-5-8
  • WOD: 150 singles (jump rope) 4 rounds

Saturday: Rest day

What are you doing to keep in shape this week?

Happy Sunday!

Posted in fitness, running

Motivation

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So, I think I mentioned in my last TTT post that I had started running again.  For those of you who don’t know, I discovered a love for running a little under two years ago, while I was on maternity leave for my daughter.  I followed the C25K running program and was able to go from being out of breath two thirds of the way into my 8x 1min run/1.5min walk to being able to run 5km nonstop after just 3 months.  It.  Was.  Fantastic.

Then, one morning, I sprain my ankle during a run.  I wasn’t able to train for a couple of weeks, but was still determined to run the race I had signed up for (not one of my best ideas, but I wanted to do it so much!).  Then, I became pregnant.  Enter first trimester fatigue and 24h nausea.  Yeah, let’s just say I stopped running.

This time around, things are different.  Instead of running in the mornings, I run in the evening once the kids are all in bed.  Instead of running outdoors, I run indoors, on a track.  And it is hard.  Real hard.

By the time I can leave the house, it’s 7:45pm.  Besides the fact that I am super tired and would much rather stay in the house and crochet or stream Netflix, I never quite know what to eat for supper or how much to eat because I know I’ll be running rather soon after my meal.  When I get back home around 9pm, I’m on a high and it takes me a couple of hours before I’m able to settle into sleep (plus, I know I’ll be getting up at least once during the night to nurse Elliot and I’ll be up by 7am the next morning to get everything going).

It annoys me to have to bundle up (we’re in the middle of our Canadian winter here), sit in a cold car and drive to the gym (thankfully only 5 minutes away) before I can start my run.  It annoys me that I have to re-bundle up, get back into a cold car and drive back home before I can get into my cozy pyjamas.

But you know what?  I do it anyways.  I do it because I know that once I’ll be on the track, it’s going to feel good.  I do it because I know that once I’ll be finished my run, I’ll be proud of myself.  I do it because while I’m running, I’m not thinking about everything that’s going on in my life, I’m not having to divide my attention between my 4 children (I mean, 3 kids and my husband hahaha) I’m by myself in my own zone and it is good for my sanity.

I’ve managed to get out for my run each time so far by:

  1. Scheduling my run days in advance (Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays)
  2. Getting into my running clothes as soon as the kids are down for their nap/ the night (seems kind of foolish to be all dressed up to run and then not go).
  3. Keeping all of my running gear (shoes, water bottle, earbuds, lock…) packed in a bag.
  4. Talking to my procrastinating inner child and kicking her in the butt and bribing her with a post run smoothie.

Do you like to run?  How do you stay motivated?

Posted in Blogging

YES!!!!

Today’s run has been at the back of my mind since I first started the Couch to 5k running program.  Before today, you always alternate between running and recovery periods.  Before today, the longest consecutive minutes of running I had ever done were 8 minutes…two days ago.  Before that, the longest consecutive minutes of running I had ever done were 7 minutes…back in 1999 when I first participated in a 5k run at school.

I’m sure you understand that when I saw that the Week 5, day 3 program was to run 20 minutes without any recovery time I thought there was a mistake.  Upon consulting Dr. Google, I realized that 20 straight minutes was indeed the program and I almost gave up, right then and there.

But I kept at my training.  Week after week, running got easier.  I came to a point where I told myself that I would be able to do 20 minutes of running eventually.  But you know what?  I did it!  On my first try!  I just got back.  Today, I was able to run 20 minutes without even feeling the need to slow down.

All I can say is: YES!!!

Posted in fitness

Finding My Fitness: Part 2 (Running)

Back in high school, we had a 5k race at the end of each school year and I would always hate that time of the year.  First of all, we weren’t given a training plan (as if a teenager who isn’t interested in running is going to look up how to train for a race).  Second of all, though the teacher told us we would be training in gym class, we only ever ended up doing a few (read: 2 or 3) practice runs before the teacher would forget to have us do them.  Thirdly, the practice we had in class consisted of “run as many laps of the gym as you can in 20 minutes”.  No run/walk intervals, nothing.

Needless to say, I didn’t train on any of the years.  I would do my “run” (which had more walk than run) in about 40  minutes and would only just get the passing grade.  I would always end up cramping up while I ran and would have trouble walking for the next two days.

“I hate running” and “running just isn’t for me” are two of the most common things I would have to say about the sport.

