Sunday, 30 June 2013

July #BodyLOVE Summer Challenge

Okay friends, so over the past few months I have started getting a lot of emails, messages on social media, comments, and questions. People wanting to know what I eat? How many calories I burn and consume? How many miles I run? Even what I weigh?

All of this talk hurts my heart. I have been there. I get it. But it doesn't have to be that way.

I have spent more time than I care to admit counting calories, berating myself in front of the mirror, having meltdowns about the size of my thighs, and cursing my inability to stick to my restrictive diets and insane fitness objectives. I have spent too many mornings stressing about the number on the scale or the size of my jeans. I let those numbers rule my life for so long. So much energy was stolen from my life with this type of negativity.

But that is how we are taught to think about health - diets, denial, restrictions...More often than not unhealthy attitudes hide behind a "healthy" title. And these ideas of deprivation and restraint can negatively affected both your health and your body. And this type of guilt-driven behaviour has a real negative impact on our self-esteem.

So what if this Summer I challenged you to change all of that? What if we got rid of the scale? What if we decided to silence that inner critic? And what if we started measuring success in terms of Health, Confidence, Happiness, and Love? Would you want to join me?

Let's make this Summer about #BodyLOVE!

Step 1 - Get Rid of Your Scale!
Gasp! I know! Not forever, but for this month. Put it in the closet. Skip weighing in at the gym. No scale for the next 4 weeks! Choose health for Health - not for a number.

Step 2 - Commit to Fit 4-6x a Week
Pick your poison - Run, Crossfit, Yoga, Weights, Hiking, Biking, Swim - whatever you want to do to get your sweat on. Just commit to get moving for 30-60 minutes 4-6x a week for the month of July. But commit to take care of yourself. Commit to get make your body stronger. Commit to make your body healthier. Commit to feel good!

Step 3 - Embrace Healthy Whole Foods
This is not about following any crazy rules, or dubbing food good or bad. It is just an effort to eat healthy, whole, nourishing food to help give the body the fuel it needs. I follow the 80/20 rule. I try to eat clean, whole, nutritious food 80% of the time, but sometime a girl just needs a cookie or a glass of wine and that makes up the other 20% of my diet. It is all about balance!

Step 4 - Give Yourself Some Love
Take time out once a week to do something fun and fabulous for yourself! Go get ice cream. Treat yourself to a mani/pedi or a new outfit. Sleep in. Just do something to rest, relax, and thank yourself for being AWESOME!

It is that Easy! And by the end of 4 weeks you will see amazing progress and you will have made your new healthy routine a habit. And more importantly we will all learn how to give our bodies so much need LOVE!
And if all that wasn't enough to get you excited, I will be giving away a pair of the new Mizuno Wave Sayonaras every week to one of my #BodyLOVE participants! Nothing like a new pair of shoes to get you excited about a Summer Challenge right?!

How do you Participate:
Leave a comment here sharing your commitment to #BodyLOVE this week

Tweet: "I am joining the #BodyLOVE Summer Challenge with @Darwinianfail and @MizunoRunning"
 Instagram: Share your journey! Take photos sharing your workouts, your #BodyLOVE love-fest, and where you are hiding your scale this week - tag @darwinianfail and use the #BodyLOVE hashtag so I can see your progress we can all support each other! 

*Each action gets you and additional entry, so make sure you leave a separate comment here telling me what you did (ie. if you do all 5 leave me 5 separate comments so you get 5 entries)*

Our first #BodyLOVE winner will be chosen Friday! So let's start the summer off right!
Love Your Favourite Darwinian Fail,

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Color Me Rad - 5 Dirty Kilometers

After my Triathlon on Saturday I packed up the car and drove back to Toronto. I had to make my way back to the city ASAP, because I had the final race in my Race Trifecta to run on Sunday morning.

I know doing back-to-back races like this is a bit of a No-No, but Color Me Rad is not exactly your average 5km. And I wasn't exactly considering this one a race, so much as an excuse to get dirty and catch up with some of my girlfriends. It was all about colour bombs, tutus, and girlie gab-fests.

