Thinking Out Loud #29

I made it!  I’m in Vancouver and the party has just begun.  I know it’s Friday but yesterday was a travel day so we’re going to celebrate Thinking Out Loud today.  Good?  Good.

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1.  This post will probably be 99% race related so I hope you are okay with that.  If not, come back in like a week because it’s going to be a lot of SeaWheeze talk going on in this neck of the woods.  Let’s start with the elevation chart:

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Somebody shoot me.  Considering I took a few days off to nurse my dumb leg only to get better and then having it start hurting again….let’s just say a PR is probably not likely, especially with those hills.  Not even mad about it.  I’m still ready to race and cannot wait for Vancouver’s epic views.

2.  Speaking of views…

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Yeah, I know.

3.  If you’re not familiar with the happenings at SeaWheeze, one of the biggest things that is going down today is the exclusive Lululemon store.  They sell SeaWheeze gear that you cannot buy anywhere else except for eBay where people sell merchandise for double or triple the price.  Last year was completely mental and by the time we got in, most of the things we wanted were sold out so this year we were prepared.  Our alarm went off at 3:45am and we were at the store by 4:45am.  Let’s keep in mind that they didn’t open until 7am.  It was completely ridiculous and we had to wait but we also got the best selection.

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4.  Doctor Dribble “liked” one of my photos on Instagram and made me feel kind of cool.  He is famous for running marathons while dribbling two basketballs.

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Here I am trying to make it to the finish line alive and this guy is playing with balls.

5.  A lot of people asked about a blog meet-up this weekend and to be honest, we haven’t planned anything.  The intention was to do a post-race lunch but we have a lot going on later in the day so we decided to scrap that idea.  I’m thinking we could maybe figure something out for the Sunset Festival?  I’m guessing most people who race will be attending the festival so it would probably work out.  Updates will most likely be on Instagram (@the_athletarian) but I will try and get a post or two up here while I’m away!

6.  In Princeton news….he has started to sleep with his tongue sticking out of his mouth and it is the cutest. thing. ever.

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7.  Major Ellen selfie fail…and there are only four of us.

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We will keep practicing.

8.  I don’t think there is anything better to eat pre-race than a bowl of salty potatoes.

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We went to Heirloom for lunch and I got the exact same thing I ordered before my marathon in May – avocado toast and a side of potatoes.  Hit the spot.

9.  My mom is the best.

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10.  Don’t forget I’ve got a giveaway going on!  Still a few more days to enter!!

Alright, we are logging off, putting our feet up and possibly napping.  Today has been a long day already and we are trying to rest as much as we can before the big day!  Hope you all have a great weekend!  I’ll be back as soon as I can – probably Sunday or Monday – with a race recap!!!

WIAW: VEGA GIVEAWAY!

I couldn’t be more excited about this week’s WIAW for two reasons: (1) I leave for Vancouver TOMORROW and (2) I get to celebrate the awesomeness that is about to go down this weekend with you guys by teaming up with Vega for a GIVEAWAY!

In this week’s Marathon Monday post I talked about some race tips.  One of the biggest for me is #3 Keep your diet consistent.  This week has been pretty basic for me meal-wise so I don’t have any fancy photos for you today.  A day of eating has been looking a little something like this:

Breakfast/post-run: smoothie

Lunch: chickpea salad sandwich + side of fruit or veggies

Dinner: maple balsamic tofu with quinoa + salad

Snacks: chips and salsa, spoonfuls of PB, handfuls of chocolate chips (don’t judge)

With the race on Saturday, my snacks will probably be a little different over the next few days.  More fruit, less chocolate.  Boooooriiiiiing.  You gotta do what you gotta do.

ANYWAY…see how it says “smoothie” for breakfast??  Lately I’ve been making the best-tasting morning post-run recovery smoothie ever.  Like EVER, ever.  I’ve already shared it on Instagram so if you follow me on there then this is old news to you.

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4.6 from 5 reviews
Vega Recovery Smoothie
Serves: 1
 
Ingredients
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 scoop Vega Recovery Accelerator
  • 1 cup coconut water (I use Zico)
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until smooth.

