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Run With Me & Goals for November

I loved hearing the things you guys (girls?) learned over the last month. Some made me giggle, but some also really made me think. The comments are always worth reading through! :)

Reader Jenn (hi!!) asked me what route I took for my 10 mile run. An excellent question, because I’m quite attached to my trail. When I transitioned from the treadmill to outdoor running this spring, I hated running outdoors. But I eventually learned it wasn’t running outside that I hated, just my route. I was running on sidewalks and busy streets, when my heart belonged on the trail! So today I brought my camera, and subsequently you, with me! :)

No nap was needed after work today (thanks Daylight Savings!) but I did fuel up with a tootsie pop first.

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Worked pretty well actually!

I’m lucky that my trail is literally across the street from my house. Was definitely a selling point for me when I found my new place.

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I only see maybe a dozen people on my runs. Most are pretty friendly. Too bad the leaves have all fallen – would have been a lot prettier a couple weeks ago.

Part of the trail runs directly along the St. John River.

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My hometown Moncton has a river that’s known as the “Chocolate River” because it’s so muddy and gross. So I never take the beauty of Fredericton’s river for granted.

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The other side of the trail is littered with gorgeous homes. Some have beautiful backyards and gardens. 

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There’s also a little farm country along the way (I saw horsies on my 10 miler!)

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And don’t worry mom, it’s not totally deserted! There’s an Irving gas station along the way (I am in New Brunswick after all…)

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The worst part however comes on the last kilometre when I actually run past my house. I like to do a little loop, so I get a 7 minute cool-down walk in at the end.

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This is usually where I start running fast. I can’t help it. My brain was all set to keep my pace for the last 5-6 minutes today, but my legs just started moving faster on their own! :P

This was supposed to be a 45 minute run, but turned into 50 minutes with the photo taking. I was running close to 9 minute miles the whole time too, so I actually covered close to 5 miles. I was feeling good after resting Friday then just doing yoga on Saturday.

I also have to share the stellar breakfast cookie I had this morning.

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I’m not sure whether to call this a s’mores or fluffernutter breakfast cookie.

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 scoop chocolate whey powder
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp Fluff
  • 1/2 tbsp mini chocolate chips
  • splash almond milk

It was pretty decadent – even for me!

However, not all my eats were stellar today.

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Store-bought apple sauce will never be the same now I’ve experienced the glory that is homemade apple sauce.

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It was borderline gross. I think I’ll save this for baking and get a bag of apples for sauce-making asap.

 

Today also marks the start of a new month! Which means it’s time to set a new set of goals for the days ahead.

First, let’s check in and see what goals I set for October:

  • Manage my time better so I get more out of my day.
    • I kind of sucked at this one. It’s a work in progress!
  • Continue using my new tiny kitchen to the fullest.
    • Check! There was lots of activity in there last month :)
  • Complete my first double-digit run
    • Check!!! :D
  • Do some freelance writing. Preferably paid.
    • No check. Unfortunately, since I sucked at goal #1, I didn’t have time to set this up. But this is something I’d still like to continue to work on.
  • Make a trip home.
    • Does one meal at home count? How sad is that, especially since my hometown is only a 90 minute drive away. Luckily, I’m heading there on Tuesday, so we’ll just call this one “late” :)
  • Get the guts to take a Zumba class.
    • Check!! Glad I made this a goal, otherwise I would have continued to chicken out.
  • Be more social. Join groups and reconnect with those I’ve lost touch with.
    • This didn’t happen. However, I think quitting my job is a step in the right direction toward this. Hopefully, I’ll be able to join groups when I’m working normal hours for once.

Now, for November?

  • Spend less on groceries. Seriously, time to batten down the hatches.
  • Have fun workouts. No training plans this month, no workout stress!
  • Be less complacent with food. This will be explained in further detail in tomorrow’s post.
  • Get more sleep. This is an ongoing issue that I think is more than just scheduling and bad time management. There are reasons I can’t sleep, and it’s time to get to the bottom of it.
  • Make it through the last month of work with a positive attitude.
  • Try my best to not let anything hold me back.
  • Figure out a way to get into the holiday season. I hate Christmas, but it would be nice to not be so miserable and grouchy about it this year.
  • Spend more time with my grandparents. I am lucky to have three left, and they need to see more of my face, and I need to soak in more of their warmth and wisdom.
  • Be more honest with people. I tend to sugar-coat things, and sometimes that does more harm than good.
  • Look for a job. Not just for security, but one that will ignite some passion in me.
  • Start playing music again. I haven’t picked up my guitar in seven months.

It’s quite the lofty list! Last month was my first month doing this, so I maybe didn’t take it as seriously as I should have. But this month I really want to commit myself to this. So every Sunday, I’m going to be checking in and updating on how they’re coming along.

