Wednesday, July 31, 2013

July Foodie Penpals Reveal Day

Posted by CheapRunnerMichelle

Hi friends - it's the last day of the we all know what that's time to reveal what I received in my mailbox this past month!

This month for the first time ever since I joined Foodie Penpals I received my box from a fellow blogger - Hayley from Haley Runs and Eats. She's got lots of great recipes on her site - so make sure you check her out!

The box was full of yummy local goodies! let's recap

- Birch Butter that is locally made (to Hayley)

- Wild Rose Honey (the roses are edible) again locally made

- Homemade granola (that made the entire box smell sooo good)

- DavidsTea mango fruit punch drink

Hands down our family fav was Hayley's homemade is soooo yummy - and I love that she included a list of all the ingredients (so perhaps one day we could try and make it ourselves). I also really enjoyed the fact that she included local to her items to try - as that's always a nice treat!

Thanks again Hayley!!!!! and thanks as always to Lindsay over at The Lean Green Bean for hosting.


Wanna know more about Foodie Penpals...check out the info below:

In case you’re a new reader, here’s a reminder of what the program is all about:

On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.

You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!

The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!

You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)

Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers.

Foodie Penplas is open to US, Canadian & European residents. Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. Same with Europeans.

If you’re from the US or Canada and are interested in participating for June, please CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions.



Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Running and the Male Ego

Posted by CheapRunnerMike

I had the joy of running 37K/23miles on Sunday for the first time in my life...if any non-runners are reading the blog today, this is where they assume I am employing sarcasm. Of course, the runners reading know that I am dead serious :)

Sunday's long run felt like such a huge accomplishment...I was only 5K away from covering the entire marathon distance and I won't lie, a part of me really considered just doing the whole thing. I felt good enough to do it and at the pace I was going at it would likely only be another 25 minutes. Alas, my ego was held in check with logic and reason winning out. I knew that I was already in uncharted territory distance wise, I was also coming off a shorter distance running week and had a significant mileage jump already and things like that can lead to injury (I know from experience). I had been away from my family already for three hours as well and wanted to spend time with them, not just out running loops. Besides, just because you can do something doesn't mean you should do something.

Sunday's Long Run...My Longest Ever

It was pretty cool knowing that I could basically see the finish line, here's the Chicago course map to put it in perspective...

2013 Chicago Marathon Course

...and here's how close I came to the finish

Mile 23...Just a Quick Run up Michigan Ave to the Finish Line

I felt fine the whole time, and the weather was perfect for a and cloudy. I ran loops for the first time and to be honest it was a little boring, but it was effective. I even threw a couple of half full water bottles in the bushes that I could come back to and grab a swig if worked out well. Like a good runner though, I made sure to pick up all of my bottles on the last loop and "leave only footprints". Maybe next week I'll get the kids to set up a water station for me :)

Once I finished, everything caught up with seems to me that the run is fine, until you stop. Then the ouch begins. I downed a Powerade, grabbed a nice hot shower and donned my Pro Compression socks, then settled in for a little bit (but not too long) of this...

Couch Snuggle with Jackson

The next day I decided I would get out for an EASY 10K. Key word, easy. I started out at a really nice slow pace for which my legs were grateful, but I made the mistake of looking down at my watch and seeing what my pace was. I was running 5:09/km (about 8:20/mile)...honestly, a really nice recovery pace after 37K. But my ego did not agree. My legs felt fine and since I was about 2.5K into my run they were getting stretched out, so I decided to go a bit harder. Logic and Reason tried to have their say, but Ego was having none of it. I kept pushing the pace and ended up running my "recovery" run 6 seconds/km faster than the run I was recovering from! I actually ran at 4:33/km (7:18/mile) from the time Ego showed up...stupid. And for what? The race I wasn't running in? The old guys that were running the other way on the path? The chance to do some real damage to my body?? Ah the Male Ego...

Luckily today is my rest day, so Ego won't have a chance to mess with me. That is, unless he starts whispering in my ear "It's only a 10K, you can fit it in." The joys of being a runner.

Do you struggle to take it easy on your easy runs?



Monday, July 29, 2013

Monday Motivation

Posted by Anonymous

Good morning Everyone! Happy Monday morning and the beginning of the work week. Its back to work here for the 3CheapRunners. I didn’t get to see the other 2 this weekend and I missed them greatly! Thankfully I had this pic to keep me from missing them too much.