You can use less coconut water to make it more like an ice cream/sorbet.  Smoothies are the besssssst when they are so thick that you need to use a spoon.  I get so excited to eat this after my runs that I don’t even transfer it to a glass or bowl.  Less dishes to wash, right?! ;)

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So we wanted to spread the Vega love (maybe you will try this smoothie for yourself??) and will be giving away the ultimate Vega Sport package!

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One winner will the following:  Vega Sport Sugar-Free Energizer, Vega Sport Electrolyte Hydrator, Vega Sport Recovery Accelerator, Vega Sport Performance Protein.

How does THAT sound?!

To enter I was going to have you guys try and predict my race time but then I started to get nervous and thought it would put a lot of pressure on me if I started getting comments like “1:35!” so yeah…scrapped that idea.  INSTEAD, tell me your favourite Vega product in the comments section below or if you haven’t tried Vega yet, tell me which product you’d be most interested to try!

Giveaway open to residents of the US and Canada. Winner will be chosen via random.org and announced nexw Wednesday, August 27th.  GOOD LUCK!

Marathon Monday: 10 RACE DAY TIPS

We’re back on the Marathon Monday grind.  I missed last week because of my quad issues and I just didn’t want to talk about training when it was not going so well for me.  Things are looking up though so today I’m going to share some race day tips that work for me (and hopefully they help you too!).

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I’m no expert as I’ve only been racing a few years (but more consistently and seriously over the last year or so) but I sometimes I get emails from people who are new to running asking for some tips when it comes to the big day.  Since race day is THIS SATURDAY for me, I thought it would be perfect timing! :D

1.  Embrace the taper.  I know decreasing mileage is hard.  Us crazy runners want to run as much as we can all the time.  With a big race coming up, you need to give your legs a break so they can be nice and fresh on race day.  Go on a couple of easy/relaxed runs the week before your race.  If you’re a number freak like me, leave your watch at home.

2.  Don’t try anything new.  When running your race, do the same thing that worked for you during your training cycle long runs.  Don’t try any sort of new gel or drink while you are racing because you do not know how your body will react.  I personally have an extremely sensitive stomach so race day is not the time to experiment.

3.  Keep your diet consistent.  In the days leading up to your race, eat like you normally would before a long run and like #2, don’t try anything new.  I made the mistake of eating take-out Indian food one time the night before a race.  Never. Again.  Keep things simple and as clean and healthy as possible.  Some people like to increase their carbs for a day or two before a race but my diet is already carb-heavy so I don’t really pay attention to that.  I personally try and stay away from any foods make me bloat/give me gas (usually beans and green veggies) because the last thing I want is to be racing with a big and gassy stomach.

4.  Wear something cute and comfortable.  Let’s face it – there are photographers on the course and you know you want to look cute in your race photos.  Am I right or am I right?! ;)  Plus, if you think you look good, it will give you confidence.  You don’t want to be running and thinking, “I wonder if these shorts make my legs look fat.”  Wear something that makes you feel awesome but also something that is comfortable.  It’s always good to give your outfit a “test run” so that you know what to expect on race day.  Make sure your clothes don’t cause chafing, your tank doesn’t ride up, your shorts don’t give you a wedgie, etc.

5.  BE PREPARED.  Have everything laid out and ready the night before.  I always have my outfit ready, my bib pinned on my shirt, my breakfast/pre-workout in the fridge, my iPod and Garmin charged, and a post-race meal/change of clothes packed the night before my race.  You do not want to be scrambling around at who knows what time to get yourself together.  You will forget something.  I guarantee it.

6.  Get there early.  The start of a race can be hectic so you want to give yourself enough time to check your bags, use the bathroom (lineups get long), warm up, find your friends, line up in your corral, etc.  I like to get to races at least an hour before the start time.

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SeaWheeze 2013 with Angela and Robyn

7.  Trust your training.  Race day nerves are expected, especially if you’re shooting for a big PR…BUT you have weeks of training behind you.  You worked so hard to get to that start line so just have a little faith in yourself and all of your training runs to get you to the finish with a smile on your face.

