2014 Running Goals

2014 running goals

I’ve been giving this some thought.
It has taken me a little bit to put my 2014 Running Goals together.
I wanted to put goals down that are not only attainable but also challenging – without making them so hard that I would get discouraged and let them fall through the grates. I also thought it would be best that I compile goals that I can actually “plan” for… that I can put a strategy together for. Now I know there are a lot of people would think, why bother, it’s a lot of work, ugh too much structure etc. But I am one of those people who need to plan, so I can have some structure. I don’t like surprises and I like to be prepared for what’s ahead. (*and yes if that makes me a bit of a control freak…then yes, that’s who and what I am – and it works for me. Don’t judge ok?)

While I was getting ready to sit down and put this post together, I came across something that touched me. It made me cry a bit and it made me realize how simple yet true this piece is.


I do believe that all of the above can be applied to not only life in general but to running as well.

1. Be ok with what you ultimately can’t do because there is so much that you CAN do…..  So I may never qualify for Boston but I can and will enjoy my races and runs (the good, the bad and the ugly) that I am ABLE to do.  I CAN enjoy all that running brings me – the feeling of freedom, of accomplishment, the beauty of the landscapes I run – whether they are cityscapes, farms or where ever I am, to feel blessed that I can even run.

2.  Surround yourself with people you want to be around……. These are my running friends, buddies, partners, coaches and supporters.  I’m absolutely a people person but my running people are something very special to me.  I spend a great deal of time with these folks — I run 4x a week during training and this includes our long runs…oh those long runs.  You can learn a lot about someone on these runs.  We have shared hopes and dreams, fears and tears.  We have laughed – soooo much and we have learned even that much more.  I surround myself with these people because they are the best.  Really.  Truly.  The Best. ( *You know who you are!!)

3.  Keep moving forward…..  Always keep moving forward, one foot at a time.  One run, one race, one dream at a time (ok well at least keep the dreaming somewhat realistic!).

4. Never miss a party if you can help it…… Well, this one is easy, and I don’t mean a major bender!  The Parties I think about are the celebrations with my peers – the birthday celebrations, the milestone celebrations, their accomplishments, my accomplishments and of course – the Wrap Up Celebrations after a Race – no matter how well we did or how poorly we ran.  It’s about celebrating our friendships and just being able to live fully.

I would strongly encourage you to have a look at this video – link below.  This young man was not only a brave person but a very wise person who has inspired me to think a little harder about 2014.

( http://www.upworthy.com/right-before-dying-from-a-rare-lifelong-disease-sam-revealed-his-three-secrets-to-happiness )

And now without further ado…. my 2014 Running Goals (** butterflies**).

1. Stay Injury Free.  Enough said.

2. Run my 2nd Full Marathon  AND the Around The Bay this year as a true races and beat my time by at least 15 minutes.    

3. Run a Full with my sister!  

4.  Motivate and help train at least one person who has never run before  – and help them to run a race  – any race! 

5.  Limit my running shopping addiction to only one running item to every 3 months.  (Wow.) **** Gels and nutrition items not included.

6. Run one race with both my sibs – my brother Frank (*who is not a runner! hint, hint see number 5) and my sister, who is just coming off a running injury.

7. Cross Train!  Yup that’s right.  I am committing to cross training at least 2x a week (where am I going to find the time for this?!?)

8. No swearing or negative attitude or words during runs.  I use to swear and complain during the first 2-3km of runs and on a few of our long runs (my poor training partner Ingrid, she had to endure that last year while training for the Scotia, she is such a trooper!) Btw –  Saying Oh Shoot doesn’t count!

9. Plan and run one destination race, even if it’s just across the border or out-of-town.  Preferably with Sis!

10. Learn better fuelling for my races!  That last 2 km at the Scotia was tough!  The cramping…wow.  ouch. This year I need to really try to avoid that cramping so I don’t end up having to walk as much as I did during the second half of my first Full.

11.  Volunteer at least one race this year.

12. Not to be so hard on myself and just enjoy the journey. 🙂

Well, that’s 12 goals that I think are do-able, number 5 might bring some tears and maybe a meltdown or two but very doable.

What are your running goals for 2014?


No Excuses!

No Excuses!

