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Ellie, one of my favourite bloggers, passed on an award to me!!

Noblesse Oblige Award

The recipient of this award is recognized for the following:
• The Blogger manifests exemplary attitude, respecting the nuances that pervade amongst different cultures and beliefs
• Their Blog contents inspire; strives to encourage, and offers solutions
• There is a clear purpose at the Blog: one that fosters a better understanding on Social, Political, Economic, the Arts, Cultures, Sciences, and Beliefs
• The Blog is refreshing and creative; and The Blogger promotes friendship and positive thinking

The requirements of the person receiving the award are as follows:
• Create a post with a mention and link to the person who presented the Noblesse Oblige Award
• The Award Conditions must be displayed at the Post
• Write a short article about what the Blog has thus far achieved – preferably citing one or more older posts as support
• The Blogger must present the Noblesse Oblige Award in concurrence with the Award conditions- Blogger must display the Award at any location at their Blog

This award is so timely for me! I’ve just finished my triathlon, celebrated six months of blogging and have a new blog in the works. What a perfect time to reflect a little on what I’ve accomplished with this blog.

My first goal was just to chronicle my journey to my first triathlon. I saw myself as an “everyday person” attempting an extraordinary thing. I took inspiration from my favourite food bloggers, journaling the eats that fuelled my training along the way.

Of course, it wasn’t all training and eating!! I found my happy weight, that number on the tape measure where I get to eat what I love and enjoy life, while maintaining a body size I feel comfortable in.

I gave up calorie counting for good. It was an invaluable tool in my weight loss, but was not healthy to continue doing in the long term. Astonishingly, I lost weight after calorie counting, learned to love my body more than ever before, and have started indulging in foods again that I previously put “off-limits.”

It wasn’t all serious though. I stuck with my goals, and learned to love running outdoors after a getting off to a tough start.

I also learned that everyone needs to let loose once in a while to maintain their sanity!

 

But that’s enough about this old blog…

You’ve got to check out the new one!!

That’s right, the big move is today!!! Go check it out at //thegreatbalancingact.com It’s where all the action is!! :P

Saturday

Alas, I do not have internet!! How is a girl to survive?? :P Probably a well needed time-out from the interweb for me. I’ve decided to blog anyways, save it, and post it when I return to civilization :)

Those of you who guessed today is my 6 month blogiversary were right!!! (I have no idea if anyone guessed that, since I can’t check, I’m just assuming my smarty-pants readers were able to figure it out).

I started blogging exactly six months ago today! So much has happened over these past six months. I finished my last semester of university, got a “grown up job,” graduated university and ran my first race on the same day, bought a car, finished a triathlon, and found a sweet bachelor(ette) pad!

But that’s all in the past. Let’s look at the present, shall we?

I arrived at Point-de-Chene (Shediac/Parlee Beach for those of you who know the area) just before sunset last night. My mother and I headed out for a walk on the beach right away. It was beautiful!!

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My little “step-brother” showed up to keep us entertained…

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We made friends…

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And maybe tortured a few snails along the way :P

The rest of the evening was spent relaxing and going to bed early because I was exhausted.

I was up at 6:30 this morning and hit the road for a run! (after putting back a little banana + PB with water first, of course). It got really hot today so I wanted to beat the heat.

It was one of the best runs ever! My new sneakers felt great. It was a quiet and beautiful morning as I ran on the dirt roads along the beach. I felt completely spoiled. It was also my longest run in months!

Duration: 50 minutes (10 of that was walking for my warm-up and cool-down)
Calories: 439
Max HR: 174
Avg HR: 153

I took quick walking breaks every ten minutes for the first half-hour, and then did it every five minutes to get me through those last 10. As of right now, I feel completely pain free :D

It was just me and the other early risers when I got back to the cottage, so I got to enjoy a quiet breakfast on the sun porch.

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Instant oatmeal with the other half of my banana and PB. I used a packet of this stuff for the oatmeal:

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One thing I liked about this stuff is that it’s a 1/2 cup serving size as opposed to 1/3 cup like most other oatmeal packets. I like me a bigger bowl! I also liked that there was already cinnamon in it, and enjoyed the “multi-grainy” taste.

Shortly after we hit the road to cottage numero deux. The first cottage belongs to my mother’s boyfriend’s family, whereas the second one belongs to my family. It’s a little farther out in an area called Amherst Shore. Just past the Nova Scotia border, on a bay overlooking NB and PEI.

I ate one of my new bars in the car while my mom drove.

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Sort of like the Superstore’s “no-name” version of a protein bar.

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Not bad pictures for being taken in a moving vehicle!! I didn’t even bother trying to get ones of the fine nutrition info print. It was about 210 calories with 14g protein. It was alright, had a bit of a crunchy cardboard taste reminiscent of the Zone bar.

I was immediately filled with warm joy the second I got to soak up this view again.

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I did a little of this on the deck:

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And walked around, taking in the air at my favourite place on earth.

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I also consumed half a watermelon.

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Now it’s just me and my mom, who is at this very second is nagging gently urging me to get off my bum and help with dinner. See ya for what’s looking like a rainy Sunday!!

Sunday

Today looked a lot like this:

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Me and Archie here slept a glorious nine hours last night, despite there being a band-for-hire playing the catalogue of the world’s worst songs ever up the hill. I don’t know what it is about my cottage, but this place is so good for sleeping and napping!

I had a repeat of yesterday’s breakfast, since I often forget how wonderful simple bowls of oats are. It was almost noon by the time I got out of bed, after spending the morning reading a plethora of cycling and running magazines. I thought a little spurt of activity was in order. I did C+K’s challenge in 15 minutes, then did my favourite yoga poses for another 15. It was a surprisingly sweaty 30 minutes!

For lunch, I took everything we ate for dinner last night and stuffed it in a pita with hummus.

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  • romaine
  • orange pepper
  • mushrooms
  • red onion
  • tomato
  • turkey breast
  • butternut squash
  • hummus

It was delicious!! I was thisclose to going back and putting peanut butter in it. Next time, I won’t hold back. I think a squash-turkey-nut butter pita could be amazing.

