My Pursuit of Happiness and Skinny Jeans

My journey to a smaller jean size

Countdown to Race Day: 14

The big day is 2 weeks away!  I’m getting excited and nervous at the same time.  I have a feeling that these next two weeks are going to fly by!

Today I had a 12k long run to do.  I’m up at the cottage so that meant I would be running it alone.  I haven’t done a long run alone in quite some time.  I’ve been lucky lately, and my sister and I have been able to do our long runs together.  I was a bit nervous about having to go it alone this week, but had my upbeat run tunes on my iPod to keep me going. 

When I headed out for my long run this morning I wanted to see if I could do it at race pace.  My goal time for the half is 2:30 (that’s 6 minutes faster than my best half time so far).  To finish in 2:30, my average pace per km needs to be 7:06.  I run 10&1’s, so that means my running pace needs to be quite a bit faster than 7:06 so when the walk breaks get factored in the average is still 7:06 or faster.

Here’s how today’s run looked:

Oct 7 12k

Check out that average pace!  I did it!  I’m not gonna lie…it was not an easy run.  I had to push myself.  I started out great, maybe too fast, even, but found a grove and felt pretty good except for one 10 minute section in the middle of the run.  Here’s how the pace broke down for my 10 minute run laps

10 minute lap #


















I’m pretty happy with this run.  I have proven to myself that I can run as fast as I need to be able to reach my 2:30 goal time.  I just need to be able to keep it up for another 9km!  Wish me luck!

One bonus of running 12k this morning, is burning 840 calories.  I am going to need those extra calories today.  It is Thanksgiving weekend in Canada and I will be enjoying a wonderful turkey dinner tonight with family and friends at the cottage.  I love turkey dinners and the best part for me is the stuffing….and the pumpkin pie.  I’m not even going to feel the slightest bit guilty when I eat my slice of pumpkin pie with whip cream tonight.  I’ve earned it!


How was your run today?

Happy Thanksgiving!


September Writing Challenge #17: Most Embarrassing Fitness Story

It’s Day 17 of Fitness Cheerleader’s September challenge.  Today’s topic is our most embarrassing fitness story.

My most embarrassing running story happened probably 6 or 7 years ago when I was out for a long run with a group of friends.  We were all training for the Ottawa Half Marathon.  We were towards the end of our training and we were doing one of our longest runs – somewhere around 20k.  We did our long runs up in Bradford and we ran mostly through some country roads.

Well, we were way out in the middle of nowhere and all of a sudden, I really had to “go”.  There was only one house in sight.  From a distance, it looked like the garage door was open and someone was working outside.  I said to the gang, that if we got there and someone was still outside, I was going to ask them to borrow their washroom.  Well, by the time we got up there and the garage door was closed and there was no one outside.  Sad smile  I really didn’t think I could make it much further, so I bit the bullet, rang the doorbell, explained my situation and asked if I could use their washroom.

I was so embarrassed to have to do it, but I’m pretty sure if I didn’t ask, the alternative would have been way more embarrassing!

potty break


What’s your most embarrassing fitness story?


The Friday Five: Saturday Edition

Another week is done and it’s time for the Friday Five. A lot has happened since last Friday! 


1.  I like hills – well, hill training, at least!  I seriously never thought I would say that in my life.  Hill training has become my favourite workout of the week.  It is hard, it almost kills me, but it is making me stronger, and I love that I gives me some time to hang out with my sister.  This week we ran 7 hills…here’s how they looked:

