official race photos

thanks to an ever-present race photographer and a small participant field, there are a lot of terrific pics of pretty much everyone from sunday’s MEC race on flickr. [to see all of the event photos, click on that link].

below, i have selected the best of the family to make my own personal collection. i think my favourites are the casual/unposed ones. 🙂 enjoy!

[all photos are credited to official race photographer, bo]

panda + the brother arriving onsite

catching up before the run

me and dad conversing

i appear to be adamant in making a coupla points…

#captionthis I -> me: “and you will attack the hills!” dad: “oh, really now…” 😀

#captionthis II -> me: “and if i see you cutting the course, i will report you immediately!” him: “i guess i see your point…” 😀

the brother – he finished in 7th place OA in the 5k!

so proud of my dad! he ran a smart and controlled race. and look at his stride! how many 76 year olds do you know who can do a 5k trail race?! #awesome!!!

joel, panda, the brother cooling down

this was the last turn coming around to the finish line; MEC had a cheer station set up!

i told you i was surprised to get 2nd place OA female!!

1st place female winner + me [2nd place female] -> i swear i am old enough to be her mother!!!

i asked bo if he could take a photo of the five of us as we had one family member here from korea and one from colorado!

a happy day all around!



race report: MEC kitchener race three 10k

the long story:

last july was the first year that i organized an extended family run while cousin joel was home in canada for his summer break.

file photo: crew + runners before the toronto carnival run, july 22, 2017

our time together was SUCH fun that this year, back about march, i started emailing with joel to figure out when he’d be available this summer so that we could repeat the running + family time.

once i had his dates, i started researching race options and presented them to the family. the consensus was that MEC kitchener race number 3, offering 5 and 10 k distances, would be awesome.

five of us ended up running: cousin joel, dad, the brother, panda and me. i was sure the brother would be in for 10k [when in fact he opted for 5k] so i registered for the longer distance [i really prefer not 5ks!] – and ended up being the only one as the others all ran 5k.

the five of us, pre-races

dad and i left the condos at 7:45 a.m. and arrived onsite at laurel creek at 7:54 a.m. how’s that for “choosing local!” we nabbed a prime parking spot and made our way up the hill to the open grassy area where registration etc was taking place. within minutes, we had our chip devices for our shoes. shortly thereafter, joel, the brother and panda all arrived.

dad + me!

since MEC kitchener is only in the second year of hosting these runs, the field of participants was small and the atmosphere was super laidback. i talked with a few runners i know, the five of us took pics and chatted, and then it was time to get ready for the 10k! [the 10k started at 9 a.m. and the 5k at 9:15 a.m.].

me + the brother -> wearing our *team* jersey that makes us laugh!

panda + me!

the funniest laugh of the day was that cousin joel had not run a step since our family event last july!! luckily, he teaches phys ed and is in good sporty shape; we did all enjoy a good chuckle over his 51 week gap between run outings, though!

me + joel!

at 8:45 a.m., i did a 5 minute warm-up walk then sucked back a GU espresso gel, my tried n true pre-race routine.

looking around at the start line for my 10k, i guesstimated that there were less than 50 runners lining up. [in actuality, there were 52 finishers as noted in the online race results].

i had three goals going into this run: 1) don’t fall 2) keep smiling 3) finish in more than one hour [i wanted to run conservatively to ensure i met goal #1; for the june half ‘thon on the paved path, my 10k split was 61 minutes, so i thought on trail, i’d be even slower]. i ended up meeting two of these goals. 😉

i started well back in the pack. the last time i ran on a trail was about 12 years ago, no joke. i wasn’t too sure what type of terrain to expect as laurel creek could offer up a very mixed bag of footing. happily, the ground was super dry and packed as we haven’t had rain in a couple of weeks. the 5 k loop [that we did twice] ended up being a lovely mix of single track dirt, gravel road/path, grass, and pine needle forest path [any pine needle section was my favourite] with a few up and downhills but nothing too major.

