Sunday, July 24, 2016

Camping at Balsam Lake!

I had quite a busy weekend with a bridal shower and a half marathon, but first I feel we need to travel back in time to a week ago when I went camping with my girls!! I have been camping with my friend Lisa and Ginny (and a few others some years) annually since 2008...however we hadn't managed to go for the past couple years, which sucked. So one day this spring I picked a random July weekend and messaged the girls to see if they were free and we booked it! We all also ended up taking the Friday off work so we could get up there earlier! :)

Me, Lisa, and Ginny in 2008! Such youngin's we were...
On the Thursday I met up with Ginny, went grocery shopping and I stayed at her place for the night since she lived closer to the campground and no one wants to come downtown to get me during rush hour. Lisa showed up at 8:30am on Friday and we were off! We ended up staying at Balsam Lake. The same place we stayed in 2012. In fact, the exact same campsite!! We set up camp, made a beer, ice, and firewood run, and then got down to the business of relaxing.



I like to tell people we have a 20 person tent. It is just sort of a ridiculous huge thing we bought many a moon ago. We actually found a giant hole in it a couple of years ago so this year I bought a tent repair kit and we patched it up- hopefully she will have many more summers with us! Also, mine was the only air mattress to not deflate while we slept #winning.

Friday involved a lot of trips to the camp store to try and fix one of the air mattresses and to buy more wood because we kept burning all ours (weird how that happens). On one of those trips we bought a cake. It twas a good dinner that night!


Friday night it was FREEZING. I dont know how we managed to go from 40 degrees celsius a couple days prior to THIRTEEN, but it happened. We went to bed with all of our clothes on! I got up around 7am to go for a run and found Lisa sitting in her car with the heat on! Also, while she was sitting there someone maybe tried to steal our beer?? WHO DOES THAT? Anyway, Lisa scared them off.

And yes! I went for a run! I originally had an 8km run and a 19.5km run for Sat/Sun, but since I ended up getting lost on the trails on Saturday morning (lol), I called it even at 10km for the whole weekend. It was such a nice run though! I was pretty slow thanks to rocks, roots, and mud, but it was super enjoyable and I never saw another soul the entire time- just me an nature! I don't get to do much (ie any) trail running downtown. Here are some pictures!



I got back and Ginny was up so we started making some breakfast. We never bring a stove with us, preferring to cook everything over the fire with our cast iron pot and pans. It always turns out so much yummier that way! Though I think the other girls voted we get a little stove for next year (I think the wait for coffee is unacceptable at our age...)


After breakfast we headed to the beach! But it was still SO COLD. We actually lay on the beach in sweats! I even debated not blowing up my giant inflatable flamingo floatie, but thankfully by mid afternoon the sun came out and it ended up being a very enjoyable day and I let my flamingo flag fly! I loved that floatie man...for once I was the one wanting to go in the water and stay there. Usually you find me bathed in sunscreen on the beach (I love to lie in the sun). I wish I had gotten a shot of Gin and I sharing the thing back to back inside the ring. Good times.




Then it was back to the campsite for dinner! Lisa has these hot pocket makers so it is a tradition to eat most of our meals with them. I had a pizza one, a grilled cheese one, and a marshmallow/chocolate/strawberry one. It is a delightful, well-known fact that calories don't count when camping. MMM



Then it was back to bed for a thankfully slightly less cold night! PS- I wake up every night to go to the bathroom at 4am. This was really not fun on a cold night when the nearest washroom is an outhouse. Sigh. Sunday morning we woke up, I made french toast, and then we packed up our site and headed back to the beach for a few hours! It was much hotter and sunnier on Sunday and we had a fun time before heading home.


Overall it was a great mini-vacation with my girls, but I think 2 nights is not nearly long enough!! I hope we can get together for a longer trip next summer!

Also, in case you are interested, there are no Pokemons at Balsam Lake.

The only photo that was not of food/flamingo this weekend...

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Weekend Recap!