Hill repeat Distance
Faster or Slower than last week’s best (6:19) and worst (6:39) pace
1 427 2:41 6:18 Faster than best
2 430 2:36 6:04 Faster than best
3 426 2:50 6:41 Slower that worst
4 424 2:54 6:52 Slower than worst
5 421 2:47 6:38 Faster than worst
6 422 2:49 6:41 Slower than worst
7 418 2:37 6:16 Faster than best
This week felt harder than last week for some reason.  After the second trip up, I was a bit worried I was going to toss my cookies…must have been that blazing pace that did it to me!  6:04 is ridiculously fast for me.  Three of my hills were faster than my fastest time last week, and three of them were slower than my slowest hill last week.  I don’t know what that all means, but it’s kind of interesting. 
2. I finally bought my new shoes!  The are hot pink and awesome.  I’m sure they are going to make me VERY fast!
my fast shoes
3.  Last weekend I played in the Callaway Canada Cup with my friend George, and we won First Low Net. The Callaway Canada Cup is a two-person better ball format.  Each person plays their own ball, and the best score between the two players is recorded for the hole (gross score) and then handicap points and taken into consideration and that low score (low net) is recorded for each hole as well.  We had a 62 low net score which turned out to be by far, the best low net score.  We shot a gross score of 84.  That was pretty darn close too, since the winning score was 83.  The girls that won low gross always win low gross.  They are very good golfer, so for us to almost beat them was quite a feat.  Our prize for winning Low Net was a silver tray and 4 lovely wine glasses engraved with the Callaway chevron.  We also got a gift card to Golf Town. 
callaway cup prize
All in all, it was a great day on the course.  We were quite sure we were going to get quite wet, since it rained all night, and all during our drive to the course.  Thankfully, by the time we tee’d off, it had pretty much stopped and by the 3rd or 4th hole, the sun was peaking out and we were able to take off our rain gear and enjoy our day on the course. 
4. I ran my long run today instead of tomorrow.  This week’s long run was a relatively short 12k.  My sister and I headed out this morning to get it out of the way, since I’m going out tonight and not sure I will feel much like running tomorrow.  It was raining a bit when we headed out, so I wore my old shoes for the run, since I didn’t want to get my pretty new ones all wet and dirty their first day out. After running 18k last week, 12k seemed so short.  Short, but still tough.  In the end we finished in 1:26.  My pace was not quite as fast as it was last week, but that’s okay.  It was still a pretty good time for me.
12k time
It felt so good to get that run out of the way today.  I’m pretty sure I won’t feel like running tomorrow morning. And why is that you ask?…see point 5 below!
5.  Tonight we are going with a big group of friends to the Magna Wild Wild West Hoedown.
This is a giant fundraising party that has been going on for 28 years in Newmarket/Aurora.  Despite living in Newmarket for 14 years, we have never been to the Hoedown before.  We’ve heard stories and it sounds like a pretty wild time.  It is a country theme (obviously!) and everyone dresses in their best cowboy outfits.  Good thing I saved those cowboy boots from back in the day, and hubs will finally get to wear a cowboy hat his brother got him from the Calgary Stampede many years ago.  The party is held in a giant, and I mean giant, tent on the Magna compound in Aurora.  I have no idea what it’s really going to be like, but I’m pretty sure that a few cocktails will be consumed – hence the reason I ran today!  Even though this week’s long run was only 12k, I’m pretty sure running it hung over would suck HUGE!  I’m sure there will be a few good party pics taken tonight.  I will try to get one of hubs and I in our best cowboy gear to show you tomorrow.  Yeeehawwww!!!
Happy Saturday, everybody. 
Got any big plans for the weekend?
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September Writing Challenge #9: Do you work out alone or with someone?

Well, once again, my response to today’s writing challenge will deal more with running than with ‘working out”.

Up until recently, I have been doing most of the training runs on my half training schedule by myself.  I’m not a big fan of running alone.  In the past, I have had trouble with motivation and keeping moving when running alone. If I would get tired, or find a hill too hard, I would just stop running and walk.  Sometimes for no reason at all, I would slow to a walk.  Then a few weeks ago, I decided to forget about motivation and just be determined to keep moving.  This seems to be working for me.

