Monthly Archives: August 2014

Ambassador Sandra’s latest blog: Good Race, Bad Race, No Race

August 12, 2014

Good Race, Bad Race, No Race! !! Over the last two and a half years of running, I have had good races and bad races. The good races, and the feeling of elation and accomplishment that comes with those races is what keeps me signing up for more races. Last year, I had a fabulous Rock the Road. I achieved a personal best in the 10k, and that was even with me stopping to re-tie my shoelaces. It was such a great day, I signed up for this years race the next week when registration opened. This is me last year-I was passing people right up until the finish line. The AWESOME volunteer photographers took this!! !!


Bad Race—ughhhhhh! I have had a couple of races where I just could not stop looking at my garmin and wishing for the end. I had a yucky 10k this year where I walked and debated just going right over to my car and heading home. I finished it, and was happy I did. It was not the race I was hoping for, but I like to believe that those bad races serve a purpose. They are humbling. An opportunity to look at where/what/how things went wrong. Did you sleep badly? Big meal the night before? Wardrobe or running shoe malfunction? Weather? Water? Just a bad day? I try not to hold onto those negative feelings of a particular race. The past is behind you! Keep your best foot forwards!! !

The last one is No Race. I had not encountered this yet. Races are not ran due to injury, illness, family emergency, work commitment and bad weather. I have actually debated not running a race due to the fact it looked like rain, and it was windy. I did not want a “bad race”. I decided to run it anyway, and it rained HARD, right into my face! It was windy, and blowing against me at the hilly part! But I finished, felt hardcore, and learned I could overcome those challenges. I did not personal best, but I did not expect to, and I think that was key. ! !

This year, I will not be running Rock the Road. I registered for it last year, paid my fees, and became an Ambassador. I did the training. I am ready to destroy my personal best at a fabulous race that is super fun, and very fast. But it is not going to happen. I am having a procedure that will have me off running for 10 days. This is what I am having done, if you are interested at all—- After waiting for months for an appointment, my name came up, and I will be having it done this week. Which means no Rock the Road race for me.! !

My darling husband Ted will be running Rock the Road this Sunday. He has never run a race before, but has been doing some running since spring. He has worked up to doing a 10k long run on weekends, and I cannot wait to support him, and cheer him on with our 5 kids. He has been my greatest cheerleader, and shoulder to cry on since I started running. Instead of Rock the Road being a great race for me, this will be even more memorable as Ted’s first foray into road racing. For me, I will never forget my first race-the nerves, the excitement, the blast of the starting gun, and the elation of finishing. This is me after my first!! !!


If you managed to get through all this, I hope you will feel inspired to run, or even try a race some day! I started running just before my 38th birthday, and never dreamed that I would finish a 5k, let alone a marathon. I have 5 kids, a full time job, and finding that “me” time is always going to be a challenge, but it has been so worth it for my mental and physical health. Go and leave some footprints all over town!

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Ambassador Susan taps into the expert nutritional advice of her friend and answers runners most difficult nutrition-based questions!!

August 10, 2014

In my last blog post I wrote about meeting some pretty awesome people when I joined the Forerunners running group in Vancouver. Well, Sarah Cuff was one of those awesome friends I was lucky enough to meet. If you need a training partner to inspire you to get out and there and train hard, then send Sarah a friend request. Sarah has run 15 marathons with a PB of 3:31, which keeps getting faster. She is a Nutritionist (registered holistic nutritionist), personal trainer (CanFitPro) and has started up her own business called Eat2Run ( (Don’t worry – whether you Eat2Run or Run2Eat it will work for you)

Sarah Cuff photo

Sarah and her husband Jeremy recently completed the Eugene marathon in Eugene, Oregon. Awesome marathon if you are looking for a destination race!

I’ve learned a lot from Sarah over the years and one of those things is a respect for my nutrition. When I first started running, if I had a bad workout/race I usually didn’t give too much thought to my nutrition and instead looked more at my training log thinking I didn’t give myself enough recovery or was just tired from work. What I didn’t realize was how much I was setting myself back when I didn’t refuel after a hard workout or didn’t fuel well leading up to workout.

I messaged with Sarah recently and got her advice on some nutrition questions I received from local runners.

Sue: Hi Sarah! Thanks for taking the time to answer some questions! So lets get started by talking about pre workout nutrition. What do you like to eat before a speed workout?

Sarah: Personally, I like to ensure I’ve eating about 3 hours before the speed workout (either a full meal or a complete snack) and then have one serving of Vega pre-workout energizer with 1 tsp of matcha mixed into water and ice. It gives me a quick carb boost plus some caffeine to enhance performance for that workout.

In general I recommend only simple and carb-rich foods immediately before a speed workout (like a banana). Fibre, protein and fat all have the potential of causing GI distress – not fun in the middle of a hard run!!

Sue: How about before a longer run?

