Marathon Monday: things I’m struggling with

Well, it’s race week.  Saying writing that makes me feel sick to my stomach.  I’m one of those people that never feels ready for a race.  I can do all the training, all the rest, and all the positive thinking….but come race day I just always feel like I could have or should have done so much more.  Maybe I should have run more than one 22-miler?  Maybe I should have done more speed workouts?  More downhill training?  Strength training?  I have no idea.  All I know is that I do not feel prepared in the least and have no idea what to expect.


Last week’s training:

Monday: easy 3.1 miles

Tuesday: OFF

Wednesday: 6.5 miles (5 miles @ 9:00/mile, 8 x 20s strides/40s rest, cool down)

Thursday: OFF

Friday: 5 miles (1 mile warm-up, 6 x 400m @ 6:40/1-2 min rest, 1.25 mile cool-down)

Saturday: easy 3.1

Sunday: 10 miles (last “long” run!)

Other than feeling a general sense of unpreparedness, I’ve been struggling with a few other things over the last couple of weeks.

My pace.  Holyyyy have my runs been slow.  I know a lot of this has to do with taking my training to the treadmill lately but it’s still pretty defeating.  I’m much faster outside but it’s been extremely cold and we have had a few snowfalls so I didn’t want to risk slipping and injuring myself.  It’s hard to feel positive and excited about your time goals when you struggle to hold your “easy” pace on a treadmill.

My hunger!!  My mileage has been quite a bit lower in the last couple of weeks but I’m just as hungry as I was during peak week – ha!  I cannot keep up.  It’s hard to justify eating as much when I know I’m not running nearly as many miles but I know it needs to be done.  I’ve got to listen to my body so that I’m well-fuelled and ready for race day.

The weather.  Sounds so silly, right??  I can run in crazy Canadian winter like it AIN’T NO THANG but the forecast is calling for rain on Saturday and I am terrified.  I know it’s still early and the weather predictions change daily but I am a bit nervous.  It rained last year and two blisters formed and popped on my feet while running.  It was soooo painful and I yelled lot of words that aren’t a normal part of my vocabulary.  Seriously #nofilter when it comes to me + running + pain.

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So if anyone is listening, I’d like to request no rain when I’m visiting the desert.  Please and thank you.

My race nutrition strategy.  Every race is like an experiment for me and I haven’t reached that point where I feel like I’ve “nailed it”.  I tried a bunch of gels and believe Honey Stingers are the winners so thank you to everyone who suggested them!!  They taste great and are really easy to get down.  I also tried Imodium before Sunday’s long run and I couldn’t believe how settled my stomach felt.  I had gone to a party the night before and eaten pizza and some other not so great pre-run foods so I actually set myself up for the ultimate test! ;)  I felt amazing, no weird flopping feeling in my stomach, and no mid-run bathroom breaks.  I’m just hoping everything works out on Saturday as every race is a bit of an eat/drink/run struggle for me.  I know that this week I have to try and eat as boring as possible.  Keeping things low in fibre, salt and sugar is key…and I need to make sure I’m hydrating.

So that’s it.  The nerves are kicking in and I’m definitely struggling a little bit but I am pretty excited to get away, escape the cold, run, and spend time with some great people.  But first, a manicure and pedicure because the secret to a marathon is painting your toes beforehand so that you can’t see how many black toenails you get in the following days.


The colour is OPI ‘taupe-less beach’!  I LOVE IT!  I have the same colour on both my hands and feet but no one needs to see my feet (even when they look half decent).

I’m heading to Phoenix tomorrow morning and will try to post updates when I can but I’m not sure how much blogging I will get done there.  Instagram will be where the action is!  You can follow me at @the_athletarian if you’d like to keep up!

Enjoy the rest of your Tuesday!!

Thinking Out Loud #43

I just want to start off by saying THANK YOU to all of you who commented on this week’s Marathon Monday post.  It’s hard to put my goals out there like that because I have this fear that I’ll disappoint myself and not meet the expectations that other people have of me.  It’s silly but I think a lot of the time it’s inevitable.  We want to do well, we know other people want us to do well…and it’s stressful to think about.  At the end of the day though, completing a marathon regardless of time is an accomplishment in itself.  I have to keep reminding myself of this!!

