Category Archives: Major Digital Project

Running like the wind

@envisioncoachingg

Running tips for beginners 🏃‍♀️Tip 1 – don’t heel strike, run on the balls of your feet 👟Tip 2 – dont hunch, stay tall 🙌🏻Tip 3 – don’t set off too fast, keep the pace nice and steady ( you should be able to hold a conversation, if not slow the pace down) Save and try these tips on your next run ✅✅#fit #tip #runningtips #running #personaltrainer #coach #dothis #improve #beginner #fitness #fittok #gym #gymtok @HOKA @lululemon

♬ Players – DJ Smallz 732 – Jersey Club Remix – Coi Leray

I went for my first two runs, and WOWSERS! I knew that running again was going to be difficult and I would need to persevere, but I sure did not think that I would be exhausted like I was.

I convinced my husband to come with me, the 6 foot 1 gazelle that he is. His legs are way longer than mine, and he just has the gene pool to wake up on holiday Monday and run! Not me… 

I did some research on Tik Tok this week to try and find some support and answers for how to get back into running. I knew that it was going to be difficult, like I have said a lot already. I did see many Tik Toks recommending that I find a consistent pace, run on flat land, and to enjoy the run. One Tik Tok even said something along the lines of running at a pace that I can carry out a conversation, but that was for sure not happening for me. Here is the best Tik Tok I found this week for beginning runners! 

Run #1

We did it though, in a scorching (just joking) 20 degree weather on the holiday Monday of the long weekend. I cannot believe how difficult it was, even though I woke up, had a decent breakfast, stretched, charged my Apple watch, found a good running playlist and got the Airpods ready. My husband and I have a deal where we don’t ever leave each other behind when we are running because, well, who likes being left behind? It really is more of a deal for because I don’t think I’ve even had the chance to leave him behind. 

We ran outside of town, with a beautiful view that was motivating to keep going. One of the reasons that I love running so much is not only for the amazing physical health beneifts, but for the grounding and clarity that it brings me. Being outside in nature was a gift that I know I take for granted!

I got home, feeling very unwell. I was feeling defeated as it was for sure the slowest run I have done since grade 4 track meet. My go to strategy when I am feeling down or defeated is to try and help solve the situation. I went of course, straight to Tik Tok to find some more support. Check out this Tik Tok! It is the motivation I needed to complete my second run of the week.

It’s Raining… Water and Fertilizer

Now the hard part begins – how do I keep everything alive?

At the start of this project, I was nervous about this part as I planted a lot in a short amount of time so the upkeep felt overwhelming. I decided to start with some YouTube videos to get a general idea:

 

These videos were very helpful, but what really helped was the PictureThis app – I swear it’s just that good that’s why I’m mentioning it twice.

The app allows you to save all the plants uploaded into the app and it gives you a detailed breakdown of when to water, how much to water, and when to fertilize. The app even allows you to set reminders to water and fertilize and a monthly checklist – game changer!

PictureThis app screenshot
PictureThis App

Another amazing feature of the app is the diagnostic tool where the app identifies any issues with your plants and provides you with tips to remedy the issue.

PictureThis app screenshot
PictureThis App

With all this new knowledge (not sure how my brain is storing it all) I went to Costco’s garden center to get the goods. I will admit I didn’t do any research in this part I just let go and let the garden centre tell me what I needed.

Fertilizer and plant food
Fertilizer and Plant Food

Now I just need to follow the watering and fertilizer schedule that I have set up in my app and hopefully, we will see some beautiful flowers and delicious herbs in no time.

Round 3: Perennials

Day 3. I was pretty confident in my abilities to garden as the last two days had gone so well, but I spoke too soon.

The area I wanted to plant the perennials is riddled with weeds or at least what I thought were weeds. So naturally I need to sort out this issue first before I started planting. For the last two summers, I have ruthlessly pulled out these weeds because they looked so bad and so out of place as there was no rhyme or reason to their placement.

But every single year they came back in full force. So I did some Googling and found the app PictureThis and not to be dramatic… IT SAVED MY LIFE.

The app allows you to scan pictures of the plant in question and it will identify it for you and provide you with all the information you need from care instructions to fun little facts.

I got to scanning and learn that the “weed” that kept returning was Lily of the Valley, a somewhat invasive plant that spreads rapidly and is nearly impossible to get rid of. So back to Googling – where I learned that you have to dig out the roots and then douse the area is weed killer.

Now this part is where it all goes off rails. It took me nearly two hours to get out the roots of the plant.

Roots of lily of the valley
Lily of the Valley Roots
Buckets full of yard waste
Four Buckets of Roots and Weeds

It felt like the roots just kept coming. No matter how deep I dug there was more and they were all over the garden bed. But alas, with some patience and blood, sweat, and tears I got them out. Or at least I think I did, we won’t really know unit next year. And for good measure I sprayed enough weed killer to eradicate a valley of weeds.

