9 Weeks until BMO Marathon…let’s go!

I’m back from vacation (I was just in Japan and Vietnam for the last 3 weeks) and it’s time to get serious about training for the BMO Vancouver Marathon. It’s 9 weeks until race day, which I know is a short period of time, but I knew when I signed up that my vacation was going to fall smack dab in the middle of training. It was a risk I decided to take given that I have a strong base and I knew I was going to do some running while I was away (which I did). I didn’t follow a specific training plan, but I stuck pretty close to my 2 run-cation goals which were:
1. Aim to maintain a minimum of 40km/25mi per week (I ran 40k the first week, and 37k during the second and third)
2. Maintain speed by throwing in some speedy tempo miles 1-2x per week (I followed this the first 2 weeks in Japan, but it was too hot in Vietnam to push the pace!)

Now to the plan….

When I made this plan a month ago and saw the first week I can promise you that some words I care not to repeat {but totally appropriate} left my mouth🙊 Seeing 26-32k in the first few weeks are definitely intimidating, and given that the first weeks mileage is around 70km/42mi; it made me even more motivated/scared to make sure I kept my base up while I was away! I normally don’t like to increase my weekly mileage by more than 20% because of the risk of injury, but like I said I think my base is strong enough to stay healthy #knockonwood …even with the big jump into week 1 (I’d been running 45-65km per week for the last…I can’t even tell you how long prior to my trip).img_5842

Now let’s talk marathon goals!

My plan for this race is to set 3 goals on race day, an A , B and C goal. I’ve never done this before, I’ve only ever just had one, but looking back I really think I should have. I think it makes sense in order to keep my head in the game and to ensure I don’t get discouraged out there on the course…but trust me all my training is going for that “A” goal👊🏼

A= 3:15
B= sub 3:20
C= PB (which would be a sub 3:31)

Some people may think my goal of a 16 minute PB is ambitious, but I know that where I’m at now is definitely 16 minutes stronger mentally and physically than where I was 2 and a half years ago when I set it!!

Dream big, run hard, that’s my plan and I’m all in!!! Training officially starts tomorrow…wish me luck!!!

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Let’s Catch Up! January’s run-down

I feel like I say this at the end of every month, but seriously how is it *February (*insert month here) already?! Regardless of my shock at how quickly time flies, the first month of 2017 is officially over and that means it’s that time again, so…LET’S CATCH UP!!!

Currently Eating: If you remember my last “let’s catch up post” then you’ll remember that I was doing the 21 day sugar detox for the month of January…and guys guess what, I MADE IT, whoop whoop!!!  It’s definitely the longest I’ve ever gone without a baked good or pizza and I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t miss it; but I’m hoping some of these habits I picked up in the last month will stick! For example, I’ve learnt that not every Friday and Saturday night is cause to celebrate by eating ALL THE THINGS! And I plan on being a little more picky with my “treat yourself” occasions. Below are 2 of my favourite things I ate this month…

Favourite Adventure(s): Once again I couldn’t choose so here are my top 2:

  1. The Squamish Chief first peak with @thehilaryann because I’d never been there in the winter and it was SO FREAKING PRETTY!

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    photo by Hilary Ann
  2. Taking my sister up to Dog Mountain on Seymour because, even though I’ve been up there a lot this year, she had never been EVER! And watching her take it in for the first time always gives me a new appreciation of the view!

Currently Obsessed With: Selling my clothes on the Lululemon swap and shop Facebook group! It’s a local group where you can buy and sell your new and used Lululemon, and since finding it just over a week ago, I’m already obsessed! My goal for the year has been to limit my shopping to only the things I NEED and since lately I’ve been selling clothes instead of buying them I keep telling my husband that I’m “reverse shopping” Lol! Needless to say he’s pretty happy about it:) (I think they have them in other cities too, so check it out if you haven’t already!)img_0067

Finish Lines Crossed: There was only one, and you already know about it, but it felt so nice I’m going to tell you twice…The Chilly Chase 15km aka my confidence builder!

