Friday, 31 May 2013

Running Rockstar - Abby

I regularly scower the internet, read my favourite blogs, Pin quotes and motivating images, read books, articles, and magazines all to keep me focused and inspired. It is hard to wake up early in the AM to squeeze in a workout. And sometimes it feels like there are simply not enough hours in the day to get it all done.

So Friday is a day to celebrate our accomplishments. These are my Running Rockstars. They are from all walks of life and are all at different stages in their running experience. But the one thing that they all have in common is that despite it all they are getting it done! They are Rockin' that Run! And that deserves to be celebrated!

One of the these AMAZING folks will be featured here each week. Answering some of my favourite Run related question.

This week's Rockstar is Abby from http://www.backatsquarezero.com/

1. What is your next race? 
Country Music Full Marathon in Nashville April 27 (I also have a local 10K April 6)

2. Never-forget race moment? 
Crossing the finishing line of my first marathon. 
 
3. Running Must-Have? 

My Mizuno Wave Creations.
 
4. Favourite Pre-Race Fuel? 

Toast or bagel with peanut butter
 
5. Share your running mantra? Or racing ritual?

I am just coming back from a year without racing and with very little running due to injury.  I keep repeating to myself, "Why just comeback?  COMEBETTER!"

Way to Rock it Abby!
Love your Favourite Darwinian Fail,
Krysten  

Thursday, 30 May 2013

My Halifax Family Adventure

It has been a whirlwind couple of days. Me and the whole family spent the last few days in Halifax visiting my sister and celebrating her graduation. So PROUD of this girl!
I have hinted over the past few weeks that things have been going a mile-a-minute over in my small corner of the world. So this weekend ended up coming at the perfect time. I was feeling a bit worn down. I needed some quality time with the family. And I was in dire need of some rest. After a few days of tummy troubles I opted to skip some of my planned training runs and just focus on being present. 

This is not something that comes naturally to me. I feel like I should spend everyday doing it all and loving it. So I usually spend hours feeling guilty. Berating myself for being weak. Regretting needing a break. Cursing my body for not be stronger. And condemning myself for not being farther along in the process. All of these things happened, but I still opted to listen to my body and take a break.



Some time off definitely help give me some perspective. I have been pushing really hard lately. But have not been a doing a very good job of taking care of myself. Lots of little things have been slipping. And I have been struggling to keep my head above water.
Training is never going to click if I don't take care of myself. Runs have been harder than usual. My energy levels have not been there. And those tummy troubles - probably a direct result of stress and less an stellar meal planning.The biggest sacrifices when I get busy are always sleep, proper meals, and downtime with the family. I needed this vacation to refocus and get back to what is important. This adventure is all about Health and Happiness, so sometimes I need to step back and restore the balance.

After 12 straight hours of sleep, a fridge stocked with lots of fresh nutritious meals, and some great quality time with my adorable family - I feel ready to tackle my training with renewed energy.

Love Your Favourite Darwinian Fail,
Krysten

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

#WIAW - Mocha Latte Protein Shake

Wondering where I have been all week?! Well we just flew in from a family vacation in Halifax. I am still playing catch-up. But I do have a fabulous new Protein Shake recipe for you for WIAW. After my early morning workouts I have been combining calories, protein, and my true love COFFEE to make the perfect morning pick-me-up! It was easy to make this in the hotel as well!

This is my Mocha Latte Protein Shake Recipe...


Ingredients:
1 cup of coffee
1/2 cup of almond milk
1/2 banana
1 scoop of chocolate protein powder (I typically use NeoCell Sport or Magnum Quattro)
1/2 cup of ice

Just Blend and Enjoy!
(**please note everything tastes better with silly straws. So it is best enjoyed with one in a festive colour**)

Love Your Favourite Darwinian Fail,
Krysten

Friday, 24 May 2013

Running Rockstar - Laura

I regularly scower the internet, read my favourite blogs, Pin quotes and motivating images, read books, articles, and magazines all to keep me focused and inspired. It is hard to wake up early in the AM to squeeze in a workout. And sometimes it feels like there are simply not enough hours in the day to get it all done.

