Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Mercedes-Benz Oakville 10K recap

I was looking forward to this race, but also quite nervous about it. I wasn't sure if was going to survive the entire 10K. Then I reminded myself that I've done half-marathons and that a 10k isn't too much.

Packet pick-up was available Friday night and Saturday during the day at a local New Balance store. Friday night I was busy, so I decided to go on Saturday once my youngest had gotten up from his nap (my husband and older son were out for the day). We popped in quickly, grabbed the packet and headed out. The shirt is very nice but the best part was definitely the pack of KT Tape!

I packed everything the night before for race day, but was torn about what to wear on top. I went with an Under Armour heat gear shirt, a long sleeved shirt and a running jacket, but I put a t-shirt in my backpack just in case (I'm glad I did).

I left at 7, ate a Luna bar in the car and had a few sips of water and headed to the train station where the shuttle was bringing people to the race site. There were lots of buses so I wasn't left waiting very long.

Appleby College (the start line)

I got to the race site and spent some time inside one of the buildings, then decided to go for a walk to check out how much the school has changed in the past few years. Just a quick back story, I went to high school there, but I also worked at the summer camp there for 10 years so Appleby College holds a lot of special memories for me. I made my way back up to the race area, grabbed a warm cup of apple cider (just to hold), hit up the port-a-potty and then headed to the race corrals. I placed myself at the back of corral C and just before D. The announcer was hilarious which helped the time pass. The first wave (A &B) went of five minutes before our wave so it helped to have a little entertainment.

We started off at 8:20 and it spread out pretty quickly! I found myself having lots of space to run in and not having to zig zag around people. My goal was to stay under 7:00/km for the first 5 km and then be alright with my pace going to 7:15/km.

We ran past all the boats out in the marina!

The race went through a bunch of the side streets and man were there some hills. Nothing horrible, but they were consistent and things that I definitely didn't notice when I drive down there in my car. I'm very proud to say that I ran through all those hills though. I refused to let myself walk even though the big, gradual one at 8k to 10k was a killer. I only walked twice, for about 15 seconds each, to get some water/Gatorade.

I made it up the last big hill, ran through the chute (by myself) and came in with a chip time of 1:10. Not great, but I'll take it.
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Not a huge fan of my medal, but I'll add it to my collection.

Once I got through the medals and water, I went to grab some food. I stood there for 2-3 minutes and the line-up never moved forward, so I said screw it, grabbed a couple booster juice samples and headed for the shuttles back home.

Overall, it was a great race. I didn't need my music (save for one moment with a foot dragger who drove me crazy), beautiful setting, well organized and good weather! I'll definitely do this one again in the future, but I'll be ready for those hills!
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Monday, April 27, 2015

It's Monday..again.

Why is it Monday again already?
Saturday and Sunday are the two fastest days and the other five just drag on!
I'm taking a break today after my 10K yesterday (recap tomorrow) and I'm going to spend some time with my lovely little boys. I'm hoping to get back into the gym either Tuesday or Wednesday to do some weights and do a couple miles on the treadmill. I have a 10K trail run at the end of May so I want to maintain the distance I'm running at right now and possibly add a few more miles on my long runs since I have the 15K at the beginning of June.
Next up on the race schedule!
I really need to pick up my workouts, I'm struggling with my weight and it's getting very frustrating actually. I also need to get swimming and riding my bike since my try-a-tri is just around the corner. Most times I'll just be riding my bike to and from work and maybe a little more on the weekends.
Here's my plan:
Monday: rest
Tuesday: weights & 2 miles (or swim)
Wednesday: Bike (to & from work)
Thursday: weights & 5K
Friday: rest
Saturday: Bike
Sunday: 5 mile run
My try-a-tri bike. Time to start riding!
As usual, this can change so quickly with the boys, things at work, how I'm feeling, etc. This week, the boys got up early two mornings in a row. Both nights, I ended up ready for bed around 8:30. I guess that's the way life goes when you've got too little munchkins. I'm sure I won't have as many issues when they're 12 or 13 and want to sleep in.
What's your plan for this week?
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Friday, April 24, 2015

Five Blogs to Read

I'm linking up at Eat, Run, Pray DC , Mar on the Run and You Signed up for What? for Friday Five to share our five favourite blogs we love to read!

Before I share my five blogs to read, I need to say HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to my husband. 5 years ago, we were married (kinda funny how it's five years and five things). Now we have two kids and life is crazy!