It’s a New Year, ready for some new Running Goals and absolutely have NO excuses now that I have a huge stash of new running clothes and the gorgeous Asics Gel Kayano 20 – in Pink no less! I feel … Continue reading

Pauli’s Friday Favs

Happy Friday!

It’s been a crazy week for me this past week and I am so happy to be posting the Friday Fav’s for so many reasons…!

First of all the work week is done – yaaay, however I will be doing some of my work at home this weekend to play catch up.  Why you ask?  Oh that little event called Canada Blooms!  Yup that show is on this week and wraps up this coming weekend.  There are some beautiful things to see and if you are looking for home ideas for renos or gardens or even just stuff for you home – this is the place to be!  I was there working at the Toronto Botanical Shop and it was crazy busy!  Which of course is great but wow….the feet were screaming!  The shop itself has some of the most amazing things and if you do get a chance to go to Canada Blooms – by all means please stop by at the TBG booth!

Second of reason is that this is Race Weekend!  Yup it’s finally here….Around the Bay is this Sunday in Hamilton and my nerves are a tiny bit on edge but I know it will be a great run and since I’m running with the best running partner – my sister Marie  – we will do it together as we have done for almost all of the races including the last two 1/2 Marathons.

And lastly, well ….its the weekend and who wouldn’t be happy for a weekend!  I’m off for dinner at the fabulous Fratelli’s Italian restaurant (*yaaay for Carb-loading!) and boy do they know how to make Italian!  It will be the first time back since they had a big fire destroy a large part of the restaurant (already a tiny eatery) and I am so excited to see Sal, the owner and the rest of his great staff!

I’ll write a separate post for Fratelli’s and give you a review on some of their wonderful dishes!

Ok so without further ado…buckled up kiddies – here are this weeks Friday Favs!


this is how I will begin my Friday Favs!

*Friday Disclaimer: I’ve included a link and site address to each of these items and please note that I am not being paid to promote or advertise any of my Favs  – these are just things that I have discovered online in my internet travels and want to share with you!

Floral Favs

This beautiful globe can be found at the Toronto Botanical Garden Booth at the 2013 Canada Blooms show.  It is absolutely beautiful and the plant – an Air Plant – is one of the oddest things I’ve ever seen!  I have been told that this little plant can just be misted once a week and it will grow without soil or a potted bed – just as is.  How cool is that?!  I took such a liking to this concept that I purchased one for each of my family members and some of their Air Plants have tiny blooms on them.  Can’t wait to see the flowers 🙂  It is spring after all……

This is an Air Plant in a hand-blown glass globe.Available at the TBG booth at Canada Blooms!

This is an Air Plant in a hand-blown glass globe.
Available at the TBG booth at Canada Blooms!

House & Home Favs 

I found this adorable little guy on Fancy.com  – I totally don’t need this but how cute would that be to have on your home office or work office!  Just having him around would make me smile!

They have some of the neatest things on this site!  You should definitely check it out!

Beaver Pencil Shapener!  How adorable is this!

Beaver Pencil sharpener!
How adorable is this!



Event Idea Favs

Spring is in the air and what a perfectly adorable cake idea!  If you are having an Easter Celebration or want something special to welcome in the Spring – this is the perfect item for your dessert table!  This great DYI cake is courtesy of http://www.thecakeblog.com.  She has some fantastic cakes and ideas and if this doesn’t inspire you then I don’t know what will!

DYI Spring Chick Cake!  How adorable is this?!

DYI Spring Chick Cake! How adorable is this?!

If you want to have a peak at the instructions just follow this linke and enjoy!  http://thecakeblog.com/2012/04/diy-spring-chick-cake.html#

photo courtesy of The CakeBlog.com

Main Dish Favs

Carb-loading.  Carb-heaven. Carb lovers unite!

This is the one thing I do love about pre-race days – the carb-loading…. for those of you that don’t run/race, this is where we runners get to load up on all things carb 🙂 Happy Days, Happy Days 😉  It’s been said that by eating carbs before a race, you will race better, have lots of fuel to get you through those long, sometimes painful moments of running long distances….. Well looking at this pasta dish, running 30km this Sunday might make it worth it.

Have you seen anything so yummy looking people?  I for one, love pasta and these little pillows of delight are some of my favorite type of pasta.

The blog that you can find this recipe on (http://thecuttingedgeofordinary.blogspot.ca/2010/10/gnocchi-mac-cheese.html) is fabulous.  The food here will make you drool and want to run wildly into your local grocery store to gather up the ingredients to make these wonderful dishes.  Sigh.  Truly drool worth.

