Thinking Out Loud – My New Life!

Every Thursday I feel like I say this, but every Thursday it’s just too true…THANK YOU Amanda for giving me a 100% legitimate excuse for word vomit. I also always say that this week it is the most needed, but it’s really true this time. I promise!


1. I accepted my offer of admission to UBC! It still feels surreal that I am moving to Vancouver to go to my dream school…but it just goes to show that hard work pays off! I have literally worked my ass off nonstop for the past two years so it shouldn’t be  a surprise that I got in. But I am still so so happy! 🙂 Move-in day is September 1st so I have almost exactly four months left at home. Let’s pretend I didn’t just say that.


2. I’m so excited for classes! I have already decided exactly what I want to take. Obviously knowing me this will most likely change, but as of now I am taking two English classes, two Kinesiology classes, two Political Sciences classes, and one course in each of Journalism, Psychology and Economics! I’m currently registered as an English major but in Arts you don’t apply for the major until your second year, so I still have time to change my mind. I still have no idea what to do with my life but we’re not jumping off that cliff today.

3. I need shoes. Yes, every girl needs shoes but I actually NEED to get my shoes for grad! My dress is approximately 6.8 miles long and so I need to buy my shoes so that I can have my dress hemmed! Less than a month to go and I seriously hope it will not take that long to be tailored.

4. Speaking of shoes…There is sort of a serious problem around here. I cannot walk in heels. When I was trying on dresses I had to have the store owner hold me up in the model shoes because I am literally that awful in them. I’m considering wedges but I also just really want to wear heels so I don’t know. This is the epitome of a first world problem.

5. MORE SHOES! I need these in my life. End of discussion.


WHAT? You don’t love obnoxiously neon shoes too? 

6. Maybe I’m just an English nerd but I feel like it’s really ironic that I’m obsessed with shoes in the most non-stereotypical “girl obsessed with shoes” sort of way. Hello, no heels and running shoes. 🙂

7. I have a confession to make. I’ve been drinking Starbucks again. Living farther away from my coffee shop and my sad lack of a coffee grinder has made my coffee consumption drop considerably. My WIAW shows a lot of coffee because I was moving out of my old place, which is attached to my coffee shop! And now that we are moved out this problem has arisen. I’m firmly planted on the vanilla latte train and I’m not getting off. My greatest apologies to my bank account.

coffee3Starbucks will never beat this…but it comes pretty close. 

8. In 53 days I will never utter the word “math” again. I’m dreaming of factorials and the binomial theorem…this is NOT okay. After my diploma exam I will never take another math course and life is going to be one hundred thousand times better. And then when I’m queen of the world and my math teacher wants something from me I’m going to tell him that the only way he can get it is if he solves a stupid math equation. BECAUSE MATH IS POINTLESS. Rant over.

9. I am ending on #9 today. Because it’s a #9 sort of day. 🙂

Did/do you like math? 

Thoughts on Vancouver?!?!


What I Ate Moving Week.

How is it Wednesday already?! You guys…tomorrow is MAY. I graduate in May. May is my last month of high school. That was the strangest thing to type but I guess it’s time to face reality…and start studying for diplomas. 😉

Speaking of crazy, let’s talk about last week! I disappeared on Thursday/Friday, but only because MOVING DAY was on Wednesday. So it’s safe to say there haven’t been a lot of fancy-schmancy eats going on around here. There have been, however, some eats that are pretty delicious in their simplicity.

Let’s get on with WIAW, shall we? As per usual, thanks for hosting, Jenn!

Luckily, breakfasts haven’t changed too much. I’m a little bit of a nut about my breakfast in the morning – it’s the only time I stop all day, so I like to take my time and relax with it. Lunch is 99% of the time eaten while working and dinner doesn’t happen until 8pm +, so I make sure to set my day off on the right foot with my morning meal.

yogurtMy all time favourite breakfast is not going anywhere! Plain greek yogurt with an apple, muesli and almond butter. Absolutely last meal worthy. 


You can bet that lunches have been the epitome of quick and easy. And although it would be quicker and easier to just buy food at the cafeteria, I still like to try and get some nutrition.


