Listen. Really, Listen.

There have been many times over the past few weeks where my body has given me a big eff you. Whether it be a spitting headache or angry calves or a right ankle that freaks out with every step forward… all symptoms have a root cause.

I believe that the nicer you are to your body, the nicer it will be to you. Fill your body with the nutrients it needs. Eat clean, eat local and eat smart. Sweat once a day. Get your heart rate up and give your lungs a work out. Challenge your mind. Spend time with those you love. Stretch — and sleep.

For the last few weeks, I’ve been in a mad case of go – go – go. Work. Train. Sleep. Repeat. On the countdown to race day. Currently I’m laying on my bathroom floor, wrapped in a towel, writing this blog post. Why? I was mid-shower when all of a sudden I thought I was going to faint. I got light headed, felt weak and nausea took over my belly. For a girl that pretends she’s amazon strong, fainting is a weird and a highly uncomfortable experience. All of a sudden I succumbed to the weak little girl who just wanted an “it’s all going to be ok,” coupled with a monster hug.

Once the feeling of “I’m going to die” passed, I took a picture of my legs and thought — Boom. Your body is speaking to you. Now, listen. My auto-immune system is a delicate little fairy at the best of times — and now I’m putting it through the ringer and not giving it any love. I’m running at max without the fuel. A trip to the doctor and some blood work confirmed that yep, the tank is low.

Last week my physio man and I were chatting about balance, priorities and mastery. If you let one thing fall, you’ll notice the consequences.

Today was proof. Now to make some changes.

Running Vancouver – Episode 1

running-vancouverA few months ago I was asked by a local runner, Jeff Pelletier, if I was interested in being part of a running documentary. He wanted to create a web video series that would document three runners journey to the BMO Vancouver Marathon & Half Marathon.

I was over the moon when Jeff asked me if I wanted to be involved… there are two things I am absolutely sure of… I love Vancouver to the moon and back… and running absolutely completes me. My legs have given me life, breath and strength that I never knew existed.

“Everyone is an athlete. The only difference is that some of us are training, and some are not.” – Dr. George Sheehan

Today marks the beginning of the web series. The first episode has gone live – thanks to a whole load of work by Pacer Films – and there will be one every Monday until race day on May 5th (keep your eyes peeled here). Each episode will be on YouTube – and also on Novus’ community channel.

If you’re interested in watching episode 1 (… 7 short minutes!) and meet the runners involved, check it out below:

I’ve been blogging about my running journey for the past year – and this year have set new goals to dominate. The other two featured in ‘Running Vancouver’ are Karl & Sean. I have yet to meet them – but they seem super legit.

A little bit about the boy squad:

Meet Karl Woll | Twitter | Blog

“As our most experienced runner, Karl has run over a dozen marathons, 50k ultra-marathons, and trail races. He’s back to run the BMO Vancouver Marathon for the fourth time in an attempt to shave just over 10-minutes off his personal best time to qualify for the Boston Marathon – no easy task.”

Meet Sean Martin | Blog

“Sean’s journey began when his daughter Shaelyn was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, an aggressive blood cancer, at just 8 weeks old. Now, with Shaelyn 5 years old and healthy, Sean has joined the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada’s Team In Training to honour her battles with cancer as he trains for his first marathon.”

Jeff did an incredible job and I feel honored to be included in this project. On May 5th, I will be running alongside Runcouver’s #RunCrew – as many of the girls complete their first half marathon. Fingers crossed for that sub-2:00. :)

The entire footage will showcase on Shaw in May.

Thank you for the support – thank you for reading – thank you for watching.

13.1 Miles Along the Ocean

Last fall, a girlfriend and I were chatting about registering for a half marathon together. We had our eyes set on the Tinkerbell Half Marathon at Disneyland, but we couldn’t get our shit together to register before it sold out.

We were excited about the possibility of going to California and before you knew it, we were on Google searching for another half-marathon taking place in January.

We landed on the Tri-City Medical Center Carlsbad Marathon & Half-Marathon and were immediately sold. The event takes place along the ocean – yes, 13.1 miles along the water.

