FAVOURITES and getting my confidence back

Is it weird that I spell favourites with a “u”?  Probably to 99% of you.  Crazy Canadians and their u’s, EH?  Anyway, I’ve been meaning to publish a “favourites” page for a while and it is finally up.

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I get a lot of questions, especially about run gear and nutrition so I put together a list of my current favourite things.  I’ve only got my fav Vega products under “nutrition” so far but I will keep adding to it as I think of things that I often use to support my training.  I also included a list of blogs that I love and read regularly and probably forgot a whole bunch…but like the other pages, they’ll be updated on a regular basis.

Over the last little while my confidence, especially when it comes to running, has been complete sh*t.  I struggled with my last tempo run, didn’t get the result I hoped for at my last 5K, barely reached 100 miles for the month of May (it’s a goal of mine to run 100+ miles/month), and I just haven’t had that OMG RUNNING IS THE BEST THING EVER feeling.  I guess it happens.  We can’t be excited about things all the time.  Except food.  I’m pretty sure I can be excited about food all the time.

I didn’t work today so I got to sleep in until about 7:30 (bliss) and after procrastinating for about thee hours, I headed out to see where my feet and legs would take me.  I started with my first mile at 9:01 and thought, “Okay this will probably just be an easy/relaxed run today” but I started feeling better and better after each mile and turned it into a progression run with my last three miles at 7:51, 7:45 and 7:38.  The best part about it — my sub-8:00 miles didn’t even feel that hard!

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Today’s run was just what I needed to ignite that spark again.  I regained a bit of running confidence and am soooo looking forward to pushing myself over the next few weeks.  Maybe juuuust maybe I’ll be able to finally break my 1:44 half PR at this year’s SeaWheeze in August.

One last thing – if I had a dollar for every time a person asked me who takes my running photos…I’d honestly be rich.  It’s just an app on my iPhone called TimerCam.  I usually set the timer to 10 seconds, put my phone on the ground and run by.  Done.  See?  Easy peasy!

Hope you all had a great day and I’ll see you tomorrow with a WIAW post! :)

Tell me one of YOUR favourite things!  Anything! – blog, app, food, workout gear, supplement…

Marathon Monday: food prep

Happy Monday!  Let’s be honest, I don’t always start my weeks with a positive attitude but today I am feeling goooood.  I set my alarm for 4:30am to go to the gym and hit snooze a couple of times and finally woke up at 5 to notice the sun was already coming up!!  I’m usually in the gym by that time so I never knew what time it started to get light outside.  Instead of the gym I decided to lace up my runners and head out for a run.  I usually have to leave my runs until after work because it’s too dark out and I’m scared to run alone in the dark so I was pretty happy.  Now I won’t have to run tonight and deal with the cramps I usually get from running with a day’s worth of food in my belly.

Speaking of food…for this week’s Marathon Monday I wanted to show you some of the (healthy + plant-based) things that I usually prep for the week so that I don’t have to worry too much about cooking on weekdays.

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First, here is what went down in terms of workouts last week:

Monday: OFF

Tuesday: 6.2 miles @ 8:19 avg.

Wednesday: 6.2 miles @ 8:09 avg.

Thursday: OFF

Friday: 3.25 miles @ 8:57 avg + 15 minutes stairs + strength training (upper body)

Saturday: 9.83 miles @ 8:45 avg.

Sunday: 30 minutes stairs + strength training (lower body)

Ideally I’d like to have two upper body and two lower body strength training days but some weeks it just doesn’t work out that way.  Meeting your friend for dinner and getting kicked out of the restaurant is more important.

And now for food prep….let’s ignore the horrible picture because tupperware just can’t look fancy no matter how hard you try.

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  1. Kale chips
  2. Quinoa
  3. Raw veggies
  4. Vega Recovery Bites
  5. Grapes
  6. Pan seared garlic tofu (from OSG cookbook)
  7. Roasted broccoli
  8. Brown rice
  9. Baked sweet potato

My food prep takes about 2-3 hours and I usually end up with enough to last the whole week for work lunches/snacks and some dinners.  Other nights I will make something different or go out for dinner.  This is what works for me and so far I haven’t gotten bored of anything.  Keeping healthy food in my fridge definitely helps big time when it comes to my marathon training.  It keeps me well-fuelled and ensures that I am giving my body the nutrients that it needs throughout the day to recover from my last workout and prepare for the next.  It also makes things easier during the week and gives me more time at night to relax or train or…watch The Bachelorette… ;)

Hope your week is off to a great start!

What are some of your favourite things to food prep?

