Welcome!

Welcome to the life of a 6 foot tall runner living in Saskatchewan, Canada. This is where I document my adventures in food, fitness, and my life in general. My sarcasm hand is always raised and 90% of my iPhone photos are of my dog.

Feel free to email me runningtallblog@gmail.com. It makes my day when I hear from readers!

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*DISCLAIMER*

Although I am a Certified Personal Trainer, please consult your medical professional before making any fitness or nutrition changes. ALWAYS honour your body.

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Friday
Jul252014

Body Confidence & Protein Peanut Butter Cups {Recipe}

Before we get into it, let’s take a sneak peek at what’s coming at the end of this post:

Protein peanut butter cups. NOM.

First, let’s catch up:

Still riding that half marathon hopeful PR train! Mike and I crushed an 8 mile run this past weekend and I also had a small body confidence break through. My IG buds know this story already, but it bears repeating :) We planned our long run for Saturday afternoon not knowing it was going to be super hot (dumb move). Took about 2 miles for us to be like “YUP it’s definitely 30 degrees outside”. I was wearing capri leggings and a dark cotton t-shirt so not ideal running clothing for that situation. Mike finally had enough and went topless – scandalous! He kept telling me how amazing it felt and that I should do it too, but that insecure voice in my head wasn’t letting me go sports bra mode. This back and forth in my head (what if people see you? You’re not skinny enough to run in a sport bra! People will laugh at you) lasted until the 7th mile. I was super hot and Mike (knowing all about body issues I have) basically dared me to go the last mile in a sports bra. He said “if you had a daughter, what would she think of how you’re talking to yourself right now”. That did it. I proudly ran the last mile in nothing but my capris and sports bra and guess what...

NOTHING HAPPENED

We ran past people and I got zero judgey stares or comments. I know, imagine that. And it felt SO MUCH BETTER. I was way less heated and the breeze felt so amazing on my skin. Plus, at the end of that run I felt AMAZING about myself. I had just conquered a huge fear and goal of mine and it felt fantastic.

To some, this may be a weird exaggerated story of a run but to me, this was a HUGE step for my body confidence. I don’t talk about it much here on the blog because this just isn’t that type of space, but body confidence is something I’ve struggled with a lot in the past (and still do today) so I’m happy for any and all progress :)

Moving on to….

Protein Peanut Butter Cups

(Couldn’t think of a witty enough segue from that personal talk to delicious peanut butter cups so here’s a Segway)

Like I meantioned in this post, my friends at North Coast Naturals sent me a few of their products to test out. So far, I’m digging them and I decided to try a little kitchen experimentation. You guys haven’t had a recipe in a while and these are SO FREAKING GOOD I couldn’t keep it all to myself.

You could easily omit the protein powder from this recipe and make traditional peanut butter cups, but I find the protein powder version fills me up and satisfies me more than the traditional ones. Basically, it’s to stop myself from eating the whole batch in one sitting ;)

Yields 12 cups

Ingredients

¾ cup dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips

4 tbspn unmelted coconut oil (divided)

¼ cup + 2 tbspn all natural smooth peanut butter

1 scoop vanilla protein powder

 

1. Line a muffin tray with mini cupcake liners

2. Put the chocolate chips and 2 tbspn coconut oil in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds then stir until smooth.

3. Spoon a thin layer of the chocolate mixture into the cupcake liners. Place in freezer to harden for 10-15 minutes.

4. Mix the peanut butter and protein powder in a microwave safe bowl until combined. Add coconut oil and microwave for 30 seconds. Stir until smooth.

5. Once the chocolate layer is hardened, remove muffin tray from freezer and spoon 1 spoonful of peanut butter mixture into each liner. Place make in freezer for 5-10 minutes.

6. Once peanut butter layer is hardened, smooth the remaining chocolate mixture into each liner, covering the peanut butter layer. Place tray back in freezer for 10 more minutes.

7. Once the top layer is hard, enjoy! Store in freezer.

 

Let me know if you guys try these delicious bad boys. I always seem to have a batch in the freezer…..

 

Comment Questions:

How do you deal with negative self body talk?