Hello! I am still plugging away at my half marathon training, but it really isn't that exciting so I can't find much to talk about. I did cut my Thursday run short- it was supposed to be a 13K tempo run (which means go fast), but it was SO hot out that after 4km I started feeling really ill so I called it a day and walked the 4km back home. It was a beautiful night for a long walk, at least!



The weekend got off to a better start. I convinced Cam that we should go out to see Finding Dory Friday night. He got a giftcard for the movies from one of his students and I had a bunch of Scene points, so we only had to pay for our popcorn and it was a great date night! We went to a 10:30pm show to avoid a theatre full of kids and the plan worked perfectly. It did pour rain on our walk over, but I showed Cam the wonders of Toronto's underground PATH system! It is about 2.5km from my place to the theatre and you can walk 90% of it underground. Love this city :) Oh, and we both enjoyed the movie. It was very cute.

Then on Saturday I did a speedy 8km in the morning and then it was off to Body Blitz Spa for the bachelorette party of my good friend Veronica!! I have known Vee for 6 years (?). We met at work when we shared a reception desk and she is the bees knees and I am so excited for her wedding in a few weeks!! We had SUCH a lovely time at the spa (I will 100% be back), and then we all walked over to Mill St BeerHall in the Distillery District for dinner, where service was slow, but beers, food, and company were all wonderful! And then after dinner we went to Bier Markt for dancing and shenanigans. It was bachelorette and bachelor party central there so quite a fun, enthusiastic crowd. It was a good time.




Then Sunday I was up early (what ever happened to sleeping on the weekends??) for another RunTOBeer! I had about 18km scheduled for Sunday so I ran 2km over my friends' Steph and Kevin's condo, picked them up, then we ran about 6-7km to the start of the 10K beer run in High Park. Unfortunately Steph and I got there a tad late so we did our own mini-loop around High Park and met up with the group again when the 5K started! Then we ran off to The Greater Good Bar! It was a hot and sunny day, but all the breaks made this a pretty easy run, especially since I only did 16.5km since we were late #shh. And we got free beers from Side Launch at the bar and we shared a gigantico pizza from North of Brooklyn Pizza (which is independently run from inside the bar).

Oh and PS- My friend Steph has come over to the dark side and started a blog!! You can find it here. Go read it now.



Then it was home for a nap and then off to my Mom's for dinner! I had to go to her place to borrow some camping gear and steal back my giant inflatable flamingo because I am off to the wilderness this weekend! And by wilderness I mean Provincial Park with a cooler of beer, some smores, and some good friends. SO EXCITED!! :D #ilovesummer


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Canada Day in Ottawa!!

Last Friday was Canada Day up here in good ol' Canada- a joyous day of sleeping in, fireworks, and Beavertails! Cam and I decided that it would be a good time to finally visit with my friend Sarah (and her husband Johnny and baby Jack) in the nation's capital of Ottawa! We didn't want to drive due to long weekend traffic (Ottawa is 5 hours away on a good day), and the train tickets were getting unreasonable, so we flew! It is only an hour flight, so it was quick and enjoyable and we got to leave late Thursday night. We took Porter airlines, which I just love. The airport is a 10 minute walk from my condo, there is virtually no lines, and there is unlimited free cookies and pop. And complimentary booze on the flight!


We arrive around 9:30pm and Sarah came to pick us up and took us back to her place, where we were staying for the weekend. We just caught up that night! Sarah and I lived together for 3 years during University, but I hadn't seen much of her since she moved out to Ottawa a few years ago. I blogged about her wedding (which was exactly a year ago- happy anniversary guys!) here!

Friday we headed downtown to take in all the festivities around Parliament Hill. It was crazy busy and hot, but a lot of fun! After some wandering, we headed to a nearby park for a lunch of chicken sandwiches, lemonade, and free cheese curds. We also picked up some free ice cream on the way over :). I love free food!