Remind me never to do that again

The weekend kind of comes and goes too fast, don’t you think? I’m kinda sad it’s over but I’m ready to tackle the last couple weeks of work before I’m off for the summer. It’ll be nice to not have to wake up at 4:30am to train before a work day. I’d like to still try and keep some sort of a routine though or else I know I’ll probably be living in my pyjamas until noon…which would push my runs into the scorching hot afternoon. That’s kind of what happened yesterday. It wasn’t even that late – I think I headed out around 10am?  I didn’t bring any fuel…remind me never to do that again, okay?  At about mile 5 I thought I was going to pass out.  I literally had sweat dripping off my shins.  Luckily the awesome people at Starbucks gave me some ice water aka saved my life.

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I wanted to hit double digits but I reached my house at 9.83 miles and had no desire to go one step further so I called it a day, went inside to chug a smoothie and half a bag of Maltesers.

I know I said I had no plans for the weekend (other than run) but that was before I got a text from Danielle asking if I was free for dinner last night because she was going to be in the city.  Holy.  Yes.  Stop, drop and roll.  Always free for this girl.

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We met at Fresh…WHAT ELSE IS NEW?!  I ordered the squash tacos…again.  Seriously this monthly special is that good and I predict I will eat it at least five more times before it disappears.

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Danielle and I obviously talk too much so even after we were done eating we hung around and talked at our table for a couple of hours until we were KICKED OUT.  Yes, really.  A server came up to us and said he needed our table to attach to another table so he could seat a party of five.  Sure, no problem…until we got up to leave and noticed the restaurant was almost empty and there was NO PARTY OF FIVE TO BE SEEN.  How rude.  So we went and gave Yogurty’s our money and second hit of hunger.

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Not complaining.  Did you know adding blueberries to your froyo instantly makes it heathy? ;)

I walked Danielle to her second party of the evening and got to meet a French Bulldog named Portia.

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Those ears.  I die.

Then it was home time to watch two episodes of Orange is the New Black.  Who else watches this show?!  I’m only four episodes into the first season and I swear it’s the funniest show in history.  That’s not saying much because I rarely watch TV (The Bachelor/Bachelorette is the only exception) but it takes a lot for me to get hooked on any kind of series.  So good.

Hope you had a fabulous weekend!  I’ll be back tomorrow with a Marathon Monday post! :)

Thinking Out Loud #22

HOLLA!  I’m a day late with this TOL post but what else is new…  I was doing well for so long that I thought I’d throw you off a bit this week.  HA!  Just kidding.  My WIAW post went out a bit late so things just snowballed.  One of those weeks…

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Anyway, let’s get to it!  Time to get RANDOM!

1.  Remember how I told you I had a photo shoot last Friday?  Well it went great except I did not get even one good headshot.  I can take about a million and one fun running photos but when it comes to looking directly into a camera lens and trying to smile but not look like I’m fake smiling, I’m impossible.  I look like a complete idiot.  My friend also kept getting mad at me because I smile too much. When I run, stretch, tie my shoes — always smiling.  Better than always looking angry I guess, right?

2.  Apparently today is National Donut Day?  I’ve never been a big donut-eater but if I had to choose, I’d probably go with a Honey Crueller….

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Yum.

Random fact: I am not a fan of sprinkles (I think they are useless) and dipped donuts are not my favourite.  I think it’s because they’re sticky and you lose about half of the frosting or whatever it is because it sticks to the bag and gets all over the place.  Apparently I’m picky when it comes to donuts…?  That’s why Tim Bits (or donut holes) are awesome – no mess and you can eat like six different flavours instead of committing to one whole donut in one flavour.

3.  I have a bone to pick with MasterCard.  I get that cancelling your card on you without notice is kind of the thing they do when they suspect something suspicious.  But it’s kind of embarrassing when you go to buy gas and your card doesn’t work.  Of course I have alternative forms of payment but I thought there was something wrong with the pump so I was driving to different pumps like a maniac before I went inside and realized it was my card that was not working.  It must have been my online $49 Justin’s Nut Butter purchase that set off the suspicion, as ridiculous as it sounds!  What?  Normal people don’t binge buy nut butters??

4.  Speaking of…

justins

My order is already here!  I think it came in less than 48 hours!  I was kind of excited and annoyed at the same time.  Excited because my jars came so fast but annoyed that I got charged an extra $21.51 in duties.  WHAT THE…?!  I’m going to have to limit my nut butter intake until I visit the US again and can stock up on this stuff.

5.  I’m having another weekend full of zero plans and it feels weird.  The only things on my to do list so far are (1) RUN and (2) buy this guy dog food…and I already did #2 on my way home from work today.

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6.  Princeton actually had a few rough days this week.  Last weekend someone set off a firework while we were out for a walk and he totally freaked out.  Turned into a completely different dog.  He was shaking, stopped walking, and just looked so afraid.  Even once inside he just turned super quiet and all he wanted to do was sit/sleep as close to me as possible.  This lasted dayyyyysssss.