Although I have figured out how to run by myself, I still don’t really like it as much as I enjoy running with someone else.  Lately I’ve been able to run a couple of runs with my sister, Erin…and I love it!  We have done 2 weeks of hill training and today we did our long run of 18k together.  18k is the longest run that I’ve done in this schedule, and I have to say that it was GREAT!!!  The run went well, and we had 2 hours of uninterrupted time to chat and just enjoy each other’s company.  Although she lives around the corner from me, we don’t get to spend too much time with each other.  I’m busy with work and family things; she’s busy with her family and trying to get her GoodLife Body Attack certification.  Seeing each other for runs twice a week guarantees we get a couple of good visits in each week. 

run with friends

Initially on the Running Room website we could only find a 19k route.  It was not the greatest route, and it had one killer hill that I really didn’t want to run.  We were prepared to run the 19k, but when we went into the Running Room before our run, we were talking to the woman who teaches the half clinic.  Although we don’t do the clinic, she told us of a better 18k route.  So, we headed out on the newly suggested 18k route and we had a fantastic run.  Here’s how it looked:

garmin 18k

We stuck to the 10 & 1s the whole way and I was thrilled to run even faster this week than last.  Each week I keep getting better!  I’m loving it.  I’m pretty sure it is the rest of the training- my steady runs, the hill training, and the tempo run, that are all making me a better runner.  I am starting to think that my goal of a 2:30 half is achievable.  If I can run race day like I did today, it is for sure doable!!!.  The average pace that shows there is INCLUDING the walk breaks. 

I was thrilled with my 10 minute run sessions.  My pace was pretty fast…for me at least:

10 minute lap # Lap pace min/km
1 6:55
2 7:06
3 6:57
4 6:55
5 6:56
6 6:54
7 6:49
8 6:37
9 6:49
10 7:11
11 7:06
12 7:02

Most of those 6min paces are almost at tempo pace for me…and that 6:37 is INSANE!  I think I am turning into a runner!  Wohoo!

Do you work out alone, or with someone?

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Virtual 10 Mile Race

Today I had a long run of 16k or 10 miles, which happened to be the distance of the Labor Day Virtual 5 & 10 Mile Race sponsored by Mommy, Run Fast! I figured since I was running that far, I might as well sign up for the virtual race and try to win a prize.

I was running up at the cottage and managed to con my hubby’s cousin to run with me. Lianne is training for the Chicago marathon in October and already did her long run for the week on Thursday – a short 36k! I mentioned I was running today and when she heard it was 16k she asked if I wanted some company. I was quick with my response “sure…just be prepared to run slow!”. She didn’t seem concerned with the speed and was just happy to go for a run, so she was in.

We met this morning at 8:30 and hit the road. It helped to get me out of bed, knowing that I had to meet Lianne. She said it helped her get up and moving too knowing that I would be waiting for her too. Just another reason why it’s nice to run with a friend!

Our route took us up the hill from hell – the 2k steady uphill climb that kicked my ass a few weeks ago when I had to walk up part of it. This week, I was determined to run all the way…and you know what? I did it!! I ran all the way up, not very fast at some points, but I did not stop! It was hard, but didn’t feel like it was killing me, which was nice. I was tired when I got to the top, but it didn’t wear me out, which was good because we had to run 1k past the hill to reach our half way point.

The best part of running up a long hill is when you turn around to go back, you get to run down that hill. I am getting better at downhills, and just kept thinking about a tip my sister gave me to lengthen my stride on the downhill. I was able to do this and it felt great…nice and smooth and almost effortless.

Overall, the run was good, and I finished in 1:57, so just under 2 hours. For the first half I managed about a 7 min/km pace, but slowed down quite a bit on the second half, and in the end finished with a pace of 7:21. That pace is a new long run record for me. I tend to be in the 7:31-7:41 min/km pace on most long runs, so I’m getting faster! In the end the final run stats looked like this:

Can you guess the best part of running 16k this morning? Burning nearly 1100 calories and not having to worry about what I ate today or feel guilty about sitting in a Muskoka chair all day and doing nothing! I had the best afternoon sitting in the sun, watching the kids play on the dock. They fished, they went for rides in the punt, they swam, and generally made the most of the last real summer weekend at the cottage.

