Ultimate List Of Edmonton Summer Fun Runs 2017

The Ultimate Edmonton Run List 2017

There are so many great fun runs popping up, I've rounded up this list for you. Get some friends together for a team  or train for a long run. Either way have some fun!

Edmonton Gorilla Run May 13th

Be a gorilla for a morning. Dress up your costume to enter to win prizes too!

Teddy Bear Fun Run May 13th

Supporting the children of the Stollery Hospital and you can be entered to win a Mothers Day Spa Retreat in Edmonton.

Super Cities Walk for MS May 25th

Walk/run to support MS research.

Big Gifts For Little Lives 5km Walk/Run May 27th

A run hosted by the parents of a child on the heart transplant list. Funds raised going to the Pediatric Heart Transplant in the Stollery.

Edmonton Shoppers Run For Women May 27th 

Supporting women's mental health programs. This run also has a little 1k for the kids!

Edmonton Defeat Depression Walk May 28th

Raising funds for CMHA and mental health programs and awareness. 

Woman 2 Warrior May 28th 

Supporting Easter seals and families overcoming the challenges of disability and mental conditions

Color Me Rad Edmonton June 10th

Find your white shirt and shorts and get covered in colour bombs!

Edmonton Pride Run & Walk June 11th

Celebrating our diverse community and raising funds for the new Edmonton Pride Run Endowment.

5k/10k Ice Cream Run June 11th

Post run massages and a community potluck afterwards! 

JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes June 11th

Supporting finding the cure for Diabetes.

Kids running for Kids June 12th

Supporting the efforts of Jacob's Wish 2.5 km  and also 5km and 10km options.

Pheonix Fun Run June 18th

Walk/run supporting Endometriosis Awareness.

Do It For Dads June 18th

Raising awareness and funds for prostate cancer.

Run for H20 - June 24th

Supporting efforts to bring clean water to rural parts of Ethiopia

Superhero Run/Walk June 25th 

Helping support Edmonton's inner city youth.

Pets In The Park June 25th.

Walk with your pet in Hawerlak Park supporting the Edmonton Humane Society

5K Foam Feast Leduc July 1st 

A fun way to cool off from the summer heat, running/walking in foam!

Mega Bounce Run July 8th

Whats better then bouncy castles? Running on them and supporting the Ronald McDonald House! 

Run to Quit July 9th

Focusing on a healthy lifestyle with the aim to support those quitting smoking.

Spartan Sprint & Super(Red Deer) July 22-23

Get a little dirty and test your skills. 

Edmonton Ice Cream Run July 23rd 

Benefiting the Mountain Gorilla Conservation Society. This event has a "little scoops" 1k run for the kids too.

Foam Glow - August 11th

Foam. Glow In the dark. Fun

Mud Hero (Red Deer) August 12-13

Get dirty on the hills and show of your skills. 

Hope Run 2017 - September 2nd

Supporting the Make A Wish foundation of Northern Alberta.

Instabox Dog Jog September 9th

Running to support Second Chance Animal Rescue.

Insane Inflatables September 16th

A chance to let out your inner kid. Bounce and run around!

Terry Fox Run September 17th

Continuing the legacy 

Night Race September 23rd

Pull out the headlamps and flashlights or even glow sticks for this fun in the dark race. 

Digestive Smoothie

It's said that the mix of ginger, cardamom, cinnamon and coriander are a powerful digestion stimulator. Although I kept the corainder out of the smoothie (that I think would be too weird...) this smoothie has antioxidants, digestive aids and healthy fats great for hormone function. 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup kale (I used frozen chopped kale)
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger
  • teaspoon cardamom
  • teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein
  • Water to desired consistency. (I like this one a little more on the watery side)

Love, 

Jen The Bitchin' Housewife.

Couch To 5km in 8 weeks

Last week on my Facebook page I posted a video about how I "got into" fitness. My journey mostly started with a couch to 5km program. I set a goal in mind to run a 5km run that was being put on and I followed a program I found on the internet. I don't have that specific program anymore, but I put together a version similar to the program I did. 

A few tips:

Make the runs on alternate days, so for example if you run on Monday, don't run on Tuesday, but run again on Wednesday or Thursday. 

Spend 5 minutes doing a warm up walk ahead of time.

Stretch afterwards.

Drink water.

Enjoy yourself! Each time you lace up, think about how excited you are to be on your journey and imagine yourself crossing the 5km finish line! 

