Rock Climbing and Manicures

Working out is exactly as hard as it sounds. It even has the word “work” in there! That’s why it’s so important to treat yourself every now and then for all the hard work and effort that you put into your workouts!

A lot of people like to have “cheat meals” or “treats” where they indulge in a deliciously, sinfully unhealthy food like fried chicken, full fat ice cream and poutine.

I’m definitely not against that! Poutine is especially delicious with some bacon in it, so I’m totally guilty of indulging myself more often than most. But, at the same time, I’m usually the first to reach for the plate of veggies at dinner.

So instead of indulging in food, I like to pamper myself with some spa activities like manicures!


I love sparkly red nails and they still look amazing when they’re as short as mine!

But, I was also curious to see how well (or how badly) a short, well done manicure would hold up against rock climbing.

I also got a pedicure, which does absolute wonders for refreshing tired running and climbing feet!


If you’ve ever tried buying your own rock climbing shoes or talked to someone who’s bought rock climbing shoes, then you’ll know that certain materials that manufacturers use call for very, VERY snug fits. Mine are made of leather, so I had to go about a half size down when I bought them to make sure that they’d be snug against my foot after wearing them in.

Even though my shoes are nicely worn in, my toes still get squished against the edges and I figured it’d be a good test of how well a pedicure would hold up as well!

As I mentioned in this week’s fitness update, I spent quite a bit of time focusing on challenging my current skills in rock climbing. During all the 5.9s I was tackling, I was concentrating a lot on my hand and feet positions to scale up the routes in a more efficient way.

That also means that I really put my mani-pedi through a lot! My hands were completely covered in chalk and my feet were so gross afterwards.

But, how did the mani-pedi hold up?


My nails were surprisingly still in good condition! My left hand was barely affected but my right hand suffered a casualty on my pinky.

I knew exactly when it happened because a hold I was reaching for was a lot closer to the wall than I thought!


My big toes were a little smudged at the tip, so that’s probably a good sign that my shoes are super snug (but not painful!) against my forefoot. In this case, that’s a very good thing!

Other than that, the pedicure was almost untouched.

One other thing I noticed was that my skin was pretty much unharmed. In fact, the mani-pedi procedures scraped away a lot of dead skin and rejuvenated my fingers for a better tactile awareness!

Verdict – Short manicures and pedicures are fine for rock climbing, especially to get rid of built up dead skin. But, I’ll probably get a mani-pedi the day before I go climbing to really make sure the polish doesn’t get as damaged!

How do you treat yourself to a good string of workouts? Do you like to do “refereshers” like spas or massages?



New Balance Minimus 10v2

Weekly Fitness Update #9

It dropped a few degrees over the last week and I was so not prepared! I had to make some last minute adjustments to my schedule so my mileage really suffered.

Here’s my results from last week:

Nov 16 – 5km @ 6’08” avg pace, 30:53
Nov 20 – 5km @ 5’42” avg pace, 29:20
Nov 23 – 7km @ 6’01” avg pace, 42:21

Woo hoo, I’m getting faster! But, I seriously underestimated the temperatures and winds on that first run on Nov 16… I was stupidly thinking that I could still get away with shorts in 6C weather without gloves or a hat. That’s definitely tights weather here in Toronto!

I took a little break to make sure I wasn’t getting sick. I dressed up a bit warmer for the run on Nov 20, went back for 5km and absolutely CRUSHED IT. I also made sure that I had a large (but full of complex carbs and nutrients!) lunch to get enough fuel in me.

I wanted to squeeze in another run before I updated but I was running around getting things for a party on Nov 21 and then went rock climbing on Nov 22, so I ran yesterday.

It gave me plenty of inspiration for new posts, though!

Rock Climbing – Nov 22

My belay buddy developed a bad migraine during the day so I went solo this time.

Top Rope – I had to stick with the auto belay routes this time, but I was happy to see that there were a few new routes in the 5.8 to 5.10b range!

The 5.8s were definitely too comfortable so I forced myself to stick with the 5.9s and managed to complete 2 routes and ALMOST finish a few other ones.

I don’t have a huge reach, but I’ve seen kids and other people my size easily scale 5.9s so I’m going to have to figure out what kind of technique they use!

Bouldering – I was so tired by the time I got to the bouldering wall that I could only do V0s. I tried a couple of V1s, but I could barely get past the third hold before falling.

I had to stop since I could feel some muscles in both of my shoulders starting to get super strained.

What will my goals be this week? I’m still trying to figure out when to go running since Christmas is ominously creeping up on us and I still have to finish gift shopping and those cards before the rush.

Nov 25/26 – 5km @ 5’55” avg pace, 29:35
Nov 27 – 7km @ 6’05” avg pace, 42:35
Nov 28 – 10km @ 6’20” avg pace, 1:03:20

Nov 29 – Rock Climbing

I still haven’t really gotten comfortable with the 5.9 grade, so I’ll definitely be focusing on that. In turn, bouldering should naturally get easier, too!

