Instagram Facebook Twitter RSS Email

GET E-MAIL UPDATES


SPONSORS

Photobucket

REPRESENT

OFF THE GRID Blogger
SiobhanMcCarthy.ca

I can now say, it's MARATHON MONDAY!

I can now say, it's MARATHON MONDAY!

I went to my kidney doctor and I found out quite a couple of things: 

First: I lost 4.4 pounds since May. I'm almost positive that was all muscle. I haven't been lifting weights and I definitely haven't been running as far as I use to.The good news is, I don't feel weak. My Nike Training Club app is about to come in very handy so that I can gain that muscle back.  

Second: (the BEST!) I CAN RUN A MARATHON!!  

So. Excited. As long as I follow a gradual training plan, the doc told me there shouldn't be a problem with running a marathon as long as I am eating properly. All of my blood work and ultrasounds came back fine so as long as I am getting my nutrients and drinking A LOT of water, my kidneys can handle it. Pumped. 

It's #MarathonMonday and my first official day of marathon training! 



Today at the gym, I crushed 2.5 miles at an average pace of 9:06 min/mile, stretched it out, and then as I was leaving there was a table full of coffee, tea, juice, and fresh fruit. So far, I LOVE marathon training. I hope all my early morning workouts are full of these treats! 

Happy Marathon Monday!! 


Do you have any advice for running a marathon?

Are you training for any races right now? 

Is 26.2 THAT crazy? 

My Favourite Fitness Apps

My Favourite Fitness Apps

Fitness Apps are my best friend at the gym. From tracking miles on my shoes, WODs, and doing running challenges with my friends. 

These apps are all for the iPhone. Sorry Android and BlackBerry users! But, you should be able to download some of these apps on your devices too!  





First up: Electric Miles



Electric Miles is pretty much Facebook for runners. On this app you can post your miles, write about how your run went, comment on your friends workouts and encourage them to keep reaching their goals. It's a great app to quickly look at your workouts and see what impacted your slower runs and if you did your workout on the treadmill or on the road. 

Shoe Cycle



This app is incredibly important since your shoes should be replaced once they have run 400 to 500 miles to avoid any injuries. When you have six shoes on rotation, it gets hard to remember how far they have run. I don't know where I would be without this app. It's simple, it's easy, and it gets the job done. 

Nike+



This is a common app that most people have since it comes on the iPhone. When I run outdoors, I use my Garmin GPS watch to track my pace, elevation, and negative splits. When I'm on the treadmill, I use this app. I like it because I can plug my iPod into my treadmill. (I can't do the iPhone since I have the 5 and the treadmill only has the plug for the older generations). The great thing about this app is that a bunch of my friends use it. We can create challenges and keep pushing each other to reach our personal goals. 

Nike Training Club 



Another great app by Nike! I really like this app because it gives you WODs (Workout of the Day) and range from stretching, toning, slimming down, or building muscle. It also has workouts that target certain areas of your body and bonus workouts from top athletes like Shawn Johnson, Kara Goucher, Paula Radcliffe, and Carmelita Jeter. 



To get the bonus workouts, you complete the workouts that are built in the app and once you complete 60 minutes of sweating, you gain a bonus workout. 



The great thing about the workouts is that you can click on them and see a picture or a video demo of how the exercises are done. 

These are my favourite fitness apps, what are yours? 


BIG Changes. From My Career to Running Goals.

BIG Changes. From My Career to Running Goals.

My world has been completely flipped upside down. My running came to a halt as I decided to go to post graduate school for Corporate Communications and Public Relations. 

BIG changes. 



My twitter account is proving it. 

I've never been one to stop my workout routine but honestly, this program is consuming my life and I love it. Until I realized --  I miss running.  

I miss my endorphins, I miss pushing the limits and challenging myself physically, and I even miss the treadmill. I think part of it has to do with the fact that I'm still waiting on the results from kidney doctor to tell me if I am physically able to run a marathon or not. I was born with one kidney smaller than the other and one kidney works at 25% and the other works at 75%. Together, that makes one functioning kidney. 

