Choosing health over complacency in the time of COVID-19 helped Joshua Sebree get into the best shape of his life 

It’s not easy being consistently intentional when it comes to our health. 

“The cholesterol numbers had been creeping up and when they first got to a worrying level, I went on an exercise craze for three months—which brought them down, but then I got injured and they went right back up  when the weight came back.” says Sebree, who’s a chemistry professor and deep-cave explorer and needs to be physically active to excel at work, spelunking into tight spaces. “The pandemic ended up being the healthiest thing in the world for me.”

J

oshua Sebree is a 37-year-old father of two who says that his weight increase from 160 to 215 pounds was more of a slow creep than anything you could put your finger on. Long hours at work and a taste for candy coupled with a busy family life and a lack of momentum created a stagnation: slowly at first, but profound after time. Meanwhile, Sebree, a new dad, was continuously led by his heart—his priority was family—but he also was unintentionally allowing his health to decline. 

CHANGE BEGINS AT HOME

Stuck in his house like the rest of us, without having to commute to work, Sebree began riding his bike in the morning and taking the kids out while also exploring a new community—he found the Virtual Run World Facebook page and virtual fun run events. Slowly at first, but then with a recurring frequency—one kind word after another—he began to feel like he wasn’t addressing his fitness alone. A team was beginning to build.

“The social groups online for the Virtual Run World, having that positive feedback cycle and checking in with my day’s workout and having a group to hold me accountable was so important,” says Sebree, adding that, in the beginning, it was the group that helped him out the door when familiar instincts were pulling him toward negative ways. Exercise is hardest at the beginning. Before it becomes habit-forming. At that point, it helps having a crew in your corner.

“It’s hard to do these things on your own sometimes and you can begin feeling a bit lost, but having a supportive community adds an element of fun to the exercising,” says Sebree. “I think it definitely helps me with my goals.” 

THE TURNING POINT

Sebree says that what helped him rally against despair was how one positive change led into the next one. As he worked out more, he started to eat better. He slept better. And after he completed the Great Lakes Challenge with Virtual Run World, he signed up for his next virtual event. He then signed up for another one after that. Having cascading events to look forward to and a slew of virtual race options, helped Sebree remain interested in his fitness. As he completed his races and shared his journey, a positive 

feedback loop was being established, with him taking just as much time to root on other athletes as he spent receiving his own support. 

He was getting in shape, losing weight, and having fun. Both physical and emotional needs were being met. Meanwhile, he also says that he learned a valuable lesson through his transformation: rather than push each of his workouts, he exercised with an eye on being able to work out the next day. His healthy lifestyle was never about setting world-records. He just wanted to have fun and remain consistent—to be the best version of himself that he could share with his wife and kids. And wake up the next morning and do it again. 

“I’m not trying to push myself to be the next super-athlete,” he says. “I’m just trying to push myself to stay healthy—that's my mind set. I don’t have to compare myself to others, I just want to be active and live a good life.”

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From everyone at iRun and Virtual Run World working on themselves this spring, keep fighting the good fight. We see you and support you, keep on!  

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Robyn Michaud Turgeon finds it strange to step into a role that might be called inspirational or influential. “In the Anishinaabe community,” Robyn says, “we have the Seven Grandfather Teachings, including humility. Because that’s so ingrained, it’s hard to even sell yourself in a job interview.” 

 

The “influencer culture” or language doesn’t come easy to Robyn, but throughout her 26 year career of teaching and just as many years of running—albeit with a few breaks here and there— she’s also understood the urgency with which a story like her’s needs to be heard. 

 

“I think my whole life and career has been focused on Indigineous issues and history and as I work with Indigenous people, I still see the effects of residential school trauma and the need to change people’s views of what it means to be Indigenous,” Robyn explains. 

 

It wasn’t just the views of non-Indigenous people, but the views of Indigenous persons and how they see themselves that needed tweaking. Robyn says, “It’s easy for BIPOC people to make a mistake and have it be magnified, so when I go into schools and there are usually so few Indigenous teachers, everything you do matters to these kids.” 