 

See you guys next week!


Wednesday
Jul162014

Don't Neglect the Booty Work {Workout}

Let’s start this post off with some jams I can’t get out of my head:

Shower – Becky G

All About That Bass – Meghan Trainor (yay for body positive songs!)

Really Don’t Care – Demi Lovato

Wobble – V.I.C.

Helluva Night – Ludacris

 

Apparently I’m a 14 year old girl with gangsta roots.

 

Things Lately 

It’s been a while but I’m still up to the same thangs:

-taking selfies after runs

This was a particularly windy run and I foolishly forgot bobby pins and a headband.

-doing yoga challenges on instagram

In the socks and underwear aisle like a classy woman.

-taking Sadie Pants to the vet :( She has an infected nail bed and had an allergic reaction all in the same weekend.

Rocking the sock puppy look so she doesn’t lick her paw

She also gets doggy spa time. I have to soak her paw in an Epsom salt bath twice a day to help her infection. SO HIGH MAINTENANCE.

-golfing when I can

Brag time – I shot a 97 on this day! First time ever shooting under 100!

-getting amazing things in the mail!

My Bia watch finally came! I took it out for a run yesterday and loved it. So much better than holding my phone the entire time.

Booty Workout

It’s also been a while since I posted a workout! This one is an important one, especially for runners. I tend to neglect working my backside and it’s come back to bite me in the ass before (sorry for that unavoidable pun). A few year ago when I first started running, my right leg started to really hurt. I did all the normal things you do when you feel something wrong – stretching, being sure to warm up and cool down properly, foam roll, etc – but nothing worked. I finally went to go see a physio and he told me my glutes were really weak which was no bueno for the amount I was running.

You see, your glute muscles are kind of important for running! They hold your pelvis steady, help with hip extension, and stabilize the whole lower body kinetic movement of running. So when your glute muscles are weak, everything from the waist down is affected.  For me it resulted in aggravation of my IT band, but weak glutes can also lead to shinsplits and knee problems.

Ever since then, I try to incorporate what I call “booty work” into my strength routine, especially when I know I’m ramping up my running mileage. Lately, it’s been this workout that I’ve been doing every 2-3 days after my runs.

Examples of the exercises:

Donkey kick

Plank with single leg lift

Bridge raise

Squat with leg abduction

Weighted lunge

 

Remember to do a proper warm up and cool down!

 

For my runner friends – do you workout your glutes to help your running? If not, give it a shot! Trust me, IT band pains are no fun.

For my non-runner friends – this workout is for you too, not just the runners! Strengthen those glutes baby!

 

I’ll see you guys later this week!

OH PS: Check out this AMAHZING mug my sister got me as an engagement gift.

SO PERFECT. I love it.

Wednesday
Jul022014

What Day Is It?

Happy Monday Wednesday! Man that Tuesday stat holiday is really messing me up. I thought it was Sunday all day yesterday and kept thinking I had to wash the sheets, go get groceries, and all that other Sunday kind of stuff. Bright side – feels like a 3 day work week!

How did you spend your Canada Day? Did you at least wear red and white? Because I sure didn’t

I went to get dressed yesterday and realized I had NOTHING red or anything that said “Canada” on it. Some Canadian I am. So this was my “Canada Day” attire. Oh well.

We took in some of the local Canada Day activities:

Including watching a bunch of dudes pull a semi for Western Canada’s Strong Man competition. NBD.

We then tried to head to a new pub style place in town to watch the USA vs Belgium World Cup match but it was packed! I guess we thought that on Canada Day the last thing anyone would be doing would be watching the USA soccer game but I guess we were wrong! So we picked up some appetizers and headed to my parent’s house to watch it there. Personally, I was cheering for the Americans, partly because I’m half American but also because I actually really like this USA team. They play hard and they don’t seem cocky. It’s too bad their run ended yesterday but it’s so awesome that they went this far and took Belgium into overtime! Quite an accomplishment for the underdog team!

Other things that have been happening:

More yoga from Yoga Studio App. Even Sadie is digging it ;)

On the subject of yoga, I’ll be popping in to the #independenceARMy challenge hosted by @beachyogagirl, @laurasykora, and @kinoyoga all throughout July on Instagram.