So Friday is a day to celebrate our accomplishments. These are my Running Rockstars. They are from all walks of life and are all at different stages in their running experience. But the one thing that they all have in common is that despite it all they are getting it done! They are Rockin' that Run! And that deserves to be celebrated!

One of the these AMAZING folks will be featured here each week. Answering some of my favourite Run related question.

This week's Rockstar is Laura from  http://mommyrunfast.com

1. What is your next race?
This spring, I'm running a few 5ks to work on speed.  My next big race will (hopefully) be the Philadelphia marathon in the fall.

2. Never-forget race moment?
Definitely the Houston marathon in January! We stood at the start line in a downpour before taking off in our wet socks and shoes.  Thankfully, the rain stopped and most of the race was comfortable.  I chased my running partner the whole way and got my first BQ!

3. Running Must-Have?
All I really need is my Garmin.  I am a numbers person and love having that feedback, especially on tough training runs! But I'm working on learning my pace by feel so I don't have to rely on it so heavily.

4. Favourite Pre-Race Fuel?
 
I'm a bit scared to change my ways.  Whole wheat toast or bagel, nut butter and banana always works for me, so I'm sticking to that. And lots of water!

5. Share your running mantra? Or racing ritual?
I love so many running mantras.  But in the middle of the race, I find myself saying whatever comes to mind...usually phrases like, "You've got this,"  "Hold the pace," "You're strong" or "Almost there, pick it up!" 

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Triathlon Training and the Pool

Today is my only day off this week. So what do I have planned? A two-a-day to make sure I get my training done. I am starting my morning off with a tempo run and then hitting the pool this evening for 1.5km swim.

Me and the Pool have become Besties. My fingers are prune-y, my hair always smells a little bit like chlorine, and I am training in the water 1-2x a week. And I gotta admit I kind of love it!

Baby Krysten Kicking it at the Beach
I have always been a bit of a water-baby at heart. I grew up on the Lake Erie and spent many summers lost among the waves and I swam competitively throughout high school. So I am no stranger to the water, but it has been a long time since I trained this way. So it has been nice to get back in the pool and I can already feel myself getting stronger.

Swimming is where I feel the strongest. I can push hard, but because of the lack of gravity in the water it is a lot easier on the ticker. I often feel like I could just keep swimming. I feel weightless, free, and healthy. I leave feeling happy...and always hungry!

Some of you have been asking for the specifics of my Pool Training Plan, so here it is...


My Pool Routine:
40 min. Lower Body Lengths 
**I use a flutter board to keep my upper body stationary**
<OR>
1.5km Swim (60 lengths in a 25m pool)

My 40 minutes in the pool is then followed by a targeted Lower Body Strength Training Session.

Lower Body Routine:
**Do circuit 2x - trying to build to 3x**
20 Squats
20 Toppling Tree (10 each side)
20 Single-Leg Squats (10 each side)
20 Walking Lunges

It is a tough workout! Or tough for me anyways! Both the pool and strength training routine focus on improving lower body and core strength - the power source for my runs. Plus the water offers great resistance training. My endurance has improved dramatically in the last few weeks, and I am feeling stronger everyday. We are getting there!

Have your ever used the pool to train? Are you a water lover or hater?

Love Your Favourite Darwinian Fail,
Krysten




Wednesday, 22 May 2013

#WIAW - Fruity Ice Tea Lemonade Popsicles


The weather has been all over the place here in Toronto. Heat. Hail. Rain. Snow. Heat again. BLAH! But I think warmer weather is here to stay now...Or at least I am going to pretend that it is. During the summer months, especially after my training runs, I like to channel my inner 6 year old and snack on Popsicles! So that is today's What I Ate Wednesday Recipe.

