Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Win Swiftwick Socks!

I am so excited that I won the contest Swiftwick Socks held after Halloween! Thanks so much to everyone that voted to help me win!
As a Thank you for voting during the #WickorTreat contest, I would like to give away a pair of Swiftwick socks and share my Swiftwick love :)
To enter, Just comment below mentioning which colour you will choose if you win along with the height of sock you would like to try (either zero or one).

I will make the random draw from all comments on Sunday evening. Good Luck to Everyone!

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

10 minute Strength Workout for Runners

Most of us can probably find 10 minutes in our day for a quick workout. You can even break it up into 2 five minute workouts ;)
As runners it is so important to have strong hips and strong abs. Building strength in your hips and abs will also build a stronger back and reduce your chance of overall injury.
I created an easy 5 minute hip workout and 5 minute ab workout that anyone can complete at home!
(I had some little "helpers" in the making of these, so I apologize for all of the photo bombing.)


1) 1 Minute Side Leg Raises (30seconds each side)- laying on side, supporting yourself on your arm, or laying flat raise and lower your leg as many times as possible in the 30 seconds. Making sure your hips are nicely stacked on top of one another :)

2) 1 Minute Bridge/Glute lifts- supporting your weight on your shoulders and feet, raise and lower your hips. Making sure to squeeze your glutes (bum) at the top.
3) 1 Minute of side squats, alternating each lead leg. Make sure to keep your weight on your heels and sit back into that "chair".
4) 1 Minute 1-Legged squats (30 seconds each leg). Keeping your knee above your ankle of the supportive leg, going as low as possible while holding good form.
5) 1 Minute Step-Ups on chair with side leg raise (30 seconds each leg). Try to keep your abs in tight and your upper body straight and still.


1) Runners Crunch- Start laying flat, crunch up, pulling one knee into your chest. Hold it there for a moment while tightening your abdominal muscles. Repeat with the opposite leg. keep repeating for 1 minute.

2) Boat Pose with Pulse- Sitting in boat pose, with abs tight, remain balanced on your sit bones and pulse your hands up and down for 1 Minute.

3) Side Plank (30 seconds each side). Be sure that your hips are once again stacked on top of each other check to make sure that your shoulder is in a line with your elbow. As an alternative, you could do this from your hands instead of elbows.

4) Plank for 1 Minute. Making sure that you are nice and flat, parallel with the ground. Your hips should not be drooping, nor should they be elevated. Your elbows should be directly under your shoulders.

5) Leg Drops- Laying flat on your back (I like to place my hands under my hips to support my lower back), lower and raise your legs. This can be done 1 leg at a time or both legs at once. Your head can be elevated or laying flat, but make sure to tighten your abs! Continue for 1 Minute.

Thank you everyone for watching, reading and taking part!
Happy #workoutwednesday

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

I am a #SweatPink and Momentum Ambassador

It is really difficult to be off work and fitness right now. BUT! I have had some great news from 2 companies during this time and could not be more excited!
First, I found out that I am going to be an ambassador for my favourite inspirational jewelry company! Momentum jewelry is a company based in the USA that makes wraps, footnotes and more that are workout friendly, washable and won't tarnish!
I have been wearing their jewelry while working out, running and pretty much all of the time for almost a year now, and I could not be happier to join their family as an ambassador :)

The Second great moment, just a few days later was when I received the email from SweatPink saying that I have been accepted to join their team as an ambassador.
I love everything about #SweatPink! Their mission is what first drew me to apply, and I am so happy that I did :)

"We believe that kicking ass is best done in pretty shoes. We’ve learned that real women sweat, and sweat hard. We know that assertiveness, strength, and ambition are the ultimate feminine qualities. We concede that sometimes it takes hours to get ready, but we’re also no strangers to just rolling out of bed and going. We’re convinced that we run faster in pink shoelaces. We believe in pushing ourselves, and we believe in giving ourselves a break, too. We’re all about the rush of endorphins and the thrill of the challenge. We’re all for looking great and feeling even better. We’re committed to finding our best fit, and making it stick."