It rained on and off all afternoon, and I didn’t have much motivation after sleeping so long last night. So it was a well-needed lazy day :)

Supper was even more amazing than lunch. On the menu: COW.

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Ohmygoodness. Words cannot even describe. I cannot believe my tastebuds and body have been missing out on this for so long! (ahem, more than a decade!) My mom and I picked up some ground hamburger at a local store in Cap-Pele, a small Acadian town not too far from here. So we assume it was good beef. My mom said she mixed it with an egg, some oregano, and a piece of flax bread, and then just cooked it on the stovetop.

Let me put it this way: I will never again compare a veggie burger to a real hamburger. There is no comparison.

My mom and I just got back from a quick walk with Archie. It was so cute to see him barrelling his way through the fields with a big goofy doggy grin on his face. We’re leaving first thing tomorrow since I work in the evening :(

Oh!! And to finish off this crazy long post – just want to give a shout-out to Lori, who did her first triathlon today!!! I can’t wait to get home and read all about it! :)

Hope everyone enjoyed their weekends, with or without the beef ;)

A quick update before I leave for cottage/beach country! I don’t know what the internet situation is going to be like tonight, so I wanted to touch base before I leave :)

Woke up exhausted as heck this morning and did a little yoga for upper thighs. They definitely needed it! Then I had a quick breakfast because I had to be at the army base mega early (whyyyy does the army ask the media to be at events so frickin’ early??)

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Half-eaten egg on english muffin and an orange.

Work eats:

Morning snack…

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Didn’t keep me “satisfied” per se, but it at least kept me from gnawing my arm off until I got a spare moment for lunch.

Lunch…

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Tuna and tzatziki pita (who needs mayo…) with carrot sticks.

I took a picture of why I love pitas so much.

You got your tuna salad…

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And then you dump the whole thing into the pocket.

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Try fitting a whole can of tuna between two slices of bread! :P

The tuna salad bytheway, is one can of tuna, 1 tbsp tzatziki, green pepper, green onion and tomato. It was seriously yummy.

Afternoon snack…

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Yogurt + cottage cheese + kiwi. I think kiwi may curdle the yogurt when it sits in it for a while. This is the second time it’s gone sour/bitter and runny on me. Anyone know anything about this? Or am I just crazy… :P I think I need to consult Google on this one.

I finished work early and headed to the grocery store where I proceeded to pick up waaaayyy too much food for the weekend. I always bring extra food with me when visiting family because I eat more than they do. I’m always snacking between meals, so I like to have fruit, bars, etc to munch on. As well as some alternative meal options just in case there’s weird meat on the menu.

My mom also told me the fridge at the first cottage is broken. We’ll only be there for tonight, but it definitely makes things tricky!

Produce:

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  • watermelon
  • butternut squash
  • bananas
  • apples
  • carrots
  • oranges

Protein/dairy:

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  • unsweetened vanilla almond breeze
  • peanut butter
  • tuna
  • veggie burgers
  • sardines
  • hummus (hope this lasts the night in the cooler!)
  • babybel cheese (ditto!)

Grains/other stuff:

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  • Nature’s Path blueberry cinnamon cereal
  • instant oatmeal packets
  • dried apple crisps
  • homemade trail mix
  • wasa crackers
  • Whack of nutrition bars (including new ones I’ll review)
  • Cherry dark chocolate Kashi bars
  • pita bread

It should be said I’ll definitely be sharing a lot of this with my family. Plus, I’ll be gone till Monday. My mom is still going to yell at me for bringing all this food though!!! Oops! :P

Then I whipped up a quick supper.

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1/2 block tofu, onions, garlic, green pepper, frozen asian veggie mix, Bragg’s and teriyaki sauce all thrown together in a “wok” (which is frying pan in my house). How’s that for a super quick and healthy dinner :)

I wish I had more time to talk about fun stuff, but I gotta jet!! The beautiful evening is going to disappear on me soon and I want to get to the beach before it does!

Not sure what my internetting will be like over the weekend. I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to keep up with my daily updates. But I won’t be able to read other blogs till I’m home. Oh! And Saturday is a big day here on my blog… can ya guess what it is??

Another question: what are some of your favourite cottage/beach eats?

Never-Ending

TGIF!! I don’t understand how some of you work 9-5 Monday to Friday. It’s tuckering me out!! My shifts usually vary in time, but I’m doing a more normal schedule this week so I can go away this weekend. The anticipation probably isn’t helping either!

No early a.m. workout today, was saving my energy for a bike ride after work in some sunny weather! Yup! The sun has finally come out. Jeez, about time!!

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Breakfast was an oatmeal ‘n’ yogurt parfait. No fancy parfait glass, I don’t think they make them big enough to hold this beast of a breakfast :P

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp soy protein powder
  • cinnamon
  • strawberries
  • yogurt with stevia and vanilla etract
  • Some cereal remains (fibre worms!)

My morning snack featured more yogurt in the form of yapple sauce.

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It kinda looks like baby food, but it’s got a major yum factor! Yogurt, apple sauce, cinnamon, stevia and muesli.

Lunch was a good ole’ turkey and tzatziki pita with a naval orange.

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This is one of those meal combos that I never tally up the calories in my head for (it’s actually happening less and less these days!). But sometimes, it can come in handy, especially when a meal turns out to be too low in calories. This lunch clocked in at under 300 calories, which for me, is way to low for a meal. I didn’t realize it until I was getting serious hunger pains two hours later. I just assumed I would accidentally eat more calories when I stopped calorie counting, but that hasn’t always been the case! Guess the pendulum swings both ways…

I had some afternoon reporting to do, so I inhaled my new favourite PowerBar when I got back to the office.

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These usually fill me up, but I was too hungry for just a bar at this point. When I came home, I had a pretty substantial pre-bike snack.

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Two pieces of wasa crackers. One with chai marmalade and the other with cashew almond butter and two smooshed dates.

As well as half a kiwi.

