A turn for the better

So to follow up with my last post, things got a tad worse before they got better this week.  I was feeling sick and had a super sore throat at the beginning of the week so I went to the walk-in on Wednesday night to get a prescription for antibiotics.  I think I was there for almost two hours.  I went just before 5pm thinking they closed at 5 and I could get in at the last minute.  Turns out they closed at 7pm and there were about a million of people ahead of me.  I wasn’t leaving without drugs so I sat there and entertained myself, mostly by people-watching and checking Instagram 800 times.

I dropped my prescription off at the drug store and decided to pop into Lululemon while I waited because when you are sick, you should always go to Lulu (#fact).  I picked up a Stuff Your Bra sports bra that I’ve been waiting for them to get back in (it has pockets for you to stash all your goodies – gels, ID, key, iPod, etc) and I also fell in love with a hat.  When I went to go pay, the guy at the checkout told me it was being gifted to me.  WAIT, WHAT?!  I nearly jumped over the counter and kissed him.  It wasn’t even the fact that I saved money (though that was a great bonus)…it was the gesture and the kindness after my completely shitty start to the week.

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That same night, I went out to walk Princeton and saw a puppy with no leash or collar running through the streets looking super scared and lost.  There was quite a bit of traffic and when I tried to walk up to her, she decided to HIDE UNDER A MOVING VEHICLE.  To say I was a bit freaked out is an understatement.  I ran into the middle of the intersection and signalled for all the cars to stop and asked the driver of the vehicle to help me get her out.  She was way too nervous so I ran home to grab some treats to try and lure the puppy from under the car.  She eventually came out and the only option that came to mind was to carry her home and then figure things out.  GIRL WAS AT LEAST 50 POUNDS.  Ever try carrying a super awkward and massive puppy with an unknown temperament?  Probably not the smartest thing to do but I’m still alive to tell the story.  And so is she.  I’m lucky she was really docile and friendly.

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It was after 9pm so a lot of places were already closed and I knew I couldn’t keep her overnight because I’d have to leave her outside and it was going to get pretty cold.  I made a few phone calls and was told by a 24-hour emergency veterinarian that my best option was to call City of Toronto Animal Services and they were SO great.  They said someone would come buy and pick up my new puppy within five hours.  They came in less than two!  I questioned the guy who came to do the pick up because I was really worried about what might happen to the dog.  The first thing they do is check for a microchip and if the dog has one, they are returned to the owners.  If they don’t, their photo is posted to the Lost Pets section on their website for anyone who is looking for their furry family member.  If no one claims them then they are put up for adoption.  He assured me this pup would not have a hard time finding a home…but I sure do hope that she’s reunited with her owners.

It was a bit of a crazy night but it put a smile on my face and it felt good knowing I did what I could.

This post is getting a lot longer than I anticipated!  Just a few more things:

1.  Eggplant parm sandwiches with your coworkers is always a great idea.

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2.  Running 5 miles after taking four days off feels pretty awesome.

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3.  Reading your comments on my last post helped a lot more than you probably think they did.  So thank you.

4.  Antibiotics are wonderful.  I feel like a million bucks today.

5.  I’ll be back on Monday with a race recap (Toronto Women’s 5K is on Sunday!)

Have a great weekend!!!  It’s going to be a good one.

#POSITIVETHOUGHTSONLY

I lost it

My motivation, my energy, my willingness to do things that push me one step forward.  I LOST IT ALL.  It was the long weekend here and I had no desire to do anything.  I’ve been feeling a bit down in the dumps lately and everything is suffering.  I feel unhealthy and weak.  Slow and tired.  Unmotivated and lazy.  I know what I need to do but for some reason can’t bring myself to do it.  I set all these goals for May and find myself just wanting to nap or sleep in when I have a little extra time.  I haven’t been forcing myself to do anything which is great (and I know it’s what I need to do) but at the same time, it’s really disappointing.  I’m trying to do that whole “listen to your body” thing and right now my body is just like “NOPE”.  This happens a couple of times a year.  I just want nothing to do with food or exercise and everything to do with sleep and daydreaming about beaches.

Let’s focus on the positive though, shall we??

1.  I’ve been chosen to be a digital champion for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon in October so there is no backing out now!!  So pumped to be part of such an awesome team.  This is the marathon I wanted to run and I’m hoping to put in enough work to get me that BQ.  Maybe this is the kick in the pants I need to get my act together.  Training starts next month so I better start looking for that motivation I need!!