8.  Have a mantra.  You’re going to encounter some rough times during a race.  It sucks but it’s expected.  I have found that repeating some sort of quote or mantra that is significant to me helps big time.  I have some pretty awesome and inspiring runner friends who have said some of the simplest things to me when I needed it the most – “You’ve freaking got this”, “The faster you run, the faster it’s done”, “You can do hard things”, and “Quick feet!  Quick feet!”.  Any time I feel like things are starting to take a bad turn, I say those things in my head and pick myself back up again.  It works.

9.  Do. Not. Stop.  There will be times where you just want to stop and take a nap, especially during a longer race.  Don’t do it (unless it’s for medical reason, obviously).  Your legs will be tired – it’s a given – but you cannot let them stop moving.  Your mind quits before your legs do so the second you admit defeat, it’s game over.  Your legs are more than capable of carrying you to the finish line so even if you have to walk, just keep going.  It is also much harder to get moving again once you stop so just try your best to continue trotting along at whatever pace you can.  You will be much happier once you cross the finish knowing that you gave it your all and chose not to stop.

10.  Celebrate and reward yourself.  Whether it’s a nice meal, a massage, or a new pair of run shorts, treat yourself!  You worked so hard and accomplished something so great.  Plus, it gives you something to look forward to and provides some motivation to get to the finish.  I know that this Saturday I get to see my amazing friends at the finish and that we are going to celebrate by going out for lunch and dinner.  Knowing that there is good food and good company waiting for me makes me want to run as fast and as hard as I can!

Is there anything I’m forgetting?!

It’s really a thing

Yesterday I woke up feeling completely awful.  The only thing I could attribute my headache and nausea to was my aunt’s dinner party the night before.  Don’t get me wrong – she is a great cook but I ate a lot of things that I usually don’t (and probably a little excess too).  I literally felt hungover.  I had a FOOD HANGOVER!  It’s really a thing.  Google it.  I think I stayed in bed until about 10am.  I just could. not. get. up.  Once I did, I took two Tylenol and made myself a green smoothie with loads of spinach, a frozen banana, Zico coconut water, and orange juice…

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…I took Princeton on a long walk where he encountered a cat three times his size…

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…and went for a run (!!!) – 8 miles @ 8:30 average pace.

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By the time I got home, showered and hydrated, I finally felt back to normal.  So crazy how eating differently for just one night can affect your system.  Does that happen to anyone else??

It’s time to shift gears with SeaWheeze just one week away.  I already started weekend food prep last night and made another batch of chickpea salad and marinated some tofu.  Today I’ll prep a batch of rice and whip up those burgers I talked about.  I need to have things ready for next week so that my days leading up to the race are solid and healthy on every level.  And PACKING.  I need to start packing!!  Last time I visited Vancouver all I brought was a carry on with maybe three pairs of leggings and some hoodies (I was there for the marathon so it kind of made sense).  Let’s just say I wasn’t really appropriately dressed for some dinners.  I’ll try to be a little more prepared this time.  Or maybe not.

Hope you have a great weekend!  I’m off to look at some condos today…#adultlife

WISH ME LUCK!

Thinking Out Loud #28

It’s technically Friday here because I’m posting at 12:30am (hello insomnia) but let us get on with Thinking Out Loud Thursday!

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1.  Let’s talk about procrastination.  SeaWheeze is next Saturday.  NEXT SATURDAY!  …and I literally just booked my flight.  There is reason for this though.  When I started looking at the cost of airfare it was around $600 to fly direct from Toronto to Vancouver.  I thought I’d wait to see if prices would go down and low and behold…they didn’t.  As a matter of fact, they kept climbing and climbing until they reached $850 this week.  Is it just me or is that ridiculous to fly IN THE SAME COUNTRY?!  I couldn’t justify spending that much after knowing flights were just $600 a few weeks earlier so mom came to the rescue and allowed me to snag some of her Air Miles.  I don’t know what I’d do without that woman.

