Road to Nike Women’s 15k – Week 2

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Week recap:

The week started off with a sunny and warm run with the #betterforit ladies on Monday morning. Still struggling with running early in the morning but with such an amazing group of ladies, it makes the run a whole lot easier. We were also lucky to have a visit from Dr. Bubbs after our run, who gave us very helpful stretching and nutrition tips! Tuesday and Thursday I took a running break and did a complimentary full body NTC workout. I also ran with the NRC group on Wednesday night and clocked my fastest km yet. So encouraging to run with a group of people!! After 6 days of workouts in a row, I took a much needed rest day on Friday. To be honest it felt kind of weird to not do any physical activity on Friday. Yesterday, I ran my second furthest run ever, I ran 11.4 km at an average pace of 5:25min/km, which is the fastest pace I’ve ever run for such a distance. It was a hard run but it’s so rewarding to see that slowly but surely, I’m improving! And today, I finished off my week with a short but quick run before the weather turns to rain tomorrow. It’s neat to be documenting what I’ve been doing each day. I put the Nike Women’s 15k calendar on the fridge to keep tabs on my progress and workout. If you don’t have the calendar, you can always just make your own to keep track of your workouts.

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How I’m feeling:

Most of my runs felt good this week except for some tightness and pain under my foot and ankle on Saturday. I’ve been really careful and trying to put into practice the exercises I learned on Monday from Dr. Bubbs. I share them below :D

What I learned:

-0.68 x your body weight (lbs) is the number of grams of protein you should eat per day when training. Last week I talked about craving protein after long runs and it looks as though I’m probably not getting enough protein. On Monday, Dr. Bubbs came in to talk to us about nutrition and one of his recommendations was making sure we’re getting enough protein. Being a vegetarian, my protein sources differ from those who eat meat but there are still lot’s of protein sources that I can eat. I can eat eggs, yogourt, cheese, chick peas, edamame, tempeh, seitan, whey isolate, etc.

-Use a golf ball or tennis ball to avoid getting plantar fasciitis. Dr. Bubbs recommended we roll a ball under our feet before running to avoid tightness and feeling pain in our feet while running. I often experience pain under my foot, so I’m hoping that using this tennis ball that I got (you can hit your local dollar store to find a cheap golf or tennis ball) will do the trick!

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Stretching after a run is so important! I’ve often forgotten to stretch after running but I’m realizing as the weeks go by, the importance of stretching post-run. Even if it’s just for a couple of minutes, it will make a huge difference in how you feel and your recovery process. Below are some stretches we learned this week that can be useful post-run.

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How was your training week? Learn anything new? How are you feeling?

Wishing you all a wonderful training week!
xo

Passion for Wakesurfing

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I’ve come to the realization that I have a thing for boardsports. Combine a boardsport with being in the ocean, and it’s pretty much guaranteed to be my favorite thing! First it was surfing, then it was handboarding and now it’s wakesurfing. Because I unfortunately don’t get to surf everywhere I travel to, I’ve on the lookout for other boardsports that I can do while traveling. Though it will never replace surfing, they can also be quite exciting to partake it!

My latest discovery: Wakesurfing!

I first tried wakesurfing in Las Vegas last summer (check it out here) and was immediately hooked. Though I enjoyed wakeboarding there was something a lot more relaxing and freeing about wakesurfing. Maybe it’s because your feet aren’t attached to the board, or because it’s a lot closer to actual surfing or maybe because it allows you to place yourself in so many ways behind the boat… Who knows! One thing’s for sure, wakesurfing seemed a lot easier to learn if you’ve wakeboarded or surfed before. I got up on my first try and was able to ride for quite some time before bailing.

Like in any boardsport, there’s always a small period of adaptation when using a different board. When I first wakesurfed in Lake Mead in the summer, the board was long and wide whereas two weeks ago in Miami, the board was a lot smaller and narrower, which made my feet and weight placement on the board a little different. That said, after a few runs it was easy to get the hang of again.

Bailing while wakesurfing is a lot less painful because you can just jump off the board and fall into the water, whereas bailing with a board attached to your feet much like while snowboarding or wakeboarding can be a lot more painful.

Wakesurfing schools are pretty easy to find whether it be in lakes, bays or the ocean. My boyfriend and I were lucky to have two amazing guys guide us through our first wakesurfing experiences this year: Vegas Water Sports crew and also the Miami Watersports Paradise crew. Both Las Vegas and Miami are perfect destinations for wakesurfing. The water is always warm, the area never gets too crowded with boats and the scenery is just breathtaking (see below!). A 2-hour session with either one of these crews will cost you approximately $400 US, which can sound a bit pricey but you can go as a small group, so it ends up being a lot cheaper if you go with 4 to 6 people.

