Felt Pretty Good Until I Sat on the Bike Today

……ouch!

The day started out nice and sunny and it was warm enough to enjoy our morning coffee and breakfast on the deck. I made breakfast today. I made a vegetable hash with shredded Brussels sprouts, chopped kale and diced shallots. I sauteed the vegetables in olive oil and seasoned them with salt and pepper and then near the end I splashed some balsamic vinegar over it. I plated the hash and then topped it with a couple of fried eggs. It was surprisingly good! Oh I almost forgot, I also added a little bit of diced Polish sausage to the mix.

While I was checking my FaceBook page this morning my young cousin sent me a message and asked if I was going to be home. I told him I was about to get ready to go out but I would wait for his phone call. I really like this relationship that I’ve developed with my 21 year old cousin from Germany. Some of you may remember that I met him for the first time last August when he arrived in Toronto with his girlfriend, Marie. Toronto was their last stop over before heading to New York to catch a plane back to Germany. They had spent almost an entire year in Canada but most of their time was spent out west. Anyway we spent a great 10 days together and ever since he phones me regularly (about every 6 weeks) and keeps me updated on his studies and how the family is doing.

We talked for about an hour (he has a great phone plan) before we said our farewells. At this point in the morning I was still in my pyjamas and hadn’t made breakfast. K and Frances went for their morning walk without me and I was still on the phone when they returned.

After breakfast, which was more like brunch (again) we decided to take the bikes out again and do our vegetable shopping for the week. This time we headed west, along the Lakeshore Trail to a vegetable wholesaler in Mississauga. I had no muscle or joint pain after yesterday’s 17 kilometre bike ride but when I sat on the seat I realized that not all parts of my body were pain free. Ouch, ouch, ouch!

I rode through the discomfort and after awhile I was able to block it out and enjoy the ride through the Humber College grounds, along Lake Promenade, over Marie Curtis Park and past the old Arsenal Grounds where ammunition was manufactured and stored during WWII.

When we left the house it was a bit overcast but the ride to Lanzarotta’s was dry and quite warm. So warm, in fact, that I had to stop and remove one layer of clothing. The quality of fruits and vegetables at this place is always so good. I don’t mind spending more for some of the produce because I know that it won’t spoil the minute we get home.

We bought quite a bit. We didn’t let the fact that we were on our bikes keep us from stocking up on this beautiful produce. Our panniers hold quite a lot.

IMGP0007 IMGP0008  I love my pannier. So pretty on my new red bike.

The trip home was a little more difficult because we were riding into the wind, which had picked up considerably. It was so windy that there were a couple of kite boarders out on the lake. You know that summer is just around the corner when you see sailboats, windsurfers and kite boarders on the water. I had to stop and take a picture. They were pretty far away but I was able to capture some of the action.

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IMGP0013Can you imagine how cold that water must be? Only last week we were still experiencing temperatures as low as freezing.

When we got home I got into the car and headed over to Costco to pick up a few things that we couldn’t buy on our bike trip.

I made dinner tonight. Come to think of it I’ve done a lot of cooking today. I baked the fish that we purchased yesterday, made lemony smashed red potatoes and made a killer salad. I don’t know why we don’t eat more fish. It was delicious.

IMGP0018 By the way, when I got back from shopping my husband had been on g-map pedometer and figured out that we rode for 14 kilometres today. That’s a total of 31 kilometres on the bike this weekend. Wow!

Hope you had a great weekend. I know I did.

Cheers!

Exploring a Village Within the City

….. and getting an incredible amount of exercise doing it

Today was a perfect day in many ways. The sun was shining, it was somewhat warm, I got out for a walk/run with my husband and I got on my bicycle for the first time this year.

I always feel better when I move. Today I may have over done it. I started the day lifting a few weights. Then we snapped on Frances’ leash and headed out for our morning walk. When we got to the park I started to run but this time Frances started to follow me instead of K so I found myself backtracking to get her back to my husband. When she followed me a second time she headed straight for the pond, went for a swim and then ran through a field of burrs. She finally came back to me as I was heading back in K’s direction where she immediately found a huge puddle and splashed around in there for awhile.

We decided to put her back on the leash and I gave up on running and walked with the two of them instead. With all the backtracking, today’s walk/run totalled a distance of 3.8k.