Today I’m linking up with Amanda for some Thinking Out Loud!  :)


1.  GOOD NEWS – my blood work came out normal and I tested negative for Celiac Disease.  GIVE ME ALL THE GLUTEN.  I know that these tests are not always accurate but I am just going to roll with it mostly because I love bread.  Real bread.  Now the BAD NEWS is that I still have a problem/some sort of sensitivity…so my next trip will probably be to an allergist.  My cousin’s friend went to one after having some GI problems and it turns out she can’t eat LEMONS.  So strange.  Apparently she completely stopped eating/cooking with lemons and now she is fine.  Crazy right?  I will solve this mystery no matter how long it takes me.

2.  I vote Starbucks keeps their heart cups forever.  Has anyone tried the coconut milk yet??  Thoughts?


3.  Today I was subbing a science class and the kids started asking me questions about dot diagrams.

dot diagram

Ummmm…I don’t think I haven opened a science book side grade 10 so it was a bit of a GIVE ME A SECOND WHILE I FIGURE THIS OUT kinda moment.  Who actually uses dot diagrams in real life?  NOT ME.

4.  This is becoming a problem.  Three visits in less than 24 hours.  I swear it wasn’t all for me though.  People love receiving Lulu (it’s a fact).


5.  I did snag a few sweet pieces for myself though.  I have a feeling these Jet Crops are going to be my new favourite pants.  They take cozy to a whole new level.

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They’re a little longer on me because I’m a midget but I think they still look fine.  They do free hemming so if I decide to take some material off the bottom I will just bring them back!

6.  No matter how awesome your outfit is or how nice you do your hair, if you are in the process of growing out your eyebrows then I can guarantee you will NOT FEEL CUTE.  At all.  I think I’ve finally gotten to that point where they can be re-shaped (aka they are fully grown caterpillars) so making a threading appointment is at the top of my to do list this weekend. #priorities

7.  It’s the MOST wonderful time of the YEEEEEEEAAAARRRRRR!

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Forget Christmas.  Easter treats are where it’s at.  I bought Mini Eggs (duh) two nights in a row and it was an extremely good decision.

8.  I have exactly FIVE runs left before the Phoenix Marathon.  Five.  The home stretch is finally here.  I think I can, I think I can….

9.  Look what came up as a suggested post on Facebook:


(a) how do they know I like to dress up Princeton? (b) where can I get those ski goggles for him? (c) despite everything the article said, Princeton still hates everything about winter.

10.  Now please excuse me while I go catch up on some blogs and update my training plan since it’s been about three weeks since I entered any sort of run/workout.  #SORRYPHAEDRA

Have a great day!!

Marathon Monday: A, B and C goals

We are a day late again but I had no ounce of motivation to even open up my laptop all weekend/yesterday so let’s just roll with it, okay?


Last week’s training:

Monday: 19.09 miles

Tuesday: OFF

Wednesday: OFF

Thursday: 7 miles (speed work)

Friday: 4 miles

Saturday: 14 miles

Sunday: OFF

I skipped one of my speed sessions but I was HELLA tired last week so I decided to take an extra rest day.  At this point, one run won’t make or break me so if my body is telling me to rest and eat instead, that’s exactly what I’m going to do.

It’s kind of crazy to think that next Wednesday I will be hopping on a plane yet again.  I’m full of mixed emotions.  I’m excited and happy to see my friends and escape this ridiculous winter and eat all the Cafe Rio (post-race obviously because Mexican before a marathon is a VERY BAD IDEA)…but I’m also super nervous and anxious about the marathon.  Doubts are setting in and 26.2 miles just seems SO long.  I know I’ve done the training but the taper can definitely mess with your head.  My “long run” this weekend was 14 miles and thinking about doing 12.2 more does not seem like a fun idea.  At all.

I’ve been doing all kinds of calculations, using race predictors, and sending HI I’M FREAKING OUT texts to Emz and Phaedra.  Emz keeps telling me to calm down and just think of it as a fun long run that we are going to do together.  It will probably stop being FUN at a certain point but having her there will be the best.  She’s like my marathon security blanket.


