Category Archives: toronto

Race Recap: STWM 2014

I just realized that I kind of left you hanging after that pre-race post!

So first, I’m alive….clearly.  And well, actually!

Race morning was COLD.  I woke up at 6:30 and put on the kettle to boil.  Meanwhile I drank a huge glass of water and a smoothie that I had blended up the night before.  I made myself a mug of coffee (using my beautiful pour-over stand from jm&sons) and took it with me while Kaylee and I went for a walk.  It was so cold out!


I wore my parka, toque and mitts and only feel like I was being sliiiiightly dramatic.  There are few things I dislike more than being cold.  Being hungry actually might be the only other thing that is sure to cause me as much misery.

My friend Meghan and I had plans to meet up at the starting line, and as soon as I got back inside I definitely texted her saying that it was too cold and I was going back to bed until April.  Given the cold weather and my general apprehension about the race, I seriously considered not doing it.  Why the heck would I want to go (maybe) run for 13.1 miles when it was zero degrees out?!

Sigh.  Because I’m stubborn.  Right.

By this point it was about 7:30.  I drank some more water, did a few sun salutations and dynamic stretches, foam rolled my IT bands and hamstrings and used a lacrosse ball to roll out my feet.  Then it was time to head out.  I made a piece of peanut butter toast (my pre-race ritual!) and headed out the door around 8.  I was walking over to the starting line, and gun time was 8:45.

It was COLD waiting around.  I had worn a throw away hoodie and toque and was still freezing.  Thankfully the huge crowd made for a bit of extra body heat!  More than 25,000 people were registered to run this year!    Since I was in one of the mid-time corrals, it took an extra 13 minutes after the gun to cross the start line.  And then just before 9am we were off!

I spent the first few miles just waiting for the crowd to thin out, trying not to get frustrated (like I always do) with the sheer volume of people.  Around 5km, everyone had pretty much settled into their pace and I was starting to get hot!  I ditched my sweater and toque at the first water station, which I always walk through anyway.  I was surprised at how good my foot was feeling, and had to hold myself back from picking up the pace.  I was purposely staying right around 9:15/mile which felt slow but again, I hadn’t run anything longer than 10km in two whole years and didn’t want to push it.

Around 10km, I could feel my calves starting to get really tight.  After the 12km water station I kept walking for a couple minutes, then completely stopped to do some stretching.  Getting my legs moving again after that was tough, but they felt so much better.  For about 2km.  I could feel the tightness in my right calf starting to pull on my knee and started to get nervous that this would be another “limp to the finish line in tears” race (yes, that’s happened before).  So more stretching, more walking.  I told myself that I would do this every 2km until the end of the race.  At 18km during one of my walking stints, I was having a really hard time talking myself into running again.  I knew I wouldn’t finish in under 2:00, which had kind of secretly been my wish, and thought that just maybe I’d walk to the end since we were going to be waiting for my friend who was doing the full marathon anyway.  Then I saw Meghan run past me, and it lit a fire under my ass.  If she was still going (doing her first half, btw!) then so could I!

I ended up crossing at 2:05:57 and was so proud of myself for pushing through when it got so tough mentally.  Having Meghan on the course really helped too!

Meg’s boyfriend was waiting at the finish line for us with warm sweaters and some celebratory champagne!


Post-race we went for a well-deserved brunch and spent the rest of the day being rather lazy.  My poor calves were sore for almost a full week after, but I’m happy to report that the bit of pain in my knee disappeared after a day and that my foot feels great!  And of course we’re already talking about signing up for the spring…..


SBC: Day 20

20) Twenty fun facts about yourself

1.  I’m the oldest of four children.  It’s so engrained that I act like I’m EVERYONE’S big sister.

2.  I’m shy.  Like, super shy.

3.  I’m scared of balloons.  Not the foil kind though.

4.  For almost 20 years I thought my uncle had taken my cousin and I to see a Michael Jackson concert when I was like 6.  Turns out it was actually just a dream.

5.  I hate wearing shoes, but own no fewer than 30 pairs.

6.  I’ve moved 10 times in the past 11 years.

7.  For being as clumsy as I am, I’ve never had stitches and the only bone I’ve ever broken is my second toe on the left foot.  Twice.