Thank you so much to all of you for your support! I look forward to bringing you new and exciting products and ideas.



Wednesday, 7 October 2015

I am a Fitfluential Ambassador

What an exciting morning when I opened my email today!
There was an email confirming that my application to be a Fitfluential Ambassador had been approved! I was so happy and excited that I had some tears in my eyes :)
Whether you’re a biker, runner, lifter or yogi, Fitfluential wants to help you find your fitness. With workoutsand recipes that encompass all types of exercise and eating, their goal is to provide you with the tools and information you need to find a healthy lifestyle that works for you, whatever that may be.
They work with brand partners to bring the latest in fitness technology, healthy eating, supplements, apparel and more. Their goal is to inspire and motivate people to be their best through community encouragement and connecting with each other based on our love of health and fitness.
I am very excited about my ambassadorship! Hopefully I can find some great products to share with you along the way!!! 

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Review of Tiux Compression Socks

When I was first contacted by someone at Tiux to try their compression socks, I was very excited!
I received my new socks within a week after the first communication. They were shipped from the U.S. and arrived in great condition.

I first tried them at work, as I always wear compression socks during my 8 hours shifts where I am on my feet for most of the time.
My first impression when I put them on was how soft they were. I actually went into the nurses lounge and made the others feel my socks and feet. They are unbelievably soft! They were very easy to get on and nice to look at too.
I went in with an open mind and I must say that I was pleasantly surprised.
The next time I wore these socks was for recovery after Lost Soul 100K Ultra. I feel they were as good, maybe even a little more comfortable than some of the other more expensive brands of  compression socks.
My 3rd and final trial for these socks was to wear them at the Devon 5 Peaks half marathon. The socks provided comfort and support, and definitely got noticed on the trails. My ankles felt strong and  my calves felt extremely comfortable, even on all the hills.

I washed these socks in between each use in my washing machine and laid them flat to dry. They washed and dried well.
The company offers free shipping which is definitely an added bonus to the already appealing price tag of $35US per pair.
Communication with the company was quick and effortless. They recommended that I size down to a small, though my measurements had me in between small and medium. Their suggestion was perfect!
My overall impression of Tiux is a good one. I don't know that I am converted from my usual brand, but I definitely will wear these and likely buy another pair. I prefer these over other compression socks on the market in the same price range for sure!
I would recommend these socks for all types of activities. Whether running, working out, travelling, recovering or working, Tiux gives you good value for your dollar. I hope their next venture will be calf sleeves :)
I would like to thank Tiux for asking me and allowing me to try these socks.
You can shop online at

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Lost Soul Ultra Race Report

<Sorry this has taken me a week to write! I found it very overwhelming camping the weekend of the race, then rushing back to work for the entire week.>

Let me first off be perfectly honest and tell you how scared I was to run Lost Soul. My very first half marathon was in the HOT coulees of Medicine Hat in 2011. It was my most difficult run, still to this date. It was hot, hilly and awful! This was my fear of running the coulees in Lethbridge. I knew it was going to be hot and hilly!
I also did not have a solid training year. Being injured for most of it, and my longest training run being Black Spur just a few weeks before,  I went into this race not really knowing what to expect of myself and/or the race itself. I knew that I signed up for this race to originally qualify for Western States. The qualifying time as of 2015 was lengthened from 16 hours to 21 hours. This means that my only true goal was to run all 100km in less than 21 hours, though I really was hoping for less than 18 hours (if I could finish).
I did know that I did not want to eat any solids during this race. I usually try to eat protein while running, but I have been questioning why? Protein is so hard to break down. Carbs are the easiest form of calories to break down to glucose, so why not just use carbohydrates??? Sounded good enough to try :) So the plan in my head was to use just Vitargo and water. I had my trail mix with me always, "just in case".

