Weekend on the Water (1)

Weekend on the Water

Just saying, I may have to try this whole not racing thing again sometime. I had such a fantastic weekend full of friends, adventures and a really solid workout.

friends

I headed to Hamilton on Friday night and spent some time with two of my best friends from university. We grabbed pizza and ate it by the river and spent the evening catching up and seeing how life has changed our little days in class together.

Saturday, I helped out at the Amish auction in Perth County. Let me explain. I live in an unusual corner of the world with a very specific culture of the Mennonites. This is the most unique event I know that involves them raising funds for their school system. There are hundreds of people that come out to check out the auction which features everything from livestock and antiques to farm equipment. My father’s Home Hardware store puts in a booth every year and I helped out and went to check out some of the culture!

horse

Watching a horse being sold in the auction ring. SO fascinating.

Athletics-wise, it was my second last big volume weekend before my marathon. I had mentioned that I had worked out a system with my coach where I would do an hour long cycle before my long run to get my legs good and tired for the run to simulate a marathon without pushing my milage too high, too fast.

Of course, it was POURING rain for me, but my cycle went quickly.

rain

It was hard to mentally wrap my mind around the fact that I would be out there for 3 and a half hours, but that is all a part of the training. I also experimented with a new form of fuelling, experiment being the operating word.

I had heard that chocolate pudding was a similar nutritional profile as gel and it works fabulously for fuelling training. Typical me, I was all into using myself for an experiment so I filled a couple plastic bags with chocolate pudding and took off for my run. Didn’t google the validity of it or ANYTHING because I am unusually optimistic about using incorrect foods for fuelling. 

Well. I kind of wish I would have. Firstly, my legs felt like junk the first 6 KM off the bike but it magically disappeared after my first tempo portion, despite the rain. I took my pudding(I grimace even writing that) at around 15 km or half way.

My digestive system was less than thrilled. Let’s just say, it was a good solid effort and I will never use pudding on a training run again. Full stop. The run can be seen here.

Sunday, I took a complete rest day and spent the day with my cousin. He is a paramedic and is constantly inundated with health questions from me. (Hey Chris – when you run a hard workout and are violently ill 4 hours later, what causes that? What does hogweed burn look like? What does…)

chris

He clearly loves every second of it.

My sport for July is kayaking and we met up with a friend for a fantastic day on the water.

kayaking

We were rained on for a portion of our 5 hour session, but it didn’t matter. I absolutely loved the change of pace and working on my upper body strength and perfecting my technique. I love being on the water and it was the perfect recovery day.

kayak2

Don’t forget to enter my Genuine Health giveaway! Winner is drawn on Wednesday. Just leave a comment on this post to enter.

What did you do this weekend?

What is the newest sport you have tried lately?

5Peaks - RattleSnake

Race Report: 5 Peaks Rattlesnake Course

Hey guys. Guess what I’m not doing this weekend?

Racing!

Instead, I will be spending some time in Hamilton with some of my best friends from university, sneaking in a long run and spending some time on the open water learning how to kayak.

Last weekend, I had a fabulous race at the Rattle Snake Conservation area with the 5 Peaks series. It was an interesting event for me, because I had 26 KM to fit in, so I did a longer warm up than usual, treated the race as a tempo portion of a long run and finished up with a 10 km “cool down.”

5Peaks - RattleSnake

A little bit about the course: This race is known as one of the series favourites as it is by far the most technical. It’s situated along the Niagara Escarpment and not too far of a drive for me, which obviously wins for me when it means I get an extra hour of sleep.

I have to say it is my favourite so far simply for the incredible variety of terrain the course offers. You begin in a simple path that quickly turns into some fun and pretty intense single track. This turns into some rocky limestone that has you doing some fancy footwork and high knees to scramble over them. Patched throughout are fun little boardwalks to break up swampy bits and grassy stretches that were fun for pushing hard.

The final 2 KM were hurt. There is a burning vertical up the escarpment and at one point I turned and yelled at the guy behind me that it felt like an obstacle course. I definitely used plenty of plyometrics on this course!

I was really happy with my performance. I kept it in a lower gear and ran a decent tempo pace and was able to rock the 10 KM following the race. I placed 5th woman OA and 1st in my age group. You can see my Movescount data here.

podium-5PeaksRattlesnake

The volunteers were amazing and the water stations were placed intuitively throughout.

