Monday, November 30, 2009

Back at it.

Lately, I've been having some motivation issues with running, cycling and swimming.  I've set a very lofty goal for 2010, which is completing a half ironman on August 1st, and I will also run one, if not two half marathons before that.  I've got all my training schedules, all my gear, a bike, a bike trainer, new bike shoes, fancy running tights, and all sorts of other things, but I'm finding it hard to just START!!  I've gone for runs, a couple of bikes, but nothing serious at all.  I know I need to get serious if I want to be able to set some PRs in the runs and acutally be physically able to finish the 70.3, I just can't find it in me to get going.

Today, that changes.  Starting today, I have officially begun my training for my 2010 races.  I went for a great swim this morning (I believe it's my first since my sprint triathlon WAY back in July) and a nice long bike ride at Killarney.  I felt good.  I was happy and was looking forward to the rest of my training.  I need to adjust my bike a little so that I can use my trainer on the porch, so until then, I'll try to do my cycling at the hotel gyms.  The swimming part will be a bit tougher to fit in on the road, but I can at least do the other workouts and then get the swims in at home.  I'll figure it out.  I think my life will revolve a bit around my training, but I'm ok with that.  It will be a great distraction from all the wedding stress!

So there you have it.  I've published it to the world.  Now I really have to do it.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Matt's Beard + Bathroom Sink = Doesn't Worky

For the last week or so, our bathroom sink has been clogged.  It took about 10 minutes for anything to fully drain and it was majorly annoying.  Normally, I would use something like Drain-o to fix any clog, but since I'm trying to be a little less chemically (and there's nothing worse than Drain-o out there... if you're in the vicinity of it,  it gets hard to breathe) and I left it at the old apartment, I decided to try something else. 

Thanks to this little post over at a super awesome website that my sister showed me, my drain is totally clear of Matt's beard. 

I poured in some baking soda, then some white vinegar, and then five minutes later I dumped in a pot of boiling water.  Ta da!!!!

The sink is fully functional, my lungs and throat are free of corrosion, and our little sewer system is happy with this natural non poisonous drain cleaner!

If you are looking for some home made natural cleaners, that post is incredible.  Most of the recipes on the site include things I already have, and the castile soap they mention using (Dr. Bronner's) is awesome.  A bottle costs around 14$ and it will last you a year.  You can clean pretty much anything with it.  We use it as hand soap in the bathroom (diluted with tonnes of water) and it's not drying or scented.  A great purchase.

So there you have it:  Our drain is beard and chemical free!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

A little product review

I was very excited to get home from this pairing (not that I didn't have a fabulous one, one that included a sleepover at Kristen's and a lunch time run with her and her coworker) because I had a new pair of running tights waiting for me at my store!  I had ordered a pair of CW-X compression running tights and I was just itching to get out and try them.

From the website:  

The CW-X Pro Tights unite the major joints of the leg to offer optimum muscular support for activities with linear movement, such as running and Nordic skiing. The patented Support Web™ brings the hips, knees and ankles into proper alignment, reducing impact and load to the legs. The Support Web also creates a suspension system for the hamstrings and quadriceps, reducing workload in both the pull and push phase of the running motion. Combined with targeted variable compression to increase circulation and reduce fatigue, your muscles don’t have to work as hard over time and your legs will feel fresher. 

So I set out today to test them out.  First of all, these puppies are TIGHT.  To put them on, you have to gather the whole leg up in your hand like you would if you were putting on nylons.  If you just pull them on like normal pants, the crotch of the tight will never get high enough.  I'm not sure about anyone else, but I HATE it when my pants sag a bit at the crotch and I always feel like I'm struggling to get a full range of motion when I run.  So after quite a struggle to get them just right (not to mention the banding around the tights is supposed to contour your muscles so I had to shift them around a bit) I ended up having to yank them up pretty flipping high on my waist.  Because they are supposed to be like a second skin, obviously the waist is tight too.  I would have taken a picture but I didn't want to put you through that.  Muffin top-o-rama. 

Anyway, I got ready, chose a shirt that wasn't tight so I wouldn't show the world my muffin top, and set off on my run.  I sort of hoped that I would be able to run forever without being tired or sore, but alas, no miracles.  I had a bit of knee pain, but I'm pretty sure that's unrelated to the pants.  I ran about 12 k and my knee only hurt a bit at the end, so I'm quite certain it wasn't the tights.  My muscles aren't really too sore right now, which is good, but my muscles don't get super super sore after this kind of distance normally.  I think I'll really be able to see a difference (if there is one) after longer distances, since it's been a while since I've gone over 12-14k.  I liked the way they felt while I was running... It was almost like I had more support (which I guess I did) and I liked the tight feeling.  I felt a little more aware of my muscles because of the banding, which I can't decide if I like or not.  They were just there. 