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I’ve seen some pretty wonky ways of eating kiwis in the blog world (ahem! with the skin!). But this is how I eat mine. Cut in half and scooped out with a spoon. Anyone else do this?

Now, onto the bike ride. Chris and I made plans to head out together. We actually haven’t been biking together since my first time out. I only wanted to do an hour, since I still feel like I’m in a bit of a “recovery week.” But we ended up going off my favourite route, and biking for an hour and 45 minutes. Ugh. I mean, it would have been wonderful if that’s what I (and my poor muscles) had been planning for. But I was not digging it.

After an hour into it, we got to this gas station that I knew was still a ways from my place. I sort of broke down and freaked out on the side of the road. I guess not the way most people would react, but sometimes my nerves and anxiety get the best of me. I wanted a fun and short bike outing, and instead I was on the never-ending one (and running low on water to boot!)

Anyways, in the end, it was still a good ride. It was warm and sunny, and the route we discovered was a pretty good one – 40k in total. We didn’t go that fast either. I don’t think my body is quite ready to push it yet anyways, just need a couple more days :)

Supper was late and well needed!!

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Bowl o’ protein for the quads! :P

  • 1/2 block tofu, crumbled
  • onion
  • red and green pepper
  • mushrooms
  • cumin, curry and chili powder
  • salsa
  • scrambled egg
  • cheeeeese

Then Chris magically showed up again wanting nachos. He ended up biking almost three hours total today including the distance between mine and his place! Crazy boy… He got a well-deserved mountain of chicken nachos.

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I may have had one… or five.

I also drank half a blueberry beer.

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I gave the other half to Chris. You know, to balance his meal out with a little fruit ;)

Well that’s all from me today! I’m seriously falling asleep as I type this. That bike ride took what little energy I had left!!

Can I just say it again? TGIF! I’m going to two cottages this weekend. I’m so excited!! I haven’t had a weekend off in over two months! It will hopefully involve:

  • swimming in jellyfish-free waters
  • eating fresh sea food
  • penny candy
  • reading lots of magazines
  • running on some new and fun trails
  • spending time with my mom and the extended fam

What will your weekend involve?

Helloooo blogland! Two “recovery days” after the triathlon, I got good and sweaty again today. It was glorious!

I was awake at 6am to hit up the campus gym before work. Boy, am I going to be sad when my student ID expires in September! I’ll lose my free gym and pool access :(

As you probably know, I need to put food in my belly the second I wake up. So I had something small that wouldn’t jostle around while I worked out.

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Half a banana and PB. Perfection!

I still wanted to be easy on my muscles today, so I opted for the 20 minutes on the elliptical (5 minutes were spent warming up) and 15 minutes on the rowing machine. I did what I like to call “MIIT” – Medium Intensity Interval Training. The sprints are just below my max ability, and the recovery is just a touch harder than my usual slow recovery pace. So like, a 7-8 out of 10 for the sprints, and 4-5 for the recovery. T’was a good time :)

I also squeezed in a little core work:

A1 – Cable horizontal woodchop:
2 sets @ 50 lbs x 10

A2 – Back extension:
2 sets @ 8 kg x 10

B1 – Swiss ball crunch:
2 sets @ 8 kg x 15

B2 – Reverse crunch:
2 sets @ bw x 15

Duration: 50 minutes
Calories: 336
Max HR: 171
Avg HR: 133

I thought ahead last night and made a breakfast cookie, knowing I wouldn’t have much time to eat after showering.

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  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 2/3 scoop chocolate whey powder
  • 1 tbsp shredded coconut
  • 1 tbsp almond cashew butter
  • chocolate chips
  • couple splashes vanilla almond milk

I ate this with some iced coffee, which is quickly becoming my favourite thing for mornings when I’m tight on time. It’s super easy to make in my french press. I just make the coffee the night before, then pop the french press in the fridge! I don’t even need to transfer it to a pitcher or anything. Less dirty dishes = more fun :)

My work eats may shock you… I had a frozen dinner for lunch!!

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First, I had the applesauce and cheesestring as my morning snack. They didn’t do a very good job of holding me over till lunch.

I can’t explain why I randomly bought a Lean Cuisine at the grocery store a couple weeks ago. I always wander the frozen dinner aisles, pick stuff up, get scared by the ingredients/nutritionals, and put them back. I don’t even think I’ve had one since I started my blog! I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of toasty bread out of the microwave, and I guess it just got the better of me.

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I guess it also got me because it actually had a meal’s worth of protein (most microwave meals don’t) with some fibre, low sugar and low sodium (again, for a microwave dinner). Although, any gram of trans fat, no matter how small, is in my opinion too much.

I had a picture of the ingredients, but the list is so long, my camera couldn’t capture a clear picture! I’m sure you get the idea anyways :P

I wish I’d brought my camera to work to take a picture of it. The bread didn’t really “toast”, more like a small brown spot in the middle of the bread. I ate it open faced to make it seem like more food. The taste wasn’t too bad actually, and paired with the carrot sticks it was quite filling. I’m happy I caved and tried it out. Now I don’t have to obsessively pick it up and stare at it every time I’m at the grocery store!!!

Oh yes, and I had the Bumble Bar in the car driving back from a fancy government announcement today. I love these bars. You can check out my review here. I don’t buy them often because they’re over $2 a piece (that’s my limit) but I love the cinnamon/honey flavour and chewy texture of them.  

Supper was super simple again, veggie burger and veggies.

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I love the lighting in these photos!!! I took a photojournalism class last year, and we learned the best light for taking photos is in the morning and evening. I have to agree! It gives them a lot more depth.

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It’s a Sol spicy bean burger with salsa and butternut squash and broccoli covered in almond cashew butter. This is my first time trying almond butter on both butternut squash and broccoli. Ohmy. It was dreamy!!!! I can understand how people do squash/nut butter combos as a dessert dish now!!

The most exciting part of my day was buying my triathlon reward.

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New running shoes!!!!!

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Eeeee!!! Just what the doctor ordered!