Carlsbad Race ExpoSo last weekend we headed to San Diego for race weekend!

Monique headed down Friday morning and I met her late that night. She picked me up from the airport {sweet rental car} and we headed to our new home in Pacific Beach. We found an oceanfront gem for a super reasonable price!

We were both excited to run the half together, but also spend some time getting to know each other better. The short story on Monique and my relationship is that we met through the social media world – and have a lot of common interests. Running for one. ;)

She lives in Edmonton {I know… I know. Poor girl. ;)} and we get to see each other… well, pretty much, never.

On Saturday, we headed north to La Jolla for breakfast {Resto Reco: The Cottage} and then onto the race expo in Carlsbad. The weather in San Diego had been terrible all week. Vancouver-like conditions and pouring rain. It was still sprinkling in Carlsbad and Southern California was in a deep fog. We were both hopeful that the sun would miraculously come out in the morning!

The race expo was meh — a few tents outside and really crowded. We stopped by Snuggbuds to pick up M some headphones, bought a few Gu chomps and got the heck outta there. A quick stop at Target to pick up race socks and then we headed south to the Las Americas outlets {helloooo Victoria’s Secret outlet!}. We got lost a few dozen times and we finally realized that we were headed in the right direction when we hit the USA/Mexico border. The Las Americas outlets are pretty much in Tijuana haha.

We were exhausted by the time we left the mall and at that point where we needed to eat — or we would turn into raging women. We took advantage of the fact that pasta is supported the night before a race and headed to Little Italy for a bite to eat {Resto Reco: Mimmo’s Italian Village}.

The plan before race day is always early to bed. That generally never happens. We planned our race outfits — totally matching, totally cute. M worked on her playlist. No idea what I was doing, but it was a little after 1am before I finally got to sleep.

Bathroom Line!As we were staying in Pacific Beach and the race was in Carlsbad, we knew we had to be up early to minimize stress on the road. We were up at 5:30am and out the door about 45 mins later. We made a quick stop at Starbucks and 7-11 {ha ha… unprepared} for a banana, trail mix and cliff bar breakfast on the drive.

The race was set to begin at 7:30am and our corral starting about 20 mins later. It was music to our ears to find out that both were running behind. A quick trip to the potty and we were in the queue at the start line.

I didn’t have a good feeling about this race from the get go… the weather was bleak, I was hit with a mad case of lady cramps and felt somewhat unprepared for the day {maybe it was my recent fall on my face, maybe it was because my legs were still sore from the 20k I did on Thursday}. It was about this moment that I realized that I hadn’t synced my playlist — goodness me.

The race started, we high five’d and we were on our way.

Erin had warned me about the rolling hills on this race and boy she was right. They weren’t beastly, they were just constant. Every time you were up and over one, there was another. I can’t stand how crowded races are in the first few kilometres, so I stayed focused on listening to The Script and not tripping.

Finish Line!

About 3km’s in, the blisters hit. I HAVE NEVER HAD A BLISTER ONCE SINCE I STARTED RUNNING. GAH. I could feel them on my baby toes — rub, rub, rubbing and not too happy. At that moment I decided this wasn’t the race to hit a sub-2:00. :)

We averaged about 6:00/km for most of the race. M is a strong runner — and super consistent in form and pace {I definitely think she could have hit a sub-2:00, but she stayed back with my blistered feet and monster angry ovaries ha ha}.

We laughed, took photos {YES, to jumping photos on the race course} and before you knew it, we were at 12 miles. There were a ton of spectators along the course and it was great to see the Lululemon crew out cheering too! The last mile went on and on {like they usually do} and then we finally crossed the finish line!

Official time: 2:12:05

Pace: 6:10/km

{10 mins off my last half! Woop!}

We were given our medals, space blankets and a bag full of goodies. It was a very grey, chilly day, but we were sparred from the rain.

We found a spot in the parking lot and camped out, laughing, drinking chocolate milk and admiring our matching socks. We were covered in salt and soon enough the chill of sweat hit us. We motored back to the car in search of Starbucks.