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Currently Watching (instead of reading): I normally read before bed but my battery died in my reading light (yes this is a lame excuse and yes I’m a dork with a reading light), so I haven’t picked up a new read yet. So since I’m not reading, I’ll tell you my favourite things I’ve watched this month, which have both been inspirational movies about running…I know shocking right?! The Steve Prefontaine Movie, “Without limits”, which I watched the night before my 15k race…totally inspiring! And “Finding Traction” on Netflix which is a documentary about the amazing ultra-runner Nikki Kimball as she runs the 273mi Long Trail in Vermont…again super inspiring!!!

Monthly Mileage: 249.3km/154.6 miles

Hope you had a great start to the year and a great month! Huge thanks to The Athletarian for inspiring these monthly catch ups:)

See ya later self doubt✌🏼

Yesterday I ran the 15km Chilly Chase in Vancouver, and while I could write you a race recap of how I ran an out and back loop around the seawall, that’s boring and to me it wasn’t about that! Yesterday was the run I needed to prove to myself YES I CAN!
✔️Yes I can run at that hard, fast 4:13km/6:47mi pace that I’ve struggled with for the last few weeks and feel strong while doing it!
✔️Yes I can keep my head in the game and not loose focus or struggle with self-doubt.
✔️And YES I CAN cross a finish line at a hard effort and not loose my cookies🙊 lol!

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Note to self: open your eyes 👀 But at least I’m smiling!

I don’t know at what point in time I lost my confidence with running fast, but I can definitely say that I haven’t felt as self-assured as I did waking up this morning since I ran CIM and qualified for Boston in 2014! A confidence from knowing that I’d done everything I could to achieve my goal.IMG_0004Going into this half-marathon training, I kept saying that I wanted to get a sub 1:35, but what I only said out loud to a few people was that I actually wanted to get a sub 1:32…my qualifying time for the NYC Marathon. And what I really, REALLY wanted to do was run a 4:15km/6:50mi pace, which if I ran the perfect race (i.e. ran the course perfectly and didn’t go over in mileage), would get me a 1:29:32…that elusive sub 1:30!

Over the last few weeks, between having to do tempo runs on the treadmill because of ice and struggling to hit the pace on the road, I was thinking that my race plan would be to go out at a 4:20km/7:00mi and hope to hold on…but as one of my clients said to me the other day, HOPE IS NOT A STRATEGY!! So my new plan is to go back to the old plan👇🏼

Go out at a 4:15km/6:50mi, hold on and GIVE THE COURSE HELL! I feel confident enough now to know I’ve done the work and if I don’t try I’ll regret the waisted opportunity! So here goes nothing…2 weeks until race day, LET’S DO THIS!img_4943

 

5 Things I think I would have DIED without this winter!

For us wimpy west-coasters, this winter has been epically cold, snowy and overall ROUGH on our poorly acclimated bodies. Don’t get me wrong I love running in the snow, but I’m used to driving to run in it at the local mountains, not stepping into it off my front door step! With that being said, I feel like I’ve had a crash course in “what’s the best gear to run in” with all the negative temps we’ve had; and I’ve quickly acquired {to my husbands disapproval}, a pretty good stash of it!

So since I’ve received quite a few messages about what I run in and the gear that I like to use in the winter on the road and on the trails, I thought a top 5 list was in order….drumroll please!!!

  1. Merino Wool base layers: I wish I could say merino wool EVERYTHING, but I haven’t quite built my stock up to that level yet. So my base layers include socks, tights, long sleeves, gloves and a neck warmer…and in the mountains I wear it all! So far I can’t find anything that quite compares to the way it insulates you when it’s cold and wicks away moisture when you start to sweat. I’ve been playing around with brands, and the material tends to be the same across them all, it mainly comes down to fit. For me icebreaker and Lululemon seem to stay up and fit the best.
  2. My Yak-Trax: Best $35 I’ve spent on winter running gear hands down! While I haven’t needed them running in the city (I’ve only needed trail shoes), I’ve worn them a tonne in the mountains. A lot of people ask me if I use snow shoes, but I’ve found as long as the snow is well packed, not too soft, and not too icey I haven’t needed them. I just slip them over my shoes and I’m good to go!

