A Quiet Sunday Morning Run …




Cherry blossoms.


Happy little tulip.


Quiet path to run on.


Cute little bridge to run over. 🙂

I’m fortunate enough to have lots of quiet paths near my place to take a quiet Sunday morning run. I did a leisurely 5k (my last recovery run before getting back into a training schedule) and popped into the grocery store for some eggs for breakfast.

Unfortunately you can’t run home with eggs – but I had a nice 2.5k walk home…followed by some French toast.

I hope you enjoyed your Sunday run.




Around the Bay 30k race recap

Great shirt this year.

Here’s a quick recap of my Around the Bay 30k. This was my 3rd year in a row doing this race, and I highly recommend it – one of my favorites.

We had a beautiful day again this year. Blue skies, sun and a cool but pleasant temperature. The wind picked up throughout the race, but it didn’t bother me until the last 4k when we seemed to be running right into it.

Gawking at my friends and losing my pace bunny...

Me in blue – gawking at my friends and losing my pace bunny…

It was an interesting race for me. I hadn’t trained enough because of the cold winter, I only got up to 23k in training, and I’ve been running slower than I have in years. I had a goal of 3 hours when I signed up and I had adjusted it to 3:10 for the race. I had planned to run with the 3 hour bunny as long as I could and then just do my best after I couldn’t keep up.

Well, right off the bat I lost the 3 hour bunny. I was busy gawking at the side looking for my husband and friends as I started, and I realized a few minutes in that I couldn’t find the bunny (that had been just beside me at the start) anywhere. My Garmin had also shut off just before the start and it took me a couple of minutes to get it going so I had no idea exactly where I was timewise. I spent the first few kms trying to catch up to the pace bunny in front, only to find out that it was the 2:55 pace bunny.

Anyway, long story short, I decided to just do whatever felt good. And I think the fact that I was staying ahead of my pace bunny and not letting him catch me, instead of feeling like I was struggling to keep up to him, made me feel more confident and like I could really get a good time. When I passed the 10k I was just under 59 minutes. For the next 10k I took advantage of the flatness and hit 20k at around 1:57.

It was at 20k that some crazy spectator was yelling out “You’re almost there”. I turned to a lady in pink beside me and we joked about it (that’s not even close to almost there – but smiling does make you feel better when you’re running). I was feeling good about being in the last 3rd of the race until I hit 23k and I hit my wall – hard. At first I got a little down, but then I decided on mind over matter. I told myself that it was just my wall and I’d get past it. I allowed myself an extra walking break and took some more fuel and then told myself, “it’s a race – it’s supposed to hurt”, and got on my way. I was really tired for the last 5k and had to talk my way through it. At 28k, I stopped for a Gatorade at the last water station and I was feeling completely out of gas, then I noticed my pink lady from 20k run by and I decided she was going to help me in. I caught up to her and she said “I met you at 20k right? NOW we are almost there!” That was what I needed and I just stayed with her til the end of the race.

Chip time: 2:57:57. A personal best – and a new sense of what I can accomplish.

I had read this article before my race and used the tips in it throughout the race – I think it helped. 🙂

Mile Posts: 5 Tips To Help Running Feel Easier Read more at http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/03/mile-posts/mile-posts-5-tips-to-help-running-feel-easier_36634#x8BuDt4YAkkkKRdg.99



https://www.strava.com/activities/276070714/embed/cf52d292b311bb28701adad71e37cecfdca9e35b” target=”_blank”>My run on Strava

Black Bean Brownies (Gluten-free)

I’m a lover of desserts and I’m not afraid of delicious, full-fat, disgusting brownies. But I figured it couldn’t hurt to find some healthier recipes. Most of us have friends or family who are gluten-free, so it’s great to have a tasty recipe. (One that you can all eat and you don’t have to force them to take the leftovers home with them. )

I decided to try this Black Bean Brownie recipe.


Right away I liked that it was simple to make and that I had all the ingredients on hand. I left out the stevia packs and increased the maple syrup like the recipe suggested and I did use extra chocolate chips on top for presentation. I baked mine for 18 minutes and they turned out like this:


The recipe said to cool the brownies for at least 10 minutes before trying to cut. Since I can’t be in a room with a pan of brownies and not dig in, I got my running gear on and went for a quick 3k run. ( got day 4 done of my 31 Day Run Through December challenge).  When I got back they had sat for a little over 15 minutes but they were still far too gooey to cut and I ended up refrigerating them and having a bowl of pasta.  🙂

When I was able to cut into them, I found the texture a bit softer perhaps than a regular brownie, but pretty good for gluten free. I found them a little less sweet than a normal brownie, but very tasty. It totally satisfied my chocolate craving and surprisingly eating just one brownie was enough. I got one of my sons to try it and he said he liked it and it just tasted not as sweet as the usual brownie, but that he’d eat them.

