Tuesday, November 1, 2011

BONUS POST! It's a rant.

It irks me when people say "I did my first half marathon with only a thirty minute run a week before for training, it took me 2:15, but I'm soooooo not a natural runner."

YES YOU ARE so go run away and allow me to be slow and demonstrate what an ACTUAL non-natural runner is like.

Rant over!

a running tour!

OK this is sort of the worst running tour ever, as I miss nearly every major landmark in the city. But, here we go nonetheless! These were actually taken during a walk with the dog, who also makes an appearance in the tour!

Stop #1! The path on the way to the beach, and some large cement things left over from the old Gardiner Expressway.

Stop #2: Now we are at the beach!

Kites! When it's windy, there are kite flyers and kite boarders galore. Also there are lots of stand-up paddlers, and I would like to try that but it is prohibitively expensive.

Stop #3: Looking back at the skyline. Now we are on the way back home.
You can see the CN Tower. It used to be the world's tallest free-standing structure, but I think something in Dubai has surpassed it. It's pretty fun to go up, and now you can pay a bunch of money to walk around OUTSIDE ON THE EDGE. I have heard it is very thrilling.

Stop #4: Park with fountain - also a water fountain. A nice stop, since I usually need water at this point, about 8k in.

That's not the fountain I drink from, in case you were wondering. There's a nice little boardwalk around the fountain.

Stop #5 Is back at home. This is one of my neighbour's roses. I can't grow pretty things (FACT! I started my masters degree in the agriculture department. But my prof transferred, so I did to. I felt it was misleading for me to have an MSc agriculture with my terrible plant skills).

And here is a bones picture of the pooch, who is snoring away right now.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

someone call the "wahhhmbulance"

because I've got some first-world problems.

I am in the 4% of people who cannot under any circumstance pull off skinny jeans.

I defy you to find a pair of skinny jeans that does not make me look bizarrely proportioned. Old Navy? Gap? American Eagle? Banana Republic? Garage? Aeropostale? H&M? Forever 21 (I am disappointingly far from being 21)? Yes, I have tried them all.

When you factor in my unwillingness to pay more than ohhhh.....30$, and the fact that I typically take a long/tall inseam, and there are not many options left.

I have one pair of straight leg that works, so I will have to be satisfied with that.

Anyhoo, I realized that I need more skinny jeans for winter, as this will be the year that I actually buy boots instead of just saying "THIS is the year that I will buy boots!" and skinny jeans tuck easily into boots.

I'm also still on the lookout for crops. Again, please remember that I'm mad cheap and get anxiety spending money (it took me 4 days to decide whether or not to buy some nail polish. This included 'visiting' it twice during my lunch hour).

Thursday, September 29, 2011

bad news for my little dog!

Oh dear little dog! She with the filed down teeth and the case of whipworm, she has also tested positive for heartworm!

Long story short - Dogs that come from the Southern states should be tested 6 months after you get them, as heartworm can take a while to show up on tests. If you have a negative test and then get pet insurance, and test positive after, it's like the expensive (2000$) treatment will be covered. She's not showing symptoms but I am still sad for her. Poor lady. But, vet assures me she'll be OK, so I'm trying not to stress about it.

Running news! I hit 150 km (93 miles) for September! I wonder if I can get this up to 100 miles...I have 2 days. I think it's close to do-able. I'm in the lead for my "cumulative group distance challenge" by about 50 km, which is great.

Leisure news! I'm off to OKTOBERFEST this weekend! Not the world's second-largest in Kitchener-Waterloo, because I'm not an undergrad anymore and don't want to party with the 20 years old, but the Oktoberfest put on by a small brewery between Ottawa and Montreal! Husby says he will not enter the spouse-carrying contest with me.

I'm starting to look for some cool-weather running crops - does anyone have any reco's that aren't Lululemon and are cute, have at least a key pocket, and something reflective so I am moderately visible?

Friday, September 16, 2011

Lululemon/Ivivva fit comparison - Rhythmic crop II *gym

Hey you know how I'm really cheap? It's true! I wanted new inspire crops from Lulu, but 86$? Do not like. So, I checked out the Ivivva sizing and in theory, I am a bang on size 14. So, I got some crops to try.

I got the Rhythmic crop II *gym (48$, + less tax on kid's clothes). They're made of power luxtreme and have a waistband pocket in the back. They're plain black.

I find in Lulu I'm usually *right* between a 4 and a 6, and get indecisive, and end up disliking both sizes, so hope this would be my solution.

When I opened the package, my first thought was "Good god these look small." My second was "In theory they should fit really well calm down." Also to note is that they're not hemmed. They have bar tacks up the leg, so oyu could cut them to your desired size. Lululemon will hem Ivivva stuff, so they might hem these.

So, here are the pictures. Yes I am currently awaiting my fine arts awards. They are terrible and I am aware of that. I'm wearing size 6 inspire crops from Lulu, the Ivivva rhythmic crops in 14, and speed shorts in a size 4.

