A Big Change

In November my partner and I were extremely close to buying a house. It had been a long, difficult year and it felt like things were starting to come together. We looked at a lot of homes and nothing felt right. A discussion with both of our parents led us to decide to increase our price range and so we had lined up a half dozen beautiful homes to look at on a Monday evening. Both of us agree that night we likely would have found “the One” and by the end of the week placed an offer on our first home together. And then, that morning, word went out that the company he worked for would be closing down in a year.

Needless to say, we canceled the showings.

For six months we’ve been in limbo while my partner tried to find a new job while trying to balance the extreme amount of hours he currently works and I’ve been holding off on any long-term plans not knowing what our future holds.

Well, our future is starting to take shape and in two weeks I’ll be moving my partner out to Prince Edward Island where I’ll join him another four weeks after that.

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Last summer we took a trip to the east coast and enjoyed the island, but we’re not naive. We know that visiting a place is not the same as living in a place. While he has secured a job I will be starting the application process and leaving a job I’ve really enjoyed for the past three years. I’m in the middle of trying to search for housing based solely upon photos and phone conversations. We have to start packing up our stuff. We have to figure out how we’re going to logistically make this move.

It’s a big change.

But I feel eerily calm and confident.

Two Races – Cancelled

Big things are happening – so big that I had to defer my Around the Bay option to 2020. A few friends and family know but until certain things are finalized I’m keeping my secret close.

All I can say is that 2019 is a year of change and I’m so excited for what’s to come.

Two Races – Training Recap Week 8

I feel like I’m falling apart. Last week the whole week was a write-off. I managed to do something to my upper body on my left side (yes, somehow it’s always the left!) and spent all week trying to feel better through stretching, foam rolling, lying on a lacrosse ball, applying heat, and finally getting a massage on  Thursday. It was still sore when I woke up Friday morning so I applied heat at my desk and sat with a lacrosse ball behind my shoulder blade one more time, rested over the weekend, and it seemed to do the trick.

By mid-week I feel like my mental health had taken a hit. I don’t know if it was because I was hormonal, in pain, or I missed working out, but I felt very cranky and agitated. It’s interesting how things that seem so small can have such a big impact on your health and wellness.

Monday – Rest

Tuesday – Rest

Wednesday – Rest

Thursday – Massage Therapy

Friday – Rest

Saturday – Rest

Sunday – Rest

What I Read in February

I feel like I read more e-books this month than usual because there were so many titles on my TBR (aka, “To Be Read”) list that went on sale for under $5 if I bought the Kindle version. I also find that it’s so much easier to carry my Kindle with me everywhere. Aside from reading on the cardio machines at the gym, I read while in the waiting room of both my doctor and my therapist, in line waiting for my take-out order, and while waiting for my car to get an oil change. It’s easier to throw the thin device in my purse and (because my purse is usually full of junk) I don’t have to worry about destroying the cover or pages of a physical book.

Audio Book
Still working on When You Are Engulfed In Flames by David Sedaris

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Kindle
The Last Days of the Romanovs – Helen Rappaport 
In the last year or so I’ve become increasingly interested in the Romanov family so I finally decided to dive into something other than Wikipedia. I felt like the writing was very balanced and tried to avoid any sort of bias or romanticizing of the family. There are two more books about the Romanovs by Rappaport that I’d like to follow-up with.
PS Reading Prompt: Book about a family

Almost Missed You – Jessica Strawser
I really feel conflicted about this read. I enjoyed the first half of the book despite being able to figure out the twists before they were revealed, but I felt like the story kind of fell apart in the second half. It was an easy read and I didn’t hate it… but I’ve read a lot of pretty good books recently so it was just sort of… flat. I bought it on sale for $2.99 but I don’t think I would suggest someone paying more than that.
PS Reading Prompt: Book told from multiple characters POV

Kitty Genovese: A True Account of a Public Murder and Its Private Consequences – Catherine Pelonero
As someone who is fascinated by true crime I had learned of the murder of Kitty Genovese years ago but aside from knowing she was a woman whose murder had been witnessed by many neighbours, almost none of which called the police, I didn’t know any details. This book was very in-depth, learning about Kitty’s life, her murderer’s life, what neighbours witnessed on the night of the attack, and more. I felt like the author was very thoughtful in placing such an emphasis on Kitty and her life rather than just her death and the person who took it from her. I highly recommend it for anyone interested in true crime.

Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows – Balli Kaur Jaswal
I was surprised how much I loved this book. I mean I shouldn’t be considering it’s been highly talked about, but it had a little bit of everything I love – complicated families, finding your way, romance, and a thriller to boot! Plus, I found myself actually smiling to myself reading some of the passages.
PS Reading Prompt: An “own voices” book

Her Last Word – Mary Burton *****
I bought this one in 2018 after I first received my Kindle because it was only $1.99 and after 30 pages I created a “Did Not Finish” shelf on Goodreads and quit. I don’t need to know about the female detective’s “chiseled frame,” the “tall, slim,” death investigator, or a victim that “arched her full breasts (side note: as a woman I’m not sure it’s possible to arch my breasts?) as the water glided over her nipples.” No, thank you.

Before I Go To Sleep – SJ Watson
I’ve had this one on my To-Be-Read list for years. While scrolling through the Kindle store I noticed it was on sale for $1.99 so I jumped on it. I was actually surprised how much I enjoyed this book. I had theories along the way but the author kept me guessing the entire time. It was a fairly easy read and I’m interested to see how the movie compares.
PS Reading Prompt: A debut novel

We Were Mothers – Katie Sise
It was alright but it felt like a rip-off of Big Little Lies. There were almost too many characters that I didn’t care enough about. Every time a new chapter started from a new perspective I had to remind myself who everyone was and what their relation was to the other characters. By the end I was annoyed with everyone.
PS Reading Prompt: A book with no chapters, unusual chapter headings, or unconventionally numbered chapters.

Physical

Becoming – Michelle Obama
This was a beautiful memoir. I liked that such a big part was focused on her life, her education, and her career. I also loved her honesty when talking about her hesitance regarding her husband’s political career, her struggles as a mother, wife, and career-woman, and all the lessons she has learned along the way.
PS Reading Prompt: Book recommended by a celebrity you admire (Oprah’s book list and Obama’s Best-Of 2018)

Little Fires Everywhere – Celeste Ng
Beautiful seems to be my favourite adjective because that’s how I also want to describe this book. I think Ng did such a good job of telling this story because it made me remember how complicated life can feel as a teenager. I had seen some people describe this novel as slow-starting but I think that’s essential to the story. You’re provided with an in-depth introduction to the characters, understanding their motivations, and this made it very complicated for me to “choose sides” as I truly felt for each character in the story.
PS Reading Prompt: Book you meant to read in 2018. (I had this on my shelf for months as I didn’t do much reading last year)

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Two Races – Training Recap Week 7

*Feeling off this week and I forgot to hit publish. Whoops!

Here in Ontario we celebrated Family Day last Monday. I use the term celebrate pretty loosely in this case. While some people I know truly do use the day to spend time with their families, most people take the day to relax and enjoy an extra day away from work. Me? It was nice to sleep in a little bit, drink a coffee while reading a book and curled up in bed with my dogs, fit in a run, go to therapy, and do some meal prepping. Yup, I did all this and I didn’t feel the slightest bit rushed.

This week I was fully back to running but I was trying to be really honest with myself about how I felt. Was that calf muscle feeling achy from my strain the previous week or were my legs just tired as they should be from my run? Am I resting and recovering as I need to be? Am I pushing myself enough? I’m not trying to make myself stressed or anxious asking myself these questions; I’m simply aiming to be present.

