Marathon Monday: I’m not doing it

Thanks to those of you who left comments/suggestions on yesterday’s post/my Facebook page and those of you who emailed me.  I know the post went up late so if you missed it, check it out here.  I would LOVE your input.

Let’s get on with Marathon Monday, shall we?

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If you recall a while back I announced that I got into the Chicago Marathon.  They changed it to a lottery system this year so I threw my name in and was selected.  I was on CLOUD 9.  Everyone was posting their acceptances to Instagram all day and I literally got mine in the exact LAST MINUTE of the time frame in which they were sending out emails.  I nearly peed myself.  I have never been to Chicago but have been wanting to go for a few years now.  I’ve heard such wonderful things about it, know a handful of people who live there, and the Chicago Marathon is one of the Marathon Majors along with Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, and New York.  I’d love to check all of those off my list someday.

After a lot, and I mean a lot of contemplation, I’ve decided to not participate in the Chicago Marathon this year.  Reading that sentence makes me feel sick.  There are honestly a whole bunch of reasons that contributed to my decision with the biggest one being that I just don’t feel like it.  Marathons are nuts.  I don’t know how some people can run multiple full marathons a month.  It truly is mind-boggling but I respect and admire those who have the willpower and determination to train for them year-long.  It takes so. much. work.

After running two [The Phoenix Marathon (recap) and the Vancouver Marathon (recap)] at the beginning of this year and realizing what it takes mentally, physically, and emotionally, I just don’t think I am ready for/want to immerse myself in that kind of training right now.  The race is only 40 days away which doesn’t leave much time for me to slowly increase my long run distance.  I did 13.1 last weekend but ideally I’d like to fit in two 18-20 milers before race day and if I tried to do that right now I know I’d get injured.  I’ve known for a little while now that there was a good chance I wasn’t going to run this race so that is why I haven’t followed an exact marathon training plan or increased my mileage as seriously as I should have.

A part of me also would like to get faster at shorter distances.  I have a 10K this weekend, a 10-miler in a couple of weeks, and am planning on running the Scotiabank Half (October 19) here in Toronto as well as the Hamilton Half (November 1st).  After running SeaWheeze (which was pretty hilly) less than a minute slower than my PR, I am pretty confident that I can shave some time off on a flatter course so that is what I plan to attempt this fall.

If all goes well then I will start my training for the Phoenix Marathon (February 28,2015) and maybe, just maybe it will be my first “real” attempt at a BQ.  Let’s see how my two half marathons go first and then I’ll have a better idea of what I may or may not be capable of.

So that’s that.  I will be receiving a big fat DNS at the Chicago Marathon but you know what?  I’m okay with it.  I’m listening to my body, head and heart.  I know that this is what’s right for me but I can promise you one thing – I WILL run this race next year.  100%.

Enjoy what’s left of the long weekend!

I have some good news, bad news & a question

Happy loooooong weekend!  I have some good and bad news…more good than bad so let’s get the bad over with first.  Remember how I mentioned that I had two job interviews last week?  I didn’t get either of them but I’M OKAY WITH IT.  One position (there were 30 candidates) only went until December and the other position (7 candidates) involved teaching History which I’ve never taught before.  To top it off, school starts on Tuesday so this weekend would not have been a very pleasant or relaxing one.  I believe that there is a reason it didn’t work out and that it just wasn’t meant to be right now.  So my work schedule remains very flexible and relatively stress-free for the time being which gives me a lot of time to explore different avenues (all while travelling and running races in different places)!

So I guess it’s not really “bad” news then…I think that the idea of there being a better candidate than me for the job bothered me more than anything.  I’ve always gotten every job I’ve ever applied to/interviewed for so this little thing called rejection is new to me haha!!  Teaching in Toronto is very competitive though so I’ve gotta get used to it.

When I titled this post I felt like I had one piece of good news to tell you but then as I got thinking I realized that there is more than one good/awesome/nice/cool thing that I want to share so here we go.

1.  I reached my 100 mile goal for the month.  It was a struggle (my leg has been acting funny this month) and I really didn’t want to run three days in a row this weekend but I did and I made it happen.

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When I look at the above photo I sing that “lean back” song in my head.  I don’t know why my running form is so horrible.

2.  Costco took back my Garmin ten months after I purchased it (they win for best return policy in the universe).  I was mad at it after it deleted all my data last weekend (and it has still been acting funny and not saving anything even after a master reset) so I wanted nothing to do with it.  My mom and I went over to The Running Room right after and she treated me to the new Forerunner 220 for my birthday (which is tomorrow and I’m getting old so please don’t ask how old I’m turning…;) ).

