Birthday Weekend & Goodlife Half Marathon

Happy, happy Monday! I know, we all really wish it was still Sunday. Thank you all so much for the birthday wishes.

My day started off with “The Shermanator”…

Shermanator WOD

Yay birthday WOD! I obviously loved the workout – running WODs are my jam. I did burpee toes to bar instead of the pull ups (23 pull ups would have taken me forever) and finished in 16:58… Kai beat me but I’ll take second.

We also celebrated Star Wars day (which was officially yesterday… more on that below) because Sean is obsessed. It was a full 6am crew and everyone was hilarious – such a great way to start the day. I even got a little treat from Michelle – a cupcake full of sluten (sugar and gluten… LOL) and some chocolate PB Vega bars from Chippy that I am excited to try!

Bday Cupcake

Sitting in an office all day on your bday isn’t ideal. Neither is sitting in traffic on your commute but at least I had Balanced Bites and Girls Gone WOD to keep me company. I obvs spent some time with the fam too. Dad grilled chicken on the BBQ – only the best from the grill master. And we had some broccoli, sweet potato, avocado and tomato salad on the side.

I also ate wayyyy too much fudgy brownie birthday cake – yes I said too much cake. After the second piece, my stomach was really hurting – which didn’t allow me to test out some baking I did… annoying.

Birthday Dinner

Anyways, yesterday I ran the Goodlife Half Marathon with Sean. I totally didn’t talk about that I was running this race because I was a bit nervous. I ran my first half-marathon in October but haven’t run all that much since. After having some knee troubles I scaled my running back a whole lot but still felt that I was ready for this one and I was. I was also really glad I ran the Yonge Street 10K a few weeks ago because this race route was similar.

I woke up pretty nervous and my knees were feeling a bit sore. I tried to relax a little by watching Joel McHale make fun of celebs and politicians while eating a pre-race meal: two hard boiled eggs, small avocado, banana and a mug of tea.

Pre race

Then Mom dropped me off at the start and I met up with Sean. I was excited to be running the race with Sean (my CrossFit coach) but also nervous because I was pacing us and wanted to not only ensure I ran a good race, but Sean did too. I should also mention: Sean did NOT train for this race. Nope. He doesn’t run. He lifts heavy things. But he is a fit and is an active person so I wasn’t so worried.

The day was sunny and beautiful – minus the wind, it would have been the perfect day. We started off pretty aggressively, running 5 minute kilometres (not sure what that translates to in miles) but that’s pretty fast for me. The first few kms felt easy and other than having to pee, I felt good. Then I saw the hill. I totally forgot about that hill. That hill (Yonge and York Mills for you Toronto friends) sucked. It was a whole km uphill and that was tough. It took me a few kms to recover from that but then I was fine. Sean actually went ahead of me for a bit but I maintained my pace and fought against the wind.

It was relatively flat and boring down Yonge Street until the 11km mark where I got a second wind as we turned onto the Bayview Valley. I really enjoyed the next few kms and we were protected from the wind in the valley. At about 16km, we were back on the downtown streets and fighting the wind again. Okay, I’ve said wind a lot. Yes, it was windy. I looked at my watch and saw we were on pace for a really good time – I was feeling strong.


I really didn’t have a major “time goal” for this race, (I have been trying to run without caring about my time) but I couldn’t help but get excited when I realized I was likely going to beat my PR (1:52:19 for my last half). At 17km, I turned on the jets a bit and ended up losing Sean. We talked about it before and he was totally fine if I left him although I did feel badly and didn’t really want to leave him.

The last few kms were fun. I was bopping along to my music and my legs were feeling good. Someone screamed out “400 more meters!” so I ran like the wind – literally. I saw Daddy and gave him a high five before crossing the finish.


Amy and Dad

I was so happy! Happy with the race, how my body felt, how my mind felt, running with Sean and our awesome times. I think I am learning how my body best functions in regards to training. I don’t think I am a run-every-day-of-the-week person. CrossFit has really helped to strengthen my legs and I think my overall fitness propels me – not going for a billion “long runs” – not that I don’t love them, but obviously everyone is different. I also think that the changes I have made in my diet has helped immensely.

And I am seriously so proud of Sean and it was kinda nice being the coach for the day :) He finished in 1:50:57 – pretty freaking incredible if you ask me!

Amy and Sean


After the race, the fam went for a celebratory brunch at Mildred’s Temple Kitchen. I have been wanting to go here for awhile but the line is always crazy so we sent Les and Mom to go there first. And oh my, I am soooo glad we did because it was soooo worth the wait.