I meant to get a picture of Lianne and I when we were done, but by the time we finished all I wanted to do as get a cold glass of water and I forgot! I did do a little bit of stretching after my run today since the feedback I got on yesterday’s workout routine post was all that I need to stretch. I know it wasn’t enough of a stretch, since it was only about 5 minutes worth, but that’s about 5 minutes more than usual!

I would have to say that my first virtual race was a huge success! I have entered my time for my virtual race and will find out later in the week if I was lucky enough to win one of the great prizes. it would be nice for sure, but just finishing the run 3 minutes faster than the last time I ran 16k is pretty good all in itself. I’m starting to think that my goal of a 2:30 half might just be attainable!

How was your long run today?

Have you ever taken part in a virtual race?


Weekend Round Up

I’ve had a busy last few days, and missed a post or two. Here is a re-cap of my weekend.

FRIDAY: Friday morning I was up early to meet my friend Andrea (who I call George) at the car pool lot. We drove down to Niagara Falls together for our practice round at Ussher’s Creek. George was competing in the first flight and I was playing in the scramble division. I played my practice round with my team. We practiced the best ball format and tried to make notes about where we wanted our drives to land, areas of trouble, and pin placement for the competition round on Saturday. They had marked the pin placements with small red chalk dots on the green. We used these dots to get a read on the greens and how the ball would play from various positions around the green. In the end we had a good practice round and were looking forward to the competitive round on Saturday.

After the practice round we grabbed a bite to eat in the clubhouse while we waited for the rules meeting. Between the beer on the course and the beer I had with my cheeseburger and fries for dinner, Friday was not the best clean eating day for me. Oh well!

The rules meeting was a good refresher about some of the more common rules of golf that tend to come into play a lot on courses. It was a good review and really reminds you that this competitive golf is serious stuff. If you violate rules it will cost you penalty strokes…and no one wants to be given any penalty stokes!

After the rules meeting we headed to the hotel in downtown Niagara Falls to check in. We were all exhausted, but since it was only 8:30pm, we decided it was too early to go to bed. A few of us decided to go for a walk and see some sights. We walked to Clifton Hill and did some people watching, then we found a bar and had a drink and some nachos (again, not on the clean eating plan!).

While we were at the bar we listened to a kid play some acoustic and sing. He was pretty good. At 10pm he had to take a little break because of the fireworks. Apparently every Friday and Sunday night at 10pm there are fireworks over the falls. This good to know for when my sister and I go back to Niagara in October for the half marathon. Hopefully when our families join us after the race for our bonus night in Niagara we will be able to see the fireworks…although I will have to check if they still go off that late into the fall. Bummer…I just checked the Niagara Parks website and the fireworks have finished for the season before we will be back in October. 😦

SATURDAY: Saturday was another early day as we were up early for breakfast at the hotel before heading to the course to hit some balls at the range and then get ready for our 9:11am tee time. At the Sectional Semi Final level of competition scramble teams have a marker who travels with them on the round keeping track of shots taken and ensuring everyone’s drives are used the required 3 times. We had a great lady from the Waterloo chapter named Marilyn Brown, who said we should call her Brownie, as our marker. She was a lovely woman and we thoroughly enjoyed our day with her. Within a few holes, she had already given us all nicknames of our own. I was Lefty, since I golf left handed. She was very encouraging and would cheer for us and even gave a few “get in the hole” shouts that made us smile.

In the end, we shot 3 over par, and with our handicap of 3, our net score was 71, or par. We were pretty pleased with our round, especially since it was the first real competitive round we had played. We were pretty sure that our score was not low enough to be in contention for the win. Last year 7 under won the scramble division, so we didn’t think even par was going to do it. Turns out par was exactly what was going to win it. Problem was 2 other teams also netted out at par. This meant that they would have to go to a scorecard playoff. I’m not exactly sure how that was done, but in the end, when they went to the scorecards and took handicaps into consideration, we ended up in third. So, we got close, but not close enough. We are kicking ourselves over three lip-out putts that we had..if only just one of those would have sunk, we would be going to Florida for the overall championships. We will just have to try again next year!