Fruity Ice Tea Lemonade Popscilces


Ingredients:
2 bags of fruit flavoured tea (I used raspberry for my latest batch)
Pre-made Lemonade 
Fresh Berries of your choice (I used raspberries and blackberries)

1. Brew a pot of fruit flavoured tea. It is better to give it lots of time to steep. The stronger the better.
2. Filled your Popsicle molds half way with the brewed tea.
3. Put a few berries in each mold
4. Fill the rest of the mold with lemonade.
5. Freeze and Serve


YUMMY and FUN!
Love Your Favourite Darwinian Fail,
Krysten

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Training Tuesday and Long Weekend Catch-Up

It has been a crazy week over here. Last week was filled with my one woman war against the National Post, starting a new semester at school (my final semester - finally!), marathon training, and working at one of my now 3 part-time jobs. I barely had a chance to catch my breath all week. I did get all of my planned training runs in I just a very bad job of instagramming them!

Luckily it was a long weekend here in Canada so I opted to unplug and spend some time with my  favourite people. It was still busy. But it was nice busy. I got caught up on my Marathon Training. Spent lots of time with my hubby and my pup. Saw Family. Spent time with friends. Ate way too much cheese. Squeezed in some reading. Enjoyed the sunshine. And just relaxed a little.


It was just what I needed. And it is a good thing too. Because I have a whole lot more work ahead of me this week too. All before we jet off to Halifax on Saturday for a Family Vaca and to see my little sister graduate.

This week's plan...
Sunday - 15km Long Run with Pick-ups
Monday - 6km Run
Tuesday - Core
Wednesday - 10km Tempo Run
Thursday - 1.5km Swim
Friday - 5km Fartlek Run 
Saturday - Cross Training


I will be packing my trusty running shoes and heart-rate monitor to take my training on the road next week. Running is always my favourite way to explore a new place. And I am definitely looking forward to a change in scenery and some quality family time.

Let's Do This!
Love Your Favourite Darwinian Fail,
Krysten

Friday, 17 May 2013

Running Rockstar - Harold

I regularly scower the internet, read my favourite blogs, Pin quotes and motivating images, read books, articles, and magazines all to keep me focused and inspired. It is hard to wake up early in the AM to squeeze in a workout. And sometimes it feels like there are simply not enough hours in the day to get it all done.

So Friday is a day to celebrate our accomplishments. These are my Running Rockstars. They are from all walks of life and are all at different stages in their running experience. But the one thing that they all have in common is that despite it all they are getting it done! They are Rockin' that Run! And that deserves to be celebrated!

One of the these AMAZING folks will be featured here each week. Answering some of my favourite Run related question.

This week's Rockstar is Harold from  http://www.vetrunnah.com/

1. What is your next race? 
I will be doing several local races, but I have 3 focus races this year:

4/27 - Joseph's 5K
6/23 - Rail Trail Half Marathon
10/27 - Marine Corps Marathon

2. Never-forget race moment? 

Finishing the 1983 Marine Corps Marathon after hurting my knee at mile 20.


3. Running Must-Have? 
Altra Running Shoes

4. Favourite Pre-Race Fuel? 
An oddball one, but one that I find works for me - Yellow Peeps


5. Share your running mantra? Or racing ritual?
Chakka Kor Chakka Kahn - you have to read Dennis McKiernan to understand.


Before races, I prefer to just be left alone and not talk to anyone. I am not real good company before a race - a little bit of a grump. After the race is when I like to socialize and have fun.
Way to Rock it Harold!
Love your Favourite Darwinian Fail,
Krysten 

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Me, Angie, and What It Really Means for BRCA



On Tuesday I got a lot of messages, emails, and questions about this article from Angelina Jolie. I am also BRCA positive and like Jolie chose to undergo a preventative double mastectomy a little over a year ago. I was also interviewed by the National Post, and was deeply disappointed when I read the article I was a part of the following morning.

The article is extremely negative. Suggesting that genetic testing and preventative mastectomies are the options selected only by hysterical women as a result of cancer propaganda and fear mongering. And that Angelina is the queen bee leading women down this risky path. It seems to imply a disaster-like scenario where – in part because of Jolie’s celebrity status - women everywhere will want to cut off their breasts. (You can read the full article here)

I think it is safe to say that I completely disagree, and I am incredibly disappointed that my name is associated with this piece of journalism.