Also, check out the awesome Yoga For Runners workshop I am running Febraury 25th! We will chat about about breathing techniques, do a yoga class specific to running and end in some restorative postures to help the body recover. Check out the Facebook event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/706368609545879/

Love, 

Jen The Bitchin' Housewife

Chopped Leaf Turn Over A New Leaf Contest

New year, new leaf to turn over. I don't care what anyone says about resolutions and "New Year, New Me". I love a fresh year, fresh start with the intention of changing something for the better. 

January 1st The Chopped Leaf, launched their Turn Over a New Leaf program. For the month of January, offering healthy tips on their Facebook Twitter and Instagram pages with a chance to enter daily to win $15 gift certificates as well as be entered to win the grand prize worth $2500 including  $1000 Chopped Leaf gift card and a year membership to Goodlife and a spa and wellness package! 

So head on over to follow them and get in on the daily draws and  enter to win for the grand prize HERE.

5 Foods To Eat After Injury

If you don't follow along on my Instagram, you would have missed the fact that I injured myself yesterday. Doing some fancy version of box squats, I missed and landed on the corner of the box with my shins. *Insert grimace*.

So here we are writing about some foods that will help the healing process. These are great not just for us adults, but for the kids on our lives that play sports or get injuries from riding their bikes, as they are non medical ways of helping heal. 

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1.Ginger - Ginger is a well known anti inflammatory and helps reduce pain. But in addition to this, if you are taking medication for pain/healing that upsets the stomach, ginger is known to help fight nausea and upset stomachs.  

2.Tumeric - Also another well known powerful anti inflammatory, reducing joint pain if there are injuries to knees, elbows, shoulders etc.

3.Vitamin C Rich Foods - Vitamin C boosts immunity we know but it also important in strengthening of collagen (the stuff that holds our skin together), if we aren’t getting enough vitamin c Collagen gets weaker and wounds heal slower.Try sweet bell peppers, oranges, spinach, and brussel sprouts.

4.Protein - Think about bodybuilders and muscle heads and all the protein they seem to consume. While working out we are tearing the muscles and protein is needed to repair the tears. It’s not just neede for repairing muscles but also injuries such as cuts, burns, wounds etc. Increase your protein intake while healing. “Protein gets used for energy before healing” - Michele Gottschlick R.D Ph.D.  So we need to increase protein for energy AND to use for healing.

5.Zinc Rich Foods - Zinc is needed to synthesis protein and for cell growth, helping heal wounds faster. Spinach, Beef, Kidney Beans, Pumpkin Seeds, Oysters, Garlic (well isn’t that just convenient) Egg Yolk, Pork and Dark Chocolate (So I’ve given you a scientific reason to eat chocolate).

Adding some of these foods together would probably make a great salad or stew! Watch for a recipe on the blog soon!! Ha ha

 

Love, 

Jen The Bitchin' Housewife

It Doesn't Have To Be Perfect

My verdict on astrology is still out, but as a Cancer (and a Pitta in the Ayurvedic world) I have a small problem with perfectionism. Sometimes I find myself not even starting a task because I know it will not work out perfectly or know that I don't have the time to do it perfectly.

This evening as I am hand washing some dishes that didn't fit in the dishwasher, I started thinking about the mess that currently is my home and everything that needs to be done to clean it. To perfection no less.

Today, for several reason I do not have the energy for this task. I normally may have even left the dishes in the sink to "catch up" on them tomorrow, because I certainly don't have the time to clean the whole kitchen and then house. I did them though, to make at least a small impact on the mess.

I think this is many people's problem with fitness and/or nutrition. Inner dialogue may sound a little like this: 

"If I am not going to perform the most efficiently in the gym, why should I even go? How can I perform the most efficiently if I don't know what I am  doing? I need to research or read about how to do things perfectly so I can make the most of my time while there. Okay, research first, get a plan and then go."

Days, weeks or even months pass. Waiting for the perfect plan, perfect moment, perfect outfit, perfect timing or whatever. Then it becomes a kitchen full of dishes that never get done. Am I right?

What if we stopped trying to make everything perfect and we just try? What if I learn to accept the mess around me for what it is, but know I can make a small impact right here, right now. A small step in the direction I wish to travel. Soon these small steps turn into these big milestones. These milestones turn into big moments and these big moments turn into the way I live my life?

Maybe at lunch when I have some cheesecake instead of sticking to my salad and egg whites I accept the "mess" and continue on with my plan instead of "well today is shot, may as well go down hill from here."

It doesn't have to be perfect. You don't have to be perfect. You just have to take a small step in the direction you wish to travel. The rest will follow eventually. 