While I didn’t advance to the championships in Florida, my friend George did! She played the game of her life on Saturday and she won her flight. She is off to Florida to represent EWGA York-Simcoe and the Upper Mid East Division! Way to go, Georgie!! You are gonna kick ass in Florida!

Saturday after golf, we packed up and headed home. I was pretty tired after 2 early mornings, and a long round of golf in the hot sun, but on the drive home I got a BBM from my sister asking me if I wanted to do this week’s long run with her that night instead of Sunday like I usually do. Dispute the fact that I was tired, and not really wanting to do a long run, the thought of having to get up and run alone Sunday morning was enough to seal the deal. So, I got home, changed into my run gear, ate a GU shot, grabbed my water belt and was out the door.

Turns out that it was a good decision to run Saturday night. I had a great run, it wasn’t easy, but it was nice to have company, and my sister kept me moving when things got tough and I would have loved to take a break. I forgot to take a pic of my Garmin before I reset it, but we did 10k in 1:15, which is an average pace of 7:32, which includes walk breaks every 10 minutes. Not too bad! It is just about the pace I will need to run to complete my half in my goal time of 2:30.

The best part about getting the long run out of the way Saturday night was that I didn’t have to get up and run it Sunday morning!

SUNDAY: Since I didn’t have to get up and run, I stayed in bed for much of the morning catching up on the blogs I follow and reading Divergent. It was so nice to just lay around and relax, but eventually I got up, and did all those things that needed to get done: laundry, menu planning for the week, and groceries. Fun, fun, fun!

I’ve got a great menu planned for the week: buffalo chicken wraps, turkey and pepper penne, penne and white bean pasta, and broccoli, cauliflower & ham casserole. All but the buffalo chicken wraps are clean eating recipes.

Alright, well, there you have it…my weekend re-cap. Lots of words, and no pictures…sorry.

Today was a rest day in my training schedule. Tomorrow if I can get out of work in time, I’m going to golf and I’m supposed to run 6k. I’m not sure if the run will happen. It is way too late now to get up early and run before work. Maybe I can run after golf if it isn’t too late. I’ll let you know.

Happy Monday, everyone.

Did you Do anything exciting this weekend? Have you got any great recipes planned for this week’s menu?

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Thumbs Up!!!

Today was my long run day. It was only my third long run (since I missed the first one when I was sick a few weeks ago), but I am already up to 14km. My other long runs were only 8k and 10k so I was a bit nervous about jumping to 14k so quickly.

I actually put off the run as long as I could. I didn’t have any run nutrition (gels or chews) so I made a quick trip to The Running Room to pick up some Chocolate Outrage GU, Clif Shot Vanilla Gel, and some Honey Stingers in three different flavours.

When I got home from the Running Room, I put on my shoes, grabbed my water belt and iPod and headed out the door to do some stretching. Just as I was about to hit the road when some friends of ours walked by and stopped to chat. About 5 minutes later I finally hit the road for this 14k run.

Once I finally got out there I just focused on putting one foot in front of the other and covering off the kilometers. The route I took had a few long, gradual hills which I wasn’t crazy about, but for the most part, they weren’t too bad. The one at 13k was not my favourite and I did end up walking a bit of it 😦

Overall, the run wasn’t too bad. It was not easy, but I did it! While I was out there, I passed another runner on the trail a few times. The first time I was going one way and she was going the other. The next time, she blew by me so effortlessly. The third time she was going passed me after I had made my turn back at the 7k mark, and she gave me a wave. I smiled and said “you’re so fast!”. She smiled and said something that I couldn’t hear because she was already so far ahead of me and I had my headphones in. I saw her one more time when she was going the other way again. I was still trudging along and she was still flying. She gave me a smile and a thumbs up and that was just what I needed to keep going. I had about 3k left and I was starting to lose momentum a bit, but that thumbs up gave me a little more spring in my step. All I kept thinking was keep going. I set little goals and each one I met, I gave myself a little mental thumbs up and set the next goal. The next set of street lights, the top of that hill, the driveway on the corner. Each one was a little thumbs up. I have no idea who this speedy woman was, but she helped me get through my 14k run.

