Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Kay and Mike Take Toronto By Bike: The Port Lands

Mike and I have made it an unofficial goal to visit as many neighbourhoods as possible in Toronto via public transit and biking. This is a multiyear adventure, and has no order, very few rules, and no deadline. The only rule with bike club is that we don’t talk about bike club. Just kidding! The only rule is that we have to get there without using a car, and then I have to blog about it. 

Bike adventure number 3! (See Dundas ON, and Leslieville from last year)

Sometimes bike adventures just spontaneously happen. This Sunday, Mike and I were planning on attending a free intro to sailing class over in the Port Lands. Our plan was to drive over, do the sailing class, and then drive back. But then CRAZY TRAFFIC JAMS happened, so we decided to skip frustratingly waiting in traffic and biked over. It was one of those moments where we were like "herm..its only 50+ km of biking, we should be able to do that!" Spoiler alert: we did! 

22.5 km one way!

The first 15 km of the ride was very familiar as it is my normal commute to work. I have started biking to work and I'm thoroughly enjoying it. I take side streets for a few blocks and then boom: water front trail. Especially with the amazing updates to Queen's Quay, the bike to work is actually cycling friendly! It is crazy to see how much the biking infrastructure has improved in the past few years. Only thing to note is that on a nice summer weekend the pedestrian traffic can get a little nuts, but I don't mind sharing the trail, it just means biking with more caution than early on a weekday morning. We did however see a guy on a old timey bicycle about 8ft in the air so that was pretty neat! 

After the waterfront area, we continued our trek down through the Port Lands, our main destination for this trip (20km from home). 

It is a Mike!

The Port Lands area wouldn't necessarily be considered a "tourist" destination. It is definitely a part of Toronto that shows off it's historical industrial side. However, there are some pretty cool things out that way. Pulson Pier (driving range, indoor soccer, go karts and more), Cabana pool bar which has some of the nicest views of the city, Cherry St. Beach, and lots of Sailing Clubs.  It will be interesting to see what it will look like in 2o years after more development. 

We were at the Sailing Fanatics club for our short lesson, and Alex our guide took us out to show us a catamaran style boat. It was a lot of fun! I love being out on the water, and in the future I really want to look into getting a small boat/kayak or something that we can bring down to the water near our house and go for some water adventures! (Kay and Mike take Toronto by Water?). 

 After sailing, we decided to add more kms to the bike and explore Tommy Thompson Park, (otherwise known as the Leslie Street Spit).

It is a spit!

You could go check out wikipedia or you can read my summary below:
Back in the 50's shipping was a big deal. So they decided to build a breakwater to create a second harbour for shipping traffic. Shipping traffic died down, but now the city had a convenient place to dump fill. So they created a man made spit. Then because nature is awesome, things started growing (as green things do) and nature started to take over the man made spit. In the 70s they decided to open the area to the public as a park/wildlife, and even though it is still an active dumping area (some of the cells still have a 50 year capacity), it has also become an important bird conservation area. Pretty cool example of humans doing something kind of good for the environment by accident! Definitely felt like we were out of the city for the afternoon, and it gave us some pretty cool views! 

After the spit (now we were up past 30 km of biking) we decided to grab a bite at Cherry St. Restaurant. It is a cool old building that has been around since 1907! Since it was a weird time of day, we spilt a club sandwich, salad and some pretty delicious sweet potato fries (and a beer-vrage!). 

The Cherry
Om nom nom

After that nice stop we headed back on the road, only to be stalled at the bridge as a huge ship drove through....
I'm very excited!!

That is a big ship!

...and then another 20km to get home! It was a little tough on the legs, but we made it!! Just in time to have some leftover BBQ for supper, and call it day! 50+km of biking, one more area down...a ton more adventures to go! 