Fast forward a few years later and I’m out of the house every two days training for my first voluntary 5k. I never thought I would say this ever, but I love running.

So, what has changed?

First off, I decided that I wanted to run.  The motivation for it was intrinsic this time around.  Secondly, I took the time to set up some S.M.A.R.T. goals to maintain my motivation to get in shape.  Lastly, I am following an awesome training plan: the C25K running program.  I am currently half-way through the training and I am amazed at what I have accomplished so far.

Besides the fact that I have not been sore following any of my running days, I have been able to increase my running time in a very short amount of time.  Whereas two months ago I had trouble running 1 minute without getting out of breath [week 1 has you doing 8 intervals of 1 minute of running followed by 1.5 minutes of recovery (walking)], yesterday I was able to run 5 minutes straight without a problem.  (On a side note, I noticed that I don’t really get out of breath when I breathe through my nose, whereas I get out of breath rather quickly when I breathe through my mouth, does anyone know why?).

I’m also really enjoying my running watch (soon to be reviewed) which is helping me keep track of a whole bunch of stuff.  My achievements so far:

  • Fastest 1 km: 7:41
  • Fastest 1 mi: 12:37
  • Longest run: 1.65 mi/2.65 km (21:30 min)

The plan for the next weeks:

  1. Keep training to work up to 30 minutes of continuous running.
  2. Work on prolonging my run to 5 km (which I estimate will take me about 37 minutes).
  3. Work on reducing the time it takes me to run 5 km.

For the record, this is the race I’m aiming to take part in.

Have you tried the C25K running program?  Which week was/has been the hardest for you?

Posted in fitness

Finding Your Fitness, Part 1: Keys to (My) Success (And Maybe Yours).

As I mentioned about a week ago, I recently found the motivation to really get into gear and start exercising. Today, I want to share with you what I did after that “kick in the butt” moment to stay the course.

1.  Know yourself

What are your strengths?  What about your weaknesses?  Let me put it this way: which parts of your personality are stopping you from 1. getting into gear and 2. staying in gear?

You want to know the truth about me?  I am a procrastinator.  I honestly do not know many people who are worse than me.  I can also be quite compulsive and intense (*ahem* I don’t know who I get that from *ahem) which means that once I get excited about something, I’ll want to do it all. the. time.  Until I don’t (either because I’m sick of it or because I’ve found something else to do), then I’ll stop.  These two traits are what have been stopping me from being in better shape than I am.

On the flip side, I am also a perfectionist.  This can be both good and bad, but in my case, it is good because it means that it is important for me to focus on my form when I workout.  Finally, I am competitive.  I hate losing.  I hate failing.  This too is going to help me reach my goal of becoming fitter.

2.  Know you constraints

And I mean your actual ones, not the ones that come out of your I’ve-got-a-collection-of-excuses hat.  For me, I don’t currently have the money to pay for a gym membership (which is fine, by the way, because there are other ways to get in shape than going to the gym).  Time is also an issue.  I need something that I can do regardless of if I’m working or on maternity leave, regardless of if my brother’s home or not to watch my daughter, regardless of if it’s income tax season and I’m as good as a single mom.  Basically, I need something that is flexible and allows me to work out at home (see, I told you that not being able to go to the gym wasn’t really a problem).

3.  Be flexible…

Say you planned to work out today.  Say that during the night, your daughter was up every 1.5 h from 8:30 pm to 5:30 am when you just gave up and got her up for the day.  Say that between your precious daughter, your toddler who woke up with nightmares a couple of times during the night and your snoring husband, you got maybe 4 hours of sleep during the night during which your longest bout of uninterrupted sleep was about 45 minutes.  Say that you have trouble putting foot in front of the other in the morning and the idea of actually working out is enough to make you want to curl up into a ball in the corner of the room and cry.  It’s OK to shorten your workout.  Heck, it’s even OK to skip the day.  Really.  No guilt needed.

4.  …But not too flexible

Plan, plan, plan.  Take out a calendar and circle the days that you want to workout on.  That way, if you actually did have to skip a day, you can catch up on one of your “off” days.  If it’s written, you will want to do it.

5.  Find something that inspires you.

For me, the winner was crossfit.  What attracted me to it?

For starters, every single exercise is scalable.  Can’t do a burpee (let alone 4 x 25)?  Do a modified one.  Don’t have time to do 5 rounds?  Do only 2 or 3.  Don’t have any weights, use your body weight.  This has the insane advantage that a 18 year old at the top of his game and a badly out of shape 60 year old can do the same workout.  Either the number of reps, the number of rounds, the amount of weight…will be different for both of them.

