Halloween Workouts – Tricks on You

Oh Halloween, you are here again. I have a love-hate relationship with Halloween. I love seeing the kids all dressed up and loved it as a kid but sometimes I just don’t like it. I can’t pin-point what it is but I’m just being honest.

Having said that, we’re taking on the “Frozen” theme for Halloween this year….well, it’s actually just taking over our lives in general – for real. I have more Frozen glitter all over my house….really, everywhere.

Let it go, Piper….Let It Go! 

The girls are so excited to be Elsa and Anna, we’ve been practicing dancing and singing in costumes all week. I’m going to be Olaf since I have a costume from last year’s run…

1000 Kilometers PR

Since I’m sure you’ll have lots of trick-or-treaters, here is a workout from Suzi at Confessions of a Fitness Instructor. She has a printable workout and more “exercises vs costumes” for you to do. Let’s just say that hanging out with Elsa and Anna (Princesses) is going to have me doing a lot of “curtsy lunges” 🙂

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Now, if you choose to eat some of your children’s candy {when they are not looking} you’re going to need to do some of these workouts:

I’m not saying if you eat a candy you have to workout to get rid of those calories but this is more of a fun way to enjoy eating those candies and working out! And yes…I’ll be eating some candy but I’m also hoping to get out for a run Saturday.

If you have a toddler and a baby this Halloween, you may want to check out an old post “How to Survive Halloween with a Toddler and Baby”.

How to Survive Halloween with a Toddler and a Baby

What’s your favourite part of Halloween?

Favourite candy to eat?

Do you have any Halloween traditions?

Happy Halloween tomorrow!

Half Marathon Training Done – Now What?

Just like that my half marathon training came to an end – a good end I will say. After starting back in June, yes June, I finally managed to get the distance in without any major injury during my run. After finishing my half is a different story but I’m working on strengthening my hamstring/glutes once again.

Now what? What does one do when they finish their training, complete the race (or not), having nothing left on the agenda? Well, you set other goals. You plan for the next *thing* and you relax a little 😉 You rejoice in 12-18 weeks of hard work, sore muscles and tears.

I don’t have any “races” booked for the upcoming months (2015) and  only recently starting to think about 2016 races I want to do….that list is long but I will narrow it down. I also have a different list of goals I want to achieve next year. Yes, I’m already thinking about 2016 goals, new year resolutions, challenges etc. And that’s a good thing because it means I’m not going to stop running or trying to get stronger. I’ll spare you the details of my goals until next year though 🙂

In December there is a local 5k Santa shuffle (for lack of better word) that I’d like to do however, my husband is away that day so I need to figure out child care and then get my girls to their indoor soccer practices. That is still a month and a bit away so no rush on that one.

261 fearless oct 26

What now?

Well, I need to work on getting my hamstring better. Better? Yes, it’s still not 100%. The PEI half marathon took the good out of my leg as it was sore for close to five days post run. THAT was upsetting because I had had numerous long runs without difficulty.  I think it was because of two things 1 – the last 5k was rolling HILLS and 2 – I didn’t stretch like I normally did after my other long runs. #mistake Most of my long runs did not end with 5k of massive rolling hills and you need strong glutes and hammy’s for those hills.

So for now, I’ll run when I can, attend lunch time yoga when my schedule permits, hit up GoodLife Fitness here and there and work at making my glutes and hamstrings stronger. I’ll be honest, I don’t wish to relive the pain of 2015, the months of frustration and the multiple forms of treatment to feel normal again. I’m not even sure I’ll feel normal again but am hopeful.

I’ve put indoor soccer on the back burner which is huge for me. I desperately love playing soccer and may have had too much fun playing keep-a-way with Hilary at the Parent-n-Tot program last Sunday. I felt in my element on the turf with the soccer ball, running around.

Do you have any more races lined up for the rest of 2015?

Have you started to think about 2016?

What are you looking forward to the most over the upcoming months?

