Summer Update – School, training, and OOfos

It’s been a couple of weeks since my last post, which I feel slightly bad about, but it was also for a good reason. My Masters program has classes year round and I’ve been feeling a little burnt out the past few weeks. I was working on a major project/paper and when I would stop working on the computer for the day, I didn’t have any ambition to keep staring at the screen to produce a blog post. Seriously, your eyes get tired and brain a little fried after reading so much research and then trying to write about it!

Anyway, I submitted that major paper and got to enjoy 3 whole days not writing or reading or contemplating research and it was nice. But, now I am back at it and on Wednesday I start my 10 day school intensive, which involves full 8-hour days of lectures, presentations, etc., as well as additional projects and papers to complete in our “spare time”. It will be incredibly interesting and helpful, but also a bit overwhelming for this introvert. I am looking forward to it, but also can’t wait for my 3 week summer vacation (from school, not work) to start on August 12!! And it’s nice because I’ll be starting it with SeaWheeze!!! I think that’s an awesome way to close out the first year of my Masters program. πŸ™‚

YogiCrystal Calgary

Having fun at the Glenmore Reservoir πŸ™‚

In between all of this, I have been TRYING to get my running back on track since the Canada Day hiking incident. Last weekend my leg seemed to be doing worse and I got a little worried. So, I’ve been taking it a bit more easy on the running and mixing it up with some cycling and water running. I feel silly in the pool because I can’t really swim, but I know I need to keep moving and I want to keep my strength up as much as I can. Right now I am trying to keep one non-running day in between my training runs to give my leg a break from the impact, because honestly, I am doing SeaWheeze.

Over the past week, my leg seems to be feeling slightly better, and I was even able to complete a 16KM long run on Sunday at a good pace (for me) without much pain. This is exciting!! I think at this point, it’s just important not to overdo it and stay fit for my half marathon on August 12th.

Something else I found helpful after my long run yesterday, was to put on my new OOfos sandals right away! Seriously, these are super comfortable and they felt really good to put on after wearing my running shoes all morning. I have the OOlala sandal and I find them comfy and cute! Another great feature is that they absorb up to 37% more shock than other shoe materials, so that’s a bonus after a long run! I’m really glad to have these in my footwear rotation and I’ll definitely be updating ya’ll with a full blog review in the next week or so (keep an eye out here!).

Oofos Sandals Bibrave Ambassador

Love my OOfos!

Do you have a favourite pair of shoes or sandals that you like to wear right after a long run or hard workout?

ps. Where has the summer gone? Can’t believe it’s August already!

Disclaimer: I received a pair of OOfos sandals to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to find and write race reviews!

Know your limitations, trust your intuitionΒ 

Have you ever been invited to something that sounds awesome, but your intuition tells you that maybe this time isn’t for you?Β 

That was me last Saturday.

A friend of mine invited me out to a hike for Canada Day and part of me really wanted to go, but the other part of me knows how experienced her & her bf are at hiking. She’s an ultra trail runner and he does tons of hiking, so right away everyone has TONS of experience over me. I tried to stress to her how inexperienced I am at hiking, but she assured me that we’d be doing a moderate hike. Ok, cool. I can do moderate. I’m fit (I thought) and I’ve done easy to moderate hikes/trails before. So, I decided to go. I really wanted to get out into the mountains, but I was also a little nervous at the same time. I asked my friend what to take and got my stuff ready.

Saturday morning, they pick me up and drive out to Mount Baldy in Kananaskis Country. The mountains look gorgeous, the weather is perfect.