What I learned: That I have a weakness when it comes to really technical bits. I am fine with leaping over logs and roots (in fact, this one guy behind me yelled out that I was a gazelle at the beginning of the race and kind of made my day), but I really was slowed down by the lime stone. It was a bit slippery and I just wasn’t mentally game to pound over it, very similar with how I used to be with steep, technical down hills. It just means I need to get out there and train on limestone and rocky surfaces to increase my comfort levels on going fast over rocks.

What I ate: [Pre-race] Banana, coffee, sprouted toast with nutella and peanut butter.
[Post-race/long run] Chocolate milk, bagel with almond butter and an apple.

What I wore: 2XU racing hat, Salomon 5 Peaks tank, Sears shorts, Saucony Peregrine’s, Suunto Ambit 2 Watch. (Hoping to have a review on this up next week!)

It was a lot of fun to spend time with some of my trail buddies and fellow ambassadors.

michelle-jess-5peaks

allegra-jess-5Peaks

One of my best friend’s from university came and ran it as well and it was so much fun to catch up with her during the awards ceremony. Another awesome 5 Peaks race!

The next one is Albion Hills on August 9. Message me at lacesandlattes[a]gmail.com for a discount code; looking forward to seeing you there!

Did you race last weekend? How did it go?!

giveaway

Supplements for Runners and a Genuine Health Giveaway!

Seriously. How are we at Wednesday, guys?

It may feel so unusual because I treated my Monday night like another weekend evening. I headed up to Toronto to speak at Allegra’s running clinic at the Running Room.

runningroomchat

The chat was on staying motivated in your training. From there, I headed to meet some fellow Digital Champions for the Toronto Scotiabank Waterfront Marathon for an evening run with the Toronto run crew, Night Terrors.

10517637_1443880619216022_8646998307297588640_o

night terrors

It was a late night and on Tuesday morning, I headed to work in a mad rush to make it on time, but not without grabbing two of my morning mainstays – coffee and omegas.

Coffee to keep me alive. Omegas to keep me moving.

I rarely take medications, but I supplement with a few items:

Omega 3 Joy by Genuine Health –  As an athlete, I search for reasonable and natural ways to reduce inflammation Omega-3 fatty acids help to reduce inflammation, support the nervous system, clear your skin, give heart health and good vision, provide enhanced cognitive function and effective digestion and nutrient absorption.

omega-joy

I don’t eat enough fish, so this little supplement keeps me rocking in my training. This is the best fish oil I have taken, and I’ve been trying brands for over 3 years.

Probiotics  – When I am training hard, I eat a lot of food. Probiotics help me digest it well so I can keep racing hard. It also helps me to absorb the nutrients from the food I am eating.

liveprobio-60caps

Iron – I use a low dosage prescribed by my doctor. Female runners are particularly prone to iron deficiency and I try to keep my levels at a healthy amount by taking iron, eating leafy greens and indulging in red meat at least once a week.

Vitamin D – This supplement is vital for health. I dial back my dosage in the summer because I am outside more but during the winter, I take 4,000 IU’s of Vitamin D every day to support my health, boost immunity and keep me smiling.

That’s it! I try to get most of my vitamins from food, but these are a few that my doctors, naturopaths or health professionals have recommended for me.

I would love to share some of my omegas with you because I seriously do think they are the best. I’m giving away a bottle of Omega 3 Joy to a reader. To enter, just leave a comment telling me what you supplement with/why you don’t supplement and I will pick a winner next Wednesday.

Bonus entries for liking:
Laces and Lattes on Facebook
Genuine Health on Facebook
Laces and Lattes on Twitter
Genuine Health on Twitter.

Good luck!

10475224_777967372234622_5734765646919001423_n

Why Speed Work, Works

What an awesome weekend, guys! I have no idea how I was able to cram so much in and still feel like I had a restful weekend.

I had the 5 Peaks Rattle Snake race on Saturday morning (recap to come this Friday) and I was struck with an awful migraine that left me cancelling all my evening plans to sleep off my symptoms. I came to around 9:30 and promptly watched Orphan Black until 3 am. (I rarely watch TV, but occasionally I find a show I am addicted to and then it just gets out of hand).

 My Allegra and I. She won first for her age group in the Sport Course!

I spent Sunday with my family, eating lunch at my sister’s house, squeezing in a quick gym session and headed to the beach to watch the sunset.

unnamed

This week, it’s back to the grind, including a couple sessions of speed training. I wanted to chat a bit about the how’s and why’s of speed training and it’s benefits to runners.

