Time Flies: Spring Catch Up

Well, that was a fun “break”, wasn’t it? I can’t believe it’s been almost 2 months since I posted any of my ramblings about running or life!

Trust me, it’s not like I haven’t been doing anything. I’ve been busy. I know we’re all busy, but really, the last 2 months got away from me. I had a really crazy school term that overwhelmed me a bit more than usual, but I put the work in and so far my marks look good. The bf and I also moved to a new apartment, which I am enjoying already even though I’m nowhere near unpacked. I do not recommend moving during a busy school term, but I’m definitely happy it’s done.

Have I been running? Of course! If you follow me on Twitter & Instagram, you’ll see that I’m still out there running lots… but not with a lot of focus. I haven’t done a race since Honolulu this past December (which I still need to write a recap about!), so I’ve been feeling a little lost with my goals lately. But, now that I’m in between school terms (start again early May), I am trying to get back on track and training for the Calgary Half Marathon at the end of May. Hoping for a PB at this one, so speed and tempo work has been the focus lately. Fun, right?!


I do not have a marathon picked yet for this year, which freaks me out a little bit. I have one in mind that I am strongly leaning towards, I just need some things to work out for it to happen. Either way, I’m excited about a few other races that I have lined up during the summer – the big one being Seawheeze!! I can’t wait to finally run this race and see Vancouver for the first time. Very excited!

Well, I only have a couple weeks off until my next school semester starts, so I’m trying my best to unpack the apartment, read a couple novels, focus on running, work (of course), blog once or twice, maybe re-brand this whole YogiCrystal thing (we’ll see), and maybe find time to relax in there… Here’s hoping I get a couple of these done!

How was the rest of your winter? Got any spring races on your calendar?

February Friday Funny

Say that blog post title 5 times fast…


Ok, down to business. Have you ever been called crazy for running? Have people rolled their eyes at you and basically called you insane because you do some kind of fitness activity?

I have. Multiple times.

And, sometimes I agree. But, that doesn’t make it better!

I guess it makes it funny though.

While I often think of myself as crazy during a “lovely” 30+ KM training run, I don’t need to hear you tell me I’m nuts. I think as runners, we already know we’re crazy. But, it’s a special kind of I’ve-got-goals-to-crush kind of crazy. And that’s pretty damn cool.

This goes for runners, cyclists, triathletes, swimmers, fitness freaks, whoever… because I’m betting you’ve been called crazy or nuts or silly for your endeavours at some point.

Despite possibly being seen as nuts, I think we should be proud of ourselves. It’s not east getting up early. It’s not easy working out in -30C (-22F)… in the snow… going up hill… well, you get the idea. So, there are times when we have to find the inspiration inside ourselves. We can’t listen to everyone that tells us we’re nuts… unless that shit motivates you. Then do what you gotta do.

My hope is that we’re inspiring at least 1 person who’s calling us nutty. Maybe they’ll be sitting at home and start to think “that Crystal is nuts, but maybe I’ll try a 15 min jog and see what all the fuss is about”. Hey, it could happen! That’s almost how I got started when I think about it.

Ok, that’s my February Friday Funny rant. Tell me what you think.

Stay nutty out there you fabulous fitness people! ๐Ÿ™‚

Found on Pinterest. Made me laugh. ;)

Found on Pinterest. Made me laugh. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Have you inspired someone who originally called you crazy for your fitness endeavours?

Saucony Peregrine ICE+ Review and Thoughts

Since I’ve become a bit more serious about running, I now spend more time doing training runs outside all year round. I also spend more time b*tching about it throughout the whole winter too… just ask my bf! So, when Saucony Canada sent me a pair of the Peregrine ICE+ I was beyond excited.

Saucony Peregrine ICE

All new & shiny!

Normally, I run through all different types of winter weather in my regular running shoes. Snow, slush, rain, sleet, wind, cold, whatever – I was using my regular running shoes and burning them out pretty quick. I don’t usually have a problem with cold feet, so this worked most of the time… except for when my feet got wet. Running in heavy rain and slush always caused me to get wet feet, but I just dealt with it and kept going. People thought I was crazy, but I often felt overwhelmed by the amount of trail and winter running shoe options that I just didn’t take the time to sit in a store and try them all on. So, I was pleasantly surprised when these shoes showed up in my mailbox. And, I actually didn’t try them right away because Calgary had a pretty mild winter right up to the middle of December, but since then winter has been crazy and I’ve been running in these shoes most of the time.

