January 5th

I can’t write too much.  Short story, we went out for a long run in miserable weather yesterday, and on our way down from deep snow turned into icy slush, I slid out on a rock covered in slush, and came crashing down on my lower back.  First and foremost, I’m OK.  But I’m sore, I’m whiney, and I can’t sit here blogging even though I have lots to say, so let’s go point form.

  • The BeastStreak is actually still alive and kicking.  I thought for sure it would end Dec 31st, but then the 1st is a given for a family run, and well I’ve just kept going.  I’ll admit, today looked like a no-go, but then I got to thinking, and realized that it’s really hard to say no to Day 38 without at least trying.  So, treadmill with a little Bachelor and whopping 2.5kms.
  • My back doesn’t really hurt if I’m still, and walking/running is okkkkk, but any bending over or twisting of my right side, and it’s OWWWWWWW.
  • Jay’s new Go-Pro and stabilizer is RAD.  Trail running adventures with my hubs just got way more fun, and way more stressful.  When you’ve got someone running behind you, filming your every step, trust me, you’re re-thinking the dessert from last night, or the way you’re hunching your shoulders.

A few stills from our Saturday run :


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Trail Therapy

Annoying emails, people acting immature, bad drivers, missing turns, too many chocolates and treats, a mile long to-do list, mountains of laundry, a Christmas tree that is not decorated, dogs that need baths, blah, blah, blah.  Time to UNPLUG.

Marijke, Kelsey and I headed out to Buntzen, and the weather gods apparently knew that I needed to just unplug from life, and be blown away by the gorgeous place we get to live *and play!) in.

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Just a few snapshots from our run.  I swear I only took like 10 photos total, they all just were stunning and amazing and had to be shared.

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The Death of Me, I mean Nutella.

I have a confession to make to you.  I discovered some Nutella in my cupboard, and recently I’ve been eating it, out of the jar, with a knife.  It’s been about a week of this….the first bite is so delicious and tempting, and then with each excessive bite or lick, I start to feel sick and over-Nutella’d.  It’s been an addiction this week, and I fully understand how people just sit on the couch and eat, eat, eat until they are sick and double their starting weight.  I totallllllllllly get it, and I fully admit I’ve been in a bit of a slump or a rut lately.

It’s so hard to be motivated to eat right and fuel your body when your body is barely performing.  But, that’s part of my problem…I’m starting to get back into exercising and running, but if I’m not fueling properly, well then, I’m just an idiot.  That’s the worst kind of self sabotaging I can imagine.

This afternoon on a bit of a whim, Melissa and I ended up climbing the Grind.  Great right?  Not so great when you left your lunch at home, scarfed some of it down mid-changing, 3 hours after you should’ve been eating, and then thinking you’re being brilliant, grab the Nutella jar and a knife for the drive.

Smart?  Oh no, SO dumb.

Especially when this is in your recent future…

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From my Instagram.

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I love weekends.

We have been so busy that weekends haven’t really been weekends, and life kind of passes by like a blur.  There’s fun and all, but without the down times, it’s hard to really embrace and enjoy the good.

But this weekend, this weekend we had NOTHING on the schedule.  Some pencil markings, but a whole lot of nothing important or concrete.

So what did we do?

A whole lot of FUN and relaxation!  And maybe a bunch of sillyness too!

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If you’ve been reading my blog since last summer you know that one of my favourite workouts of all time is the Grouse Grind.  Commonly known as “Mother Nature’s Stairmaster” the Grind is a just under 3K climb up a mountain in North Vancouver.  It’s been updated over the years and it’s mostly stairs now, and if you’re able to make yourself uncomfortable, you can get into a great rhythm and push it, and it truly is a workout that is unlike anything else I’ve done.

Lots of people don’t enjoy the crowds and the amount of stairs, but I love challenging myself against my previous times, and chipping away at my fastest times, and most of all, I enjoy passing people.   I consider everyone that I pass on the way up as a “kill” and I keep count.  Yep, I love that extra competition that I can tap into during a workout.  Call me a weirdo, but it’s something about the Grind that I just enjoy so much.

And then the view at the top, well that’s always rewarding, and whether you’re running down the mountain on the BCMC or taking the gondola down, it’s always satisfying to know that you climbed all that ways up, on your own 2 legs.

Always satisfying, and usually for me, it’s something I’m proud of.  You noticed that usually didn’t you?  I did the Grind on Thursday and the feeling I felt during and after wasn’t empowering, strong, or anything positive.  It was embarrassment.

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Guest Post – Cathy – Running Post Pardum

Because we all love hearing Cathy’s perspective, I bring you another guest post, this time about returning to running after giving birth to her beautiful little baby boy, Theo!

So, here’s Cathy:

“After my first run post baby, Solana suggested I write an update post on how the running experience went. I decided to wait until I’d been running a few times as I hoped to see some progression in the running department…the first run was a bit of a challenge to say the least.