 

Conscious of those teachings around humility, but also the need for her community to see new possibilities, Robyn, mother of four, has sought openness as well as living by example as her path to forge the changes she hopes to see in current and future generations. Her mission is not to promote herself, but to allow others to take from her journey. When it comes to running, the Indigenous Run Club in London, Ontario and the online Native Women Running community, have been Robyn’s conduits to inspire a healthy lifestyle and let her own teachings take root. 

First, you can start late. Robyn explains, “I was horrible at running as a child and couldn’t do it to save my life. I didn’t start until my first years of teaching, when during times of high stress I would just put on my shoes and run. It was the most natural form of antidepressant.” 

 

Second, perfection is not the goal. Running was a welcome reprieve for Robyn, who admits that her type-A personality benefited from doing something that she didn’t have to be great at. “I always saw being a runner as something you were or you weren’t and that if you were, you had to be skinny and ‘athletic looking,’” Robyn admits. 

The Teachings of Robyn Michaud

In Praise of the Native Women Running Community

By Ravi Singh

Like the students who can see someone from their community who has broken stereotypes, Robyn’s fellow members of the Indingenous Run Club and online communities have a new north star. In Robyn, they can see a self-described middle-aged woman, one who also contends with syringomyelia—characterized by a fluid filled cyst within the spinal cord that can lead to issues of pain, stiffness, atrophy, and loss of reflexes, among others—who has completed 19 marathons, including three majors, while looking nothing like the stereotypical runner.

Third, tell your story, but do so honestly. Robyn speaks glowingly of Joel Kennedy, founder of the Indigenous Running Club. “He’s completely changed his life and gone from being overweight to running three marathons. With the prevalence of conditions like diabetes in the community, it’s so important to hear that,” Robyn says. “I’m proud to be of Anishinabe and Ojibwe background and to be part of the Indigenous Running Club because we promote health in our communities.” In the Indigenous Running Club, Joel and fellow runners like Robyn have created a space where they hope journeys like their own can flourish. On the group’s weekly runs, says Robyn: “Even the grandmas come out for a two kilometre walk.”

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SPRING

KICKS

With the changing of the seasons, comes an onset of innovative new running shoes. Here’s a look at ten of our favourite new running sneakers 

GlideRide 2, ASICS: Part of the ENERGY SAVING SERIES, this low-density foam cushioned runner offers a widened midfoot and smooth heel-strike to toe-off efficiency. A marathon runner’s best friend. 

 

Zoom X, Invincible Run, Nike: Another season, a brand new in-demand lightweight, flyknit Nike running shoe. Touted as “most tested,” by Nike, these racers are soft, light and beautiful, more than a sneaker, practically a work of art. 

 

Kinvara 12, Saucony: Featherlight and fast with a 4mm drop, this popular shoe gets a reboot with a new outsole and updated upper; a durable running shoe that improves year after year. 

 

Forever Floatride Energy 3, Reebok: The third iteration of Reebok’s lightweight racer has a revised midsole and square knit upper for increased durability, without greatly increasing its weight. The breathable mesh is also nice (assuming it ever gets warm). 

 

1080v11, New Balance: A soft, plush shoe with a stretchy knit upper makes the 8mm drop on this popular sneaker feel like racing on a cloud. Cushioned yet quick, the 1080 is a dream on a long run. 

 

Mach 4, Hoka One One: As more runners turn to Hoka, the foam-forward French sneaker, the brand continues to unveil new models, like the Mach 4, softer and bouncier than earlier iterations of this popular line.  Light and responsive with plenty of the famous Hoka foam. 

 

Kiprun, Décathlon: Lightweight and anatomically-designed by our favourite sportswear company increasing its Canadian market share, this sneaker is durable, sturdy and lightweight, weighing in at 290g in size 9. 

Phantom, STRIKE MVMNT: With an anatomical toe drop and 4mm drop, this minimalist hybrid trail and running shoe is a Canadian-owned innovator’s dream. Fast, light and gorgeous, STRIKE MVMNT is a shoe brand from British Columbia to watch.