Monday, June 1, 2015

#MotivateMe Monday: A Recap of Science Chase, Spartan Race, and Mud Hero

May was a crazy month. I somehow signed up for all the things, and ended up spending most weekends doing some sort of crazy adventure..which is exactly how I like it! I have started writing this re-cap many times, and mostly due to Spartan it turns into a 100000 word post..so I'm going to simplify with STATS! (Ugh it is still super long..too much to recap!!)

Hopefully this motivates EVERYONE, and motivates myself to have another super awesome active month!
A weekly linkup on Mondays for you to share your weekly fitness plans and meal plans #MotivateMe http://www.fitnesscheerleader.com
Motivate me Monday is a weekly link up with fitnesscheerleader and runningrachel

Science Chase: 

Where/When: May 8th/Toronto.
What: An amazing race style run through down town Toronto, just like city chase (see here, here, here, or here), but this time with SCIENCE.
Jazz hands for Science

Challenges completed: 11 (but then we went and did the other ones for fun)

Projectile Motion..and a GIF!!

Place: 4th...again, running joke is that we are the 4th placers at city chase events
Time: ~2:20
Steps: 24,400
Distance travelled: ~10km
It was easier to do a screen shot this way I swear. 
Reasons why it was awesome: Somewhat science based, but also very physical, lots of running. Mike and I did really well with the challenges, and there was a fun after party! We also got a sweet prize.

Oh and it was REALLY affordable! Highly recommend it for people next year.

Computer Programming...you got this Mike!

Highlights:  Before the race started, they had a "nerd" challenge, and a "jock" challenge, I didn't volunteer for either, but when they announced that the jock challenge was push-ups, and I was in pre-spartan mode, I got "strongly encouraged" by Mike to go up. I did 31 push-ups in front of the crowd...from my toes. It was awesome. The "jock" boys did 42, and won free pizza. Never would have referred to myself as a jock before that point!

Lessons Learned: READ THE WHOLE CLUE!! Also, this event (like city chase) is for everyone, doesn't matter fitness level or nerdiness, just come and do it. It is a blast.

Spartan Race (Super Distance): 

Where/When: May 17th, Mt. Tremblant

Yes that is a mountain with snow. 

What: A 13km race with obstacles, and penalties for not completing obstacles (30 burpees). Oh and you climb Mt. Tremblant 3 times.
Place: doesn't matter, we (my partner in crime, Erin blogging over at Assorted Adventures of Erin and I) finished.
Time: ~6 hours.
Distance Travelled: 23 km (even though it was a 13 km course?)
Equivalent flights of stairs climbed: 401
Steps: 32720
From Erin's Fitbit

Number of burpees completed: 275
Reasons why it was awesome: This was by far the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. The mental challenge of climbing a mountain for 4 hours, plus doing 275 burpees was friggin hard. Physically I was ready for the running (I love trail running), but maybe not so ready for the obstacles. It was one of those things while doing it we were like "WE ARE NEVER DOING THIS AGAIN", but then by the next morning I was thinking of how to improve for next year. Erin thinks I'm insane, and her actual words when I mentioned I want to do it next year cannot be repeated on this blog, but I think I may do it again.

Highlight: Finishing. Actually sticking with the training (as detailed in previous motivate me posts, the last week I missed about 2 workouts to fit in the taper, but overall stuck with the plan) and feeling like a champion. There were quite a few things I did during that race that 10 weeks before I wouldn't have been able to do (mostly the lifting heavier weights), so seeing that progress was huge for me. Also, I loved the team effort of the race. Everyone is in it, against the mountain.


Lesson learned: Oh there are so many, and perhaps this will warrant a longer blog post, but I would say the following: WEAR SUNSCREEN (I did have some on..but not enough)...

... don't plan to do anything that night (we made the mistake of driving down to Montreal and trying to go dancing..bad call), and it will be 10x harder than you imagine. You need to train for this event (as recaped in my training posts). Even with following the training plan, I was still not prepared (heavier weights and more upper body would have helped).

