Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Journey to a half marathon {part two}

Last week, I started a new series called journey to a half marathon, which you can find the first part here. This week, I will be talking about increasing your mileage, importance of stretching, strength training and fueling.


5. Increasing your mileage

  • At this point in your training, you should slowly be adding on your miles or kms (for those Canadians reading) to each of your long runs.
  • The common rule is that you should only increase your mileage in increments of 10%. This is to help prevent injuries from increasing your distance too fast and too soon.

6. Stretching

  • In order to keep your body in top shop to handle the increasing distances, it is important to stretch before and after each run.
  • Stretching helps to prevent injuries and also helps improve flexibility, which helps you become a more efficient runner.
  • Using this link will take you to the Runner’s World stretching page, where it will provide you with many different stretches.
  • Another form of stretching is to use a foam roller, which helps to roll or massage sore muscles especially after a long run.
    • Foam rollers can be found in different densities, lengths, etc
    • They can be found at your local running store or on-line


7. Strength training

  • I know that while I was training for my half marathons last year, I was terrible at fitting in strength training. This was not a good thing for me!
  • Strength training is important for runners because it helps you become a stronger runner and helps to prevent injuries.
  • Strength training that you could do could range from a Jillian Michael’s video to a short at home weight circuit to a P90X video. It doesn’t have to take a long time and you will not regret it.

8. Fueling

  • As you start to increase your distance, it is important to figure out what works for yourself in terms of fueling. What works for one runner may not work for another.
  • If you are going to be running for over one hour, it is important that you bring some form of fuel with you. It could be anything from sport beans to a Gu to a pb& j sandwich.
  • It is also important to take in electrolytes if your run will be over an hour. This could be water, Gaterade, Powerade, Nuun, etc.
  • Before you set out on your weekly long run, ensure that you have eaten enough calories to fuel you through your run. I am personally a fan of Cheerios or granola bars.
  • Many runners love the combination of a bagel, peanut butter and a banana, but running and peanut butter do not go well together for myself.
  • Again, figure out what works for you as everyone is different.
    • After you have completed your long run, it is important that you re-fuel your body within 20 minutes.
    • A popular choice is chocolate milk, which I personally love!
    • Other choices could include: Recoverite, bananas, bagels, bread, rice, fruit

Next week: other important tips for new runners

Monday, January 30, 2012

{weekend recap}

Another weekend has come and gone...I can't believe that January is already over! Time is really flying by lately.

This weekend, we:

  • watched the movie Drive with Ryan Gosling and the movie Time with Justin Timberlake. Neither were anything fantastic. If Ryan Gosling talked more in Drive and didn't wear that terrible looking coat, then maybe it would have gotten a better review from me.
  • went to the mall on Friday night and I only bought two things! A plaid shirt and a button up sweater for work. 
  • went to a crossfit class on Saturday and hurt my shoulder :( We were doing push presses with dumbbells and the dumbbell came down wrong and I heard a noise in my shoulder. I used lighter weights after that and put deep cold cream on it last night, but still hurting today. Hopefully time off helps it heal. The workout was a good one:
                          1 round for time:
                          750m row
                          75 dumbbell push press
                          25 chest to bar pull ups
                          75 dumbbell push press
                          750m row
  • spent Saturday afternoon cleaning the floors and doing other cleaning stuff around house
  • stocked up our fridge with groceries {I wish there was a grocery fairy!}
  • spent Sunday morning cooking up a storm in preparation for our eating in challenge in February. I made:
    • a pan of lasagna
    • a batch of turkey chili
    • two batches of southwestern black bean soup
  • dog sat a friend's dog on Sunday. Harley and her are cute together! {but don't worry Cruz, Harley is forever yours ;) }

Tell me: how was your weekend? What were you up to?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thursday randoms

Thursday's are a great day. Much better than Monday, but not quite as good as Friday :) Either way, I am glad it's here.