2.  I’m staying in Vancouver a whopping six days this time which means I get to visit and spend time with some of my very favourite people.  Getting texts like this makes the countdown that much more exciting:

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3.  So I was walking by Purdy’s Chocolates the other day and saw a display of macrons.  What was invented first – macrons or macaroons?  Because the two are nothing alike and their names are way too similar if you ask me.  Whoever is naming these desserts should be reconsidered.

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4.  I cut about 4-5 inches off my hair yesterday.  It was a bit traumatizing but to be honest, the long hair was getting to me.  Wearing it in a ponytail while running became so painful because it was sooooo heavy and it also became a bit of a pain to blow dry.  I’ll have to live without my long waves for a little while but change is good.  At least that’s what people say…

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5.  I don’t know what it’s been like in other parts of Canada over the last few days but Toronto has been freeeeeezing.  I told myself I wouldn’t complain about it because anything is better than winter and I should just be grateful for any temperatures above zero…but holy. cow.  It felt like it was October outside tonight.  Luckily the next few days look quite a bit warmer..  I just need a few more weeks without goosebumps, okay Mother Nature?  Just a few more.

6.  I’ve been on a mission to find the perfect veggie burger.  I have the ingredients for black bean burgers from the Oh She Glows cookbook ready to go and planned on whipping them up this week until I saw these…

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My friend Lauren is a plant-based culinary superstar and just posted these Easy Chickpea Oat Veggie Burgers on her blog.  Tell me you’re not salivating.  Let’s also note that the word “easy” is in the recipe name.  Looks like it’s going to be a burger-filled weekend because I plan on trying both of the recipes.  Who’s coming over?! ;)

7.  Speaking of cooking, I helped my grandmother make rice balls (aka arancini … aka breaded and deep fried balls of rice and cheese) yesterday for a dinner party my aunt was having tonight.  Rice balls have always been one of my favourite treats that my grandmother makes.  They are a lot of work so she doesn’t make them often but she agrees to do it when we ask with really big smiles on our faces.  Thing is, these rice balls include a lot of non plant-based ingredients – butter, eggs and cheese.  I’m not on a strict vegan diet but I am very (mentally) sensitive to certain foods based on the way they look/feel/smell.  I am a bit strange, I know. We had to dip the balls into whisked eggs before breading them and because I never eat or cook with eggs, they completely grossed me out.  The rice balls were honestly not even tempting tonight.  I’m a bit sad about it and hope this irrational aversion disappears in time but for now…I just can’t.  I know this is odd but please tell me I’m not the only one who gets weirded out by certain foods?!?!

8.  If you need to work off frustration or if there is someone in your life you would like to punch in the face (but want to avoid getting arrested), I highly recommend taking a boxing class.  I went to Energy FitBox with my friend last week and it was a fantastic workout.

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I’ve been avoiding my regular gym like the plague these days so this was a great form of cross training.  It was a full-body workout and focused on power, speed and endurance.  I was sore for days afterward but I really miss that “everything hurts” feeling so it was great.  Classes are a bit pricey ($25.99/class) but I believe if you purchase a package it works out to be a few bucks cheaper.  I’ve been to FitBox years ago and stopped for some reason but I want to make an effort to go a few times a month if possible.

9.  I RAN TODAY!  Five days off did me some good.  My legs felt a bit heavy and rusty but I managed an easy 5 miles with the biggest smile on my face.  I was really starting to get worried that next weekend’s half marathon would be a struggle but I think things are going to be okay.

10.  TELL ME SOMETHING RANDOM.

WIAW: some days are just meant to go like this

Wednesday already.  It’s also day five of no running and I must say that I’ve had enough of this little thing called “rest”.  My leg is feeling a bit better and I am going to attempt a run tomorrow and see how it goes.  Cross your fingers for me!  Now before we get into the WIAW fun, let’s talk a little bit of business.

1.  Last week I shared some fun promos/giveaways that were going on and there are two more that I want to tell you about.  Heather from Thought Blossoms is offering free shipping until August 22 with the code SUMMERSHIP.  I have a few of her pieces and love them.  I’ve got two of her active bracelets that I’m obsessed with and wear the “Just Run/YFGT (<- you’ve freaking got this)” one to all of my races.  The circle necklace you see in my sidebar picture is also from Thought Blossoms.  I guess you can say I kind of like Heather and the things she makes! ;)

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2.  Mizuno Canada is giving away an Impermalite Performance Shell Jacket on their Facebook page.  All you have to do is comment on the photo of Michelle Clarke wearing the jacket for your chance to win.  Easy peasy.  I have one of the jackets and love it, especially for fall weather.