To be honest I felt good on Sunday morning, but I was exhausted. But I soon met up with some of my favourite girls - MorganRobyn, and Christina - which immediately helped energize me for the run.

What you should know about Color Runs...
  • They are for everyone! So bring your friends, dance, chat, have FUN!
  • They are not timed - so perfect for a beginner or seasoned runner just looking to have a good time
  • You will get dirty! Wear White! Enjoy the mess!
  • Tutus make everything better, so you should probably wear one of those too!
We had a pretty diverse crew running together on Sunday, and I was in no hurry, so we ran, walked, skipped, and Gangnum-styled our way through the race. It was a good time all around.

We all crossed the finish line dirty, smiling, and laughing. We got covered in paint, threw color bombs at one another, and danced our way through the 5km route. It was AWESOME! I highly recommend shaking your Summer Sillies out at one of these events if you have the chance!

Love Your Favourite Darwinian Fail,

**PS I got some seriously strange looks coming home on the subway looking like this haha**

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

#WIAW - Living the Whole Foods Lifestyle

Happy WIAW Friends! You might remember a couple weeks ago Angela from Eat, Spin, Run, Repeat stopped by to share her Clean Eating Journey and one of her amazing recipes. Well Angela has actually been working on putting all of her knowledge and favourite recipes together into one handy-dandy e-book.

After hearing about my latest ulcer fiasco Angela graciously offered to send me over a copy, and to help me out with any of clean eating questions I might have. I spent the first week of ulcer-land eating incredibly bland food, all of which was carb-based to help with the acid absorption. I ate a lot of toast, oatmeal, eggs, and pasta with pesto...ugh. Not the most exciting diet around, but it did help with symptoms.

Now that the worst is over I am allowed to start introducing more variety back into my diet. Angela's E-book offered lots of inspiration and new ideas. I have really be enjoying her salad recipes, and I even started doing recipe experiments of my own.

In her 48-page book, you'll find:
  • A list of versatile, timesaving ingredients to keep on-hand in your clean-living kitchen
  • My favourite kitchen gadgets that make meal prep a breeze
  • A printable meal planning template, recipe planner, and grocery shopping list
  • 13 squeaky clean, super delicious recipes that feature those superhero timesaving ingredients
This is the perfect resource for beginners. There is nothing too complex and it offers a ton of great ideas/advice to get you started. So if you guys are interested in Living the Whole Foods Lifestyle pop over and visit Angela! She will definitely help get you on the right track!

Love Your Favourite Darwinian Fail,

Sunday, 23 June 2013


This weekend I completed Race #2 and Race #3 in my Race Trifecta. And Race #2 was my very first Triathlon! It is pretty safe to say that I had a blast, and I am officially hooked! I loved every second out there on Saturday!

I finished in 2:22:20
You might remember my goal was to finish between 2:00-2:30, so 2:22 is right there. It was my very first triathlon, so this little cyborg is happy with that! Let's break it down shall we?

The Swim - 750m 
Time: 18:52
Everyone talks about how the swim is the worst part of the Triathlon, but I went into the water feeling pretty good. I would even go so far as to say I felt confident. I used to swim competitively in high school and I grew up around water, so I had no fear going in. But training in a pool and swimming in open water are two very different things. I was so very wrong about this one.

I was frazzled to begin the race. I did not give myself adequate time to register, prep my transition station, and get down to the water for warm-up. I was running around like a crazy person. I made it down to the water and started to warm-up with only about 10 minutes to the start. I soon realized that I needed to wear the red swim cap they had given me at registration, not the black one I had brought down with me. So I quickly sprinted back to the transition area to grab my cap. I literally made it back to start line with seconds to spare - not exactly how I imagined starting things off.
I am the second from the right with pink sleeve. Got my red cap!
Time to get in
The Welland Triathlon had a staggered start, which meant that we all lined up based on our bib numbers and age categories and started in the water 30 seconds apart. It was a good way to start for a newbie like me. But even with the staggered start and a wetsuit, the swim was tough.

