Home gym reveal

home gym | home at six

Today I’m excited to share our home gym reveal! Mike and I have been hard at work transforming our old guest bedroom/office into a brand new home gym. We’ve also been busy switching the old gym into a new home office, and it’s looking great, but still a work in progress.

I’ve already worked out in the new gym and it’s so amazing to have all that room to move around.

This room is nearly twice the size of our old gym, so we can both work out in there at the same time and I can even do my Tracy Anderson dance cardio without having to re-arrange the whole living room.

home gym | home at six

We already owned most of the equipment, but it’s so much more functional and organized with this new set up. I’m so happy with how it turned out.

The new pieces are the super heavy duty rubber mats and the weight rack. In our old gym, we had some interlocking rubber mats, which our cat, Josie, had already started to destroy. These weigh 100 lbs each, so we got a workout just moving them in, and we’re going to try our best to keep Josie out of there!

home gym | home at six

Having a home gym means that  I really have no excuse when it comes to working out. Even when I’m feeling pretty lazy, it’s still easy enough to walk on the treadmill while I watch some TV. And now with this even more amazing home gym, I’m really excited to up my workout game even more!

home gym | home at six

Sporting Life 10K race recap: 58:51

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On Sunday, Mike and I ran our first 10K, and it was so much fun! We’d already gotten our race kits in advance, as locals are required to do, so we just had to show up shortly before our start time (9AM). We drove up to the start line because it was only 20 minutes away, while taking the TTC would have taken about an hour. I was a bit worried about finding parking, since the race website warned it might be a problem with the 25,000 participants that day, but turns out it was no trouble at all! We parked a few blocks away in a near-empty lot, since we figured we’d lucked out and the closer lots would be full. When we walked up though, the parking lot right next to the start line still had some empty spots!

Everything was pretty well organized, and we didn’t have any trouble figuring out where we needed to be. We got lined up, managed to find my co-worker, Joanne, and were ready to go. We really lucked out with the weather, since during the week the forecast had warned of rain and maybe even thunderstorms. We ended up with a nice, sunny, but not too hot day. I heard from someone that ran in a later wave that it was super humid, but we didn’t find it humid at all, so I think we really lucked out with near-perfect conditions. The breeze as we approached the lake near the finish line was so wonderful.

As I’d mentioned, my goal was to finish in under 60 minutes, but I wasn’t honestly sure that I’d be able to do it. On most of my casual training runs, I was coming in at over 30 minutes for 5K, so it didn’t quite add up, but still, I was determined. My official time was 58:51! Woohoo!

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I didn’t struggle too much physically or mentally during the race, but I definitely did feel my legs start to tire around the 8K mark. My sister and her bf came out to cheer us on and we conveniently ran by her bf’s condo, so they got to see us run by at the 7K mark, and then they came and met us at the finish, too. It was so fun to have them cheering us on, since overall there weren’t a whole lot of spectators on the course. There are a couple designated cheer spots, but most people were just at the end, so a lot of the race was almost eerily quiet. My favourite signs were “Your legs will forgive you” and “Worst. Parade. Ever.” haha.

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I was keeping my eye on my pace throughout the race, so by the halfway mark I knew I was cutting it a bit close for hitting my sub-60 goal. I knew that if I didn’t get in under 60 minutes, it would probably only be by a minute or two, so I really didn’t want to let that happen. I wanted to do whatever I could to achieve that goal if it was at all possible. I knew I was going to feel good about finishing, but I knew I would feel great if I hit my sub-60 goal. So I didn’t stop for water or walk at all. Even though I’d run a 10K distance before, I’d never run it 100% without stopping because of the usual streetlights and all, so I felt pretty proud of that, too.

Mike took of on a sprint in the last 100 or so meters, so I ran as hard as I could. I wasn’t able to catch up to him, but I did run so hard that I definitely felt like puking the moment I crossed the finish line. But the feeling passed, and I felt pretty good, and not too sore for the rest of the day. We took a nice long walk in the afternoon, and I stretched a little, so I’m feeling pretty good today. A little stiff, but nothing major. I’m playing volleyball tonight though, so I’m  not sure I have much hustle left in me.

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It was really fun running the race with Mike and Joanne. We left Joanne behind somewhere around 6K when she stopped for a water break because of my sub-60 goal (and we’re jerks!), but it really helped to have friends to run with. Mike was really funny during the race because he was all, “I’m never running a race again” and then after we finished he said, “ok, maybe I’d run another 5K or 10K sometime” and then by the evening he was wondering when the next race was! I’d like to run another couple races this summer, but my big goal is going to be the Scotiabank Half Marathon in October. While 10K wasn’t too painful yesterday, running that two times over and then some seems pretty crazy right now. But so did running a 10K!

post-race-recovery

Sunday is race day | Sporting Life 10K

How is the Sporting Life 10K already here so soon? How is it even May?

