Let’s have a laugh – SEARCH TERMS

From time to time, I’ll log into Google Analytics and check out the search terms that lead people to my blog.  I get curious and it definitely never fails to amuse me.  I thought I’d share some with you that had me laughing to myself the other night.

“why does my dog want my Vega bar” -> probably because it tastes delicious

“naked women from Maine” -> ummm you won’t find that on here…sorry

“hot mom in Lululemon” -> don’t think you’ll find that here either

“inside of pita bread soggy” -> how unfortunate

“can you rotate Mizuno wave inspire with Mizuno wave sayonara” -> for me, the answer is yes

“are Quest bars addictive” -> the answer is also yes

“compression unitard” -> I think we can all use one of those after long runs, hey?

“naked workout” -> can’t say I’ve tried that before

“having ice cream night before long run” -> guilty

“weird things in the world” -> this blog is probably one of them

Now for a training update….

To be honest, I don’t really feel great right now.  There are less than 8 weeks left until my marathon and my mind cannot even fathom the idea of running 26.2 miles.  I just ran 15 on Sunday and although I felt okay physically, my mind was all over the place.  I am stopping WAY more than I should during my runs for absolutely no reason.  My mind is completely controlling my body and the worst part is – I’m letting it.  I’m telling myself that I can’t do things that I KNOW I can do.  Even my tempo run yesterday felt like a flop.  I only ran 10K instead of the 15K that I was supposed to do and although my average was decent (7:55), I took more breaks than I care to admit.  I know I don’t need these breaks.  My recent half marathon is proof that I can run at a fast (for me) pace for 13.1 miles.  So why can’t I do it when I’m not racing?

I need to get my mind right or this marathon is not happening.  I’ve had way too many doubts lately and haven’t been feeling like my normal self since returning from Vancouver.  SEND HELP.  Maybe I just need to eat some ice cream and get myself a compression unitard.

P.S. Princeton got a haircut and today is National Dog Day so here you go:

IMG_5739

Happy Wednesday!!

Share some of your funny search terms (if you’re a blogger)! :)

Marathon Monday: finding the right SHOES

If you know me, you know I’m a shoe hoarder.  I run in so many different brands at the moment – Mizuno, Nike, New Balance, and my very latest love affair…BROOKS.  To be honest, even just a few months ago I associated Brooks with the 90s, sneakers I would have worn when I was in grade school.  I know of a handful of bloggers who run in them – Janae is the first that comes to mind – but it was hard for me to wrap my head around them as being an awesome brand for marathon training (or even just running in general).  It’s silly to judge before trying, but I’ll admit that I was guilty of it!  I’m happy that it didn’t last long and grateful for a recent opportunity that had me change my mind.

A while back I was invited to an event – Breakfast with Brooks – that was taking place here in Toronto.  I decided to go and see what it was all about.  It never hurts to learn about new-to-you brands, right?  Tell me you wouldn’t want to go to an event and stare at running shoes and clothes all morning!  TELL ME.

FullSizeRender-54

First off, Brooks uses the slogan and hashtag #RUNHAPPY.  A reminder to always be thankful that our bodies can carry us through some really tough training days and races.  Even when I’m running grumpy, I end up happy at the end.  I never regret a run and 9 times out of 10, I’m in a different (and better) mood once it’s over.

Brooks also knows how to feed runners.  Seriously.  Give me ALL the smoothie bowls.

FullSizeRender-55

We got to hear a great presentation given by some Brooks Gurus and learned a lot about the brand itself, Brooks’ recent comeback into the running world, as well as the technologies behind some apparel and footwear.  I was also given the opportunity to have a real gait analysis done.  I’ve had running store employees look at my feet before and recommend certain shoes but this was the first time that I’ve actually been filmed running on a treadmill.

IMG_5700

I used to over-pronate a FREAK TON so whenever I had to buy shoes, I beelined to the “support” section.  Over the years, my gait has changed slightly and I’ve actually been preferring the feel of neutral shoes for all of my runs.  According to my gait analysis above, my preference for neutral shoes was validated.  The recommendations made for me were the Ravenna for longer runs and the Ghost or Glycerin for regular training.  To be honest, I tried on the Ravenna and I did not like the feel of them at all but I did get a pair of Ghosts and Glycerins and have only good things to say about both so far.  I also recently got the Pure Grit for trail running and hiking!