Top Rope – Hopefully, I’ll be able to try some of the new 5.9s I saw in the top rope section if I can find a belay buddy in time.

Bouldering – I’d like to try more V1s, but I’m not sure if I’ll be able to.



Glam Sense powered by Topbox

There’s nothing like a little pampering, especially after a great run or really bad one. That’s why I signed up for Topbox’s new Glam Sense program!

I just got a confirmation letter saying that I’ve been selected to get one with some new information coming in the next 2 weeks.


It’s a brand new program from Topbox, so I’m not sure what exactly it’ll be, but I was defintiely interested enough to sign up when I got their first email.

I’m really excited to see what will be in the box and what’s next!



New Balance Minimus 10v2

Weekly Fitness Update – #8

It was the perfect week to rest! I could tell that I was getting a bit too burnt out since all the tendons and muscles around my knees were feeling really tense and not in the best shape. I realized mid-week that I didn’t rest much when I got sick a while ago, so that was probably a huge contributing factor!

Not to mention, the whole area was super windy and rainy last week, so it was probably the best time for me to take some rest.

Luckily, I’m feeling much better now and I’m totally ready to move around again!

Here’s my results from last week:

None! Didn’t run at all!

Rock Climbing – Nov 15

I was more than ready to get moving by Sunday but I had a pretty heavy brunch with some friends, so I wasn’t feeling as mobile as usual.

Top Rope – I was focusing more on the 5.9s this time around and, while I was comfortable tackling this grade more often, I quickly realized that I need more strength and endurance to get better!

I actually didn’t realize how quickly I got comfortable with 5.9s until I tried a 5.8 and felt how easy it was to scale.

Bouldering – I totally destroyed myself trying some ungraded top-rope routes, so I could barely do two V0s… Oops?

There were quite a few routes that weren’t graded yet, so I pretty much went all-out trying to figure out a couple of the routes that I was more or less sure what grade they were. More than likely, I tried a couple routes that were too hard for me because I got tired pretty damn quickly.

A good chunk of the bouldering walls was naked too, so I think the gym was doing a pretty big overhaul of its older routes. I’m pretty excited to see what sort of challenges will be there next week!

I’ve been itching to get back into my runners, so here’s what I’m aiming for this week:

Nov 16 – 5km @ 6’05” avg pace, 30:30
Nov 17 – 7km @ 6’05” avg pace, 42:35
Nov 19 – 10km @ 6’20” avg pace, 1:03:20

Nov 22 – Rock Climbing

This time, it might all depend on my belay buddy… I’m thinking that I’d like to do some more bouldering, so we’ll see.

Top Rope – I’m going to do my best to only tackle 5.9 routes! (Except for warm up or cool down climbing.)

Bouldering – I’m going to aim for 30% V0s and 70% V1s this time. I have no idea if I’ll be able to complete any of them, but I’ll try!

What did I do on my rest week? I started knitting a scarf for the Secret Santa on reddit and basically lounged around. It’s quite therapeutic!



New Balance Minimus 10v2

Weekly Fitness Update – #7

I only managed to run twice this week because a work project tied me up longer than expected on Friday and the physical labour part of it really drained me on Saturday.

Here’s my results from last week:

Nov 3 – 5km @ 5’53” avg pace, 29:26
Nov 5 – 7km @ 6’15” avg pace, 43:59
Nov 7 – 10km

Look at that, I actually managed to run 5km in under 30 minutes! Another PR run!!

I was sprinting for a couple of streetlamps at a time and then slowed down to almost a walk for about the same distance for some interval training at various points in the route. I don’t really keep track where and how long I did those, aside from “it had streetlamps.”

I didn’t quite sleep too well before the 7km run, so I wasn’t feeling in my top form that day. It was still a pretty decent time, though!

I was doing so much (relatively) heavy lifting and moving things around on November 6th that my back and thighs were aching the day afterwards. In retrospect, going out for drinks that Friday night wasn’t such a great idea…

Rock Climbing – Nov 8

By this time, I realized that my left wrist and hand has a strange, dull pain, so I wrapped up in some KT Tape and decided to gauge how I felt throughout the workout.

Top Rope – Since I knew that I’m squarely in the 5.8 grade, the second route I tried was a 5.9 with a slight overhang. I almost fell when I was close to the top, but I managed to complete it on my first try! I even managed to easily climb up a very interesting 5.8 that was overhanging and required a clip in the middle of the route.

But, I tried another 5.9 and just couldn’t figure out how to reach the second hold… By that time, I was getting pretty tired so I went to the bouldering section with my belay buddy.