First, I’ll say that I love these shoes. I’m picky about shoes, so this was kind of a surprise. Second, I haven’t had cold or wet feet all winter yet, and I’ve been able to maintain close to my regular pace when running over snow and ice. Definitely happy about that! Last, I actually think they look pretty cool too. Not too flashy or dull, perfect look for winter and trail running.

Calgary Saucony Peregrine Ice

You can’t tell, but it was freezing cold this day!

Now, down to the nitty gritty info:


– Vibram ยฎ Arctic Grip in high contact areas of the sole – this has been awesome for reducing the amount of ice/snow slippage when I’m out running on local pathways and sidewalks, excellent traction.

– Flexshell-protected upper – keeping my feet warm and dry all winter (it’s water resistant!). I’ve run in slush, strong winds, and a snowstorm and my feet were the only part of my body that were warm!

– Women’s colour blue/black actually look pretty cool… see my pics ๐Ÿ˜‰

– Saucony EVERUN in the heel – more comfy for when I heel strike… don’t lie, we all do it!

– Apparently there’s a rock plate in these, which is great for trail runners. As a roadrunner, I haven’t taken these on the trails yet, but thought I would still point it out. Also, don’t really notice it as I find these shoes quite comfortable and flexible.


– Some might find the price point a little high for a pair of running/trail shoes, but after all the great runs I’ve experienced in these this winter, I’m thinking it’s worth it. Keep an eye out at your local running store for sales if you’re budget conscious and looking to grab a pair.

Specs from the Saucony site:

– Pronation : neutral
– Cushion : responsive
– Type : trail
– Surface : ice, trail, grass (I’ve run with these on grass, love it!)
– Water resistant : yes (but not classified as waterproof)
– Offset / “drop” : 4mm
– Heel stack height : 21.55mm
– Forefoot stack height : 17.55mm
– Weight 8.5oz / 241g.

Saucony Peregrine Ice snow

Do you have a favourite shoe for winter running? Have you tried these yet?ย 


Disclaimer: Saucony Canada sent me these shoes, but did not ask me to write a review or anything like that. I just wanted to share with you how much I’ve enjoyed these shoes throughout many different winter conditions. You can check out where else I’ve taken these shoes on my Instagram. ๐Ÿ™‚ย 

New Year Goals – How you doing?

Well, we’re one month into 2017 and I’m wondering how your goals/resolutions/intentions are coming along?

If you’ve popped by this blog recently, you probably noticed that I only set some intentions for the year last week. I’m still working on my race schedule, but so far I’m just trying my best to keep it together for the first month of 2017.

Often it seems like this is a tough time of year for some people. Winter blues are kicking in, maybe some goals haven’t been started, or we could be putting too much pressure on ourselves so this is causing stress or anxiety. Trust me, I’ve been feeling this a little bit myself lately. I know it’s not easy, but maybe this is a good time to re-visit the goals we set to see if they can be adjusted to suit our needs and wants more. Maybe they need to be a little more realistic, or broken down into more manageable pieces. Whatever it takes, I’d say now is a good time to start this process.

The important part here is that you don’t give up on those goals! Keep moving forward.

If you’re reading this and thinking “Crystal, you’re crazy, why are you checkin’ in on me?“, that’s ok. ๐Ÿ˜‰ There’s totally another reason why I’m harassing you about your goals/intentions/resolutions: I’m offering a fun little giveaway over on Instagram!!

Momentum Jewelry 2017

Head on over to my Instagram to enter!

If you’re finding yourself in need of a little motivation and inspiration, then my Momentum Jewelry giveaway is for you! Head on over to my Instagram for all the details and how to enter! ๐Ÿ™‚

Are you sticking to your goals so far? Are there any you can adjust so that they are more attainable?