I will use myself as an example. When I first began running in 2010, I thought you ran by just heading out the door with running shoes on. I was correct, but only to a point. To run WELL, I needed to incorporate intervals. It wasn’t until I seriously made them a part of my regular training that I began seeing serious gains in my performance including PRIng almost every race and seeing the podium more often then not. I have shaved 4 minutes off my 5 KM time in university varsity cross country in the past number of years because of interval training.

10475224_777967372234622_5734765646919001423_n

Why Do Intervals Work?

Intervals make you focus on your top end speed which helps allow your body to get used to running at a fast speed, so you will do it more effortlessly in races. For me, the biggest thing that interval training built was STRENGTH. That explosive strength that gave me that extra kick in the last kilometre of a race and the sprints helps to develop stronger core muscles to help me in my distance runs.

You also are able to work HARDER than you ever could if you would try and sustain that speed over a long period of time. The break between your intervals allows your body to recover and it is a great way to monitor fitness.

13949_10152151124720704_34494676_n

How Do You Incorporate Them Into Training? 

  • If you are just starting out, make sure you have a base built up in running. I would suggest being able to run 5 KM without stopping before starting to incorporate speed work into your training.
  • You want to find a local track or flat surface to do them on. Doing speed work on hills is helpful sometimes, but if the course is too steep or technical, it is hard to focus on speed.
  • Make sure you warm up – to reach your top end speed, it is important to not run on cold muscles as there is a much higher chance of injury. I always do a 20 minute run before my speedwork sessions.
  • Focus on your form! It can be easy to be hyperaware of speed and forget form, especially as you get tired, but making sure you are in correct posture will actually help you run faster.
  • Don’t over do it. Start with one speed session a week and work to two. I only do one speed session the weeks I am racing because too much intensity, like everything, can be a bad thing. By mixing it into your regular routine, you will notice huge gains in your racing speed.
  • Cool down. You are working your body hard and it will recover faster with a cool down. I normally run for about 10 minutes after my interval session.

Team Dave

Sample Interval Workout

20 minute warm up run

10 x 1 minute sprints with one minute recovery

10 minute tempo run

10 minute cool down

What is your favourite interval workout?

creemoreverticalchallenge

Race Report: Creemore Vertical Challenge

Welcome to the weekend, you fine people.

This week was a bit of a blur of meetings, training and some recovery from a heavy volume weekend. Speaking of the weekend, I wanted to talk about the race I completed for the first time.

untitledI will never forget the moment when I heard about the Creemore Vertical Challenge. It was 20 KM into a Health and Performance long run this spring where I had neglected to fuel properly. I had thrown in two difficult tempo sections to the run and I was busily bonking halfway through the last one. My team mate Dave was running beside me, talking me through it and began chatting to me about this race where there is a hill so steep you need a rope to get to the top, where you get pottery medals and sit in cold river post race with a beer and pizza. I wasn’t sure how much I processed at that moment, but I knew I would sign up for that race.

A couple weeks before the race, I signed up and became more and more excited the closer the race day came. I knew I wouldn’t be able to race it because my coach and I worked out a plan where I would walk the hills and jog the straights as a part of my marathon program for the Endurrun. I just wanted that pottery medal!

The race location is situated on the race director’s property and was absolutely stunning. There is a beautiful river and trees for days.

IMG_20140704_202304

It was a bit of a hike to get to Creemore, but we arrived in time for the race start and at 9 am, we were off running! I did the 25 KM.

The first couple KM were hard for me mentally. The lead pack had taken off and I felt like I was shuffling to keep my pace slow enough. My goal was to keep my pace at training pace for at least the first half, walking all the hills and picking it up at the end if I felt it a good idea. I was proud of myself because I was able to walk the hills and keep my pace at a nice, even tempo and just started having FUN with it. Creemore is one of the most beautiful places I have ever raced in and there is just a lot of UP which is basically heaven because if I wasn’t human, I would probably be a mountain goat. I loved the elevation gains in this race.

Elevation map of the race

Elevation map of the race

It was around 15 KM and I was running through a forested section pretending to be Laura Secord racing through the woods (Not racing coupled with a vivid imagination from my childhood that never has left me..) when a woman yelled out that I was first female.

Whut.