Bouldering – I did manage to climb a V1, even though it was pretty difficult! I didn’t quite have enough energy to tackle another V1, especially since my wrist and arm were starting to feel kind of weak and stiff.

I’m starting to get pretty good at this climbing stuff, eh?

Even though it’s already getting close to mid-November, I’m starting to feel really burnt out and not in great condition. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been over-stressing at work or if I’m just going out too much (a likely possibility), but my energy levels and enthusiasm about fitness are crashing pretty bad.

That’s why I’m taking a rest week! I think I’ll finish reading Bill Nye’s Undeniable

Nov 15 – Rock Climbing

I promised a couple of friends I’d go rock climbing with them, so I guess my

Top Rope – I’ll try tackling more 5.9s but I get the feeling half of the routes I’ll be doing will be 5.8s.

Bouldering – More V1’s! I’ll have to get better at gauging how tired I am before I go bouldering.

Ever take a rest week? I’m hoping I’m nice and refreshed after it!



Courtesy of adidas Canada

adidas Runmore 10K – Race Report

“The only race that ends with you going back in time. #runmore 10K”

Event: adidas Runmore 10K
Date: November 1st
Time: 1am
Fees: $35CAD
Personal Goal @ 6’30” avg pace or less, 1:05:00

The very first adidas #runmore 10K was at 1am on November 1st and zipped us along the Martin Goodman Trail westward from Ontario Place. Why not use that extra hour from Daylight Savings to run a 10K race? After all, the clocks go back at 2am anyway.

I ran this on my own because I still don’t have many runner friends and most of the people I know were busy since it was Halloween night! But, I really can’t think of a better way to spend the night!

Here’s my recap of the adidas RunMore 10K!


If you’ve been following my weekly update reports like here, here and here, I’ve been running 10km once a week on flat ground, so I didn’t really need to do much additional training in terms of running.

However, I did need to plan my day since the race was starting at 1am! I’m usually asleep at 11pm, so this was going to be a challenge just being awake and planning out my meals properly since I didn’t want to burn out.

Race Day Prep

In case you didn’t see it, here’s the absolutely amazing race packet that they included.

adidas Runmore 10K Race Packet

Courtesy of adidas Canada

I was blown away by how much was in that race packet and the high quality of it all! Obviously, I didn’t take this picture, but it’s literally what what I got in my bag.

On the day of the race, I ended up having a big portion of Warm Chicken Quinoa Salad for dinner at around 7:30pm. I used some diced celery and cucumber to briefly pickle in a simple garlic vinaigrette that worked quite well with the slight bitterness and meatiness of the quinoa and chicken. I wanted this kind of dish because it was pretty light but very nutrient and energy dense.

I also took a nap from 9:00pm to 10:30pm because I knew it wouldn’t be able to stay awake. Gotta be in the best condition possible!

Since it was 1am, at the Waterfront, and it was Halloween night, I decided to dress up a bit!

In addition to the bright neon yellow Nike sweatshirt, adidas running light armband, and Nathan lightspur on my foot, the rainbow tutu lights up!

The Monsieur drove me there, but he was super worried about me because it was raining pretty hard at that time and I didn’t bring any rain gear. But, this really wouldn’t be the first time I raced in the rain! (Seriously, all the races I’ve run in 2015 have been in the rain!)

The village wasn’t as impressive as the Nike race since it simply wasn’t as massive in scale, but it was really great for a 600 runner race.

It was a shame that it was raining because there were live DJs and plenty of space to mingle, dance around and check out the food trucks, but they were forced to open the food tent so we wouldn’t get wet!

Luckily, the rain stopped enough just before we made our way to the start line.

Start line – I noticed that there weren’t a lot of people dressed up, which I found a bit strange since it was Halloween night. But I noticed that a lot of people were wearing really dark clothing!

Is it really that uncool to wear bright clothing at night so you don’t get hit?!

1km – I noted that there was a 1:05 pacer and knew that I needed to keep in pace with her or just ahead of her. Like hell I’m going to go any slower!

The rain was pretty minimal and it was against my back, so my glasses were thankfully spared from needing wipers.

Somewhere between 1-3kmWhy are there flashing lights coming right at me?! Who’s yelling?! What’s going on?!

Oh, it turns out that the paths were crossing each other in a very, VERY bad way. The runners leaving the start line were forced to veer left to continue the course. But, since it’s traditional here to run on the right side of the path (just like driving on the road), it was pretty much like turning left on a traffic light (again, just like driving) but without the traffic lights and nobody had brakes (not like driving, luckily)!

NOT GOOD. There were course marshals at that point, but it really stood out to me in a really bad way since, like I mentioned before, it was past 1am and not many people were wearing lights, reflectors or bright clothes.

3kmThere’s a zombie prom party or something like that at The Boulevard Club. Cool. Let’s hope they don’t act like jerks and jump out at us.