- The Inspires give me a little bit of muffinage, and feel pretty tight in the calves. They're great for running and this size never slips down or anything when I'm running.
- The Ivivvas feel about the same. Holding them up together, there's maybe a half-inch difference in the waistband. They also feel snug and supportive, in a good way.
- Speeds also poke in right at my back bacon area, but feel really comfy.

- The Ivivva crops seem to be a little bit longer. It's negligible. This might be an issue if I decide to hem them. For reference, I take a 34" inseam. If you normally get stuff hemmed at Lulu, you're good to go for sure.

- Yeah that's my *ss. Looks not too bad, so this definitely is a point in the "keep them" column.

- If you're a solid 4, you can definitely swing Ivivva size 14. If you're a 2, you could probably size down. If you're a 6 in speed shorts, it might be tight.
- I find power luxtreme fits a little small, so other things might be OK if you're a 6.
- I am curious if these give me too much muffin top. Please let me know if they do.
- They feel really supportive. I think they'd be good for running. No drawstring but they're tight enough without it for me.
- I think the shirts would fit me OK, except I have freakishly long arms. If you've got a short torso, you could definitely swing their tanks.
- I'll probably keep them if Lulu can hem them without taking too much length off.

Monday, September 12, 2011

I ran 25km and I'm never doing it again. And a gear review.

Yes, that was my Saturday afternoon. Running 25km, then lying on the couch feeling nauseous and heatstrokey/dehydrated, despite drinking over a litre of water on my run. It passed after a few hours and I am actually not sore at all, so I guess it wasn't a total disaster. But, I realized that I am not a long long distance runner, and I think I enjoy 12-15km best at this point in my life.

I've never carried water on a run before. This was my first time testing out mine - I would provide a link but it's not even on the MEC website anymore. Anyway, it's a bottle with a neoprene hand-hold, with a zippy pocket built in. Basically the same as this one.

- I hate carrying things while running and the neoprene made my hand really sweaty
- The pocket was great because I didn't have to try and get my key off my keychain, but in hindsight I should have stuffed that dang pocket with electrolytes and not keys. This does not affect my review because this is my own fault and not the pocket's fault.
- I did not like the valve. Trying to suck water out was horrible. I am a thirsty sweaty girl I need water quickly. I ended up stopping and screwing the lid off and guzzling the water.
- On second thought, the neoprene might be good because my sweaty paws would possibly drop a plain plastic water bottle.

Overall: 3/5.

**Disclaimer: Please be aware that no one gave me this bottle for free to try. This is not that kind of blog. No one gives me anything free because I only have 4 followers. I don't have another one to give away, but you can all have my love and affection!**

Anyway, the rest of the weekend was great because it involved brunch, which involved waffles and mimosas.

ALSO, I suffered through the run with a terrible audiobook. The horrible writing and bad plot are made worse by the narrator, who sounds like a ditzy 11 year old. Please send me any audiobook recommendations you have. I don't know if I can even finish this one.

This post sounds really cranky. But, please be aware that I am not always an angry person and am actually moderately pleased with myself for running 25km. It's just a Monday, that's all, so I am out of sorts.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

It's not a race, it's a "cumulative group distance challenge."

And my group is winning, possibly partly due to the fact that we have more than twice as many people as the other team. AND partly due to the fact that I ran 17km the other day. SNAPS!

Ran home, chugged some G2, patted the dog and told her I'd be back soon to take her out, and went out to do a few more km along the boardwalk.

My goal for this week is to remember to bring my camera along for the run to show you all how lovely Toronto can be along the water!

I also logged 20km this weekend - Sunday was hot and muggy and sucked really hard, but Monday, after sitting in the car for 6 hours, I had an amazing, cool, fast 8k.

Oh I also ate like twice as much food as normal this weekend - going between Husby's parents and my parents means dessert with every meal, real food with every meal, and beer/wine/both with every meal. Um, I'm adding some padding to keep me warm this winter.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A wedding, a hurricane, a road trip

Well, the road trip was for the wedding, which was in New Jersey, in the hurricane!

We definitely got some weird looks from people on our way whem we said we were headed straight towards it. I'm sure they think Canadians are crazy now.

Highlights of the trip! Stopping at 2 places from Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and getting new stuff for running at an outlet mall in PA.

If you're near Edison, NJ, I MUST IMPLORE you to stop at the Skylark Diner! I had a 'thanksgiving sandwich' with stuffing and turkey and cranberries. Om noms.

Got new shoes and a tee at the Adidas outlet. There is an Adidas store about 3 minutes walk from my work (also a Lululemon...dangerous), but it has NO running stuff - just track suits and street shoes. LAME.

Anyway, wedding was lovely and went off without a hitch or loss of power, we almost got stuck in Edison township after getting off the NJ Parkway, because 4 lanes were flooded out and the little Versa was not up to crossing the giant lake. Driving the wrong way on an empty parkway is an interesting experience!

In Edison township, it seemed like every road we tried to take was a) flooded with a giant lake, b) crossed by a river of fast flowing water, or c) had a tree across it. Would have been helpful if a) we had a map, or b) anywhere that sold maps was open.

