I'm sure I've talked about it enough over the years and I'll admit I do have a love/hate relationship with it.
When I'm in the zone it's all I want to do. My body craves it.
Then I take breaks (often well needed as I have a tendency to push myself too hard sometimes) and can't understand why I ever wanted to get off of the couch.
But that runner's high is exillerating when you feel it.
I've gotten goosebumps just feeling the air and taking in my surroundings on some runs.
I started really running the summer I graduated from high school. I had run some gentle cross country in middle school for track days but I was more interested in the soccer team, the volleyball team, and believe it or not the basketball team. Yeah, all 5-foot-3 of me made the basketball team.
The summer after I finished high school I worked with a girl who was big into fitness.
So I decided that I would start exercising too. My dad was a runner so it seemed natural that that's what I would do.
I started going for runs around the neighbourhood, slowly building up to longer and longer distances.
Last Sunday I ran my 3rd half marathon.
It started up by Mel Lastman square and ended right by Lake Ontario at Ontario Place.
What a beautiful run it was too. The weather was incredible - sunny and warm with enough shade every now and then to keep from completely overheating - and the course took us down Yonge Street then through a more secluded and tree-lined area that I had never been through before.
Once we ventured back into downtown Toronto we were 17 km into the run and the finish line was starting to feel more real.
So I ran.
I even managed to sprint the last few hundred metres to the finish.
My goal was to beat the 2 hour mark and as I rounded the 16 km marker at just under 90 minutes I had a good feeling I was going to do it.
Once I spotted the finish line and saw the clock I ran with everything I had left and finished in just under 1 hour and 55 minutes.
And now I've added this big beautiful medal to my small but growing collection.
Warrior dash in 2011, my first half marathon in 2010, and my second half marathon in 2011.
Tomorrow morning I'll be running the Sporting Life 10k for the 5th year in a row.
I'm excited because it's a great course to run, because I expect to see a lot of people I know at the finish line, and because for the first time ever John is running it!
I'm so proud of him - I'm torn between wanting to run beside him the whole way and wanting to sprint ahead so I can try to capture the moment he crosses the finish line.
And because I want to be a little bit of a braggart (if you've participated in any runs check out this website to see your times!) I'm posting the record of my runs and gun and chip times.
My half marathon times have improved vastly - from 2:11 to 2:06 to 1:55!
Last year's SL10K isn't on there, I think because the organizer changed.
And I've obviously signed myself up for a bigger challenge:
Sometimes I make great choices. Case in point: the new bedroom set I purchased recently.
Sometimes I make poor choices. Case in point: not sleeping at all on Wednesday until the bedroom furniture was set up.
My dad made the mistake of phoning me on Tuesday and got suckered into coming to Ikea with me to help me carry a bed frame and 2 side tables.
Tuesday night I started to piece together the first of the tables but then I had to go to work so I didn't get too far.
I came home on Wednesday morning and decided that I would set up the bed frame then go to sleep.
Taking off the mattress, wheeling out the old frame, sweeping the floor and clearing out enough space for the new frame took about half an hour.
Then I built.
It took unil about 1 pm before I had this:
I was exhausted but it was so worth the effort. It looks so nice and the bed is so high, it's almost like sleeping in my sister's bed (ed note: she has the most insanely comfortable bed I've ever slept in).
Now I need to get the matching dresser, a new tv, and to put up some photos on the wall above the bed.
I tried out a new recipe the other night using the food de jour: quinoa.
When I was living with my parents - once we'd moved into our house and I had my own room - I used to redecorate and move furniture around at least once every 18 months or so.
I think it's healthy to change things around, clean out the clutter that's accumulated and start anew.
I've been living in my apartment now for 4 1/2 years and not once has anything really changed. Sure we got a new shelf here and there, we did buy a wardrobe because the closet became too small (I selfishly took it over) some new pictures to hang up, we cleaned out our closets and shelves a few times, but apart from that everything has been more or less untouched for almost 5 years.
I've been itching to change things around for a long long time. I've wanted to paint the place since we moved in but we've never gotten around to it.
I know John isn't such a huge fan of change (as indicated by the desire to not paint or really switch up furniture, also he said as much yesterday) but I figured it was time to stop talking about it and hoping he'd get on board and just go for it.
I moved a bookshelf out of our bedroom and into the living area where it actually works quite nicely.
That gave us some extra space in our oh-so-cluttered bedroom. I uncramped a corner and pulled the bed out into the centre of the room so that John has room on his side of the bed to open his wardrobe, walk, etc.
Then I went to ikea.
I'd been eyeing a few items for awhile and I finally put my mastercard to work.
Here's what I bought:
A Hemnes bedframe in black-brown.
2 new matching Hemnes sidetables, also in black-brown.
Next on the list is the 8 drawer Hemnes chest, seen below.
Also a flat screen TV for the bedroom so we can get rid of the state of the art TV with built in VCR that currently occupies space on our dressers.
I started to assemble the side tables as soon as I got home so tomorrow will be spent finishing them and starting on the bedframe!
Having gotten back into the kitchen and making more dinners and also starting to bake again, I couldn't help but try something new with banana bread. It's a staple recipe - when you have bananas that start to get a little too brown my fail safe is a loaf (or two) of banana bread. I've tried different variations to keep it fresh. I made one with an oreo cookie crumb bottom, with sliced bananas layered inside the bread, with eggies, with caramel chocolate chips, etc.
This time, having had some success with my red velvet cake pops, I decided I would turn my banana bread into cake balls!
Preheat oven to 350 degress.
Beat 1/4 cup butter with 3/4 cup sugar. Add in 1 egg and mix until combined.
Mix in 2 medium bananas, 1 tbsp vanilla, 1/4 cup milk, and mix until smooth.
Add in 1 1/4 cup flour, 1 tsp baking soda, and 1 tsp salt and mix until combined.
Bake for about 45 mins to 1 hour or until a tester inserted into the cake comes out clean. For cake balls/pops I find it's better to use a cake that is still a bit soft so err on the side of 45 mins rather than an hour.
Let the banana bread cool completely then crumble into peices. If your bread is crustier (like mine was) pop it into a blender and pulvarize it down into breadcrumbs.
Mix with 1/2 cup Philadelphia chocolate spread. Form into balls and put in the fridge for at least 30 mins.
Melt 1 bag of chocolate melts then dip each ball into the chocolate, letting the excess drip off. Allow the chocolate shell to harden
I decorated mine with banana candies as well as with dried banana chips.