Curried Cauliflower with Spinach & ChickPeas

We eat a fair amount of curry and chick peas in our house. Now I’m not talking all the time but everyone will eat it which is a big success when you have two little kids and a vegan. One of our other favourites is Curried Cauliflower & Chickpeas with Coconut Milk that I shared back in August and wanted to share this one today!

It’s so easy to make and doesn’t require a lot of prep time. Though you need to make sure you have all the ingredients (as with any recipe). Yesterday, I had to run to the store – literally – to pick up an onion. I wasn’t to upset as I wanted to get my first post half marathon run in and my hamstring was feeling good.

I got the recipe from my mother a few years ago. She found it in a magazine and thought my husband would like it since it was vegan. She’s always trying new vegan recipes for him and follows all the directions 100%, me not so much 😉

Curried Cauliflower with Spinacn and chickpeas PR

Curried Cauliflower, Chick Peas and Spinach. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh ginger (yum)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced (I always put way more 3-5 cloves)
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
  • 1 small head of cauliflower
  • 1 can (19oz/540ml) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 4 cups of baby spinach
  • Rice or quinoa or other grain.

Directions:

1. In frying pan heat oil and cook onion and sugar, stiring occasionally until beginning to brown.

2. Add ginger, garlic, garam masala, vinegar, cayenne, salt and pepper; reduce heat to medium-low and cook until onion is golden brown.

3. Cut cauliflower into florets to make 6 cups (I never measure this). Add to pan along with chickpeas and raisins; cover and cook, stirring once or twice until cauliflower is tender (about 18 minutes).

4. Remove from heat and stir in spinach. ( I don’t remove it from the heat when I put in the spinach).

5. Surve over rice of your choice.

Our girls actually eat this!!!!!!! I find this one really good after a day as the flavour is that much stronger. What’s even better – apparently I’ve shared this recipe on my blog before, whoops! Oh well, I took the time to write this up so I’m going to hit publish anyway. Enjoy 🙂

Do you find curry better the day you make it or a day later ?

Ever run (or walk) to the store for an ingredient you forgot?

Ever shared a recipe twice on your blog? Or something else?

Fall into Fit Gear Exchange!

About a month ago, I signed up to do a Fall into Fit Gear Exchange. I was given Janelle over at Wholly Healthy and I sent her a package of some new things and some old favourites. I forgot to take a picture, so you’ll have to check out her blog

I received a package from Brittany who recently became a fitness instructor in her spare time (way to go!). Brittany is the master-mind behind this fun exchange. She blogs over at My Mama Journey.

Fall into FitGear Exchange-3

It’s always a fun day when you get a package in the mail but when you forget you signed up for an exchange it’s even better. I sent off my packaged and it arrived at Janelle’s house on the West Coast and I kinda forgot I would be getting something in the mail, until the package arrived! It was sent in two shipments so I waited for the second package to arrive.

Well, let’s just say when I opened everything I was overwhelmed! Brittany couldn’t have known my any better. From the workout foam roller book to the skipping rope, tea, book and new recipes – well, it was all awesome. She also wrote me a super awesome note which I read just before heading off to run my 3rd half marathon. It was just the message I needed to read, so thank you for that Brittany.

Fall into Fit Gear Exchange PR

The tea’s are almost gone and the foam roller book has been opened and unopened many times. I love the note book and I’m pretty sure I have to many of them but I do use them all the time! Brittany, thanks for putting a lot of though into the exchange not to mention hosting it. I’m excited to give the skipping rope a go even though it looks so professional 🙂 I’m sure it will add it my fitness.

Post Half Marathon Run

In other news, I finally went for my first post half marathon run yesterday! Yes, it took me a full week to do, not because I didn’t want to but because my hamstring needed the rest and I was on the road all week for work. And…..it was great!