All in all, so far so good.  We will see how it helps later on with the longer distances and higher frequency of my training.  I hope! 

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Things are coming along

We've settled in even more, re-arranged a few things, and finally started tackling the 2nd bedroom.  We bought a whimsical shelf that looks kind of weird and terrible in the picture, but when put in an otherwise plain jane room, I think it adds a little excitement.  We just need to find a futon of some sort so that we have a functional bedroom for guests.  Anyone have an extra one??

In other news, I bought a wedding dress.  Exciting.

I haven't had a lot of motivation for running lately, but I did buy some cycling shoes so as soon as I get my pedals I'll go take those for a spin.  It will be scary I'm sure.  I think I should bring a buddy in case I fall and get hurt. 

I never ended up getting to Ottawa last pairing so hopefully next week I'll make it.  I haven't seen Kristen in eons so I'm getting a little ansy.

Alright, off to shower and have some lunch with Vanessa.  We may look around for bridesmaid dresses or something like that.  Oh weddings.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Worky worky

I just got home from work, and I have to leave again tomorrow morning! What a drag. I love my job, but sometimes I just get tired. Really, I'm just a wuss because I had a bazillion days off and I don't want to go to work. BUT, I will hopefully see my sister so that's a good thing.

We got a new machine on the airplane. You can now use a credit card to buy sandwiches and snacks and booze on board. Isn't it what you always dreamed of? Anyway we have to ring every purchase, cash and credit, through the machine. It will ultimately be faster, but while I'm learning, it's a little tough. I didn't get much experience on it this past few days because people were just doing it for me instead of teaching me. Hopefully the next few days will be a little better.

I don't have much else to report.

Off to worky!

Sunday, October 04, 2009

More homey than before.

We are definitely getting closer! I didn't include pictures of the second room because it's still in shambles. But we have a home! I also made a carrot cake. It was alright. It tasted good, but could have had a bit more spice. And the cream cheese icing was very rich.









Thursday, October 01, 2009

longest week ever!

Our place is looking a little better. Mum has come over a couple of times to help out and today we made a lot of progress. Unfortunately, I forgot that all of the hangars are in the bedroom and since Matt is sleeping in there, I couldn't grab them to hang up what needs to go in the front closet. I'm not sure that there's a subtle and quiet way to grab hangars from a pile on the floor, and I didn't think he would appreciate my attempt.

We've hung two pictures on the wall, and have one more to go. We unpacked and put away most of the books, kitchen stuff, random paper crap, and all sorts of other things. The main thing that needs to be done is the bedroom, but that is a tough one since I can't work on it in the day (when Matt is sleeping), but I sort of need two people to help me move the furniture so that I can get it all organized. I'll have to catch Matt when he is either getting ready for work or just getting home from work (but at that time, I'm the one in a heap in the bed). Or maybe I'll just wait until the weekend. I think I can suffer until then. Before you call me a wuss for needing him to help me move furniture, it's because one of our dressers is quite fragile. Last year, I came home from Nashville North on the Stampede grounds, had perhaps had a drink or two, and fell on an open drawer and broke the crap out of myself and the dresser. We managed to fix it, but then when we moved it here, it all kind of went down the tubes and it is barely holding together. I can't really drag it across the carpet because it will probably crumble to the ground. Hopefully if we lift it, it will survive.

I'm really happy to be here, and it's strange to think that this is OURS. How fun is that??

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Our new digs

I'm tired. Moving sucked. Here are some pictures of my life as of today.


Matt is somewhere in that heap sleeping. He starts working nights tonight. Boo.








Monday, September 14, 2009

Canmore!

I had a glorious weekend!

On Friday, Matt and I went to Canmore with Kaitlin and Jordan (his cousin and her husband) to stay at my dad's condo out there. We all ran the Canmore Rocky Mountain 10k on Sunday, but we decided a weekend away would be nice. We had such a nice, relaxing Saturday, (and we had the most delicious savory crepes from "divine cravings" ever!) and then we were all up and ready to run for Sunday morning.