Phaedra doesn’t doubt my abilities but she’s my coach so she’s supposed to say things like that, right?! ;) Although my training hasn’t been perfect, she has really helped me push myself harder than I ever have and I am hoping it pays off.


ANYWAY, it’s great to say that I just want to have fun and finish this race but we all know that it’s not true.  I have goals.  We all have goals.  So I decided to share my A, B and C goals for the Phoenix Marathon which is in exactly 11 DAYS.

A) Qualify for Boston.  This is pretty farfetched and unrealistic at this point but I know it’s not completely impossible.  I’d have to run a sub 3:35 to BQ and at the rate things are going, probably closer to a 3:33 to guarantee entry.  That means an 8:07 average pace per mile.  Yikes.  I ran my fastest half marathon at a 7:29 average but that probably doesn’t even mean anything.  The marathon is a whole different beast.

B) Set a new marathon PR.  My current PR is 3:53 and I ran it at Phoenix last year.  I’d be ecstatic if I could come in at anything sub-3:50.  To run a 3:49 marathon, my average pace per mile would need to be 8:44.  This is probably a little more realistic than my A goal and will leave me almost as happy.

C) Finish the marathon with no accidents.  See my last post.  I’ve honestly been having so many problems and have no idea what condition my body will be in come race day.  So if I’m having a bad day in the GI department, getting to the finish line with a fake smile and clean shorts is going to be my only goal.

There we go.  Now my goals are all out there on THE INTERWEBS.

I hope you all had a lovely weekend/Valentine’s Day/Family Day/Presidents’ Day! #ALLTHEHOLIDAYS

My little predicament

Today was speed work day.  Well, technically it was supposed to be on Tuesday but because I did my long run on Monday, things this week have gotten a little mixed up.  Anyway, my workout went something like this:

2 mile warm up

6 x 2:00 FAST (6:59, 6:59, 6: 54, 6:54, 6:49, 6:49) with 1:00 rest in between each interval

2 mile cool down


I’m kind of loving that my weekday runs are short and fast now! :)


Sooo it’s just over two weeks until race day and I’m facing a bit of a predicament.  I left it out of my last post because talking about my stomach issues has become so redundant and I hate plastering it on the blog over and over again.  You guys don’t want to hear it and I don’t want to keep posting about it.  But I have to run a marathon in 16 days and I still don’t have my fuel plan figured out.  When I did my 19 treadmill miles on Monday, I had the worst GI issues to date.  I won’t go into details but I got pretty sick and it has now made me really stressed out about race day.

It seems like every gel makes my stomach hurt (or makes me gag), most food doesn’t sit well in my stomach so I have no idea what to eat in the days leading up to the race, and to be completely honest and literal – I’m terrified I may sh*t my pants while running.


I need all the luck I can get!!!

Mmmmk.  Now that we got that out of the way, I am on a mission.  I know it’s super late to start experimenting with things but I’m going to have to try.  I enlisted the help of my runner friends on Facebook a few nights ago and got a HUGE variety of recommendations.  I know everyone is SO different when it comes to what their bodies can handle so I can’t just assume one of these things will work for me.  I am going to go to my local running store tonight and buy a variety of things to test out over the next two weeks.  I may even have to try taking some in during shorter runs which is so unnecessary but I’m desperate right now.

Here is what all my runner friends are using:

  • Island Boost
  • Huma gels
  • GU
  • Honey Stinger gels/chews
  • Clif Shot Bloks
  • Skratch
  • E-gels
  • Vega gels
  • Pretzels
  • Clif gels
  • Honey/Vitamin C shots
  • Nuun
  • Dates + salt tabs
  • Baby food
  • Tailwind
  • Jelly Bellies
  • UCAN
  • Infinit
  • PowerBar gels
  • Sport Beans
  • Enervit

As you can see, there were so many suggestions because everyone’s body digests things so differently.  I don’t even think some of these things are available in Canada so that cuts out a few of the options.  I also know that I have a lot of trouble actually chewing things while running so I’ve cut out the more “solid” things on that list.  I don’t like carrying bottles with me while racing (I intend to just grab water at all the water stations) so I’ve nixed all the powders/sport drinks. Finally, I’ve eliminated baby food for the sole reason that there aren’t enough calories in those packets.  The last ones I bought only had 60 cals per pack so I’d have to carry way too many.  Plus there isn’t any sodium in them so I’d have to figure that part out and it’s just too much work.

