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Reliving the Weekend

Remember when it was the weekend??

Le sigh.

While Toronto may be a go-go-go city throughout the week, I love the pace it takes on over the weekend. Families emerge in their neighbourhoods with a more friendly and relaxed manner.

Let us bask in the weekend once more with a Sunday recap, shall we?

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Breaking News:

Sister Sara and I are doing a half marathon together!! Completing a half marathon was actually one of my 2010 goals. But it got sidelined once I decided to move halfway across the country. Now it will be accomplished in May 2011 with my big sis at my side! I think it’s the perfect goal for both of us to have right now and will be a fun bonding experience :)

We spent 4-ish miles chatting about our future half marathon and other things while running along my favourite lakefront trail Sunday morning. We’re lucky enough to pace similarly and are currently maintaining the same mileage base. Should be a fun adventure!

After working up an appetite running, Sara, my mom, roommie and I all hit up a local joint for Sunday brunch.

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Pulp Kitchen has been on my “to-visit list” forrrever! They’re a vegan/vegetarian restaurant with a juice bar.

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That waitress totally called us out for being East Coasters for talking about Joel Plaskett and Jill Barber. Ha!
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I treated myself to a Chunky Monkey shake made with chocolate soymilk, banana and espresso.

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Roommie Megan got the Cocoa Berry shake with chocolate soymilk, strawberries, banana and ginko biloba.

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Megan’s was awesome, but I enjoyed the caffeine boost in mine!

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Megan got the scrambled tofu wrap which looked really good.

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Mom got the PK sandwich with crispy tofu, avocado and cilantro dijon mayo. She said she enjoyed the bread and crispy mayo.

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Sara got the blueberry waffles. I tried a bit, but we all agreed mine are better ;)

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Finally, I got the stewed beans and bangers with homemade vegan baked beans and veggie sausage. This was so filling! I appreciated that the beans were made in house and not canned, but now I totally want to try making this at home. 

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After brunch we wandered around the ‘hood poking our heads into all the antique and vintage clothing stores. I also brought Sara to get the best cinnamon buns in Toronto. I’m not joking here folks. And I’m something of a “connoisseur” on the subject.

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These come from Sweet Bliss Baking Company on Queen St East. I first tried one in August and it was love at first bite. I held off on this day though. Instead I had a few bites of the blueberry scone which was also nothing short of amazing.

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The other great thing about weekends is that people bring their dogs out!! You do not want to be around me when a dog is in the vicinity. I start to get weepy and ask if I can take photos of them.IMG_2991

I want one so bad! Someday… When I’m no longer a vagabond…

Sunday finished off with a wonderful dinner at my aunt Heather’s place. She made a chicken chili (breast, not ground, yum!) topped with sour cream and an amazing olive bread. I had way more bread than pictured. Holymoly.

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Cousins!

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My mom’s mom, aka my Nana, had several siblings. Thus, my mother has even more cousins. All of which she is very close with. I’m not sure if her cousins are technically “aunts” and “uncles” by definition. But they’re as good as that to me!

 

Ahh… the weekend seems so far away now. But even after working 15 hours today (yes, I did) I was still able to find just as many joys. Here’s to a fabulous work week!

 

Question of the Day: What is your favourite weekend activity? I love exercising on the weekends then treating myself to a big meal (or beer!) after. And of course, exploring new spots in this city of mine :)

Making Dates

I love you guys. Commenters, lurkers, friends and family. The support I get from everyone is unreal. In the end, my struggles are trivial, in that I am so lucky to have so many people behind me. THANK YOU.

Okay, lets not ramble tonight. Let’s get down to business.

I stayed up too late watching Teen Mom last night. I love that show. Thankfully, today was my rest day, so I had lots of time this morning to stumble around in my pre-coffee daze. This also included a breakfast of epic proportions.

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I blame Holly for this. She got the idea of french toast in my head!

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I tried something a little different today and toasted the bread first, then dredged it in egg whites and pumpkin pie spice. I personally did not care for it. It made it crunchy, and I prefer a dense and egg-y french toast.

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I’ve been on a grape kick lately. They’re super sugary and my sweet tooth loves it!

Work was pretty slow today. One of those days spent waiting for people to return my e-mails and phone calls. After work though, I went to a lecture featuring Nik Nanos. Canadian political junkies may know him as the leading pollster in the country. Some excellent  political discussion followed :)

Came home to my supa-spicy leftovers from yesterday. I put the meatless ground round/black bean combo on top of some cooked veggies today.

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This time with steamed green beans, red potatoes and brussel sprouts. Topped with salsa, of course ;)

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This was so. much. food. I couldn’t finish it all. Cooked veggies are way more filling than raw ones. I also feel like I’m about 8 months along with a black bean fibre baby.

 

Making Dates

No, not those kinds of dates… Not yet – sheesh! :P

I found out today that my personal training course has officially been moved to March, followed by my exam April 16. Eeee!! Excitement!! I was originally supposed to do a three-day course in Moncton (on top of my online and textbook course-work). But the instructor fell ill and had to cancel. So now I’ll be travelling to Saint John for two weekends in March instead. Seeing as my current contract at the university is up April 30, this timeline works perfectly for me! Hopefully I’ll be certified and good to go by the time I finish my contract. It also gives me extra time to study. Cause lets face it, my current schedule is a lot more strenuous than my Starbucks one was ;)

I’m also looking into RPM spin class training. I still have to hear back on this one, I’m not entirely sure when and where they’re offering it yet. I like the idea of teaching spin class, I know I could challenge people and have a good time. But I’m also a very shy person who tends to clam up in front of big crowds. So I think I’ll just do the training and take it from there. If anything, it will be fun and look fab on my resume :)

And fiiiiinally – I’m starting to make decisions about this coming race season! You may recall that I set three race goals in my Goals For the New Year. In 2010 I want to  compete in a half marathon, compete in a duathlon and bike a metric century.

