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!

Beach Workout

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Apologies for the lack of blog updates last week! I brought my workout clothes to California and made the most of the sunny weather. I don’t think I’ve ever worked out this much while on “vacation” before. I went for a run 5 out of 6 days (I officially registered for my 1st ever 15k race today!!), went for a hike, did some NTC and the day I didn’t go for a run, I had a personal workout with my dear friend and certified personal trainer My Whole Healthy and also went for a surf session. Honestly, with the sun shining and the temperatures averaging in the mid 20s (70-80F), there was no excuse not to work out! What’s even more awesome, was taking advantage of the beach to workout and relax! The beach is my happy place so anything that is beach-related is fun in my books! Love these photos that we took on the beach last week, makes me happy! 😀

Do you usually workout on vacation? What’s your favorite beach workout?

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Photos by: m.y. photography

Nike Pro Indy Freeze Frame Women’s Bra (get it here)

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

Nike Woven Women’s Loose Pants (get it here)

Nike Free TR 5 iD Women’s Training Shoe (get it here)

5 Questions With: Sheila Reid

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A couple of weeks ago, I had the privilege of getting trained at NTC by Canadian Olympian Sheila Reid. Sheila is a track and field athlete and a professional runner that participated in the 2012 London Olympics. She is currently training for next year’s Olympics in Rio and also this year’s Pan Am Games in Toronto. She was in town for the announcement of Nike Women‘s upcoming 15k race happening in Toronto on June 14th (In case you didn’t already know, those interested in participating in the race will be able to sign up on March 9th!). Training with Sheila was incredibly inspiring to say the least. Getting to spend time and talking with an athlete of that level was very enriching. I’m looking forward to following her next running achievements. Hope you’ll get inspired by this week’s 5 Questions with Sheila Reid:

1) What first got you interested in running? Do you remember your first race and how it went?

The first race I can remember was in grade 4- that was the first year we were allowed to participate in sports at school outside of gym class, so I joined the cross country team. I came in second and everyone from my school was really proud of me. I remember being really confused by that because I wanted to win. The team didn’t train at all, and the only requirement was signed consent from a parent to compete. So from the start, for me, it was all about racing; how far could I push my body on any given day? By the end of elementary school I was a champion.

2) You are currently training with the Oregon Track Club Elite, what does your training regimen look like? How has training in the US helped you as an athlete?

My training regimen consists of running, cross training, and weight training. I run every day (twice a day 4x/week), lift weights 2x per week, and some days I will supplement my training with cardio work in the pool or on an ElliptiGo machine. Specific race preparation happens during interval workouts; these are running sessions I do twice a week to work on pace-specific training. I decided to go to America for school to compete in the NCAA system because I felt that the high level of competition would force me to compete at that same level. I’ve remained there based on many of the connections I made while at university. 

3) You took part in the 2012 London Olympics and placed 28th in the 5000 meters, how did that experience change you as an athlete?

Like after any competition, you go back to the drawing board with your team and assess where you can improve. After this particular instance, I felt more energized than ever to be more calculated with my training and listen to my body during each session. I decided quickly that London wouldn’t be my last race and was vocal that I was ready to give running my all for myself, my teammates and my coaches. 

4) What advice would you give to people who are just getting into running?

If you’re just starting your running journey, my advice would be to create a routine and find a positive community that will push you. Even if you set a goal to run 15 minutes a day without stopping, you will be surprised by the improvement and momentum that can spring from something as small but routine as that. From there, build your goals by attainable bite sizes. The best way to find inspiration to keep moving is by surrounding yourself with positivity and community. By committing and finding a strong community like a Nike+ run club, you will push yourself faster and further, and the people around you will help you go beyond your limits. 

5) You’ll be taking part in the Nike Women’s 15k Race happening in Toronto on June 14th as well as this year’s Pan Am Games in Toronto. What are your career plans for the next couple of years?