After returning from Miami last week, I found out that there are also some wakesurfing crews in Ontario, so I’m excited to try wakesurfing a little closer to home this summer. I undeniably have a newfound passion for this rad sport!

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How I Kick It

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Ah Toronto! Looking fine in the sun. So happy to be able to bring the vegan leather jacket back out! The city really comes alive when the sun comes out the the temperatures warm up.

Made the best of the sunshine this past weekend with lot’s of running, walking and time spent just hanging out outdoors. This is how I kicked it this weekend, how did you kick it? #HowWeKickIt

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Photos by @Offner

Stance “Magic Carpet” socks (get them here)

Anine Bing Studded Boots With Buckles (get them here)

Anine Bing Straight Ripped Jeans In Black (get them here)

M for Mendocino plaid poncho

 Three Fates leopard sunglasses 

Road to Nike Women’s 15k – Week 1

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Week recap:

My week started slow as I was out of the country and on vacation for a few days. Though I didn’t do much running in Miami, I did do a lot of swimming and also wake surfed, which was a really good workout in itself. Because of my travels, I unfortunately missed my first run with the #betterforit ladies training group last Monday morning. The weather in Toronto this past week has been less than inspirational for running, with it being so cold and rainy. It did get better as of Friday, so I kicked my runs into high gear by going for a speed run on Friday evening, running 7k and accomplishing my fastest ever 5k under 26mins!  Not going to lie, the special doorstep delivery I got from NRC on Friday night was a good weekend motivation! I also ran another 5k on Saturday and 11k on this beautiful Sunday in SHORTS!! Wohoo!

How I’m feeling:

I don’t know if it was the change in weather between Miami and Toronto or just the fact that most of the week was cold and damp, I felt like I was battling some sort cold or virus. I’ve been doing everything in my power – getting sleep, getting my vitamins, drinking lot’s of fluids and eating healthy, to make sure that I don’t get sick. Otherwise, I don’t have any noticeable aches and pains this week.

What I learned:

-Good socks are a necessity! I’ve been testing out these cool new socks from Stable 26, that were designed specifically for running. They help with stability and comfort in your shoes while also enhancing function in the lower leg, including knees and ankles. One thing I’ve noticed, is that they don’t give me blisters. Most of the socks I’ve been wearing when I run, tend to rub on my toes and the palm of my feet, giving me blisters if I run for a while, but these ones don’t. I also definitely feel very comfortable in them and feel like the little silicone pads they’ve added keep my feet from slipping around in my shoes. Now I just need to get a few more pairs for training!

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-Incorporating juices and getting lot’s of hydration is really important. I tend to not drink very much before I run, especially if I’m going for a shorter distance and especially if I run not too long after I wake up in the morning. I realized though that I should probably drink a bit during and a lot after my run. This week, I got a doorstep delivery from CEDAR Juice, and after learning what I did from Ashley through my 5 Questions With interview (read it here, if you haven’t already!), I’m realizing that I should make sure to drink a lot more, and strategically, in order to give me body all the proper nutrients before, during and after the run. It will help with endurance, recuperation and energy overall.

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-My body craves lot’s of protein after runs. For the first time ever last week, before I left for Miami, my boyfriend challenged me to run 15k with him. It was both our first time ever running that distance and I have to say it wasn’t that easy. What I also realized is that after a long run, my body craves SO MUCH protein. I’m not a huge fan of eggs, but it seems to be one of the only things my body wants after a longer run. My go-to post-run meal has been the Nonna’s Frittata at the Drake Hotel, it’s the yummiest and always makes me feel so good!

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Looking for some extra motivation for your upcoming training week? The super talented DJ FeelGoodSmalls, is releasing a series of motivational mixes for runners and gym go’ers leading up to the Nike Women 15k race in June. Her first instalment entitled The Start-Up, has just been released. Read about her inspiration behind the mix and get a free download here. Her 45-minute mix is also available to stream on Soundcloud here. Stay tuned for 4 other mixes coming soon!

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Have a great training week everyone!
xo

5 Questions With: Ashley Cuff of CEDAR Juice

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Photo credit: CEDAR Juice

I LOVE fresh pressed juices. Hands down one of the best purchases I made last year was getting my own juicer. I try to make at least one fresh juice a day but when I don’t have time to make them myself, I love grabbing a CEDAR Juice.