IMG_5694

I have run the most miles in the Glycerins (bottom left) and they have become my go-to for most of my long runs.  I remember taking them out for 9 miles straight out of the box without any discomfort or “new shoe” feeling.  It was kind of strange!!  They are neutral but have really awesome cushioning (they call it Super DNA) that makes me feel like I’m running on marshmallows.  I wore them for SeaWheeze and found them light enough to race in too (9.3 oz).  That might be heavy for some of you and actually may be my heaviest running shoe, but they’re just so comfortable and I don’t think the weight impacted my race performance at all.

I don’t have many miles in the Ghosts yet but am hoping to get full reviews done soon.  I just wanted to share my whole gait analysis experience with you because I think it’s super helpful and got me into some pretty great shoes.  I know a lot of running stores provide the service or you can even ask your PT if you have one!  Happy feet make happy runners, yes?  I’ve learned the hard way that I can’t just run in any shoes because I think they’re pretty.  Not all shoes are made for all feet but when you find a pair made for YOUR feet…it’s bliss.  Am I right or am I right?

IMG_5679-1

Hope you had a great Monday!

Music to a runner’s ears

This week has be ROUGH in about a million and one ways.  It’s been one of those weeks where I just want to crawl into a dark hole and have everything be wonderful and amazing when I come back out into the real world.  You know what I mean?!  Let’s just say getting an email from Phaedra telling me to take this as a recovery week was music to my ears.  I didn’t even do as much as she prescribed because I honestly wasn’t feeling it.  I took three days off after my half marathon and have done a couple of short runs over the last few days.  I don’t think I’ll ever be one of those people who dreads rest days or recovery weeks.  I LOVE THEM.  I get to sleep in and be lazy and I have more time for other things.  It’s pretty great.

IMG_5641

Today’s run was a 10k with strides.  To be honest, I haven’t done strides in forever so I actually had to google how the heck to do them (properly) just to refresh my memory.  I found this article on Runner’s World and it was really helpful.

Screen Shot 2015-08-21 at 5.33.26 PM

I did six strides near the end of my workout and didn’t look at my pace or anything.  The idea is to finish an easy run with a kick, just like in a race when you sprint to the finish.  Try it out!  Anything that makes us faster, right? ;)

Flashback to last weekend:

IMG_5627

We did a horrible job at taking photos post race.  I stole this one from Angela’s blog (Cowgirl Runs).  She also wrote a pretty great recap if you want to check it out here!  It’s a lot more detailed than mine so if you’re ever considering doing SeaWheeze, have a read!

More random things (it’s one of those days) -

I have theeeeeese on my radar:

IMG_5642

Has anyone run in the Zoom Elites before??  I tried them on today and they felt SO comfortable.

Letters from Carlee:

carlee

I’m not one to give shout outs all the time but honestly, if you don’t follow this girl already via blog and/or Instagram (@carleemcdot), you should start.  She is a shining light in this world.  More people like her need to exist.

Princeton sometimes likes to casually stop mid-walk to take a break.

FullSizeRender-53

That face.  It kills me.

If you know me, you know I’m not a big fan of makeup.  The only things I use on a daily basis are bronzer and mascara.  When we were in Vancouver, I tried one of Danielle’s products – Garnier Skin Renew.  I used it kind of as a lotion before I applied my bronzer and holyyyyy smokes.  I felt like it made such a difference in my skin.  It just made everything look so even and smooth.  I picked one up today and have a feeling it will become a staple.  I will now use three products daily instead of two – haha!  Just thought I’d share in case anyone is looking for something easy that makes your skin look nice!

IMG_5644

I’m really low maintenance when it comes to this stuff so if you buy this and hate it, DON’T BE MAD! :D

That’s it for tonight!  Have a wonderful weekend!

Vancouver/SeaWheeze 2015 Race Recap!

Another successful SeaWheeze weekend behind me!!  I was thinking about breaking up my race-cation into a series of posts so that I wouldn’t have to cram four days with of fun into one single post buuuuut WHAT THE HECK.  Let’s do it.

