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Archive for September, 2011

I’m guest posting over at Love Life Project today with a post titled Keeping in Touch with Loved Ones.

Head on over for my first ever guest post and discover Stephanie’s awesome blog while you’re at it 🙂

Happy Weekend everyone – only 9 more days to the race!

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After my quick start at the 10k fun run, that resulted in me fizzling out near the end, I have been thinking more about pace bunnies or pacers.

I consulted the blogger behind one of my favourite running blogs, Run, Eat, Repeat to get her opinion. Check out her response in her post titled Running Races with Pacers. I would like to point out that this was posted very, very shortly after I sent her the email (love that!)

I also found this article from the Globe and Mail: Before You Follow a Pace Bunny, Learn the Race Plan. It highlights some important points including this one from pace bunny program organizer of the very half-marathon that I will be running:

As well, pacers help to solve a common problem among runners, especially those relatively new to races, says Neil Wakelin, who organizes the pace-bunny program for the BMO Vancouver Marathon and the BMO Okanagan Marathon. Too often, runners get caught up in the excitement of race day and rush out at the start much faster than they should, leaving little gas in the tank for the approach to the finish line.

Yep, that would be me he is talking about.

For those of you wondering, pacers are runners in half-marathons and marathons that set the pace for a specified finishing time. These runners generally wear bunny ears (hence the name pace bunny) so they can easily be spotted in the crowds of other runners. The Okanagan Marathon crew will have a half-marathon pacer for my unofficial goal time of 2:30 and my plan, as of today, is to run with this group for the first half of the race and then see how I am feeling.

The thought of running with a pace group actually makes me feel a little more at ease about the fast-approaching race. I am a solo runner and I think it will be fun to run with a group for a change. I am going to see if I can seek out the pace bunny for my time goal at the expo and find out their game plan as a pacer.

Will they keep a steady pace throughout the entire 13.1 mile course?

Will they adopt a walk/run strategy? *note* If this is the case I may opt out of following a pacer as one of my goals is to run the entire race.

Will they start slow and push it at the end?

Will they start fast and slow down at the end? Is this even a strategy? It seems like the very thing I am trying to avoid 🙂

Will they wear a full bunny suit?


Ultimately, my decision will be made the morning of the race.

But as of right now I can see myself following a pace bunny for at least part of the race.

What about you? Pace bunny or no pace bunny?

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WIAW No. 7

This weeks edition of What I Ate Wednesday is brought to you by the letters ‘S’, ‘I’, ‘C’, and ‘K’.

Yep, the Doozer and I are sick. It’s not too bad, just coughing, stuffiness, tiredness (on my part, not his, I’m actually curious where he finds all the energy.)

As a result we have been eating a lot of this:

Drinking a lot of this:

And peeling a few of these:

We also had some peanut butter and honey on toast because we all know that honey helps with sore throats, right? Or is that just me? Either way, it was tasty.

The kettle was also on non-stop today for tea purposes. I’m one of those people who prefers hot food and drinks over cold when I have a sore throat. I like to try to burn away the sickness. This Mojito flavoured tea was today’s choice (lime and mint) plus I added in more honey, but the regular kind, not the fancy Ice Wine honey we had on our toast (does not contain actual ice wine).  Please note that I did not realize the French side was facing forward so let’s use this as an opportunity to brush up on Canada’s second official language, French: Mojito in French is Mojito, lime in French in lime. Got it? 🙂

We also consumed a lot of soup today.

Some of it was purchased in a can:

And some of it was made with homemade soup stock, fresh veggies from the garden and love.

Now let’s all head on over to Peas & Crayons to spy on what Jenn and the rest of the WIAW crew has been eating this week.

Thanks again Jenn!

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On Sunday I participated in the Terry Fox Run in Midway, BC. This is an annual fundraiser for cancer research inspired by Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope, a cross-Canada run in 1980 to raise money for Cancer research and awareness. Terry began his Marathon of Hope on April 12, 1980 in St. John’s, Newfoundland and proceeded to run a marathon a day for the next 143 days across six provinces all on one good leg and one artificial leg – he lost his leg to Cancer. Terry’s Cancer spread to his lungs and he was unable to complete his Marathon of Hope, but every year Canadians across the Country participate in local Terry Fox Runs and keep his dream alive. For more information please visit the Terry Fox Foundation website.

If you ever think you can’t do something, think again.

The run didn’t start until 11 am and I was nervous all morning waiting for it to start. I don’t know why I was so nervous because this run was definitely not competitive and I knew there would only be a handful (tops) of people running (the rest walked or rode their bikes.) It turns out there were three runners, including myself, and I was the only participant to complete 10K, everyone else did 5K. I felt as though I was on one of my training runs because everyone was going at their own pace so I ran by myself.

Here is the rundown.

What I ate pre-run:

1/2 cup old-fashioned oats (dry) made with coconut, almond milk, blueberries and chia seeds. I also had a couple of cups of coffee with milk and a bunch of water.