Since I’ve started training intensively for my two upcoming races – the 10k in May and the Nike Women 15k in June, I noticed that adding these juices to my daily food regimen, have been a great energy boost. In case you haven’t heard of them yet, CEDAR Juice, is a rad local fresh pressed juicery based in Toronto that has been making delicious organic juices for the past couple of months. They’re known for their doorstep delivery cleanses but they also offer maintenance packages and custom juice packages for those wanting to incorporate juices into their daily diet. If you live in the city, you’ve probably seen their juices pop up more and more at different shops and events.  I really wanted to know more about the benefits of drinking these juices particularly when training so I was thrilled that Ashley Cuff, the co-founder of CEDAR Juice agreed to answer a few questions about their juices. Hope you’ll learn as much as I did from reading this 5 Questions With interview!

1) What was the goal behind starting CEDAR Juice?

Everyone is working hard, living busy lives, but wanting to be healthy. It’s just hard to do when you are constantly on the run. We wanted to create a healthy juice, which tastes amazing that people can incorporate into their daily life and make being healthy just a little more easy and simple. There is a lot out there which claims to be healthy, but is really just filled with sugar.  At CEDAR the only ingredients are listed on the label, so you know exactly what you are getting – all 3-4 lbs of fruit & vegetables  in each bottle. 

2) How did you go about creating these juices?

The juices which are apart of our cleanse were developed to replicate our normal eating throughout an average day.  We give you our Kale Made Good at breakfast & lunch when you are looking for a hit of energy & nutrients.  As the day progresses and you are looking for something heartier we have Skip to the Beet (our beet, carrot, apple, lemon, ginger) and lastly  Cracked It (cashew, hemp, vanilla and coconut nectar), which has the health fats, glucose and protein you need for a restful sleep.  The juices are chosen to have a balance of green juices, fruitier juices and lastly a cashew nut milk to end the day.  We try to really balance the efficacy of the juice from a cleansing perspective with flavour.

3) What separates CEDAR Juice from other cold pressed juices?

There are some great cold pressed juice companies across Canada, but we hope that ours tastes better…nutritious & tasty! Our juices are 100% organic & cold pressed.  We use local ingredients when we can (tough in the winter), and are made in the west end of Toronto in the Junction.  

One of our big goals is to excel at simplifying the cleanse experience.  By having our bottles numbered, making it easy to order, shipping to your door at a reasonable price (quickly) and providing a lot of resources and support for our juicers during their cleanse, we think we achieve this.  We get a lot of positive feedback on our customer service and this is keeping us motivated to keep moving in this direction – make it simple, stupid.  

4) Can you explain some of the benefits you can get from drinking these cold pressed juices?

A cold pressed juice has 2-3x the nutrients of a typical juice.  With minimal heat & oxidation of the fruits and vegetables during the making of the juice all of the nutrients, minerals and enzymes stay intact.  That really is the simple science behind cold pressed.  Our most nutritious juice is our Kale Made Good. This is because the 3-4 lbs of greens which is in just one of our bottles, such as kale and swiss chard are alkalizing, loaded with minerals such as calcium and magnesium, plus they contain a lot of vitamin C.

5) How you would recommend incorporating these juices into one’s training regimen and diet?

Any one of our juices can be a great addition to your diet if you are training for a run, or other sport event.  However there are 3 juices in particular that I think should get a particular shout out!  Skip to the Beet (beet, carrot, apple, lemon & ginger) is a great endurance enhancer & is the perfect juice to have 2-3 hours before a workout.  Cracked It (cashews, hemp seed, vanilla & coconut nectar) has got the right amount of protein and carbohydrates, is easy to digest, and is therefore your perfect post workout juice. Lastly is our Kale Made Good – our green juice is filled with the nutrients and alkalizing effect your body is craving. 

**Ashley and CEDAR Juice are offering a 10% discount to those interested in their doorstep delivery cleanses and also maintenance packages. They offer free shipping to anyone in the Toronto area but can ship elsewhere across the country. Get all the shipping details on their site. If you’d like to place an order with them, please use the code: melsays10% to receive a 10% discount! If you’re looking for a great package of juices to drink while training, I recommend getting the “Fitness Freak” pack but you can also make your own customized pack by emailing: orders@cedarjuice.com. Want to pick up a CEDAR juice at a local retailer in Toronto? Click here for more info. 

