Weekend Recap: Ribs, running, gongs & yoga!

I had a lovely little summer weekend at home before we spend the next two (and potentially three!) weekends in a row camping.

This weekend was Ribfest in Kamloops, a huge event where there are seven different vendors making ribs down and it completely takes over the park. We went down there on Friday night AND Saturday night.

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It was super yummy and fun. This is the fourth year for Ribfest and we’ve been out of town every year so far! So we were pretty excited to finally being able to attend the event.

Speaking of being out of town every Ribfest weekend – guess what I did exactly two years ago today? Ran 50km. Considering how much of a struggle my 13km trail run was yesterday I’m still in a bit of shock and awe that I did an ultramarathon. At the time I thought for sure I would do another one but I have to admit now I’m not so sure anymore.

Anyways, back to last weekends recap. On Saturday morning I went to an awesome Group RX class at the gym, went to see the movie Vacation with my mom and then spent a couple of hours napping and reading in the afternoon. I felt really tired this past weekend so napping/reading was a bit of a theme for me.

On Sunday Eric and I started the day off with a 13km trail run. I got to wear my new favourite running shirt! Thanks Dirty Feet Races! 

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I have to admit it was a tough 13km. I whined and complained and groaned my way through it. I just felt so tired and weak and my legs were very sore from the gym the day before. I spent a solid 15 minutes laying on the floor when we got home.

In hindsight, it was a beautiful morning for a run though, can’t deny that…

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After the run and a shower Eric and I both crawled back into bed for a nap! Well, he napped, I read my book and drank coffee in bed. It felt so luxurious! Then I took my mom out for lunch since it was her birthday yesterday. After lunch I did a small bit of meal prepping (just made my salads for the week) and then I took my mom to a live music yin class.

The live music in this yin class were these really cool gongs. It was so so cool, the sounds of the gongs literally reverberated through your body while in the poses.

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It was an amazing class, and exactly what my tired legs needed after the gym on Saturday and the run on Sunday morning. I could not believe how quickly the 90 minutes flew by! When the teacher told us it was time to go into savasana I was shocked. It was the perfect way to end the weekend, though. Sunday evening was spent doing some blogging and searching pinterest for camping meal ideas!

I would have liked to spend a bit more time outside this weekend but I think a quiet weekend was really needed, especially since I’ll be outside LOTS for the next few weekends with all the camping we’re going to be doing.

How was your weekend? Did you spend a lot of time inside or outside or both? 

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Top Ten Running Moments of 2013

Well with the end of 2013 approaching I thought I would do some review posts. I think I’ll do them in “top 5” style this year. And of course, what is the main thing I blog about? RUNNING! So of course I’m going to start this series with my top running moments from 2013. Running is definitely the biggest category on my blog with over 200 posts! I originally just wanted to do five but when I started going through old blog posts I knew I couldn’t keep it to just five! So here are my top 10 running moments from 2013 🙂

2013 has been a big running year for me! I ran 10 races in 2013, two of them being pretty big deals (Squamish 50 and the Chicago Marathon). I also ran more miles than I ever have before: 1,084 miles / 1,744.5 km and still going strong with 13 days left in the year.

So, my top ten running moments from 2013 are (these are in chronological order not in order of favourites)…

1. Running barefoot on the beach in Mexico 

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When Eric and I visited Cancun way back in February (seems so long ago now) I went for a 40-minute barefoot run along the beach on our last day there. Nothing can compare to running right next to the ocean as the waves splashed onto the shore, and often onto my legs. Also running barefoot was a very cool experience – one that left my calves extremely sore! I definitely hope I can spend more time running on the beach in the future.

2. My feature in iRun Magazine 

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Opening iRun magazine and saw that my photo was featured on a double-spread was the craziest and coolest thing ever. So glad other people also appreciate the beauty of my “backyard” running trails!

