Tuesday, September 30, 2014

3-Day Half-marathon Training Plan for Busy People

If like me, you are contemplating the idea of running a half-marathon, you may want to read this post by Jenny Hadfield. Her 16-weeks plan is perfect for busy people who are struggling finding time to train for a half-marathon.

In this post, Jenny Hadfield proposes a 3-day training plan that is perfect for busy people. The plan includes three weekly running workouts, plus two optional cross-training workouts and two rest days. Another interesting thing about this plan is that it focuses on mileage quality instead of volume. If you work during the weekends, you can do your long run during the week (e.g., switch Thursday and Saturday schedules).

Each running workout has an unique purpose that matches its colour-coded effort zone. You will run in the yellow, orange or red zone depending on the workout’s intended intensity. (Yellow is easiest; red is most difficult). Here is how Jenny Hadfield's 3-day half-marathon training program works:
Photo taken from: https://www.jennyhadfield.com/articles/the-busy-girls-half-marathon-plan/

Taken from: https://www.jennyhadfield.com/articles/the-busy-girls-half-marathon-plan/
WORKOUT DESCRIPTIONS
LONG ENDURANCE RUN: These workouts help you train your body and mind to go the distance and to practice your race-day logistics (fueling, hydration, gear). Run all of your long runs in the yellow zone. 
CHILL RUN: They are performed at the same easy, yellow zone effort as your long runs, but they last only 45 minutes. 
TEMPO WORKOUT: Tempos are like sandwiches, with easy paced running at the start to warm you up and at the end to cool you down. The middle is the meat: sustained running at a comfortably-hard effort. This workout will increase your lactic acid threshold (i.e., when your legs start to feel heavy and slow). 
RACE SIMULATION WORKOUTS: These workouts allow you to practice your race pace strategy. On race day, you should start out easy and gradually increase your effort until you reach the finish line. Try to run these workouts on a terrain that mimics the racecourse (hilly, flat, dirt, paved). 
INTERVALS: Intervals improve your running economy and turnover, while revving your metabolism sky-high. The key to getting the most benefit from interval workouts it to run the final interval as strong as you did the first. To do so, you need to recover at a very slow walk or jog between each interval. 
CROSS TRAINING: The three-day training plan also includes optional cross-training days. The many benefits of cross training include improved balance, muscle strength and mobility. While preparing for your half marathon, keep all cross training in the yellow or orange zones. 

WORKOUT KEY

1-Minute Intervals: 10 minutes yellow zone running + 8 x (1 minute red zone + 1 minute easy jog or walk) + 4 minutes yellow zone 
2-Minute Intervals: 10 minutes yellow zone running + 4 x (2 minutes red zone + 2 minutes easy jog or walk) + 4 minutes yellow zone 
1-2-3-Minute Intervals: 10 minutes yellow zone running + 2 x (1 minute red zone + 1 minute yellow zone + 2 minutes red zone + 2 minutes yellow zone + 3 minutes red zone + 3 minutes yellow zone) + 6 minutes yellow zone 
Chill Run: 30-45 minutes yellow zone running 
Cross Train: Any non-running activity (optional) Long Run: 5-12 miles yellow zone running 
Race (Simulation Workout): 15 minutes yellow zone running + 12 minutes orange zone + 3 minutes red zone 
Rest: No running 
Tempo (Workout): 10 minutes yellow zone running + 15-20 minutes orange zone (indicated) + 10 minutes yellow zone 


Schedules like this are great for a number of reasons. For instance, if you have never run a long distance race like a half marathon, it will walk you through exactly what you need to do to train for the race. After following the schedule, when race day arrives, there is no question as to whether or not you are ready. Finally, a schedule like this keeps you motivated because you know that each day you need to lace up those running shoes and get in the allotted distance for the day.

There is a new opportunity in each new day

http://www.pinterest.com/totalsuperstore/good-morning-quotes/

Friday, September 26, 2014

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Dealing with A Rough Week


Definitely, I am having a rough week. Everything seems to go wrong this week, and it seems that things are not improving. I feel that I want to go sleep and wake up next week. I feel so powerless this week; almost as if I was in the middle of a storm without being able to control my direction, path or anything else. When negative events seem to happen simultaneously – as it happened to me this week – they feel suffocating and impossible to overcome. 