Fun fact- I actually didn't own a Canada themed shirt, but Sarah apparently has quite the stash and we are around the same size, so that all worked out! After lunch it looked like rain so Sarah and the fam packed up to take baby Jack home for a nap and Cam and I headed over to the Canadian War Museum- all museums in Ottawa were free on Canada Day so we decided to take advantage while the weather looked iffy. I had been to this museum before and it really is fantastic and I would recommend it to anyone. It did indeed pour buckets of rain while we were inside, but it was clear again when we finished so we headed back to the park to get some Beavertails! Beavertails are like fried sugar dough and I love them- I got maple flavoured. After our Beavertails I also convinced Cam to get some Moose Tracks ice cream from Kawartha dairy (the best ice cream). Calories don't count on Canada Day!


After all that food, we took the bus on back "home" to Sarah and Johnny's, though we ended up missing our bus stop and Johnny drove out to rescue us. We had walked about 19,000 steps that day so I was grateful! We had a late dinner and then hung out and caught up. Cam and I had debated coming back downtown for the concert and fireworks, but it started pouring rain again so we stayed in.

Saturday we got up and all of us went to the Museum of Nature! We got there not long after it opened and I am glad we went early because it was crazy busy later in the morning. Darn tourists ;). They had a special exhibit on dinosaurs that I really enjoyed! Cam and I got through about 75% of the museum before saying goodbye to my friends and then going to visit his old roommate from University who also lives in Ottawa! We had a nice lunch and visit with him and his family and then Cam and I drove to the Aviation and Space Museum, which is free from 4-5pm. We toured that for an hour, then home once again for dinner :). Such good friends to keep us so well fed!

Sunday I got up early and did a long run (16-18km), which was beautiful and I am so glad I didn't skip (I skipped Saturday's)! Our friends live near the Greenbelt, and the local road through it closes for bikers and runners on Sunday mornings- so it was such a nice run! At first I got a little lost and frolicked around in some farmers' fields, but then I found the correct direction of the path through the Greenbelt and ended up running all the way to the river! I went a little too far and ended up running over my scheduled 16km- well worth it though!




I got back home and Sarah and Johnny made us delicious crepes for brunch! Then Cam and I headed back downtown to walk around. We had hoped to take a tour of Parliament, but the English tours were sold out by the time we got there. Instead we wandered all over- checked out the Byward market, the river, the locks, and got a late lunch/early supper.


They are restoring the copper roofs and stonework of the Parliament Buildings!


My fit bit app says I went 35,000 steps on Sunday! I was tired!!

We headed back to Sarah and Johnny's for a last little bit of visit before heading home for Toronto. We had such a great time in Ottawa and I can't wait to go back soon! Happy Birthday Canada!!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Toronto Waterfront 10!

On Saturday I finished my 6th (?) 10K with the amazing Lindsey (and her friend Melissa), Michelle, and Stephanie! It was Lindsey and Melissa's first 10K race too! We decided to all run the new Toronto Waterfront 10K race months ago and it was very exciting running a race with a bunch of friends. Though, it was also brutally hot on Saturday too- who decided to put a 10K in late June??


The race started downtown around 7:45am so we all met up at 7:00am full of excitement! Steph and I were in an earlier corral than the rest of the girls, but I decided to hang back and start the race with Lindsey, Michelle, and Melissa. At 7:45 we were off! Because I was back in a bit of a slower paced corral, I spent the first two km or so like a gazelle on the sidelines, passing everyone. It made me feel like a Super Speedy Gonzales! I don't usually get that feeling with a race so it was cool.

The weather was hot hot hot. I had decided in advance not to try and PR, but at the same time I wanted a challenge so I was aiming for a 5:30 average pace and a 55 minute finish. I was going around 5:20 for the first half, but the sun and heat in the second half got me and I ended up finishing with a 5:30 average pace after all! My overall time was 55:07! Couldn't be happier!

There was a never-ending chute at the end of the race and I kept walking and walking trying to find some shade. I had told the girls I would meet them by the banana stand (there is always a banana stand). I finally found it and thankfully there were shady trees just behind it so I had a nice little rest while I ate my cookies and banana. The girls ended up finding me back there when they had finished and we had all done so well on our race!! Yay to kicking this 10Ks ass!!


