Thursday, April 28, 2011


April is almost over?! I'm trying to figure out where the month went. April is always an interesting month in Western Canada. This year the snow melted enough to start biking to work, but there was still enough snow on April 23rd to go skiing. I was able to graduate from full length tights to crops and a toque/mitts to headband for running, but it snowed buckets for the two races I did this month. Yes in April it can be sunny and shorts weather one day and 20cm of snow the next. Proof: Yesterday's forecast was +15 Celsius, tomorrow is snow and 2 degrees Celsius. Why do I live here? Oh this is why:

Here is what happened in this lovely spring month:
  • Moved to our new house (in snow)
  • Started bike commuting (in snow, rain and sun)
  • Ran my first 10km of the year (in snow)
  • Ran my first ever half marathon (in snow, damn I'm sensing a trend)
  • Skied on the second last weekend of the month (I got a sun burn)
May is an exciting month, you know why? It will be our 1st anniversary. Hopefully the weather will be nicer

Sunday, April 24, 2011

What We Ate: week of April 18

It was a short work week which meant three meals and one night out. Here is what we ate last week:

[Monday] Chicken Enchiladas (Recipe here)

[Tuesday] Breaded Chicken with Acorn Squash
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- In a blender, mix 1/4c oatmeal, 5-6 plain soda crackers, 1 tbsp parmesan cheese, 1 clove garlic, 1 tsp onion salt. Blend until crackers are completely broken into a powder. Place into a bowl.
- In a separate bowl, mix 1 egg and 1 tsp hot sauce.
- Dip chicken in egg mix, then dip into the cracker/oat mix until well coated.
- Place onto greased baking pan. Cook in oven until chicken had cooked through, turning over half way. About 15 min per side.
- Boil 4 cups of water. Cut acorn squash into 4's and de-seed. Place into boiling water. Simmer for ~20 min, until tender.

[Wednesday] Pasta with Homemade Tomato Sauce
Directions for Tomato Sauce:
- Mix together: 1 can tomato paste, 1 can water, 1/2 tbsp basil, 1/2 tbsp oregano, 1/4 tbsp thyme, 1/4 tsp garlic powder.
- Heat on stove over med. Remove once heated through.
- Add cooked ground beef and mixed vegetables if desired.

[Thursday] Eating out - BBQ at friends house
[Friday] Easter dinner

Post Race Recovery

The day after my half marathon I was sore. My legs could hardly function and I may or may not have been that person who took the elevator 2 floors. I went for a long walk followed by some intense rolling on the foam roller, and by the next day, my legs felt great. Sweet! Time to run again. About 5 minutes in, my legs were screaming and my knees felt like they were going to give out. I accepted reality, realizing that I am not super-human and do actually need to take rest days. A few days of walking, rolling, and yoga and my legs are feeling great. Lesson learned, take a rest day!

Here is a good post run yoga routine over at Runners World

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Race Recap: My First Half-Marathon

Yesterday morning I woke ready for my first half-marathon, The Police Half-Marathon, and I looked out the window and saw this:

Look familiar? It should because that's what I woke up to for my 10 km the other weekend. Lets clear things up, the snow did melt right after the 10km and for 2 weeks the weather was looking quite nice (well sort of). But no, the weather gods knew I had a race coming up, so they unleashed the white fluffy stuff just in time. So that's 2 races down, 2 snowy days. Is dry pavement really that big of a pipe dream?

Anyway, I bundled up, sucked it up and head out to the race. My final time was 1:55:50 and I'm damn proud of it. When I was training I actually went faster, but in the thick snow, I was just happy to break 2 hours. It really slows you down (not to mention numerous people fell during the race)
Here are a few things I learned after completing the race:
- Show up early to find parking. Don't cut it to 5 min before the start of the race.
- Running in snow sucks. Ice is worse. And slush just kills me. Lucky for me, I got all three.
- Music for racing. Podcasts for training.
-Bagpipes and a cheering crowd at the top of a steep hill are very motivating.
- At about the 1 mile left point, I decided that I will never run a marathon (ok I'm 90% sure). I give props to all those out there who have done one.
- For a few hours afterwards, I will likely make grunting noises every time I have to use my legs.
-There are a lot of fast people out there. 353 people finished ahead of me.
- Bill can run faster than all of the cops (that were in the race). The race was put on my the police force and several members ran the race. Not that Bill needs to outrun the cops.

I do plan to do another half. I'm now addicted. But I will definitely plan it for later in the year so I can run on dry pavement!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

What We Ate: week of April 11

I thought I'd try something new here and show what we ate for dinner the past week. It can be hard to stay motivated to make dinner once you get home from a long day, so hopefully these posts can serve as a bit of inspiration.

Here is what we had on the menu for last week:

Steak Salad and Asparagus
Turn on broiler. Toss 8-10 Asparagus spears in olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on grill pan and put under broiler for about 4-5 minutes. Check periodically to avoid overcooking.

Grill 1 flank steak for 3- 4 minutes per side on medium heat on the griddle. Sprinkle with Mrs. Dash BBQ seasoning and slice lengthwise.

In a salad bowl, add desired amount of lettuce, sliced cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, and steak.

Dressing: 2 tbsps balsamic vinegar, 1 tbsp of olive oil, 1/8 tsp white sugar, 1/8 tsp dry mustard powder, and half a clove of garlic.

Chicken with Chili-Almond Sauce
In a medium sauce pan, add 1/4 cup milk, 1 tsp Almond Butter, 10 Almonds, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 sliced jalapeno. Simmer on medium heat for 5 min. Remove from heat and puree in a blender.

Preheat 1 tbsp olive oil in a sauce pan. Add 2 chicken breasts. Cook through, about 10 minutes per side. Pour pureed Almond sauce over chicken and heat though.

Steak and Yams
Preheat oven to 375 F. Peel and slice 1 medium yam. Toss in 1 tbsp olive oil and bake for 30-40 minutes (until cooked though)

Grill 2 NY steaks on the BBQ for 4 minutes per side. Serve with salad.

Salmon with Mushroom Risotto
Preheat oven to 400 F. Place salmon onto baking sheet. Cook for 10 minutes (until salmon flakes). Plate and sprinkle with dill and lemon juice.

Heat 1 tbsp olive oil a saucepan on medium. Add 1 minced garlic clove and 5 sliced mushrooms. Cook for 3-4 min. Add 1/3 cup arborio rice. Cook 1 minute. Add 1/3 cup each chicken stock and white wine vinegar. Cover and simmer on medium for 15 min.

Pita Pizzas
Preheat oven to 350F. On each of the 3 whole wheat pita shells spread: 1 tbsp pizza sauce, 2 slice of ham, pineapple chunks, and 2 oz of grated mozzarella cheese. Put on a baking tray and bake for 15 minutes, until cheese melts.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Race recap: Breaking Ice at the Icebreaker

Last weekend I ran my first 10km race of the season, The Glencoe Ice Breaker. The race was on Sunday and on Saturday it started to snow. A lot. Oh and it wasn't a nice, light dusting of snow, that would make running no problem. It was a lovely 20 cm of the thick heavy stuff. Sunday morning we woke up to this:

Part of me thought that the whole thing would be cancelled, but as I have learned in this city, no amount of crazy weather can stop runners. We are crazy like that.

The course was icy, really icy in fact. A guy beside me slipped and fell on one of the corners and at that point I figured this was not going to be the race to get a personal best. I really didn't want to get injured before my half marathon in a few weeks. My final official time was 50:18, which I'll take, seeing as most people were around 3 minutes slower than their personal best. New game plan: find a race in the summer and use that to get a personal best. Now back to the half marathon training.