After the whole ordeal, I decided that I need to take a break and plant the perennials the next day.

Perennials for butterfly garden
Butterfly Garden Perennials

The next day, it was easy work. I watched a quick video before I got started:

And I did the work. Planting them was the easy part. The hard part will be seeing if they actually growing. Fingers crossed.

Don’t Eat Less, Eat Right!

Week 1 of running in the books, and I have officially started week 2! I would think that the runs would be getting easier, however they are getting longer, making them more challenging. This week will be difficult as I am running for 5 mins by the end of this week. EEKKKK! I’m powering through the workouts and I have been thinking about taking my runs outside in hopes the fresh air will help energize me more.

I found I have been lacking energy and I wanted to research some meals that would help fuel my runs. I was reading an article on what is best to eat before and after running. I realize that I am eating too much processed food at lunch and that by the time I get home from work, I feel extremely sluggish.

Water is another important piece of this puzzle. I don’t normally drink a lot of water, and I have always struggled to get my recommended daily intake of water. I am working on drinking more water throughout the day and rehydrating after my runs!

Hydrating after a run!

Round 2: Vegetables and Herbs

Day 2! Today the goal was to build two garden boxes I got from Giant Tiger for a steal of a deal.

Bob the builder
Bob the Builder (Wikipedia)

Note: Just a note of caution here, please don’t buy these planters until you read ahead because disaster struck.

Then once my garden boxes were built it was time to plant the vegetable and herbs. So naturally, step one was to build the garden boxes. In my house, I’m nicknamed Bob the Builder so I got to work and after an hour or so I had two beautiful wood planter boxes – or so I thought.

For the garden boxes, I purchased chives, parsley, dill, and romaine lettuce because they seemed the most likely to survive the wrath of a new gardener.

Orange cat in garden box
Garden Box Helper

To achieve this task, I downloaded the app Planter: Garden Planner to help me sort out the distance of my plants. I decided the best choice would be to put the chives, parsley, and dill in one planter and the lettuce by itself in another. So I poured in my dirt, got out my mini-shovel (I am sure this has an actual name, but mini-shovel is cuter), and started planting. I have found the actual process of planting to be quite easy. I have learned a few tricks though that have been helpful for a beginner like me, but the most important was to rough up the roots before planting.

And I was done! Or so I thought. Even my lovely elderly neighbor came out to tell me how happy she was to see some growth in our backyard finally. I was on cloud nine if you will. After such a hard day of work, I went inside to relax.

Two garden boxes with vegetable and herbs
Garden Boxes with Vegetables and Herbs

That afternoon, I went outside to admire my work to come to find one of my plant boxes collapsed. Thankfully, the herbs survived the calamity and the lettuce box was entirely unharmed, but my bank account cannot say the same.

Prior to this project, I had contemplated buying a garden box from Costco. It was a beautiful plastic Keter brand garden box that would have looked so nice in my yard, but in an effort to be more financially responsible, I decided to go with the more budget-friendly option. But look where that got me? So I took this as a sign from a higher power and got in my car and headed to Costco.

One garden box, and one hotdog later, I was home and ready to build my third garden box of the season. With the new garden box built and the plants replanted I was ready to watch my little babies grow.

Wooden garden box with romaine lettuce
The Surviving Garden Box with Romaine Lettuce
Plastic garden box with herbs
The New Herb Garden Box

I gave them a good water, tucked them in for the night, and went to bed and had nightmares of every garden box in the 20-kilometer radius.

Hopefully, day 3 goes smoothly.

Tunes for the Soul

Can anyone out there do anything without music? I sure can’t. So naturally I needed to curate a Spotify playlist to listen to while I am out there gardening my heart out. Feel free to check it out:

While I love my gardening playlist, I am sometimes not in the mood for music but rather a podcast. Check out some recommendations below:

National Parks After Dark:

Dark History:

The Basement Yard:

Stolen:

The Anthropocene Reviewed:

Happy gardening and happy listening, my friends!

Getting the Goods

Yesterday I descend on, what felt like, every plant store in the city to get plants and herbs for my garden project. I am somewhat of a house plant aficionado, but when it comes to outdoor plants I know nothing – quite literary nothing. So equipped with nothing more than my phone and the internet I started buying.

First I started at Costco. This seemed like the cheapest place to get plants. And while I was right, everyone and their mom were out buying plants. I have a bit of an issue with crowded places, but Costco especially gives me immense anxiety. I don’t know what it is; maybe it’s the giant carts (I am only 5 feet), the neverending isles of products, or something they pump into the air, but I knew we had to get in and out quickly. Thankfully, I went in with some sort of game plan – I needed 3 creeping juniper plants and a Roma tomato plant.