I love these challenges because I really get to see any progress I’m making by comparing pictures and I get to self-check my position on some asanas. Since I do all at-home practices now, there’s no teacher to correct my poses if I’m off. Seeing the pictures of different poses allows me to double-check to make sure I’m doing them correctly and not setting myself up for injury.

There's suppose to be a 2 foot drop off to the water at the edge of the grass.....

It was raining like CRAZY here! We got over 100mm of rain Sunday and Monday and a ton of Saskatchewan communities are still in a state of emergency due to flooding. Thankfully our condo unit is on the 2nd floor and our roof didn’t leak, but Mike had to head out to his family’s cabin to bring the dock in and put up a makeshift barrier to stop the water from going up to the front door.

Water coming right up to the front steps of the cabin

It’s sunny now and is expected to be for a while so hopefully all of this water clears up soon.

I love my hunter boots, but I would rather be wearing shorts and flip flops in July....

 

Long runs are back! Mike and I crushed 6 miles last weekend around Wascana Lake (before all the rain happened and the paths were flooded with water). It felt great and I’m feeling confident about my long runs this training period. I usually dread long runs and look forward to the speed work days...maybe that will change this year!

(Probably not)

New additions to the supplements space aka the top of the fridge! North Coast Naturals reached out to me to see if I wanted to try any of their products. I always love supporting a Canadian company that provides organic health products so they sent me a few things to try out. Expect some recipes to be coming your way soon!

 

What did you do this weekend? I guess it’s the middle of the week so kind of a weird time to be asking but seriously, that Tuesday off has me all out of whack

 

I’ll see you guys later!

Wednesday
Jun252014

See Jane Tri 2014 (and See Dick Tri 2014!)

Another See Jane Tri is in the books!

And the first See Dick Tri is also on record!

Like last year, I loved this race and was even more impressed with the stuff they upgraded for this year’s events:

-yoga mat and buff in the women’s race pack

-backpack for the guys

-a lunch for all athletes and volunteers (no additional cost!) from my one true breakfast and lunch love, Fresh & Sweet!

-a longer bike route that only required 2 and ¼ laps instead of four

-a stretching area set up (sponsored by Lole)

-a local massage therapy school on site for post-race massages

-tons of photographers! More on that and my standard GORGEOUS race photos later

The only thing missing from the race this year – SUN! It was stormy, grey, cold, and raining but the sunny attitude of the athletes, race directors, and volunteers made up for the less than stellar weather ;)

My sister Megan all dressed for the gross weather. Thanks for volunteering Meg!

Let’s break my race down shall we?

Swim

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FINALLY A NICE RACE PHOTO OF ME....

I will 100% admit that I did NOT put forth a great effort into swim training this year. I would much rather run outside or do some weights then head downtown to the pool. Just being honest. We were required to submit our swim trial times a few weeks in advance and my trial time was 7:50. A full minute longer than last year. That’s to be expected since I didn’t put in the same amount of effort as last year, but I was so dumbfounded that it was THAT much of a difference! Mike wasn’t 100% confident that he had timed it right so he suggested that I submit a faster time since I was a little frustrated with being stuck behind slow people last year. I submitted 7:20 and someone out there must have sensed my hatred of single lane swimming because that time placed me as number 101 out of 200 – the first of the second group to swim aka NO ONE IN FRONT OF ME FOR THE WHOLE SWIM PORTION!

I’m now insanely convinced we timed my swim trial wrong because I ended up swimming 6:38 on race day without feeling any more fatigued or that I was going faster than I did when I did my trial! The stars aligned for this one!

After my glorious swim, I hopped out of the pool and headed to the transition area to begin dressing for my bike ride.

Official swim time – 6:38

Bike

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This race doesn’t separate out transition times so it’s lumped into the next event. I estimate that I spent 2-3 minutes toweling off and getting my bike clothes and shoes on. It’s still so hard to do when you’re wet – and I even went the non-spandex route this year and wore loose running shorts!

