Taking a break..

Sooooo, I totally took an extended break off of MOST of my social media platforms. Oopsies, sorry!

I have been back from Florida for a while now but I have been keeping busy with a few things.

A) been working on something I am choosing to keep personal for a little while, I will mention it later on 🙂 (sorry for being THAT annoying vague blogger).

B) been working on my free lance local training business (webpage, policies etc) as well as coaching

C) it is been kinda nice living life and not documenting everything (hope you don’t take it personally ;)).

But I am here! Today, I thought I would talk about taking a break…with exercise?

Say whaaaat?!

I took the longest break from working out since starting my journey to a healthier me in 2009. Why? I felt stuck. I felt I was in a funk. I felt like fitness was a punishment rather than something I enjoyed. NO THANKS.

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Fitness has been something I have enjoyed my whole life. I was an avid team sports player most of my adolescent years, and fell in love with strength training and running in my early 20s. Sometimes you get in a funk. You get bored. Sometimes.. you need a break.

Now don’t get me wrong. I didn’t just sit on the couch all day and do ZIP. I was still active with walking and what not. I live in a city where I can walk anywhere and I also do not have a car I can drive. So I do my best to keep walking throughout the day. But I took time to just relax, take a couple hot bubble baths, and renew myself. That is exactly how I feel, my love for fitness is back and renewed. I WANT to be active. I WANT to get my heart rate going. Not, I NEED to workout.

Also, I think my body benefited from the physical rest I was giving it. So mentally and physically, this break has done me well.

 

QOTD: Have you ever taken a break from exercise for something like this?

Florida Trip- Part 1: Miami, Tampa, & Orlando

Vacation, again?

Yes, yes.. well kind of. The trip we were on before was kind of a vacation, but more so to see our wonderful family and friends :). With Matt being gone for a good third (or more) of this year, we thought it could be nice to explore and enjoy some time together in beautiful sunny Florida.

Before we left Vancouver, we met for brunch with my very best friend Natalie and her boyfriend. EVERYONE has been going on and on about chicken and waffles. Can I just say? sounds gross. Well.. it sounded gross. Jordan said Tableau (in Vancouver on Melville by Bute) is the place to go, boy was he right. It wasn’t overly greasy or heavy. So good. They served it with maple syrup and gravy on the side too.

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We had a red eye to Toronto and then onward to Miami. We got to our destination around 1 pm on Monday (left around 10:30 Vancouver time on Sunday). At our 3 hour layover in Toronto, we were blessed to see a beautiful sunrise. This photo doesn’t do this justice. In the background you can see the skyline of downtown Toronto. Gorgeous.

IMG_5175Once in Miami, we shuttled our way to the hotel. We stayed close to downtown. We decided to go for a walk and HOLY was it humid! we decided to hop on one of the free city trolleys instead and found ourselves at an outdoor mall. We found somewhere to eat and then headed back to the hotel and conked out.

I woke up feeling SO rested and hit the gym pretty hard for 45 minutes. We took the free shuttle from the hotel into Miami Beach/ South Beach area. First thing we did? Went for a swim. How can you not in this beautiful water?!

IMG_6289At one point I felt something on my hand and looked back to see I had a big jellyfish behind me. Luckily, no stings. But it scared me pretty good. We met some wonderful friendly folks on the beach, talked for a while then went off to find Lincoln mall. I remembered going there when I was in Miami a few years back. We found a Nespresso cafe that was HUGE. Never seen a stand alone store like this!

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After tons of walking about, and a little shopping at Madewell, Matt and I were staving. Most of the places around looked overpriced or much of the same (especially on Ocean Ave). We found a little Italian place by the shuttle drop off point and the pizza was phenomenal. I had the prosciutto one and Matt went with a pepperoni one. We did a little splitzies.

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The next day we packed up, and went to grab our rental car to head up towards Tampa area. Matt and I have been planning the trip as we go. We had a few spots already planned, but for the rest, we would book as we went along.

