My Year in Running

It's hard to believe a year ago I started running...again.  I had run on and off before and between children but hadn't really run for most of my life, until last August.  I was inspired my wonderful friend Shannon of Sweet Stella's who had literally just had a baby and was out pounding the pavement.  And there I was, sitting on the couch with my snacks, doing nothing and feeling like crap.

I distinctly remember thinking to myself "If she can have a baby and then go for a run, then I totally can.  Why am I sitting here, hurting and aching for no reason, I might as well go do something that make me feel sore."

And so I did.  That's how it all started.

So I thought given it's sorta my run-iversary I should recap the past year.  It's had it's ups and downs and injuries and PR's.  Lots of smiles and high-fives and lots of tears.  But looking back on it all, it makes me happy and proud of myself. And maybe, just maybe I can get back to where I was just a few months ago, but if not...does it even matter??  All that matters is getting out there and just running.

OK, so now that I made a list, I'm kinda surprised just how much I ran this past year.  Lot's of 5k's, a couple 10's and two halfs.  Not to shabby and kinda awesome too.  In case you wanted to know, here's what I ran:

  • Hillbilly Hustle - Glencoe
  • MEC 5k - London
  • Pumpkin Run 10k - Rondeau
  • MEC 5k - London
  • Santa Shuffle 5k - London
  • Gasparilla 5k - Tampa
  • Easter Dash 5k - Komoka
  • Yonge St. 10k - Toronto
  • Forest City Road Races Half Marathon - London
  • Chuckle Run 5k - London
  • Niagara Falls Women's Half - Niagara Falls
  • Run to the BBQ 5k - London
  • Warrior Dash - Barrie
  • I Run for Ice Cream Fun Run - London
  • 5k: 27:45 -  Easter Dash
  • 10k: 56:22 - Yonge St. 10k  (with undiagnosed stress fractures)
  • Half Marathon: 2:12:42 - Forest City Road Races (still with undiagnosed stress fractures)

Wow! I'm still a little surprised.  I guess I can't complain given I had a groin injury shortly after the Pumpkin Run and then learned I had 2 stress fractures (femur & pelvis) after my first half marathon. WTF?! I essentially had to stop all training and activity after the Forest City Road races  to try and get the stress fractures to heal.  (But, as you can see I didn't exactly follow my doctor's orders.  Oops!)

I got the all clear last month so now begins my training for the 10k Women's Run coming up in September!

It's been a hard year, a great year and a year that definitely changed me.  And now, looking at all this, written down for me to see, I realize that I can do it and will do it again.  There's a reason that the universe knocked me down a notch and wants me to start all over again.  I know there's a lesson here and I think I'm well on my way to learning what that is and how to keep moving forward.

Here's to another year! And here's to my friend Shannon! You're one bad ass mama and I'm so thankful our paths crossed a couple years ago!


Confessions of a Mouth Breather

OK, I'm a mouth breather, what's the big deal?  I have always felt more comfortable breathing through my mouth for as long as I can remember.  Maybe it's because I suffered numerous colds, sinus infections and allergies as a child, but who knows for sure.  While out for a jog, I realized that things are different for us mouth breathing runners; the struggle is real.

So here's what you need to know:
  1. Inhaling bugs is not uncommon
  2. When I awake up, my mouth tastes and feels like wallpaper paste
  3. Chewing gum while running helps stave off the pasties, but also poses a very real choking risk.
  4. Yes, I chew gum like a cow chewing cud.
  5. Talking and running is always a challenge so please don't be offended if I'm quiet or if you happen to catch a whiff of my deadly breath.
  6. Sometimes my mouth is just open; absorbing oxygen.

Do you struggle with this affliction? What are your tips for dealing with dry mouth, catching bugs or garbage breath?  Us mouth breathers must unite, stand strong and breathe deep!


No-Bake Peanut Butter & Chocolate Oatmeal Flax Cookies

Looking for a delicious treat that you can whip up in a few minutes AND is good for you? Well look no further!  These Peanut Butter & Chocolate Oatmeal Flax cookies are no-bake, gluten-free, dairy-free & egg-free.  And with only a handful of real, natural ingredients they are good for you too!  The kids love them and they're lovely and rich and no one would ever guess that they are filled with loads of goodness.