Thursday:

I arrived in Vancouver at around 11am and the plan was to go straight downtown to meet my PR friend (Cristina) and a photographer from shoeme.ca.  I took the train down and had a little time to kill so naturally, I went and had some gelato at Bella Gelateria.  This place usually has a crazy lineup but I somehow got lucky because not one single person was there.  Salted chocolate gelato and berry sorbet FTW.

FullSizeRender-48

My peeps arrived and we spent some time shooting in my Brooks Glycerin 13 as well as my Pure Grit 3.

IMG_5205

IMG_5207

We headed back to the office and I dropped off all of my bags so that I could roam around the city looking for food.  I ended up finding a shopping mall and grabbing a salad to eat quickly before it was time to head back.  I got LOST and ended up beside a Costco?!?!  I tried to Google Map my way back to the office but it was apparently a 28-minute walk so I jumped in a cab instead because I had already been walking for what seemed like forever.

Cristina and I met Angela for dinner at Heirloom for 6:30pm which I was SO EXCITED about.  Unfortunately, something hit me and I had to actually leave the restaurant a couple of times.  I’m pretty sure I had food poisoning but who knows.  I was super hot, the smell of food was making me nauseous, and I threw up twice.  Nice, right?  I cancelled my food order, waited for Cristina and Angela to finish their meals, and then headed to Angela’s place to take a shower and go to sleep.

While I was sleeping, Angela went and picked up Danielle from the airport and they headed straight to bed because we had a very early morning ahead of us!

Friday:

SHOPPING DAY.  Last year we lined up at the SeaWheeze Showcase store around 4:30am.  I had a feeling it would be earlier this year because people (including myself) just keep getting crazier and crazier.  My friend Michael texted me around 1am saying there were already 50+ people in line (some of our friends were there from 10:30pm the night BEFORE!).  I woke the girls up at 2am and we made it to the line with about 150 people ahead of us.  Bananas.  Why do we do these things?  I really don’t know.

IMG_2270

The time went by a lot faster than I expected and we rolled into the store with the first wave of people at 7am.  Like usual, it was complete madness in there.  I wasn’t as impressed as last year in terms of colours and patterns but I did manage to pick up four cute pieces.

IMG_5228

No pants, no problem.

IMG_5431

We were done pretty early so we spent some time walking around, visited Lululemon on Robson, and picked up a quick breakfast.  We had a VEGA luncheon at Forage at 12:30 so we went and got changed before heading over.  The food at Forage was phenomenal but unfortunately my photos all came out WAY too dark so you’ll just have to believe me!  VEGA did a really great job at welcoming us bloggers and making us feel special.  They always do!  There was even some fun trivia where I managed to win a cute pair of shoes by People Footwear.

FullSizeRender-49

We were pretty exhausted by the time lunch was over since we had been up so early.  We took it easy for the rest of the day, went back to Angela’s to lay out our race gear, picked up a few things for race morning, and grabbed a quick dinner before heading to bed.

Saturday:

We woke up to RAIN.  Obviously.  It’s Vancouver, right??  I was a bit nervous for several reasons.  After being sick on the Thursday night, I had no idea whether or not my body would still be affected on Saturday morning.  We were also pretty messed up in terms of sleep because of the shopping extravaganza…and I had spent all of Friday eating things I normally wouldn’t eat before a race.  I texted Phaedra and told her I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to stick to her plan (7:35-7:45 average pace) so she told me just to do my best.

I ate some oatmeal for breakfast and then brought a Honey Stinger waffle to eat a half hour before the race.  We stayed inside the Convention Centre for as long as we could because it was pretty chilly out.  I think we headed to the race start around 6:50am (the race started at 7am).

