Better together – working out with a significant other

Change of Pace

In honour of Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d write about the benefits of working out with a significant other. It’s no secret that Kelly and I share a common love of activity. We often participate in the same events, and even if we don’t race them together we train together for many.

CalgaryHugs After our first triathlon, Calgary 70.3

I absolutely love training with Kelly and wouldn’t want it any other way! Here are my top five reasons why it’s better together.

Quality time
Kelly and I don’t have frequent date nights, or so I thought until I realized every bike ride we go on and run or ski we do together is our version of date night. We may wear spandex instead of stylish clothes and burn calories instead of eat them but the essence of a date is the same: spend time together without interruption and have some fun.

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Running lately

If you know me personally, you know I love to run. If you read my old blog, you know I love to run. However, if you know me now you might not be aware of how much I love to run!

It’s still a huge part of my life and brings me so much peace but it’s not something I often talk about with people for a few reasons.

I don’t run often; I aim for three days a week but in winter it’s more like two days. I’m also scared of getting injured and the superstitious part of me feels like if I talk about running, injury will happen. (My pelvis has given me issues- on and off- since I was pregnant.) I don’t really race so feel more like a ‘hobby jogger’.

My happy place is on the trails and my one consistent run a week is a longer trail run on the weekend. I look forward to it every week!

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I recently started running with a {much faster} friend and the miles fly by. I also go further and faster than I would on my own, which is an awesome change.

Up until our really cold weather hit, Jasper has still been stroller running with me once a week. I love running with my little buddy, and we now share snippets of conversation and a lot of laughs while I run. We always try to stop at the park at the end for a fun finish for him. (So important for me to remember a dry jacket or puffy vest for the park visit!)

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I’ve been running on the treadmill once a week during Jasper’s nap time since we’ve put our stroller runs on hold. I have to admit I don’t mind it! Given the choice I’d always choose to run outside but the treadmill is a great fallback option.

I hope to run a couple races this spring and summer. But in the meantime I’m just really enjoying my runs, whether on the trail, road or treadmill.

What’s your favourite place to run: trail, road, treadmill, or track?

Muscle memory and writing

Building muscle memory in sports can be fun: repeat drills and movements, creating a physiological blueprint.

Take some time away from that sport and you may come back rusty. But you can get back on that ski hill, yoga mat or treadmill more easily than the first time around.

Take post-partum running for example. I took over 13 weeks off (six weeks at the end of pregnancy and seven weeks after Jasper was born) and was nervous to start again.

Turns out I had nothing to worry about. Both my breathing and my muscles felt like they knew exactly what to do. That’s not to say it was an easy return. I huffed and I puffed for many months, but it wasn’t nearly as difficult as someone just starting to run.

 

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one of our first stroller runs

Back to the point of this post…writing.

I wrote five days a week for eight years while working in communications. I wrote articles, newsletters, strategic reports and plans, speeches, brochures, and web content.

Fast forward to my stay-at-home mom life. I write emails and text messages to family and friends, grocery lists, and Christmas cards!

Re-learning to write is a big part of why I started to blog again.

So please bear with me as I practice- for my words to flow better, for my word choices to come naturally, and for me to gain confidence to post the many drafts I have half complete and waiting to be written.

How to embrace {cold} winter with a toddler

Get outside! Play in the snow! Toboggan! Take a hike!

Easier said than done when it’s in the -20s. Heck, it’s tough with toddlers even when it’s in the negative teens.

Combine the frigid temps with afternoon naps (warmest time of day) and dark evenings, and the window to play outside is…small and cold!

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I’m happy to report our cold streak is over. We, happily, played outside for almost two hours this morning!

Here’s how we managed to {mostly} keep our sanity during these really cold weeks.

Force yourself outdoors. I’ll admit that I run outside in -40 temps, but to stand around or play outside just because? No thank you. However, I know the outdoor time is so valuable for Jasper. So I commit to getting us both dressed and ready. By then I’ve invested so much time (and most likely worked up a sweat) that we have to go outdoors!

Dress for success. It’s easy to choose something warm for myself, but choosing the right layers for Jasper is a bit trickier! We layer, layer, layer. And we dress depending on the activity (is he walking or playing, riding in the backpack, in a wind-protected stroller with a blanket, etc).

Our best purchase this year was a balaclava. Air can’t bite through his neck, especially if he’s wearing a sweater hood underneath. After going through three pairs of gloves that just didn’t cut it (he pulls them off every chance he gets), we bought Stonz Mittz. They’re awesome for many reasons but the best is they are long and have two adjustable toggles so he can’t easily take them off.

Stay close to home. On our first walk on a bitter day Jasper didn’t want to turn around. So we walked too far and I had to carry him home. Add in two slippery winter jackets, a nearly 30-pound toddler, deep snow, and it wasn’t an easy walk! After that I learned my lesson. Take a sled, or stay close to home! On super cold days we just hang out by our house: shovel snow, kick snow, fall in it, and have fun!

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Those frosty cheeks!

Make plans with other people. Find others who want to play outside, even on the cold days, and make plans with them. You won’t want to cancel. And, if you’re indecisive like me, you can agree if it’s ok to go or simply too cold.

Lastly, find other ways to expend energy. Sometimes it is just too cold. So look for indoor playgrounds, go swimming, or even set up a circuit in your house.

Anyone else struggle to #embracewinter sometimes? Anything to add to the list?

Here we go…

I’ve wanted to create a space where I can document our experiences of attempting adventure with a little one. So I created this blog 10 months ago, annnnd then I froze.

Do I want to share Jasper’s life publicly? (That’s why I stopped blogging before.) Do I want to share mine? Is my life interesting enough that other people will read about it? And who cares if nobody reads it anyway!

Then 2017 came, and along with it the introspective that comes with a new year.

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Feels like an introspective picture! A cold but beautiful run last weekend.

I want to write more. What better way than to blog- keep an online journal so I can remember our fun times a little better, and enjoy a refreshing writing outlet.

So here we are.

I hope to write about some of our adventures {and mis-adventures}, teaching our son to love the outdoors {not a hard sell}, and the trials and tribulations of first-time parents to a spirited little boy.

Nice to meet you, and see you soon!