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    I bought mine at MEC
  3. 1,000,000 Down Jackets: While a million may be overdoing it if you’re running on the seawall, down has been my favourite form of outerwear this winter in the city and on the trail. It’s the perfect extra layer if you’re heading to a viewpoint or to watch the sunrise since it’s light, packable and super warm in the cold. I learnt this trick from my friend Hilary, whose pack is like a magicians scarf of never-ending down jackets! I usually wear a light Northface one on the way up and have an extra thick Joefresh one in my pack for the top, a vest for a back-up-just-in-case emergency, and my Lululemon run for the cold pullover in the city.
  4. Light-weight backpack: This goes with number 3 if you’re in the mountains…you need somewhere to put those down jackets…and snacks, water, camera, hand warmers, etc. And since winter stuff is heavier (except the down), I recommend the lighter the better! I have a Marmot one from Atmosphere that I love.
  5. Really good cold-when-they’re-wet socks: This is important in the city if the snow is wet and on the mountain always since you’re bound to fall knee-deep into it! I usually wear my Pro-compression (PC) sleeves under my tights for comfort and then I’ll opt for a wool sock on my feet. In the city I like the icebreaker ankle socks, but in the mountains I usually wear higher no-name-not-so-cute Costco ones rated for -40…I can’t remember the brand😬 They not be the most fashionable, but they keep my toes warm even when they’re wet so they’re a must when it’s any number below freezing!img_0026

What’s your favourite gear in the winter months?

Goals for 2017!

I’m a huge goal person and a true believer in writing them down. Last year was a big year for me, and I felt like I tackled a HUGE amount of personal run-goals. With that being said, by the end of the year I was ready to be goal-less for the remaining few months. This really made me realize that, while 2016 was big for me, I was constantly looking ahead and saying “what’s next?” instead of taking it one race at a time. So as you can guess, I know I want to focus on one step at a time this year, which has left me struggling to figure out with what I really want to ACCOMPLISH on the whole for 2017…

“Goals are what take us forward in life;

they are the oxygen to our dreams.” ~ unknown 

So I took the first step and bought another Believe Training Journal (I used it last year and loved it), and asked myself “WHAT DO YOU WANT RUNNING TO DO FOR YOU THIS YEAR?” And I thought about it for a while, and realized I want it to do the two things it’s always done for me:

  1. Give me strength, self-confidence and self-esteem
  2. Make me happy:)

Then I asked myself “HOW CAN IT DO THOSE THINGS FOR ME THIS YEAR?” And I came to the conclusion that in 2016 I pushed myself FURTHER than I once thought I could; and for #1 to happen in 2017, I needed to push myself FASTER than I once thought I could. Fear of speed, fear of failure and fear of feeling really, really bad has been haunting me for a while now and I think now is the time to conquer it!!!cropped-img_0023.jpg

Then for #2 to happen, 2017 has to be less about GOAL RACES (don’t get me wrong, I still plan on having some) and more about GOAL PLACES. Because my favourite thing about running is the places it takes me to and the opportunity to see and explore new parks, mountains, trails and cities on foot.