But what has distressed me more than anything else is that these ideas are pervasive enough they are deemed acceptable fodder for a national newspaper. That we women are all just weak, irrational, hand-wringers who are likely to think getting a double mastectomy is the same as copying Jolie's hairstyle. That in a state of complete hysteria we will react in a “counterproductive” way. And as feeble minded women it would be impossible for us to look rationally and objectively at the evidence that is presented to us.

This type of commentary feeds the worst preconceptions about women - and what's worse is that it is being perpetuated by a woman. I think the biggest issue I have with this piece is how disempowering it is. The article mutilates education into fear and a question of health into vanity.  

Fear vs. Education
I applaud Angelina for speaking out about her decision and the process. As a result of Jolie’s celebrity the impact of her story has reached millions of women and started a conversation about breast health. Even without a genetic predisposition to breast cancer women should still understand their options and know their risk. Acting proactively is our best defense against breast cancer at the moment - so whether women look into genetic testing or they just remember to book their yearly mammogram because of this - a conversation has been started.

I am sure Jolie’s revelation will not“spook” women into a hysterical trip to the OR. It is meant to inform women that there are other options. Jolie's article is aptly titled "My Medical Choice" - because that is exactly what this is. Women have a choice to go through genetic screening. A preventative double mastectomy is a choice. Screening is a choice. Knowing your risk at all is a choice. Women have a choice in terms of treatment and what they chose to do with the information once they have it.

My choice is exactly that - Mine. I, unlike the women in my family before me, will never wear the badge of honour as a Breast Cancer Survivor. Because I will never have to survive a diagnosis. I chose to act preventatively. A choice I made for myself and for my family. An empowered choice made rationally and thoughtfully with the guidance of medical professionals, not under duress or on a whim.

At the end of the day this is question of agency and empowerment. Improved screening and genetic testing only gives women more tools with which to battle this horrible disease. Increased awareness, education, and conversation can only be a positive.

Health vs. Image
Regardless of an individual’s course of action, this choice is about health. This is a woman’s body, her right, and her choice alone. The consequences of which each woman will weigh with all of strength, courage, and grace she possesses. To suggest that a woman would make a frenzied decision about something like this is insulting.

There is no doubt that choosing to have a preventative double mastectomy has an effect on your body. I have written at length about my own journey to accept the physical changes I willingly made. It was long. It was hard. Tears were shed. An internal struggle raged. But when I woke up and I looked at my body in the mirror I loved what I saw. Like Jolie, I choose health and a long happy life, and I have never once second guessed my decision to put my life first.

I wear these scars and silicone breasts with pride, and I am no less a woman because of it. My body is beautiful because it is strong and above all because it is healthy. Having a woman like Angelina Jolie stand up and say that “health really does trump beauty” sends a very powerful message.

Perhaps it is possible for a woman to offer the world intellect, strength, kindness, and character rather than merely breasts, bedroom eyes, and sexuality. And maybe if we lived in a world that actually valued woman rather than one that objectifies them, making these kinds of choices would not be deemed so difficult.

This is a personal choice about health. The politicization of cancer screening, complicated as it is by our social treatment of women’s bodies has no place. I stand together with Angelina Jolie and all women, who choose to take control of their bodies and their health.

Love Your Favourite Darwinian Fail,
Krysten

#WIAW - Vegan Waffles

My favourite pre-race/long run fuel these days is Waffles. I have had some trouble digesting diary before my long run, so I have been experimenting with some vegan recipes to create the perfect fuel. I threw together this vegan recipe the other day, and it turned out, so I thought I would share on this week's WIAW.