9Carlsbad Beach0 mins later {and too many u-turns to count} we still hadn’t found the Starbucks…

But we did find the ocean!!

Somehow we ended up along Carlsbad beach and decided that this was the perfect opportunity to take race photos. It was windy as hell and we headed out to the rocks. We were greeted by a fisherman who was caught off guard by the girls in short shorts wanting to take photos with space blankets. ;) We taught him how to use an iPhone — AND, taking jumping pics. ;)

I had read about a vegan restaurant in San Diego that specialized in fast food, so we headed south for milkshakes and burgers {Resto Reco: Evolution Fast Food}. Quinoa and kamut burgers, french fries, cajun ketchup and a vanilla shake were just what we needed. In fact, I kinda think I need a vanilla shake after every race. :) Mmm goodness.

We had quite the chilly picnic in Balboa Park!

I had a nap that afternoon and M hit the beach. We met up at sunset to soak up the sunshine that finally arrived! M did cartwheels on the beach and we faked yoga moves. All in all it was a great time. ;) That night we headed to a lounge down the street for happy hour {Resto Reco: JRDN} and before you knew it we were knee deep in champagne and pimm’s. We talked life and laughed the night away. Let’s be real, I think we got there at 5pm and were in bed at 8pm. 

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On Monday, we decided to get up early to see a bit more of San Diego before we had to head to the airport. We hit up a breakfast joint in Mission Beach {Resto Reco: The Mission} — and oh my word, it was divine. We then headed out to Sunset Cliffs and then back downtown for a stroll around Gaslamp Quarter. I hobbled, M walked — and we window shopped through the city.

Before you knew it, M had to head to the airport and our 3 days in California had come to an end.

Lessons learned from our race weekend away:

  • Always double check that your playlist is sync’d while in airplane mode.
  • Camera men on the race course love matching outfits. 
  • Running a race is a lot more fun with a friend. Fact. 

Thanks for a lovely weekend away M. xo

Inspired to Run

All the time people ask me why I’m on social media networks. They want to know what value I see in the tools. They want to know why it intrigues me. They want to know why I keep on coming back.

One thing I love about social is how easy it is to be part of a community and align with people who have similar interests. Since learning to run {and later founding Runcouver}… I have immersed myself in health/fitness/running/racing/etc communities online. I follow races, teams, pro athletes, local runners, nutritionists and a ton of inspirational dynamos kicking ass and crushing goals. I join in on conversation via twitter chats, hashtags blogs and message boards. It oozes through my every day {Note: I don’t follow the people who just post ‘skinny’ quotes everyday with disturbing photos of way too thin women. Ugh.}.

A local runner, friend of a friend and someone I need to get to know better is a young man named Dave {he’s a total babe btw :)}. For the last few months, I’ve been following Dave tweeting and Instagram’ing his day to day. He’s a beast. Truly beastly. He’s the king of goal setting and always thinking of a new way to challenge himself.

This morning I randomly woke up {rested} at 6:30am. I was going back and forth in my head – one more hour of sleep… yes… no… one more hour of sleep… yes… no… Then all of a sudden I realized that Dave was probably running.

Dave loves a hashtag called: #10ktostarttheday.

Dave kills it on the pavement morning after morning. My brain turned into competitive “you must continually improve yourself” mode and I immediately knew I needed to run to.

I hate running in the morning – and something I know for sure is that it’s good to get out of your comfort zone.

Running at night – in the dark – is my comfort zone. It’s peaceful, calming and one of my favourite times of the day. Since I’ve been banned from running by myself in the dark {read about that time I fell on my face}… I probably need to start liking early mornings.

So just after 6:45am, I left my house. Runners on, rain jacket on and prepared for a brisk run in the dark {I knew it wouldn’t be dark for long…}. :)

Epic RunI headed to Burrard Bridge… 3K turned into 5K… 5K turned into 10K… 10K turned into 15K… and before you knew it…

I was at 18.9k!

Whoa. So long broken face!!!

My iPhone died just outside of Chinatown, but I continued running to Yaletown. I hit 20k and felt more alive than I have in weeks.