My training program is largely focused on going faster. I’m constantly focusing on developing my fast twitch muscles and pushing my cardio abilities to keep me at my peak speed for a longer duration of every race. In my training over the next couple of years, I’ll be aiming to improve my speed with the long term goal of competing in the Rio 2016 Olympics. I’m fortunate enough to have some amazing competitions and checkpoints along the way, including the Pan Am Games in 2015 in Toronto, and the 2015 Track & Field World Championships in Beijing in August. 

5 Questions With: Eva Redpath

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When I think of some of my current role models, I think of this lady – Eva Redpath. I met Eva, fitness expert and Canada’s first Nike Master Trainer this past summer at a Nike event in Toronto and was immediately blown away by her presence and energy. I got to work out with her that evening and not only was it one of the hardest workouts I’ve ever done in my life but it was also one of my favorite workouts. There is no doubt that Eva’s passion for fitness and positive attitude has rubbed off on me. Since then, I’ve had the privilege of having her as a coach every Thursday morning with the Nike Women NTC crew at Academy of Lions and have become an NTC addict. NTC is now a very important part of my life and has been key in my transformation towards a healthier and better me. I couldn’t be more honored to have this inspiring woman on the blog today. Here are my 5 Questions With Eva Redpath:

1) What inspired you to become a fitness expert and trainer?

I have a strong background in dance and through the years began to really notice that a lot of the women I was dancing with have poor body image, so it’s been a personal passion and mission to create and build a strong support system and network for women. Empowering women through fitness and building community is truly what Nike Training Club is all about, which is why I jumped at the opportunity to work with Nike. It’s a brand and program that I personally connect with and can leverage to reach and inspire more women.    

2) The fitness world has changed a whole lot in the past decade, what do you think of its evolution? Is it easier or harder to live a healthy lifestyle today?

I think there are so many accessible resources and options out there for women who want to lead a healthy lifestyle, including apps she can use at home, group fitness classes and communities of women who all motivate each other. So what it comes down to is putting pen to paper. Just write down one realistic – and be honest with yourself – goal that you can achieve today. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with larger goals that require life changes, so try taking it day by day honouring one simple intention per day and celebrate your little successes. 

3) Being a personal trainer and fitness instructor goes above and beyond simply working out. How do you want to impact the women you’re working with? What do you think separates you from other trainers?

For me it’s all about empowering women through sport. This is just one of the reasons that I think building community is such an important element to training. I think it’s so important for women to empower other women, whether that means finding a group of girlfriends who share similar fitness goals and scheduling workouts together or coming together through live NTC and other group fitness classes.

4) You were the first Nike Master Trainer in Canada, what does this title mean to you? How important are programs like N+TC, the one that Nike developed?

For me, being Nike Canada’s first Master Trainer was a really natural fit. My role with Nike has presented me with an amazing opportunity to reach more women and N+TC has been a powerful tool in showing women what fitness can do for their lives. As women, our time is scarce and fitting in a workout can be a challenge for even the most dedicated athletes, which is why I’m a huge advocate for the N+TC app. The app is literally designed to be a personal trainer in your pocket, allowing you to fit in a workout anytime, anywhere, no matter if you have 5 or 45 minutes to spare.

5) You are a woman of many talents. You are a dance instructor, an actress and an entrepreneur, amongst many other things. How does each of these aspects of your career help you achieve your life goals?

Through my career as a trainer, I’ve learned that you have to be willing to try new things in order to exceed your perceived potential and discover that you’re stronger than you think you are. The same is true in life and for me, the mental and physical challenges I face in training, give me the strength and perseverance to overcome the obstacles – big and small – I encounter in my day-to-day life.

What’s next for Eva Redpath?

As Nike Canada’s first Master Trainer, I couldn’t be more excited for the Nike Women’s 15K Toronto. I think it marks a new experience for athletes in two ways. It’s a proving ground for women to put themselves to the test and rediscover the joy of running faster, and running further.

As someone who’s just returning to running, I’m really looking forward to training for the race with a strong a community of women who are supportive, encouraging and celebrate your achievements. Yet if you’re a seasoned runner, it’s your opportunity to crush a new personal best.

