Marathon Monday: MEC 10K race recap

Happy Monday!  What a whirlwind of a weekend.

Holy.  Smokes.

Yesterday I ran a small 10K race here in Toronto so let’s recap it for this week’s Marathon Monday!

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I signed up for the race after I had a killer tempo run one day and felt like I was ready to set a new PR.  I did all of the calculations the night before the race and realized that it probably wouldn’t be possible just yet. With my leg pain being on and off (yeah, it came back), I knew I wouldn’t be able to hit the pace I needed to in order to get my sub-45 (7:15′s).  Instead, I went and decided to have a good time and challenge myself to run a consistent race.  I always go out too fast so I tested myself to try to conserve some energy and hold my pace for the duration of the race.  That didn’t really work out as well as I hoped but it could have been worse!

Here’s what went down:

2.5 mile warm-up: “My leg hurts.  This is not going to be a good race.  And it’s windy.  Let’s just get this over with so I can go eat a burrito.”

At the start line: “Why is nobody inching their way to the front of the pack like they do at other races?  This is weird.”

Mile 1 (7:21): “I’m first female!  I went out with all the boys!  I think there are about 10-15 guys ahead of me and THAT’S IT.  I love small races!  I feel strong.”

Mile 2 (7:38): “Damn it.  A girl passed me.  Now I’m second female but I’m okay with that.  Imagine I finish this race and win second overall female??  How cool would that be?!  There are rocks everywhere.  I’m running on gravel.  I did not sign up for a trail race.  Oh no.  Now they’re in my shoes.  ROCKS IN MY SHOES.  Q!  Hi Q!  [gives Q high five]  Britt!  Hi Britt!  I love seeing my friends while I’m running.  This is probably the only thing I like about an out-and-back course.”

Mile 3 (7:41): “SHIT.  Now two girls who are running together passed me, putting me in fourth.  Why did they have to be running together?  If it was just one girl I could have still been in the top three!  I’ll keep them in sight and then try to pass them in the last mile.  Damn you girls.  I’m also starting to get really hot.  Need. Water. Now.”

Mile 4 (7:44): “Lost those two girls.  No top three finish today.  Let’s find someone to pace me because I’m starting to get tired.  Hey there’s a girl in Speed Shorts!  She looks fast.  Just focus on her bright blue shorts and don’t let her get too far ahead of you.”

Mile 5 (7:42): “Okay time to pass Speed Shorts girl.  I can run faster than her.  Hey there’s Q again!  HIIIII!!!!!  [receives much-needed motivational words from Q]  Britt!  Woooo look at her go!  Girl is a tank.  I wanna be a tank.  Is this over yet or what?”

Mile 6 (7:36): “The last mile.  Finally.  I wonder what happened to Speed Shorts girl.  Stop thinking about her.  Try and catch up to the guy in the lime green shorts.  Why is he wearing LIME GREEN shorts?  Who cares.  Catch him.  Yeah, that’s not happening.  He’s too fast.  How about those two girls I was supposed to pass???  What the heck happened to them?  Ok let’s just focus on finishing this thing.”

The last 0.22: “Less than a quarter of a mile!  I can’t wait for this thing to be done.  Thank goodness I’m not running a full marathon this season. [looks at watch] Definitely not close to my PR but hey, I’m going to finish!  Wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.  I SEE THE FINISH LINE!!!  Run run run run ruuuuuunnnnnnnnn!”

Time: 47:38 (7:37 average)

0.5 mile cool-down 

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I did end up finishing fourth female and 17th overall (it was a VERY small race).  All of my friends ran the half marathon like a bunch of rockstars.  Brittany (on the left) was FIRST female in the half marathon and she did that after running 14km/8.75 miles before the race (she’s training for her first full).  Q (on the right) also did the crazy 14km + a half marathon and finished in a ridiculous time but we don’t know where he officially stands because he accidentally crossed over the timing mat at 10K so his half time didn’t get registered.  Ahahaha.

We topped our afternoon off with some fully loaded (and hella spicy) burritos from Burrito Boyz.

Running + friends + burritos = perfection.

Congrats to everyone who raced yesterday.  I know there was a lot going on in the US (hi Ventura marathon peeps!) and hope all your races went well!!

Vega Giveaway Winner!

It’s FRIDAYYYYY!  I wasn’t going to post today but then I realized that I haven’t posted the winner of my Vega Giveaway yet!  Soooo….

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Congrats, Madison!!

Please email me at theathletarian@gmail.com with your address and we will send your goodies on over!!

Hope you all have a great weekend!  I have a busy few days ahead of me and my 10K race on Sunday so I probably won’t be back until after I cross that finish line.  Pray for me!

Thinking Out Loud #31

It’s that time again…..!

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Happy Thinking Out Loud Thursday!