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2.  SeaWheeze shorts have arrived!!  I wasn’t sure about the pattern when I saw them online but they are super cute in person.  I love all the colours!!

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3.  I am officially a Polar Ambassador and just received my M400 in the mail on Friday!  Is it just me or does anyone else get super excited about running-related electronics?  I’m going to use the watch a bit before I tell you guys what I think.

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4.  I’ve got the Toronto Women’s 5K race this Sunday which kind of terrifies me given my lack of motivation but I get to see my Mizuno family which always puts a smile on my face and makes my abs really sore (Michelle has a way of making us laugh really hard).

5.  Those shin splints I complained about a couple weeks ago are completely gone.  I guess my minimal running helped with that.

6.  I had some pretty cute breakfast dates the other day.  These huskies were named Brother and Sister and were the sweetest, most shy puppies (5 and 6 months old) I have ever met.  Brother (the darker one) was even too shy to take a liver treat from me.  He’s basically the opposite of Princeton.

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7.  I’m going shopping with my mom tonight.  Retail therapy works wonders when running doesn’t.

8.  I missed The Bachelorette last night so I get to sit in front of the TV for two hours with a bag of popcorn tonight.

There are always things to be happy about and grateful for, right?  Right.

Hope you had/are having a great Tuesday!

Marathon Monday: SL10K Race Recap

So apparently it’s Monday again.

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Blah.  That’s how I feel about yesterday’s race.  Life has been smacking me in the face lately so I didn’t really know what was going to happen when I got to that start line.  Considering the time I was able to pull off last month in pretty cold and windy conditions, I expected faster.  Unfortunately the heat and humidity did a number on my energy and my breathing.  I went out too fast.  Like WAY too fast.  Everything kind of went downhill once I got to the 5K mark.

Here are my splits:

Mile 1 (6:46) – I felt like I was going a little on the fast side here but thought I’d find my groove the way I did at my last 10K.  I was trying to pace myself and slow it down when I looked at my watch for a second and saw I was running in the 6:20-6:40 range.  I should have known better than to kick it off so fast but I think I was a bit worried about getting stuck behind people and wanted to weave through them and settle into my pace ASAP.

Mile 2 (6:52) –  I knew it was time to slow it down, find my race pace and try to keep it steady for the rest of the race.  I felt like I was struggling a lot more than I should and got really, really hot.  I slowed down to grab water at one of the water stations and threw it on my face.  I got some in my nose and choked a little bit but it was worth it just to cool off even if it was just for 3 seconds.

Mile 3 (7:04) – I got to the 5K mark in 21:28 – my fastest ever.  But I did not feel good knowing I still had another 5K to go.  There was a guy to my left who was projectile vomitting while he was running but for some reason refused to stop.  It freaked me out a little…not because it grossed me out (okay maybe a little), but because I started to worry that the humidity would start to affect me in the same way.

Mile 4 (7:01) - I dedicated each mile to different people for this race and mile 4 was for one of my coworkers who is super speedy and supportive.  He’s always wishing me good luck before races and checks in to see how I do.  I kept repeating to myself “Don’t disappoint Andrew!  He said to go hard and that’s what I’ve gotta do.”  Unfortunately this is the mile where I decided that I really needed to slow things down and treat the rest of the race like I wanted to survive/not pass out before the finish line (sorry Andrew – haha).

Mile 5 (7:09) – This mile was a bit of a blur.  All I remember is a lot of people passing me, grabbing more water from the second water station, and accepting that I would be finishing far from my goal time.  I looked at my watch and realized that I wasn’t running as slow as I thought and could possibly still come in under 45 minutes.  I slowed down considerably but kept the pace comfortably challenging so that I wouldn’t be too disappointed in my effort.

Mile 6 (7:28) – This mile was a big struggle.  I just kept telling myself to make it to the Parkdale Roadrunners cheer station and then I would get that last bit of energy I needed to get to the finish.  They have the best people come out to cheer at all the races and bring confetti, megaphones, signs, and they even had a bongo this time!  I seriously need to start running with them weekly.  I made it to the corner they were at, got a bit of a second wind, and then it was just a straight dash to the finish.

0.33 (2:16) - I looked at my watch and knew I’d come in under 45 minutes as long as I could keep my pace.  There was a guy on the ground (alive, thankfully) with paramedics around him just a few meters from the finish.  It was so hard to see and made me realize how lucky I was to finish this race without anything happening to me.

Official time: 44:37 (7:11/mi or 4:28/km average pace)

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It may not have been as fast as I wanted but I’m happy that I was still able to pull off a sub-45 feeling the way I did!  From what I heard, a lot of people found it rough out there so I don’t think I’m being too dramatic!