Vegan Waffles

**Recipe makes 6 Waffles **

Ingredients:
2 cups of Almond Milk
1/2 cup of Rolled Oats
2 cups of Whole Wheat Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Salt
Faux Eggs (2 tbsp flax seeds + 6 tbsp water blended)
1/4 cup Turbinado Sugar
2 tbsp Coconut Oil
1 tsp Vanilla

1. Preheat a waffle iron
2. Blend together flax seed and water to create Faux Eggs
3. Mix all of the ingredients together in one large bowl. The mixture will be lumpy, but that is A-okay.
4. Use a half cup to measure out the batter for each Waffle. Coke for 7-10 minutes. My waffle iron is automatic, so the light lets me know when it is done.
5. I usually top mine with berries and maple syrup

Love Your Favourite Darwinian Fail,
Krysten

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Training Tuesday - Week 4

We are heading into Week 4 of Marathon Training. And now that I have started training with Michelle I am starting to notice a big difference. I am running longer. Feeling stronger. And making progress.

The Plan:
Monday - 5km shakeout Run following my Half Marathon. Jamie and I went out running together. Just a nice slow pace 7:15min/km. And it sounds like the hubby is officially a running covert, and I have a new training buddy!

Tuesday - Yoga Session. I was feeling stiff, especially the hamstrings, so a yoga session was a must.

Wednesday - 12km easy-peasy Run. I set out on a hilly route, but kept my pace slow. I ran 7:15 min/km pace, but I noticed that my average heart rate had come down significantly from 2 weeks ago. I was running at 157 bpm, which is 10 beats lower than my average of 167 bpm at the same pace on a flat route a few weeks ago. The old ticker is getting stronger! YAY!


Thursday - 1.5km Swim. I adore the pool. I love the way I feel when I am in the water - weightless, powerful, and free. I swam 60 lengths for a total of 1500 meters. I didn't time myself though, just because the pool was packed so I got a little bogged down.

Friday - 6:30am Spin/Body Conditioning Class at Spynga INC. I love the unique hybrid classes offered at Spynga. You always get something a little different. Friday's class was 40 min Spin Class with 10 min of upper body weight training and a 10 min cool down. It was the perfect way to start my Friday.

Saturday- REST
All in all all I would say that this was a pretty good week! I got all of my training sessions in, and I am already starting to notice changes in my body. My heart rate being the most significant. I was surprised to see that my body was adapting so quickly, but excited too. I think with a lot of training and hard work over the next 6 months I am going to see what this body can really do. And hopefully that is a sub 4:30 marathon.

Let's Do This! Time for another week of training.
Here's the Plan:
Sunday - 18km long slow run
Monday - Strength Training
Tuesday - 5km Run
Wednesday - 9km Tempo Run 
                   - Baseball
Thursday - Spin Class
Friday - 8km Run
Saturday - 20km Bike Ride

I am ready! BRING IT!
Love Your Favourite  Darwinian Fail,
Krysten

Friday, 10 May 2013

@underarmour What's Beautiful Campaign

I am so excited to announce that I have been asked to join Under Armour What's Beautiful campaign with Fitfluential. It is a competition to redefine the female athlete. And as a girl who has spent the last year finding herself through sport, this campaign could not come at a better time. Running has become an essential part of me. It is where I found self-acceptance, confidence, power, and health. It is where I feel most beautiful.

I will run my heart out - maybe literally.
I will run because I am stronger than my genetics.
I will run because I am stronger than this set of circumstances.
I will run because my spirit is stronger than everything that has happened this past year.
I will run because I am fierce.
I will run to beat heart disease and breast cancer.
I will run to honor my body.
I will run past muscle fatigue.
I will run through mental road blocks.
I  will run hard
I will run fast
I will run strong.
I will run because I can.


This year I will run a sub-4:30 Marathon. 

I think as women we are bombarded with images everyday that tell us that we are only as a good as we look. We are told what is beautiful, what is sexy, and what is ideal. And because of all of this pressure and negative notions, the most confident and amazing women are caused to doubt themselves. Goodness knows I did! There were regular meltdowns. I hated my body for not being what I wanted it to be. For not being taller and thinner. For not being healthy. For not living up to the hype. I saw everything that I wasn't, instead of everything that I was.