#20ktostartthedamnday

From the bottom of my heart, thank you Dave.

Thank you for getting me out of bed. Thank you for getting my head in the game. Thank you for being a source of inspiration, both online and offline.

Your presence is noticed.

See you on the seawall. Run baby run.

Let’s get sweaty Vancouver!

Seawheeze 2013Today’s the day!

Registration for the Lululemon Seawheeze Half-Marathon went live THIS MORNING! I’ve been waiting for this day… well, since… last August. :)

Last year I participated in the inaugural Seawheeze – my first half marathon! I can’t say enough positive things about Lululemon’s first race series. The event was fantastic from beginning to end. Lululemon is a company that is committed to customer experience {and I’m pretty positive, employee experience, too!}. The weekend started with a race expo – shopping, yoga and pedicures – and ended up with an outdoor concert. They had everything from custom race gear {not tacky like most races btw, all of it was beyond cute} to unique medals to waffles at the post-race brunch!

Seawheeze is a total experience!

Yes there is a half marathon {13.1 miles baby!}. But there’s also a whole lot of fun, laughter, neon and good times in the sunshine. In order to soak it all up, you gotta participate in the whole weekend! Promise it’ll be worth it!

Last year was a blast, but I’m extra excited to be running this year. Almost all of Runcouver’s #RunCrew will be running the half {for half of them, it’ll be their first one!!} – and a whole lot of friends have jumped on board: Reagan, Adriana, Jen, Nikki, KateMiranda, Chelsea – and the list could go on and on!

If you’re interested in getting on board the Seawheeze train, check out the event: http://seawheeze.com

Get sweaty friends. See you at the finish line.

Why Hello Pavement…

15K playlistYesterday afternoon started off perfect. It was a gorgeous sunny day in Vancouver and I was set to do a long run. The plan was minimum 15K. I was planning on running Stanley Park, then English Bay to Yaletown, but at the last minute I switched to an adventure in Kits. I was worried I would get caught in Stanley Park in the dark — and we all know I don’t like that park in the dark. :|

I updated my tunes and off I went {pssst… if you have Rdio, you can view and listen to the playlist here!}

I headed over the Granville Bridge as an epic sunset was taking over the sky. My legs were moving and I was excited to tackle new ground. A friend / mentor / ultra running crazy man, Adam Campbell, has been reinforcing to me that I need to switch from counting kilometres to focusing on time and going with the flow. I decided to do just that …. {briefly at least… I had good intentions :)}.

I ran past Burrard Bridge, then Kitsilano Beach and before you knew it I was en route to Jericho Beach. I was feeling great and decide the I would turn around at 10K instead of the planned 7.5K — I felt like I could do 20K and I wanted the challenge. Jericho was new territory for me and I didn’t know the area. I got to the beach (10K mark) just as the sun was setting and pink was taking over the sky. I knew I wanted to get away from the beach area before it was dark, so I booked it back up to the street. A few blocks away from the beach I bailed.

One moment I was running, the next moment I heard my cheek hit the pavement. My right cheek struck first, then my right shoulder. I was immediately in shock, but conscious. My whole body was screaming with pain and I turned over to sit on the pavement. I had torn my Lululemon thermals open and I could taste blood on my mouth and see it on my legs.

At the moment, I realized I was in the middle of no where. Somewhere near Jericho. No idea where I was — and not in the sight of a runner. I started calling all the friends I knew in Kits, someone who could come and pick me up. No one answered and I moved to my downtown friends. Katie {from the #RunCrew} picked up her phone and in tears I told her that I needed her to come get me. {Thank you for the cement rescue darling}.

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We made our way to St. Paul’s Hospital and soon enough we were in emergency. My cheek was swollen up and my legs were angry. I had no idea if anything was broken, but felt like the fall was sketch enough that I should probably get checked out. I was fast tracked to see a nurse and the process began. X-rays of my shoulder and legs — thankfully both banged up, nothing broken. Then a CT scan of my head and face — right cheek bone fracture. Then a EKG, blood work and a whole lot of questions to answer.

