Treadmill Tricks

What a whirlwind of a weekend!  I very rarely have a lot of plans on weekends and generally just use my time to clean, food prep, run, and walk around my house wearing sweat pants.  Things were a little different over the last few days and I am NOT complaining…though I am a bit tired!  I went to dinner and saw The Heart of Robin Hood on Friday, met up with Phaedra for lunch on Saturday (which turned into 3 hours of awesome conversation!), and then celebrated one of my good friends and mom-to-be yesterday!  We went to MoRoCo Chocolat for her baby shower and it was absolute perfection.  The people, the food, her BELLY!!!  I die.  So cute.






I was pretty pooped by last night but knew I had to get my run in.  I woke up too late and couldn’t do it before the baby shower which was a BIG mistake on my part.  Ever tried running with macrons, scones, and truffle mac and cheese in your stomach?  No?  Well I don’t recommend it.  I’m determined to hit 100 miles this month though and dragged myself to my basement around 8pm to get it done on the treadmill.  I clocked 8 miles at a surprising 8:26 average pace.  I expected a lot slower given the circumstances.

I play some tricks on the treadmill that make my runs go by faster and thought I’d share them with you.  They’re not really tricks but I am somehow able to fool myself into thinking that if I do these things, the run won’t be so bad.

1.  Phaedra had me do a fun (I guess fun is relative but you know what I mean) kind of speed work when I was training for Phoenix so I try to still incorporate these types of runs once a week.  She says they will make me faster so WHY NOT?  I usually start by doing a warm up (depending on how long the run is, anywhere between 1-3 miles at a very easy pace) and then do intervals at 2 minutes hard, 2 minutes easy (hard minutes are in the 6′s, easy minutes are in the 9′s).  I will usually do 6-8 intervals like this which end up being about 3-4 miles at the paces I run at.  I always finish with a 1-2 mile cool down.  So just like that, I run anywhere from 5-9 miles (depending on the day) and the run goes by so fast because I’m concentrating the entire time and changing things up so my brain doesn’t realize how long I’m actually running.  Does that make sense?  Probably not.

Moving on…

2.  Yesterday I kind of wanted to die from the second I stepped on the treadmill so I told myself I had to do something to make the time go by.  I ran my first mile easy and then played around with my speed every 0.25 for the second mile and repeated this pattern for a total of 8 miles.  So it looked something like this:

1 mile @ 8:57

0.25 @ 8:06

0.25 @ 8:13

0.25 @ 7:56

0.25 @ 8:00


As my run progressed, I tried to make my both my “easy” miles and my 0.25 mile intervals a tiny bit faster.  By the time I was done, I didn’t have such a sucky attitude and actually felt pretty good about the run.

Both of these “tricks” really work for me and beat the monotony of running at the same pace for over an hour.

Last week’s workouts:

Monday: OFF

Tuesday: 5 miles @ 8:30 avg. + strength training (lower body)

Wednesday: OFF

Thursday: 8 miles easy (pace unknown – no Garmin)

Friday: 6 miles + strength training (upper body)

Saturday: 6.5 miles (interval training – 3 mile w/u, 6 x 2 mins hard/2 mins easy, 0.5 mile c/d) + core work

Sunday: 6 miles @ 8:26 avg.

TOTAL: 31.5 miles

I’ve got 2 days and 17.74 miles left to reach 100 for the month…yikes.  That’s 8.87 miles today and tomorrow.  I’m not sure it’ll happen but I will definitely try.  I had a hard time this month because I took 9 full days off after the Phoenix marathon so I’m playing catch up as best as I can!!

Happy Monday! :)

Yesterday’s workout & evening festivities

It’s funny how I can run for three hours but when it comes to weight training, I am bored after three minutes.  I am making an attempt these days to fit some strength training into my routine since my runs are a lot shorter and I have more time to do other things.  I don’t have any super long distance races in the near future (yet!) so I’m trying to keep things varied and hopefully get stronger so I can be a better runner.  To help with the boredom of standing in one spot and lifting a weight up and down, I like to do workouts like this:

2 mile run

Bicep curls + tricep dips

2 mile run

Front raises + bent over rows

2 mile run

Push-ups + mountain climbers

(3 sets of 20 for each of the exercises)

Neither the run nor the weight lifting seems as daunting for me when I split it up like this.  It goes by really fast and I get a great workout in!

Last night I had plans with my cousin and two friends to go for dinner and then watch The Heart of Robin Hood.

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We went to Penelope for dinner and as much as I was excited about stuffing my face with Greek food, this place wasn’t my favourite (just being honest).  The service was great but the food was a bit on the greasy side.  I ordered the spinach pie which came with rice, potatoes and veggies…and although the flavours were good, everything kind of felt “wet” because of how much oil they used.

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We took our grease-lined stomachs across the street to where the play was being held and to our surprise, had really awesome seats.  I am not big on plays but I have to say that The Heart of Robin Hood was awesome.  It was really entertaining – great costumes, super funny, talented actors…just an all around well-done performance.



