Odin Turns 2!

Like most parents, I’m in denial about my son getting Older. Today, November 29th, Odin turns two. A lot has changed over the past two years, and I wouldn’t trade any of it. Odin has brought so much excitement and laughter to our lives and is the sweetest little boy I know. Before I know it, he will be off to school, moving out, getting married and having kids of his own. But for now, he is still my sweet little boy who gives the best hugs and puts a smile on my face on the toughest of days.

Odin has made me learn a lot about myself. I am a stronger person because of him, and he has taught me that nothing is impossible. I doubt myself less and I feel like a stronger person – all because of a little human I helped create. Watching him discover the world has taught me to slow down and appreciate the small things.

Happy 2nd birthday Odin!

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Oiselle Wednesday: The Scantron Strappy Bra

It’s a little bit odd that I’m writing about a running bra, but when you run as much as I do, you realize how important this piece of clothing really is. A bad running bra can be painful. Finding the right running bra is like finding a four leaf clover – except you can order a bunch of them online once you find the perfect one (you know, in case they get discontinued, it’s the end of the world – or something like that).

On my quest for the perfect running bra, it didn’t surprise me that Oiselle would be the maker of the one I fell in love with. The Scantron Strappy Bra – coincidentally on sale right now – is my go to running bra. I had regular, cheap sports bras that would lose shape, were too big and lacked support. They just didn’t cut it.

After having my son and once I was done breastfeeding, my quest for the perfect running bra began. The Scantron Strappy Bra (SSB) was the first one I bought from Oiselle and I was immediately in love. This will forever be my go to running bra.

TMI alert – breastfeeding took a toll on certain body parts, so I didn’t have a lot that needed to be supported, but I like that the SSB was tighter in fit, the material doesn’t stretch out or sag over time, and the double straps were a nice change from the standard thicker straps commonly on sports bras. The double straps are also nice because I clip my iPod onto one of the straps, because I’m one of those people that needs music when I run.

The straps don’t slide around and there’s no chaffing (even when running a half marathon in the pouring rain and not wearing any glide). I consider myself to have broad shoulders, and found the bra to fit true to size (I wear a small comfortably).

I love pairing the SSB with the Winona tank from Oiselle:

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Oiselle Wednesday: The Shorts that Started it All

Anyone familiar with my blog likely knows how much I love the apparel company Oiselle. I’m also a member of the Oisele Flock, which is overflowing with amazing ladies. Last week on Twitter I came across a blog series called “Oiselle Wednesday” on fellow Flock member, Cecilia’s blog, Mommies Run. I tweeted to her about how this was such a great idea for a blog series, and voila, I’ve stolen the idea and will also be doing some Oiselle Wednesday posts!

This week I’ve decided to review the Roga Shorts. Since it’s the first week of Oiselle Wednesday, the Roga Shorts were one of the first Oiselle pieces in my running wardrobe – and the are the short that started it all for Oiselle, the Roga Shorts seem like a great starting point.

Oiselle Roga Shorts

I love the waistband on these shorts. The shorts have a yoga-paint inspired waistband, making them very comfortable and flattering. The waistband doesn’t shift or bunch up, which is always an added bonus. I’m not very tall (5″3’ish) and the length suits me.

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There are two other members in the Roga short family – the shorter Mac Roga shorts and the Long Roga Short – to suit a variety of preferences. There’s a back zipper pocket, which is always a crucial feature. I prefer my zipper pockets on the back, so these are perfect.

The material that the shorts are made out of is super soft and the shorts aren’t poofy. Another thing I like about these shorts is that they stand up to the elements. Running in the rain? Not a problem. The material doesn’t become heavy and they don’t chafe.

Price-wise, the shorts are $46 USD per pair, which is a price I’m willing to pay for a good pair of shorts that are going to last – and these definitely do. I’m a quality over quantity person and when it comes to my running gear, I’m willing to spend a little more to get something that’s of high quality and is going to last me a long time.

Stay tuned to the blog each Wednesday, where I’ll review some of my other favorite Oiselle items 🙂

Stocking Ideas for a Mother Runner

Depending on the person, gift giving can be a difficult task. I’m the type of person that buys for someone based on their interests. As a runner and a mom aways on the go, I’d be satisfied if my stocking contained Starbucks gift cards, some Oiselle arm warmers and tubes of Nuun. With the holidays quickly approaching, I decided to round up a few things for the ‘mother runner’s’ stocking.

1. Gift cards – these are an obvious stocking stuffer, but they offer a picky person (like myself) some freedom. Gift cards for someone’s favourite stores are a great idea, as it demonstrates that you know what they like, but that there may be something specific that they have their eye on.

