Strength and Endurance Clinic - Monday, Nov. 11th to Saturday, Jan. 11th
Stay focused and on track as we head into the cooler months with this 8 week Strength and Endurance clinic.  This clinic will allow you to build on the training you have completed thus far and allow you to reach for the next level (whether it be increasing your speed or distance).
Clinic members meet Monday evenings at 6:30 (STRENGTH) and Saturday mornings at 7:30 a.m. (ENDURANCE).
Cost: $82.50
All clinic members will be following the same basic schedule; however workouts will be tailored to the individual runner’s needs/levels.
It is recommended that participants be comfortable running roughly 3km before starting this clinic.
Fees must be paid in cash or by electronic email transfer prior to the start of the clinic.
Are you ready to start feeling as healthy as you were meant to feel?  As our children are getting back to regular routines this fall season, why not take this time to start getting back into a healthy routine yourself?

Fall into Feeling Fabulous is a 21-day online program designed to help you get back on track.  You will learn how the body thrives when it is properly nourished through wholesome eating and good quality supplementation.

Along with an online education and support community, recipes and tracking tools you will receive a full months supply of the highest rated quality supplements on the market today (AM & PM multivitamins and minerals of pharmaceutical grade), probiotics (dairy-free pharmaceutical grade, to support digestive health), Optomega oil (essential fatty acids ) and gluten/dairy/soy/fructose free meal replacement shakes that you can fit into your program up to twice daily for those rushed on-the-go meals.

This program focuses on healthy eating habits and you will receive healthy meal and snack options that you may incorporate into your daily routine.  As always, please contact your health care professional before commencing any nutrition or fitness program.  This program is not intended for the use of treatment or diagnosis of health problems or disease.  Please consult your doctor or other health care provider for professional care, treatment and diagnosis.

New Women’s Spring Running clinic in the Cambridge area begins Wednesday, March 13th at 6:30 and runs until Wednesday, June 26, 2013.

Whether you are a beginner looking for encouragement to complete your first 5k or want to build up to the 10km or half marathon distance this group is for you!  Running in a group will keep you on track to reaching your goals and you will meet some awesome new women who share the same interests as you.

5k goal race is end of May, 10k and ½ marathon end of June.

Contact me today for more information and to get started on your running journey!

Running Safety


After a very recent creepy encounter I thought it would be a good idea to post some tips on running safety.

Try to run with a partner.
Sometimes it’s nice to have some alone time while running but try to save those runs for daylight hours when you are more visible and more people are awake than are at 5:00 a.m..  If you have to run in the early morning hours or into the evening, try to find someone to run with.  If you don’t have any runner friends, maybe someone would like to cycle along side you or contact your local running club or store to find out when their clinics or free group runs are held.

Alter your route.
Don’t run the same route each day at the same time.  For instance, don’t run the same route every Monday morning at 7.  You never know who may be watching or waiting for you.

Notify someone of your route and give an approximate time that you will be back.
I always let my husband know where I will be running and how long I will be out for so that he knows where to start looking for me should I not return when expected.

Avoid deserted areas.
It may be nice to run that trail route or go through an industrial area on the weekend, but be safe and stick to the more populated areas.

Run against traffic.
If you choose to run on the roadway, it’s easier for you to see oncoming traffic than for you to try and be aware of it coming up behind you.  Motorists also don’t have to worry about any unpredictable behaviour from you if you don’t hear them approaching.  Never assume a motorist sees you.  If you think they are coming up to fast or are too close to the side of the road, get off the road.

Make sure you’re visible.
Wear bright reflective clothing, a headlamp or armband so that motorists and other runners or cyclists can see you.

No earphones
It may be hard for some to get through a run, especially on long slow ones, but if you have music blaring in your ears it makes it hard to hear traffic or someone who may come running up behind you.

Carry money/bank card, id and a mobile device.
Just in case, you never know if you will get hurt along the way or need to refuel your body if you have gone out too far.