Sarah: I’ll have a bowl of thick cut rolled oats cooked in water (or instant oatmeal if I’m in a hotel before an out of town race) with a few walnuts, hemp hearts and a sliced banana, with a mug of matcha tea with almond milk (lately I’ve been making iced matchas!). I’ll have this 1.5 to 2 hours before running (3 hours if it’s prerace). Immediately before I go out (within 10 minutes of starting to run), I’ll have some vega pre-workout energizer (it contains 100mg caffeine) with 1 tsp matcha powder (~70mg caffeine), and/or a few Clif shot bloks with caffeine or a Honey Stinger gel. You can tell I’m a fan of caffeine pre-run now! It’s the only time I consume caffeine – I avoid it at any other time.

Sue: I’m pretty sure I never saw you with a bottle of Gatorade or PowerAde, do you drink electrolyte drinks?

Sarah: I don’t drink Gatorade or Powerade personally, because I try to use only natural products as much as possible. Anything that has glucose-fructose or high fructose corn syrup, or artificial colourings/flavourings/preservatives I totally avoid because there are so many more natural alternatives.

While we don’t have much of a choice when racing (I mouth rinsed with Gatorade in my last marathon for lack of any other option), when I’m training I’ll drink only water and take gels (which contain adequate amounts of electrolytes).

Not everyone wants to get their carbs and electrolytes from gels though – in that case I’d use a sports drink such as Honey Maxx – or as natural as you can get that still works with your GI system. There are so many options out there! The most important one is to find fuel that works for you. Eating to run is about laying down a strong foundation of foods that are natural and plant-strong, and then ensuring you find a strategy that works best for you on the run – whether that ends up being Gatorade or your own homemade gel or sports drink. Coconut water is a great source of naturally occurring electrolytes and works great for post-run hydration (I use coconut water as a base for my recovery shake).

Sue: What sort of time frame do you recommend for athletes to eat after their workout?

Sarah: It’s ideal to have a recovery shake within 20-30 minutes of completing your long or hard run (or gym workout). You want to refill your depleted glycogen stores asap – consuming carbs within this timeframe is when your body is most receptive to using them properly (to refill your glycogen stores so you’ll have adequate energy for your next workout and you won’t feel so sore the next day).

You want your recovery shake to be about 4:1 in carbs to protein ratio (and little to no fat, which inhibits absorption). Protein actually helps to push the carbs into your glycogen stores more quickly. Here is my go-to recovery shake recipe (as in, this is what I drink daily):

Within 2 hours post-workout you’ll want to have a complete meal with a good source of protein to ensure adequate supplies of amino acids to help rebuild your muscles.

Sue: There are a lot of different yogurt brands out there now and particularly a lot of hype lately about Greek yogurt. Do you recommend Greek yogurt over other yogurts to your clients?

Sarah: It’s true – Greek yogurt is all the rage these days! It generally has a higher protein content than regular yogurts, and can be found in varieties anywhere from no fat to regular fat.

Before I ever recommend yogurt to a client, I first test to see if they have any dairy sensitivities (it continues to amaze me how many do).

If they are okay with dairy, I’ll ask them to try only plain, organic yogurt and hard cheese (and kefir if they choose) – being that these items contain beneficial bacteria (only beneficial if no dairy sensitivity exists). Keep in mind all dairy is high in naturally occurring hormones – this may not be for someone dealing with hormonal issues such as acne.

As long as the yogurt is organic and plain with nothing added (like carrageenan or milk protein concentrate or sugars/sweeteners), then it’s a good choice. Often Greek yogurt are the varieties that don’t have anything added, so can be a good option!

I recommend choosing full fat organic yogurts and cheeses if you’re comfortable doing so. Otherwise go with low fat. Organic helps to ensure the type of fat found in animal products is healthier for us than non-organic (and if the cows are grass fed, will actually contain omega-3 fatty acids).

Sue: Well I know I could use some help with my nutrition, what are some of the benefits for a competitive/recreational athlete in working with a nutritionist like yourself?

Sarah: I received tremendously positive feedback from clients who’ve worked with me – they tell me they are so busy that having me put it all together for them in an individualized manner and just telling them what to do is exactly what they need. You can read about their experiences here –

In general I find many people are confused over exactly how they need to be eating due to a lot of conflicting information and advertising we come across at every turn. I’ve had many clients come to me saying they are pretty sure they are eating healthfully, but are still frustrated for lack of energy / continuous injuries / can’t reach their racing weight / sick all the time / and so on. To finally make progress towards their goals (and reach them) is exhilarating – and for some, something they weren’t sure was even possible.

However, I’ve also had people email me, telling me that they simply began following the advice I give on my blog and put together their own plans, or they’ve purchased my 5-Day KickStart Cleanse and have found great success even without the personal attention. I think it comes down to how much time someone has.

Huge thanks to Sarah Cuff for all the great advice!! Sarah has a newsletter you can sign up for and receive regular tips on how to “eat 2 run” and you can find more information and great recipes at

Eat2Run logo-1

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Brayden (Age 6) Tells us Why He Loves Running!!

