A 5'3 Perspective


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What’s Better Than A Weekend?

The answer to that question should be pretty obvious, the only thing better than a weekend is a LONG weekend! Having an extra day to relax and spend time with family and friends is always such a treat, but before we can celebrate the holidays (it’s Thanksgiving in Canada), let’s take a moment to appreciate the past seven days. High Five For Friday

1.  On Sunday I ran for a cure for breast cancer along with my family and friends. Thanks to you guys, I was able to raise almost $1600 to donate to the cause!
2. Do I even need to explain why this is awesome? Whiskey and fried chicken… You better believe I had a sore stomach the next day. It was worth every bite!
3. Just a tiny selection of my product sample collection. I love trying new products and these mini packages are just so cute. I’m already dying to splurge on the full size NUDE ProGenius Treatmeant Oil.
4. 5 AM elevator rides. My man is heading out west for a few days (actually a lot of day :(). I miss him already but I know he is going to have an amazing time!
5. Enjoy nature and each others company before Neil’s trip – I couldn’t ask for anything more.

Thanks again to Lauren for hosting this appreciation party! If you want to link your post of Friday reflections, head over to TheLaurenElizabeth.com. Have a wonderful weekend!

xo Lauren


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My Second Half Marathon Experience

After sleepless nights, training doubts, and racing remorse, I am thrilled to have completed my second half marathon this Sunday – and even more excited to have finished in under two hours! If you read my running remorse post last week, you’ll likely be surprised to hear that I have been bit by the racing bug again. While I am not signing up for another half marathon in the near future, I am looking into a couple 10 km races in the winter (just checking out my options – I want to come down from my running high before I make any commitments).

All hesitations aside, I knew I had given my best effort effort training for this race. Preparing for a Spring half is much different than a Fall one – I have learned that I prefer running in cool temperatures (and even snowstorms) as opposed to warm scorching weather. Most distance runners will use Sundays as long run days; take a moment to think about what that means. Fun Saturdays are always cut a little short to make sure you feel ready to get a 16, 17, 18 k (or even longer) run in before peak heat hours. Depending on your pace, these distances can take over two hours to complete meaning you’ll need to be out pounding the pavement before 9:00 AM. Another sacrifice you’ll have to make is running on vacation. If you let your training slip, it is very hard to pick up where you left off – summer is a very popular time to take weekend trips, be prepared to pack your running gear and map out a couple routes to run while everyone else is sleeping in. This being said, running on vacation is one of my favourite ways to explore a new city, it makes me feel like a local and I almost always come across neat areas I would have never found otherwise.

Winter is easier. Long runs aren’t scheduled around the sun, Saturday partying is less frequent since patios are closed, and buy new cold weather running gear is a lot of fun. Sure the footing is slippery and you might run into a snow storm (literally), but as long as you are careful and alert, these added elements of difficulty make the time fly by. Maybe this is personal preference though!

father daughter finish line

Strides away from the finish line!

half marathonI had planned to do a race recap, but as the kilometers ticked by, they all merged together. I can tell you that the Canada Army Run is much less flat than the Ottawa Race Weekend route. If you are looking for a PB, consider that. Although I did not beat my first half marathon time, I felt much stronger and in control throughout the entire race – extra hills and all. I am confident that if the courses were the same I would have snagged a PB this time around. Either way, I was elated crossing the finish line knowing I had secured another sub two hour time!

Neil and Alicia along the course cheering us on, with Lanna and Susan close beside them!

Neil and Alicia along the course cheering us on, with Lanna and Susan close beside them!

I cannot even begin to express how thankful and honoured I am to have such great friends and family that pushed me every step of the way. From my dad you ran by my side, to my amazing boyfriend and friends who cheered me on along the course and at the finish line, I know I couldn’t have made it through the race without you guys. Knowing that I have such kind and thoughtful people in my life makes me feel so lucky. It truly meant the world to see your smiling faces cheering me on.

Celebrating another sub two hour finish with my dad!

Celebrating another sub two hour finish with my dad!

Will I run another half marathon? The answer is most likely yes. Crossing the finish line on Sunday reminded me of why I make the sacrifices I do to be a runner, it also confirmed that I truly do love running.

Despite a little muscle soreness, I am eager to lace up my sneakers this week and do what I love.

Congratulations to everyone who ran this weekend, you did it!

xo Lauren


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The Time That Jillian Michaels Kicked My Butt

Last Friday I experienced the opportunity of a lifetime. I worked out with celebrity trainer [and drill sergeant], Jillian Michaels. It is quite uncommon for me to enter big contests because I always get discouraged when I lose, but when I saw a chance to workout with one of the most iconic fitness professionals, I couldn’t help myself. I just had to give it a shot.

Let’s make a long story short. I won – I was going to workout with Jillian Michaels, and I could bring a friend to torture as well! Off I went to Toronto to get my butt seriously kicked by the most intense trainer I know of. a day with jillian michaels body shred with jillian michaelsSince I was only in town for one day, I packed as much into it as possible; registering for the workout bright and early, grabbing some Starbucks [and a banana] for workout fuel, a quick pit stop at Anthropologie [a quite successful one too], and then finally – the moment I had been waiting for –  a Jillian Michaels “ass kicking” [her words, not mine]. JMWith my best friend in tow, we secured spots near the front of the class. I was in for a surprise – I figured that the room would be filled with contest winners like myself. Boy was I wrong. About half of the attendees were actually fitness professionals… and there we were, right near the front. I wish I could have gotten a closer/clear/one on one picture with Michaels, however, just breathing the same air as someone so motivated and influential in the fitness world was unbelievable!