FullSizeRender-50

Unfortunately, I didn’t seed myself properly and got stuck pretty far back which made the start of my race a bit frustrating.  The first two miles were spent walking, jogging, and weaving through so many people.  I feel like it took a bit of extra energy out of me but hey, that’s what I get.  Next time I won’t make the same mistake.  Once I got through those first couple of miles, I settled into my pace and to my surprise, was running a lot better than I expected.  I was holding about a 7:40/mile pace up until about mile 10 and then things kinda started to fall apart.  I slowed down quite a bit for the last three miles (7:47, 8:12, 7:52) and ended up finishing in 1:41:53 (7:45 average pace).  I was 48 seconds shy of a half marathon PR but I did manage a course PR (my previous SeaWheeze times were 1:54 and 1:45).  I’m pretty happy overall and managed to stay on the slower end of what Phaedra wanted even with getting sick and my body being all out of whack from not sleeping.  I’m itching to run another half marathon now though because SeaWheeze has got some hills so I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to break 1:41 on a flatter course.

IMG_5316

Here’s a closeup of the gold carrot medal:

IMG_5304

We didn’t hang around very long because as soon as we stopped running it felt SO cold.  We ran to bag check, put on dry clothes and headed back to Angela’s to get cleaned up for lunch.  We went to a cute little place in Kitsilano called Sejuiced and I ordered the Power House Bowl which had brown rice, grilled tempeh, steamed veggies, and a creamy peanut-carrot sauce.  It was soooo tasty.

IMG_5308

Fast forward to dinner at Heirloom where Danielle and I shared a kale Caesar, Heirloom burger and sweet potato fries.

IMG_5320

We headed to the Sunset Festival after dinner to meet up with all of our insta-friends turned real life friends.  It was kind of a bittersweet night – loads of fun but a little sad to say goodbye because a lot of us won’t see each other until next year (assuming we all get in).

IMG_5351

FullSizeRender-51

Sunday:

Holy smokes this post is getting long.  We intended on going hiking, doing the Grouse Grind, or visiting the Capilano Suspension Bridge…but decided to do none of the above instead.  Hah.  Danielle’s husband, Josh, flew in Sunday morning so we went to Heirloom for brunch once he arrived (can you tell we really like Heirloom?) and inhaled ALL THE FOOD.  Danielle and I each ordered a kale Caesar (again) and then split the avocado toast.  So good.

IMG_5368-1

We spent the rest of the day walking around downtown, eating gelato (the lineup at Bella Gelateria was HELLA LONG on Sunday…but we still waited), taking photos, and then stuffing our face with nachos for dinner.  A successful last day if I say so myself.

IMG_5394

FullSizeRender-52

I left Vancouver at 6am on Monday so I am back in Toronto and the SeaWheeze blues have officially kicked in.  How many more days until SeaWheeze 2016?!?!

3 reasons why today is a great day

Let’s just talk about something real quick.  I went for a ONE MILE run today.  I decided that it was too hot and that doing a tempo workout would kill me so I turned around and came home.  It’s my own fault for waiting so long to get outside but I was on a roll this morning trying to get my final assignment due and I didn’t want to stop until it was submitted.  It’s actually due on Friday but since I’m leaving for Vancouver on Thursday, I figured I’d get in as soon as possible so I can have tomorrow to relax and finish packing…and get a pedicure.  My feet are NOT CUTE right now (#thankyourunning).  So this brings me to the beginning of my reasons why today is a great day:

1.  My course is done and I can have my life back.  No more reading, assignments, or online discussions.  Don’t get me wrong, it was great learning new things but I feel like my actual summer hasn’t started until today.  I haven’t blogged much because I have been staring at my computer screen so much during the day that blogging is the last thing on my mind.  My eyes literally BURN.  Hopefully I can get back to some regularly scheduled posts soon because I kind of miss it.

2.  I can finally tell you guys that the condo deal went through and I will be moving into my very own sweet place this October!!  It’s a bit stressful and doesn’t feel quite real yet but I’m sure that will change very soon.  I probably won’t be officially moving in until November because I need to paint and I want to redo all the floors.  Well, I’m not doing it but you know what I mean.  It’s a pretty cute place and has a nice unobstructed view from the balcony so I’m sure I’ll be subjecting you to plenty of sunset photos in the near future.  You’re welcome.  I took this one the first time I went to see the place:

IMG_3660

HASHTAG EXCITED.