I was running out of time on Sunday but managed to get in a 5k run. I ran down the hill and out of our subdivision and made my way onto the trail (rails to trails) with the intentions of stopping at the grocery store on my way back. See, I needed an onion for dinner and my husband suggested I combine the two: get my run in and pick up an onion. Really, this was a win-win situation.

Oh  my way back I hit 4k and kept running at close to the grocery store as I could. I paused my Garmin and walked slowly behind a lady that was out for a Sunday walk I’m sure. Once I got in the store I briskly walked over to get an onion and then to the cash register….no lines! I quickly took out the $5 in the back of my skirt and paid for it. I’m pretty sure the cashier knew exactly what I was doing as she asked if I wanted a second bag to carry the onion it. Nope!

As I walked…okay I started to run up the ramp to leave the grocery store, I hit “resume” on my Garmin at the door! I hadn’t lost the satellite – BAM – just like that I was running again. I put the change in my back pocket and threw out the recipe in the garbage bin and kept on running.

I turned the corner with the onion in my hand was just loving my run. I hit the button to cross the street and started my trek back up the hill into my subdivision. Breathing hard, I kept my pace consistent and pushed the last few 100 metres.

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Somehow I managed a sub 30 minute 5k ….haven’t seen that in a while! 29:57 with a stop in the grocery store between kilometres 4 and 5…not too shabby! Even though I stretched well my hamstring was sore a few hours later…..what a friggin bummer. I iced it and that seemed to help but it’s not 100%. Gotta get it and my glutes stronger.

We also had a great weekend: swimming lessons for Lilly, jumping in piles of leaves, indoor soccer started for BOTH girls and just time as a whole family was awesome.

How was your weekend?

Ever exchange fitness gear with someone you didn’t know?

Do you use a skipping rope for training? (Got any workouts to share for this newbie?)

It Only Took Three Days…

…until I wanted to run again 🙂

It’s been a busy few days and I’m sure looking forward to the weekend with my whole family. Even though our weekend will be filled with swimming lessons and indoor soccer season starting, I’m looking forward to getting out for a little run too 🙂 It only took me three days to WANT to run again post half marathon – not bad, eh!

Wednesday afternoon came around and I had this great sensation of wanting to go for a run. Only, I couldn’t because I still had to pick up the girls and get through our night. I figured I would get on the treadmill to walk and maybe a light run but I ended up doing stuff around the house and getting into Netflix. I meant well but ran out of steam to move my legs again.

It’s all good as my hamstring still isn’t 100%. I’m not in massive pain and it’s getting better each day so I know this rest is important for healing.

it will hurt

I’m not too concerned that I’m not running as I know my body needs this rest. I have thought about my next run, my next yoga class, walks with my family and all the workouts at home I’ll do over the upcoming months as it get’s colder outside. I’m also looking forward to cross-country skiing and snowshoeing this winter. Oh, but don’t worry running – you are still on my list of things to do and I’ll cross you off my list this weekend – pinky swear.

How long after finishing a race did you WANT to run?

How long after a race did you actually go for a run?

Any weekend plans?

PEI Half Marathon RACE RECAP {Part 2}

If you missed Part 1, check it out here!

Sick kid update – thank goodness for Advil, Tylenol and snuggles. As I put Hilary to bed last night, she said stay a little longer. So I did, I stayed a little longer with her in my arms in the glider, I sang a little longer and I just enjoyed her being under the snuggles….you never want to see your child sick but the snuggles aren’t going to last forever. I soaked it in as long as I could.

21.1 km continued….

I took my first Chocolate GU around 42 minutes, roughly 6k and kept running with the package in my hand as I wanted to find a garbage bin to put it in. Eventually, we crossed the highway and were on the Confederation Trail – beautiful crusher dust and fall colours everywhere!

