Category Archives: Running

Running…again. And a Playlist

What is this? Three posts in three days? I can’t remember the last time that has happened. But this isn’t really a real post anyway, so don’t get too excited (I know you’re probably not).

After quite a long hiatus from gym things, ol’ Evers and I are back to running on the treadmill. I was running outside a couple days a week when we had Bolt in the summer (Bolt doesn’t love running but he would do it for max 5k), but I haven’t ran since he has been gone, and now it’s cold. Well actually, the current temperature is probably just a few degrees lower than my favourite outdoor running temperature, but the bigger hinderance is that it is dark when I get home from work. I don’t feel that I live in the safest neighbourhood for nighttime running. Not that I feel unsafe being outside after dark, and I do think my neighbourhood has a worse reputation than what it actually is, but still…there are some dark corners. I suppose I could run in the morning before work, but that seems a little adventurous.

So, back to the treadmill. I have mentioned this before, but we really have no excuse for not gymming it up, because this is literally a 5 second walk from the lobby of our condo:

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Use of the rec centre is included in our condo fees and it includes two cardio rooms, a weights room (with ancient equipment, but it’s huge and it has everything), and more recently (it was under reno’s), a pool!

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We haven’t gone in the pool since its reopening and I know, WHY NOT?! It’s free, what are we waiting for? How inviting does that look? The one time we tried to go it was closed because of swimming lessons and we haven’t yet gone back. We’ve been busy, and I know, #excuses. We need to make it happen.

But we’re starting with the treadmill to ease us back into the gym things. This isn’t the first time we’ve started running again, and it probably will not be the last time we start running again (but we can hope). HOPEFULLY we make it a habit once again, because I can’t even count the number of times I have written about this before and I don’t want to lose your interest. So all this to say, I need some treadmill motivation, and for that I turn to the one thing that doesn’t make me want to die while running on the treadmill: music. I have tried reading or watching TV shows, but it doesn’t work for me. I need music. I haven’t posted one of my playlists in quite a while (last one was in April), so it is time!

Clicking on any of the links below will take you to the song on YouTube. Also, I find most of my music through online alternative stations and most of my friends do not enjoy the kind of music that I tend to gravitate to, so if you also don’t love it, that is a-okay. You do what you feel.

Aviation High – Semi Precious Weapons
Black Soap – Ex Cops

I really like this song so I’m making it a highlight:

Cool Kid – The Eeries
Come To Light – Arkells – I cannot get enough of this song at the moment, I do love my Canadian tuneage!

Dangerous – Big Data (feat. Joywave) – another highlight
Fever – The Black Keys
Giants – Bear Hands
I Lived – OneRepublic (touching video also)
I Wanna Get Better – Bleachers
I’m Only Joking – KONGOS
Left Hand Free – alt-J
Little Games – The Colourist
Love Runs Out – OneRepublic
Paris – Magin Man
Pumpin Blood – NONONO
Riptide – Vance Joy
Shake It Off – Taylor Swift (don’t judge, it’s catchy and I like it. Obviously it is better set to aerobics from 1988 so that is what I linked to. Also, someone needs to bring back 1908s aerobic workouts, because I would need no motivation to participate in that cheesiness. I wish I still had my mom’s Jane Fonda videos…)

Stolen Dance – Milky Chance
Take Me To Church – Hozier
White Lies – Max Frost
The Wolves – JJ And The Pillars
We Are Done – The Madden Brothers

And a few others from my last couple playlists on there. Yes I know it’s long, but variety is the spice of life! If you like, you can find my previous playlists on my handy playlist page.

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Couch to 5k (again) and a Playlist

After three days of eating so much that I was holiday full (think Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, etc. – aka stuffing yourself silly), I woke up yesterday morning and my pants felt the snuggest they have felt in a long time. Like I am talking very snug. They’ve been a bit tight lately in general, as I haven’t been incredibly active (minus racquetball!) and I have just been eating with no regard to calories, but I haven’t given much thought to it (since the last time I wrote about this anyway).

But now it is getting dangerous. My pants are falling down and I need to keep adjusting, but not because they are too loose. That would be a nice problem to have, but no. They are falling down because my muffin top is pushing them away from my body. They are in danger of no longer fitting. If my pants are already not fitting and it’s not even Christmas yet (aka the season of eating), well then, we have a problem. I intend to fully embrace all the Christmas eating, which means I need to start being more active.