8.  The last movie I saw in theatres was the Dark Knight Rises in the summer of 2012.

9.  I’m not scared of spiders or any other bugs except for dragonflies and grasshoppers.  I hate those things.

10.  I know how to knit and my specialty is socks.

11.  I’ve never been on an all-inclusive vacation.  And probably never will.  So not my style.

12.  I’ve been a vegetarian for 12 years.

13.  I used to want to be a lawyer.  I blame Ally McBeal.

14.  All things aside, I would have 6 children if I could.  2 bio, 4 adopted, fyi.

15.  I’m fluent in French and can muddle my way through Spanish and Italian too.

16.  I laugh at all jokes.  Like all.  Good, bad, mean, crude.  Allllll of them.

17.  I’m a morning person trapped in the body of a night owl.  Or a night owl trapped in the body of a morning person.  Either way, it’s as tiring as you’d expect.

18.  I’m a Detroit sports fan, if by “fan” you mean I wear the team’s tshirts and passively cheer for them without ever knowing a single stat, player, or their current standing.

19.  I’ve had a guitar for about 15 years and the only 2 songs I can play are Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” and Van Morrison’s “Brown Eyed Girl”.  And DON’T ask me to sing.

20.  I don’t own a hairbrush.

SBC: Day 10

10) A day in your life

My days are sooooo all over the place.  I happened to be off this day (last Wednesday….just a tad late).

7:30am – Kaylee wakes me up.  She needs to go outside like NOW.  I was at work until after 1am the night before so I’m less than impressed.  We quickly go out, and initially I planned on going back to bed for another hour or so but I happened to look at the schedule for my yoga studio and decide to go to an early class instead.  We come back upstairs, and eat breakfast (a smoothie bowl for me, the usual for her) and then head to the dog park.


9:15 – get back home, grab my mat and head to the 9:30 Level 2 class at moksha.

11:15 – grab a quick shower, chug a bunch of water and eat a banana with peanut butter then quickly bike to an appointment


I stop off at Bunner’s, a local Toronto vegan and gluten-free bakery, on the way home for a couple cupcakes to share with a friend later.

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(I was so excited to eat them that I forgot to take a before picture, but there was carrot-coconut and marble with strawberry frosting)

1:30 – my friend comes by for a private yoga session.  He’s training for his third marathon and I’ve finally convinced him that some flexibility and body work would do him wonders.  We spend one hour doing asanas followed by an hour of Thai yoga massage.  And then obviously eat cupcakes (apparently this was my lunch that day? Less than nutritionally sound).  Lucky guy!

4:00 – walk Kaylee over to a nearby pet shop that has a DIY dog wash.  This girl haaaaates baths, but she waded into a creek a couple days prior and needs it badly.


5:30 – get home and quickly get cleaned up to go meet a friend for dinner.  It’s raining, but we meet at our usual corner and walk anyway.

6:30 – arrive at Bent.  It’s a little early for dinner for me, but my lovely friend has to be up at 6am for work these days so I’m happy to adjust to her schedule.  We’re at Bent for their special Veggielicious menu that.  It’s a 5 course seasonal tasting menu that I’m beyond excited about because there are NEVER SPECIAL VEGETARIAN MENUS.

Everything is delicious.  I was going to write “in particular the…” but then I realized that really just everything was super good.  Even my carnivorous friend gave it two thumbs up.

10:00 – arrive home, full and happy.  I’m supposed to go meet a bunch of my coworkers to celebrate someone’s last day at work, but they’re not quite done shift yet so I take Kaylee for her nighttime walk, then make the mistake of sitting down on the couch.  By the time I get the call to go to the pub at 11, I’ve changed into pyjamas and am reading the latest Yoga Journal in bed.

12:30 – lights out.  This is a pretty early bedtime for me, but it was so necessary after getting so little sleep the night before and a busy day.

SBC: Day 7


7) Seven things you’d like to work on/improve about yourself

This is a tough one to put out to the internet!

1.  Saying no.  I overcommit myself, and generally make myself miserable, because I have a really hard time saying no to people.  Either because i WANT to do something, but don’t really have the time/energy for it, or because I absolutely DON’T want to do something, but feel guilty saying no.  Example: Oh, you want me to take your shift tomorrow? Well, I’m already working 5 long days this week, and I had hoped to get my laundry done, my dog bathed, groceries bought, have dinner with a friend, and get a good night sleep, but I guess there’s not really any GOOD reason why I can’t…..