The water was freezing and took my breath away. It was hard to get myself going in a good rhythm. And in open water there are no handy-dandy lines to follow and keep you straight. I spent much of the first half of the swim zig-zagging all over the place and trying to catch my breath. The first 350m felt like torture. I eventually got myself sorted out, got my tracking under control, and finished my swim. The first part of my Triathlon was complete.

The Bike - 30km
Time: 1:15:06
The transition between the swim and bike was a 500m run, which felt long in my bare feet. I felt really heavy coming out the water so that made this transition even worse. I wiggled out of my wetsuit, threw on my shoes, grabbed a Clif Bar Shot, a swig of water, and ran my bike out the transition area.

The bike was probably the part I was most nervous about, because I just had no idea what to expect. I had only ridden my bike once before the race, so the biking portion was all new to me. The course was flat and I felt surprisingly good out there.

It took about 10km to get myself into a comfortable gear and really find my groove, but when I did I felt really good. I popped another Clif Bar Shot around 18km and powered on home. In hindsight I really should have pushed the pace more here, but I wasn't sure how I should pace myself before my run. I opted to stay comfortable and save myself for the run.

The Run - 7.5km
Time: 47:46

The run was pretty much what I expected. My legs were heavy when I got off the bike, but my goal was to try to run a 6:30km pace. And according to my watch my average pace was 6:31 so pretty much bang on what I had hoped.

It was hot and humid on the run, and the course offered very little shade. I did my best to take in water whenever it was offered, and I took a third Clif Bar Shot to help keep my energy up. I saw a lot of folks walking throughout the run portion, so it felt good to be able finish strong. I was definitely happy when I crossed the finish line.

After the race I met up my parents who had come to cheer me on, the member of the Clif Bar team who were keeping all of us Triathletes fed and happy, and Phaedra from Blisters and Black Toenails (<---who was a ROCKSTAR and placed 1st in her age category! She is hardcore like that)

We waited around for the times to be posted (**which is how I ended up with these. I still can't find them online, and I was curious about transitions**). I rehydrated for a little while, and then just like that my first triathlon was complete! Time sure does fly when you are having fun!

I am currently trying to figure out how I can cheaply purchase my own road bike and how soon I sign up for my next one! And advice or recommendations?

Thanks for coming on this crazy journey with me friends!
Love your Favourite Darwinian Fail,

Friday, 21 June 2013

Running Rockstar - Lisa

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 Running Rockstar is Lisa from Lisa Runs for Cupcakes (

1. What is your next race?  

I plan on keep my summer fairly mellow with local 5ks and 10ks in order to prepare for racing with Team Nuun at Hood to Coast at the end of the summer!  And one week after Hood to Coast, I will be taking on the Dumbo Challenge by running a 10k and half marathon in one weekend at Disneyland.  I'm looking forward to my west coast racing adventure!

2. Never-forget race moment?  

I will never forget crossing the finish line of my first half marathon.  It was my first major post-baby race and I was in a world of hurt when I finished.  Yet, somehow this did not discourage me.  It motivated me to quickly sign up for another race.  That sense of accomplishment that you feel when you cross a finish line continues to keep me running and racing today.  

3. Running Must-Have?

One of my most important running items is Body Glide.  Once you experience horrible chaffing, you never want to experience it again.  Body Glide is a lifesaver for me!

4. Favourite Pre-Race Fuel?  

I really enjoy Honey Stinger waffles or protein bars before a race.  If I want a little more substance or if I plan to be awake for a while before the start, I usually opt for a whole-wheat bagel or english muffin to get me through.  By keeping it simple, I can usually avoid any stomach issues during the race.

5. Share your running mantra? Or racing ritual?

My mantra changes from race to race.  I find that repeating a set of simple words over and over helps pass the time and helps keep me focused.  If I don't recite a mantra while running, my thoughts can get wildly out of control and lead to self-doubt.  I found that, "you are stronger than this," helped power me through some serious hills along the Rock 'N' Roll USA course in Washington, DC.

