WIAW: some days are just meant to go like this

Wednesday already.  It’s also day five of no running and I must say that I’ve had enough of this little thing called “rest”.  My leg is feeling a bit better and I am going to attempt a run tomorrow and see how it goes.  Cross your fingers for me!  Now before we get into the WIAW fun, let’s talk a little bit of business.

1.  Last week I shared some fun promos/giveaways that were going on and there are two more that I want to tell you about.  Heather from Thought Blossoms is offering free shipping until August 22 with the code SUMMERSHIP.  I have a few of her pieces and love them.  I’ve got two of her active bracelets that I’m obsessed with and wear the “Just Run/YFGT (<- you’ve freaking got this)” one to all of my races.  The circle necklace you see in my sidebar picture is also from Thought Blossoms.  I guess you can say I kind of like Heather and the things she makes! ;)


2.  Mizuno Canada is giving away an Impermalite Performance Shell Jacket on their Facebook page.  All you have to do is comment on the photo of Michelle Clarke wearing the jacket for your chance to win.  Easy peasy.  I have one of the jackets and love it, especially for fall weather.

3.  SeaWheeze needs VOLUNTEERS.  My friend Alejandra is working in Vancouver right now busting her booty to organize this race.  They are looking for race marshals so if you want to be part of the fun, email me at theathletarian@gmail.com and I’ll forward your info to the Lululemon peeps.

Okay now let’s talk food aka WIAW.

I said I was going to get back into food prep mode and treat my body a little better even though eating anything kind of makes me feel like I’m going to die these days, healthy or not.  Yesterday I started off with the Morning Glory Smoothie from the OSG Cookbook and it came out amazing.  Off to a good start, right?


Snack time came around and I’ve been loving the OSG Chia Power Muffins (which were supposed to be donuts but I don’t have a donut pan yet).  I either eat them plain or with a smudge of Earth Balance.  They are dense, super tasty and keep me going until lunch time.

chia muffin

Now if you ever just make one thing from the OSG cookbook please let it be the Perfected Chickpea Salad (I know I’m mentioning this book a lot but I swear I’m not getting paid to do so, nor do I know Angela personally…I just really love her recipes).  Guys.  THIS RECIPE.  I can’t even.  It is so flavourful and easy to make (does involve a bit of chopping though).  I made a huge batch on Sunday and it was already done by yesterday.  I was literally eating it by the spoonful every time I opened the fridge.  Put it on toasted pumpernickel and oh em gee.  Tastebud heaven.  A side of baked sweet potato fries always makes things extra delicious, yes?


Edited to add: the chickpea salad recipe calls for vegan mayo but I used hummus instead and it worked out great.  I also omitted the garlic (hummus had enough garlic flavour) and the dill (which was optional).

Okay so you see how healthy I was all day?  It kind of went downhill from the late afternoon onward but some days are just meant to go like this, right?  I went downtown to try out the infamous Bang Bang Ice Cream Bakery and oh my word.  If you are from Toronto you must stop everything you are doing and go right this instant because…


That you see there is cinnamon toast ice cream sandwiched between a peanut butter cookie.  They have so many different ice cream and cookie flavours which is kind of overwhelming but just gives you an excuse to eat more than one (not that I did that or anything…) or go back every day until you try them all.  The lineup is usually insane on weeknights or weekends but if you go in the middle of a weekday, you’re good.  Now go.

I was supposed to go to a movie with my cousins at night but it didn’t work out so we just stayed in and ordered a pizza instead.  I’m sure you all know what takeout pizza looks like so I’ll spare your eyes from looking at yet another picture of pizza on here.

I’d say it was a good day.  A lot of morning nutrients, a lot of afternoon and evening fun.

Hope you have a great day!

When you can’t run…

…you spend a lot of time eating and hanging out with your dog.

I am dealing with a minor injury at the moment and don’t really know what it is just yet.  After last week’s tempo run that left me high as a freaking kite, running hasn’t felt the same.  I went out on Wednesday for a quick five miles before meeting up with my friend for a fitbox class and things felt a bit “off”.  I pushed through and thought it was just a sore quad muscle.  Tried running a 10K on Friday and still felt some pain, which kind of went away after about 15-20 minutes, but fired up again once I stopped.  It even hurts to put my weight on my leg while walking.  I’m a bit bummed out because I’m supposed to be running a 15K next weekend and then the SeaWheeze half in two weeks.  Hopefully a few more days of rest will get me back up and running.  I’m just a bit disappointed because things were going so well on the running front lately but I only have myself to blame since I’ve neglected both cross training and lifting weights over the last few weeks.  Lesson learned.