I instantly had a pebble in my left shoe and was annoyed as it bounced under my toes like it was in a pillow fight, floating back and forth. That’s all I could focus on for a long time. It eventually made its way to my heel and started to feel more like a rock. The level of annoyance was getting up there but I kept running even when it felt like the stupid rock jumped out of my left shoe and into my right shoe in an instant. Seriously! I don’t know how that happened or if I just wasn’t paying attention but the pebble was now in the right shoe! *face palm* WTF!

Around 57 minutes in, I figured I’d finish my first 10k around 1:03 and then did some math. If I kept at this comfortable pace, I could do 20k in 2:06 and or maybe, just maybe push the last 2-3k to finish under 2:10. I hate doing math when I run but this got me excited.

My motto for the run was “stay comfortable” and when I saw “behind pace” on my Garmin, I would say “that’s okay” and smile. Because, really…it was okay. It was okay that I was behind my 6:20/km pace as I felt comfortable and was really enjoying my run. Now, I wasn’t that far off my pace but within reach, right where I wanted to be.

I took out my other GU around 10.5k to warm it up in my hand {really, it’s a nice stress reliever to squish between your hands when running} and it’s easier to swallow when warmed up. As we left the trail and onto the road my legs felt like they were in heaven! Happy legs, happy runner….right!

PEI Finish

Again, I felt so comfortable running. “Ahead of pace” flashed on my Garmin – awesome. This is such a great run…no, don’t say that…it’s such a good run, I thought. The last time I said “great run” when running, I hurt my foot. We ran through a cemetery and I was not prepared for that at all. It was short and sweet but I couldn’t help but think about the people who were buried there. I started to read the names and then got refocused on my run.

Roughly 15-16k

I was feeling good at this point and just kept running at my comfortable pace. We came out onto a street and I floated down the hill. It was rolling massive hills from here on in. I ran up every single hill and kept a comfortable pace for each. I struggled a few times towards the last two hills but didn’t stop. I remember looking at my watch around 17k and was feeling really good still but knew I had more hills to come.

As marathon runners passed me – actually whipped passed me – with what looked like fresh legs, I felt like I was moving at a snail’s pace. A few times I’d yell out “great job” but most of them were focus on their run to reply back. I heard music pumping out of a stereo and the song reminded me of my girls; that made me feel good.

I was hoping to really push it between 18-21 km but I just couldn’t. I did maintain my “pace” and then managed to push it a little more during the last 2km. I knew my husband would be at the finish line so I kept my eye out for his jacket. I noticed him instantly and the smile on my face grew bigger. I was happily finishing my 3rd half marathon with enough juice in my legs to finish strong.

As I high-fived a bear, I knew I had accomplished my goal of running another half marathon. I push those last few steps as the MC called out my name my hands went into the air in celebration. The last few steps I ran with my eyes closed for some reason….maybe I was taking it all in, maybe it was in relief to be finishing, maybe I was overwhelmed with joy. I’m sure my race finish photo’s will tell the story on my face and I can’t wait to see them.

PEI 3rd Half Marathon 2015

I made my way through the finish shoot, grabbed some food and water and found my husband. I gave him a hug but told me not to squeeze him too tightly….as he had an egg/gouda/bacon sandwich inside his coat waiting for me! SCORE!!!! It was still warm as he ordered it from Starbucks just minutes before I finished my race.

I stretched a little (not enough) and ate my sandwich and YES, I had a moment of ugly crying with my husband as the last 10 months came crushing down on me. It couldn’t have been a more comfortable run, I loved every second of it.

Pace Breakdown

1 – 10km pace: 6:06 | 6:18 | 6:23 | 6:16 | 6:21 | 6:17 | 6:26 | 6:16 | 6:21| 6:29 |

11-21.1 km pace: 6:30 | 6:30 | 6:07 | 6:16 | 6:04 | 6:29 | 6:13 | 6:28 | 6:28 | 6:08 | 6:08 | 0:58 |

Average: 6:18/km (goal 6:20/km)

Chip Time: 2:13:28

Garmin Time: 2:13:30

After I ran, we waited around for another RunATCan member to finish his first half marathon and it was great to see him finish. Great job Andrew and congrats! I ran into an old soccer friend, Jenna who was running the corporate distance with some friends.