The Lost Soul Ultra consists of 1-54 km loop, that is run 2 times, less leg 1 the second loop for the 100K and 3 full times during the 100 mile race.
Leg 1 takes you on a very steep climb up the coulee hills near the beginning, just to make sure that your calves and hamstrings are awake. It is 7km.
Leg 2 is 8.4 km leaving you with gorgeous views of the train bridge and the coulees.
Leg 3 is 9.6km taking you by the local gun range.
Leg 4 is the longest at 16.4km. It has coulee climbs and downhills, as well as about 10km of flat running. It takes you by the river and hemp fields.
Leg 5 is a lot of shale trail and is 6.6km that has us running through a bit of the wilderness park.
Leg 6 is the final leg at 6.2 km. It is amazing taking the runners through a really cool forest and under the train bridge. It ends taking you by the Fort and with a giant climb back up to the Lethbridge Lodge before crossing the transition/finish line.

So, it is Friday morning, the race starts at 8am. I am feeling good and start the morning by rolling my hips and glutes on my lacrosse ball (at the suggestion of my physiotherapist). I bring this same ball with me to the pre-race meeting and use it to roll on my feet right before the race. I feel like this has really warmed up my muscles.
The entire first loop I was running with my poles, asking myself "Why am I running with these??" I texted my sister to ask if she was still at the Lodge so that I could ditch them with her. Running without my poles was probably the best decision I made during the 101.4km.
The coulee hills were steep, but there was a lot more flat running and I didn't want to waste energy running flats with poles.
It started to get hot early. By the time I got to the North loop I was told it was 32C (in the shade). I definitely felt good about my hydration. I knew I was getting enough water. But after the big climbs in the long back loop, as I was starting onto the flats along the river, I started to feel things that I had never felt before. I felt my heart rate beating faster than ever. And what really worried me was the chills I was experiencing, even though I was baking in the sun. I was really looking forward to finishing this leg. I came in to the transition feeling "okay" and knew I needed some ice in my water pack to try and cool down internally.
This race is amazing!!! They have ice at EVERY transition. And it was available all the time!
The final 13K of the first loop felt very long, and very hot. I walked a lot. But so did every around me. I really loved running through the forest and along the river. And I remember making mental notes about certain trails that I would want to walk on in the dark as the trail was VERY narrow and dropped straight off one side with a wall of coulee on the other.
As I finished the first loop the clock said 7:33. I felt okay with this. I loaded up with more Vitargo and iced water. I probably sat around for way too long at this transition. Not for any reason that I can think of, just because. I started back out on the trail (missing leg 1 because only the 100milers have to do this loop every time). I realized immediately I forgot to reapply sunscreen, so back I went. Ok. Now I was ready. This was definitely the hottest point of the day. The course is totally exposed, with only about 10% coverage of some kind. No memories really stand out from my second loop on legs 2 and 3. I remember a few runners pulling off to the side if there was shade. I remember having to walk a lot, strictly because if I started running too much my heart rate was getting way too high. I remember climbing the steep hill beside the gun range and hearing the shots, thinking one of those could come our way. I remember doing run math, probably the the entire stretch of leg 3. If I come in at this time, I can still finish before midnight. If I finish this leg by this time.... There should only be X km left, I should finish at this time. (All of this math was totally inaccurate). I remember feeling so very HOT and relieved coming into the Pavan Park transition area.
