All I Want for Christmas …


I am a girl of simple needs. Please members of my family wipe away the coffee that just shot out of your nose as you read that last line. It’s true, I really don’t NEED anything, I have my health, a great family, and a super running coach, an adorable dog and a best friend. I also have 6 bikes; I lost track of how many pairs of running shoes, and over 100 pairs of stilettos. I own a closet full of couture (that rarely gets taken out) and a vinyl collection that brings nerdy boys to their knees.

When my mom asked me for this years Christmas list, I was stumped. I mean really I’m 40ish. Making a Christmas list seems a little silly … sort of. To fill you in; previous years, my list always started with a breast enhancement. I even sent pictures. (true story). Since I’ve clocked over into my 40’s the family curse has set in. I no longer need the breast enlargement, I’m getting one every day for free! After that, I would generally ask for large ticket items, to make a mockery of the whole thing, knowing full well I wouldn’t get them, but secretly hoping I might!

I live in a small condo and clutter is a real struggle. It’s not a joke when I say I use my dishwasher for shoe storage. (true story) Even though I don’t have any room for it, would I like a purse that is actually a Kelly Moore boho camera bag? (thus encouraging me to take more pictures with my amazing DLSR), sure! Do I NEED it? Not really.

A girl who likes coffee, as much as I, seems only natural I might really need a Krups Burr coffee grinder. Since my latest #vetotheventi campaign, I will most likely be put on Starbucks “do not sell to” list, making my morning coffee a DIY project.

I don’t often wash my hair, but when I do, it needs to be blown out with a blow dryer. Mine is almost on the brink of death and yes it would be amazing if on Christmas day I had a brand new salon quality blow dryer. This is really just a suggestion.

Just seeing my nephews open their presents makes me so truly happy. Even though sometimes I open theirs up by accident! I definitely don’t need makeup but my favourite brand is Inglot and I prefer / LOVE getting the MAC gift set brushes they sell every holiday season or even the Beau Belle are amazing.

Since I already have a GoPro, it’s really not as fun to mess around with if you don’t have the latest and greatest accessories. I have a wand and some extra parts, but a good go pro portable mini tripod would be just so much handier. Again, I’m just saying, IF I was to make a list for my family.

You know, while we are on the topic of things I actually NEED. I did mention I have a pretty crazy vinyl collection. What’s a vinyl collection if you don’t have a pretty crazy project record player to match? Am I right?? It would look pretty cool next to my Joe Rogan Salt lick lamp my brother got me last year. (true story)


I actually own one!

The tradition of Christmas should really be about the true meaning of the holiday. For everyone that is something different, I get it. No matter what, in my family we believe no one should be alone, so if you’re a misfit with no place to go, my mom’s door is usually open. At the end of the day, however, the best part of Christmas is family, friends, all the kids and …. of course my stocking (please do not forget my orange!).

PS: Also as usual, last on my list and how I know Santa isn’t real! World Peace!

Merry Christmas

Wear Test Wednesday: Mizuno Breath Thermo


I’ve been using Breath Thermo winter running apparel and accessories for 10 years now. I’ve watched the evolution of this technology. I still own some of my original pieces because they are that good. Every year, the technology gets better making winter running a whole new experience.

What is Breath Thermo? It’s a fibre called Polyacrylate. This fibre exists in all Breath Thermo gear, just in various percentages. Since it’s actually part of the fabric, the heat generating function doesn’t disappear after a few uses. Like I said above, my tights from years ago still give off that warming technology.

The fabric works the second you starts to sweat. The moisture is absorbed into the fabric, and starts to immediately turn into heat. Depending on how Polyacrylate the fibre has will depend on how warm the piece will get. Since the moisture is being used to generate heat, the clothing doesn’t become dense with sweat. In fact while it’s keeping you warm, it’s also keeping you dry.

