Running in Miami

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I was happy to get back to running in shorts in Miami last week. Miami weather is ideal for running right now. It’s not too humid, the sun isn’t too hot and there is always a little breeze. I thus couldn’t help but go for a run, while trying out some new gear. Running along the beach is hands down my favorite running location. When I run in Toronto, I always run along the waterfront, right on Lake Ontario. It obviously pales in comparison to running along the ocean with palm trees, but I’ll take what I can get.

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Running in Miami was a nice treat. There are lot’s of great places to run in South Beach, Mid-Beach, Bal Harbour, etc. My favorite spot is the Miami Beach Boardwalk, it starts just passed 5th St and goes all the way up to 46th St. It’s about 4 miles in length. Though the boardwalk tends to get packed on weekends, people are really respectful of runners. The South Point Park also gives you a great view of downtown Miami and all the passing cruise ships. Another option is a little further north, just passed Bal Harbour. Haulover Park is a great place to run as well. There’s a great boardwalk along the beach.

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If boardwalks aren’t your thing, there are a lot of areas on the beach where the sand is packed, making it a lot easier to run in the sand but adding a little more difficulty. The thing with Miami is that there is no shortage of places to run.

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For more info on Miami’s different running trails, go here.

Photos by: @Offner

What I’m wearing: Nike 5.7 cm Zen Rival shorts (get them here), Nike Dri-Fit Knit Tank (get it here), Nike Pro Classic Bra (get it here), Toms Traveler sunglasses (get them here), Garmin Fenix 3 watch (get it here).

 

New Year, New Goals

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2015 was a stellar year for me on the health and fitness front. I ran my first ever races, I trained harder than ever and became the healthiest I’ve ever been.

Whether it snowed, rain, it was super hot or freezing cold, I didn’t let the elements interfere with my training program. I also used all of my travels as extra motivation to get out there and explore new cities and new sights along the way.

Not only did I achieve my goal to run my first ever race, I also ran a 15k race and a handful more during the year. I accomplished things I honestly never thought possible.

I plan on making 2016 an even more kick-ass year health and fitness-wise. My main goal is to not only stay active and healthy but also run my first half-marathon! To accomplish that, I will need to take my training up a notch.

I’m excited to be kick off the year and be a part of Nike’s 21 Days of #BetterForIt that start on January 4th. Head over to Nike.com to take a personal quiz and see what fitness program is best for you. The program will be specifically designed for your personal lifestyle and fitness level. I honestly couldn’t think of a more motivating way to start off this new year and to move towards my new goal, knowing we can do it all together just makes it even better! Stoked to be a part of such an amazing community of women all around the world. For more info, go here.

#15kHairspiration Day 7: Fishtail Braid

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Sharing with you today the last hairstyle inspiration for Sunday’s race. Can’t believe the big day is finally here! Hope you’ve enjoyed these hairstyle ideas, they were a lot of fun to shoot. A big thank you to Aylin and Pam for making the shoot possible and to the Nike team. Please tag and share your hairstyles if you decide to try one for race day – #15khairspiration!

So excited to be representing Toronto in this weekend’s race. So proud of all the women in the city and those coming from around the world who chose to run the 15k. See you all at the finish line!! 😀

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Notes from the hairstylist: “I can’t believe how quickly time flies! Thank you Mel for sharing these looks and for allowing me to share my thoughts and inspiration, it’s been a really fun week sharing with everyone my different go to looks.  I saved one of my favorite hairstyles for last, the fishtail braid!

Fishtail braid has a very unique look and it is the most easiest of all braids to learn. You can wear the fishtail braid so many different ways, with Mel’s hair I decided to put it up in a ponytail and then added the braid. It’s great this way for when you are running, on a sunny day just add your hat and your hair will still look cute while you run. 

here’s a DIY video from thebeautydepartment.com:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZyZkowmdZv8

Race day is Sunday! I am looking forward to seeing what hairstyles you have come up with! Tag us in your pictures and make sure to use the #15kHairspiration! Good luck to every runner! Finish strong my friends. And see you at the finish line! xo”

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Photos by: Pam Lau (http://pamlau.com

Hairstyle: Cabello By Carolina (cabellobycarolina.com)

What I’m wearing:

Nike Pro Patch Work Women’s 3 Inch Short (get them here)

Nike Free 5.0 2015 Women’s Running Shoes (get them here)

#15kHairspiration Day 6: Braided Bangs

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I’m particularly fond of how this look turned out! I love the mix of braids and a ponytail together. I’m definitely considering having this look on race day, which is coming up in just under 3 days. Are you ready?! 😀

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Notes from the hairstylist: “At some point or another we all like to get a fresh look, and decide to get bangs. I am growing out my bangs at the moment so another of my go to looks is braiding it to the side, and then throwing my hair up into a bun, or ponytail.

