Guest Blogger: Amy + how to find time to stay active!

make fitness a priorityIt’s me again.  Kat and I have many discussions about finding the time 
to stay active with a busy life.  I am often asked where I find the
time to do what I do.  It is a challenge for all of us.  I always
 enjoyed an active life but it was inconsistent and certainly was 
never at the level it is at now.  I really ramped it up over the past 
year.  I have the least amount of time I’ve ever had but am in the
 best shape I’ve ever been in and work out more than I ever have.




Ramping it up has been a process that came out of a not so great time
 in my life.
 I never had any health concerns, ever. Shortly after I had my
 daughter last year I found out what it is like not to have your 
health.  It was an unbelievably stressful time for myself and my 
family.  I was unable to get out of bed at times and saw more doctors 
in a few months than I had in my whole life.  Being sick also takes an
 emotional toll, add a little bit of postpartum anxiety to that and
 I became an emotional disaster.

Running was a way out of an
 extremely dark time for me.  I am much better today; although I
struggle daily with chronic pain and the emotional impact that comes
 with that.  I don’t take anything for granted and do everything I can 
to maintain my health.  When I was able to start up a running routine 
my mantra was: “I run becasue I can, I run because I can”, I repeat 
it over and over 
again and still do on tough runs.

Everyone that can be active should 
be active, in my opinion.

OK!  that is a bit more than I thought I would ever be sharing on
the internet!!!! Everyone has their struggles in life and mine have
 led me to be such great friends with Kat and to this blog. I have a
total new lease on life and oddly enough I am actually thankful for such a miserable time, I found out who my real friends are, I realized
 how wonderful my husband and family are and it led me to do things I never
 thought possible.

 So I am taking my take on time and exercise to the blog.  I am still 
not the best at saying what 
I need to say so it’s a little Q&A.

Kat: You’re a busy mom (and teacher) – why do you make the time to exercise?

Amy: I make the time to exercise for many reasons.  The number one reason I
 make time to exercise is because I want my kids to grow up in an
 active household with two active parents.  I also make the time to
 exercise because it makes me a much better mom, wife and teacher.  I
 am not tired or
 cranky, I feel good and I generally have lots of energy.  I do feel
 guilty if I have to leave the kids for an hour but that hour makes the
 rest of the time so much more enjoyable.  It’s worth it.

Kat: How do you make the time to fit exercise in.

Amy: This one is tricky. The only way I will ever have time to work out
 with my busy life is to make it a priority in my day.  If I cannot go 
to the gym I go for a run with the double jogger, if there is snow on 
the ground I have a number of circuits I can do at home while I busy the kids
 with activities (or include them).  I also do yoga or jump rope.
There is always
 something I can do to get a workout in.  I have a million and one 
excuses not to
 work out but I do it anyway.  In the end it’s all down to prioritizing 
and finding the 
time to do something, anything.  Once you establish an active life it 
is so much easier to keep it up.  I’ve lived life as an active person
 and a non-active person.  This life is so much better.

Kat: What do you think is the biggest challenge for you to get it in.

Amy: Hands down it’s the guilt of leaving the kids to do something for
 myself, as much as I can workout at home it is not realistic for me to
 always do it at home.  Also I really don’t want to.  I like to get
out… alone. 🙂

Kat: 

Do you have any tips for other parents out there who want to get more 
active but are struggling?

Amy: I do!  If you can get your work outs in before the kids wake up, do 
it!  Also think of things you can do with the children.  I trained for 
a 5K and a 10K with a double stroller.  Take the kids to a big field
 and just go crazy running after after them, get some cheap snowshoes,
go skiing, have a dance party, there are a million things I do with 
the kids to get a sweat on.  Also go to the gym and don’t feel badly
 about making your health and fitness a priority in your life.  It will
 make you a happier parent with much more energy to spend with the 
little ones.  As a person who grew up with an extremely active father 
I can’t tell
you how much they will look up to you (even when they are 33).

Kat: How is crossfit going?

Amy: Unbelievable!!  I had a terrible chest cold so was out of commission
 for almost 2 weeks but I am back at it!!!  I put weight on the
 bar now and am so much faster!  I truly cannot believe the things I am
 achieving.  I recommend it to everyone!  It is an amazing sport.