I meet with my kidney doctor next Wednesday to hear all about the results of my blood work, ultrasounds, and urine tests. I've already decided that if I can't run a marathon, it is only fair that I get rewarded with a Tiffany necklace at the finish line of my next half marathon by a firefighter just like at the Nike Women's Marathon. It's only fair, right?! 


I'm back to my workout regime and it feels amazing. I have also been hesitant on going on long runs because my kidney doctor advised me to stop eating protein bars until my results come back. THAT was hard. I've been keeping my runs extremely light with little 3 milers. Luckily school is occupying my mind and time so it hasn't been too hard to go on never-ending runs. 



It also hurts my heart that I haven't been blogging. It's just so hard when you have 5 assignments due in one week. I wish that was an exaggeration. But, my new Runner's World appeared on my doorstep and I'm taking this as a sign. 


As soon as I find out my results, I will decide on my Spring races. 

*Fingers crossed!*  

Happy Wednesday, 

Shin Splints and Run Delays!

Shin Splints and Run Delays! 

I started up my latest workout schedule that will take me up to the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon:



I haven't officially signed up and to be honest, I'm afraid of getting injured again. The last time I signed up for this race, I ended up spraining A LOT of tendons in the bottom of my feet and had to take 5 months off of training. Brutal. But really, I shouldn't let a potential injury scare me. How early do you sign up for races? I'm usually a months in advance kind of girl if I'm really keen on running a race because I don't want it to sell out! 

Since I have been spending my runs on the treadmill lately, because of the humidity and thunderstorms, when I went out for my outdoor runs my shins started killing me. I have been gradually running and only doing 2 miles four times a week and a long run once a week. I really shouldn't be getting this pain for increasing mileage. Which leaves me to the other conclusion: pavement running. 

Running on concrete is hard on your body and yet I never mix up the surfaces that I run on and that could be my shin splint problem! I also don't take my easy days as easy as I should. In fact, my last "easy run" was 2 seconds slower than my goal pace of my runs during the week. Not smart. I think I am going to try and find a local track and start running on the softer surfaces at least once a week, keep my easy runs really easy, and have my majority runs on the road. 

I took some days off, went to the treadmill and still had some pain. Yesterday, I started cycling. Yes, you read the right. I DREAD the stationary bikes but in order to keep my cardio up for training, I headed straight to the bike and did a 5 mile cycle and just pushed the resistance as hard as I could. I've also been doing strength and flexibility exercises to prevent injuries.  

Tonight- I test out the treadmill again but as soon as the pain starts, it's the bike for this girl! 

When you cycle do you go for the average mph or the work you put in?

Have you ever treated shin splints? Do you have any tricks for them?
Unfortunately, this isn't the first time but it's been A WHILE since I've had them! 

How early do you sign up for races?

Ellie Goulding Sent Me Nike FlyKnits!!

Ellie Goulding Sent Me Nike FlyKnits!!

Ellie. Freaking Goulding. Sent me Nike Flyknits. For real.

I was geeking out the day my new BFF Ellie liked a bunch of my race photos from Harry's Spring Run Off and I Instagrammed about it: 


And then the next day I received an e-mail telling me that a special gift was on the way. Are you ready? Limited Edition Ellie Goulding Halcyon Flyknit Lunar1+ Shoes. 

The only thing is, I have tiny feet. I'm a size 5 and these beauties didn't come any smaller than a 6. When I received my package from Ellie & Nike I was so surprised to get a pair of the new Nike Flyknit's for myself AND the limited edition in my sister's size! 

I was so pumped to try out these new beauties! I took them with me to The Cheerleading Worlds and did all my runs in these bad boys. I was actually really impressed with the Flyknit Lunar1+ shoes. They are a Runner's World editors choice pick from March 2013 and they really are the perfect fit, for the perfect run.

The upper shoe is made from a knitting machine that allows a high level of breathability for your feet. Which is extremely important for me in this humidity! The upper sole also has wraparound flywire that act as the lace loops and hugs the arches of your feet for support. The sole of the shoes are made with a lunarlon cushioning and doesn't not have any of the firmer foam that previous shoes had which makes for a very flexible and springy strides.

After running in these minimalist inspired shoes I don't think I can go back to anything that isn't a lightweight running shoe. I have fallen in love and these shoes have become one of my favourites on my shoe rotation! 