So now that you know my thought process, here are my goals:

  • Run a sub 1:30 half-marathon: I think this may take a few races to dwindle the time down from my current 1:35:04 PB, so my plan is to aim in the ballpark of 1:32:xx for my first HM of the year on Feb 5 and go from there.
  • Run a sub 3:20 full-marathon: I’m 99% sure that it will be the BMO Vancouver Marathon on May 7…I just have to click register!
  • Sea wheeze August 12: no time goal here, just FUN!
  • Run the full Howe Sound Crest Trail
  • Run a race or a self navigated route: I’ve been wanting to run in some of the US parks in either Utah or Arizona for SOOOOO long! My list includes (and doesn’t end with): Antelope Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Zion and the Grand Canyon. I’m hoping that a group of us will go down and run the Grand Canyon this year rim-to-rim (50miles)…planning and logistics is just in the works!

I know I still want to add a few trail races into the mix, but the objective stays the same: build confidence and run happy….It’s all about quality over quantity this year!

What are your 2017 goals?

Let’s Catch Up!

Oh hi, remember me?! It’s been a while since my last post as I’ve been MIA for the last few months! I had a major switch up to my work schedule which pretty much turned everything else on it’s head and, as you can see, it’s taken me a while to sort my sh*& out…BUT I’M BACK! And since it’s been so long, I thought the best thing to do would be to take a page from Christina’s (aka the athletarian) book and catch up with a coffee date post. So grab your favourite mug, fill that sucker up and I’ll get you caught up…

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photo by Hilary Ann

Finish Lines Crossed: Since I ran so many back-to-back races from June-Sept, I was desperately in need of a “racing” time out. BUT I did pace 2 races at the end of October for the Rock n’ Roll series in Vancouver; the 10k and the half, which were both no pressure runs and really fun! Other than that the last few months have been all about building my base for my 2017 races and playing in the snow.

Favourite Adventure: I’ve been super lucky as my weird schedule (Weds, Fri, Sun off) matches up perfectly with one of my trail running friends (who also happens to be an amazing photographer), Hilary. So my favourite adventures have been with her in the last few months, and since I can’t pick just one my TWO favourite are:

  1. Elfin Lakes because it was my first snow-run of the year.img_0026
  2. Cypress Mountain because we laughed our butts off and worked our abs more than our legs! img_0038

Currently Eating: Since December was SOOOOO glutinous (I think my cookie count was up to 6 or 7 a day), my husband and I have decided to do the 21 day sugar detox for the month of January. So I’m currently eating all the veggies and all the protein, but dreaming of all the candy and chips (hopefully those cravings stop soon!).21-day-sd

Currently Reading: How Bad Do You Want it? by Matt Fitzgerald. 2016 taught me that my mental game needed some work so this book has been a HUGE help! I’m going to do a review of it in a week or two…I’m on the last chapter!how-bad-do-you-want-it

Currently Obsessed With: Running obvs…but in terms of gear, my favourite item has to be my Lululemon “Run for the Cold” pullover. I’m obsessed and I’ve definitely worn it more than I care to admit in the last 30 days!

Currently Signing Up For: my first race of the year the Vancouver First Half on Feb 5, and other than Seawheeze (which I’m so excited to run for the fourth year), I don’t have anything else on the calendar…YET. Stay tuned for an upcoming post on my 2017 goals!

Okay, I think that’s enough about me for now, what’s new in your world lately?

Finding your Sole-mate!

About a month ago I was asked to contribute to an article on the Running Stats website by sharing my favourite shoes to run in and why. The article compiled the shoe-faves of 20 different super accomplished Insta-runners, whom I was flattered to be amongst, in an attempt to help fellow runners find their sole-mate! I personally wear the Adidas Ultra-boost on the road (and I’m pretty much obsessed) so I shared the features I love about the boost in the article…link below.

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finding your solemate

Of course choosing a shoe is a very personal and important decision and shouldn’t be based  solely (sorry I had to! lol) on what myself, the other grammers in the article or even what your friends wear…BUT it definitely made me think, what if you do decide to take the plunge into a new shoe after reading this? How do you know you need a shoe-change or if your ready? And what’s the best way to make the switch to prevent future injury?

Is it time to make the switch?