Drove the sister and brother in law back, they couldn't get a flight out from Newark, but they could from TO. It was great because it meant that we got to bring back more craft beer than we had anticipated as they had only carryon luggage and couldn't take any! What can I say.....we only get Sam Adams lager here, so this is all "fancy beer!" (Yes even the Michelob Ultra don't judge me I like light beer.)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

ramping it up and a competition : \

Ramping it up! I've been making my long runs slightly longer each week, Sunday was a 16km run while listening to Mockingjay. I'll be sad when the book is done, but I think I'll try Harry Potter audiobooks next.

The 16km was not terrible, but my usual route is not built for that distance - it's more of a good 12 to 14km route, so doing 16km involved a lot of looping around, which was kind of lame. I've got my sights on another route for longer distances - along the Don River, on a recreational trail. There should be fewer pedestrians, which will be nice.

Competition! There's a Nike+ competition at work, it's basically the design company vs. the advertising copany. COMPETITIONS REALLY STRESS ME OUT. I don't know why. It's a "collective group distance challenge," so it's not like I am personally responsible for the success/failure of my team, but I really worry that I will be judged if I suck (I know in my head I won't actually be judged). But, I spent the afternoon after clicking "accept" stressing out and I think I had hypertension and high blood pressure and mild panic. I realize that I am crazy.

This weekend there will be no long run, I'm off to New Jersey! Route has been planned around hitting Yogurtland, a Trader Joe's, some outlets, breweries, and a spot that was on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives! So, I will be sad to not run, but fresh legs to start the competition!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I am a bad dog mom.

Pretext - when I am sick/injured, I either assume that a) it is absolutely nothing, or b) it is life-threatening, i.e., this headache is an aneurysm! When people I care about are sick, it's ALWAYS case b. Husband (Husby!) has sore shins after running the other day and I was stressed out that he might have bone cancer. Ridiculous, I know.

So, when we realized last night that our little dog had been drinking out of the toilet, I worried that our toilet cleaner might cause her to stop breathing in the middle of the night and she would die. She's also been really itchy, which we thought might be from toilet water.

Anyway, she breathed all night, in fact she SNORED and trotted around and was in general highly annoying. Husby gave up at 5am, and took her out (he's working nights, so he figured he could go back to sleep all morning, while I had to go to work. When he got back, he said "she's got hives." I have never had hives or really seen hives, and was all "How do you know?" and he said "LOOK at her."

Have you ever seen a dog with hives? IT IS TERRIBLE!!! Google image it if you want to be freaked out a little. It looks like alien nodules all over their body. : (

Which would explain why she was fussy and weird last night. We've already started switching her food, which we think might be the cause of the itch, to something more hypoallergenic - kangaroo. Yes, our dog is eating kangaroo kibble. This supposedly a very hypoallergenic source of protein, and should rule out our chicken/fish based food as the cause of her itch. Husby also ran to get her some benadryl (antihistamine) which he said took the hives away pretty quickly.

All in all she is not hive-y anymore, but I feel like a bad person for wanting her to shut up last night while she was having hivey agony!

Oh, also, the hives could be from either of the 2 new types of treats we gave her last night. : \ One is a chicken-based treat and the other is lamb lung. Lamb lung and kangaroo, this dog's got some expensive tastes. Husby sure does know how to pick high-maintenance ladies.

I'll go back to talking about running and stuff in the next post, probably.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

I don't even know myself anymore.

I know, I know. I have always been moderately anti-race because I am really cheap and don't get paying to run in a giant pack of people. The Warrior Dash was an exception, because it was quite different from just 'going out for a 5k.'

But, I've found a half-marathon that might be for me. It's the Toronto women's half, and they've got water stations and CHOCOLATE STATIONS. I know that's slightly Cathy-cartoon, "Oh women can't control themselves around chocolate" stereotypical, but....it might make running for 2 hours bearable.

I was on board with this idea until slogging through a terrible 14km yesterday, but I'm willing to write that off on the weather and try again next weekend to do a "long-ish" run.

I know some people love races because you set a goal and work towards it, so maybe I will try and think of it that way. Plus, it's not until May next year so it's more or less forever away.

Monday, August 8, 2011

oh so this is what DOMS feels like.

Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is something I've heard about before. Some people say that you're not working out hard enough if you don't get it, others say it has nothing to do with muscle growth. All I know is that it is not pleasant.

I haven't pole danced in 2 or 3 months, due to a variety of factors (wallet with drop-in card stolen, schedule doesn't fit mine, etc), but Friday I wanted to hit a new studio that a friend of mine opened - it was cheap, close to home, and had spinning poles!

Let me tell you, it is a bad idea to go full in after not pole dancing for a few months. The calluses you get, the muscles you use, all these things go back to zero. So, I was able to do a lot of the moves I had before, but lost a few that need more serious strength, but nailed one that I had never gotten before which was pretty cool (knee hold! Oh yeah!).

Other than that the weekend involved about 10 hours in the car travelling to a wedding, so no running. I meant to go this morning, but I thought it was raining outside so I reset the alarm and went back to sleep. <: ) Turns out it was not raining at all.