As women we have a pretty good sense when something is off.  If you get the sense that something isn't right, it probably isn’t.  Trust me.  Change your direction and head for home.

Be safe!
Toward the end of every year I like to reflect on what I have accomplished over the past 12 months.  After reviewing everything I ask myself: Did I accomplish everything I hoped for this year?  Sometimes the answer is yes and sometimes the answer is no.  For the goals I did not accomplish was it because I lost sight of my clear vision or were there extenuating circumstances preventing me from achieving my goals.  If I have lost sight of my vision than I have to give my head a shake and refocus on what it is that I find important to me and want I really want to accomplish during the year and in the future.  If it was the latter then I have to figure out what I need to do to push forward past the obstacles.  For example, in 2012 one of my running goals included achieving a PB in a marathon that I had registered for, beating my previous PB by 10 minutes.  May seem aggressive to some, but I knew it was attainable and I was on track to achieving it.  I never actually did because I was sidelined by an injury from a minor accident which was aggravated during training and prevented me from putting in the mileage and speed needed to achieve this goal.  After months of therapy I am almost back on track and now I am re-evaluating my running goals for 2013.

Call it a New Years Resolution, a goal, or a dream, they are necessary for our success and to achieve the vision we create for ourselves.  At all of the major jobs that I have held it was required by my employers to set objectives for the year, both for my professional development and for that of the team, which all were in line with company objectives and supported the company's vision.  So I’m going to assume that this is probably not new information for the majority of you.  But maybe it is for some.  If we are required by our employers to set personal development goals that support the goals of the company, why don’t more of us set them in our personal lives?  Being busy mothers and caregivers we sometimes feel guilty when we take time out for ourselves, time that we think we should be spending with our families.  But we would all benefit if we took the time to create a clear vision for ourselves and set goals that can help us achieve it.  This is one of the best things we can show our children, an invaluable skill that will help them throughout their lives.  It shows our children that they can achieve anything they want and it helps set them up with the tools to get there.

As January approaches I start to make a list of goals that I’d like to achieve for the next year and revisit my long term vision.  I highly recommend everyone do this as there is a great sense of accomplishment and purpose when you do achieve them.  You can set goals for personal health, your finances, career, basically in any area that is important to you.  You can do this by writing them down in a numbered list, make a poster or vision board with words or pictures, or by creating a movie that you can view everyday.  In addition to writing everything down on paper I use the vision board which is great because you can put it in a location that you pass by everyday and it gives you that visual which some of us need.  This helps us become accountable for the tasks that we set before us to reach our goals for the year and our long term dreams.

I find the simplest way to set a goal is to use the S.M.A.R.T. concept which has become popular since its introduction in the early ‘80’s.  There are variations to the original S.M.A.R.T. definition, but I just go with:
Time based

A very simple running goal might be:
Set a PB in the Chilly Half Marathon held on March 3, 2013 finishing with a time under 1:49.
Is it specific?  It’s specific enough for me.
Is it measurable?  Of course, it will be a timed race.
Is it achievable?  You bet since I’ve been putting in the mileage and times required to finish around that time.
Is it Realistic?  I believe it is.
Is it time based?  Yes since the race is held on a specific date and it is a timed race.

If your goal is simply to run a half marathon and you have never run before, then you will need to sit down and figure out a few more details on how you will do that.  Your personal goals are just that, your personal goals.  You don’t answer to anyone but yourself.  Once you have your goals set your next step is to figure out how you will achieve them.  For this example your next steps might be to select a specific training program to follow, figure out if you need to revamp your diet or sleep habits, or decide if you may benefit from a running partner or run club for motivation.

Now get to it and start setting your goals for 2013!
Good luck!

I am so proud of all of those who completed this spring’s Learn to Run Clinic for Women.  Most have now participated in their first 5km races and have started the 5km and 10km running clinics to continue on working towards new running goals. 

On Sunday, May 27th, 2012 some of us participated in the Toronto Women’s 5km that took place in Sunnybrook Park, Toronto.  Thank goodness the rainy weather held off for this fun and inspiring race through the park that helps to raise money for the Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario.