Enter: PB + J with organic peanut butter and all-natural strawberry jam on sprouted grain flax bread. Healthy, comforting, simple and delicious! I don’t know how I could need anything more. 🙂

There has definitely been a lot of snacking around these parts, but not the usual “here is my snack” type of situation. Lately, it’s been more of “OH GOOD GOD I’M STARVING” and grab a handful of nuts, a bite of a granola bar, etc. What there has been, though, is COFFEE. All the coffee. I’ve been escaping to my coffee shop to get some homework done and have obviously been fuelling my studies with espresso.



You don’t even need to guess what dinners have been. I know you know.



The new combo is garlic and herb laughing cow + hummus with turkey slices and cheddar on sprouted flax bread. YUM. I have no need for any other meals. I lied, I think a panini would be my last meal over a yogurt bowl.

What do you eat when you’re moving? 

OR, what do you eat when you’re running around like a chicken with your head cut off and have no time to even breathe? 😉 

A New PDR – 9 Miles!

I mentioned yesterday that I was going to recap my long run today – and that I am!

I ran nine miles on Sunday – and I can barely walk. OUCH. I felt strong while running but am seriously repping 85 year old man walking status right now.

bambi-walkingOr, you know, a deer.

Let me just start off by saying that I have NEVER felt so much anxiety before  a run! My stomach was in knots, I was irritable, and it took me 15 minutes to decide which bottoms to wear. I ended up with the always classy look of leggings under shorts. Hey, you know you’re jealous. It was too cold to just wear shorts but I needed somewhere to put my fuel, and my leggings didn’t have any pockets. So onwards I went.

I feel like I need to preface what I am about to say with the fact that not ONCE EVER in my running experience have my shoes EVER come untied. I am literally saying that I have been running (on and off) for years and I have never had a shoe come untied while running. Well, 0.6 miles into my long run and my left shoe comes untied.


I get irritated, but stop, pause my Garmin and then go to continue on when, guess what? I can’t resume! I had to save it and start a new run. I wasn’t about to finish with an 8.3 on my watch so I decided to completely start from 0. 0.05 miles later, my right shoe comes undone! Luckily it was that early instead of another mile later. So anyway, I discarded that run, retied my shoes tightly and started running.

I wasn’t horribly bothered by this but I was not super happy! Once I got down into the river valley, though, I felt a lot better. There was a race going on, and I ended up running near who I think was the top male. This was around mile 3 so I was going too fast, and saw some 7:3x splits. The only reason I am saying this is because he literally sprinted past me up a hill! Goodness knows how fast he was running. Regardless, I got a really nice boost of energy and ate a Honey Stinger energy chew at this point.

imagesConfession: I said this the other day and had NO idea which movie it was from. 

The next few miles went by FAST. I just listened to my music and kept running forwards. There was a loooooong open stretch of road in front of me so it sort of felt like I was running in a dream world. I ate another chew at mile 4.7 because I my legs were getting sore and I started to struggle to keep my pace under 9 minute miles. Since I want to finish sub-2 in my half, my only pace limit is that I HAVE to be under 9 minute miles. I love it when I’m around 8:30 but I won’t kill myself for it. I really felt the effects of this fuel though and clicked off some more miles.

Mile 6 was rolling hills. I wanted to punch myself for running down them in the first place and got so out of breath running up them. I think it was literally an entire mile of uuuuuuuup, tiny flat, uuuuuuup, tiny flat, repeat.

Somehow I made it out of the ravine and to the top alive, and started running reeeeaaaally fast to clock some ~8:30 miles. I think my legs were tired. Also, right before I finished, I felt like I was running the exact same pace and I was at 10:30. Interesting hey?


Things I learned from this run:

  • ALWAYS check to make sure your shoes are tied well. Especially if you take them on and off seven hundred times before leaving.
  • Run UP a hill at the beginning of a run and then you get to run down it!
  • Buy compression socks and your calves will thank you.
  • Sprint to catch Mr. Speedy winning the race (okay don’t actually but wouldn’t that be fun?)

And THAT my friends, is what happened on the day that I ran for one hour, seventeen minutes and thirty-two seconds. Plus six minutes and change but we don’t talk about that. I hope you have a great Tuesday!

