I Like to Ride My Bicycle

I finally have a mountain bike again! When I made the move from Seattle to Alberta I had a teeny tiny car which forced me to leave behind all my larger material possessions including my mountain bike. I have been wanting to buy one ever since but always had other stuff come up that I could spend my money on.

For my birthday present, Ryan came home with a women’s mountain bike and I HATED it! It was so ugly. It was a forest green and had the “women’s” frame that sloped way down like a cruiser and it didn’t have rear shocks. Every year Ryan buys me a birthday present that I wind up returning and I didn’t want to hurt his feelings so I told him I loved it. Two days later he gave me the receipt and told me to exchange the bike. When I told him it was fine and I like it he responded “I know you hate it because you haven’t taken a single picture of it or posted it on social media and you do that with everything.” Does this man know me or what?

So I went back and exchanged it for this little beauty.

MUCH better

MUCH better

It’s nothing fancy, it’s a $150 bike- I’m not hard core, I just need something I can take out into the mountains. It’s cheap and it’s mine and I’m stoked for some cycle adventures! Thanks hunny!

Friday Fitness Recap- Jan.23

Friday Fitness

 

We won’t talk about how this has been missing from my blog for the past couple of months, let’s just jump right in to how my week has been!

Friday- Bicep curls from slamming pina coladas

It has been a rough couple of weeks at work and though I know a good sweat session would have helped me de stress at the end of the week, i thought slamming back something cool and refreshing and alcoholic was called for.

Saturday- Slow Run- 6 miles in 1:30:00

Man am I in trouble! I have a 10k in two months and I was supposed to do 8 miles but could barely do 6 (I had to walk the last half mile).

Sunday- Playing outside for 2 hours

See, you don’t always HAVE to be in the gym to be working out. We took the kids out to the “beach” for a weiner roast and quality outside time.

sliding around on the ice has to burn some calories

sliding around on the ice has to burn some calories

Monday- Nothing

You know it’s funny how our bodies respond to mental stress. When you’re mentally drained the thought of using your body is repulsive even though it would make you feel so much better!

Tuesday- Kettle bells & racquetball

Lunch time kettle bell workout with Jillian Michaels and my buddy Cat and was that ever tough!

That evening, I skipped a run to spend an hour playing racquetball with Ryan.

IMG_4493

Wednesday- Walking on lunch hour 60 minutes

Thursday- Nothing

So am I proud of this week? You bet! I got outside despite crazy winds and I got my first long run in of my training. The first one is the hardest right? After this, it should be easy breezy!

Winter Fit with Kama Fitness

WinterFit

Winter Fit is a series where I interview Canadian fitness/outdoors bloggers and get a first hand look into how they stay fit and motivated during the long cold winter months.

Today, we’ll be talking to Karen from Kama Fitness. Karen is a personal trainer with a fun and bright blog full of workouts, recipes, and tips.

10299997_603386283113650_2974537516524532665_n

Introduce yourself 

Hi I’m Karen, a full time health care worker, part time Blogger/Personal Trainer and Nutrition and Weight Loss Specialist to be! I live in a small town, where fitness just doesn’t exist so I have to get a little creative when it comes to exercise.

Where do you live and what are your winters like?

I currently live just outside of Toronto and the winters are terrible! Long, cold and so much snow. When I think of winter, I think of long messy drives to work and days when you don’t even want to leave the house. It seems over the past few years our winters are getting much more snow than ever, but the more snow we get, the harder I workout so in the end, it works for me! :)

What are your go-to activities? 

I really like hiking, biking, boating, camping, fishing, all that outdoorsy stuff…which I tend to still do when it starts to get cold outside, but I’ll cut out everything but hiking when it’s -20C. ;)

How do stay motivated in the dark, gloomy winter months to stick to a fitness routine?

I think of Summer! A Summer body doesn’t happen over night! Plus, I always vacation over the winter months so having a beach ready body is always on the mind. Really though, I find it very easy to stay motivated in the gym when it’s cold and dark outside.

1620847_670711176381160_1901182605107860685_n

Do you do any winter activities?

My winter activities consists of lifting heavy weights and bulking season. lol! I tend to work it out in the gym more than ever when winter rolls around. It actually becomes my best friend from September right on out until Spring days begin arriving. At that point I tend to cut my workouts down to 4 or 5 days a week, and add in more at home workouts.

Do you have a healthy comfort food recipe to share?

Mmmmm….I’d say my recent obsession is my Grilled Cheese and Pepperoni Pizza Burgers. Love those.

What advice would you give for someone struggling to get up and moving during the winter when hibernation mode sets in?

Think of where you will be 5 months from now if you just get up and move! Don’t hide away all winter long, then be upset with yourself when spring rolls around and you want to get into those short shorts! Use our long winters to work hard and focus, then come Spring you’ll feel amazing when you go shopping for Summer!

1898614_545742095544736_1481964600_o

Canadian Beach Day

Anyone that follows me on social media saw my funny beach pic over the weekend. We made plans with friends to take our kids hiking in Waterton but   it was raining. I was fine hiking in the rain but Ryan didn’t think cold, wet kids and a long hike were a good combo. Instead we decided to go to Wally’s beach at St. Mary’s Reservoir for a weiner roast in the camp kitchen.

When we came to the turn off to get to Wally’s beach the road was missing, it was completely covered in snow. We walked a ways along where the road was buried to see if we could 4×4 our way through but the snow was too deep and heavy.

Walking along the "road" to the beach

Walking along the “road” to the beach

We headed to Upper Mary Campground where there were some trucks from people ice fishing. The wind was howling and without a camp kitchen, we picked a spot that was most sheltered from the wind and started up a fire.

