Fitness Events in Toronto – September 2016

Toronto has some absolutely amazing fitness events and classes happening  in the next few weeks.  I wish I could go to all of them but since I can’t I thought I would share with all of you to check out.




Get some friends to sign up with you and have a blast!

Famous Canadian Beer Run 

  • Sunday September 18th
  • Ontario Place
  • Run (or walk) 5k and then there’s a beer festival!
  • I’ll be there woohooo
  • For more information and to register check out their website

The Roll Out – Class Hosted by Tribe Fitness

  • Sunday September 18th
  • “This hour long class is full of stretching and self-myofascial release”
  • 5:45pm ***location change, visit FB page for new address
  • For more details check out their Facebook event

Catalyst Block Party – Hosted by Lululemon Toronto

  • Thursday September 22nd
  • “Come with your squad, ready to sweat, eat, sweat some more”
  • 7pm – 10:30pm
  • For more details check out their Facebook event

Oasis Zoo Run

  • Saturday September 24th
  • The 5k is sold out but there are a few spots left in the 10k
  • This is an awesome race that I have done quite a few times. It’s so fun to run or walk (lots of walkers) through the zoo. The medals and shirts are super cool.
  • For more details and registration check out their website.

Ladies Bootcamp – 2 FREE Trial Classes With Me!

  • Any Monday or Wednesday in September
  • Two class times (6:45pm or 7:50pm)
  • Email me to activate your trial pass or for more details


BONUS – October Event – MEC Race #7 

  • Sunday September 23rd
  • I always love MEC races because they are super inexpensive
  • 5k, 10k, 15k distances
  • For more details and registration check out their website

MEC beach pic


Humid Hill Drills

Brad is off of running right now. He’s dealing with some serious shin and calf issues and a somewhat solvable (my opinion, ha!) hip issue. Right now his half marathon plans aren’t looking too good but not completely ruled out yet. As for me, unfortunately I have a pesky abdominal strain that first appeared in June. I thought it was all healed up but with increasing my mileage and adding in a bunch of core work it seems to be back. And it’s angry.

Last night I went out for hills. When I was training for my first half marathon last year all I did was focus on the distance. Three days a week I would log kilometers with the longest run being on the weekend. I’m attempting to make this training cycle a little bit more focused. For my two weekday runs I’ve tried to throw in some track work, some new routes and yesterday was my first hill workout. I waited until after dark to get out there because the humidity was insane last night. This was a good idea for training but it meant I missed the finale of Bachelor in Paradise. Le sigh……….

Here’s what I did

  • 1.5 km run to the hill
  • 10 hill repeats
  • 1.5 km walk home
  • Total = 5.4 km

It was tough so I rewarded myself with some pecan pie.

pecan pie

The other issue I’ve been having is tummy troubles on the inside. I’m fairly certain it’s from all the does of Advil I’ve been taking in the last month for numerous dental procedures. To make matters worse, the tummy troubles started on Sunday and I haven’t exactly been taking them seriously. I haven’t changed my diet at all in the last few days even though I know how to make this better. The last two days I’ve had three coffees a day, not exactly the medicine for an upset stomach.

Since I couldn’t sleep last night I decided to make midnight oats to have for breakfast for the rest of the week. I’m trading in my morning yogurt for steel cut oats and walnuts. This morning I’ve traded in my coffee for kombucha and I’m planning on having some peppermint tea soon too.

midnight oats

Although I’m frustrated with my tummy and my abs I have to remember that no training cycle is perfect. My boss was asking me yesterday if I was happy with my training right now. I wanted to say no, as I’m one to focus on what’s not working but I remembered how incredibly challenging last year was. If I can do my first half marathon after a serious back injury, I can certainly deal with these (hopefully) small setbacks.

I’m armed with a bag of better food and drink options at work today and have emailed about seeing my physiotherapist.

In other news, my September bootcamp classes start tonight. The weather may have other ideas but that’s the plan. I’m crossing my fingers that it doesn’t storm before 9pm.




