And we thought we had run all the beautiful trails around southern Vancouver Island… turns out, we were wrong!
Back in 2013, I started creating detailed trail running route posts of all my favourite trails around southern Vancouver Island after reading this post on Shape.com and deciding that the trails I run regularly in Victoria could definitely give those suggestions a run for their money. I mean, how many places in the world have this many well-maintained, amazing and beautiful trails, all within an hours drive of the capital city? Probably not too many. And I’m sure there are many other spectacular trails that can rival these (Inca Trail, anyone?), but for accessibility’s sake, I’d take my moss-covered, root-entangled, winding west coast trails over almost-urban gravel trails any day.
By mid-2014, I had photographed, mapped and blogged about the seven best trails to run on Vancouver Island according to my “Best Trails to Run” criteria (scroll to the bottom of this post to read my criteria and for links to each post). Well… turns out I need to add a number eight to that list 🙂 Thanks to Coach Lindsey of TriStars for suggesting this trail and for providing directions. I can’t believe I’ve never been here before! (more…)
Other than some social posts, I’ve successfully stayed away from my computer and spent most of the week getting pampered at the spa, hiking with my dog, and reading books. It’s been lovely, and much needed.
Though the massage, facial, daily yoga and Epsom salt baths all week have been amazing, my favourite day was obviously yesterday (my actual birthday), where I spent the morning in the spa getting a manicure and Ayurvedic pedicure and came out to find my wonderful boyfriend had already paid for my treatments. Then I came home to discover he snuck into my apartment and put a big bouquet of flowers on my kitchen table 🙂 Then last night before dinner with my family, he gave me this amazing gift.
Me and my bestie Janine in Thailand celebrating my 21st birthday. Chang beer… worst hangover of my life.
In nine days, one third of my life will be over. (Yes, I plan to live to at least 90.)
The big 3-0 birthday has been troubling me ever since I turned 29. I hear life is better in your thirties, but I suppose it could be the whole you’re-getting-older-and-can’t-drink-wine-like-you-used-to-on-a-saturday-night thing that bugs me the most about this birthday. I also think it’s because I’m not where I thought I’d be at 30.
This comes up for me pretty much every time I catch up with friends and family at parties or over coffee. I get to hear about upcoming nuptials or babies on the way, which is all lovely and awesome and I’m genuinely excited and happy for them… but then when they ask what I’ve been up to, even after I excitedly describe my new business and my blog and recent fitness magazine article, the next question is always, “So, are you living with your boyfriend yet? Are you going to have a family?” followed by a sympathetic look and a complete change of subject. (more…)
If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you’ll know I don’t like New Year’s resolutions or diving in head-first to some new diet trend or fitness program and giving up all your vices cold turkey. Most of us are back to our old ways by February, and feel crappy that we failed our resolutions yet again.
I’m more a fan of setting goals or intentions for the year, and then setting smaller SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound) goals to help get me there. If one of your goals is to improve your health, fitness level and nutrition knowledge this year, I’m hosting a month-long online fitness challenge over on Koru Personal Training’s Facebook page for the super reasonable price of $20!
From January 1-31, clients will participate in weekly fitness, nutrition and mindfulness challenges under my guidance to help start 2015 off on the right foot. An exercise program tailored to all levels with video instruction will be provided, as well as basic nutrition guidelines and meal plans, support, accountability and encouragement. Participants in the challenge group are also encouraged to share their progress and help motivate others — the more you engage and participate in each challenge and with each other, the more entries you will get to enter to win a Polar Loop ($100 value)! The group will also be private, so I encourage all participants to share as much as they feel comfortable sharing with others in the group.
I did a free pilot fitness group on Facebook for three weeks in November with about 13 people, and they all really enjoyed the challenge and loved the accountability and support.