The ascent was a little challenging, but still fun when we were under the tree line. A mostly visible/patted down trail, so I felt comfortable even though I was getting a bit of a workout. But then we reached a scramble/loose rock section and the difficulty level changed exponentially (for me). Half way up this first scramble I had a bit of a meltdown. I didn’t want to go on. A strange feeling came over me. It wasn’t that I didn’t think I could do it, it was that I knew I wouldn’t be able to get down in those conditions. I’m not experienced enough, and at that point I really knew it. My friends encouraged me to go on, told me it wouldn’t be safe to leave me there. They were right, so, I plugged on. Ascending in the rock/shale was challenging, but I did it with taking a few breaks to catch my breath. But then we reached a mini summit and that’s when I decided I wasn’t going any further up. The last final summit looked extremely difficult and, again, I knew I wouldn’t be able to get down. This second spot was a little safer, so my friends were able to continue on up for the last summit.

At this point I cried. I was a little scared, and looking down I had this terrible feeling inside that the descent was going to be very challenging for me. My inexperience overwhelmed me. But then I pulled myself together so that I could take that time alone to enjoy the beautiful scenery in front of me. The mountain range was stunning. I was staring at absolute beauty on Canada’s 150th Birthday. I made sure to take it all in. During my wait I took some pictures, ate a snack, and texted my bf that I loved him. Shortly after my friends were coming back down and I started to descend.

Mount Baldy Kananaskis

View to my left as I waited for my friends.

The first descent wasn’t too bad. We went down the same way we went up and that went pretty well. At some point another hiker told one of my friends that a different way down the scramble/rocks would be easier. I will say here that it was not. When I had to start rock climbing down the side of a mountain (no experience in this too), I started to get really scared. I managed to keep going, but I was unhappy. This no longer was fun for me. Once we were down from rock climbing, it was time to attempt descending / scrambling down a really long stretch of rocks. I can’t even tell you how long this stretch was. Too long.

The first major scare was when my female trail runner friend was descending, a very large rock somehow got dislodged by other hikers from above and this rock was barreling down a mountain towards her. We watched this in slow motion in terror as she was able to jump out of the way at the last second. At this point, I was really not good. My heart stopped, I swear, and well, my legs were shaking like leaves. We had to go on, so we decided that we would each take turns until one person was out of the way of falling rocks/debris. There was 4 of us and 2 hikers with a small dog behind us. Everyone was shaken watching that rock barrel towards my friend.

Next the other 2 guys I was with went down half way one at a time. This took about 10 mins each because the scramble was quite difficult to navigate. Then it was my turn. Yes, I was scared. I was doing my best until I then started hearing all this screaming. I look up and there’s a large rock coming for me, I freak out and jump to my right away from it. It’s barely flying by me and then I feel another rock smash into my right leg. Fuck. I look down almost immediately and the contact point is blown up to the size of a baseball. There’s blood. It fucking hurts. I panic.

Right away I started screaming to the guys above to stop moving. I can’t see them from where I’m at. But I’m yelling at the top of my lungs. Stop moving. I’m hurt. Don’t go any further. I’m hoping they can hear me. I look down at my friends, and yell that I’m hurt, not sure at that point if I can walk (let alone “scramble”) on my right leg yet. My friend’s bf starts to rush up towards me. I’m panicking. I can’t move. I’m terrified about what’s happened to my leg and worried about the hikers above me all at the same time. I’m shaking like I’ve never shaken before. Full on panic attack mode.

Hike hospital waitroom

Waiting… waiting…

My friend’s bf makes it back up to me and I show him my leg. Doesn’t look good. I scream again to the hikers above to not move. My friend’s bf tries to calm me. Tries to help me walk on it. My leg doesn’t like it, but I can put some pressure on it. We NEED to keep going.

I continue down the steep scramble mostly on my ass. This is difficult as my feet and hands keep slipping under the rocks and I get stuck and have to stand. I was convinced that I wasn’t going to be able to do it, that I was stuck there. Sliding down seems like it takes forever. My hands are getting shredded and I’m sure my pants are ripped and my ass is exposed. My friend’s bf keep coaching me down the scramble and I just can’t wait to get down and out of the way of more possible falling rocks. I don’t know if the guys above kept waiting or if they decided to go another way. Our way wasn’t the right way… for less experienced hikers, anyway. It took everything I had to make it down the scramble on mostly one leg. I was upset, scared, sore, and beyond exhausted. And, I was still shaking. I saw a mountain goat that I’m sure was mocking us. Honestly.