since the starting field was so small, there was no jockeying for position or having to jump over people/endure back ups. i was happy to run quite easily and enjoy the surroundings and watch my step. from about 2-4 k, i passed a few people and stayed just behind a young couple. not knowing how well marked the route would be, i didn’t want to chance running off-course and risk getting lost a DQ [i’m still psychologically scarred and wary from the father’s day 10k DQ, june 2016, a story for another day].

i have neglected to mention the weather! one word -> HOT!!! when i got up at 6 a.m., it was already 19 degrees with a “feels like” 26 C temp. by this hour, after 9 a.m., it was quite toasty! just my kind o’ day!! i love hot weather running and felt confident that i would be able to pick up my pace for loop #2.

with half the race over at the 5k mark, i was really sweaty and also really warmed up. i was still going back and forth with a guy [in long sleeves! seriously!] and i dropped him on an uphill around this time. from this point until the end, i had no one running in front of me within sight at all.

at 7k, i took another gel, again, my usual 10k race strategy. at the water station at 7.5 k, i took a sip and dumped the rest of the cup down my back. that felt awesomely refreshing! at 8k, a very favourite song, “work it,” came up on my ipod shuffle. i know this song is about 5 minutes, so i decided to push a little more just for this song [while still being mindful of my feet and roots, branches, etc].

trail running is so very scenic! i did look around from time to time, and really enjoyed the variety of greenery along the course. thanks to all the trees, i’d say about half the course was well-shaded, too.

9k mark, 1km to go! i was feeling really good! i kept running at a good clip and really enjoyed the footing, twists and turns. coming out of the final turn, i saw the end line in view and ran strong, spying my family just past the finish line.

i glanced down at my watch, and saw it was 9:54 a.m. say what? that’s…way under one hour of running! wow!

i joined up with the family 5k-ers and was super happy to hear that they all had enjoyable and good races, too. we got water, bananas, cookies, skratch electrolyte mix, clif bars, and iced coffee [not for me, the others enjoyed that cold beverage].

they started the 10k awards about 10 a.m., and i literally had my mouth full of banana when i heard my name called as second place female. whaaaat??! haha! i almost choked on that banana! MEC only gives medals for 1st, 2nd, 3rd OA [no AG] so i was super thrilled to come home with a piece of commemorative hardware.

genuinely, i was shocked to see my chiptime finish time as 53:17 and to get 2nd place female – not sure which of those two results surprised me more. my road 10k time has been 51-52-ish minutes over the last while, so 53 was very unexpected. also, i felt good today but not, like, dynamite or like the runs where all the stars are in alignment and you fly effortlessly. true to form, i did feel better and better with each passing km.

the very best result was that i felt 100% in body both while running and afterwards. i am so grateful for any day/race where i can do this sport that gives me so much joy.

it ended up being an auspicious day of running for the whole family! in the 5k, the brother took 1st place in his AG; panda was 2nd place in her AG, joel placed 3rd in his AG, and dad was 1st in his AG. big laugh #2 of the day was that dad’s AG was age 70-99 -> dad will be in the same AG for the next 23 years! 😀

my family is such good sports -> i MADE them take a normal post-races photo…

…and a cheesy one! 😀

i give MEC kitchener race director rob and his team A+ for every aspect of this run. from the pre-race FYI email, to the course marking [no way could you run off course or get lost] to the race photographer who captured a ton of photos, to plentiful post-race refreshments, this race was as well organized as the MEC runs we do in TO. i would highly recommend this race and location to anyone who is interested in beginning trail running. maybe we’ll come back next for the 2019 edition of our family summer running festival!

just the facts:

race: MEC kitchener race #3, 10k

date: sunday, july 15, 2018

bib #: 7398

weather: hot, clear, calm, sunny, no breeze [and no bugs!]

