Marathon Training Day #59: Nada

The new space.

The new space.

No yoga yesterday. Work is still too crazy, thanks to a recent move. After our show week, management let us know we were reassigned physical spaces, so my past few days have been spent packing and cleaning and unpacking and cleaning.

It’s all good. The new space is bright and cheery and better for our team as a whole. But that plus meetings meant no yoga, and outside being a slush palace meant no running.



Women’s Self Defence @ Krudar


What: Women’s Self Defence class
When: Saturday @ 11am
Where: Krudar Muay Thai (152 Augusta Avenue)
Who: Kru Darwin

Not only is Krudar the sweet spot to learn muay thai boxing in Kensington Market, but now they have Women’s Self Defence classes! How great is that? And if you’re even the slightest bit curious to take a peak inside or maybe if you’re feeling up to it try a class, every last Saturday of each month Krudar hosts an open house and all classes are free on this day. Free! Once I discovered a self defence class was on the schedule Anne and I jogged our way to Kensington to give it a go.


For those who may not know, I had a rather scary in counter a year ago in December on my way to work one morning. I was pushed down from behind on a major street in broad daylight. I don’t want to scare anyone, but this experience left me quite shaken up for days afterward. I called the police when I got to work — after calling my Mom, Erin, and my roommate at the time, Shannon — I gave my statement to an officer (from the cop car!) who came to the office that afternoon. Literally hours later, I recieved a call from a dispatch officer telling me they have a guy in custody that matched my description. And what’s even crazier is that an identical attack was called in shortly after mine. Crazy! I was shocked and surpised how quickly this all happened.

They caught the guy he then pleaded guilty to all accounts and so the case was closed. But I was left thinking I don’t want to feel scared in my city ever again. I want to better prepare myself for another incident like this, should one ever occur.

(An important lesson learned: call the police should anything should happen to you, as minor as it may seem. Do it.)

So a goal of mine since then was to take a self defence class. Being an all women’s class everyone was on the same playing field – everyone had different expectations from what to get out of a class like this, but Kru did his best to touch on all the important things to keep in mind. He pointed out the effective ways to stop someone quickly, so you can then run away, using the heel of your hand, your fingers, and/or your knuckles. We then focused on protecting our faces from throws and punches while using the environment as a tool to defend your self. You never know what could be around to aid you in a tough situation. And lastly, Kru pointed out the most effective tool we have to defend ourselves and that’s our voice. Just yelling “STOP” at someone will make then stop, even just for a few seconds. This is an innate characteristic in us as humans to stop when told to stop.

During the class, Anne and I practiced attacking each other while the other protected themselves. We also had the boys of Krudar surprise attack us too. They were also nice enough to give us pointers and feedback.


In the end, Kru left us with the understanding that all things said attacks are all different and we can’t walk around with fear. The mind needs to be strong before our physical bodies can protect us. Throwing a punch is one thing, but thinking the situation through and knowing how to react is how you’ll come out of any situation protected and unharmed.

I was so grateful that I wasn’t harmed last year when my attack happened. But even just the hour with Kru I feel better and more aware of what to do. There is a weekly class on the schedule, which will be twice a week once the numbers in class grows. The classes will then look at different situational attacks, what to do when the attacker comes from behind, and the metal strengthening involved. But as a fist time experience I was a satisfied client.


Marathon Training Day #58: A storm’s a’coming

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I wanted to get my 10k in before the storm came. It felt ominous, the sky was bleak and the wind was strong, but if I hadn’t known any better, it would have been a perfect night for a run. It took a while to get into this run, but I eventually did.

Then I met Matt and his brother at a bar and had a beer. I earned it.

The city is covered in slush today. I’m glad I didn’t have to run in that.



The run: 9.7k in 1:05:54
The route:

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Marathon Training Day #57: Week 8

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Week 8 has begun. Here’s the plan:

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 10k
Wednesday: fingers crossed for lunch time yoga (I have an after-work engagement)
Thursday: 8k tempo run
Friday: 45 minute hilly run
Saturday: yoga
Sunday: 23k (10 and 1s)

Here’s hoping it goes down as planned.

Moksha Yoga Teacher Training Day #5


I really can predict how each day is going to be based on the last. Yes, Day 4 was great – both in class and in lecture – but that doesn’t mean a thing.