We’ve all heard the saying “if it’s not broke don’t fix it” right? Well I would say it only SOMEWHAT applies to running shoes. If you’re happy with your shoes, happy with your performance and don’t have, and haven’t had any foot/achilles/calf injuries then cool your jets and keep rocking your current footwear! However, if you answered NO to any of the following questions then maybe a switch-up could be helpful. Below is a useful tool from a course I took earlier in the year with the running clinic and may be helpful in deciding whether or not a shoe switch is right for you.

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select the shoe for you

Safely making the switch

STOP RIGHT THERE! If you’re like me then as soon as you get something new you want to wear it right away…it’s the best motivation to run right?! Well I’m sorry to be the one to curb your enthusiam, but depending on the shoes your transitioning from and to, making the switch too quickly can lead to injury. This is due to the fact that shoes differ from one to the next in 5 key ways:

  • Weight
  • Stack height= the thickness under your foot
  • Heel-to-toe drop= how much the drop is from the heel to the toe
  • Stability and motion control technologies= such as anti-pronation technology
  • Flexibility= longitudinal and torsional

So when you’re switching from one pair of shoes to another you have to consider the different stress your putting on your body, the different position you’re putting it in and how it’s going to adapt to these changes….this is the key point to take away, ADAPTATION! Our bodies can adapt and change as long as the rate at which we apply that change doesn’t exceed the rate at which our tissues are able to adapt to it…AKA our bodies need time!

So while there are specific formulas to follow if you’re planning on making a bigger jump, the best thing to do is listen to your body… pain means you’re progressing too fast and you need to slow down! I personally like to use the 10% rule with myself and with my clients. This means starting in your new shoes for one of your shorter runs in a week (or looped runs where you can switch them out half-way) and increasing your mileage spent in them by 10% each week. If you have any onset of pain you drop the miles by 5% and continue to progress once the pain has subsided.

Just remember, shoes aren’t magic! They can’t propel us to the top of podiums or correct for training errors; but they are one of the most important pieces of equipment we have as runners and should be chosen wisely. So remember to chose wisely, keep your goals in mind and always, always, always choose function over fashion…but fingers crossed you can satisfy both needs!cinderella-meme

Seawheeze 2016 Race Recap!

And just like that another Seawheeze weekend is done! Is it too early to start the countdown for next year…and the minor panic attack about whether or not I’ll be able to get in😳 If you’ve ever tried to register for Seawheeze then you’ll know that the panic is real as the registration process is more stressful than running the 13.1miles…it’s 11minutes of shear panic!!!! But let’s not think about that right now, let’s focus on how amazing this weekend was. From the people, to the weather, to the concert, I think this Seawheeze was the best yet!!image

PRE-WHEEZE

The Shop

My Seawheeze experience started a little early this year with a super lucky opportunity to shop at the showcase store the night before it opened to the public. Prior to this invite my plan had been to get up at the crack of dawn to stand in line; so when I was invited to the friends and family sale you can bet I jumped at the chance!! It was so nice to shop in peace and not to have to guard my purchases for fear some crazy woman in luon would raid my pile! I loved some of the prints this year and scored some super cute finds…all in all a successful shop👍

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I bought shorts and a top in this print too👌

But when I came out, I was so surprised to see the line up of Lululemon campers already parked outside the convention centre at 7:30pm…the store opened at 7am!!!!! It was crazy! When I walked out they saw my bags and started yelling “SHOW US WHAT YOU BOUGHT!” I felt like I was on an episode of girls gone wild, lol😂 Those were some die hard lulu lovers!

Runners Expo

Every year I do the nooner yoga at Jack Poole plaza, so I kept the tradition alive and headed down to the convention centre to get my down-dog and baby cobra on. imageAfter the yoga I wandered around the expo eating all the free samples from Vega and Kind, visiting the mindfulness dome, having some fun in the photo-booth, and picking up my race pack.

After that I met up with some instagram friends from T.O. and then headed home to get my gear ready for race day.