I was craving pancakes like no other so ended up getting the buttermilk blueberry pancakes. Best. Decision. Ever. These were hands down the best pancakes I have ever eaten – yes they outdid my beloved chocolate chip pancakes from the Paramount.

Oh em gee. Theseeeeeee

Mildred's Pancakes

Faceplant. Once I killed that plate, I then proceeded to eat the rest of Dad’s bacon and Mom’s eggs and guac. Girls hungry.

After getting home, showering, icing, I headed to a BBQ with CrossFit peeps to celebrate a few birthdays, a going away and continued the Star Wars celebration. “May the Fourth be with you.” I made cupcakes for the festivities and while they are look adorable, I was not super happy with how they turned out. I used Taylor’s recipe for the cupcake and Lexi’s recipe for the icing. Love both of those ladies so maybe I didn’t do something right.

Star Wars Cupcakes

But there was so much other deliciousness at the BBQ it didn’t matter. I had a great time and love those people so so much. The birthday cake was epic and delicious: a cinnamon bun cake from Tori’s Bakeshop. Oh my. I couldn’t not. DE-LISH.

I have certainly had some more nourishing days but all that sluten was so worth it.

Cinnamon Bun Cake

I totally didn’t go grocery shopping or do any food prep this weekend. Oops. Definitely need to get some of that done today.

Anyways, hoping you all had a great weekend too and thank you again for the wishes!

Questions of the day…

What did you do this weekend? Did you race?


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26 thoughts on “Birthday Weekend & Goodlife Half Marathon

  1. Wow, girl, you are amazing! What a fun birthday weekend, and excellent job on the half! I am like you and like to keep things a bit of a secret sometimes just because you don’t know how it will go! You were amazing, though, and Sean never running did great, to!

  2. Congrats on everything!! What a weekend filled with fun and success!!
    The cupcakes look lovely, hard to believe they didn’t taste good.
    I went snowboarding yestersday in the middle of spring – LOVED it!!

  3. Holy moly, girl!!! You are so amazing!!! I think what you said about the changes in your diet, the increase in strength from Crossfit, and figuring out what works for your body (not running every day) is SO true. I don’t necessarily think it’s the best idea to not run at all and go run a half (some people can pull it off, yes, but I’ll bet your coach is more sore than you today!), but I think the balance that you struck is awesome. VERY proud of you!!! Reading race recaps always makes me want to run another half, but it’s getting too hot in Texas!!

  4. Congrats on the race!!! Those pancakes looks incredible – omg so fluffy! I was at a wedding out of town this weekend, it was perfect!

  5. Congratulations!! So exciting! Are you planning on doing the Toronto Scotiabank Marathon? I think I’m going to and it would be so awesome to see you there! But that’s a longs ways off haha for now just enjoy some well earned TLC!

    1. I was planning on doing the Scotiabank Marathon but I am running one out of town… more on that soon! You should definitely do it, it’s such a great race. Are you running any races this summer? It would be fun to see you at one too!

  6. Happy belated birthday! And congrats on getting such a good time! I managed to do it in 1:57 which I was thrilled with. The wind was NUTS. I have a recap post going up on Wednesday :). I love that you didn’t focus on running everyday in your training. I think that’s what I’d do if I sign up for another half marathon. I definitely felt like I could do better if I had more strength in my legs.

  7. Nice job in the race! I love that feeling when you’re not really looking at your watch and then realize you’re gonna hit your goal!
    I’m taking a little break from races right now, but reading recaps makes me get the urge to sign up for something!

  8. I can’t remember if I commented yesterday when I read this, but I don’t think I did because I think I read this on my phone, but moral of this comment is that I am so proud of you for kicking some major butt and demolishing this run! You are such an inspiration to me, and I just love you!! Those meals look so good! Gimmmme the bun cake!!

  9. It’s really encouraging to hear you did so well when your training didn’t consist of a whole lot of running! I recently ran my third half marathon and during training and the actual race, my legs just weren’t feeling great. I ended up finishing 15 minutes slower than my PR and at a much slower pace than my longest run (11 miles two weeks before). Next half marathon I’m going to try and really focus on strength training and not worry about if that means less running–thanks for making me thing that’s an okay strategy!

    1. Congrats on your third half but I am sorry to hear about your legs! This definitely happened to me too when all Iw as doing was running. I hope incorporating strength training (I like spinning during training too) is helpful for you to rock your 4th half.

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