This morning Ted taught us our morning practice (I think). I honestly can’t remember now what went on this day. Did I have a good class? I think so. I do know as the week went on, I was feeling stronger and more alive in class. I’m going to say Ted taught and it was great.

After class was our first practice teaching session.  This was awful. Well in my head, it was awful. I partnered up with my new friend Jamie from BC and I had to teach her the Moksha sequence. The whole thing. Then she taught me. She is so awesome. I, on the other hand, need to practice and study. Big time.

The afternoon was spent doing more practice teaching. (Honestly it’s like I tried to erase this day from my brain completely because I can’t remember what went on.) I think this hour Deena and Ezmy gave us feedback on habits and things they saw we need to correct as a group. Yeah, that’s probably what happened.

Then we headed to the studio for our afternoon class taught by Jess. And Jess sang to us! And Deena was right there with her. I was a ball of mush on my mat, it was so incredible. This is what I needed after being down and out from practice teaching. I’m so bothered by the fact I do not know the sequence.

After class, I had to thank Jess for the amazing adjustments she gave me in class. She rubbed my feet, massaged my lower back and gently rubbed my shoulders. Our day ended with more teaching methodology where we acted out skits of our best yoga expereience and our worst and talked about studio edict. My group reinacted my Yoga Birthday Challenge because how can you beat your teacher singing happy birthday to you?



Krudar Round 2


What: Muay Thai Boxing — Beginner’s class
When: Wednesday @ 6pm
Where: Krudar Muay Thai (152 Augusta Ave)
Who: Ryan Wilson

Remember back when, when Erin and I got to punch and kick each other because we were told to do it?! Well we both promised each other we’d go back for another visit in the New Year. Well, Krudar Muay Thai recently under went some major studio changes, relocating to a new (but rather close) part of town and adding new classes to their schedule. It was time to go back and check out the new space!

One of Cecilley’s New Year’s resolutions was to learn Muay Thai, I know, I was kinda surprised too, but I wasn’t going to judge. I thought it was great! And of course I knew the best place to learn. So as a promise to her (and myself) we both went to a beginner thai boxing class with Ryan.

I was excited to see the new set up, and with a personal guided tour from Carina (thanks Carina!) I was really impressed. Not only is this a sweet spot for boxing, but now you can spin, cross train, and kettle bell your day away. I love the set-up Krudar has. By paying a monthly membership, not only are you able to take any class you want, but you have open gym time allowing you to use the studio equipment as you please whenever you please. Although, fees are higher than joining a gym, at Krudar you’re joining a community. And that’s the benefit. It’s worth those extra dollars. And with a $10 intro class deal, why not try a class?

Our beginner class started off with very high intensity for the first part of class (as I anticipated from my last visit). We jumped rope, shadow boxed, ran on the spot, jumped around, kicked the air everything you can imagine, we did. Twice. Or even three times with count downs to 30. The cardio warm up is a work out on its own. But then comes the fun part punching and kicking. Ryan split the class the more advanced students from the beginners and took us – the beginners – to the basement for one-on-one training. Ryan changed things up this time around and the focus was on our kicks (sadly I didn’t get to punch Cecilley. Ha! Sorry Cecilley!). But Cecilley was the lucky lady Ryan demoed on before we all started kicking one another (but not hard, don’t worry). Getting the technique down first is the first step. Then it was my turn and Ryan demoed kicking me in the ribs and showing the proper balance with hitting your target.

After an hour and a half, we called it quits for the night. Another solid experience at Krudar, and another promise to return.

Krudar comes highly recommended! And if you do go, tell them Jill sent you!


Marathon Training Day #56: Ice ice baby


I wasn’t feeling this run. At all. My original plan was to do all 16k on the Don Valley, but when it turned out to be covered in uneven ice — making it impossible to feel confident about my steps and increasing the risk of injury — I aborted my plan at Pottery Road. New plan: turn around and run to work, so I can pick up my bike to use in the afternoon. This meant a mid-run pit-stop at my house to return my YakTraks and grab my work pass (my helmet was in my office). I started to get into a groove about 10 minutes from my house, but I was too tired and too sore to truly enjoy it.

In the end, I came up 1.8k short of what I was supposed to do. While I feel bad about this, I ran 2k longer on Monday and it’s a recovery week. I did all I could handle.

