I was in the middle of writing a running update for ya when I realized I have never shared how I started running in the first place.

The truth is, I haven't always been a runner.

Ok, so you know those super fit families? The ones who go for hikes all the time, where the father and daughter go running around Elk Lake once a week?

Ya, that was not my family at all.

Being Italian and all, I was put into soccer at a young age but I stopped around 13 because soccer = way too much running. I switched over to baseball and mastered running the short distance to 1st base. I played baseball until grade 12 and then didn't exercise for a good solid two years...yikes.

I always believed that I couldn't run, that running just wasn't for me, that I wasn't the running type and I was content with that.

Until a few years later where I actually just started running and realized it wasn't as bad as I thought it was.

I started out by running with a few friends running around Rithet's Bog. I honestly had to walk every 500m or so but I kept at it and gradually, the running intervals grew longer and longer until I didn't have to walk at all. I started running on my own and oh my goodness, I actually started to enjoy it. 

Now don't get me wrong, I haven't reached some nirvana-esque relationship with running. There are days when I hate it (especially when it's cold and rainy outside) and it's hard to psych myself into going out the door, there are days when the last thing I want to do is go for a run BUT the days when I believed I just couldn't do it, the days when I believed I just wasn't a runner are completely gone.

I'm a runner. 

Sorry if this is sounding like an infomercial but I just want to encourage those of you who are starting out running or haven't started can do it! One step at a time, one lap at a time. You got this.


stay gold,




Treadmill tips for the attention deficit!!!

Ok, so I know I've bragged about Victoria's mild climate but this whole polar vortex visited us last week and I'm not too pleased about it. We were hit with -5 degree weather and some places got a bunch of snow! We didn't get any snow but I didn't really want to run outside in crazy windy, ice rain, -5 thank you.

In those times I go to my last resort ...the treadmill. I've had a pass for the y since December but this Friday will mark my last day until it gets freezing cold again (hopefully next December). I mainly use it to run safely when it's pitch black outside and during torrential down pour. But the thing is, I HATE TREADMILLS. I hate them, I hate them, I hate them. Like (probably) all people, I run way faster and longer outside. I'm more free outside, like a killer whale in the ocean...(ok sidenote, I just watched the documentary, Blackfish...scariest thing ever. Orca's should not be in captivity!)  

Enough with killer whales though...the truth is, I get hella bored on a treadmill. Especially when I run over 20 minutes...who am I kidding? I'm bored after 5 minutes. And I know I'm not alone in this, so I've come up with some tips that I've used to keep me going...


When I'm outside, I usually put on my "work it" playlist. It usually works for me by helping me run faster. There aren't a ton of songs, but that's usually ok because I get distracted by people, dogs, the scenery, etc. Meanwhile on the treadmill, I'm literally counting down the seconds in the songs that I know so well. What usually helps me is going to songza and using one of their workout playlists. They have a bajillion songs. The thing I love about the songza playlist is, it keeps you guessing. Being surprised by an old MJ favourite can do wonders for you on a treadmill. All of a sudden, you have energy to push that last km. Music is amazing.


Now some of you may not be podcast people but for those of you who are, listening to a podcast is a great way of distracting you. Podcasts have the magical ability to take my mind off the run. I usually listen to Pastor Steven Furtick because he's the bomb. 


The great thing about treadmills is having a personal water bottle holder. I always keep a water bottle (does anyone else find the gym extremely dry?). A towel to wipe sweat would be a good idea too (I haven't gotten around to taking a towel with me, but every time I wish I did!)


I found a great treadmill workout a couple months back and used it until THE Y CHANGED ALL THEIR MACHINES TO KMs. It was very annoying. I know we're in Canada and all but I was used to miles so I haven't done the workout for a few weeks but when I did do it, the time flew by. You can find some treadmill workouts on this pinterest board of mine.


And my absolute favourite tip is...pretend you're racing the people beside you. It makes your run very fun. I try to outlast the people beside me and if they get off before me, I fake celebrate that I beat them in the race. I know it sounds crazy but it works for me.


|| This post has been part of my Winter Fitness series. Check out the rest here, here & here. ||


Thankfully our weather is turning around and getting a lot warmer so I won't be resorting to treadmills anymore! How about you? I'd love to know what keeps you on the treadmill. Share your tips below!





Winter Running Tips from SSHEART!

Welcome to the second post in my winter fitness series! As I mentioned before, usually winter and fitness never come out of my mouth in the same sentence…Winter usually is for baggy clothing, over consumption of chocolate and carbs and hibernation BUT this year, I'm making some changes…yeeeehaw.