I brought in my old Asics (ones in the header) and the store clerk told me it was definitely time for a new pair. I bought them last October, and the clerk said even with my low weekly mileage, I should still be getting new running shoes at least every six months. He even pointed out that the emergence of my hip pain coincided with that six month mark.

He had me walk around and determined I have “high sturdy arches” and that I’d be good with a neutral shoe. I tried on about five different pairs, and the Saucony ProGrid Ride 2 consistently felt best on my tootsies. I can’t wait to give them a try! Think I’ll do a treadmill run with them first on Friday. That way, if they don’t feel right, I can still bring them back.

 

Now time for my question of the day, which is very topical with this post :P What are some of the “non-healthy” foods you really want to try, but always get turned off by the nutritionals? Clearly, the Lean Cuisine paninis were one of mine. I also obsessively pick up this sketchy package of turkey pepperoni every time I’m at the grocery store. I have a feeling I’ll cave on those next…

Planning ahead

Wanna see what I was up against on Sunday?

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Dude in the last picture probably is going 50 km/hr. I laughed when I was uploading my pictures and found all these ones of people on bikes. Of course that’s what Chris would take pictures of :P Guy in the middle is actually the athletics director at my old university and an ex-NHL player.

I also got an e-mail from the race director yesterday asking how I made out! How nice is that? I interviewed him for work last week and got to meet him at the course orientation. He was talking about competing in an ultra triathlon in Africa a few weeks ago. Crazy!!!

I have big news to report: I slept 8 hours last night. That hasn’t happened in weeks!! My  body is definitely in recovery mode. I’m just praying it doesn’t shut down on me now that my “stress event” is over and get sick. That’s something Brendan Brazier talks about in the Thrive Diet. Makes total sense.

Anyways, rambling aside, here’s what I ate after the glorious eight hours.

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Leftover Pbu frosting on two Nature’s Path Flax Plus waffles and strawberries and blueberries. Still a little early in the strawberry season here, these are pretty bitter.

Topped it off with a protein pillow.

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This is the little bowl I cook them in. About 1/2 cup egg whites nuked for around 2 minutes. I like to slather laughing cow cheese on top :)

Work eats:

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I know I use a lot of plastic for my lunches. Tupperware is too bulky for my purse. I do make a habit of using tupperware when I can leave it in the office though.

The s’mores Luna was eaten as my morning snack, shovelled down while speed walking down the street.

The apple and tzatziki n’ turkey pita were eaten while driving.

The trail mix (apricots, lexia raisins, soy nuts, almonds, pecans, walnuts, cashews) was partially eaten in the car, part at my desk.

It was one of those days…

I got home much later than I was hoping to. The second I walked in the door I knew I needed a little miracle worker yoga. I did some yoga for triathletes, hips, and muffin tops. Am I ever glad I did it! Wowza, my body is SO stiff from training and racing. My poor body, it’s been so good to me, I need to get better at being good back! 

I’m running out of groceries, but I don’t want to buy any more since I’m going out of town Friday. So my eats may be a little plain for the rest of the week… including supper!

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Soup and a sandwich. The sandwich is a grilled cheese with meatless pepperoni. The soup actually turned out to be quite a treat!

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Okay, it looks disgusting, but I swear it was delicious! It’s leftover Knorr Green soup (pea and spinach) with sweet potato and butternut squash. I also dumped a pile of curry powder in it. It was wonderfully spicy, I love curry spice!

 

Where do I go from here?

So I left off yesterday’s post with a little tease about my future fitness goals. As you can see on my sidebar –> I’m planning on doing a 10k in September and 5k in October. I’m actually most excited for the 5k. I’ve done Run for the Cure a bunch of times before, but this will be the first year I’ll be able to run the whole thing. I’ve never been in good enough shape to do it before. Plus, breast cancer, and cancer in general, has touched my life in more ways than I can count now. So needless to say, that event will mean a lot to me!!

My reward for finishing the triathlon will be a new pair of running shoes. While running still causes a little hip pain, I’m confident that I can slooooowly increase my outdoor mileage with some properly fitted shoes.

My biggest fitness goal is to learn how to kick ass at cycling. I’ve totally fallen for cycling, and I want to get in some serious saddle time before summer’s end. I’d love to get up to at least 80k by the end of the summer, and start clocking in some much faster speeds. I’m also going to work on my dreaded hill climbing. I think it’s time I suck it up and do it!

As far as attainable goals with cycling, I want to do the Mactaquac loop, which is around 60-70k to a nearby town. (village?) A little more far off is a 100k trip to Chris’ cottage outside of Saint John. Chris and I also spotted a road bike race in Lunenberg, NS in September, with both a 50k or 100k. He’s obviously all over it, but I’m going to wait it out to see how I’m feeling as we get closer.

Even more long term, I’ll be starting a new weight lifting program in October. As I’ve mentioned many times, my heart belongs in the weight room. I can’t wait to get back on a scheduled lifting program. I’m a weak person by nature (I’m not just saying that, I have trouble opening most doors) so I love how strong lifting weights makes me feel. The “hard body” doesn’t hurt either ;)

 

So there you have it, all my future fitness plans! What are yours?

First and foremost, thank you so much for all the congratulatory comments!!! I was on cloud nine yesterday, and continued floating today after seeing all your kind words :D In case you missed it, read my triathlon recap here. I’ve also done a lot of reflecting on aspects of the race, which I’ll get to at the end of the post.

Secondly, I signed a lease today!! Yup! It’s that apartment I looked at last week. Chris and I drove past it last night, and I realized it’s right on my running trail. All I have to do is cross the street, and I’m on a gorgeous path that runs along the river. I’m pumped! I move in at the end of August.

I also forgot to share my crazy heart rate monitor stats from yesterday:

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184 max!!! That’s nuts!!! That is by far the highest heart rate I’ve ever had, I think my previous highest was around 174 during my 5k in May. I wish I knew what part of the race it was at. Most likely one of the moments I wheezed my way uphill during the run.

My resting heart rate after the race remained around 90-110, when it’s usually 55-65!