I would definitely make these again – for my gluten-free company, or even for snacks for when I’m training for half and full marathons. It’s also vegan friendly. Nutrition Information.

Verdict: Black Bean Brownies – success!


– Jackie – Jackie

Running links I liked this week…

The inspiration Pic:

I love this because I started running to lose weight, but the more I run the stronger I feel. Now I run to stay strong and to push myself to see what I can accomplish next.

The gear:
Lululemon Base Runner Long sleeve

I’m loving the Base Runner long sleeve running top by Lululemon. I have this one in the blue stripe (got it on right now). It’s so soft and comfortable, a great layering piece and so cute! (check out the little ruffle details and thumb holes – you must have thumbholes)

The Race Link:

5 Peaks Trail Running Series

This is a goal for me someday. Registration just opened for this great series. I like the idea of mixing up my 10k and half marathons with some challenging trail races.

The healthy recipe:
Fudge Black Bean Brownies recipe

Okay – it’s always good to have a good gluten free recipe for when you have company with gluten issues. She says these don’t taste healthy – I’m skeptical, but I’m going to give this recipe a try this week. (I hope it turns out better than my Quinoa Mac n’ Cheese…)

The not-so-healthy recipe:
Crab Mac n Cheese recipe

Because that’s also why I run. (And because there is no Quinoa in it 😉 )

And finally – a good idea to try: (my feet need some attention)

Five ways to show your feet some love!


I have to admit that I tend to hibernate through November and December. I always have good intentions of keeping up my training and maintaining the fitness level that I have achieved over the summer, but it never fails that November and December are a complete failure for me running-wise.

Every spring I plan a large run, this year I have a 30k (Around the Bay 30k in March) and a half marathon (Mississauga Marathon in May), that makes me start running in January to get ready. Then I have 10ks throughout the summer which keeps me motivated through the hot weather. In the fall I plan another long race like the Toronto Marathon or the Springbank Park Half Marathon – that, along with a few fall 10ks where after all that marathon training I’m gunning for a PB, keeps me going until the end of October.

The problem occurs in November when I don’t have any local runs to plan for and when the weather gets cold, I just can’t force myself out the door. Then December gets colder and I really, really don’t want to get out. I always do the Resolution Run on January 1st, which is a lot of fun by the way – and you get a great jacket, however, since it is a fun run and there is no official time recorded, I don’t feel overly motivated to keep training. So, when January begins and I have to get my butt out the door to start my 30k training, I feel like I am starting from square one.

Well, this year I want it to be different. After reading my fellow Outrunning blogger Mandy’s “Hindering Hibernation” post I decided what to do. Mandy had some great suggestions:
1. Join a social running site such as www.strava.com. (I am on Strava and love it)
2. Sign up for an online running challenge. (I do that, but this helped my form my plan)
3. Get some new gear. (yep, got that covered – perhaps a little too well :o)
4. Plan out each week. (Okay, I don’t do this at all unless I am training for a big run)
5. Reflect on what you’ve accomplished during the last few months, and think about what races you want to do in the spring. (I want to maintain the level of fitness I’ve attained)

Mandy’s suggestions, coupled with a recent article I read in the December issue of Runner’s World magazine (A Season to Streak) helped me form a plan. I’ve decided to do a 31 day run through December challenge. I want most of my runs to be 5k, 8k and 10k, but on days when things are less than ideal, like perhaps a snow storm or feeling a bit under the weather, I’ll do at least a mile (1.6k). On days when I’m tired I’ll do the walk/run method (run 10 minutes then walk 1 minute) to help avoid injury. I’m going to take Mandy’s number 4 suggestion and work on a schedule over the next couple of weeks. It should be interesting when I’m away on holiday for a week, but I have some ideas on how to make that work too. (How about running up Smuggler’s Notch Road in Stowe Vermont – it’ll be closed for the winter season – I have that planned with my running friend Cathy.)

I’m going to keep track of how it went and write a weekly post of my progress, so check back throughout December. I hope this helps me maintain, or even increase my ability so that I can start my Around the Bay 30k training schedule more prepared than I was last year.

Who’s up for it?