7.  Just about every day after work this week has looked like this and I am 100% okay with it.

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Sunshine and avocado toast aka heaven.  My nut butter was delivered about halfway through my snack so I had to have four spoonfuls for dessert.  The vanilla almond and chocolate hazelnut are my fav.

8. …and since I turned my alarm off every day this week and made no attempts to go to the gym, that’s where I’ll be tonight.  I’ve enjoyed the extra snooze time but these muscles aren’t going to get stronger if I don’t put in the work!

Hope you have a great weekend!

Tell me what you are looking forward to this weekend! :)

WIAW: I kind of love DIPPING

Happy (belated) National Running Day!  I had every intention to get up and run yesterday morning before work but when you set your alarm to 4:30am and then hit snooze repeatedly until 7am….yeah, the run just did not happen.  I got 6.2 miles in after work – 1 mile warm up, 4 tempo miles (7:50, 7:47, 7:48, 7:51), 1.2 mile cool down.  It wasn’t as fast as I had hoped but my runs are never the best when I leave them until the afternoon/evening.  Anyway, I’m starting to add a little more purpose to my runs now and plan on including one tempo run and one long run each week.  I should be adding a hill run in there somewhere too but I hate hills so I’m not making any promises…

Moving on.

Since it was WIAW yesterday I thought I’d share some of my favourite DIPPING combinations as of late.  Over the past few days I noticed that I just love dipping food into things.  Who doesn’t love chips dipped in salsa?  Or guacamole?  Veggies dipped in hummus!  Strawberries dipped in CHOCOLATE!!!  See??  All kinds of fun foods require dipping.

I’m on a sweet potato kick right now.  I’ve noticed a lot of people eat them with cinnamon or almond butter and while I do like them that way, I prefer dipping them into something a bit more savoury like hummus or tangy like ketchup.

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I just cook them with olive oil and sea salt in the oven at 375* for about 30 minutes (flipping halfway through) and then go on a dipping frenzy.

Plain carrots I can do…but you won’t ever catch me eating plain celery…but celery with PB?!  #yesplease

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Speaking of PB, Justin’s Nut Butter is soooo hard to find here (#Canadianproblems) so I finally bit the bullet and placed an online order.  It’s completely normal to spend $49 on four jars of nut butter, right? {this is where you just nod your head in agreement, okay??}

Mary’s crackers and avocado.

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I actually got this idea from Amanda.  I still need to get me some popchips so I can try it her way but for now, Mary’s are doing juuuuust fine.  I squeeze lemon and sprinkle sea salt and pepper on my avocado before I dig in.  Make sure to cut some slits into it first so the lemon juice makes it’s way around.  So good.

I don’t really think I need to explain myself when it comes to the next one…

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Apples and almond butter will forever be a winning combo.

Last but not least….I went to to Fresh for dinner with my cousin last night and ordered the spring rolls with Thai peanut dipping sauce for my appetizer.

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Pretty sure that sauce is what dreams are made of.  I’m also pretty sure I spend more time at Fresh than I do at work.  You’d think by now they would make me an official spokesperson or preferred customer…!

I hope you are having a great week so far!

Did you run to celebrate NRD?

Best thing you ate yesterday/today?

Marathon Monday: summer running gear

Happy Marathon Monday!

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It feels good to be back after a few disastrous days.  Last week I started to feel a bit burnt out and like my body just needed a break so I scrapped my 5am workouts/gym sessions and just ran.  That’s all I really felt like doing.  I ran based on effort and took it easy for the most part:

Monday: 5 miles @ 9:09 avg.

Tuesday: OFF

Wednesday: 10 miles @ 8:26 avg.

Thursday: OFF

Friday: 5 miles @ 8:21 avg.

Saturday: 3.5 miles @ 9:11 avg.

Sunday: 5 miles @ 8:44 avg.

Hopefully this week I’ll find a little more motivation to cross train and lift weights.

I also decided not to run the Niagara Half Marathon yesterday.  I was this close to going but I knew it wouldn’t have been the best decision for me.  I have been racing so much lately and I know I would have put a lot of pressure on myself to PR.  It might have been possible.  Who knows.  I did love staying in my pyjamas until 11am yesterday though.  It’s been a while since I did that but it sure felt good to have a lazy morning for once.

With the super hot weather creeping up on us, I thought I’d put together some of my favourite summer running pieces.  I always get questions regarding gear and everyone loves cute workout clothing, so why not talk about it?!  We are all different when it comes to what we are comfortable wearing (especially when running) but these are some of my essentials:

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accessories

1.  Mizuno Lotus Sports Bra - I’m super picky with sports bras and how they are cut.  The racerback on this is very comfortable and doesn’t dig into my back at all.  The bra also comes with removable inserts so you don’t get a uni-boob.  WIN.