The doctors were less concerned about my physical injuries and more concerned about why I fell. They either think I fainted or that something was going on with my heart {irregular heartbeat etc}. No history of fainting or heart issues by the way. I was moved into another unit to meet with the Cardiologist and shortly after 1am, I was admitted to Cardiology for the night. They wanted to monitor my heart and meet with the Head of Cardiology in the morning.

I haven’t been overnight in a hospital since 1999. It’s funny how it all comes flooding back to you. Vitals every hour. Nurses coming in. Machines beeping. Code white. Code blue. They hooked me up to the machines and told me they’d let me sleep for a few hours. Just after 6am, the hospital hustle started. They were back to do more blood work and hook me up to more machines.

Shortly after 9am, the Head of Cardiology arrived to chat. We walked through what happened on the run and the tests that were run in emergency. As I had been stable overnight, he would release me but wanted me to stay attached to the Cardiology unit as an outpatient for the next few weeks. This week I’ll have an echocardiogram {heart ultrasound}, do a cardiac stress test {watching your heart when you run on a treadmill} and pick up a holder monitor {electrodes applied to skin and attached to tape recorder for 1-2 days}.

Fingers crossed, all tests come back good, I get the all clear from the Cardiologist and I’m back to the grind soon. He did confirm that running is good for the heart and he wants me to be back at it as soon as I can.

580556_4836531964636_1570522840_nRight now, I’m sore as hell and it’s the last thing my body feels like doing. My head on the other hand… knows I was on my way to an epic 20K run and can’t wait to get back on the pavement.

Thankful for everyone that has reached out since my tumble — and thank you to Katie for sticking by my side. The team at St. Paul’s was fabulous — I couldn’t have asked for better care.

There are likely lessons that have come from this event — but I’m not far enough removed from the situation to think of them yet. :) For now I will focus on healing my broken face, doing the required cardio tests this week, and getting myself to physio this week to take care of my shoulder and legs.

Reflecting on 2012

Reflection is always important — but the end of the year continually reminds me that I need to pause, reflect and determine how I want to move forward. The past 12 months have been a whirlwind.  I started the year with this quote:

“It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard… is what makes it great.” – League of their Own

… and my word, it hit home. This past year was tough! One thing I know for sure is that you need to be thankful for the hard times in your life, because those are the times when you grow and learn the most.

This year I learned:

  • People are #1. Throughout the year I ended up being in a number of situations where I didn’t feel like people were being treated fairly. One thing I know for sure is that people deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. In both my personal and professional life, I believe in ‘lead with heart.’ As leaders, we need to be human. We need to respect people’s feelings, listen and truly treat people like we want to be treated. Choose your friends, boss, clients — and every relationship in your control, wisely. 
  • Transparency is the new marketing. No one is perfect — and I don’t believe that anyone wants to work with or be friends with people who claim to be. First and foremost, we’re all human. People want to deal with real people — and vulnerability is a strength. Be open; allow people to see who you are. Talk about your learnings — and your failures. Admit fault when you’ve made a mistake.
  • Don’t fight change. I cried a lot in September — more tears than I’ve had in years in fact. During periods of change, the only thing you can control is your reaction. Everything happens for a reason and change is inevitable. Accept it for what it is and figure out how you’re going to move forward.
  • Always have a plan b. When you’re headed into uncertainty, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Enough said.
  • Trust your gut. There is a lot to be said for intuition. When you get a feeling that something shady/wrong/sketch — it probably is. Use your head, but trust your gut. Take in all the information, but always remember to look out for you.
  • You have to take care of yourself first. I’m continually guilty of taking care of everyone else, before I take care of me. I’ve been falling into that trap for years with boyfriends, best friends and random people I have met along the way. This year I learned to be put me first {it’s still such an odd thing}. I stopped attending events I didn’t want to go to. I didn’t return phone calls when I didn’t feel like talking. I refused to be the go-to, because I knew it wasn’t in my best interest. A little wisdom from Paul Coehlo, “When you say yes to others, make sure you’re not saying no to yourself.” Don’t apologize for making yourself a priority.
  • Slow down. Life is meant to be lived.