2.  Being more positive.  I tend to get into this negative mindset, where everything is terrible and I let every single little thing get to me.  It’s not fun for me or for those around me.  I’d like to get better about taking a step away, taking a breath and turning it around.

3.  Being more organized.  There was a day, not too long ago, that I was soooo organized.  Everything went into the planner, and what was in the planner HAPPENED.  From work to workouts to social calls to cooking and cleaning and errands.  I want to get back to this.  And not just the planner.  The spaces too.  I have the best condo.  Like, ever.  Not only do I have an amazing sunroom/home yoga studio, but I have a huuuuuge (by Toronto standards) pantry.  That I’ve let turn into a “I’ll throw it in here and deal with it later” room.  And I have a shelf full of movies that I will genuinely never watch again.  And a big box of shoes that I haven’t worn in a year.  The physical clutter creates mental clutter for me, and it has to go.

4.  Recommitting to my yoga practice.  I mentioned this in my goals for September SBC post, and so far I’ve had a solid hour-plus practice 5 of 8 days.  Not too shabby.

5.  Eating better.  Most people I know think I’m like the Queen of Healthy Eating.  I think this USED to be the case, but nowadays I’ve definitely fallen out of some good habits.  Too much sugar and caffeine, not enough fresh vegetables.  

6.  Time management.  This kind of goes hand-in-hand with being more organized, but I feel like I always think I can do more than I actually acn with the chunks of time that I have, and it makes me late for things.  Like a lot.  I think perpetual lateness is a terrible quality to have and definitely something I’d like to kick.

7.  Detaching from the phone.  I check Instagram wayyyy too many times every day.  Same goes for feedly (<– love this reader) and email.  I’d like to start leaving it at home sometimes, like when I take Kaylee for a walk.  At night I bring it with me for safety reasons, but during broad daylight?  Nothing is so pressing that it can’t wait an hour.  Don’t know how I’ll capture all the random selfies though….




SBC: Days 5 and 6

I’ve decided that I’m definitely giving myself a pass on the blog every day thing on days that I work a double shift.    Something about 14 straight hours at work makes me feel pretty entitled to taking a pass on pretty much everything else that day.

5) Top five highlights from summer

1. Bali.  Duh.


2.  Weekly roadtrips to visit someone awesome.

3.  Sunday morning yoga in the park.


4.  Cottage visits with amazing friends.

5.  Realizing I can pop up into headstand every.single.time.I.try now (this used to feel soooo unachievable)


6) Six things about fall you’re looking forward to

1.  A trip out east to visit one of my dearest friends.

2.  Starting to work with my very first private yoga client – so exciting!

3.  Hikes through High Park with Kaylee.

4.  Mocassins.  Boots.  Warm socks.  I loooooove being barefoot most of all, but something about fall footwear makes me super happy.

5.  Crisp fall nights.

6.  Cozy comfort foods.  Soups, stews, roasted veggies, pumpkin everything.

SBC: Day 4

4) Thankful Thursday

Today I woke up verrrrrry tired.  So thankful for coffee.



For balance.  Vegan donuts // Smoothie bowls


For a strong and able body, that can power through runs and ease into asanas


(gratuitous Bali memory)

For finally keeping a scoby alive and nailing a new kombucha recipe


For making the best of things with silly friends



For these two


September Blogging Challenge, Day 3

3) Favourite fashion trend(s) right now


I would never describe myself as very fashionable. Or very “with it”.

I send desperate texts to my much more trendy friends like “Are maxi dresses still cool?”.

But I DID happen to pick up a Women’s Health magazine recently that says that athletic-inspired items are on-trend for fall.  So if “athletic-inspired” is cool, that means straight up athletic is cool too, right? Right??  This is totally something I can get behind, because I basically live in yoga leggings and tanks.  And the crazier the patterns/colours on the leggings, the better.  A quick glance through my instagram is proof:

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(the stripey ones are both by k.deer (<– LOVE them, and you’d better believe I have my eyes on more), grey floral are lululemon, and the blue ones are some random cheapy brand)

With fall arriving imminently, I’m also looking forward to big cozy scarves and sweaters, boots and the return of dark and moody nail polish.