3.  SeaWheeze needs VOLUNTEERS.  My friend Alejandra is working in Vancouver right now busting her booty to organize this race.  They are looking for race marshals so if you want to be part of the fun, email me at theathletarian@gmail.com and I’ll forward your info to the Lululemon peeps.

Okay now let’s talk food aka WIAW.

I said I was going to get back into food prep mode and treat my body a little better even though eating anything kind of makes me feel like I’m going to die these days, healthy or not.  Yesterday I started off with the Morning Glory Smoothie from the OSG Cookbook and it came out amazing.  Off to a good start, right?

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Snack time came around and I’ve been loving the OSG Chia Power Muffins (which were supposed to be donuts but I don’t have a donut pan yet).  I either eat them plain or with a smudge of Earth Balance.  They are dense, super tasty and keep me going until lunch time.

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Now if you ever just make one thing from the OSG cookbook please let it be the Perfected Chickpea Salad (I know I’m mentioning this book a lot but I swear I’m not getting paid to do so, nor do I know Angela personally…I just really love her recipes).  Guys.  THIS RECIPE.  I can’t even.  It is so flavourful and easy to make (does involve a bit of chopping though).  I made a huge batch on Sunday and it was already done by yesterday.  I was literally eating it by the spoonful every time I opened the fridge.  Put it on toasted pumpernickel and oh em gee.  Tastebud heaven.  A side of baked sweet potato fries always makes things extra delicious, yes?

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Edited to add: the chickpea salad recipe calls for vegan mayo but I used hummus instead and it worked out great.  I also omitted the garlic (hummus had enough garlic flavour) and the dill (which was optional).

Okay so you see how healthy I was all day?  It kind of went downhill from the late afternoon onward but some days are just meant to go like this, right?  I went downtown to try out the infamous Bang Bang Ice Cream Bakery and oh my word.  If you are from Toronto you must stop everything you are doing and go right this instant because…

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That you see there is cinnamon toast ice cream sandwiched between a peanut butter cookie.  They have so many different ice cream and cookie flavours which is kind of overwhelming but just gives you an excuse to eat more than one (not that I did that or anything…) or go back every day until you try them all.  The lineup is usually insane on weeknights or weekends but if you go in the middle of a weekday, you’re good.  Now go.

I was supposed to go to a movie with my cousins at night but it didn’t work out so we just stayed in and ordered a pizza instead.  I’m sure you all know what takeout pizza looks like so I’ll spare your eyes from looking at yet another picture of pizza on here.

I’d say it was a good day.  A lot of morning nutrients, a lot of afternoon and evening fun.

Hope you have a great day!

When you can’t run…

…you spend a lot of time eating and hanging out with your dog.

I am dealing with a minor injury at the moment and don’t really know what it is just yet.  After last week’s tempo run that left me high as a freaking kite, running hasn’t felt the same.  I went out on Wednesday for a quick five miles before meeting up with my friend for a fitbox class and things felt a bit “off”.  I pushed through and thought it was just a sore quad muscle.  Tried running a 10K on Friday and still felt some pain, which kind of went away after about 15-20 minutes, but fired up again once I stopped.  It even hurts to put my weight on my leg while walking.  I’m a bit bummed out because I’m supposed to be running a 15K next weekend and then the SeaWheeze half in two weeks.  Hopefully a few more days of rest will get me back up and running.  I’m just a bit disappointed because things were going so well on the running front lately but I only have myself to blame since I’ve neglected both cross training and lifting weights over the last few weeks.  Lesson learned.

Anyway, here are some scenes from the weekend!  I may not be able to run but I found other ways to keep myself busy and happy.

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I think it’s safe to say that some delicious things were eaten this weekend.

Hope you had a good one!  I’m off to ice and foam roll…