Spiddeer (wo)man

Mud Hero Urban

When/Where: May 23rd/Downtown Toronto
What: A much more reasonable 6km obstacle course race ...with more mud!!
Place: 470/7691 overall, 99/4711 for gender, 21/1069 for category (more on this below)
Distance travelled: 6km
Time: 43:35
Number of burpees: 0...the way it should be.
Cars Jumped on: 4

Reasons why was it awesome: Mud hero is a fantastic entry level obstacle race. It is just intense enough to be a little outside your comfort zone, but totally doable by most fitness levels. I had raced in 2012/2013 with my friends and work peeps, and this year Mike's coworkers signed up. We joined in the last minute, and took the opportunity to try to see some big improvements from a few years back (see below).

Highlights: You get to smash cars. It is always my fav obstacle. And the after party is the best, live music, good food, and free beer-verages. Personal highlights include being the first girl in my leg to finish. I was neck in neck with this chicky most of the race, and she caught up with me at the last cargo net. As someone with a slight fear of heights, I am very cautious..so she almost got me, but I managed to finish the obstacle, and WIN. Also, being able to bike there and back was pretty awesome.

Lessons learned: (from the previous mud heros but worth repeating) wear a bathing suit under your clothes. You will be stripping down to change. Also, bring warm clothes for after..the water to wash off is always very chilly! Also, you will never get the dirt out of your finger nails...

Overall Recap

As much as mud hero wasn't the most physical challenging out of these 3 it really showed me how much I have improved.

2012 (Mud hero was my big event of the year)
Time 1:07
Place: 70th percentile overall, 64th percentile gender, 71th percentile category
Feeling after: DEAD TIRED.

2013 (Mud hero was right before my triathlon):
Time 0:59
Place: 38th Percentile Overall, 29th percentile gender, 29th percentile category
Feeling after: Pretty good! Cardio was fantastic due to tri training

2014 (Slightly easier course than 2012/2013, which is why I focused on the percentile):
Time: 0:43
Place: 6th percentile overall, 2nd percentile gender (99/4711!!!), 2nd percentile category!!!
Feeling after: No big thang...was able to bike home (another 10km), and wasn't sore the next day at all.

Seeing those CRAZY differences, blew. my. mind. I consider myself active, but never athletic, but to see it in cold hard percentiles is a true testament to the hours of workouts/runs/zumba classes/hot yoga etc. I guess maybe I am a "jock" after all (lol)!

I'm keeping things relatively chill for the next two months or so (I was specifically told no more adventure runs before the wedding), but late Summer/Fall is already looking to be a jam packed time..and maybe a half marathon!!???

Oh man this post was still super long...if anyone is still reading they get 10 gold stars!

Monday, May 4, 2015

#Motivate ME Monday Week 6/7 Spartan Race Training- 28 km week!

Just in time.... another #MotivateME link up powered by Fitness Cheerleader and Running Rachel

Full workouts hereLast week: Monday: 15 km run (wk5w3)- Done
Tuesday: Semi Rest
Wednesday: W6w1- Strength (+extra burpees)- Rest
Thursday: W6w2- HIIT   Wk6W1- Strength
Friday: Rest?  W6W2 HIIT (ran out of time for all the burpees)
Saturday: Wk6w3- DONE! 8 Mile run, 150 burpees
Sunday: W6w4 Rest
Monday: Wk6W4

Negatives about this week. I slacked on Wednesday. I could have gone to the gym and spaced out the workouts, and instead I came home and did wedding stuff. Still productive, but I regretted that decision on Saturday. Stacking the the workouts and doing 28km of running this week made Sunday a unplanned rest day, meaning now I have to play catch up this week, which is the most intense training week (taper starts next week). Ahhh!

Now for the positives: 28 km of running!!! As mentioned last week, I needed to get my miles/km up to be prepared for the Spartan race. So after a non timed/tracked 15 km, I decided this Saturday to do a 13km run to my Aunt and Uncle's for dinner. One of the major highways was closed so I figured instead of sitting in traffic I might as well get some exercise...didn't hurt that it was gorgeous out!