Here are some random thoughts floating in my head on this Thursday:

  • after the terrible cold spell last week, the weather has been fantastic this week. I am talking in the +C at the end of January in Alberta. Perfection!
  • I went to crossfit last night and it kicked my butt! This was the workout:
                                 “Filthy Fifties”
                                 1 Round for time:

                                 50 Box Jump, 24 inch box
                                 50 Jumping Pull-ups
                                 50 KB Swings, 1 pood
                                 50 Walking Lunges
                                 50 Knees to Elbows
                                 50 Push Press, 45 lbs
                                 50 Back Extensions
                                 50 Wallballs, 20/14 lbs ball
                                 50 Burpees
                                 50 Double Unders
        And it was freaking hard! Definitely kicked my butt in a good way.   
  • For those of you who follow me on Twitter might have seen my tweet about applying for a position that is the next step in my career earlier this week. I found out yesterday that I didn't get the position, which I didn't think I would but is still disappointing. But she did give me some tips and I will be definitely be working on those things. Hopefully next time the job is mine. 
  • I am seriously addicted to the no bake energy balls that I talked about earlier in the week. They are so, so easy to make and so yummy! Make them and tell me how they aren't addicting ;)
  • my cousin, who is also my best friend is coming for a visit in May. I only wish it was sooner!
  • crossfit gave me a bruise the other night on my collarbone that kind of looks like a hickey:
    can you see it?

Tell me something random about your week!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A new challenge {tips & recipes}

Last week, I talked about how Mr.D and I are challenging ourselves to not eat out for the month of February. You can see that post here. I know that I am always looking for new recipes, so I thought I would do a post with some of the great recipes that you left me in the comments along with the tips you left. I haven't tried any of the recipes yet, but I can't wait to start putting together some meal plans and trying them out!


  • use Pinterest to find new and easy recipes
  • when making recipes that can be frozen, double the batch and freeze the rest for another meal
  • sit down each week and write out a meal plan. Base your grocery list off the meal plan so it avoids multiple trips to the grocery store
  • pack your lunch each day so it avoids you simply running out to buy an easy but expensive lunch


Kristen sent me a couple of delicious looking recipes:

Emily sent me the following website for some amazing food!

Lindsey sent me some recipes and a website:

I can’t wait to try out some of these awesome recipes!

Tell me: if you didn’t leave a comment before, what is your go to recipe for during the week?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Journey to a half marathon {part one}

In the past few weeks, I have been thinking about what I would like to accomplish this year in races and how far I have come since I started running. Let me tell you, what a HUGE difference what a year makes! As I was thinking about what I would like to accomplish, I thought I would put together a series of posts about how to go from no running (or low mileage) to running your first half marathon.

1. Start slow

  • if you are not currently running, it would be best to start slowly building up your mileage each week. Maybe this week, it's running for twenty minutes or for two kilometers. Whatever you feel comfortable and able to do.
  • if you start increasing the mileage too soon, you could end up finding yourself injured or feeling overwhelmed.
2. Pick a plan
  • there are many different plans out there that you can use. I have personally used the Hal Higdon half marathon plan and it worked really well for me. The plan can be found here
  • another popular option is the couch to 5k plan which can be found here. I have never used this plan, but have heard many good things about it. This is a good plan if you are starting out from no running at all. 
  • another option is the plan from Runner's World, which can be found here.
3. Get fitted for the proper running shoes
  • the best thing that you can do for yourself (besides running of course!) is to go into your local running store to get your gait analyzed and find the perfect shoe for you.
  • every runner is different where one runner may not pronate, while another needs pronation support. 
  • there are many different brands and types of shoes, so trying on different pairs is the best way to find out what works for yourself.
  • I personally love Asics and I know other runners who do not like them.
4. Sign up for a race or training group
  • Signing up for a race is a great motivation for yourself! As you have put the money into a race registration, it makes you less likely to back out of training. It also gives you something to look forward to.
  • Joining a local running group (can be found by Googling your area or even through the Running Room) can help provide others in the same stage of training as you. Groups through the Running Room also provide you with information at the start of each run, which is very beneficial if you are a new runner.
Next week: increasing your mileage, the importance of stretching and fueling

Tell me: if you were encouraging a friend who is new to running and wanting to run their first half marathon, what advice would you give them? Did I leave any major points out?