official time: 53:25 gun time, 53:17 chip time

average pace: 5:20/km

overall rank: 19/52 females + males

gender rank: 2/19 females

age group placing: 1/3, 40-49 age group

shoes: nike pegasus 33, pink II [my oldest still-runnable shoes as i was not sure how dirty they would get]

apparel: “runs of anarchy” tech singlet [so that the brother and i could match]; nike jog bra; lululemon fitted short shorts; wigwam socks

i might be interested in getting back into more trail running?? we’ll see. maybe only if it’s hot and sunny and dry. 🙂


week in review: july 9 – july 15

happy sunday afternoon!

here is part two of our four-part “weekly recaps” series.

week one

we had nothing but sunsunsun all week long, and it was amazing. here’s what else happened this week…



~ 9.5 k steady/ez pace @ 6:30 a.m. -> since 2016, whenever it is the 9th of the month [see “life, below”] i do this 9 k route, if fitness permits. this loop gives lots of sunrise views and i go past many green spaces. everything about this run filled me with joy and gratitude and set me up for a terrific day.

being so ironic today, just for fun! 🙂

~ 20 min strength work in the condo gym -> random, circuit-style training with increasingly heavy weights.

~ 60 min moksha yoga class @ 7:30 pm -> this is not a usual or common time of day for me to go to yoga anymore [i used to, a few years ago]. however: 1) my very favourite teacher, beloved david, was leading class, 2) attending would be another six month bday celebration, and 3) it was my moksha yoga class #1100! i loved how i could fete this milestone with such a wonderful intructor.

david is one of the studio co-owners; he is also a bottomless pit of scientific yoga knowledge


~ monday, july 9 = 9th of the month = my bday celebration day! and this is a biggie, six months from my birthday/until my next birthday! i did not drink a coke zero because while running, i hatched a better plan than guzzling pop on my own [see sunday below…]. i enjoyed a lovely day from start to finish.



~ 60 min moksha yoga class @ 6:30 a.m. -> this is another type of yoga challenge that i really enjoy -> an evening class followed by a morning class. this sequence is such an excellent exercise in body observance/being in tune with physical and emotional feelings. our instructor, tim, is another personal favourite for his calming voice and solid timing. my personal focus word was “length” [as in aiming for long muscles].


~ my neighbours, st and rh, were cottaging for the week, so i watered their garden plot for them and collected their mail. the plot is a hopstep away from the yoga studio, so i went over after class.

these plots are in high demand!

st and rh are very generous in sharing their garden produce with me over the summer months, so i am happy to help them out, when requested.

i’ve already decided i want to live in the adjoining seniors’ apt complex when I am 85 -> it’s the most beautiful, peaceful, delightful green zone:

so cute, right? and the location is still just a 5 min walk from uptown

~ i stayed after work at the specialty food store to talk to one of my store owners as – exciting news! – i will be increasing my hours there as of monday, july 30 [and cutting back at the running store/stepping down as assistant manager]. i will get more hours at my favourite customer service position which makes me very happy. i am also happy that they are as happy to have me as i am to be there. with this change, i simplify my schedule and have room to challenge myself and grow professionally, short and long term. i left my meeting feeling very excited about work!



~ 12.3 k run @ 7 a.m. -> i took advantage of having more time + the spectacular weather day [fresh, clear, calm, sunny] to do the same favourite route as last week. i kept the pace ez/steady except for three more effort-filled segments, ~ 5min, 8 min, and 3 min long. i focussed on posture, core and joy. what a blessing to be outside on this day!

~ core work -> i was messaging with my ultra runner friend monica who is in the thick of training for the fat dog 120 mile race in august. monica mentioned she is doing 3 hours of core work in her preparations right now! if monica can devote that time to core, i can do more than my usual 7 minutes. 12 minutes today!!


~ i had a doctor’s appointment this morning -> proactive, nothing urgent, more of a discussion with the doc [so grateful to HAVE a health practitioner with whom i feel comfortable and who listens]. take away message: listen to your body and intuition. i am SO glad i had this appt!! i was on cloud nine the rest of the day!

later, i decided that retail therapy was in order, and took neighbour rh’s car out:

toothpaste! facial cleanser! a cookie!

produce RIGHT from the farm! so fresh! such deals!

my favourite choice for cute, cheap apparel + accessories; sadly, i found nothing!



