May Foodie Penpal Reveal

Another month down – May, where did you go?

Next month our little one will be 2!!!!! 2 already!

This month, Kyla from Kitchen of Ky had me as her Foodie Penpal, and she hooked me up!

My husband picked up the mail just before dinner time so I opened the package right away. I dug into Boulder Canyon “Red Wine Vinegar” Chips – they were quite tasty and to our surprise Lilly really liked them too! We don’t buy a lot of chips so when we do, we don’t mind if Lilly has a few. I have to admit, I was really taken back that she liked the flavor.

I also opened the Blue Sky Cheery Vanilla Pop – so yummy. I’ve had this before but it’s not something we have on hand too often. It was a nice treat.

Two days ago, I opened the Bite Cookies – they were great. I’d totally buy these to have on hand or as a snack on the road. Again, I let Lilly try the “cookie” and she wanted more.

I have still yet to try the Dragoba chocolate bar and the Havlah Pistachio Bar – but they sound delish.

Thanks Kyla – I loved the little note you sent too. Cheers!

This month, I sent a Foodie Penpals package to Allie over at True Tales of the Toronto Actor – you can check out her blog to see what I sent her.

Wanna participate as a READER or BLOGGER ? Check out The Lean Green Bean Blog and see some details below.

Here’s a detailed explanation of the program:

-On the 5th of the month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.

-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!

-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treatsThe spending limit is $15The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!

-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)

-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you can choose to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.

– Foodie Penpals is open to US, Canadian residents & UK residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa. So, I’m going to keep two separate lists and match US w/ US and Canada w/ Canada!

***If you’re in the UK, please contact Carol Anne from This Is Rock Salt at rocksalt@thisisrocksalt.com to get involved!

And here’s to the last day of May! Where did you go?

Piper’s Run (a.k.a Anna)

What I Ate Wednesday (WIAW)

What I Ate Wednesday isn’t new to me. I’ve been following a few blogs that participate in this but I have yet to do my own WIAW…so here it goes.

Jenn at Pea’s & Crayons started this link – from her blog this is what “What I Ate Wednesday” is about all about:

  • Celebrating one of the glorious things we all have in common: We all eat!
  • It isn’t about Comparison – Judgement – Restriction – Guilt (good thing or my post would fail today)
  • WIAW is about food and fun! It’s about making new friends, breaking out of a food rut, noting changes in your diet/lifestyle, inspiring yourself & others, embracing fruit & vegetables, nourishing your body with the foods that work for you, finding new ways to eat your favorite foods, and so much more.
  • Celebrate blogging. Celebrate Food. Celebrate Individuality.

To read more about What I Ate Wednesday, check out Jenn’s blog at Peas & Crayons

Last night, my husband made Aloo Chana Soup from The Garden of Vegan cookbook. [We also have How It All Vegan]. So I ate this for lunch it today for lunch. Breakfast wasn’t anything fancy – Multigrain Cheerios with skim milk with my daughter.

On Wednesday’s we have a little Farmer’s Market in the Town my office is in; Kentville. It’s always a great place to grab a bite to eat, run into people and support local farmers, crafters and businesses. I am slightly addicted to the Veggie Spring Rolls and bought two!

I could easily go back for more and would have no problems pounding them back. And, no I’m not a vegetarian or vegan. My husband is the Vegan in the family.

I had two plain rice cakes with peanut butter as an afternoon snack and then when we (Lilly and I) got home we munched on some fresh watermelon – or “MELON” as she calls it. Sorry, no pics.

For dinner, I had planned on heating up some of these amazing veggie burgers. I found the recipe on Oh She Glows (one of the first blogs I ever came across). You MUST check these out, here;  they are easy to make, full of delicious foods and easy to bbq or bake. Don’t get discouraged by the list of ingredients – I swear these are worth it. I added some herbed goat’s cheese which Lilly decided she loved 🙂

I had also bought some spinach at the farmers market today, however I left it in the fridge at work. We had little to no spinach in the house, so what I thought would be an awesome salad was rather weak in the main ingredient 😦 AND, to top it off, I burnt the walnuts – not my night.