I had been just playing until this point because I assumed the pack in front of me held a few ponytails. Unfortunately, it played with my mental game a little and I hit the biggest hill of the race. Although I had a ball flying down the hills full speed (what goes up, must come down..), after that, I was tired and not having as much fun anymore. Suddenly, I felt PRESSURE. I had not been drinking enough water. I hadn’t expected the hills to be so long. I decided to hold my pace and speed up for the last 5 KM.

The last 5 KM were FUN. There was a long, winding gravel road that kicked you onto the trails again. There is a grassy stretch and suddenly you are scrambling over bridges, climbing up ropes and running down winding hills. I crossed the finish line as first female for a respectable time of 2:20:14 considering I was not racing it and began consuming every liquid beverage in arms reach. I despise Coke but I drank 2 glasses, coupled with some Gatorade and two bottles of water. I was alternating between sticking my head in the dunk tank and drinking water – not my classiest moment. If I were to do it again, I would most certainly carry water.

I grabbed the infamous Creemore beer and a slice of pizza and I settled in the Mad River for the infamous Mad River Massage that I had been waiting for since that wretched long run in the spring.

untitled1

I’m rocking a pretty impressive hair style, considering that less than 12 hours prior, my hair had looked more like this:

What? You don't get your hair done pre-race?

What? You don’t get your hair done pre-race?

The awards were unreal. I received ground coffee, a quart of fresh maple syrup and a pottery bowl, both made by the race director and his wife. I am most certainly coming back to RACE this next year. I have a pottery collection to grow!

1623452_10100910910316447_2108501969868788515_n

Health and Performance review.

Race report by the amazing race director, Pierre Marcoux.

What I ate:

Pre-race –Bagel with peanut butter and honey, Coffee, Cherries

During – 1 Vega gel

What I wore:

Team jersey, Oldest pair of shorts I own, SKECHERS GORuns, SPI Belt

Let’s quickly chat about this SPI belt.

sku_lg_7BL-E002-001

I have been wearing it non-stop since getting it. I wear it to hold my stuff when I am cycling or doing long runs and I have fit a cell phone, a gel and two sets of keys in there and have been able to forget about it.

It is the endurance SPI belt so it holds more than a regular SPI belt and is more durable. It has holsters for energy gels and one of my favourite features is the race toggles to wear your bib around your hips instead of pinning it on. Water resistant and reflective – it will be perfect for my future 100 milers where I am running into the night. This has quickly become one of my favourite pieces of gear of endurance events.

5 Peaks Rattle Snake Course Update

Before I head out – I am racing the 5 Peaks Rattle Snake course and I have been getting lots of emails from readers for the discount code and letting me know you will be there. I am excited to meet everyone and looking forward to a fabulous race. This is one of my favourite courses and I was able to get out there and run it last Sunday with some of the crew. I have been asked about some things to know about the course:

-          The Sport and Enduro are not the same. The sport section breaks off a couple of KM into the race and I believe it is only in the 5 KM range, but don’t quote me on that one.

-          The Enduro course is probably the most vertical of the race series so far. Lots of fun UP and fancy footwork. Be mindful of your footing and conservative on the climbs. Save your energy for the flats.

-          The Enduro course is 12.7 KM.

-          There is about a 50/50 split of vertical and flat on the course which makes it a nice variety and fun race.

-          The final sprint to the end is to do a loop of the field so make sure you are mentally prepared for that.

Have fun and see you there!

What are you racing this weekend?

summer playlist

Summer 2014 Playlist

Although I don’t train with music regularly, it is a huge part of my every day life. I am a commuter and the way I consume music is to arrive at a song I love and listen to it endlessly until I am so tired of the song that I can’t listen to it again for months.

Except I do that for myself.

Except I do that for myself.

My music list has been steadily growing this summer as I have discovered some new podcasts that I listen to while blogging and while at work. I say it over and over again, but I am an electronic music buff. Nothing makes me run, work or drive faster than a great rhythm with some deep bass drops.

A lot of you have been asking for a new playlist and I have found a fabulous new set to share with you for your next workout! Just in time for summer, here are some fresh new tunes to fuel your next run.

U – Gareth Emery and Bo Bruce

When I lived in England, I went to one of Emery’s shows alone. That is how dedicated I am to this man’s music. He just put out an incredible album called Drive which is arguably his best one yet. 

 This song is done in collaboration with one of my favourite British rock musicians – Bo Bruce. Her original track, Alive is also worth the download. Use this song on a tempo run, with plyometrics or 1 minute repeats on the track.