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The new line of Breath Thermo is the best I’ve seen since my time with Mizuno. Body mapping, lets the garments breath where you naturally store heat, but uses the heat generating power of the Breath Thermo technology where you most need it. This turns your layers into temperature regulating system from heat to toe. (Click here to watch a video about the technology)


Layering has never been easier with this new line. With better choices for lightweight base layers, you can just add to your base, and create the perfect blend of function and warmth for any winter run. This applies as well to the accessories. Breath Thermo gloves come in different weights, some with wind blocks and other without. If you get too hot under hats, then opt for the Breath Thermo headband ensuring your ears are protected from the wind and cold.

As a runner who has Raynaud’s,the Breath Thermo socks have solved my winter running problems. The heat generating technology keeps my toes toasty warm and reduce the symptoms of this extremely annoying problem that affects so many runners.


My favourite combination these days are my BT zip hoody top paired with a season must have Breath Thermo full-length light. For warmer days, I simply cover up with the Mizuno weightless Katara shell but for extra warmth I throw on the Breath Thermo shell. BT sock is an absolute must have, as well as my BT gloves. For the head, I switch between wearing the headband and the hat. Will always depend on if I’m running early in the morning or in the warmer part of the day.




Holiday Gift Guide: Part 1


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The Christmas countdown has begun. I love everything about Christmas, the cold air, the happy children who still believe in Santa, and spending time with my friends and family. However, Christmas shopping is the one thing that can ruin the whole season. It’s stressful, frantic and can induce the most bizarre moments of mall rage. I’m here to be your Christmas fairy and help you find the perfect gifts for the runner/swimmer/cyclist/skier/gym rat on your Christmas list.

M top five gifts the runner on your list will absolutely love to find under the tree.

  1. My favourite piece of gear I’ve had for many years now is my hydration pack. Made by Ultimate Hydration, the one I use is called the Ultra Vesta Jenny pack (Check out my review). Scott Jurek’s wife created the design and made some special modifications just for the ladies. It can hold a bladder or bottles or both depending on how far you run will be. There are so many pockets to keep your phone, nutrition and even extra gear. It’s rare that I’ll ever leave home without it.


    Ultra Vesta Jenny Pack

  2. Mizuno wave rider 19’s. The update to the wave rider 18 has just hit the market. As far as updates go, Wave Rider 29 does not disappoint. It’s got the same fit and feel, as it’s previous model, it’s just better. Updated stretch laces have made getting the perfect fit even easier. This is the most versatile, light weight trainer for the neutral runner on your list. 410736_2I73.png
  3. Any Polar device! I own the polar loop and the V800. I’ve used the M400 and I honestly love them all. The Polar devices are easy to use and all track your activity during the day. This allows the fitness fanatic on your list to easily reach their daily goals. The V800 is the Cadillac of all devices. This watch does it all (except cook dinner for you). Polar was one of the first companies to track heart rates and without a doubt this is the best feature of their devices. The M400 does not disappoint. A slightly dialed down version from the V800, with plenty of features to keep the swimmer, runner, cyclist and triathlete on your list beyond happy. And then there’s the Polar A360. A waterproof fitness tracker, with a wrist-based heart rate monitor system. Always know if you’re in the zone for any activity you are doing throughout the day. Some great features include smart watch features and a colour touch screen. So how do you choose? Know whom you’re buying the watch for and what their needs are. A fitness gym rat will love the new A360, not needing the full functionality of the GPS tracker. Your mutl-sport athlete will want to geek out to the V800, while someone planning to run his or her first marathon will enjoy the training assistance from the M400. Click here is my review of the V800!
  4. Looking for something not so pricey? Inspire the runner on your list with one of my favourite movies, Transcend. A Canadian feature film about the story of Wesley Korir, a runner who not only won the Boston marathon but continues to change the world we live in. For less than $25, this movie will provide years of inspiration over and over and over again.transcend.jpg
  5. Another piece of gear I can’t live without is my BUFFs. I have one for every season and every kind of run. They are the most versatile and simple things to have for a run. There is literally a Buff for everyone, their kid and their dog! Check out the Buff website to find the perfect Buff product for anyone on your Christmas list. Click her for my Buff review.Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 9.31.55 AM

Stay tuned, I’ll have more great gift ideas next week, to help you find the perfect gift for the sporty person on your list.




