T – 3 Days to Race Day

I’m alive! I’m alive! Grad school has been sucking up all my free time, but I promised to pop by when I could so here I am. The last time we spoke I was just running lightly, well fast forward 5 months and I am in depths of half-marathon training and have my first big race of the year in 10 days, the Tely 10. My most favourite race of all time (not that I’ve run many) but I love the course and the support on the road!

 

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Training for this race hasn’t been easy, between school, a trip to Pennsylvania/New York to visit family and Toronto to see Taylor Swift, and trying to come back slowly from my injury to 10 miles has been trying. My trip in a few pictures:

 

 

Chautauqua, New York 

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Toronto Island, Toronto 

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Glass Floor CN Tower, Toronto

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CN Tower, Toronto

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Taylor Swift, Toronto

Overall, I have been coming back slowly and I have been doing it SMART! I have been alternating running with other activities, strength training, foam rolling, stretching and physio exercises. I am also not running this race with a PR in mind, I want to finish and I have my eye on my goal race of a half-marathon in September. So I still have 8 weeks of training to go for that following this race!

 

So here I am 3 days out from a 10 mile race and the furthest I have run is just over 8 miles. Last night I did YIN hot yoga to stretch, I have a massage booked tomorrow, and 2 easy runs to go. I am excited but ready for this race and if I don’t PR I will just be happy to finish. That being said, as any runner, I still have a secret time goal in mind. I’ll let you know next week if I achieved it. 🙂

 

Anyone else running the Tely or another race this weekend? How has your training been? 

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St. Thomas, Virgin Islands

It has taken a while but this is finally my last trip recap, took me long enough I know! : ) St. Thomas was by FAR my favourite stop on my cruise. Beautiful scenery and the most gorgeous beach you have EVER seen. I absolutely have to go back there some day, I’d love to spend a week or two there.

Other recaps of my trip:

Sailing on the Carnival Valor Part 1

Sailing on the Carnival Valor Part 2

Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos

El Yunque Rainforest, Puerto Rico

Philipsburg, St. Maarten

We started our day off by riding the gondola to paradise point, LOOK at that view. It was stunning!

 

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After our ride we headed downtown to do a little shopping and I went to my very first Tiffany & Co. store. I may have made a little purchase, duty and tax free of course! Winking smile I have always loved the Tiffany keys so I thought it would be the perfect souvenir from our trip. I wear it constantly so it was a great purchase!

 

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Anyone else every visit the Virgin Islands?

Philipsburg, St. Maarten

St. Maarten was beautiful but still probably my least favourite stop of our cruise. I found the residents there to be really pushy (more so then the rest of the Caribbean). We opted not to do an excursion on this stop and instead just went for a cab tour around part of the island. After that we hit the beach for sun, sand, snorkelling and beers. Alcohol in St. Maarten is cheap! Dollar beers? Umm yes please! I wish we were there right now!

 

Other recaps of my trip:

Sailing on the Carnival Valor Part 1

Sailing on the Carnival Valor Part 2

Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos

El Yunque Rainforest, Puerto Rico

 

 

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Anyone ever visit St. Maarten?

El Yunque Rainforest, Puerto Rico

One of the most memorable parts of this entire trip was getting to visit a rainforest. It. Was. Amazing. Unfortunately our boat was almost 2 hours late docking in Puerto Rico so we really only had enough time for our tour and a beer at Senor Frogs but it was still a great time. I would highly recommend this tour as you get to see various parts of the rainforest and learn a lot along the way. I also got to try some local coffee, it was good but super strong!

 

Other recaps of my trip:

Sailing on the Carnival Valor Part 1

Sailing on the Carnival Valor Part 2

Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos

 

 

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The Lower Part of the Rainforest

 

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The water in this “pool” is supposed to be good luck. Ironically 2 people drowned in it so you can’t swim there anymore.

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La Coca Falls

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Yokahu Observation Tower

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Top of the tower 98 steps and what a view!

 

 

Have you ever been to the rainforest?

Anyone visit Puerto Rico? I’d like to go back and see Old San Juan

What’s the best coffee you’ve ever had from another country? I’d say Blue Mountain from Jamaica is my favourite!

Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos

The first stop on our cruise (recap part 1 & part 2) was the beautiful island of Grand Turk in the Turks & Caicos islands. This island was stunningly beautiful, all white sand and clear beautiful beaches.

 

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When we arrived here we went for a little walk down the beach before we were going on our trolley tour. I would highly recommend this tour, it took just over an hour and a half but you got to see almost all of the island and it was reasonably priced ($30 approx). With a short tour then you get to spend the rest of the day at the beach! Plus you get to ride in a trolly, who doesn’t want to do that?

 

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The island has some beautiful historic homes right on the beach. We also got to see the old salt ponds that are no longer in use. It was a very interesting and informative tour.

 

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Of course no trip anywhere is complete without trying the local brew, I highly recommend this one!

 

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After the tour we headed to Margaritaville for lunch. I know Margaritaville is cheesy and overpriced but they make a strawberry margarita to die for and best nachos in the entire world. I am going to attempt to recreate the volcano nachos but I doubt I will come close!