Of course, I am familiar with the expression, "after a storm comes a calm" or "the calm after a storm", but there is really not way for me to predict that next week will be better than this week. The reality is that rough weeks or rough days can happen anytime to anyone. 

This week I have learned that the events in your life do not determine the course of your life. Rather, it is your reaction to those events that will determine the quality of your life, and your life direction. In other words, it’s not what happens to you, it’s how you react to what happens to you. My reaction to some of the events that happened to me this week was guided by negative emotions and impulses that clouded my vision, thoughts and energy. I have been dwelling on negative things (even though they were just small things sometimes) the whole week. I have felt sorry for myself and let the obstacles and problems disturb my mental peace. Through the process of doing and feeling this way, I have also affected the mental peace of my loved ones.

How to change this?
As my late father would have said to me in this situation, "you need to bounce back...you are a fighter". I cannot change the past, but I can certainly, or at least try, to change the future.

I did a little search and found a few tips/suggestions to overcome rough weeks:

(1) Find your foundation: The life we live should stand on a solid foundation. Finding your foundation means rediscovering the things that are truly important to you; the things that make your life worth living. You may have a passion for music or art. Use your current hardship to rediscover what drives you. Use those expressions of yourself to remind you that life can be enjoyable.

(2) The Ant Philosophy: In some of his speeches, author Jim Rohn often talks about the ant philosophy. Ants are remarkably persistent. If an ant is on its way somewhere, and you place your thumb in its path, the ant instinctively tries to find another way. Giving up is never an option. When things get tough in our lives, we have to adopt the ant philosophy. Instead of feeling sorry for ourselves, and letting the obstacle win, we must attempt to find another way to get on the right path. We must be persistent until we reach our destination.

(3) Verbalize It: Humans were not designed to be isolated. We need each other in so many ways. I've learned this week that is essential to find support from others. Yesterday, a very good friend asked me about my rough week and generously offered me a hug. Her hug gave me a strength that I needed so much this week.  

(4) Dwell on the Good: For some strange reason, our minds tend to dwell on the negative things, particularly when things are a little bit rough. Even though it seemed as though my life was filled with the negative this week, I know that there were many good things that happened to me. After all, my health and that of all the members of my family was good. But instead of being thankful for the good things, I made the mistake of choosing to see and dwell on the bad. It is so easy to dwell on the bad instead of the good. This is something that I need to remind myself everyday.

(5) Be Patient with Yourself: None is perfect, we can all make mistakes. Criticizing yourself, beating yourself up, feeling sorry for yourself, and being disappointed in your own behaviour is not virtuous or productive in any way. It certainly doesn't help to feel better when things are not going well. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

"P" is for Party!

Birthday Express Party Supplies

For growing up big, and growing up tall, the Dr. Seuss ABC party theme takes almost no planning at all!

Kids will love the bright decorations and inspired treats and you'll love the nostalgic twist in sharing your favorite Seuss characters with your little one. Here are some ideas on how to throw a stress-free Dr. Seuss party when you use the Dr. Seuss ABC party theme from Birthday Express.

Food & Drink Ideas - Cupcakes take on a Dr. Seuss look when you add a polka dot cupcake wrapper and a single colored candle. Popcorn, a yummy and healthy treat, is fun to eat when you serve it in filled paper cones made from rolled squares of Dr. Seuss wrapping paper.

Birthday Express Party Supplies

Party Activities - With just a black table cover and white paint markers, or sheets of black paper and chalk, you can turn your party table (or the whole party room) into a Dr. Seuss drawing zone! Let little ones add their name and favorite Dr. Seuss decal to their place setting, or decorate a wall.

Party Decor - Glass jars of Sixlets candy, adorned with ribbon and Dr. Seuss ABC stickers, make a pair of sweet centerpieces for this theme. Another idea is to stack up some old books and pair them with Dr. Seuss gift boxes. You can even fill these with candies or use them as party favor boxes for the guests to take home.