Anyway, here are some scenes from the weekend!  I may not be able to run but I found other ways to keep myself busy and happy.



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I think it’s safe to say that some delicious things were eaten this weekend.

Hope you had a good one!  I’m off to ice and foam roll…


I have been making a mental list for quite a while now of all the things I have seen on IG/blogs/Facebook that are up for giveaway/promo and thought I’d just round everything up today in case anyone is interested!


1.  You can still get 10% off your registration for the Phoenix Half/Full Marathon by entering XTINA10 at checkout.

2.  Pavement Runner has brought back his RUN ALL DAY and #runner shirts!  He is taking preorders for the next two months and will be shipping them out in November.  P.S.  Princeton got his hair did.


3.  Pro Compression has a new Sock of the Month!

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How cool are they?!  You can get 40% off the new SOM by entering COOL at checkout and there is also free shipping on all US orders (Canadians – it’s $7 for shipping).

4.  Hungry Runner Girl is having an OAKLEY sunglasses giveaway (ends 08/9/14).

5.  Running Southern is having a PRO COMPRESSION dress sock giveaway – yeah they make dress socks too! (ends 08/13/14).

6.  Fun Fit Girl is having a FAVORITE THINGS giveaway including the following brands (ends 08/29/14):

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7.  My friend The Silent Assassin (I know his name is scary but he’s actually really nice) is having TWO giveaways.  One features Momentum and you have a choice of either a wrap bracelet or footnotes (ends TONIGHT at midnight – enter here).

I actually have my very own wrap bracelet and love it! ;)

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…and he is also giving away TWO $50 gift cards to InkNBurn.  Check him out in his shnazzy gear and enter here (ends 08/15/14).

8.  Stuft Mama is having an iFit Active Band giveaway which tracks your net calories, nutrition and sleep – I WANT ONE! (ends 08/12/14).

9.  Crazy Running Girl is giving away an I Am Funny Shirt and I kind of NEED this one (ends 08/16/14):

baby got track

10.  Carlee over at Be The Change is giving away a ROAD I.D.  I got one years ago and love it.  It’s soooo important to have some sort of identification on you when you are running.  Anything can happen (*knock on wood*) and it’s always better to be safe.  AMIRIGHTORAMIRIGHT? (ends 08/14/14)

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THAT’S ALL FOLKS!  Good luck to all of you who decide to enter the giveaways and have yourselves a HAPPY FRIDAY!

What I have NOT been eating.

I briefly mentioned in my last post that I have been doing a pretty lame job when it comes to eating these days.  It’s summer and that means eat all the fun foods.  But then fall comes and all the pumpkin spice goodies are around…and then Christmas comes and all the peppermint chocolate goodness is thrown in your face…and just when you think NEW YEAR NEW ME…BAM!  Valentines Day.  Easter.  And then what do you know?  Summer is back.  It’s a vicious cycle.  These damn seasons and holidays are so sneaky…

ANYWAY, with that being said, eating like an idiot really has a negative affect on my training.  DUH.  Not in an omg-I’m-gonna-gain-weight-and-be-slow kind of way but more in an omg-my-legs-are-on-fire-and-I’m-gonna-barf kinda way.  Tuesday was an exception and only the Lord know how I was able to pull off that tempo run.


7 miles @ 7:50 average – 9:19 (warm up), 7:45, 7:38, 7:30, 7:21, 7:05, 8:14 (cool down).

I ate about six pounds of Pad Thai the night before so I’m not really sure how the heck I didn’t have any stomach issues but I’m not complaining.  It felt good to see those numbers.

To get out of this greasy not-so-good-for-me food rut, I’ve enlisted the help of a few of my favourite cookbooks: The Oh She Glows Cookbook and the Thrive Energy Cookbook.


I have NOT been eating many veggies lately (hangs head in shame…) so I leaned towards super plant-heavy recipes.  I got to work and made a grocery list last night and I’m off to stock up on some goods today.  Thursday meal prep is about to go down.

I think a big part of the problem lately has had a lot to do with my loss of excitement towards food/eating.  I rarely look forward to meals and just force myself to eat because I know I have to.  To top it off, the stomach issues I’ve been having cause me a lot of stress and no matter what I eat, my body reacts poorly (I have a follow-up appointment on the 11th which will hopefully lead to some answers).  I could eat a plate of raw veggies or an entire cheese pizza and it’s like my body rejects food no matter what.  So I’ve felt like what’s the point?  If I’m going to feel gross either way then I might as well just eat whatever.  I know it’s a horrible mindset to have and I should be taking care of my body but I’m just being honest.  That’s been my thought process lately but I’m finally over it and ready to make some better choices.