In other news, I really like the city running tour that Lazy Girl Running has on her blog. So I kind of want to do a Toronto one. Any have any sights they want to see in Toronto? Obviously the CN Tower will be on the list, I've also got:

- The AGO (art gallery)
- The ROM (Royal Ontario Museum)
- Rogers Centre (formerly the SkyDome)
- The beaches

What do people come to see in Toronto? I will try to get a picture of a mountie, or at the very least a horse cop, but I don't think I can get one of a beaver or a moose. ; )

Friday, August 5, 2011

Still got it!

"It" being the ability to run 10k. It's been a while since I did anything other than run home, or maybe do 7k. So, Wednesday night, I walked the dog, then laced up my shoes and headed out in the drizzle to run along the boardwalk by the beach.

It was not too hot out for once, which was aweeeeesome, but still warm enough that with the heat and humidity, my glasses kept getting misted over and fogging up. And, trying to wipe them on a damp, sweaty t-shirt doesn't help much. : \

I was pretty sore the next day, but glad that I managed to get in a long-ish run. I think I might need a new route, or maybe to bring a streetcar token next time, because I don't mind running along the beach but I don't like turning around and knowing I have to run all the way back home!

So, followers/readers, do you prefer to run loops, or out and backs? I prefer loops! I can trick myself into going further!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

3 followers, I'm on my way to a book deal, yo!

A new follower so I'll do a post! Although I don't have too much to report in the running department (still loving audiobooks! Still running home from work [sometimes]), things in the life in general department are good.

- Off to Sudbury for a wedding this weekend
- Took the pooch on a road trip home, where she got to chase squirrels in the backyard and barf on my parents' carpet
- Fatted about for the long weekend (civic holiday!)

Since I don't have any thrilling news or insight, I'm just going to provide you with a link to a great article on how heat & humidity affect your running, by Frayed Laces. Check it out, it's a good read and very well-referenced!

Also, interesting fact is that I walk by a tonne of homeless people on my way to work every morning/evening. Some of them are crazy. This morning a homeless man called out to me "Pamela! Wait up!" Um, no. My name's not Pamela, and I ain't waiting up because you kind of freak me out a little.

Another story: One time, a bird shat on my head on my walk to work and the homeless people laughed at me. True story.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Running manifesto

I got this from Lazy Girl Running, and liked it, so here are my answers!

Running is…hard work!
Running is not…always going to be awesome. Sometimes it sucks.
I run…so I can eat candy and not feel guilty.
I run for…the way it makes me feel, like I've accomplished something.

I run because…I want to be healthy and ready for the zombie apocalypse, or to star in an action movie.
I run when…I have time!
I run with…the most embarrassing pop music, and audiobooks.

I have never run…and regretted it after.
I have always run…to the best of my abilities that day
I run in spite of…the fact that it's not easy and makes me gross and sweaty.
I don’t run…when it's above 40 with the humidex. TOO HOT!
I should run…more, faster, longer!
I might run…through the winter again, in the snow and the ice.
I will run…a 20km+ run this fall!

Would love to see yours, my two dear followers!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

what's up, weather?

I was in Death Valley recently and it was a cool oasis compared to this.

People. 188 Fahrenheit is not acceptable. This is Canada it is supposed to be cold!

Also, I have a work function that night and who wants to be a sweaty beast girl in a nice outfit? Ugh.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Reading while running

Well, technically not really reading and running, but I started (ok, have done it once) to run while listening to an audiobook instead of music. 

I thought it would have trouble keeping people straight and remembering what was happening, but it was actually very engaging and I wanted to keep running to find out what happened!

Here's what was key for me:

- A "simple" book. War & Peace or A Tale of Two Cities might not be the best choice for doing this, pick something with a few main characters and a single major plot.

- A sequel to something I have already read. I'm 'reading' the second book in the Hunger Games trilogy. I already know the main characters and how they're related, so I'm not always thinking "Who was that again?"

- A "junk" book. I would normally be slightly embarassed to be reading a book for teenagers, but no one knows what I'm listening to! I can listen to teen lit to my heart's content without the librarian judging my simple tastes! (I know, one of my followers is a librarian, and I don't think you actually judge people on what they take out. I hope.)

I think the Harry Potter series would also be great for this, and I've been meaning to re-read them anyway. I am actually looking forward to running in 35oC weather so I can listen to more books!

Also, I love this!:

Thursday, July 14, 2011

It's official, I'm a warrior.

Last weekend I had the Warrior Dash! What is a Warrior Dash, you ask? Well, it is quite something.

- Take 3.2 miles
- Add in steep hills (course was a ski hill!)
- Throw in some obstacles

Seems simple enough. You may be wondering what sort of obstacles. I will elaborate.

