Weekend Round Up – Races and Food

This past weekend was a bit nutty but much appreciated after a week of being quarantined to the couch.  I get a little restless after being sick for two long, it seems that every time I come down with something I expect to be healed and healthy within max two days of getting sick, unfortunately that is not always the case.  But I digress, after a week of not socializing, running, going to the gym, and yoga I was more than happy to dive back in Friday.

My Friday evening gym session wasn’t as successful as I had hoped I was happy that I at least gave it a go.  Even though it wasn’t the best gym day I was proud of myself for respecting my body and going a little easy on myself despite my ego wanting to do more.  After the gym and some studying I was stoked to get ready to hang out with a girlfriend of mine. We haven’t had too much one on one time in the past couple of months so we booked a sushi date. It was so nice to get to sit down in a quiet space and just chat without all the distractions of entertaining, children, other friends etc. It was nice mellow little Friday evening.

Saturday started bright and early, I headed off to the gym the second it opened and then over to a friend’s house to help them with their own workouts.   After wrapping up all my gym time I headed over to pick up Susan so we could grab our race kits.  We headed off to the Running Room to pick up our CIBC Run for the Cure race packages and then over to the Aviation Museum to get our Fall Colours Half Marathon package.   The only blip here was that apparently the pick up location for the half marathon had changed without notice, so after a bit of a frustrating afternoon we were able to figure everything out and will be attempting (hopefully succeeding) at picking up our half kits next week before the race.   After the running around had been completed I sequestered myself in a room and hit the books again (my Personal Training exam is coming up this week).

run for the cureSunday was another early day,  with the Run for the Cure starting at 9:30am Susan and I wanted to be sure to hit up the farmer’s market before hand, so we headed off to do some groceries right as the market opened. Quickly dropping off our food we then headed over to the start line and started getting pumped up.  The Run for the Cure is always such a fun run full of families, school groups, teens and kids and has some of the best cheering sections I have ever had the opportunity to be cheered by.  Although the run is a fun run and fundraiser Susan and I always want to do better than the year before and this year we definitely did a good job running our 5k in under 30minutes which felt pretty great.  finish so quickly also meant we were lucky enough to beat the rain, which just made everything all the better.

brunchAfter our race we decided to treat ourselves to a nice brunch at Gezellig which was absolutely delicious. It is always nice to treat yourself to a nice little outing with a friend. After brunch it was back to my study room for another couple hours of information digestion before setting up to work on my meal prep for the week.

meal prepAs usual my meal prep starts days before the actual cooking.  I always start by looking through old and new recipes, what is in the fridge and what will be in the fridge.  Normally I pick one type of protein and just go with it for the week, come Fridays I just suck it up and eat the chicken for the millionth time that week.  This week however  I wanted to try something new out and see if it actually tacks on more time to cook up multiple choices.   Short answer “no” cooking more than one type of protein did not increase my meal prep time.  The oven was already on so adding a different type of protein to the mix didn’t drastically change the time I required to make my meals.

With my half marathon this coming weekend I wanted to make sure to have a good mix of healthy complex carbs, loads of veggies and some lean healthy protein.  So I went with  tilapia and salmon, sweet potatoes and brussel sprouts from the farmers market, and a new and delicious fall style quinoa salad (I will likely share the recipe on Friday).  After making all my tasty lunches for the week I turned to our left over turkey from the Feast and made my husband some turkey pot pies for while I am away at Yoga Teacher Training next month.

About 3/4th of the way through my meal prep I thought I should have taken pictures of what my kitchen actually looks like while I am cooking and making up multiple meals, so I will do my best next week to show you what type of disaster zone is created while I am making my meals.

foodSurprisingly all of this took less than 2.5 hours, which I guess might sound like a long time but for three different types of meals and a boat load of quinoa salad and the majority of my meals taken care of for the rest of the week 2.5hours is nothing.

After finishing up meal prep and studying for the day I anchored myself to a couch and watched some Parks and Rec before heading off to bed.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and Happy Monday!

Feelin’ the Burn

Feeling a little hardcore yesterday my running buddy and I challenged each other to a treadmill running contest.  Basically just setting the treadmills for a 5k run and then seeing who could finish first.  We found out we are equally fast, I guess that is what happens when you train together.  Even though we tied it was nice to have that little extra competition to keep things interesting seeing the transition from outdoors to treadmill can be a little mind numbing.  After the run it was time for me to head on over to my personal training session to see what was in store for me.