How cute is his smile?

How cute is his smile?

The kids and dogs went off to play on the ice and we adults sat back with our pina coladas.

Nothing like a refreshing pina colada on the beach. Ha ha ha!

Nothing like a refreshing pina colada on the beach. Ha ha ha!

Everyone (but me) roasted their weiners and ate hot dogs while the wind howled around us. If it wasn’t for the wind it would have been an amazing day. After we ate, we all went out on the ice to slide around and play.

Kids and dogs on the ice

Kids and dogs on the ice

Relaxing by the fire

Relaxing by the fire

By the two hour mark, the wind picked up so bad that even our sheltered spot no longer protected us so we called it a day.

It was still a blast and I think it’s so important for people in cold areas to make these efforts to get outside and brave the elements. We as human beings aren’t meant to spend 6 months indoors with no sunlight or fresh air. Bundle up and get outside!

See how the wind is blowing my hair back? Get outside no matter how bad the weather is!

See how the wind is blowing my hair back? Get outside no matter how bad the weather is!

Snowshoeing Lineham Falls Trail

Last Saturday, my buddy Tawny (owner of Thankful Threads) and I hit Waterton for some snowshoeing!

Tawny had never been snow shoeing before and I have a hard time finding a companion so we made plans to meet up at the Cameron lake trail with our dogs and head to Forum Falls. When I got to the Cameron trail start there was a very prominent “no dogs” sign so as I was headed back down I noticed a single car at the Lineham Falls trail and decided to snowshoe towards the falls.

As we were preparing to walk in, a pair of snowshoers came out and said that about a mile in there was an avalanche area that looked pretty fresh so they opted to turn around. We decided that we would just do the mile and turn around.

10917322_10155073156615484_7374599454276121340_n

Because we only had a mile each way, we took our time and really enjoyed the beginning of the trail.

For beginner snowshoers, let me tell you its tough! You have to really pick up your feet so you’re working your entire leg with every step you take.

10887402_10155073156605484_2041570374506915179_o

Because there was no one else on the trail we let the dogs off leash (sorry Parks!) and they had a blast running through the super deep snow. Little Apollo was too small to see over a lot of spots and had to follow in Rocky’s footprints through the snow.

Tawny and the dogs

Tawny and the dogs

Once we got out of the tree line and into the alpine area we could see the avalanche area the couple had warned us about. Neither of us has any sort of training or knowledge so we turned around and headed back down.

Tawny and the dogs lead the way down after hitting a recent avalanche area

Tawny and the dogs lead the way down after hitting a recent avalanche area

So while it was a short trek, it was a fun one. I fell flat on my face in the snow twice which was pretty funny.

On the drive back I noticed a huge frozen waterfall on the side of the road. I have driven past that thing so many times and never noticed it before! I want to go check it out this summer too.

How did I manage to drive past THIS so many times before?

How did I manage to drive past THIS so many times before?

 

Another cool thing I saw on my way back was some kite boarders on Upper Waterton Lake. It looked like so much fun, I wonder how I could try something like that out.

Kite boarding in front of the Prince of Wales

Kite boarding in front of the Prince of Wales

Any Alberta kite boarders who want to show me the ropes? 

 

 

 

 

Winter Fit with Northern Ambitions

WinterFit

Winter Fit is a series where I interview Canadian fitness/outdoors bloggers and get a first hand look into how they stay fit and motivated during the long cold winter months.

Today, we’ll be talking to Ursula from Northern Ambitions. Ursula is an inspiration! She lives so much further North than I do and still manages to live a fit and active lifestyle.

Winter Picture 1

Hi, I’m Ursula and I blog over at Northern Ambitions. I love sharing my triathlon training tips, healthy recipes and favourite DIY crafts. I live in northern Canada where it’s not uncommon to get eight months of winter. And by winter, I mean its – 40 C, windy and there is 10 feet of snow. Ugh.

Given the frigid temperatures, I’ve learned to adjust my winter exercise routine to keep myself motivated and healthy.

Here’s what works for me:

Make yourself accountable

Time and time again the only thing that gets me out the door and to a workout is that fact that I’ve promised a friend I’ll be there. Having a workout buddy keeps me accountable even when it’s snowing and I have to clean off 2 feet of snow from my car.

Make a plan

When it’s 4 pm and dark outside, my couch and fireplace look especially inviting. With that in mind, I take a few minutes on Sunday and plan out my weekly workouts. I try to keep a realistic schedule that I can actually stick to while still challenging myself to exercise at least 4 times a week.

Learn to adjust

I’ve never been one to do at home workouts, but when it’s -40 C and you risk frostbite by going outside, you learn to adjust. I bought a bike trainer and now I watch my favourite Netflix TV shows while pedaling away. It’s super easy and it makes me want to jump on the bike because half the time I’m dying to learn what happened on Pretty Little Liars (my guilty pleasure).

Winter Picture 2

Try something new

After moving up north, I start swimming and quickly realized I love it. The pool is always heated and it’s a great workout. My boyfriend got into squash, which is also a wonderful cardio workout that is played indoors. Maybe you never thought you’d love hot yoga, or belly dancing or even indoor table tennis? But go ahead and give it a try! You never know.

How do you stop winter from kicking your exercise plans in the butt?  

Thanks for reading. Feel free to check out my blog at (insert link http://northernambitions.com) or my Facebook page (insert Facebook link at https://www.facebook.com/northernambitions). Good luck staying warm this winter J