When I mentioned this to Evan, he agreed that his pants were also feeling quite snug lately, and was immediately on board with stepping up the level of activity around here. Excellent, because there is motivation in numbers. So I suggested we start a running regimen together. Evan has never ran before. Well obviously he has run in sports and things, but he has never run just to run. Just like me when I first started out. So, like me, we need to ease him into it so he doesn’t hate it. Enter Couch to 5k. The program I used when I wanted to start running.

So now it’s treadmill time. It is really convenient that we have a rec center attached to our condo building with a full cardio room. Last night was Couch to 5k Day 1. We will be doing this three times a week, and then who knows, maybe we’ll even go to 10k! But we are doing this and we’re not half-assing it. I am telling all of you so someone can hold our lazy asses accountable. Yes I can already pretty much run 5k without stopping, but I haven’t in a while and I’m very much out of practice. Plus I think it’s more fun to do things together, so I’ll be doing the entire program right along with him.

Since we’re going to be doing more mindless treadmill running (which, as you may know, I do not prefer), I need a good playlist to keep me into it! Here are the beats I have been loving lately:

A Light That Never Comes – Linkin Park with Steve Aoki
Do I Wanna Know – Arctic Monkeys
Let Her Go – Passenger (thank you to Liz at One Twenty Five for introducing me to this amazingness)
Love Will Save Your Soul – Grouplove
Mother – Said The Whale
Recovery – Frank Turner
Speeches – Walk Off The Earth (playlist highlight right here)

Stompa – Serena Ryder
Sweater Weather
– The Neighbourhood
Sweet Nothing – Calvin Harris feat. Florence Welch
Team – Lorde
Ways To Go – Grouplove
What I Wouldn’t Do – Serena Ryder

If you like those you should check out my playlists page.

And that is all for now, but I’ll keep you posted on how we’re doing!

The Time I Was Trapped in a Cemetery

Hey, did I ever tell you guys about the time I got trapped in a cemetery? Nope, because it was two nights ago.

I’ve been trying to keep up with the running thing lately, and one place I really enjoy running is the Mount Pleasant Cemetery. It’s beautiful, really well maintained, and there are 14km of paved trails in there. It’s a designated Natural Historic Site of Canada, and there are statues, fountains, botanical gardens, and the “forest of memories.” Some parts of it are truly stunning, and it is the final resting place of many well-known Canadians, including William Lyon Mackenzie King and the Eaton’s.

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Eaton family crypt

So running in there is very interesting. Nearly my entire family on my mom’s side is buried in there as well, including my grandma and her parents, and their parents.

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Mom, this picture is for you!

Which was a weird coincidence that I discovered after I started running in there.

Anyway, to access the cemetery you can enter from three pedestrian entrances, or six gates connected to Yonge St, Mount Pleasant, or Bayview. To keep the hooligans out at night, these are all closed and padlocked, and the rest of the cemetery is surrounded by a tall, steel fence. With spikes.

I have run in there many times over the past year, and during the summer they usually close the gates around 9pm.

On Monday I hit up the cemetery a bit after 8pm and all was going well running-wise. Well, besides being a sweaty mess because it was insanely hot. After about half an hour I passed one of the gates on the furthest side of the cemetery from where I entered and I noticed it was locked. I thought it was weird, but I don’t ever use that gate so I thought it may have been unpopular and closed early. I kept running to the gate that I was planning on exiting from, while noting that I hadn’t seen anyone in a while and that was odd because usually the cemetery is busy with walkers/runners and cyclists. That gate too was locked. I ran to the gate I came in from. Locked. Uh oh.

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“What am I gonna do?” – I am saying this to myself in the voice we use to talk to my friend Dawn’s dog.

This was not a good sign. As much as I love the cemetery, it was starting to get dark and I did not want to spend the night in there (um, ghosts?!). But I figured I would get out somehow. I didn’t start really worrying until I came across a young couple who told me that if all the gates were locked we were probably stuck in there.

Awesome. Around that time, an older man on a bike rode past and said he was going to go check out the main gate and report back. We (the couple and I) followed The Biker on foot, and by the time we got to the main gate (locked), he had already hopped the fence with his bike and was on the other side on the street.