Despite the ups and downs of the year, a lot of good happened. I had the opportunity to travel to Costa Rica, Palm Springs, Whistler, Seattle, New York and Mexico. For the first time in my life, I learned the power of physical strength. I learned to run — completing 15 races — and became a regular at power yoga. I learned the importance of fuelling your body with good and keeping a close eye on your health. I cut out wheat, dairy and now regularly spend time in the kitchen. I truly love cooking and exploring new foods. I met a number of new friends in 2011 and throughout this past year, I focused on developing and strengthening those relationships.

Highlights of the year:

photo

January

The year started off with a chilly dip in the Pacific Ocean. In 2011, I was blessed to meet a local entrepreneur, Helen. She invited me to the Polar Bear Swim that took place at English Bay. With 2000 people, we charged at the 8 degree ocean. After a few shrieks in the ocean, we were back on the beach shivering and smiling. 1st Polar Bear swim complete!

February

After finding a deal through YVRdeals {and Chris Myden}, I booked a trip to Costa Rica. At the time I had no plan, just needed a little escape. I had met an entrepreneur {all around fabulous woman}, Shannon Ward, a few months earlier — and she would be living in Costa Rica while I was down there. I ended up heading to Santa Teresa and spent 10 days with my her family. The trip was filled with sunshine, surfing and delicious eats. A highlight was taking a raw food cooking course with Joanne at The Healing Cuisine.

March

International Women’s Day took place on March 8th. I was honoured to be included in Networking in Van’s “Women Making a Difference” campaign. On IWD, people all over the world celebrate the achievements of women, inspire other women and reflect on the progress women have made in our communities. There were a number of events that took place in Vancouver and I had the privilege to learn from a few. I’m thankful to have met a ton of female entrepreneurs in Vancouver — and around the world {including Judy, Jill, Heather, Zoe, ChristineKatherine, Erin and more}. Positive role models who are movin’, shakin’ and making a difference in the community.

April

In April, I had the opportunity to speak at 2 events — York University’s ‘Apex Leadership Conference‘ and Simon Fraser University’s ‘Synergy Conference.’ The events were back to back — with one being in Toronto and the other in Surrey. In a matter of 24 hours, I held a workshop and facilitated a panel, flew across the country and held another 2 workshops at Synergy. It was an absolutely exhausting — and totally rewarding weekend. One thing I’ve figured out in the last few years is that education is a core part of who I am. I truly love teaching students and I’m blessed to have had the opportunity to facilitate two very engaged groups of students.

photo_1May

May was busy — with a trip to Palm Springs for a me-cation and learning from Richard Branson at a Board of Trade event. A total highlight was my weekend away in Whistler to visit my adopted family, the GossWards. Shannon, Brett and Kaede had moved back to Whistler from Costa Rica — and I wanted to see their lovely faces again. I  had never been to Whistler, so Shannon and Kaede took me up the mountain to do Peak 2 Peak. It was the end of the season, but skiers and boarders were still taking on the remaining snow. Whistler is a beautiful little gem — from taking in the views at Blackcomb to Sushi Village to a little birthday surprise, I feel lucky to have met {and learn from} this wonderful family.

June

On June 2nd, my niece Maddie turned 1 {and I turned 28}! Maddie was born on my birthday in June 2011. Now we’ll be celebrating together forever! On Friday, I had a dinner party at my place {thank you for being the Executive Chef, Dan!} and on Saturday I took the float place over to Salt Spring for a family birthday with Maddie. We had a fun afternoon in the sunshine at Mom’s house — halibut burgers, birthday cake and a very spoiled  1st grandchild!

July

In July, I headed to New York with Marina for the UN Global Partnership Summit. We spent a few days learning from global change makers from the United Nations, Global Poverty Project, ONE Campaign and Pan American Health Organization. A highlight was learning from Gillian Sorensen, Senior Advisor to the UN Foundation — absolutely inspiring few days determining how young leaders can support the UN Millennium Development Goals and create positive change in the community. In addition to the summit, Marina and I walked the Brooklyn Bridge, shopped in SOHO, dined in Little Italy — and I ended the trip with a run through Central Park.