Half Marathon Training Week 7 – I Almost Forgot

Hi! I promise I’m still alive. 😉 Last week was moving week, which made things juuuuuust a little (times a bajillion) crazy around these parts. On Wednesday, the day the movers came, we were literally going from 5am to midnight. And between school, work, and trying to finish up at the old place, most of the days after have been pretty similar.

disasterThis is basically the situation.The nth degree, by the way.

We’re still not completely finished at our old condo, but we are almost there. At least that’s what I keep telling myself. Needless to say, this week didn’t leave a whole lot of time for running.

I could not for the life of me figure out which week I just finished! I had to check  my last post. I think my brain is deteriorating. Anyway, like I said, this was a bit of a lackluster training week. Not exactly what I needed after a cutback week the week before, but I guess that’s one of life’s curveballs for ‘ya.

Monday: Full body strength training. I felt like I was setting myself up for an AMAZING week by strength training on Monday morning! I did 40 minutes of random exercises while watching the Boston Marathon. Talk about motivating, hey? I also have an inability to sit still, so some form of multitasking was absolutely necessary.

mebIf this isn’t motivating then you have no chance in life. 

Tuesday: 3.1 miles @ 7:45. I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS RUN! I finished in 24:02 I believe. The last 5K I ran was a 25:02 so even this was not a race I am counting it as a PR. I didn’t decide to make it a fast run until after the first mile was 8:08. The next ones were 7:35 and 7:38. I sprinted the 0.1 @ 6:40! I know for sure that I can break 24 minutes in my next 5K race, so that’s awesome to know that I haven’t lost all my speed half marathon training!

Wednesday: Lift heavy boxes all day long. This counts as strength training.

Thursday: OFF

Friday: OFF

Saturday: OFF

I am mildly unimpressed with three off days, but it’s not like I was lazing around – I was either at school, work, or moving. Literally all day long. So it is what it is. 🙂

BUSYThis is more like it…well I wish it was. 

Sunday: 9 miles @ 8:36. I am recapping this run tomorrow because it deserves it’s own post. So for now, let’s just say that it was a testament to my mental strength more than anything. I have a mini goal of an 8:30 pace for all my long runs, but I am SO proud of myself for this run! It was the furthest that I have EVER gone and I did not die = instantaneous success. 🙂

How do you bounce back from lackluster training?

WIAW: Dessert > Meals

My name is Emma, and I have a problem. A sugar addiction, specifically. The main difference here though is that I have NO desire to change it. 🙂 Meals always need to end on a sweet note around here, and so do snacks. Thanks to Jenn for hosting WIAW, so that you can all experience a sugar coma along with me. 🙂

Enter my new world of eating: Forget breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner. This is how it’s really done:

Waking up dessert.


I know breakfast dessert is already a thing for some (awesome) people, but what about waking up dessert? Because, you know, sometimes you can’t wait until breakfast. And Werther’s are delicious. <—sidenote: is that a properly used apostrophe? I can’t decide. 



Breakfast is always sweet around here. It’s traditionally been greek yogurt with apples and almond butter, but lately with the SUMMER temperatures (high of 16 today!) I’ve been craving cold, delicious smoothies. I always make these as soon as I wake up and then let them sit in the fridge while I go about my morning routine, so by the time I eat it it is like eating frozen soup. 🙂

Breakfast dessert.


I’m usually mostly satisfied after breakfast, but like something to crunch on! Enter breakfast dessert. I SO need to try topping my smoothies with granola, but until then I am content with munching away by the spoonful.



Oh panini, how you complete me. After four days off school, I have no idea how I am going to go back to cold food for lunch. Whenever I am home to eat, I always make sure I have something that isn’t easily packable –> panini, tuna (smelly), etc. I just feel like I have portable food way too often!

Lunch dessert.

Chocolate. Always chocolate. Although around these parts it’s been pronounced “chocolatay” lately. Don’t ask questions.

Snack (usually dessert).


Scones and muffins have been my dearest love lately. I took home FOUR muffins, THREE cookies and a granola bar from work Saturday, and so I have been snacking on baked goods like a fiend. Gone are the days when those delicious treats grew green and fuzzy.



Are you surprised? The excuse today is moving week. Check back in a while and I’ll have an updated one for ‘ya.



Like I said, meals always need to end on a sweet note. I just can’t focus on my life until then! Because I am going to turn into an apple, lately my post-dinner snackage is an apple with peanut butter. But the new jar of almond butter is disappearing fast.