I’m excited to get cooking!  I’ll let you know how things turn out! ;)

Marathon Monday: staying cool

It was a long weekend here which means just about every single person I know was at some sort of cottage over the last few days.  And I wasn’t.  It’s fine though because they all have to go back to work today and I don’t.  HAH.  I shouldn’t tease though because September will be here soon enough and it’ll be back to the grind for me too.

It was also Marathon Monday yesterday (or currently half marathon Monday since my fall marathon is sort of up in the air).


Last week’s training went a little something like this:

Monday: OFF

Tuesday: 6.2 mile tempo @ 7:49 avg.

Wednesday: OFF

Thursday: 6.2 miles @ 8:28 avg.

Friday: 7 miles @ 8:43 avg.

Saturday: 30 minutes stairmill + strength training

Sunday: 10 miles @ 8:32 avg.

Last week felt a little bit “off” after my Tuesday Tempo for some reason.  I just didn’t feel like I was having any strong runs after that and found I was getting tired a lot quicker than normal.  This week I’m going to focus on dialling in on my nutrition a little better because I think that was a part of the problem.  I went for Mexican last week and had a pizza/ice cream cake party, ate a bag of corn chips with salsa, and who knows what else.  I’m just going to take it easy (but I am going for Mexican again tomorrow to the same place wooooooooo!) and give my body the real, whole foods it needs to recover in between workouts.

Speaking of real food…who doesn’t love something COLD and REFRESHING after a hot and humid run?!  Lately that’s all I’ve been able to think about since we’ve been experiencing quite the heat wave.  As soon as I get in, I find myself opening the freezer looking for something to cool me off.

Enter ZICO-pops!

A while back the sweet people over at Zico Canada sent me over a fun summer package with coconut water, popsicle and ice cube molds.  Who doesn’t love popsicles in the summer?


I decided to blend my bottle of chocolate-flavoured Zico with two frozen bananas to create the ultimate post-run electrolyte-replenishing and potassium-rich (not to mention delicious) frozen treat.  Chocolate banana ZICO-pops! :)


So healthy, easy to make, and gives me something to look forward to eating post-run!

*You can use any brand of coconut water and if you can’t find Zico in chocolate, you can always just use the original and add cocoa power, dark chocolate or cacao nibs to add a chocolatey flavour!

**One bottle of Zico and two bananas made six popsicles.

Sometimes I add coffee to the mix and it’s reeeeeeally tasty and next on my list is a coconut/mixed berry version.  YUM.

Hope your week is off to a great start!

I can’t really complain

What a weekend.  I wasn’t planning on coming back until tomorrow with a Marathon Monday post but I just thought I’d share some photos from the weekend.  Just pretend like you care, okay?  I mentioned on Friday that we had a random hail storm.  In August.  Completely normal.  It was my cousin’s birthday and we were supposed to go out to celebrate but we opted for a lazy night in with lots of food and laughs.  I tend to prefer those kind of nights anyway so I can’t really complain.

We ordered pizza…


Utilized my self-timer…


And spoiled the birthday girl with gifts and hugs…


I got home at almost 2am which hasn’t happened in quite sometime.  I’m turning into quite the party animal.  WATCH OUT.

I was feeling a bit lethargic when I woke up on Saturday and had a bellyache from all the pizza (and ice cream cake) but I somehow managed to drag myself to the gym.  It’s the last place I wanted to be but I told myself it would make me feel better.  I’m also trying to get myself back into strength training even though I dread it these days.  I know I need to do it a couple times a week in order to stay injury-free so I just kept telling myself if I want to be a strong runner I need to build strong muscles.  It worked.  Kinda.

30 minutes on the stairmill and an upper body strength session.


You could say I got a bit sweaty! ;)

For some reason I was in a bit of a weird mood for the rest of the day and thought a solo trip downtown would be a good idea to get me back to normal.  I had big plans of exploring new places, taking pictures, and trying something new for dinner…but as soon as I got down there I changed my mind and went back home.  Maybe it was just too busy for me?  It was Caribana weekend here and it was nuts everywhere in the city.

ANYWAY, I tried to wake up in a better mood today and tackled a longish run.  I anticipated going about 12 miles but I stopped at 10 for no other reason than being hot and tired.  Lame, I know.  I could have gone longer but I just wanted to get home and drink 17 glasses of water and take a really long shower.  I made up those extra miles by taking Princeton on a couple of walks though.