Day 133, 134 & 135: cross training in Chicago

chicago from the airSo I apologize that I haven’t been keeping up properly. I was away from home and totally out of my regular routine. We took off for Chicago last Wednesday. Got in late, but I still managed to get my behind out of bed by 6:30 that next morning (5:30 to my body) and hit the gym. I did AMT for 40 minutes and then another 15 minutes of yoga. It felt great! The best part of the day was walking around Chicago (mostly getting lost) and spending a few hours in Starbucks reading my clients new book (which is awesome, check it out!) After that I cruised around a bit. I found the Omni hotel where all of Oprah’s guests stayed. I stopped for a minute (like loonie) and took it all in. I could hear her do her like, “All guests of the Oprah show stay at the “Ommmm-ni” hotel in downtown Chicago…” Amazing. Then I headed back to the hotel – which was super cool too (KnickerBocker). The next morning I was up even earlier (5:50) and hopped on the bike for 20 minutes and the elliptical for 20 minutes. I did some yoga and headed up to the room, got ready for the day (which started at 7:30.) So we went to Speakers School from 7:30 – 4:00, had amazing sushi at this restaurant in Chicago called “Ai” So good. Then back to the hotel to work on a few things. And up again even earlier (5:45) at the gym for 45 minutes and out the door again for 7:30 a.m. We finished speakers school at 11:30, headed to O’Hare to fly back to Calgary. Now, because of the storm on the east coast we ended up sitting at the gate for over an hour waiting for crew members … then when we got to Toronto our flight was over two hours late (YAHOO!) Then when I finally got home at 1:00 am, my son woke up about 1.5 hours later throwing up. But I have to admit, as much as I LOVED my time in Chicago, I was pleased to be back home with him!

Hope everyone is doing well out there!

Day 129: elliptical. thirty minutes. yeah buddy.

running board Yesterday morning was just a cross-training day. I was up early and hit the elliptical for thirty minutes. I didn’t want to overdo it because today was a really long run (18km) and I felt like bracing myself was in order.

I decided to walk over to the gym because it was a nice morning; the temperature was perfect and it was easier than scraping the truck. I started out and just a few steps in I remembered why I had been driving over – ICE! I was literally shuffling along on the ice so I wouldn’t slip. Ever-so-lightly moving my feet and thankfully didn’t bail. I got to the crosswalk and busted it across; just as I finished crossing (on a legit walk light) a big-ass red truck ran through the lights (I guess red lights don’t apply to him.) As I was staring in disbelief, he whipped into the gym parking lot. Must have been anxious to get his workout over with too!

The gym wasn’t really busy at all, but the rinks were just hopping with kids and parents. I’d like to take a minute to acknowledge that at 7 a.m. there were at least four adults on the ice (that I could see) volunteering their time to help out these hockey kids (and parents). With all the stuff we’ve seen lately about sports, volunteers and hockey parents, I must say that seeing this warmed my heart. I don’t think a lot of people have a handle on how much work (and stress) comes with volunteering your time, so major KUDOS to the people who give up their time so generously on a Saturday morning (and any time for that matter.)

Anyway, back to the workout. The elliptical was good, but I must confess that I had it on pretty easy settings (vertical: 4, resistance: 5). Not a whole lot even happened in the time I was there. No one farting or being inappropriate. There was really nothing great on TV either so I just quietly did my thing and hopped off. However, as I went to erase my name off the sign up board, I noticed this obnoxious comment: I never sign up. Really? So despite the gym monitors asking people to please be respectful of others time and sign up, you don’t? Why, pray tell? Someone needs a refresher on gym etiquette I’d say!

Overall, I enjoyed my mini-workout. Love cross-training days!

Day 128: warm temperatures and a pretty good run with Wedgie

funnyTonight was a good night for a run outside, except for ice. The temperature has been going from -30 to above zero on and off so sidewalks are a bit treacherous. I must admit, it was nice to be outdoors again as most of my workouts have been at the gym lately.

We were scheduled to run 6.4km and we ended up doing around 6.15 km because I rolled it on a curb (didn’t fall completely) but my ankle took a bit of a beating. I thought I’d finish but I couldn’t handle the aggravation! Our run wasn’t super fast, but it was pleasant, despite the slipping and sliding.