August

Whether taking a pool day, attending a festival or parade, or running the seawall — the month was a busy one!  On August 10th, I completed my first half marathon {holy moly, eh!}. After an adductor injury mid-year, I was forced to take a DNF for a Seattle half marathon — and then I registered for Lululemon’s Seawheeze half marathon in Vancouver. In retrospect, it was my race. Luon, sunshine and running in the city that I love. Reagan and I ran together; finishing in 2:22 {feeling totally good and injury free!}.

photo_2September

Vancouver is one of the best places to live in the world — and I continually remind myself that I’m blessed to live here. Thanks to the team at Vancouver We Love You, my friend, Kate, had the opportunity to use SUP boards throughout the summer. One day in early September, we headed down to Kits Beach for a SUP sesh at sunset. It was a picture perfect night filled with paddling, laughter and trying not to fall into the ocean.

October

TELUS asked me to blog an international event coming to town, We Day. We Day is a day of celebration, inspiration and an opportunity for youth to take action and create change in their communities. I had an absolutely incredible few days with the team at Free the Children and the We Day youth. From meeting Desmond Tutu to learning from Spencer West to documenting the day — the event was a highlight of the year. It was inspiring to watch 18,000+ youth get excited to positively impact their school and community.

November

Running has hugely changed my life. Throughout my running journey, I was continually asked — How did you start running? How do I start running? Can you help me? … After a bit of brainstorming, I launched Runcouver. The goal is to connect all levels of pavement crushers and trail dominators, into one positive, motivating, goal crushing community. In addition to Runcouver, I launched the #RunCrew. The 2012/2013 pilot consists of 10 young women who are committed to striving high and I’ll be coaching them to their 1st half marathon in Summer 2013.

December

The year came to an end with major job change. After almost 2 years consulting, I decided to go back in-house for an amazing opportunity at a growing company. I am now a HR Generalist at Avigilon. I feel blessed to work on a progressive, entrepreneurial team with a down-t0-earth {and wicked smart} leader. My role supports day-to-day global HR operations, with a focus on employee relations, training and development, benefits and compensation and employee experience.  I’m learning a ton and my days are wild busy — both good problems to have. I’ve officially been there a month and I feel like I couldn’t have landed at a better company. It’s awesome to be surrounded by people who truly love what they do.


“You have to fight through some bad days, to earn the best days of your life.” – Unknown

Officially closing out 2012. To laughter, love and living in 2013.

2013 Run Goals

14482_4741973400731_817288184_nOver the last few weeks, I’ve been thinking a lot about what my goals will be for next year. I haven’t totally figured them out, but it’ll be a focus over the coming weeks. One thing I know for sure is that I love running. Even when I’m procrastinating running and doing everything but running, I still think of it. I know it’s good for my body and brain — and I want to kick some serious pavement {and start to dabble in trails} next year.

Here’s what I know for sure…

5 Half Marathons:

Start to Dabble in Tri-Land:

Become one with the Trails:

Pavement Fun: 

My plan for 2013 was 5 half marathons. I didn’t think I could run 1 this year — and I did! Now it’s time to turn up the challenge:

  • 5 half marathons (including sub 2:00)
  • 10 additional pavement/trail races
  • 1000 km in 2013

The goals are achievable if I listen to my body, proactively work with my favourite physio man — and keep up with the cross training. Oh — and run. ;) I really want to get in the habit of running 3-4km, when I don’t feel like running. In my head… when I process if I’m going to run tonight or not… I always tell myself it needs to be at least 7km. Most of the time I won’t let myself run if it’s less… lame. I need to figure that out stat and get in the habit of doing a few short, easy runs a week… progressing to two 10K’s a week and a Sunday long run.

I’m really excited to work on my pace, cadence and speed. Last year I avoided hill training like the plague. This year I’m geared up for bridge repeats and challenging runs. The ‘flat as a pancake’ seawall will always be my fave, but in order to improve, I’ve gotta switch it up {solid advice from my aunt!}.

Lean mean running machine in 2013. That’s the plan!