Dr. Seuss ABC Party in a Box

Dr. Seuss ABC Party Favor Box

Dr. Seuss ABC Invitations


For a full selection of decorations and supplies for the Dr. Seuss ABC party theme, visit BirthdayExpress.com - where you can plan the perfect party from start to finish every time! 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

12 Tips for Conflict Resolution at Work: When Sweating the Small Stuff is Really Unavoidable

Yesterday was one of those days that if it would have been possible for me to erase it from the calendar, I would have done it without hesitation. You know, it was one of those days when everything seems to go wrong, especially in the area of interpersonal relationships.  

While you can try and avoid conflict, you cannot escape conflict. Over the last two years, I have been trying hard to avoid conflict at work because I simply didn't want to add more stress to my life. My motto over the last two years has been "don't sweat the small stuff at work". It has not been easy, and more than once I have really had to make a big effort to control my impulse to fight back, or to say something that I knew will not necessarily be appreciated by some of my colleagues. But, I did it -- I avoided conflict relatively well.

But, the fact of the matter is conflict in the workplace is unavoidable. The "small stuff" is really what matters in life. It will find you whether you look for it or not. Well, conflict found me yesterday via an unexpected email from one my colleagues. Initially, I was surprised and really didn't know what to say or how to react...but, a few minutes later, I was upset.

I certainly did not appreciate the tone of voice used in the email; so, slowly and slowly I started to get really upset. I think that the worse was that the email had not only been sent to me, but also to my department boss. I suppose that if the email would have only been sent to me, my reaction would have been different. I have to say that the person had to be upset with me since the email was sent to my boss too.

From my perspective, the person who sent me the email was not only unfair, but also aggressive. All I could see was an intention of inflicting damage; a damage that I didn't deserve (at least in my mind). There were only words in the email, but my God, I felt so insulted. I really could not believe what I was reading; more importantly, how the information was expressed or delivered. It took me a few minutes to realize that this time, I could not escape conflict; a "little sweat" was necessary this time.

I first sent an email back addressing the main issue indicated in the email, knowing clearly that trying to resolve an issue such as this via email was the biggest mistake that someone can ever make. But did I really have a choice? I was certainly not happy with the idea of ignoring the other comments mentioned in this person's email, but I knew that I have to focus on one issue. I was really fighting with myself desperately to avoid more conflict than it was necessary. So, I decided to focus on the main issue.

But, when a couple of hours later I got a second email from the person in which he/she was basically reiterating the issues mentioned in the original email, and adding other new problems to the list; I decided that I have had enough. It was as far as my patience could go -- I had to say something; I had to do something -- the issue was too important to be ignored. I had to fight back..conflict was unavoidable.

What did I did? Well, I sent an email back (bad choice, I know, emails are never good!!). I addressed all the issues that were indicated in the email as honestly as it was possible taking into consideration the circumstances (i.e., avoid more conflict). Yes, it would have been preferable to address all the issues in person using a normal way of communication (phone, conversation, etc), particularly essential when you are trying to resolve a conflict.



 It was clear to me that the problem was in part due to both misinformation and lack of information. But, I didn't care, I felt so insulted by this person's email that I just didn't care. I just wanted to make my point, I just wanted to tell people my side of the story. I wanted to have the last word!

Over 24 hours after the first email, I did feel that I did the wright thing. In this case, I had to face the situation and could not avoid conflict. Did I handle the conflict well? The answer is simple: No! But, how could I have handled things differently?







Most experts would say that the there are a few ways to deal with workplace conflict, including the following ones (suggested by Mike Myatt from Forbes Magazine ).

(1) Communication -- Direct communication is the best; email communication is to avoided.

(2) Define Acceptable Behaviour -- Just having a definition for what constitutes acceptable behavior is a positive step in avoiding conflict.  Clearly and publicly make it known what will and won’t be tolerated.

(3) Hit conflict head-on -- By actually seeking out areas of potential conflict and proactively intervening in a just and decisive fashion you will likely prevent certain conflicts from ever arising. If a conflict does flair up, you will likely minimize its severity by dealing with it quickly.

(4) The Importance Factor -- Pick your battles and avoid conflict for the sake of conflict. However if the issue is important enough to create a conflict then it is surely important enough to resolve.

(5) View Conflict as Opportunity -- Hidden within virtually every conflict is the potential for a tremendous teaching/learning opportunity. Where there is disagreement there is an inherent potential for growth and development.

