I mustache you some questions…

I’m a little slow to the game with this…story of my life lately! Thanks to Leslie @ Triathlete Treats and Kristin @ Sweat Courage for tagging me.

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I love reading questionnaires on other blogs, so I thought I’d play along!

Four names other people call me other than my real name.

  1. Abs or Ab – lots of people call me this from friends to coworkers to my niece
  2. Abby – my real name is Abigail, but I think only my Dad calls me that
  3. Flabby Abby – my old track friends
  4. Bertha – oddly it’s Kelly’s pet name for me

Four jobs I’ve had.

  1. Babysitter
  2. Lifeguard/camp counsellor
  3. Lifeguard and swimming instructor
  4. Communications Advisor – my grownup job

Four movies I’ve watched more than once.

  1. Adventures in Babysitting – I think I know every line
  2. Beauty and the Beast
  3. Blood Diamond
  4. Crazy Stupid Love

Four books I recommend.

  1. Summer Sisters by Judy Blume – best beach read
  2. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein – best book about dogs and friendship
  3. Anatomy for Runners by Jay Dicharry – best book for injury prevention if you’re a runner or athlete
  4. A Trip to Lazibonia – it’s a kids book and my favourite at my Grandma’s house. I couldn’t find it anywhere, so she gave me her copy!

Four places I’ve lived.

This list is super boring, as I’ve only truly lived in one place!

  1. Edmonton, Alberta
  2. Does backpacking Australia for three months count?
  3. I did ‘live’ in Pennsylvania for six weeks one summer while working at a camp
view of downtown Edmonton at sunrise from the trails

view of downtown Edmonton at sunrise from the trails

Four places I’ve been.

  1. Hawaii
  2. Australia
  3. Thailand
  4. New York City
Hawaii

Hawaii

4 Mile Beach, Port Douglas, Australia

4 Mile Beach, Port Douglas, Australia

Ko Phi Phi, Thailand

Ko Phi Phi, Thailand

Rickshaw ride, NYC

Rickshaw ride, NYC

Four places I’d rather be right now.

  1. Hiking in the mountains
  2. Reading under an umbrella on a beach, preferably with a cold drink in hand (I’d take almost any tropical beach) / playing in the ocean
  3. On a run in a new, big city
  4. Exploring Brazil

Four of my favorite foods.

  1. Perogies
  2. Raspberries fresh from the garden
  3. Pizza
  4. Scallops

Four things I don’t eat.

Almost any popular ‘blogger’ food…

  1. Sweet potatoes
  2. Kombucha
  3. Watermelon
  4. Avocado

Four TV shows I watch.

I only watch tv on Netflix, and I’m currently only watching two shows.

  1. Homeland
  2. Lost – 10 years late to the game but just finished season one!

This summer I did watch Nashville (I admittedly became obsessed)  and How I Met Your Mother.

Four things I’m looking forward to this year.

Baby on the brain!

  1. Meeting our baby – due in early March
  2. Seeing Kelly as a Dad
  3. Maternity leave – no work for a year!
  4. Cross-country skiing – new cross-training

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Four things I always say.

  1. I don’t know…what do you think? (I could win as the most indecisive person you’ve ever met.)
  2. Why don’t you decide? (see above)
  3. I wish I were running
  4. You’re a good boy – to Harold

Feel free to play along and answer some in the comments or on your blog!

My favourite running trail – summer 2014

This summer we spent our mountain time in Radium, a small village beside Kootenay National Park in British Columbia about 100km southwest of Banff.

I ran a variety of trails but tended to go back to the same one time and time again.