When Commitment Is Both Delightful And Miserable

Allow me to be a broken record – I am at my best when I’m signed up for a race. I need a date, I need to propel my efforts towards something specific. For years, I’ve stayed motivated with spring and summer fitness thanks to my race schedule. This last month was my time to refocus. With the wedding behind me I let running and Netflix occupy my non-working hours. A half marathon doesn’t train for itself am I right?

When I’m not training for anything I’m more than happy to let excuses deter me from working out. Like most of you, I’m busy as hell even without the wedding planning (omg NOT wedding planning is sooooo fun). Here’s a list of my excuses: day time job, personal training job, family commitments, social commitments, and the longest Netflix list of life. Like, really important stuff.

Before August started I scratched out my month’s running schedule. Nothing fancy, I just gets some scrap paper and write down each run as well as the weekly mileage. Once the weekly mileage is added up I adjust to make sure it’s both realistic and safe. Because I teach four bootcamp classes a week, I only run three times a week. In other seasons I’ve attempted four and five runs a week and as much as I wish I could commit to that type of training schedule, it just never seems to happen. With only three runs a week I know that I need to be committed. I can’t blow them off because I’m busy or unmotivated.

Here are the rules of my running schedule:

  • Run #1 must be done before the end of the day on Wednesday
  • Run #2 must be done before the end of the day on Friday
  • Long run (#3) must be done before the end of the day on Sunday

Sometimes my procrastination gets the better of me. For example, two weekends ago I had to come home on Friday and run 5km in the heat before showering and getting down to The Ex for beers and hanging out with friends. (When commitment is miserable). Sometimes, like this past weekend, I’m super smart and I get up and get my long run done before noon so that I can enjoy a long weekend BBQ. (When commitment is delightful).

Labour Day BBQ

For the first time ever, thanks to my Polar V800, I got to log in to Polar Flow and see all of my August training runs. Having some technology in my life is definitely helping my training. So how did I do with my commitment? I missed two runs. Just two and I have a pretty good reason (see how I didn’t use the word excuse there, haha). The last five weeks have been spent dealing with dental pain, finally ending up with a two part root canal procedure.


August almost felt like a warm up and September is really when I’m going to tune in to training. I’m moving forward with my three runs a week schedule which I think will be easier than August because I’m in the groove now. The next step is getting committed about my strength and range of motion exercises. Wish me luck!

What training commitments are you making for September? 


If All My Long Runs Could Be So King-like

Like every good UFC Fan I was at the bar last Saturday night watching the fights. And like every good married couple myself and Brad were sitting across from each other in silence and scrolling through social media. Thanks to all the cool Toronto people I follow on Instagram I was alerted to the hashtag #OpenStreetsTO. Annnnnd thanks to the WiFi at the bar I downloaded some maps, spoke to Brad, and we made a plan of attack for last Sunday’s long run.


From their website:

“Open Streets TO is the city’s largest free recreation program, unlike any other in Toronto or Canada. We’ve created a world-class program that connects our diverse neighbourhoods and people across the city.

Open Streets are programs where the streets are temporarily opened to people and closed to cars. People traffic replaces car traffic, and the streets become “paved parks” where people of all ages, abilities, and social, economic, and ethnic backgrounds can come out and improve their health.”

I was pretty darn excited to stumble upon this. All long runs from now until my half marathon will seem far less extravagant. I felt like a king … or I guess that would be like a queen in my case. I felt like a boss. And I felt so much pride seeing all the other Torontonians out there having a fantastic time.

The number one reason that this excited me is because we try to stay away from running on the sidewalk. That cement is just so tough on my joints. As often as I can I direct our training runs to the track, trails or asphalt. And c’mon, how often do you get the chance to run through the streets of Toronto and not have to pay for it via race fees?

open streets yonge street

Thanks to our matching pink hats, two of our friends even spotted us from behind while they were riding their bikes. We stopped to chat for a bit (long runs are slow and steady so no harm done, right). I’m convinced that Brad texted them to say “save me … we’re in the pink hats at Yonge and Bloor.”