  Calvin Harris – Summer (Rehab Remix)

I will be honest, I do not care for the original version of this song. This remix has completely saved the song for me. With a fantastic build, this song is great for negative splits.

Matisse & Sadko – Sigure -

Keeping it fresh with a Russian track, this is a fun track with high speed rhythms and slow builds. Use this song with intervals, especially 400 meter repeats.

Dada Life – Born to Rage –

Skipping to Sweden, this track features a lively melody with a heavy bass drop, this is one of my absolute favourite summer songs. Rage on, runners. :) Starting slowly and building in intensity, this is the perfect track for hill repeats.

Christian Q & Shokstix – Game of Thrones (A Tribute to the Theme Song) –

I love epic tracks and this one makes you feel like you are in the centre of a battle. With a nod to the TV show, this song has some fabulous melodies and gorgeous builds. Also some fabulously creepy voice overs to make you run faster! Place it in the middle of your next long run to give you an extra push.

Gareth Emery – Long Way Home

This fabulous man wrote this song at the end of a long tour as he was flying back to his home. It is supposed to capture the feeling of going home and I think he totally nails it. A beautiful song. Perfect for that last mile before you return to your door step!

What are your favourite running tracks at the moment?

Untitled design (2)

How to Make a Training Plan (And Stick With It)

Welcome to Monday!
It was a weekend jam packed with running for me. I did the Creemore Vertical Challenge 25KM on Saturday morning (recap will be on the blog on Friday). It was a fantastic course and although it was a training run for me, I was excited to finish first female.

Sunday, I spent the morning checking out the 5 Peaks Rattle Snake course with the race director and ambassadors and finished off the day by hosting a trail run in Waterloo with the Toronto Run Club Night Terrors. I love meeting other runners all throughout Canada and I have some exciting runs planned for the summer.

Doing some hill climbs to prep for next weekend!

Doing some hill climbs to prep for next weekend!

Group shot with some of my favourite trail running friends.

Group shot with some of my favourite trail running friends.

 

Night Terrors at the Hydrocut. Finishing off the weekend of trail running!

Night Terrors at the Hydrocut. Finishing off the weekend of trail running!

(As an aside, if you are thinking of running Rattle Snake next weekend, send me a message at lacesandlattes@gmail.com and I will hook you up with a discount code. )

Last week, I completed the finishing touches on my seven week training plan for my upcoming Endurrun marathon which will also serve as a launching point into my Scotiabank marathon in October. I’m not going to lie, it was a blast, but a wee bit hectic.

I used my MovesCount profile to create the plan and was able to track my weekly running milage as well as all my cross training. It is helpful because it gives me my average cardio for the week and I was shooting for between 10 – 12 hours and it landed me at 11.5! I have been meaning to do a post on how I track my training and I thought that this would be the perfect time, especially as I know many of you are thinking of upcoming A races this fall.

1. Determine the weeks leading up to the race – I knew that I had seven weeks to get into marathon race shape. Considering I am building from half marathon race shape, it really isn’t a proper training cycle length to build and taper, but I worked out some creative solutions in my cardio to add fatigue without the wear and tear.

2. If you are new to creating training plans, talk to an expert – For me, that was my coach. I sat down with him and brought my past mileage and weekly workout habits and we discussed the best ways to proceed. I would have made some silly training decisions without his advice.

marathon-training

3. Know it won’t be perfect – As I mentioned, I am not building in an ideal time frame, but it has allowed me to be creative. What do you do when you have a 30 KM run on tap for the same weekend you are doing an 8 hr adventure race? How do you add appropriate levels of fatigue without adding too much milage? (I am cycling an hour before my long runs).

4. Make it as easy as possible – I created the plan in Moves Count and added it to Garmin. This has uploaded my training into both my Suunto and Garmin watches so it can tell me what I am doing on any given day. It is also a great way to monitor milage.

5. Track your progress – I also hand write each workout into my beloved Moleskin planner which tracks everything for me from my appointments, workouts to my budget. If I lost it, I would be aimlessly wandering. An important thing I do with my handwritten workouts is to colour code them in the following way:

Green – I felt AMAZING
Orange – The workout was a bit underwhelming. I didn’t feel 100%
Red – It was full of pain and suck.