I really wanted to go towards Tampa to meet a dear internet friend. I have been talking to Julie for YEARS. Pretty much since I started this whole journey. I just HAD to see her in person. We met at Dunkin Doughnuts (mainly because I LOVE their coffee and they don’t have it in Canada but also because it was really close). We talked over coffee and then went for a nice walk around town with her little guy. We hit it off (just as I knew we would). I really wish we lived closer!! But it is okay, because she has to come to Canada at some point (sorry girl, you don’t have a choice ;)).

IMG_6300Such a wonderful day! We talked so much that we almost had her miss her afternoon appointment! oopsies!

I got back to the room and Matt and I jetted off towards Orlando and than onward to where we are now, Cocoa Beach. We hit up Orlando so we could go to the Premium Outlets there.. okay..it wasn’t Matt’s choice at all. All me. But grabbed some amazing deals at the Victoria’s Secret Outlet (I believe this is the only one they have in the US but could be wrong). If you get a chance to go, IT IS SO WORTH IT. I bought a VSX sports bra (they are amazing if you have never had them) originally  around $60 for $14.99. YUP. Also, snagged some sweats for $10. Win. SO could have spent the entire day at that outlet.. but a couple hours worked fine. Didn’t want the husband to be TOO upset with me ;).

Now off to enjoy Cocoa Beach!!

My tips and tools for new runners!

I really started getting into running in 2009 when I started my journey towards a healthier me. As I have explained in the past, running was originally a plan to lose weight. It turned from this activity that created a large caloric deficit, into something deeper than that. Running became something that really centred me, it has meditative qualities for me. It has carried me through times of struggle and times of celebration. My relationship with my body, in turn, became stronger. I began to love my body for how it could preform. I also learned to love my body for what it was, rather than picking it apart at any glance in the mirror. I have fallen in love, out of love and back in love with running over and over again. Even during the times that I felt like I was not enjoying it, I found aspects that I still truly enjoyed. But even yet, I still get the constant “HOW can you like running? I absolutely hate it. I wish I could enjoy it” response from time to time. So this inspired me to share with you some points and tools to remember when you start running:

Know you may not love running right off the bat….or at all…

When you first start a new form of exercise, it will be a struggle. For many, being sweaty, out of breath and feeling challenged does not ring “fun.” But as you feel better with your pacing, try new routes, new terrains, new races and running buddies, running may turn into something great. But also know, not everyone will love running. That is okay. We all have our own personal preferences, so of course we won’t ALL love running. But you may end up loving it after some time trying it out!

You do not need a specific plan when you first start.

When I began, I didn’t start with a program like Couch 2 5 km. (Though, c25k really is a great way to start things if you like more structure.) What did I do? I just got out there and remembered that if I had to walk, that was okay. I was still moving. So I would go out for 20 minutes and keep in mind that my main goal was just to move. Also, I would remember to check in with my body, so not to push it TOO far. I would run for as long as I felt I could, then take a power walk break. Then once I felt ready to run again, I would! Each time I would try and challenge myself and would do my best not to back down from challenges like a steep hill. Which brings me to my next point.

Do not fear hills.

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Where I live, hills are unavoidable. How will you ever improve if you do not challenge yourself? When I started, I would do my best to make goals while climbing a hill. For instance, I would tell myself that I would run up the hill until that lamppost (tree, fire hydrant etc), and often times once I got there I felt I could keep pushing to the next marker. Before I knew it, I had crested the hill. Again, some days are stronger than others. But as long as you do what you can that day, that is all you can ask of your body. Remember, though, we are a lot stronger than we think we are!

Don’t worry about apps, and other electronic gadgets.

I run with a Garmin Forerunner 310XT now, but honestly..you do not need electronics when you run. I know plenty of people that rather not run with things like this. I used to run just with a watch so I knew how long I was out there for. But you do not need expensive pieces of equipment to train. Just a pair of shoes (unless you are a barefoot runner that is…you go Glen Coco!).

However, if you want to know distance..

Maybe you are curious about how far you did go while you were out there. The main website I use (and there is an app if you so choose to use it) to map my run. It is named exactly that. Map my run.

Don’t get hooked on numbers…

It doesn’t matter how far or fast you go when you first start. Sure, these can be good goals to constantly improve on. But do not let these number make you feel defeated. You are still out there and moving!

Don’t worry about technical running gear.