I thought I was going to be starving after burning a thousand calories. But, I just felt off. I think I did a good job of keeping my calories up before and during the race that I didn’t feel weak or anything after. In fact, I wasn’t even hungry when I had that veggie burger at the race bbq, my body was just drawn to it. Although, I felt like I was going to burst after eating it I was so full.

Chris went home right after to go to bed (he’d come off a night shift) and I plopped down on the couch at home. By coincidence, NBC was showing the Des Moines triathlon, which was SO fun to watch having just completed one.

And a Canadian won to boot!

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Bastard finished an Olympic tri in the time it took me to complete half that!

Hunger started to creep up a little around 2:30, so I made a yogurty mess for some protein and quick sugars.

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It was a pretty big bowl of yogurt, cottage cheese, strawberries and mango.

I started feeling empty around 5pm, so I had a random meal. Or snack. Or “sneal.”

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An english muffin with an egg and turkey slices. And a juicy gala apple.

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After this, I felt stuffed again. Chris showed up at 7pm ready to eat – much earlier than I expected! I’d previously chosen Frank’s Finer Diner to splurge on some fish ‘n’ chips and pie after my triathlon.

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Hey! See that? Blue sky caught on film!! That’s a rarity these days! :P

This is definitely a novelty place, full of Elvis photos and waitresses on rollerblades.

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Except, I was still full from my random meal/snack a couple hours earlier. I could not bare the thought of trying to stomach a meal. Sooo I skipped the fish ‘n’ chips and went straight for the chocolate pie!!

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It was huge!!!! I was definitely happy I opted for just dessert. This totally satisfied my tummy and tastebuds. How’s that for a “recovery slice of pie” ;)

Chris was a champ and had both the meal and pie.

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I had a few french fries. I’ll have to do another triathlon just so I can get my recovery fish ‘n’ chips :P

It was a valiant effort, but I had to claim defeat.

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Pie: 1, Susan: 0

After this, we went over to a friend’s place and chatted till my bedtime. That “empty” feeling returned, so I snacked on a couple pieces of wasa bread and cheesestring. I then promptly passed out the second I closed my eyes.

 

I woke up after only 6 hours sleep today. Not impressed! I cannot sleep in for the life of me. Going to bed early is the only way I can get extra sleep.

I felt I needed blueberry pancakes to cheer me up.

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1/2 cup rolled oats, 1/2 cup cottage cheese, 1/2 cup egg whites, cinnamon, baking powder and vanilla extract. Pancakes never fail to cheer me up. I happily fell asleep for another 45 minutes after this :)

I spent the morning catching up on blogs and life after yesterday’s triathlon madness. I did a little mid-morning carbing with a cinnamon raisin bagel and chai marmalade.

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These are “light” bagels, so not very filling. Kind of like chai flavoured air.

Lunch was some typical noontime fare.

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Pita pizza with Eden Organic pizza sauce, Yves meatless pepperoni, mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, red pepper and cheese. The usual carrots on the side for my mandatory orange fix.

I made the rest of my diet coke cupcakes for Chris this afternoon as he was heading back to work today. Not to toot my own horn or anything, but this was the best cupcake I’ve ever had.

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As I mentioned before, I don’t like icing. But I do love peanut butter. So I whipped up some Pbu (peanut butter stirred with almond milk) with splenda and vanilla extract and added some crushed chocolate chips. It’s official, Pbu is awesome on everything. 

Supper was another veggie burger and side of orange in the form of butternut squash fries.  

 

 

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This was a Sol spicy bean burger. I think I may like the original better. This kind is actually a touch too spicy for me!!

Oh! And I want to show you the suh-weet shirt I got from the triathlon:

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It’s an Asics running shirt. It’s even got a little zipper in the front! Much better than the cotton t-shirt I got for the 5k :P This will be great for all the races I hope to do this fall.

Feelings on the “day after”

Well first off, I’m happy to report I’m only slightly sore today. I’ve been worse off after a rough day in the weight room! My hip hurts, but nothing more than it usually does after a run. My knees were stiff yesterday and this morning, but feel fine now. My shoulders are surprisingly quite sore. Must have been all the fighting I had to do in the water!

Of course, I’ve also been thinking about what I could have done better. Let me put it this way, if I ever decide to do that triathlon again, there are a few things I’ll do differently. First, I’ll get a wetsuit or trisuit. I’ll do waaay more hill training. In my practice rides, I was biking 20k in 45 minutes on relatively flat routes. In the triathlon, I went through the extremely hilly course in 53 minutes. That’s a huge difference. More hill training would have made a world of difference.

I will also do more brick training. Everything I read said the bike/run brick was the most important one to practice. But I was quite spent getting on the bike after the lake. I think all combinations of bricks are important.

Oh yes, and I won’t injure my hip so I can do the running portion of the training :P

I’m also working on some goals and “where do I go from heres,” which I will share tomorrow. I feel a little lost without a big scary race looming over my head, but I’m also really excited about all the directions I can go in from here.

Hope everyone got a great start to the week! I can’t believe we’re already almost week into July. Summers go by too fast!

I Did It!!!!

I made it!!! I finished the triathlon!! There were a few tough moments, but I plowed through and lived to tell the tale! :) I ended up meeting all my “reasonable” goals, but none of my “dream” goals. I think I underestimated just how much the chaotic swim and hilly bike ride were going to slow me down. But, let me start at the beginning!

I slept almost straight through the night. I drifted in and out of sleep after 5am, and decided to get up 10 minutes before my 6am alarm. I immediately made a lovely bowl of oat bran and a giant glass of iced coffee.

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In the bowl:

  • 1/2 cup oat bran
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 scoop chocolate whey powder
  • half a banana
  • chocolate chips
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter

The iced coffee just had some almond milk and stevia in it. No way I can drink the iced stuff black! The iced coffee was a great idea. I was able to drink it quickly with my oats, and it was good to go from the fridge as soon as I woke up.

I got to the race site a little after 7am. Took my time registering, setting up my transition area, and walking around the course. I felt pretty hardcore all marked up!!