The best part of the night was the shopping afterward. We went to Lululemon so Wedgie could fill her Lulu addiction and then Calgary Runner Girlswe shopped around a bit. We decided to go to Sears because I wanted to see if they had any deals on boots (and despite my annoyance with their online business, I like the deals in-store.) Anyway, we managed to find a pair of boots in my size and they barely went over my calves. Then, out of nowhere, I got a spasm in the arch of my foot. I immediately tried to pull my leg out of the boot and it was freaking stuck! I mean, REALLY stuck. Because I couldn’t relax my foot, my leg was tensed up and there was absolutely NO wiggle room. Of course, then the woman comes over the system saying they are closing. Wedgie and I are standing there roaring: one foot in sneaker, one foot in boot. I was laughing so hard, I legitimately could have peed my pants. I thought for sure I was going to have to buy the boot. But with one final tug, I managed to get it off. What a horrifying, yet hilarious experience.

Anyway, here are tonights stats:runkeeper stats

  • Distance: 6.15 km
  • Time: 46:52
  • Pace: 7:37
  • Best Pace: 6:23

 

Thanks for the run Wedgie!

Day 125: “YOU GO GIRL!!” 10 miles. 4 personal bests. YEAH BUDDDDDDDDDY!

peace bridge calgaryAlways a creature of habit, last night I decided I was going to carb up on my pierogi pizza  and beer. Yep. Exactly what I did last weekend before a terrific long run. Figured it wouldn’t hurt. And it didn’t.

I got up this morning and had a really sore neck. I was tired (was up several times through the night) and wasn’t generally feeling a great run today. To top things off, my porridge burned and the only coffee left for the Keurig was fricking hazlenut, not my usual Columbian. All these things were annoying me and I thought for sure it was going to be a really crappy run. But it wasn’t.

It was grey out, but the temperature was about 12 degrees warmer than last Sunday and I hit the same trail (Memorial along the river) with a goal of 10 miles! There were so many people out today. I was lapped a few times by various people but I kept my head down and kept going. Around the 5km mark I had to stop and adjust my fuel belt (which is AWESOME by the way) and then again at 9 km. I took water at several points because I was feeling parched (maybe the beer from last night?) Overall, I had a really great run and was extremely pleased to maintain a really strong pace. It gives me confidence and comfort to know that in a few months when it’s a little warmer I may be able to get it back down below 6 minutes/km.

A few things I noticed on my run today: 

  1. People running with dogs. I get it. It’s nice to kill two birds with one stone. However, there are a few things to consider.  The trail I was on today is generally packed with people who are running long distances. I passed by a few different people running with dogs and forty minutes later, we passed each other again on the turnaround. Generally I don’t take much notice of dogs (unless they’re intimidating) but several of the the dogs I saw running today were tongue out and dragging behind. They did not look happy. In fact, I swear one dog was looking at me like, “Please come back and pick me up in your truck. Please.” Honestly, I get that dogs need exercise and they probably enjoy the first thirty minutes, but if the dog isn’t conditioned for a long run, why the heck would you do that to them? 
  2. The Peace Bridge is fricking amazing.
  3. Having the wind at your back is far more awesome than in your face.
  4. Sunday activity enthusiasts are the best – always friendly, always supportive.

Finally, I was being heckled on the Peace Bridge – like the guy ahead of me – I knew it was coming. I tried to tape it because I thought it would be funny, but I failed so it’s just a quick video of me running across (and I can’t upload for some reason) But the best part was when I came out of the bridge and there was a little, old Indian woman on the other side waving her cane in the air saying “YOU GO GIRL!!!!” and giving me a thumbs up. I had just under 2 km to finish and that was exactly what I needed to keep going. I yelled back “THANK YOU!” and kept going. I ended the run with the sun shining. It was amazing.

And that’s how my run went today. But I just quickly want to draw your attention to what’s going on in Australia. I had no idea, but one of my WP running pals is in the middle of it. We are thinking of you all and hoping that this will pass quickly and with as minimal damage as possible.

So in light of the awful weather they’re experiencing, I promise that for the rest of this winter  you will not hear me complain about the weather. And if you do, I expect you to raz me about it.

Anyway – here are todays stats:run keeper 16km run in calgary

  • Distance: 16.01km
  • Time: 1:41:50
  • Pace: 6:22
  • Best Pace: 5:06

PERSONAL BESTS:

  • Farthest distance
  • Longest duration
  • Most calories burned
  • Biggest elevation climb