My Mom’s Baked Beans

As the snow gently falls outside it makes me crave those special foods that my Mom made when I was a kid. It was always after  an afternoon of snow fort building, sledding, and a little cross-country skiing that I would run into the house starved for supper. I knew the moment I opened the door and caught the smell of baked beans in the oven that I couldn’t wait one more minute to dine with my family.

It is this simple recipe that I now make for my kids! We enjoy it when the air is cold, the snow has fallen, and take comfort in its warmth. It is  the warmth my Mother once filled me with after time spent playing in a winter wonderland.

What is your favorite family recipe on a cold winter’s day?

Snow Drifts and Squeaky Joints

I looked outside the window it was grey, bleak, and lightly snowing. It wasn’t the dream elements I had in mind for Free the Dream Fun Run. I thought it might be more freeing to run in the warm sun on a paved sidewalk. It was at that moment the phone rang and at first instinct I knew who was calling me.

I picked up the phone, “Hey Grace!”

“Hey! Did you still want to do the 5km run tonight?”

“Of Course!”

“Damn it! I knew you would say that!”

“Well! We did pay to run in it! And just think of the reward knowing you ran two races this week.”

“Ugh! I knew you would say that! Fine. I’ll run!”

And with that we made our way to the Free the Dream Fun Run which was a great fundraiser to support youth from low-income families to be able to play sports without the added worry of cost and equipment.

As we walked over to the start line we felt a brief chill in the wind. It was one of those moments I felt like turning back and saying - maybe we should go for hot chocolate instead…

Grace gave me the look “I can’t believe you are making me do this!”

“I didn’t make you do anything! I’m just happy you are here to run with me.”

It was with that we made our merry way down the road and onto the city trail system. We were prepared for slow moments on the ice but not ready to run through snow drifts. It became an obstacle course of not tripping on top of the people in front of you, attempting not to sink up to your knees, and the odd bunny hop over a drift of snow.

But, once we made it to the clear part of the trail it was easy-going with a couple small hills.  Unfortunately we had to loop our way back through the winter wonderland obstacle course. It was within minutes of running through the snow. I felt a small jolt in my knee. I let out muffled swear word and kept running. It was at that moment I knew my squeaky knees were never destined to sludge through deep snow.

All in all it was still a fun run full of unsuspecting obstacles! However my knee still begs to disagree! They have  been squeaking and creaking since the chance wrestling match with the snow.

Do you have any issues with joints or back pain? How do you nurture your sore spots after a good workout?

Running in the Winter

It was just this past summer I developed a new-found love for running. It has slowly become a healthy habit that I enjoy which does not involve a glass of red wine. However, as late fall arrived, so did the cold weather. I made a pact with myself that I would not let the cold weather defeat me. I would embrace the onslaught of this cold winter and run my little heart out.

 I decided the best way to stay motivated was to sign-up for a Running Room Clinic.  Once a week, a group of us meet up for a discussion on running, and then go for a group run. It is this group run which has kept me motivated to maintain my daily runs and to meet my goal to participate in the  New Years Day Resolution Run.

Nop! It's not a Ninja! Just me...

Unfortunately,this last week, the cold weather has hit with a vengeance. But lucky for me – I have been drinking the Running Room kool-aid! I was unsure if I could run in -20 degree weather but our instructor ensured us with the right gear – you can do it!

So, one balaclava, one pair of technical wool socks, one pair of thermal lined mittens, and two base layers of thermal clothing  later. I was ready to hit the snowy trails!

At first, I  was skeptical that I wouldn’t be warm enough, fearful of frost bite, and admit defeat to mother nature.  But after the first ten minutes into my run…I was sweating! I wondered to myself,  how could I have possibly over dressed in -24 degree weather? But I did! I was pleased that I could run 5km in comfort.

I loved every minute of it! It was just me and the open trail. I thought I would be shivering, cranky,  but the peace of this cold morning’s run brought me inner contentment.  I was able to enjoy the snow-covered trees, frosty blue sky,and clear my head from the stress of the week.  It’s the quiet moments, when there is not a soul around, you begin to appreciate the silence, and  rejuvenate your spirit.

I know, to the passers-by in their vehicles,  I may look like a  slow-moving ninja. But too me every penny spent on cold weather gear was worth it! Lookout resolution run! Here I come!