Look good, work hard, feel great!

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2016-11-30-19.06.02.png.png“I look jacked!!!”😃😄At least that’s what my husband said to me when he got home from the gym the other day.

Now he was only half kidding, but what he was referring to was that he saw himself in the mirror in the changeroom after his workout and thought to himself “I look jacked!”.

Now truth is, he probably didn’t look much different after his workout than he did an hour earlier before his workout, but I think this is important to share because he felt good. Just working out made him feel better about himself, and that’s my message.

Whether it’s a walk through the neighbourhood, a training run for a 5 km race, a zumba class, or 2016-11-30-19.07.09.jpg.jpega Crossfit WOD, it’s amazing how a little activity or exercise can make you feel better about yourself!

So get out there, and get active, you’ll better doing it.

Your Simply Susan Quick Tip of the day!😆

 

 

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Is he “the one”?😊

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You may not be able to tell by my title, but this blog is dedicated to finding the right training partner!!

20160507_100949.jpgFinding the right person to exercise with is almost as important to finding the right life partner!!  No really!!! It truly can make the difference  between you getting out there and exercising, and being a couch potato!

This is the time of year when I have to say that my husband/training partner really pisses me off!  (That being said, it actually challenges me which I both really need and like!😃)I find that on our Sunday trail runs, my favourite day of the week, he spends more time stopping and waiting for me to catch up (or trying to locate me as I get lost most weekends!) and that go me to thinking, “What makes a good training partner?”  The thing is, for 10 months of the year he is an awesome training partner, but when I am lagging behind on those 2 months , the competitive side of me finds him irritating as a training partner!! 😃😄 Hahahahaha😄😃!!.  For the record though, he and my brother are both up ahead waiting for me so I am really just the third wheel……in the summer…..on the trail!😆

Okay, so let’s talk about qualities for a training partner.  First off, it has to be someone you are completely comfortable with.  If you can’t be “au natural”, stinky, and feel embarrassed letting them see you in your sweaty-way then they are not right for you. You have to also make sure they are easily accessible; meaning you have to be able to get together easily.  If your partner lives farther away, you are less likely to be able to have regular times, or do short-notice work-outs when you feel the need.  Another must is that this person has to have similar interests.  You have to be able to have similar exercise goals and want to do the same kind of exercise program.  For example I wouldn’t want to train with someone on a treadmill or in a gym as I am someone who craves the outdoors and needs the fresh air as part of my exercise regime.  You also need to be at similar levels; a veteran marathon runner would not be suitable for a beginning runner.  You have to have someone who wants to do what you do and will be able to commit to you for a period of time. Lastly, it also is helpful to have someone who can challenge you! It is great to have that motivation running in front that forces you to “catch up”!!

moldiv_1459114746780.jpgI know that I am truly blessed to have my best friend in the world also enjoy exercising and trail running as much as I do!  But, just for the record during the winter months I kick his butt on our runs!😃😄…….I’m not competitive though!😆

I wish you all the best of luck in finding a partner of choice!  There is someone out there for all of us, so just keep those eyes and ears open and make it a goal to find just the right training partner for you!

Stay positive, and exercise on!

Your Simply Susan advice for the day! 😆

 

 

 

Spaghetting ready for fall! :)

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I love the fall so much for so many different reasons; the colours here in Southern Ontario, the cooler temperatures, the change in the air, and also the fall vegetables that there are so many fantastic recipes for.  So in today’s blog I will share one of my favourites!

Taco Spaghetti Squash!

Here is the recipe:

Pierce your spaghetti squash in a line all the way around the exterior.

Microwave for 5 minutes/squash

Take the squash out and cut it in half and scrape out the seeds

Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper

Place face down on a baking sheet and bake at 375 for 40 minutes

While this is baking, make your taco mix

Brown your meat of choice (ground chicken, beef, pork) ** if you want to bulk it up without adding more meat add equal amounts of rice and water

To this add:  your packaged taco seasoning or, make your own by adding:

1T chili powder,

1/4 t garlic powder, onion powder, crushed red pepper flakes, and dried oregano

1/2 t paprika,

1 1/2 t cumin,

1 t salt and pepper

Once the squash is done, take out of the oven and let cool slightly20161016_182847.jpg

Once cooled, using a fork, scrape the inside of the squash making “spaghetti”20161016_183327.jpg

Next, add the taco mix onto the spaghetti20161016_182840.jpg

Top with Salsa, tomatoes, and lots of cheese!!