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SEAWHEEZE…the actual running part!

On Saturday we woke up bright and early to get to the starting line since we knew it would get crazy busy with 10,000+ runners registered! We also wanted to make sure we had plenty of time to get to the front near the 1:40-1:45 pace beavers as we were pretty sure we would fall between the two groups. imageThe plan was for me to “pace” Sean, but since he wasn’t exactly sure what pace he was capable of, we decided to aim for a speed at the start that we knew he could sustain for the full distance and then increase the speed if possible towards the end. But the main goal was to have fun and enjoy it, and that’s exactly what we did!

We took in all the high fives, soaked up the crowds and danced our way through the cheer stations! If you’ve ever ran Seawheeze, than you know they do the cheer stations right🙌 They’re strategically placed at the top of each hill and just random enough to keep you distracted for the few seconds you run past (i.e. mermaids on the rocks, men in suits, party boats and more!).


The miles ticked by pretty quickly, we were keeping a steady pace and I could tell Sean was still feeling pretty good, and at around 9’ish miles we headed onto the seawall to finish off the second half of the race.

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Taken by a friend just after halfway👋

This section is always a tough spot since it gets a little quiet out there and you can’t see what’s around each bend…Saturday was no different. At around 11 miles we rounded the corner into the sun (which was pretty hot) and Sean said to me he was starting to feel faded, so we took our last gel and put our heads down until we hit the shade. After that, I saw his energy start to come back as we cut through Stanley Park and headed to the finish. The last stretch was along the Coal Harbour Seawall, where we pushed it to the finish and crossed the line sided by side (Sean wasn’t into the hand hold finish😜) just behind the 1:40 pacers at a time of 1:41:46…a 6 min PB for Sean🙌 So, so proud of him!!!

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After the race we caught up with friends, ate the runners brunch and drank as many Vega smoothies as we could get out hands on before heading home for some R&R before the Sunset Festival.

Post-wheeze sunset festival

The final part of the weekend was the Sunset Festival in Stanley Park. I headed there with Nat, Sean and a few other friends and we had an absolute blast!! We saw tones of familiar faces, drank the Lululemon “courageous blonde” beer and danced the night away to Chromeo. It was the perfect way to end the weekend and left me already crossing my fingers (and toes)that I make it into Seawheeze 2017🙏 image

The locals guide to Seawheeze Weekend!

It’s almost that time of year again…runners Christmas, the luon parade, the Lululemon fashion show….what ever you want to call it it’s SEAWHEEZE TIME!!!! My all time, hands down FAVOURITE race of the year, can you tell I’m excited?! This will be my 3rd time running the Seawheeze, which I feel so lucky to be doing since it sells out faster than any other race I know! I’m also super pumped because this year I’ll be running the race with my husband, who hasn’t run a half with me in 5 years.

But that’s enough about me, let’s talk about Vancouver! I was born and raised here so I’m kind of biased on how beautiful this city is; but come on…mountains, ocean, skyline views, beaches, the seawall…it’s pretty much like running in a post card! I think that’s one of the things I love most about Seawheeze, it brings so many people from out of town to Vancouver and gives us a chance to show off this beautiful place we get to call home. So whether it’s your first time in Vancity or your 100th, here are a few of my top picks for things to do, eat, shop and of course run!

Pre-Wheeze

Of course there are tonnes of events going on for Seawheeze on the Friday before the race (check out their website for the list of events); but if you get here a little early or you’re done down-dogging by noon, here’s a list of some pre-race activities around the city that won’t ruin your legs:

1. Training Club run at Sport Chek Robson- if you’re here on Wednesday and you want to shake out your travelling legs, come by, say hello and join my run crew at 5:30 at the Robson St. Store.image

2.  Cruise around the Seawall- rent a bike and cruise around the seawall…don’t worry it’s mostly flat and a pretty easy ride if you head around Stanley Park. It’s a great way to see the city and there are lots of great photo-ops along the way!riding-the-seawall-2012-5-960x640