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I ran it again a couple weekends ago, most likely the last time I’ll run it this year. (I don’t want to run trails once it snows due to the slipping factor!)

on a walk there the next day

on a walk there the next day

It’s my favourite for a few reasons:

  • It’s a huge climb at the beginning, flat at the top, then all downhill at the end! This summer, on average, it took me 15 minutes of climbing to get up there. (The last time I ran the trail it took me 16, but I was convinced it was closer to 25!)IMG_1458
  • Once you’re up on top it’s fairly flat the entire way, which is nice after all that climbing. And although it’s singletrack, the trail is pretty clear of roots and rocks, which was especially important this summer so I wouldn’t fall!
  • A downhill finish always feels good!IMG_1455
  • It feels safe from wild animals that frequent other trails since it’s so open and because of the foliage up there (no berry bushes, etc). However, on the last run Kelly and I came across large bones with blood still on them.
  • You can add on as much distance as you want on a variety of connecting trails. Kelly took me on an extended version the other week, and we ended up in the most peaceful area. There’s actually a little park in the middle of the trail called the Park of Peace!
  • The views are unbelievable. On one side, since you’re right on the edge, you have views of the distant mountains. Look the other way and it’s an enormous meadow with very tall mountains as the backdrop.

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I ran alone 98% of the time this summer and was cautious to do too much or stray too far. Next summer I think I’ll be more adventurous and run more wooded trails with hills throughout.

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Do you prefer a long hill or multiple shorter ones?

Last hike of the season

We headed to the mountains this weekend for one last hurrah before the snow hit! (At least that’s what Kelly desperately hoped since he cannot wait for winter activities!)

My plan was to wake up and trail run on Saturday and then go for a hike. Good thing Kelly kindly reminded me I should choose either the hike or the run since I probably couldn’t do both. Otherwise I’m sure he would have had to carry me down the mountain :)

I chose to hike since it’s been a while since we went on a good one. We headed back to Mount Swansea, a hike we did at the very beginning of the year. It’s a perfect shoulder season hike and not nearly as challenging as some we tackled this summer but enough for me to count as a workout.

There was a crazy thick fog that morning, so some of the views were pretty cool since you could only see above a certain level.

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the abyss

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At the top, the wind was howling. The storms were blowing in.

The hike certainly wasn’t easy for me. I really depended on my hiking poles for the steep sections, and I took quite a few breaks! Since getting pregnant, I huff and puff a lot more when hiking than running.

But it felt SO good to be outside and moving for a substantial amount of time! (I forgot to mention in my last post that only my a handful of my runs and bikes have been over an hour.)

We woke up this morning to a snowy and cold forecast. I think the snow is here to stay!

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What did you do this weekend?

Running through pregnancy – first trimester

In the comments section of my last post a few people asked how running is going, so I thought I’d write about the first trimester.

I would love to run throughout my entire pregnancy. However, as I’m writing this at almost 22 weeks I’m not sure how realistic that will be for me.

Let’s backtrack and talk about those first 14 weeks…

I was just starting to run again after a few weeks off (and a few frustrating weeks before that) due to lingering issues with my hips, leg, and other parts.

What felt good?
I ran 95% of my runs on trails. The forgiving surface, the views, and the constant challenges felt great (or took my mind of being tired)!

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I was extremely nauseous until about week 15. The only time I felt good was when I was working out. Our summer holidays fell at the perfect time so I could work out first thing in the morning and feel better for the rest of the day. When I was exhausted at the end of a day at work and just wanted to sleep I’d try to make myself get a run or workout in, knowing I’d feel exponentially better afterwards.

What was different?
In the past I never carried water when I ran other than a handful of times. I have been running with water on every single run since finding out I’m pregnant; I get extremely thirsty after a few minutes. I mostly run with my hydration pack (link to a newer version of my bag) but sometimes with a small bottle in my hand.

I had to pee all. the. time. On a 40 minute run, I’d have to stop four times. This was another perk about running trails- lots of trees to hide behind!

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On morning runs I never used to eat beforehand. After a couple runs in, I knew I had to change that. Now I eat before every run. I usually eat a bowl of cereal before a morning run and just time my snacks for a post-work workout.

What didn’t feel good?
The odd time I ran on the road I felt funny, like my form was off or my legs were wooden. Not sure if it’s because I ran mostly trails or if it was something to do with pregnancy.