On March 2nd, 2014, I ran my last race ‘with cargo’.  I guest posted about running whie pregnant which you can read here.  I was about 37 weeks pregnant and feeling healthy and strong. I ran the West Van Run 10km race about 15 minutes slower than I usually would run a 10 km. Besides spending a lot of time contemplating which bush, dumpster, or building would work as a bathroom (for the record, I decided to just keep running in the end), I enjoyed the fresh air, exertion, and running in the slush.


Little did I know, that Theo would make his appearance a mere few weeks later. I was induced due to high blood pressure one week early (March 17th, on Theo’s great grandmother’s 90th birthday, the day she hoped I would have him) and after two days of labour, he finally gave his first coo followed by a hearty cry.

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Theodore Owen Gryski

Born March 19th, 2014 at 4:24am

Throughout my pregnancy, everyone commented on how ‘small’ I looked. I managed to gain 40 pounds though, so I was surprised he was only 6 of them! I’ve been doing a lot of reading while nursing Theo, including working my way through the stack of back issue Runner’s World magazines that piled up during pregnancy.

During this time, I was preoccupied with pregnancy reading material and stocking up on sleep so they sat on my night table. Now, however, it’s amazing how much reading you can get done when you don’t sleep!

After I’d completed Run #1 postpartum, I stumbled upon Laura Fleshman’s article in Runner’s World. The exact article isn’t posted online, but her blog is here http://asklaurenfleshman.com. I’m no pro runner, but I related a lot to her running experiences post baby. She inspired me to a) keep running, and b) write a blog post.

So here I am, two and half months post baby, first run completed at four weeks, and three runs in. Summary thus far:

Run #1: Theme: Pregnancy happens slowly, birth happens (relatively) quickly.
I headed out on a four kilometre loop starting from our house. It was one of my first times venturing away from Theo (one month old), so I told Mark the exact route I’d take so he could drive and meet me if Theo started to holler. I set off back in my old (a little snugger) running duds, ready to work up a sweat…I’d lost all that baby weight, should be easy to knock out 4 kms in like 30 minutes, right?

Nope. What I was prepared for, didn’t happen, and what I was unprepared for, happened.

By four weeks, I’d wrapped my head around the potential for leaking (I agreed with Laura that women share their birth stories with glory, but not many people talk about the postpartum experience, which lasts much longer) and I was pleasantly surprised that things went quite well in that area. I was prepared to feel tired (sleep deprivation and general physical exhaustion after childbirth will cause this), but I forgot that I hadn’t raised my heart rate in a good six weeks regardless of having a baby. I started out a little fast and was shuffling by the time I got home. I was prepared to feel different after baby came out, but I wasn’t ready to feel so ‘matronly.’ My chest jiggled, my knees wiggled, and my hips were shaky. General ‘looseness’ aside, I could barely breathe from the intense side stitches. I hadn’t been prepared for how my stomach muscles would cope with running postpartum.

But for a first run, I called it a win. At least I’d managed to run the whole time and this spring has been beautiful weather wise (Theo timed his birthdate well). I enjoyed the meditative left-right left-right of my feet hitting the pavement and the air smelled of cherry blossoms mixed with freedom. And Theo? He slept the whole time.

Run #2: Theme: You’ll run after baby, but not as much as you thought you would.
I didn’t get around to running again (the same loop, enough of a challenge for now) for another few weeks. The days flip by with baby, and although I walk almost every day, running takes a bit more planning (Theo isn’t running stroller sized yet). I headed off for my second run feeling optimistic that things would go better this time.

And better they were! I still had some strong side stitches (time to get going to yoga to strengthen that core), but I started slower and regulated my breathing better. I felt stronger and ready to up the pace and distance. I thought of the walk up the stairs to the car when we left the hospital with Theo (due to my high blood pressure, we’d had an extended hospital stay). It was a small flight of stairs, yet I was huffing and puffing by the time I reached the car. Even though I hadn’t run often or far since having Theo, I was still quite pleased with my recovery progress overall.

Run #2 hadn’t gone as well for Theo and Mark. I arrived home to Mark bouncing him up and down saying, “Mommy will be home soon.” Another reason to start small; everyone is adjusting to what I call ‘the new normal.’


Run #3: Theme: Muscle memory meets postpartum hormones.
Between my second and third runs, my weekly parent group topic was on Postpartum Fitness. The guest speaker was a personal trainer. She informed us moms that recovery takes two years from conception. Wow. That’s a long time. She encouraged us to return to our previous level of activity with caution. Our muscles have memory, but our hormones are keeping our joints loose so start small and build up slowly. She also recommended yoga to build up the ‘trunk’ (extended core) area, and of course, Kegels.

With this in mind, I decided to stick to my usual loop and work on upping the pace if I felt comfortable for run #3. The biggest accomplishment of this run was the absence of any side stitches. In fact, running felt almost normal.

I don’t even remember how Theo fared during this third run, but I sure am looking
forward to when he’s big enough to come along for the ride.