Once we got to the tree line all I could think about what getting back on the trail. My right leg was starting to hurt more and I wanted to put as little pressure on it as possible. Do you think we could find the trail? Nope. We were in the woods and somehow this felt safer, but in reality it’s not. We kept descending through woods, over rocks and branches, and just down down down. My exhaustion reached peak levels. I got a little bitchy. I was DONE with this hike. My friends were good and did their best to coach me on, I’m grateful for their help. At this point I’m not even sure how I got down the rest of the way, but the sight of the highway was beautiful. We did not find the trail again, but we were somewhat close. I couldn’t walk any further so my friend went to get the car.

Once in the car it was time to hurry back into the city because I was going straight to the hospital. The contact point blew up to the size of a baseball, I was bleeding, and the pain got exceedingly worse as my adrenaline wore down. I was very scared that it was broken. I started to worry about my running. My friend distracted me for the ride and we got to the hospital quick. Interestingly, I got through the queue pretty fast in the hospital and had X-rays and found out it wasn’t broken. Sigh of relief. Bone bruise, need to ice, monitor it for other serious issues, and no running. Ugh. But at least it’s not broken. And we’re alive. That’s what it important.

Hike injured bandages

Bandaged up!

Overall, it was one of the scariest events I’ve ever been through. I spent a solid 2 hours scared and shaking and it’s amazing what even that can do to your body. I enjoyed the view, but I won’t be doing that again anytime soon. Nope, not even close. Through this I realized how important running is to me. I rely on it for so many reasons. Maybe that’s bad, maybe that good. I don’t know. I guess that’s for another blog post.

As I reflect on this now I wonder if I over reacted. I wonder if I could have been more calm. It’s hard to say, but I also know that you can’t really control a panic attack. What’s done is done. I’m grateful my friends helped me and I hope they know I feel like crap for all the bitching. But, I did my best and I’m just happy we made it through.

Mount Baldy View Kananaskis

View to my right. Stunning.

Have you ever felt strong intuition about something but ignored it because you felt silly? What did you do?

Meditation Monday Recap

On Monday, I attended my very first meditation class. Yep, even though I have done (and trained in) lots of yoga classes, workshops, and seminars, this was the first time I went to a meditation specific class. And honestly, I was a little nervous.

I received a free class pass from the YYC Run Crew & Lululemon 4th Street for Modern + Mindful, which is a relatively new meditation studio located in the Beltline of Calgary. I only had the pass for a couple of weeks, but I finally decided to go. Coincidentally, I am working on a big project/paper for one of my counselling summer courses that involves mindfulness, so I thought this would be a great opportunity to experience a class from both a personal and professional level.

So yes, I did say I was a little nervous about going. Seems funny to write that down, but that’s the truth. Thoughts that ran through my head… what if I can’t meditate? What if my mind runs wild? What if I experience some anxiety? What if I fall asleep?

Modern Mindful Calgary Meditation

Time to meditate ❀

Seriously, it seems like a crazy amount of questions to ask yourself before a meditation class.

Once I arrived at the studio, the lovely teacher showed me and another newbie around the space and gave us sort of an intro to meditation and the different sitting options. Right away I felt comfortable and at ease in this beautiful space. It’s set up quite nicely to give you moment of relaxation before class starts.

In class, I chose the Alexia Chair and got myself comfortable. The teacher (Sally Powis-Campbell) played some lovely background music and started to guide us through some visualization and breathing tips to help us bring our mind back to the present. I don’t actually remember a lot of what she said during the class, so I am hoping that is a good thing.