These are all excellent suggestions that we really need to remember and consider when involved in a work-place conflict. Personally, I think that from this particular experience I have learned that the most important things to consider when dealing with a work-related conflict are:  


(1) Try to remain calm

(2) Avoid using email as a means of communication

(3) State your case tactfully

(4) Attack the problem, not the person

(5) Avoid the blame game

(6) Focus on the future, and not the past

(7) Breath, breath and breath again!



HOW DO YOU SOLVE WORK-RELATED CONFLICTS? DO YOU AVOID THEM? DO YOU FACE THEM? DO YOU PICK YOUR BATTLES?

Monday, September 15, 2014

Stressful Starting of the School Year



I can't believe it, but I am finally able to find a few minutes to write a post. The last two weeks (i.e., since school started) have been crazy, chaotic and exhausting. Of course, I knew that we were not prepared for the start of the school year. But, I had no idea that we were so unprepared. No question about it; we really underestimated the situation!


In our defence, our challenges were very different than previous years.  For instance, we now have a puppy that needs to be taken out and be fed every morning when we are also trying to make certain that our boys are not late for school. Our youngest son has just started kindergarten while the oldest one is now in junior high. Our youngest one is very slow in the morning, and needs to be continually reminded that he needs to get dressed and that he cannot go to school without breakfast. 


 Although we are trying our best to be organized and efficient with our time, our list of tasks and responsibilities keeps getting longer and longer. For example, we did not count with the fact that our puppy will get sick just a day after school started. Obedience training classes are supposed to be one of the best things a person can do for a puppy or dog. According to most experts, training is the foundation for solving just about any problem that one may have with his/her dog.

 Unfortunately, obedience classes can also bring problems to puppies and dogs. Unless is a private obedience class, dogs or puppies may be put in close contact with dogs carrying a disease or parasites. In our case, it appears that Lola was infected with Bordetella also known as the canine kennel cough. In addition, it appears that Lola was also exposed to a dog infected with canine parvovirus. Lola was with diarrhea and cough for several days. Over a 4-days period, we probably gave Lola about 10-12 baths, with some of these baths occurring between 2:00 to 5:00 am.  Neither my husband and I slept much during the days that Lola was sick. Of course, we are now questioning whether or not we should continue taking Lola to the obedience class. Are these classes really worth it?

So far, our boys are doing well at school. They both seem to like their teachers and are happy to be in French immersion programs. Interestingly, they were both put in classes with very few of their friends. Initially, they were both disappointed and upset. But, they are both now fine with their classes because they have been able to make new friends. 

With respect to us, parents, we have not rested too much during the last 10 days. Neither my husband or I were completely prepared for the new academic year at the university, so we are both working on our lectures until late hours . We have not have much time to workout or read any book. I really miss the summer!



Zulily Maternity Fashion Week Events & Giveaways

Without a doubt, this week the place to shop is zulily. Yes, the best deals & steals can be found at zulily this week.

zulily Maternity Fashion Week Events and Giveaway 
zulily is celebrating all mamas by hosting several Maternity Week sales as well as a zulily Maternity Fashion Week Giveaway, where you and I can both win a Rosie Pope Maternity London Shopper Leisure Diaper Bag! The same stylish durability and chic functionality as the Rosie Pope London Shopper Classic Diaper Bag (washable interior with ample pockets for bottles and diapers, discrete stroller straps and a stylish changing pad) the Leisure comes in a lightweight silky nylon fabric. This bag retails at $295 but you and I can win one for free! 

Pick out your favorite zulily baby product and tell us all about it in the comments below by Friday, September 19thThe winner will be selected at random on Monday, September 22nd. So, don't miss this great opportunity to win this fabulous bag.

Happy Maternity Fashion Week and good luck to us both!

  


Be sure to check out these stylish events for mamas-to-be from zulily this week:

***zulily Maternity Fashion Week Events***

Monday, September 15th

Tuesday, September 16th
Wednesday, September 17th
Thursday, September 18th
Friday, September 19th

Monday, September 8, 2014

30% Off TOMS + Free Shipping on Orders $65+ at Zulily


30% Off TOMS + Free Shipping on Orders $65+ at zulily
Circle September 9thon your calendar. 
zulily is giving 30% off on TOMS, with styles available for men, women and kids. With its Giving Partners and customers like you, TOMS has transformed everyday purchases into a force for good. Each purchase improves the health, education and well-being of children in over 60 countries. How?

