Building Up / Testing Out

Let the training begin…..or not

So my official training for Grand to Grand started on January 9th.  A few km’s into my run I started experiencing pain in my left ankle, by 9km’s I was very uncomfortable and needed to walk more than run.  I had no choice but to run/walk back to my car, limping.  What happened, why so much pain?

The previous week I had been out snowshoeing, and remembered rolling my ankle and thinking how lucky I was to have not been injured, could this be related?  There did not seem to be any other explanation. The Wednesday and Thursday following the snowshoeing I did have some mild discomfort but very minor.  So 6 days later could this be related to that initial ankle roll?IMG_0345

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Enough with the laundry already!

Training Week in Review

This week we mixed things up again and it was a great week.

Monday: Yoga/Extended Stretching
Tuesday: Steady 10K – Urban Running (lots of fun, basically looking for all the conditions I usually avoid 😉 )
Wednesday:  5K EASY – wasn’t so easy LOL the run before with all that fun made for some tired legs.
Thursday:  7K Alternate fast/easy – practiced running at my max for a km then eased it up and repeated 3x.
Friday:  OFF
Saturday:  17.5K – the weather improved to a feels like -20ºC, light snow throughout the run.  Overall great run.
Sunday:  15K – temps even better at -10 or so.  75% of this run was messy….very greasy running conditions.  Add to it tired legs from the long run on Saturday and this was a challenging run.  Stayed consistent and felt good about it.

With all this outdoor running you can imagine the amount of laundry that builds up!  Some days I find getting out the door to be a bit of a chore.  Running indoors is so much easier.  Grab some shorts, a sports bra/tank, socks, shoes and you are good to go.  Running outside requires layers, fuel, hydration, music/phone, etc.  If I miss a midweek laundry day it’s crazy how much laundry accumulates with all my running attire.  I probably have more running clothes than regular clothes now.  (hint 😉 if you ever need to buy me something)

treadmill vs. outside

treadmill vs. outside

The above winter running photo is just one run worth of clothes, now multiply that by 5 and add a jacket or two in the mix.  My husband is amazing and is so helpful around the house.  He often will do laundry, but even he hates how much running clothes need to be washed every week.  We often negotiate who transfers the wash when it’s my running stuff as it all needs to be hung to dry 🙂

I was given the opportunity to try a Toilettree Bamboo Product for review and I immediately requested their bamboo laundry hamper.

contents of box - easy to assemble

contents of box – easy to assemble


I love the double compartment for sorting

I love the double compartment for sorting









When I opened the box I was relieved to see how easy it was to assemble.  The fresh smell of bamboo was amazing.  I don’t know if I’ve smelled bamboo before.  The outside structure of the hamper is very solid and there is a hinge top to keep things tidy.  The separate insert is very easy to remove if you want to wash it.  I personally love the two compartments that allow me to sort the laundry before laundry day.  It makes grabbing a quick load easy.  I would 100% recommend this product for the simplicity of assembling it, the practicality of the double compartments and of course the beauty of the product itself.  I will likely purchase a second one for the laundry room.

We recently renovated the master walk-in closet and this hamper fit in beautifully.  It holds so much laundry and really helps to keep our closet tidy.  This hamper is so clean and fresh looking.  I’ve been using it for about 8 weeks now and I know it’s just a hamper but honestly it’s so nice!

Fit perfectly in my closet - love it!

Fit perfectly in my closet – love it!

ToiletTree Products has graciously offered one of my readers the chance to win one of these hampers (Available to US and Canadian Residents Only)

Comment on this post why you would like this beautiful new hamper for yourself.

Please go and like the following facebook pages and twitter accounts:

Leanne’s Facebook

Leanne’s Twitter

Toilettree Facebook

Toilettree Twitter

The winner will be announced next Monday, March 2nd.  Good Luck!

Snow Way!

My training week in review:

Monday – Stretch/Extended Foam Rolling
Tuesday – 6K (roads were not great)
Wednesday – 10.25K (good run)
Thursday – 6.4K treadmill (note to self always run before ART session)  also added TRX Training
Friday –  OFF
Saturday – 1hr. 10min. (snowshoe run/walk, beautiful day)
Sunday – 13K (-26ºC – cold but the sun was out)

Introducing snowshoe running into my training

I participated in a winter running clinic last winter and was given the opportunity to try snowshoe running.  I was blown away at the cardio workout it gave me.  I was very much a beginner and honestly was not able to run much without being completed winded.   The majority of the people at the clinic had Dion Snowshoes.  Some people had recently “upgraded” their snowshoes and brought their older ones for people to use.  I have no clue the brand that I was using but they were not Dion ones for sure.

The instructor personally used the Dion brand and highly recommended them for their size and durability.  She said once you owned them you would not want to go back to anything else.  I walked away enjoying the experience, but feeling like my cardio was really bad.

My running coach suggested that I consider including snowshoe running in my training program this winter.  He also highly recommended that I purchase Dion ones.  I started to compare prices and do online reviews and realized that I shouldn’t take a chance on something else. I decided to just invest in Dion snowshoes knowing that they come so highly recommended by people that I respect.

So I received my snowshoes for Christmas.
My first impression when the box came in was,  “How is it even possible that the snowshoes are in that box”, then “Do I have to put them all together?”.

IMG_4811BUT, once I opened the box, I was very surprised to see that in fact the snowshoes are that small!  Now, it’s important to note that these are not for hiking, but instead for running and racing (although hiking ones are available).

The cool thing about Dion snowshoes is that they have options.  There are three types of snowshoes, three cleats you can choose from, and two different types of bindings.  So you can create the perfect snowshoe for the conditions that you require them for.

I went for the 121’s (racing/running); the standard cleat and the quick fit bindings.


The only thing I needed to do when I opened the box was change my binding straps as they came with the large already in place.  The bindings come in a pack from xs – large sizing so you can adjust the binding to fit you perfectly and not have extra straps in your way while running, this is brilliant!

Okay, so here’s where the fun started.  Usually we have way more snow by now in Ottawa, so my first time out didn’t happen until this weekend.  The weather was perfect at -1ºC and sun shining.IMG_5050

My girlfriend ordered a pair at the same time I did as we wanted to get out together for snowshoe running.  We strapped on the snowshoes fairly easily and I expected we would both be winded quickly (from my first experience mentioned above).  We figured we’d run 1min. and walk 1min.  I was surprised at how good it felt.  They are so light weight (2lb.4oz. for the pair).  It was quite easy to run in them.  Although I felt like we could have ran more, my girlfriend was coming off an injury so we took it easy and just had fun.


I am so thankful that I trusted my gut and listened to the advice of my coach and ordered the Dion snowshoes.  They are better then I could have imagined and I’m only beginning my journey with incorporating them into my training.  I didn’t think I’d actually do snowshoe racing but now I really can’t think of any reason why I wouldn’t!  It was a blast and a great workout with very little impact, as your running on snow with a wider base than just a shoe.

If you are considering snowshoes, then I recommend these completely.  I ordered mine from Spafford Health and Adventure and had emailed Derek (the owner) back and forth prior to my purchase.  He is a Canadian distributor for Dion Snowshoes.  He’s very knowledgeable of the sport, very helpful and was quick to respond to my questions.

Big thumbs up!

Have you ever tried snowshoe running?