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I think the best example I have of this was my 10K run on Monday. I hopped on the treadmill mostly aiming to run by feel. I thought I would maybe get 5K accomplished. Instead, 5K came and went, and then 7K, and before I knew it I had run a full 10K with my leg feeling great, my body feeling strong overall, and not having to take a single break. I think there were three reasons for this successful run: 1) I had really carbed up. The night before I had chicken parm on a bed of homemade spaghetti and that morning I had a bagel for breakfast. Lots of carbs = lots of energy. 2) I had done a lot of strength training and yoga while taking my short break from running. My body was feeling both strong and I had a great range of mobility. 3) I was rested. Taking almost a week off from running left me with a ton of energy. This is a great reminder of why tapering is so important on a training schedule.

Monday – 10K.

Tuesday – Yoga

Wednesday – Upper body. 1K warm up, 10x200m, 1K cool down.

Thursday – Lower body. Easy 5K

Friday – Yoga.

Saturday – 22K

Sunday – Rest.

Two Races – Week 6 Training Recap

Well, this week was a bit of a doozy. I started the week feeling off. I just felt kind of tired and achy, almost flu-like but not quite. I took a rest day on Monday and debated taking a second rest day on Tuesday. I decided against it since that would have been my third rest day in a row so I hopped on the treadmill and decided to just run for feel – no pace or distance goals. Unfortunately, less than 20 minutes in something went wrong and I felt a twinge in my left calf. I should have taken that rest day because I definitely strained something. I walked it out for another 40 minutes and then worked on rolling and stretching that night, but I definitely injured myself.

On Wednesday I took another rest day hoping that would help. It did, and I found my way back to the gym on Thursday, but decided to cool it on the running for a few days. Thankfully my fitness is (otherwise) at good place and I feel confident that a short break from running won’t ruin my goal to run Around the Bay. I stuck to strength and cross-training to keep myself active. Taking a few days off from running definitely helped and on Sunday I tested out an easy 5K and felt pretty good.

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Monday – Rest

Tuesday – 2.6K run. 3.6K walk.

Wednesday – Rest

Thursday – Full body strength training. Walking and cycling.

Friday – (AM) Full body strength training. Walking and cycling. (PM) Yoga.

Saturday – (AM) Full body strength training. Walking and cycling. (PM) Hot yoga

Sunday – (AM) Easy 5K. (PM) Hot yoga.

How do you adapt your training when you’re feeling injured? 

Two Races – Week 5 Training Recap

On Thursday morning, less than 12 hours after running 10K at a pretty fair pace, I tried to run a few tempo kilometers. I clearly was not rested, fueled, or probably hydrated properly. I managed to push out one kilometer and decided not to force something more. The last thing I want is to burn out or injure myself early in the year. Instead, I finished the tempo and cool down kilometers and hopped onto a stationary bike for 20 minutes of cycling. It felt good to keep sweating while switching to something that required a different type of exertion.

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This week was also a “down” week in mileage to work on resting and recovering my muscles. I was going to schedule it for this upcoming week but my boyfriend and I had a trip to Ottawa planned and the last thing I wanted to do was force myself to find time to run. So instead of my usual Saturday long-run we ended up skating the Rideau Canal and walking everywhere! I woke up on Sunday feeling a little sore but otherwise refreshed and ready to take on more mileage in week six.

Also, due to our trip and a therapy appointment I had to miss my usual two yoga classes. I fit in some yoga and stretching at home but I’m really looking forward to being back in the studio this week.

Monday – Lower body. 30 mins cycling.

Tuesday – Upper body. 1K warm up, 10x200m, 1K cool down.

Wednesday – 10K

Thursday – (AM) Lower body. 1K warm up, 1K tempo, 1K cool down. 20 mins cycling. (PM) Yoga @ home

Friday – Rest day

Saturday – Skating the Rideau Canal & lots of walking

Sunday – Rest day

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