He’s gotten a bit weird when it comes to walking these days.  Ever since he heard fireworks on Victoria Day, any loud noise freaks him out and he refuses to walk any further.  And I mean he literally sits down and the only way to get him home is to drag him or carry him, both of which I hate doing.  Carrying him always wins but that makes him a spoiled brat and it makes me a sweltering hot mess.  HELP ME.

That’s it for now.  SEE YA TOMORROW.

Thinking Out Loud #27


Thinking.  Out.  Loud. Thursday Friday.


Let’s hop to it!

1.  I had every intention of writing up a WIAW post this week.  I started my day [Tuesday] photographing a delicious smoothie for breakfast, an avocado/tomato/hummus sandwich for lunch….and then things got out of hand.  I spend the rest of the day snacking on spoonfuls of Justin’s maple almond butter, handfuls of popcorn, watermelon, carrots with hummus, and probably about 13 other things I’m forgetting.  That’s just how some days go around here!

2.  I was thinking about my goals for this year and one of them was to run 14 races.  We are more than halfway through the year now and I’ve run six races so far.  I have SeaWheeze coming up next month and I just signed myself up for the Midsummer Night Run (15K), MEC 10K and the Toronto 10-miler.  I’m also supposed to be running the Chicago Marathon this fall but may be switching to the Toronto Marathon instead (they are only a week apart)…  I will have to see what works budget-wise as we get closer to the date.  Anyway, if all goes well that will bring me up to 11 races by October and then I should be able to find three more to squeeze in before the year ends!  So much work.  I don’t know how you people who run a marathon a month do it!

3.  Speaking of marathons — I know if mentioned it before but I’m planning on running Phoenix in 2015.  It will be my first *real* attempt at a BQ.  It is honestly the fastest course ever – all flat/downhill.  If I’m ever to BQ, I’m pretty sure Phoenix is the only race I will ever even stand a chance.  If you guys want to come join the party and eat Cafe Rio both pre- and post-race like I plan on doing, you can use the code XTINA10 to get 10% off your registration.

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Training through the winter and losing toenails was 100% worth it.

4.  I can’t remember who posted this but I saw it on Facebook the other day and saved it.  The World’s Most Dangerous Foods For Dogs:

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I knew about raisins, onions, garlic, grapes, and chocolate but had no idea about all the others.  So if you have a dog, take note!!

5.  I went for dinner last night with one of my girlfriends and holy. cow.  If you live in Toronto you must, and I repeat must try La Carnita on College Street.  It was by far the best Mexican food I’ve ever had.


It was pretty dark in the restaurant so my photos are quite horrible but you get the idea.  We started with tortilla chips and guacamole as well as Mexican street corn (<– life-changing), had tacos for our main (I order the ‘crispy cotija’ which was crispy cheese, cauliflower, pinto beans, pickled carrots, and chipotle sauce), and we finished with an order of churros (unpictured) and paletas.  Paletas are basically ice cream bars and they make them in-house with the flavours varying daily.  We both got the chocolate peanut butter and it was to die for.  It was sort of like a chocolate fudgesicle with salty peanuts all over.  Also known as heaven.  Anyway if you live here or if you’re visiting…GO TO LA CARNITA.  You may have to wait a little to get in but it’s worth it.  Trust me.

6.  If you follow a lot of fitness accounts in Instagram, you’ve probably already heard of the “blendicano” – a drink @mshelllll created and has got everyone hopped up on.  I kept seeing it over and over again so I finally bit the bullet and got one today while I was at the mall doing some shopping.


If you ask for a blendicano, the barista probably won’t know what you are talking about.  To order the drink you ask for four shots of espresso blended with a vent cup of ice and sugar-free vanilla syrup (or any other syrup).  I’m not a regular coffee drinker so this was insanely strong for me.  I could barely even taste the vanilla because the coffee was so strong and by the time I got home I had a headache.  Sooo let’s just say I won’t be ordering that again.  If you like coffee and want a filling drink with no calories then maybe you will like it…

7.  Just a casual hail storm in August….


8. …which kind of affected plans tonight.  It’s my cousin’s birthday and we were planning on going out to a restaurant to celebrate but that is definitely not happening.  I think we’ve decided on a night in with lots of take out and stretchy pants instead.  My kinda party! ;)

I hope you all have a great weekend!  I’ll be back Monday for a new Marathon Monday post (finally)!