It’s kinda hard to plan out all my races, because I don’t know where I’ll be living after this spring yet. But here’s the tentative schedule:

Sunday, April 11thFredericton Lincoln 5k

Sunday May 9th – Fredericton Marathon – 10k

Sunday June 6th – Moncton Subaru Duathlon – 5k run, 20k bike, 2k run

You may also recall that I originally planned on doing my half marathon in May as part of the Fredericton Marathon. But I’ve decided to do the 10k portion of the race instead, and put my half marathon off until late summer/early fall. This is mostly because I don’t want to spend the winter months training on a treadmill or in the cold when I could be spending these months weight training. It will also be a lot more fun to train for a half marathon in nice weather :)

Of course, who knows when or where this half marathon will be – I haven’t a clue where I’ll end up yet! As for the metric century, I’m having a tough time finding road bike races in this area. But this isn’t something I necessarily want to do as a race, I really just want to get the mileage under my wheels :)

 

So there ya go, consider yourself updated! ;)

 

Question of the Day: Do you plan on doing any races in the upcoming season? I got a lot of people say they want to do marathons and triathlons in my last post. Even if you’re not ready for a big one, a few smaller races are still a good start!

Running For The Fun Of It

Aaah! Thank you so much for the positive comments on my last post! You have no idea how good it felt to get that off my chest! As of right now, I’m just going to keep my eyes open for the right opportunity. There are a few avenues I’d like to pursue but I think I need to be still for a little bit before I dive into anything right away. It’s comforting to know I have a decent job to go to every day in the meantime :)

You’ll never guess what I had for breakfast this morning :P

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A chocolate macaroon breakfast cookie! I’m happy to hear that people are having breakfast cookie successes after posting my how-to video last week! The amazing Ellie had her first successful attempt at the overnight cookie. Except she made hers snack sized. Such a great idea!

There was also a honeydew melon at some point as a pre-run snack.

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I always do cottage cheese in a cantaloupe bowl, but I saw this combo on Tay’s blog and knew it was a “must have!”

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In the melon is yogurt, Optimum banana almond cereal and cinnamon. While this was a stellar combo – the cinnamon totally made it! ;)

I was feeling reeeally tired and “blah” today. I wanted to get out for a run, but I decided to not set the usual goals for myself. After two straight weekends of races, and my toughest long run to date, I felt the need to just let loose on the trail. So I set out without any time or distance goals. I didn’t run hard or fast, I just ran to remind myself that it’s fun :)

SO glad I did! I’m not sure about you guys, but I get so caught up in setting fitness goals for myself, I sometimes forget that just doing it is fun. We had a perfect fall day here. Sunny and slightly brisk. I never run along the trail later in the day, so the sun was coming through the trees in the most gorgeous way. It was full of yellow and orange leaves, and I got to say hello to many fellow trail-goers :)

If you must know, I did 4.2 miles in 41 minutes. Perfection! No walk breaks since it was a shorter run. I felt like I could have kept going, but I’m terrified of getting an overuse injury. So I kept my weekly mileage in the “safe” zone :)

My cycling-obsessed boyfriend teased me into thinking he was going to run with me today. Alas, he once again opted for is two wheels. Aaahhh, the woes of being a cycling widow :P Or…is he a running widow?

Anyways, we met up after our respective workouts for some refuelling in the form of a homestyle dinner.

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Canadians, especially Atlantic Canadians, will know what an Irving Big Stop restaurant is. Big Stops are essentially giant gas stations for truckers. They’ve got huge stores attached and rest areas. They also have homestyle restaurants.

It’s by no means classy.

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The food may be simple, but it’s quality. Plus, we kinda like these places. So much so, it’s where we came for Valentine’s Day!

They have one of those “Simply For Life” menus (which I discovered is a local diet centre/program).

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I went for the roast turkey dinner. “All white turkey meat served with mixed steamed vegetables and baked sweet potato.”

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I love turkey dinners!! Probably one of my favourite meals (and why Thanksgiving is actually my #2 favourite holiday after Halloween ;) ). There was soooo much turkey. I ended up mixing it with the veggies and sweet potato to get combination bites. It was mega tasty. The perfect post-run meal.

Chris went a little ahem, bigger, with his recovery meal.

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Chicken poutine. I can’t say much though, bastard burned 1300 calories on his ride! I assume most people know what poutine is, but for clarification sake this one had french fries, turkey gravy and mozzarella. Traditional poutines are made with cheese curds, but cheese is always delicious no matter what the kind :)

I also have an official announcement to make.

I’m going to do a half marathon in May!! It’s something I’ve wanted to do ever since I ran the 5k portion of the same race this past May. All I needed was a little gentle nudging from Brie who signed up for her first half marathon in April!

It still seems pretty far away in my mind. But it was this time last year that I decided on the triathlon, and that approached pretty darn quick!

The only thing I’m worried about is training during the winter months. I don’t think running in freezing temperatures will be that bad. I’m just concerned about the ice and snow. I don’t want to run on the icy sidewalks, which means a few months training will likely be done on the treadmill. 

Anyone got any tips for training in the winter?

If you live in a warm climate, got a spare room? I jest, I jest :P

Okee folks, cookie is in the fridge, and I’ve got a bed that’s calling my name. Hope you’re having a great weekend!

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