This past Sunday, June 3rd, 2012 the 34th Annual Bread & Honey race in Streetsville, Ontario took place.  Clinic members ran the 15km or 5km race, with some family members even taking part in 1km fun run.  Definitely a fun race weekend for the entire family!

Way to go ladies!  It was a pleasure instructing all of you and I look forward to watching you all continue on your running journey!

Enjoy your run!

One of the reasons I love running early in the morning is for that quiet, calmness of the start of the day (and by early I mean somewhere between 5:00 and 6:30).  Everything is so peaceful and you are able to enjoy wildlife (deer, rabbits, water fowl, turtles, and oh yes my favourite – skunks) like you could not on a busy trail later in the day.  You also do not have to worry about running down a busy street while having every second or third car honking or playing chicken with you.

When I was out for my long run early this past Saturday morning, there was a group of people up ahead who had a beautiful Weimaraner on a leash.  For some of you who know me really well, this is my absolute favourite kind of dog and if I ever were to own one, this is the type of dog I would have.  Well, to my surprise as I approached the group of 3 (two of which appeared to still be in their pajama’s) they turned and asked me if I wanted her as they had just found her wandering around their yard!  The thought quickly ran through my head that it would be so amazing to have a dog who would be more than willing to get up at the crack of dawn or before and run with me.  Unfortunately she had a collar with tags so I knew that her owner would not be too far away and if they were not already looking they would be once they woke up at a more reasonable hour.  Oh well I thought, someday, and continued on.

Fast forward two days to this morning.  I was out again at the crack of dawn and for some reason on this day I was wishing that one of my running partners were with me.  I am being completely honest with you when I say that at that particular moment a robin swooped down and started running along the road beside me.  No kidding at all, he kept pace with me (which really wasn’t that fast as I was not fully awake yet) for 45 seconds!  It may sound kind of silly but this completely made my day and after he flew on I continued smiling for the remainder of my run.

For those of you who are contemplating starting a running or walking program to help you continue on your journey to health but are unsure if you want to do it without a running partner (or animal friend), there are plenty of running groups out there that you can join.  As a running clinic instructor I know first hand how welcoming members of these groups are and even though each member may have different running goals, what they have in common is that everyone is looking for some good company and that extra motivation to keep moving forward.  You really do not have to look far for one of these amazing groups.  Check out your local running store or community centre for details.  You will be glad you did!

Enjoy your run!


Who is your ideal running partner?
A few weeks ago I headed out for an 18km run a little later than my usual Sunday morning long-run start time of 6:30 a.m.  As the sun was trying to make itself seen, I thought great!  It shouldn’t be as cold as it was yesterday!  In the winter I find the first few steps out the door the hardest part of the run.  But once I’m out there I don’t regret it, even for a moment.

While I’ve enjoyed running my entire life, I didn’t always enjoy winter running.  At least I didn’t think I would.  I have to admit that in the early years I would wait for the nicest of days to venture out.  For most of the winter, I would keep my workouts inside.  If it was cold and rainy I would just go back to bed and reset the alarm clock.  I finally got over this once I had my children and I realized that this time for me was invaluable and I needed it to help me recharge, regardless of the weather.

Before I lace up, I always check the temperature.  On this particular morning when I left at 9:30 a.m. it was -9, but the wind-chill made it feel more like -15.  Sometimes checking the temperature beforehand sends a chill through my body before I even take a step out of my nice cozy home.  I just have to remind myself that a run outside is much more enjoyable than a run on a treadmill any day of the year, no matter what Mother Nature has in store.