I spent the afternoon gardening, which is a pretty good workout itself!!

After- Work In progress!
Then I laced up and hit the pavement. My route was all uphill. Yay. But, as mentioned, it was SOOO NICE OUT. I love being outside, and after major cabin fever, I was very happy to be running outside wearing a t-shirt. My run took me over the abondoned highway (closed for construction...looks freaky).

0 traffic
Then I went through High Park. I love big cities because of their big parks. Growing up most people spent time in their own back yard, but in the city everyone goes to the park, and I love the lively energy the parks get in the spring and summer. Everyone is out BBQing, playing frisbee, enjoying the weather. It is nice! 

Every Mile I was trying to stop to do a circuit (as detailed in the workout link above), but my body was having none of it. Stacking the workouts made my legs feel like lead. I did manage to do burpees and pushups at the first 3 miles. After that I ran out of park, until I got to the 8 mile mark. 

8 Miles, 30+ Burpees and Pushups: 1:30. 

My pace isn't the best (a lot of walking/running), but I'm impressed that I don't feel dead after..which gives me confidence in completing the race. My goal isn't for any sort of time record, just to physically be able to do the race. 

Oh and then I did 90 burpees to "catch" up from Friday's workout. I then walked up the super steep hill to my Aunt and Uncles and scarfed down supper (burgers!!). I find when I do long runs I am STARVING by the end. Maybe it is just thirst??

Anyway, only 2 more weeks until the race!! AHHH! I feel like running will be ok (even though I'm sure the hills will be killer), but the strength part will still be a challenge. I am getting stronger (PB 80lbs Dead Lift 6sets of 4 reps, and 60 pushups..from my toes), but no way will I be able to do monkey bars in two weeks! Oh well, at least I'm getting good at those burpees!!

Plan for this week: 
Monday Wk6w4- Done
Tuesday Rest
Wednesday- Early AM Wk7w1 and Rest
Thursday - Rest?
Saturday- Science Chase (depending on how much running this may count as Wk7w3
Sunday- Wk7w4

Monday, April 27, 2015

#MotivateMe Monday: Week 5/6 and my first 15 km Run

Its time for another #MotivateME link up powered by Fitness Cheerleader and Running Rachel

Add caption

Last week:
Monday: wk4w2- DONE (with extra Burpees)
Tuesday: Rest day and Maybe some burpees Wk5w1 (strength)- I forgot my phone so I did a similar workout
Wednesday: Walk Semi Rest
Thursday: Rest 30 min walk
Friday wk5w1/w2 without the burpees
Saturday wk5w3 30 Burpees before dinner+walk
Sunday wk5w4 (ish) + 1 hr of rollar blading

As much as last week was a slightly messed up tutoring week, and busy with wedding invitations (seriously we spent ALL day on Saturday fighting with at home printing), I managed to fit in most of the workouts. I missed the long run, and I was short 60 burpees, and didn't push myself on workout 4 but overall not too bad.

On Saturday I was suppose to do a long run, but after fighting with invitations all day, I really didn't feel up to it. I have this huge issue with Running from Point A to Point B and back to point A, especially if I have done the same path before. I always want to give up and turn around and go home. So I decided to try a new strategy....I planned to RUN HOME FROM WORK.  My office is about 15 km away. I was planning on a walk/run, and worst case if I was dying I could hop on a street car.  I have done 10 km before, so I figured running an extra 5 km wouldn't be a huge stretch.

I got to work and realized I forgot my phone (again!), and was going to call the whole thing off. No way was I doing a 15 km walk/run with no music. I was going to go to the gym, but I didn't feel like it, and decided just to take a rest day and consider the walk home from the go train station as my exercise. 