I would run in sweats and a baggy T shirt when I started. Really, it is okay if you don’t have running tights and technical t shirts. Same goes to fuel belt, fuel bottles or hydropacks. Honestly, these are NOT 100% necessary. If you live in a hotter area and feel the need to have water on you at all times, sure. But no need to complicate things and buy $500 worth of things from your local running store before you first start running. Ease into it. Use what you have in your closet!

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But remember..Safety first!

You may want to buy some running shoes. Shoes are the only piece of equipment we use as runners that is absolutely key. They are also the piece of equipment that can be the cause of back, hip, knee or (insert body part of choice) pain. Running shoes are designed for..you got it! RUNNING. Where as cross training shoes are designed for places like the gym where you may be moving omnidirectional. Running, we typically run forward. Not laterally. So running shoes are designed as such. Also, running shoes can be “too old” to run in. So my best piece of advice is to go to your local running store. They can fit your foot to the proper shoe you need since we all have different foot types and may need more or less stability.

You  may also want to have some reflective tape, bands or a vest if you are early morning or evening runner.

But above all this.. the most important thing?

Don’t over complicate it. Stop over thinking it. You will learn along the way. Listen to your body, don’t over do it (too much too soon is a recipe for overuse injuries). Just get out there and do what you can that day. Some days will be better than others. Some runs will be a huge struggle. But you are moving, you are doing what you can do that day! With time, you will feel more in touch with your body and its needs. Do your best to listen to what it wants.

Don’t worry about how you look or what others could think. Because more often than not, the people who will drive, run or bike past you are not thinking about YOU. They are thinking about themselves or whatever else is on their mind. Focus on how your body feels, breathe and put one foot in front of the other.

Just get out there. Move.

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Tune Tuesday

I LOVE finding new tunes I can work to and workout to. So I thought I would share some of the tunes I have been hitting play on A LOT.

JENNJONES

Dear Future Husband- Meghan Trainor

Title- Meghan Trainor

I am not the only one- Sam Smith (ft ASAP Rocky)

Shake it off – Taylor Swift

Anaconda- Nicki Manaj

Black Widow- Iggy Azalea

Jungle- X Ambassadors & Jamie N Commons (ft. Jay Z)

Come get it bae- Pharrell Williams

Beachin’- Jake Owen

I don’t dance- Lee Brice

American Kids- Kenny Chesney

Wild Life- Jack & Jack

Come with me now- KONGOS

Free (Nas remix)- Rudamental

Wiggle- Jason Derulo (ft Snoop Dog)

Boom Clap- Charli XCX

The Man- Aloe Blac

 

Think it out Thursday: Let’s get real- edition

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For the last year or so, I have been struggling on and off with bouts of anxiety and depression. Elements that I cannot recall feeling prior to this time in my life. The toughest part is, majority of the time, I cannot express why I am feeling this way. I just wake up feeling overwhelmed with thoughts that almost paralyze me from doing things. Sometimes it would even wake me up from my sleep and I would lay there until morning just thinking and worrying. I haven’t felt like myself. The hardest thing for me, and always has been, is asking for help when I need it most. I only recently have opened up about these struggles to my amazing husband and loved ones. I am truly blessed to have them in my life.

But as of recent, I have felt some relief. I cannot speak to this being a permanent feeling. But I am just going to go with it. I have decided to go back to a habit I followed when I embarked on my journey to a healthier me back in 2009, and I do believe it will help me a lot. I have stopped drinking. This is just a personal preference, I am by no means saying that you are unhealthy if you drink. No, no, no. I just find personally, after having a little alcohol (as little as a glass of wine with dinner), I feel my anxiety worsens for a few days after it being in my system. As much as I love a glass of chardonnay, it isn’t worth feeling overwhelmingly anxious for almost a week after. It really isn’t for me. So I rather cut it out all together.

I am not a big drinker. I had my party stage when I turned 19 for about 3 months, until I grew sick of it (Literally..I would get so sick even from just 2 glasses of alcohol). But since our wedding, I’ve been  having a glass of wine here and there. It is a habit I never really had before and is the only thing I think could have corrolation to how I have been feeling. Just how my body reacts to alcohol to begin with (eg: getting sick after 2 glasses of alcohol even when I don’t feel it at all buzz-wise), it wouldn’t surprise me that these feelings could be made worse through alcohol. So I am choosing just to step away all together.

