Three Weeks Is Almost A Month: Half Marathon Update!

So, today is my favourite Monday EVER. It’s spring break, so it may as well be Saturday! Yes, Mondays that still feel like the weekend are most definitely the best kind.

This weekend was rather marvelous. It started off with a semi-mildy unimportant email — this email was the most important and amazing thing I have ever read in my whole entire life:

I GOT INTO UBC!

ubc

I still can barely breathe. Like the seventeen year old I am I immediately sprinted into my mom’s room to tell her. I rode a high for the rest of the day. I know that I’ve been talking a lot about the University of Toronto – but I’ll be honest, I’m started to freak out about moving so far away. Also it would be a plus to experience real seasons rather than this -20 business in March (just about April).

After that piece of marvelousness, I spent my weekend shirking responsibilities, reading, and RUNNING!

I cannot believe week THREE is already in the books for my half marathon training!

As I said last week, I sort of scrapped a formal training plan and decided to just follow the jist of Hal’s runs. I’m doing three runs per week however I want, but following his long run build up.

To be perfectly honest, I failed at keeping track of my cross training this week. I would love to start going to yoga/doing some more at home circuit training but I’m just not in the groove yet!

yogaBecause I should be able to do this pretty soon, right? 😉

This is what happened on the running front!

Wednesday: 4 miles @ 7:49 pace. I don’t even know what happened to me on this run. I joined the 5am workout club because apparently free time in my life is now limited to the hours of 2-4am. Anyway, I was expecting to do an easy 3 miles considering the time. But I felt SO energetic and strong that I just kept speeding up! I stopped at 4 miles because I

a) Am still a total freak about injury prevention

b) Am still a total freak about injury prevention and needed to foam roll/stretch

c) Felt like my stomach was eating itself

It was still an absolutely glorious run, though!

Friday: 6 miles @ 8:15 pace. I was sweating by mile 1 but felt strong mentally and physically. Normally when I run on the treadmill I set a minimum goal of three miles and then push myself as much as I can, but the moment I stepped on I decided that six miles were happening. I adjusted the pace as I needed and stayed distracted enough that the time flew by. On this particular day, although I could have kept going, I was perfectly happy to be done. 🙂

Sunday: 3 miles @ 8:08 pace. I may as well have joined the 5am workout club again – I was back home AFTER my run by 8:00am on a SUNDAY morning! I definitely felt like a total champ for the rest of the day – especially when we had a line up out the door for a solid 2+ hours at work. I sprinted on a treadmill in the morning to warm up for sprinting around a cafe all afternoon!

runningAll four of us. 😉

Overall I am 100% happy with these runs! Running is becoming the most glorious stress reliever and I am really feeling grateful that I have the ability to run – it doesn’t feel like something that I “have” to do. I GET to and I am so thrilled.

What’s the best thing that happened to you this weekend? 

Thinking Out Loud: “Spring” Break in Canada

IT’S FRIDAY!

Wait – you say it’s Thursday?

Well, sucks to be you then. 😉 I don’t have class tomorrow, so today is like my Friday. PLUS it’s a half day, PLUS, at 12:29pm I will officially be on SPRING BREAK! Even though it basically blizzards every day. Can you tell I’m in a good mood since that still doesn’t even phase me?

Since basically all of 2014 has been a blur for my poor, overworked brain, I am starting to go a little bit crazy. Studying nonstop has absolutely destroyed me and I am SO ready for a break. Enjoy my 150% typically random thoughts with spring fever. 😉 Thanks for hosting, Amanda!

Thinking-Out-Loud

1. More studying ≠more success. Speaking of being overworked, guess what? I got 50% on my English quiz. If you don’t realize how unlike me this is, it is basically equivalent to a hippopotamus growing wings and flying to DisneyWorld.  I’ve been known to bomb chem and math on occasion, but this does NOT happen to me in English! The fact is, I’ve been basically going to school, studying, running and doing NOTHING else. I do blog but, while I love it and it is very calming, it is not the same as taking a genuine break. SO even though I was well prepared for my test I was totally out of it while actually writing it, hence the nauseating mark.