Motivation Monday: Forgive


There haven’t been many Motivation Monday posts coming from me these past few weeks. I’ve been spending time in a place of reflection. The last week or so my thoughts have been fixated on the word; Forgive. My younger self had many problems forgiving others, and most importantly forgiving myself. Having experienced more of life, seeing real pain and suffering, I find forgiveness comes easier. Anything else seems simply a waste of energy.

For the first time in my life, a person I cared for cheated on me. Not only was this person a friend but someone who was taking the uncertain journey of life with me. Regardless of what was going to happen, we were first and foremost friends. Why would I even bother to write this on my running blog? Only because these events have made me doubt a community I love so much. In my micro world of running, I somehow took a wrong turn.

As I learned of the indiscretion, it just got worse. It was two adults who made a conscious decision to hurt me for no good reason. There was nothing between them, except spite and anger and I got caught in the crossfire. When I heard the words and read the messages, nothing happened. I wasn’t angry. I was simply confused. Why? Why? and why me? Why would anyone want to hurt someone else in this way? Why would another woman, knowingly betray another woman? Why would a friend allow this to happen?

I was dumbfounded by the stupidity of these so-called “adults”, but still I wasn’t angry. I had this overwhelming need to just forgive. In a world, where people are fighting for their lives and will sacrifice everything and anything for a slice of happiness I was reminded of the inconsiderate and selfish people who live alongside all of us. I may not be the best human being on this planet, but I make a point everyday to do something kind for someone else. I make a point of not creating more cruelty in a world that already has enough.


Forgiveness is the healthiest thing I can do for myself. I’m not perfect, and I’ve made mistakes. I’ve screwed up and wanted to be forgiven. In some cases I was and in other cases I wasn’t. Having been on the other side of making mistakes, I know we’re all just humans. We can only work with what we have. Some are more capable than others; some are more emotionally evolved than others. Either way, forgiveness is the path to personal happiness. Hatred, and negative feelings only fester and turn you into someone you wouldn’t want to be. Hatred, envy and spite are the reasons I was betrayed.

I have only one wish for everyone. Be kind to each other, it’s actually much easier than finding the energy to be cruel. More importantly, women need to be kinder to each other. As women we’ve had our fair share of knockdowns. It was just 20 years ago women couldn’t run marathons! Women in many countries still don’t have half the rights men do. We need to support each, hold each other’s hands, and catch each other when we fall. If we can’t trust and depend on each other, then whom can we trust?



Get your Friends Addicted to Running


You run, but not everyone you know does. Do you have that certain someone you wish you could spend more time with, and you could if they would only take up running? Here’s a post you can share with them to help motivate them and even get them started in a healthy way.

  • To start any exercise program, you should see a doctor. Running won’t kill you, but if it’s been a while since you slipped into a pair of sneakers, you might want to get all your vitals checked. This is also a good to have a document of where you started so in 6 months time; the same tests can show you exactly how much you’ve improved.
  • Make sure you ease into a running routine for the first few weeks. This takes patience. Start with 20 minutes of moving time. You should go with a run/walk plan to start. Running 1 minute and walking for 4 minutes (walking at a moderately quick pace). Every other day, repeat this 20 minutes of moving time adding another minute of running and taking away a minute of walking. Before long you will be running for 5 minutes and walking for 1 minute.

Example program.
Week 1:
Monday: walk 5 mins, run 1 run, walk 4 mins, run 1, walk 4 mins, run 1, walk 5 mins.

Wednesday: Walk 5 mins, run 2, walk 3 mins, run 2, walk 3 mins run 2, and walk 5 mins
Friday: Walk 5 mins, run 3, walk 2 mins, run 3, walk 2 mins, walk 3, run 2 mins.