I switched things up for the weekend and went to visit a good friend, with another good friend, in another city (Sarnia). She has a pool and the plan was to have drinks and visit in the sun by the pool, but with our lovely 20ish degree (high 60ish degree) weather, it was a little chilly for that. We hung out in her sunroom instead.


Do any of you have those friends that you don’t see very often but then when you do, you just pick up right where you left off and have soo much to talk about? That’s what it was like. We talked for like 12 hours straight. We almost forgot to have dinner. If it wasn’t for her lovely husband who cooked us a spectacular meal, we would have cruised right on past meal time! We had steak, shrimp, asparagus, yellow beans and taco salad. We were so hungry we all scarfed it down before I even had a chance to take a pic.

Anyways, now here we are back to Monday morning! The beginning of a new work week! A do-over chance. Last week I was in a terrible mood at work (waay too much going on right now) so I had a little pep-talk with myself this morning.


And a couple other things -“No rolling your eyes at stupid questions, and if anyone makes you angry when they speak to you-just walk away”. I have already been able to practice both of those things! Not sure if that is good that I got practice or not… I really thought the stupid questions were over.. Oh and I almost forgot-“STAY POSITIVE”.


This week, I plan on getting a lot of running in!


And getting in at least 1 run that is longer than 16 km (10 miles).


Anyone else give themselves a pep-talk this morning?


If so, please feel free to share what it was about. We would love to hear.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

3 Cheap Runners' Weekend Wrap

Posted by CheapRunnerMike

While the 3 Cheap Runners enjoy their day off, here are a few of the happenings that caught their eyes during the past week...

Links we Liked

This Week's CheapRunners' Posts


In case you missed a day...

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Snapshot Saturday

Posted by CheapRunnerMike
Enjoy some photos snapped by the 3CheapRunners this week as seen on Instagram.

Follow MichelleInstagram Follow RhodaInstagramFollow MikeInstagram



Friday, July 26, 2013

McDonald's Double Dip & Getting on the T25 Train

Posted by CheapRunnerMike
Happy Friday my friends! Who's ready for the weekend (this guy!!)???

Michelle and I wrote up a guest post over at Liv Lives Life, go check it out if you get a chance...we give our thoughts on living a healthy lifestyle with kids, careers, marriage, etc getting in the way taking up so much of our time.

So it has been a really great week here to get out running...seems most of my runs have been in high 60's to mid 70's with hardly any humidity, a truly welcome change! I've been able to get out three times after my Duathlon on the weekend; an easy 10K on Monday, then a pair of 10 milers on Wednesday and Thursday.

After my run yesterday I was so thirsty I had to go grab myself a Diet Coke from McDonald's...I'm lovin' the Dollar Drinks!

After dinner last night Michelle and Rhoda were heading over to the mall, so I had Michelle take Jackson so that Kennedy and I could go for a bike ride.

You never regret time spent with your kids, and Kennedy and I don't seem to ever get time for just the two of us as Jackson always seems to be stealing her spotlight! The ride was a nice treat and somehow we ended up here...

The famous Drumstick McFlurry

Oh why not? Make it TWO Drumstick McFlurries!

In other news, Michelle ordered the new Beachbody DVD's T25...which means that I am now doing T25. Michelle and I did P90X last year together and it actually is quite enjoyable having a chance to exercise with your partner. It gave us a chance to spend some quality time with each other, get fit in the process, and have someone to keep you on your fitness track. We've done a couple videos already and they seem pretty decent...25 minutes of non-stop pain moves that are sure to get your sweat on!

Anyone have big plans this weekend? Any racers out there?

Do any of you work out with your partner?

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Throwback Thursday Blogging

Posted by CheapRunnerMichelle

Happy day before the weekend friends! Last week when I was reading this girl's page - I came across this fun little survey. Since ya'll know we are fairly new to blogging - I'm not quite sure today's post title is justified - but hey - we're going to go with it - mmmkay?!?