But Fitness has taught me that nothing is impossible. That I am capable of more than I ever knew.  And despite my flaws, my scars, and my many medical misadventures - it has taught me how to love my body. Not for how it looks, but for what it can do. For its strength. For its stamina. And for its ability to endure.

That is what Under Armour What's Beautiful campaign is all about. This campaign is about inspiring women and redefining beauty. So come join me! The campaign is simple. Set a Goal. And then show the world what it takes to accomplish it. Create a profile, join a team, and link up with other women. Plus there are some pretty great prizes up for grabs - including a trip to Costa Rica!


On my marathon journey I am teaming up with my Toronto blogging buddies - JessRobyn, and Morgan to train for Warrior Dash. Last year we ran it in 54:59, and this year we are gunning for sub 50 minutes. And you all are welcome to join our team - BEautiful WARRIORS.   We will be there to support one another, train together, and push each other. We will make this happen!



This challenge is about thanking our bodies for its strength, ability, health, and tenacity. For thanking ourselves for making healthy choices for our bodies - even when those choices can be hard. And for remembering what beauty really means. 

Real beauty comes from strength and determination, a joyful heart and grateful spirit. Real beauty really does shine from within. Let's refine What's Beautiful.

Love Your Favourite Darwinian Fail,
Krysten  

Running Rockstar - Baby Jack

Little Blog meet Baby Jack.

Little Jack is my kindred baby spirit. And he belongs to fellow Fitfluential Ambassador Sarah (aka Run Far Girl). And I have been virtually following his medical misadventures for the past few months. (<--- Jack I can totally relate)
 
Jack was born a completely healthy and normal baby in every aspect except for one:  he has a skin abnormality on his back called a giant melanocytic nevus, it sounds scary (and it kind of is) but it is basically a large congenital mole. The condition itself is rare. Though they can be different sizes, a giant one like Jack’s is extremely rare: one in 500,000 births. It happens in the first twelve weeks of pregnancy and is caused by a defect in embryological development. It is not hereditary and there is no known prevention. The major risk factors of a congenital nevus are increased risk of melanoma, a potentially deadly skin cancer. So Baby Jack has had to undergo several surgeries and tissue expansion procedures to remove and heal the affected area.

Baby Jack is a little Champion (like his Momma)! And has been Brave and Amazing throughout! I am happy to report that he has had his second surgery and is doing well.

Sarah an avid runner has decided that she want to give back to the Children's Hospital at Dartmouth, where Jack has been receiving care. So she has planned to run the CHaD Half Marathon in October. She has two goals for this race: to raise $5000 and to place in the top five women. Which means running a time of 1:35 or less. She is running for Baby Jack!

So today I am asking you to visit Sarah and Baby Jack to read how you can help!

Love your Favourite Darwinian Fail,
Krysten

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Full Race Report - Goodlife Half Marathon

Sunday was my return to Distance Running. At 12 weeks post-op and with just 3 weeks of training I threw on my tutu and set out for my first Half Marathon of 2013.


I had no real expectations going into this race, so I slept like a baby the night before. I would be lying if I said I didn't want to run well. Secretly I always want to PR. But I knew that running this race at all was a bit of a long shot. After 2 full months off, I gradually started running again in late March. But my focus had been on rebuilding, and very little distance running had been done. I did manage to get about 3 longs runs in before the race, but nothing longer than 16km. I decided I would just go out and see how I felt. If I felt strong I would push it in the second half. If not, well it just wasn't my day.

I woke up at 6am and fueled up with my favourite long run fuel - Oat Pancakes. I grabbed a water bottle and my favourite CLIF Bar fuel and head out the door I have never been great at fueling on the run, but I was determined to get that part of my race right. I took the CLIF Shot 20 minutes before the start and planned to eat one CLIF Block every 3-4km to keep my blood sugar levels even on the run.