Table basil
Table Basil

The Roma tomato plant was easy. It was sitting right at the front waiting for me. The biggest question was which one to get. I don’t know what makes a good tomato plant so out came my phone – check for bugs, check the leaves and stems, and go smaller. Then I read I needed to re-pot it so I added Walmart to my list. Next to the creeping junipers, and this is where it all went astray. Did you know there are about 7 million types of cedar-like bushes/trees? So after shifting through what felt like the entire boreal forest, I found the creeping junipers. Thank god for good people because this WONDERFUL lady must have seen my struggle as I pulled out every single creeping juniper that Costco had to offer and stared at them. I tried to Google how to pick one, but the internet just kept showing me results on how to prune them and what to do if they go brown. I was close to leaving and not achieving my dreams of a beautiful lush front yard with cedars plenty. But the angel from heaven helped me pick three of the best plants and gave me some tips for care including watering them multiple times a week until the winter and covering them with burlap before the first frost. So check! Costco done.

On my way out, I impulsively bought a Table Basil (which I don’t think is any different from regular basil) and a bag of 9.97$ perennial that is labeled “Butterfly Blend” because who doesn’t like butterflies? So now add that to the list.

Next was Superstore, as I heard (from my sister) that their herbs and plants were the cheapest. So off I went and found what I needed. My experience at Superstore was easy compared to Costco. grabbed parsley and chives for my garden boxes and a couple of bags of soil as I can only assume I’ll need that. I also wanted to plant hostas in my backyard, but I wasn’t 100 percent sure where to get them, but as if it was meant to be, the Superstore employees had just put out a whole pallet of hostas so I grabbed three.

Unplanted hydrangea bush behind firepit and two yellow chairs
Hydrangea Bush

Next, I need to find a hydrangea bush. Finding it was easy enough, but the tag was about as large as a high school history textbook and it had a whole lot of lingo I didn’t understand. Hardiness? No clue. Zone? Like school zone? Unfortunately for me, Superstore was all out of angels from heaven to help me, but thankfully I had Google. A quick search of “how to read a plant tag” showed me everything I needed to know. I decided to go with the Limelight Hydrangea for a few reasons:

  • Blooms: Summer through Fall
  • Hardiness Zone: 3 to 9
  • Exposure: Partial to Full Sun

With barely any more room left in my SUV, we headed for one more stop – Plant Ranch, a locally owned plant nursery in the city. Here I wanted to get some romaine lettuce and dill weed. I grabbed what I needed and I was out of there. Armed with my goods I was ready to plant, right?

Herbs - chives, parsley, and dill - not yet planted
Herbs
Unplanted romaine lettuce
Romaine Lettuce

As a side note, to create this blog post I ran into one issue – my images were too big. Who knew? After some Googling, I came across TinyPNG, an online tool that compresses photos. So if anyone out there has these same issues, rest easy TinyPNG has your back!

Walk, don’t run folks!!

I’m a little late to the game, due to a serious case of food poisoning, but I have made the choice to start my running back up for my major learning project. At one point, I thought I would try to get my students to try something with their blogs that was out of this world, but its May, and I teach middle years. We are all in survival mode on top of the extra curriulars, the end of the year activities and the gusto I have left to create a brand new project. SO, I am going to make this project all about me. 

3 years ago, in 2020, I ran 50 kilometres in May to support Multiple Sclerosis. I look back, and I know I felt the best. Yes, losing a few inches around my waist would be great, but the feeling I had when I finished a run was worth it! 

I am hoping to use Tik Tok and Pinterest as my guides for resources and tips. 

I have an Apple Watch as well as a running interval timer. My plan is to run twice a week for the next 5 weeks and see what happens!!! Here is the schedule I have planned.

Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom on Pexels.com

Week 1: Run for 5 minutes, walk for 1 

Week 2: Run for 6 minutes, walk for 1 

Week 3: We will see…..

I don’t want to set these unrealistic goals I can’t reach, so let’s see what happens after the first two weeks. The smoke is blowing away, so tomorrow is my first day!!! Stay tuned!

Day 1 of Training!

Welcome to day 1 of training for the 5k! I did a little intro, before running video that explains what my first day of running would look like.  Don’t forget to check out the after video to see how I did!

Here is the training schedule I am following. It is a little blurry, not too sure why as it wasn’t in the original.  But if you want to check it out, it is from this website on Runner’s World.

 

Oscar worthy?

I have been thinking about my final project and how I want it to look. I am not techy, nor do I explore much with tech, especially if it is out of my comfort zone. I want to try and use iMovie to create a documentation of all my running! I watched this video on an iMovie tutorial for beginners, and I found it easy to follow. I have a few ideas of how I want the final project to look. 1) I am thinking of doing a montage of my running throughout the next several weeks, or 2) I was thinking of doing a documentary type of my journey.  Not sure how I will end up doing it….I could run the blog like a daily documentary and then have the final project the montage. Stay tuned to see how it all plays out!