My thoughts: I ate this fairly early in the morning so I had a banana about 30 minutes before the run started. Oatmeal always agrees with me so I am 99.7% sure this is what I will eat prior to the half-marathon. I do think I should have eaten a bit more since the race didn’t start until 11 am and my breakfast was worn off at that point. The banana wasn’t enough to sustain me and I definitely felt like I needed more fuel on my run.

What I wore:

I wore the exact same thing as last week’s 9 mile run: black capris, Lululemon Run swiftly LS, socks, sports bra, running shoes, and my new running hat which I adore.

My thoughts: Thank goodness the half-marathon is at 7:45 am in the morning! The long sleeve shirt was too much for an 11 am run when the weather was hot and humid. I was sweating buckets and was beet red half way through the run. I contemplated taking the shirt off but decided against it (you’re welcome). The funny thing is I always get the chills when I run no matter how hot I am – can someone please explain this to me…

What I drank during the run:

1/2 tab of lemon-lime Nuun in my water bottle.

My thoughts: I didn’t bring any honey with me (I wish I had) because it was a shorter run and I didn’t think I would need it. Lesson learned.

What I ate post-run:

Water, greek yogurt with granola (before shower), egg white and veggie scramble with burnt toast.

My thoughts: I was starving when I got home so I ate the yogurt and granola as a snack before I hopped in the shower. The egg white and veggie scramble is something I have for lunch often and I never get tired of it. I didn’t mean to burn the toast but I ate it anyways with some Earth Balance spread on top.

What I looked like after the run:

My thoughts: I felt relatively good after the run but was definitely tired. My goal was to finish in under an hour but I ended up finishing in 1 hour and 10 minutes. I know I could  have reached my goal if it wasn’t for a number of factors (not that I am trying to make excuses because I am perfectly happy with my time): it was windy and I had to run into it a lot on the loop, I started off way too fast and this affected me at the end, I didn’t want to push myself too hard because it was only a training run – I’ll save the pushing for the half-marathon when it counts. Incidentally, when I was almost to the finish line the song Push by Moist came on my iPod and gave me the boost I needed to pick up my speed at the end.

I only have one more long run until race day. I am also at the same place in my training as I was in 2008 when I got injured because I pushed too hard on a long run and couldn’t compete.

Not this time! I’m feeling great and can’t wait until October 9!

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I see love lists on blogs all the time and love them (maybe that should have been number 11…)

1. The fact that whenever my two-year-old son sees a picture of a runner he instantly points at it and says “Mommy? Run?” I explain to him that no, that is not Mommy but yes, Mommy is a runner.*love*

2. This post from Run, Eat, Repeat featuring old skool Adidas running ads like this one:

3. Jason Mraz. This man’s words and songs seriously rock my world. They are so full of love and inspiration. Andrew always jokes that I like musicians with bad hair but I think it’s more the message he is sharing than the actual person singing. Don’t get me wrong though, he’s also pretty easy on the eyes 🙂 Here are two new songs that I hope will appear on his highly anticipated new record coming out soon.

 

 

4. Thrift stores. The small ones run by volunteers (usually cute older ladies) that don’t cost you an arm and a leg for someone’s cast-offs (I’m looking at you Value Village). Case in point, I scored big when I went to the Grand Forks Thrift Store this week.

I found this pair of cute Hush Puppies casual shoes for $3.00

And this pair of brand new, ASICS running shoes in my size for (wait for it) $2.50 (no joke!).

I also bought the cutest cast-iron and stained-glass owl napkin holder for $0.50, and a brand new wooden toy tool bench for Lincoln for $1.00.

5. Run Like a Mother. I stumbled upon this book while browsing Amazon.ca one day and am loving it so far. I will post a full review once I am finished.

6. This running poster someone posted on Facebook the other day. It speaks volumes to me and makes me feel better about my slower pace 🙂

7. Stir (fry)days. Friday is stir-fry night in our house. It’s quick and easy and nutritious especially after a long day at work. I felt it deserved its own nickname and as a result Stir (fry)days was born. The veggies and sauce vary each week but it is usually served over brown rice each time.

8. Bike water bottle holder. For more than just a water bottle! I’ve transported both smoothies and coffee to work.

9. Irish Setters. Glenn is our 7-year-old Irish Setter. He is a great running companion if he isn’t on a leash, which is why I run on trails a lot. My good friend crocheted Lincoln a customed-made toque so he would match his dog-brother. Check her out at Corkscrew Creations on Facebook.

10. Sugar-free for October. Seems like a good thing to do since Halloween candy is starting to fill the stores. Fruit will still be allowed just not the white refinded crap. Good thing I only need milk in my coffee. Don’t worry, you’ll hear more about this.

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My husband was the one who first told me about Nuun electrolyte enhanced drink tabs. He does layouts for the forestry industry and basically walks around the woods all day long. Therefore, it’s no surprise that he drinks a lot of water and needs to replenish his electrolytes in the process during the heat of the summer.