I figured I would write on this today to:
A) keep myself accountable
B) let people know that everyone can feel this way, and you are not alone (you are always free to contact me!)
C) I feel like I am lacking in the blogging department as of late 😉
D) To stop the “omg no wine? ARE YOU PREGNANT” comments before they happen, haha! I get this comment a lot when I don’t drink, I have the flu or I am craving things. Ever since Matt and I got hitched, that is the biggest question I get. Maybe it is time I start messing people and say yes just to see the response ;).

But back to feeling the way I have, I know things will get better. Life ebbs and flows. I do think cutting out alcohol will help me quite a bit. If you feel you need support or someone just to talk to as a friend, know you can contact me with the information listed in the contact tab! Thank you for always accepting me through and through. I am truly thankful for those readers and viewers that get in contact with me on a regular. You guys ROCK!

Canmore Rocky Mountain Half Marathon Recap

We have been home from our trip for about a week now and, boy, it feels great. I am a bit of a homebody (same with Matt), so it feels so good for us to be home. Even if it is for a short time. We are off on another 2 week adventure at the end of the month!

Last weekend we were in Canmore, AB for our friend’s wedding. It worked out that the half marathon was the same day as the wedding and I thought “eh, why not do both” because…well…that is the kind of crazy things I pull.

Saturday night we joined the wedding party for the rehearsal dinner. Matt was the MC for the night, so it was a good opportunity for us to get to know the wedding party. Also, I enjoyed elk meat for the first time. Hello, elk grilled cheese! This was heavenly!

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The steakhouse was at the Silver tip golf resort (which is also where the wedding was held). It looked over this awesome hole. What a beauty!

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We got to bed at a decent hour, but for whatever reason we didn’t sleep well. Matt was wide awake at 2 am, and I was waking up every hour or two. So I started the morning of the half marathon with a few cups of coffee to say the least. Not enough to disturb my tummy though. I wore my brand new rainbow stitch CW-X compression 3/4 length pants. MAN, seriously cannot rave about these enough. I have them in a pink stitch too and I just love the feel. Horrible photo to showcase the stitching, but whatever.

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Matt dropped me off 25 minutes prior to the start (which was at 8:45) and I got myself warmed up and ready to go. It was an absolutely beautiful day. PERFECT temperature and a little breeze here and there (nothing crazy). There was quite a few people running the half, so it was much bigger than I expected. There was also a 10 km and 5 km race option. Instead of race shirts, though, we got race SOCKS. I am actually pretty stoked on that!

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Since this race was my final race for a little while, I figured I would just do what I can to enjoy it. No stressing about pacing or time. Just enjoy the scenery and take it all in. After all, I was running in the Rockies. Too beautiful to not soak it all in.

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We crossed a few of these bridges and a water purifying plant, but for the most part we were out in the trails and soaking in the beautiful sunshine, mountains, trees and rivers. Seriously one of the most beautiful course I have ever been on. Could not recommend this course enough.

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As for terrain, there was a fair amount of paved ground.. but most of it was gravel trail or wooded areas. Considering that I didn’t do too bad. Some of my long runs I did back in Vancouver were on similar terrain so I felt okay with it. As for elevation, there was a hillier chunk between about the 14 km and 19 km mark. Nothing I felt overwhelmed with. But it was a fair amount of climbing. Either way, I finished and felt good. No aches or pains. Just tired legs and a full heart. Pretty much the perfect way to end a race and end the season for me.

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It was one of my slower finishes, but that was the whole point. To not look at my watch. Not care about the pacing. Just let my body do what it wanted and focus on my surroundings. One thing I LOVE about destination races like this, is it isn’t about time. It is about the run, the place around you, and your heart. It is runs like this makes me remember how much I love running.

Fast forward a few hours, I managed to get myself ready for the wedding. Matt looked handsome as ever, and I wore heels (huge win since I ran 21.1 km that morning).

