PR Half Marathon Training Week 5

Good morning guys! Happy Monday! I swear, I kept thinking that it was Monday yesterday and was surprised every time someone mentioned the weekend. I guess not having an alarm for two weeks, and then a rude 6:30am wakeup call will do that to you. My early wakeup was due to wanting to get a run in before the storage locker peeps showed up at 9am! I considered waiting until after, but decided against it which was a very good choice…my day was absolutely jam packed and I am sitting here at the end of it ready to collapse.

Maybe I will do a post about it later…but maybe not since I don’t think anyone really wants to read about Emma’s Epic Moving Failures: 2015 Edition. LOLZ. Let’s just say I will be incredibly relieved once all my stuff is on the plane…

So it’s time to talk running! So much more fun. I want to preface this with a huge congratulations to Tina for rocking the London Marathon yesterday! She wanted to stop putting so much pressure on herself, so she ran a casual 2:41. NBD. Tina, you inspire me daily and your gorgeous accent has been making my long runs so much more enjoyable. 🙂

You can download her podcast here!


think this was week 5 of half marathon training…I don’t really feel like I am training, to be honest! Just running, working hard, and enjoying every minute. 🙂

Monday: total body strength

Tuesday: 6 miles easy

Wednesday: 10 miles. The ushz (<– I know that looks ridiculous but how else am I supposed to spell it?!) long run of late. It wasn’t easy but it also wasn’t impossible.

Thursday: upper body strength –> basically a rest day. The gym is the best way for me to relieve stress, but on upper body only days I don’t work hard at all and just kinda stroll around.

Friday: 8 miles. I had my heart set on doing my favourite workout from Lauren Fleshman, the Rowland Tempo, but there were no available treadmills! I have zero capability to gauge my pace so I can only really do it indoors. I wasn’t in the mood to do my usual 5 easy miles – I wanted to feel accomplished! So I decided to do a way longer midweek run than usual. ‘Twas a success! And 10 miles doesn’t feel quite so daunting anymore. 🙂

Saturday: total body strength

Sunday: 6 miles. This was done on the treadmill, mostly easy. I did throw in one 8:00 mile and 5-6ish one minute hill climbs!

TOTAL: 30 MILES. I was determined to hit 30 miles again last week, since I know this week my mileage is going to go way down! Today and tomorrow will be run days, and then the rest of the week will involve my couch + Grey’s Anatomy. And not much else. 😉

Tomorrow night I will be home…but first I’ve got to make it through the rest of my packing and another exam tomorrow morning! I hope your Monday treats you well!

How was your week of training / workouts? 

Any moving experiences to share?

#6 has been one for the books, that’s for sure.


The Last Thinking Out Loud

1. Of my first year of university! You may remember I pulled this trick back in August for “the last Thinking Out Loud” of living at home. The next time I publish one of these, I will be back in Edmonton in a brand new condo! Don’t worry, Amanda, I’m not going anywhere. 😉


2.  BUT I am never going back to the place that I left. A bit weird, but I’ve moved so many times recently that it didn’t really feel like “home” anyway. I actually only lived there for 5 months! At this point, I am more used to my dorm room.

3. Which I have absolutely no hope in packing up. I just heard from a friend that the storage lockers most of us are using are less than 3 x 3 x 3 (feet). Isn’t that like, two boxes?


4. Calling all Vancouverites. Please drive out to UBC and let me store my stuff with you. I’ll buy ice cream.

5. I haven’t worn makeup in almost two weeks and I cannot believe how much better my skin is looking! It seriously looks the same as it usually does with tinted moisturizer and concealer. Aside from the freckles…I guess I never really grew out of those. 😉

6. 7pm exams are not enjoyable. In my head, 7pm is the time I wind down my work, start to think about what I want for dinner, and just generally “turn off”. So having to keep my brain on those extra 2.5 hours was killer! Not to mention my stomach started growling approximately half an hour in…

ryan-reynoldsThe fact that I’ve been studying psychology nonstop makes this too accurate for words.

