NikeWomen Victory Tour

NikeWomen Victory Tour 2016

On January 19, Nike announced the 20 international locations for their NikeWomen Victory Tour in 2016.

Athens, Greece
Atlanta, USA
Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Beijing, China
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Guangzhou, China
Hong Kong, China
Istanbul, Turkey
Jakarta, Indonesia
Los Angeles, USA
London, England
Manila, Philippines
Mexico City, Mexico
Nagoya, Japan
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Seoul, South Korea
Shanghai, China
Sydney, Australia
Taipei, Taiwan
Tokyo, Japan

NikeWomen Victory Tour2

It was announced in December that the Nike tour would not be returning to San Francisco, which was a host city for over a decade for the Nike tour.

Although Toronto saw 10,000 runners at the Nike Women’s 15K Run last year in June, it’s also absent from the list.

Without any local tour stops, Canadian women interested in participating in an infamous Nike Race will have to plan a destination race with the closest races in Los Angeles and Atlanta in the USA.

Tour dates and registration will be announced on January 29.

xoxo,

B.elle

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2016 Fitness Goals – Part 2

2015 was a great starting year for my fitness and heath so I’m really looking forward to seeing how 2016 goes!

I’m already anticipating a few new topics now that I’ve sort of gotten past the initial beginner stage:

  • Injuries and rehab
  • Injury prevention
  • Learning new, more advanced/refined techniques
  • Mental health and preparedness
  • Healthy eating (yay, food!)

It’s pretty important to know what sort of injuries can happen in any sport or activity that you go into, especially when it’s endurance sports like long-distance running and rock climbing.

It’s pretty obvious that rock climbing and parkour can lead to some really serious injuries, but there’s less extreme but way more common injuries in all three sports like strained tendons, plantar fasciitis,  shin splints, tendonitis, micro-tears, sprains, etc.

These common injuries definitely won’t land me (and you) in the hospital right away, but it could very likely lead to more permanent health issues in the future.

In general, it’s better to know what’s the most likely injury to come from any particular activity and learn which techniques are needed to prevent or minimize the risk of injury. For example, there’s a bunch of stretching techniques that can prevent shin splints, like the ones outlined here in Runner’s World.

Since I’m going to be ramping up my mileage quite a bit, I’ll be studying a lot of injury prevention techniques and putting away some money for some physio and massage therapy!

Compared to rock climbing and parkour, running doesn’t have as many performance techniques to learn since it’s highly dependent on the runner’s individual gait and physiology.

But, I’d like to learn how to do more strength techniques for rock climbing since I’m shorter than the average rock climber and I need more power to go further up. I don’t think I’m not bad a traverses, though.

I’m also a woman, which apparently puts me at a disadvantage due to the way routes are set. (Seriously. I’ll discuss this in a later blog post.)

As the distances get longer, it’s harder to get out the door to go for a run!

So far, I’ve only had bad issues going out to run in super hot and humid weather, which is something Toronto is prone to getting in the dead of summer. It’s such a huge challenge to get out there because I really have to persuade myself that the dread is all in my mind. I don’t mind winter training too much because I have a track membership at a stadium that’s quite friendly!

I want to be more aware of how my mental state affects my physical activity, especially during climbing since it demands a good amount of problem solving skills.

Last, but certainly not least, I want to share more of my thoughts about food, nutrition and fitness with everyone!

These may be my most challenging posts since I’m very invested in the healthy food sector and I’m very passionate about presenting the most accurate, evidence-based science I can, especially since there’s so much pseudo-science in popular media.

I’m considering making a separate blog to post about food and nutrition issues and simply copying them to this blog soon after. If I do, I’ll make sure to post the name and link!

If you’ve noticed, I haven’t put any solid numbers into this part of my 2016 Fitness Goals.

I don’t want to HAVE to learn a new technique every week because I’d much rather focus on my progress than having to force a new technique so often. Besides, it’s better to learn a couple of techniques and master them (somewhat) before learning more, right?

Also, these aren’t resolutions just for the first half of 2016. I want to make this something that I’ll do for the whole year, next year and beyond!