3. Friendships 

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You guys, I spent 237 hours running this year. That’s 9 full days. Over a week straight of running. 90% of that time I had great friends by my side. I have a few friends I spent hours and HOURS with this year — all while out on the trails or road. They supported me as I trained for my big races and were out there to meet me at 6 am day after day after day. A special shout out to my friends Tara and Carmine. Tara was my weekday run partner, meeting me at 6 am three or four days a week for a run before work and Carmine was my overall training partner who ended up running the 50 km race with me! I don’t know what I would have done without her by my side for those first 40 km of that tough tough race.

Also Sam, Norman, Chris, and Solana (long distance support!) were all big supporters of me through my running this year and also made great running partners. I would not have completed my big races without these people and the friendships I’ve consequently formed mean so much to me!

4. The beautiful view from the top of Cinnamon Ridge

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Holy moly did I ever groan and whine when Norman and Carmine took me (dragged me?) on this “run” (more like climbing straight up a mountain side). But this view we got from the top? I’ve never seen anything like it before. Just one more moment when I am so grateful from where my feet can take me, and they showed me some really stunning views this year.

5. Stumbling upon “our” Waterfall

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One day Carmine and I decided we were bored to death of our typical trail loop so we did an out and back on a new-to-us trail. Well what do you know, we stumbled on a waterfall right at the end of the trail. I remember that Friday morning so clearly, I was in the middle of ultra training and so burnt out and tired. Stumbling upon our waterfall was like the trails giving me a little treat, something to remind me how much I love this sport and to keep me going. We continued doing the waterfall run (as we now call it) a few times a week after that and it’s one of my very favourite routes.

6. Finishing Squamish 50 km

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Of course this had to be in here. Never in my life have I worked so hard for something or dug so deep. Not just during the 10.5 grueling hours I spent on my feet during the race itself but all the hard training I put in leading up to it. Finishing that race was the biggest physical accomplishment of my life thus far and probably the biggest thing I accomplished this year.

7. Running the Chicago Marathon

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There is no other way to describe those five hours other than FUN! l had so many great moments out there on the course running one of the biggest marathons in the world with almost 40,000 other people by my side. I can’t even fully describe to you the feelings that overwhelmed me when I was out there. Such a joy for this amazing sport and all these other people running alongside me. It was incredible. I have never had so much fun running a race in my life. I was undertrained and my feet hurt but I had a smile plastered to my face the entire day right until the end!

8. Seeing the sunset over Vancouver

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When I went to Vancouver mid November for work I was burnt out on life. A crazy year of running and a busy fall at work had made running the last thing I wanted to do. I forced myself out the door for a run along the seawall when I was there and was lucky enough to witness the sun setting over the ocean and the city as I ran. The only word to describe this run is magical. I was blown away by the beauty around me and it made me fall back in love with running.

9. Decorating our Christmas Tree

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On December 1 I headed out with three of my running friends and a big bag of Christmas decorations to decorate the “Christmas Tree” on our normal trail running loop. There is one tree we pass about halfway through that loop that looks like the perfect Christmas Tree and in the summer we talked about decorating it. It was so much fun to finally do it and I feel giddy every time I think about someone new stumbling upon it. Our group is heading out to do that loop on Saturday and run past our tree one more time before Christmas Day!

10. Running 1 mile every day

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What better way is there to finish up this year of running than the #mileaday challenge? So far I have succeeded in running at least 1 mile every single day outside. I dread it on some days, but usually once I’m out there and always by the time I’m done I’m so so happy I did it. It has been the perfect way to finish off this epic running year.

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This blog post is lengthy enough as it is so I’ll end with this, a sentiment I’ve echoed before on this blog; running has changed my life so much for the better. I am so so grateful for the experiences it has brought to me, which are so much more than just fitness. I am very grateful for a great running year in 2013 and I can’t wait to see what 2014 has in store!

What are your top running or fitness moments from 2013? 

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Meals, miles, books and looks of August

I have pretty much nothing for my monthly recap this month. Don’t get me wrong, A LOT happened in August but not so much stuff that fits into my meals, miles, books and looks categories. So like July I will have to do an ‘other’ category as well!