This particular dish, this Gnocchi Mac and Cheese, had me drooling and made me happy AND wanting me to try making it.  Gnocchi is a fairly easy pasta to make from scratch  you just have to have patience and not over think it or over handle it.  Like most things……

Have a look this website and I’m pretty sure you’ll agree – some pretty fine recipes to try out – and if not try out, certainly worth drooling over.

Mac n Cheese Gnocchi.Are you drooling yet?photo courtesy of http://thecuttingedgeofordinary.blogspot.ca

Mac n Cheese Gnocchi.
Are you drooling yet?
photo courtesy of http://thecuttingedgeofordinary.blogspot.ca



Sweetspot Fav

So I couldn’t just pick one for the Sweetspot Section of this Friday Favs….I just couldn’t.  Blame it on nerves or on hormones or just on the fact that I have a sweet tooth…. the point is that it was near impossible to just pick one Sweetspot Fav.  Sigh.  Sue me.  Send me angry comments.  Do what ever you feel you need to!  I just have to put these I-think-I died-and-went-to-dessert heaven up here.

Enjoy.  I know I did….

Oh and btw – I promise I will be actually trying out these recipes – all of them – here and posting under my Test Kitchen section.  I will start next weekend as I will be needing to make some new things for our families Easter weekend.  Stay tuned!

First on the I can’t ignore this one list is…

This is a Black Forest Cupcake.


I could run to one of these at the finish line and be happy.

Black Forest Cupcakes.Who needs Ryan Gosling at the finishline when you can have this?!photo courtesy of http://www.confessionsofacookbookqueen.com

Black Forest Cupcakes.
Who needs Ryan Gosling at the finish line when you can have this?!
photo courtesy of http://www.confessionsofacookbookqueen.com

If you are a baker- or love all things baked….this my friends is the blog for you.  Seriously.  Her stuff makes me want to weep.  She actually has more than just baked goods – she has a whole array of wonderful recipes and her blog is a delight to read!  So please do head over there for a peak!


This next Sweetspot Fav is something that I dream about.  Literally. I dream of biting into that chocolaty crunchy goodness….. swoon.

This Matzo Toffee Bar Crunch will leave you licking your fingers and making excuses to go into the kitchen to ….uhmm… tidy up the cutlery drawer… yes thats right…we are tidying that drawer right up with a mouth full of Matzo Toffee Bar Crunch!

And this one can be found at none other than http://www.huffingtonpost.ca

Yes. That’s right.  The Huff Post has some seriously good recipes.  You should have a read.  It will brighten your entire weekend!  True Story.


matzo toffee bar crunch. DE-lish. sigh.

matzo toffee bar crunch. DE-lish. sigh. Photo courtesy of http://www.huffingtonpost.ca


And finally at the Sweetspot…..

Just because they looked so pretty and so fantastic that I just had to pick this  one out…. It’s the BEST SWIG SUGAR COOKIE ever.  Literally.  No lie.  I mean just look at it.

Best Sugar Cookie Recipe. Ever.photo courtesy of http://www.vintagerevivals.com

Best Sugar Cookie Recipe. Ever.
photo courtesy of http://www.vintagerevivals.com

To get your hands on this super lovely cookie recipe please follow this link:



Motivation Favs

For my Motivational Fav I wanted to choose something that really inspired me for this weekends Around The Bay Race.  For me its a total wonder that I can even run 5km let alone 30km!  It boggles the mind and to be completely honest with you – I have no idea how I keep going some days……  So… I, like everyone else need that little extra push, that little extra something to keep me going and help me focus on what this means to me.  So for that reason, I have chosen this for this Fridays Motivation Fav.

This is a great blog and one that really does inspire.  Have a look and enjoy!




ps To my sister and best friend in the world – Marie – (aka La Gord) thank you for running with me, for putting up with my madness and for being a trooper.  We will be just fine at ATB!

And my friend and running buddy Bruce – you are awesome. Thank you for your support and super positive energy!

See you Sunday!

Signing off now …. Will let you know how this weekend went – hoping to survive in one piece, especially that big old nasty hill right at the end.  Oh and the big finish at COPPS Colesieum!

Have an excellent weekend.