I’m sharing all this fun Open Streets info with you because it’s happening AGAAAAAIINNNNNN! On Sunday September 18th a section of Yonge street and Bloor street will be closed down again for some healthy fun and recreation. Unfortunately we won’t be able to go because we’ll be at the Famous Canadian Beer Run that day (also a fun choice for anyone in/near Toronto).

Check it out next month and tell your friends because we had a blast. As for this weekend’s long run … I’ll be back on my usual path but dreaming of the wide open asphalt 😉

open streets bloor

Wanted: New and Used Adventures

I’m not sure if I mentioned it at all, but I got married in July. Ha … kidding, I know it’s been all over my social media feeds for the better part of the last year and is pretty much the reason I’ve been a little MIA on this blog. And to be more accurate, I got married TWICE. Wedding number one was at a country inn near our cottage. Check out some pics if you like :). Wedding number two was in Vegas! Being married is cool, and to answer everyone’s question – feels EXACTLY the same. Kinda what we expected after twelve years.


Wedding planning consumed so so so much of my time (throw in a few more SOs to make it truly realistic) and now we’re looking forward to getting our regular life back. I know that Brad would really like to get our life organized. We have banking and budgeting to do plus we need a major overhaul on our home office and each of our businesses need a tune up. But what I want to do is use all the time on new and used adventures.

One new adventure that I was dreaming of was running a full marathon this fall. My schedule got far too crunched, I’m still going through testing and treatment of that pesky lung issue, and my chiropractor + physiotherapist recommended that I maybe put that one on hold. Instead I’ll be pulling up a used adventure – the half marathon at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront race this fall. With last year’s back injury I didn’t get to give that half marathon a full effort in 2015. This year I’ll be looking for redemption and hoping to shave many minutes off of my time. A new addition to my half marathon is that Brad will be racing the same distance. We’re still playing around with our schedules and training. It’s pretty tough working two jobs and fitting in runs. We’ve done late night and early morning both due to my schedule and because of the intense humidity in Toronto these days.


We also hit up our favourite running trail near the cottage last weekend to get in a 5km run in the rain. I had almost forgotten what it was like to truly have to dedicate yourself to a training plan. Since we’re only running three days a week there’s really no room for missing runs. We had some friends up to the cottage with us and luckily they were up for some new adventures in trails. On Saturday we did a very hilly hike through some beautiful wooded areas.


On Sunday we did a very short but very spooky hike. We nicknamed it murder trail before we even got there and the spookiness did not disappoint. Just to enter the trail we had to go through what looked like a Blair Witch tree entry way. Also we may have left it a little too late in the day and were trying to beat the sunset. Oh and one more also, I was freaking out about bears. We saw a bunch of (according to Brad) majestic deer. Not sure what makes them majestic but there they were just metres from the trail. Definitely adventurous.

Aside from that I’m trying to catch up with all my friends and family who I’ve barely seen due to all the wedding planning.

I’d love to hear about your summer adventures . . .


What If I Don’t PR – #SweatBetter

If you recall I made a big huge proclamation of my running goals for this spring. In fact, my first 5k race of the season is ALSO my bridal shower. We’re going to start with a 5k and then move on to the traditional party portion of the shower. With my bridesmaids and friends as witnesses I wanted to show some serious speed with a new 5k PR that day.

The team at Sport Chek loved my goal and asked me what kind of gear would help me with my spring training. All I wanted in the whole wide world was a new Polar watch. Last year I used my Polar heart rate monitor, my Polar Loop, my interval timer and my phone to track all of my running and fitness adventures. When Sport Chek wanted to give me something to #SweatBetter I knew it was time to get something that combined all of my devices.

So stay with me in this story, it’s the end of March … I’ve been bragging about my bridal shower 5k goals, I have a brand new and super fancy watch … and then I get sick. If you’re up to date on my blog it wasn’t a cold, it was inflammation in my lungs that is taking a seriously long time to get over. You can imagine how disappointed I was when the days went by and I was on the sidelines.