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Here’s what the transition area looked like…

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Mine was third from the right on the back metal rack. I spent a lot of time in here making sure everything was set up in the order I’d need it. Walking up and down, making sure I could spot my stuff and knew how to get out.

The lake:

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You can almost see the buoys off in the distance! They were freakin’ huge buoys, no way I was getting lost in that lake!

My exit point from the lake:

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Different from where we started on the beach.

And the giant hill everyone had to run up as soon as they hit the run leg. This photograph does not capture how steep it was.

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Chris arrived a little after 9am. I also ate that Clif bar around the same time. I’m glad I went with it, it was just the right amount of fuel, and digested well before the swim. I may have used the washroom 4-5 times in the three hours I was there before the race though :P

I wasn’t nervous at all until I watched the Olympic distance folk jump in the water. Then I was like “oh sh*t, I’m going to do that!”

The Sprint people had a 10am start. I was soooo cold by that point after being outside all morning. I think it was around 15C? It sprinkled on and off, but nothing serious.

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They let everyone in the water about 10 min before to warm-up. Some people were running around to warm-up, but I felt loose enough after walking around all morning.

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I got in, and the water temp wasn’t that bad. They said 18C, coldest it’s been in a while, but not like swimming in the Atlantic Ocean!

Then they called us out of the water and we lined up to go.

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I purposely tried to smile in all the photos. I was definitely feeling anxious here, I was ready to get started!

Aaaand we’re off!!!

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That’s me in the black swimsuit on the right. I tried to stay on the outside to avoid the chaos, but I don’t really think there was any escaping it.

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This is everyone as we were swimming out to our first buoy. I didn’t put my head in the water right away because there was just too much splashing. There was a point after we went around that buoy that I swallowed major amounts of water and had a little freakout. For a split second, I got that “flight” response. But I just stuck my head back in, went to the outside of the pack, and tried to get into a groove. It was hard to maintain any sort of swim pace though, because I would either swim into someone, or someone would swim into me. All I have to say is, thank goodness the swim is the shortest triathlon leg! :P

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See? Trying to smile! Here I am fresh out of the water, running on the path barefoot up to the transition area. I was burping like mad from all the water I swallowed! The girl running ahead of me actually turned around and gave me “a look.” :P

Swim time: 19:00 – 83/111

I don’t think it matters how prepared you are, you’re going to be confused as hell when you enter the transition area. I ran down the wrong aisle and had to manoeuvre through a few bikes.

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This one felt a little slow. I had to get my shirt and shorts on, which were both tight and sticky on my wet skin. My new socks were at least easy to put on! Also…running with a bike in shoes with clips is not easy.

Transition #1 Time: 2:23 – 87/111

On the list of my worries was having issues getting clipped into my bike. It definitely took me a few extra seconds to get it.

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And had to bike with one leg for a few revolutions before my left foot finally clipped in. But I managed to do it!

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Honestly, as soon as I hit the bike course I thought “ahhhh…that’s better!!” It was such a relief to be out of the water and on my bike.

The bike course was hilly. Like, maybe 65-70% of it was at some sort of an incline. I didn’t mind the short steep ones so much, but there was this looooong gradual one that was just killer.

We did two loops of the course. We had one lane of traffic closed for us. My legs were killing me after the first loop, and I was feeling really drained. I decided there was no better time to dig into the dates and PB I had ever-so-expertly attached to my handlebars. I was only going to eat three of them, and save the last two for the end of the bike ride. But it was like I got hit with a bolt of energy the second the peanut butter hit my tongue. I started salivating and gobbled up the whole bag! I guzzled it down with my coconut water/water mix, then proceeded to pass three people sprinting uphill.

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I definitely didn’t push it the whole time for the bike leg. I used the flat/downhill portions to recover from my climbs, rather than using it to gain speed. I’m not sure if that made it any easier for me, but I was wiped, and it was all I could do at the time. I went way slower than I wanted to for the bike leg, but I will say it was the most fun part of the triathlon for me. So that makes up for it! :)

Bike Time: 53:37 – 96/111

I also managed to successfully unclip without falling! Can you imagine how embarrassing that would have been? Check that off the worry list! :P

Transition #2 was pretty smooth. I struggled a little to get my bike racked again, and I wished I’d gone with the indented boxes they had instead.

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I love this photo because I’m still smiling in it and I didn’t even know it was being taken! I must have been laughing at how crazy I was to sign up for this :P

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My legs actually felt pretty good as soon as I hit the pavement… but that was about to change…

Transition #2 Time: 1:30 – 99/111

I grabbed a gatorade when I entered the run course and tried to run and drink it at the same time. Bad idea. It went up my nose and ended up throwing it away. I probably could have used it too. As soon as I hit that steep hill, I immediately started wheezing and seriously doubting I was going to be able to run the whole 5k. About 1k into it, I took a 30 sec walking break. Regained my composure, and proceeded to run the rest of the loop at what felt like a slow pace. I got passed by a lot of people!

Finishing the first loop, happy to be running on flat pavement for a second…

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Then re-entering the woods to run up that huge hill again…

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When I re-entered the course, I grabbed two cups of water and stopped to drink them. Then I proceeded to walk up the giant hill (helllloooo leg pain!). But after that, I got a little spurt of energy and felt pretty good for that last loop.

I tried to sprint to the finish, but I don’t think it worked.

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The only thing that kept me going was knowing I was almost done!!!

Run Time: 33:27 – 94/111

And then I felt like collapsing.

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I’m not trying to be cheeky there, that’s my “near death” look.

However, I think my biggest smile was post-race.

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Total Time: 1:51:18 – 95/111

Overall, I’m pretty happy with my performance. Okay, I’m just happy I finished it! But I knew going in I was going to be at the bottom of the pack. I was racing alongside some pretty stellar athletes. I really just wanted to do it in under 2 hours, and close to 1:50 is good enough for me. Especially considering I had to deal with an injury during training!

Chris and I afterwards. I look super awkward in this photo, maybe because I can’t move my limbs.

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We walked around a little bit after so I could “cool-down.” I did a little stretching.

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I’m sorry legs!!

Then I hit up the free barbecue!