Braided bangs are not easy! So I have added a link to a DIY tutorial: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/324118504409739012/

This look is so easy to recreate and use with ANY length of hair. If you are in the process of wanting to grow your bangs out but they are getting in the way, I really think this is a good look to use.”

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Photos by: Pam Lau (http://pamlau.com

Hairstyle: Cabello By Carolina (cabellobycarolina.com)

What I’m wearing:

Nike Run Dri-FIT Epic Lux Printed Tights Womens (get them here)

Nike Pro Classic Women’s Bra (get it here)

Nike Run Eat Sleep Repeat Graphic Women’s Tank (get it here)

#15kHairspiration Day 5: “Braid” With A Twist

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Today’s look is perfect for after Sunday’s race. Stretching after the 15k will be super important! After all the training and all the effort you’ll have put in over the weekend, your body will thank you for a good stretch!

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Notes from the hairstylist: “A lot of my friends ask me to teach them how to braid their own hair, it’s not easy braiding your own hair, it takes a lot of practice.

Some of us might want a different look, that’s really easy to do. So the ‘Braided’ Twist is one of my favorites to teach. It’s a good start to learning how to braid.

It works really well if you have bangs and don’t like them on your forehead while you run or workout. Or if you’re growing your bangs out this works really well to keep them out of the way.

DIY:

1. Section the your hair so you have a side part, closer to the front of your head.

2. Twist, twist, twist, until your bangs are out of the way, and secure with a bobby pin.

3. You can leave your hair down or tie it all up and create a lower bun.”

Photos by: Pam Lau (http://pamlau.com

Hairstyle: Cabello By Carolina (cabellobycarolina.com)

What I’m wearing:

Nike Gym Dri-Fit Knit Women’s Sleeveless Tee (get it here)

Nike Zoom Vomero Womens Running Shoes (get them here)

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

Road to Nike Women’s 15k – Week 9

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Week recap:

Keeping this week’s recap short because I didn’t get as many runs in as I would have liked to this week. It was a busy one with birthday celebrations and a little weekend getaway. So after last Sunday’s 16k, we did some hill reps on Monday morning with the #betterforitgirls. We also got some great hydration tips from the lovely people at Greenhouse Juice. Wednesday, I did a short 5k at NRC and had my usual NTC workout on Thursday morning. Instead of running this weekend, I went wakeboarding (at the coolest spot that I’ll talk about on the blog in the near future!!). It was nice to switch it up for a day and do something different, though I did miss getting that longer run in this weekend. With a few days to go before race day, I know it’s time to taper down and focus more on eating right, getting lot’s of sleep as well as getting all the vitamins possible in order to be in top shape on Sunday!

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How I’m feeling:

The week started a little rough with some pain in my upper thigh but I used Coach Rejean’s trick to use the shower head on the area, putting cold water for a couple of minutes, followed by warm water for another couple of minutes. It actually worked miracles, I was feeling fine as of the next morning!

What I’ve learned:

It’s the journey that matters and not the end result. As this 10-week journey comes to an end later this week, I’ve learned that what truly matters when taking part in races or events, is really the journey more so than the end result. Yes, PBs, records and titles are great but the journey is what has changed you. The journey is what got you there in the first place. It’s all the people you met along the way, the memories you made and the experiences you gathered that will impact you more so than what happens on the day of the event.

Don’t miss my #5QuestionsWith interview with Canadian Olympian and hurdler Phylicia George coming THIS Sunday. Giving you a little more inspiration for race day!

I’m excited to share with you the last music mix from DJ FeelGoodSmalls that you can hopefully use as extra motivation for race day. Appropriately titled “Finish Line”, you can download/stream her rad new mix on Soundcloud here.

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See you all at the finish line on Sunday!! 😀

#15kHairspiration Day 3: Side Braid

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On to look number 3! Today’s hairstyle idea is something I often do when working out, it’s great if you have long and thick hair like I do!

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Notes from the hairstylist: “The side braid is another ‘go to’ hairstyle for me. It’s easy and quick to do. It works best on medium to longer length hair, easy to pull off. There  are other variations of the side braid for short hair as well.

During race day you can rock this look, just add a hat to keep the hot sun out of your face and your hair still looks good while you race!”