3. Shopping- depending what you’re looking for, there are lots of different neighbourhoods to get your shopping fix in Vancouver:

  • Robson Street and Pacific Centre– this is where you’ll find you’re bigger brand name stores like Zara, JCrew, and Nordstrom as well as some local faves like Aritzia and of course Lululemon (if you didn’t blow the bank at the showcase store).
  • Gastown and Main Street- if you’re looking for more one of a kind items and local designers these are the 2 main areas you’ll find them.
  • West 4th- if you’re looking for a true Vancouver vibe with some local stores, the original Lululemon and some cute coffee shops mixed in West 4th in Kitsilano is the place for you!LULU4

4. Beachesweather permitting, we have lots of really great beaches in Vancouver; Jericho and Spanish Banks (these are my favourites if you have a car), Wreck beach (if you like to strip down it’s a nude beach), Kitsilano, English Bay and Second and Third Beaches around Stanley park.

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Spanish Banks

5. Local Outdoor Pools- if sand in your pants and oceans aren’t really your thing, we also have a couple of local pools for you to chill out by and go for a dip! Second Beach Pool by Stanley Park and Kits pool in Kitsilano (pic below).

Where to eat, drink and be merry…

Because why else do we run that far if not to enjoy all the food and drinks afterwards (and before…come on you’re on vacation!).

Food (the main event)

1. Vegetarian/Vegan- most restaurants offer veggie options, but my favourite’s are definitely over on Main street:

  • Meet on Mainthey have my favourite veggie burgers…so many options and so good!MEET
  • Acorncreative vegetarian food…their weekend brunch is my favourite
  • Nuba– lebanese and not strictly vegetarian, but their veggie dishes are my favourite! If you go, order the veggie platter to share, it’s delicious! They also have multiple locations in kits and gastown.NUBA

2. Sushi- being this lose to the ocean means we have great sushi! You can find a sushi restaurant on almost every corner, and every Vancouverite you ask will have a different favourite local spot…but I promise mine are the best!

  • Minami and Mikuthese 2 are a little more expensive than the average place in Vancouver, but they are hands down the best in the city!

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    the view from Miku
  • Tatsuthis is my favourite local spot on Commercial drive. I’ve probably eaten here over 50 times and never had a bad meal.

3. Italian- if you’re looking for a classic pre-race carb load and pasta is your go to:

  • Italian Kitchenthey have a great happy hour with all your go to classic dishes.
  • Ask for Luigithis place is amazing, but be prepared to wait as it always has a 1-2hr line up!LUIGI
  • Nookcozy Italian food with a couple of locations in Kits and the West End…the rigatoni is my favourite!

4. Just plain good- these are the ones that don’t fit in a specific box, but are definitely worth trying!

  • Chambarthis is one of my favourites…I also got married there so I’m a little biased! It’s one of those places where you read the menu and you’re not sure what it is, but when it comes its amazing! They also have one of the best brunches in the city.
  • Vancouver Urban Winerythis place is not only delicious it’s also in a beautiful space! Their food is best for sharing between a few people and I also really love their brunch.VUW
  • L’Abattoirif you’re looking for a little post-race romance and you want to treat yourself, this place is a great spot to do it! Great local food with a french twist and really tasty cocktails!

Coffee Shops, Bakeries and Breweries

These are a few of my favourite things…I have a soft spot for pastries, coffee and beer!

1. Coffee Shops- if you love your cup of joe and you want to try some local spots, I like:

  • Revolverthis is in Gastown, and they really know their coffee! I usually go for a plane drip here.
  • Matchstick– great coffee and really cute little baked goods and toast. A good place to sit and sip.MATCHSTICK
  • Prado Cafereally good lattes and Kumbucha on tap.