It finished around 10pm and we decided to be party animals and go out for ice cream even though it was -12 outside.  We ended up at The Big Chill where they charge about $8 for an ice cream cone.  Is this normal?!  I never go out and actually buy ice cream cones so I have no idea what is considered to be normal.  I’m not complaining – it was delicious.  I got chocolate and raspberry.  The waffle cones are made to order so it was warm and fresh and pretty much perfect.


They kicked us out at 11 because they had to close so our plans of being wild for the night ended earlier than expected.  Not going to lie, I was okay with that.  My sweatpants were calling my name.

I’m not feeling so awesome this morning (I guess greasy restaurant food will do that to you) but I’m making an attempt to hit the gym.  No specific workout planned but I’m hoping to get some miles in!

Happy Saturday!

Almost Wordless Wednesday #3



I hope you get to eat some waffles today!  Eggos used to be my favourite as a kid but I am currently obsessing over Nature’s Path Homestyle waffles.


ALWAYS OVER.  If I come to your house and your TP is in the “under” position, I will change it.


Food for thought…


Who else is guilty of this?


Since it’s WIAW and I never do ‘this is what I eat in a full day’ posts anymore, I will just show you last night’s dinner because it was pretty tasty.


I marinated the tempeh for 24 hours using the recipe from this cookbook and it was really good.  Tasted almost the same as the one they serve in the restaurant!

Fingers crossed.  I hate lotteries (thanks to NYC).

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Even Princeton has bad hair days.


Aaaaannnnddddd Mizuno spring gear is finally up!!!  Check all the goodies out here.  Currently have emoji heart eyes over these:



Happy Wednesday!!

Scenes from Spring Break

Anyone else feel like things get busier when you’re not working?  Geez.  Last week was Spring Break around these parts and I didn’t even scratch the surface of my to-do list.  The days went by much too fast.  I did get some good runs/workouts in and spent some time with friends and family so I have no complaints…except that I could have used a few more days! ;)

Here are some scenes from my Spring Break:


Kind of loving PRO Compression mid socks right now.




Potato pizza — the. best.


Avocado toast – also the best.



Angela’s good-bye party (she’s moving to Vancouver on SATURDAY!!!!!!!) called for this super high quality self-timer photo.




These beautiful canines belong to Danielle and made for a very entertaining sleepover.



I know there are people who love olives and those who hate olives…there’s no in between.  I’m on team LOVE.


I finally got an aeroplan card this week…  Yup, that’s me.  MR. Christina.

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Texts from my sweet friend Sara always make my day.  #Bostonherewecome


I finally feel like I’m getting back on track with running and am sort of loving the fact that I don’t have to run super long distances right now.  I have more time to do other things at the gym and it feels good.  Last week’s workouts:

Monday: OFF

Tuesday: 5 miles + strength training

Wednesday: OFF

Thursday: 7 miles + core

Friday: 8 miles

Saturday: 7 miles

Sunday: 3 miles + plyometrics

I can officially say HAPPY SPRING!!  Hope the new season is off to a good start for you, even if it’s -6* outside (like it is here)!

TWO things you need to know

Happy Friday eve, beautiful people!!

Just popping in to tell you about two things that I’m kinda excited about.  Let’s get down to business.

1.  You already know I have a bit of an obsession with Albion Fit, yes?  WELL, they’ve got something pretty rad going on.  The giveaway of your MY dreams.

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RELAX. RECHARGE. REFOCUS. RETREAT. For 4 days, and 3 nights, immerse yourself in one of the world’s most pristine mountain settings at the exclusive, Forbes 5 star, Stein Eriksen Resort and Spa in Deer Valley, Utah. Begin your retreat with a welcome basket, brimming with fabulous fitness and beauty gadgets and accessories. Enjoy an Albion Apparel gift card for a weekend’s worth of premium fitness, swims, and loungewear. Exercise your body under the watchful care of Awaken Retreat instructors, industry-leading professionals available around the clock to help you set fitness goals and create a plan to achieve them. Create your own schedule from a broad selection of fitness activities: Start your day with a sunrise Vinyasa atop a mountain overlook at 9,000 feet. Sign up for daily pilates reformer classes with hands on instruction. Experience weightlessness for the first time in aerial yoga, gracefulness in a barre class, or hit the mountainside in an adrenaline-boosting trail run. Alongside elite fitness classes, Soulstice also offers a wide variety of intellectual and soulful workshops, providing experiences and memories to take with you beyond the retreat. Have fun with new friends learning healthy eating tips from a New York Time’s best selling author, taken an oil-painting workshop and create a landscape portrait to hang on a wall at home, or learn how to use natural light from a professional photographer. In your free time, take hot air balloon ride over the Wasatch mountains, go horse-back riding on aspen-laden trails, or pamper yourself at the 5 star spa and get a 90 minute, hot stone massage. Enjoy exquisite cuisine with fresh, local ingredients hand crafted by America’s finest artisanal chefs and shop on Park City’s historical Main Street. At Soulstice, your time is yours, to spend as you please.