In the last few weeks I’ve finally been able to put together some strong weeks of training and running. My spring training is not anything like I had planned, but I’m so delighted to be back. That 5k is coming up fast (May 29th) and even though last month was super rough, I’m still gunning for that PR. Do I think it will happen? Probably not, but I’m still going to run my little brains out. Here’s the most wonderful thing about having used my watch for the last month – looking back at my Polar diary. When I look back at my diary of the last month I can clearly see how each week I got better and better. Each week I ran faster. I ran more kilometres. I worked out harder. I logged more hours of training.

sweat better sport chek

If I don’t PR, then what? Then nothing, right! That’s the beauty of running. We don’t kill it at every race. Sometimes sweating better is about the journey, not the outcome. The great news is that I have this spiffy new tool for the next race, and the race after that. I have barely scratched the surface at everything this watch can do. If you’ve seen me in person in the last month you know that I am IN LOVE with my Polar V800. It’s already changed the way I train for short distances. I cannot wait to use it for long distance training … because who knows what this fall running season will bring. I’m not ready to commit, but I’ve got some ideas 😉


I am SO SO SO excited to race on May 29th at the Toronto Women’s Run. Let me know if you’re racing soon too (and where).

Disclosure:  This blog post is sponsored by Sport Chek. I received compensation in exchange for my participation in this campaign. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Back To The Track

I’d like to conduct a study to count the number of blog posts that are called “Back on Track” or some variation of that title. And I’m not just talking about my blog posts because I’m sure there are something like 3,042. I have been blogging for almost six years you know. In the whole universe it’s probably like a zillion, right? My long winded point is that for those of us who blog, and who don’t blog (the only two classifications of people that exist in my world), we’re always getting back on track. With something. Back on track with workouts, eating healthy, going to bed early, etc etc etc.

I’ve had this chat with a client recently, there will always be some setback, some hurdle. That’s life (I’m deep eh). So ya, this post is to announce that I am getting back on track … because I went to the track. I am desperately trying to stay positive as I fight my way back from the issue with my lungs. I had a pretty good week this week which indicates that I’m healing.

Here’s a list of things that went SO WELL this week:

  1. I went to book club last Tuesday. It was my first social outing in weeks! (Does anyone have a recommendation for a great book, it’s my turn to pick and I don’t have any books in mind.)
  2. I worked 5 days this week. Call me EXTREMELY grateful that I have a job that comes with a more than fair sick day allotment. It was really nice to be able to put in a full week at work.
  3. I had a cocktail and felt okay afterwards. We went to a tiki bar and I had this really delicious ginger beer cocktail.(I’ve been off caffeine and alcohol all month and I’ll admit I miss wine.)

ANDDDDDDDDD I went to the track! Last year the track became my happy place while I was coming back from my back injury. Even when I couldn’t run I would take Brad to the track and coach him from the sidelines. (He totally loved it, thanks for asking.)


It was beyond exciting to put my little purple sneakers on and do some laps on Saturday. I got to take my new Polar V800 watch and give it a good spin. There are so many features on this watch and I can’t wait to dig even deeper into how this will help my training. As usual, I employed my run-walk-run method to get out on the track for 20 minutes. There was no goal. I just wanted to go out and do a few intervals until my lungs started to feel it. At 20 minutes in I felt the first bit of tightness in the chest and decided to call it quits. Patience is of course a virtue and I’ll get my distance back soon.


Other cool things (because apparently I’m back to lifestyle blogging) that happened in the last week include a blogger dinner. WOOHOO! Jen flew to Toronto to run the Goodlife Marathon so Carmy put a dinner together for a bunch of us to hang out the night before the race. Running bloggers are pretty cool people ;).

Also, 1 week to my first race of the year and 2 months until my wedding. The end.