Later that afternoon we went to The Gahan House for beer, mussels and calamari…I’m pretty sure I made my vegan husband ill with my food choices but it was so good!

Post Run Beer Food

I hurt all over! My hamstring isn’t good but my calf muscles hurt too. I’m taking the week off running since it’s a crazy work week and trying to get my hamstring happy again. The road to recovery after an injury is NEVER over – that’s what I’ve learned this year.

Thanks for reading about my journey to my 3rd half marathon. I’m excited for a 5k Santa Shuffle in December and just enjoying working out and getting stronger. I’m not ready to give up my long runs or half marathon training so expect to read more about that in the new year!

Congratulations to the PEI Marathon for an awesome event! The course is beautiful in so many ways. The vibe at the finish line is energetic. Great job….I will be back!

Again, thanks for your comments, your support and encouragement along the way.

What’s your favourite post race meal or drink?

Do you have any upcoming races?

How do you finish your races?

PEI Half Marathon RACE RECAP! {Part 1}

Whoop, whoop…I finally ran a race for me and didn’t get hurt! Ba, ha ha ha!

Seriously, though…I probably had one of the best races one could have after 10 months of physio (Massage & Osteopath), 4 missed races, lots of volunteering and 2 FRIGGIN’ injuries. Thank you for all your comments on the blog, on twitter, on Facebook and the text messages and phone calls I got from family and friends this past weekend. I’m surrounded by amazing and supportive people and I greatly appreciated ALL of your comments.

I’m going to try and capture it all but will do it in two posts…I know, I know….but I have a sick little girl on my hand and need to get ready for a rough night ahead of us.

Vacation!

It took me a while to get over the guilt of leaving my girls for four days. Crazy, I know! I just had this guilt over me for a few weeks thinking I should bring them with me so we could all be together for a weekend. This would have meant Lilly missing two days of school {which I’m fine with} but it also meant all four of us would sleep in the same room. Recipe for disaster for a mother runner!

My parents came to our house to take care of the girls and I left Friday for Prince Edward Island. It was about a 4.5 hour drive. Thanks Mom & Dad!

Once in PEI, Sai and I decided to go out to a British pub called “The Churchill Arms”. The food was awesome! The guilt went away and I was able to enjoy time with my husband and actually relax – like feet up on the couch relax for hours! Gasp!!!

The Expo {Friday}

This was pretty neat for someone from out of Province. It was held at the Confederation Center for the Arts in Charlottetown {Ch’town}. I had no idea where I was going once we got inside but figured it out after I saw a few other runners in front of me. The expo is small but just right. They didn’t give you a swag bag but you could get a bag if you wanted on along with any printed material along the way. There were probably 10 booths set up: Running Room, Fusion belts and a few others but I didn’t stop. I kept walking to find out where to pick up my bib and tried to convince Sai to sign up for the 5k. He wasn’t budging 😉 I got my bib and shirt and was good to go!

My cousin Jennifer works at the library so we went to visit her. You know, it’s ALWAYS great seeing your family when you are away. We chatted for a while and she suggested going to The Gahan House for drinks post race….we kept that in mind.

pei bib shirt

{Saturday}

We had no obligations Saturday, other then to find a pair of throw-away shirt. We hit up the Charlottetown Farmer’s Market, were unsuccessful at finding a throw-away shirt and couldn’t find “the right poncho” anywhere. We made my favourite vegan avocado pesto pasta for dinner and went out one last time to find “the right” poncho for my run. Fun fact: I had two of these poncho’s in my running container at home, oops!

My poor husband! I’m pretty sure he was ready to kill me Saturday…or loose me shopping. I couldn’t decided what to wear for my run as it was calling for +5C with rain but feels like 0C. WTF  – oh, and I may swear a lot in this post {sorry Mom!}. All day I’d change my mind about what I was going to wear.