Did my mind wander? Of course. Was I able to bring it back to the teacher’s voice and music? Yes. I’ll be honest though, this was difficult. I often choose guided meditation at home and I lay down on my mat, so seated meditation started to get challenging for me. My back hurt a little bit, and I tried not to focus on it. At one point, I felt hot sitting there… so, I went back to breathing to take my mind off that. At another point, I felt slightly anxious and wasn’t sure if I was going to cry or fall asleep. These were truly some interesting sensations that came up during the class.

Ultimately, the 30 minutes seemed to feel long & short at the same time. I’m not sure if that makes sense, but I did feel very relaxed and peaceful at the end of the session.

Modern Mindful Calgary

Trying my best… (also, ironic sign placement)

Overall, this was a lovely experience and I look forward to going to the studio again. The teacher was warm and welcoming and the space was inviting and relaxing. It’s the kind of place that makes you want to spend time there… it would be a good space to journal or reflect. My kind of space.Β Many of us could use a little mindfulness in our lives, so if you’re local, I encourage you to check out Modern + Mindful!

Have you attended a meditation class before? How was your experience?

Long Run Bliss – It Can Happen

Have you ever had one of those workouts (running/cycling/yoga/etc) that just makes it all worthwhile? One of those workouts when you think to yourself “yes, this is why I do this!“?

That was me yesterday.

It’s no secret that I have my ups & downs with running. Who doesn’t? But, yesterday I had one of those long runs that just made it feel all worthwhile. Dare I say that it felt, blissful? It wasn’t about the speed or the distance, it was more about the moment. The feelings while running. The scenery. All of that combined for one of the best runs I have had in a long time.

Yesterday, I got up a little earlier than I usually do on a Sunday because the boyfriend had a major brick workout to do for Ironman training. The sun was shining in the window, so this actually wasn’t too difficult – especially since he made the coffee. He took off and I finished up my coffee with a smoothie and got my butt out the door after laying out my gear. I was actually feeling a little nervous about this 20KM because it’s the longest I have ran since the Honolulu Marathon in December 2016. Last week’s 18KM long run was a little difficult, so of course, I was a little worried about how this run would go.

Run Gear Saucony Nuun

Got my gear ready! (Saucony, Clif, Nuun, Yanky, Garmin, 2XU, Gregory Pack)

I got out the door and right away I realized there was a little chill in the air, so my hands were cold but the sun was out so I knew I would warm up quick. Pace started off great and I was a little excited to head out to a different route than I usually do. Funny thing is that I usually get a little lost when I try a new route, but not this long run!

Took my run along the paved Calgary pathways, ran through Sandy Beach Park, over the reservoir dam, and then to the north section of the Glenmore Reservoir. I had been wanting to run around the reservoir for awhile now, so I’m really glad I went this way yesterday.

It’s funny because you could say that the weather was almost perfect for a runner. Sun shining, cool breeze, and crisp air – you seriously couldn’t beat it. The skies were so clear that you could see the view all the way to the mountains from some points during the run. It was beautiful! I actually couldn’t believe some of the gorgeous views I came across during this run and also the friendly people that were out enjoying the day as well! So many friendly runners yesterday, I wish every week was like that. πŸ™‚

Glenmore Reservoir Calgary

Beautiful views at the reservoir! See those mountains?

The settings were so perfect that I started to think to myself that this is why I love running. Of course, I love the challenge and the race atmosphere, but I also love that my feet and legs take me to beautiful places. I felt so grateful in that moment for the ability to run and see these spots around the city – and other places I’ve travelled as well. This run felt meditative and relaxing (is that possible?!) and I almost didn’t want it to end… but, I also knew that I shouldn’t push my training.

I’m not sure I’ve had such a completely enjoyable run before. Is this the runner’s high people talk about? πŸ˜‰

It’s hard to top moments like this, but that’s not really the point I think. It was special for me to feel relaxed while running and to also feel so completely grateful for the ability to do this running thing right now. Pace didn’t matter, but the ability and the feeling of strength while running did. Enjoying the moment, the scenery, the fresh air. These are the things that matter and then achieving speed/distance/etc goals are the bonus. I realized that although it’s challenging, I really do love running. And, I hope to do this for many years to come.