 

Question of the day: What are your goals for November? Better make them good, I just might check in with you too! ;)

Onward and Forward

Thank you so much for all your support in my last post! I’ve been wanting to leave my job for a while, but felt like there was just no end in sight. So my mommy told me to pick an end date, instead of just spiralling downward for this undetermined amount of time. Even though I have six weeks left, I feel much better knowing there is an end in sight. I already have little bounce back to my step today :)

I do however want to address that my decision to leave my job is not as courageous as it may seem. When I accepted the job, I knew the salary was extremely low, but it wasn’t until I started getting the bi-weekly pay checks that I realized just how low it really was. I think I may have miscalculated just how expensive it is to live on my own. Technically, I’m only paying $60 more in rent a month, but my TV, internet, heat and lights are twice than they were before. Add that to unexpected expenses like snow tires and new glasses, and suddenly, that job no longer provided me the means I needed to live. Additionally, I was given close to no vacation or sick days. Not even enough to go home for Christmas.

So, in the end it was get a part-time job on top of this low-paying job I don’t like to begin with (and with difficult hours to work around). Or, just give it up altogether and start from scratch. Trust me, staying in the old job would have been a lot scarier than embarking on a new one.

Leaving a swanky, high-paying job to pursue your passions is brave. Leaving a low-paying job where you’re overworked and can’t survive is just common sense.

Perhaps if I had big aspirations to be a hard-hitting journalist, it would be worth it to stick it through. But I made up my mind long before I even accepted this position that I did not want to be a reporter. I love to write, tell stories, and meet interesting people. But I do not like the daily grind of a newsroom. The running through hallways, chasing after people, and doing whatever it takes just to get that 10-second clip. Tis not me.

In retrospect, I should have told my boss I would think about it before accepting the job immediately. Even an hour of extra thought would have been all I needed to realize it was wrong for me. At the very least, I will be able to take what I’ve learned over these past six months and apply it in my future work. I didn’t meet a co-worker I didn’t like. I appreciate the opportunities I was given. And I leave there knowing I at least put some good work in, and wrote a few decent stories ;)

Onward and Forward!!

 

I woke up feeling emotionally exhausted. Thankfully, it’s Waffle Wednesday which means I filled my tummy with some comfort food :)

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I was slightly indecisive though. One side has laughing cow cheese, raspberry jam and deli chicken. I had this combo for this first time yesterday and it’s awesome!! Jam + poultry = veryvery good. Other side is egg n’ cheddar.

I had just enough time for this to digest before heading up to the gym to try out a new class! BodyAttack. According to the Les Mills website:

BODYATTACK™ is the sports-inspired cardio workout for building strength and stamina. This high-energy interval training class combines athletic aerobic movements with strength and stabilization exercises. Dynamic instructors and powerful music motivate everyone towards their fitness goals – from the weekend athlete to the hard-core competitor!

My description? Jumping up and down for 55 minutes :P It was almost like step, but without the steps. A lot of hopping and running around. With a few squats, lunges, push-ups and abs thrown in for good measure. It was actually quite hard. We were running in place the whole time. There were no recovery songs. Funny, I can run on a trail for an hour no problem, but make me do it in one spot and it gets so hard! I think I may need to practice doing more jumping jacks in my living room before I go back to that class, I almost didn’t make it through…

 

Now, please don’t judge, but lunch was more waffles!

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I used my protein pancake recipe, so in my mind they’re really more like an oatmeal and cottage cheese dish just shaped like waffles ;)

With some homemade applesauce and fake syrup.

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Me and homemade applesauce are still madly in love. 

I’d actually planned on making Chris and I a special dinner tonight, but it turned out to be a celebratory one of sorts :)

I decided it was time to finally man up and roast a whole chicken. I’ve been eating poultry again for a year now (after a decade without). So far, I’ve mastered chicken breasts on the George Foreman, aaaand that’s about it :P

I used Jenna’s directions and stuffed the bird with, garlic, lemon slices, thyme and some Earth Balance. I also threw some new potatoes and carrots in there. Roasted at 425 F for 90 minutes and voila!

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I was floored by how easy this was! And how delicious it turned out!!

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The meat was sooooo tender and juicy. Cooked to absolute perfection. George Foreman has got some serious competition!!!

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My only complaint is the veggies were greasy from the fat that came off the chicken. I forgot that would happen. My mom even told me to cut the fat off the chicken, and it escaped my mind as soon as I started handling the dead bird. Lesson learned!

But what’s a celebratory meal without an indulgent dessert? Chris and I have been saving a chocolate caramel pecan cheesecake from M&M Meat Shop (Canadian chain that specializes in freezer goods).