Okay, you’ve read a bit of my recap so here’s a BEAUTIFUL race picture so entertain you further

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SUCH DETERMINATION. SO MUCH DERP.

The bike ride was better this year than last, mainly because I had upped the amount of outdoor training rides from last year. I was familiar with changing gears and what my pedalling cadence should be and I felt like I was going faster than last year’s race. I still got passed a lot – especially because I was the first out of the pool as where the swimmers in the 1-100 group who were rated 1-10 and those girls were LEGIT – but I didn’t let it phase me and kept going at my pace.

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Cool shot of my Mizuno's!

Like I said earlier, the bike route was majorly improved this year! We only had to do 2 and ¼ laps around Wascana Lake and they had even closed off part of the major streets so we could pass and ride with each other comfortably.

My sister volunteered this year since they were in desperate need of last minute volunteers and she got assigned a spot on the bike route. She took it upon herself to act as unofficial Running Tall race photographer and snapped some pics to send to me and my parents (who were out of town and couldn’t come watch…sad face)

Official bike and T1 time – 31:07


Run

Transition from bike to run was way smoother than swim to bike. Only part I take a bit of extra time in T2 to do is to put my hair in a ponytail. I just cannot run with my hair down or in a low bun/pony. So high maintenance.

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Running is my wheelhouse out of the three tri events so I felt confident that if I had taken extra time in my swim or bike, I could make it up in the run.

I took off down the path to the running route and immediately was hit with a case of jelly legs. I will NEVER get used to the feeling of running after swimming and biking hard. It feels like you’re going in slow motion! After getting my bearings on lap 1 (of 3) I picked up the pace a bit and got into a groove.

Coming down the finishing stretch of the last lap I kicked it into high gear and sprinted to the end in a semi-sprint race with another girl. As you do at races ;)

Official run and T2 time – 18:24

Official race time – 56:08

45/163 overall

13/35 in my age group

I PR’d last year’s time by two minutes! I was so happy with my results and felt fantastic afterwards! Mike was there to give me a big hug since he was setting up his transition area. See Dick Tri started right after my race!

Not sure what was going through his head during his (first!) tri but he seemed to really enjoy his race!

Another thing, he is was better at being a race model than I am:

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souce

How I kept track of where Mike was in the pool - his massive back tattoo

Megan snapped a few pictures at her volunteer spot of Mike:

Hard to tell, but he's riding no hands....yeah, I’d say he had a good time

 

Mike’s official race time - 54:41

17/28 overall

Tied for 1st in his age group!

Talk about an awesome first tri!

I also took some video footage to document out tri!

I’m going to try and do more videos like this for you guys so make sure to subscribe to my channel so you know when I post!

 

Now it’s time to focus on my half marathon! Post on that coming up later to talk about my goals and training plans.

 

I’ll see you guys later!

Saturday
Jun212014

This is Today's Study Break

Hey, remember me? And this website? Cool thanks for sticking around!

I’m STILL extremely consumed with my spring kinesiology class, – my final is on Monday! – work, and life in general. I really want to put together more than just update posts for you guys but all my free time is spent studying, writing papers, or teaching Zumba slash maintaining somewhat of a regular fitness routine.

After a particularly hot (temperature wise) zumba classs.

It’s sad to say but I think blog updates will be pretty irregular this summer depending on the workload of my next class :( I have been debating switching to vlogs since they require less time to create legitimate topics! Of course, there will still be some random vlogs in there – you know me! Stay tuned…

 

And in the name of transparency, I’ve also been spending my free time watching as many World Cup matches as I can:

This won’t be a shock to those of you who follow me on twitter

I love soccer and was highly involved in the sport when we lived in BC so I always love watching World Cup! This year I’ve gotten Mike into it and he’s become a soccer fan! He even wants to pick a MLS team to follow. Go big or go home I guess!

On the fitness front…

Sub 9 minute miles!

I’ve been kicking ASS lately with my running! Having Mike come on the majority of my training runs with me has really helped me mentally. When I want to quit and take a walking break, he’s like I DON’T THINK SO and I dig deeper and keep going. I guarantee it’s this change to my running routine that’s made me have some of the fastest miles and short runs I’ve ever had.