Bridal Bootcamp: Why Sweating For The Dress Is A Good Idea

Losing weight for a wedding dress is a top reason that women start a new workout program. The truth is, I’m currently trying to lose an inch for my own wedding dress. Wanting to lose weight for a dress can be both a great reason and a horrible reason to workout and change your diet. I have a handful of brides and bridesmaids as clients right now in my Toronto women’s bootcamp class.

shoes and weight loss

Here’s a list of the good, the bad, and the ugly part of sweating for the dress.


  • Putting all the emphasis on the dress and the way you look takes away from the true meaning of your wedding day.
  • Many brides resort to starving themselves or using other dangerous methods of weight loss.
  • Extreme weight loss methods can have long term effects on your health, no dress is worth that, not even your wedding dress.


  • Setting unrealistic weight loss goals may have you feeling stressed out as you get closer to the wedding but not closer to your goals. Wedding planning is stressful enough without the added pressure of weight loss.
  • Some fitness programs are extremely time consuming, even having you workout two times a day. Think about how that will factor in to what other wedding tasks you have to do leading up to the big day. (Or sleeping, I vote for sleeping.)
  • Fluctuating weight makes it harder for your dress fitting process. Talk to your seamstress or bridal boutique about weight loss and how that will factor in to the alterations for your dress.


  • The biggest trouble that myself and some of my clients have with weight loss is motivation. Having a specific date for your goal gives you better focus.
  • If your groom-to-be also has weight loss goals then you can work together and support each other.
  • Joining a workout program (like my bootcamp class) that has other brides / bridesmaids in the class can let you form a little wedding community. It has been really fun to hear about my clients’ wedding planning adventures.
  • Working out is a huge stress reliever. For me, this is the number one reason to plan and commit to a regular workout program.


Here’s the best way to realistically and safely work towards a weight loss goal:

  • Start now! It’s about to be May and if you’re getting married this summer then IT’S GO TIME!
  • Be realistic, safe weight loss is anywhere from 0.5-2lbs a week.
  • Consider tracking without the scale. Other options include taking photos of progress, measurements, or using a fitness test.
  • Join a regular workout program like a class. Commit to showing up to all scheduled workouts. (For example my bootcamp program has two classes a week plus recommended workouts for at home)
  • Try a 30 day challenge. I highly recommend checking out Yoga with Adriene.
  • When it comes to diet, do not skip meals, do not starve yourself. This is unsafe, it will make you miserable, and will actually sabotage your weight loss.
  • Keep a food journal for a week and see where you can cut out unnecessary calories. Most people can start with taking out junk food, booze or other calorie rich drinks like soda or lattes.
  • Focus on healthy meals that include lots of veggies and lean proteins.


PSSSSSTTT *Live in Toronto and want to get fit for your wedding? Email me about signing up for my women’s bootcamp classes



If You Can’t Run, Walk

I can’t run right now … again. It feels like this is a recurring theme in my life in the last year. But that’s kind of they way athletic training can go. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of uncertainties that are happening with my lungs right this second. What I do know, I don’t have pneumonia. I had my chest x-rayed last week and although it came back that I don’t have pneumonia, it did not come back clear.

Obviously I’m working with my doctor to try to get to the bottom of this and to try to heal my lungs. I’ll update y’all when I have an update. This puts a big fat damper in my spring training plans. I don’t know if dampers can be fat, but drama is necessary.

If there’s anything I learned from my HUUUGE (say it like Donald Trump) recovery effort last summer (post back injury) it’s that I will do what I can until I can do more. Over the last few weeks I’ve basically just been working and resting. Sleep is always the most important part of any recovery.

Thanks to some help from a puffer (or is it inhaler?) I’ve been getting a bit better. Yesterday I was able to go out for a long walk. We headed to my favourite trail, the same trail I spent every Saturday on last summer and fall. Walking that trail for the first time this year brought back memories of how awesome my running season turned out last year. It was a reminder that set backs happen, but come backs can be oh so sweet.

walk and jump 1

walk and jump 2

What’s my plan right now?