Monday, January 23, 2012

{weekend recap}

Hello everyone! How was your weekend? Hopefully it was fantastic!

This weekend, we:

  • enjoyed a quiet and warm Friday night in. The cold snap was still holding on, so hanging out in the house was perfect
  • went to a crossfit class, which kicked my butt!
  • Ran a few errands, which included buying new running shoes for me. That should motivate me to run right?
  • went to a friend's house, which was quiet but still fun
  • went for my first run in a long time! It was a little snowy so it made it harder, but still nice to get out there
  • took Harley for a long walk on Sunday afternoon. The sun was shining and the weather was finally warming up!
Mr. Harley

Harley & I

Tell me: how was your weekend? What were you up to?

Friday, January 20, 2012

{happy friday}

Well hello there Friday! So glad to see you again :) This week has seemed really long after being stuck inside all week because it was too cold to do anything else! We normally walk Harley every night, and we didn't take him for one walk this week. Lots of playing fetch in the backyard though.

We don't have much planned for this weekend. Scratch that, we have NOTHING planned for this weekend. Kind of lame and sad? Yes, but I like weekends like this. I am sure the usual stuff of getting groceries and cleaning the house will be added in there too.

Just a few randoms for this week:
  • we tried a new recipe last night and it was tasty (yet not that healthy). It was a recipe for beef taco skillet from Campbell's. The recipe can be found here. It was super easy to make too!
  • I also tried a new recipe for energy balls, which can be found here. I made two batches, one with almond butter and one with peanut butter and both are delicious! Super easy to make too.
  • I told myself I wouldn't watch The Bachelor this go around, but somehow I have found myself watching it. Mr.D set up the PVR for me, so I end up skipping through a lot of it. I hope Kacie B wins, but word on the street is the Courtney (the annoying model) wins. What are you thinking Ben?!
  • We started watching the series called Bomb Girls and we can't decide if we like it or not. We've watched maybe 3-4 episodes and it's not bad, but there is no Jax Teller in it...
  • I've been looking for outfit ideas on Pinterest and have found some cute ones, but suck at executing them in real life. You can find me here.
Hope you have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

11 Random Things

I am sure you have seen this floating around the blogsphere lately, but with it being so cold out I didn't feel like thinking of a creative post. So, you will get to learn some new things about me today after Kristen and Gabriella both tagged me in this post :)

Here are the rules:

1. Post these rules
2. You must post 11 random things about yourself
3. Answer the questions set for you in their post
4. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer
5. Go to their blog and tell them you've tagged them
6. No stuff in the tagging section about you are tagged if you are reading this. You legitimately have to tag 11 people!

11 random things about me:

1. I always think of good 'random' things to write on these things and then totally forget them when it comes time to do a post like this
2. I can't stand when cupboards or drawers are left open
3. When I make dinner or bake, I do the dishes/tidy the kitchen as I go. A messy kitchen while cooking/baking drives me insane!
4. I can't stand feet. Something about them just creep me out. I won't even touch Mr.D's feet and I love him.
5. I am terrible at telling myself that I "can't" do something when I haven't actually tried or am scared to try. Ie: a rope climb
6. I like hanging out with friends, but I also need my alone time.
7. It makes me feel good when I see I have a new blog or Twitter follower. I guess I'm not that boring after all ;)
8. I am scared of heights but would love to go sky diving
9. Lots of spelling mistakes in posts drive me nuts!
10. I have the worst patience in the world. Mr.D always asks how I am going to handle having kids when they are driving me nuts, haha.
11. I can't stand when people complain about something, but do nothing to make changes to fix it