AMAZING LISA! Love that mantra "You are Stronger than This"! LOVE!
Love Your Favourite Darwinian Fail,

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Prepping for my first Triathlon

I am getting ready for Race #2 in my Race Trifecta this weekend.
I will be heading home to my parent's place in Niagara tomorrow night to spend some quality time with my Fam and my favourite girlfriends. I am also signed up for the Welland Triathlon on Saturday! Yeah initially I had plan to do the Try-Tri, but when I received my registration confirmation I was signed up the full distance. So I took it as a sign from the universe, and just went with it. This is going to be my very first Triathlon! Nothing like just jumping in with both feet right?!

I hope the swim is not actually like this...

Okay but seriously... I have spent the last week prepping for this new adventure. I am excited. I am nervous. And I think I am kind of sort of ready. I am not exactly sure what to expect time-wise though? Thoughts triathlon buddies? I am hoping for somewhere between 2:00-2:30-ish? Is that realistic for my first one with transitions?!
The distances for Satruday's Race are:
*750 meter Swim
*30km Bike
*7.5km Run

After my great bike debate, and a few training rides outside with Betsy (my trusty mountain bike), I have realized that a road bike is a very necessary. So luckily for me Christina had a perfectly good Road Bike sitting her basement just begging to be ridden. Christina and I am pretty close to the same size and dimensions so her bike ended up being the perfect fit! And she has graciously offered to loan it to me for summer.
I gotta admit putting on my Tri-Suit and riding my snazzy new Road Bike had made me feel pretty hardcore! (**I will definitely be keeping eyes peeled for a used Road Bike for next season. If you have any hookups let me know!**) I think I need to get myself one of these. They are so much faster and lighter than what I had been riding - and now I can definitely see what everyone was talking about.

There are lots of little odds and ends that go into Triathlon racing and prep. I have been slowly getting all of my gear together...

  • Race Number Belt
  • Helmet (not pictured)
  • Speed Laces on my Triathlon Race Shoes - Mizuno Musha
  • Swim Cap
  • Goggles
  • Towel x2
  • Clif Bar Shots x2
  • Ipod (probably just to keep me going on the run)
  • Polar RC3
Am I missing anything?! Any last minute Triathlon tips for me?

Love Your Favourite Darwinian Fail,

Monday, 17 June 2013

MEC Recap, the Pros, and Leaving My Comfort Zone

So I have decided to dub the 2013 Race Season - "The Year I Left My Comfort Zone". This weekend's Race was a HUGE eyeopener and the learning curve over the last few months has been steep.

With some nudging from my coach Michelle I decided to sign up last minute for the MEC Toronto 5km. This was a no fuss no muss race. No bling. No swag. But it had a price point of $15, it was in a parkland location, and it had a chip time - so I was game.

Comfort Zone Krysten - Would never sign-up for a short race.
Speed is not my forte. In fact it makes me incredibly uncomfortable. There is a reason I have focused on distance races. And that reason is my fear of speed. I find it very difficult to manage my heart rate while racing short and fast. It is also a fear that has gotten worse the more comfortable I have become with my nice even-paced long distance races.

But this year is about challenging myself. And Michelle has stressed the importance of my speed and tempo work. Admittedly it still makes me nervous. And I have a slight mental block when I see my heart rate climb out of my comfort zone (probably because of this), but I am working on it. I know both my body and heart are getting stronger - so I need to embrace speed.

Comfort Zone Krysten - Would never agree to race with people.
So one of the best things about being a runner is the community. The people are supportive and amazing. But I am always really nervous about running with other people. Especially with fast, professional, crazy, elite runners. I am secretly (not so secretly) insecure about my running ability. I try really damn hard, but I know that as a girl with a robot-ticker, I have some serious limitation. And the competitive side of me is deeply frustrated by this.

But this time I agreed to race with Michelle, her crazy amazing running friends, and Christina. So we all met up before the race to warm up and get ready.