Then, at the end of the day, I did the math. I had just missed the Go Train, so if I waited around for the next train, and then the 30 minute walk home, then a 1 hour gym session, I realized I could run home and be done my commute and exercise in about the same time.  Then I remembered that I had a little portable radio (that looks like a walkman...so ballin') in my desk from back when I didn't have a data plan, so I was all set for music! It also helped motivate me knowing that my friend Erin was training her butt off for Spartan race, and I would fall behind if I missed this run. That was all I needed to decide to RUN!

Then I realized I had no socks. Fail. Not letting that stop me I decided to start the run and then stop at a Shoppers and buy socks. I also bought gummy candies for run fuel, since by now it was 5:30pm and I was starving!!

My run was lovely. It wasn't too hot, but the sun was out, glistening off the lake. I've biked the same route before, and ran parts of it, but because I knew I was in it for the long haul I allowed myself to relax a little bit and stop and smell the roses so to speak. (Or in my nerdy case, stop and read all the historical signs). 
Same view, ~one year ago
Also, because I didn't have my phone, I wasn't caught up with tracking my time or my steps, or taking pictures. Because the radio was fairly cumbersome and very sensitive for tuning, I picked the first station that was clear and listened to that all the way home. I wasn't worried about fiddling with volume or finding the best running song.  It was slightly freeing to be somewhat "unplugged".  I love all of the apps out there that track everything: sleep, steps, posture, cadence, heartbeat, pace etc. When I was triathlon training they came in handy, and they are great for improving my baseline. But some times all I really need is sneakers, socks(!), gummy candy, and maybe some tunes. 

I made it home in about 1.75 hours (including the sock stop), and did a lot of walking (mostly to read the historical facts). But I was still able to run at the end, and wasn't dying when I got home. Considering that around 5 years ago I got winded walking the 1km to school, I think I'll call that a success. 

I also didn't eat all the candy, and now have more gym socks, that was also a success!

As I have mentioned before here, as much as I was never super unhealthy, it still sometimes boggles my mind at how far I have come from the end of university, and I'm so glad I still have the motivation to keep going!! 

This week: 
Monday: 15 km run (wk5w3)
Tuesday: Semi Rest 
Wednesday: W6w1- Strength (+extra burpees)
Thursday: W6w2- HIIT 
Friday: Rest?
Saturday: W6w3- need to do hills!
Sunday: W6w4

Monday, April 20, 2015

#MotivateME Monday Week 4/5 of Spartan Training and a Cake Pop

Oh Mondays.  This morning I woke up ready to take on the week but monday had other plans. My breakfast spilled all over my bag and my perfectly scheduled tutoring got all messed up..which I only realized half way to tutoring. Bright side: I had time to write this post while waiting for a drive home...There may have been Starbucks involved.

Now it is time for the #MotivateME link up powered by Fitness Cheerleader and Running Rachel

A weekly linkup on Mondays for you to share your weekly fitness plans and meal plans #MotivateMe http://www.fitnesscheerleader.com

From two weeks ago I got most of my planned workouts done (week 3 was hard!!) and it was a crazy tutoring week..so I was exhausted. Like almost in tears at the gym on Friday night exhausted.  Luckily last week was short a short work week and I feel back on track now (minus the annoyances today). I'm still following this workout, and trying to, in general, do them in order. 

2 weeks ago:
Monday: wk 2 w4 Complete!
Tuesday: 30 min walk- Rest day due to work stuff
Wednesday: wk3w1- Walk
Thursday: 30 min walk - strength training (wk3w1)
Friday: wk3w2-yes but I did skip the burpees at the end
Saturday: Run 6 miles with circuit every mile (modified wk3w3). I ran 6 miles in gorgeous weather but didn't do full circuits.
Sunday: Density Training (wk3w4)-nope needed a break. 