Friday Faves

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1) KMS California Free Shape – a product that I’ve been using to protect my hair before using the flatiron and also something I can spray on afterwards that keeps the hair in place without making it sticky or stiff. I’m looking for a more natural alternative, so if you have any recommendations, please do not hesitate to send my way!

2) Navitas Naturals Goji Berries – Currently obsessed with this superfruit. I eat them as a snack, with yogourt, in salads, etc. These berries are filled with Vitamin A, C and Iron. They’re also organic and all natural!

3) NISIM F.A.S.T Shampoo & Conditioner – Love this shampoo and conditioner set because it doesn’t contain any sulfates, parabens and DEA. With recent studies showing that DEA is a cancer-causing chemical, I’ve thrown out all of my old products and making sure my home is as clean, healthy and carcinogen-free as possible.

4) eos limited edition lip balm Smooth Spring Pack – I always have one of these guys in every bag or purse I bring with me. There’s nothing I hate more than having chapped lips. I love these because not only are they super cute and colorful, they’re also paraben and petrolatum free plus they’re USDA-certified organic, so you don’t have to worry about putting junk on your lips.

Road to Nike Women’s 15k

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One of my goals for 2015 included signing up for my first ever race. Not only did I sign up for my first ever 10k race in May but I also recently signed for my first ever 15k race with Nike Women happening in Toronto on June 14th.

To some, running 15k might seem like a small feat, but for someone like me who’s never actually run that distance in my entire life, this race is a BIG deal. I’m one of those people that never really considered myself a runner but in the past couple of months, I’ve stopped using that as an excuse and have made running of one my main focuses in becoming a healthier, stronger and better me! Because this will be my first time ever running such a distance and also training for a big race, I thought it would be a neat idea to blog about my 10-week journey leading up to the big day. I know that a lot of the women I’ve spoken to, will also be running this distance for the very first time. I’m hoping that through chronicling this journey that we can help each other and give each other tips and motivation to not only get stronger and better leading up to the race but also motivate each other on race day to not only cross the finish line but also run our best!

Each Sunday, I’ll be writing a short recap of my training week. I want to share with you how I’m feeling, what I learned as well as the ups and downs of my journey because I think we can all learn from each other during this process. Whether you’re doing the Nike Women’s 15k race, another race or just training for yourself, I’m hoping that these blogs will help you along the way. I will also try to include some #5QuestionsWith interviews with people that can potentially help & inspire us along the way.

I’ve decided to take on this challenge as a personal challenge first and foremost. I really believe that you can push the human body and mind to do so many incredible things. It’s also taking me back to my years of competitive swimming, skipping and karate as a kid and teenager. I can still recall waking up the morning of a competition, feeling super nervous, not being able to eat and being anxious up until the event started and then feeling so relieved and happy after the event. I feel that I will feel the exact same thing on the morning on June 14th.

Please feel free to comment and share your experience along the way. Here’s to an awesome 10-week journey towards the Nike Women’s 15k. Let’s do this!

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Photos by @Offner

Nike FlyKnit Lunar 3 Women’s Running Shoes (get them here)

Nike Run Epic Lux All Over Print Women’s Tight (get them here)

Nike Run Dri-Fit Knit Women’s Long Sleeve (get it here)

Nike Pro Classic Padded Bra Top Womens (get it here)

Stable 26 Running Socks (get them here)

April!

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April is a good month! There are several reasons why: Spring is here, the days are longer, it’s warmer out, I can finally put away my winter jacket and I can start riding my bike again! This month also marks the beginning of my journey towards the Nike Women’s 15k race in June. Watch for my special blog post tomorrow about what I’ll be doing leading up to my 1st ever 15k race. I’m so excited!! What are some of your favorite things about April?

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Photos by @Offner

Zara structured grey coat

Anine Bing Studded Boots With Buckles (get them here)

Aldo Parella bag

Zara grey trousers with ribbed waistband

Zara blue and white striped shirt

5 Things To Do In Vegas

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1) Visit the Valley of Fire – Hands down one of the most beautiful landscapes in the US. Valley of Fire is a national park located just an hour outside of Vegas. In Vegas, you can easily rent a car for $20 a day and make your way to the park. It costs $10 to enter the park for a day and it is open all year. For those who want to stay a little longer, you can also camp on-site. It’s the perfect place to trek for the day, go for a picnic or simply to drive through and admire the incredible view. What you’ll see? Ancient trees, petrified logs and 3,000 year-old Indian petroglyphs. There’s also a lot of wildlife in the park from birds to lizards to jackrabbits and if you’re lucky you might even get to see bighorn sheep!