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Hopefully this one works out.  It’s my fourth freaking Garmin.

3.  For someone who isn’t big on birthdays, I’ve been pretty spoiled already.  When I got back from Vancouver there was a small package waiting for me from Heather and inside was this beautiful gold heart necklace that I’ve been wanting from her site for about a year now.  When she messaged me just last month to tell me she now makes it in 14K GOLD (it’s also available in sterling silver and gold fill), I immediately told her it was on my list to buy next and then I come home to this surprise.

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She included the sweetest little birthday note and I just about melted.  I’ve met some of the most beautiful, kind, generous, and lovely people since I’ve started blogging and I could not be more thankful for these wonderful connections and relationships.

4.  Probably the best news ever – I have real food in my fridge!!!  After eating at restaurants for a week, I continued the trend once I returned home and had take-out two nights in a row (cut me some slack – I was prepping for my interview!)…

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I have never gotten so sick from pizza in my life.  So sick that I may never order it again.  Ever.

And finally – A QUESTION FOR YOU:

What would you like to see/read more of?  I’ve already got my Marathon Mondays where I talk about training-related stuff, I usually participate in What I Ate Wednesdays where the focus is (obviously) food, and then there’s Thinking Out Loud Thursday which is full of randomness and life ramblings.  I’m curious to know if there is anything else I should add as a regular weekly topic.  Workouts?  Since I’ll be getting back into cross training/weight lifting soon I could share some sample workouts.  Recipes/meal ideas?  Even though I do a weekly WIAW, I can add another day where I actually share a recipe (whether it be my own or someone else’s).  Favourite things?  I can talk about new products (food, run gear, real people clothes, books, etc.) that I am currently loving.

WHAT ELSE?  I’d love your input in the comment section below or you can email me at theathletarian@gmail.com!!!

Enjoy the rest of your long weekend!!

Thinking Out Loud #30

Well…I’m back in Toronto (boooooooo) but I can’t complain. I had a pretty memorable few days with some of my favourite people.  So much shopping and eating and running and eating and climbing and eating and laughing and eating. See a pattern…?! ;) My favourite eats from our trip were posted in yesterday’s WIAW if you missed it!

Today we get RANDOM.

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1.  I got back just in time for Labour Day long weekend and my birthday (on Monday).  I had a lot of people ask me what big plans I had for my birthday this year and the simple answer is: none.  I’m not one to throw a big celebration for myself.  I think it’s a bit weird.  My perfect birthday is lunch or dinner with my family with delicious food and ice cream cake.  Random fact: I hated cake/ice cream/most sweet things until my university years.  When I was younger and my mom would take me to restaurants for my birthday, she’d ask the server to bring me nachos with candles instead of the typical slice of cake…#weirdchildalert.

2.  Speaking of birthdays – Amanda’s blog just turned TWO!  She wrote a really great post yesterday on how to take your blog to the next level.  If you are a blogger and ever want to turn your hobby into a full-time job, check it out!  I’m definitely not at that level but I’m going to implement some of her tips to see if/how they help me on the blogging front.  There’s always room for improvement!

3.  I think Brendan Brazier is thinking of changing careers from Mr. Vega to food blogger.  Thanks to Angela for capturing this.  Look at that concentration in his face.

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4.  Do you ever get the craving for something and then once you finally eat/drink it, think it wasn’t as good as you thought it would be??  Happens to me all. the. time.  The other night the girls and I were soooo tired so we ordered pizza to our hotel room and literally ate in bed.  I though “oooooh a root beer would be amazing with pizza right now!” but we didn’t have any.  I couldn’t shake the craving so as I was walking by A&W yesterday (didn’t even know A&W existed anymore), I popped in and got a small diet root beer.  It was gross.  Never again.

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5.  Before I left for Vancouver I applied for two teaching positions and while I was away I got calls requesting interviews sooooo I landed today at 6am and am going in at 3pm.  This should be interesting.  A part of me isn’t nervous because you can only really be yourself and say what you know based on your experiences…but another part of me kinda wants to pee myself.  I haven’t had to interview for anything in quite some time…#allthenerves

6.  This could have been quite the expensive cab ride…

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My cab driver had a little trouble seeing without his glasses.

7.  Currently obsession over….

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#NEED (they are the new Mizuno Wave Sayonara 2 in case you are wondering!)