Hope I’ll be able to look back on this and see that I’ve hit all of my goals!

Did you make any resolutions? How are they coming along?

xoxo,

B.elle

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2016 Fitness Goals – Part 1

Happy New Year, everyone!

(I know, I’m more than a week late, but… shush.)

I know it’s been a while since December 22, which is the official start of winter, but I wanted to think about what sort of goals to aim for as my Winter Fitness Goals.

I quickly realized that I have a lot of fitness goals and related topics that I want to talk about upfront. So, I decided to extend my deadline to Summer and split my 2016 Fitness Goals post into two.

Running

We finally got some snow in this region of Canada, but Toronto’s still been so mild that it hasn’t really stuck around much. This means I can run both indoors and outdoors, yay!

I initially wanted to train for a half-marathon (HM) distance or race, but then I realized that it’s only 10 weeks until March 20, which is the first day of spring! I’ve started using Hal Higdon’s Half Marthon Novice 1 Training Program, which is 12 weeks long.

This was the main reason for extending my fitness goals to the first day of summer because I’d rather not risk a shorter training period just to end up seriously injuring myself.

… Okay, FINE. I also made a fitness wager with Chris over at The Other Side of The Box!

If I’m running at 32km/20mi distances as my long run by May 15th, she’ll get me a $50 gift card to a yet-to-be-decided store.

If she manages to lose at least 10lbs by May 15th with regular fitness training, I’ll get her a $50 gift card.

If we both manage to achieve our goals by May 15th, we’ll get each other something nice.

If we both don’t achieve our goals by May 15th, the first person to reach their goals will get their prize.

Basically, my running goal is to get up to 32km/20mi without dying.

It’s gonna be a huge challenge for me both physically and mentally because I’m going to have to overcome my anxiety of going back up to 15km.

I hurt my foot pretty badly last year at the Nike Women’s 15K Toronto. I haven’t gotten back up to that mileage yet so I’m kind of worried that it’s an issue with my feet’s physiology rather than environmental factors. The only way for me to find out for certain is to build it back up and hopefully go even further!

Rock Climbing

I’ll be on the search for a new belay buddy for a little while since the Monsieur has started his graduation proceedings and needs to focus on his PhD thesis. (Go, babe!)

Either way, here’s my goals…

Rock Climbing (at least 1X a week)

Top Rope: I want to be able to do 5.10a grades comfortably. At this point, I should be okay going halfway up 5.10b as well.

This might seem very conservative for a 6-month goal, but there’s a huge difficulty jump from 5.9 to 5.10b!

Bouldering: V1s should be comfortable and some V2s are challenging but doable.

To achieve both goals, I’ll need to learn new techniques and start doing more formal weighted and/or bodyweight exercises to build up core strength.

We’ll see if I need any new shoes by the end of this!

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My current rock climbing shoes

Parkour

I’m on the fence with this sport, to be honest. On one hand, I love flying around and the absolute boldness of parkour.

On the other hand, getting to the gym is such a pain!

At this point, because I’m such a data nerd, parkour has turned into a casual hobby sport rather than a main fitness focus.

So, my goal for parkour is to ho at least once a month!

Keep an eye out for the second part of my 2016 Fitness Goals!

Xoxo,

B.elle

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Weekly Fitness Update #13 – Results!

It’s been a bit quiet over in this little corner of the blogging world because I went away to Québec City for about 2 weeks with the Monsieur! Even though I speak very, very little French, they were so friendly and hospitable, but I definitely ended up indulging in more than a few delicious Québecois delicacies. (Tarte au sucre, anyone?)

But, I managed to get some running in before and once during my vacation!

Dec 15 – 5km @ 5’42” avg pace, 28:39*
Dec 22 – 7km @6’19” avg pace, 44:28*
Dec 28 – 5km @6’08” avg pace, 31:13

The stars mean than I was running indoors and I’m still not 100% sure how accurate the Nike+ watch is indoors, so it could be a little faster than I’m actually running.

On December 28, I ran through the countryside in -15C weather and it was a bit hillier than I expected! I was surprised at how much I loved it!