MEALS 

I literally have no meal photos that I cooked in August… I *think* I may have cooked once or twice but obviously did not take a photo of it. A lot of camping food (hot dogs, chips, s’mores) were consumed in August as well as a lot of meals out and a lot of easy dinners. Not really anything exciting. I’m hoping to change that and spend A LOT more time in the kitchen in September.

MILES 

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With the first 1.5 weeks of August being a taper for Squamish 50 and the last few weeks being recovery I did not break 100 miles for the first time since March! I ended August with 91.4 miles / 147 km and 25 hours on my feet (10 of those hours at my race!) With Chicago Marathon coming up in 6 weeks I’d like to build back up in September and have another 100+ mile month and then I will really be tapering down the rest of the year, not following a training plan and just running for fun.

I am also starting up Crossfit again in September twice per week with my brother and I’m planning on doing a lot more yoga so the rest of the year should see a much better balance of different workouts vs. the mostly just running I’ve done in the past five months and especially the past three months when training really peaked!

BOOKS 

I actually got through three books last month!

On the Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves – When I first read the synopsis of this book I thought it sounded really silly and not like something I would enjoy. But I’m SO glad I looked past that and picked this book up because I loved it. In fact I would probably give it 4.5 stars if I could on Goodreads. The only docking of the 1/2 star is because it follows the usual plot of a romantic novel with the same predictable ending. Basically the book is about a woman and young man who are in a plane crash and end up on a deserted island and they start to fall in love. It’s a really quick read and a page turner. I would definitely recommend it!

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn – I read two books by the author of Gone Girl this past month and holy crap were they ever creepy. I don’t know how she comes up with the stuff she comes up with but I would not want to be inside her head. However she did live up to her reputation of writing stories with many twists and turns and keeping the reader guessing right till the end.

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn – I enjoyed this book a lot more than Sharp Objects and found it a bit less creepy. The story switched back and forth between present day and the day the murders happened (which the main character is trying to solve) and I liked that because you would get to a cliffhanger at the end of one chapter in the “past” and then have to switch back to the present for a whole chapter. It kept me flipping the pages that’s for sure!

LOOKS 

My most notable look for this month was definitely my bridesmaid dress and “look” for my best friends wedding the last weekend of August! I was very very happy with how my hair and professional make-up turned out and have got a lot of compliments on it. I also really liked my dress!

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OTHER 

Ok, I don’t feel like this recap did it justice but August was a fun and busy month for us! The very first weekend of August we spent camping with a whole bunch of Eric’s family. We had a great time catching up with everyone and spending two beautiful days on the Shuswap! Eric’s cousin even rented a boat one day which was super fun.

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After two nights of camping with the family we came home for two nights and then headed off to Pemberton and Whistler for the week! The second week of August the epitome of my whole spring and summer came together when I ran the Squamish 50! This was a goal I had been working towards since I signed up for the race in January and something I am incredibly proud to have achieved!

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The weekend after that was fairly low key as I was still recovering from Squamish a bit. However, I did run in a sports bra for the first time EVER and won a new pair of shoes at the Bare as You Dare run!

Then the following weekend was my best friend Jen’s wedding. It was an AMAZING and busy three days but also some of the most fun I’ve had all summer (maybe a little too much fun!) I was so happy to be a part of her day.

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Eric and I wrapped August up on Saturday with a rare date night out to one of our favourite restaurants / brew pubs. It was the perfect way to wrap up a wonderful month!

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So with that, summer is officially behind us. As of right now I have NOTHING planned for the fall other than one more camping weekend and the Chicago Marathon / Girls Weekend in October (which I’m so so looking forward to!) I know that work will get very busy in the next few weeks and will require a lot of weekend and evening hours so I try to keep my fall pretty un-planned. Plus I am kind of exhausted from such a crazy summer so feel like I need a few weekends of hibernation!

Despite the crazy-ness Summer 2013 was definitely one of the best summers I’ve ever had. I made lots of memories with friends and lots of memories out on the trails. I am sad to see it go!

What is your meals, miles, books and looks recap for August? Are you sad or happy to say goodbye to summer? 

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