Thursday, February 28, 2013

Run for L'Arche: Training Recap #6



This was not the best training week for me. I was overwhelmed by first birthday party preparations so unfortunately my workouts suffered. Just need to pick myself back up and get back at it as we only have 4 short weeks to go till race day!

Monday 18th: 5K run with the family

Tuesday 19th: 5K tempo run with my running group. Finally made it to a clinic night!

Wednesday 20th: 4K on the treadmill

Thursday 21st: 30 Day Shred Level 2

Friday 22nd: I almost skipped my 30 Day Shred workout since I was busy baking away. I managed to find the time, however Audrey was awake and she quite entertained by my huffing and puffing! Every time I would do a plank move she would crawl under me which made it a bit difficult to actually complete the move! Every time I did abs she would crawl on top of me and start patting my tummy! I kind of felt like I had my own personal Jillian Michaels pushing me through the workout!

Also my new shoes arrived! I ordered another pair of Asics Kayanos since my previous ones are done and I don't want to wear the Mizuno Elixor Waves for my long runs.

Love the note that came with my shoes!

Saturday 23rd: I didn't do a workout this day as I was again busy prepping for the birthday party. Unless you include 10 pin bowling with my running group as a workout? I did have a sore glute the next day so I think I pulled something trying to do some fancy bowling moves!



Sunday 24th: I missed my 14K long run and didn't make it up. The morning was spent cleaning, decorating and getting ready for the birthday party. After the party I did not have the energy to lace up my shoes.

There is no way I can miss my next 3 long runs before the race!

It was a challenging week but I am committed to getting all my runs in between now and the race. I am not letting anything else get in the way.


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

~ Recent Eats~

Since we have been meal planning like crazy around here, I thought I would share some of our top recipe finds.

Spaghetti Squash with Bacon, Garlic and Parmesan


I looked all over Pinterest for recipes to use up the last half of the spaghetti squash I had bought for a meal the previous week. I found this one and was so happy that I didn't even have to purchase anything else for the rest of the meal since we already had everything on hand. It's super easy to make and tastes so good. Will definitely be making this again!

Cabbage Roll Casserole

Again we had half a cabbage leftover from the previous week (made coleslaw) and this looked like a great recipe to use up the other half. We used ground pork instead of ground beef since that's what we had. It turned out pretty well. It took 2 hours to bake instead of the 1.5 hours the recipe says. It made a huge dish so we had lots for leftovers and freezing for future meals. I'm not sure I would make it anytime soon but definitely if I needed to use up some leftover cabbage.

Lemon Crinkle Cookies


My hubby likes anything lemon so when I saw these on Pinterest I knew I had to try them. The first time I made them for book club I didn't have any lemons so couldn't include any lemon zest like the recipe asks for. Well turns out it's the zest that gives them the lemon flavour so I was a bit disappointed when hubby didn't fall over himself when he tried them. He said they were good but not lemon-y. They had more of an almond taste.

So this time I made them because I had a bunch of lemons in the fridge that I needed to use up so I made a double batch. I planned to eat a few and put the rest in the freezer for Audrey's birthday party. Well apparently cookies in the freezer still isn't a deterrent- I just go in and take a couple out and eat them! They are so good though and definitely had lots of lemon flavour this time with all the zest I put in them.

Slow Cooker Quinoa Chicken Chili



I saw this recipe on Lindsey's  blog and knew I had to try it. I'm always looking for something to cook in the crockpot!

Oh.my.god is this ever delicious and ridiculously easy!! I will be making this a lot in the next few months! The whole family loved it and this recipe makes plenty for leftovers which I don't mind eating a few meals in a row!

I'm always looking for new, easy recipes to try. Do you have any must-makes that you can share with me?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

~Audrey: 12 Months~



11 months
10 months

Happy 1st Birthday Audrey!!

Sleep: Still waking up one or two times a night. Hopefully she will start sleeping through the night ASAP! Generally she goes down around 8pm, wakes up anywhere from 12-5am for a feeding or two and then wakes up for the day between 7-9am. This will all change once I go back to work since she will be at the day home by 8am.

Audrey has transitioned to one nap a day for the most part. It's usually a fairly long nap- 1.5 to 3 hours.