Snack (more dessert): Amanda’s mug cake. 


I had to steal this picture from the wonderful Amanda because, delicious as mug cakes are, I seem to be incapable of taking a picture that does not look like animal manure. Sadly, this has been happening a little less often as of late, mostly because I’m too tired and just want to go to sleep. 😉 The days that I do have it, though, I never regret it. It’s physically impossible to regret chocolate. Fact.

Have you ever had waking-up dessert?

Sweet or savoury? 

Halfway There – Half Marathon Training Week 6

Well that is a little bit of a terrifying realization. I am HALFWAY done half marathon training! It’s been great so far, and I could not be more excited to finish training strong. I have extra motivation for this week thanks to the Boston Marathon yesterday. I absolutely made an event of it and spent three hours of my life engrossed by it.

I feel so bad for Shalene. 😦 She spent a YEAR training to win this race. I love her attitude, though. She said “Only 1% is for her”. The rest is for the fans and the city of Boston. And regardless of what place she finished (sixth), she still ran fantastically and earned a THREE minute PR! If anything I am more inspired by her than before.

Boston_Marathon-012faShe was in the lead for so long!

Also, Meb – WOW. You could see the pain on his face in the final miles and was still cranking out 4:xx miles. His finish brought tears to my eyes.

Boston, you will be mine someday.

Don’t worry, though, I wasn’t on the couch the whole time. I physically cannot sit and watch TV for longer than 2.2 minutes so I started with 40 minutes of strength training and then got to work replying to comments, emails, and blogging. 🙂

This week ended up being a bit of a cutback week for training. I was sick, tired, and conveniently did not have  along run on the training schedule. I got about 5% more strength training than last week, so that’s a plus as well!

Monday: Arms + abs. I did a random combination of tricep kickbacks, skull crushers, bicep curls and front raises plus a Blogilates abs printable. Triceps are my new favourite body part to train! I love how quickly I see results. 🙂


Tuesday: 3 miles @ 8:40. Not going to lie, I sort of wanted to die during this run. I think my legs were still exhausted from Sunday’s 8 miles, and just could not get in the groove Tuesday morning. My first mile was something like 9:15+ which I wanted nothing to do with. Regardless of the pace, though, I was finished with my run by 7am which is always an amazing feeling!

Wednesday: Total body strength + abs

Thursday: OFF

Friday: 5 miles @ 8:20. I celebrated the first of my four day weekend with a 7am treadmill run! I got to the gym at 6:55 expecting it to have opened at 5:30 and then realized it was Good Friday, and thanked my lucky stars I didn’t show up earlier. I kept it easy for most of the run and started pushing towards the second half. I love finishing my treadmill runs at a ridiculous sprint – makes me feel like such a beast!


Saturday: OFF

Sunday: 6 miles @ 8:08. I recapped this run in more detail here but basically I did my own thing and accidentally ran a perfect tempo run. 🙂

TOTAL: 14 miles. Still a respectable weekly mileage for me! Because I don’t follow Hal’s plan to the letter, I try to aim for the same total amount of miles per week. He had 13 on tap this week, but 3 were supposed to be a race, so I feel really good about my training this week! I’m definitely looking forward to my NINE mile run, though. Expect an entire post on that one. 🙂

Did you watch the Boston Marathon?! 

What I’m Learning About Long Runs

Happy Marathon Monday!


I am SO excited to watch the Boston Marathon today! I loosely followed it last year (I was in class at the time, and also not as into running) so it is going to be such a different experience to actually watch it live and be so invested in the running community. 🙂

I’m so proud of all the runners this year for overcoming 2013 and running #bostonstrong. So in honour of all those last year and this year running the rediculously long run of 26.2 miles, I’m going to be talking about my own! (slightly less long)

I totally channelled Shalene Flanagan on my run yesterday. I just kept imagining her running 5:20 minute miles 2 hours into a marathon and thought “if she can keep going, so can I!”

Still, my run yesterday was a bit of a doozy.

Hal had set out a 5K race for me this weekend. I was not registered in a 5K race this weekend. So I was faced with the dilemma of either doing my own short and fast run or repeating my 8 mile long run from last week to get more comfortable with the distance.