No-Bake Peanut Butter & Chocolate Oatmeal Flax Cookies


1 cup Natural Peanut Butter (or substitute your favourite nut-butter)
3/4 cup Honey
1/2 Coconut Oil
2 cups Gluten-free Oats
1/4 cup ground Flax
1/4 Hemp Hearts
1/2 tsp Vanilla
6 tbsp Cocoa powder


Combine peanut butter, honey and coconut oil in medium sized pot.  Heat on low and stir frequently until all ingredients have blended together and remove from heat. You don't want to cook out all the goodness from the honey!

Next, stir in your vanilla and cocoa until combined.  Then add in the oats, hemp & flax and mix well.

Once everything is nice and blended and ooey-gooey, drop by spoonfuls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  I smoothed the cookies out with the back of my spoon, but you can totally leave them as little stacks if you prefer.

All that's left to do is pop the pan in the fridge (or freezer if you're impatient) and wait for them to set. Once they are nice and chilled, keep them in an air tight container in your fridge or freezer and enjoy a little healthy indulgence whenever you like!

(P.S. With the flax, oats & hemp heart; they make great lactation treats too!)


10 Thoughts While Camping with Kids

Last week we packed up and headed out on our first camping trip of the summer.  Three days, 2 kids, 2 dogs and us in one tent trailer.  Oh man!  Well, we survived and here's a glimpse of how the trip went...

10 Thoughts While Camping with Kids

  1. What was I thinking? Who's idea WAS this??
  2. OMG, the kids (and dogs)are SO dirty!
  3. Dear Lord, can we all just get along?! 
  4. Hey look, they're quiet...and getting along.
  5. Could you just stop barking already??
  6. The kids are SO dirty & happy!
  7. Kids in jammies by the fire...adorable!
  8. Go the F*@& to sleep!! Where's the wine?
  9. Hey, the kids slept in! It's a miracle.
  10. When's our next trip?!
You know, camping with kids and pets is trying to say the least.  But even with wanting to pull my hair out multiple times, it was still a blast! Once the first day gong show was over and everyone settled in, we all had a great time.  Both girls said it was the best day ever on multiple occasions.  And seeing everyone sandy, sun kissed and smiling made it all worthwhile.  

And wine helped too!


I Hate Running

There, I said it.

You may have noticed I've been MIA lately.  And while there's no excuse, I do have a few decent reasons.  So ya, I've been busy working, being a mom and working on school.  But what seems to have occupied most of my time recently is hating running.

If we go back in time a couple months, you may remember that I trained and ran my very first half marathon.  And it was shortly thereafter that I also learned I had a femoral stress fracture.  (and a pelvic stress fracture that the Dr. says I shouldn't worry about)  So that means I haven't been running...well kinda.

All of my training has come to a screeching halt.  And aside from walking/jogging two 5k races and one half marathon (shh....don't tell my doc) I haven't been doing any running, or much of anything.  And needless to say it's making me crazy.

My Instagram and Twitter feeds are filled with inspiring runners, running gear companies and race sites.  Each time I look at my phone it hurts a little more.  Getting my Canadian Running magazine   last week crushed me.  And to be honest... I think I hate running.

I hate running because:
  • I can't do it anymore.
  • it took up such a big place in my life, I feel empty without it.
  • I loved it so much I ended up injuring myself.
  • the runner's high was so amazing that I want it all the time and I can't have it.
So I guess this is my rant.  As I drive past runners on my way to work I think "what great weather for a run" and then the bitterness sets in.  Maybe this post is just a way to get some of my feelings out and deal with this injury. Running used to be my outlet, my therapy, my me time and now that's gone.  I'm hoping that some of this anger, disappointment and negative self-talk will light a fire under my ass and get me doing something else.

Unfortunately, I'm still limited to what I can do physically, but somethings gotta give or I'm gonna explode.  They say there are 7 stages of grief and after a quick Google search it looks as though I'm stuck somewhere between stage 3 & 4 - anger and depression.  So I guess I'm grieving; grieving the loss of  running - my confidant, my motivator, my inspiration, my therapist and my friend.

So yes, I hate you running... because you left too soon.

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