Eating: Still in the picky phase. She loves bread but I don't like to give it to her more than once a day. Sometimes she will eat without hesitation and other times she just shakes her head no to everything we put in front of her. It can be quite frustrating and wasteful! I'm hoping this phase ends soon.

She is still nursing 3 times a day. We have tried giving her homo milk in her sippy couple a few times but she's not really a fan.

Teething: I discovered her two top first year molars a few weeks ago! I could tell she was teething from her red cheeks, chewing on everything and extra fussiness but I couldn't see any teeth coming in. She put my finger in her mouth one day and I felt them! She is now up to 10 teeth. I also think her bottom canines are coming in as I could feel one of them under the gum line.

Crawling/Standing/Walking: Still a crawling machine! She has no interest in walking. She refuses to walk when assisted by us but will walk all around the coffee table, couches, chairs, bar stools, etc. She stands for up to 10 seconds by herself.

Eyes: Still blue/grey/hazel. It depends on the light as to what colour her eyes look like. They are such a unique colour.

Playing: Audrey loves her Little People farm and house that she inherited from her cousins. The Tupperware drawer is still her favourite. She has also discovered mommy's hair appliance drawer in the bathroom. She always goes into her laundry hamper and pulls out socks and wash cloths to carry around! I give her clean ones instead but it's so funny that she knocks over the laundry to get them.

Talking: She says mum mum, dada, hi and 'dat' for cat. She babbles lots although most of it isn't understandable. She says 'nananana' for food.

Sign Language: 'More' and 'milk' are her favourite signs. She occasionally signs 'eat' and 'water'. She will also sign 'book' and 'bath' when prompted.

Weight/Clothing: She weighs 18.58 lbs, 15th percentile and is 28.74 inches long, 50th percentile. I'm actually surprised that she doesn't weigh a little bit more. She's not even 2 pounds heavier than she was at 9 months. The doctor says she is following her growth curve so nothing to worry about. Also the length measurement is very inaccurate so I suspect she is closer to 30 inches. I might try to measure her myself.
She still fits into most 6-12m clothes, although the pants are getting short on her depending on the brand. She has small feet though- still wears size 3 or 4 and 6-12m Robeez.

Personality: Oh she's a feisty little one! I can see the tantrums are going to start early. When she wants something she wants it now! She doesn't like things being taken away from her (like my iPhone) and of course she would rather play with everything except her toys. Thankfully signing helps with communication a bit but even if she signs 'more' there are just some things she can't have!

Current Favourite Things: Milo, iPhone, wash cloths, socks, 'helping' with laundry, shoes and emptying the bookshelf

Dislikes: Being told 'no', and having her face and hands washed.

Miscellaneous: I'm savouring these last few days before I go back to work :( It's going to be so hard to leave her during the day but I know she is going to have a blast at the day home. She loves other kids so much.

Her 1st birthday party was a smashing success! She had such a great time and loved the cake, guests, and presents. I'm glad it's over though!




Sunday, February 24, 2013

~One Year~

One day old

Twelve months old

Dearest Audrey,

It's hard to believe that 366 days (you were born in a leap year) ago we welcomed you into our lives!

You are our little wish come true!

The feeling of becoming a parent is indescribable. I have tried to find the words but nothing seems adequate. Every day my heart feels like it is going to burst with love for you.

Watching you grow up this past year from helpless newborn to an independent, social toddler has been the best experience of my life. Of course, like anything worthwhile, there have been challenges along the way. Each obstacle we faced together and found a way to overcome it.

~ Nursing was tough and so rewarding once we figured it out.

~ The mysterious rash you developed at 4 weeks had us trying all sorts of different things to make it go away.

~ Learning to roll, then crawl was frustrating for you since you just wanted to move but you conquered that and now we can't keep you still!

~ Teething was by far the worst milestone you went through-- it disrupted so many things but you have 10 little teeth to show for all that hard work!

~ Sleeping has been an ongoing battle. I hoped you would get my love for sleep but alas you sleep like a baby, which is not very well! As exhausting as those nights (& days) have been, I have cherished every single cuddle and wished for time to stop so I could hold you forever.

The challenges pale in comparison to the utter joy you have brought to our lives.

