Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Just a quick reminder to enter your links & readers to the new site at http://marleneontherun.com/

See you there! :)

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Please come find me at http://marleneontherun.com

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


It's time for another round of....

Thanks, Jenn, for hosting!

breakfast # 1 before a morning run - there's no need for plates at 4:30AM

hot tea when I got to work - yes I show up to the office in this hat!

breakfast # 2 - greek yogurt & granola

morning snack... mmmm clementine season!!

mixed veggie & chickpea salad w/ feta for lunching

not just any apple: HONEYCRISP! my fave

grapes & HB eggs for more snackage

chickpea pot pie for dinner - prepared on the weekend
Here's the recipe: Chickpea Pot Pie and I used this crust instead of puff pastry: Whole Grain Crust. (Found both from Susan @ The Great Balancing Act). HIGHLY RECOMMEND!
three cheers for leftovers!

I tend to eat the same snacks every.single.day. Got any ideas for me??

Happy Hump Day! If all goes well, this should be my last post on Blogger!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Miscellaneous Monday

Is it really Monday already??
  • I'm still working away on the switch to Wordpress. It's a bit of a long and tedious process, but it will be worth it in the end. Many thanks to those on WP who have been answering my endless questions! And for those who asked, yes I would be happy to write up a how-to post from my own [limited!] experience once all is said and done. I hope to go live this week and will be looking for some feedback!
  • My off-season "training" has been going really well. I'm enjoying the freedom of not having a schedule and have been generally running 5 days (6 runs), swimming twice and cycling twice. I even managed to get outside for a bike ride over the weekend on a brisk but sunny November day. 
  • I made a new friend! Let's call her LW. Geodee 'introduced' us when she moved to my area recently and joined my swim group. After trying to connect for weeks, we finally met on Friday and hit it off. She came out to run on Sunday too. I'm super excited to have a new training buddy to swim, bike and run with! I hope Geodee is not too jealous that I'm totally stealing his "swim wife."

  • I made a super yummy Chickpea Potpie over the weekend that I found on The Great Balancing Act. Healthy comfort food - yes please! You will likely see it featured as leftovers on WIAW
  • Speaking of which... it seems I've been posting a lot of vegetarian meals lately and a few people have asked if I've gone meatless. In fact, I have not. I am definitely a meat-eater, but I don't love preparing meat - vegetarian meals are often easier and cheaper, which is why I've been eating more of them lately. 
  • My partner in crime Kevin and I have been chatting about our clinic starting in January - time to start putting together a great training plan and discussion topics/guest speakers to get us through our winter training. We're fortunate that Coach Don has spent years building a program that clearly works and we are certainly not looking to re-invent the wheel - however, it never hurts to shake things up a bit and bring some new things to the mix. 
  • I recently surpassed 2000 miles for the year without even noticing. Oops! Some of you may remember that I ran exactly 2010 miles in 2010 and so far I am at 2069 (3330 KM) for 2011. Since there are no obvious milestones to work towards now as we finish out the year, I guess I will just keep on running. :)
I guess that's it for now. Have a great day!

Friday, November 11, 2011

TGIF & Another [replacement] Winner!

I had to select another Chickbands winner since I didn't hear from christinec1234 (and have no contact info for her).

Congratulations to: Cynthia! Please email me at sykes (dot) marlene (at) yahoo (dot) ca. 

Have a great weekend!!! 


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Ode to a Great Coach and Stepping Up to the Plate

I often refer to my training group, marathon clinic and "coach" and have raved about them a few times (here, here and here) although I don't think I have ever explained what it's all about. I train out of our local Running Room store, where I first took a half marathon clinic back in 2007. I went on to train for my first marathon in 2008 solo, while Juliana (whom I had met through the half clinic) was always telling me about the great group & coach she had been training with through the marathon clinic. J invited me to join them for a couple of long runs, but remained a lone wolf for the majority of my training. 

The following season (winter 2009), however, I decided to join this marathon clinic to train with a group for my next marathon. I recognized many familiar faces from my previous stint with the Running Room, and immediately made several new friends as well. Being formally introduced to Coach Don for the first time, it became clear very quickly that he had a lot to offer with his decades of marathoning, coaching and teaching experience. Most of all, though, it was obvious that this was his passion and he truly cared about all of us and our success.

May 2011
Coach Don is a true gem in our running community. He devotes a great deal of his time and energy to helping others succeed, always putting everyone else's goals and needs before his own. He offers every one of us from the back of the pack to Boston qualifiers the care and attention we need to be successful, whatever that may mean for us at any given time. Don goes above and beyond the call of duty as "Running Room Clinic Instructor", offering one-on-one coaching and support to the entire group (70+ people at times!) on a constant basis throughout our training and all the way to the finish line.And he does it with heart.

Coach Don makes every one of us believe that we can achieve big goals and gives us the tools to do so. He has coached many of us through setbacks and injuries, offered a shoulder to lean on and helped us pick up the pieces when things go awry, and celebrated every victory as if it's his own. He always says that he doesn't want or need gifts of thanks because he gets all the compensation he needs simply by living vicariously through all of us.

I have taken six consecutive clinics (two per year) since my first one back in 2009 and there is not a doubt in my mind that Don's coaching and the support of this group have played a tremendous role in my own success. In particular, he helped me when I needed it most and told me exactly what I needed to hear to get through my best marathons both last year and this year. Don has given me some advice over the years that will stay with me always. When I'm having a tough run or race, I often remember what he has said to me in the past to help me hang in there: "It all comes down to how badly you want it." ...  "You didn't come this far to give it up now." ... "What does tired have to do with it?"

May 2010
It's going to be very difficult for many of us to let him go next year. That's right, Don is taking a much -deserved year off (and hopefully coming back in 2013!) so somebody else needed to take over. After some discussion and a lot of thinking, I made the decision to take it on and co-coach with my buddy Kevin for the next clinic starting in January.

We have big shoes to fill - although as Don's lovely wife said to me last night at his sort-of-retirement party: "You have your own shoes." It will be a team effort and we're up for the challenge.  I'm slightly nervous about the task ahead, but have already received a lot of positive feedback from my training mates. Don, of course, has been nothing but supportive and will still be involved in a lesser capacity. If I can have even a fraction of the positive influence over someone that Don has had over me, it will be a fulfilling and very worthwhile experience.

Any advice for a first-time coach? 
Have you coached or been coached in the past?
What am I getting myself into? :)

P.S. I am working away on moving over to Wordpress and it's taking up a lot of my "free"time. I'm trying to keep up with reading/commenting on other blogs, but it just may not happen as regularly right now. Thanks for bearing with me! I hope to have the new site up soon!

P.P.S. One of the Chickbands winners has not contacted me (and I have no contact info) - last chance for christinec1234 or I will be selecting a new winner tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

What I Ate Wednesday


It's time for Jenn's weekly party: What I ate Wednesday Tuesday. These eats are almost identical to the last time I shared, so I'm sorry for the repetition. I'm such a creature of habit, but I'll try to make it more interesting next time. ;) I actually started to record a day on the weekend when I tend to mix it up more, but kept forgetting to take pictures. Anyway, here goes...

first things first: tea to warm up

instant... again

apples & yogurt for a morning snack

big lunch salad w/ chickpeas, olives, almonds + 2 small oranges

handful of grapes for an afternoon snack

4pm treat, plus h2o all day long

veggie burger with the fixin's, avocado and roasted brussels on the side

What did you eat?