11 Winter Running Tips to Get Your Butt Out the Door

I don’t know about where you live, but right now we’re in the depths of winter in Calgary. It’s cold, there’s snow everywhere, and there isn’t much daylight. Regular activity can be tough during these times, so imagine what it takes to get outside running.

A lot of people ask me how I do it. How do I get out there when it’s frigid cold or snow storming? Most of the time, I’m not really sure. Part of me thinks I’m crazy, but I also know that I love running and I’m dedicated to staying fit or training no matter what the weather is like. So, I thought I would put together some tips about how I maintain my winter training when the weather gets tough or the winter blues hit. Hopefully these will help someone to get out the door to run, walk, cycle, etc too.

Winter Run Jump

Having fun on a wintery day!

11 Tips to Get Your Butt Out the Door for Winter Training

Have a spring/early summer goal. It really helps when I have a race goal for April or May to keep me going through the winter. I know that I need to stay dedicated to my training if I want to do well in a spring race.

Run with friends or groups. I find this tough with scheduling and would like to run with groups more, but when we’re in the depths of winter I find it helpful to “suffer” with others for runs. Find a local group or encourage your runner friends to go out with you. Makes it so much easier when you have that support and you can also laugh at how ridiculous it seems to run in -20C (-4F) weather. ๐Ÿ™‚

Get awesome winter run gear. Yes, I realize we’re all probably on tight budgets, but you can search local shops or online for great deals on winter run gear. It really helps me get my butt out the door when I know that I have good gear that will keep me warm and toasty. On Boxing Day I found an awesome deal on a Lululemon run jacket that I just love now & then I also sold some stuff that I’m not using anymore and put that money towards a new neck gator and run mittens. It also helps when I get things in fun colours – need the brightness when the city is covered in snow.

Have a support crew. This can be your friends, family, significant other, or online crew. Ask them for some support or motivation when you’re feeling low. Occasionally scanning social media causes me to be envious of others, but it also inspires me to get my butt out the door when I see people being active outdoors in even colder weather. You may need to block all those people who live in hot locations though… hahah.

Have a mantra. Is there a certain mantra or quote that inspires you? Something you repeat to yourself when training gets tough? Well, keep that quote close to you. Put it in your journal. Put it on a post-it on your bathroom mirror. Or, wear it – such as my favourite mantra on my Momentum Jewelry Motivate Wrap. I often repeat “Earned, Not Given” to myself during training and during runs to keep me going. It’s surprisingly helpful!

Have hot coffee/tea ready for when you finish your run. Seriously, somehow coffee tastes better after a long, cold run. It’s magic.

Go easy on yourself and your pace. This one has been hard for me, but honestly you can’t try to do speed work in a few inches of snow. That’s risky. Just take it easy when you go out there and enjoy the fun of it all. Running in a snowstorm is a little silly, but if you take your time and don’t worry about pace it feels like you’re re-visiting your childhood and playing in the snow. I did this on Christmas Eve and it was so much fun!

Remember you still have to hydrate. This is important. You may not be sweating as much, but you still have to carry water or Nuun on your long winter runs.

YogiCrystal winter running 2017

Do I look cold? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Change up your route if you can. Try to make notes about which routes are cleared more often or are bright and appear safe. Also, be ok if you have to alter routes a little bit. During the Christmas Eve snowstorm, I literally did circle laps around a few blocks of my neighbourhood because the snow was slightly cleared and I knew it would be a little safer that way. Boring? Maybe. But, I felt better about keeping it safe and closer to home.

Don’t hate the treadmill. If the weather is completely insane, just be safe and go to the treadmill or indoor track. I am not a fan of the treadmill at all, but I also realize that when it’s -30C (-22F) or ice-storming outside, it’s better to take my workout inside. Try to have good music or Netflix for long treadmills runs to keep you interested. Or whatever helps you pass the time on the treadmill.

Have fun. Maybe the most important tip! Just try to have fun. I suffer from the winter blues every year, so this is a tough one for me but also important to focus on. When I’m feeling down, I put on my 4 layers and get outside and just try to make the runs fun. This way I cheer up while I’m out there and then I can tackle the rest of my day.