You have the sweetest, most infectious personality. Your smile and giggle light up the room. We could spend days just marvelling at how amazing you are. You entertain us for hours with your babbling, curiosity, and happy disposition. Your excitement is contagious and through you we have learned to find joy in the simplest things.

You adore Milo the cat even though he barely tolerates you. You shriek with joy when you see him and you love petting him and touching his ears. He has never had so much exercise trying to get away from you and he was your motivation to learn to crawl.

You are our little running buddy. Sometimes you complain but mostly you enjoy the fresh air and ever changing scenery as we push you along.

Each day has been a blessing and we could not imagine our lives without you.
We look forward to all the exciting new milestones that this next year will bring.

Happy 1st Birthday!! 

We love you so much sweet baby girl!

Mommy & Daddy

xoxoxo


Thursday, February 21, 2013

~Slowly Going Crazy~

How is it possible to love & hate something at the same time?

Crafting. 

DIY. 

First birthday party planning. 


Once minute I am having fun and the next I'm burning myself on the glue gun, spilling glitter everywhere, or cutting wrong.

I actually told my hubby to never let me craft again! Ha!

I borrow get all these great ideas but when I try to do them either I can't find the materials or it goes horribly wrong! You would have thought I learned my lesson after planning my best friend's bridal shower in the summer. I actually think I promised myself after that event that I wouldn't go overboard for Audrey's first birthday.

I broke that promise about a million stars ago.




Just a fraction of the stars


Tomorrow the cake & cupcake experiment baking begins. I've called the Fire Station to warn them. I sure hope I haven't gotten in over my head. Maybe I should order a back-up cake just in case.

This better be worth it! I sure hope Audrey appreciates all my blood, swearing and tears over this party! Oh right- she doesn't care!

After Sunday, I'm taking a big, long crafting break! Good thing I won't have any spare time ever again to tempt me.



Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Run for L'Arche: Training Recap #5 & Running on the Treadmill



Monday 11th: Rest day. Still recovering from my half and we were also out of town for hubby's Grandpa's funeral so there would have been no time for a workout anyway.

Tuesday 12th: 3K treadmill run. We got back into town in the late afternoon and I didn't make it to my running clinic. I almost bailed on this run but I dug up some energy and did it anyway after Audrey went to bed.

Wednesday 13th: I met my friend Kim and her little boy D for a 5.5K run/walk at Glenmore Reservoir. She's getting back into running and it's always nice to run with a friend. We had a well deserved lunch afterwards from pushing those babies in the Chariots.

First time wearing the new shoes outside

Thursday 14th: 30 Day Shred Level 2.

Friday 15th: 30 Day Shred Level 2.

Saturday 16th: 30 Day Shred Level 2.

Sunday 17th: Rest. We had a birthday brunch with our friends from our prenatal classes which interfered with our Sunday run club :( The brunch was delicious and lots of fun to see how much our girls have grown but I missed an entire week of running with the group.

Monday 18th: Family Day! So we did what we often do as a family- run together. It wasn't quite the 12K I had scheduled, but 5.5K is better than nothing! It was quite windy and cold out- I really wanted to trade spots with Audrey.

Bundled up for a run with Mom & Dad


*****

Running on the Treadmill

I have been running on the treadmill A LOT lately. Most days I still would prefer to run outside but I've come to tolerate and almost enjoy my runs on the treadmill.

I bought my treadmill about 3 years ago when we first moved to our house. Since we moved to the other end of the city from my gym, I cancelled my membership there. I really hadn't been going much anyway since I started running and doing triathlons.

When I first started training for triathlons 5 years ago, I would always take the winter off. I would go to the gym to lift weights or do the Ripped workout class but I inevitably would fall off the bandwagon and had a hard time staying motivated without a goal, i.e. a race.

So the fall we moved into our house, I knew that I wanted to keep up running & training for triathlons in the winter so a treadmill seemed like a good idea. We set up a small workout area in our unfinished basement. The problem was that I didn't really like running on the treadmill! I would rather spin on my bike or do a Ripped DVD workout than pound out some miles on the dreadmill.

A few months later I had the urge to cross off "Run a Half Marathon" off my bucket list. I knew it wasn't something I could do by myself so I found an amazing running group and I've crossed that off my list 6 times now!

