For those of you who pop by from time to time, I’m still here. I’ve not vanished completely. I simply took some time to regroup and refocus my energies. I needed to recentre my world and re-channel my moxie. And I’m pleased to say that current moxie levels are operating at almost-maximum capacity!
I hope to be popping in more often with random and useless updates from my world. But, in the meantime, I am working on some new things that will hopefully appear sooner rather than later.
For now… I have various and sundry trade show marketing endeavours to clear off my proverbial 9-to-5 plate. Enjoy your week, all!
That’s how many kilometres I ran! I didn’t do it swiftly. And I didn’t do it elegantly. But I did it! I set my mind to it, did my research & training… and finished a FREAKIN’ Half Marathon; the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon, to be precise (which, incidentally, raised more than $3.5 million for 164 local charities – suck on that, Rob Ford.)
If you had told me, 10 years ago, that I would ever accomplish that lofty a goal, I’m almost certain my response would have been colourful and would have involved inviting you to attempt some variation of sexual relation with yourself. I know – classy. But I’m a Martimer and an army brat; it’s who I am.
But I did it. And I’m proud. I won’t lie, though. It wasn’t easy.
There’s an epithet that gets bandied about on fitness and running websites: Respect the Distance.
I’m here to tell you that it’s not just a clichéd expression for Nike or New Balance to sell more shoes and running gear. 5K is a challenge. 10K even more so. But once you start logging past that distance, it’s no longer a matter of simple math. Each additional kilometre gets exponentially harder (especially if you’re packing more junk in your trunk than recommended.)
And self-imposed dry Saturdays are not my most favourite thing ever. But I learned the hard way that, if you have a 10k training run on a Sunday morning, wine the night before (even if it is to celebrate your first wedding anniversary) is not the wisest of decisions.
But, in the end, all the blood, sweat and jacked up toenails were completely worth it.
I’d run the risk (no pun intended) of sounding like a Hipster Emo Poet if I were to try describing the rush of being in a crowd of 22,000 people — everyone from Olympic qualifiers and World Record breakers to average shmoes like me — all with the same goal in their sights. So I won’t try. But I will say that the high experienced while running right down the middle of Lakeshore Blvd., rather than along the Martin Goodman Trail (which is my usual route) was a surreal and astoundingly profound experience. And one I’ll hold onto for a long time to come.
So many people take on the challenge of a Marathon or Half Marathon and it’s always incredible to hear all of the various reasons why. Some do it for glory. Some do it for charity. Some do it in memory of lost loved ones. Some do it in celebration of overcoming adversity. Some do it in honour of their own reclamation of health.
I did it for that girl right there with the bad blonde dye job and the drink in her hand. She was a helluva chick. But she didn’t love herself very much. I did, though. So I changed her. I gave her back her health. And yesterday, I gave her a giant helping of pride.
Also? I wasn’t last. But you know what? I hope whomever was, is feeling as proud as I am right now.
I’ve been MIA for far too long and it’s high time for a bit of an update. So what’s new, you ask? And I’m sure you were. Asking, that is.
Well, honestly, pretty much the same ol’, same ol’… I’ve just been failing a wee bit with my time management skills. In fact, as I type, I’m still snuggled cozily in my fuzzy robe with a coffee to my left and a fat, sleeping kitteh to my right.
But what I should be doing is getting off my arse, lacing on my sneakers and heading out for my 15k training run. I know, I know – why procrastinate this far along in the game? I’m not. Not really. I just need to be well and truly awake before I head out to abuse my body for that length of time. I’m almost there. One more cup of coffee and a bit of peanut butter and carby goodness and I should be good to go.
In the meantime, let me share with you my latest creation:
Oatmeal Apple Blueberry Muffins
1 cup old fashion rolled oats (not instant)
1 cup unsweetened chocolate almond milk
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup brown sugar Splenda
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 egg whites (1/4 cup liquid egg whites)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup blueberries
- Preheat oven to 400°
- Soak the oats in milk for about an hour
- Spray muffin pan with cooking spray (I like Butter-flavoured Pam)
- Combine the oat mixture with applesauce and egg whites & mix until just combined
- In a separate bowl measure and whisk the dry ingredients together
- Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until just combined
- Fold in blueberries.
(NOTE: You reallly do have to be careful that you don’t over-mix this batter or your muffins will end up the consistency of tiny tennis balls )
- Spoon muffin mixture into muffin pan
- Bake for 20 minutes
- Remove from pan, cool and enjoy!