Without further ado, here is my top 5 blogs to read (aside from my own of course):

I love Janae at Hungry Runner Girl. I'm sure most of you read or know of her blog. I find her amazing. There are so many stories, pictures of Brooke (the same age as my son) and trips to get froyo and apple fritters. Reading about how she trains and most recently, her trip to Boston is both interesting and inspiring to me.

Phaedra at Blisters and Black Toenails is absolutely awesome and a workhorse! She is a 'local' blogger to me and I've actually watched her run a local triathlon (which she actually placed 3rd overall). She's done big triathlons and lots of sprint triathlons. She recently became a running and triathlon coach and I'm thinking about hiring her for my fall half-marathon and if I ever reach my dream of doing an Ironman 70.3 I'll definitely be hiring her.

Another local runner, I've been following Nicole's blog for about a year and a half. I came across is looking for recaps of local races so I had an idea of what I was getting myself into. She's run many of the races in the past, that I'm looking to run so reading her recaps have been a great help! She's been working hard this year to get a Boston Qualifying time during the Scotiabank Ottawa weekend coming up. I can't wait to follow her to see if she reaches her goal!

Yet another local runner, Janice is currently training for the Ironman Muskoka 70.3 in July. She is another runner who does a lot of the races that I do so it's neat to see what her takes on races have been compared to mine! I'm excited to see how she'll do on her 70.3!

The last blog isn't a running/fitness blog. It's actually a mommy blog (which mine is kind of). Melissa has two little girls the same age as my two little boys, which is actually how I met her. We joined an online moms group at The Bump when we were both pregnant with out first kids (who are now 4!). She's expecting her third little munchkin now. Even though I hear from her on Facebook every once in awhile it's exciting to see how things are going on her end.

Of course Eat, Pray, Run DC,  You Signed Up for What and Mar on the Run are on my list, but since most of my readers visit them already I figured I'd add some new names to the list!

What are your top five blogs to read?

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Thursday, April 23, 2015

My goals for Sunday's race

On Sunday, I'm running the Mercedes-Benz 10K in Oakville. The start and finish line is actually at my old high school! I'm really excited by this even though it really has nothing to do with my running!

Anyway, I have two goals for this race.

My main goal is to set a new 10K PR of under 1:08. That was my time from the Island Girl Half Marathon relay and it was a little over 10K because it was half of a half marathon.

My secondary goal (if things start to fall apart) are to have a sub 1:10 time. I think I might be crushed if my time is over 1:10.

The plus side to this race is that I know the course. I haven't run the whole thing (I ran parts when I was dry-land training for skiing in high school), but I know where I'm going and can picture most of it in my head when I look at the map.

mercedes 10k route map

There is one section that has a decent hill going down and then it's flat for about 0.3 kilometer and then there is a decent ascent back up. It's down by the marina in Oakville. This is probably the only section that scares me a bit because I take the boys on drives there in the summer and I know that it's a pretty steep incline.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed because every finisher is entered into a draw to win a new Merecedes-Benz. The only issue is that I have to hang around and wait until it's drawn because you have to present in order to win.

2015 GLA 4matic

Either way, this race kicks off a few longer races. I have another 10K at the end of May, which is a trail race and then I have my try-a-tri and a 15K in June. I'm hoping to get these races off to a good start!

Are you racing this weekend? If so, good luck!
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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Boston Marathon

I didn't run it (and probably won't for a long time) but I have definitely made it a priority to watch it each year, especially after 2013 and when I started running (which, coincidentally, was also 2013).
Yesterday, the end of the marathon coincided with my lunch and prep time so I was able to live stream it on my iPad. It was really exciting, especially the Elite Women. Watching those two women, side-by-side, give it their complete, absolute all for the last few hundred metres was awe-inspiring.

You know you're a runner   when you find the Boston  Marathon more interesting  than the NBA playoffs.                              -Alfie
So true, at least yesterday.

A much faster running friend once told me that there is nothing like Boston during Marathon weekend. Everything is electric and exciting and so running focused. She recommended I visit during that time. I definitely will, hopefully as a runner, maybe as a fundraising runner though.

I've dedicated this summer to working hard on my running. I've signed up for longer distances and am really gunning for a sub-2:30 half marathon time in the fall (a 9-minute cut back is necessary). Once I reach that, maybe I'll move onto the marathon (finally).

I can only imagine what the city is like during the Marathon at this point, but once day I'll experience it live!

Have you been to the Boston Marathon?
As a runner or a spectator?

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Monday, April 20, 2015


Last week was a week where life got in the way of working out by any means.