4-6km – I hadn’t seen the 1:05 pacer in a while, but I knew that she was behind me so I was starting to feel like I could slow down for a bit.

But, I noticed a bouncing light close by and it turned out to be her! Pick up the pace!

7-9km – At this point, I noticed that I had passed a lot of people who had dashed out at the first kilometer and were forced to slow down. I left behind my pacer so I geared back into a steady but slightly quicker than usual speed. Thank goodness I started out at a slower pace to make sure I could make my time!

A lot of the kids who were at The Boulevard Club had drifted out onto the trail and it was pretty obvious that quite a few of them were absolutely drunk. None of them caused me any trouble but I was really careful not to get too close to any of them in case they stumbled into me.

9km – I’m dying at this point. Where’s that finish line?!

A girl in front me noticed that I was coming up behind her and she started her kick. I totally didn’t mind and, if I wasn’t so tired, I would’ve given some chase but I just wanted to push across the finish line!

10km – I DID IT! A volunteer was waiting for me and graciously put this humongous medal around me neck!

adidas runmore 10k medal

This is the look of breaking a new PR!

And, where’s that 1:05 pacer? I couldn’t see her at all!

What’s my watch say? 1:03?! IT’S A PR RUN! WOOOOOOO!


As promised, there was free beer at the food tent and it was Beau’s Lug Tread! I swear, even though I was dripping wet, sore and hungry, beer had never tasted so delicious.

adidas runmore 10k beer Beau's Lug Tread

Unfortunately, because the food tent was opened before the race started, a lot of people had taken more than their fair share of the usual post-race food and there was literally nothing left for me to eat. Luckily, I packed away a light protein bar in the vest I left at bag check, so I was okay.


Here’s my official results:


overall place


division place

chip time

6:42* (this pace seems to be calculated by gun time, not chip time. Basic time math would put my pace at around 6’16”!)

I was super happy with adidas and their first race!

I definitely thought that they could’ve handled some issues a bit better, like the race course crossing over on itself and running out of food after only an hour, but there’s bound to be some hiccups. I’m looking forward to seeing if they’ll do it again next year since I’ll definitely be signing up for it again!

Did you run the adidas Runmore 10K? How did you find it?



New Balance Minimus 10v2

Weekly Fitness Update – #6

I only managed to do 2 runs last week, but that’s because I didn’t want to burn out for that race!

Here’s my results from last week:

Oct 28 – 5km @ 6’01” avg pace, 30:13
Oct 30 – 7km
Oct 31/Nov 1 – 10km @ 6’16” avg pace, 1:03:07

Guess what? IT’S A PR WEEK! I managed to break my previous Personal Record during the adidas Runmore 10K but I’ll have more details about that later in my Race Report!

I’m also super pleased with my 5km speed because that was actually the day that Toronto was hit with a pretty nasty storm but the majority of the rain had stopped by the time I got home. It was still a bit windy, but totally bearable. The only thing I didn’t like was the tiny droplets of rain that really impaired my vision.

Luckily, it gave me plenty of chances to test out the bright neon yellow running shirt and adidas Running Light, which is now my Slappy Sparkle Light. (I’ll put up a proper review later!)

I didn’t do the 7km run because I could feel like it would probably exhaust me a bit too much to perform that well at my first night race. I can barely stay awake past 11pm these days!

Rock Climbing

I spent the majority of the time keeping an eye on my coworkers, who were taking the beginner lessons so I couldn’t tackle as many routes as I usually do. But, it was still super fun!

Top Rope – I’m feeling very comfortable at 5.8s now, but the only 5.9 route that I tried out was on the auto-belay system and I couldn’t see a hold about 3/4 the way up. I had to let go, so I drifted back down and saw that the hold was on the other side of a dome… Sigh.

Bouldering – I didn’t get a chance to really get into the bouldering section like usual, but I did an overhanging V0. Next time, more overhangs!

Now that it’s November, I’ve realized that I only have about 7 weeks to reach my goal!

This week’s running goals:

Nov 3 – 5km @ 6’05” avg pace, 30:30
Nov 5 – 7km @ 6’05” avg pace, 42:35
Nov 7 – 10km @ 6’20” avg pace, 1:03:20

I know it’s technically “race pace” according to last week’s results, but it’s not actually that much faster, so I want to incorporate it into my usual pace training.

Nov 8 – Rock Climbing

Top Rope – I’ll definitely be looking into more 5.9 routes if I can squeeze in! On Thursday, a lot of people were challenging those routes, so I think it’s a common difficulty where peoples’ skills plateau.

Bouldering – V1’s? V1’s.

I still haven’t figured out a decent Weekly Fitness Update picture yet, but at least I’m half finished the adidas race report! Here’s a sneak peek photo:

Princess Hi-Visibility adidas Runmore 10K