Do you run in minimalist shoes?

Are you a barefoot runner?
I am not a barefoot runner but I feel like I am slowly becoming one. After running in Nike Free shoes to gain strength in my feet tendons after spraining them, my feet just feel more comfortable in minimalist shoes. Wearing other shoes just feels heavy and unnecessary now. I might become a barefoot runner.


Disclaimer: Nike provided me with these shoes at no cost. All opinions are my own.

Ugly Race Photos

Ugly Race Photos

Who doesn't love seeing all my embarrassing photos from races? Let's start with a Throwback Thursday from Sporting Life 2012:


Number one stunner right there! Who just slapped me in the face?!

The latest to add to the collection was from Color Me Rad on the weekend which surprisingly, this wasn't my world record for the worst ever:


 

Not bad, right? But seriously-- why do I always have this slanted frown in my pictures? What is that? Apparently it looks like I am "training hard" but I think it makes me look like a noob. I look lost and confused.

Next up, Steve Urkel's body double:

Actually though. The massive poindexter glasses with the slouched and hunched back. I am one beauty.

The next one was actually cute and frame worthy:

I ended up buying this photo (obviously, since there isn't any writing on it) but unlike normal race photos, flo-foto was selling them for $2.99 a picture! So, I couldn't resist.

This was my first time running an entire event with a friend, in a tutu, and without music. To my surprise, running sans music wasn't as hard as I though it would be. I don't think I will do it all the time since I love rapping accidentally out loud on the treadmill.

Do you have any amazing race photos?
If you do, please share them with me. I love to know that I am not alone when I get these back!

Happy Thursday!


Kidneys and Running Marathons

Kidneys and Running Marathons 

I had have a goal to run a marathon, qualify for Boston, and parade around in my very own Boston Marathon jacket. Here's something I've never shared on my blog before *PLOT TWIST!* both of my kidneys are smaller than they should be. One works at 75% and the other works at 25% so together they make one kidney. When I was in grade two, I had a major surgery and was out of school for an entire month. Everyone was jealous because I got fun new toys from everyone who would visit me at the hospital and my friends would make their parents buy them gifts that they would want to play with when they came to visit me. Making my friends are better than yours. ha! Actually though, they are amazing. 

After I already ran two half marathons, I finally decided to get referred to a kidney nephrologist to make sure that I am not doing too much harm on my kidneys. It's taken this long because I don't want to be told that I can't run 26.2 miles. 


Inaugural Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon

I do have a kidney urologist but it's time to get even more technical with these bad boys. (Also part of the reason I took this massive break off running). The nephrologist told me that I can continue to exercise as I have been but to not take any protein as it is too hard on my kidneys. Who wants my giant Costco sized protein shakes?! Just kidding. I'm not giving it away until I get all my tests completed. And I was told I can't do any fad diets-- good thing I believe in "everything in moderation." 

My next step is to get 8 viles of blood drawn and go back for my results. I'm afraid I might faint from getting all that blood taken while fasting. First of all, I don't do well without eating. I am one hannnngry girl! Then, we take a look even further into my kidney health. While I wait for the results, I'm half marathon training since I can do what I've always done fitness wise and last week started week one! 


via instagram: siobhan__mccarthy

WEEK ONE STATS: 
 
Monday: 3 miles 
Tuesday: 2 miles
Wednesday: 2 miles 
Thursday: Cheer (2 hours) 
Friday: Off 
Saturday: 3.1 miles 
Sunday: Off   

Weekly Miles: 10.1 miles 
Weekly Hours of Cheer:

I'm pretty pumped about training for half marathons again. I'm thinking of running the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Half and doing a warm-up for it at the Midsummer Night's Run 15K. Is anyone running these races?!

Do you have any tips for running with kidney issues from the past?  

Happy Running Friends! 


Color Me RAD Recap!

Color Me RAD Recap!

On Saturday I ran Color Me RAD! It was the first organized run that I have ran naked. Not actually naked you sickos! Without my iPod or Garmin. I officially have NO idea what the I ran it in and it hurt SO bad to run without music. Although, it was fun to do my first run in a white tutu: 



Honestly, I have even more respect for those runners who can go for hours without music. The hills seemed harder, my breathing was atrocious (in my defence it was extremely humid!) but at least I had Amanda to keep a conversation with the entire time! I didn't mind not running without all my technology but it definitely played some mind games. I need that extra pump up jam to get my speed up! 