Nuun drink tabs contain zero sugar, important electrolytes, come in over ten different flavours and are easy to use: simply drop one (or half as I am prone to do) in your water bottle, fill with water, and voila! an instant great tasting sports drink without all the nasty white stuff. Since Nuun contains no sugar, and only 8 calories per serving, I wouldn’t classify it as an energy drink (and the company doesn’t either) so it won’t give you a burst of energy on long runs but it will provide you with proper hydration and those all important electrolytes we lose when we sweat (some of us more than others).

When browsing the available flavours I was instantly drawn to the Tropical Nuun. The promise of a flavour combo of mango, pineapple and coconut gets me every time. I also ordered the lemon-lime flavour with my husband in mind.

The Tropical flavour lives up to its name, and does have a taste of the tropics, but it seemed to be lacking something. Honestly, I think that something was sweetness. Some flavours just need to be sweet and this is one of them in my books; however, it is definitely drinkable and will be just fine during a fun when I tend to sip my water instead of drink it fast. I think if it had bubbles it would have been better but bubbles are not really conducive to drinking on a run. The lemon-lime was definitely my favourite of the two. It made my water taste really fresh on my 9 mile run last week and didn’t leave my mouth feeling pasty like other sugar laden sports drinks.

Nuun is sold in nifty little tubes that can easily be thrown into your purse, gym bag, etc. and the top easily pops off (so keep it away from the kids unless you want Nuun tablets strewn all over the house).

Each individual tablet is scored with a line dividing it into two equal pieces. All that is required is a butter knife to cut it in two and you can save the other half for later or share it with a friend. Of course, whether or not you are successful at creating two equal pieces is completely based on your knife and cutting skills. As you can see in the picture below, mine are not that good and I was left with more than half a tab. On second thought, I think I tried to break it in two with my hands, clearly that was not the best option.

With flavours ranging from grape and orange to cucumber-mint and tangerine-ginger there is guaranteed to be a flavour for everyone.

I have my eye on the Kona Cola (contains caffeine). I think it would make a fabulous post-run refresher mixed with bubbly water. I’ll let you know when I try it.

Have you ever tried Nuun? What is your favourite flavour or one you want to try?

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any of the products I review on this site, nor am I being compensated for my views and opinions. These reviews are just that, my views and opinions. Sometimes good, sometimes bad, but always honest.

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Yesterday was my husband’s birthday and we celebrated with a special birthday dinner: baby back ribs (slow cooked in the oven all day and finished on the grill), potato salad, corn-on-the-cob and greek salad. All foods he loves because he was the birthday boy.

Of course, no birthday is complete without a sweet treat, and since he isn’t a big fan of cake I made him a Birthday Apple Crisp using apples from our very own apple tree.

I love how the red from the skin has seeped through and made the apple pink instead of white. We have no idea what type of apples they are but they are slightly tart and crisp. Perfect for baking with because they hold their texture.

I tossed the apples with some brown sugar, oat flour and cinnamon.

Then I saw this sitting on the shelf in my kitchen.

So I decided to make the apple crisp extra special, by adding a little Canadian twist, and tossed the apples with some maple sugar as well. I added it to the oat mixture too along with large flake oats, oat flour, cinnamon, butter and vanilla.

I mushed it all together using my hands and then sprinkled it over top of the apples. I like to squeeze the mixture together in my hands to make clumps as I am adding the topping.

Into the oven it went for about an hour, but it didn’t take nearly that long for the house to fill up with the intoxicating smell of fresh-baked apple crisp. It took all my will-power not to eat it straight out of the oven, or on my lunch break yesterday.

Must be  love 🙂

I put it back in the oven to warm it up while we ate supper and then we enjoyed it with French Vanilla Ice Cream. The maple sugar gave it a nice maple flavour that complimented the apples and cinnamon nicely. I also like the fact that my husband gave me the maple sugar for my birthday back in July, and I used it to make him something special for his birthday.

His real present was permission to go to Whistler with his friends to ride mountain bikes this weekend. What can I say, he’s easy to buy for 🙂

It’s going to taste just as good for breakfast this morning with a hot cup of coffee instead of ice cream.

Happy Birthday Andrew! Love you!

***

I make apple crisp a lot but have never written down an actual recipe until now, just for all of you.

Canadian Maple Apple Crisp

Ingredients

  • 5-6 medium apples, sliced (leave peel on)
  • 2 tbsp oat flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp pure maple sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups large flake oats
  • 1/2 cup oat flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp pure maple sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350C.
  2. Toss together sliced apples, 2 tbsp oat flour, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 tbsp maple sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon in the bottom of a baking dish. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine 2 cups large oat flakes, 1/2 cup oat flour, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup softened butter, 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tbsp maple sugar, 1 tsp vanilla. Using your hands, mush together the ingredients until a crumble forms and the butter is fully incorporated. Alternately you can use a food processor if you don’t have a sleeping toddler in the next room, just make sure you don’t process it too much and lose the texture of the oats.
  4. Sprinkle the crumb mixture over the apples, squeeze it in your hands a bit to make larger clumps.
  5. Bake uncovered in a 350C oven for approximately 1 hour.

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