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Running in the Quèbecois farmland in winter

BUT! Did I actually achieve my running goals for Fall 2015 even though it’s already Winter 2016 while I’m writing this?!

Fall 2015 Running Goals (3X a week)

  • Weekly mileage of 20-25km with a 5-7-10 pattern
  • Dream pace goal of 6’00″/km for 5K distance
    1. Realistic pace goal of 6’15″/km for 5K distance
  • Dream pace goal of 6’20″/km for 7-10K distances

Fall 2015 Running Results (mostly 3X a week)

  • I tried my best to stick to the 5-7-10 pattern, but quickly learned that the general weekly run distances were more effective than forcing myself to do 5-7-10 throughout the week.I dropped down to about 10-12km per week in December, which was really not good but I did a pretty terrible job at balancing all my hobbies with the holidays!Otherwise, I think I came up just a bit short on consistently reaching that 20-25kpw goal.
  • I’ve been running at less than 6’00″/km on 5K runs for about 3 weeks now, so I’ll say that’s in the bag!
    SUCCESS!
  • I run as many 7K routes, but it seems to be at around 6’05″/km to 6’10″/km so I’m really happy about this speed!
    SUCCESS!
  • I don’t have enough data on 10K runs because I really haven’t run 10K since the adidas race, where I cinched a PR at 6’16″/km, so I would highly doubt that I can do 6’20” for 10K comfortably.
    FAIL!

Rock Climbing – Dec 20th

We were both feeling sick! My belay buddy lost her voice and I was beginning to feel the beginnings of a cold so I knew our game wouldn’t be as strong as normal.

Top Rope – Not gonna lie… I did really badly. The 5.9s that were relatively easy felt almost impossible that day and I even struggled on a couple of new 5.8s!

But, we both knew that we’d be doing pretty terribly!

Bouldering – I tried out a couple of V0s that were okay but the V1s were pretty much a giant NOPE.

Dec 26th

Bouldering – The Monsieur and I went to a smaller rock climbing gym in Lévis and I was surprised to see that this particular gym had a different grading system. Instead of the traditional V-scale, they simply used ascending numbers to gauge the difficulty of the route.

For example, 7 would be easier than 12, but harder than a 4. I even saw one that was graded with 18 and even the Monsieur didn’t go near that one!

I managed to get up to about 9 on a traverse route, but I couldn’t really go past half of a 12 traverse. It was super fun, though!

So, did I manage to achieve my Fall 2015 Rock Climbing Goals?

Rock Climbing (1X every other week)

  • Work on 5.8 and 5.9 belay routes
  • Work on V.1 bouldering routes
  • Increase grip strength and more confident footwork

Rock Climbing Results (1X every week)

  • I’m comfortable with tackling most 5.9s, so I’d say that this is…
    SUCCESS!
  • I did work on the V1 bouldering routes and I still can’t usually complete a route… But, I didn’t say I’d try to complete one so…
    HALF SUCCESS!
  • Since I saved myself in parkour several times recently, I’d say that…
    SUCCESS!

I’m pretty sure I did horribly for my Fall 2015 Parkour Goals.

Parkour (1X every other week)

  • Work on climb-ups with vertical wall (at least 1 good climb-up per session)
  • Regain balance on rails

Parkour (Very rarely)

  • Didn’t even try climb-ups yet.
    FAIL!
  • At least my foot is completely healed and I’m able to balance and walk along a rail like normal again!
    SUCCESS!

I’ll be making a post of my Winter 2016 Fitness Goals soon, so keep an eye out for it!

xoxo,

B.elle

New Balance Minimus 10v2

Weekly Fitness Update #12

It’s the 22nd next week, which is the deadline for my running goals! This is going to be exciting!

But FIRST! Here’s my results from last week:

Dec 9/10 – 7km
Dec 12 – 7km
Dec 13 – 3.5km @ 5’50” avg pace, 20:31

YUP. I totally didn’t run on the days I was supposed to run because life caught up with me!