3.  I have another giveaway for you.  I talked about the canfitpro world fitness expo not too long ago (you can check out the post here) and gave away a one-day registration ($388 value) which includes access to the Expo hall as well as any educational sessions or events you choose to attend.  Well, I’m giving away ANOTHER ONE!  Since we ware working in list form today, I’ll give you three reasons why you shouldn’t miss the expo:

  • The SHOPPING.  There are hundreds of exhibitors at the trade show and you can score some pretty sweet deals on your favourite products.  I remember the last time I went I was able to find the raspberry white chocolate Quest bars before they hit stores.  THAT is reason enough to go, don’t you think?! :)
  • The WORKOUTS.  Exercise and workouts are always evolving.  There is constantly something new trending and the canfitpro expo is a great place to explore new-to-you options.  Bootybarre, JOGA, jumprope, and Lebert Fitness are just some of the kinds of workouts you’ll find happening around you at the expo.  I know I’m always intimidated to try new things in gyms/studios so the expo gives you the opportunity to see workouts in action and to try them out yourself without looking silly.  Well, you might look silly but chances are a bunch of other people will too!
  • TOSCA.  Need I say more??

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 5.45.18 PMI learned so much from Tosca and am forever grateful for everything she has done for me.  I had the opportunity to meet her       several times and she is truly wonderful and inspiring.  If you get the opportunity to hear her speak, I highly recommend it!  She will be there on Friday from 11:45am – 12:30pm and Saturday from 10:00am – 10:30am.  The Eat Clean Queen will be talking about her top 10 foods and there is also a question and answer session so get your questions ready!  There are several other presenters to check out while you are there (find the full list on the canfitpro site).

To enter the giveaway, just leave me a comment below telling me what kind of workout(s) you’ve always wanted to try/get into.  For me, it’s yoga!!  I know it’s good for me but for some reason, I just can’t commit to it!!  I’ll be contacting the winner tomorrow because the expo actually starts on Friday so I want to give the winner a head’s up as soon as I can!  Good luck! :)

Marathon Monday: a change of plans

What a week.  My legs are toast.  TOAST.  Yesterday’s long run was the worst to date but I know that’s just part of the process.  Some runs will be awesome and some will completely suck.  It’s all about EMBRACING the suck, taking the bad with the good.  Pushing through the tough runs is what makes us strong mentally and gets us ready for race day pain, right???

MarathonMonday

Monday: 6.2 miles easy

Tuesday: OFF

Wednesday: 10 miles with 7 @ tempo

Thursday: OFF

Friday: 7.3 miles (interval workout)

Saturday: 4 miles easy

Sunday: 15 miles from the depths of hell

Total: 42.5 miles and NO strength training #FAIL

Now I leave for Vancouver in three days and what I thought was going to be a stress-free weekend full of fun and casual running is NO LONGER THE PLAN.  I’ve never gone to SeaWheeze and actually “raced”.  I mean I don’t walk the course but I definitely don’t go there trying to win or set a new PR, you know what I mean?  I’ve clocked a 1:54 and a 1:45 at SeaWheeze in previous years.  Well, THIS year Coach PK has a different idea of what she wants me to do.  I have 17 miles to cover that day so my job is to run a decent warm up, actually RACE and attempt to stay within the 7:35-7:45 range for the duration of the race (meaning a 1:39 – 1:41 finish), followed by a cool down.  This sounds like a great idea in theory but the fact that I ran my fastest half ever in 1:41 on a FLAT course kind of freaks me out a little.  From what I remember, SeaWheeze is not the easiest course.  It’s not super difficult by any means but I am not sure I’ll be able to set a new PR on it, which is essentially what I’ve been prescribed to do.  Dang coach having so much confidence in me… ;)

IMG_4393

I’m going to try not to stress too much about it.  I mean if it doesn’t happen, it’s not the end of the world…but I’m definitely going to try my very best.  I need to go into this weekend knowing that I’m capable of doing things I was never able to do.  I have changed, my running has changed, and I’m faced with a whole bunch of new possibilities.  At this point it comes down to believing in myself and pushing myself outside my comfort zone.  It’s the only way to grow, progress, and set new limits.

I just ordered this book last week and I’m hoping it arrives before I leave so I can read it on the plane.  Emz told me it’s a must-read when I started expressing my doubts to her.  Since she’s always right when it comes to just about anything to do with running and life in general, purchasing it was a no brainer! :)

mind gym

Our minds are just as important as our bodies so I’m trying to work on building that mental muscle to go with these little quads that feel like they’re on fire right now.