Ok, so if you're like me, you may need a bit of inspiration and something practical to hold on to. I'm a type A planner freak so I'm all about getting all my ducks in a row BEFORE my workouts. Sometimes that can bite me in the butt as I will put off working out because I haven't planned out what fitness routine I want to do (my lazy excuse).  So here are a few tips that are working for me (side note- I am not a professional trainer, nutritionist, anything fitness related…)


1. Have everything ready BEFORE you go to bed. 

This is one that I HAVE to do. Even if I'm working out on a day off and it only takes five minutes for me to gather my stuff, if it's not ready the night before, I'm most likely going to put off my workout or waste a good hour as I contemplate everything I need to gather before my run (this actually happened on Sunday, I was supposed to go for a run but instead did a measly at home workout because I wasted too much time thinking in bed lols). Put your runners by the front door. Have your pants, sports bra, tank, hat, jacket, (etc) all ready to go. I usually will hang my running clothes over the heater (slipping on warm running pants at 7:30am makes a world of difference). Make sure your ipod/iphone is charged and your headphones are good to go. Also make sure you know what you're going to do which leads me to tip #2...

2. Make a plan.

Maybe this won't apply to everyone, but I need a plan. Whether it's as simple as, I'll go to the gym Monday and Wednesday or I'm running 5km tomorrow or even, I'm running to the breakwater and back. I'm preaching to myself here, I need a plan, I need one. If I don't plan out what days I'm working out on AND open my schedule for it, most likely I won't get around to it. Laziness is a strong opponent and he will win if i'm not properly prepared, ha. In February I start my half marathon training plan and I'm actually looking forward to it (I  told you I thrive on planning). I'm doing the plan through run keeper which motivates me even more and leads me to tip #3...

3. Get some apps to help you.

There are SO many amazing apps to help you but here are my favourite.

Run Keeper- Tracks your run (or walk or other workouts if you manually enter it) and lets you know your pace, calories burned, distance, etc. I have found this one HUGE for motivating me to run faster and longer. 

Nike Training Club- If you're afraid of the gym, this one is great to do! If you have dumbbells, you can do most workouts. They have a ton of workouts which you can customize to what you want to achieve (get lean, get toned, get strong) and they have 15 minute workouts which focus on a specific area. I love to pair these up with cardio at the gym. The great thing about this one is it doesn't lock you to the gym. In the summer you can do it at a local park!

Blogilates- I've been doing Casey's videos on youtube over the past few years and she is amazing! She's so energetic and encouraging that it's actually fun to do. She created an app which organizes the videos so well.

My Fitness Pal- This one is a calorie counter. I know for some people, this does not work. But again, I'll reiterate that I'm sharing what has worked for me. Normally I've been an all or nothing girl when it comes to dieting. I've gone off sweets for a month and then went on sweet overload for two months. This app has helped me find balance. I actually learned that I can eat in moderation. And the great part is this links up with run keeper, so if I went for a long run, those calories would be added to my daily total and I would make sure I'm eating enough for the day. This one also helps me be accountable to what I put in my body…when you know you have to put it in, you're more likely not going to devour the entire bowl of icing.


I hope these tips have been helpful to you. I'm only an amateur athlete so please, comment below what works for you and keeps you on track!!

Winter Running Tips from SSHEART





Winter + fitness usually don't end up in the same sentence for me. I haaaaate being cold. Absolutely, stinking hate it. I grew up being forced to play soccer (as probably all Italian-Canadian children do) from the age of 5 until 13. I switched to baseball as soon as I could. Running around at night and playing games in ice rain didn't really appeal to 13 year old me. 

I picked up running about 7 years ago. There have been times I've been hard core at it and also times where I've been extremely lazy about it. Spring and fall are when I'm usually on my game. In the summer, I'm usually too hot to really push running (did I mention I don't like being too hot either? Diva, I know) and winter, well in winter I like to hibernate and eat. 

This past year has been a bit different though. After coming back from India in late August, I realized I needed to make a change. I had had an emotional year (hello first year being married!) where I partook in much emotional eating and not enough exercising resulting in me gaining weight. I decided right then, that I was going to make some changes. I started running again and watching what I was eating and in a couple months I had lost 10lbs. Winter came and I pushed through. I'm so thankful we live in a city where it doesn't snow (except for the picture above, where I realized that running in -10 is the absolute worst idea ever). I admit, when it's pissing rain outside the last thing I want to do is run but to counteract my laziness, James and I got Y gym passes. 

It's been a dream of mine to run a half marathon and I'm going to do it in May at the Oak Bay Half! With this goal in mind, I know I can't afford to not run this winter. I have no excuses. So I'm vowing to keep up fitness through these winter months! Who is with me? 


stay gold (not cold),