Pre-baby, most of my half marathon & other training runs were done outside; mostly with my running buddies, but occasionally by myself when life got in the way. I did the occasional run on the treadmill when the weather was horrible, or if I missed a really long run with the group that I didn't want to suffer outside by myself.

All that changed once Audrey was born. My first post-partum runs were on the treadmill. Once spring hit and I was ready to start training for another half, I brought Audrey along in the Chariot for most of my runs, with either myself or hubby pushing her along for the ride.

However, in the early fall, Audrey decided she no longer wanted to run in the evening with me. It was getting too close to her bedtime. She even protested during daytime runs. She wouldn't fall asleep in the Chariot the way she would when she was younger. Add the fact that hubby has an unpredictable work schedule so wasn't always at home in the evening to take over childcare duties while I went running.

So I dusted off the treadmill and started doing more of my runs on it. At first it sucked! I missed the company of my friends, the fresh air, and the scenery. It was a means to an end though-- I needed it to get my training in.



I had to find other ways to keep myself occupied while running anywhere from 3K to 16K on the treadmill- watching countless episodes of How I Met Your Mother, watching movies during the long runs, reading magazines, or reading blogs on my iPhone.

Now I come to look forward to my treadmill runs. It's super easy to get the short runs in while Audrey naps; I don't have to dress in a million layers to brave the cold and I don't have to push the Chariot!



The treadmill will never replace running outside for me- even in the winter, but for a busy mom who wants to get her runs in, it is a lifesaver!



Sunday, February 17, 2013

Hypothermic Half 2013 Race Report

What a race! I went into this race hoping to survive without too much IT band pain and to just have fun.

Well, I survived and had fun in spite of the knee pain.

The great thing about this race is that the first wave starts at 10:00am- means I don't have to wake up ridiculously early. I had laid out all my clothes and equipment the night before so I didn't have to rush in the morning.

We had decided that hubby and Audrey would stay back at home and meet me around the time I was expected to finish rather than the two of them hang around for 2.5 hours while I ran.

I have done this race before, but they changed the route slightly. This time it started and finished at Fort Calgary. I arrived there with plenty of time to spare and went inside the building to meet up with my running friends. There were a lot of us racing. We stood around nervously-- exchanging stories and preparing for the race when we looked outside.

Snow was coming down
It had started snowing! I had checked the forecast and expected snow in the afternoon. Thankfully my trusty Lululemon jacket has a hood on it so I knew I would be fine even if it continued to snow. Meanwhile, our running instructor realized she made a grave wardrobe choice earlier that morning- she was wearing capris. Amazingly, one of our running buddies who is off on injury was there to cheer us on (seriously we have the best running friends!) and coincidentally was wearing some running tights so they made the quick switch so P wouldn't freeze. I laughed so hard but I am so proud to have such selfless friends who will give you the pants off their legs!

Pant switch!

While we were waiting for the race to start, a few of my running buddies talked about pacing for a 2:15. I said right away that I couldn't run that fast. My training wasn't nearly at that pace and with my recent IT band issues I didn't want to push it. My goal was 2:20-2:25 so I told them I would stay with them for a bit but there were a couple of us who felt 2:15 was too lofty of a goal so we would hang back.
Carol and I
Me, Diane and Stefa

CHRR Half marathoners
A bunch of the gang waiting at the start line

The race start was fairly anticlimactic. The snow had stopped but it was still chilly out with the wind. There were some icy patches at the beginning which had me a bit nervous since I seem to fall every time there is ice this year.

About 10 of us stuck together for the first 2K. The 2:15 pace bunny was way ahead so I forgot about him and just focused on running my own race. Most of my running friends pulled ahead to try to stay with the 2:15 pacer so just Mark, Margaret and I ran together for most of the first 10K.

We chatted and tried to stay positive. Margaret was quite undertrained so she was having a tough time but she is a strong runner so she managed to keep up with us. 

I was so excited to see our friend Ashley working the first aid station at 6K. Normally I don't take anything since I carry my own but I did just to say hi to her. She definitely lifted my spirits when I was having a low moment in the race.

At 9K, my knee was definitely getting more uncomfortable. I could still run without problems but I knew that it was bothering me far sooner on race day than it did during my 20K training run.