Zoomphoto Inc Event Photography

If I start dipping into the orange, I monitor my training and potentially adjust my milage or intensity or just take a plain old rest day to make sure I am not over training.
6. Don’t be ruled by your plan – As I mentioned, if I am feeling burnt out, tired or not into my workouts, I will take a rest day, no matter what it says on my training schedule. Also, sometimes life happens and your mother wants to take you for dinner or a long distance friend is in town. People always trump races for me so just remember that this is FUN and the track is always there tomorrow.

If you are interested in tracking my training, I am on Strava and Moves Count.
I will also be sharing pictures and updates on my Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram accounts.

What do you use to track your training?

review

Review: Garmin Forerunner 220

A couple of months ago, I set out on a bike ride and my faithful Garmin ForeRunner 305 would not wake up. I was deeply saddened because I had formed an almost emotional connection to the watch, especially as when I purchased it back in 2009 when I decided to start running, I bought it from someone who had been diagnosed with a terminal illness and could never run again.

Garmin-forerunner-305

Source: Garmin

“Run hard with it!” they told me.
And I did. The strap was worn and the watch had been around the world, connecting to satellites in North Dakota, Arizona, Paris, Amsterdam and London. It had biked long roads, ran trails and navigated me out of places I thought I was hopelessly lost in.

paris

2011 Half Marathon in Paris with my trusty 305

This was A Good Watch.
And although nothing could replace the giant computer I regularly strapped onto my wrist, I needed a watch stat. So I went into my favourite local running shop where I buy everything and asked Tiffany to hook me up with a new watch.
I ended up walking out with a Garmin ForeRunner 220 in Grape.
garmin-forerunner-220
The basis of my comparison will be between the Garmin ForeRunner 305 and the Garmin Forerunner 220, which is comparing a high-range and mid-range watch (price wise).

A couple of key things that stuck out to me immediately that I love about the watch and are big upgrades.

Upgrades

  • The weight – this little lady is a lot lighter than her successor. I forget that it is on my wrist.
  • The style – A less obnoxious design, I can forget to take it off and not look ridiculous while grocery shopping. In fact, I have gotten compliments on the watch.
  • The charger- The Garmin 220 does not sit in a holder, but is strapped in which keeps it locked in tightly and I don’t need to worry about it not sitting just so to get the charge like before.
  • The satellite connection – There is no need to stand and wait with your hand outstretched to the skies with this one. I found that I just need to strap it on and can start running immediately. There was only one run where I lost a satellite connection and that was in the middle of nowhere on a trail in Port Elgin.
  •  Auto lap – It tracks every KM or mile (whatever your preference is) and beeps when you hit it. A really great way to track where you are in a race if you are not watching your watch.
  • Auto pause – For those times where I get too chatty at practice, it automatically pauses for me. No need to madly scramble for the pause button at the end of intervals.
  • Internal Accelerometer – This allows me to track my runs on the treadmill if I ever chose to do so.
Source: DC Rainmaker

Source: DC Rainmaker

Using the watch

I found the watch very intuitive and easy to use. The “Go” button was purple and was exactly where it is found in other Garmin models. In fact, I found it to be easier to use than my Garmin Forerunner 305.

A neat new feature is that it has Bluetooth to sync workouts directly to your phone as well as to provide live tracking during races and events to friends and family. It is also completely water proof if you forget to take it off for a refreshing swim.

The only downside I found to the watch was that it was not compatible with a bike. But as soon as I dropped the $400 for a new watch, my old one sprung to life. But now I can have a watch for running and one for cycling – that’s practical, right?

For the sake of transparency, I have not partnered with Garmin for this post, nor did I receive the product from them. I bought the watch because Garmin satellite technology is some of the best in the market and I have always been happy with their watches.

Want to read more on the watch? Check out the best source on the internets for running tech. (No seriously, even Garmin tells their reps to refer to it.)

What watch do you run in?

header

ZICO Recovery Popsicles

It is getting WARM out there!

Heat training is something I adore because in my opinion, there is nothing more fun than getting a giant, stinging eyes,  drip-down-your-back sweat on after a hard interval session which is exactly what happened this week at practice with my team.

I came home and drank my regular recovery drink and wanted something MORE which is where I came up with recovery popsicles.

zico-coconut.jpg

I love to drink coconut water and BCAA’s after a hard summer workout to replenish lost electrolytes and support recovery. To be completely honest with you, I do not love coconut water on it’s own, but I incorporate it into my recovery routine because you just cannot argue with the benefits:

  • Essential electrolytes: It contains sodium to recover the salt that is lost through sweating, magnesium to aid with muscle recovery and calcium and potassium.
  • Potassium-Rich: Full of potassium, it help to stop those pesky muscle twitches and support your muscles in recovery. 
  • Just Plain Old Good for You: With no added sugar, cholesterol or fat, you can hydrate and know you are doing your body a favour. 