I had meetings after school, swimming lessons, errands to run, groceries to shop for and by the end of the week when my exhaustion level was at it's highest, I just couldn't get myself to go.

I did participate in a Sick Kids fundraiser where I spent an hour on a spin bike. I know an hour isn't much, but my butt is feeling it today! Going to have to pick up that bike training if I'm going to survive a marathon! The goal of the entire fundraiser was to raise $125, 000. In the end the total raised was just over $152, 000. I won two silent auction items as well!

This week, I'm all ready to run.

I have my gym clothes in my car and am planning 5 miles on the treadmill tonight after work (it's pouring rain here today).

I have my next race, the Mercedes-Benz 10K, on Sunday so I'm hoping to get a good week of training in for it so I can get a personal record. Right now, my personal best is 1:08 in a race so I'm hoping to be around there or a little better than that. I'm going to have to push my pace.

I also bought a swim cap on the weekend so I'm hoping that'll be the push towards the pool considering my try-a-tri is creeping ever closer. Maybe I'll actually go do some laps this week.

As I'm sure all of you know, today is the Boston Marathon. I honestly don't think I'm every going to actually qualify for it, but I can always dream. That dream will be pushing me on the treadmill tonight and hopefully I can finish.


What's on the agenda for your week?

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Friday, April 17, 2015

Five Brands I Love

I'm linking up at Eat, Run, Pray DC , Mar on the Run and You Signed up for What? for Friday Five! Today we're talking about the five brands we love! I really don't have that many brands that I really, really love. I have bits and pieces for my running clothes, but there are definitely a few that stand out.

1. Saucony

I've only run in two pairs of shoes and both have been Saucony Ride 5s. When I started running, I went to my local running store and had everything 'professionally' analyzed. They recommended a certain type of shoe and when I looked at the giant wall with all the shoes I like the bright pink ones the best, so I went with them. I grabbed another pair of them at the Saucony outlet store nearby.

2. Old Navy

At lot of my workout/running clothes (and regular clothes actually) are Old Navy. They aren't necessarily high performance, but neither am I. The price point is perfect for this working mom of two boys who are still in daycare. I like the colours that are offered but again, the price to me is the important thing. I wear most of my regular clothes from there because they are comfy, good price, last a long time and are machine washable!

3. Under Armour
Under armour logo.svg
I just love the look of their stuff! I have a pair of workout shoes and lots of tanks from there and love them all! The price isn't favourable to me all the time, but I hit up the outlet every once in awhile.

4. Birkenstocks
Birkenstock  Taupe Suede  Arizona
Love me my Birks! I love the feeling in my arch every time I put them on. I live in my Birks all summer! They were perfect when I was pregnant too because as my feet swelled I was able to loosen them to fit my feet properly.

5. Nike

Can't say I'm a huge fan, but I do like their stuff. They have really neat patterns and colours right now but again, the price is the big issue for me. It's another outlet shop for me since I can rarely afford to grab their stuff at full price.

What brands do you love?
Another other lower price brands you like?

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A break from running..

I'm not taking a break from running. At least, I wasn't planning to.

I had 4 miles planned yesterday, but I forgot about a meeting at school which didn't leave me enough time between the meeting ending and the boys coming home to squeeze them in. I was going to go later, but then started get a little nagging pain in my knee so I iced it instead and watched the Face Off finale.

What I really meant from a break from running, was a post that isn't about running or working out or eating well.

Instead, I want to talk about books!

I love reading, but it's hard to find time to read with work and the boys and other things. It's one of the other activities that relaxes me (aside from running and crafting).

Right now, I'm reading this...

Voyager (Outlander, #3)

It's book three of the Outlander series. I know there's already 6 or 7 books out and I'm only on three, but I jumped on the bandwagon late. I also just recently found out that it is a TV show, so I missed the first half of season one. Luckily, since I've read the book, I know what happened in the first half and have been able to jump right in no problem.

The problem I have is that books are huge and my ability to stay awake and read at 10:00 is diminished. I usually end up falling asleep after one or two pages! This is also the time I wish I could commute on a train or bus so that I had time to read! I can't complain about my 4 minute drive though. That's not fair.

What else do you do to relax? Are you reading anything exciting?
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Monday, April 13, 2015

My motivation is back!

I had a great week last week with my running. I actually ran 12 miles in a week, which for me is good considering that is the total number of miles I ran in January alone.