2. I’m over London Fogs. I know this is a shock seeing as I have basically professed my love on at least a weekly basis, but I’ve moved on to bigger and better things. Chai lattes, specifically. If I’m running around doing stuff or sitting in the cafe working on homework, I have an americano misto or a single origin coffee, but if I’m relaxing? Chai latte all the way. My favourite one has the perfect balance of sweet and spicy and is just so. darn. delicious. Also never get it with 1% milk because whole milk >

3. I am LOVING French. I keep meaning to email you about French, Christine! Time just keeps running away from me. But anyway, I’m playing the exact same French song on repeat and, although I have the melody totally committed to memory at this point, I can only remember a few phrases. Better than nothing! I am going to find a French book from the library (that I have already read in English) and attempt to read it on the plane/while I am in Toronto. Then, when I get too frustrated with that, I will just reread Pride & Prejudice. ❤

french book

4. It’s actually important to care for your contacts. Who would’ve thunk it? I clean my contacts with peroxide, but the case has to neutralize it so that the solution doesn’t burn your retinas. Well, turns out that they actually stop working after a while (I did know this) and when you put off getting a new one for too long, your contact lenses will retain peroxide and make you want to gouge your eyes out! It was quite the pleasant experience. NOT. I had the worst headache all day long because of it.

5. I still almost want to stay at home next year. It’s just terrifying to imagine living by myself in six months. Plus, I love my job and everyone in it SO much. The customers make my entire day and my coworkers and boss are the nicest people I know. Maybe I will still move out, and just live there! 😉

6. But I also could not be more excited to go away to university! If I could just make up my mind between U of T and UBC I could actually plan my life. But until then I will revel in dreaming about my dorm room and the (actually interesting) classes I will be taking and friends that have similar interests to me. CAN’T. WAIT.

toronto university

7. My name is Emma, and I suffer from reading ADD. I currently have five books on the go and don’t feel like reading any of them. They’re all either too dark, too light, too non-fictiony (yes that is in fact an adjective) or just too meh. I need another book to suck me in.

8. I failed at my Lenten sacrifice. And I’ve waited this long to confess it to you people. On Sunday I broke down and chewed gum. And I’ve had it every day since. I always have a hard time giving up something for Lent because I’m Christian but not Catholic. I’m still continuing 100% aspartame-free, though, other than that! I didn’t even want to order diet coke Tuesday night when we went out for dinner. WIN.

9. I need to choose a grad quote! I’m down to three – they are all by JK Rowling because she is my #1 inspiration. These are my options:

gradquote1
I like that this one is inspirational, but I feel like it might be too cheesy. 

jkrowlingquote2This one is short and sweet, but I’m not sure if it has the kind of message I want. 

jkrowlingquote3I think I’m leaning towards this one. It’s how I feel about leaving high school and is relatively unknown (I hope?)

10. I like the number ten. When I was in grade two I called everything in the teens “tenty____” —> example: twelve was “tenty-two” and seventeen was “tenty-seven”. And I wonder why I did so horribly on my English test. 😉

Did / do you have a grad quote? 

What is your favourite drink EVER? 

WIAW: Noms Make Me (Not) Blind.

Happy hump day! Don’t hate me, but sort of feels like Friday today. I still have to go to school for the rest of the week, but Thursday and Friday are half days, so today is my last full day of school until APRIL ELEVENTH! I am on spring break next week and am in Toronto until Friday of our first week back. It’s pretty scary that, by the time I am home, I will be either accepted or rejected by university and will be making my FINAL decision…!!!

Onto the noms. Thanks for hosting, HEATHER, who is taking over from Jenn this week!