Last weekend I had the pleasure of testing some new ethically produced, locally made yoga and running tights from Breathe Athletic here in Victoria BC. I’ve you’ve never shopped at Breathe, you must — owner Stephanie Hinton sources the most beautiful yoga, fitness and lifestyle apparel for women, all of it made in North America and/or produced ethically and sustainably where possible. Can’t get to her store? Don’t worry — she also sells her product lines online through her website at breatheathletic.com.
But on to the pants! I took this pair of tights from Some Product out for a chilly trail run.
One thing I loved right away about these pants (aside from the eye-popping “Blue Equestrian” print, made-in-Vancouver tag and gorgeous imported Italian — yes, Italian — fabric) was their slight compression-like feeling. (more…)
If you’ve ever been to Portland, Oregon (or Vancouver Island, for that matter), you’ll notice an eclectic mix of outdoor wear (think Gortex and hiking boots), hippy threads (ponchos, pantaloons and Cowichan sweaters), hipster garb (tight pants, boat shoes, plaid shirts, toques, grandpa sweaters) and various spandex attire meant for yoga, running or cycling. I wouldn’t call it fashion-forward, but I would say the clothing definitely fits the environment and how we function in it. Luckily, there is one company based in beautiful Portland, Oregon that manages to make our west coast sense of style… stylish.
Nau makes beautiful functional clothing for both men and women that’s perfectly suited for our urban-yet-wild, sometimes-rainy-hardly-snowy environment. Not only do they use sustainable fabrics like recycled polyester, wool and organic cotton, but also donate 2 per cent of every sale to a partner organization of your choice. Which is awesome and very considerate of them, considering most of us on the west coast are like this: (more…)
Happy Saturday! I hope you’re either still cozy and warm in bed browsing through your social feeds on your tablet with a domesticated animal curled up at your feet or having coffee in your kitchen, getting caught up on all the latest on the Internets and enjoying a hearty breakfast. Or, you know, socializing with your loved ones. But then you wouldn’t be reading this awesome collection of articles, would you? Here are a few gems from this week:
Can you be overweight and healthy? – Chicago Tribune
A great piece by James Fell in the Chicago Tribune this morning. Though I tell my clients to ignore the scale for the most part and measure their progress by how much better they feel and move, it’s still important to consider actual health markers, such as cholesterol levels and blood pressure, to determine just how “healthy” you are. So can you have excess body fat and still be healthy?
“‘When you look at it from all angles,’ Katz said, ‘the conclusion you reach is that an excess of body fat is inevitably harmful.’ The problem, specifically with abdominal obesity, is that it infiltrates the organs. ‘Especially the liver, which interferes with insulin metabolism. Then the pancreas pours out extra insulin, and it creates a self-generating cascade that leads directly to diabetes and increased cardiac risk.’ He spoke of research showing an increased risk for most forms of cancer as well.”
Living on an island off the west coast of beautiful British Columbia definitely has its perks. The ocean surrounds us, the wilderness here is beautiful, there are plenty of places to explore for hours on end without seeing another human being, and the weather here is never too extreme. That means year-round outdoor adventures and not having to spend the winter cooped up in a gym to stay fit and healthy.
Even though we hardly get any snow here at sea level and the temperature rarely drops below -1°C, outdoor enthusiasts still have to consider the elements when exercising outside during the winter months. Here are a few key pieces of apparel us northern west-coasters should add to our workout wardrobe for winter: (more…)
I think this was from early in the race as I don’t look like I’m dying yet.
It’s been two whole weeks since the marathon. One week of complete rest and two weeks of no running.
I’ll admit, the whole not-running part has been a welcomed break. Though my foot didn’t hurt after the race and I didn’t end up breaking anything (thankfully), I can tell my body needed a break. The pads of my feet were actually quite sore, and my legs just felt tired and achy.
Of course, after a week of doing nothing, I got tired of sitting around and jumped right back in to weight training, picking up where I left off before taper.
I definitely lost a lot of strength, and a workout that wouldn’t have cause any DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) before caused me to hobble around for days. For DAYS. At least I know my programmed workouts are effective 🙂 (more…)