In the end, my run looked like this:


14k, 1 hour and 45 minutes, 934 calories burned, and an average pace of 7:31 that includes 1 minute walk breaks every 10 minutes. Not speed demon pace, but Jack Rabbit keeps telling me long runs are slow runs and are for getting the legs used to moving for a long time so they will be ready for race day. I’m sure out there long enough…hopefully it’s doing what it’s supposed to be doing! I guess we will find out in October!

After my run, I had a quick bite to eat and then I was off to GoodLife gym with my sister to help her practice for her Body Attack instructor video. She needed to practice the second half of her class which was a lot of cardio and some lower body work. Just what I needed – more leg work! We probably did about half an hour of the routine, and holy cow…it was killer! I was sweating like crazy and my legs were killing me! The best part was the stretching track that we did at the end. I’m not the best at stretching after my runs, so it was good to be put through some good stretches. It felt great. I know I should try to stretch more after my runs, but by the time I’m done with the run, all I want to do is shower up and get on with my day. I will add that to the list of things I need to make a better effort at – sleep, clean eating, stretching. I’m sure there are a few more things that can be added to that list..for now, we will leave it at those three!

Tomorrow is a rest day in my training schedule. Wohoo! But it is also back to work for me since holidays are over. I’m sure there will be lots of things that have come up in the past week that I will need to deal with tomorrow. I dread it. Hopefully it won’t be too bad. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Well, once again, it’s late. I’m going to sign off and go to bed.

Hope you had a good weekend, and that all things were “thumbs up”!



The Friday Five: Cottage Edition!

It’s that time of the week again…time for…


We have been up at the cottage for our holidays this week.  As has become the tradition, a bunch of our friends come up and spend the week with us as well.  We have such a fantastic time.  Here are a few of the highlights of our time together.

1. My eating for the week hasn’t been the greatest, and the beer consumption probably didn’t help much either.  I did manage to make one clean recipe this week.  I made the Summer Pasta Salad, and it was delicious.  I did modify it just a bit since I didn’t have any flaxseed oil, so I just substituted olive oil and added in a teaspoon of flaxseed to the dressing instead.  With Balsamic Vinegar as the base of the dressing, this salad really has a great kick to it!  It was a hit.  I made a giant bowl of it, and we only had a bit left after dinner Wednesday night, which we polished off at Thursday’s dinner.



2.  The kids got up close and personal with some nature.  My brother-in-law Dylan was taking my 7 month old nephew, Tanner, out for a drive in the car to try to help settle him since he wasn’t feeling well and like most little kids, he usually falls asleep in the car.  On the drive, Dylan noticed something on his back window, stopped and put the item into a Starbucks cup that was in the car.  When the kids got home from sailing club they were all over it…check it out, a Stick Bug.


3.  Dylan works in special effect for movies and tv shows and always like to bring some gear up to see if he can give the kids a ride of some sort.  Last year he set up a 600 ft zip-line for them at a park just a bit around the lake from us.  This year he made them a giant swing that flew out over the water.  They LOVED it!  Check out their videos.  (Sorry that the one video is sideways.  I have no idea what I did or how to get it to play in the right direction.)

4.  The weather was less than perfect for our week.  Wednesday we did get a pretty good day with the kids getting their chance to fly and we had a nice bonfire.  Thursday is was raining for most of the day.  It stopped raining after dinner and the die-hards hit the slide for some fun.


5.  You can’t have a party at a cottage without a little “chubby bunny”!

Everyone has gone home and we’ve got the cottage to ourselves for the weekend to rest up and put it back in shape before we head back home Sunday afternoon and back to the reality of work and hectic schedules again on Monday.