- Knee-deep shoe sucking mud. Try running with 20 pound shoes.
- A "spider web" of elastics wound through the trees. I will be honest, I rocked this one. I heard a guy behind me say "THAT GIRL JUST KILLED IT!" Toot toot, that's the sound of my own horn.
- A giant pile of hay bales
- A steep slope slip 'n' slide. There were holes in the tarp and I left part of my ass on that hill.
- Fire. Yes, jumping through fire.
- A tire run, then run through busted-out cars, then more tires. I could not lift my feet for the second set.
- A mud crawl, with gravel at the bottom. Yes, my knees look like I crawled through gravel, because obviously I was crawling over gravel, through mud, under chains, after jumping through fire.
- A vertical wall climb (rope assists)
- A cargo net climb
- Not officially an obstacle, but there was a LONG, STEEP-ASS hill in the blazing sun that wrecked a few people (sunstroke, exhaustion, people barfing. 1pm was a dumb time to choose, in retrospect)

41 minutes later it was all over! I'm happy with my time, considering my usual time for 3 miles is about 25 minutes, and this was in the blazing sun up and down hills.

My joy at 41 minutes was only slightly dulled by the fact that the top finisher in the women's 70+ age group was an 80 year old woman who did it in 35 minutes. What is that I don't even is she superhuman??!

Warrior Dashes are held throughout the US, and I found it to be really well-run. All the stations (check in, gear check, warrior wash, etc) were well marked. Plus. your race chip was your ticket for a free beer afterwards! "Mud, sweat and beer" does a good race make!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

you guys! I got a dog!

Yes I am a terrible updater, I own up to that.

But in return, here are pictures of my adorable dog!

And here she is, smiling!
She's half lab, half mystery, and 100% cute.

She's 4 and her name is Mia. We got her from a foster group, but she was actually brought up from a shelter in Kentucky, and she's been dreamy. No chewing anything, no 'accidents' in the house, no biting, super chill with other dogs.

Downsides: Likes to rise at 5.30am, obsessed with chasing squirrels, sheds like a demon! But we're willing to overlook these things!

I'm trying to get her to run with me. She'll trot along at a good pace for a few clicks, but the pace is definitely slower than my regular run. I'm going to whip her into running form!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

I updated my "about me."

I updated my "about me" profile, because I am really really interesting and everyone wants to know about me!

What do you mean I am delusional?

OK, fine, agree to disagree.

oh hay hay I'm back

I heart the desert. I think I could stay in the Mojave or Death Valley forever! Yes, I may have googled the salary and job requirements to be a California park ranger.

Half Dome cables were down, but waterfalls had a landmark year, so we did some good 6/7 milers and got soaked, both with waterfall and sweat!

Being back at work is good but it feels like I never left. Getting up in the morning has been rough, but my day was seriously improved by my conversation with a friend, who works in medical device recalls:

FRIEND:  so. this dude called to complain about expired condoms
but it turns out that he boought them from a 99cent bin at a dollar store

FRIEND:  So now we have to go to the dollar store and tell them that they are not allowed to sell expired product

Definitely a "Is this really my life?" moment.

Friday, June 3, 2011

My last luxurious shower for a while.

This morning I enjoyed my shower as it will be my last pleasant shower for a while. I'm off on vay-cay today!

Yes, there will probably be showers at some of the parks, but a public shower and a camping towel and a sample of shampoo ain't the same as my own nice body wash and shampoo.

I think the one thing we are doing that will make the greatest improvement in our camping experience is that we are buying pillows when we get down there. No camping "pillows"! They're small and slippy and do not a good sleep make.

Lots of hikes planned, lots of camping, lots of winery-ing (yeah that's a verb) and lots of eating food that is terrible for me and I would not normally eat at home: We've mapped out all the Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives places along our route!

And, I'm off!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Oh yeah I actually ran lately!

I went running Saturday morning with friends over for a bachlorette party, then played paintball in the afternoon. Let's just say....you can't have "paintball" without "pain."

Monday was a holiday, I ran down to the boardwalk, which was jam-packed with people, vendor carts (hot dogs! funnelcake! cotton candy!), pets, volleyball players! Great weather brings the people out, and I'm used to running the boardwalk at 6 am - definitely fewer people at that time. But it was a good run, so I won't complain too much!

Tonight's dilemma is whether or not to plan on a morning run - in thundershowers. : \

Hope you all (all two of you followers!) are having a good week. HALF OVER!

A look into my psyche.


I stopped into a beauty supply store today and bought some of my old standby hair product, and I am more thrilled out it than I would care to admit. In terms of joy, this is up there with the time I thought The Mister convinced me to get rid of my old mega-comfy holey jeans, and then one day I realized that I hadn't and they were still in my closet!

This also kind of reminds me that my life is somewhat shallow, and I am somewhat okay with that.

What does this all day about me? In my defense, I have curly hair and curly-haired people know how important the right hair product can be.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Post #15, in which my fears of snow are justified.

Well, due to the crazy snow, one of our campgrounds is closed and our reservation there is cancelled. We did some last-minute re-scheduling, we're going to Death Valley and the Mojave desert instead of Mammoth/Mono Lakes!

Upside: I wanted to go to the Mojave our last trip, but we didn't have time!