  • Running from scratch is probably harder than anything other exercise routine you’re going to do. I can honestly say I don’t wish it on anyone. However, we all have to start somewhere. Once you’ve reached 5 to 10 minutes of running with 1-minute walk breaks, you’ll be ready run continuous pending there aren’t any aches.
  • There’s an acronym you’ll need to familiarize yourself with. DOMS = delayed onset muscle soreness. This will happen over the first week. Trust me when I say, the muscle soreness will go away, and will only return when you attempt harder efforts over time. If you can make it past the first week of anything you have succeeded!
  • If after week one, you think this is something you might be into, I highly recommend you head straight for a running store. Buy yourself a brand new pair of running shoes. Having the correct shoes, with the right amount of cushion and support will make the routine of running that much more enjoyable.
  • Find a routine that suits you. Do you like running first thing in the morning, or after work? Whatever works best for your schedule is fine, but make sure to stick to a routine. I find, at the beginning stages, seeking out a group of runners at the same level of fitness as you will help keep your on track and accountable. If it was a friend or family member that got you signed up to start running, then they’ll most likely be able to suggest a good place to find a group.
  • A special side note for new runners; just because you decided to start running, doesn’t mean you have to. This also means you don’t have to run a marathon. Signing up for your first race can be exhilarating and a goal to keep you motivated. Then there are others who’ll simply find joy in the act of running. Once the running bug bites you, anything can happen, but don’t feel pressure to make huge leaps forward until you feel comfortable doing so.

If you have any particular questions about how to start running, what gear you might need or if you’re looking for guidance, feel free to leave a comment or email me your questions.

Good luck on your new journey and most importantly – HAVE FUN!


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The Longboat Road Runners, the team I train with year round.

Living with Anorexia

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Living with anorexia has been a lifelong battle for me. Normally this is not the kind of thing I would share openly. Recent events in my life have made me aware that maybe sharing will not only help one person, but also help me better understand myself.

Anorexia like any disease doesn’t care who you are. It doesn’t care if you’re female or male. It doesn’t care if you are fat or thin, or what colour you are. Once it has you, it won’t easily let you go. In fact, once you have it, you will have it for life.

How did I first meet Anorexia? I was very young, athletic, and thin but I was insecure. Anorexia and insecurity are best friends. As I became quite accomplished in running at a very young age, my body was also changing. I started to become a woman. My lean flat body, started to morph into curves. Boobs exploded where before there was nothing. Suddenly, for the first time, I felt what many women feel. Boys started looking at me differently. In fact they stopped looked at me, and started looking at my chest. I just wanted them to go away and go back to my boyish figure.

I had a unique case of how I was introduced to Anorexia. I really wasn’t much bothered by media, since I wasn’t much of a consumer of it. I was already rail thin and I hadn’t really thought there was anything wrong with me. It all started once I became more competitive with my running. It was often recommended to me by coaches, peers and people I looked up to, to accept anorexia as part of “this” life. In order to control and that’s a word that is very important when dealing with anorexia, but to control how my body was changing, I had to stop feeding it.

At the time it was easy, simple and made perfect sense. There were times it was full on anorexia and other times I dabbled in bulimia. The two diseases truly are not separate. As an adult looking back, how could I be the best person, best athlete even good academically? My life started to take a very dark turn. This a disease that affects everyone in your life. The darkest moment ever, was being caught with my finger down my throat by my brother.

You learn very quickly, how to use anorexia to control situations, mostly emotions that surround situations. Generally people under stress, use food to soothe them. As an anorexic, I used food to control everything, simply by removing it from the situation. That was how it was introduced into my life, so that has been how I carried it out for the rest of it. Remove the food, control your current situation (at the time, my body) and you will be rewarded. Twisted thinking of course, but that is why the disease is so horrifying. It takes control and slowly squeezes all rational thinking out of your head.