5 things I have passion for
Fitness (in particular running)
Lululemon (I probably own waaay to much of it)
Red velvet cupcakes


5 things I would like to do before I die
(If you want to get a good ab workout reading someone's answer to this question - check out this one)
Own a place in Florida
See my children grow old and have families of their own
Eat at an IHOP (funny for someone who doesn't even like breakfast foods)
Be happy with my body image
Lots and lots of travelling


5 things I say a lot
What do you want to eat?
Let's go to the beach
Did you read "x" blog today...
I love you


5 books or magazines I've read lately
Women's Running Magazine
US Weekly
(Anyone else see a trend there...I guess I really need to start some real reading)


5 favourite movies
Dirty Dancing
Ocean's 11
The "Bourne" movies
The Hangover


5 places I would love to travel to
Bora Bora/Tahiti
Turcos & Caicos
Virgin Islands
Costa Rica
(Ok sue me - I can't count)


Ok your turn - choose one to answer!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Running Inspiration

Posted by Anonymous

Congrats to the 2 CRM's for doing the Du. Once again I had Race Envy but it was so great to be able to be there and see them race!

I have been digging my heals in a little lately and procrastinating doing some if my long runs. I am comfortable with distances I have done before but with training for my first full marathon I am getting into distances I have never done before. It's difficult and I realize it is more a battle of the mind. I turned to google for some inspiration and here are a couple things that have helped me refocus.


Each time I have completed a new long distance for myself I think "wow, I did that and I didn't hate it".


I recently placed an order with Gymdoll.


This is what I have to remind myself. I want to do this and I will so I have to "suck it up" and go for it.

Running is truly a joy for me and I feel so great when I am out there running so I will keep remembering how I feel when I am done as I add on the kilometres.


Who loves Long Runs??

What is the longest distance you have ever run?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

CheapRunnerMike's Bluewater Duathlon Recap

Posted by CheapRunnerMike

This past Saturday I had the opportunity to take part in my first ever Duathlon. I had competed in four Triathlons last summer of varying distances (including the Bluewater) but never the Du. Honestly I had planned on doing the Olympic distance Triathlon, the same race I did last year, but with our cottage just up the coast on Lake Huron, I knew how cold the lake had been. I wasn't looking forward to the swim and didn't feel like investing in a wetsuit. Plus I found out last year that I'm a terrible swimmer really sucks knowing that you're out of the race already by the time you come out of the water. So I settled on the Duathlon, figuring I could focus on the running, which I obviously love, and the bike, which I really enjoy as well. It is also a lot easier to fit run and bike training into my schedule while there is no way I can fit in swimming.

The day didn't get off to the best start for me as I came down with a cold/allergies on Friday (still have it...still not quite sure what it is) and I woke up every 20 minutes through the night. Awesome. I ended up rolling out of bed at 5:30 and grabbing a coffee and an english muffin with peanut butter. We stayed up at the cottage since the race is in Bright's Grove, which is only about a half hour drive. Michelle and my sister also did the Sprint Du, so I had to load up three bikes into the Jeep...surprisingly, the was plenty of room for three bikes, three adults and all our other crap gear. We were on the road by 6:30 and arrived with plenty of time to get registered.

In line for packet pick up

The race is held at Bright's Grove Public School, which is right on the shores of Lake Huron...not a bad playground for recess! Registration was smooth and we got our bikes racked in transition, so now it was time for last minute instructions. Ken Walker, the race director, took the mic and officially announced that due to the rough water conditions, the swim would be cancelled and the triathlon participants would now take part the duathlon. Not a big surprise to be we were driving in we caught a glimpse of the lake and commented about not wanting to swim in those conditions...the waves were pretty big. So now my small race had become a big race...oh well, nothing you can do. The organizers did a great job of communicating the change and making necessary adjustments. It seemed to me that everything went off without a hitch.

I headed down to the start line for the first run, which was about a kilometre down the shore from the school. The women's Olympic distance started at 8:30 and the men and relay set off 12 minutes later at 8:42. The race consisted of a 2.8K run, followed by 40K on the bike and a 10K run to finish. I didn't really know what to expect for the first run, and had asked some advice from one of the guys at Multisport Zone here in London (where I picked up some new TYR Tri shorts and a sleeveless jersey for 50% off...sweet deal) how to tackle the first run. He suggested I run it at my regular 10K pace then go hard on the bike and second run, so I figured I would try to run it at about a 4:10/km pace. The horn went off and I just stayed with the crowd to start. I looked at my watch and I was going way too fast...everyone around me was in a sprint and I knew I couldn't/shouldn't be, so I tried my best to slow it down. The first run went down the shoreline on the paved path, past the school, then out on a short loop around the neighbourhood before coming back along the shore to the school and transition. It didn't take long for a bunch of the front runners to slow down and I was able to pass a few people on the way back to transition. I ran faster than I had wanted to but didn't feel like I was pushing too hard...I completed the 2.8K run in 9:56 for a 3:33/km pace, 35th place.

