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.


Adventures in Growing Food

I'm pretty excited as this is our first year with a proper vegetable garden.  This time last year we had just moved to our new home in small town Southern Ontario and even though our new yard was perfect for planting, we just didn't have the time.  But this year I was on a mission!

A mission to grow food for my family!

My husband and I decided on a perfect spot for the garden that would allow us to enclose it (read: keep dogs & rabbits out) and still have some big open spaces for romping.  We decided that some raised beds would work best given we live on a giant sand dune and I really didn't want to spend days tilling and trying to make our dirt suitable for veggies.  And then it was on to finding materials to build our beds.  We definitely didn't want pressure treated wood given all the toxic chemicals that would leach into our homegrown veggies and cedar was super expensive.  So what then?

But as luck would have it we managed to find a much more environmentally friendly and frugal solution.  We had a dead tree taken down a few weeks before and the guys that did the work live on a farm right around the corner.  Their property is gorgeous and littered with piles of lumber and boards!  So hubby headed over to ask them if they had any planks for sale.  Talk about perfect...not only did that have wood, but gorgeous 12 ft aged ash boards that they would deliver for us!.  I don't even remember how much wood they brought, but it was way more than we needed and it was only $50!  And even cooler was the fact that these brothers also have a small sawmill so that had made the planks themselves from other trees that had taken down in the area.  So cool!

So then we built the beds, or rather my handy husband did.  We decided on four 12x5 beds with walk-ways in between. We lined the area with heavy duty landscape fabric and installed the beds.  And then it was shovelling and more shovelling.  We ordered 4 yards of triple mix soil and had to lug it all from the front yard to the back.  And then wood chips to fill in the paths and make our garden area complete.  All I really remember from that week was shovels, calluses and sore arms.

But wow, did they ever look good.  We then needed to protect the area from rabbits, and our dogs who would tromp through all my seedlings. Talk about good karma, our neighbour had 2 large rolls of chicken wire she didn't need and happily donated it to the cause.  And my crafty husband then found some awesome metal trellis/fencing that someone was getting rid of and that's how we crafted our enclosure.

Then of course it was on to planting.  I had started all kinds of seeds inside in the early Spring and couldn't wait to get them in the ground.  I had everything just about planted the weekend before Victoria Day.  In hindsight, it was way to early, but I was just sooo excited!  So after having to cover up all my plants multiple times over the following 2 weeks due to frost I was home free!  Let the garden grow!

Everyday we take a tour through our new little plot.  The kids love checking out whats popping up and all the veggies that are getting bigger each second.  We've already started picking some of our veggies including kale, lettuce, spinach and radishes.

I remember being sweaty and cranky and in the thick of building and filling the boxes and my husband saying "wouldn't it be easier to just go to the grocery store?"  And initially, there were times when I definitely thought so, but now, watching my plants grow and seeing my kids get excited about picking food for supper I know that growing our own food may not be easier, but it sure is way more fulfilling AND delicious!

Have you got a garden this year? What are your favourite things to grow?


Bringing the Fun back to the Run

This past Sunday was my first run since my first half marathon - Forest City Road Races at the end of April.  In case you missed it, a few weeks ago I was diagnosed with a femoral stress fracture.  So needless to say my running streak has been cut short.

So last Sunday was the first Run the District event called the Chuckle Run.  I was so excited to be selected as one of the Run the District ambassadors, but not super pumped about my stress fracture.  How could I be running ambassador and not run?   Well, I walked.  Yup, I walked my very first race ever.  And I have to say it was pretty incredible.

Besides the pouring rain and freezing wind, I really enjoyed the Chuckle Run.  And walking the race has given me a whole new perspective.  While waiting at the start I found myself surprisingly relaxed. Gone was all that nervous, anxious energy I usually have before a race.  No fiddling with my iPod or my watch, no last minute shoe adjustments or freaking out because I forgot something.  I just stood in the rain, with my tutu and frog umbrella and waited.  When the horn blew I headed out, back of the pack with a brisk walk.
There's me at the back with the tutu & froggie umbrella.
Fairly quickly, I ended up pretty well last with the medics on the golf cart in front and a police escort behind me.  But I didn't care, not about anything.  I didn't care that I was one of the last racers, that I was soaked to the bone or that I wasn't on pace...heck I didn't even wear my watch and couldn't care less about time.
Our fave Cop photo bomb!
What I cared about was the experience -enjoying every puddle, every cheer from spectators and actually keeping up with my friend Shannon.  Usually at races we start together and once the race starts we've gone our separate ways and find each other at the finish.  But not this time, for the most part we stayed together almost the entire race.  We laughed and joked and cursed each puddle we stomped through, but what was best was just having fun.