We were starting to catch up to our running friends who were trying to run a 2:15. I'm not sure if they were slowing down or we were speeding up-- maybe a little of both? I knew from looking at my virtual partner on my Garmin that we were usually ahead of the 2:25 pace but sometimes we were even a couple seconds behind.

There were a few times that I would get a bit ahead of Mark and Margaret. I needed some quiet to just zen out and focus on my race. They were never too far behind me though. We were following my watch for the 10 & 1s since theirs were a bit off so I think that motivated them to keep up.

Margaret, Mark & I
*Thanks to Paul for snapping some pictures


We were pretty close to the rest of our friends at the turn around. Everyone was looking strong and cheerful and the half way mark always helps me mentally since we are "half way done." It was here that I decided I needed to catch up with the rest of the group. They weren't too far ahead but I had to sprint to reach them. I knew I needed them mentally to get through the rest of the race.

At this point my IT band was really mad at me so I mentioned to my running instructor my recent woes and she said that it was definitely my shoes that were causing the problems. I had worn them for 2 full half marathon clinics- 8 months! It then dawned on me that I used to rotate 2 pairs of shoes during my training so they would last 2 clinics but only because I was wearing them for half the amount of time! Oops- I guess my brain has been somewhere else this past year. That made me feel better that this issue will likely be fixed with new running shoes.

Around 14K our group started to separate a bit with a few people slowing down. I was feeling really good at this point- the sun was out, it was warming up and even though I was sore, I wasn't too tired. I knew that if I just kept moving I would be done sooner and I could stop running!

At 17K we had to cross over and under a bridge. It was here that we caught up to one of our running friends, Mel who was ahead of us but missed the under part and went a bit off course. I was so thankful to see her since she is such a happy, cheerful person. I knew she would get me to the finish line with a strong finish.

At 18K I looked at my Garmin and saw that we were under 2 hours. I figured if we kept up this pace we would definitely make 2:20, if not a bit faster. I just had to focus and stay on pace even though I wanted to rip my leg off!

When one of the volunteers told us we had 1K to go I almost hugged her! The end was soooo close! I knew I was going to get a PR, in spite of my IT band. Just before we rounded the last corner I spotted hubby's truck so I knew he and Audrey were at the finish line waiting for me. We dug deep and just gunned it.

As we got closer to the finish line, I could see hubby and a few other friends. He looked very surprised to see me as I waved at him.

Audrey waiting with Karen

Mel and I






We were happy to finish- even though it doesn't look like it!

After I crossed the finish line, I looked down at my watch and saw 2:15:47!!! I did it! I could not believe it and immediately got a bit emotional. I thought that 2:15 was a total dream and here I managed it without even realizing it.

A lot of our friends finished in the next 5 or so minutes and it was great to see so many of them get PRs as well.


Bling bling

Hubby was racing the second wave which started at 1:00pm. He was a little late registering for the race so the first wave was sold out. It worked out in the end since we didn't have to find anyone to watch Audrey.

So while we were inside enjoying our well deserved post-race brunch, hubby was just starting his race. The weather was gorgeous at this point- sunny and warm.

Audrey ended up napping in her stroller while I ate my brunch so I decided to stick around and wait for hubby to finish rather than risk waking her up when transferring her into the car. At one point my running instructor texted me (everyone else had left) to ask if it was snowing or hailing downtown. Confused, I said neither. Well, turns out a big storm was blowing in from the north. Only a few minutes later I looked out the window to see this:


Whiteout!
Not good at all! Poor hubby was caught in the middle of the storm. I was so glad that I had raced in the morning and not the afternoon!

It started to let up so I bundled up myself and Audrey so we could go wait at the finish line for hubby.

All bundled up & protected in her stroller

You can see the storm starting to back off in these pictures- barely see the buildings at first and in a span of 15 minutes the snow and fog lifted.

Snow and foggy- barely see the buildings

Lifting a bit

Blue sky peeking through


Blue skies

Finally we spotted hubby coming in.






And done!
(What happened to the blow up finish line?)

Very wet, tired and relieved to be done!
Turns out the storm hit when he was about 13K in. He could see the nasty clouds rolling in. The last 40 minutes were tough but he finished. Not a PR but still pretty good considering.