My Zoots...they don't smell like flowers

Transition was smooth as I had worn my Zoot triathlon shoes...they have a sock liner, pull tabs on the heel and tongue, and elastic pull laces to help get them on and off quickly. I grabbed my bike and took off...I only had to yell at one meandering couple that were taking a leisurely stroll through transition while a race was on (seriously???) and I was through T1 in far my quickest T1 ever. That could probably be attributed to no swim-to-bike transition, but the biggest factor was that I actually felt good! Normally I feel like puking/passing out when I come out of the water...I can't even run in a straight line. Last year's T1 at the Bluewater was 4:03, a full 3 minutes slower!

With Run 1 behind me, I was in more familiar territory...the bike and the second run were both the same as the Olympic Tri I did the previous year. The bike course is a great flat take a quick jaunt through the neighbourhood before a nice straight 8K shot. We then turned off into the countryside where the wind became a bit more of a factor before hitting a pair of turnarounds and heading back the way we came. Last year I did about 30km/h on the bike and I was hoping to improve this year and get to around 32.5. I had added clipless pedals and aerobars to the bike, and the biggest addition -- a bike trainer to work through the winter. I saw some real improvements and really noticed a big difference getting into aero position (or at least my version of aero, however I looked haha). I'm one of those guys that likes to encourage people out on the course and today was no different...I usually had something to say to people as I went by them or they went by me. As I passed one girl around the 32K mark, I told her she was doing great and she said "You too Brotha!"...I had caught up to Emily :) Unfortunately I dropped my new water bottle towards the end of the bike though...I figured I could find it on the run, but no luck.

I got back to the school and entered T2 with a 1:08:38 bike, 35km/h (yay!), good for 31st. T2 was really quick too as I was in my Zoots in no time and was out on the 10K run course after a 59 second transition.

The Bike Course - defines Fast & Flat

Once I hit the run course I knew I was back in my element...I think any runner doing a Du or Tri loves this point of the race, while everyone else dreads it. It takes a little bit of time to actually feel your legs, but I was still able to get off to a decent start despite the jello legs. The run went down the shore again and made a turnaround about 500 metres down the path, then took off back past the school and out along the Old Lakeshore Road. I saw Michelle at the first water station and gave her a pat on the back and some words of encouragement, and saw her again a couple minutes later after I made the turnaround and we high-fived each other. It was a real nice road to run along as you had the lake and beach right beside you. There were plenty of water stations along the way and they also had volunteers with hoses that would mist you if you wished (took advantage of that a couple times) the halfway turnaround the water station also offered ice water, and it was amazing! The temperatures for the race were a lot better than the suffocating heat and humidity we had been experiencing, but it was still pushing 90°.

The craziest moment of the entire race came as I was on the back end of the run...we were all running along the right-hand side of the road (both runners on the out and the back) and the road was "semi"-closed. I was running along at a decent clip when all of a sudden a pickup truck with a trailer decided to turn right in front of me! He made a right-hand turn through a (non-existent) gap in the runners, forcing me to slam on the brakes and come to a stop. I was MAD. I wound up and smacked his trailer (hard) and yelled at him "What the hell are you doing?!?". He then yells back at me that he can't wait here all day, to which I respond "YES YOU CAN!". He didn't like that so he told me to %@#^ off, so I told him what I thought of him right back. The other runners around me just kinda stared in disbelief.

I got back going again and pushed as hard as I could to the finish. You run back towards the school and veer off into a little park where the finish line is set up amongst the trees...a great shady location to crash after your race. Rhoda was able to catch a couple pics of me making the last turn and finishing...I wanted to finish the 10K in 45 minutes, and did it in 45:07 (4:31/km), 28th place.

Making the final turn

Crossing the line

My goal time was between 2:10:00 and 2:15:00...I ended up with 2:05:41! I finished 29th overall and 5th in the 30-39 Age Group. And since the triathlon was rolled into the duathlon, the awards went 6 I placed! The age group awards were unique, we got coffee mugs...something I will actually use :) I was even the second name called for door prizes so I scooped up a $25 gift card for the Running Room. And if you read Michelle's recap yesterday, you already heard how amazing the post-race food spread simply can't beat church ladies for feeding a crowd!!