As the weather is warming up, my race calendar is picking up as well. My next race is a 10K on April 26th and I'm aiming for a PB in that race so I'm training really hard. Although, I took a look at the route and there is a pretty big hill at one point that I'm not looking forward too. It's not a long hill, but it's significant when I drive it in the car so I'm sure it'll be interesting running it.

I had such a good training run yesterday! I usually hit a mental roadblock just after the 5K distance and my pace usually drops. It happened again and my pace went to 7:28 a kilometer. I wasn't having that for very long so I picked it up when I turned the corner for the stretch home.

So with that, I'm glad to say, MY MOTIVATION IS BACK!


I've determined that other than my long run, I'm not really setting goals for the week. I've found that with the boys it's easier to go with the flow and make sure I eat well and exercise when I get a chance. I'm hoping to get at least 3 runs in, a trip to the pool (finally) and a day or two of weight training. I managed to hit at least 10, 000 steps a day for the entire week (Saturday and Sunday, too) so I'm going to keep it up this week.

I'm linking up with Janice at Fitness Cheerleader and Rachel at Running Rachel for #MotivateMe Monday! Share your plans for the week there too!

A weekly linkup on Mondays for you to share your weekly fitness plans and meal plans #MotivateMe http://www.fitnesscheerleader.com

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Friday, April 10, 2015

Friday Five - Trips I want to take

Today's Friday Five is all about trips I've taken or trips I want to take. Since I don't do many trips I figure I'll talk about trips I want to take instead!

I'm linking up at Eat, Run, Pray DC , Mar on the Run and You Signed up for What? for Friday Five! I've found so many cool blogs there since I started linking up!

Instead, I spend my time dreaming of trips to go on and where I'm going to travel when I retire or when my boys get big enough that I can leave them at home and travel with my husband.

1. Arizona
Arizona Traditions Homes for Sale
I've been to Arizona many times. In fact, I lived there for a year, but I honestly could go there multiple times a year.  The weather is usually conducive to running (minus the crazy hot summers) and the shopping is fantastic! I just love the entire feeling of being down there.

2. Disney World
I went to Disney World twice when I was growing up. Once in Grade 6 and once in high school. I honestly cannot wait to go back. We're waiting for the boys to get a little bigger (maybe next summer) to go but is it selfish that I want to go without them again at some point? I'm definitely planning on doing a Dopey Challenge at some point and hopefully some other RunDisney events but I'd love to just go as a visitor too!

3. Australia

I've always wanted to go to Australia. It's always been high on my list of places I want to travel. Not sure what it is about the country but it seems absolutely amazing. The best part is my friend (since we were 5) moved there a couple years ago so now if I go to visit I have a tour guide as well as a place to stay! I'm hoping to get there sooner rather than later, but as long as I get there I'll be happy.

4. Greece, Ireland, Scotland, England, Italy

Up until this year, I've never really wanted to go to Europe. But after watching some TV shows (Outlander) and seeing a special on Venice on CNN, I want to go visit these places. These might be in my retirement, but they're now on my bucket list of places to visit.

5. All the Provinces and Territories in Canada
A clickable map of Canada exhibiting its ten provinces and three territories, and their capitals.
I've been to three. BC, Ontario and Quebec, but I definitely want to visit all of them. Actually, my plan is to run a race in all provinces and territories in Canada. I really want to go to Northern Canada (Yukon, NWT and Nunavut). I see future summers spent getting to know our country and ensuring the boys have a great knowledge of Canada, with lots of stories to share.

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Ontario Dental Association

I've been going to the dentist for as long as I can remember.

I can recall my three siblings and all I squished onto a couch getting our picture taken for the 'No Cavity Club', picking out our new toothbrush and toy and finding our previous No Cavity Club pictures in the photo album they had laid out.

I still see that same dentist (as do my siblings and parents) and although the office and staff have grown and changed throughout the years the work that the dentist does is impeccable. In fact, they're servicing the third generation of my family as my older son has already seen the dentist twice and my second son will start when he turns three.
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Did you know that poor oral health can affect a person's quality of life, including their physical, mental and social well-being? A dentist can help identify, diagnose and treat or help prevent any issues that you might not know about. Visits to the dentist are paramount in keeping your smile glowing! Haven't been to the dentist in a few years? Now's the time to.

If you don't currently have a dentist to see, here's the place to find one.

There are other ways to keep your smile bright and your mouth healthy. Here are some tips:

- Eating a balanced diet that includes whole grains, fruits and vegetables and lean meats
- Seeing your dentist regularly
- Wearing a mouth guard when playing sports or during other aggressive activities
- Reducing the risks from stress, smoking and drinking
- Brushing for 2-3 minutes at least twice a day helps prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
A Quick tip: my boys often have me sing the alphabet song. It helps with their learning and I sing it slow enough that their teeth are nice and clean when I'm done.