29KM Run complete – check. 12 Unplanned hills – check. Epsom Salts…check!

There are days that I can’t believe I am running.  Not because I don’t want to run (well ..there are those days too…) but more because I am the last person I would ever consider to be anything close to being athletic!

This morning we-and I say we because I run with an amazing group of people – ran AND conquered the longest distance we have run so for.  29km.  That is a long way to run.  And for someone who just started really running about a year ago – it amazes me what my body can do.  What my mind can do.  What my spirit can do.

For me running is not only moving my feet.  It’s moments filled with anxiety, moments of elation and certainly moments of just wanting to stop moving.  But some how something inside me propels me forward.  The pain of a run sometimes can be awful and you really have to know when to slow down and really when to just stop so you don’t injure yourself.

Today was a mix of all of those things.  Today we went out on a fairly nippy St. Paddy’s Day and ran an unknown route, and to mine and a few of my running mates came across oh about 12 Hills.  Of the 12 unplanned for hills (we thought we were running along the Waterfront) there was a couple of fairly “interesting” hills.  One in particular stands out and it happened to be almost at the end of our run.  I saw it and my stomach lurched.  Literally.  I felt my already weakened knees wobble in anticipation.  My sister Marie, who bless her wonderful heart, was not feeling 100% on this run actually ran the entire hill!  I was so proud of her, especially because I was running up a little head of her and when I was done with that incline I could feel my stomach turning over in absolute protest what my legs had just done (according to our Marathon Coach we ran a 273 metre gain)!

To give you an idea of what one of the hills looked like….. it looked very much like this one.

Ugly  Hill.One of 12.

Ugly Hill.
One of 12.

BUT – we did it.  I did it.  🙂

This is a very good feeling, especially since the Around The Bay Race is next Sunday.  I am not “racing” that race, I am participating in it as part of my Marathon Training.  It is the oldest road race in North America and somewhat of a coveted and sold out race. I’ve heard stories about it.  I’ve heard ugly stories. The ATB is a 30km race in Hamilton ending at COPPS Coliseum with each runner (and walkers) running into COPPS with your name AND your image on the Jumbotron.   I have to be completely honest.  It scares the living daylights out of me.  Races do that to me.  It’s the crowds, the nervous energy that is in the air at the Expos/Packet Pick up Area, it’s the noise and its the anticipation of running and completing upright and smiling.

I think for most of my non runner friends they often wonder if I have lost my mind.  I mean why would you want to put yourself through the hard training, the early morning runs, the hill training, the Ontario winter weather….all of that.

The answer – the answer to the whys is simple.  It makes me feel like a million bucks.  It makes me feel like I could jump over the CN Tower.  It fills me with pride to be able to say – yup, I did it.

And today  – I did it. 🙂

I am Happy Runner Girl.



Pauli’s Friday Favs

Friday Favorites!

My apologies for not posting last week – I was taking care of a family emergency – nothing critical but regardless still needed my full attention.

But I’m back ….So let’s get started on this weeks Pauli’s Friday Fav’s .

*I’ve included a link and site address to each of these items and please note that I am not being paid to promote or advertise any of my Favs  – these are just things that I have discovered online in my internet travels and want to share with you!

Since this weekend ends with St. Paddy’s Day, it is only fitting that I cover some green-ish things on this post – don’t you think? Lets start with one of my biggest favorite things – food!

Main Dish Favs

Sweet Potato Burger.  How delicious does this look?!  I am a big fan of Sweet Potatoes and I think this is a brilliant and healthy way to enjoy a burger AND your veggies!  This recipe along with some other excellent vegetarian options can be found at this lovely blog called Lunch Box Bunch (http://kblog.lunchboxbunch.com/)

With the warmer weather starting to come around and thinking of fun time at the lake or beach….now is the perfect time to eat fresh and clean!

Just look at that Avocado!  Mmmm....

Just look at that Avocado! Mmmm….

House & Home Favs 

Can you say Summer?!  Well folks, I think this would be a welcome addition to any patio in your home or cottage!  Just set the ice down, fill one section with adult bevvies and the other with water bottles and pop and you are set!  I think this is a brilliant idea to even use as decor and just fill up with water and float candles in the channels and voila – instant atmosphere.