2. Picky Club Membership – The Picky Club from Picky Bars is a service that sends Picky Bars to your door each month (in the US) based on your membership level. This membership is a great idea for a mother runner on the go, in need of healthy fuel.

3. Oiselle Arm Warmers – Perfect for in-between season running, arm warmers are a great solution for weather transitions. The flow arm warmers from Oiselle have been on my mind for months and maybe this Christmas they will be in my stocking 😉

4. Oiselle Rundies – This underwear set is practical for a mother runner, but also adds a bit of humour – a little laugh is always a good thing 🙂

5. Nuun – Nuun is a great hydration product for every mother runner (and every runner in general). Nuun tubes are perfect for those on the go and fit neatly into any stocking.

6. Handmade running jewellery – There are a lot of great Etsy shops that sell handmade jewellery for runners. One particular shop, The Run Home, has a wide variety of hand-stamped jewellery that any mother runner would love.

These are just a few ideas that I wanted to share. What are some other things you would put in a stocking for a mother runner?

 

A Very Delayed Vacation Recap: Boston

In October we went to Boston for a few days. Upon arrival in the Boston area, we drove out to Newton, where my husband dropped me off so my running-obsessed-self could go run the Newton Hills and Heartbreak Hill section of the Boston Marathon. It was glorious, but I also know that those hills are not so glorious when you’ve already run 25+ kilometers. The neighborhood and the Boston College campus are so beautiful!

After my run, we went to Wahlburgers for dinner, but there were no Wahlburgs there that night 😦 I’m seriously hoping that the people who opened a Wahlburgers in Toronto open one in Ottawa asap. We checked in to our hotel and got settled. Odin played with blocks and then we all passed out. We spent the following day touring Boston. We walked all over and went to TD Garden to take pictures for Ryan’s dad who is a Bruins fan, walked through Beacon Hill, the Boston Public Gardens, Cheers and Copley Square. I took a zillion photos of anything that had to do with the Boston Marathon, and my drive to qualify for it (and run a full marathon) went into overdrive.

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The people in Boston were soooo friendly! We ventured into a lot of running stores and all of the people in there chatted about different races and products – I was in heaven.

The following day we drove out to explore Cape Cod. We did the entire Cape, stopping to take pictures at the Cape Cod Light and then spending the rest of the day in Provincetown. We picked up some delicious salt water taffy and enjoyed being outside. Odin loved playing in the sand. there were quite a few places that had already closed for the season which was unfortunate, but we had a great time!

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Thursday was game day. The main reason for the trip. We are HUGE Patriots fans. We’ve always gone to see the Patriots play in Buffalo because it’s easier to get tickets and slightly closer to home, but this was our first time to Foxboro and Gillette Stadium and it did not disappoint. We purchased tons of Patriots gear, and even scored free hats. It was the Thursday Night Football game, so it was cool to be there to experience the live broadcast – where we got to be steps away from Robert Kraft, Deion Branch and Ty Law. We went closer to the field to take some pictures.

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At half time there was a ceremony to celebrate Ty Law’s induction to the Patriots Hall of Fame that happened over the summer.

The Patriots won, keeping us on the edge of our seats until the last minute by blocking a field goal that could have resulted in a loss.

It was such a great trip and we accomplished a lot when we were there. We will definitely be back!

Maintenance Mode Motivation

I’ve always struggled with maintenance mode. I do well when I have a race scheduled and a goal to work towards, but it’s unrealistic (among  other things) to keep up intensity and certain training patterns all year. From mid-November until the beginning of April, I tend to be in maintenance mode, as the winters in Ottawa aren’t always runner friendly – especially at 4:30am, which is my designated running time.

I don’t want to risk getting injured and I don’t want my level of fitness to decrease, so I need a plan and some motivation for maintenance mode.

In order to do this, I’ve decided to treat maintenance mode like a race, in the sense that I’m going to develop a schedule and stick to it. The distances and paces will be much different than when I’m training for a race, and there will likely be more rest time than a typical training cycle. Instead of a desired finish time, my goal for my ‘maintenance cycle’ Is going to be to listen to my body, stay healthy, avoid injury and keep a good foundation going for my next training cycle.

I hope this will help me get through the next few months and will pay off in the spring when racing picks up again. Hopefully having a schedule will keep me on track and I won’t use this time to slack off. For the past two weeks I’ve already slowed down my paces, which, given a fixed running time on weekdays, means my distance has been shortened too.

It’s difficult to slow down sometimes, but then I remind myself that it’s even more difficult to have n injury, or be unable to run for other reasons.

What are some of the things that help you out when you are in maintenance mode?