As I was hanging out at this transition, seeing friends and family, as they were all asking me how I was feeling, all I could mumble out was "HOT, I AM SO HOT." I came into this transition feeling totally defeated (not wanting to quit, just feeling completely drained). The chafing from my sweat and my shorts on my inner thighs was awful. I applied Body Glide. Changed my shorts. It still hurt so much. I  am so thankful for Jo Schmidt! I told her my dilemma of changing into capris, but I was worried about over heating. I showed her my chafing. She helped me decide to change into my capris. This was the second best decision I made during the 100K race.
I planned on walking the entire North loop, just to let my body cool down. I told Chris I would be about 3 hours, but I went out feeling surprisingly revived. I could not believe how I good I felt. I ended up running most of the 16+ km. I noticed a lot more the second time as well. I smelled the hemp fields the first time, but didn't notice them until the second time running by them.
I walked up the hills and through the mud by the river, but was shocked that I could run the rest. I felt so great that I finished under 2 1/2 hours. What this meant was that Chris wasn't there to see me out and stock up my Vitargo. The volunteers were super helpful though! They helped me to add some ice to my pack, and off I went again, knowing I had less than 13K left. I asked the volunteers to tell Chris to meet me at Peenaquim Ball Diamond Aid Station if they saw a guy carrying my bin with MEYER on it.
As I ran up to the aid station my eyes started jetting around looking for Chris. He was not there. I asked the volunteers to text him and tell him I would be finishing in less than hour. The volunteers throughout the entire race were absolutely amazing!!! They made jokes about husbands, but were more than happy to help a racer out during her desperate need to have her husband at the finish line.
I quickly turned around and headed back out for the last 6.2km. I love running in the dark! I can always tell when other racers are around me and it looks really cool seeing the headlamps along the trails.
I ran most of the Leg 6 trail. My favourite part of the entire race was the cave like forest that was completely lit up by glow sticks. It was beautiful in the daylight hours, but spectacular at night!!! I also loved running under the train bridge while there was a train going over it. The glowing lights from the train and sounds were pretty cool to experience.
When I started this leg I passed a girl and guy running together. This was good for me as it pushed me to keep running. I was so excited to be this close to finishing! It got me thinking how badly I wanted to do well (and not let anyone else pass me).
I left on the North Loop at 7:03pm, thinking there was no way I would finish before midnight. But climbing up the final hill before reaching the finish I knew it was before midnight. As I came around the corner to the finish line I could see the time 15:39. And I could see Chris had made it. I was so happy. I sprinted across to make it well under my dream goal of under 16 hours which earned me 6th female (5th in age group) and also my finishers tile :)
Not only did I qualify for the Western States Lottery, I did it in under the old qualifying time.
I would like to congratulate all finishers at LSU! It was a very tough and hot course! I would also like to thank my husband, my kids, my mom and my sister for helping through the day.
I started the race not knowing if I would even finish, and with the help of them, the amazing volunteers and with Vitargo I was able to surpass my goals and qualify to put my name in the hat the week of November 7 for Western States.....
I feel amazing after this run, both mentally and physically. I feel like I did this one right, which has me excited for 2016!
Until next year Lethridge and the Lost Soul Ultra (because I will definitely be back...)