 

Anyway, this was my first attempt at What I Ate Wednesday. Next week, I won’t burn anything and will have better pictures.

What did you eat this week?

Don’t forget to check back tomorrow for my May Foodie Penpals Reveal!!!

My first 5k and so much more {guest post}

Hello Piper’s Run followers, my name is Jennifer and I’m your guest blogger for today! 

Anna asked if I would be willing to write about my experience leading up to and running my first 5K race, in the Bluenose Marathon 2012. 

A quick background on me, as I’m sure you’re wondering who has hijacked your Piper’s Run blog for the day. Anna and I have known each other since high school (95-98!) and have reconnected again on Facebook over the last few years as mom’s, which has been so nice. Funny enough, we bonded over the fact that we both married British guys and have shared travel tips over the last few years with travelling over-seas with toddlers to visit family!  Side-bar here Anna – this would be a great blog subject in the future!  Back on track, I have two little munchkins, my best buddy and sidekick Max (2.5yrs) and our sweet little baby girl Lauryn is just 6 months old.

Max and Lauryn

I’ve always been an active person, love to play all sports but my fave’s are probably Volleyball, Fastball and Basketball.  Never, I repeat, never, have I considered myself a “runner”.  In fact, I used to loathe any form of distance running and would avoid it at all costs!

What changed in my life to start running, you ask?!

After the craziness of having my second baby in two years, the hectic holiday season in 2011, then came the New Year of 2012. New Year Resolution you may be thinking? No!  We signed our toddler up to start swimming lessons the second week of January. Something I was SO looking forward to doing with my little buddy as some special (baby sister-free) time with just me and my boy.  It was the wonderful moment of trying on bathing suits 6 weeks after I gave birth that jolted me into reality that I NEEDED to start getting active again to feel even a little bit comfortable getting into a bathing suit on a weekly basis and actually being in public! It was the perfect motivator/reality check that I needed to get me going again.

I immediately signed myself up for a Saturday morning Core Strengthening  Boot Camp that started the first week of January. My train of thought here was – hey, I’m an athlete at heart, I can handle this boot camp. After my first class with our evil little instructor (she’s exactly like Jillian Michael’s!) I was knocked down but not out. I knew this would be difficult, but I have a crazy competitive edge in me that wanted to prove to myself and my instructor (whom I’ve grown to adore!!) that I could do this. So all winter long I’ve been going to a crazy little boot camp to keep myself humble and noticed that I was getting stronger every week.  While the boot camp was great, I felt I needed to do more.

Then came Anna’s blog, our beloved Piper’s Run.  Reading Anna’s posts about getting out for run’s all winter long and reminding us each week to get active, really struck a cord with me.  It truly motivated me to try running as a means of keeping active and getting healthy. So I hit the treadmill in my basement, squeezing in a 30 minute run when I could, while caring for two little ones at home with me all day.

I was worried that my same old feelings of “running is boring” or “I’m not a runner” would creep up on me as I went, but they didn’t! The most unexpected thing happened, I started to enjoy it!  It was giving me energy I needed to drive me through the day, it was clearing my head and making me so happy each day that I did it. This, only after about a month of running 3-4 days a week. 

It was this point that I think I emailed Anna to profess my love for her blog and thanked her for motivating me to get more active and running!  I shared my secret desire to enter the Bluenose 5K run in May with her and asked if she’d be willing to run it with me.  Of course she agreed (because she’s awesome!) and that’s basically how it all came to be.  I trained hard each week, keeping up my running and also still going to boot camp Saturday mornings.I won’t lie, I got more nervous during the weeks leading up to run, envisioning myself crawling up the side of citadel hill gasping for breath with everybody running past me! Ha ha.

A few weeks before the run I told one of my younger cousins (10 years younger and extremely fit athlete!) that I was planning to run and she signed up on the spot for the Bluenose as some added support for me.  If I surround myself with good runners in the race, maybe I would look like one too?! Or at least have somebody to pick me up and keep me going. 