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Omgsoooogooooood. I haven’t had real cheesecake in a very long time. Worth every bite. We’ll just forget the craaazy calorie content (like, I’m talkin’ crazy) and sketchy ingredient list, mmkay? Good.

Chris chased his cheescake down with some Kronenbourg.  

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I’m sure he’ll want you to know this is THE French beer to drink during the Tour de France. It’s what all the hardcore cyclists do ;)

Happy bellies!

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Don’t worry, Chris is taking the rest of the cheesecake home. But the chicken is all mine!

Lots of food today to fuel what I hope will be a 10 mile run tomorrow. The weather conditions so far look good, and it’s one of my October goals to hit the double digits by the end of the month. Wish me luck – I may need it!!

 

Question of the day: What’s one dish you really want to try making but haven’t yet? You can cross a whole chicken off my list! Next, I want to try making a pie :)

The Forbidden Fruit

Love all the food and nut butter suggestions that I’m getting from yesterday’s post! If you haven’t heard yet, I’m giving away a free jar of almond hazelnut butter go here to find out how to enter!

If you thought yesterday was an apple extravaganza, just wait until you see today. Apples are hands down my favourite fruit, and probably in my top 5 favourite foods of all time. So I may not like pumpkin, but I’m making up for it with apples this season! :)

Got things started off this morning with an apple cinnamon roll breakfast cookie.

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Uh-mazing. I liked this just as much as my chocolate macaroon kind, which is saying a lot!

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla whey powder
  • several shakes cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • handful dried apple pieces
  • scoop of applesauce

All mashed up until the protein powder dissolved enough to make the mixture crumbly (the apple sauce acted as my liquid here). Flattened on a plate and stuck in the fridge overnight. I put about 1/2 a tbsp of Fluff in a baggie this morning and drizzled it on top for my icing, but some of it came off en route to the office :(

More apples for my snack this morning, in the form of muffins.

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I sliced up a cheestring and melted it in the microwave. This wasn’t as amazing as I was hoping it would be. I think that’s because the cheese was cheap and kind of plastic-y tasting (they were on sale!). I imagine it would be much better with some quality cheddar.

My only non-apple meal of the day was made in these guys:

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Microwave egg cookers. I got these for free at the Running Room. The box had images of perfectly poached eggs. But I think I may need a little more practice to get the perfect microwave setting down.

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I cooked them in the microwave together and one of the eggs exploded while the other one barely cooked. Probably need to do it separately. Still edible though :)

We had a really bad rain storm last night, so I was expecting to have to drag my butt on the treadmill today. But it cleared up just as I got off work. Turned out sunny and 14C! (57 F)

I ended up doing 5.3 miles in 50 minutes. It was surprisingly tough for me. I think I must be having a hard time getting back into it after taking much of last week off. I didn’t really get into my groove until the last part of the run, at which point I booted it to the end. My heart rate went up to 181! I usually get up there in races, but not very often during training runs.

I also added some new tunes to my iPod! Here were some of my faves that popped up:

1. Meet Me At the Equinox – Death Cab For Cutie
2. Gold Digger – Glee Soundtrack
3. Electrify – Mute Math
4. Uprising – Muse
5. Daylight – Matt & Kim (thanks for the suggestion Kathleen!)

When I first started running, I would always pick really upbeat, techno-type songs. But they always kinda bored me! I’m learning that good, quality tunes, no matter the tempo, are much more enjoyable to listen to. It’s nice to have something to pace to, but sometimes it’s also really nice to zone out and enjoy the music and scenery (and maaaaybe sing along :P )

I was megamega hungry when I got back. So dinner was thrown together quickly.

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Ha! You can see a running shoe in the background.

Tofu wrap with some plain sautéed tofu and garlic, with some garden veggies and laughing cow cheese wedge.

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With a chopped honeycrisp sprinkled with cinnamon. Cinnamon is one of my favourite ways to jazz up plain apples. Okay, it’s my favourite way to jazz up anything ;)

More apples!

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This time in the form of homemade applesauce. Scooped on top of plain yogurt mixed with vanilla whey powder and some crumbled Kashi cinnamon harvest.

This was too pretty though – had to turn it into a legit yog mess!

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Ohmygahh this applesauce is GOOD!! I’m in love with it. I want to run away to Vegas and elope with it. I mean I like regular applesauce, but this stuff is a whole other level. It’s really thick, almost like a cross between regular applesauce and apple butter. I want to eat in on everrrything. With Fluff :P

Anyways, that wraps it up for tonight. I actually just finished cooking another apple dish for breakfast tomorrow. Don’t forget you’ve got till Tuesday to enter my giveaway!

Question of the day: What’s your favourite fruit? Pretty sure I don’t have to elaborate on that one :P I’m pretty boring with my fruit choices, oranges and bananas are second and third.

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