August 9, 2014

I am a 6-year old that loves running. It may sound strange to some people that a kid so young loves to run distance runs, but I love it. I love that running is all about the challenge. It’s not about the challenge of who wins and who loses, like all of the other sports that I play. It’s about the challenge of doing my best and feeling proud of what I can do. I love the way I feel when I beat my best time and when I complete a longer run without stopping. I love that people of all different ages and all different sizes can participate in races and that everyone cheers each other on.

BraydenI am a 6-year old that loves running and I love that I can do it anywhere. Whether I am running the track at the high school by my house, running the boardwalk at the shore in New Jersey or running in one of the races at home, I love the feeling that running gives me.

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Ambassador Sandra Combines her Annual Canoe Trip with a “Run-Cation”

August 9, 2014

We have had a busy summer at our family home. We have kids in day camps, as well as soccer at night. I still work all summer as well, but lucky me…I get a couple of weeks of vacation!! ! We are leaving for our annual canoe trip to Algonquin with our oldest two kids. Our packs are loaded, we have food and supplies for 5 days and 4 nights in the interior. For me, this is a mini run vacation as well. I have yet to figure out how to sneak in an extra pair of running shoes and training clothes in my well loaded pack. It kind of stresses me out, but this is one holiday I have yet to figure out how to train on. We did it last year though, and I still managed to personal best Rock the Road!

Screenshot 2014-08-09 14.11.59


We were fortunate enough to have another week off this summer, and took the family to Sherkston Shores. On our way there, I noticed a multi-use pathway. With some research, I discovered that it was called the Friendship Trail, and it stretches over 25km from Port Colbourne to Fort Erie. Sweet! There was also some well laid out farm roads that were quite joyous to run. ! ! As with an earlier March Break Florida trip this year, I have found I always underestimate how much running I will do on a vacation. I end up only bringing two pairs of run outfits, and one pair of shoes <gasp>! This results in me washing out clothes daily in the sink with blueberry kids shampoo, hoping they will dry out hanging on the shower rod!


To make a long story short, I have found that any family vacations we have had ended up with me sleeping really well, waking up early, and having a blast out running. Always the opposite of what I expect. It makes for some really awesome vacations, and the opportunity to do some cool site seeing by sneaker! Have you have any great run-cations?

Screenshot 2014-08-09 14.12.06

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Learn from Ambassador Leanne’s “Wardrobe Malfunction” and don’t let it happen to you!

August 9, 2014

My name is Leanne and I am a race-a-holic! I love racing year round. I love the adrenalin rush and how I feel afterwards whether I reach my goal or not. Up here in Northern Quebec I get to race winter races where the temps dip to -30 with a wind chill, -25C without a wind chill. I have a mask with holes in it to wear when I train year round and I have become a master of what to wear when it is so cold you don’t even want to look outside.

1482739_10152090078385763_2104229924_nSummer is a different story. Summer I feel clueless sometimes. I cannot run early in the morning since that would mean leaving my kids alone and they are way too young for that so I am often running in the middle of the day when the sun is high and the heat is brutal.

I ran a marathon in July which was actually a cool marathon with rain for the first 3 hours and 10 minutes of running and then the sun came out and it got hot fast for the last 34 minutes of running. I wore a pair of Nike 8 inch shorts and a running dress. The rain kept me cool and I ended up running it 5 minutes faster than I had intended. It was only supposed to be a training run for me. Nice and easy, no racing, just having fun. I did it nice and easy, and I couldn’t help racing since only 3 women were in this first time marathon in Amos, Quebec. I was the second female overall and first in my age group (out of 2 women between 30-39). I am sure I will never again be able to say I won my age group for a marathon! I felt so great after that marathon that I decided to do a 24 hour race 2 weeks later. The shorts had been great for the marathon so I decided to wear them for the ultra. BIG MISTAKE!!!!

amos in air again

After 3 loops on the 10 km race course I had a 3 inch long raw patch on my lower back. I was sure I had the perfect shorts to run and run and run. Instead I had to grab another pair of shorts because I was on vacation and the 24 hour race was on the way back home so I foolishly had only brought one other pair of shorts that were not suitable for running long. I took a 2 hour break to play with my kids and then I set out and did 2 more loops that night. Put Vaseline a few times on my back and went to bed in a tent to rest up for 1 more loop on the trail. One of the golden rules of running is to never wear something new on race day. I break this rule all the time. I wore new socks for a marathon in 2012 and I wore brand new shoes for a marathon in May 2014, and the running dress for the July 2014 marathon was brand new too. And most recently I wore brand new running crops for a 5k race. Of course an ultra 24 hour race is very different than a 5km race. That is why I went with my Nike 8 inch shorts. They survived a marathon. I was sure they could survive an ultra. Maybe I will go back to new things on race day only!


August is a big racing month for this race-a-holic. Two 10 k races, a 25 km trail race and a marathon. All while on vacation! My family in London can watch my kids during the race and I get added motivation to run fast to see them at the finish line. The highlight though is running the kids’ race with them. I love that there is something for them on race day too so they can share in the excitement.podium d and p

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