 

Glycerin 19, Brooks: The staple of the fantastic Brooks line now comes with GuideRails, which offer support on demand and limit excess movement. With a plush midsole and neutral support, this is a cool update of a half of fame sneaker.

UltraBoost 21, ADIDAS: Springy and cushioned with almost a diving board-like foam release, the latest new UltraBoost from ADIDAS is light and offers great energy return, plus an updated torsion system, which is incredible but here’s the other thing: it’s made with recycled materials.

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BONUS ELEVENTH SNEAKER: With so many great shoes in the world, we couldn’t keep our list to ten, especially after trying the Reebok Nano X1, which has an energy-return foam and ultra-strong upper that makes it, as Reebok says, “the ultimate shoe for hardcore everything.” We’ve been wearing them on cross-training workout—and walks around town, post-run—and find the Nano x1 a great addition to a runner’s collection.

Writing the Wrongs

Robyn Doolittle has forged an extraordinary career as a Canadian journalist—first uncovering the Rob Ford story and then moving on to write “Unfounded,” about how the Canadian police dismiss sexual assault claims. Today, the 36-year-old author of two non-fiction books is uncovering the gender pay gap in a series of front-cover Globe and Mail stories  that—while only amplified during the world-changing times of COVID—are bringing strength to power from Bay Street to government and beyond.Doolittle, a runner, took time out to chat with Sportstats about her work, her resiliency, and how she always, always (well, most of the time) creates space to run.

Canada’s most famous journalist uses running to regain focus 

By Ben Kaplan

Photographs by Solana Cain

BK: Robyn, thanks for your time. How did your Power Gap series begin and what does it take to tackle something as pervasive as the pay gap between genders? 

RD: We started this investigation with a very basic premise: could we determine if men and women in the same job are being paid significantly different salaries? I think we’ve all heard the statistic that women earn 87 cents for every dollar that a man makes, but that number is the average hourly rate of all women compared with all men in the workforce. 

 

BK: So what does that mean?

RD: I think what most women want to know is: is the guy one desk over, doing the same work, with the same experience, being paid more? The problem with trying to investigate this is that salaries are secret. But after some brainstorming, we realized that one large chunk of the workforce does have public salaries and that’s six-figure earners in the public sector. We collected salary records for nearly 90,000 employees and what the numbers showed is that while there was still a gender wage gap issue — especially at the top — the bigger issue was just the lack of women; the lack of women at the top, on the way to the top, in the middle, on executive teams and in management jobs in general. This is where we landed on focusing on “power” rather than just salaries.

 

BK: Your most recent piece in the Globe featured inside documents from the law firm Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP that showed female equity partners earned 25% less than their male peers. What did that document mean for your series? 

RD: So, law firms in the US and UK have been sharing wage gap data for years, but Canadian law firms have never agreed to do the same. At the partner level, we know that the gap in the United States is about 10-25 per cent. That Cassels piece was the first glimpse of what the gap might be here. And by the way, that 25% means that, on average, male partners brought home $200,000 more per year. Think of the impact of that over a woman’s career. I know that since that piece, major law firms in Canada have taken a look at their numbers. And since then, half a dozen large firms have come out to say that they are now open to sharing gender wage gap data. 

BK: It’s so awesome how your reporting brings about change. Can you talk about your methods? For instance, how did that document wind up in your hands? 

RD: I definitely can’t talk about the Cassels documents, but speaking in general about journalism: reporting is mostly about talking to people. It begins with a topic you want to look into and then you just start calling people who are involved in that area. From them, you learn the history and the current issues or problems, who the main players are, what documents might exist and where those records might be, and then you finish those conversations with a list of five more people to interview. From there, the process starts again. It’s just an ever-expanding web. I do a lot of data work and access to information requests — a process by which you can obtain otherwise confidential public records — but that always comes after talking to people and learning what I should go after.