Even while waiting for the elevator I STILL hadn’t decided what I was doing! This does NOT work for me. If I am going to do something way outside of my comfort zone (ie run more than ~6 miles or faster than ~8:00), I need to DECIDE and then EXECUTE. That is the only way I can accomplish it.

Anyway, I did NOT prepare for a long run in the slightest. I woke up still full from the night before, started my morning with greek yogurt, apple and almond butter (delicious but definitely not pre-running fuel) and didn’t mentally set myself up to run for over an hour.

yogurtRunning out of muesli = even less carbs for Emma. 😦 

I should have known from the first mile that a long run that day was not happening! I started off at an 8:15 pace which is not obscenely fast for me but definitely quicker than my happy long run pace of 8:30! The second mile was 8:19.

I don’t really know what happened next but miles 3-5 were 7:51, 7:53 and 7:58! I think that these were the Shalene miles because I didn’t feel like I was running a lot faster than before.

When I saw 5.99 on my watch I mentally wanted to keep going, but I just so happened to be starting up the stairs of death. My last mile was 8:26 and I did not feel like I was slowing down. Had I been approaching a hill of death like last week, and had I not sprinted like a banshee for the last ~25 minutes maybe I could have. Alas and alac, my watch clicked over to 6.0 miles and I walked up the remainder of the stairs and ~15 minutes home.

As soon as I finished I was so mad at myself! I considered running home but for some reason a 2 minute break in between a 6 mile run and a 2 mile run was pointless and would come nowhere near to equating an 8 mile run. And then I realized how ridiculous I was being!


I accomplished an AMAZING tempo run, effortlessly! I had two moderately paced warmup miles, three at a tempo pace and then a cooldown mile! I also know the importance of cutback weeks and a second eight mile run probably would have fatigued me more than it was worth.

Going into my nine mile run (!!) this weekend, I want to focus on a few things that I have learned over my past few long (for me) runs and hopefully they will help you as well. 🙂

1. Mentally Prepare. Whether you are running 5 or 20 miles, if the run seems long for you, it’s important to get in the right headspace. Convince yourself that you can and will accomplish your goal, and prepare yourself. Realize that it may be a little bit uncomfortable for a while but that the feeling after  CANNOT be beat!

2. Decide + Execute. There is none of this “Oh maybe I will run three miles but if I feel amazing I will knock out fifteen.” Maybe that is you and if so then CONGRATULATIONS, you are a superwoman/man. That certainly does not work for me. I know I am capable of anything I set my mind to but the setting part is crucial for me. Once I decide that it’s happening, it’s happening. No ifs, ands, or buts.

3. Fuel Accordingly. I ran the most amazing eight mile run after a deliciously carbalicious lunch. Sometimes it’s hard for me to add more carbs but WOW am I realizing the amazing difference they make! Runners, carbs are your friend. I haven’t gotten into fueling mid-run yet but that is extremely important as well.


4. Break it Up. Somewhere along the way I got into the habit of breaking my run up into sets of three songs and it hasn’t failed me yet. I tell myself that 3 songs = 1 mile when in reality it is a mile and a bit. This translates into, for example, me preparing to listen to three sets of three songs for a 5K and then it often ends up being only two. I also did this for my seven mile run – three sets of three one way, three sets of three the other way, and all of a sudden I am DONE and could go longer! I know that some runners think of their runs in sets of miles as well, depending on how far they are going, or do an out-and-back loop to focus on the halfway point. There are so many options, but focussing on the fact that you are at mile 2 of a 8 mile run can be really discouraging.

5. Think About the After. No, I’m not saying dream about the second you are done because you are so miserable while running. If that is the case then I sincerely hope you stop running immediately and find an activity you enjoy. Instead, just think about how amazing that glass of chocolate milk/smoothie/etc is going to be or how you are going to take a three-hour long shower. 😉


6. RECOVER. Everybody knows this but it’s getting tacked on because it’s that important. For the last 6 weeks of training I have foam rolled and stretched after EVERY run. Okay….while I was in Toronto I bread rolled but it’s the same thing. I used to get knee pain every time I run and I have had a grand total of ZERO flare-ups this training cycle running far more mileage than I ever used to. It works, people!

What are your tricks for long runs? 

Or, if you don’t run, what are your favourite motivational tips?