Love, 

Jen

 

Fitness Goal Setting

Goal setting. Seems simple enough right? "I want to loose weight"," I want to build muscles" or "I want to run a half marathon." Seem simple that think about something we want and boom it's a goal. 

But is it? Not to pull out all the cheesey fitness quotes but as Antoine de Saint-Exupéry said "A goal without a plan is just a wish." 

So how do we set fitness goals? How do we make it a goal and not a wish, a real live attainable thing? Let's take it back to elementary school with how to solve a problem. Figure out the 5 W's and the H.

  • What? What is your goal? Do you have an event you want to race in, a weight/size you are looking to achieve? This I think is the easy part of goal setting of course. What do you want?
  • When? When do you want to achieve this goal by? Thinking something reasonable, maybe planning to run a marathon in 3 weeks and you've never run a day in your life is a bit too much too fast. But set some timelines of the things you wish to obtain.
  • Who? Who do you need to support you in your goal? Tell these people your plans. They can hold you accountable and/or help you with your goals. You might be surprised to find the people rooting you on and/or you inspire to do the same! Do you need a personal trainer or coach? Do you need workout buddies?
  • Where? Seems like an odd question, but in reality, where do you need to be in order to obtain this goal? Do you need a gym membership since home workouts and self motivation you know are a hurdle for you? Do you need to be able to run outside, do you have a place to do this?
  • Why? Ah, this is the tricky one. Think good and hard about why you want to obtain this goal. If you heart isn't really there, the love and joy of obtaining your goal likely won't. I wrote a bit about loving your personal fitness journey and it helping in this post Love Your Fitness . Take some time to sit and actually think about why you want to do something, because if it comes from this place of self hate or self loathing, you'll likely hate every minute. Taking an honest look at your feelings will help you use them constructively, instead of burying them inside a workout. 
  • How? Sit down and write out how. I'm a pen and paper gal, where if I write something down its official. Maybe you like spreadsheets of how often you plan to workout or what your nutrition will look like. Write it out, type it, print and put it somewhere you see often. A reference to look back on to see if you are on track, or a place to write what did or didn't work. Remembering sometimes our journeys take us different routes then we thought.

Now go and take action!!!! You have planned and prepared, go crush those goals!

Love, 

Jen

Trinity Workout

Our 6am club has been doing the stairs and a full body style workout at the top halfway through. I made this "Trinity" workout and designed it to be legs, then arms, then some core/abs work. Trinity because well, all the 3's. I'm weird like that. 

We did 7 rounds of the stairs today so only went through this workout once, but I'd love to hear if you did it the full 3 times! Rest in between each of the sets for a minute or two and get on it!

Quick description of each move is below.

Squats - Bum low, chest up

Tricep Dips - palms down, fingers pointing to toes, bend at the elbows

Plank Toe Tap - 15 a side. High plank reaching opposite hand to toe

Lunge to high knee - 15 a side. Lunge back then draw back knee into the chest.

Push Ups - Can be done from the knees.

High/Low Planks - high plank to the forearms is one 1, then back up and down for 30.

Plie Squat - feet pointed out, legs wider, chest up.

Diamond Push up - hand in a diamond shape on the ground, bum high, feet wide. Draw the head to the floor.

Genie Abs - On the back, arms over the chest, draw the knees to the arms and lift the bum. 

Enjoy!

 

Love, 

Jen

Workout Gear Review: Winners Balance Collection Athletic Pants

I get a lot of people ask me about reviewing workout gear, they want to know what's out there. So, I thought today I would write about the these yoga/athletic pants I got from Winners.  Being from Winners and costing $25 makes me think they are accessible and affordable to most people. Now I know you may be thinking "But Jen, Winners prides themselves on the fact that every time you go there is something new. They have commercials saying the item could be gone in a hour!" Yes, this is true. And I can even think of sometimes I didn't buy something only to regret it later when it was gone. The one thing I've noticed they keep pretty reliable is their workout gear section. There are brands (such as these) that I've seen every time I go. 

Moving on to why we are here. The pants. 

The pros:

I really like the fact that they are lightweight. I love them for hot yoga and cardio. I don't feel like they are make me even warmer and they are breathable. I like that they stay on me for these types of activities too. Some pants I find start falling down as I hit the treadmill. (Subscribe to email to watch for which ones!) These pants don't move. 

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I like the fun design/colors they have. The crazier the better seems to be the trend in workout gear and they've got a lot of great options. Side note here; with the designs and so on it hides sweat marks really well! 