~ 30 min walk with the parents @ 7:30 a.m. -> the dreaded rebuilding and rejuvenating rest day!


~ i had 17 minutes between the two stores to catch some rays up on the roof + water the herb garden for my neighbour, st! my equivalent of a taking a power nap.

the greens + herbs are thriving! anyone in our building is welcome to help themselves! st is the volunteer gardener!

“my” lounge chair!



~ 13.7 k steady/intuitive paced run @ 6:15 a.m. -> what a perfect day! perfect temp, sunshine, calmness, air quality. i wanted to do 2 x my favourite 5.2 k loop because that is how the course is set up for our run on sunday. i got into the zone easily today, and to celebrate friday the 13th, added on a 3.3 k loop at the end to get 13 k – ha! because sunday’s event is just a matter of survival fun run, i was not concerned about “tapering” or resting my legs.

all black for friday the 13th! except shoes! i cannot *do* black runners -> too psychologically heavy

~ 13 minutes mobility/stability/core work


~ friday the 13th! i got the idea early on in the day to include as many “13” things as i could today -> 13 k run; 13 min mobility + core work; playlist #13 + power music workout volume #13 on my ipod for running; 13 of each vegetable at dinner…

~ at wake-up, i decided to skip 5:30 pm yoga and instead make use of having rh’s car and do something fun with that. after rush hour, i drove down to MEC to get my race kit + dad’s for sunday. with your race bib, you get 10% off the store, so i took my time browsing around the store and came home with two pairs of running shorts:

belated retail therapy!



~ 60 min cardio xtraining in the condo gym @ 6:00 a.m. -> i did two 30 minute sets, the first composed of ladders, the second of pyraminds [referencing the intensities]. again, i switched every minute and the time flew by.


~ i prepped my contributions to tomorrow’s family potluck -> potato chips and a veggie platter:

everything purchased – because “aunti doesn’t cook!”

i also got myself ready for sunday morning’s race [nails, outfit, shoes, ipod, kit bag, etc]:

#flatcath ready to go!



~ MEC kitchener race #3, 10k, at laurel creek conservation area -> zowie! that word just about sums it up!

today’s running family = panda; the brother; cousin joel; dad; me

it was totally “my kind of day” -> running, running with family, running in the heat and sunshine. we had such a good time! i’ll do up a race report for tomorrow; for today, short story is i finished as 2nd female overall (OA) in the 10k, and felt awesome the whole time and surprised myself with a chiptime of 53:17. on trails! when i never run trails! i think my ❤ was just so full of joy for our family run that the happiness spilled right over into my running.

me and my 2nd place medal!

~ tonight is yin yoga @ 6:30 pm.

~ total running mileage this week = 45.5 km [fine!]


~ family potluck and BBQ, post run, at paul and sharon’s! it was so great to be all together and have time to chat, celebrate belated xmas with cousin joel/ahyoung and little jio, belated bdays for mom and uncle, and have hugs with the little ones! the icing on MY cake: a tin of diet dr pepper. 🙂

the brother + panda brought the most fabulous cupcakes from TO for mom + uncle!

with cousin kate + graham’s baby b! (5 months old)

with little j! (22 months old)

selfie perfection with the whole family!


~ the specialty food store was way quiet this week – i think a lot of people were on holidays.

~ my natural inclination is that i want to run five times a week! however, my running friend sara, who is doing the week long ENDURrun in august and then a 100 miler in september, runs four days a week; if it’s good for her, i am willing to try four days for this training cycle [which ends july 29[.

thanks for reading! tomorrow marks the exacty half-way point of july – boy oh boy, time flies!



are you feeling negative cuz it’s monday? let’s add to that air of negativity! 😀

i truly really like mondays! honest!

since friday favourites is now bygones, let’s do the opposite! below, here are five things that have me disappointed…

I – MAC eyeliner:

i feel so hip and kool when i use MAC! i really wanted to love this eyeliner!!!

i treated myself to MAC eyeshadow and eyeliner a little while ago. i love the pink eyeshadow; the eyeliner has been a major letdown. the pencil is way too soft for my liking. i don’t like how it smudges super easy. i’ll use it up because i don’t want to waste the $$ spent on it [not that cheap!] and can’t wait to go back to drug store $1.99-ish eyeliner.