I started off with this….

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…and ended up in this….

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The Poncho look.

Okay, I didn’t run in the sweat pants or the fleece sweater but I rocked the yellow poncho! Thankfully after dinner, Sai recommended we head out one more time to find a poncho, hair dryer since I forgot mine and sweat pants. Gotta love Wally world for some super warm and comfy pants – they were a life saver!

Pre Race {Sunday}

5:27 am I woke up but tried desperately to keep my eyes closed as I just wanted to sleep a little longer. That didn’t work, hence knowing the time I was awake. I got up around 6:10 and started my day. When Sai met me for breakfast I was super nervous. I sat there eating a cold piece of bagel with coconut peanut butter and OJ. My right leg was resting on a chair and my left leg was trembling up and down under the table. Every so often, I’d tried to control the trembling but my leg just wanted to shake. Nerves were totally settling in and I could only eat half  of my bagel. I’d later eat a banana in the car.

We arrived at the start around 8am {note – way too early for a 9am start in the rain}. The Full Marathon started in a different location at 8am and would finish with the half, 10k and 5k runners downtown Ch’town. I am SO thankful we found a poncho the night before as it was piss pouring rain when I met Charlotte, a #RunATCan friend who was running the 5k.

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I was wearing my shorts under my sweatpants but decided last-minute to switch out and put on my winter…YES, WINTER running pants as it was wet AND cold at this point. I’m not sure how it happened but the rain went from piss pouring down to a light shower to nothing within 10 minutes of the race starting. As I started to walk towards the start area I ran into another twitter friend, Erin – she was running the 5k. After a quick photo, I went up to the START area and waited patiently as my Garmin caught the satellite. I was super nervous!

21.1 km

There was a little announcement and we were off running…no gun warning. I knew nobody around me, though I made sure to keep an eye on the 2:10 and 2:30 pace bunnies. I started running in my yellow poncho as it was still raining and I was cold. I didn’t want to be wet AND cold starting off so I thought I would keep the poncho on as long as I could.

As I ran with the crowd dodging puddles, pot holes and cracks on the street, I just ran at my pace not those running past me. It took a while but I managed to get into a comfortable groove. My plan was a 6:20 pace, to run comfortably and then push the last 2-5k as I could. Seemed like a good plan to me!

We ran around Victoria Park and I took in the view of the ocean and land off in the distance as the sun was starting to peek out from behind the clouds. I looked around and thought…man, I’m lucky! My poncho was starting to piss me off but I wasn’t ready to part ways with it. As we entered my Aunt/Uncles subdivision, I felt comfortable and like I was in my old neighbourhood. I’ve run these streets many times on vacation and while visiting Sai and family. {Newbies – my husband works in PEI as a Paramedic}.

I ran most of these roads and knew what hills to expect or at least I thought I did. I saw a soccer field near the ocean and all I could think about was if a ball went in the water, they’d be screwed! Around 4k, I took off my poncho and stuck it in my belt….that felt awkward but I kept running. Around 5.5k I saw a water station and decided to ditch the poncho.

I felt comfortable and was really enjoying my run. At times, I thought about all my physio (and other) appointments. I thought about all the frigging pain in my hamstring I had but kept running. I ran up hills I didn’t know about and passed people – I felt really strong!

Every so often my watch would beep “behind pace” and all I could think of was “that’s okay” with a smile on my face. I literally said that every single time I saw “behind pace”. As the crowds of runners thinned out, I still felt comfortable. “On pace” would appear on my Garmin and I’d smile more….I was right were I wanted to be! I aimed for a 6:20/km pace but hoping to keep it under 6:30/km.

Okay…..sick kid needs my attention…..I’ll leave you hanging for a day now……………….

Hope you all had a great weekend?

Anyone race? PEI? STWM ? Others?

Have any snow this weekend? We did!