The wide waist band rocks. This is basically the very first thing I look for on workout/yoga pants. Being a mom of two, the lower part of my stomach doesn't always "behave" with pants. Wide waist bands are nice to keep everything tucked in and secure. 

They are not see through. I went to take some pictures to show you how they aren't see through and decided against posting pictures of me basically bent over full bum in the frame shots. So here is one of me off to the side. The flash is really bright here and you still can't see through them.

They cost $25. Yeah that's a big difference between some brand names of upward to $200.

The cons:

There is no small key pocket. I used to think these were useless. But I use these pockets in pants alllllll the time. I usually take off my rings for weightlifting and put them in these pockets. If they are big enough and the location works, I sometimes put my music device in there too!

I have bought pants basically exactly like this and enjoyed them immensely, but after about a year the had a hole in the side, where the seem split a bit. I haven't had this exact pair that long but they are the same material and stitching. This is the difference in pricing. The expensive pants usually last a really long time and these types not so much.

Final Verdict:

Great for activities like running and yoga.

Good choice if maybe starting to workout and looking for something inexpensive to start with. Also if you are planning to very dramatically change your body (read as loose say 40 lbs) they would be good. This way you aren't buying really expensive stuff that wont fit. (soon hopefully)

Share with me some brands you'd love to see a review of!

Love, Jen

Why Do I Want To Compete

It’s funny how I can’t recall one person asking me why I wanted to run a half marathon when I was training for it. Or I have never thought to ask friends why they want to compete in Crossfit competitions or Super Spartan races. But I’ve had a lot of people ask me why I want to compete in this bikini competition. Is it because it’s basically being judged on your look? Maybe a contemplation for another day, before I get to far into it? I originally planned to write this post after the competition, but today seemed like a good day.

I first decided I wanted to compete in September last year. Original thought process was “that would be cool to do one day”. And it went on the bucket list. But ya see;  the thing with me is sometimes I become fixated on things and I have a  hard time letting go of them. This became one of those things that stuck.

So why compete? Why not? Why be ordinary? Why not do the things that we think are impossible? Why not dare to be extraordinary?  We don’t all have to be extraordinary by selling our worldly goods and moving to India or jumping out of airplanes. If you do those things and they make you happy, then amazing. But for me, smaller odder goals are my thing. That new song about being the life of the party and take your shot, it might be scary…. Exactly. Maybe it’s the scary that attracts me to doing things like this.

I did it to push myself. Doing the uncomfortable makes us grow, makes us learn about ourselves. I never want to look back on life and say I wish I tried this, or I’m too old for this now or whatever lies we tell ourselves to make us feel better about not doing the things we never did. Bring myself to that “edge” as my yoga teacher calls it. Nothing wrong with pushing yourself to the limit. As long as you don’t stay there I suppose.

To self observe, to learn about myself. I remember telling a friend I wanted to compete when I first started thinking about it and was told to make sure I don’t take it out on my kids. I was a little offended at the time, but the more and more I’ve read about people not handling the process, well I understood it more. Lowered calories/carbs, excessive training, meticulous food intake, no alcohol, dehydrating practices or heck even the excessive peeing from crazy water intake would have an effect on anyone. The things I’ve learned about myself are incredible to see. Again, probably another blog post.

To prove something. To break the mold of the “typical” bikini competitor. We see them typically as young, childless cardio bunnies, who eat only chicken and broccoli. Well I saw them that way I guess. I wanted to do it another way.

  • As a vegetarian. I have been a veggie for 19 years and get asked ALL THE TIME, “how do you get protein?” Let me tell you something, all veggies are sick of this question. Especially athletic ones.
  • As a mom. I have two children, 1.5 and 3.5 years old. Being a role model is important to me for my girls. Not role modeling ab out having a lean body. Being a role moel for ssetting goals and sticking to them. Persevering through tough times and being humble when they are good.
  • As natural as possible. Non GMO soy products, no funky heart racing preworkouts, no fat burning pills, and aside from the occasional Quest bars that had sucralose in them, no artificial sweeteners.
  • As a “if it fits your macros” counter. Again another blog post, but google macro counting, it’s pretty cool. I basically ate oreos my whole prep until the last few weeks. Not a lot of them, but better then the none most get. Ha ha. This kind of has a second point to it. I wanted to make sure I maintained a healthy relationship with food. Not look at a carb and cry how it will make me fat, or have an accidental slip on my diet and starting thinking of ways to negate it. I’ve read over and over again how competitors have many eating disorders.

Prove to me? Prove to you? Not sure exactly. Just to see if I could do it differently. Following the road to competing but on my own path, on my own journey.