Before we left for our walk my husband and I planned out some meals for the week and we decided to have fish for dinner tonight. After he prepared a hearty brunch for the two of us I suggested that we go out and buy some of the items on the list. K knew of a fish market on Roncesvalles Avenue and he suggested that we cycle there. This would be my first ride of the season.

K checked the bikes and got the panniers ready while I readied myself for the trip. The temperatures were a bit on the cool side so I put a scarf around my neck under my jacket and put on my leather gloves.

Roncesvalles Village is another vibrant community in the heart of Toronto. It is located east of High Park and north of the lake at Sunnyside. Roncesvalles Village is home to a diverse population of new families, seniors and numerous ethnic groups. It has everything you need at your doorstep; green grocers, coffee shops, flower shops, bars and pubs, a vintage movie theatre, grocery stores, clothing stores, gift shops, specialty shops for dogs, nail salons, hair salons, churches and a plethora of restaurants. My husband and I have often said that if we ever move, this is one neighbourhood that would be high on our list of places to consider.

The bike ride was a lot of fun. I was a little apprehensive about riding on the Lakeshore but it’s a very wide street and parts of it do have bike lanes. When you get to Sunnyside there are bike lanes all along the way. There were tons of people out today enjoying the beautiful weather, walking, running, roller bladding and riding their bikes.

After we crossed Lakeshore at Colborne to the Queensway there was another bike path that takes you all the way to St. Joe’s hospital and then we proceeded on the side streets over to Roncesvalles. We parked at the library and started to explore the retail neighbourhood. Our first destination was the bank because neither of us had any cash on us. We walked all the way up to Dundas only to discover that the bank we were looking for had been turned into a Starbucks over four years ago. Unfortunately it was still listed as being there when we did a Google search.

After asking someone on the street for the closest bank we walked a little bit south and found a bank on the west side of the street. Our next destination had to be a place where we could get something to drink. We didn’t think to pack any water for our trip so we were very thirsty after our long ride. We found a great little independent cafe where we ordered a pot of tea and an iced coffee. We also treated ourselves to two small French macaroons.

P1000971 Roncy’s Bean

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One of the things that I really like about this neighbourhood is that they support their local artists. In the cafe there were great paintings on display by Laura Hains. You can see more of her work on her website.

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The street had a feeling of joy, as people shopped, sat in the outdoor cafes and stopped to talk to neighbours and listen to the street musicians. There were cute dogs everywhere. We found the fish market we were looking for and purchased a beautiful piece of lake trout. We didn’t want to buy the fish too early on our visit so we ended up doing a lot of walking to take in all the sights and sounds of the village within the city. When we were satisfied that we saw what we came for we backtracked to the fish market and then backtracked again to find our bikes.

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The bike ride home was a little more difficult for me because of all the exercise I had already done today but I only had to stop once to give my knee a rest and then the rest of the ride was more comfortable and pain free.

P1000990 P1000991 1367096606964When we got home I was curious to see how far we had travelled on the bikes and how much more walking we had done. I went to g-map pedometer and traced out the route. We thought the ride was longer but the whole trip on the bikes was 17 kilometres. The walk surprised us though. We walked an additional 4.7 k for a total of 8.5 k for the day. My husband thinks that we don’t need to get out for another walk tonight but Frances may have something to say about that. We’ll see. As for how I’m going to feel tomorrow, I’m thinking that I might be feeling a few twinges here and there. Hopefully not.

What did you do on this beautiful ‘spring’ day? Love to hear from you.

Cheers!

Images From My New Bike

…. I finally got out for a long ride on my new bike today

It started out as a beautiful day. I wanted to go to a market and pick up some more fruits and vegetables to can but my husband had other plans.

It would be a shame to let such a sunny morning go to waste by getting in the car and driving to a market. Out came the bikes and the panniers were fastened to the racks on the back of each bike.

We opted to head east toward the city. There are good bike lanes for most of the route. Good thing because traffic was heavier than normal due to road closures this weekend. As always there’s a lot going on in the city of Toronto. Getting there by bike is probably one of the best options to choose. Not only does it give one a good workout but we also didn’t have to worry about the heavy traffic and parking was a breeze.

The other benefit is being able to enjoy the scenery along the way and stopping to take pictures. At the Humber River we have a great foot bridge that on its own is wonderful to photograph but recently a piece of installation art was added that makes it even more interesting.