I don’t know about you, but these are the kind of things I dream about at night.  It’s an Instagram giveaway, so check out my feed (@the_athletarian) and find that photo (same as above) to see how to enter.  P.S. it’s so easy.  All you have to do is follow a few accounts and tag your BFF in the photo.  And just like that, you’ve entered yourself and your BFF sooooooo I sure hope you tag me because I really wanna go.  Deal?  Deal. ;)

2.  PRO Compression just added HEATHER pink, grey, and blue socks to their collection.  SAY WHAT?!

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The grey.  Dying for the grey.  40% off too.  GO GET ‘EM!

Okay that’s it for today!!  GOOD LUCK (if you enter the giveaway) and HAPPY SHOPPING (if you decide to buy some socks)!!

Almost Wordless Wednesday #2

Toilet paper rolls > toys…obviously.

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This was pre-“free speed” talk.  THAT CHEESE.

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Fun fact: I have never tried a peep.  They make pink bunnies now?!  Or has that always been a thing?

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This car wash was an interesting experience.  I wish my camera could have captured the crazy colourful light party that was happening.

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Breaking the rules and doing a throwback on a Wednesday.  Say hi to Carlee and Kelly!

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Carlee (on the left) just sent me the sweetest card in the mail along with a pura vida bracelet (every bracelet purchased helps provide full-time jobs for local artisans in Costa Rica!).

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I swear I have no idea how this girl’s heart fits inside her little body.  She is so sweet, thoughtful, supportive, and encouraging.  And now she’s got me kinda obsessed with these bracelets.  Can I have them all?!

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Chocolate almond milk > regular almond milk (especially with Love Grown Foods LOVE O’s).

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…it comes in GOLD?!?!  Never thought I’d be so happy that my current MacBook Pro is about to kick the bucket.

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I think it’s almost time for an UPGRADE!!  Especially considering it took me about a million hours to put together a post about nothing.  My Mac is soooooo sloooooowwwwwww.

Time to tackle the rest of my to-do list.

Happy Wednesday!!

“Free Speed”

On Saturday I went for a run with Jess.  She was in town and had to get a long run in (she’s training for Boston!!) so I joined her for part of it.  She’s much faster than me so I had a bit of anxiety at first but she slowed down the pace so that we could chat and catch up.  It was one of those good-for-your-soul kinda runs.  Exactly what I needed.  I ran almost 9 miles with her and then she headed out to do 6 more (I think).

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While we were running, we chatted about ALL the things – life, boys, work, food, and…running.  Duh.  One of the things I asked Jess about was her nutrition.  I know that she generally eats everything but from reading her blog, she dials into her nutrition a bit more when she’s training for something big.  I needed details.  All the details.  I love picking the brains of my fast runner friends.  When I train, I don’t normally make any changes to what I eat. I just eat more.  I’ve also found it very easy to slip into the “I’m training for a marathon” excuse to eat things that I normally wouldn’t have on a normal basis.  I’m still learning how to do things “right” and although I know that what is right for someone else may not be right for me, I can still take in as much information as I can to help me with my own progress as a runner.

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Jess outlined what a typical day looks like for her and the first thing I asked her was, “no Nutella?!” (girl LOOOOVES Nutella).  She said she will treat herself with things like a burger once once in a while, but typically keeps things clean and limits her sugar.  Why?  FREE SPEED.  You know when people just say something and it clicks?  I had one of those moments.  Something about hearing those words was a bit of an “A-HA” moment for me.  Kind of like when Phaedra told me to hill train even though Phoenix was a downhill/flat course.  She used the same words – free speed.  There are some things that you do which may not be your favourite, but in the end they help you to become a better runner.

I have days where I’m short on time and grab a plain English muffin after a hard workout while running out the door to get to work.  Or nights where I’m too lazy to make dinner so I’ll eat a million crackers with hummus instead.  Or weekends where I tell myself I just ran 15 miles so I can eat a whole pizza, donut holes, nachos, and a loaf of bread.  So yeah…this isn’t every day (let’s freaking hope so) but I know there is room for improvement.  It’s not just about rocking those runs and hitting goal paces.  Nutrition plays just as big of a role in getting stronger and faster, not to mention has an impact on your overall energy and drive to train.  Who wants to wake up and run after a night of gluttony?


I’m ready to use my full ass.  No one can take away my pizza and nachos…but I’m going to give this whole “train and eat like you want to make it to Boston” thing a try.

I have a 10K in less than 5 weeks and I would really love to cross that finish line in under 45 minutes so I’m going all in.  Speed training is going to be my main focus but I will still be doing one longish run per week in case I decide to sign up for the Toronto Goodlife Half Marathon in May.  And if being a bit more diligent about fuel is my ticket to free speed, sign me up.