 Yogurt bowls have made a return for breakfast over here. There’s just something about apples that makes me DIE of happy taste buds. Add in nut butter and I’m in heaven.

yogurt

For some reason I was still hungry after so I had a bowl of baby carrots the size of my head with hummus. I can never say no to carrots, even before 8am.

carrots

I couldn’t not have a Coconut Peanut Protein Bite for a snack! I’m sure my friends dans la classe du francais really appreciate my unique food.

Coconut Peanut Protein Bites

Do you want to know something I love about not tracking macronutrients? Whenever I used to have jam, it would always be the “no sugar added but filled with asparatame and a chemical shitstorm” variety. I liked it, but now that I have been introduced to the world of real, organic jam (with sugar!) I am never going back. I got a random craving for a PB+J taken up a notch, so this happened for lunch:

ABJAlmond butter + blueberry jam sandwich (+ various accompaniments)

I had my own greek yogurt plus some snacks from friends. Did any of you guys actually trade lunches as a kid? I have no memory of that. I also can’t believe I just indirectly called myself not a kid.

I couldn’t say no to an americano misto and ginger oatmeal cookie after school. (It’s been a long day!) I also had to go to the eye doctor after and that is basically my version of slow, torturous death (think being broken on the wheel or burning alive) so I needed to bribe myself. This did the trick.

ginger-cookie

misto2

You. Guys. Dinner was exactly what I needed. I have been wanting a burger and fries SO BADLY. We had homemade burgers Monday night, and while delicious, didn’t cure me of my need. So while our apartment was being shown (and after I had my eyes plucked out by evil villains) I devoured this baby. I requested my FAVOURITE grain bread in lieu of a white bun and demolished that entire plate. With copious amounts of ketchup, of course.

burger2

Although my near-blindness did not result in any dramatic revelations (English literature reference much?), I did realize that ketchup makes anything better. And I do get to put in my contacts without lighting a fire in my eyeballs, though, so there’s that.

 What’s the best thing you’ve eaten recently? 

Did anyone get my blindness reference? 

5 Minute Coconut Peanut Protein Bites

When I say five minutes, I literally mean five minutes.

Coconut Peanut Protein Bites

There is none of this “plus assembly” or “it takes me five minutes because I’ve done it a million and one times” monkey business going on around here.

Sundays are my only day off – I am not interested in spending the entire day in the kitchen! Who has time for that? As I said on Friday, though, I’m tired of relying on processed protein bars for all my snacks. Enter: the world of energy bites.

When I first attempted these little balls of wonder, I made Dark Chocolate Cookie Dough Bites.  They were a success! But I wanted to try something a little different.

I had just bought another bar of nut butter that sadly did not make my  heart beat even a little bit faster. I didn’t want to put it to waste, but it just didn’t deserve my apples, the true test of nut butter in my opinion.

earth-balance

I also wanted to switch up the texture a little bit, and add some protein!

Coconut Peanut Protein Bites were born.

By not blending the oats, you get a dense, crunchy texture that, thanks to the nut butter, melts in your mouth. These are no fuss, made with super simple ingredients that will get you on your way!

Coconut Peanut Protein Bites: Makes 8

coconut-bites

(Note: I ended up with 7 because there was a spoon beside me. Enough said)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup steel cut oats
  • 1/4 cup Earth Balance Coconut Peanut Butter (or nut butter of your choice)
  • 1 scoop unflavoured protein powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 7 drops stevia (or to taste)
  • 2 tbsp milk of choice ( I used almond milk)

Instructions:

  • Stir chosen nut butter in a bowl until creamy.
  • Add in oats.
  • Mix the protein powder in as much as you can, then add the almond milk so that it fully incorporates.
  • Add vanilla and stevia.
  • Roll into balls and store in the fridge/freezer!

How much patience do you have for food prep? 

Half Marathon Training: Week 2

Happy Monday!

I honestly mean that. I had such an amazing weekend, and I hope that you did too. 🙂 It was so great that I’m joining Katie’s Marvelous In My Monday link party!