The weather isn’t supposed to be all that great for the rest of the weekend. I’ve got a couple of runs to do this weekend as part of my half marathon training schedule.  I’ve got a 4k tempo run to do tomorrow since I didn’t quite get out there today, and Sunday is a 14k long run.  Hopefully the weather cooperates and I get a chunk of rain free time so I can do my runs.  I have no desire to run in the rain, and I have a feeling if it is rainy, those runs just won’t happen – all part of that motivation that I have issues with.  Yah…still working on that!

Happy Friday, everyone.  Hope you have a great weekend.  Let’s keep our fingers crossed for some sunshine!



Long Run Monday

Today was long run day for me.  After yesterday’s long run being postponed due to rain, I was up at 8am today to get that long run crossed off my schedule.  After a breakfast of a Chocolate Outrage GU shot, I grabbed my water belt and my iPod freshly loaded with a my new running tunes and I was out the door.

I don’t know if it was the tunes, the perfect weather (warm, but not too hot), or the fact that I was ready for a good run, but this was the best 10km I have run in a long time.  I stuck to 10 & 1s the whole way, and finished in 1 hour and 11 minutes.  Not a land-speed record, for sure, but pretty good for me!

Tomorrow is supposed to be 4k steady, but since today was supposed to be a rest day, I might take tomorrow as a rest day to give me a little break after today’s long run and then just shift everything a day and run Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, rest Saturday and then get back on track with another long run next Sunday.  I’ll see how the week goes.  We’ve got a bunch of people showing up for the week up here at the cottage, so it might be a little crazy. Thankfully, a couple of the girls coming up are also runners, who are training, so hopefully we can out for a few runs together this week.

After my long run, I was home to shower up and then head to the running races that are part of the Civic Regatta in the village.  There are running races for girls and boys of all ages, and some novelty races as well (3 legged race, slow bicycle, potato race, etc) and we like to go and watch the kids run.  I took a pass on the 40-49 women’s race, since I figured running 10k was enough exercise for one day!

I had a lazy afternoon down on the dock, just relaxing, reading the latest Cottage Life magazine and soaking up some sun.  I really wanted a nap, but we don’t have any reclining lawn chairs here and the hammock is in the shade and I definitely wanted to sit in the sun.  The kids had a ball cruising the shore in the punt and going for kayak rides.  This is not the best picture, but here’s Jack giving Nick a lift on the back of the kayak.  They were headed to our cousins a few cottages over to pick up our tube that was left down at the other cottage earlier in the week.

We had a nice family dinner tonight to help celebrate Rory’s and my wedding anniversary.  Eighteen years!  In some ways it seems like so long ago, and in others it seems like just yesterday.  Any way you look at it, it’s been 18 great years and I’m looking forward to the next 18!  Love you, baby.

Tomorrow our friends start rolling in for our open house week at the cottage.  We need to get up early and get the kids off to sailing club, and then head into town and hit the grocery store.  I need to get supplies for a week’s worth of clean eating.  So, I better sign off here and hit my Clean Eating Magazines and build a yummy, healthy menu for the week.  I was hoping to do that yesterday, but it just didn’t happen.  Oh well, you’ve got to play it by ear at the cottage…there are no hard and fast schedules so sometimes things just don’t happen the way you think they will!

Here’s looking forward to a great week of holidays and lots of laughs with all of our friends.  I can’t wait!



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Back At It

Sunday is long/slow run day on my new half marathon training schedule.  The schedule called for 8km, but since I didn’t run last week as I was resting due to the Shingles, I decided to start with last week’s 6km distance instead of the called for 8km.  I was hoping to get up early and get out there and run before it got too hot.  However, after having a very bad night’s sleep, I just couldn’t haul my butt out of bed when my alarm went off at 7:30am.  I lay there for a while longer and finally got up, put on my run gear and headed downstairs to have a quick bite before hitting the road.  I couldn’t find anything that I wanted to eat, so I just took a Cliff Vanilla Power Shot.  I finally got out the door at 9:10, much later that I wanted.