Throwing away all those self doubts, goals and pressures for a race was so liberating.  Running (or walking) without a care was fantastic.  And the best part was getting to watch Shannon cross the finish line ahead of me.  I was so excited for her!
There's goes Shannon, kickin' my butt!
So I may have finished 5th last at the Chuckle Run, but it sure felt like a PR! I really encourage everyone no matter how serious or casual a runner to pick one race and just run it for fun.  No goals, no watch, no PR....just fun!  There's so much more than just a finish time!

What's next for me?  Well, Run to the BBQ is in a couple weeks and I will be walking it too...but who cares?  I don't!


10 Day Whole Food Detox Recap

For the past week and a half I have been doing the 10 Day Whole Food Detox from Vanessa at Our Natural Connection.  So now that its all said and done I'd thought I would share my thoughts and experiences with you.

What I really enjoyed about the program was it's simplicity.  There were no weird foods that were hard to find, no challenging recipes and the food prep was quick and easy.  I love the fact that every part of the 10 Day Whole Food Detox was about getting back to basics and using real, natural foods to reset and retrain your body.

This is not some crazy lettuce diet or liquid fast.  The 10 Day Whole Food Detox is just that - whole food.  The emphasis on foods that are nutrient dense, easy to digest and aid in the detox process.  I also like that near the end, good clean proteins were reintroduced.

Of course, with any of the cleanses or detoxes I have done in the past, the hardest part for me is kicking the caffeine.  It's not so tricky skipping coffee, but the withdrawal headache usually around day 2 or 3 is less than pleasant.  At least that only last about a day and then after that I start to feel much better.

So how did I do with the detox? Well, I wasn't hungry or starving and the meals were simple and delicious.  And oh my....the smoothies....AHHH-MAZING!!  I totally felt like I was doing something bad every morning as I indulged in their decadence.

After 10 days, I felt lighter, calmer and more energized.  And I even lost 3 pounds! The 10 Day Whole Food Detox was a great way to get back on track, clear out some old gunk from my body and feel alive again.

If you're looking for an easy to follow, natural and effective detox, I highly recommend Vanessa's 10 Day Whole Food Detox.  Not only does she help you with continuous support through the process, she also provide loads of valuable information on various forms of self-care, from tips to de-stress to how to start meditating.  It's the whole package!

Wanna try it for yourself?  Well...you're in luck, the next 10 Day Whole Food Detox starts June 1st!!  What a great way to kick off the summer and feel alive!  You'd better hurry though, registration closes May 29!  Register HERE.

Have you tried a whole foods detox? What was the best/worst part for you?


Disclaimer: A huge thank you to Vanessa from Our Natural Connection  for allowing me to try this  program free of charge.  I did not receive compensation for this post and as always, all opinions expressed are my own.


10 Reasons Why You Should Get Dirty

The past couple weeks have been a fury of raking, shovelling, digging and planting around here.  I LOVE Spring and all the outdoor work that comes with it.  Cleaning up the yard and gardens, getting rid of all the winter messes and prepping for all the growing and blooming makes me happy!

Did you know that there's actually some pretty good reasons to get outside and get dirty? Yup, all those days as a kid making mud pies weren't for nothing!  Check out these amazing and healthy reasons why you should get your dirt on!

10 Reasons Why You Should Get Dirty
  1. Fresh Air - after months of being cooped up over the winter, nothing feels nicer that that clean, crisp air in your lungs.  A few deep breaths and you can already start to feel energized.
  2. Sunshine - gotta love some natural Vitamin D!  Just be careful as your skin is probably not used to those rays and can burn quickly.
  3. Physical Activity - playing in the dirt can be a great work out.  Whether is digging holes for new plants, weeding or cutting the grass you can work up a good sweat with some yard work.
  4. Immune Building - yup, playing in the dirt is great for your immune system.  See... kids knew it all along.  Ditch the antibacterial soaps and sterile environment and make mud pies instead.  Kids who play in the dirt are less likely to develop allergies and develop stronger immune systems from exposure to all those little microbes and bacteria compared to those kids who aren't allowed to play in the mud and dirt.
  5. Stress Relief - playing in the yard is a simple way to de-stress.  Combine a little exercise, fresh air and stepping away from whatever is bugging you and you'll start to relax in no time.
  6. Self-Esteem Boost - talk about feeling good...how about that feeling of pride and accomplishment from nurturing a plant from a little seed to your very own fruit or vegetable?!
  7. Connect with the Earth - digging in the dirt is a wonderful way for adults and kids to connect with Mother Earth.  It reminds us how interconnected we are and that in order for us to live and flourish we need to love and respect our planet.
  8. Grow Your Own Food - one of my favourite parts about gardening is that I can actually provide nourishing foods that I selected, planted and nurtured to my family.  I know exactly what went into them and what we will then be eating.  It's all about planting love!
  9. Get Happier - did you know that getting dirty makes you happy? For real! Mycobacterium vaccae is a beneficial bacterial naturally found in soil.  And it's been found to trigger the release of Serotonin which boosts your mood!
  10. Why not?!
Do you love playing in your yard or garden?  Hands up if you have dirt under your fingernails!

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