It is essential for me to stay comfortable while running in the cold, so I dress in layers.  Moisture wicking fabrics are a must in order to stay dry.  I wear a synthetic base layer to keep my skin dry and then depending on the temperature a second layer for added warmth.  I always wear a light wind jacket with reflectors to make myself visible to others on the road if the sun is not out.  I wear my regular running shoes but sometimes will slip on ice cleats if it looks like it is going to be slippery out.  If I know the roads have been cleared in the areas I will be running, I sometimes won’t bother as I find them uncomfortable when on the dry pavement.  If there looks to be ice I’ll just slow it down a bit until I feel it is safe to continue at my desired pace.  I wear a hat, in particular a balaclava if it is very cold so I can cover my mouth and nose, and I usually will have a headband on me as well.  If I get too warm with the hat, at least I will have the headband to cover my ears.  I also never forget my winter mittens that have a windproof flap to cover the thumb and finger ports that are also made of moisture wicking material.

For me, winter running is an enjoyable experience during those sometimes dull, gloomy days.  Try to get out there and don’t let those cold Canadian winter days keep you from staying active and enjoying your runs!

Enjoy your run!
A lovely surprise outside my front window this morning!
As children, we listen to others tell us that we can do anything we set our minds too.  As adults we tell our children this, but we get so wrapped up in our day-to-day tasks that we sometimes forget this amazing piece of advice ourselves.  I am a firm believer of this and definitely had these positive thoughts in the front of my mind this past Sunday.

I’m still coming down from a Runners high.  Actually, I think I’m still experiencing it full force.  It’s been almost two days since I ran the full 42.2 km at the Hamilton Road2Hope Marathon on Sunday, November 6th, 2011.  We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day.  While starting off a bit cool the temperature rose quite quickly and with the sun blazing down on us you wouldn’t have known we were already into what we would have expected to be a cool November.  What an amazing day for a race.

Its been about 18 weeks since I started the training, which at sometimes seemed quite intense.  Looking back I have to say I loved every minute of it.  As I have been a half-marathon runner for quite some time now, I really didn’t know what to expect when I woke up Sunday morning.  The distance still seemed a bit far off the regular 32-33 km I was used to tackling on my long Sunday morning runs.  Ten kilometres in a car doesn’t seem very far while you are driving.  But running that distance after running 32 km is a completely different story.  But, it’s an amazing story.  With as much physical energy as it took me to complete the full 42.2km, it took just as much, if not more, mental and emotional energy.  What a feeling it was to have completed this goal of mine.

If you are seriously considering tackling this ultimate distance or setting any other running goals such as a 5 km or 10km, be sure to have a plan in place.  Your strength can be built up over time but you have to be sensible about how you do it, especially if you are starting from a level of low fitness.  Any beginner attempting a marathon for the first time should aim to have at least one-year worth of solid running before beginning a training program.  Speak with your health-care provider first to get the go-ahead if you are unsure.  I have done this in the past and have even had my heart monitored just as a precaution.

I am very blessed to have such an amazing and supportive family and group of friends that have encouraged me with my running and marathon training.  Having a running partner or close friend who shares the same interest in running is a wonderful thing.  They can join you on your long runs; keep you motivated and on track to reaching your goals; and ultimately, share in your celebrations after achieving something you never thought was possible.

Enjoy your run!

(Reposted from 10/13/2011)

  While I have always enjoyed running, it wasn’t until after I had my youngest that I looked at training seriously to increase my endurance and mileage.  Running a marathon had always been on my bucket list but the thought of training for one was daunting.  After being inspired by a family member, I decided to start training for my first half marathon.  I was absolutely thrilled a few months later to have completed my first half marathon.  Crossing over the finish line and seeing my family there at the end filled me with so much emotion it truly is difficult to put it into words.  At that point it was hard to picture my life without running. 

I now participate in several races each year, usually trying to pick ones located in different cities so we can turn race-weekend into a mini vacation.  Running helps me continue on this wonderful journey through motherhood.  It is my time.  It keeps me physically fit and emotionally healthy, which I think is so important in setting a perfect healthy example for my children.  I encourage each one of you to get out there and be active in any way you can.  Breathe in the fresh air and really enjoy your surroundings.  Little steps will bring about big changes in your health and everyday life.  Even though we may not all be marathon runners, we are all marathon moms.  We all need to be Healthy Marathon Moms. 


(Reposted from 10/13/2011)