First Outdoor Run of 2015!
Last week:
Monday: planned to do wk3w4 instead I worked on wedding invites...all evening.
Tuesday: 30 min walk between tutoring
Wednesday: A bad version of wk3w4. I totally phoned it in but at least I tried. 
Thursday: Citychase Crash Course-I counted this as wk4w3. 1 hr ish of sprinting.  Felt pretty good after!
Friday: wk4w1 + 30 burpees
Saturday: lots of walking at my cousins dance show
Sunday: wk4w4 once again not a very good job at this but at least it is done.

This week my goal is to get caught up on Spartan race training. I'm getting kind of nervous about the weight/upper body stuff for Spartan Race. If you cant do an obstacle you have to do 30 burpees so I'm just going to practice all the burpees (and tutor, and do wedding stuff, and have a clean house, and have home cooked meals, oh and a 8-5 job too...I need a time turner!)

Monday: wk4w2, I guess if I'm not tutoring I might as well go to the gym!
Tuesday: Rest day and Maybe some burpees
Wednesday: Walk
Thursday: semi rest (I TTC so I always get some walking)
Friday wk5w1/w2
Saturday wk5w3
Sunday wk5w4

Lessons learned: always have my gym stuff with me for last minute change of plans! I could have gone to the gym while waiting for a drive home instead of eating a cake pop.

There was once a cake pop here. 

Editor's note: Kaylee finished writing this post in her gym clothes while waiting to go to the gym with Mike. Whether or not she actually went to the gym was never confirmed...or at least not known until the next blog post. 

Kaylee's note: the Cake pop was delicious. 

Friday, April 17, 2015

City Chase Crash Course: The 1st Losers

My normal Thursday night involves running around the city, getting from work, to tutoring, to tutoring, and then a long ttc ride home. This Thursday night my night involved running around the city, getting from chase point to chase point, and then a long ttc ride home.

As discussed here, here and here, we love the City Chase adventure races. After missing last year, we were really excited for this year's race on August 22nd. So excited in fact we registered for city chase entry as a wedding registry gift.

We were also excited (we get excited a lot), when City Chase announced a Mini city chase event, where the top 3 teams get free entry to the race. Mike and I aren't competitive at all (insert sarcasm font), so we immediately signed up and got it into our heads that we could win this thing. Since we had done quite well with endurochase in 2013, and we knew the downtown core, and our running skills are better than they have ever been, we were in it to win it. And hey, if we got free entry we could take it off our gift registry!

Both of us had to scramble to get to the starting point after work (only complaint with the whole thing was the 5:00pm start time), but we arrived and settled in, and sized up our competition... All while taking blurry selfies.

This event was dubbed "City Chase: the intimate affair" by one of the organizers, and that is what it really felt like.  City chase events have over 500 teams, and people have been running the race for 10+ years. At this event though, there were only 30ish teams, so the chances were quite high. About 20% of the teams were teams like Mike and I who were in it to see if they could win, which for most people isn't an option at the large city chase. There were also a lot of first timers, which was great, as it is a nice preview for the summer's event.

We had mapped out our strategy as we waited. Since Goodlife is a major sponsor of City Chase, we knew that there would most likely be some check points at the major Goodlife Gym's downtown. (HINT for anyone doing city chase). The organizer announced that teams would have to complete 6 checkpoints, 3/4 mandatory checkpoints (which were mapped), and the other 3 could be the optional checkpoints, which were in puzzle form, so you had to solve the location before you went.

Normally during big city chase, Mike and I take our time and solve a few clues, then figure out the best game plan. We knew in this race, with a limited number of check points, line ups could be an issue. So we decided to go to the furthest clues and work our way back. After we got our clue sheet we BOLTED to the first mandatory checkpoint down at Steam Whistle brewery. We were the first one there, so I guess our running skills were in better shape than I thought. After that we ran to Union Gym where we did jenga, and beat a super huge line up.