The Sporting Life 10K is the exact same course as the Toronto Yonge Street 10K so if you’re looking for a really fast 10K, either one of these races is awesome.  Both are really well-organized with lots of volunteers and the energy is awesome.  The only complaint I have is that you have to walk quite a bit to get to the finisher’s area to get your medal and water/food.  I didn’t notice this so much last month when I ran Yonge Street because it was a lot cooler and I didn’t feel like I was dying but yesterday I swear I would have paid someone $20 to hand me a water bottle at the finish line.

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Grabbing my bag from bag check took less than 30 seconds and then it was back home to shower and make a salad to bring to my aunt’s place for Mother’s Day BBQ lunch.  I got to be with my mom, aunt, and grandmother.  They’re all mamas to me.

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#igotitfrommymama

My next race is the Toronto Women’s 5K in less than two weeks.  Who’s coming?!

Hope you had a wonderful weekend and enjoy the rest of your Monday!

It doesn’t get any easier than this

So remember that time Vega had me experience one of the most memorable experiences of my LIFE?  It was a product of their #FuelYourBetter campaign last year so I’ve kinda got a little soft spot for it.  I am so happy and excited to tell you guys that Vega has STEPPED. IT. UP.  They have created the ultimate education hub which is jam-packed with free resources including 8-weeks of training guides, meal plans, recipes, playlists, and nutritional education.

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SAY WHAT?

All you have to do is sign up HERE and you will start receiving free nutrition and training guides for running over the next 8 weeks.  Here’s an example of what a 10K training plan might look like:

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There are also playlist and song ideas if you ever get stuck or need some help putting tunes together for your next big race!  Here are some of the songs suggested for a tempo playlist (there are also ones for hill repeats, long runs and race day):

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I know that I’m always experimenting with nutrition and I need all the help I can get, especially when it comes to trying new things and finding foods that will help me run and recover faster.  Having a nutrition plan and recipe ideas on-hand makes it that much easier to make smart choices.  Hello, Coconut Chocolate Quinoa Protein Pudding!!

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So whether you’re training for your first 10K or on your way to running your 20th marathon, the newly updated Vega Sport site has got something for everyone.  Sign up HERE and #FuelYourBetter this season!!!

P.S. I’m don’t get paid to tell you guys about this.  I’m just genuinely pumped about everything Vega is offering and how easily accessible it is!!

One more thing – the PRO Compression sock of the month looks like THIS:

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I am loving the black and grey combo.  You can get 40% on any of the socks of the month (see them all HERE) with the code PLAY.

That’s it for today!  Hope you all have a great weekend and Happy Mother’s Day to all of you wonderful mothers out there!

5 reasons why I run

I love when people start fun Instagram tags like “share 20 facts about you” or “stop drop and selfie” or in this case “share 5 reasons why you run”.  I was tagged a couple of times but chose to be a rebel and not participate on Instagram but share on the blog instead.

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1.  It makes me feel good.  That whole “runner’s high” is not a joke.  When I start my day with a run I feel accomplished, happy, and like I can tackle just about anything.  Getting up early and dragging myself out the door isn’t always easy but it is always worth it.  Getting through a work day is made a little easier when you’re jacked up on endorphins.  Who needs coffee when you have running?!

2.  I can set new goals and crush them.  Never in my life would I have thought to dream big when it comes to running…until now.  I wasn’t an athlete growing up.  I hated getting dirty and sweaty and had no coordination.  I started running recreationally and realized I wasn’t horrible at it.  I started to get faster on my own and then with Phaedra’s help, started running at paces that I never even imagined were physically possible for me.  I now dream of running a 20-minute 5K and maybe even a 40-minute 10K someday.  I want to run Boston and get than damn unicorn jacket and medal.  And I’m going to bust my ass until it happens.

3. I get to meet some really cool people.  Whether it’s through social media or in real life, running has helped me make so many great connections and long-lasting friendships.  These people understand me and my need for running because they are exactly the same.  We are all mental and have wacky goals that most non-runners just wouldn’t be able to wrap their head around.  The running community is such a wonderful place and I’m so thankful for those who support me and my dreams.

4.  Running is my “me” time.  It’s weird to say this because my whole life is basically “me” time (no husband or children will give you that – haha!) but I get the most reflection and thinking done when I’m running.  I am currently still not listening to any music when I run so I’ve got all kinds of opportunity to get into my own head, solve ALL the problems and plan ALL the things!