 

BK: Your work has been famously diligent since the Rob Ford days when you were at the Star and became one of two reporters ever to view the infamous Rob Ford “crack tape.” Can you briefly take us back to those days? 

RD: I guess I should say there were actually three reporters — John Cook from Gawker also saw the video — but yeah, I mean, it was just a really bizarre time. I was a beat reporter then covering municipal politics and you have this person elected who is so unlike anyone who has come before him. 

BK: It’s hard to remember clearly the Rob Ford days but he was the first of his kind. 

RD: As many have pointed out before, the Ford era in Toronto was a precursor to so much of what we saw in the United States with Trump — the populism, the lying, the discrediting of media. The lesson I’ve really carried forward from that experience is that journalists need to proactively talk to the public about how they do their jobs. It’s not enough to just drop a story and move on, people need to know the process, the hurdles, the ethical dilemmas, all the work that goes into a story, and what goes on in a newsroom. With some leaders actively sowing distrust in the media, it’s so important that journalists try to be as open and transparent as possible.

 

BK: As a female reporter in some pretty tough places, do you have to take additional concerns? 

RD: For sure. I mean, to bring this around to running, I think it’s very similar. I wouldn’t run at certain times of the day or in certain areas — say, along the water at night — and, if it is a bit later in the day, I wouldn’t head out without telling someone where I’m going and when to expect me back. As a woman, you’re always taking these things into consideration and I certainly do that in my work as well. 

 

BK: What fuels your work? Is it anger, moral outrage, a sense of bringing things that happen in the darkness out into the light?  

RD: I hate getting asked this question because my answer is so utterly cheesy: I like uncovering hidden truths. I especially enjoy looking into power institutions, systems and people and giving a voice to people who might not otherwise have one. (I also just think journalists are nosy people.)

BK: At this point, since we’re getting into your toughness, can you talk about your running, and what you do for your own mental health? 

RD: First, I really hate running. I am not particularly good at it. I feel like it never really gets much easier for me. BUT I also feel like garbage if I don’t run. I started because my husband is a very serious runner and when I began tagging along on his shorter runs, there was no denying — for me at least— that running was the most efficient way to exercise and clear my head. I love seeing different neighbourhoods. I love that time for myself, just listening to podcasts or whatever. I have two little girls and they are my world, but getting away for 45 minutes is wonderful. I will say, if you’re struggling to run, things got easier for me when I started using an app to track my distance and splits. Having a benchmark made it easier to push through those first sticky kilometres.

Can the just-launched-in-Canada Peloton Tread turn you into a treadmill runner? This sleek piece of equipment features a sexy 23.8-inch high-def touchscreen display, 59 inches of running space, and incline of up to 12.5% grade. After a month of testing it out, runner Karen Kwan, a long time dreadmill hater, is surprised at how addictive using the Tread is. 

 

“I’ve always stared at the clock when running on a treadmill, watching every boring second slowly tick on by,” she told iRun, after she was one of the first people in the country to take the Tread out for a spin.  On the Tread, she says, 20- and 30-minute classes fly by thanks to the prompts to change the pace and/or elevation in interval workouts. She’s also currently working her way up to longer treadmill runs. Having the Tread at home also means she can safely run after dark. 

“In the winter in particular, I find it hard to find time during the short days to run, so having the Tread has meant I can run regularly,” she told iRun. In fact, she’s now on a Tread streak since it arrived at her home.

Karen Kwan on why the launch of Peloton Tread in Canada could turn outdoor runners into treadmill devotees

Well Tread

There’s a lot of talk about the Peloton instructors and community, and Karen Kwan says: believe the hype. Kwan says she’s connected with friends who are also on the Peloton platform. “It’s fun high-fiving members from around the world during a class because we are all in this together!” she enthused. And as for the instructors? “I’ve had workouts where I’m so very tempted to turn that pace down—but I don’t because Selena told me not to. And I’m determined to get a shoutout during a live class!” 

 

At $3,295 (plus $49 per month for an all-access membership), the Tread doesn’t come cheap, but this smooth-running treadmill—and Peloton classes—could be what prevents this piece of home-gym equipment from becoming a clothing rack, and, better yet, like Karen Kwan, you could get into your best physical and mental shape, ever. 