Kristen's questions:

1- When you're in a job interview, what do you use as your "weakness"? (you know, the weakness that you can turn into a positive somehow) 
That I can be shy and quiet at first, but once I open up, you can't shut me up ;)
2- What is your favourite food?
3- Why did you start blogging?
I started blogging when I was planning my wedding and I had started reading a lot of wedding blogs. I was going to share it with my family back home to see how the plans were coming along, but never did.
4- If you could go anywhere on vacation, where would you go?
Greece or Italy. Actually anywhere that isn't -30C  right now!
5- If you're a runner, biker, triathlete, or any other sort of racer, what race is tops on your bucket list?
I would have to say the NYC marathon. I would probably be overwhelmed with the number of people there, but it would be an experience.
6- What is your dream job? (pretending that it pays well)
Hm, not really sure. I used to want to be a midwife and still think that would be an interesting and rewarding job
7- Who is your celebrity crush?
Charlie Hunnam (Jax from Son's of Anarchy)
8- Did you or do you play an instrument?
I took piano lessons when I was younger, but can't play anymore. Definitely not talented in the music department
9- What is your favourite "guilty pleasure" movie? (you know, the one that you like to pretend you didn't love)
I haven't watched it for a long time, but save the last dance
10- If you had to pick a last meal, what would you pick?
Hm, that is tough! Probably a good steak and twice baked potato
11- Ben and Jerry's or Haagen Dazs?
Either or. Both are delicious!

My questions:

1. if you could be any superhero, which would you be?
2. if you could be on any TV show, which one would it be?
3. if you had to take either a calculus or physics class, which one would it be?
4. what is your favorite and must have beauty product?
5. do you burp or fart in front of your significant other?
6. who said I love you first in your relationship?
7. if you could change one thing about your wedding, what would it be? (if you are married of course!)
8. who is your blogging idol?
9. if you could do anything better, what would it be? (ie: run faster, become a better cook or baker, etc)
10. have you ever peed in the shower?
11. do you get embarrassed really easily?

I am tagging:

Lindsey @ a running tale
Aimee @ runner's id
Deb @ deb tris
Jessica @ heart on homestead
Chrissi @ home is where the heart is
Lisa @ Lisa's yarns
Amanda @ simple girl, simple pleasures
Rachel @ Rachel and John

Well, that was a lot of typing! Did you learn something new about me at least? And feel free to answer one of my questions if I didn’t tag you Smile

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Training Tuesday

Well, I haven't started to hibernate yet, but I am definitely close. Because of the snowy and cold weather my drive yesterday took close to an hour and it was -28C (-39C with the windchill!). Anytime someone wants to pay me to work from home so I don't have to venture out in the cold would be awesome.


For those of you who follow me on Twitter, would have seen that I tweeted yesterday about whether or not I should run a marathon this year. It is something I really, really want to do, but am scared to pull the trigger and register for it. It's a big time commitment and will take some shuffling of responsibilities between Mr.D and I, but I think we could manage.

I have already registered for a 5 mile race in March, which gives out a medal at the end and is not a very common distance in Canada. I am also going to register and run the Scotiabank Calgary half marathon like I did last year. They changed the race course, but I loved it last year, so hopefully I will again this year. I also might sign up to run another half at the end of April in Edmonton. It's only $45 and close my in-laws house, so can't beat that.

I think the biggest things that are holding me back from running the marathon are:

  • self doubt
    •  can I actually run 26.2 miles? 
  • training
    • I will be doing it alone or with Harley during the week for shorter runs
  • the time commitment
    • I love running, but was burnt out from it by the end of last year (hence the move into crossfit)
  • crossfit
    •  my three month membership is up in March, so do I sign up again or do I just focus solely on running? If I sign up again, will I be able to fit crossfit and running in each week so that the membership is worth it? (it's not cheap: $150/month)
  • weather
    • the summer in Alberta can be all over the place, but it beats running through the cold weather for a spring marathon. But more than likely, I will be running the marathon on a hot day
The other idea running through my head is that I keep up with crossfit and instead run half marathons and focus on getting faster and taking time off of my PR. 