What (or who) helps you to keep going during the winter months?

2016 Musings and Review

If you’ve been following along my blogging and social media journey, you know that my 2015 closed out with some major life challenges. At the time, I didn’t place a lot of hope on to 2016 purely because I wasn’t in the best state mentally. I decided to try not to put too much pressure on myself and to keep trudging on until I worked through some things. I did what I thought was my best to get through the tough times with a focus on the positive aspects starting 2016 – such as my planned trip to California for my second Star Wars Half Marathon at Disneyland. Honestly, that trip at the start of the year may have been the biggest thing to pull me through the tough times and the winter blues. After January, 2016 still proved to be a challenging year, but there were definitely some positive aspects that I’m hoping to reflect on now.

Manoa Falls 2016

Pondering life at Manoa Falls ๐Ÿ™‚

The rest of winter was mostly mild, so I was able to keep up my running training early 2016 in preparation for my first marathon in May. I ran the Run for L’Arche 21.1K pretty well, followed by the fun Eyeball the Wall 30K. Enjoyed the atmosphere and location of this race – plus, it’s budget conscious and you still get a cool medal!

Once the 30K was done I got locked in for the final weeks of training for the Calgary Marathon. Let me tell you, this wasn’t easy. You might remember my posts on Instagram leading up to the race – both victories and challenges all shared there during training. Overall, the race was an awesome experience and I had a great time, while also learning some things about myself. ย I did not achieve my time goal, but there were some good takeaways from that race. After the marathon, I took it a little easy and tried biking more in the summer which was refreshingly fun. Did some challenging rides with the boyfriend, which boosted my spirits and got me back & focused on running/training for my second marathon – Honolulu!

In the summer I was also very lucky to have a friend join me on my birthday for a fun run just outside of the city – the Millerville 8 Miler. I miss the fun of running with others (Nike 15K in 2015 being one of my fave memories), so I was extremely grateful that Kim joined me. Great atmosphere, fun crowds, and even cinnamon buns on the route for the brave people! In June I also had a quick trip to Toronto for a friend’s wedding and saw some of those runner friends I missed. Great times and I hope to go back soon.

In August, I popped out to Halifax to visit home for a quick trip. I hadn’t been home in the summer since I moved away and it was so lovely. Actually, compared to Calgary, it was hot! And, I loved it! Calgary had a mild winter and a milder summer, so escaping to Halifax for summer and family time was nice.

The start of fall brought on some major changes. I started the first semester of my Masters program and training for the Honolulu Marathon. University and marathon training you ask? Yes, why not! This brought on some new challenges, mostly with time management but I feel I did pretty well. I still have to complete my marathon recap blog post, but the semester did go quite well despite some stress… err, lots of stress. ๐Ÿ™‚

December was quite busy with work, finishing up the semester, and travelling to Honolulu for the big race. Somehow I got through it all still smiling and here we are on the first day of 2017 ready to rock with new goals and a new focus. I don’t have my race calendar complete yet, but this year I’m hoping to work on getting faster as a build towards my long term goal of qualifying for Boston. Lots of work to do, but I’m going to give it my best shot.ย 

Overall, 2016 was a steady year with the usual ups & downs, but I did my best to stay focused on the goals in front of me. That’s all we can do in time like these, right?

YogiCrystal New Year

Happy New Year!

2016 Quick Rundown:

– Star Wars Half – California – 1 quick day in San Francisco

– Run for L’Arche 21.1K

– Eyeball the Wall 30K

– Calgary Marathon – first marathon!

– Trip to Toronto

– Millerville 8 Miler on my birthday

– Trip to Halifax

– Dino Dash 10 K – got a PB!!

– Started Masters degree

– Harvest Half 21.1K – DNS, terrible weather, didn’t want to risk getting sick

– Honolulu Marathon – second marathon, got a PB!

– Second year travelling to the Atlantic & Pacific oceans! (Miss the ocean everyday)

– Total KMs ran = 1538 (416 KM more than in 2015!)

How was your 2016? Any big takeaways?