7. Neither was serious Boston FOMO. You guys. I don’t think I have ever wanted to go to something as badly as I wanted to go to the Boston Marathon. Extreme jealousy occurred with every single Instagram / Tweet / blog post.

8. Which leads me to…my first marathon! I am so torn up about this. On the one hand, I really want to start training ASAP and do the Edmonton Marathon this August. Why miss another Boston, right? But on the other hand, the chances of me qualifying this summer are basically nil, which is the whole reason I want to run a marathon in the first place. So do I go for it now, or focus on getting stronger/faster before taking the plunge?!

9. So many adult decisions. I miss the days when my most important choices involved which spring sport I wanted to play and whether I should take foods or drama as an elective. (foods always won)

10. … I think that is all I have to say! I don’t remember the last time I actually ran out of thoughts for a Thinking Out Loud but that appears to be the case. My life is not all that exciting right now… study / run / friends / sleep. It’s all good, though. After two crazy semesters, I am very happy to be winding down. 🙂

Have you ever had an exam at a strange time? 

My next one is less awful, but still 3:30pm on a Saturday!

How many places have you lived? 

This new place will be #6 for me. (in 4 years!)

What I Ate Wednesday: A Glimpse into the Future.

I considered doing a “Final College Eats” edition of WIAW, but

a) I completely forgot to take any pictures

b) College food is atrociously unattractive & unappetizing

So, in honour of my last Wednesday at UBC, I decided to plan out exactly what I will be eating next Wednesday. When I’m home. Because that is happening.


fascinatingHow I’m sure you all feel about me talking about going home. Thank you! I’ll keep talking about it. 😉 

So I suppose this is technically “What I Will Eat Wednesday” vs. “What I Ate Wednesday”, which is really way cooler since who doesn’t want to be a 2015 version of Raven Symone<– to everyone reading: tell me if you have or haven’t heard of this show! I’m not sure if remembering it makes me “old” yet. 😉 

Do you guys remember when I ate the most delicious, satisfying, nutritious breakfast every. single. day? Because I sure don’t! I feel like it has been so so long since this beauty has been in my life and you had better believe I will be jumping right back on the bandwagon. Plain greek yogurt + diced apple + Bob’s Red Mill muesli + drippy organic peanut butter = absolute perfection.


We will follow that up with lunch made of barbecued chicken, perfectly ripe avocado, tomatoes, mango and spinach. Can I get a “hallelujah” for beautiful plates, organic poultry and non-bruised avocado?!



Yep. This is the exact same panini / picture of panini I have been talking about for weeks. What can I say?! It is the only one I have that really shows the magnificence of this exact sandwich. And it’s not like I can take a new one, or this would be an entirely different situation all together. I fully intend on eating this sandwich for dinner on Tuesday night when I get home, and most likely every single night for approximately 17 weeks.

Turkey + cheddar + hummus + avocado panini on flax dipped in salsa. Cannot. Be. Beat.




Obviously I will be snacking as well. There will definitely be a Credo cookie consumed with a coffee, a Quest bar baked in the oven (!!!), and some other delicious homemade goods. Baked in an oven. Because I will have one of those. Do you think I am excited about having an oven?! 

Vancouver Sun Run 10K Recap

Everything about this race was fun, exciting, and surprising! I went into it planning on it being an easy run that I paid $60 for, since everyone told me the crowds at this event were pure insanity. It was definitely busy, but it felt on par with a “normal” busy race, what I would imagine the Chicago or New York marathons feel like.

I do have a couple of comments, though.

1. Why must so many groups of ~8 run holding hands in one big line? We aren’t playing Red Rover here, folks.

2. By all means, register for the sub 40 minute corral and yell to the masses you have never run 10K before. I’m sure you just have remarkable natural ability.