Our strategy then brought us up yonge street as we realized a lot of the optional clues were on yonge. We had to do one of those magic eye puzzles (which we both couldn't do but luckily we could ask people to help), and also play a game where each partner had to write down 3 things in a category independently and then compare, until you had 9 that matched. We bombed the first round (3/9), but the second round we got 8/9. Not bad! (Bruce Willis movies: Armaggedon, Die Hard, Die Hard 2 incase anyone was wondering, we both almost wrote Die Harder, even though that isn't even a movie...yet).

After that we sprinted (seriously, so much running) up to the Trinity Bay Goodlife and I had to do oragami and Mike ran on treadmill. I wish I had snapped a picture of my fish..it was awful, but it did the job, so we were out super fast. Good old 3-D spatial skills. I helped a few other teams who were very confused, and then Mike and I sprinted to the next stop. While Mike was chatting with the other chasers, we realized that we were doing really well, and we did in fact have a chance to win it.

And here is where everything fell apart. We had one more clue that said the start/finish line of City Chase Aug 22nd, and we assumed that it was at city hall. So we ran accross the street to City hall. And searched around for a volunteer. None to be found. I thought that one was a mandatory check point, so we wasted a little time trying to find the person. We then realized that was not a mandatory, so we doubled back to Trinity Square, and quickly did the stilts challenge.

We then SPRINTED to the finish line Shoeless Joes on King, and didn't see any other teams. When we checked in the organizer said "you are team number........4".  My heart sank. As much as it was just for fun, knowing we had lost free entry killed my soul. And then to add salt to our wounds we found out it we were 30 seconds away from 3rd, and about 2 minutes away from 1st. SO CLOSE.

We later found out the clue we messed up on was right across the street from the bar, and we could have done that on the way to steam whistle. If we hadn't have messed up with city hall we maybe even would have came in first!!

We were upset, but it is all for good fun, and we were proud that we did so well in general. Running that much in about 1hr was pretty intense.The organizer asked if we would still be doing city chase even since we didn't get free entry and we told him about our wedding registry idea. He thought it was great and requested that we tweet a screen shot.

When they handed out the prizes, he called us up to award us "4th place" as in the 1st losers...and based on City Chase humour, I thought it was just to poke fun at us (which I was ok with at this point), he was teasing us about coming in 4th, and reminding us that we only lost by 30 seconds, but then organizer actually told everyone that we were getting married and registered for city chase as a gift and then he GAVE US FREE ENTRY TO CITY CHASE this summer!!!

I know it isn't that big of deal, but guys, I almost started crying. I was so happy. It was so nice of them to do that, and it seriously made my night. And that is why I love the city chase organization. They are always having fun with it, and surprising the participants.

So here is the picture for twitter:

Thanks City Chase you guys are the best!! See you August 22nd! 

Monday, April 6, 2015

#MotivateME Monday- Week 3 of Spartan Training

#MotivateME Monday is a weekly link-up co-hosted by Fitness Cheerleader and Running Rachel

Oh hey bloggy friends!

I'm back! No real reason for the quietness around here (ahem wedding planning, tutoring, house stuff, Easter visitors) but I've been planning to post for a while and finally got around to it. I have been trying to coordinate a post for a Monday to join the #MotivateME Monday link up. It is a link up I found over at Fitness Cheerleader where we all post fitness and healthy eating plans for the week and then go spread some encouragement to other participants. 

My fitness plans for the next 6 weeks are really going to be focused on Spartan Race training. On May 17th one of my besties, Erin at GymCraftMed, and I will be participating in the Super Spartan race (13 km 20+ obstacles).  I am following this training plan but I spread it over 12 weeks instead of 8 since I was still doing other things such as Soccer and Yoga in March (and a dance class or two). ow that the race is 6 weeks away I have to get my butt in gear! Since I slacked a little last week (mmm Easter chocolates) this is a heavy training week.

Fitness Plan for this week:

...to use these a lot!