Running goals for this year? Mark and I would each like to run one 5 Peaks Race. So far the start time of the races has been too early to even be out of bed and dressed, so this is a lofty goal for our family. Our weekly trails runs are something that I do really miss…but I know that we will run together again. Possibly along with Theo. Plus, who could begrudge a face like this:


Grind add-on :

I sent this guest post to Solana but somehow she didn’t see it, so she asked me to do an additional blurb about hiking the Grind last week, so that we’d be all caught up.

Last Tuesday Solana and I set off to hike the Grouse Grind.  The original plan was that Solana would carry Theo and that we’d be a closer speed with her having the baby handicap.  Unfortunately her physio said no to that plan, so it was up to me to be a super mom and carry him up the mountain myself.
The last time I had climbed Grouse was back in September when Mark and I hiked the BCMC and then Crown Mountain as one of our last big hikes before baby came.  As it was, Theo made himself known, and I ended up puking at the top of Grouse before continuing up Crown.
This time around, Theo was on the outside, and did not make me sick!  It was a nice day for a climb, and weather wasn’t too hot, but carrying a baby strapped to your chest is hard work, and I found that I was easily out of breath and getting a bit dizzy.
Solana and I took our time, slowly hiking up the Grind.  I found the hardest things were keeping in a straight path without being able to fully see where I was stepping, as well as feeling dizzy.  I always forget that that first Grind of the season is the hardest and it’s a super tough workout when you’re doing it alone, let alone with child.
It felt great to get to the top of Grouse, and I was really proud of myself for just keeping moving forward and completing the hike.  Theo didn’t seem to hate the hike either, as he slept most of the way up, only briefly waking up around halfway to join the convo for a little bit, before falling back asleep.  Theo’s first Grind, but certainly not his last!


And now that we’re all caught up, it’s time for the next chapter in the life after Theo book, this morning, Solana and I are going for my first trail run post baby!  It works out perfectly that Solana has to ease back into running, and it so happens that I’m doing the same thing.  Wish us luck!

Anyone have any tips that keep them running with children in the picture?  Anyone have any running stroller tips?  



Thanks Cath!  And she’s right, we’re off to the trails to test out my foot and for her first post baby trail run.  Awesome!  Hope everyone has a great Canada Day long weekend!  I’ve got Alla’s stagette tonight, so I doubt I’ll be posting for a few days, but I’ll definitely try to update at least on Twitter on how my foot handles today.  xoxo -S 

I need a break…

From Social Media today.

SIGH.  I’ve been handling my month (so far) off of running really well.  Or so I thought, until today.  Aw man, today sucked balls.

It’s the first day I haven’t been swamped with busyness, and I just about lost it.  There was quite a few things happening in the running world – Scotiabank Half, Squamish50 Orientation 37K/47K, KneeKnacker 3/4 run, etc.  And it was a stunning gorgeous day up in the mountains.

But down here at home, I was all alone, and throwing myself a pity party.

When I first decided to not run for a month, I figured I’d be good for 2 weeks and then I’d get sad, but I’d work my way through it.  Surprisingly, I actually was decent and okay for longer than the 2 weeks.  I got to 4 weeks without any major breakdowns.

But then this week happened.

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Progress: Slow & Steady with a dash of Yoga.

For the record: I am nowhere near announcing that I am back, or even close to back, but I have been cleared to do some hiking, and to venture out a bit with some updated (harder) physio exercises, and some more exercise in general instead of focusing on icing and resting the foot.

So, what better way to start off my hiking comeback then a trek up Grouse Mountain with Mom, Cathy and Baby Theo?

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From my Instagram

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You’re right, there was no better choice.
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Guest Post – Cathy, Running with Cargo (a BABY!)

I always love how Cathy writes, and I love being able to provide readers with different views as well, so when Cath and Mark got pregnant, I immediately knew that her running while pregnant story would be great for the blog.  I knew it would be interesting and who knows when or if I’ll be running ‘with cargo’ so we might as well focus on Cath!

So, here’s Cath’s tale…

Running With Cargo

“Solana asked me months ago if I was interested in writing a guest post on running during pregnancy.  I immediately said, “Yes,” and had lots of ideas, but, alas, I still didn’t get typing.  What was I waiting for?

Perhaps I was waiting for the tiring and icky feeling that, for me, seemed to linger on and on to pass.  I’m into the third trimester now and so far, it’s the best one yet.  The nausea is finally passing.  I’ve heard some women go through their whole pregnancy feeling nauseas and I sure do feel for them.  Along with the lifting nausea, my energy levels are returning and I feel more like myself.

That is, until I set off on a run.  Oops, suddenly I remember I’m twenty pounds heavier!


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New Year, New Trail

On New Years Day it seemed like EVERYBODY was going running, and while Jay and I were invited to do many different runs, we enjoy our sleep, especially after drinking.  So, we left the alarm clock off, and decided to just see where the day took us.

Spoiler:  We ended up here.

2014-01-01 16.02.30But how?  And where exactly is that?

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