So that leaves us with GU, Honey Stinger, Vega, Clif, PowerBar, and Sport Beans (I know you have to chew these but I feel like they’re so small and would be easier to eat in comparison to something like Clif Shot Bloks which are ginormous and make me feel like I’m going to choke).  Lindsay makes her own honey/vitamin C shots which sounds great in theory but I don’t think I see myself actually doing that.


I’ve tried all of these except Honey Stinger and Sport Beans.  It’s been hard to gage which have been good and which have been bad because I will often try more than one brand on the same run.  Stupid me.  It’s probably too late to figure all of this out before race day but I’m going to give some different things a shot and see what happens.

AND I’m going in and getting tested for Celiac tomorrow……..finally (I was supposed to do this months ago).  I don’t think gluten is the issue but I want to rule it out so that I can safely eat burritos forever and ever.  Up next will probably be a food sensitivity test.  Yay.

You’re very welcome for this super exciting post about my GI issues and race fuel.  I bet it was just what you were hoping to read today ahaha.

I know I can’t be the only who who struggles with this kind of stuff though, so if you’ve been there and have any tips, I’d love if you could leave a comment or email me at :)

Marathon Monday: TAPER TIME!

I thought this time would never come.  The glorious marathon taper period has officially begun and I am not mad about it.  Nope, not one bit.


Last week’s training went like this:

Monday: easy 3.1 miles

Tuesday: 8 miles (this speed workout)

Wednesday: OFF

Thursday: OFF

Friday: 6 miles (this mile repeats workout)

Saturday: easy 4 miles

Sunday: OFF

As you can see, I skipped my long run on Sunday.  I had every intention of doing it in the afternoon after a baby shower that I attended during the day…


…buuuuut that didn’t quite go as planned.  I was exhausted and my stomach was full of a trillion grams of sugar so I knew it would not be successful.  Instead, I did it last night after work which was a bit of a suck-tastic situation because who in the world wants to run on a treadmill for nearly three hours after a work day?  Not me.  But when was I going to do it?  I had to get my last long run over with, whether I liked it or not.


And it’s done.  Over.  Just like that.

I’ve got just under 14 to do this weekend and then 10 miles the weekend after.  Piece of cake, right?  (just say “right”.)

Time to decrease that mileage, spend lots of quality time with my foam roller, pick a race day outfit, book my flight (can’t believe I still haven’t done this), and TRY NOT TO PANIC.

Yesterday was National Pizza Day and I really hope you took advantage of it.  Every day seems to be pizza day around here but I made sure to eat some yesterday after my run.  I tried another one of those Daiya pizzas that I talked about here.  It was the Margherita one and it was good but I like the plain cheese one better!

pizza tank


Pretty close to being accurate.

P.S. Is anyone else watching The Bachelor this season??  Holy geez.  Crazy factor was in full effect last night.  I don’t know why I find that show so entertaining but it’s like it becomes an addiction.  Once you start watching, YOU JUST CAN’T STOP.  Can’t wait for Sunday AND Monday’s episodes next week!  Anyone have a favourite yet??

 Happy Monday Tuesday!

My first time doing mile repeats (spoiler alert: it was a bust)

Friday.  Finally, right?!  I had no intentions of posting today but here I am.  HI!  Phaedra prescribed mile repeats for me to do yesterday but I chose sleep over running because that’s just what the body wants sometimes, okay?  I woke up at 4:30 this morning to get the workout done and let’s just say it didn’t really go the way I wanted it to.

First off, after I got dressed I turned around and saw this guy:



It’s pretty hard to get out of a warm bed with your puppy sleeping next to you.  Sorry Princeton.