The fence was steel and taller than me. I can barely do a pushup with my knees down, so pulling myself up and over it would have been an impossible task with my lack of upper body strength. However, there was a brick pillar on the main gate, and a spot for a foothold on that pillar halfway up the fence. The only problem was at that spot there were giant steel spikes (to prevent people from climbing).

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It looked like this

The Biker on the other side of the fence pointed to the spot on the fence beside the pillar and yelled “HERE! You have to climb here!” and I didn’t see another option, so I stepped onto the pillar and began to pull myself over the fence. And here is how that went:

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And then The Biker appeared in front of me.

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I protested.

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I actually said this.

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So, I did.

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I managed to not impale myself or fall on my face, and I made it down safely. I don’t even think The Biker hurt his back too badly.

This all happened on a very busy street, so by this point a few people had gathered around (one other guy actually grabbed my hands at the last second to help me down), so that was not embarrassing at all. The couple was still inside the cemetery watching the whole thing, and when they saw my awkward fence jump, they decided to turn around and find somewhere easier to climb out. Kind of wish I stayed and went with them.

So what do you say to the complete stranger whose head you just wrapped your sweaty legs around? I didn’t know.

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Seemed appropriate. And then I walked home.

And that is the story of the time I got trapped in a cemetery.

I Ran Yesterday. Someone Give Me a Medal.

Remember about a month ago I posted about how I wanted to start eating better and getting into working out again? I was really hoping that would motivate me to step up my game, but nope. Not really. My eating hasn’t really changed all that much, and aside from volleyball I haven’t been very active. Sometimes I feel like I’m daring my body to see how much weight I can gain.

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I have had a lot of moments where I felt really motivated to run, so I’m like “Tomorrow I’m gonna run!” and then tomorrow comes and that moment of motivation is gone and of course I don’t run. And then the cycle of not running continues. This is what I’ve been doing since January. But nothing is going to magically change over here unless I put in a conscious effort to change it, so yesterday at work I was all “That is IT. When I get home I am RUNNING.”

And then I got home and I talked myself out of running. I told myself I would start running on Monday. And then I realized I had absolutely no excuse not to run. It’s the only night all week where I’ve had nothing going on, it wasn’t raining, and it was perfect outdoor running conditions. It was sunny but not hot. And I know that when Monday comes around I’ll have some other lame “reason” why I shouldn’t run and I’ll keep procastinating and suddenly it will be another week and I still haven’t gone for a run. And if I keep putting it off until tomorrow maybe I’ll never run again and I’ll keep packing on the poundage and I’ll wake up one morning and I’ll be 700 pounds.

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But at least I’ll be able to do this.

Except I won’t know because I don’t weigh myself, but my pants won’t fit and I probably won’t even be able to get out of bed.

So with that thought, I eventually squeezed myself into my running garb and headed out the door.

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I have always said that the hardest part of your run is getting out there, but boy was I wrong about that. Turns out I can’t just magically pick up where I left off, and frankly my run sucked. I was really slow and I felt like I wanted to die most of the time. My fastest kilometre was my last and I did it under six minutes but I REALLY pushed myself and afterwards I thought I might actually pass out. I ended up doing 5k in about 35 minutes, which is about seven minutes slower than my best time and pretty much where I was when I first started running. So that’s depressing.

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However, I am not going to get discouraged. I got out there and got it done, and I know my body adjusts fairly easily, so if I keep doing it on a regular basis I’ll improve quickly. I’m hoping this kickstarts some motivation over here. I did feel great afterwards and proud of myself for doing it, so that’s a start.

I also have this really awesome trail near my apartment, and the running conditions there are tres bien.

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I really like it. It’s like a forest in the city!

Anyway, so that’s pretty much it. I ran for the first time in a while and it wasn’t great but I’m proud of myself. Maybe I’ll celebrate.

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I was hoping to magically wake up more svelte this morning, but I’ll keep you posted on that.

Have a great weekend!

Operation Motivation

So it is no secret that I have been eating horribly lately. It has been pretty well-documented on here. And by horribly I mean deliciously, but unhealthily. Very, very unhealthily.

