Friday, December 24, 2010

get out!

I went snowshoeing yesterday. It was the perfect day for it too. Not only was it an unofficial "team" exercise with my best work buddies, but it was warm enough to be comfortable yet cold enough for nice fluffy snow. We’re very fortunate to have some beautiful wilderness trails in our area.

Huffing and puffing our way up and down hills, we panted our agreement that we were having a great time. Being stuck inside the house/office all winter is boring and depressing and sucks, but if you can get out and enjoy everything the season has to offer, you’ll find that winter isn’t bad at all.

A lot of people say “I just don’t like the cold.” To those people I say, “Get over it!!"

As my husband is fond of saying, “There’s no such thing as too cold, just under dressed.” Once you get moving you’ll break a sweat no matter how cold it is. Grabbing some sunshine and fresh air is especially important at this time of year. It can really pull you out of your winter funk.

There are plenty of outdoor activities you can use to inject vitality into ho-hum winter days.

· Skating – inside or outside, it will get the heart pumping

· Downhill skiing – for daredevils

· Snowboarding – for ├╝ber daredevils

· My personal favourite is cross country skiing

· Snow shoeing is fun and sometimes very practical

· Take the kids tobogganing

· Nobody’s stopping you from going for a run or a walk!

· Shovelling snow – it may be a chore but it’s a fantastic workout

Winter is long. It can be a waiting game until summer or it can be a whole world of fun. The choice is really up to you. Personally, I choose fun.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

rae's super mega fantastic update

That's right folks, I said super Mega FANTASTIC.
(There is no font large enough or flashy enough to emphasize what a great week I'm having.)

1. I'm an Aunt....again!
My sister announced the arrival of my beautiful niece on Monday. Introducing Savannah Marie...
Welcome to the world, little one! I can't wait to meet you this weekend.

2. I am down 6 pounds from last week.
Winter running pays off! This may just give me the motivation that I need to continue outdoors now that we've been dumped on with over a foot of snow.

3. Blogger Secret Santa Exchange is in full swing
Jill over at Run With Jill has organized a massive secret santa operation. Yesterday I received a fabulous surprise in the mail...

It reads: I hope this gives you the inspiration to continue living a life of fitness and running!

Eeek! Thank you, thank you, my bloggy secret santa!!!! I can't wait to curl up by the fire with this book on the weekend. When I'm finished reading it, I'm going to lend it to my running 'partner in crime' so that she can enjoy it as well. It looks fabulous. XOXO didn't leave me with many clues to track you down, but I'm going to do some sleuthing! :)

4. Patrick at The Road has unveiled a new social network for athletes.
I'm a little late to the party (been meaning to join for a week now!), but I finally got around to it. The Endurance Athlete Project is a great source of inspiration for newbies like me. Go, now...check it out!

5. I got a promotion!
After nearly two months spent jumping through numerous HR hoops and hard negotiations, my promotion to Director was finally announced (& technically, the role created) yesterday. I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to continue developing professionally with a team that I respect and love working with every day. I'll be working through a transition period while I take on more planning and strategy work while stepping away from my client-facing work. My teammates were thrilled with the move, which is important given my peers will now be reporting in to me. It comes with more responsibility, more money and more work....two of three make me smile.

Have a great weekend everyone - be good!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

running cold - rae's gear & tips

Those of you who are frequent visitors will know that I've been whining about the cold, dark days of winter for the past several weeks. The temp has dropped to minus 15-degrees celsius here in Southern Ontario (that's about 2-degrees fahrenheit for my friends south of the border). The world has been blanketed in pristine, white snow and the neighborhood is actually quite pretty. I kinda feel like I'm living in a snow globe...

I didn't always have such an optimistic view of the white stuff. It threatened to force me inside for dreadmill runs. That was, until I did a little research and invested in some simple winter-wear. You'll be pleased know that I have made peace with winter running. Read on.

As it turns out, all you need to survive winter running is some common sense.

1. Stay dry, stay warm

Dressing in layers is a great way to stay dry and warm. It's not about bulk - it's about layering thin, moisture wicking fabrics to keep your skin dry and trap warm air between layers. I've added 4 critical pieces of gear to my standard ensemble of tights and a shirt. First, I invested in a insulated, wind blocking jacket from the North Face ($129). This jacket is so comfortable! It is breathable and has velcro at the wrists to trap warm air in. Better yet, it has a nice reflective stripe across the back - perfect for evening visibility.

Second, I found a New Balance long-sleeved shirt at Winners ($14.99) - a great second layer over top of my normal running shirts. Can't beat that price! :)

Third, a good hat that covers the ears. Did you know the body loses most of it's heat from the head? It does. Wear a hat.

And finally, some gloves ($1.99). Mitts are actually better for keeping warm, but I hate it when my hands get hot, so gloves it is. Running shoes: Mizuno Wave Alchemy 9's ($149).

2. Prepare for the elements
The winter air is particularly harsh and dry. Be sure to apply a good moisturizer and lip balm before you head out. Don't forget about SPF protection! Just because it's cold doesn't mean the sun's rays won't get you. In fact, the snow will reflect the light....sunglasses are a must for those of you lucky enough to run in the day. ;)

3. Go easy
I have found that it takes me quite a while to get warmed up in the winter. Be sure to take it easy so that you don't injure yourself. Let those muscles get warm before you cut loose. As well, recognize that not everyone is kind enough to shovel and salt their walkways. Tread with caution. Take small steps. You don't want to risk a wipe-out on the ice!

And there you have it. Me...a snow bunny! It took some time, but it's finally happened and my cardiovascular system and weight are the better for it. I'm already tracking a three-pound loss this week. Eat THAT winter!!!

Happy trails everyone!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

to the victor go the spoils

With November just a distant memory, the Throwdown has officially come to an end. I embarked on this challenge with Katie just four short weeks ago, so that we could motivate one another to accomplish great distances in our respective running programs.

Katie technically beat me on this challenge with 39.27 miles to my 39. While I talked a big game on the weekend, my intentions were bigger than my resolve. In the end, I found myself in a position similar to that immortalized in the photo above....should have seen it coming! ;)

The truth? Everyone's a winner!
You see, this is one of my greatest milage months to date. I could not have done it without the constant threat of annihilation from Katie. tee hee.

Not only did we get in some great mileage, but we managed to inspire a few other bloggers to come together in competition. I encourage you to visit the other contenders to read about their challenges. Some have even renewed the battle for December:
Big Clyde and Alan
Jess and J
Travis and The Traveler

Now......what goals have you set for December??

Keep on keepin' on!