As soon as Jillian Michaels emerged from backstage things got serious. She began to walk us through the exercises we would be using for the class, explaining the structure as she went. If you aren’t familiar with her workout program I’ll give you a quick run down. Body Shred, which is offered through Goodlife Fitness in Canada, is a high intensity interval training class. It follows a 3-2-1 format, with only 24 minutes of work. Sure it sounds easy when you type it out, but in practice, 24 minutes without breaks, while your heart rate is between 90 – 100% of your max is no laughing matter. During the half an hour class you will warm up and cool down [3 minutes each] and complete 4 rounds of circuits in between which are comprised of 3 minutes of resistance, 2 minutes of cardio, and 1 minute of active recovery [which actually means intense ab workouts – not break time]. I highly recommend visiting a Goodlife Fitness near you to try this class for yourself. You’ll love me and hate me all at the same time! before and after bodyshredWorking out with such an intense instructor [and a huge group of fitness professionals and enthusiasts] was one of the most motivating experiences I have ever had and it allowed me to push myself harder than I thought possible. Although the workout Jillian Michaels led us through was challenging, I must admit that my Tuesday night Rideau Center instructor Sarah, works her class ten times harder – she is ruthless, but awesome. It didn’t surprise me when I found out that Jillian Michaels was one of her idols – they definitely have that drill sergeant thing in common! I loved that options were given so that first time shredders and veterans could choose their levels to intensify [or not] the workout. canfit pro conferenceMy guest, Sarah, had never tried the class before – you can see our pre workout faces here, she was terrified. I however, was on top of the world! Sarah was an awesome sport and made it through the half hour HIIT workout like a champ, she even admitted to enjoying it afterwards. Unfortunately as soon as the workout ended Jillian ran off the stage leaving no opportunities to get a group photo, let alone individual pictures. Not to worry though, a life-size cut out was waiting outside to pose with after we finished the class. If you look quickly it almost looks real!

Working out with the tiny dynamo only fueled my admiration and appreciation for her even more. The entire experience was something I could only ever dream about and I am still pinching myself to make sure it really happened! Thanks again to Goodlife for hosting this contest and giving fitness enthusiasts and professionals the opportunity to meet such an influential trainer in the industry – you better believe my motivation to workout has sky rocketed after this class!

Have you ever tried BodyShred or any other Jillian Michaels workouts?

xo Lauren


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Friday Appreciation

The Friday before a long weekend always bring some element of chaos, but it is often overshadowed by anticipation and excitement for me. I am someone who preforms best under pressure so I am always trying to tie up any loose ends at work before leaving for any extended period. That being said – I can barely sit still just thinking about having three days off in a row!

In typical Friday fashion, I am linking up with Lauren to reflect on some highlights of the week.High Five For Friday

1. Impromptu dates nights with Neil. We drank more than we ate, but the cocktails at SIDEDOOR are just too delicious to pass up. Oh and the chef just happened to make it to the final four on Canada’s Next Top Chef – you should probably give this restaurant a try!
2. Having the opportunity to spend time appreciating the great outdoors – and live the cottage life with one of my best friends.
3. Another pair of new [and even nerdier] glasses – I swear this is the last new pair I get for a long time.
4. My Quest Bar delivery! The White Chocolate Raspberry flavour is out of this world. I could easily live off these.
5. A brand new fitness studio at one of the Goodlife gyms I frequent. Before the group ex room was dark, dingy and tiny. This new space is such a breathe of fresh air!

That’s all for now friends, enjoy your weekend!

xo Lauren


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High Five For Friday

Another week has flown by – now it’s time to reflect on all of the awesome things that happened over the past seven days! High Five For Friday

1. This is me. I do silly things because it makes me happy. The amount of times I have created outfits out of garbage bags to stay dry is quite impressive. This one might be my best look yet!
2. I created crack… It may look like oat balls, but I assure you, they are the most addictive treats. Don’t worry I’ll share the recipe next week.
3. After years of abstaining for yoga, I decided to give it another try. It was love at first sun salutation. I’m back my yogi friends, and I’ve got a 30 day unlimited pass to prove it!
4. Nerd Alert – I got new glasses… they might be a bit over the top.
5. My workouts this week have been phenomenal. I finally feel like I have the energy to push myself and give it all. I hope this continues… maybe it is a side effect of adding yoga to my weekly exercise routine.

That’s all for today, thanks again to the lovely Lauren Elizabeth for hosting High Five For Friday!

xo Lauren


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My Insta Life: A Trip to the East Coast of Canada

Although I arrived home on Tuesday night, I am still adjusting to the Ontario pace of things. The laid back east coast life style is definitely something I enjoyed but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t ready to get back into the swing of things.

The past week was such an incredible experience – these pictures really don’t do New Brunswick and Nova Scotia justice. If you get the change to travel east, I highly recommend it!a five foot three perspective east coast eastcoast ellepottsie halifax nights halifax lauren LP newbrunswick novascotia YFMNow it’s back to reality!

xo Lauren


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An Atlantic Ocean Outfit Post

As many of you know I am on the east coast of Canada right now enjoying a bit of a vacation. The weather here is just fantastic and there is so much to do. Despite being busy sightseeing I was able to snap a few pictures of my outfit yesterday. Wearing anything more than a dress and sandals would have resulted in heat stroke – not that I am complaining, I love the warm weather!ellepottsielaurenHalifax-Dartmouth Ferry ellepottsieDress: Urban Outfitters (old) / Sandals: Sam Edelman / Purse: Chloe / Sunglasses: Ray-Ban
laurenI fly home tonight so I am off to make the most of my time away. Goodbye from Halifax!

xo Lauren