This was pretty much the first run I’ve done since the Toronto Women’s Half Marathon back in May.  To say I was nervous to do today’s run would be an understatement.  I started out and things were pretty good for the first couple of kilometres…and then the heat got to me a bit.  My head started throbbing which I wasn’t too crazy about.  I ended up walking for more than I would have liked, but I didn’t want to push it too much since I’m still recovering from Shingles and it’s only the first run and I’ve got 12 weeks of runs ahead of me.  In the end, my route was 6.3km and I walked more than I would have liked, but “a mile is a mile, no matter how fast they are”.  At least I did it.


After my run, I took the rest of the day pretty easy.  Spent some time outside reading – that is until my iPad gave me a “temperature” warning and turned itself off to cool down.  I guess that was a sign that it was stinking hot out there today.  I was laying on our outdoor couch and it was too hot.  I was melting.  I switched over to the hammock to see if having air moving all around me would make it a bit cooler.  It did a bit.  I was hoping to have a little nap out there, but just couldn’t get comfortable enough to fall asleep.  Finally I gave up and went in and had a real nap in bed.  It was great!  I could really get used to this napping…too bad it likely won’t happen again for quite a while!

Rory was up at the cottage for the weekend with the boys, but was planning on being back home in time for dinner.  I was planning on making the Roasted Fennel with Tomatoes, ChickPeas and Lemon dish from the July 2012 edition of Clean Eating Magazine.  I had planned on making this dish a couple of times before, but something always got in the way and it never happened.  Today was the day.  I bought the needed ingredients yesterday on my trip to the health food grocery store.  Here’s what you need:

More precisely, you will need:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 fennel bulbs, trimmed, quartered and fronds reserved for garnish
  • 1.5 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 leek, halved lengthwise and sliced into 1/4-inch-thick half-moons, white and light green parts only
  • 1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • zest of 1 lemon, for garnish (I skipped this since I didn’t have a lemon

Cooking instructions:

  • preheat oven to 425F
  • In a large overproof saute pan or skillet, heat oil on medium.  Add fennel and cook, turning occasionally, until golden brown and slightly wilted, about 10 minutes
  • Stir in tomatoes, leek, chickpeas, salt, cumin, pepper flakes and paprika.  Add 1/2 cup water, stir gently and bring to a simmer. cook for 3 to 5 minutes.
  • transfer to oven and bake, stirring halfway, for 30 minutes
  • season with black pepper.  Garnish with lemon zest and fennel fronds, as desired.

Nutritional info, per 1/2 cup serving:

  •  205 calories
  • 10g total fat
  • 1g sat fat
  • 25g carbs
  • 7g fibre
  • 2g sugar
  • 6g protein


This dish was AMAZING.  It will definitely be one that I make again.  The recipe says it serves 6.  Rory and I likely had a double portion for dinner, since 1/2 cup just didn’t seem like enough for a meal.   There was enough left for 2 good size lunches for me this week.  Yay!

Tonight is a big tv night for us.  Big Brother was on (we watched while I wrote this post).  Later tonight, Breaking Bad and The Newsroom are both on at 10pm.  We will likely watch The Newsroom, since it is a straight hour with no commercials. We’ll PVR Breaking Bad so we can watch it tomorrow and skip through the commercials.  Gotta love the PVR!

Tomorrow is a rest day in my training program – I love rest days!  I’m planning on making another Clean Eating Mag recipe for us tomorrow – Lean Pork Tenderloin with Bakes Apples & Maple Caramelized Onions.  The pic in the mag looks great.  Hopefully it will taste just a good.  I will let you know tomorrow.

Well, there it is, another weekend over.  It was a weird weekend for me, being home alone.  I didn’t do too much, managed to get in a few naps, and did some baking/cooking.  I’ve got 5 days of work to get through and then we are on vacation for a week.  Let’s hope these next 5 days fly by quickly and smoothly.

I hope you all had a great weekend.  Did you do anything exciting?  Did you try any new recipes?  


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