I mentioned it last week, but the Monsieur was back only for a couple of days, so I wanted to spend a bit more time with him before he left for San Francisco for another business trip.

Then, an art project with my mom went wayyyyyyyyy longer than I anticipated on Saturday, so that was it!

But, I did manage to squeeze in a quick 3.5km on Sunday December 13th after rock climbing, so at least that. I even ran pretty fast!

Rock Climbing – Dec 13th

The monthly issue started on the 13th so having a harness on was clearly not the best idea ever.

Top Rope – I managed to get past the huge challenge on that 5.9 that’s been really bugging me! But, I was already quite tired when I got to it and I’m not that great with inclines, so I stopped 3/4 of the way up.

That specific route most likely won’t be there the next time, but I’m happy knowing that I managed to get past the most challenging part!

I tried going up a 5.10a that looked relatively friendly, but it was a lot harder than it looked! I also made the mistake of tackling this one right before the 5.9, so that’s what really wiped me out.

Otherwise, I went up the other routes pretty well! I’m looking forward to seeing what new routes are gonna be there next week.

Bouldering – Just no. I was way too tired and crampy.

Parkour – Dec 14th

Yeah, you read that right! I WENT PARKOURING!

After a long, long time, I finally went back to the Monkey Vault because I just had an itch to do some jumps and fly a bit.

Luckily, there was an Adult Class scheduled on Monday nights at 7pm that I managed to get on time even though I didn’t know about it. The owner, Dan, and Will, one of the coaches, still remembered me and were more than willing to put me through those drills.

It felt really good to be back at the gym and swinging around, so I may plan on more weekday sessions in the new year!

I’m quite sore today, but I do intend on running later tonight. Am I a glutton for punishment? Probably, but I’m going out every night after work, so I gotta get some mileage in!

Dec 15 – 5km @ 6’00” avg pace, 30:00
Dec 19 – 10km @6’15” avg pace, 1:02:30
Dec 22 – 7km @6’10” avg pace, 43:10

I’m pretty sure it’s a bit faster than what I was intending on doing, but we’ll see if I actually achieve this before reviewing if I reached my Fall goals!

Dec 20 – Rock Climbing

It’s the last day for my belay buddy to be in Canada!😦

Top Rope – I think I’m going to focus more on 5.9s just to get my confidence back up and then maybe tackle a couple of 5.10a’s just to get the feel of them.

Little to no inclines. My shoulders are screaming at me right now.

Bouldering – Since I’m avoiding inclines, I might go and attempt some routes, but I’m not going to promise anything. I’ll be surprised if I conquer more than one V1!

xoxo,

B.elle

New Balance Minimus 10v2

Weekly Fitness Update #11

 

I’m not a very good learner sometimes…

Here’s my results from last week:

Dec 1 – 7km @ 6’19” avg pace, 44:16
Dec 3 – 5.5km @ 5’39” avg pace, 31:20
Dec 5 – 1.85km

It was dark and wet on Dec 1, so my time definitely suffered since I was slipping on the sidewalks a little and I couldn’t really see very well due to my glasses being covered in mist!

I ran with the adidas Run Kru on Dec 3, thinking it was going to be a 10km run. Thank goodness it wasn’t a 10km because they run WAY faster than my usual pace! But, I did manage to break a really good time for 5km, so that’s great!

Bad news is that I suspect I sustained a micro-tear in my right leg from not stretching after that 5km and didn’t notice until Dec 5, when I started on my actual 10km run and barely made it past 1km.

I’m usually pretty in tune with my body and how it feels. Most of the the time, my brain goes, “This pain is normal, keep going,” or “You should slow down for a few minutes to readjust,” or even “Best course of action right now is to stop and stretch it out, then you should be fine.”

This time, my brain told me, “You really, REALLY should stop and go home because you are seriously going to destroy yourself if you keep going!” So, I actually listened, stopped and walked back home.

Turns out that one of my calf muscles has a micro-tear of some sort, which I found out through roll massages. It wasn’t fun, but at least my instincts were spot-on!