As you can see from the photos, our beautiful sunny day was quickly becoming overcast but we decided to continue our journey and we rode north to Bloor West Village to take in the sights, sounds and smells of the Ukrainian Festival.

A good part of this ride was all uphill but I’m happy to say I made it all the way without getting off my bike. I put myself in the same mindset when I’m running and just focused on my breathing and only concentrated on the road in front of me.

When we got to Bloor St. a parade was underway. We locked up our bikes and started walking down the street.

The sky got darker and darker as the morning gave over to the afternoon.

When the parade ended we found a relatively quiet cafe and ordered a couple of cappuccinos. We timed it well because the place filled up quickly. After finishing our caffeinated beverages we headed back out on to the street to enjoy the colour and din of the vendors that lined the centre of the road.

We made very few purchases this morning. I’m sure that some of the regular vendors on this strip lose money on weekends like this. We did buy a couple of loaves of fresh bread from Cobbs which we carefully packed into our panniers. We were debating whether to head home or wait out the impending rain. We decided to risk it and ride back. Good thing!  The rain still hasn’t materialized.

As we were riding down the hill (much easier) we became quite chilled so we stopped and put on our fleece jackets. We stopped at the bridge and took some pictures of the city skyline and a lone kayaker coming down the Humber River.

When we got home I checked gmap.pedometer and calculated that we travelled a total of 24 k today. Not bad for the first time on my new bike.

Cheers!

Took the Bike for a Spin Today

…. after our 5.2 km walk/run

My bike, ready for shopping.

What a great day for moving! Not the furniture, house moving kind but rather our muscles. My husband and I started our morning with a 5.2 km walk/run with the dog. When we got to the rugby pitch I started my run around the field (500 m). To my surprise my husband started to run as well. For those of you who know K, this is somewhat surprising and not because he’s just finished all his chemo rounds.

A little background on my husband: Shortly after we were married K decided to start running again. When in high school he was a very good cross country runner and in fact he was the team. He always had to go to meets on his own and place himself amongst runners from another school.

He quickly found his stride again and decided to join a running club. To make a long story short K literally became a world class runner and was ranked 8th in Canada in the marathon. After a number of years of packing up the kids to go to races  and running 110 miles a week in training K decided to make his family and job his priority and he stopped racing.

He continued to run a little bit but he obtained a knee injury and the running stopped. Periodically he would go out and give it another try but the pain always returned.

Over the years as happens with so many of us K put on weight and lost touch with the running community.

At the moment K is on a fitness kick and works out every other day with weights and walks everyday with the dog. Until yesterday I didn’t know that he was slowly starting to run again. Of course he couldn’t stay with me, he had to run ahead of me (I don’t blame him, I’m so slow).

I decided to make a game of it and was determined that in my 4 laps I wasn’t going to let him lap me. When I started my 4th lap K was well into his 5th lap but he hadn’t passed me.    I could feel him gaining ground on me near the end of my 4th lap and I don’t know where I found the energy but I put on a mini burst and finished before he could pass me. 

When we got home we decided to get out the bikes, rather than get in the car and run a few errands in the neighbourhood. I loved it. We cycled several blocks to a house where the owner was selling fruit from his driveway and we bought so much we had to cycle home to drop it off. Then we cycled up to the main drag and did more shopping and browsing and before we headed home (we took the long way) we stopped and had a coffee at the local Portuguese bakery. From the picture you can see that K enjoyed a sweet with his coffee and I shared a slice of vegetarian pizza with him.

Upon returning home I went to the computer to track how far we had walked and ridden our bikes. Much to K’s surprise we covered 5.5 km with the bikes. Not bad for the first time on the bike this summer.

Later in the day I drove downtown and picked up my girlfriend, D, and we went to our friend, M’s birthday party. We decide to eat before the party and stopped at a cute little Vietnamese restaurant where we shared 2 dishes and 2 fresh rolls. We drank clear tea and didn’t have dessert. I knew that the scale might show an increase because I tend to retain water after eating Asian food. Sure enough I was up 1/2 pound this morning but I was down 1 yesterday so I’m still going down.

At the party I literally had 1 shrimp, 2 pieces of cheese and drank water. I even passed on birthday cake. Feeling good about my food decisions. I have another party this afternoon at my daughter’s house but I’m confident that the food won’t be an issue.

Have to get ready to go. I’m literally sitting here in a towel as I write this. TMI??