That is my one major complaint with the Sun Run! It seems like everyone registers for a time that they are fully aware they have no possible chance of achieving. I really like the way NYRR organizes their corrals, with your fastest pace for a run > 3 miles acting as your expected pace. One more reason to move to New York. ❤

Okay, okay, back to my race now. 😉 For the record, I am going with my Garmin time because it sounds better, and I earned that time!

Time: 46:58 (7:33 pace) –> official time was 47:21 / 7:37 pace

Age Group Place: 10 / 1018

Overall Place: 1978 / 39 045 –> I may have been a little off on my Instagram caption…just 30 000 or so. 😉 It has been edited. 

Apparently I like 10Ks more than I thought I did – they are the only races I have done since my half marathon a year ago, and I’ve done three of them! They are long enough to seem “legit” to my distance-runner mind, but aren’t so long that I get nervous.

I’ve never eaten an apple before running nor ran in compression socks, but what better time to try both out than the morning of a race?

SunRunThat would be my super attractive throwaway sweater courtesy of my friend’s father. 🙂

After a literal face plant on the pavement (just a bloody knee to show for it!) I headed over to my corral. Only I would get injured before the actual running even starts. 😉

This was how the race went in my head:

Okay, there are a lot of people around. Maybe try for 8:00 pace?

Oh, 7:50, that works too. Don’t slow down. 

7:40? Yay!

7:30?! Double yay! I hope I don’t die! 

I kept my Garmin on the “pace” screen, so I spent the entire time wondering if that pace was the average per mile, or average for the entire run. The race was marked in km, and I had no idea how long I had been running, so I really was totally oblivious to my pace. This also made it go by so much faster! Kilometers are really short, you guys.

Except the hill at 9km. Really?!

Screen Shot 2015-04-19 at 9.43.09 PM

I swear I didn’t notice any other hill except for that one. And the elevation chart makes it look non-existent.

Also, it is necessary to include that MacMillan translates a 46:58 10K to a 1:44:42 half marathon. Just saying……Because if I can hold 7:33 pace for 6.2 miles, I really should be able to hold 8:00 for 13.1, right? RIGHT?

Overall, this race was lot’s of fun and a huge success! I didn’t ever feel like I was going to die (except maybe the last 400m), and definitely came away with a lot of confidence and an “I really love running” mindset. 🙂

What is your favourite race distance? 

I’ve only done one but I still say 13.1 whenever anyone asks!

PR Half Marathon Training Week 4 + BOSTON.



I am actually writing this post on Sunday, since as you read this I am either a) still sleeping or b) rushing off to my Film Studies final exam tutorial, so you will have to wait for all my thoughts on it until tomorrow / via Instagram / Twitter.

Just know that I have been obsessively following everyone running it through social media and watching clips of Shalane Flanagan approximately 700.89 times per minute.

You guys, I really need to BQ. Like, yesterday. SO, in order to do that I need to get my half marathon time way down! I don’t want to be one of those people that runs 14 marathons before they qualify. I’m pretty sure my knees would murder me if I let that happen. One race equivalency calculator told me I needed to run a 1:37 half for a 3:30 marathon…I’m really hoping that’s not true because I’m pretty sure that’s my 5K pace.

We will stick with 1:45-1:50 for now! Here is the rundown of last week:

Monday: total body strength. 

Tuesday: 7 mile tempo. The overall pace of this run was 7:59…but there was not one mile split within 20 seconds of that pace. It also included a super slow cool down up a hill (excellent planning, Emma) so apparently my pacing skills leave much (or everything) to be desired.

Wednesday: 10 miles. Hooray for not feeling like death after a 10 mile run! It used to be that 9 miles felt like nothing, and then as soon as I added one more I could barely move all day. Well, for whatever reason this did not happen this week and I am super duper happy about it! I’ve started eating a snack instead of drinking chocolate milk after I finish…maybe that has something to do with it?

simply-bar-maple-pecan-2Classic Canadian move…image via Angela 

Thursday: total body strength. I was planning to only do upper body to rest my legs, but the squat rack was empty… The squat rack is never empty!! So I had to go for it. After 3 x 8 @ 95lbs, I ended with 5 reps @ 115lbs! I’m pretty sure I can do 1-2 reps at 130lbs (bodyweight) at this point but I am too scared to try without a spotter.