Dental hygiene is important in our house. We visit our dentist regularly, brush at least twice a day and make sure to eat a balanced diet. If you're in need of a dentist, check out this site for more information.

Although this post has been generously sponsored by the Ontario Dental Association, the opinions and language are my own, and in no way do they reflect the Ontario Dental Association.

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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Sudsy Dough Kickstarter!

Sudsy Dough™ is a new interactive bath toy that doubles as a moldable scented dough and a cleansing soap! Andy and Katie Wallace created this innovative sensory soap to make bath time fun for their toddler who didn't really enjoy time in the tub. Now she asks for a bath every night!

Sudsy Dough moldable bath soap

Kids can squeeze and squish Sudsy Dough in the bath, rub it on as a cleansing body wash, or take it outside the tub and make their own custom-shaped soaps. Sudsy dough shapes will dry to become mini bars of scented soap. Shape the dough into anything you can think up! Kids will love playing with this squishable, sensory soap in the bath.

Infused with Shea butter and coconut oil, Sudsy Dough moisturizes as it cleanses. It also comes in a variety of fragrances and colors! Sudsy Dough has a mild foaming agent that creates suds when run under water. Each ball of Sudsy Dough also has a surprise squirt toy hidden inside!

Product Details
Squeeze and squish it in the bath 
Rub it on as a cleansing body wash 
Make your own custom-shaped soaps 
Infused with Shea butter & coconut oil 
Moisturizes as it cleanses 
Comes in a variety of fragrances and colors 
Mild foaming agent creates suds 
Paraben-free, phthalate-free, and sulfate-free

My boys loved using Sudsy Dough in the bathtub! My older son called it 'playdough for the bathtub'! It was an easy way to get them to wash as well, since they were able to grip the ball of Sudsy Dough and wash themselves instead of me breaking my back to reach over the side of the tub to wash them. Personally, I loved the smell of Sudsy Dough and had fun creating little models and creatures out of it once they were finished washing.

The Sudsy Dough Kickstarter campaign will run April 1st to 30th, offering backers a range of ways to support the project. If the project reaches its $10,000 funding goal, Sudsy Dough will be available to the public in July 2015. The project also includes stretch goals for the production of Sudsy Dough Shimmer™, Sudsy Dough Geodes™, and Sudsy Dough Aromatherapy™ sets. For more information visit sudsydough.com or to request media samples, email contact@revelae.com

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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Fixing my eating...again..

I mentioned in yesterday's post that I need to work on my eating. I've let it slide a bit and I need to get it back under control. If you follow me on Pinterest, you can see that I've been pinning a few things to my 'Clean Eating' board.

While I'm not going to be following any meal plans to a T, I found a couple of plans that I think I can pick and choose from in order to create a healthy plan for me to follow. Here is an example:

Last week's meal menu. Every Sunday I take 10 minutes to put it together. It keeps my eating in check and my weight loss on track.

There are few things I'll borrow from this meal plan and some things that I definitely won't (like a snack of cherry tomatoes...not a fan of tomatoes).

I also found a list of snack ideas. I tend to go with my usual yogurt or apple as a snack, but this list gives me a whole new bunch of ideas. She also has a list of breakfast, lunch and dinner ideas. I just like that I don't need to think because by the end of the day, thinking is hard.

make sure to check out PART 2 and PART 3 too!! PHOTO AND VIDEO CREDIT: trueatelier.com I had such a great time at Pinners Conference. It was inspiring to be in the same room with so many amazing p...

Lastly, with the warmer weather coming up and more fresh fruits and veggies, I'm looking into making more smoothies. I know you shouldn't drink your calories, but smoothies are so yummy on a hot day and definitely healthier than a beer or a pop! I have two pins that I think are amazing! The first is how to put together a smoothie:

From here

And since I'll be home with the boys all summer, I need things that are quick. Here I found a list of 54 smoothie recipes. Not only is there 54, you can package them and through them in the freezer so they're easy to grab, smoothie-fy and go! This is amazing to me!

Pinned from here.

I'm hoping that this is the start of losing the weight that I've been holding onto. I'll share more about my food journey as I go along with my training for all the races!

How do you keep yourself on a healthy eating plan? Do you deny yourself of all the yummy stuff or just really focus on eating clean?

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