We then all wandered over to Hunters Landing for some well deserved brunch, where we sadly remembered too late that alcohol cannot be legally served before 11am. I had a breakfast poutine, which is basically the love child of poutine and eggs benny and it was fantastic!!


All in all, a great race and good practice for racing in heat because my next race is the Beaches Jazz Half Marathon in July!!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Monday in Motion- Another RunTOBeer Recap!

Hello hello!

This week was kind of lax on the "not being lazy" front, but what can ya do?

Monday- 9300 steps. Can't remember what I did
Tuesday- 7.5km run
Wednesday- Felt SO lazy. Did some running exercises and stretches but basically relaxed!
Thursday-11.5km run
Friday- I was babysitting my niece and nephew so I didn't get too much exercise. Unless you count basketball golf with a 1 year old.


Saturday- 10,000 steps! I took my very pregnant friend to the spa for a massage and pedicure to celebrate her 30th birthday this past spring and her upcoming baby. I meant to get a photo of us in our fluffy white spa robes, but I forgot. We went to Elmwood Spa, which is one of my favourites here in the city. We had so much fun!! I 100% recommend the spa gift for any pregnant ladies. Then we went out for lobster rolls (delish). Later in the evening I went to my friend Bri's 30th birthday party where I totally kicked butt at Pie-In-The-Face, being the only person to not get pie in my face. Hua! #talent




Sunday- RunToBeer again!! We met out at Woodbine and Danforth and ran 15km to the Loose Moose for a Side Launch party. It was HOT. Like 30 degrees and no shade hot. I was so beat after. It probably doesn't help that I got home at 2:00am from Bri's house the night before and then up at 8:30 and slightly hungover. Oops.

And then in the evening I drove to Ajax for a buffet dinner with my Dad and fam! Busy weekend!!



I guess now it is officially summer so the hot days are only going to get hotter!! Next weekend I am running the Toronto Waterfront 10K with Lindsey and Michelle so fingers crossed for whatever the opposite of a heat wave is!!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Mondays in Motion: RunTOBeer recap!

Welcome to another week where I recap all the exercise shenanigans I get up to. I really should blog about other things, but all this working out makes me lazy ;)

Monday- I can't remember what I did on Monday but I did log over 9000 steps so I must have done something...?

Tuesday- 6.5K run

Wednesday- 10K fast run

Thursday- 12,500 steps! I was meeting some of my blogger friends (Michelle, Shannondoah, and Jeanette) for our Blogger Book Club we started (we read The Book Thief this month). We were meeting at Michelle's later in the evening so I wandered all over getting errands done before heading there.

Friday- I totally forgot to do something active! It was like 11:30pm when I realized. Oh well :)

Saturday- I didn't have any running planned and I really didn't feel like weightlifting so I ended up doing a 30 minute yoga class on youtube (Runner's Yoga- it was pretty easy....basically stretches). I also met with Lindsey and Liz for brunch that day! Mmm lazy Saturdays. Then I went to my Mom's to take advantage of her pool and I ended up pushing my niece around and around the pool on this giant inflatable flamingo I scored at Winner's. It was a good workout!!

I promise I am wearing a bikini top
Sunday- Sunday was my main event for the week because I was doing my first RunTOBeer! It's a big running group that holds runs sponsored by various breweries. You sign up for a run on the FB group and then meet the group at either the 15K, 10K, 5K, or 3K start and it is all staggered so everyone arrives at the designated bar at the same time (and there are various pace groups and ALL levels of running ability). I ran it with my friend Steph (who recently started a blog! Read it here!). I had always wanted to do a run but it never worked with my schedule!! I did the 15K distance with the slow-poke group. As everyone reaches the bar there is a big tunnel of high-fives- it is actually more fun to be last.


This is our whole group once we reached our bar- 3030 Dundas West! (Stolen from the RunTOBeer instagram)

Once inside we all got treated to a free tallboy of Oast (the sponsor) and then we all sat around chatting, drinking beer, and eating some brunch. It was such a fun day and really solidified the idea that I should find a running group because the run flew by.


Now onto another week!
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