2. Bakeries- I only need to list one place here because it has my heart, Purebread….it is baked goods heaven!!! If you have a sweet tooth like me you will love it here, and seriously EVERYTHING is good!PUREBREAD

3. Breweries- we have tonnes of local micro-breweries in Vancouver and if you love beer I’d definitely recommend doing a little tour. There are quite a few within walking distance of each other which makes it easy to do on foot:

  • 33 Acres
    Brassneck
  • Strange fellows
  • Main Street Brewery….Just to name a few!

    BEER
    beer map

Still not done getting your sweat on…

If you’re still in need of a sweat after your 13.1miles of the Seawheeze, I would hit up some of the local trails for a different take view of the city…of course you knew I would say that! There are lots of great hikes just a short drive from the city offering amazing views (weather permitting) of the gulf islands and howe sound. I like to use the website Vancouver Trails to pick out the best spots, but some of my favourites near by are Eagles Bluff and St. Marks Summit on Cypress (pics below) and Dog Mountain on Seymour.

Hopefully these tips help you get around Vancouver with ease and makes you love my city as much as I do! If you’re from Vancouver, please go ahead and share some of your favourite local spots in the comments below! 

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!!!!!

Weeks 10 & 11 of SOB 50miler Training…and the start of Taper Time!

Weeks 10 and 11…the start of taper time, the taper crazies and the did-I-do-enough’s. Well normally it is, but let’s be honest, tapering for a 50 miler doesn’t really feel like tapering…especially when you still have a 30km and a 26km on the calendar! Normally I start to question all my training and start thinking about the would’ve, could’ve, should’ves; but when you’re mileage is still pretty high there’s not much time to question yourself! I did however still have the feeling that I always have when I taper which is that I wish I lived in a bubble! Everything and everyone makes me soooo nervous…an uneven road, a sick co-worker, you name it I’m a basket of paranoia! I need to wear a sign that says “please keep back 50ft, I’m tapering!” But (knock on wood), so far so good and no freak accidents or illnesses in the last 2 weeks have tampered with my taper🙌

Week 10

I started week 10 feeling sooooo tired! After 10+ hours on the trails on the weekend before, I started Monday feeling like a zombie!

Thankfully I caught up on my zzz’s with the help of a nap (which I NEVER have so I knew I was wiped!) and some late morning sleep ins and started to feel like a normal human being again by around Wednesday!

MONDAY– OFF

TUESDAY– 1 mile and 400m time trial for an upcoming training program with Reebok (details coming soon!), followed by 10.5km easy on the road

WEDNESDAY– 11.5km/7mi Fartlek workout (2mins easy, 2mins tempo, 2mins fast for 4 rounds) with the Sport Chek Training Clubimage

THURSDAY– 17k/10.5mi easy with Nat and 30mins at the gym

FRIDAY– 9k trail run with the Sport Chek training Clubimage

SATURDAY– 30km/18.6mi in the trails with Nat and Michelle

SUNDAY – rest day

TOTAL➡️80km/49.6mi

Week 11

Week 11 started to feel a little more like a taper and the reality of race day finally started to set in…in a good way! I think it also started to feel like a taper because I had more time to socialize (which is always a sign for me that the mileage is dropping) and I finally got to go camping with my husband in Squamish, which was awesome👍 Nat and I also figured out our accommodation this week (I know it’s late, but we were procrastinating about booking) and started to plan our packing lists #itsgettingreal 😳

MONDAY– 11.5k/7mi tempo run with 8k/5mi at HM pace

TUESDAY– HIIT workout taught by Nat, which was so hard I thought I was going to puke!

WEDNESDAY– 10.5k/6mi speed workout with the Robson Street Training Clubimage

THURSDAY– 11.5k/7mi easy with Natimage

FRIDAY – 7.5k/4.62mi easy before leaving for camping

SATURDAY– 2.5 hour hike with my husbandimage

SUNDAY– Off

TOTAL➡️50km/31mi