This has mostly just been on the weekends. During the week I have been fairly good (minus last week, but it was Halloween and my best friend was here so I am giving myself a pass). I haven’t really blogged about any of my healthy eats though, because they haven’t been anything new or exciting, and writing about my oatmeal and salads doesn’t hold the same luster it once did for me.

Though you know I still love my oatmeal…

I still eat it for breakfast nearly every day.

Now, the eating wouldn’t be that big of a problem on its own, but I have also really been slacking on the workouts. I was pretty good all summer on the running front because I genuinely enjoy running outside in my neighbourhood. There are some good running areas, like the cemetery (I know, creepy, but I really like running through it), and there’s also an awesome trail behind my apartment. And sometimes I just run on the streets. It’s busy so the people-watching really holds my interest and makes me forget that I’m running sometimes (I only run on the street after dinner though, because if I do it around rush hour I am constantly dodging people in suits on their way to or from work).

So all summer I was pretty dedicated to the running thing, and I was running outside about three days a week. And then sometime around late August I started running only two days a week, which gradually became just one day a week. And there were a couple weeks in October (last week being one of them) that I didn’t run at all.

Also, and this is embarrassing, my gym is on the end of my street and I haven’t set foot in it since I switched my membership over when I moved. It is literally a two minute walk from my apartment and I have worked out there exactly once. I haven’t done BodyPump or any strength training really since June.

Both my personal life and my professional life were up in the air for a while, and I find when this happens and I don’t have a regular routine, I eat like crap and slack on being active. I completely lose my motivation.

Soo guess what’s happening. I am gaining weight. This is no surprise. Eating pizza and nachos and chocolate and candy will do that. I probably haven’t gained a ton, but it happens quickly. My pants are fitting a little more snug than usual and overall I just do not feel very svelte. I’m pretty lucky that I have a fairly decent metabolism, and I’m not as heavy as I probably should be considering the amount that I eat. But still, I need to put a stop to this.

So yesterday I decided that I needed to engage Operation Motivation. I am starting a new job today (I am so excited!!!!! More on that later!) so I will finally have a steady routine again, and I figure it is a good time to start up a regular workout regimen. And hopefully the healthier eating will follow. Probably still not on weekends though, let’s not get too crazy.

To kick-off Operation Motivation I was going to run outside, but sadly I think these days might be over…

It is freezing now, and I do not get down with winter running.

So you know what this means…GYM TIME! For the first time since I moved, I went to the gym. I ran 5k on the treadmill, and I would have hated every second of it…

But I have made an amazing (in my opinion) playlist that really excites me. I haven’t posted any of my playlists lately, but here it is in all its glory. You can click on any of the links to watch the song’s YouTube video.

Bohemian Like You – The Dandy Warhols
Burn It Down – Linkin Park
Feeling Good – The Sheepdogs
Heavy Ceiling – Said The Whale
Ho Hey – The Lumineers (thank you to my BFF for introducing me to this song, I love it quite a lot)
I Predict A Riot – Kaiser Chiefs
I Will Wait – Mumford & Sons
It’s Time – Imagine Dragons
Jump Into the Fog – The Wombats
Kill Your Heroes – AWOLNATION
Little Talks – Of Monsters And Men
Madness – Muse
Professional Griefers – Deadmau5 feat. Gerard Way
Radioactive – Imagine Dragons
Reunion – M83
Robots – Dan Mangan
Take A Walk – Passion Pit
Time Bomb – 311
Tongue Tied – Grouplove

I like to save the songs on my running playlist and listen to them only when I’m running, because I am excited to listen to them so then it makes me excited to run. It is tricky though, there are a few on there that I just want to listen to on repeat over and over again.

But yesterday it worked. I was excited to run. And I felt so smug and great afterwards. So hopefully I can keep it up. My plan is to aim for three days a week of cardio (so treadmill and possibly arc trainer), and one day of strength training. We’ll see how it goes.