 

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After Margaritaville we headed to the beach for some swimming and snorkelling and then headed back to the ship.

 

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Anyone visit Turks & Caicos before?

Any Margaritaville fans?

What’s your favourite Margarita flavour?

Sailing On The Carnival Valor Part 2

I just love browsing through my vacation photos and reliving the adventure all over again. You can see the first recap here. In this post I want to recap some of the fun things we did on board the ship. This was my second cruise, the first time around we took in almost all the shows and entertainment on board. This time I wanted a different experience, I wanted more quality time spent relaxing with Bruce and the other couple that came with us. We did some fun stuff on board and took in a few comedy shows but we also did a whole lot of relaxing and that was just fine with me. Smile 

 

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We spent a lot of time on our cruise on the deck both night and day. I loved days spent by the pool relaxing and reading. In the night one of our favourite things to do was to get in the hot tub and watch a movie in the seaside movie theatre (pictured above). There is nothing better then watching a movie on a cruise ship in the middle of the Caribbean. I also loved sitting on the deck in the night time just enjoying the warm air and chatting. Just writing this is making me feel more relaxed! Smile 

 

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One of my favourite features of the carnival ships is the waterslide! It was so much fun, I went down it a lot! Smile The waterslide became even more fun with a few poolside tropical drinks! Winking smile 

 

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I also loved that this ship had indoor hot tubs (as well as outdoor ones) the indoor ones were great for the nights it was a little too windy out.

 

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During one of our fun days at sea we played mini golf. It was my first time playing mini golf in forever!

 

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This was one of our favourite bars on board I believe it was called the Bronx Bar, it was a sports themed bar and it had my favourite beer on board, thirsty frog!

 

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Finally, who could forget the towel babies!! Smile I miss going to bed at night and seeing one of these, with my sheets turned down and a little chocolate! haha

 

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Do you like to be busy with activities on vacation or just relax?

If you’ve cruised before what’s your favourite thing to do on the ship?

Sailing on the Carnival Valor Part 1

As mentioned earlier this week  over the next few weeks I’ll be recapping my latest adventures. I figured I’d start at the very beginning – the cruise ship itself. Smile Just as a heads up I have cruised before (with Royal Caribbean) however this was my first Carnival cruise.

 

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We set sail on the Carnival Valor from the port of Miami for an 8 day cruise with 4 ports: Puerto Rico, Grand Turk, St. Maarten and St. Thomas. The Valor like most modern cruise ships is massive. There is a ton to do and see on board and it was a lot to take in during our 8 days! Though we spent very little time in our stateroom it was slightly bigger then our last cruise, had all the amenities, and was always kept clean!

 

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One of the best parts of any cruise (especially for a blogger) is the food! I have to say the food was fantastic – however, not quite as good a Royal Caribbean. Though if you’ve never cruised before you’d probably think it was amazing! The staff on board were fantastic with my lactose intolerance I have to say. Every day they’d bring me the menu for the next day so they could prepare for me. Also, each night I got my own special dairy-free dessert. I loved it as I usually never get dessert as most are made entirely of dairy. Below are some shots of my favourite meals and dishes!

 

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Chicken Sausage, Hashbrowns, Bagel & Eggs

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Fillet With Roasted Veggies

 

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Sweet Potato Soup

 

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Chicken Tenders

If you ever decide to cruise I highly recommend trying breakfast a few times in the formal dining area as opposed to the buffet as the quality of food and service was much better. We also took in the onboard steakhouse (an additional cost) and it was an amazing 4 coarse meal.

 

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What I thought was really neat about Carnival is that every night they had a “didja” option with something crazy that you’d never try at home. It ranged from frogs legs to shark! Bruce tried this option every night but I wasn’t as brave! Smile

 

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Frogs Legs

The other thing I really liked was the little mini food places where you could go and custom order a burrito, sandwich or stirfry and they’d make it for you custom! I thought this was a really nice option that my last cruise didn’t have!

 

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Beef Stirfry

 

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Ham and Swiss with a side of pickles

 

 

Stay tuned for part 2 which recaps some of the fun we had at sea!

 

Have you ever cruised?

What’s the craziest food you’ve ever eaten?

Home Sweet Home

I adore traveling – I love exploring new places, meeting new people, and having new experiences. This past 3 weeks I went on vacation to Miami, cruised the eastern Caribbean seeing Grand Turk, St. Maarten, St.Thomas, and Puerto Rico, spent a few days in Fort Lauderdale, then spent a few days in Toronto (on business) followed by a trip to Halifax 4 days later on business.  I’ve spent more time in airports then not in the past 3 weeks, but I wouldn’t change a thing. It’s been such a great few weeks, I’ve had a great time and I plan to recap it all for you over the next couple of weeks.