Great blog with some really great ideas for DYIers – have a look at their farmhouse table…..so want one!!  http://www.domesticated-engineer.com

A built in Beer and Bevvie Table!  How great is this!  Click on the link to take you to the DYI instructions!

A built-in Beer and Bevvie Table! How great is this! Click on the link to take you to the DYI instructions!

Floral Favs

Sometimes the simplest is the most elegant!  Spring tulips are available anywhere and are super reasonably priced for this simple center piece idea.  I think this would be a lovely Sunday brunch idea or for something a little more formal.  You can check out the how to’s right here:    http://firstcomeflowers.typepad.com/blog/2012/01/how-to-make-centerpieces-with-stemware.html  They have lots of other really simple and beautiful ideas at this blog – so creative…

I just love this!

Super simple and springy center piece!  photo courtesy of http://www.waterfordeventrentals.com/

Super simple and springy center piece!
photo courtesy of http://www.waterfordeventrentals.com/

Event Idea Favs

This is a great compilation of the Top 10 Party Supplies from one of my favorite event blog sites!  They have lots of great ideas and some wonderful photos to inspire even the most timid planner!

Great Top 10 Party Items List!! A must read!

Great Top 10 Party Items List!! A must read!

Go ahead and have a peak at their blog and I promise you – you will be hooked! http://celebrationsathomeblog.com/


Motivation Favs

This weekend I will be running 29km on my Long Slow Run with my pack (that includes my sister).  I am a little nervous, I am a little anxious but will be very – VERY glad to have it done.  I am running the Around The Bay Race in Hamilton, ON next weekend and that one is the oldest road race in North America and kind of a big deal….. so I need ALL of the motivation I can get.  So this week I am loving this one:

I am a Runner.

I am a Runner.

Sweetspot Fav

And for a bit o the Irish…. Here are a few really wonderful and sweet items to consider trying – or at least drooling over…..

The first is a Chocolate Bailey’s Mud Cake.  Oh my word.  Will you just look at this??  Now if you are not inclined to indulge with the Bailey’s – I’m pretty confident that this cake will get you some serious ohhh’s and aahhh’s if you omit the alcohol and just make it kid friendly!

This seriously delicious looking cake recipe can be found at http://www.citrusandcandy.com where you will spend quite some time pouring over the other fabulous looking recipes on that blog!

Chocolate. Bailey's. Mud. Cake.  Are you drooling yet?

Chocolate. Bailey’s. Mud. Cake. Are you drooling yet?

And what’s St. Paddy’s Day without some Guinness right?!  So in celebration of the Irish AND the Guinness…here is one for the lovers of the Heavy Malty Bevvie……

Recipe can be found at  http://www.heatherchristo.com where you will want to try ALL of the recipes they are that good!

Especially for my sister and BIL - Dave DCourtesy of http://www.heatherchristo.com/cooks/2012/03/13/guinness-brownies/

Especially for my sister and BIL – Dave D
Courtesy of http://www.heatherchristo.com/cooks/2012/03/13/guinness-brownies/


Another drool worth recipe you might want to try this weekend – not exactly a St. Paddy’s Day recipe or Irish in nature or even green….but so delicate and so pretty you might just have to go there!  This blogger is a local gal – right here from Toronto and seriously folks – one of the best ones out there – in my very humble opinion!  http://creampuffsinvenice.ca

She has some truly beautiful photos and the recipes to go with this fabulous food!  Please do stop by and have a look – make yourself a cup of tea or coffee and enjoy!

Paris Brest by Cream Puffs In Venice Blogger - one of my most very favorite blogs out there!

Paris Brest by Cream Puffs In Venice Blogger – one of my most very favorite blogs out there!

Great Big World Fav

Today I am paying homage to a friends beloved pet who sadly passed on.

To my dear friend Peter…this one is for you my friend.  I feel your pain and I share your tears.  I know what it is like to lose a pet and it’s heartbreaking.

Here is to Big Bad Bear.  Beloved Boxer of Peter.

RIP Bear.  Duffy will be there to show you around buddy!

RIP Bear. Duffy will be there to show you around buddy!

Happy Weekend all – and Happy St. Paddy’s Day as well!



Pauli’s Friday Favs

Pauli’s Friday Favs

Welcome to my Friday Favorites and Happy March 1! This is where I will some of my favorite finds from all over the internet.  Some are just dreams, some are projects to try, some will be motivational, some will leave … Continue reading