I was out of breath from the instant I started running right until the end. Although trails are tougher in general, never before would I be out of breath for an entire run!

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We had an extremely hot summer. On the exceptionally hot days I’d run on the treadmill or do an at-home circuit workout in the basement or in the shade. One day I ‘ran’ in the heat and ended up walking the last third. (Typically I love working out in the heat but this just didn’t feel right.)

Everything else
I biked outside on the highway a handful of times. It felt great, but I am definitely more cautious pregnant and didn’t love riding beside speeding vehicles.

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The trainer and I became good friends this summer!

I’ve continued with strength training two to three times a week, sometimes alone and sometimes as part of a circuit.

I SUPed quite a bit this summer and made sure to do it at an easy pace. Before I found out I was pregnant I paddled hard one day. My back and chest were so sore it hurt to even breath! Once I found out, I didn’t push it and just did it for leisure.

For hiking I used my hiking poles to help with the steep inclines and declines, and for overall balance. And Kelly was a champ and would pack litres and litres of water!

I have also really concentrated on strengthening my hips, as the majority of what I’ve read about pregnancy talks about the damage it can do to your hips.

Lastly, I’ve been trying to do prenatal yoga once a week. It’s a gentle stretch and feels great for my body and my soul! (I’ve been using the Shiva Rea GAIAM Prenatal Yoga DVD, but I’d love to sign up for a prenatal class at a studio.)

Overall I’ve tried to listen to my body. If something doesn’t feel right I’ll ease off or stop altogether. It has definitely been an adjustment to decrease my activity level (I would get too tired when I tried to do my norm).

If you have any questions, let me know! Once I safely make it out of my second trimester (yikes- only six weeks away!) I’ll write another update. Hopefully I’ll still be running!

Do you carry water when you run? Do you eat before a morning workout?

Three goals

Hello! It’s been a while…

When I wrote my last post, I had no idea how long of a break I would take. Turns out four months away from blogging flies by!

Three goals
I had three main goals for this year when we decided not to sign up for any big races. I am happy to say I achieved all of them, with a few smaller ones accomplished, too!

Goal #1: Visit the mountains often

Lake of the Hanging Glacier

This was a smashing success with 17 weekends spent out there, and 11 days for summer vacation!

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We hiked a ton, and I trail ran and SUPed to my heart’s content.

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I even paddled in my first SUP race in Canmore and hope to make it an annual event!

Goal #2: Heal my injuries/ailments
After taking a break from running, strengthening like crazy, and seeing numerous people, I found a chiropractor who I credit for getting me back to pain-free running!

One day in late July I realized not one thing hurt when I was running, or afterwards. My hamstring, glutes, piriformis, iliac crest, knee, and hip were all quiet.

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I’m still working on my weaknesses so I can continue! However, new aches are constantly popping up, which I attribute to goal three.

Goal #3: Get pregnant
If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen a couple photos. I am excited to say I am now past the halfway mark of my pregnancy and am due on March 6, 2015.

I’m still trying to stay active with trail running, biking on the trainer, and strength training. Hopefully I can continue throughout!

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We ran a 12km trail race on our sixth anniversary. I was 17 weeks, and have definitely ‘popped’ since then.

Everything else
Other than that, my sister had a precious baby boy at the end of July so I now have an amazing niece and a nephew!

The first year of my garden box was a blooming success.

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And it was our hottest summer I can remember.

What’s new in your world?

Taking a break

Instead of leaving this space silent, I thought I’d write a little post to say I’m taking a blogging break.

I’m not sure for how long, but I know I’m not making the time for it right now. I want to enjoy summer, weekend getaways, and warm evenings instead of worrying about blogging.

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Plus, my favourite things to write about are running and racing, and I’m not doing either of those. (Fingers crossed I’ll be running soon!)

I’ll still be reading blogs but probably not leaving many comments. Hope you’ll stick around for when I’m back!

In the meantime, have a fantastic start to summer and good luck to those who are racing- I’ll be virtually cheering for you!

When’s your next big race?