 

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The one thing I don’t like about traveling is the havoc it causes on my body. I try and be as healthy as possible but my leg injury didn’t allow me much ability to exercise like I normally do. I had visions of myself running at sea but my running injury didn’t allow for that. The excessive walking everywhere actually made it worse I’m pretty sure. That plus way more unhealthy food then I’m used to causes me to not feel my normal self. I made pretty good choices while on vacation food wise but it’s still not what my body is used to so it’s going to take a little while for me to feel normal again. I’ve been to physio since I’ve been back and things have improved though which I’m very happy about!

 

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I ran today for the first time in 3 weeks, 1.9 miles. It. Felt. Amazing. I followed my run up with Body Pump, so stairs will probably be rough tomorrow. But….I’m glad to be home and get back into the swing of things. 🙂 There’s nothing like travel to make you feel like you get a fresh start. Back to training, back to blogging, back to life! Smile 

 

Do you enjoy getting back into the swing of things after travelling?

Have you travelled any of the places I went to?

Any cruise lovers out there?

2011: A Recap & Happy New Year!

2011 was a big year for me in so many ways. I say it almost every year but this year was the best to me! I had a lot of life mile stones happen to me this year, it truly has been an adventure so I thought it would be fun to take a quick run down memory lane. My 2012 resolutions post is in progress and will be posted tomorrow!

 

I travelled a lot this year…and it was a blast!

Montreal (January)

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Florida then Haiti, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, & Mexico on a cruise (April/May) aka the best trip of my life! 3 weeks of sunny bliss!

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Calgary (June) I apparently have no pictures from this trip so here is my hotel room! Smile

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Toronto (June)

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Toronto (August)

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I graduated university with 2 degrees

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I bought my first car (my actual first car I did not buy – it was a hand me down).

 

I ran my first running race……then ran another, and then one more.

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I got my first adult job.

Most importantly I started this blog … and kept it up. A goal of mine for long time in school was to blog about healthy living. I tried it once a few years ago and never kept it up because I couldn’t with school (believe me I admire those of you who do). While it is still sometimes hard to find time it is so worth it. I love writing about living a healthy live, it is a topic I am very passionate about. This blog not only allows me to do that but it allows me to connect with people like YOU who feel the same way. I read every comment and love to check out new blogs so I love hearing from you! Thank-you for continuing to stop by my little section of the blog world, I wish you the greatest year in 2012, may it bring you everything you hope for!

 

Happy New Year – be safe and enjoy it! xo

 

What was your biggest accomplishment this year?

Where did you travel to?

A City of Runners

So I am currently in Toronto Airport waiting to board my flight home. I had an amazing time while I was here in Toronto. The weather was beautiful, the restaurants and bars were great, and the shopping was out of this world! Every time I come to Toronto I have a great time, mostly because 2 of my good friends live here now. However, I find and I am sure many would agree that Toronto for all its greatness could be known as the city of impatience. I am from St. John’s, a city where the doors are always held, everyone smiles at you, there’s generally no shoving, and if you have a question that a Newfoundlander can answer they’re more then happy to ramble on for 20 minutes to you. In Toronto I found many (not all) people to be pushy, impatient, and unwilling to help out a lost traveller like myself. I get it, it’s a big city.

 

On Sunday morning I decided to go for an early morning run down Bloor Street. The weather was ideal, warm but not too hot and very little wind. So I headed out with no plan and just ran for the love of it. The city was quiet and beautiful and I stopped a few times to snap a couple pictures.

 

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Spot the CN Tower in the Background

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I was running a while without many people around when I started to see a few runners and I noticed every time one would pass me they would smile. I took notice because it was the first time a stranger had acknowledged my existence since I got there. It wasn’t just one or two of them either it was every single one of them. Like I had joined a club that only the runners of Toronto could be a part of. I don’t cross paths with many runners in my area in St. John’s so it was nice to see evidence of the tight-knit running community in a big city. It was also a great way to see the city in a new way then I normally would.

So I only completed one run while I was in Toronto but I walked over 70,000 steps in the 5 days that I was there according to my pedometer so I did a whole lot of walking which was a nice change as well as break for my knees. I will be back on track tomorrow with a plan for the rest of the week.

 

Other then walking and running around Toronto I experienced lots of other fun and exciting things:

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The shopping:  I went to  Vaughan Mills mall and this was the pile of stuff that myself and James brought back with us. I went to lots of great stores that I can’t go to at home including the illusive Lululemon Outlet store, yes one exists! I got a sports bra and running shots for 60 dollars….AMAZING!

 

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The Nightlife: We went to lots of little bars and pubs around Toronto. I just loved sitting out on a patio enjoying the warm nights! The above shot is from a bar we went to last night.

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Myself and James

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Myself and Jess

The Food: We went to tons of local restaurants and pubs around downtown Toronto that I loved but I didn’t photograph anything. I decided to just enjoy the food and not worry about blogging about it later but it was fabulous. However, I did snap a pic of my very first bubble tea. I had watermelon and it was delish!

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All in all a great work trip / vacation. I just love Toronto and city life! I am looking forward to getting home though, I love to travel but nothing beats home!

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Check back tomorrow for this week’s work out plan!