Things kicked off Friday afternoon with an amazing run (that I was thisclose to skipping). I spent Saturday morning with my best friend that I hadn’t seen in six months, and the afternoon at work (which we all know I adore)! My break was filled with cat pictures which make everything better.

cat-sat-151I actually despise cats but cannot get over pictures/videos. They just kill me every time. 

When I got home, I had a delicious dinner and then spent the rest of the evening finishing Pride & Prejudice –> party animal right here. Sunday was gorgeous in it’s lazy morning, another perfect run, reading, writing and baking! I needed a homework-free weekend and I made sure that I got it. 🙂

On to the running!

All of which occurred on the treadmill. I didn’t talk about this last week because, well, I didn’t want to. Guys, I love Canada, but WOW. We had an absolutely beautiful last week of winter (as I am sure you all remember me going on about ten degrees being like summer to me) annnnnd, then on the FIRST DAY OF SPRING guess what happened?

I don’t even want to say it.

We got hit with a blizzard, complete with insane winds and -20C (-4F) temperatures. WHY?! Needless to say I could not bring myself to run outside, so I renewed my membership with the Y and got reacquainted with my favourite treadmill.

iY1k9Sjogging-running-winter-cold-seasonal-ecards-someecardsYou would be shocked at how many brave souls I did see out there, though.

Also…I scrapped Hal’s plan again. I know this is probably the most annoying thing to hear me going back and forth about but as soon as I feel like I have to do something, all the enjoyment gets sucked out for me and I just dread it. I started not wanting to run at all, even three miles, because running felt like it had become a chore. NOT. GOOD.

So I am now doing one easy run per week (3-5 miles), one long run per week (following Hal’s build up but I started at 5 miles instead of 4) and one run of whatever I want. I know that some people may disagree with this way of training but trying it out is the only way to see if it works for me! Of course I will continue with cross training and will hopefully get into yoga! Here’s what went down this week:

Monday: Arms + abs. I used to spend way too much time scrolling through Pinterest trying to find workouts with “only” certain exercises that I liked until I remembered BLOGILATES! I don’t use her workouts for everything but I absolutely love all of the ones that I have tried. 🙂

absonfire1

Tuesday: 3 easy miles. I honestly do not remember the pace but there wasn’t much remarkable about this run so I am guessing it was 8:40 ish. My legs were still tired from Sunday’s long run (from week one) and I just wasn’t feeling it. I also did back + obliques in the morning before school.

Wednesday: OFF. I still woke up at 6:00am (without an alarm) but used my free time to catch up on some homework. And then I did coffee-ing work in the afternoon. 🙂

Thursday: LEGS! I actually enjoyed this way more than I expected to. I thought that I hated training legs and so I didn’t do any for ~2 weeks but I think I actually liked this one more than arms day. Noted.

Friday: 6 miles @ 8:12 pace. DailyMile told me 8:15 but the treadmill said 8:10 so this is what we are going with.

I attribute all my uncannily fast runs to luck. When I run, I think of my mileage in terms of songs so I’m not obsessively checking my watch. I know that I run a little over a mile ~1.3-1.5 ish per three songs. But I tell myself that three songs = one mile. So when I think that I’ve, for example, ran four miles, I have probably ran over five and am either done before I know it or have way more motivation to keep going. In my third set of songs, I decided that I was going to sprint for one mile @ 8mph.

Well, Justin Timberlake’s “Mirrors” came on as the first song of that set. It is eight minutes long.

justin The face I made when I realized this fact. 

But then imagine my surprise when I had ran two miles in the time that I thought I had done one in! That alone gave me all the motivation to push it until I finished the set at 4.75 miles and then cooled down until I reached 6.

ALSO, the fact that our treadmills got new software that allowed me to run through this made the time fly by like a rocket on a space ship.

cathedral-coveCathedral Cove in North Island, New Zealand.