Monday: Density training (week 2 workout 4) Done!
Tuesday: 30 min walk
Wednesday: Strength training (week 3 workout 1)
Thursday: 30 min walk
Friday: HIIT training (week 3 workout 2)
Saturday: Run 6 miles with circuit every mile (modified week 3 workout 3)
Sunday: Density Training (week 3 workout 4)

Well this should be fun... 

For food, I plan to eat as normal, but I would like to watch my sugar intake, increase my water, and eat a little more protein and veggies than normal. Next week I'll do a more detailed food plan. 

Photo from Fitness Cheerleader and Running Rachel
Join the link up over at Fitness Cheerleader! 

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Healthy Carrot Cake Muffins with Cream Cheese Filling

Oh hey strangers!

Hope everyone had a fabulous Christmas and January! I spent my holidays at home in New Brunswick which was nice and relaxing, full of family visits, and wedding planning. I returned to Toronto and dove back into work, tutoring, commuting in the snow, and trying to sell a car. I also got totally sucked into the book/tv series Outlander, and have been reading like a fiend....and totally ignoring the blog.

Which reminds me, this little blog is 4 years old now. Thanks for reading! To celebrate, I am sharing this muffin recipe. I have collected quite a few frozen bananas, and have been put to the task to using them up. For the past couple of Sunday's I have been trying new muffin recipes...which lead to a Frankenstein mishmash of ideas that lead to this...

I started with the concept from Running with Spoons, but converted into Carrot Cake, after my friend Brittany and I were discussing how February 3rd was Carrot Cake Day. These Muffins are actually pretty healthy! Lowish sugar, no oil, no butter, and made with Oats! Yes, there is cream cheese. I'm justifying it by pledging to do a little more working out. I work out for food. Truth.

There is also a full serving of fruit, and good fibre things from the oatmeal, but you won't even know it is "healthy"....they are sneaky muffins...like Ninjas. Carrot Ninjas. They are pretty much a bowl of oatmeal in muffin form. With cream cheese. Guys..I tried to make it healthy ok, the cream cheese just fell in the bowl.

Mostly Healthy Carrot Cake Muffins

20 minutes Prep
20 minutes cooking

Makes 12 muffins

2.5 cups of whole oats (slow or quick, whatever you have)
0.5 Cups of flour (whole wheat, oat flour, whatever you have)
1/2 Cup of Yogurt (Plain Greek, or Vanilla, or non greek, whatever you have) 
2 eggs (I used 1 XL egg instead)
4 Small defrosted frozen bananas
1/2 Cup of Grated Carrot
Additional 1/4 Cup Grated Carrot (reserved)
1 Cup of crushed Pinapple Drained
1/4 Cup of Brown Sugar 
1 1/2 tsp of baking powder
1/2 tsp of baking soda
2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Vanilla
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
1/4 cup of walnuts (optional)

Cream cheese filling (totally worth it. Do it, don't omit, just don't eat 10 of them at once). 
1/2 Pkg of light cream Cheese (4oz) softened
1/8 Cup of White Sugar

Preheat oven to 375. Grease muffin tins

Add the oats, yogurt, egg, bananas, 3/4 cups grated carrot, pinapple, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, in a food processor. Pulse until oats breakdown. Mix in walnuts and reserved grated carrots. If mixture is too liquidy add flour as needed until batter becomes thick, but not doughy. 

In another bowl mix cream cheese and sugar. Do not eat the whole bowl of cream cheese mixture while waiting for the oven to preheat. DON'T DO IT. 

Pour muffin batter into tins, filling half way. Add a spoonful of cream cheese mixture, then top with muffin batter mix. (Hide the evidence) 

Bake in the oven for 15-17 minutes. 
When they come out of the oven go "Oh how did that cream cheese get in there...oh darn, guess I will have to eat it anyway!"

Check if done if when inserting a toothpick if it comes out dry. 

Enjoy...feel good about eating a healthy version of carrot cake, cream cheese and all!