New Balance and Sport Chek collaborate on Women’s Only Space

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Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to visit New Balance and Sport Chek‘s brand new Women’s Only Space at the store in Richmond, BC. This brand collaboration is rolling out across the country. You can already find these women-focused spaces in 18 stores nationwide.

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What’s great about this collaboration is that they provide not only running gear but also training and also lifestyle pieces for athletes, fitness enthusiasts or even just fans of the brand.

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I had the pleasure of being accompanied by one of New Balance‘s ambassadors, Gemma Slaughter (who finished 10th female overall at this past weekend’s BMO Vancouver Half Marathon, no big deal!), who showed me some of the brand’s new styles and features for this upcoming summer season.

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In addition to offering a wide variety of prints and designs, New Balance‘s latest collection features state of the art technology and pays close attention to detail thus creating a line that is not only affordable, but also comfortable and practical!

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Thanks to the help and pro running tips from Gemma, I was able to pick out a few key pieces for this current race season and my next half marathon, that is less than a month away in San Diego.

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Together Gemma and I picked out, the Reflective Lite Pack Jacket, which is super light and easy for me to bring on my travels and great for running at night.

I also grabbed an Ice Tank, with intuitive cooling fabric, which allows for sweat-activated cooling and 2-way air circulation for fast drying, thus being perfect for hot summer runs. I also couldn’t resist the Accelerate 2.5 Short, vintage-looking and ultra light. These mid-rise shorts will sit right where I want them and aren’t too tight, which should avoid any kind of chaffing while I run. To top it off, an ultra soft Run Viz Longsleeve Top that glows in the dark!

She also recommended the Pulse Bra for a secure feel and fit and most importantly comfort while running.

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We completed the ensemble, with a pair of new runners, the Vazee Pace, version 2, for a combination of speed and high performance. These shoes are some of Gemma’s favourites for races and training. I can see why, after giving them a try, they’re incredibly supportive and resilient while also not compromising comfort.

Did I mention that my entire outfit is volt? Gemma says that bright colours allow you to run faster, so coming from someone who runs a half marathon in 1h22mins, I will take her word for it!

A big thank you to Gemma Slaughter for coming to shop with me and for the serious running inspiration. The New Balance Women’s Only Space at Sport Chek in Vancouver is located at 6551 No 3 Rd in Richmond, BC.

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This post is sponsored by New Balance Canada as part of the New Balance Women’s Only Flex Spaces by Sport Chek. In exchange for this post, I have received perks in the form of products and/or compensation. All opinions on this blog are my own.

Fall Goals

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Fall is a great time to re-asses a lot of things in life including your health. Because fall is synonymous with change, it’s a great time to make a few adjustments or improvements in your life. It’s also a great time of year to set new goals.

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My main fitness goal this year was to run a half-marathon but unfortunately that goal will not become a realization due to some unforeseen circumstances. That said, I am not giving up on my goal. Instead, I am using these next few weeks to come up with a plan of action regarding how I can make this a reality in the next couple of months.

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Cross-training and building slowly will be key, so will doing some proper core strengthening exercises and making sure I eat right. Since I will be traveling for the next couple of months, these are all things that need to be implemented in my daily and weekly routine so that I can keep on track without having a regular schedule. Making my health and training my priority will be the only way that I can achieve this goal or any goal for that matter.

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I’ve found it incredibly inspiring these past couple of months to follow athletes on social media, read articles about goal-setting and also surrounding myself with positive people. All of these can aid with achieving a specific goal.

There’s no better time than now to look into new goals and start planning on how you’re going to make them happen. What goals are you setting for yourself this fall?

Photos by: @Offner

What I’m wearing: Hyba Fast Track Geometric Legging (get them here), Hyba Space Dye Low-Impact Sports Bra (get it here), Hyba Fitness Belt (similar one here).

This post was written in collaboration with Hyba but all opinions are my own.

What Motivates You?