Bake at 375 for 15 more minutes until cheese is bubbling and melted.

Remove from oven, let cool slightly, then add lettuce and sour cream if desired, and ENJOY!!!!!20161016_184820.jpg

There you have it, your Simply Susan recipe of the day! 😆 

 

 

 

Hot dog blog!🐕❤

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20160921_112553.jpgOkay, so I had to laugh this morning when I realized I missed posting a blog this week.  Let me update my loyal blog followers on my recent life changes…..We are now the very proud owners of an 11 week old American Cocker Spaniel puppy!  Yay!  We are loving him and our new puppydome, but it has brought back all the memories of when my girls were babies and toddlers!

I have realized that having a puppy is very similar to having a baby. They sleep and play, and poop and pee a lot, but they are also like those toddlers who get into EVERYTHING and ANYTHING they can.  They love to explore and are so curious about new things.  The one change is the chewing and teething behaviours.  Unlike human babies, puppies seem to think that any part of you, your clothing, the house, the yard, etc., etc., is their personal teething toy!  Man and are their teeth sharp! Yowzers!  They are like needles!  So, that being said, we have quite an array of “redirection toys” kicking around everywhere to distract him with. These do work, but persistence, perseverance and patience are key.img_20160925_203534.jpg Continue reading

Rut’s wrong with me?! 😣

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20160902_102910.jpgThis summer was a tough one for me as I found myself in that dreaded “runners rut“.  It was a tough one I’ll tell ya!

I was having such a hard time with my runs, and, the problem was I wasn’t doing anything different!  I was running the same amount and the same pace as always, but man was I struggling!  It was so frustrating to me as not only was I exhausted after a short run, but my body was aching and I was feeling old!  NOooooooooo!  I had not only plateaued in my running, I had started to regress! This really took a toll on me, so I really needed to figure out what to do and how to get back on track as it was really starting to get me down.

Now, who knows maybe it was the heat of the summer and the fact that most days it was over 25 degrees Celcius when I went out.  Maybe it was the thick, humid air?  Who knows! Whatever it was I needed to take control and get back on track.

So, I analyzed my runs and decided to come up with a plan.  What did I do you ask??? I decided to make a few temporary changes and hoped these would make the difference I needed.

Firstly, I cut back on the number of runs I was doing for a few weeks.  Secondly, I decided I needed to not care at all about my pace and run a comfortable, slow speed.  I also made sure that when I started out I started SLOWLY rather than my normal faster pace.  I had to really focus on being slow and making sure that I was comfortable.  The other thing I did was to change my routes a little and do shorter, flatter routes that wouldn’t challenge or tire me as much on those hot, humid summer days. The last change I made was to  cross-train on those in-between days (see my other blogs about great cross-training ideas!!).  Cross-training, as you all should know by now, is so very important to any exercise program you are doing.

20160902_102537.jpgThe verdict????? After 2 weeks of doing this I feel I AM BACK!!!  I did what I needed to do and I was able to beat the rut I was in and have had 2 1/2 solid weeks (so far) of good running!

What did I learn from this?  I learned that anyone can go through a rut no matter what sport you are in; running,dance, soccer, cycling, even going to the gym!  We all seem to get to a point where we are not progressing in our workouts, or worse yet, we feel as though we can’t keep up to even our regular work-outs!  It’s so frustrating and discourages the best of us!

I hope that what you have learned from this post is that if you are going through that dreaded rut, just take a moment, figure out what steps you can do to taper back for a period of time, and CROSS TRAIN!!!   This will help to not only regenerate you, but help you get back that “runners high” or whatever phrase it is your activity of choice uses!!