When we were waiting for our wave to go, the rain started pouring down. I mean torrential downpour. Perfect. The weather was calling for thunderstorms. Yes, I was afraid. As always, I was afraid of getting stuck dodging lightning while running. I have fears. But the guys on the Zumba stage didn't stop dancing! SO, I had a great show to watch while I took cover under a tent. 

Luckily, we did the first wave and were lined up like elites at the very front of the starting line. This could be one of my only opportunities to do that. Ha! I thought that if it rained it would mean the colour would come off at the end of the race and then I wouldn't colour my entire car. I was then told the water will make the colour stay on better. Atleast I had garbage bags to sit on so that the interior of my car would stay clean! But that didn't even matter when you look like a rainbow! So. Much. FUN! 



This was actually a really awesome event! I just might do it again when it comes to Kitchener. 
No times. No music. At first it scared me but then I realized, sometimes my competitive side just needs a run these events to stay RAD. 

Have you ever run Color Me Rad or any other "trend" races? 


Disclaimer: Color Me Rad provided me with a race entry at no cost. All opinions are my own.

The Cheerleading Worlds 2013

The Cheerleading Worlds 2013

 I had another incredible experience at The Cheerleading Worlds at ESPN's Wide World of Sports this year!

This post is SO overdue but in all honesty, I needed an entire month to recover from the 10 months of training before hitting the Worlds stage. 

The Cheerleading Worlds is all about day one and placing Top 3 in the Nations Cup. Which means, every country battles it out to have the best top 3  scores in their country. Then, those 3 teams from each country moves on to day 2. 

The competition is actually fierce. (Fierce is not being used lightly!)

I'm sad to say that our team placed fourth in Canada. Yes, that's the worst place. SO close to day 2 yet-- so far. To be offered a bid to even compete at Worlds was incredible though so, I took it and went to day 2 and cheered on all my friends on other teams. 

I also threw on my kicks and ran in the beautiful Florida heat:


My runs were hard in the humidity. I was definitely not use to it when I got there. Although, passing by runners during my run made it much easier to keep going. Once I made it back to my hotel room, I ate all of that Chobani! Not in one sitting but I wanted to! Not being able to buy that in Canada anymore sucks! 


It was so fun to see our friends from around the world and meet so many new amazing friends! That's the best part about worlds-- being competitors on the floor and partying by the pool. It's actually the most wonderful time of the year! 

The hard part is waking up exhausted and hitting the parks. Especially when you are getting soaking wet at Magic Kingdom:



Of course, we still did everything with a smile and the most attractive ponchos. Everyone took cover in the torrential downpour while we just embraced it!  

When I got home, I just needed a vacation from my vacation but it was definitely worth it! 

And now I'm onto my next goal: run a sub 2 hour half marathon in the fall!

What's your current goal?



 

Taking Workout Breaks and Getting Motivated!

Taking Workout Breaks and Getting Motivated!

The last few weeks have been crazy for me. Since I got back from Worlds, I couldn't shake my love for pasta, sweets, and sipping Corona's with friends. 


On the weekend, it was the Victoria Day long weekend in Canada. AKA, the kickoff to summer! I spent my days going to see the Toronto Football Club (TFC): 


And running into other cheerleaders at the Toronto Blue Jays game: 


I'm not going to lie, it felt great to put my crazy workout schedule in the backseat and just hang out with friends, relax, say yes to every invite, and gorge on every kind of pasta under the sun. I still went to open gyms at cheer, ran (a little-- well I did a 10K- recap soon!) and worked out my kinks at the driving range. I'm still not an elite pro and everyone there knew it but Rory McIlroy better watch out because by the end of the summer, I just might be a champ!

Sometimes a good break is what you need to get you prepared for your goals ahead.

What are your summer workout goals? 
There is a post to come on them ;) 

Do you need to take breaks to get you motivated again? 
Yes! Especially when I work out 365 days in a year, it's important for me to take time off. It's not always "off" but it is usually more of scaling back on my intense workout schedule.