Comfort Zone Krysten - Would never run before the race.
After getting our bibs and our chips Christina and I were just stretching, instagramming, and chatting. Until up popped Michelle informing us that we should actually do a 5km warm up run?! What!?! It has literally never occurred to me that I should run a significant distance before a race? I usually do some stretching. Maybe run to the bathrooms and back. And that's about it... (oops!)

So off we went for a 2km warm-up run. You know just me and my elite friends out for a leisurely jog!

We returned shortly to find out that there was a problem with the course. So the 5km would now only be a 4km. And the 10km and Half Marathon had been changed to an 8km and 20km race. It was a slight change in plans. But we were there, warmed up, and ready to that is what we did!

We all lined up at the starting line, and off we went. I started out too fast - story of my life. I was excited. And I was trying to keep pace with all of amazing runners that surrounded me. After the first km I started to slow down. Michelle gave me some great tips about my posture and breathing - thing I need to work on in the coming months. And soon enough we were at the turn around point.

I was starting to panic a little about my pace. I was worried about my heart-rate, because it had steadily been climbing since the race began. Michelle encouraged me to pick it up. I ran an even pace for the next little bit and turned it on for the last 350 meters.

I crossed the finish line at 21:23.

I was happy with that. I think if it had been a 5km it would have been a PR for me. I also think with more practice I could definitely do better. I had more in the tank. I was just scared to push outside my comfort zone. (<---see its a theme)

Comfort Zone Krysten - Would never run after the race
I sprinted across the finish line and before I knew it Michelle and her crazy running bunch were herding me over the the road for a "Slow Down" run. I wanted water and mostly to sit down. But off we went for another 2km cool down. I was feeling a bit blah at this point, but I could definitely see the benefits of some extra kilometers. My legs felt good when we were done and my heart rate had returned to normal.
More than anything this weekend's race inspired me. Watching how these people train and seeing all they are capable of makes me want it even more. It takes a lot of hard work to train your body to run like they do. And while I know I still have a REALLY LONG way to go - the harder I push, the stronger I am gonna get.

So let's do this friends! This is where the magic happens!
Love your Favourite Darwinian Fail,

Friday, 14 June 2013

Fitness Rockstar - Kathia

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. Normally on Friday I feature a Running Rockstar, but Runners are not the only ones who are dedicated to their sport. So this week we are switching it and focusing on a Fitness Rockstar. Because whether your sport is running, crossfit, yoga, weights, whatever it all takes hard work, sweat, and determination. We don't descriminate over here! And that all deserves to be celebrated!
This week's Fitness Rockstar is Kathia from
1. What is your next BIG goal.  
Become a Certified Trainer
2. Favourite workout? 
Legs Day - Squatting heavy
3. Lifting must have? 
Valeo belt, cushioned lady gloves and good music

4. Favourite workout fuel?  
5. Workout mantra? 
"Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change" -  Jim Rohn

Happy Friday Friends!
Love Your Favourite Darwinian Fail,

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Racing Trifecta

So... I am pretty sure that CRAZY coach of mine is starting to rub off on me. (**LOVE YOU MICHELLE**) Because I am some how signed-up for 3 race in 8 days?! What!? I know! Who am I?

My Racing Trifecta...
June 15th - MEC 5km 
June 22nd - Welland Try-Tri 
June 23rd - Colour Me Rad TO

It is going to be a seriously busy couple of days. I am currently in Montreal for work and will be flying back home Friday night. Only to wake up early for the first of these three races.

My goal for the MEC 5km is to hit that 25 minute PR I have been gunning for. I have been doing a lot more speed/tempo work with my new training plan. And I am feeling a lot stronger than I did when I ran my 5km a few months ago, so I am hoping the extra time, healing, and training will get me my goal time. Will it be enough to shave 3 minutes off my race time? We will know for sure on Saturday!