“I took a break from running to eat all the snacks, and watch all the television. Now I am ready to lace up again.”

 

It has been a cold and snowy February in Toronto. Days are short and grey, and warm endless June skies seem the furthest away.

 

I get the lazys every year around this time. I don't do a whole lot of running. My usual 3 to 4 runs a week drops to one. I start my days sleeping in instead of watching the sunrise along the Martin Goodman Trail.  The weekly mileage graph on my Strava goes from peaks to a flatline.  You get the idea. 

 

The mid-winter blahs are never a surprise to me. Neither is my annual running rut.

 

For me, the missed runs come with a side of excuses and feeling bad about it. Whenever my friends text me to ask, “Did you run today?”  I would sheepishly respond, “Nah, I’m going to skip today,” or “I’m feeling super tired from—insert normal activity here—so I’m going to push it to tomorrow.”

 

Stacey Munro drops truth bombs so you know you’re not alone 

Every year I would feel guilty about feeling lazy. This year I decided to reframe my thinking.

 

Why? Because the past 11 months have been filled with disappointment. Cancelled plans, not being able to see our friends and family, and doing everything we can to stay safe and stay sane.  Pandemic life has robbed us of the simplest pleasures, but it hasn’t taken away my ability to roll out the door. So I didn’t want to beat myself up for taking a break and then add it to my list of disappointments. Now more than ever we need to take our wins where we can get them.

 

I decided to embrace the lazys. Like, I really leaned into it. I took off my smart watch. I removed everything running related from my front foyer. You can usually find no less than 3 pairs of running shoes, 2 pairs of sunglasses, and an assortment of hats, vests and neckwarmers.  I cleared them all out and shoved them into the closet. In its place went my winter boots, my heavier winter boots and a pair of fuzzy slippers.

 

I put on those slippers and settled in to watch a lot of YouTube videos, mostly about running. I’d watch old races. I’d watch thousands of people funnelling into corrals, and wonder if we will ever see these days again.  I’d watch the elites dial in their focus on the start line, and people cheering on the masses along the route.

 

I would watch the entire race, even when I knew the outcome. One of my favourites is the 2019 New York City Marathon. Geoffrey Kamworor crosses the finish line for his second win in the Big Apple and heads straight into the arms of his mentor, Eliud Kipchoge. I soaked up this motivation from the comfort of my couch. 

I checked out some vloggers that I follow. Some of them are really fit and fast. Others are more like me, just trying to be a slightly better version of themselves. I especially like the ones that share their ups and downs and are most transparent about their process. 

 

Everyday my friends would text me to ask, "Did you run today?" I would reply: "nope."

 

I moved my body in other ways. I walked to work. I did more strength and mobility. That’s a lie - I did strength and mobility for the first time in ages.

 

I took a break from running to eat all the snacks, and watch all the television. Now I am ready to lace up again.

 

I am shaking the lazys by easing back into my old routine, a little bit at a time. Instead of a long run well into the double digits, I am happy with a 5k out and back along the MGT.

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Love Story

Love Story

After a tough COVID year that stunned everyone, Canadian middle-distance runner Mariah Kelly is getting back on track chasing more than her Olympic debut

 
BY: Anna Lee Boschetto

Mariah Kelly has just completed 14-days of quarantine and is comfortable back home in Victoria, B.C. Kelly competed at the New Balance Grand Prix World Indoor Track and Field Tour, her first race in a year. The event gave her—along with six other Canadian athletes—the opportunity to not only compete, but also earn points that affect an athlete’s world ranking and possibly their Olympic qualification. 

This event kicks off the indoor track season and, after a good 2020 race season, the Niagara, Ontario-native came out in 2021 even better. Her PB in 1,500 is 4:09:38. In 2019, she ran 800m in 2:03:20. And 1,500m in 4:10:62. These are amongst some of the fastest Canadian finishing times we’ve seen.  