So I have decided that I totally lack any semblance of coordination.  It is almost embarrassing how much I have to think of what I am doing when some coordination is involved.  What am I talking about? I am talking about this blasted ladder thing.  Actually it is called an agility ladder, I believe, and goodness for some plastic sticks and ribbon rope it feels next to impossible.

agility ladder

I think my problem is that as the name implies the exercises one would do with the agility ladder requires well agility.  Unfortunately for me it is something I am definitely lacking, I mean I own cats I don’t poses cat like traits.   All of that to say, I am pretty good at jumping in and out, the move is fairly reminiscent of hopscotch so basically my childhood prepared me for this move. I am sure I will eventually get better at it, but for now the bright yellow sticks of the agility ladder is just a touch intimidating.

Besides the dreaded agility ladder, which let’s face it really isn’t even that bad, I was so full of energy for my personal training session.   I felt like I was bouncing off the walls which probably didn’t help for my concentration levels, I felt a little all over the place, but at the same time I was so excited to be moving and sweating.  The hour session flew by and was over before I knew it; it felt almost as though it had gone by too quickly.

Have any of you ever found that time goes by too quickly sometimes when you are in a fitness class, or in some sort of training?

Happy Thursday everyone! Hope you are all bundled up today!

Weekend Recap

This weekend seemed to go by so fast despite it being a long weekend for myself. It started off with some house cleaning and tea with a girlfriend followed by finishing off the couch to 5k app with my running buddy. This might not sound like the biggest accomplishment out there but after my knee cap popping out of place it was one of my biggest running rehab moments. It was also the first time the two of us actually finished the running app which in itself was extremely satisfying.

Saturday instead of starting our morning off with some hill training, we both took the day off to relax our legs seeing how we had our Run for the Cure race on Sunday.  After a nice relaxing Saturday afternoon which consisted of lounging around, watching movies and coffee with a girlfriend, I was pumped and ready to go Sunday morning.

This year the Run for the Cure’s route was a bit different than normal.  Although the path itself was the same the starting and finishing points were in another are of town.  The change was nice except for the fact that the overall space at the starting line seemed smaller, that or there were just that many more people participating in the run this year.  Once the race started it took about two minutes to get across the actual starting line but then once we did we were ready to tear it up.

run for the cure collageThe overwhelming number of people made for a slow start to the race but eventually after playing some race frogger the crowd thinned out and we hit our stride.  I had wanted to take some pictures of the wonderful costumes, pink wigs and wings, and all the adorable little kids why by the way were kicking my butt, but unfortunately it was raining and I was way too paranoid to take it out for free of water damage.

Once the race was done we headed out for some celebratory brunch to warm up and congratulate ourselves for sticking to our training for the past two months.  Although our time  wasn’t what we had hoped for we did still manage to shave two minutes off of our time from last year coming in at 32 minutes.  We had both wanted it to be 30 minutes or less (and while training we were consistently achieving this) I think 32 minutes in the cold rain surrounded by a minimum of 10 thousand people was a pretty great time!

The rest of my weekend was pretty standard ending with my weekly visit to the farmers market, and then hibernating for the rest of the day due to rain.

I hope everyone had a glorious weekend! Happy Monday. 

Weekend Art and Colourful Runs

This past weekend was amazing! One of those busy weekends that you just don’t want to end.

The weekend started off bright and early on Saturday with the colour vibe run. Which despite being horribly unorganized and the race package not containing items which the website had promised the run itself was loads of fun.
run collage

My girlfriend Rachelle and her husband Jeff came out to support myself and my running buddy, which was completely amazing considering it was cold windy and raining and I probably wouldn’t have been outside if I wasn’t running. They were seriously troopers, who also somehow became colour volunteers, getting to throw handfuls of dyed powder at participants as they ran through the “colour zones”. Rachelle graciously took photos of my running partner Susan and myself so we could remember the event. So a huge thank you for the amazing running photos.
colour runAfter the race and getting off some of the caked on colour, the orange and yellow were impossible, thank goodness I didn’t get those colours on my face, it was time to get the day started as my husband and I had some birthday celebrations to partake in. It was a nice intimate wine and cheese, if you ask me it was the perfect way to celebrate a good friend’s birth. Then it was time for some artistic exploration of the city.
nuit blancheThis year marked Ottawa’s first ever Nuit Blanche. With art set up all throughout the Hintonburg and Byward Market areas of the city this festival brightened up a chilly fall evening with beautiful art, lights and performances. It was a very interesting time and fun time and a nice way to spice up the weekend.

I hope any of you in the Ottawa area had an opportunity to check out Nuit Blanche.

Happy Monday and I hope you all had an awesome weekend!!!

A Fall Filled with Running!

It is getting close to that time of year again, when my girlfriend and I lace up to hit the pavement for the Cure.  We began running for the CIBC Run for the Cure several years ago. My Grandma had been diagnosed with lung cancer which then spread to her brain and I thought it would be a great way to support her.  Unfortunately, my Grandma passed away before the race, but I still felt that running in her memory was the right thing to do.

With a group of girlfriends we all laced up and ran in support or memory of those affected by cancer regardless of the type.  I understand that the CIBC Run for the Cure is specific to breast cancer, but I still feel it is a great way to raise awareness around cancer periode.