My husband and son came with me on race day to be there in support of my big day. As Anna mentioned, we met up and it seemed like within minutes we were at the starting gates waiting to go. The butterflies were at an all-time high the moment before the race began. Once we went through the start gate, dodging and weaving around the walkers, we set a good pace. I felt great! Once we got past the first km marker and the crowds of runners started to spread out, we had some breathing and running space.

Things I loved immediately were all the spectators along the entire course cheering us on and waving to us. They really made you feel good! The volunteers with water along the run, located in JUST the right spots. My cousin and I seemed to get into the same groove and we started to run ahead of Anna (just a bit!!). We reached the bottom of Citadel Hill and for some strange reason I started sprinting up the hill. Other people were stopping as If they hit a brick wall and I saw it as a good opportunity to pass people!  We ran all the way up the hill, took a little breather for about a minute (walking), then got back into our sweet groove. Something about running around the top of Citadel hill on a gorgeous sunny morning was so energizing. I had a clear head the entire run and loved this feeling.  I took a mental picture of this moment in my life. Very cool experience.  Running down Citadel Hill was heavenly and the last leg of the race seemed like a breeze. My dear (did I mention younger and fitter) cousin decided to motivate me by challenging me to sprint to the finish line, which I am happy to say I somehow managed to do! 

I crossed the line in a time of 33:05.

I did it, I didn’t make a fool of myself and I think I looked like a “runner”!

I smiled a dumb smile all weekend long just thinking about it. I grabbed my baby boy after I crossed the finish line and took him with me to get my first ever Bluenose Medal.  What a truly awesome experience.

Max, hanging out on top of Citadel Hill while Mommy runs 🙂

I’ve decided to train and sign up for the Valley Harvest Marathon 10K race this October. 

Thank you Anna, for motivating so many people (I’m certain I’m not the only one!) and giving my kids a healthier, happier mom. It’s changed my life forever.

Jennifer

Motivation Monday #20

Motivation Monday #20

And something to think about……..

Pictures from Pinterest.

Guest Post coming tomorrow – Bluenose Marathon 5k by Jennifer!

Happy Monday!

Bluenose Marathon 5k Recap

Sunday May 20th 2012 was the BIG DAY.

Big day for those participating in the Bluenose Marathon in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

It was the perfect day, cool morning but warmed up quickly as the sun started to rise across Citadel Hill.

Thousands of runners….11,800 was a number I read in The Chronical Herald in its 9th year! I’m pretty sure next year is going to be a BIG year for the Bluenose. 10 years old in 2013.

  • 3,483 Youth Runners on Saturday for the 4.2km race – BIGGEST EVENT OF IT’S KIND IN THE COUNTRY!!!!
  • 338 FULL Marathoners
  • 2,364 1/2 Marathoners
  • 3, 445 10k Runners
  • 2,171 5k Runners

Congratulations to all the Runners and a BIG THANK YOU to all the volunteers involved. Such a great event! This was my 4th time participating in the Bluenose. I have run the 10km (twice) and the 1/2 Marathon a number of years back, this year was the 5k and now I’ll have to do is the FULL Marathon. Ha ha – I’m pretty confident this will NEVER happen.

But then again, that’s what I said after doing my first 10k – I would  NEVER run a 1/2 Marathon. Guess I proved myself wrong. Maybe someday I will prove myself wrong by doing the FULL. We’ll just have to wait and see…

Pre – Race Day:

I was doing really great running last fall and into the Winter months. I know – crazy to run in the winter – in the SNOW and sometime with my dog! Not really, it’s my favourite time of year to run.

I was running and working out 3-5 days a week – while my husband was away at school in Prince Edward Island. I managed to fit in my running or workout’s while our toddler slept at night or during my lunch hour at work.

This year, I had 7 – yes 7 colds. Two of which took me off my feet – literally. I couldn’t run, I couldn’t workout…I couldn’t do much of anything. I originally set a goal of running the 5k under 29:16 but after missing almost 3 weeks of running, I realised I simply could not pull it off. And, I was okay with that.

I signed up for the Bluenose 5k with a friend who recently started running. And, I also signed up for another run in June (Sole Sisters 5k for women) that’s more of a fun run – no timer and chocolate on the route – woohoo!