II – the novel “love & happiness” by galt niederhoffer:

borrowed from WPL

right after i finished “the romantics” by this same author [3.5 stars! loved it! already raved about it!] i dove right into “love and happiness.” ugh. with a disjointed storyline and unremarkable and rather unlikeable characters, i was glad this book was more “novella” in length [ie short n sweet]. i should have just quit reading it a few chapters in! it was not worth plugging along to the bitter end. i gave this novel a paltry one star in my reading log.

III – halo top *ice cream:*

now i read that “oatmeal cookie” is the one to try!!

after reading about this apparently yummy iced dessert on a few blogs, i was delighted when i spotted it at my across-the-street valumart. the vast array of flavours in the display case made it hard to choose, but i went home with “birthday cake” and “cookies and cream” at that very first sighting. the first pint, cookies and creams….underwhelmed me completely. flavour, consistency, texture…what a disappointment as elaine benes would say, “fake! fake, fake, fake!” i hoped that “birthday cake” would prove a better choice -> nope. just as bad. halo top tastes cheap and you can tell it’s a lower calorie iced dessert. it tastes worse than cheap ice cream, even.

IV – gary robbins’ injury situation:

gary and wife linda at the finish line of the barkleys, 2017

i had just watched “endless,” a doc on TSN that recounted gary’s three attempts at the barkley marathons [thanks, mom n dad for PVRing and watching with me!] when the very next day, canadian running magazine shared that gary is down and out with a stress reaction [the precursor to a stress fracture] and will be off running for at least a month. the poor guy! i am so disappointed FOR him! for an ultrarunner of his calibre, i am sure he has races and events planned that would have necessitated long training hours over these beautiful summer months. i hope he has a speedy recovery!

V – shorter days:

long summer days = the best!

have you noticed, too? our days are getting shorter! i have not so much noticed the lessening daylight in the evening, but this past week, i became aware that the sun is rising a good 5-10 minutes later in the mornings, now. sure, it’s not a huge amount of time…but you know the direction things are heading!

now -> to end on a positive note, i am loving that my ultimate direction hydration vest is feeling and fitting way better than when i last wore it. i thought i didn’t like it…now i do like it! i rotated the bottles differently in their front pockets on yesterday’s trail walk, and i think that helped!

my vest! designed for long and/or trail runs

share anything you’re digging or dissing in the comments! 🙂

week in review: july 2 – july 8

welcome to a new blog feature!

recapping your week is, yet again, a blogging idea that i am *borrowing* from other blogs. some hosts recap only their running or fitness; i like the variation where “life” is included, also.

starting today with entry number one, i am going to do a four post series of these weekly recaps.

let’s start! here is my week in review, monday to today:



~ 10.5 k run at 7 a.m. -> steady state/ez pace. i took advantage of our canada day holiday to get in a nice 10k with no time constraints. it was hot! definitely the hottest run yet in 2018, and i loved it. i thrive in sunny and warm conditions. i knocked off an item from my summer bucket list by running my second favourite route, the out n back up keat’s way.

~ 60 minute moksha yoga class at 10 a.m. -> i love the yang/yin balance running and yoga bring to life; it’s even better when i can do yoga shortly after a run. our instructor was one of the more “new age-y” ones at the studio, and it was so sweet, she let us each choose a crystal to take home with us. our in-class intention was to choose curiosity over defensiveness or judgement.


~ in the afternoon, sharon and i met up at s’bux for a visit. we aim to get together once a month, and holidays often work well for us. we both like being outside, so we had our beverages at an outdoor table and enjoyed the warm temp, breeze, and great conversation.

selfie, take #2!