We did the City of Regina Mayor’s 5K a few weekends ago and crushed it! It wasn’t chip timed so we won’t know for sure but based off of who was across the finish line and where we were in relation to others on the course, we’re pretty sure Mike came 3rd overall and I was 2nd woman overall. SO FREAKING MOTIVIATING to crush the QCM half. I usually finish mid-pack so being part of the first group to cross the finish line was so new and FUN for me!

Thanks GOD Mike has signed up for the half marathon so we can continue to train together during the long miles. That’s when my mental state tends to completely break down and I begin to bargain with myself to “just take a quick walking break” when physically I can keep pushing. I’m aiming for my best half marathon time to date and (fingers crossed) as close to a sub-2 hour finish time as I can!

I’m debating between two different training plans right now – Hal Higdon’s Intermediate plan and Runner’s World “Break 2:00 Half” plan. I’ll need to decide quick because the training plan needs to start Monday…the day after See Jane Tri.

That’s right, I’m doing See Jane Tri tomorrow! I loved this race last year and am really looking forward to it tomorrow. It’s such a fun and relaxed race environment where everyone is so encouraging. I’ve gotten two people involved this year – Mike will be doing the male version (See Dick Tri) and my sister is volunteering! That’s as close as I think I’ll ever get her to “participate” in a tri event with me so I’ll take it ;) The female tri starts first with the male tri immediately following. I’m going to hustle to get across the finish line under and hour so I can see as much of Mike’s inaugural tri race as I can! Plus, I want to match my race time last year which was ~58 minutes. I’m only human!

I’ll be sure to either to a vlog recap (I’m bringing my camera!) or a blog post next week recapping our tri….after my final of course. Priorities!

More fitness-y stuff…yoga has been saving my sanity lately.

I’ve always been content doing follow along yoga routines at home off of YouTube but really missed the structure and environment of an actual studio yoga class. Thanks to an amazing recommendation by a friend, I’ve found a fantastic app that provides the closest thing to a “real” yoga class that I’ve come across – Yoga Studio. They have ready-made classes at the beginner, intermediate, and advanced level that range from 20 minutes to an hour. You download whatever class you want to do (categories include relaxation, balance, strength, and combination among others) and BAM you have a follow along video with an (optional) voice over guiding you into each pose.

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You can also create your own custom classes and schedule classes in your calendar. There is also an extensive database of poses with written instructions on how to properly get into each one, a list of benefits as it relates to each pose, and modifications.

Plus, it’s $4! For everything! I’ve been using this app for my own at home practice almost daily and I’ve yet to find anything wrong with it. There’s even guided meditation classes. I mean, really, what more could you want?

Whenever I feel like I need a mental break from studying or just need to be active, I clear the living room and put a class up on the TV through our Apple TV (althought the picture never mirrors, only the voice….still trying to figure that out). It’s been wonderful.

More thangs...

Sadie looking super herp derp

The kennel she stayed at when we were in Palm Springs tries to take pictures of each dog that stays with them and uploads them to facebook. Here is Sadie’s moment of photogenic glory. I don’t think a career as a dog model is in her future…

I’ve been trying to keep up with my chosen June IG yoga challenge, #summerloveyoga but it’s been hard! Partly because I’ll come home after work, do something fitness-y, and then study/write papers or hang out with that guy I’m going to marry. By the time I think “hey I should do today’s pose” it’s late and I’m in bed. SO SORRY, SO OLD. Also, me + inversions = LOLOLOL I don't think so. Anyway, here’s one of my favorites from this month’s challenge:

Sadie pants loves the yoga mat and loves licking my face just as much. Yoga dog.

 

Okay, back to studying slash watching the Germany vs Ghana game out of the corner of my eye. I’ll check in with you guys here when I can, but if you want all the updates on the fly (including all the tri stuff that’s going down tomorrow) be sure to hang out with me on twitter and IG. Way more time efficient to write 140 character updates than 2000+ characters here ;)

 

I love you ALL and I’ll talk to you soon. THanks for sticking around during this rather busy time in my life!