I think it is safe to say that Race Season has officially begun!
Let's Do This!
Love Your Favourite Darwinian Fail,

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

WIAW with @eatspinrunrpt Mango Edamame Salad

Hi Everyone! It's What I ate Wednesday.
My name is Angela and I blog over at Eat Spin Run Repeat. I work in the corporate world by day, but outside of my 9 to 5, I'm a fitness instructor, blogger, health coach, runner, and clean-eating foodie.

When Krysten told me that she was suffering from a stomach ulcer and that she needed some motivation to clean up her diet, I could totally sympathize with her. As a runner who has suffered her fair share of digestive issues in the past, I know it's not fun to run with an upset tummy! I was thrilled when she invited me to do a guest post on clean eating, not only because I wanted to help her feel better, but also because I know that there are a lot of you who may be struggling with eating clean on a consistent basis and that the same information could help you too.

My (very condensed) Story
Before I get into the what and the how, let me rewind a little bit and tell you my story in a nutshell. I was super active as a kid, but when I was 13, my family moved to the Middle East so that my dad could take advantage of a new career opportunity. Looking back, I wouldn't trade my 5 years living over there for anything, but as a teenager, there were days when I wanted nothing more than to be at home in Canada, living like normal Canadian teenagers do. As my unhappiness grew, so did I - and not in a good way! I gained a significant amount of weight and by the time I was 16, I'd packed 200lbs onto my 5'10" frame. Sure, I was tall enough to carry it and not look super overweight, but I knew I had to make a change.
Although I didn't know it as 'clean eating' at the time, I began shifting my perceptions about food. I discovered fruits and vegetables that I'd never tried before, taught myself to cook, and completely fell in love with making delicious, healthy meals for my family. By the time I returned to Canada for university in 2006, I'd lost 70lbs, cleaned up my diet, rediscovered my passion for exercise, and I've never looked back since.

So what's this magical clean eating thing all about?
It's simple, really.

It's about eating real, wholesome foods in their most natural state.
It's about avoiding refined, processed products that have had the nutrients stripped right out of them in favour of excess sugar, sodium, and artificial ingredients.
It's about crowding those nutritionally devoid foods out with vibrant fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein, whole grains healthy fats, and plenty of H20.
It's about slowing down to enjoy every bite, rather than inhaling bites mindlessly, which can lead to weight gain.
It's about using food to fuel your body, rather than to numb stress or fill an emotional hole inside of you.
And is it difficult to do? Not at all! As long as you know what to look for, clean eating can be super simple. While other short-term, fad eating plans require you to weigh your food, count your calories, cut out all treats, and otherwise feel absolutely miserable, clean eating is more of a lifestyle. It's one that I've been living for several years now and I can honestly say I've never felt better.

Now you may be thinking, "Ok, Angela. If this is so easy, show me a recipe I can make in 15 minutes or less without having to hunt down any strange ingredients or invest in fancy kitchen tools." It's your lucky day, because I've got just the thing for you! I made sure that I timed myself when I made this Mango and Edamame Salad with Lime Vinaigrette, and I kid you not when I say that it took me just under 10 minutes.

The ingredients are simple and can be found at most large grocery stores, and what's even better is that this salad makes wonderful leftovers. If you let it sit in the fridge for a day or so, the juices from the mango create a delicious sweetness and there's no need to add more dressing.

Mango and Edamame Salad with Lime Vinaigrette
by Angela Simpson
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 0 mins
Ingredients (2 meal-sized servings)
  • 1 cup cooked white navy beans
  • 1 cup thawed shelled edamame
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup diced mango
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • a few pinches of chili flakes (optional)
  • 4 cups mixed greens, chopped into bite-sized pieces
Dice the bell peppers into small pieces and add them to a large bowl with the edamame, white navy beans, parsley, and mango pieces.
In a small bowl, combine the lime juice and extra virgin olive oil. Drizzle it over the bean mixture and toss to coat. Add chili flakes if using and stir to combine.
Divide greens evenly between two plates and scoop the salad on top of them.
Note: For the best flavour, allow the salad to sit out at room temperature for 15-30 minutes before serving.
If you want to make this salad ahead of in a big batch (which means not having to prep meals later in the week - you clever one, you!), store it in a separate container from the mixed greens. This way, the greens won't get soggy and you can simply add the salad on top when you're ready to eat
I don't want to keep you too much longer, so let's finish with this:
If this post has motivated you even just a little bit to swap some of the junk in your diet with more nutritious, healthy options, I'd love for you to check out my new e-book, Living the Whole Foods Lifestyle: A Complete System for Fast (Clean!) Food. In this resource, I'll let you in on my secrets for saving time in the kitchen while also maintaining a clean eating lifestyle. You'll also receive templates for meal planning and shopping lists, and 13 tasty recipes that are 100% squeaky clean.


Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Training Tuesday - Confessions and Week 7

Confession: I spent the better part of the last few weeks feeling really down on myself and my training. My recent tummy troubles meant that the last few weeks of training have been less than stellar. And I found myself really doubting my ability to get my body to where I want it to be.

The truth is - I want to be fast, like not just fast for a Darwinian Fail, but FAST-fast. And I want to be strong. I want to run my marathon, leave it all out on the road and feel good, not sobbing my way through the pain like last time. And I want that Sub-4:30 finish. I really, really, really want it. It is my goal for my November Marathon, but secretly (*not so secretly*) I have dreams of running much faster than that. Maybe even a sub-4 day.

I want the results I get in my races to reflect all of the hard work I put in week after week. But with surgery after surgery and setback after setback - I started to wonder if that will ever happen...This little defective body and I have a seriously tumultuous relationship.

It has taken me years to learn that I can't control everything (*obviously something this type-A personality still struggles with*). But I know all I can do is take it one day at time, focus on my training, and try my best to get the most out of every session.

Whatever time I end up crossing that finish line that year I will have worked as hard as I possibly could to make it happen. So this week, that is exactly what I did.

Sunday - After my early-morning wake up call and Clif Bar adventure at the Toronto Ride for Heart I was feeling tired - but inspired! I was really excited to work this event and cheer on the riders. I can honestly say that I owe my life to the invaluable work the Heart and Stroke Foundation does. There would be no marathons. There would be no triathlons. And it is very possible that there would be no Krysten if it weren't for all of the medical advances that have been made possible by events like this. So I try really hard to remember that everyday. And never take this body for granted. So I went home and run a nice easy 18km to celebrate Health and Happy Hearts. I think I am definitely going to have to do the Ride for Heart in 2014!

Monday - a 5km shakeout run. I ran a 6:19 min/km pace and felt really good. Definitely Happy to back at it.
Tuesday - REST
Wednesday - It was International Running Day, so I celebrated with a 10km tempo run. This was tough. I maintain an average pace of 5:25 min/km for 6 of the 10km. I was happy to lie down and stretch after it was all over. Our co-ed baseball team also played later that night, so it was a double workout day!
Thursday - Core Flow Spin Class over at my favourite spin studio Spynga. It was 45 minutes of sprints and climbs on the bike. And the 15 minutes of core work on the mat. My abs were burning when I left.

Friday - It was a very sexy Friday Night over here - a 5km Fartlek workout with the Hubby, hydrating, and foam rolling! OH LA LA!
Saturday - was a REST day and a Puppy Play Date. Clark and Christina's little man Princeton met for a puppy adventure at the dog park. Princeton is pretty hilarious! He is a ball of energy. Clark definitely found a new friend. And immediately came home went to bed haha. Princeton tuckered him out!

It was a good week. I am starting to feel strong again. And I am actually getting excited for my upcoming races. I think I can do this. Or I am at least gonna try!


You won the Met Con Blue Giveway!
Please email me so I can organize your prize!

Here's Hoping this week goes just as well, even with a few days out of town. 
I am committed to making this happen!

Love Your Favourite Darwinian Fail,

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Part Cyborg Part @PolarGobal Ambassador

I am so excited to announce that I have been chosen to be one of Polar Canada's Ambassadors!