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Photos by: Pam Lau (http://pamlau.com

Hairstyle: Cabello By Carolina (cabellobycarolina.com)

What I’m wearing:

Nike Shield Light Women’s Running Jacket (get it here)

Nike Pro 3″ Women’s Training Shorts (get them here)

Nike AW84 Adjustable Running Hat (get it here)

 

Road to Nike Women’s 15k – Week 8

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Week recap:

Another week bites the dust! Can’t believe this is recap for week 8! Started off the week with a sweaty 10k morning run on Monday with the #betterforit ladies. As we’re approaching the race, we’re really pushing our limits and making the most of every training session we have. This week, I decided to take a few more rest days, since I can really feel my body starting to fatigue. I did a quick 5k on Wednesday, followed by NTC  class on Thursday morning. This past weekend, I really lacked motivation, I know the cold and the rain really had a lot to do with it. Sunday afternoon came around and I had yet to go out for the long 15k run I had been planning on doing. I mustered up every bit of motivation I had in me and headed out for a solo run in the rainstorm. I wasn’t sure how long I would last but to my utter surprise, it ended up being the longest run I’ve ever done in my entire life. I ran 16k! I think the fact that I was alone and that there was almost no one else running, I felt like I had something to prove. Not to anyone else, just to myself. I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. I didn’t want to let the rain, the cold, the fact that I was alone, the fact that my hip started hurting and the fact that my phone died and music shut off close to the end, stop me from attaining my goal. I really used this run as meditation. The whole time I was running, I kept telling myself how proud I was of my progress and how far I had come. It wasn’t easy but the satisfaction I got at the end was so worth it!!

How I’m feeling:

I was feeling great until the run on Sunday where my inner and outer upper thigh started hurting. I’ve been icing the area and have been told to take a cold bath, so that will be on my to-do list for this coming week. Like I had mentioned in last week’s blog, the last thing you want, this close to the finish line, is to get injured!

What I’ve learned:

Running in cold weather and rain is way easier than running in heat. Had I known that running in the rain would have been so enjoyable (minus the drenched socks and shoes), I would totally have gone out for rainy runs more often. I’ve always been a girl that loves heat but running in heat is something that I’m just not good at, especially when it’s hot and humid. I know all of our bodies are different but I’m particularly bad at dealing with extreme heat and working out… Unless I’m surfing 😉 I remember running when it was -20C out during the winter and though that was very “extreme” to some, thinking back, it now seems a lot easier than running in the heat. Things that have helped me with running in the heat: wearing a light colored cap (it keeps my head cool), wearing sunglasses and also hydrating A TON the day prior.

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You can do it! As cheesy as this sounds, I’ve learned that you and I, we can do it! We can run this 15k. We’ve been training for close to 10 weeks now and our bodies and minds can handle it. No matter what life throws at us from now until race day, we will cross that finish line. Attitude is everything and I learned that this weekend, when I got out the door to run my longest run yet. If you tell yourself you can do something, you will be able to do it. Plus with all the great prep we’ve been doing, there’s no reason not to! Keep your spirits positive as we get near the end of this journey, it will be so incredibly helpful!

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photo credit: Jess Baumung

Road to Nike Women’s 15k – Week 6

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Photo credit: Jess Baumung

Week recap:

This week started with a short post-race run on Monday morning with the #betterforit ladies. We also had the privilege of spending time once again with holistic nutritionist Miranda Malisani, who gave us some amazing recipe ideas and nutrition tips for the last couple of weeks we have left of training. I took a much needed day off on Tuesday and went for an 8k run with the NRC on Wednesday night followed by an early morning NTC workout on Thursday. This weekend, our amazing pacer Paulina offered to come pace a few of us for a long run at the NRC on Saturday morning. It was so neat to finally run a long distance with the girls. There’s no greater feeling than the feeling improvement. Lately I’ve been feeling improvement not only on my pace but also on my running form and breathing, which is super motivating! That said, I still have some work to do if I want to keep up the same pace past 10km. Thanks again Paulina!!

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How I’m feeling:

After a harder week 5, I’m back in topnotch shape this week! I took the proper amount of rest time on Tuesday and Friday to really push the workouts that I’ve been doing. My knee did hurt a bit during the long run on Saturday morning but overall I’m feeling a lot better. I also feel like I have a lot of energy this week. I’m making sure that I’m getting as much sleep as possible. I’ve realized that if I get a solid 8hrs of sleep a night, I usually perform a whole lot better.

What I’ve learned:

The importance of having a morning of run routine. This week the coach for the Nike Run Club in Toronto, the super rad Rejean Chiasson, gave us a handful of tips as we prepare for the 15k race. The one thing he did emphasize that really stuck with me was having a morning of run routine. I’m not an early riser and I can’t usually eat or drink much when I wake up super early. That said, when you’re gearing up to run 1-1.5 hrs, you need to hydrate and fuel your body properly before heading out on the run. I’ve been testing out what my body wants or requires in the morning before running or even before doing a morning NTC workout. I realized that the best thing for me to do is to a) eat half to a whole banana b) drink 1-2 cups of water c) have 1-2 spoonfuls of peanut butter or half a PERFECT BAR (my favorite pre & post-run snack, made in San Diego!). This has become the winning combination before any of my intense early morning workouts. I try to have this combo at least 1hr before running (Rejean even suggests waking up several hours before the run to make sure you eliminate the fluids and don’t have the food stuck in your stomach while running). Realistically I know that I won’t be able to wake up several hours in advance to hydrate and eat. So I try to hydrate as much as I can the day prior and also a little before, during and lot’s after the run. I really think that’s what saved me last week during the super humid & hot Sporting Life 10k run. All of our bodies are different so I highly recommend like Rejean said, trying to figure out your morning of routine a couple of weeks before the race!