Okay! My artfully-honed procrastination skills are now sated for today. I’m off to run. Enjoy your Sunday!
Author Douglas Adams’ fictional supercomputer, Deep Thought, spent 7½ million years computing this Ultimate Answer. And, despite my having reached this auspicious number of years alive on our planet, I have yet to be smote with a profusion of enlightenment. Of course, the fact that I most-often act about half that age might have something to do with said lack of wisdom.
Be that as it may – I am fortunate enough that, most years, my birthday lands on a long weekend (during the summer, no less.) Pretty sweet deal, right?
As a kid, though, that sort of sucked. There were no classroom celebrations. And, when it came to having a party with all of my school chums present, most parents had already spirited away my wee pals for family vacations. So it was usually me, my younger brother and my parents when it came to Happy Birthday Weezie Time. Which, in retrospect, wasn’t that bad a deal.
But, now? Now I take great delight in the multiple celebrations that can be scheduled into a weekend with an extra day. And, this year, I got WAY more than just a long weekend. My birthday treats began more than a month before my actual birthday; June 12, to be precise, was when we started celebrating in the Rockstar House.
You see, my husband did something most other husbands would NEVER do. He bought tickets — and took me to see… Glee. Yes, Glee. As in, the Shiny Happy kids from the TV show. And, you know what? Despite his protestations otherwise, I’m pretty sure he enjoyed himself. Because, instead of leaving the room in search of manlier pursuits each week, he sits and watches every PVRd episode with me. He won’t admit it… but I think LX might be a closet Gleek.
But the Pre-Birthday Celebrating wasn’t just limited to one event. Oh no! This year I got a Pre-Birthday Visit with my mom & dad (an exciting prospect for me, since they live a few provinces away and I don’t get to see them as often as I’d like) and I was regaled with not one, but TWO Pre-Birthday Lunch celebrations with co-workers. Not too shabby.
Mind you, I wouldn’t recommend the restaurant (FIGS – but I wouldn’t bother, unless you have LOADS of time to spare) we chose for the first of the two PB lunches. Not only did they take forever with our order, but they got mine wrong. Credit where credit is due, however: my Eggs Bennie – with Portobello Mushroom instead of boring ol’ ham – was incredibly tasty, once it finally arrived.
Aki Da provided the sushi yums (we ordered in at work) for Part Two of my PB lunch fun. And they even threw in an extra dish at no charge. Unfortunately, the freebie was a bland mushroom roll that none of us really took a shine to. But it’s the thought that counts, right?
I should probably mention, as an aside, that – yes – pretty much all of my birthday celebrations this year did revolve around food. Which plays a large part in why I had to make time for a five-mile run Sunday morning. Totally worth it.
For my birthday proper, LX took me to La Maquette – a gorgeous french restaurant that allowed our entire wedding party to traipse through, last summer, in order to have photos taken in its adjacent Sculpture Garden. I’d already been like a fat kid with her nose pressed up against a sweet shop window when it came to this place. So I think LX knew that, once they’d been nice to me, he really had no choice but to take me there at some point. Lucky for me – it was this weekend!
For anyone in the GTA looking for a great date restaurant — trust me… you’ll score HUGE brownie points with anyone you take to La Maquette. Not only is this place absolutely gorgeous (all the ivy & overhanging trees manage to drop the temperature on the patio at least 10 degrees – which is a huge deal when the city is continuously issuing Heat Alerts) but they’ve managed to situate everyone such that you don’t feel like your conversation is being overheard by your neighbours at the next table.
Oh, and did I mention the classical guitarist? No streaming iTunes for this joint – no sir! And the food? Magnifique!
After dinner, I decided I had a hankering for a cognac so we decided – rather than spend $55 for two shots at the restaurant (totally guessing at their prices here, incidentally; but I suspect I’m not too far off the mark) – we’d walk around the corner and grab a bottle for the same price and take it home to enjoy on our personal rooftop oasis.
And, as if all of this weren’t enough, I was treated to even more delights the following day. I did haul my arse out of bed early enough to pound out a run, however. So it wasn’t a complete weekend of sloth.
I enjoyed a delightful brunch with LX’s family, followed by an afternoon of movie watching and then a Girls Night with my BFFs (one of whom toughed out a particularly wretched stomach bug in order to keep the festivities going!)
And, since I did waddle through the aforementioned 5-mile run (turns out it was closer to 5.5, but who’s counting? Oh right – that’d be me), I didn’t feel one iota of guilt when the waitress at our Milestones brunch brought out a complimentary birthday dessert & extra spoons!