Hope you had a great weekend!  CHEERS TO MONDAY!

5 things you should do if you’re coming to…

SEAWHEEZE!

It just hit me that I leave for Vancouver NEXT THURSDAY.  If you’ve been reading for a while, you know that Vancouver is one of my favourite places…like, ever.  If it wasn’t so darn expensive to live there and if my entire family didn’t reside in Toronto, I’d move there in a heartbeat.  I know quite a few of you are going to be running SeaWheeze next weekend so I thought I’d put together MY top five things that I think you should do while you’re there (aside from the shopping/racing/yoga-ing/festival-ing that you already have planned).

IMG_4959

1.  Eat dinner at Heirloom Vegetarian Restaurant.  Whether you’re a vegan, vegetarian, or meat-lover…just go.  I promise that you will love Heirloom.  I wouldn’t have eaten there every single day (sometimes twice a day) the last time I went if it wasn’t out of this world.  I heard that they changed their menu recently but I’m certain it will be delicious.  They’ve left some of their items on there – like the avocado frites, kale caesar, Heirloom burger – but for the most part, a lot of the menu looks new to me.  I can’t wait to try everything.  They also have a pretty rad brunch menu if you like brunch-y foods.  The avocado toast on sourdough is to. die. for.  The vibe in that place is pretty cool and the owners are so, so nice.  Ask to meet them if you go!!  They’re almost always there!

FullSizeRender-45

2.  Treat yourself to ice cream at Bella Gelateria.  There is always a lineup at this place but trust me, it’s worth it.  They have the best gelato I have ever tasted.  Their flavours are ahhhhhmazing.  I tried both the raspberry and salted milk chocolate when I went and they were both heavenly.  They’ve also got flavours like black sesame, banana bread, lavender & earl grey, salted caramel, Tahitian vanilla…..oh my.  Maybe I should suggest you go every day??  TRY THEM ALL.

FullSizeRender-47

3.  Climb Grouse Mountain.  We did the Grouse Grind the day after SeaWheeze and as difficult as it was with my achy legs, it was so worth it.  The Grind is only 1.8 miles but the elevation gain is 2800 feet so it’s a pretty fun climb!!  Once you get to the top, the views are incredible.  There’s no climbing down the Grind though – it’s $10 to take the Skyride back to the bottom.  So bring $10, your camera, and some water.  You’ll be good to go.

IMG_5368

FullSizeRender-46

Apparently I’m the only one sweating though??

4.  Go for a non-race run along the Seawall.  I know what you’re thinking – run a race and then run again???  Yes.  The answer is yes.  We do get to run along the Seawall during SeaWheeze but I felt like I really got to take it in and appreciate it more when I went on a casual run with Angela, a couple of days post-race (and post-Grind).  It’s such a beautiful run and a nice backdrop for some cool photos! :)  If you’re not into running again, go for a walk or rent a bike!

FullSizeRender-44

5.  Check out Kitsilano Beach.  Whether it’s to lay out in the sun, play some beach volleyball, watch the sunset, walk around, or dine at The Boathouse…it’s a great spot to spend some time relaxing, especially on those days post-race where you don’t really want to do anything too stressful.  There are some cute shops and restaurants in the area so there definitely isn’t a shortage of things to do/eat/buy if you happen to find yourself there!  It’s a pretty place to go both during the day and in the evening.  Lululemon actually hosted their free pre-race yoga there two years ago and it was absolutely incredible.

IMG_3165

IMG_3177

Now I know there are about a million things to do in Vancouver but I’ve only been there three times and these five things are what I, personally, would do and hope to do when I’m there next week.  I know a lot of us are only there for a few days so it’s pretty hard to cram stuff in, especially considering all of the awesome things Lululemon already has planned for us.  These are just a few suggestions based on my own experiences and tastebud preferences! :)

Angela put together a pretty extensive guide for SeaWheezers HERE.  If you’re going, I highly suggest giving it a read (especially if it’s your first time).  She’s included a lot of really helpful information and recommendations!

That’s it for today!  Happy hump day!