Friday: 6 miles easy. Easy runs around campus = awful + boring. Easy runs into Kits / Whole Foods = I love running lalalala life is wonderful and perfect. Which one do you think I went for?

Saturday: OFF. You could not pay me to do more than drink coffee and sit in my stretchy pants.

Sunday: Vancouver Sun Run 10K. Recap coming tomorrow! Spoiler alert: It is the largest 10K in Canada and everyone told me I would be shuffling, not running. WELL GUESS WHO PROVED THEM WRONG. #rockstar. 🙂 + 1 mile cool down.

TOTAL: 30 MILES. Never in my life have I run over 30 miles per week! I probably won’t increase it more than 35. But I will be getting a training plan from Beth soon so we will see what her knowledgable mind tells me to do.

Did you follow the Boston Marathon?!

Do I need a spotter to go for 130lbs? 

The Great (YouTube) Fitness Tag

WHAT IS UP, friends. I have literally been staring mindlessly at my computer screen for the last fifteen minutes, but my brain is toasted. Dunzo. I don’t really feel like I got enough studying done today but tomorrow is a fresh start, amiright?

Now that I have (tragically) finished Grey’s Anatomy, I need something else to watch in the evenings. I tried out a couple other Netflix shows, but nothing was really doin’ it for me. Somehow I stumbled across this whole world of fitness youtubers, and have been happily binge watching all their videos. 🙂

Now, I am very happy as a non-calorie counting long distance runner, but there is something about the whole flexible dieting / heavy lifting world that I find really interesting! Brittany Lesser is what got me interested it in the first place, and she is just an awesome, inspirational girl regardless of her achievements (which happen to be pretty awesome!).

Anyway, she posted a “Fitness Tag” video that looked like it would be fun in blog form! I obviously edited a couple of the questions to make it fit the healthy living blogger world, so I would definitely love it if you wanted to do it too! 🙂

1. If you never got into healthy living, what would you be doing?

Drinking until 5am, and living surviving off of bagels and ramen noodles! <– I am actually very proud to note that none of the above has occurred during my first year of university. I may be in the minority of college students, but I am so happy that my life is where it is!

2. What is your favorite and least favorite body part to work?

I LOVE to train legs. Even though I can’t squat/deadlift/etc. all that much weight, it still makes me feel strong and amazing. I’m not really a fan of any upper body workouts, but I especially dislike shoulders. They are just hard and annoying for me.

3. What would your last meal on earth be?

A homemade panini with avocado, hummus, turkey and cheddar dipped in salsa, with Haagen Dazs vanilla ice cream for dessert. DONE.


[Tweet “Gut reaction: what would your last meal on earth be? “]

4. If you had to choose between eating only carbs or only fats, which would you choose?

Haha…I sorta feel like I do this anyway –> all the carbs. I notice that I feel SUPER snacky and have intense cravings when I don’t eat enough fat, but I often go all day eating probably around 70% carbs. #oops?
5. Who is your “crush” in the fitness industry?

Lauren Fleshman! I also love Kara Goucher and Shalene Flanagan, but Lauren feels so much more relatable to me, for whatever reason (I think she is 30ish with a child). Maybe because she is a blogger too? I absolutely love her mindset with regards to women’s running, fairness in the pro world, and basically everything else. #girlcrush


6. If you had to pick ONE food to have 0 calories (but still taste the same) the rest of your life, what would you choose?

This is kind of a strange question, since it honestly wouldn’t affect the way I eat anything. BUT I suppose I wouldn’t mind a nightly bowl of ice cream having zero impact. 🙂
7. Would you rather never be allowed to lift again but have your ideal physique, or be allowed to lift but work your butt off for your physique?

