Only At Shoppers $100 Gift Card Giveaway

Hey, remember that time I wrote a couple articles for Shopper’s Drug Mart “Only At Shoppers” website and hosted a sweet giveaway?

Well how does another Shoppers Drug Mart giveaway – this time for a $100 Gift Card sound?

OAS Enter to Win 100-2

I thought it sounded pretty sweet when they asked me if I’d like to host a second giveaway, so of course I said yes!

To Enter:

As I mentioned above, I wrote two articles on the Only At Shoppers website. In order to enter the giveaway, you’ll need to visit my “Curb Pregnancy Cravings” article and leave a comment below telling me one reason why aqua fitness is a great option for pregnant women.

Giveaway is open to residents of Canada (sorry US friends!) and will end on Tuesday, August 5th, 2014 at 12:01am. Good luck!

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My Temporary Break-Up With Distance Running

I feel silly starting this by saying that writing this post has been difficult for me to do. I feel silly because in the scheme of the world me giving up running for a while really is a non-blip on the map. But for me personally, it is a tough blip, regardless of how small it is.

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You’ll notice I don’t say I’m giving up running entirely, but in all honesty aside from the few races I have left in the season (including two I’m not yet registered for but plan to do) I don’t intend to be running at all for the rest of the year. Yes that means I’ll be running those races I still have to do totally untrained, but it won’t be the first time (nor likely the last). Fortunately I have a good aerobic capacity so I can get away with it more easily than most though I certainly don’t recommended it!.

So an alternate title for this post could be:

Why I will only be running another 30.2km this year

But I didn’t that would roll off the tongue as well ;)

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If you’ve been around here for a while you’ll know that over the past 18 months I’ve struggled with my health. First with some serious adrenal fatigue from overtraining (i.e. teaching too many cardio classes for two long), which brought a hormonal imbalance along for the ride (the two often go hand in hand).  Then last fall while training for a half I ended up with serious digestive issues that took me a good 6-8 months to sort out.

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I took a few weeks off from running when the initial adrenal & hormonal issues began, but other than that I plugged along all last spring, summer and fall running race after race regardless of how I was feeling. Why? Because it’s one of the only times I feel free to just “be”. I can’t answer emails or write posts. I’m not responding to text messages or planning classes. I’m not working on new routines or office work. And mostly, I’m only responsible for my own workout.

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As an instructor I might “get” to exercise  a lot, but please don’t be fooled. Teaching a class, and taking a class are two very different things. When you take a class you are focused in on your own workout. Sure you might notice what else is going on around you, but your sole focus is on what you are doing. As an instructor you do the exercise, while telling everyone else how to do it, and watching them all to make form corrections to ensure everyone is safe, and keep track of the music so you can cue everyone for the next move at the right time, while trying to remember what exactly the next move is suppose to be. Basically it’s anything but relaxing.

That’s why running appeals so much to me. It’s a time that I can let my mind wander if I want. I can focus on my breathing or my pacing without worrying about everyone else around me. The same can be said about yoga, but the big difference (for me) is that when I do yoga, I’m usually still at home, still in the house with the lure of distraction (computers, phones, TV, people, cats, etc.) because I am only free to practise at weird times of day.

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But back to my distance break-up.

I don’t want to do it. But I need to do it. I’m still dealing with hormone imbalances that I am trying to get sorted, but my biggest roadblock is stress. Not just mind stress, but physical stress and exercise – and running, especially distances puts a lot of added stress on your body. Especially when you are already teaching many hours of fitness each week.

So while it’s not something I want to do (in fact one of the half marathons I really wanted to run was this past weekend, and it made me quite cranky to know i was missing it, especially since the weather was beautiful!), it’s something I need to do. In order to protect my bones, and strike a happy hormonal balance within my body I need to do what seems like the hard thing and give up something I really enjoy.

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Even as little as two weeks ago I was still planning for a fall marathon, but after my last 5K, I spent the following days with the same side effects/symptoms I have the previous two races which solidified the fact that it wasn’t just a fluke. That the added stress of running is doing me more harm than good right now. So I will finish out my races for the season (all of which are 10K or under) and that is it. No running for me, outside of my classes the only exercise I will be doing is walking, swimming – which is usually more floating than anything), yoga and some strength training.

And when it comes to my races, depending on the distance I will probably be running purely for the enjoyment, and not for time. If that enjoyment coincides with a new PR, that’s great, if it doesn’t – that’s fine too.

So, the rest of my running season for 2014 looks like this:

So that’s my story, and why I won’t be doing any distance running (or much running at all) until 2015. And I’m hoping that when I ring in 2015 I’ll be feeling super balanced and ready to take 2015 by storm!