I also like it because the program changes all the  time.  I’m not going to the gym to do the same routine each and every time.  Nope.  Each day is different…and I’m always finding myself looking forward to the next day.

Finally, the workout of the day is short.  It scarcely ever takes more time than 15 minutes.  And you know what the best part it?  In that 15 minutes you feel like you just spent 75 of them at the gym (or I do in any event).

6.  Set some smart goals

No seriously, make sure your goals are S.M.A.R.T.: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.  Also, make sure you have some short and long-term goals.  For instance, my general goal is to become fitter.  My four SMART goals are:

  • By the end of the month (T), make sure to have trained (S) on average (A, R) three times a week (M).
  • Improve in at least one domain per training session when I restart the training cycle.  (More about this in my next post)
  • Be able to run 5km or 30 minutes without stopping by the end of July 2015.
  • Compete in a 5km race in September 2015 (I’ve already signed up for this so I can’t back out now 😉 ).

Notice there is nothing in there about weight?  That is because I realized that setting a weight goal was too discouraging for me.  I’ve done it before and I hated getting up on the scale each week.  I’m concentrating on eating right (without weighing or measuring my portions) and being active at least three times per week.  If the weight changes, then good.  But I’m not tracking it at all.

7.  Go for it!

Go, go, go!  You can do it!

Care to share your fitness journey?  What do you like to do to stay active?  What is keeping you from being as active or as fit as you’d like?

Posted in fitness

Inspiration & Motivation

I’ve never been an overly active person.  I mean, when I was young, I did swimming lessons and loved them.  I learned how to bike and how to skate.  I did a year of ninjutsu (which I also loved), did some rock climbing, played a bit of squash.  But then, I stopped when we moved and concentrated more on music and reading.

You know what the worst part is?  I actually like to be active!  But I kept on finding excuses.

I mean, when I started going out with my boyfriend, we went to the gym together for a while.  But I ended up stopping because I found it too tedious to come home from work and get comfortable only to have to go out again just to go do my gym routine.  It became even more difficult when winter came ’round.

A year later, I did some Tae Bo with some co-worker.  It was great at first because it was close to home and I could warm up by walking to the building.  But after two sessions, I lost interest.  Or maybe I caught a cold and skipped a few classes and just didn’t go back.  Or maybe…whatever the reason, I just stopped.

Then life started happening and I got comfortable in my routine or working, gaming, eating and sleeping.  After that, I became pregnant.  And it always seemed like there was always an excuse to not take care of my fitness.

It’s kind of sad, because I had a lot of inspiration around me.

I mean, my mom has always been active.  She’s done/ she does biking, rollerblading, yoga, weight conditioning with a VHS tape.  She takes a walk every day.  I mean, she’s just unhappy if she doesn’t do something.  And she’s been telling me for years that I should find an activity that motivates me and do it because I would feel better and probably sleep better.  But, you know, who wants to listen to their mom once they’ve moved out (even though you know they’re right).

There’s also my dad.  He’s had his moments where something would interest him.  He’s golfed, biked, done Tae kwon do.  Then a couple of years ago, he decided to really work hard to become healthier and more active.  And he has done an amazingly inspiring job of it.

My sister started doing Aikido, my brother did some Kung Fu.  When my boyfriend and I started going out, he had just lost about a hundred pounds in the previous year…

So you see, I’ve got quite a bit of inspiration around me.  But not enough to actually do anything about it.  Until recently…

You see, few months ago, I caught myself saying that once I’d go back to work (at the end of August), I was going to start going to the gym.  My rationale for waiting until then?  We’re currently living on a reduced income because of the maternity leave so we have to keep a tighter budget (excuse #1).  Besides, I don’t really have the time to go right now because I have my daughter at home with me all day (excuse #2).

But then, about two months ago, I got my kick-in-the-ass moment (aka: what motivated me).  I was just sitting on the couch and started thinking about my grandfather and I realized that at nearly 80 years old…or is he 80 already, I can’t remember (désolée grand-papa 😉 ) he was in better shape than I was at 30 (and this despite the fact that he is asthmatic).

And that was it.  That was all I needed.  Suddenly, there were no more excuses, only goals and solutions.  And I’ll tell you all about them…in tomorrow’s post 😉

Did you have a kick-in-the-rear moment that allowed you to make some positive life changes?  I’d love to hear about it!