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What motivates you to get out there, day after day, week after week, month and month and year after year? What motivates you to do what you love, to keep going during hardships and never give up on your dreams or goals? What motivates you to keep your head held high when everything around you seems to be bringing it down?

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For me, it’s my passion for life, my desire to be better, my want to surpass myself and my inner voice that just won’t quit. For the first time in a long time, I’ve been faced with a health issue that just won’t go away. I have always said in my life that all that really mattered to me at the end of the day, was my health. Because without my health, I can’t really accomplish much. You can have all the motivation and passion in the world, but if your body doesn’t follow, there’s sometimes not much you can do. My health has always been a huge motivator for me. Growing up, living with my mom who unfortunately faced numerous serious health issues, I always told myself that if I had my health that I would be invincible.

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Since I started running and training last year, I’ve had clean medical chart. No injuries, nothing to worry about, the coast was clear. I felt invincible but also reminded myself on a daily basis to be grateful knowing all that could change in an instant. And change it did, this summer. I went from working out twice a day to being told to stop everything, as I mentioned in my post earlier this week.

Instead of being down, and losing motivation to get better and to get back out there, this injury has motivated me EVEN MORE than ever to pursue my dreams and do all the things I love. It’s when you can’t do them that you realize just how much you love certain things, how important they are to you and just how positively they affect your life. Running and being active has done so much for me in the past year and a half, I can’t even begin to explain.

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Thinking of running again, motivates me every day during my injury to do all the things I can to get better. I’m dreaming of all the races that I can sign up for in 2017, all the places I want to run in, what I would wear, etc. This injury has made me so grateful for the fact that I can run and I know will give me even more purpose when I am finally able to run again.

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Until then, I’m practicing patience, mindfulness and keeping my head high, staying positive because I know that it’s only a matter of time before I wake up again and can finally lace up those shoes and go out there for a run. That will be one of the best days of my life, hands down!

Photos & hair by: Cabello by Carolina

What I’m wearing: Hyba Contrasting Legging (get it here), Hyba Performance Printed Tank (get it here), Hyba Striped Performance Tee (get it here).

This post was written in collaboration with Hyba but all opinions are my own.

Nike Free Revolution

DUE_1702I am always looking for ways to switch up my training routine, to keep things interesting and to keep myself motivated/challenged. Last Thursday, I got to train with Canada Athletic’s Head Coach, Jeff Huntoon, who had designed a super unique workout that really put my fitness capacities and endurance to the test.

DUE_0799DUE_0812During the workout, we also got to try the brand new Nike Free‘s for both running and training. Their new geometric auxetic midsole is designed to enable an athlete’s natural motion and develop strength, whether they are running or training. It was great to put these new shoes to the test right away to really get a feel for them.

0A0A8626Our workout was broken up into two parts. We started off with NTC-inspired cross-training with weights, TRX and props and followed that up with a running workout that combined a series of drills and speed work.

DUE_1224DUE_1751The Nike Free Transform Flyknit gave me lot of support and grip for the training portion of the workout. I felt very stable and felt like the shoe was absorbing the higher-impact moves really well.

DUE_1130The Nike Free RN Flyknit were super light on my feet and responded well to speed. I really felt that it adapted well to my stride. The sock-like fit (similar to the Lunar Epic) made it easy to put the shoes on and also mold my feet properly.

0A0A91670A0A92100A0A92520A0A9329It was great to get Jeff’s insight on the importance of not only running but also training, how both are complimentary and necessary to become the best athlete possible. I loved the idea of breaking up a 1hr workout into two distinct portions: half NTC and half NRC.

0A0A95250A0A95360A0A9418I enjoyed the workout so much that I signed up for another similar workout yesterday at the Steam Whistle Brewery in Toronto. It was one of the hardest workouts I’ve done in a while but also one of the most fun.