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Eat good snacks. Speaking of snacking, having the chance to speak to a nutritionist on more than one occasion during this journey has really helped me figure out what type of snacks that I want to eat before and after a run. Because we don’t always have time to make homemade snacks right after a run, Miranda Malisani introduced us to a handful of yummy and healthy alternatives that we could find in local grocery stores. Some are my favorites are pictured below: The Chia Pod from The Chia Co. (didn’t know this but Kelly Slater is also a fan!),  Ipanema Valley Banana Brownies (an all-fruit brownie) , Amazing Grass Green Superfood (the perfect addition to smoothies) and Flow water (naturally alkaline spring water from right here in Ontario).

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 What are some of your favorite pre & post-run snacks?

Next week on the blog, don’t miss my next #5QuestionsWith interview with Miranda Malisani. She will be giving some last minute nutrition tips as the Nike Women’s 15k race approaches plus will be talking about what first got her interested in nutrition. It will go live on the blog next Sunday.

Only a few more training weeks to go!!! Have a great week 7 everyone!!

Road to Nike Women’s 15k – Week 3

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Week recap:

Rainy and cold week in Toronto but grateful to have so much support around me right now to keep me focused and running regardless of what mother nature throws at us. The week started with a rainy 5k with the #betterforit girls on Monday morning. I also did two NTC workouts on Tuesday night and Thursday morning. They’ve become a good break for me during the week, while still allowing me to be active. Wednesday night, I ran the fastest 5k in my life thus far and accomplished a new PB (personal best, as they call them in the running world)! I took the day off on Friday and kicked off the weekend strong with my second ever 15k run on Saturday morning. I didn’t think I would run that distance again before the race but I really outdid myself yesterday. Not only did I beat my fastest 5k time, I also clocked my fastest 10k and 15k time. It’s so awesome to see progression!

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How I’m feeling:

I’m so hungry all the time! I’ve seen an increase in my appetite since I’ve been working out 6 days a week. Not going to lie, some days I’ve been tempted to eat more sweets, but I’ve tried my hardest to eat organic, natural and healthy all the time. I was also a little fatigued this week. I noticed that I was falling asleep super early every night and also incredibly tired after yesterday’s 15k. My only issue so far: bruised toenails. Sounds gross I know… A little scary but hopefully they’ll get better soon!

What I learned:

-this week I learned a whole lot on nutrition thanks to holistic nutritionist Miranda Malisani‘s presentation at NRC on Wednesday night. She gave us a great presentation on pre & post-run snacks as well as nutrition tips for meals & hydration in the weeks leading up to the 15k as well as healthy food recipe ideas. I loved her post-run meal suggestions: vegetable quinoa, wild rice spaghetti with kale & goat cheese as well as these super yummy looking banana date buckwheat pancakes below. She also had a handful of snack suggestions such as homemade chia seed pudding, spirulina parfait, smoothies, etc. I was happy to see that most of what I’ve been eating thus far on this training journey has been good for me but it’s always great to get extra tips & inspiration for meals & snacks. A big thanks to Miranda for the amazing goodie bag she gifted us, stoked to try out these natural health products!

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-running with a group or a buddy has really the best way to push myself. Though I’ve been doing a lot of training on my own, I’ve realized these past two weeks that my fastest times and longest distances have come from running with others. Though I ran most of the winter by myself, joining the NRC crew was a game changer. They really motivated me to get out each Wednesday even when it was cold out. Now that the temperatures are getting warmer and that the NRC is offering different types of running training every night of the week (get more info here), it’s a great way to pick up speed or distance. This past week, I ran my fastest 5k thanks to an amazing pacer and ran another 15k thanks to Offner!

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Thrilled to also share with you today DJ FeelGoodSmalls‘ second motivational mix leading up to the Nike Women 15k. Entitled Momentum, this new mix is sure to keep you going strong for the next two weeks. Read about the mix & download it here. You can also stream it on Soundcloud here.

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Another busy week of training up ahead! I’m very excited because this Tuesday, I get to train and interview members of the Canadian Women’s National Soccer Team as part of my journey towards the race. Stay tuned for a recap of this special training day and also a #5QuestionsWith interview with one of the players coming on the blog next week!