~ 60 minute [sighted] moksha yoga class at 6:30 a.m. -> our instructor tara has the most calming and soothing voice, so this was a grounding practice to start a busy day. i love how my body feels so open and loose first thing in the morning; it’s much tighter when i do an afternoon or evening yoga session. tara ended our class by wishing us “safety, happiness, health and freedom” – such a beautiful salutation


~ my running/running store friend rachael and i met up after work/early eve for a visit and david’s tea. it was so fun to enjoy an hour of good conversation with rachael about running, races, goals; we did talk about subjects other than running, too. 🙂

still very warm out at 8pm!



~ 8.6 k steady run @ 7 a.m. -> i revisited my very favourite 8 k route that i have not done in ages [last time, i remember avoiding icy patches]. this loop features a long hill [glasgow] and gorgeous homes. i enjoyed looking at the lush gardens. i felt terrific right from the get-go on this sunny and hot morning.

~ 20 minutes strength training -> my condo gym had been closed the last seven days for painting, so i was able to get back to lifting heavy things. i just do what i can in 20 minutes.


~ i had a consult appointment with my tattoo artist, bryan, regarding my next tattoo.

see the wall behind bryan? it is covered in the stencils of tattoos he has designed/inked – very cool!

i will get the tattoo done on sat sept 8th. bryan tweaked my ideas, and it is going to be awesome!



so sunny! so hot! so peaceful in wat park!

~ 30 minute walk with dad at 7:30 a.m. [usually i walk with my mom on these walk days; today was so hot already in the early morn that mom took a pass, so dad and i went out together] -> for so, so many years, i resisted the idea of rest days. i still don’t like them. at all.

three things have helped me a ton over the last few months in regards to rest days: 1) listening to runners and coaches i respect (ex: ginger runner, david roche, jason koop, amelia boone, etc) talk about the value of rest. a switch has flipped in my brain, and i agree with all the benefits that they mention and encourage. amelia boone discusses her distaste for rest days in more detail on episode #80 of the “ali on the run” podcast, and just hearing how a pro has to talk herself into not going full throttle every day was incredibly helpful. 2) accepting that i would much rather take a rest day than miss weeks of doing what i love due to overtraining and/or injury 3) having the a-ha that a meet-up with a walking buddy is win-win! right now, i have an accountability partner, i get to walk n talk and be outside to enjoy movement and fresh air 4) remembering that when i was injured with my SF, i would have given anything for a pain-free walk.


~ another scorcher of a day! like, fry an egg on the sidewalk hot! i sweat just walking between stores and moving throughout the day!



~ 12.3 k LSD/ez pace run @ 6:15 a.m. -> when things are clicking, this is my “friday favourite” route. i aimed to emphasize a S-L-O-W pace – earlier this week, i listened to a ginger runner live podcast with ryan hall. ryan’s tip was to go slow on the ez days; elite runners will go at 8:30-9 min/mile on their light days! [that means i should be going 15 min miles, i am sure – ha]. i kept my desired pace with the exception of when my jacked-up “eye of the tiger” song came on. the weather completely switched overnight, and there was a cooling breeze, mild temp, and light air.

~ 75 minute [blind] moksha flow class at 5:30 p.m. -> gosh, these classes always challenge me! tbh, flow classes are not my favourite; however, it is good [and feels good] for my brain and body to move in ways that they are not used to. also, instructor jen is moving to toronto in the near future and i wanted to take a class with her before she leaves waterloo.


~ as our unofficial family social [running] director, i sent out our family running newsletter with all the details for our event next week sunday. we’re running the MEC kitchener race #3 then potlucking together!



~ 60 min cardio xtraining in the gym, interval based [hard/ez] @ 6 a.m. -> this is my favourite format for xtraining – i switch intensities every minute, so the time flies, and i do a type of workout that i don’t do when running. i used the elliptical and the recumbent bike.