Runners / Sneakers:

I struggled with my sneakers that were older than they should be and finally bought a new pair of Asics. I bought them the day before my 5k and then struggled to make a decision on whether to wear them or not.

In the end, I stayed with my old faithful’s and they held up for one last run – they are now retired to working around the house….until they fall apart…which is not that far away.

Before run in my too small of a shirt, apparently I ordered the wrong size 😦

Race Day:

It arrived rather quickly. My daughter, who is almost 2 came into Halifax with me and spent the morning with her Aunt Laura while I ran. My husband was working the night shift and was driving to Halifax as I was running. I had a cheering squad of one – my mother. It was just perfect. She ran into a friend of her’s who was running – I ran into no one – funny.

We got up early, out the door and into the downtown area in record time.

I met up with Jennifer and her cousin Robyn and we made our way to the start area on Sackville Street.

The Full Marathoners went first at 8:00 am and then the 5k’s at 8:10. There were so many people in purple shirts and lots of spectators gathering on Citadel Hill to cheer on the runners.

It was 8:10am. It took us 1 minute and 15 seconds to walk to the start area – kinda crazy … and then we started to run slowly in the sea of purple shirts.

I managed to run 10 minutes and walk 1 minute – which is how I train and have run in the past. I had to slow my pace down a bit as I knew I couldn’t maintain it the whole run….and that was okay. I told my running buddies to go ahead without me – which they were very hesitant to do – but I really didn’t want to keep them back from running the race that they had come out to do.

All was good.

I saw Citadel Hill and knew I would need to shorten my stride and take it one step at a time. What I wasn’t quite ready for was the number of runners who would be running up the hill at the same time I was in such a small one lane road surface. I managed to pass a few people who were not following my pace and ran up 90% of the hill.

I was happy.

It wasn’t until I came down Citadel Hill that I felt my posture was great, my stride was perfect and I finally felt comfortable running. Not that I was having any pain, as I did in my previous runs – sciatic pain. It just didn’t get into a good grove until around the 3k mark.

Photo from Marathon-Photos.com

I finished the run in 35:29 – my worst time ever …. but that didn’t bother me at all.

I had a great run.

It was a perfect day.

I have no complaints about my run.

Photo from Marathon-photos.com

Post Race:

Jennifer and Robyn waited for me at the finish area – they were 2 minutes ahead of me. They too had a great run.

We found our family members and went inside the Halifax Metro Centre; got some food – banana’s, cookies (a little weird), water, Gatorade. We hung around for a bit and then decided it was time to pack it in and head home.

My mother and I walked to a local store called Pete’s – which I just blogged about here. The Pete’s Frootique in Halifax is way bigger then the one in Wolfville. We got a few groceries and a smoothie to go….and walked to our car. This smoothie was the best smoothie I’ve ever had…it was gone in a flash.

I run for Lilly – so she get’s my medal.

We got home and Lilly was so excited to see me – big hugs all around.

A quick-lunch with the fam and then I took a 3 hour nap – it was heaven.

Future Running Plans:

I plan on continuing to run throughout the week. This is something that I cannot just simply give up – especially since I just invested in new runners! Oh – I can now cross THAT off my 12 in 2012 (almost forgot about that one).

I am running another 5k in June but haven’t decided on what 10k’s to run in the Fall. I have a few in mind but we’ll just have to wait and see.

I plan on running in the 10th Bluenose Marathon in 2013  May 17th – 19th and will focus on one of two runs:

  1. 5km under 29:16 OR
  2. 10km under 60 minutes (It would be cool to run 10k during the 10th year)

Happy Running!

Foods for Runners

{Side note: my 100th post was Motivation Monday #19 – woah}

After my last post – Top 15 Reasons to Run – I came across another runner related picture/info sheet for runners.

The best Foods for Runners (minimally processed)

I can take not credit for this picture – as I came across it on Pinterest!

My Bluenose Marathon 5k Recap post to come tomorrow (I swear). Yes, it’s been 1 full week….

but I finally have it all together now.

Do you eat any of these foods?

Happy Running. 

Top 15 Reasons to Run

Top 15 Reason to Run

Picture from Pinterest.

Why do you run?