Running Glenmore Reservoir

Deep in thought. πŸ˜‰

Have you ever had a run (or workout) like this? Were you training or was it during a race?

{Calgary Marathon Half in just under 2 weeks!! Now I taper!}

Seeking: My Race Mojo for 2017

Is it possible to have the post-marathon blues for 5 months?

I’m not sure what’s up with me, but I haven’t been excited about racing lately. Don’t get me wrong, I have been training – lots – but, the big push to race hasn’t been there for me. Maybe I have the end of winter blues spilling over as well, but I’m hoping to get the racing bug back soon!

I ran a 10K in Halifax recently, and I have a half-marathon at the end of May, which I’m looking forward to, but wouldn’t say I’m super excited about it. I could be nervous… but, not really realizing it. At this point, I want to PB my half marathon time and maybe the added pressure is causing me a little anxiety. What if I don’t PB? How will I feel after training pretty hard this winter? These are some big unknowns for me that I probably shouldn’t dwell on too much.

YogiCrystal Running 2017

Part of me also thinks that some of these “blues” is because I don’t have a marathon picked for this year. I decided to only run one this year, but I still haven’t chosen where or when I want to run it. The options around where I live are pretty slim, so I know I’ll have to travel. I have an idea in mind, but I just need to see if I can make it work. I’m also pretty sure that I won’t be doing any travel or running in the U.S. this year because of the dollar exchange rate, so that has me checking out Canadian races for the fall. Lots to think about and I certainly need a plan at this point!

Last year was such an exciting year of running for me, with completing my first – and second! – marathon and travelling to Hawaii for the first time. It almost seems too hard to top for this year, but maybe that shouldn’t be the goal. This year seems like a nice time to work on my half-marathon goals and really start getting a stronger base for marathon running and my long-term BQ goal. Maybe this isn’t the “blues”… it’s just different and I need to take a moment to really enjoy it. Let’s hope the Calgary Half Marathon really pumps me up and helps me work towards some bigger goals for the rest of 2017! πŸ™‚

Anyone else seeking their race mojo? What techniques have you used to find it or get it back?Β 

Honolulu Travel Tips from a Lone Budget Traveller

Flashback Friday : Honolulu travel tips from a lone traveller on a budget

It’s only been a couple of months, but I seriously miss Honolulu. I was a little nervous to go on a trip there by myself, but then once I got there I felt comfortable and at home. Ocean and palm trees. Friendly people and good food. Honolulu is definitely not a destination that you want to skip, especially if you like running marathons. (Seriously still have to complete my Honolulu Marathon recap!)

Although there were thousands and thousands of people there for the big race, I travelled to Oahu alone, but never really felt lonely. Also, you may not know this about me, but I don’t drive. Yep, I said it. So, this can make travelling alone interesting. How do I get to the sites? Do I spend a fortune on taxis? To get around when I am travelling, I try to stay budget conscious and patient. Patience and enjoying the moment is key because I mostly take local transit around places to see the sites. It’s a great way to see local happenings, while also getting to my destination pretty cheap.

So, here’s some stuff you can do around Honolulu if you don’t drive:

– I rented an Airbnb near Waikiki for a really good rate, so I walked everywhere. Why not?! There’s so many sites to see and local atmosphere to take in, all while getting some good exercise. I would walk down the main strip or really enjoy the scenery by walking along the beach walk. So many gorgeous sunsets to see this way. Also, the weather was warm in December even when it was raining, so no excuses!

~ Note: if you’d like to be even more budget conscious than a good deal on Airbnb, I also stayed a few nights at the Seaside Hawaiian Hostel and it’s definitely a cute little place. A hostel is a hostel, but this place was relatively clean and very cozy. A little noisy being close to the street, but still managed to get a decent night’s sleep. Front desk staff also really awesome and friendly, which is great for lone travellers! (I met a gal also named Crystal from Edmonton, how funny is that?!)