Downside: 40 degrees during the day.

Upside: It looks awesome and we don't have to rely on questionable roads that might not be open going into Yosemite because we'll be taking a different route.

Downside: 29 degrees at night.

Upside: Lava tube! Sand dunes!

Downside: I think 40 degrees during the day counts as 2 downsides. I am not a "heat person." I like a cool comfortable 23-27 degrees and that's about it. So 40 degrees will be, ah, interesting.

In other news: Running along the boardwalk is much more difficult on the weekends! I went yesterday afternoon, and the boardwalk was so crowded it was hard to run around everyone, AND there were funnel cakes, cotton candy, and hot dogs stands along the boardwalk. Um, it is hard to run past funnel cake. The smell! It kills me. Although it did remind me why I run!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

worried about snow.

Yes, It's May here and even though I live in Canada the snow is gone. But, it is not gone from Yosemite yet, and highway 120 is closed and odds of Half Dome being open are bleak.

The Man and I made plans for each possible scenario (120 open, 120 closed, half dome open, half dome closed) so I know we'll still have fun in Yosemite despite being unable to climb Half Dome.

Does it make me a bad person that I am a teeny bit relieved that it might be closed?


We've had rain here since last Friday. Last weekend was one of 2 weekends The Man has off THIS ENTIRE SUMMER that isn't booked with a wedding/something already. So it was gardening weekend despite the rain. And by "gardening" what I really mean is "manual labour involving digging up large swathes of our backyard, which is mostly clay." It was thoroughly unpleasant but our yard is now starting to look like a yard, which will be great in a few weeks if we can get some sunshine and actually plant all the plants we bought!

So, here's to hoping for sunshine and crazy nice here and in Cali!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

upside/downside: run commuting

I've been running home from work consistently enough now to call myself a run commuter. So, today I will discuss with myself/my two followers the pluses and minuses of run commuting. Keep in mind that I only run home because we don't have showers at work and I'm a sweaty beast-girl.

Minus: I don't run in the mornings anymore.
This is my own fault. My run home is only 4.5k, I could easily do another short run in the am if I wanted to. I am hoping to start doubling up a bit next week.

Plus: It's hard to skip this workout.
I have to get home somehow and public transit makes me rage because people can often be rude and inconsiderate on the streetcar. And walking takes so long! So, even if I'm tired, it's better to slog through a run than walk or spend 3$ for the streetcar (I'm sooooo cheap).

Minus: It's hard to skip this workout.
Sometimes I want to be a lazy slug.

Plus: I can justify buying more cute running stuff.
Since I don't have car payments/insurance/a transit pass, spending 60$ on shorts that I'll wear from April through October to run home seems really reasonable!

Minus: I wear a backpack everyday which kind of makes me feel like a kid.
I guess this is sort of not a fair minus, because it's not like I have lots of high-end handbags that I'd be using if it weren't for the backpack. And I wear jeans and a t-shirt almost every single day, so it's not like I look like a 29-year old anyway.

Plus: Running every day means that I need more fuel.
Which, obvs, means more cookies.

SIDENOTE! There's a bakery outlet down my street that have frozen cookie dough balls, 2 dozen for 1.50$. They are in a random freezer, which could contain fruit, pies, frozen veggies, or something else, but lately has been cookie dough. M+M cookies, fresh out of the oven? Yah, that's run fuel.

So, I guess I currently have a like/mild dislike relationship with it. I guess the tipping PLUS would be that people at work think I am really hardcore, which is pretty cool.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A long hiatus, a long hike, and a course that felt very long.

I've been busy and have not updated. To my two followers, I apologize most heartily!

The mister and I went on our longest hike yet, part of our training for Half Dome. 23 kilometres, lots of hills, rated "very challenging." Obviously how we want to spend our Saturday! So it was off and up to outside Orangeville, back into the Hockley area.

The hike started out walking up a road that was basically a giant-ass hill. And it got worse from there. Well, actually, I had been expecting terribleness so it wasn't so bad. We only got "misdirected" twice (the first rule of Hike Club - if you don't see the trail flashings on the trees, GO BACK to the last place you sa them!). Overall a great hike, didn't feel too bad afterwards, but a lot of exposed walking along roads, and I got a bit burnt. But, I am feeling slightly more confident about Half Dome, thought it is doubtful that it will be open in time!

As for the course that felt very long, I did the Nike "Run GIRL Run" 10km run on Friday. It was through the Nike store run club, which lends you shoes/gear for a run to try out then gives you smoothies/massages/manicures post-run ALL FOR FREE! The course wasn't posted beforehand, so my friend and I had no idea what we'd gotten ourselves into.

The first maybe 800 metres was twisty twisty twisty small hills, with no room for passing, then onto a muddy trail, where we had to go to the end, turn, run to the other end, turn, then back to the first end, and then back, and then down to the finish line. OR SO I THOUGHT.

So, I did the last turn (what I thought was the last turn) and buuurrrrrneeed it to what I thought was the last downhill - only to realize we had to go BACK through the twisty twisty twisty bit. Kill me! But, I made it to the end, and beat both my "public" goal time, and my "private, less achieveable so I am not going to tell anyone about it" goal time - just under 5:15/km!