Ah, so many choices and options!

Tell me: for those of you who have run a marathon or even a number of half marathons, what do you think I should do? Full or more half's?

Monday, January 16, 2012

{weekend recap}

Wow, that was a cold weekend! Okay, it only started to get cold on Saturday afternoon, but the cold is here to stay for at least the rest of the week. I am talking about -20C cold, which is not fun at all!

{friday} I had the day off of work, so I enjoyed a bit of a sleep in and then headed to crossfit for a workout. It was a tough one that included 75 burpees which was tough! After my workout, I took Harley for a walk and then took him to the vet for his yearly check up. He's in perfect health and the perfect weight, which any doggie parent likes to hear :)  Mr.D had plans with some friends that night, so I hung out watching lots of wedding shows and enjoying the night at home.

How Harley & I spent Friday night

{saturday} In the morning, I went for another crossfit workout (what can I say, I love it!). This was another tough one. After crossfit, I met up with Alison and we spent the afternoon shopping. We both found some great deals and items, so it was worth it. And just for the record, I wasn't a bad influence on you Alison ;) After shopping, Mr.D and I went grocery shopping. Exciting Saturday night in our lives! ;) We also stopped in at our friends house to see their new puppy, which they had just adopted. She is a cutie!

{sunday} It was freezing yesterday, so we spent the day cleaning the house and making a few recipes. We met up with our friend's and their new puppy for a walk. The dogs had a great time together and Harley spent the rest of the afternoon sleeping.

Tell me: how was your weekend?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A new challenge

Last night as we were trying to decide what to do for dinner, Mr.D and I started talking about how we have been spending a lot of money lately. Some of that money spent went towards our recent Christmas vacation, which was definitely worth it! Overall though, we have just been spending money without thinking about if we really need that 'thing' or if we really need to go out for dinner.

As we had dinner, we were talking about ways that we could save money. One of my suggestions was that for the month of February, we will not go out to eat at all. Although we don't go out to eat a lot each month (only 1-2 times per week), it will still help us save money. I am estimating that we spend roughly $40-$50 each time we go out to eat (that's for a sit down restaurant), which adds up to $200 per month. Not eating out once in the month of February means an extra $200 in our pocket :)

I think the toughest part of the challenge will be coming up with dinner ideas that are inexpensive and easy to make (for during the week). It will definitely take some planning on our part, but I think we can do it. We have over two weeks to come up with a stock pile of recipes, which means I need your help. If you have a favorite recipe, website, blog, etc that you use to help plan your meals, I would love to have it!

Tell me: have you ever challenged yourself like this before? If so, how did it go? Also, please send me your favorite go-to recipes!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wednesday randoms

Hello Wednesday, thanks for coming already! Just keep the snow away as I am not enjoying having winter in Alberta. I could do without the snow and coldness for the rest of the winter okay?

Here are my random thoughts for this Wednesday:

I found the best flat iron at Winner's (the Canadian version of TJ Maxx) for $45! It makes my hair so straight and keeps it that way for 2-3 days. Best money ever spent.

Not the greatest picture, but Harley seriously makes us laugh! We came around the corner in the basement and this is how we found him sitting on the steps. He's got mighty long legs! :)

We watched the finale of Homeland two nights ago and it was awesome! I wasn't sold on the show right away, but it turns out to be a great show by the end of the season. A must watch!

Tell me something random about your week!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Christmas Holidays 2011

This vacation was so much fun and nice to get away that I am still struggling with getting back into my normal routine! I am pretty sure that I have wished I was still sitting on the beach multiple times since we have been home.

Instead of doing a really long or a bunch of posts, I am going to recap our trip by talking about the highlights and maybe a few bummers about the trip. Here we go!