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BEST VEGGIE BURGER OF MY LIFE. They had bagels and fruit out, but a white bun and soy protein slathered in relish and ketchup sounded a lot better :)

A BIG thanks to my photog for the day ;)

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Bytheway, I did hook my bike computer up wrong and it didn’t work for the race. Of course, within seconds of being near my bike, Chris had it working.

Then we proceeded to drive home in a random torrential downpour and I stretched properly, ate lots and plopped on the couch. I’ve got more food photos from today (including the biggest dessert ever!). But I’ll post them all tomorrow.

Oh…and will I do another triathlon? Not this summer. Duathlons may be in my future next year. Chris and I were talking about doing one together, or as a team (I run, he bikes). I still hope to do a 10k in September and a 5k in October. For now, I’m really just looking forward to getting on some long bike rides and running the trails around my place again – without a schedule!

THANK YOU for all of your wonderful support!!! There were definitely a few times during the race I thought of the blog and how wonderful this experience has been for me. I’m super excited to get my new blog off the ground soon! (next week!)

Hope y’all had a great weekend!!! ;)

Preparations

This may be a long post. It’s been a long day full of work and getting ready for my triathlon tomorrow!

I was up at 4am, a half hour before my alarm went off. I was crazy thirsty from all the food I’d eaten at the barbecue. Plus, I think I was already getting anxious for the race. Got to work a little early and munched on the usual breakfast cookie.

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  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 scoop chocolate whey powder
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened coconut
  • 8 chocolate chips
  • 1 tbsp almond cashew butter
  • couple splashes unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Later in the morning, I snacked on a naner and Pbu.

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Lunch was my favourite meal to make at work – egg white pillows on an english muffin with laughing cow cheese. 

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And one of the juiciest, sweetest oranges I’ve had in a while. 

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Once I got off work, I went downtown to pick up a few items I needed before the race tomorrow. I got a bike bag, running hat and running socks. I had some time to kill in the mall before the course orientation, so I hit up Second Cup for a refreshment and snack.

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A sugar-free strawberry Italian soda, peanut butter chocolate chip PowerBar, and a free magazine I got at the Running Room.

The course orientation went really well. I found out that I have a solid 2 minute run from the lake to the transition area that I will have to do on a gravel trail in my bare feet. It also looks like I’ll have a nice jaunt from the transition area to the road in my cycling shoes (which have the chunky clips attached to the sole). Finally, I learned they changed the run course. Instead of doing three loops around the lake, I’ll be doing two loops with a random out-and-back run up this crazy steep hill. Oh yes, and that hill is the first thing I’ll be tackling when I get off the bike.

I’m also now paranoid that I’m going to be disqualified for accidentally drafting or crossing the centre line on my bike.

I actually made a list of all the things I’m worried about so I’d stop going over them in my head. It really helped!! :)

After the orientation, I came home and attempted to nap. Despite only sleeping 6 hours last night, I could only squeeze out 15 minutes of shut-eye. So I just got up and made an early supper.

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Can you tell I’m sticking with safe foods today to keep my tummy behaving? This is a turkey pita with tzatziki and crammed with veggies.

Then I proceeded to get all my crap ready for tomorrow!!

I started by cleaning and lubing my bike chain. Then I attached this fancy gadget that finally arrived in the mail yesterday, just in the nick of time.

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A CatEye strada wireless bike computer. It’s one of the pricier models, but I ended up getting it on eBay for around $60, not too bad. Plus, it looks pretty stellar on my bike.

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I have no idea if I hooked it up right. I tried moving it around my apartment and it didn’t pick anything up. It probably won’t work tomorrow, hopefully it doesn’t fall off!!

I also attached my new bike bag, which I’m pleased to see doesn’t look overly hideous.

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I’m hoping after treating my bike to a little lovin’, it will be nice to me tomorrow :)

Then I prepared my water bottles. One is a coconut water-water mix and the other is just plain water (doubt I’ll even need the second one).

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And five dates stuffed with peanut butter for fuel during the bike ride.

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I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to do with these yet. Either tie the bag to the handlebars, but keep it open so I can just reach my hand in. Or put them in the bike bag, leave that open, and just reach back.

More fuel for tomorrow…

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I’ll eat the Clif bar about an hour before the race starts. I debated between this and the Luna. But decided the Clif is more calorie dense and has more carbohydrates. The PowerBar is just a backup for afterward in case I find myself starving right after and can’t get to food for whatever reason.

On the topic of food, I’ve decided on my best bowl of oats ever for breakfast tomorrow. I’ll be getting up at 6am, and won’t be racing till 10am, so I’ll have plenty of time to digest. My best workouts have always been after a bowl of oats, plus the comforting bowl will hopefully keep me calm in the morning :)

Okay, now on to how I’m dealing with the tricky clothing situation! Triathlons are tough, because swimming, cycling and running all require very different gear that you have to change in and out of quickly. I never bothered getting a trisuit because I didn’t want to spend the money on one, then never wear it again. So I’ll be starting the race in my regular swimsuit and goggles (I’ll be given a cap to wear).

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From that, I’ll be racing up to my bike (barefoot on gravel I might add!!!) and throwing this on over my swimsuit:

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Helmet, bike glasses, tank-top, bike shorts, running socks, bike shoes. I’d debated wearing a running bra under my suit, but I was scared it would get really uncomfortable after getting wet. So I opted for this Lululemon top with a sturdy built-in bra. That’s the benefit of a small chest! My only concern about it is the tight built-in bra will get twisted when I try to pull it on over my wet swimsuit.

Okay, then from there, I’m going to be taking off my helmet, bike shorts and shoes, and wearing this:

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Running hat (to hide what will likely be a horrible mess of hair!), bike glasses, tank-top, running shorts, running socks, running shoes. I’d considered running in my bike shorts, but putting on the running shorts didn’t really take that much extra time when I was practicing my transitions. I’ll probably just look funny yanking down my trousers ;)

Oh yes, and since all these clothes need to be at my transition station, here’s what I’m wearing over my swimsuit while I hang out at the site before the race.