And finally for the athleticism of it. I enjoy working out. I love weight lifting. Maybe not cardio so much to be honest ha ha ha, but I have become one of those people that loves fitness. It’s exciting, and I will try any type of it once at least. Even if it includes doing deadlifts 3 days a week……… Don’t lie to me, aint nobody like deadlifts.

So on the eve of the eve of my competition I’ve had a nice reflection of why I have done all this. Tomorrow I get my tan and go for my weigh in for Saturday. It’s been one incredible journey. No matter what happens Saturday, first place, last place or flat on my face, I’ve done it my way, learned a lot along the way and am ending with self respect, self love and a whole lot of pride.

(Don't mind the black and white, my suit color is a surprise until show day. You're welcome to guess the color!)

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bikini

Life Isn't About A Flat Stomach

Most may know that I am preparing for a bikini competition. I am 5 days away from stepping on stage in front of a lot of people, amongst a lot of other women in some tiny pieces of cloth. I get asked a lot lately; why? Why do I want to compete. I want to write a blog post about why after my competition, but some of it is explained here.

This morning I went for my very first consult for breast augmentation. (A boob job). I’ve had two babies that I breastfed for over a year each, significant weight loss and I’m fastly approaching 30. My girls are not the same as they once were. This is for me, has nothing to do with competing, society’s view of me or so on. It is for me and how I feel in my body.

Anyways, I went for my consult. I waited 4 months for this appointment, after being waitlisted basically. While there I asked about a small amount of skin above my c section scar that I’m not even sure I wanted to have surgery on. It bothers me, maybe not enough to consider surgery. I’m very proud that my body grew and nourished two babies. And even though my births weren’t the way I wanted, proud that I was able to have them surgically and walk away from it. Take care of my babies while healing from surgery. “Scars are only reminders that something tried to hurt us and we didn’t let it.” I had my babies, even though they may have been too big for my body and I’m still here. Take that mother fucker.

The doctor was a jerk and told me I needed a tummy tuck and reconstruction of my stomach muscles. The skin was only a small part of it. The reconstruction would allow my stomach to be right flat, even after eating a full meal. What. The. Fuck. Look at these pictures.

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I think I look pretty damn good. Not to be egocentric or anything but again, self pride for my hard work. It's also not super flat. I even told the fucker I was stepping on stage in 5 days. Now don’t think this really rocked my confidence about doing this competition. I’m stronger then that to allow an external force (especially a person I don’t know) take my pride, self love and confidence away from me. Instead I was upset for two reasons. The way he treated me was atrocious.

The second, life isn’t about a flat stomach. Do we really need to have flat stomachs after eating? Aren’t our stomachs designed to expand for reasons? It’s people like this that are distorting the view of the world and creating the idea in people’s minds that we have to be this tiny tiny little thing. I knew competing, this tiny body isn’t something sustainable. I honestly don’t believe in 6 pack abs or a super flat stomach being something that’s maintainable year round. Whether it be for your physical or mental health. Mostly because a lot of people have an unhealthy relationship with food and/or exercise in order to maintain it. Or unhealthy relationship with their bodies in order to maintain it. It’s kind of disturbing.

I am very confident in my body. Of course I have days where I think I can’t do this. Or my body isn’t as good as the girl on Instagram I will compete with or I could be leaner, tighter etc. But I also know how hard I’ve worked, how good I look and I will be on that stage even if I’m a whale compared to the next girl. It’s my journey and I will do with as I please.

That said, imagine the other mother walking into that office. Not as confident. Walking in there because she doesn’t feel that way and is looking for something to make her feel better. She goes for boobs, asks about a small amount of skin and is basically told she’s a wreck and needs an overhaul of her midsection. Told if she does this she can eat a meal and not worry about her stomach showing. WHY?!?!?! Why is a flat stomach so damn important? Why are we chasing this? If the majority of us don’t look like this, why do we let the select few tell us we should? If you are a healthy weight for your body, are not sick, eat relatively well within reason, have a healthy relationship with food or our bodies why do we always need to loose 10 lbs or obtain the flat stomach?

I will get more into why I wanted to compete in another post, but it wasn’t about the abs or flat stomach. Cool side effect maybe, but I know they will go away after show time. I will bring calories back up to give me energy to sustain my busy life. To fuel my workouts properly. I will eat more carbs, enjoy the glass of wine with my friends, pie for Thanksgiving and they will fade away. If they stay for a while, then cool too. Maybe I’m talking out of my ass, but I think life isn’t about a flat stomach.