The special NTC x NRC workouts at the Steam Whistle Brewery will continue for the next 8 weeks. To sign up and find out more about the NRC+NTC Free Revolution workouts, go to: Nike.com/Toronto.

Photos by: Charlie Lindsay and Due Pinlac

Training for San Francisco

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The Nike Women San Francisco Half Marathon is only a few weeks away! Having been training for races for the past couple of months, I’ve realized the importance of also adding other types of workouts to your weekly training plan. Nike Master Trainer Eva Redpath shares today her recommendations in preview of the big race!

Eva’s Top 3 NTC workout recommendations:

For anyone training for the Nike San Francisco Half Marathon in October, cross training is an integral part of your training journey. In addition to getting your runs in,  I’d recommend starting to incorporate the Find Your Fast NTC Challenge into your training schedule. One of the great things about the program is that you can design your workouts based on your schedule and fitness level. The workouts focus on strength to increase lean muscle tissue, endurance to improve cardio fitness and flexibility to reduce muscle tension and speed recovery, which are all important for runners.

Three of my favourite NTC workouts are:

Maurie Purvis’ Ready, Set, Zoom: This is a fast paced, dynamic workout to build strength with metabolic and core drills that are designed to help you move faster

Kirsty Godo’s Zoom Fast: This combines quick, powerful movements for speed, endurance and agility

Traci Copeland’s Reach and Recharge: This gives you a great stretch to increase flexibility as well as increases your breathing technique

Road to Nike Women’s 15k – Week 7

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Week recap:

This past week has been pretty rock n’ roll to say the least! Even if Monday was a holiday last week, the #betterforit ladies and I got out early to clock a 7km run. It being a holiday allowed for a nice peaceful run along the streets of Toronto. Tuesday was my only day off but it was much needed one since I had lined up a double workout on Wednesday. I joined a small group of ladies on the rooftop of the Thompson Hotel (the raddest rooftop in the city!) for a #NTC workout as the sun rose. This was my first #DoneBeforeDawn class and boy was it memorable! That night, I also went to the Nike Running Club for a fast 5k run. I was up bright and early the next day for my routine NTC morning class with Eva Redpath, which was a lot harder than I was expecting. I was still sore from the previous morning so my work out was less than stellar. This past weekend, I went up to Blue Mountain for a special fitness retreat and the 1st #BowerFitxKalola with three lovely ladies (thanks for the invite Sasha!) who are also currently training for the 15k. The retreat was organized by Nate Bower, a boxer that I’ve had the chance to meet when I took his boxing class at Equinox (check out my special blog on his class here), as well as Kalola Spa at Blue Mountain. It was really neat to take my training to a different location and switch it up a bit. We had the most awesome weekend hiking up Blue Mountain, playing beach volleyball, doing yoga, boxing, doing some strength training, stretching and also getting a lovely massage at the end of it all. I didn’t get as much running in this past week but it was a nice change of pace!

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How I’m feeling:

Though I don’t feel anything major aching, my knees definitely seemed to still be inflamed a little so I’ve been trying my best to stretch properly, apply cream and not push too hard when training. With only 3 more weeks to go, there’s no time for injury.

What I’ve learned:

Injuries can occur at any moment. This weekend I witnessed one of my friends get injured while training and it was incredibly scary to see. Luckily, her injury wasn’t too serious but it made me realize that injuries can occur at any moment in time. As a result, I’ve become a little more careful with all of my training.

Training in nature is so different. Spending time at the mountain this weekend really gave me a new perspective on training in nature. Training in the city has been wonderful but sometimes seeing new sceneries and changing the location of your training can really help motivate and inspire you, especially when you’ve been training for so many weeks consistently.

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Distance is less intimidating. When I started training, running 5 or even 10km seemed incredibly daunting but with so many runs under my belt, these distances don’t nearly seem as far anymore. There are only a few more weeks to go but having already run 15km three times now, I’m a lot less apprehensive about race day. Yay! 😀

Only 2 more weeks to go!!

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 😀

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

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