Anyway, NEW JOB! I start today! I’m sure I’ll have more to say about it later, but I don’t think it could be more perfect for me. It is a Communications and Social Media Specialist for a marketing/events agency and I am just so, so excited about it. It’s full time, permanent, and it’s a 20 minute walk (or two subway stops) from my apartment. I have worked with this company in the past at my old job, and I have always felt that they foster a very creative environment in their office. I have wanted to work there for a long time, but they don’t usually hire externally. So yeah, just good things! This is why I really try not to worry about things, because I know, everything will work out. It just will. Though I definitely did go through a bit of a funk when I lost my job. I think it would have been impossible not to. I actually went out for lunch with all my old coworkers on Friday to celebrate my new gig. It was really great to see them, and I am so grateful that they are still supportive of me even though we are no longer working buddies. I will always have a special place in my heart for them.

I hope you guys had a great weekend! I definitely have some shenanigans that I need to write about…

Running Business

You may have noticed that I have not been posting very much about running lately (or maybe you haven’t noticed, and maybe you don’t care). Truthfully I got into a bit of a running funk over the Christmas holidays, which lasted until February. I was running maybe one day a week (which definitely isn’t terrible, but I was half-assing it most of the time), usually on the treadmill, because I am not sure I’m really a fan of winter running.

And you know how I feel about the treadmill

It is so hard for me to be motivated on the treadmill.

But I really want to run my first 10k in May, so I figured it was time to get pumped up. To help me out in the motivation department, I downloaded the Couch to 10k app for my iPhone and just started it about halfway through.

(I used Couch to 5k when I first started running, so I can already run that distance…though I basically feel like I have to start over every time I take a break from the running thing.)

So the app is good. I like to have a goal to work towards to keep me into it, and I like that it is easing me into the 10k (a distance I never thought I would be able to run, because I am not a natural runner, as you may remember).

Since I have downloaded the app, I have actually only had to run a few times on the treadmill, as it has been insanely gorgeous outside lately and the perfect condition for outdoor runs!

Seriously, what the hell is this?! I am not complaining, but is this still winter? What is going on? I would be afraid for our climate if I wasn’t so busy enjoying the beautiful weather. (Oh and yes, I use Celsius, because I am Canadian. That is high 60s/low 70s I guess for you cheeky Americans, and it is really rare that it would be this warm at this time of year here. And please note if we Canadians did actually live in igloos they would have melted and we would be homeless.)

I do really like the app, but I’ve noticed that sometimes it just jumps ahead. For example, it will tell me to run straight for 20 minutes, and then 15 minutes in it will tell me to walk for three minutes. And I am torn because I know the 20 minutes isn’t up, but it really would be nice to just walk early…so that demotivates me. Walk time already? Welllll alright, you twisted my arm…

It is “cheating” (myself, I am cheating myself), but it’s hard to resist.

At first I thought this was happening because I was closing the program and changing songs on my iTunes, or using my RunKeeper app simultaneously or something (so I can track my distance), but it does it even if I leave it open and don’t touch it. So I don’t know what is up with that, but I am not a fan.

Otherwise the app is good (but if anyone happens to use that app and has had that happen before, please let me know if there is a way to make it stop).

Oh yeah, and I did also see a typo in the program:

You goal? What is that?

At least it didn’t say “You’re goal”, or I probably would have deleted the app and boycotted the program.

So for the past few weeks I have been running about three days a week using the app, and then one day just 5k straight. I have actually been running so much that although running outside compared to the treadmill makes me feel like this:

I have still been getting bored of my residential route.

So on Wednesday I decided to try something different, and I drove to a path I know on Lake Ontario try out a new running route.

It was quite sexy. Definitely Instagram-able. I really wish I could just walk out my front door and that would be my scenery.

I will just say, going from running not much at all, to running a few times a week, I noticed an immediate change in my body. I felt better about myself almost instantly. I wish I could just bottle that feeling and open it up when I am in a workout funk, because I sometimes forget how good it feels to just move and do things. But it is so easy to succumb to lazinesss. I feel like you are sedentary for a few days and it just snowballs into no exercise for a week. It’s important to keep the momentum, so you can remember how good it feels!

And also, I have said it before and I will say it again, running is the only thing that I find keeps everything “in check” body-wise (snug pants-wise).

Anyway, that’s what has been up with me on the running front. And I have been working on a cartoon post about the worst day of my life (don’t worry, the worst day of my life is now funny and a good story) for a while now, and I hope to post it by next week. It’s taking a while, but I like to take my time on my silly drawings.

I hope you guys have an awesome Friday!