The race kicked of at exactly 8:30 and off we went. There were 2041 runners running the Half Marathon. I saw lots of people I knew from the Running Room during the first half of course. They were out cheering along the course, and several Running Room friends were also running. I had accidently set my Polar to miles so I was slightly confused by my pace for a little while, but eventually settled in to a comfortable rhythm.

My friend Stefano had offered to run the second half of the race with me. So we met up at kilometer 10 and set out together. I was feeling good, but not amazing. The heat was throwing me for a loop, and I was kicking myself for choosing not to run with my Camelbak. The water stations were busier than usual so my water stops definitely slowed me down. I knew a PR was not gonna happen. So we agreed we would just have fun with it.

At 16.5km mark I felt myself fading...this was actually the longest I had run since November. I was starting to feel tired. Stefano kept me upbeat and cheered me on. And we just kept plugging along. I tried not to get frustrated with my slower pace, and just enjoy the run.

We crossed the finish line at 2:19:30. Nothing spectacular, but under the circumstances I am okay with that. I ran an average 6:23 km and I felt good when I finished. I know with hard work and proper training I can reach my goal this year. I will be pushing hard to get my half time down to sub-2 and my full time to 4:30. This is just the beginning!

I stretched. Drank lots of water. And then met up with my family and Fitfluential Buddies. Lots of them were running the 5km. So I spent the rest of the morning cheering and just enjoying being back!

Love Your Favourite Darwinian Fail,
Krysten

PS Congrats to my Hubby on his 5km PR 20:52. I think he officially has the running bug now!

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

#WIAW - An Epic #Fitfluential Carb-o-load

It's WIAW! This has been in the works for so long that I can't even remember how it all started. But sometime last year I started pressuring Pavement Runner to visit his favourite Fitfluential peeps from the North. And we some how decided that running the Toronto Goodlife Marathon was a perfectly reasonable way for him to celebrate completing his 50 miler - perfectly reasonable... I am not sure how I convinced him (I think it was the donuts), but he booked a flight and the plan for an Epic Canadian Toronto Weekend was put into motion!

I picked up Brian and Sherlin (otherwise know as wifey) bright an early Friday morning. I was overmoon excited to meet them and to get this Fitfluential party started. I of course greeted them in true Canadian Fashion - with Timbits and Coffee!

We all decided to try to meetup at the race expo on Saturday to pick up our race kits and then head over the Old Spaghetti Factory for a full on Carb-o-loading session pre-race.
I admittedly was a little nervous. Pavey had flown all this way and I wanted to make sure they had a great time and got the full Canadian experience while he was visiting. I had never tried to coordinate anything like this before, so I was just hoping we had a good turn out and that everyone had fun. The turn out totally exceeded my expectations. There was almost 30 of us in total. Commence Blogger Photo Bomb!






We had people from all walks of the health and wellness community - runners, triathletes, fitness competitors, personal trainers, and just plain fitness enthusiasts. All people I have been chatting with for the past year - many of whom I have not yet had the opportunity to meet "In Real Life". It was great to finally have an excuse to get all of these amazing folks in the same room. Yay New Real Life Friends!

A lot of folks were running the next day. We had people running in the marathon, half marathon, and 5km. We also just had some friends joining us for a good meal and some fun fitness talk. We fueled up on Carbs and I sent everyone home with a Race Day Sparkle Goodie Bag courtesy of my friends at Clif Bar.




 It was an amazing night with amazing friends! And the weekend just kept getting better!

Wanna make some of these friends your friends too?! Check out all of these amazing blogs for fun and fabulous fitness inspiration!
Christina:  The Athletarian
Brian:  Pavement Runner
Danielle: Work it Wear it Eat it
Jess: Truly Jess
Kierston:  Candy Fit
Morgan:  Life After Bagels
Janice:  The Fitness Cheerleader
Lisa:  Tea and Giggles
Robyn:  Robyn Baldwin
Axel:  Iron Rogue
Pheadra: Blisters and Black Toenails
Angela: Eat Spin Run Repeat

Thanks so to everyone who came out!
Love Your Favourite Darwinian Fail,
Krysten