8.  There sure are a lot of hashtags in this post.  Do you think hashtags are here to stay??  I feel like they’ve become part of everyday life.  Not one day goes by where I don’t see a hashtag somewhere.  Maybe people that aren’t as involved in social media don’t really notice it??  I think it used to just be a Twitter thing and then both Instagram and Facebook both got on the hashtag wagon.  People are using them for all kinds of events – even creating their own wedding hashtags!  I think it’s pretty awesome though because it allows the sharing of photos and connects people from all over.  I’ve found so many runner friends by using Mizuno’s #ifeverybodyran and plenty of plant-based foodies using Vega’s #fuelyourbetter.  Pretty cool if you ask me but probably pretty creepy if you’re not into social media/finding your best friends on the internet.

9.  In honour of Throwback Thursday aka #TBT (<- another hashtag!), here are some photos from the Grouse Grind that we hiked on Sunday (the day after SeaWheeze).  I highly recommend doing this if you ever get the chance to visit Vancouver.  It might have been a little nuts to do post-race – helloooooo 2,8oo feet of elevation – but it’s an amazing workout and once you get to the top, the view is INCREDIBLE.

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10.  Aaaaaand that’s a wrap.  Time to put on something other than stretchy pants and smash this interview in the FACE.  Have a great Thursday!!!

WIAW: Eating my way through Vancouver!

I leave Vancouver tonight.  So sad.  I’ve had such a wonderful time and just like any vacation, it’s really hard to leave!  I already talked about the race so today’s post will be all about FOOD!  Fitting since it’s WIAW!

**Before I start, I’d just like to give Angela credit for most of the food photos.  She definitely knows how to work her camera better than I do!**

So remember in May I went to eat at Heirloom four days in a row??  Well the girls wanted to see if my reviews were accurate and guess what?  They were.  We went three times and the food was just incredible.  The first time we went was for brunch before race day and I ordered avocado toast on THE best sourdough with a side of potatoes.

heirloom avocado toast

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We went again post-race for dinner with a whole bunch of our friends from Vega as well as some awesome bloggers.

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We shared a bunch of appetizers…

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avocado frits served with house ketchup

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polenta yam fries with chipotle soy aioli

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miso brasca – medley of broccoli, cauliflower, kale and pea shoots, tossed in a miso sauce

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dips plate – beet and sunflower tapenade, spiced pesto hummus, served with naan and crudite

…and I ordered the vegan kale ceasar salad topped with capers and beet bacon as my main.  Now I am not usually one to order salads when I go to a restaurant but holy. geez.  This salad was incredible.

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Our last time at Heirloom was quite the extravaganza.  Danielle and Brandy were leaving to go back home to Kitchener so it was kind of a good-bye/see you soon dinner for them; my friend Alejandra was finished all of her SeaWheeze duties so we needed to celebrate; and Krysten flew in from Toronto for work so a meet-up over food was 100% necessary.  So crazy how we all ended up in the same city at the same time!

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We shared the polenta yam fries and avocado frits (again) as well as the root vegetable nachos.

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As my main I ordered the Sasquatch bowl with had a mix of veggies, black rice, chickpea tempeh, and a delicious peanut sauce.

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We also visited The Naam in Kitsilano while we were here and to be honest, I was a bit disappointed with some of the food and service this time around.  I went last August as well as this past May and both experiences were extraordinary.  This time around I was less than impressed with the way things went.  We were denied the lunch menu at 12:45 (lunch started at 1pm) which I understand because all restaurants have their own way of doing things but our server told us if we waited until 1pm to order, we would have to wait a really long time for our food because 1pm doesn’t mean that they start cooking lunch at that time.  It’s when they start cleaning up the kitchen from brunch and getting things ready for the lunch menu.  Maybe I was just cranky and hungry but it seemed a bit odd to me.  To top it off, people around us started getting food from the lunch menu before 1pm so we weren’t really sure why our table in particular wasn’t able to order lunch as well.  Grrrr.

Anyway, I ordered the breakfast potatoes with miso gravy while I waited which were outstanding.  I’ve tried their miso gravy before so I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed with this choice.

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When 1pm rolled around I ordered the California Veggie Burger which I did not love.  It was lacking flavour but I ate it anyway because I was starving (this was our post-race meal).  I thought guacamole on a burger would be a completely delicious and savoury treat buuuuut it wasn’t.

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Made up for it with some chocolate and raspberry gelato from Granville Island though…

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Angela, Danielle and I had the chance to visit the Vega HQ while we were here and got to take advantage of the amazing Vega kitchen for lunch.