~ movie outing with mom in the eve to see the mr rogers movie, “won’t you be my neighbor?” at the princess.

once again, the lighting was a challenge to getting a clear movie poster photo!

this doc was sweet, poignant and insightful. i agree with the customer who told me it should be required viewing for human beings -> mr rogers’ simple messages hold true today. and bring kleenex – who can hear mr rogers’ sincere “i love you just the way you are” without getting teary?



~ 7.2 km run [5.2 + 2.0 loops] strong, intuitive @ 6 a.m. -> ah! the most amazing of mornings! it was sunny, clear, calm and cool at this hour. notables: running into the sunrise up university ave ❤ ; i saw a fox by u of w!

i’m really happy with this week’s running and mileage [38.6 km] and how i feel.

~ hike with dad at bechtel park @ 1:45 p.m. -> in anticipation of the family MEC run at laurel creek, i thought it would be a good idea for dad and me to do some prep work on a trail. we walked about 35 minutes, and it was delightful. we both want to come back and run some time!

such a sunny sunday!

~ yin yoga class this eve -> a highlight of my week, and the perfect way to end the day and get ready for a new set of seven days.


~ i cooked quinoa! #foodprep


~ i passed over drinking coke zero for the canada day holiday on monday by going to yoga instead.

~ i can tell already that in utilizing this blogging format, you need to be cognizant of just blogging life, and not living life so that you have something to blog.

~ this was was a really lovely week with a mix of work/social time/workouts/sunshine.

5-4-3-2-1 quick pix

…and just like that, our canada day holiday weekend is bygones.

it was HOT here over the last three days! i loved it, and spent a lot of time outside. up on the rooftop, it was brightly sunny, and there was always a lovely breeze…i made good use of that outdoor oasis this weekend for some reading time; in fact, i covered over 100 pages in my current novel! [see below].

once again, i am borrowing a fun theme from another blog, this time back at “bookishly boisterous.” i am going to adapt idea her of 5-4-3-2-1 book titles, and share my own picks. read on!

5…”easy” books in paperback and perfect for the airport/pool/lunch breaks:

5. “eligible” – curtis sittenfeld

4. “lipstick jungle” – candace bushnell

3. “the hopefuls” = jennifer close

2. “something borrowed” – emily giffin

1. “see jane run” – joy fielding

4…books to make you laugh:

4. “me talk pretty one day” – david sedaris

3. “is everyone hanging out without me?” – mindy kaling

2. “wiped” – rebecca eckler

1. “one for the money” – janet evanovich [then continue on with the series!]

3…books that you should own if you want to train for an ultra [this is my adaptation, ha]:

3. “relentless forward progress” – bryon powell

2. “training essentials for ultrarunning” – jason koop

1. ” running your first ultra” – krissy moehl

2…books that you should avoid at all costs [my idea, again, haha]:

2. “in one person” – john irving [i have a love-hate relationship with ji]

1. “who do you love” – jennifer weiner [usually i really like jw books]

1…book that i am currently reading + enjoying:

1. “the royal we” – heather cocks + jessica morgan

obv based on real-life members of the royal family!

hope YOU got in some relaxing reading time this weekend!

[if you recall, one of my bucket list items for summer 2018 is to read 1000 pages; i am making good progress!].

2018 resolutions: end of june check-in + one july goal

are you a “glass half full” or “glass half empty” type of person? because that same outlook can apply to where we are in the year of 2018!

our year-in-visual-representation for today!

i usually have a positive point-of-view, but my first thought, personally, is that the year is half gone [as opposed to “we still have half a year to go!”].

so! let’s get cracking on this sixth resolution recap of the year!

i made five resolutions for 2018:

I – refrain from talking about my running and upcoming races: hahahaha!! can I fail at failing? double fail? i wrote about running on the blog, talked running non-stop on the girls’ weekend, put up running pics on facebook…basically running was a major theme of the month. and i loved every minute of it! maybe i can rein myself in a bit going forward.