Sporting Life 10k Run

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I mentioned this fall in my “Winter Running” post here, that one of my goals in 2015 would be to sign up for my 1st ever official run. Well, I said I would, so I did! I’ll be running the Sporting Life 10k run on Sunday May 10th in Toronto. I’m incredibly excited but also nervous to take part in my first competitive event since my teens. I know I’m technically only competing against myself, but it’s still a nice thing to work towards. The nervousness I felt after signing up for the race yesterday reminded me of all the competitions I took part in as a child and teenager.

Growing up, I did A LOT of sports and took part in A LOT of competitions, mostly in swimming, skipping and karate. I just remember being so nervous leading up to these competitions, eating proper “prep” meals a few days before the competition and barely sleeping the night before. The night before, I would also always prepare my team uniform, my bag, my snacks, etc. The morning of, I would barely have an appetite, would get dressed nervously and would drive to one of these competitions with my parents. Luckily, I was one of those kids that thrived under pressure. I usually ended up getting my best results when performing under stress. Now, 15+ years later, I know the nerves will be there the morning of May 10th when I get to the run. Even if I’m not competing for medals, even if I’ve run a 10k before, I know that I will be feeling something special that day. Once the race starts, I know everything will be ok and will be looking forward to the feeling you get once you cross the finish line. Priceless!

I’m lucky that some of my fellow NTC ladies are also planning on running with me. Though it isn’t a half-marathon or a marathon, I will still be training leading up to this race and will be documenting part of my process right here 🙂

If you’re also interested in signing up for the run, you can do so until April right here.

I think this is the beginning of a beautiful new adventure!

#ChooseYourWinter

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Nike has put together a fun series of outdoor events in Toronto for the next couple of Mondays. These events titled #ChooseYourWinter combine running and NTC for a good 1.5 hour workout outdoors. I took part in the initial event on Monday night and was astounded by the amazing group of people that came out and took part in this event. I applaud Nike for the series of events they’ve been hosting as of late in the city. Over the past couple of months, they’ve really developed an wonderful community of sport and fitness enthusiasts and specifically, an amazing community of women. I never thought I’d be the kind of girl to a) sign up for a group exercise class and b) look forward to attending these classes every week. Since I took the fall off from traveling, I’ve had the opportunity to attend weekly NTC classes offered by Nike and as a result met some rad new women. The weekly NTC classes have become an integral part of my week. Since the weather is getting colder by the minute, it’s a great complementary exercise to the running that I still do outdoors.

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What I particularly like about Nike’s new #ChooseYourWinter campaign is the emphasis on outdoor physical activity even as the weather drops. As a kid, I would spend most of my time outdoors skiing, skating, cross-country skiing, making forts, etc. But as an adult living in a busy city like Toronto, I find I spend WAY less time outdoors than I’d like to. This is why I’ve continued running and also make it a point to walk outdoors as much as I can. These four special #ChooseYourWinter events are a reminder and also proof that you don’t need to stay indoors all winter.

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50+ men and women gathered on Monday night to run with members of the different Nike Running Clubs to a secret location, which ended up being Fort York for a 30-minute NTC workout with NTC Master Trainer Eva Redpath. We were greeted by lights, DJ FeelGoodSmalls, ice sculptures and a killer atmosphere! Rarely have I had so much fun outdoors, especially while working out. It’s so motivating to workout in a group, there’s really nothing quite like it!

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Another great thing about these events is that you’re able to try some brand new Nike workout gear & shoes for the night. I’m obsessed with their new Pegasus 31 flash running shoe. Not only are they glow in the dark but also water repellent. I also tried on one of their amazing jackets that kept me warm in the -10 C weather.

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If you’re looking for a fun thing to do on Monday night for the next couple of weeks, come join us at Nike’s The Loft. Just make sure you sign up in advance via Nike’s website here to be able to participate. See you at 6pm on Monday 😀

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