TOMS is guided by one simple mission. With every product you purchase, TOMS will help a person in need. One for One.® 

And, as an added bonus for all of your do-gooding, you will receive free shipping on orders of $65+ at zulily


Have fun shopping! 

  
  
  

Thursday, September 4, 2014

First Day of Kindergarten



Today was one of the most important days in Elijah's life. He started kindergarten!

The time has passed so fast since Elijah was born. I remember so clearly all the details associated with my pregnancy and labour -- after all, I was 44 years old when my son was born. My pregnancy was generally fine with some minor problems during both 1st and 3rd trimesters. I was very nervous and in constant fear of losing him anytime. I tend to be very negative sometimes, and during my pregnancy I was constantly having negative thoughts. I was so scared of losing him and not having more chances to be a mother.

Regardless of all my worries, the 36 weeks that Elijah was in my belly were unforgettable. Elijah was born practically a month before his due time. He was a small baby (5 pounds and 6 ounces), but very healthy. It was so wonderful to have him in my arms and feel his warm body and soft skin. My life changed completely from the moment that Eli was born. My love for him is unconditional and without limits. As I always say to him, he is my present from God -- the greatest and most wonderful gift that I have ever received. 

Today, when I saw my little one going to school made my heart beat so fast. I know that Elijah was nervous and a little scared, but he is a strong boy who loves to have fun and to explore new things. For him, going to school means that he is now a big boy. For me, he will always remain my little baby...mon petit bébé! Although I am very happy for him, I also feel a little empty. My boy is growing so fast...

Elijah is starting a French immersion program, so it will be a little bit more challenging for him, but I am confident that he will do well. He is a smart little boy and he will have all our support. He loves to learn through games, and the kindergarten program here is game-based. So, I am really hoping that he will have fun at school while learning new things. I hope that his teacher will know how to engage and motivate him. I know that both my husband and I will always be there for him to love and support him. 

I love you Elijah; my present from God.



Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Save 20% on Everything + $10 Costumes at BuyCostumes!


**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links



Take advantage of Orange Season while it lasts, and get 20% off everything at BuyCostumes through September 7th, 2014!

BuyCostumes is also featuring Orange Tag Specials, which is a collection of $10 Halloween Costumes. When you see an item with an orange tag, then it's $10 or less. More items will be given an orange tag each week, so stay tuned for new additions!

Monday, September 1, 2014

September and Monthly Goals

Like January, September represents the beginning of several different things. So, I like to look at September as a time to re-evaluate both my life- and work-related goals.

In previous posts, I indicated that it's very important for me to have a good balance or equilibrium among all the priorities in my life. Although my family is my number one priority, work responsibilities are also very important and often unavoidable. Being able to have some time for myself is also crucial. If am unable to take care of my personal needs, I can't simply not take care of others.

I read somewhere that it takes roughly 21 days to make or break a habit, so instead of having goals for this school/academic year that starting now, I decided that I will establish monthly goalsI will start each month by writing 5 specific and measurable goals. Then, I will analyze my success at the end of the month.  


Here are my 5 goals for September 2014:

(1) Workout 5 times per week. Each workout should be of at least 25 minutes.

(2) Incorporate vegetables/fruits in at least 3 lunches/snacks.

(3) Blogging - Write 3 posts per week.

(4) Go to bed at 10:30 at least 4 days per week.

(5) Use a to-do list daily






Save 25% on Halloween Costumes - BuyCostumes Orange Tuesday Event!

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links

Start your Halloween shopping early this year with the BuyCostumes Orange Tuesday event, where EVERYTHING is 25% OFF through September 2nd, 2014.

BuyCostumes Halloween Costumes

BuyCostumes also has Pumpkin Buster Deals which include rock-bottom prices on some of the most popular costumes this year. Here are a few of our favorites:


Peacock Girl Child Costume
$19.99
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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle - Leonardo Kids Costume
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20s Red Flapper Dress
$19.99
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Duck Dynasty - Willie Adult Costume
$19.99
Use code ORANGE25 to get 25% off

BuyCostumes Halloween Costumes