Jackie’s Rapini, Potato and Tomato Soup

I have a hard time eating healthy and I love comfort food. Generally my idea of a tasty soup involves large amounts of cream and cheese. This is a recipe that I have put my own spin on that is healthy and low in calories yet very filling and enjoyable. I can feed this soup to my husband, who doesn’t consider soup to be a meal, and he is satisfied(ish). This is also a vegetarian friendly recipe that is hearty enough to please meat eaters (like me).

Jackie’s Rapini, Potato and Tomato Soup


1 cup of chopped onion
1 clove minced garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 cups of water (broth can be substituted for the water and vegetable seasoning mix)
3 tablespoons Epicure vegetable bouillion seasoning mix (I like the Epicure seasoning because there is no msg or artificial ingredients – you can substitute another vegetable seasoning to taste)
3 pounds of thinly sliced or chopped potatoes
1 bunch of coarsely chopped rapini (broccoli-rabe)
1 28oz (796ml) can of diced tomatoes
Salt to taste (you’ll likely need at least 2 tsps)
Grated Romano cheese for garnish


Cook the onion and garlic in oil until soft. Add water and vegetable bouillion and bring to a boil. Add potatoes and cook for about 15-20 minutes until potatoes are soft. Stir in the canned tomatoes and chopped rapini and bring to a boil. Add salt to taste. Reduce heat a little and cook until the rapini softens a bit to your liking – 5 to 10 minutes. Ladle into bowls and garnish with Romano cheese.


Makes 4 large and filling servings
Calories per serving 190 (cheese garnish extra)
Nutrition information (without Romano Cheese)
Calories per serving: 190
Carbs 32g
Potassium 61mg
Protein 6g
Fat 7g
Fiber 6g

(nutrition information based on the calorie calculator at http://www.myfitnesspal.com)


The Rundown Race is a favorite of the Outrunning girls. It is run twice a year in Waterloo, ON. A fun race where the winner is the person who comes closest to their predicted finish time.  Here is a little recap of how the Fall 2013 Rundown went.
Jackie: I signed up for the 10k for this race. It was a brisk and gray day but it didn’t rain as forecast, so it turned out to be a good day for a race. The runners bundled up, wore blankets or stayed warm in the car until their assigned start time. I predicted I would run my 10k in 51:50 so I started at 12:08:10 and I was the third runner to start. Because the runner ahead of me predicted a time a couple minutes slower than mine, I was a little lonely at the start of the race since there was no one in sight, but about a km into my run I met up with my friend Shannon who had taken a wrong turn and was running back towards me – she promptly turned in the right direction and off we ran. (I’ve taken a wrong turn in this race in the past as well.) It cost her some time, but I sure enjoyed having someone to run with. It made for some amusing stories at lunch too. Except for a short blizzard around the 8k mark it was a smooth race – and the gray sky made for some great pictures. I got a time of 50:57 which explained why I felt like I was pushing myself the whole thing. (Oddly enough I find that sometimes I run races faster without my Garmin)
After the race we gathered at the Lancaster Smokehouse for our results, awards and gift table, as well as an awesome meal that Mandy said even running a Marathon wouldn’t justify. I enjoyed my giant bacon cheeseburger – it was worth it. I came home full and tired but happy, with a new pair of running socks from the gift table. (btw the 10k winner came in under 4 seconds from his predicted time – kudos!)

How was your run Mandy?

Mandy: Pretty good, Jackie! 😉 After running a few 10k’s this fall, I felt like trying something different, and ran the 5k race.  Short and sweet.  My predicted time was 26:30, and I was the second last person to head out at 12:33:30.  It’s a weird feeling having everyone start the race before you, almost like you are being left behind.  The volunteers at the start/finish line were very friendly and fun to chat with so the time went by quickly.
When I run, I rely way too heavily on my Garmin watch.  I look at it constantly.  It’s not a good thing.  For this race, watches are not allowed, and I felt like I was missing a limb.  I had no idea how to pace myself or any concept of whether I was running too fast or too slow.  I think this winter I may need to challenge myself to not rely on my watch so much.  Nonetheless, the turnaround point seemed to come quickly, and around then I started to get passed by many of the 10k runners, including Jackie.  It was nice to see them!

I came over my predicted time at 27:35.  At the finish line, we waited around for a few minutes in the cold for some walkers to come in, and then took the traditional group photo.  You know a race is small when you can fit all the runners in one picture!  Despite being small, it’s a great race with a fun group of people!