– I walked/jogged to Diamond Head and then hiked up it. This is a good workout! The hike up this crater isn’t too bad, but don’t wear flip flips – it can be slippery if it’s raining. Also, if you have an injury or mobility concerns, definitely take the quick bus ride up and, ideally, hike it with a friend or group. Everyone should take their time and enjoy the scenery on this trail.

Manoa Falls Honolulu Hawaii

Stunning Manoa Falls

– You can bus to Manoa Falls and it doesn’t take that long! You’re surprised, right? Before I left, I was looking at $50 USD hiking tours to the falls and I kind of thought that was a little steep. Some quick research and I realized that I could take the bus for $2.50 and hike on my own… come to find out, I wasn’t the only one doing this! At the bus stop there were some other lone travellers doing just the same thing, so a good way to make a new acquaintance too! This hike is a little challenging, so no flip flops here either. The trail is relatively quiet, but the Falls were busy with people going in the water, taking pics, etc. You can still find space to relax at the Falls, but just something to keep in mind depending on how introverted you are. πŸ™‚

– You can also bus to awesome food places outside of Waikiki. Quick bus ride took me to an awesome Poke place – Ono Seafood – which was totally worth it. You could also run or cycle to this area if you’re feeling energetic!

– You’ll need a little more time for Hanauma Bay, but if you have a good book or some awesome music on your phone, take the bus. One bus from Waikiki will get you there, just be sure to look up the times and be ready to get to the stop early. No problem here, because I was super excited to go. The bus can be quite busy, but once you get to the Bay you are relaxed again. Tours for the Bay looked pretty expensive as well, so unless you’re going snorkelling with a guide, you can easily take the bus, check out the Bay, hike around, and relax, before jumping on the bus back later in the day.

Hanauma Bay Hawaii

Gorgeous Hanauma Bay, how much do I love thee?

– I highly recommend surfing if you’re in Honolulu! Now, this I did not do completely alone. I paid for a private session with the Ohana Surf Project, but you can also lower your costs by doing a group session (I’m a terrible swimmer, so I spent a little extra on this outing for my own peace of mind). I only had to walk a few blocks from where I was staying and they picked me up in their van to head to the site. This whole experience was awesome and I hope to go back and do it again someday. Great staff and instructors, super helpful, and fun. After the session they can give you a ride back to your pick up location, but I decided to take the afternoon to walk along Waikiki Beach back to where I was staying. I always try to get as much ocean time as I can!

It may be surprising, but you can easily get around a lot of places when travelling if you don’t drive or if you want to save money on rentals. You just need a keen interest in taking in the local atmosphere and a little patience. Walking, biking, running, and bussing while travelling can really make for a unique experience!

Do rent cars while travelling or rely on walking and local transit? How do you enjoy the experience?

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?!

RunCalgarySpring2017

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?

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. πŸ˜‰ 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! πŸ™‚

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

Where My Goals At?

How bad is it that I don’t have any goals set in stone for 2017 yet?

I don’t make resolutions, but I do like to set some intentions and general guidelines for myself in regards to what I would like to accomplish or stay focused on throughout the year.

So, for some reason, I’m a little behind and trying not to worry too much about it… yet.

This new year actually started off with some less-than-awesome news, but I’m really hoping that the “when a door closes, another door opens” quote will come into play here. So, now that the dust has settled a little, it’s time to start thinking about some goals/intentions that I’d like to keep in mind for 2017.

YogiCrystal Running 2017

Goals, Intentions, Dreams for 2017

~ Get a race schedule figured out. Starting to panic a little here. I have only scheduled in the SeaWheeze Half Marathon (YAY!!!) for August, but as someone who has a long term BQ goal, I obviously need some plans & structure for my race schedule.