If you have been following along on this little blog, then you know I am a little obsessed with my HR monitor, and never exercise without it. My little Polar Heart Rate Monitor has been through many fitness ups and downs with me, including my first marathon. And it is my ever faithful workout partner - which makes sense for a gal with a heart condition and a robot ticker.

But this wasn't always the case. When I first began my fitness journey I didn't even know I needed it. Until one fateful day in September shorty after I began my fitness transformation.

I had been regularly running, biking, yoga-ing to my little hearts content (I am so punny) for about 5 months. I was down 55 lbs. I was feeling strong. And I was healthier than I had been in a long time. So there I was, girlie pop blaring, ready to tackle that hill on my 8 km loop. My legs were pumping and I was feeling powerful...until BAM!

I felt something hit me hard right in between the shoulder blades. I stumbled forward a little bit, feeling confused as I looked around to see what had hit me. I slowed down - looking for the someone or something that had just stopped me dead in my tracks. I walked a few more steps and BAM! It hit me again, and this time it hit so hard I fell down.

That when the lightbulb went off - it was my defibrillator firing.
"Well now I had gone and done it, hadn't I?"

I said several expletives in my head because a) it hurt like a mother-F**cker and b) I thought I was sure to pass out alone in the street at any minute. I sat there, alone on the sidewalk, 4km from my house, waiting to see what would happen next... Nothing did...So I slowly got up and walked my dejected, dusty, and confused self back home and called my cardiologist.

This was the first time my Defibrillator had ever fired, so I was a little shaken up to say the least. I had always been told that if I received a shock then my ticker was in serious distress. I was also told that I would not likely be conscious (**hence why I was waiting to pass out on the sidewalk**).

I immediately made an emergency appointment at the pacemaker clinic to figure out what went wrong. They had me in and under observation in approximately 15 minutes flat.

So it turns out most people who have heart conditions and ICDs are typically elderly and inactive, so being a 20-something runner wasn't exactly the norm around the clinic. They had made my threshold (aka the heart rate when the Defib will fire) 200 BPM. Which is usually pretty standard, but given my new active lifestyle - that just wasn't going to cut it anymore.

They gave me 2 options that day... 
Option 1. give up running - to which I quickly responded "NEVER" Or...
Option 2. allow them to change my threshold to 215 bpm and wear a Heart Rate Monitor every time I laced up my sneaks - to which responded equally as quickly "DEAL".

And with that my love affair with my heart rate monitor was born. I left the clinic and walked over to the local Running Room and bought my first Polar that day and haven't exercised without it since.

This week I am off to their Canadian Head Office in Montreal to give a presentation on Heart Health and Endurance Athletes. Polar helped me find my Happy Heart, so I incredibly excited to get to share my journey with them! Wish me luck!

Do you exercise with a Heart Rate monitor?

Love your Favourite Darwinian Fail,

Friday, 7 June 2013

Running Rockstar - Anna

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 Running Rockstar is Anna from
1. What is your next race? 
Nike Women's Half DC 4/28/13
  2. Never-forget race moment? 
Wow, just one. That's a toughy. Ok, I will go with crossing the finish line for my first half. A friend, who has run way more than me, offered to pace me. I refused to look at my watch during the race for time, I would only look for distance. When we crossed the finish line I couldn't help but laugh because I was so thrilled with my time. I had set my goal at 2:15. He challenged me about two weeks before the race to shoot for 2:05. We finished at 1:55. I was stoked.

3. Running Must-Have? 

You mean besides shoes, shorts, sports bra, shirt and socks?! I have three that I can immediately say of the top of my head 1. hair band 2. RoadID 3. Bodyglide

4. Favorite Pre-Race Fuel?

Accel Gel or Honey Stinger Waffles. I can't run with anything in my stomach except those.

5. Share your running mantra? Or racing ritual? 

My mantra is Persevere. And along with that is my fave Bible verse. Isaiah 40:31 "But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

Rock On Anna!
Love your Favourite Darwinian Fail,