Rock Climbing – Dec 6

I wasn’t feeling the greatest on Dec 6th because of a party the night before and because of a suspected hops sensitivity in my lower GI. (Yes, that means I was pooping a lot.)

Top Rope – Most of the 5.9s in the gym are completely doable now, but they’re still hard to do comfortably. I even managed to get up halfway a 5.10a before calling it quits! I quickly learned that it’s more of a mental challenge after 5.9 than just a physical challenge.

At the same time, there’s a 5.9 that involves 2 walls, a directional clip and a pretty sharp incline that I just couldn’t solve. It’s really, really starting to annoy me that I can’t get through it, so I’m hoping that it won’t be replaced anytime soon!

Bouldering – Too tired/hungover to try after that difficult 5.9. Bah.

So, between the mostly-painless, slightly inflamed micro-tear in my right leg and the holiday season, I’m not gonna be running until maybe Wednesday. Even then, the Monsieur is only back for a couple days before going off on another business trip around that time, so I might only be able to squeeze in one or two runs!

Dec 9/10 – 7km @ 6’05” avg pace, 42:35
Dec 12 – 7km @6’05” avg pace, 42:35

Might as well make them count, right?

Dec 13 – Rock Climbing

My belay buddy’s leaving on the 21st, so we’re definitely climbing even if we’re hungover! (Again!)

Top Rope – I am absolutely aiming to get further up that inclining 5.9 and complete that route this time!

There’s a high chance it won’t happen, but that’s okay! I’ll have other routes to play with!

Bouldering – It’s very likely that I’ll just be focusing on top rope this time around. But if I make it to that side of the gym, I’ll be challenging the v1’s although I won’t be expecting to get anywhere beyond the more difficult v0’s.

xoxo,

B.elle

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Teeez Glam Sense Box 2015

I got my first Glam Sense Box in the mail last week, but I couldn’t take any pictures of it since the lighting is TERRIBLE over here and the sun sets around 5pm these days.

Here’s the Teeez Glam Sense Box!

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The Teeez Glam Sense Box had one item: the Read My Lips Lipstick in Roulette Red. It came in a sleek black tube with a small brochure with some simple instructions on how to complete the Glam Sense campaign.

Basically, review, post on a social media platform with #teeezinGS, and email a link or a screenshot to info@glamsense.club by the date listed on the card! It’s so easy!

So, how is Teeez’s Read My Lips Lipstick in Roulette Red?

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The lipstick is in a thin, plastic tube, which I was a little bit disappointed about. The graphic design is absolutely amazing, but I don’t like cheap plastic for higher end cosmetics! I’m always worried that the tube will crack or get crushed in my makeup bag or in my purse.

However, the lid does lock pretty tightly on the tube, so that’s really good. I’m not sure if that’ll wear out in the future, though.

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I’m not a huge fan of matte lipsticks since they usually dry out my (already) dry lips, but I love super high, long lasting pigmentation!

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Right out of the tube, it looks like a dark red with some brown tones. I usually avoid darker reds like this because it kind of clashes with my skin tones and I just don’t have the right mojo to really pull of that kind of style.

Otherwise, it’s a really great, dramatic shade of red!

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As you can see, it’s SUPER pigmented! It’s just 2 quick swipes of the lipstick on my hand and it’s so, so red!

I tested it on my lips and I can tell you that it can easily last 8 hours of wear. I ate a big lunch with coffee and it didn’t budge at all! It’s also very silky and rich feeling without being very heavy, which is really amazing since it’s so pigmented.

The only issue is that the lipstick is really soft. My mom twisted the tube the wrong way and the whole lipstick fell right out! Be careful of heat with this lippy!

Final Verdict – I love how long lasting and moisturizing Teeez’s Read My Lips Lipstick is, but I wouldn’t keep it with me in a small purse or in a warm room. The artwork is gorgeous, but the packaging is so-so. I would have loved it a lot more if it was a different colour, but that’s just personal preference!

At $22USD, it comes up to about $29.50CAD before shipping and taxes.

Did you get a Glam Sense Box yet? Would you get a Teeez Read My Lips Lipstick?

xoxo,

B.elle