Fast forward to present day, and I’m still an anorexic. I don’t actively try to control my body, but I’m constantly in a battle to be mindful of making sure I eat. I have to eat everything to be the strongest runner I can be. Under stress, it’s too easy for me to unconsciously forget to eat. As ridiculous as that statement sounds, if you’ve ever looked anorexia in the face, you will understand the unconscious, forgetful pattern of not eating.

I’m healthier mentally and physically but the disease will always haunt me. If I lose weight from a heavy training load, immediately friends and family jump on me, and want to know IF I’ve been eating. Even when I’m being healthy I’m being watched, and I’m okay with that. Anorexics need to be surrounded by people who care and be accountable at all times.

I have to put boundaries around people who throw mindless words about weight and body image. Recently, I was told I don’t “look like a runner”. When I asked for clarification, he responded, because I had breasts, muscle tone and didn’t look frail like most runners. My head said, so I’m fat. My mouth said, “Imagine what I would look like if I didn’t run?” Instantly the whispers in my head started. Questions about how I’m supposed to look and maybe I would be faster if I looked more like a “runner”. The spiral can happen that quickly. The boundaries have to be clear to protect yourself from words that aren’t always meant to be hurtful.

Being a healthy anorexic is a full time commitment. Actively making good choices, instead of letting the disease make decisions for you. The first step for every young person out there is to love yourself inside and out and not let the disease infect you. Knowing how powerful it is, I know those words are easier to say. Keeping a journal, making lists, sticking to a routine will all help keep the disease at bay. Find healthier ways to being the person inside and outside, you want to be.

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Motivation Monday: Believe in your Training


Mentally all week I was hung up about the upcoming cross-country race I was going to do. It’s hard for me to love this sport but I know it’s good for me to do it. I had a cross-country race a few weeks back and things went extremely well. My last cross-country race last season went amazing. Naturally I concluded Sunday afternoon, it may have more to do with the location of the race more than the sport itself.


Photo credit: Ben Nelson

Sunnybrook Park holds many mental demons for me. I don’t feel nervous before the race, during the warm-up or even moments before the gun goes off. Going at a comfortable tempo pace, I felt like things were going to go well for me on this course. Then the HILL, the horrible hill where I always break. This is a 4km loop you do twice. So the horrible hill has to be climbed twice. My first climb was dreadful, and by the time I crested it, I was well into an asthma attack.


As I rounded the first lap, I had to ask my friend to make sure I had my inhaler for the finish. At this point in my race I wasn’t even sure I would actually finish. My legs were turning to lead (lack of oxygen), I couldn’t get my breathing under control and the wheels were quickly coming off. I kept making deals with myself that since this was not a race, more a training run, I could back off a bit and finish the race. I am not good at quitting, even when I probably should. As the horrible hill came closer for the second time, I knew it was going to hurt. And … it was hell.


By the time I finished the race, my whole face was numb and tingling, I’m pretty sure another 400-500 m more and I would’ve passed out. Like every single race I do in Sunnybrook Park, the annual post-race, full-blown asthma attack happened. Usually I go to a private place to have my ceremonial cough until I puke, but this time I had Ben beside me. Watching every unattractive moment of this ritual.

Then a light bulb went off, I realized this only happens here. I have asthma attacks from time to time after races or workouts, but the similarity of the attack seemed more than a coincidence. While I curled over, expunging my demons back into the park, I came to the conclusion, it’s probably 50% mental and 50% an allergic reaction to something naturally occurring in that park. Both anxiety and allergies would set off a violent asthma attack for me.

Deflated, literally and slightly disappointed, I knew that was all my body would allow, under the circumstances. I’m not going to let it bring me down this week. The message from the coach was uplifting and he knows I struggle with this course. He knows my training over the last two months has proven I’m much faster. Instead of beating myself up about something I can’t control, I’m choosing to believe. Trust and believe in my training and know in my heart, on any other course, I have a lot more to give. For the record, to date, I still hate cross-country.