Saturday: OFF. Like I said, I had an absolutely wonderful Saturday and there just was no time for exercise. 🙂

Sunday: 4 treadmill miles. I love getting faster! I did some random sprinting during this run when my usual pace felt too easy and ended with an 8:02 average pace. 🙂

All in all, it was a pretty good week. I really need to work on my cross training – I can see my muscles shrinking. 😦 I know that on paper it looks like I did a decent amount but when I say that I worked “legs” or “arms” or anything it is literally 20 minutes max of low intensity exercises. I don’t want to start doing intense activity right when I get up (especially as my mileage increases) which is why I NEED to get into yoga! Added to the list.

How was your training?

What’s on your to-do list this week? 

That Time I Was Addicted To Protein Bars

Annnnnd, we’re back to Friday again. I honestly don’t even feel like I have weekends anymore, to be honest. It’s not nessecarily a bad thing – although it sounds like it. Sunday is my only day off, since I always end up homeworking Saturday morning and then coffee-ing in the afternoon/evening. And just as I get into the swing of feeling relaxed and weekend-y (I am all about proper verbs and adjectives today, apparently) it’s Monday again! And the cycle continues.

But that’s why things like spring break exist! I’m so SO excited to have nearly two weeks off to regroup and ready myself for the final push to (gulp) finish high school.

SPEAKING of high school, I tend to snack a lot during it. There’s something about French relative pronouns and radical equations that just make me so. darn. hungry. 

fooooood

And for a while there I wasn’t doing very well with it. In my past life, I used to be obsessed with eating my breakfast at EXACTLY 8:00am so that I would make it to lunch without dying for a morning snack. Then, after I realized that was entirely ridiculous and I felt a thousand times better eating something around 9-10:30am, I just started throwing a bar in my bag and being done with it.

luna-barNot only was this bad for the grocery bill (those bars disappear FAST when you have them on the daily) eating processed food is not something I want to be such a habit. I’ll never nix it entirely, but I do limit it when I can. So there was me eating Luna bars and Larabars every. single. day. of the week! I knew I needed to do something, but WHAT?!

Yes, I am dramatic, as per usual. But seriously – all I needed to do was plan. At first, I realized that I had popped my Dark Chocolate Cookie Dough Bites into the freezer and totally forgotten about them! So that was week one covered. Then, on the following weekend, I did a mini food prep.

energybites2

Sidenote: I will never be the person who can dedicate my entire Sunday to prepping food for the week. I’m not sorry. It’s my day off and there are a thousand things that I would rather do! That being said, it probably is a good idea to spend just a little while, so that the aforementioned problem doesn’t arise.

I made Amanda’s protein granola bars,

In addition to another batch of cookie dough. 😉

I put almonds and raisins into baggies and as well as some cheese and crackers!

In total, it took me less than 45 minutes. And I had way more than a week’s worth of snacks all waiting just for me! Gosh, how special am I?!

In all seriousness, though. Even if you have next to no time you do not need to rely on packaged everything! There are tons more recipes that I want to try for my French class noshing, so here are a few recipes for you to drool over. 🙂

Chunky Munky Granola Bars via Kiss My Broccoli

Toasted Pistachio + Pineapple Muesli via How Sweet Eats

Cranberry Nut Breakfast Cookies via Housewife Glamour

Chunky Monkey Snack Bites via Running With Spoons

Chocolate Chip Quinoa Cookies via Chocolate Covered Katie

What are your favourite fast + easy snacks? 

Thinking Out Loud. [+ Thriving?]

IT’S THURSDAY! Big thank you to Amanda for allowing me to disguise my disconnected thoughts into a coherent post. 🙂 I usually only have ten on the blog, but believe me, I could go on forever. Did you know that there is no such thing as a line? Because it’s actually a rectangle. BOOM.

Thinking-Out-Loud

Also, thank you, universe. Despite the fact that I have developed a bad habit of thinking every day of the week is Friday (!) this week has actually gone by relatively quickly. That is a big deal considering it is my last full week of school before spring break!