Since my physique is not anywhere on the list of why I lift, I definitely have to go with the first one! I lift weights so that I can be a strong runner and strong in life. And I run because it makes me feel strong in life. 

8. What are your short and long term fitness goals?

Long term: Qualify for the Boston Marathon. Which means I really super need to get around to running my first marathon!!!

Short term: 1:45 half marathon, and everything else necessary to achieve the above! This winter I also would love to train for a sub-20 5K, as well as squat my bodyweight.
9. What is the best thing that has changed about your life since committing to this lifestyle?

I always have something to strive towards, no matter what is going on in my life. Whether it’s friend troubles, family issues, or moving away from home, I always having running and health to keep me focused and grounded on what is really important.

10. a) Runners: What is your favorite way to get your cross training in? 10. b) All other peeps: What is your favourite form of exercise? 

Heavy lifting! Preferably squats but I am becoming more and more partial to deadlifts. I wish I loved yoga / plyometrics since those are much more running-specific, but I’m very happy with where I am at. 🙂

What are your long and short term fitness goals? 

What would win a fats vs. carbs showdown? 

Thinking Out Loud: Packing, Potatoes + A Pathetic Brain

1. Studying for finals is apparently making me less smart, not more. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen this:

Brownie points  to whoever can spot my note-taking  ...  My brain has checked out, apparently.

I literally just can’t. What is your concept of “knows”? If I may quote Ange, “my brain can’t brain”.

AKA, the reason we all praise Amanda for hosting Thinking out Loud every week. Because what would we do without our regularly scheduled brain dump?!


2. I may be turning into an alcoholic. Usually before I come home, my mom asks me things I want in the house for when I arrive. The past three times I’ve said: sweet potatoes, peanut butter, carrots and panini ingredients. Nothing more, nothing less. This time, though?

Vodka. (Only mixed with stuff so I can’t taste it though)


Underage-dom in British Columbia has me unimpressed.

3. One day I will remember to take a “running selfie” AKA those incredibly cool pictures of people where both their feet are off the ground and they look like total rockstars. For my past three runs I have planned to do it and then just…not.

4. How does one become less addicted to caffeine? So I obviously have no intention to stop drinking it all together. But on Monday, I didn’t drink any coffee until about ~3 hours after I woke up, and I was literally nauseous all day. I felt like my energy had been zapped, I was dragging myself around campus (to sit in libraries) and was just a disaster. But I only ever have one coffee per day! So I don’t know how to cut back without going cold turkey. –> not like there is a chance of that anyway.


5. I suppose I could mix my beans with decaf… But there is something that just sounds so “Starbucks” about half-caf and I’m not sure if I can go there.

6. I can, however, go home in 12 days. You guys know I just had to throw that in there. I have to move all my stuff into the storage locker in 10, and exactly 1 box has been packed. This will be interesting.

7. More interesting than my exam tomorrow, though. From 7-9:30pm. I mean, really? Who has final exams on Friday night? I also have one on Saturday afternoon.


8. Don’t ask me where this idea came from, but I have a serious craving for roasted cheddar potatoes! I’m not much of a cheese / potato fan in the slightest (except in Schwartzies potatoes NOM NOM NOM), but yes that will be happening as soon as an oven is in my vicinity again.

9. And I will be able to post recipes! Not that this is going to turn into a fancy food blog or anything…you guys know I am far too obsessed with running & these random thoughts for that to happen. But I’m still excited to be able to sprinkle in more variety to my blog posts! Plus I miss baking like no other.

muffinsRemember when I used to make muffins for you?

10. So I will leave you with this. What? We were on the topic of baking, after all. 😉 Go make these for me ASAP please! Or wait until I get home, and then come over for a waffle party. Actually, yes, do that.

What is the funniest mistake you have made recently? 

Do you have more exciting Friday plans than I do?