1.  I went back to work today for the first time in over two months.  Holy shock to the system.  I’m not going to complain about work though because not a lot of professions grant you with a couple of summer months to do whatever you please!  It was nice to see all of my colleagues and students again too.  To those of you who asked – I am a substitute teacher but kind of situated in one school.  I fell in love with a particular high school and became really close with a lot of the teachers as well as the administration so I am lucky enough to work at the same place nearly every day.  Sometimes I take on multiple day/week assignments for teachers too.  It works for me right now and gives me a lot of flexibility and time to work on the blog/do other things that I love! :)

2.  I didn’t bring any food to work today (I was only supposed to work half a day but it got changed at the last minute) so I went out for ROTI on my lunch.  I ordered a channa and potato roti as well as doubles.  Oh. my. woooooord.

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The doubles were better than the ones I had when I was in Trinidad.  No lie.  The bread was lightly crispy but pillowy and fluffy at the same time if that makes any sense…and it’s filled with curried chickpeas.  They don’t make for great photos, especially when you eat in the car but man they’re delicious.  There’s just something about fried carbs, am I right?

3.  I’m going to see WICKED this weekend!!!  My cousin got me tickets for my birthday.  Has anyone seen it???

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The last musical I saw was Aladdin and I absolutely loved it so I’m pretty pumped for this.

4.  Who else gets weekly Lululemon updates and fell in love with the oh-so-Canadian Scuba hoodie (far right) in this week’s “hi we are here to take all of your money” email?

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Well when Danielle saw it and tried to buy one it was immediately SOLD OUT.  Lululemon people are cray (including us, I guess).  Anyway, the amazing friend ;) that I am scurried on over to the mall when I heard about her predicament (there is no Lulu near her) and BAM.  The store just got them in.  So I bought three – one for her, her friend, and myself.  Because I really need another hoodie in my life. #YOLO (<- do people eve say that anymore?)

5.  Speaking of apparel, these are my new current favourite jeans:

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Let’s also note that I do not wear crop tops – I just hiked my shirt up because I was texting my cousin photos and needed help choosing between two sizes.  I thought the ones in the above photo were too tight but she told me to get them because they stretch.  Let’s hope she’s right because they currently make me feel like a stuffed sausage.  They are from American Eagle in case you’re wondering.  I used to be one of those people who happily spent $200+ on jeans but those days are over.  AE jeans fit me better than any other brand I have owned and my wallet appreciates the $60 price tag a lot more.

6. A few people have posted this article from Buzzfeed on Facebook entitled 18 Things You Can Only Get Away With In Toronto and I just about died when I saw this guy because I actually gave him $20 last winter when I saw him in a subway station sitting with his cute dog.

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NOW HE’S FAMOUS!  I asked him what he’d do if I gave him money and the first thing he said was “buy food for my dog” so my heart kind of melted and I had faith that he would spend it on the right things.  I hope he did.

7.  I like to creep on my dog when he’s sleeping and get pretty dirty looks in return.

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8.  Someone else tell me they’re not too impressed with Costco already having their Christmas stuff out.  The thought of snow and below zero temps makes me want to die a little.  It’s even worse that I’m going to have to train through that weather again if I’m running Phoenix next February.

9.  If you need a laugh…

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Seriously though.  Dead.

10.  Speaking of oats, I think I might have some of dinner.  Is that weird or what?  Gotta satisfy those random cravings, right?  I’ve just got to make sure that I have some bewitched pecan butter in the fridge… ;)

Hope you all had a great day!

WIAW: I will eat it until it’s GONE!

Happy What I ate Wednesday!

Quick post today – got lots of “fall cleaning” to get to today!  Switching over wardrobes is a pain in the butt.  All my bright, colourful summer apparel changes to all things black, grey and navy for fall.  I’ve got tons of stuff to donate too.  I got into one of those crazy purge-all-the-things moods last night and nothing will stop me until I’m done!

Here are yesterday’s eats!

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Breakfast: smoothie made with almond milk, frozen mixed berries and Vega Sport Performance Protein in chocolate

Lunch: black bean burger (recipe from the Oh She Glows Cookbook) with a side or potato and corn salad

Snack: SkinnyPop

Dinner: mashed avocado on rye and a white peach (boring but I didn’t feel like cooking)

Dessert: a slice of my mocha almond fudge birthday ice cream cake that was leftover from Monday!

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This photo was taken on Monday night when I was having my second slice.  The plate (as well as the bowl that the popcorn is in) were both from my aunt and I am obsessed with them.  She knows about my love affair with Tiffany & Co. so the colour of these was spot on.  ANYWAY, the cake (which was from Baskin Robbins) is one of the only cakes I will actually have (I hate “spongy” cakes and find whipped cream revolting) so I will eat it until it’s gone.  There are a few slices left! ;)

Hope you have a great day!  Make sure to eat something delicious today!

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!!!