Ask Kelly and she’ll tell you candidly that it has been a challenging year for her. She had many reasons to evaluate everything from her training to her relationships with her teammates to her husband, and herself.

Kelly is no stranger to hard work. On the track she has never been the fastest runner, and that only made her dig in deeper. She quickly became known to her coaches and teammates as one of the hardest working mid-distance runners in the country. Kelly’s work ethic, grit and willingness to take an unconventional path is how she landed a full scholarship at Baylor. Known for producing a strong contingent of track and field athletes including Olympians Michael Johnson and Jeremy Wairner, Kelly knew the University’s track and field program was where she needed to be if she was going to compete at the Olympics—a goal which had been her focus nearly as long as the 29-year-old had been running. 

“From day one, my goal was to go to the Olympics,” she says, “However, even from day one, and honestly up until this point, I have yet to put any ‘Olympic status’ performances on paper that suggests I have what it takes to compete at that level. And honestly, many have said I don’t—but I know I do and the people who matter most to me believe that I do. Having their support and knowing deep inside I have what it takes is all I need. I still haven’t figured out how to bring it to the surface just yet but I will and every day I get a little closer.”

Growing up, Kelly played most everything, but fell in love with running after winning a cross-country race that her mother had registered her in. Eventually, she joined a local track club and began training as a mid-distance runner. Kelly’s focus is admirable. That said, in her self-reflection she recognizes how she may not always have been the best teammate. “I have always been extremely competitive, with others and with myself. I think that competitiveness came from having a strong desire to prove myself. I wanted to prove I belonged. I wanted to prove I was good enough; prove it to my teammates, my coaches, but mostly prove it to myself. And workouts were a place I could attain some of that validation I was desperately seeking.” During workouts with her teammates, she would act so overly confident that she would set training paces that she was incapable of running at the time, all in an effort to prove herself. Needless to say, she wanted to fit in with the rest of her team, but finding her way wasn’t easy. “Most people would say I’m outgoing, loud and confident, but the truth is that over those first few years as a professional runner, I was really insecure and I felt like I didn’t belong.” she says.

Going the Distance

Mark Sutcliffe on the COVID-19 finish lines

A few of us huddled together in close proximity in the back of a cube van, trying to stay warm as we waited for the appointed hour. A different group, seemingly immune to the cold, stood bravely in the brisk morning air, chatting enthusiastically in t-shirts and singlets. A call went out and we all marched together to the start line, shoulder to shoulder. Nobody wore a mask. There was no social distancing.

It was a small, quaint, well-organized event: the Seaside Marathon in Ventura, California, a double-loop along Highway 1 north of Los Angeles, with the sun slowly rising over the majestic Pacific. When it was over, I high-fived a bunch of sweaty strangers. There was no hand sanitizer in sight.

It was February 16, 2020. You always know when you’re doing something for the first time. But it might take a while to realize it was the last.

I never take any race for granted. And marathons are particularly special. Any day you run 42.2k is a good one. So while there was nothing noteworthy about my performance that day, I celebrated privately. I took satisfaction in adding another result to my spreadsheet. Another notch on the race belt. But if I’d known how long it would be before I’d cross another finish line, I might have savoured it a bit longer.

I needn’t remind you that only a few weeks later, everything changed. Who hasn’t reflected this month on what they were doing just over a year ago, having friends over, meeting in restaurants, entering buildings bare-faced and shaking hands without a care in the world?

No matter how jarring the lockdown, in the early days a foolish optimism prevailed. A century removed from the last global pandemic, we were clueless rookies with no understanding of the facts that were already evident. Some late spring events held off on cancelling; maybe this thing will only last a few weeks! Others postponed, because no matter what, we’d be racing again in the fall.

We were like complete novices showing up at the start line of a marathon, not only with zero training, but having not even looked up the distance on the internet. We can get through this! It will be over soon!