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Their salad bar is insane.  I filled my bowl up with romaine, carrots, sprouts, potatoes, celery, green bell peppers, cherry tomatoes,  purple cabbage, avocado chickpeas, cashews, Daiya cheese, and a creamy dill ranch dressing (added after the photo).

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It was amaaaaazing!!!  I would definitely be okay with it if I had access to such salad options every day!   Maybe I need to move to Vancouver and work for Vega hey?!? ;)

That wraps up my favourite eats so far!  I’m off to enjoy my last day in the city and hopefully find some more delicious food to try.  Hope you have a great Wednesday!!

Marathon Monday: SeaWheeze 2014 Half Marathon Recap

I’m still in Van City but I ain’t complaining!  It’s been a whirlwind of an awesome time so far and I’ve still got a couple of days ahead of me.  Lots on the agenda today but thought I’d put together a quick recap of Saturday’s race for this week’s Marathon Monday.

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I honestly don’t even know where to start because this race completely blew my mind this year.  Lululemon does such an incredible job and pays attention to the smallest details to make this weekend so fabulous for runners.  From the exclusive SeaWheeze store to the half marathon and the sunset festival – everything is just so well-organized and FUN.

I talked briefly about the SeaWheeze store craziness here so let’s just focus on all this running today.

The start time was 7am – a little earlier than I’m used to for races.  We woke up at 4:30am to give us enough time to eat, digest, get dressed, walk over to the start, check our bags, and shimmy our way into our corrals.  I had no idea what was going to happen at this race because of my weird leg pain/discomfort that I was experiencing in the weeks leading up to it.  I set no expectations for myself except to have fun and listen to my body.

Not a bad morning view!

Not a bad morning view!

I went out to fast because apparently that’s just how I do things.  I’d tell you my exact splits but in true Garmin fashion, everything got deleted when I tired to turn my watch on to see my splits yesterday.  Awesome, right?  I had to do a master reset and it is still acting up and freezing on me.  Anyway, I remember looking down at my watch for the first few miles and telling myself that I needed to slow down.  I was running in the 7:40s and I knew I would burn out because that’s crazy fast for me to hold for 13.1 miles.  I’m not that speedy just yet.  Some hills came just in time and forced me to slow down into the 7:50s.  I guess those hills are good for something, right?! ;)  That is one thing about SeaWheeze – it is very hilly.  It wasn’t horrible because you get a lot of easy downhill moments but the climbs were pretty brutal (for me, at least).

I was able to hold my pace for about 10 miles but once we got to the home stretch I started to slow down quite a bit and things started to feel rough all around – my legs were achy, I felt faint, got a bit of a cramp, and regretted not bringing water along because I was super dehydrated.  I stopped at most of the water stations to try and avoid dehydration but  didn’t do a very good job of it.  I think I got most of the water on my face and shirt rather than in my mouth.  I shuffled my way along the Seawall and struggled to hold onto my sub-8 minute miles.  Though the Sea Wall is extremely beautiful, it is mentally challenging because it seems like it goes on forever!  Up until this point I was pretty convinced I was going to PR (even though I had no intention to) but that little bit of excitement and hope faded as soon as the 1:45 pace bunny passed me.  It was so frustrating because I could literally hear the people cheering at the finish line but I just could not get my legs to move faster.

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I ended up crossing the finish in 1:45:20 – just 48 seconds slower than my PR!  My average pace was 8:01/mile (crazy Canadians and their kilometres! ;) ).  I kept asking myself what I could have done different.  Maybe stopping for water was a mistake??  Maybe if I didn’t start out too fast I’d have more energy for the end?  Maybe listening to music would have helped?  An accidental PR would have been really nice but I realized that this race wasn’t about that.  I was there to have fun and take in the experience.

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Ashley, Angela and Danielle rocked their races.  These girls seriously made this trip the best ever.  We had so much fun together and cannot wait to do it again next year.

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I recommend this race to anyone and everyone.  It’s probably not the best course to PR on but it is definitely a fantastic time.  Lululemon surprised us with hats (we are wearing them in the above photo), some sweet medals, cold towels with our water, Zico coconut water, and then had waffles and fresh fruit for the post-race brunch.  We were pretty spoiled.  To top it off, each runner that went to grab their bag from bag check after the race was APPLAUDED by all the volunteers.  We felt famous.  I’ve never had so many people congratulate me after a race.  It was truly incredible.

We spent the rest of the day eating our way around Vancouver but I’ll save my eats for this week’s What I Ate Wednesday!

Hope you had a great weekend and don’t forget to enter my giveaway if you haven’t already!

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!