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2) Go tour the Neon Museum – If you want to learn about the history of Vegas, go to the Neon Museum. The hour-long tour costs $18 per adult and is well worth your money. Located in a huge “neon boneyard” as they call it, right by Freemont Street and Old Vegas, the Neon Museum contains so many incredibly beautiful pieces of history from the strip. You’ll learn so much in just an hour that it’ll make you appreciate Vegas in a whole new way. Some of my favorite neons were the Moulin Rouge, The Stardust and the old Golden Nugget sign.

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3) Eat the best BAO with locals at Fat Choy – Located just off the south end of the strip inside the Eureka Casino, Fat Choy is the coolest little dive diner style restaurant. Fat Choy initially started off as a food truck, then was located in a hair salon and now at this latest location. Run by Sheridan Su and his wife, this super laid back restaurant offers the best Bao I’ve ever tasted. Everything is made fresh with the best ingredients. The flavours are spot-on and oh-so comforting. A must: The Tofu and Mushroom BAO!

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4) Check out the Mob Museum – The Mob Museum is a brand new museum in Vegas that opened three years ago. It’s located right off Freemont Street in the Old Vegas. If you’re fascinated by the history of Vegas or just American mob history in general, this is a must-see. You’ll need 1-2 hours to visit the space. The museum is incredibly interactive, filled with tons of videos, photos and items from convicted mobsters and cases against the mob. It’s really neat to get an insider’s look at all the stuff that went down in Vegas during the 1900s.

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5) Go eat at the Eiffel Tower – As cliché as it sounds, the Eiffel Tower is actually one of the best spots to eat on the Vegas strip. Not only do you have the most beautiful view of the Vegas strip and the Bellagio fountains right in front of you, you also have the best service and yummiest dinner to choose from. The ambiance is incredibly romantic and the food selection is topnotch. Though I’ve never been to the actual Eiffel Tower for dinner, I was surprised by just how magical the whole experience felt! It’s the perfect location for a romantic evening, which you can then continue in the beautiful Paris Casino.

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5 Questions With: Hayley Elsaesser

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I first heard of Hayley Elsaesser through social media and the Sticks and Stones Agency in Australia. Hayley is a Canadian designer who now resides in Australia. She’s renown for her bold and beautiful prints. She’s been featured in countless magazine editorials and just recently, the always colorful Katy Perry, was seen sporting one of her designs. To me, her collections inspire magic and joy. I love that she is so creative and doesn’t stop herself from taking her designs to the next level. I love her overall vision and the collections she presents always have the raddest themes. This week’s Fall 2015 presentation at Wolrd MasterCard Fashion Week themed “Midnight Cowboy” was just as inspiring! I loved the snake prints and the southwestern vibe as well as the menswear pieces she presented. Hayley is one fierce designer and I couldn’t be more thrilled to have spoken to her immediately after the show this week. Here are my 5 Questions With Hayley Elsaesser:

1) What got you into fashion initially?

I’ve always been interested in fashion. I grew up in a small town where it was really hard to get cool clothes or what I wanted to wear, so I started making my own clothing. I was studying psychology and I was making clothes and selling them on eBay more than I was focusing on my studies. So I decided that I should probably do that as a career since that was what I was interested in. So then I moved to Australia and studied fashion in Australia.

2) What in your opinion makes a good print?

I think something that is bold and eye-catching. In my mind, I like the idea of something that mixes two opposites together or two things that you wouldn’t expect. Something that has dimension. 

3) For the Fall 2015 collection that you presented at World MasterCard Fashion Week this week in Toronto, you mentioned that it was a little bit darker than stuff you’ve designed previously…

I did menswear for the first time and I wanted it to be really cohesive, so I did it a little bit more masculine, not so feminine. Looking at my last collection, it was very much pastels and quite girly so this is a little bit more “cool tough girl”.

4) What are some of your must-haves for spring and summer?

I think overalls, that was one of my looks that was my favorites from my collection. Also I’ve just done a collaboration with MYNC (which is a makeup and eyelash extension line from Toronto) and it’s lipstick for Dress for Success. I love lipstick and I think that it’s a must-have because it’s going to the charity Dress for Successand I think it’s the perfect color for spring.

5) What’s next for Hayley Elsaesser?

Sleeping for a week and then I’ll reassess. I just need to relax. I haven’t slept this whole month, I’ve been in New York and London, so I just need to chill for a little bit!