2.  Mizuno Daria Sunset Shorts - The flat waistband and longer built-in underwear (kind of like boy shorts) are awesome.  Super comfortable and no wedgies while running!

3.  Mizuno Harmony Tank - This tank is not super tight or clingy, allows for movement, and has no built in spots bra so you can wear what works for you underneath.

4. Lululemon Stuff Your Bra Sports Bra - IT’S BACK!!!! I have two of the Stuff Your Bra Tanks (Lulu is getting these again soon, so I was told) and they are the BEST. You can literally fit so much stuff in the pockets. I wore one to the Phoenix Marathon and it held three gels + my iPod. Your boobs might look a bit strange with all your things stuffed in there but trust me, it makes things soooo easy! No fiddling with zippers or belts.

5. Lululemon Dart & Dash Short – I’ll be honest, I didn’t like these when I saw them online but I tried them on anyway over the weekend and they are awesome.  They are long enough that you can run without your butt hanging out and they don’t squeeze you around the thigh opening like a lot of other tight shorts do.  The side pockets are a bonus and they are deep enough that you can put ID or a key in and not have to worry about it falling out while you run.

6. Lululemon Speed Shorts – These have been a long time favourite. They fit really well and always come in super fun colours. The only thing with these shorts — if I wear them for runs lasting longer than about two hours, the seam around the thighs starts to irritate my legs a bit. Other than that, I love love loooove these shorts.

7.  Mizuno DryLite Cap – My hair has gotten so long and it’s kind of painful to wear it in a ponytail because it’s so heavy.  I’ve gotten used to just throwing on a hat and wearing my hair down or wearing this Mizuno cap and pulling my hair through the hole in the back without using a hair elastic.  So it’s still kind of like a ponytail but without the headache!

8. Mizuno DL Comfort Quarter Socks – I used to think wearing any socks to run in is okay…not the case.  To avoid blisters I make sure to wear running-specific socks.  Along with these Mizuno ones, I also love Pro Compression, WrightSock, and Running Room brand socks.

9.  Sunski Original Sunglasses – I know these aren’t your typical running glasses but they are my new fav.  They’re polarized and really lightweight so they do a great job at reducing glare and don’t move one bit when you’re running!

That’s more or less what I’m sweating in this season!

What are YOUR fav apparel pieces/accessories for summer?? 

Bear with me…

If you haven’t noticed yet, there have been no blog updates since WEDNESDAY.  If you only knew what the last few days have been like…I’m surprised I don’t have a head full of white hair from all the stress.  I’ve been meaning to makeover my blog for a while now and the last time I did it, Jenny helped me out so the plan was to use her again (which I did!).  While I was waiting I decided to play around with the design myself and messed things up ROYALLY.  I went in and changed all kinds of codes, uploaded a random template I got off Etsy, and just wanted to throw my Mac out the window.  I couldn’t even publish posts because I wasn’t able to upload any photos into my media library.  What a disaster.

ANYWAY…as you can see, my blog is finally getting to where I want it!  Jenny to the rescue.  She’s been working on it this weekend and so far, so good.  It’s not 100% done yet – just waiting on some things and finalizing little details – but it feels good to breathe and know I can somewhat return to normal and functional blogging.  It’ll be all done soon, so please just bear with me a few more days!!

To recap the last few days…

1.  I got hit really hard in the head at work on Thursday with a football.  A student “accidentally” threw it at my head while I was bent over grabbing other equipment from a bag.  Pretty sure I had a mild concussion.

2.  I had a photo shoot on Friday!  WOO!  A friend of mine from work does photography on the side and wanted to take some running shots so I’ll share them as soon as I get my hands on them.  During said photo shoot I tripped and twisted my ankle (I’m in rough shape these days, huh?) but I tried running on it yesterday and felt fine.

3.  Speaking of running, I hit 100 miles for the month of May!  I didn’t think it was going to happen this month because I took an entire week off after the marathon and felt really unmotivated and lazy for a couple week afterwards but I made up for it and finished with 101.32.

4.  My diet this weekend has consisted of corn chips, salsa, mint Oreos (they’re really good), sour candy, strawberry pie, and a burrito.  It was kind of awesome.  Don’t worry, food prep is on the agenda tonight and my body will be getting all the nutrients it needs to make sure I have a killer start to the new month.

5.  My phone is completely out of commission.  Ok that’s a lie – I can still make phone calls.  Every app shuts down about one second after I open it because I am out of storage.  I can’t check emails, Facebook, Twitter, or take any photos.  So if you need me tonight, I’ll be sitting here going through every dang thing and uploading all my photos to my computer so I can wipe my phone clean.

HOPE YOU ALL HAD A GREAT WEEKEND AND CONGRATS TO EVERYONE WHO RACED!