On Sunday, Mike and I will be running our first ever 10K race! We’re excited, and maybe a little nervous. We’ll also be running with my co-worker and running buddy from my twice-weekly lunchtime runs, so I’m at least feeling great about running with people that I’ve run with before (and 30,000 other people, what?). We’re sort of all around the same speed, so it should work out ok.

I’ve run a 10K distance a few times now, so I know that I can do it. Now it’s just a matter of how quickly can I do it, and how much am I going to love/hate doing it. My goal is to finish in under 60 minutes, which I think it reasonable as long as I push myself just a little bit. Everyone says that race days are always quicker, and this race is on a slight downhill, so I’m banking on those factors to help me get in under an hour. I know I’ll be thrilled just to finish anyway 🙂

Earlier this week, we threw some intervals into our lunchtime run, and OMG, it was so much more painful. Ever since my official running group dropped off over the winter, I’ve totally slacked on any of the speed work in the program, so after this 10K, that’s going to be my focus.

I’ve even started thinking about signing up for the Scotiabank Half Marathon in October. It’d be great motivation to keep running consistently over the summer. But I won’t get ahead of myself, and I’ll see how things go on Sunday first!

Wish me luck!

Running Update! (and Wedding Plans)

I ran 10K!

I’m really excited to share that I ran my first 10K on Saturday! I ran it in a slow 75 minutes, but I did it! I still have another two months before the SportingLife 10K to get my speed up, since my goal is to run it in under an hour, but it just feels great to know that I can actually run that distance. Honestly, guys, running for 5 minutes straight was a huge accomplishment for me last year. Running 20 minutes straight for the first time seemed crazy, and when I reached 30 minutes straight I was so amazed that my commitment was paying off.

Since January I have been running around 5-6K at least 3 times per week in accordance with my training plan from my work running group, and although I found it getting easier each week, I still didn’t see how I could possibly double that distance. But on Saturday, I slowly ran a full 10K and I’m still thrilled by this accomplishment.

I have never been a runner. When I was in 7th grade, I started running with the cross-country team and at our first race, I quickly found myself at the back of the pack. Only a few minutes into the race, I came around a bend and saw my mom in the crowd and just ran off the course to her, saying I didn’t feel well. And I never went to cross-country practice again.

The key to this recent success can be chalked up 100% to consistency. I have run at least 3 days per week, and usually more like 5, each and every week with a really gradual build-up that avoided injury and burn out so that I was able to stick to the program. Woohoo! A good knee brace for running combined with a slow and steady training program are very important to avoiding injury.

in it for the long run

Having the proper footwear also makes all the difference, since it helps avoid fatigue, pain and injury. Since consistency has been key in my training, getting sidelined by an injury would have really thrown me off track. Since Mike was my run training partner, we had to get him into proper fitting shoes, too. Mike has plantar fasciitis, but this guide makes it easy to find the best shoe for plantar fasciitis.

Upping the Pace

I’ve now downloaded the next level training plan which will bring me to a half-marathon distance at the end of 8 weeks. Although the distance will increase over time, I’m mostly interested in the speed work components of the program that will help me pick up the pace so that I can finish the 10K race in under an hour. I have a really hard time pushing myself to go faster since most of the time I’m just pushing myself to finish, but just the way that my distance built up gradually over time, I know my speed will, too.

Wedding Planning Update

We have a venue and a date! I’m so so so excited! We’re going to be getting married on New Years Eve! I got the idea of a NYE wedding from an episode of the show “Four Weddings” that I saw last fall and just fell more and more in love with the idea as time went on. I am so excited to celebrate our wedding and then ring in the New Year with a big party and all our friends and family.

We’re going to be holding the ceremony and reception in the same place, which is exactly what I wanted. The venue we chose is so perfect for this because it’s a lounge with distinct areas that will accommodate the flow of the evening from ceremony to cocktail hour to reception.

Also, in other super exciting wedding news, I went wedding dress shopping for the first time! I was really nervous about it because I was worried that I wouldn’t find anything that looked good on me. I was dreading that frustration that I usually experience when clothes shopping where nothing looks good, but it was actually the opposite! I didn’t find the dress, but I have a much better idea of what I’m looking for, and I can’t wait to set up more bridal shop visits.

Next steps are to lock down our caterer, find a DJ/MC and send out those Save the Dates! And then onto the other million little decisions that need to be made that make this wedding planning thing so much fun 😀