~ Continue to do well in school. Stay focused, take it all in, learn lots, build skills, and work on that networking thing. (Introvert alert here!)

~ Have more compassion for myself. I feel like I write this one down every year. Always a work in progress, but I need to have more compassion for myself when times get tough.

~ Work with a great team of likeminded individuals.

~ Cross train more. Yoga. Meditation. Cycling. Ideally I can get a coach at some point to help me with this… not easy on a grad student’s budget! Keep in mind that I need to train smarter. Aim to get faster. PB. πŸ™‚

~ Travel. Find ways to travel for races, but on a good budget. Most likely staying local & in Canada this year. The U.S. dollar hurts. Also, visit family and friends.

~ Read more. This one is hard to do as a grad student because I feel like I should always be reading textbooks and journal articles, but I love novels and need more casual/fun reading in my life. Trying to make more time for this. Same goes for writing, need to get on this blog more! (Side note: this involves actually starting my re-brand… scary stuff.)

~ Run with people more. Tough to find a run crew around work schedules that involve evenings, but I’m going to keep an eye out. This could help with my introvertness and to keep running fun & interesting. Be part of an awesome community offline & on –> Which includes recently being chosen and a Nuun Ambassador! If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you can probably tell that I love Nuun, so this was certainly fun news to receive this month!

~ Breathe. Focus on positivity more. Smile. Have gratitude, write it down.

~ Health. Keep focused on healthy lifestyle. Try to reduce stress. Eat at home more. Cook, try new recipes. Share. Find a mentor. See joy in the experience. Appreciate the little things.

That’s a good start for the year, right?

I’m sure I may add to this as time goes on, but this is what I am starting with. Nothing here really involves tons of pressure and that’s how I operate best. I don’t set resolutions, because if I “fail” I will feel awful. Trying to avoid feeling awful, but I also know I actually need to set some running goals. I have that BQ by 40 dream & I need focus and strength to get there.

Picking myself up from the start of this year and ready to charge on!

Did you set any intentions for 2017? Please share one that stands out for you as really important!Β 

Or, are you like me and haven’t set any goals in stone yet?Β 

Summer of less run, more bike

Woah, it’s been awhile since my last post.

To be honest, I can’t believe how fast time flies. {Who doesn’t say this?!} Seems like it wasn’t that long ago when I was training for my first full marathon and going through all the emotions involved. All that worry and anxiety is now over and I’m now starting to plan for my second marathon training… Which reminds me, I still need to do a race recap about my first marathon! I haven’t done this yet because for some reason it seems difficult for me to sit down and articulate all of the emotions and memories involved in that race. Part of me can’t even believe it’s finished. Like, did I seriously run that far? Crazy! I wonder if anyone else can relate…

Since the marathon I’ve been on a bit of a break, running less and trying to enjoy other activities. I’ve mostly added cycling into my weekly routine, which has been a fun change. Cycling is a nice challenge, while also being a little easier on my body. I’ve been bike commuting to work more and last Sunday I did a 52 KM ride with the bf all around Calgary. It was tough, but also so much fun! He’s trying to encourage me to ride 100KM… we’ll have to see how that goes!

Post 52K cycling smile!

Post 52K cycling smile!

In all honesty, I’ve been struggling to find my motivation this summer. I’ve been finding it difficult to get up in the morning (even when it’s sunny) and occasionally struggling throughout the day. Usually, the summer months are prime for me to get up early either to workout/run or to just relax with a cup of coffee & a book on the balcony. But, not this year and I’m not sure why. Granted it’s been a very tough past 7+ months for me as I’ve battled with some tough situations and also grief, so I am guessing that some of that comes into play. I’d certainly like to turn this around soon because September is about to get very busy & I’m going to need all the motivation I can get!

Anyone else feeling a summer slump? How do you stay motivated? Got any fall goals? (Eek, I don’t even like writing out the word “fall”… hahaha no rush!)

Looking forward to the road ahead!

Looking forward to the road ahead!