1. You. Guys. I leave for Toronto on April 1, where I will spend ten days planning my future and my career and my real life and see family that I will finally live near and omg can you tell I am excited? After that, though, we basically come home and immediately move. That takes us to May, most of which will likely be filled with this little thing called GRAD. And then I’m…done. Well, after those pesky little diplomas. But seriously – this year is almost over and it’s gone by faster than this week.

toronto universityUpdate my application status. NOW. 

2. I’m developing Compulsive Applicant Disorder. I check both of my U of T and UBC application statuses multiple times per day, willing the universe to give me an answer. Well, not just any answer. I want to see and/or hear the word ACCEPTED more than any other word in any language right now. Even more than chocolat. 

3. I’m also developing Chronic Indecisiveness. I cannot for the LIFE of me decide if I want to live in Vancouver, Toronto or Missisauga. I also don’t know if I want to major in communications (which I can only do in Mississauga) or arts and try a ton of new things, but be unable to switch to communications later on. It’s giving me a lot of anxiety but I am trying to let this make me feel better.

4. Picture this: She sits down, absolutely dying for an olive. Exhausted from her day, all she needs in her life is a delectable, salty, sophisticated olive. She pops one in her mouth, expecting to be overjoyed with satisfaction, but really…

olives

IT’S CHOCOLATE! Before your stomach writhes in disgust, do not fret. They are NOT chocolate covered almonds – these babies are pure chocolate. Not that anyone could be disappointed by chocolate in my humble opinion, but apparently there are some crazies like that in our world. My mom came home with these the other day and I am just dying to put them to good use. I haven’t been able to bring myself to try one yet (because olives…EW) but as soon as I do I promise to update you all on this conspiracy.

5. Pride & Prejudice. Feel free to judge me as harshly as you want, but…I am actually loving it. I hated it in the beginning because all the characters seemed to do was gossip, but now that I’ve gotten past the old English barrier and am hooked on the character’s storylines…my sleep is dwindling juuuuuuust a little.

colin firth prideI’m also more than a little excited to see this face on the big screen. 

6. I NEED to get my grad dress! Everyone is telling me not to worry, but I’m really getting anxious now. Last night I had a dream that I went shopping the night before commencement and bought a comforter. You read that right. I had every intention of wearing a comforter to my high school graduation and waited until the morning of to have a breakdown. T-minus just over two months.

7. I think that I should be allowed to sit down with a bowl of hummus and call it a meal. Now that I think about it, I would be satisfied with a bowl of a lot of things. Like a bowl of peanut butter. Or a bowl full of paninis cut into squares. Yep, I could go for that.

8. I didn’t do anything for St. Patrick’s Day. I feel like with the amount of “green recipes” I have seen all over the internet the past few days this is a confession that I need to make. I didn’t even have my avocado toast that has become a favourite around these parts. Now that I think about it, I didn’t actually eat one green thing all day long. Oops. 😉

smoothieLet’s just pretend I had this Avocado + PB Smoothie, okay? 🙂 

9. I’m genuinely glad Ill be underage for another year. Alberta, the province that I live in, is the only one in Canada that has a legal drinking age of 18 – the rest are 19. I’m not remotely interested in alcohol now, but because my birthday isn’t until August 9, I will only be “legal” for two weeks. I’m glad that I won’t have to deal with that while I’m adjusting to everything else, and besides: a pub near my building opened at 9 AM for a FOUR DAY LONG St. Patrick’s Day party. Call the Irish.

10. We are currently 16 days gum free over here. I was so close to caving last night. I even bought a pack, unwrapped it and took out a piece. But for some reason, even though I thought I wanted it, I just didn’t feel like chewing it? Emma, 1. Sucralose, 0.

That’s all I have for you today! I hope your Thursday is marvelous. 🙂 <— does anyone have a good “Th” sounding adjective? Terrific Thursday doesn’t cut it for me and I miss that alliteration.