  • These lung issues may be a virus, so I’m working on rest, vitamin C, and lots of hydration. My doctor told me no alcohol (duhhhhh) and no coffee (wait, WTF?!?!!?)
  • Rest, ya I already said that but sleeping is my number one priority right now.
  • Do what I can, mostly walking for the time being.
  • Set up a strength based training plan. Unfortunately my ribs, abs and back have been in a whole lot of pain from all the coughing. I’m wanting to get them feeling better but also need to work on my core, hip and glute strength for this year’s running season.
  • Finding a treadmill. One of the things that taxes my lungs right now is cold air. I’m hoping as I transition into run-walk intervals that I can do so on a treadmill. I don’t have a gym membership right now and trying to find a place that I can use for a few weeks to a gym is proving tough. Does that exist (at a reasonable price) in Toronto?

PS – 4 weeks until my wedding dress fitting and 11 weeks until my wedding. Things are getting kinda crazy up in here!

21 Weeks Ago I Ran My First 21.1K Race

Twenty one weeks ago I ran my first half marathon. I truthfully can’t believe it’s been that long. Blogging has taken a back seat lately because I’ve had a ton happening in my life. It was a lot of personal stuff and a lot of non running or non fitness stuff. In the weeks since running my half marathon I’ve had two new jobs, two deaths in the family, got the flu super bad, and a had big flare up of my back injury. Plus, the clock is ticking down to my wedding this summer. As you can imagine, LIFE HAS BEEN CRAZY!

But HELLLOOO MARCH. Hello warmer temperatures. Hello daylight. Finally, this month, I’ve started to refocus on my own fitness. As a personal trainer I’m always thinking about workouts, but sometimes my own goals get thrown to the side. Three weeks ago I grabbed an intro pass to a nearby yoga studio and I’ve been practicing yoga a few times a week. Yoga is like, totally my jam right now. It has been the perfect blend of physical and spiritual practice.

Everything I do through the winter is also a build up to my running season. I’m a fair weather runner and I really enjoy my time off during the cold months. My fall trail running gave me some ankle and foot issues and yoga has been helping me get over them. I am a big champion of barefoot workouts and exercises that get you onto one foot at a time.

I haven’t been able to plan too much in the way of races for this season. Both Brad and I have been on a series of different short term work contracts and projects for well over a year. This uncertainty meant that we haven’t planned a honeymoon. With no set honeymoon, I had no idea when or what I would race after the wedding. Like any good running addict, I just signed up for races that were before the wedding.

Dreaming of my 2016 race season.

Dreaming of my 2016 race season.

Race #1: Toronto Women’s Series 5k – aka my bridal shower race

Date: Sunday May 29th

Goal: 26:26 or faster (my current 5k PR is 27:27)

I am not kidding my friends, my bridal shower is being coordinated with my first race of the season. The Toronto Women’s Runs are always so friendly and fun that I thought it would be a great idea to invite my friends to join me to run or walk 5k and then we’ll have my bridal shower. Not sure how many of them have signed up yet but I’m pumped. I really have to give it to my bridesmaids for agreeing to this 😉

Race #2: Toronto Waterfront 10k

Date: Saturday June 25th (you know, 6 days before my wedding)

Goal: Sub 58:00 (current PR is 59:58)

Brad and I are both signed up, plus Lily, one of my bridesmaids. This is my way of putting a deadline on Brad by saying “don’t you dare be leaving wedding shiz for the week before.” If you didn’t know yet, he’s designing our wedding and the man has big schemes and only a little bit of free time. I’m going to assume that Brad and I will both automatically PR this race because we’ve only raced 10k at the zoo. If you have never run the Toronto Zoo Run, it’s hills, hills, hills.

Other than that, we’ll see what the rest of the season brings.I do hope to hang out with my Mizuno team and my Burnbrae Farms team at a handful of events this year. And I do hope to be able to get back to regular blogging.

Oh one more thing … 8 weeks until my first dress fitting. That’s another super motivator to stick to my fitness!

Tell me, what goals do you have for this running season? 

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