Thoughts on this race

- I'm faster than I thought I was! I think it has a lot to do with my sore IT band and just wanting to be done. I wasn't having the best race so I knew the faster I ran, the sooner I could stop.

- Weather is unpredictable in this city and it's important to always prepare for all conditions. I did bring another hat, sweater and post-race clothes to change into since things can change so quickly.

- I have the BEST running friends ever! I could not ask for better company. They motivate me to go faster, encourage me when I think I can't go anymore and stick with me when I really do need a break. I feel like I have won the lottery with this group! I could not have achieved this PR without them!

- I love this course, the medal and the post-race brunch. I will do this race again in a heart beat.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Run for L'Arche: Training Recap #4



Another training week done. One more step closer to the Run for L'Arche half marathon.

That means that spring is almost here too!

Monday 4th: 30 Day Shred Level 2

Tuesday 5th: 10K Race Pace on the treadmill. Hubby had to work late so I wasn't able to meet with the running group.

Action shot

Wednesday 6th: 6K Race Pace on the treadmill. Hubby was burning the midnight oil again.

Thursday 7th: 30 Day Shred Level 2. Still tough on my wrists

Friday 8th: Rest. I had an adjustment to put my hips back into place in the hopes that my IT band wouldn't act up during my race. I also rolled my hamstrings and IT band throughout the day.



Saturday 9th: Race Day #1- 21.1K done!

Sunday 10th: Rest. Well deserved and needed!

I can't believe that in 5 short weeks I will be doing another half marathon! I am so looking forward to another great race.

Future runner?
Like she has a choice!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

~Sad~Happy~Love~Fun~

Last week, hubby's family lost a great man-- his Grandpa.

We spent the last couple of days with family & friends, remembering all the good times and saying goodbye to this great man. He lived a long, successful and full life. He will be greatly missed by many.

*******

Since we have been out of town for a few days I have a lot to catch up on.

~ We have this little "1st birthday" party coming up in 10 days that I am barely ready for! I have all these great ideas in my head and I have been gathering materials-- now I need to execute all these plans! 

Top- DIY cake smash- done!
Bottom Left- Paper punch hunting- not so successful so Plan B
Bottom Right- Thanks for the idea, Martha!

~ I've also started a new running clinic session- but haven't been to a single group run. Weeks like this I am thankful I have a treadmill to keep me on track. Definitely missing my running buddies though.

~ So Valentine's Day is in-- 2 days! Crap! So not ready! I again had all these great ideas of things to do but ran out of time. At least my nails are done!



~ I signed up for another awesome race- Color Me Rad

This is amazing!
It's a 5K race where you start out in white and finish all bright from colored cornstarch being thrown at you. I can't wait!! Apparently neither can anyone else in this city since the race sold out in only a few days. It's going to be ridiculous!

Have you done this race before? 


It's probably going to be a bit quiet around here for a few more days while I work on my half marathon PR race report, party plan/craft, working out, getting my hair done (finally!), figure out what we are going to wear for family pictures this weekend with Whitney Cowan (so excited!), book club for which I still need to read the book for and all the other usual life stuff!

I better get at it!




Sunday, February 10, 2013

Top of the World!

Just a quick note to say I survived!

I surprised myself and managed a wicked PR! I finished in 2:15:47 which is 7 minutes faster than my previous best half marathon time.

I will post a recap in a few days (I'm out of town right now).

Here is a close up of my newest bling!




Thursday, February 7, 2013

What? I have a RACE this weekend??

Well that snuck up on me! I've been training but I definitely haven't been thinking about my upcoming race this weekend like I normally obsess do.




It's just a little 21.1K race.
Oh crap!

Ok- I've done the training, the weather is looking good and it's a flat course. Stop freaking out worrying about it!

What are my goals?

1. Not die! I'm slightly worried about my IT band since it acted up during my 20K run which I have never experienced before. I'm going to get an adjustment the day before so my hips are in place in hopes that I don't fall apart.

2. Get a post-baby PR- faster than 2:29. I'd love to be closer to 2:25 or even 2:20 but I'm not going to push my luck with this recent IT issue. Mind over matter!

3. Have a good experience regardless of my time. My last half was epic, even if it wasn't speedy so I'm hoping that I can have a similar experience.

Looking forward to adding more bling to my collection!!