I’m lucky I have a treadmill at home so I didn’t have to venture out to the gym.  Just grabbed some Vega Pre-Workout Energizer and made my way to the basement.  My workout was supposed to be:

1 mile warm up
4 x 1 mile repeats (with 2:00 rest)
1 mile cool down

The warm up went GREAT.  Haha.  Thinking positively here.  Once I got started on the speed part though….things got a bit rough.  I was supposed to hold a 6:45-6:50 pace for my repeats so I set the treadmill at 6:49 for my first one and got through it.  Barely.  My 2:00 break became a 3:00 break but that’s fine.  I was okay with it.  I love breaks.  The remaining three repeats were a HUGE struggle for me.  I think I quit mentally a little too early.  I knew my legs could keep going but my mind was just like “who in their right mind runs this fast?”  I jumped on the side rails more often than I should have for “water breaks” aka “get your shit together” breaks.  I even kept re-reading this message and still couldn’t find it in me to push through without breaks.


I finished, but it wasn’t a true mile repeat workout.  I still ran faster than I usually do and it was challenging even with all the little breaks…so it wasn’t a total let down.  I’m still a bit disappointed in myself because I let my thoughts get to me and gave up even though I know what my body is capable of.

At least I kind of know what mile repeats feel like now and I can do a better job at mentally preparing myself for the next time!!!

Today’s reading material:


Has anyone read it??  Michelle gave it to me last year and I still haven’t read it!

I brought my grandmother’s homemade gnocchi for lunch to work today AND I’m done at 1:30…so I’d say my day is already looking up!!

Have an amazing Friday and weekend!!

Thinking Out Loud (about food) #42

I’m on a roll this week, eh?  Today is my fourth consecutive day of blogging.  This hasn’t happened in a while…guess I had a lot to say!  WELL, today is Thinking Out Loud Thursday and I definitely couldn’t pass up the chance to participate.


For some reason, every thought has to do with food today.  Maybe because I’m hungry as I’m typing this?  Or maybe I just like food.

1.  I got these at my doorstep yesterday and they may in fact be too cute to eat.


Love Grown Foods just released it’s very first limited edition box of Power O’s (or in this case, Love O’s).  The cereal is shaped as tiny little hearts and is a mix of their chocolate and strawberry flavours.  Boxes are available exclusively at Dillons, Kroger, Fry’s, and King Soopers (all American chains, sorry fellow Canadians).



I sure hope this is the case in Canada too.  A coconut milk latte sounds pretty heavenly.

3.  NEED:


I anticipate these being extremely delicious.  Now I need to figure out where they sell such a thing.

4.  My new favourite crackers from Costco:


Seriously.  These are better than Mary’s Crackers.  No weird ingredients and SO, SO tasty.  Crazy how they are making gluten-free products that don’t taste like cardboard these days.

5.  Vega recently released these two new Vega One flavours:

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Coconut Almond and Mocha!!!  Mind = blown.  I just got them in the mail yesterday and holy smokes.  Getting 20 grams of protein has never been easier.  I do find them a tad on the sweet side so I just add a little extra almond milk.

6.  I tried Daiya pizza for the first time last weekend after my traumatic long run.

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It looks super weird when it’s cooked.  It’s almost as though the Daiya cheese doesn’t melt.  I must say though, it’s a pretty decent pizza.  It doesn’t beat homemade (aka real cheese and non gluten-free crust) but it definitely agreed with my stomach a lot better.  The only negatives: it’s expensive ($10/pizza but I picked it up on sale for $6.99) and it’s SO small.  I couldn’t eat the whole thing but still – for what you pay, I think it should be a bit bigger.  I cooked it in my toaster oven – that’s how small it was!

7.  I saw these at the store yesterday and couldn’t decide which to try first so I didn’t buy either.  Does that ever happen to anyone?  I guess the other solution could have been to buy BOTH…?


8.  Today is world Nutella day!!  I know Jess will be particularly happy about this.

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9.  I have been craving Indian food like WHOA so I’ve made big plans for my Friday night this week.  Dal Pakora Roti from Roti Cuisine of India (if you’re from Toronto and love Indian food, try this place out!) and binge watching the new season of BROADCHURCH.  Can it be tomorrow yet?!

Have a great day!!!!!!