II – work on my posture: two thoughts here: 1) i did my at-home stretching/lengthening routine every night [or went to yoga] except the friday night i was in niagara. i now really look forward to this 5-45 minute relaxation time at the end of my day. 2) looking at mid-race photos from the half, i would like to work on running posture, too. take a look:

exhibit A

if i was going to offer a constructive critique, i would like to lift my upper body, straighten up through the hip flexor region and draw my shoulders back. i’ll keep stretching and strength training! when standing still, i will think about pointing my tailbone down and keeping a straight spine.

III – no gum, no pop: hahahaha, part II! this is the most fun resolution to recap this month! first, i had the most fascinating conversation with mom and dad over afternoon coffee one day. we got to talking about pop and my reasons for not drinking it. when i confessed that i honestly believed that if i stopped drinking pop [and chewing gum -> aspartame], i would not get injured [hasn’t happened] they TOLD ME to DRINK POP! i fell over laughing! whose parents TELL them to ingest the sugary goodness that is coke zero? both of them suggested that this is really a NBD thing, and the occasional drink [say on the ninth of the month and holidays which is what i used to do] is an example of moderation and enjoying life. i can agree with this thinking! so, now it comes down to this: do i drink a pop tomorrow [canada day! holiday!] and/or on july ninth or do i stay stubborn just because i said/vowed that this is what i was going to abstain from in 2018? i have not totally made up my mind…

second, i technically already have failed because this happened after my june 16 race:

the best tasting drink i have consumed in all of 2018, no joke 🙂

oh yea, baby. enjoying a pop was a day-before-the-race idea. i thought that if they had free pop after the run, that would be an awesome treat and reward for this day. in my head, i thought that i had resolved to not drink COKE ZERO this year [when i actually i did state POP, as you see above]. and i tell you, i have no regrets. that was one delicious beverage. i don’t think I’ve had a real, live coke in about 30 years [diet has always been my choice]. so, in conclusion, stay tuned!…

re: gum -> interestingly, all desire and cravings completely disappeared this month. i am grateful! for this goal, i am steadfast in not chewing any gum in 2018 and can see through the rest of this year with vigour.

IV – tally my grocery spending and running mileage on december 31, 2018: i am very certain that my june grocery bill is going to prove to be the lowest yet this year. i have been buying groceries at the specialty food store, and i get a [generous] staff discount which is adding up nicely. i have been stealing cereal from my dad to enjoy a bowl before bed. my parents have been very generous in getting me treats at herrle’s [fresh produce market] and CE bakery [my new favourite place]. and i have eaten out several times in june and only picked up my own tab once [i have very generous parents!]. it also worked out to be a light month for vitamin purchases. for all of these reasons, june left me with a lot of $ in my wallet and in my grocery budget.

i did not add up my running mileage this month, and am happy to see more running entries on my training calendar!

V – keep my words of the year (EQUANIMITY and INTEGRITY) front and centre of mind: to be honest, of my five resolutions, this one was on my mind the least this month. i felt calmer about life in general [job sorted out], got back to yoga, and enjoyed many positive social interactions, all which help me to feel centred about life, in general. for integrity, i try to just be a good and nice person.

review of june goal (ask every customer at the running store if they would like their sales receipt emailed to them or a paper copy): 100% success! yea! this was fun! i never forgot to ask this question, only bypassing people from out of the country or who did not wish to use their phone number [in which case i auto gave them a paper receipt]. interestingly, i’d say it worked out to be about 50-50 in terms of people requesting email or paper. this was an easy and fun experiment and i am going to aim to keep on asking customers for their preference.

july goal: i am usually a neat person…except my wardrobe is a bit of a mishmash right now. i tend to fold clothes messily or not fold them at all [true confession]. so, i am going to fold my laundry, fold my apparel, and keep my closet very orderly and organized. neatness is very pleasing to my eye and to my mind.

to conclude this six month report, a big a-ha at this time is that year long resolutions are too long. i love one month challenges. a lot can happen in one year in terms of personal growth and priorities. so, at this point, i would say that for the future, i will state and set shorter term goals rather than 365 day ones.

wishing you a joyful and prosperous second half of 2018!