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Just a simple (and wrinkly) jersey dress with flip flops that I can easily take off and hand to Chris before I line up to start.

Sorry if all of this is a little boring. But I think figuring out what to wear during the triathlon has been one of the biggest aspects of my preparation!!!

Now all I have left to do is pick out a colourful towel to put my stuff on in the transition area, so it’s easy to spot. I want to pick out some good tunes to play in the car on my way to the race site. I also just finished making iced coffee so it’s quick and easy to drink with my oats in the morning!

Phew!! How’s that for preparation? I know it will probably still be a bit of a scramble in the morning, but I’m trying to keep from getting stressed out as much as possible. Chris will be meeting at the site at about 9am. Poor guy is coming straight off a night shift to watch me race. Don’t worry, I got tips on all the best locations for taking pictures, so hopefully he’ll be able to get some good ones!!!

Oh! I totally forgot, my bedtime snack…

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Blueberries, yogurt
and Nature’s Path blueberry cinnamon cereal. This is guaranteed to sit well in my stomach overnight. 

Holy crap you guys, I can’t believe it’s tomorrow!!! To be honest, I don’t feel well-prepared at all. But I also know that if I’m careful, and take my time, I’ll be able to finish it. And that’s all that matters.

Eeee! Excitement!!!!

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For the record, that’s me fresh out of the shower without a lick of makeup on. Inspired by Angela’s amazing post on going make-up free! I’m a little more comfortable without face paint, it’s hard to wear mascara in the pool! :P

Okay, I’m off to wind down and read a few blogs in bed. I’ll be back tomorrow night with my recap. Hopefully not from a hospital bed! :P

Happy fourth o’ July to all you American folk!! A salute to not having the Queen’s mug on your money!

I forgot to mention in my previous posts that I was going to a barbecue tonight! I wanted to ask you guys what I should bring, but I ended deciding on a dessert I’ve been wanting to make forever. Keep reading to find out!! ;) (C’mon, I work in broadcasting, I know how to do a good plug!)

I started my day off with a little of this:

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This pilates dvd is the first exercise video I ever bought, and it’s still my go-to one. Definitely not as challenging as it was a year and a half ago, but I still enjoy the moves!

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I did the abs, “burn",” and flexibility sections. A nice 30 minutes of light activity to get my day started. I used to do pilates every morning back in the day. It’s a habit I should probably get back into!

I usually have to eat the second I roll out of bed. So after 30 minutes, I was staaaarving. Enter toaster waffles.

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This was probably one of my best waffle combos yet!! Two Nature’s Path Flax Plus waffles, fresh strawberries and a sauce consisting of a tbsp of almond butter, sugar-free maple syrup and vanilla almond milk each. The sauce was to die for. I want to put it on everything I eat now. I also had my favourite protein pillow (microwaved egg whites) with little laughing cow cheese surprises inside. 

Then I made my bbq contribution! It consisted of two ingredients.

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That’s it!! One box of cake mix + 350ml of diet coke. I turned it into cupcakes because I’m a fan of pre-portioned desserts.

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I’m not a huge fan of icing though, so I put a glob of peanut butter and some butterscotch chips on top instead.

They came out looking (and smelling) quite normal!!

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I of course had to try one before heading to work to ensure they tasted okay enough to feed to other people ;)

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Success!! These are crazy moist and taste just like normal cake. By no means healthier than cake made the regular way, but it does at least cut down on the calories some. Maybe 100-150 calories a cupcake? The glob o’ PB was an interesting texture. I think I might swirl it around a bit in my next batch. I still have half the batter in my fridge waiting to be licked clean for when Chris is home next.

Then it was off to work where I spent the morning walking around in the drizzle asking people how two straight weeks of rain has affected their spirits. My hair may never return to a normal size.

Lunch was not very animal friendly, but it was delicious.

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Ham and turkey slices on a pita with spinach, tomato and laughing cow cheese. I also had some carrots on the side. I’m equally mean to both animals and plants.

No afternoon snack photo, it was a yogurty, delicious-ey mess.

I also got to interview the race director for my triathlon on Sunday! My radio station loves doing sports stories, so I thought it would be fun. Super nice guy. I only got to talk to him over the phone, but he told me to come chat with him at the orientation tomorrow. Totally made me feel at ease. Some more fun facts: Elizabeth Seiffert, a professional Ironman athlete, will also be there to show us the ropes tomorrow. AND, the race director told me the Fredericton tri is known as one of the best courses for beginners in the country :D

I came home and had a quick snack before heading to the barbecue. I was starving, and I knew supper would still be a while off.

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Wasa fibre rye crackers with honey, cinnamon and raisins. Wasa bread is my go-to snack to keep my hunger at bay before a meal. I get really woozy when I wait too long between meals, and this stuff always does the trick when I’m forced to wait.

Unfortunately, I have no photos to share from the bbq. It was with my co-workers, who don’t know about the blog (yet! They will once I get the new, more professional one on the go). I also don’t know my co-workers very well. Even though I worked at the station for two years part-time, I never spent any time working alongside them. So I thought it would be a good opportunity to get to know them, especially since I’m a full-time employee now. 

My eats were the typical barbecue fare, and instead of being picky, I had a little taste of everything. A devilled egg, a bacon wrapped scallop, loads of veggies, a hot dog (!), and a scoop of potato salad, coleslaw, broccoli salad and caesar salad each. Then I had a small piece of peanut butter fudge swirl cheesecake to top it all off! Nope, not healthy at all. But, socializing and getting to know the people I work with was more important than being nitpicky over my food. I ate till I felt satisfied and don’t regret a bite. Besides… I’m doing a triathlon in two days. That deserves a hot dog, no??

Tomorrow though, will hopefully consist of more fresh stuff, and less dead pig and mayo! :P

Question: How do you handle those types of social environments? Do you stick to “safe” foods, or do you splurge a little?

It should be added that I usually don’t go to bbq’s like that often. I bet my food choices would have been different if I had to eat like that every weekend…

Hope everyone gets a good start to their weekend!!

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