This weekend was one of those weekends that was just great. A belated Belgian-Canadian Thanksgiving, good food, family, and an awesome 10k family race on on Sunday morning followed by post-run pasta and a movie night with J that involved popcorn smothered in dark chocolate, pecans and a pinch of pink himalayan sea salt (#yesplease).
Did you know Thanksgiving isn’t a thing here in Belgium? Well I decided to bring it here anyways because it truly doesn’t feel like Fall without a cozy Thanksgiving dinner – belated or otherwise (or superr early if you’re American!). I spent Saturday cooking with J’s mom, learning a thing or two about traditional Belgian cooking (aka being in awe of the best pumpkin soup ever). I made one of my favourite Canadian holiday sides – Maple Mustard Roasted Carrots, Turnip and Sweet Potaotes. Yum. And I also made another batch of my Maple Pecan Crumble Pumpkin Bread. I seriously cannot get enough of that bread! I love enjoying pumpkin in both sweet and savory forms – double yum.
Sunday morning we woke up early to go for a race in Bruges. But this wasn’t just any run, the course for this race, the “Urban Trail”, ran through the streets and into the quaint, old Medieval buildings of Bruges. We ran through so many little unique spots of the city I had never been before!
There were even people outside their homes to greet the runners with tables full of champagne, crackers or water to hand out. There were rock bands, drummers and marching bands playing along the way – it was such a fun and cool experience to be apart of. It was definitively not a race to finish in record time but a race to enjoy all the intricacies of the beautiful and old city of Bruges. I was having so much fun I was actually surprised when we arrived at the finish line because it did not feel like 10k at all – I wanted to keep on running and enjoying the city! Over 4,000 runners came out to run and we were given a little post-run brunch of orange juice, apples and chocolate buns.
I ran this race at my normal pace, enjoyed the scenery, and made sure to soak up every minute of the race experience. I felt great afterwards and did not feel like I had overexerted or pushed myself too hard. I truly believe that so many people (me being one of those people for most of my life) hate exercising because instead of it being something that is fun it is treated like a chore. I had a gym membership for most of my life and would use it for a week with good intention, it would then get ‘lost’ in the back of my wallet for the rest of the year until I forgot I had bought one in the first place. Stick me in a boring gym or a cross fit class and I will dread it. Instead of forcing myself to do something I dislike I’d rather put my energy towards focusing on the things that keep me motivated, active and moving that I love – like running, yoga, walking and dancing when I get the chance.
It’s about finding an activity that you truly enjoy, gets you excited and gets you moving. The feeling of being free, getting lost in my thoughts and hitting the pavement a few times a week is what I’ve learned to love and crave but for you it might be something totally different.
It’s about enjoying that piece of cake after dinner once in awhile just because it’s just good and getting active because it makes you feel ahhmazing and you love it.
Life is about enjoying every eat, every run and ever moment in between. Happy Monday everyone! <3
I regularly post pictures of what I eat and photos from my runs on the Ceara’s Kitchen Instagram Page – feel free to follow if you are like me and love browsing through photos of food and activity! 😉