5. Pizza and burritos.  No explanation necessary.

What’s one reason why YOU run?

Marathon Monday: Goals for May 2015

So I’ve decided to get on board with Jess and Ange and set some monthly goals.  I like the idea of setting goals at the beginning of each month and checking in at the end to see how I do.  I’ve been kind of going with the flow over the past few weeks and I’m looking to have a little more structure and things to focus on.  I also really like making lists and checking things off… #nerdalert

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First, here is how last week’s training went down:

Monday: OFF

Tuesday: OFF

Wednesday: 6.22 miles @  8:19 AP

Thursday: 5.02 miles @ 8:09 AP

Friday: 5 miles @ 8:43 AP

Saturday: 7 miles @ 8:17 AP

Sunday: 3.11 miles @ 9:17 AP

I intended on a double digit run yesterday but my shins started to feel a tiny bit sore so rather than run through it, I cut it short and am taking today completely off (maybe tomorrow too).  I haven’t had to deal with shin splints in forever and don’t want it to escalate so I’ll be resting and cross training until I’m back to normal.

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Now for those May goals…

1.  Run at least 100 miles for the month (after my shin pain subsides, of course).

2.  Run strong races.  I’ve got the Sporting Life 10K this Sunday and the Toronto Women’s 5K in a couple of weeks.  My current 10K PR stands at 43:28 and my 5K is 23:11.  I just set my 10K PR a few weeks ago so I’m not really sure how this weekend will go and if I’ll be able to run any faster than that.  I’m happy with my time but do intend on going into my race with the intention to set a new PR.  If it happens, great.  If it doesn’t, I won’t be bummed about it.  I’m really hoping to crush the Women’s 5K though.  I ran the first half of the Yonge Street 10K in 21:45 so I’m pretty confident it can happen as long as I’m having a good day.  Anything can happen on race day, right??

3.  Get back into strength training and aim for at least two sessions/week.  I want to go into training for marathon #5 stronger than ever.  I was really good at incorporating strength training before Phoenix but kind of stopped as race day got closer because (a) running with sore muscles isn’t my favourite and (b) I started to get really tired and lazy.  Strength = speed and I want to get fast.  Strength also = biceps and I wouldn’t mind a nice set of those either! ;)

4.  Make use of my ClassPass.  I’ve had access to a bunch of studios since March (when I attended the launch party here in Toronto) and haven’t had the time to make it out for any classes.  I’d love to take advantage this month and hit up a barre studio or maybe even do some hot yoga.

5.  Have an allergy and/or food sensitivity test done.  This keeps getting put on the back burner but things are starting to act up again and I can’t keep ignoring it.  Issues come and go and I have kind of gotten used/learned to deal with it but that shouldn’t be the case.  Something is not right and I need to fix it.

6.  Drink more water.  I have been SUCKING at this big time.  I probably don’t even drink half a litre on most days…and when I do, my water is usually spiked with Crystal Light.  Helloooooo aspartame!  So the goal is lots of pure water every day.  I bought a 2.2 litre water jug last year so I’ll be aiming to fill it and finish it every. single. day.

I think that’s it for now.  Easy enough…right?! ;)

Thinking Out Loud #49

I’ll admit…there’s not much thinking going on in this post but I’m still choosing to link up my randomness with Amanda’s Thinking Out Loud Thursday.

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Nailed it.  How it’s possible that I got my froyo amount to exactly $5.00…I’ll never know.

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After hearing so many good reviews, I bought The Goldfinch.  I haven’t started it yet but I’m looking forward to reading a book that’s not about running!

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Dog park time is the best time.

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I’m back on the squash taco diet.  I hate raw red onions and totally forgot to ask the server to nix them on my order.  Picking them out was really fun.

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This myidol app though…

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Running in shorts is my favourite.  Digging the new Mizuno Phoenix shorts.

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I met a puppy named Mia on my run yesterday.  She looked JUST like Princeton did when he was a puppy.  She was out for her very first walk and was terrified of me but I proceeded to scoop her up and take about 14 photos.

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10 days to go!!!

SL10K_Logo_2015One last thing – I didn’t even realize today was the last day of April until about 12 seconds ago.  I added up my mileage and I am at 94.99 miles for the month so far.  Looks like someone’s got 5.01 miles to run tonight!!!

Also – is it just me or does anyone else crave ice cream EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. when the weather starts to get nice?!  Geez.

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A little #TBT to when I was in Vancouver last August eating ALL the gelato after a kayaking session.  The best.

Okay BYE and Happy Friday Eve!!