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The ceremony was beautiful. Soon as we left for the wedding, I looked at Matt and gasped “I FORGOT TISSUES.” If you know me, weddings make me very emotional. It is a beautiful moment to witness and honestly I am an emotional mess during them. Good thing the wedding planner sat near me. She gave me many tissues throughout the day!

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The venue was absolutely beautiful. I loved the theme they went with and our friend (the bride) Jodi made all the table names on her own. The tables were all named after various trees. I loved how they brought the feel and love they have for nature, into the venue.

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We are SO happy for our friends, Jodi and Kris. It was an absolutely amazing day. Matt did phenomenal as well as the MC and we danced the night away. Oh, and we of course hit up the s’mores pit they had set up for their guests. There were little baggies with 2 graham crackers, a marshmallow and a bar of chocolate in them. So amazing. Also, nothing beats the smell of a fire and s’mores.

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Then.. get this.. the next day it was SNOWING…IN SEPTEMBER (this baffles me being a west coast girl..). They literally got the last day of summer it seems like. It was a fun trip back to Calgary, and we had to wait a few hours for de-icing of the plane and what not. But I did get plenty of crocheting done ;). I made my Mom some hand warmers and a turban style headband!

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An amazing trip all around. Felt SO good to get home, but like I mentioned.. not for long! We are off to explore the state of Florida for two weeks soon. Can’t wait for that!

 

Winnipeg Recap!

I have been pretty absent vlog and blog wise! BONJOUR! I am still alive and kickin’!

When ever we go back to Winnipeg to visit our family (my in laws), it gets crazy booked FAST. We have a lot of family and friends so I didn’t feel like vlogging. Just too much going on, and I didn’t want to feel overwhelmed to edit and upload each day.

Winnipeg was fun, I find each time I go back it gives me time to better get to know my new family. It can suck living so far from them, but we make it work. I already miss them!

While I was there, I went to Moksha Winnipeg. They had a travelers pass for $40 which included towels and mat use. It lasted a week and I got in 5 classes. Pretty good I thought!

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Then there was a CRAZY rain storm. They got one month of rain in 90 minutes. This was a picture that I took after brunch the next day with my brother in laws girlfriend. Craziness.

IMG_6056Matt and I worked out together a few times. I find the best way to get a workout with Matt that we both enjoy is if there is competition. So we ran a few sprints and races while we were playing frisbee with the pooch!

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I managed to get in a couple runs as well. I always like running there, but usually it can be a bit too humid for my liking. However, it was pretty cool for the ten days we were there. I managed to get one long run in. It was pretty hot that day but it was great. I really love running when in new places. You get to see the town from a new angle and possibly find things you may want to do later on.

IMG_6071I ran down St. Mary’s, to Broadway, to Osbourne, then looped off to the BDI (Bridge Drive in).

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Fun fact about Jenn’s family..we are related to this guy … Louis Riel.

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Matt and I had a coupon to use and we woke up pretty late so we probably wouldn’t have been able to go otherwise. But no one gets between me and my ice cream ;). So I had him meet me there.

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I went with a twist cone and Matt got his usual vanilla ice cream with rainbow sprinkles. I would have a photo but it was so hot and it was melting fast. I had to take action!

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Before the trip, I had my HR monitor battery changed. So here was the total caloric burn for those interested:

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And the total distance. It was planned out to be 18 km, but I was running on very little sleep and it was hot. If I had to, I could totally have done more..so I don’t feel too bad. I have been pretty “lax” with my training for this half. Not going for any PRs or anything so ya. The race is in Canmore, AB on the 7th. Which yes, is the day of our friend Jodi’s wedding (I will have plenty of time to get ready..don’t worry ;)).

IMG_6076Another highlight of the trip? my amazing mother in law taught me how to crochet. My sister in law, Steph and I have become addicted. My current project is making a turban style headband to keep my ears warm for fall/winter hehe! ….and yes I have totally brought my old lady status up to a new level…now can someone just get me 4 cats that would be great.

We are now at our family cabin in Point Roberts, Washington and then we go off to Portland!….where I may just be spouting off Portlandia quotes. I apologize in advance, Matt. Love you 😉

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Let me know if you have ANY recommendations of things to do, see, or eat while in Portland, OR!!