Today I am trying to talk myself into going for a run, partly because I want to hit 600km on my Nike+ and partly because I have cute new shorts to wear. <: ) I'm vain like that, I'll admit it.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Bad news, and also some more bad news!

According to Mr. Half Dome's blog, odds of the cables being up for early June are slim to none - dream of doing Half Dome is nearly dead in the water.

I'm upset, but also slightly relieved - it's a brutal hike, and there are also some other hikes around there that sounded pretty awesome. But yeah, there's a large part of me that would have loved to check that off my list!

The more bad news? I have been running once in a week and a half. What started as a mild shin issue is now a fairly major shin issue. I was having trouble with picking my toes up during stride (dorsiflexion), my shin just felt weak and tight and I kept slapping my foot against the ground.

Googling led me to think it was compartment syndrome (mild), and a friend who is a physical therapist agrees with my suspicion. Basically, the sheath around the muscle is "too tight." Diagnosis is rest, icing, anti-inflammatories, and some stretching.

My other approach, which I've been considering for a while, is to try "POSE running," which places a lot less stress on the heel, less on the shin, and is supposedly just 'better for you.' It involves a forefoot landing.

Here's a good video that really shows the difference between the heel and forefoot landing:

It looks kind of dorky, but I am not too concerned. I already look dorky with my knee socks and reflective vest. Tomorrow's run club is a 5k, so I might try it out then (and then go home and rest and ice a lot!)

Monday, March 14, 2011

I think I made my food processor cry.

There are a lot of homemade Larabar recipes out there, but of course, mine is the best!

It's easily changeable for whatever nuts/mix-ins you feel like and it's very simple.

- Chuck 1 cup of dates into your food processor. It's hard to tell what is an actual cup, because they don't really pack into the cup, so I usually add 6 or 7 extra to make sure it's a complete cup

- Add 1 cup of nuts. It helps if you chop them up a bit first.

- Add another "cup" of dates, and then an extra handful.

- Add about 4 tbsps of cocoa if you like.

- Now add 1 cup of mix-ins. I like raisins, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, and chocolate chips.

- Put the lid of your food processor, turn it on, and hold on to it so it doesn't shake right off the counter.

- Blend for 6-7 minutes. This usually makes my food processor sound like it's going to blast off for the moon, or like a NASCAR-type car with engine trouble, or like it might just crap out on me. I think it cried one time.

- Once you have a mushy paste that holds together in a ball when you smush it, dump it all onto plastic wrap and form it into your desired shape. I usually make it into a long flat bar, because I'm boring like that.

- Place bar in the fridge for oh a while. I leave it a few hours. Then just slice it up and store it in the fridge in a container, with layers separated by waxed paper.

- Soft nuts like walnuts and pecans blend better than almonds. Almonds really take a while.

- Don't be alarmed if after 5 minutes it doesn't seem like a paste. It really takes a long time to blend it all well!

- If you plan to add dried fruit (cranberries, cherries, etc.), I recommend adding it in when you already have a paste and blending is almost finished.

- Don't leave your chocolate chips in a bag near a heat vent. They will melt into a giant block.

- Mint. Yes. Mint chocolate bars are a good idea.

Friday, March 11, 2011

It was a greenhouse effect under my jacket.

Last night was my first night attending the Nike Runner's Lounge Girls' Night Out Run Club. In some ways it was great and some ways, not so much.

PRO: Got to try a nice little jacket out!

CON: It was pouring rain and I couldn't see anything because my glasses were fogged and wet.

PRO: We got smoothies after the run!

CON: They made me do squats and lunges before the run.

PRO: I got a free t-shirts!

CON: It got wet because the cute jacket was water-resistant, not repellant.

PRO: It was only 3.5km!

CON: It was the worst 3.5km of my life.

Overall I'll definitely go back and I think it'll be much better when it's lighter out, and not raining. It was great having somewhere to leave my stuff and you can try out shoes, gear, and iPod stuff for free. The pace was good, other people were going my speed. Next week there will be a "special treat," and I love treats, so I will be there!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

I'm stuck in a vicious cycle!

The cycle: I can't get to sleep. I am whupped in the morning. I don't go running. But then, because I didn't get up and go running at 5.45am, I am not tired when I go to bed!

In my defense, the weather has been less that optimal, it's been quite cold - and crazy! windy. 

I haven't been running in 5 days, but I've been elliptical-ing to compensate, and I get 9km of brisk walking in (to/from work), so at least I can still justify the handfuls of Skittles I was eating the other day as "fuel."

Also, great news, we got our permits for Half Dome! Only 300 were available for each day, and the majority were gone in about 4 minutes! A lot of people seem to book flights/make reservations before getting permits, and don't get them. I am SO relieved we're not in that group!

Friday, February 25, 2011

I totally chickened out on my run this morning.

After Wednesday's crappy run, I wanted to get back in the groove! So, I had my alarm set for my regular time, but when it went off I felt sluggish and tired and really nervous. And went back to sleep.