That said, I feel like I’m ready to tackle Week #8 with aplomb.


The run: 14.2k in 1:54:55
The route:

Moksha Yoga Teacher Training Day #4

It’s incredible the difference one day makes. On Day 3, I was tired and sore in class, but on Day 4 I felt great! This morning Dina taught us a 90 minute Moksha sequence with a morning meditation to start us off. Dina was amazing and so aware of everything and everyone. Not only did she teach us, she was there with us. Like really with us. She was observant and focused – it was a joy being in her class.

This morning, Jess taught us more teaching methodology and after lunch Deena Robertson (Jess’s sister and one of Moksha LA’s co-owners) and Ezmy gave us an hour prep on how practice teaching is going to work. Oh my goodness, this is going to be scary! I have this to look forward to on Day 5. But I’m hoping Ezmy’s wonderfulness will keep me from holding back or getting to taught up in the hardest part and just have fun with it.

Here is Jess! Teaching us about Teaching.

Here is Jess! Teaching us about Teaching.

Our second class of the day was lead by Ted, again, but this time I felt stronger. My thighs feel less achy, which was really taking a toll on my practice. Ted always makes a point to build the class upon the lessons we learned in lecture. In our posture workshops we are breaking down each pose – from every movement, to each expression of the poses, to the release values (points were we’ll tend to slack off if the pose becomes too hard), to areas where we hold containment in the posture. It’s all so interesting!

After class Ted lectured on the next few poses of the sequence from Triangle to Dancers – we’re moving right along. Again, there is so much information to absorb. I hope I can retain some of it. Or any of it for that matter. But as Ted finishes each lecture, I have to forget everything he said and trust this information lives in every cell of my body. Ted then always thanks us for our curiosity and love of yoga. We are helping to make this world a more peaceful and better place.

Oh my goodness, Ted could not be more great.

Moksha Teacher Training Day #3

Day three down. How many more to go? These days are starting to blend together and my brain is exploding with information. And I feel as though I have retained none of it. But my energy by the end of day three was much higher than last night.

This morning’s asana was tiring. I felt drained, but — lucky for us — Bryde left out the standing warrior series. Was this by mistake? Possibly. But maybe she sensed my fading attention.

Today’s lecture was Anatomy with THE Dina Tsouluhas. I have head only great things from Jackie and the entire Moksha Community about Dina T. And now I understand. She has a beautiful spirit and she expresses her love for yoga and what she does. She is a born teacher. We learned all about our bones! I felt like I was in Grade 10 biology all over again. It was so great! I was a sponge and soaked up every word Dina spoke. During lecture, Dina threw in some interesting partner activities where we touched each others bones, modified each other’s downward dog poses, and finally did mini-massages on the head.

After lunch was study time. We had an hour to study the Moksha script. Or sleep. Which the majority of us did. Me included.

Our second class of the day was lead by Ezmy! And with a few non scripted Moksha poses, Emzy mixed this up, just a bit, to get us out of the same old same old, we’ve done 5 times in the last 3 days. I need a Moksha break… this is probably not a good sign. Oh Ezmy (as I would say pretty much after every class I’ve taken with Ezmy) that was great and yes you kicked my bum. This is what I needed to get me though the rest of the day.

Afternoon lecture was another posture workshop with Ted where we continued to break down (and apart) each pose in the Moksha sequence. Today, we made it from Prayer twist to Triangle pose. Ted’s light hearted since of humour kills me. He is so humble and excited by everything we ask. He is another natural teacher and mentor. I have so much love for all my new teachers, it is insane. This may not be the case come week 3.

We shall see.


Marathon Training Day #55: 8×400 down Queen Street

This intersection didn't exist when we moved in three years ago. Progress. It's crazy.

This intersection didn’t exist when we moved in three years ago. Progress. It’s crazy.

Today was speedwork day. I know it’s not the best idea to do speedwork the day before your long run, but hey, what can you do? Life happens. It was warm(er) and the sidewalks were clear(er) so I decided to skip the TTC and $8 entry fee to Monarch Park Stadium and run the 400 metre stretch of road near my house eight times.

Here’s how it went:


I am getting faster. It doesn’t feel that way, but the times are there. It almost makes speedwork worth it.