I have discussed the benefits of BCAA’s in recovery before, but here is another great article on the topic. 

To make recovery popsicles, I took one of my favourite recovery drinks and simply poured it into some popsicle molds instead of drinking it.

ZICO Recovery Popsicles

zico-bcaas.jpg

Pour mixture into popsicle molds and allow to freeze for 2-3 hours. Run hot water over the outside of the molds to loosen the popsicle and enjoy!

enjoying-popcicle.jpg

There is nothing better than polishing off one of these and diving into the pool for a refreshing swim. Oh summer – you are perfect.

recovery-popcicles.jpg

 

If you would make a recovery popsicle, what would be in it? 

goals-july

Goals for July

Well this post is a little late. I would say I cared but I don’t. I really don’t.
We are in the midst of a Canadian long weekend and I am in full out vacation mode. I went camping this past weekend and I had a wonderful weekend with friends full of sunsets, long trails runs, beach days and delicious food.

There was one evening when we all walked down to the beach to watch the sunset and someone remarked that it was the very best that Canada had to offer. I am so fortunate to live in a country where I can ran, play and explore to my hearts content. Oh Canada.

beach-July

It is hard to believe that we are on the cusp of July, but it is time to take a look at my past goals and focus on a few fresh ones for this month.

In my goals for June, I wanted to:

1. Learn a new sport. A+

Honestly, I did so much more with this one that I ever imagined. I learned how to golf – I played in a tournament and went to the driving range regularly with friends. I have set up a weekly golf practice with a friend and I am looking forward to playing in another tournament at the end of August to see how I have improved.

golf

2. Take some courses for work. D
I have begun them and have been working away at them, but I am not going to lie, I have flagged a little. Work has picked up and I am focusing on keeping up more than learning anything new.

3. Focus on sleep. C
I did SO well on this at the beginning of the month, but last weekend ruined everything. A 2 hour night of sleep, followed by a 4 hour night, settled nicely into a routine of about 6 or less hours. Don’t worry, I have been properly chastised by my coach and I am hoping to get back on track in July.

4. Increase my savings. A+
I am now on a first name basis with my financial advisor and I have come up with a robust savings plan. I have some big plans to buy ALL the things in the future and I am focusing on being a bit aggressive with savings now, because we ALL know I would spend it on running shoes if I wouldn’t save it.

5. Complete my first triathlon. A+
Nailed it! I had such a blast and I know this won’t be my last one. Read more about it here.

jess-triathlon

Ok, July. So, if I could have one theme for July, it would be PREPARATION.

1. Prepare for my marathon in 7 weeks.

marathon-training
I haven’t talked much about this on the blog, but I have been chose to race on the women’s team for ENDURRUN in the marathon leg. It was a bit sudden so I only have a 7 week cycle to build, taper and race this thing as hard as I can. This means I will be addressing things like running all the time, sleeping 8-9 hours and eating anti-inflammatory foods like never before. Basically, good bye friends. See you in September!

2. See my friends and family more:
I know this seems counterintuitive given the point above, but when I am not training, I want relaxed evenings with family and close friends. I want to push living back to 3rd or 4th gear this month and just focus on enjoying summer. It is easy to get caught up in training and work life and I guess what I am saying is I want BALANCE.

3. Settle into my new volunteering role:

house-of-friendship
I have joined a local organization called House of Friendship on the PR Committee which focuses on helping those in the local community with addictions and social issues. I am meeting with the organization to understand my role and figure out how I can be the best asset to the company.

4. Take mini-vacations:
When I am not racing, I am peacing out on some weekend trips including a beach day, a kayak trip and a cottage weekend with some of my best friends of life. Being Canadian is amazing, but our summer is too short and I want to soak it up as much as possible!

meercatting

Caught meer-catting on the beach this weekend. Not a single care shall be given.

5. Take to the lakes and trails to prep for my adventure race.
I am doing my very first adventure race in Michigan at the beginning of August and I want to be prepared. I am upping my mountain biking and canoeing and getting super excited! I already am pulling a team together for another one in November!

Now if you excuse me, I am off to tackle the list.

What are your goals for July?