Monday, 24 August 2015

Black Spur Ultra Race Report

We are driving to Kimberley, BC and I start eyeing the elevation graphs on the BlackSpur website. I mean really studying them, since I will be running the 3 legs in less than 24 hours. I knew the race would be challenging, but I don't think I had a realistic idea of how challenging this 50K run would be.

The race can be run as a 50K or 100K solo or as a relay team for the 100K and takes place at the Kimberley Alpine Resort in Beautiful British Columbia. The transition areas for all 3 or 6 legs are at the base of the mountain, which makes it nice for drop bags and for people crewing and cheering and especially for soloists that are self supporting. 
At the pre-race meeting, Brian tells us just how challenging this course will be and that it is actually over 52km, not 50K. I am actually good with this news! My sick mind would rather over than under ;) He also explains that there are some areas that are not even trails, but just rock that he has marked. He mentions all of the single track on course. I am more excited than ever! 
The night before the race we had mice in our trailer that kept us up all night. Between racing dreams, dreaming of the new chameleon kit from INKnBURN (seriously!)  and the mice, I probably slept less than 2 hours. This did not however damper my excitement!
Ready to run on a very chilly morning...

Leg 1 was amazing! With tons of single track as promised, cushy running on moss and twigs and "rock climbing" it was my favourite leg! I love the twisted mind of Brian Gallant and how he made this course! 
I felt powerful on this leg, being in what I consider my elements! Climbing and running downhill. Approximately 16km and over 1000 meters of elevation gain, left me feeling strong coming into the transition area. 
Yup, that is the trail ;) The rock in the middle of the trees...
And yes. More trail there. Really! Up the middle of the trees :-)
Leg 2 was also pretty amazing! I kept going strong drinking water and fuelling with Vitargo. So many  amazing views on this leg as well! I wasn't sure where I was sitting in the standings at this point, but figured I was likely top 10. I was happy thinking this. Leg 2 saw me running over 17Km with an elevation gain of 935 meters. 
This was my favourite part of this leg :) Amazing!

Dipper Lake. My next favourite part of Leg 2.

I came in to the transition area to find my husband, kids and puppy had joined my sister and my parents. I love seeing them at my races! Chris helped me load up my bag with fresh water and Vitargo and helped me to get back out to finish the last 18Km and 842 meters of elevation to gain.
I did decide to change my shoes at the transition, as my feet hurt. I also decided to have an Ensure, just because. I feel both of these may have been mistakes. But I guess I will live and learn.
I went out feeling okay. Just okay, as the ensure was not sitting well with me. I started the climb up, and within minutes I started feeling extremely nauseous. Moments later I started dry heaving. I was not sure what to think. I had never experienced this before! I took some tylenol for my foot pain. Stopped at an outhouse to pee, and then found myself more in the trees. I slowly started to feel a little better. Not great, but better. 
I was still not sure where I was "in the pack" but decided it was not worth it at this point to stress out about it as I was sure there were a lot faster than me. I felt low, and I was letting that bring my run down. I was hoping for a top 10 finish, but really didn't care at this point! 
I reached some single track with lots of technical running! My favourite! This brought me back some energy! I caught up to a young girl that had passed me at the start of the leg. I passed her when I first caught her, but like any true competitor, it lit a spark in her and she passed me. I started talking was she passed me, and we ran down a long double track to the checkpoint together. It was nice to chat to someone. Just about nothing really. Ultra running, Sinister 7, where we were from. Just small talk, but it was nice. 
At the checkpoint there was a familiar face waiting to offer me goodies. Abi Moore (my idol and friend) was volunteering. It was so great to see her, but I was feeling quite low and really craving pop (which they didn't have), so I didn't stay to chat much, and out I went as her hubby (Mike) yelled that I only 9km more! 9Km! I can do this! And so began another climb up.
The views on Leg 3 were like no other! With mountains and valleys. It was Gorgeous! 
I hiked up the hill, as the young girl ran up by me. I thought to myself "WOW! Good for her!" I have always hiked up the hills since Ultra running. Well, especially when I am running more than 20K. I enjoyed the views and took my time to hydrate and refuel. Once I got to the top I was able to jog again. My Garmin had died, so I turned on my Nike Run app so that I had some idea how far I had run of the 9km left (probably 8 at that point). I took my time and enjoyed the run. Passing some having a hard time, and another passing me that was a strong relay runner.
I was feeling pretty okay by this point. tired, but okay. I was happy to be finishing my first 50K of the year. I came down the hill to the finish line, everyone cheering and my family waiting for me. I crossed, and my husband says "4th female!" I was the 4th female to cross, and 9th overall! I was 4 minutes behind the young girl that I ran with briefly who placed 3rd. I felt great! I was hoping for a top 10 finish, but 4th! I am pleased with that!  

Feeling great approaching the finish line!