Mugging with my Mug

I was curious how I would have done if the swim hadn't been cancelled and it turns out I would have won my age group and finished 3rd overall...really shows the talent that is out there running the triathlon! I enjoyed the Duathlon immensely though and will definitely do more of them. I'm already looking forward to next year's Bluewater and it sounds like I may have even more company as both Rhoda and my Mum are talking about giving it a try, as well as my brother-in-law. The CheapRunners will be taking over Bright's Grove! Kennedy will do the Ironkid as well, she was really disappointed that it was sold out this year.

The Fam Post-Race

What is the most unique prize/award you have won at a race?

What is the craziest event you have witnessed (or been a part of) during a race?


Monday, July 22, 2013

Bluewater Duathlon Recap

Posted by CheapRunnerMichelle

Welcome back to work day...I hope ya'll had a great weekend! Did anyone race? Yup...I sure did. I mentioned last week that I was going to sign up for my first duathlon...well I Mike got me signed up late on Thursday night. Mike had previously signed up for the Olympic distance (I'll give you one guess what his next post is gonna be about ;) ) at the time I decided not to go as a participant this year and rather I'd go as Mike's cheering squad; because I did zero swimming since my last do a du you say?...well I've only been out on 4 rides this I definitely did NOT feel prepared to commit to an event. Then last week I got a text from my SIL that she had signed up for the Sprint distance. So immediately my wheels starting turning...what did I have to lose?!?...ok sign me up.
The Sprint distance was a 1km run - 18km bike - 4km run (I'll talk about this little later)
So bright and early Saturday morning - Mike, Em and I headed out for our 30min drive to do our race pack pick-up and get our gear all set-up


This particular event is put on a by a local church


It's an event that started 35 years ago with about 100 participates and has grown to I believe about 370 athlete's this year.
After the crazy heat/humidity we have been having these last few weeks, we really lucked out and late Friday night the humidity broke - and we could not have asked for better race conditions on Saturday


The Sprint distance was the 3rd "heat" to start - we were scheduled to start at 9:10am - and with the blow of the horn - we were off right on time. The run started out along the water, we looped through a neighbourhood and back around to the transition area. The bike course was very flat that allowed for a most enjoyable ride;  it was an out-and-back with the turnaround right at the 1/2 point...and on the way back the paparazzi spotted me


It's amazing how your mind can "conveniently" forget details from previous uncomfortable situations it's been I dismounted my bike at the line the volunteer told me to run - and I said "I don't think I can" and he said - you're in a race - to which I replied "my legs are not working"..and then the crowd let out a little cheer for me. Man I'm telling ya...jumping off a bike and then having to run or at the very least walk is NO JOKE folks...don't believe me...go out and ride your bike for 18km at a pace of between 26-30km/hour and then get your legs working for a 4km run for ya...they do not even feel like they are attached to your could I not remember this feeling from my previous triathlons?!?!?
For the 1st km I had a really bad side stitch, so I decided to walk through the first water station in hopes of stretching it seemed to then I was able to settle into my "let's finish this du and enjoy the "journey" along the way" pace...and the paparazzi appeared again


I crossed the finish line - and immediately felt a sense of accomplishment, and was pleased that I was able to finish it about 10min faster than my "loose" time goal I had for myself. 1hr 21min - bu-yah!!!
Now it was onto the best part of the day - the "famous" post race meal (please note that it was sooo awesome that I inhaled it before I thought to grab a few pics). There were lots of homemade sandwiches, chili, cookies, butter tarts, squares etc. all put on by the fab folks from the church.
Soooo...I mentioned earlier that I would "talk" about the distance a little later....well our initial 1km run...was actually a 1.5km I get that "distance" can be off a bit for various reasons...but 50%...that's not just "off" that's a pretty big boo-boo on someone's part. My biking registered just a little further than the 18km...but close enough...and the last 4km was pretty accurate...I guess 2 out of 3 ain't bad....although this is kinda sucky - my main goal in registering for this event was to have fun and enjoy myself, and you know what? I did; so I'm not going to stress about the extra 1/2km I got in on Saturday.
Mike's got some awesome news...but I'm let him share that with you tomorrow!
Well we did until next time...


Anyone else ever participate in a race where the distance was measured out wrong?

Tell me 2 things you did this weekend?