There you go, your Simply Susan motivational tip of the day! 😆

Keep happy and keep active!  You’ll be glad you did!

 

Yowza, what is that smell???!!!😨

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2016-08-24-14.50.25.jpg.jpegNow, no one likes exercising around someone who stinks, but it’s sometimes unavoidable.  Now I exercise a lot, and therefore sweat a lot.  So, here are some tips to keep that nasty stench at bay!😆

First off, if vinegar and baking soda aren’t already a staple for your cleaning and laundry needs, you need to make them one.  Vinegar and baking soda have so many uses that I always have them accessible for all my cleaning,  disinfecting, and deodorizing needs.

Your workout clothes get sweat soaked, and therefore can get both mildewy and can grow bacteria.  I know, GROSS!  So, what you need to do is to soak them every once in a while in a vinegar and water mix.  I use about a 1:4 ratio of vinegar to water. I also add a 1/4 cup of Baking Soda in here. I suggest soaking for at least a few hours, but overnight is even better!  Then, launder in cold water.  The vinegar and baking soda will kill off all that nasty bacteria which causes that smell!

Always wash your workout clothes in cold water, then hang to dry.  Putting them in the dryer is not good for the fabric.

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Secondly, if you are a trail runner   like myself, my shoes get quite muddy after a run.  I prefer to just rinse them in cold water using a fairly stiff plastic brush to scrub away the dirt.  After this, squeeze out as much water as you can and leave them out to air dry.  Again, never put them in the dryer or the shoes will deteriorate,  and lose their integrity.  That’s right, running shoes have tons of integrity! ☺

2016-08-24-14.52.13.jpg.jpegAnother way you can wash your running shoes and hats is to put them in the dishwasher in the top section.  This may not get into the ground in dirt, but when the cycle is done you could give those areas a  light brush.  Again here, take them out before the hot air dry cycle, or leave it on a cool dry setting.

There you are my friends, your Simply Susan tip of the day! 😆

All Decked out!

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As you know, I love my running, but I also spend quite a bit of cross training as I truly believe that will make you better at any sport you do, and adds variety to your weekly exercise.  There are so many cross training options, but since I love the outdoors, one of my favourites is to do a workout on my backyard deck.

A fantastic workout outside, for 3 out of 4 seasons here in Canada, is skipping.

wpid-2015-11-08-17.49.22.png.pngSkipping is far more difficult than you think and it takes a while to get your rhythm.  It looks so easy, but trust me, it is very tiring!  It will get your heart rate up fast!

The plan here  is to break it up into a 20 minute workout, by mixing in some weights. Trust me,  just skipping will be hard!

First, start skipping and keep it up for 1 minute straight.   You will likely trip, so just restart regularly.   What I like to do is to keep count and start on one leg for, say 30 counts, then do the same on the other leg.

Once you have completed your 1 min., take a 30 sec. break.

wpid-2015-10-25-17.06.37.jpg.jpegNext, pick up your bands or weights and do 15 bicep curls on each arm.  The advantage to using bands is that you have resistance the entire way up and down so you are working your muscles the whole time.

Skip again for 1 minute. Rest for 30 seconds.

wpid-2015-10-25-17.09.38.jpg.jpegGrab your band/weights and work your triceps.  Step on the band and extend it behind your head. Pull up so your arm is straight, and close to your head. If you’re using a weight hold it above head, arm straight, and bend  arm down (reverse of band).  Do 15 on each arm.

Skip again for 1 minute.  Rest for 30 seconds.

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Superman. Lie face down extending arms and legs. Lift both arms and legs up holding neck level. Hold for 30 seconds. Then rotate, holding right arm and  left leg up for 3 counts, then repeat with left arm and right leg. Do these for 1 minute.

Repeat all 1 time!

You are done! Fun eh? 😆🍁  Now this is just one idea.  There are countless options you could do on your own deck!  Be creative and try one today.  If you need any more suggestions just comment below and I`ll help you out!

Your Simply Susan exercise motivation tip for the day!😆