Honolulu Marathon Final Training Week

Yes, this is post is delayed. Thank you for noticing. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I can’t believe the big day has come and gone – how time flies! I couldn’t really bring myself to stop & sit down to write a post while in Honolulu, so here I am now trying to play catch up. I admire bloggers who can sit and write on the go, but that’s not always the case for me. I’m old school… I like to sit at a computer and write, see the whole picture kind of thing. ย When I do posts on my phone, I miss a major typo or something. How embarrassing!

Diamond Head Honolulu 2016

The view from Diamond Head is outstanding!

Here’s how my final week of training went:

Monday – rest day

Tuesday – run : 35 mins on the treadmill (it was -29C/-20F outside!)

Wednesday – most of the day spent in airports and on planes travelling to Honolulu! Does airport walking count as cross-training?

Thursday – run : 3.5 KM up to Diamond Head trail, hiked up & down. Also, visited race expo (so, A LOT of walking).

Friday – run : 3 KM easy, it was hot! (for me, since I left wintery Calgary) + lots of walking

Saturday – rest/walking – tried to take it easy because my legs were a little sore from all the walking and touring around. Maybe not my smartest move, but I wanted to see the sights! Took an Epsom salt bath in the evening and went to bed EARLY.

Sunday – RACE DAY!!! And of course, details will come in a future post. ๐Ÿ™‚

Total KMs = 54.57

Honolulu Marathon Trolley 2016

I’m on a trolley! Going to the expo! ๐Ÿ˜€

There you have it. The last few days leading up to the marathon. I was glad to get the 2 short runs done, so that I could experience the Honolulu temperatures before the marathon. All the extra hiking and walking may not have helped my case, but you know how it is when you’re in a new place. You want to see all the things. This was seriously a very exciting time for me as I was never really sure if I would visit Hawaii in my life. Now I am glad that I did and I’d love to go again sometime! I only saw around Honolulu and it’s beautiful! Also, I found the people to be quite friendly and of course it’s nice being by the beach.

I’m sure I’ll have lots more to say once I process all my thoughts. Keep your eyes out here for the upcoming Honolulu Marathon race recap!! (Hopefully sooner than later haha)

Do you like to take it easy before the big day on a race-cation? Or, do you see all the things and deal with any consequences later?

Honolulu Marathon Training Week 17

Not a lot to say about this past week, except WOOHOO TAPER TIME!!!


I actually enjoyed this past training week and maybe took it a little too easy. I blame all the papers and assignments I have to write. Seriously, right now I should be writing… well, I am, but I mean writing other stuff. Scholarly stuff.

Can you tell I’m freaking out about the end of the term and the marathon being only 1.5 weeks away?!

Also, we received our bib numbers yesterday!! So, this is getting real.

YogiCrystal Nov Run

Happy for sun!

Here’s how week 17 went:

Monday – rest day / got a pre-race massage

Tuesday – run : 45 mins – 6 x 1 min strides, weather is getting cold!

Wednesday – rest / school work day

Thursday – run : 45 mins – Fartlek run, good pace

Friday – worked Black Friday, so no running

Saturday – worked all day, super exhausted

Sunday – run : 1 hour, 45 mins long run – good pace, felt good, really nice morning. Pretty happy with this run overall and feeling ready for the marathon!

Total KMs for the week: 34.3

Total KMs for November: 162.7

As you can see, it was a pretty easy week. I probably should have done another run or cross training workout, but full days of busy work on Fri & Sat really took a lot out of me. Also, felt good to get a pre-race, taper-time massage – getting these legs ready for the big day!

So far the taper is going well… I think. No going crazy or wishing I was running more, but this might be because of all the school work I have to do. Just doing my best to take it easy, get work done, and find time to plan my trip. One thing I do notice though, is that I’m hungry hungry hungry. Running less, but still hungry? Is this normal? ๐Ÿ™‚

Do you enjoy taper time or find you go crazy?

Honolulu Marathon Training Week 16

Only 17 days till the Honolulu Marathon!!

And, it’s now TAPER TIME!! ๐Ÿ˜€

You can probably tell that I am excited. There’s still so much to do and plan, but at least the heavy parts of training are now complete. It’s been an interesting journey so far, so I probably can’t qualify in the proper words how excited I am for this trip and this race. If you’ve been following along, you’ve seen lots of ups and downs in my training, but overall I have no major complaints.

yogicrystal runner

Goofing around in the park after a long run!