For the past three years (this one will be our fourth) my girlfriend and I have kept our team going and have been raising money and awareness. We try and keep our team names positive and motivational and representative of us, so this year we went with Team Super Awesome. 

We do our best to match, sometimes even making our own team shirts and train together in order to seriously feel like have worked for the money we have raised for the run. Although, the team is normally just the two of us, and we take it pretty seriously others are always welcome to join, and as always if you are interested in contributing to the cause please visit our team page, the race isn’t until September 30th so there is lots of time to think it over. We are a small team but we are fierce!

We are both very excited this year and are preparing for our race with another fun run. The Graffiti Run has finally come to Ottawa and I couldn’t be more excited!!! For years now I have had a bit of an obsession with the India Colour Festival, which has nothing to do with running really, it is more of a celebration with so many amazing colours and photos of it are absolutely stunning.
holi

So based on these colour festivals a fun run has been going around in the USA for a while now, but no where close to my home town here in Canada. But this year, this is the year! It is a 5k run, and you are basically tie dyed from head to toe. In the race package they provide you with the regular swag – t-shirt, coupons, running stuff – but they also throw in one package of dye for you to participate in the colour bombing!

With so much to look forward to in September it is hard to sit still. Now I just have to find out a way to squeeze in some short runs with my on-going Insanity workouts and I will be golden!

Happy Wednesday Everyone!

Photo courtesy of Transparent Language

Surprise!!!

Several months in the making this weekend couldn’t have turned out better!

The weather cooperated, the faces they were surprised, and the company was incredible!  This past Thursday on the 19th of April my sister turned 30, which in my books is a pretty big deal.
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Friday after work I made my way to the airport and then onto Edmonton to surprise my sister. I hadn’t been back to Edmonton since my other sister got married a few years back so it was pretty fun to see Edmonton and St. Albert again,and see how the city has transformed, but anyways.

So my brother and his girlfriend picked me up from the airport and the plotting of ideas began. There were so many ways of surprising her so we narrowed down which one would be the best. It was decided that my dad would pick me up the following morning and bring me over to her house, under the guise of needing some computer help. Then BLAMO surprise! The surprise was great, the look of shock and confusion on her face was just priceless, and I can’t believe I didn’t have my camera out to take a picture.

The rest of the weekend was action packed family fun and we started off with some girl shopping. Although the West Edmonton Mall is overwhelming to say the least it was great getting those extra hours with sisters, my brother’s girlfriend and my mom were all worth it. And heck I got to see the big ship in the middle of the mall again!
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In my opinion the weekend ended too quickly and my visit was too short, but my last day was packed with fun and memories. My morning started off with a run with my dad, this was probably one of the biggest highlights. As a kid I used to run with my dad all the time, so getting to go on a 5k with him around the city I grew up in was one of the most fun things I have done in a while.
UntitledThen the day was wrapped up with some more sibling time hang outs.
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All in all it was great weekend!  One that I can’t wait to repeat in two months when I get married and have my family with me again!

Luck of the Irish

Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone!

Today was supposed to be warm sunny and awesome, instead we all woke up this morning to what the weather network is calling “ice fog”, basically it is fog with a fancy name and a temperature of -2. Although it wasn’t the temperature I was hoping to be running in this morning it didn’t end up being so awful.

I believe I had mentioned a little earlier in the week I had signed up for the 5k St. Patrick’s day run, on Monday I woke up with a cough and by Tuesday I had a full blown cold.  Under the strict advisement of a good friend I was medicating with Advil, ginger-lemon-honey tea, massive amounts of vitamin C and as much sleep as I could fit into my schedule.  By Friday I was starting to feel a lot better, way more energy and not much more than a sore throat and a bit of a cough.

So this morning I woke up and decided that I was well enough to tape up my feet, and lace up my shoes.  It has been about two years since I have been in a race and I was pretty excited to get out there line up with everyone, and run in a heard of people.  I had forgotten how good it feels to be in the middle of a group of people who are just as stoked to run as you are, it felt awesome.

Now this wasn’t just any race, it was a St. Patrick’s Day race! So people were decked out in their favorite green apparel or just plain dressed up like the Irish Flag. It made looking around really amusing.
luck of the irishNow down to business. Originally when I had signed up for this race I was hoping to get a good time, as a bit of a motivator for my 10k race coming up in May, but with my cold I had decided that I would be happy to finish in 35 minutes or just plain finish at all. So I made myself a play list and just focused on making sure I kept one foot in front of the other.  So when I saw my time of 29 minutes and 57 seconds I was pretty stoked, so all in all it was a pretty good start to my festive day!
finished and muddyI hope everyone is getting all decked out in green and ready to celebrate today and in their own way. Happy Saturday!