What if I never have another good run and can never go farther than 3.5 km again? Is this possible? Well, I guess so. Is it probable? Um, no. Is logic overrated? Yes.

Last night I also had pole dance which was awesome after a month or so off. I've definitely lost some of my strength moves that I could do before (sad!) but am getting some other ones that I wasn't quite confident enough to really commit to (yay!).

Anyway, I am FOR. SURE. running tomorrow, and whether it's 5k or 15k I'm not going to sweat it. The weather should be go so I'm just going to see what happens.

Anyone have a great way to motivate yourself after a crappy run?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Fueling for runs

I had a really crappy run on Wednesday morning, which I attribute to the fact that I donated blood the night before and was not at the top of my game. But, it did make me think more about fueling for runs, or, more specifically, fueling DURING runs.

Until recently, I didn't have running shorts/tights with a pocket. And I don't really know about running with a belt (chafing!), and I don't like to hold anything in my hands while running. This has meant that I've never fueled during a run. Never had a drink during a run. While this is probably not a big deal for the majority of my runs, which are under 10km, it's likely been detrimental to my 15-20km runs.

There are a few different options for fueling during a run, and a lot of it seems to be personal preference, and a combination of weather and distance you're going.

Hydration - General rule of thumb, according to Run The Planet, is ~750 mL for every hour of activity.

Electrolytes - If you're running for over an hour, you'll need to replenish your electrolytes. Core Running has a breakdown of all the electrolytes you need, if you're curious, but I usually just have G2 when I get home from a run.

Gels/Chews - Gels, being closer to a liquid, are more easily absorbed than chews, which should be taken with water. The gel/chew choice really depends on what you like.

This summer I'll hit up MEC for an assortment and give them a try during my longer runs and hikes!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Taking it up a notch, or, the world of speedwork

Speedwork. It comes in many forms - repeats, intervals, tempo runs, pace runs, fartleks. The purpose of speedwork is to increase your anaerobic threshold, and that usually means that speedwork makes you feel a bit like you want to barf.

Why on earth would anyone do it, then? Well, training usually covers one of three areas - distance increases, hills, and speedwork. As explained with more depth here, speedwork helps recruit fast-twitch muscle fibres, the end result being that you can run at a fast pace longer, without feeling as sore.

My favourite form of speedwork is "fartleks," a Swedish term meaning "speed play." Fartleks incorporate bursts of speed into a normal, comfortable pace run. It's easy to do these when running outside because they don't involve specific distance or speeds - just sprint, or speed up until you hit a goal, then slow back down to your normal speed again. It can be as easy as "sprint to the crosswalk" or "pick up the pace until you get around the bend."

For more information on how to incorporate fartlek into an advanced or average running program, check out CoolRunning.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Milestone! 400km!

Yesterday morning I went for a run and my Nike+ total was at 395.78km. When I got home form work, I really wanted to bump it up over 400km, so I went for another short run - and hit my goal! I also considered that run as a trial for run-commuting - will I actually have the energy to run home (about 4.5km) after a day of work?

Running to work isn't an option for me since we don't have showers at work and I am a sweaty beast girl. I see a few run-commuters regularly on my walk to work and an very envious, except on the days where it's -20 out and very windy.

Nike+ stats:
400.38 km total
7.15km/run on average
5' 25"/km on average

Friday, February 11, 2011

Things are looking up!

It's going to be a good week for running outside!

I've been using the elliptical lately and trying to convince myself that it's cross training and it's good for me, but it just doesn't give me the satisfaction of running.

However it does allow me to stream garbage television while I exercise, or I can sing along with my music and sort of dance along to it and no one sees me.

I'm hoping to get at least one 10 km run in. I haven't done more than 9 since maybe October, and I'm starting to worry that I won't be able to do it again!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Half Dome, or, What on earth have I gotten us into

Half Dome is one of the great peaks in Yosemite. The hike to the top of Half Dome is 17 miles, round trip. That's not too much further than a half marathon, but the last 500 yards to the top involves pulling yourself up along a set of cables.

Obviously, the Mister and I have decided that this is the sort of thing that we should undertake. Our tentative climb date is June 8th, assuming that we get permits.

I've been reading some very helpful websites that have made me feel that this is actually possible for a mere mortal. Kenton Lee's review and Mr Half Dome's blog have all been great resources so far.

My "training plan" is mostly running, some elliptical, weights, and lots of long, long walks and hikes. Living in a place that's a) fairly flat and b) fairly freezing doesn't allow for too much in terms of similar conditions!

For some pictures of the actual route, check out the Yosemite Hike website (pictures are via the Photos link).

better off outside LAUNCH! post

I’m better off outside: Running, hiking, walking, reading, sitting, bbqing meat.

This blog is my accountability/outlet/motivation, #1 goal right now is climbing Half Dome in Yosemite, tentatively June 8th.

I’m hoping to share my training, some healthy recipes, and some interesting health facts that I come across.

I hope you’ll come along for the hike.