Here’s how week 16 went:

Monday – run : 31 KM long run that I posted as part of week 15 training

Tuesday – rest day

Wednesday – run : 35 mins treadmill – seriously felt like I was going faster than I was. Does this ever happen to you?!

Thursday – rest / work

Friday – run : 45 mins – tempo, maintained a good pace for the whole run!

Saturday – rest / work

Sunday – run : 21.1 KM long run – made a huge decision for this week’s long run that involved reducing the distance. I stressed about it all week, but eventually I had to decide what was best for my mind & body at this time. Between running, work, and school I have been feeling a bit run down, so I knew that I needed to make this change for me. I was supposed to run a 34 KM long run, but changed this up to a half marathon at a slightly better pace. It was difficult because it was cold, but I got it done and that’s what matters. Honestly, probably the best decision for my training week, but not sure how it will translate to race day.

Total KMs = 34.69

I honestly have to send a big shoutout & huge THANK YOU to Saucony Canada for sending me some awesome shoes to test out this winter. I’m all set up and can’t wait to show you guys these wicked shoes. One pair I currently wear – Ride 9 – but this edition is the Reflex Series, which is super reflective. Hopefully soon I will get a good night pic to show you how cool these are! The second pair is the Peregrine ICE+ and these light trail shoes have Vibram Arctic Grip, which helps with traction over icy areas. They’re also water resistant, so while I am excited to try these out, I am in no rush for harsh winter conditions yet! ๐Ÿ™‚

saucony canada yogicrystal

Yay for shoes!

What’s the longest distance you’ll run for marathon training? Have you ever made the big decision to cut it short?

Honolulu Marathon Training Week 15

Another week has flown by! And, it just occurred to me that at this time in 3 weeks I will be on a plane headed for Honolulu…

… Cue freak out in 3… 2… 1…ย 

All kidding aside, I am super excited but also a bit overwhelmed with what I have to get done over the next 3 weeks. I’m not sure what caused me to think that it would be ok to start my first semester of my master’s, while also working, and training for a marathon. I must have been temporarily insane… Or, just very motivated. Either way, here I am and the big day is getting closer and closer! I have 4 papers to write, so I better get to this week’s recap fast! ๐Ÿ™‚

YogiCrystal Long Run 2016

Seriously matchy matchy here!

Monday – rest day

Tuesday – run : 60 mins – 10 min warm up, 6 x 1 KM tempo, 2 min recovery, 10 min cool down (Ran in a t-shirt & shorts!! Yes, I have to document the fact that I was able to wear a t-shirt & shorts in Calgary in November!)

Wednesday – rest / work

Thursday – run : 30 mins – easy pace

Friday – run : 45 mins – 6 x 1 min hill bursts, 1 min recovery

Saturday – rest day / work

Sunday – work – had to move long run to Monday

Monday – run : 31 KM long run – I hadn’t struggled too much on a long run in awhile, so I was due. This run was certainly challenging and I’m not totally sure why. The weather was nice and I was only a little bit nervous, so I can’t put the blame there. For the first 60 mins I listened to comedy, which was a nice change but somewhat difficult to maintain a good pace. Sometimes I almost tripped over myself when laughing too hard. I may not do this again, but it was good to try something new. Overall, my pace just wasn’t where I wanted to be, but damn am I proud of myself for getting all the KMs of this one done!

Total KMs = 54.06

Some of you may know that I’ve been an Ambassador for Momentum Jewelry, so I am happy to announce that I am on board for another year! I’m incredibly pumped about this opportunity because I love their motivational jewelry so much. You have no idea how many times it has helped me to look down at the Motivate Wrap on my wrist to repeat the mantra imprinted on the plate. You should definitely check them out and also keep an eye on my blog and Instagram for possible future giveaway opportunities. *wink wink* ๐Ÿ™‚

Momentum Jewelry Ambassador

Have you ever listened to books, podcasts, or comedy on your long runs? How did it go?