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HEALTHY

FAST

FOOD

Warmer days may be ahead, but let’s be honest …  these days, you never know. Weather conditions aside, we could all use a taste of spring and summer right about now—especially something delicious and easy to prepare. Here are three recipes that are satisfying as stand-alone main dishes or can easily be teamed up with a salad or additional side for a heartier meal. Plus, each one requires minimal prep time and are ready in less than 45-minutes flat! Here’s to all of us, together, enjoying a healthy, sumptuous spring. 

Spring Green Minestrone

Minestrone is the kind of soup where nearly anything goes and this version is no exception. Although this recipe calls for Lacinato kale, if you have curly kale or spinach in your fridge, you can still make this soup. Note: Keep in mind if you’re using spinach, you’ll need double or triple the amount because it wilts when cooked. 

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes 

Serves: 4

Ingredients

Soup:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 

  • 1 leek, white and green parts sliced

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme

  • 5 cups chicken or vegetable broth

  • 12 spears asparagus, 1/2″ chopped

  • 15oz can cannellini beans

  • 1 cup green peas, frozen

  • 1/2 bunch kale, 1/4″ sliced

  • Sea salt

  • Black Pepper

  • Fresh parmesan

  • Pesto

DIRECTIONS:

ONE: In a large pot, heat olive oil on medium, add sliced leeks and cook until softened, about 3-4 minutes.

 

TWO: Add garlic and a pinch of sea salt and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes until garlic has softened. Add whole sprigs of thyme, stir and cook for an additional 30 seconds.

 

THREE: Pour in broth and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and add asparagus and cannellini beans and cook for 15 minutes.

 

FOUR: Add kale and green peas and simmer for an additional 5 minutes until kale has wilted.

 

FIVE: Remove from the heat, remove thyme sprigs, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

 

SIX: To serve, sprinkle with grated parmesan and a dollop of fresh pesto.

Goodbye Winter, Hello 

Spring

This winter was certainly different. With its slower pace I embraced reading and baking, while continuing to enjoy this sport we love.

 

I hope I will always be willing to learn, to help better myself and those around me. 

When listening to a guest speaker on the radio, it resonated with me that it is my responsibility to educate myself about BIPOC. I started writing less about my own life and listening and learning more about others’. I read The Boy Behind the Door by Emma Kertesz, whom I met in Japan when running the same leg of the 2012 Chiba Ekiden Road Relay, and Seven Fallen Feathers by Tanya Talaga, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese, and am currently reading From the Ashes by Jesse Thistle. I’ve also pre-ordered Olympian Perdita Felicien’s My Mother’s Daughter, which will be my next read. I hope I continue learning and wanting to be more aware of what is happening in the larger world around me.

I have aimed to appreciate the unplanned changes in life this past year - slowing down and savouring the simple things has allowed me to continue to feel joy.

By Krista DuChene 

Photograph of Perdita Felicien by Martin Brown  

We’ve been making and quite enjoying sourdough bread for one year now. It was

something that I tried doing a few years ago but was unsuccessful. However, with the

help of a friend who gave us her starter and some necessary tips, it’s been one tasty

loaf after the other. It’s often on my mind during long runs and savoured up my return

home when we have our weekend family brunches. Lately I’ve been experimenting with

other recipes, making sourdough buttermilk pancakes, cakes and muffins. In the fall I

did some recipe development for a product we will soon see launched. The entire family

was on board, critiquing my many batches to help me make something top quality. I look forward to sharing it with you.

Meanwhile, I’ve been healthy and happy running an average of 140 km/week on the roads and trails. Sometimes I get on the track when it’s clear of snow, and after not using one for a

year, I returned to the treadmill to complete some more consistent longer workouts. I’m

enjoying a longer build as I prepare for a spring road 50 km. Having this event on the

the calendar keeps me motivated and moving forward. Earlier this week I enjoyed a solo 40

km run on a sunny and crisp day, my favourite kind on a winter day. It’s the simple things.

To those who have been struggling during this long year, I encourage you to keep on. Keep putting one foot in front of the other. Keep getting out the door for that sunshine and fresh air. Keep a positive outlook and be ready for better days. We are in this together.