The highlights were:

1. Spending over a week with my family {being on the beach didn't hurt either ;)}

My lil brother was clearly having 'fun' in this picture :)

The gorgeous beach

2. Going on two excursions that included ATV'ing and sliding down waterfalls

Getting ready to go and had NO idea what was coming!

Mr.D & his WW1 helmet

Getting ready for the falls

3. Playing sociables (or kings as some call it) with my family. Most hilarious drinking game ever!

Hard to explain how funny it was, but definitely one of those deep in your belly laughing nights!

4. Spending time relaxing and reading on the beach with Mr.D

Windy day on the beach

My mom & by the pool

Mr.D & I on the beach


Nothing quite like laying on the beach with nothing to do but read a good book!

Now, the bummers about our trip:

  • seeing the inside of five different airports in 11 days. I will be okay without flying anywhere for a while! 
  • sickness while on the trip and that followed us home. I got sick (probably too many fries and sun) on NYE, so I spent the afternoon sleeping and we ended up in bed at 10:30pm on NYE. Party animals we are!
  • ATVs that had no brakes on our excursion, which resulted in someone *cough me cough* running into the back of parked ATV's. 
  • leaving my family after a great holiday

Overall, it was a great holiday with many memories and I loved being able to spend time with my family.

Monday, January 9, 2012

{weekend recap}

Hello there Monday, please be nice to me today okay? :) This weekend flew by again...darn you weekends for always doing that.

{friday} Mr.D was still feeling sick (we think he picked something up on/after our trip), so I took Harley for a walk and then we spent the night lounging on the couch. We watched the movie 50/50, which was pretty good. Definitely sad at points, but worth watching.

{saturday} We spent the morning taking down the Christmas tree and decorations...kind of sad that Christmas is over for another year. Our living room looks so empty without the tree, but that just makes me want to buy new decorations for the house :) The rest of the day was spent around the house, taking Harley for a walk, etc. Later on, we met up with Lindsey and her husband for dinner, who were in town for the afternoon. It was fun to get together with them after chatting with Lindsey for so long! Best part of meeting her? I finally met someone who is my size (and potentially smaller than me! ;) ) Just teasing, Lindsey! :)

{sunday} We spent the morning just hanging around the house (can you tell we had a lazy weekend?!) and then went to the see the new Sherlock Holmes movie in the afternoon. We both really liked it and would recommend seeing it! After the movie, we stopped for groceries and for a few things at Canadian Tire.

Tell me: how was your weekend? What were you up to?

Friday, January 6, 2012

{happy friday}

Happy Friday everyone! Even though it's only my second day of work this week, I am beyond excited that today is Friday!

Last night, I went for my first run and crossfit workout in over two weeks. Dang, I am never taking that much time off again! The run wasn't too bad, but I was dying during the crossfit workout. That's the only workout I've done that I've felt so physically weak and tired. But I am going to get right back into it and stay with it!

This weekend we are:

  • taking down the Christmas decorations and Christmas tree
  • going to a crossfit class
  • enjoying the +9C weather we are supposed to have!
  • meeting up with Lindsey and her husband for dinner. So excited to finally met her!
Hope you have a great weekend everyone!

Tell me: what do you have planned for the weekend?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

She's alive!

 Well, it's been a long time since I've been on a computer and have read any blogs! I feel so out of the loop, so everyone fill me in on what I missed ;) I took a blogging break for good reason....Mr.D and I went to the Dominican Republic for a week with my family! I know, I know bad me for not mentioning it at all, but I figured I would rather be safe and than sorry with our house sitting empty for close to two weeks.

We just got back today after being in five different airports in 11 days, so this post will be short and sweet. I will doing some vacation recaps once all of the pictures are uploaded onto my computer and the million loads of laundry are done! But I'll leave you with a few pictures of our trip:

Christmas morning with my mom and brothers

Gorgeous beach

Mr.D & I

Tell me: how was your Christmas holidays? Were you spoiled or did you go on any trips?


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