The volunteers were all so great! They were congratulating me on my job well done. Grabbing me my pop :-) and offering watermelon and more. Everyone loved my Run or Die kit from INKnBURN and payed many compliments. 
I will say this is now my favourite 50K race! The views and trails were stunning! The race was well organized. And the country is beautiful! Well done Brian Gallant and team!
I would also like to congratulate everyone that ran this past weekend in Kimberley. My brother in law Erik and his sister Michelle for finishing her first Ultra! Majo did amazing and placed 2nd, running the entire 100K in his Luna sandals! And to Joanne for finishing 1st as a 100K soloist! It was so nice meeting new people and seeing their amazing talents on the trails! Well done Black Spur racers! I also need to thank fellow racers for sharing pictures on Facebook! I cannot take credit for most of these pictures, because for the first time, I think ever, I only took one picture in 50Km! :o
I look forward to seeing you all again next year! This is definitely a race worth repeating :)

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Found My Running Mojo!

Hi there Friends!!!
First, I would like to apologize for the very long break from blogging! It has been far too long, and I have missed it (and you) very much! I thought about it often, but just didn't get around to it...
That being said! I would like to announce that I feel as I have gotten my running Mojo back!!! After my injury and many physio treatments for the same, I would like to say that I finally feel good about running again! It did take a lot to get going again. Anyone that has experienced an injury might be able to relate to the pain and the depression that I went through over the past 8 months. I think we just need to be stronger (mentally and physically) to overcome it all.
I started by signing up to pace the Woody's Half Marathon. I figured that this would get me running after I finally started physio and healing. It was definitely a good start...
Next, I signed up to take my cycling designation and my group exercise courses to get my AFLCA certification. These were very busy weekends, with about 5-7 hours of workouts each day, but wow! Was it ever fun! And absolutely worth it! I feel like I learned so much. I am very excited to start teaching fitness myself :-)

Once I finished my exams and all of my courses, it made it easy to concentrate on running.

The biggest thing that helped me to get back to running and feel great about it was visiting the Rocky Mountains in Sparwood and the Crowsnest Pass the first week of July! It sure is easy to be motivated when you wake up each morning and know that you have childcare (Gramma) and mountains calling your name :-D

We arrived Sunday night and first thing Monday morning before the kids swim lessons began I arose to sun and mountains! I managed to get in 18K that day. Each day after that was any where from 6K-12K. Every moment was absolute joy and we managed to get some hiking in with the kids too!
I had not planned on running at Sinister 7 this year, just volunteering and helping cheer and crew for my brother in law Erik. I did however bring extra trail shoes just in case a team needed someone to help them out ;)
And sure enough! I found a team to run leg 2 with. This would have been an easy and fun run for me! It is my favourite leg of Sinister, and I could have ran a few extra miles to meet my training needs. The team Chicks on the Fly were able to help me out with that too, as they asked me 12 hours before the race if I could also run another Leg. I happily agreed, so long as the legs were close together. So it was decided, with less than 12 hours before the race, that I would run legs 1 and 2. Not only did have a blast running it, but it helped build my confidence again. I had not run 32.5km in quite some time, and this felt amazing! I have it! I found my running mojo!

Once I returned home on my runners high, it made it easy to keep up the training! I was able to get out on the cross country ski trails in Red Deer, as well 40 kilometres in Banff.

I feel better than I have in months and with just 3 more weeks until Deathrace I felt strong and capable. Gosh I am happy in the mountains! I miss them so much. I am so grateful that I grew up in them and now get to visit and explore frequently :)
I would like to thank my Mom and Dad for helping with the boys! I would like to thank the girls from Edmonton for allowing me to join their team! And I would like to say it is thanks to them, the mountains and a few races that helped me to find my running MOJO again! Hooray!!!
I would also like to take this opportunity to Congratulate my brother in law Erik Byman on his strong finish at Sinister!!! What an amazing accomplishment to run 100 miles! I know what I feel like to be awake for 29 hours! And he ran for almost that long, plus was awake before and after the race! Well done Erik!
Stay tuned for my Deathrace report...