None of us had really put in the training we had hoped, but we were excited nonetheless. This was Matt's first race ever, so he was nervous. His goal was to beat Kaitlin. Kaitlin and Jordan had run the HSBC 10k in the spring, so they were just hoping for some PRs on this race. I, well, didn't take my training as seriously as I could or should have, but I was hoping for a PR since the last 10k I ran was my first race ever!! I finished that one in 1:01 and I just hoped that I would be faster. I didn't have high hopes, that's for sure.

First off, the race course was amazing. It was partly around the neighbourhoods, and partly along the river and on this cute little forest path. I felt so relaxed and so peaceful throughout the race, which is a first for me! I usually suffer most of the way. I did get a stomach cramp as soon as the race started, and I struggled with it the whole time, but it wasn't crippling like some of the ones I've had while running. I'm not sure why I had it, so I'm going to have to investigate, since it seems to be a pattern. I also haven't ever run a part road/part trail race, and it was quite nice on the legs, I must say.

As for the results, they were also amazing. When I went to put my watch on the morning of, I realized it was dead!! I wasn't planning on bringing my iPod since I wanted to be "one with nature", so I was a choked about my watch. I decided to just wing it and go without anything. I do take little walk breaks when I run so I decided to break for about 30 seconds every 2 k ish or at the water stations and hope for the best. Well, it worked! I had no clue what kind of pace I was holding or how long I had been running, and I crossed the finish line in 52:14!! I couldn't believe it! I haven't run that fast (or so I thought) ever!! I may be underestimating my skills because my nike iPod plus isn't calibrated properly, so I'll have to check on that.

Anyway, back to the results. Matt crossed in 58:53, which he was happy with, especially for a first race. Kaitlin finished in 1:00 on the nose, and Jordan crossed in 1:16. Both of them got significant PRs, and they were very happy. The course itself was very conducive to PRs, since there was no trace of even a slight incline anywhere. It was SO flat. I suggest to anyone if they're looking to run a first 10k or half marathon, this one would be a great one to do. Unlike Kristen and my first half marathon that was full of hills, this would be a little less challenging.

After the race, there was free beer (sad for me, double happy for Matt), kicking horse coffee, fruit and bagels. We then walked off our stiffness around Canmore, getting some more coffee, and went back to the condo for some relaxation. The rest of the afternoon was nice since we all had the post race high! You could tell we were all just so pleased with ourselves.

My mum and her friend Leah also did the race, and they also did well. My mum hoped to walk the 5k in under 50 minutes, and she ended up finishing in 38 minutes!! Leah ran it in 33! Yay for them!

All in all, it was a huge success. Matt also loved his first race experience, so we're hoping to do some more in the near future. I was so proud of him for hanging in there and doing SO well after not having run much leading up to Sunday. Good for us!

Friday, August 28, 2009

from 0-100

My life has been very eventful in the last few weeks. Here's a run down:
  • I turned 25.
  • On my 25th birthday, my sneaky boyfriend proposed.
  • (I said yes)
  • One week later, we put an offer on a condo.
  • Today, we will turn the conditional sale into a firm sale, meaning we bought it. (Unless something terrible happens within the next 5 hours.)
  • Matt and I opened a joint bank account.
I think that's it. More has happened to me since my 25th birthday than I ever could have imagined. I'm very happy.

OH, I also won 10$ from a scratch ticket!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Why I hate the dentist.

I have never liked the dentist. Never.

Routine cleaning? Horrifying. Fillings? Awful. Can't stand any of it.

I went for a cleaning two weeks ago and they told me I had to come back to get three fillings re-sealed. I have very weak teeth, so when I was younger I had lots of cavities. It wasn't because I didn't brush well, it was just my teeth. So now as I have aged, the fillings need to get replaced every once in a while. I was told at my cleaning that I wouldn't need freezing, they would just re seal. RE-SEAL. NO FREEZING.

I get there today, they tell me I'm in for three fillings. I asked why she said fillings when it was just re-sealing, and I also mentioned that I wouldn't need to be frozen. She told me that no, I was in for fillings and that I probably wouldn't need freezing because they would just be drilling a little. I immediately started sweating, my whole body tensed up, and I just about soiled myself. I asked what it would feel like, and she said that it just feels cold and then a small zing at the end. Dentist comes in (who, I should mention, has been my dentist my entire life and knows that I'm a wuss and that I usually take 3x the Novocain), they start drilling (as I type this I am cringing) and I hung on as long as I could, but then I got a sharp sharp pain that reverberated through my skull and I gurgled some kind of "stop!".

They put in the freezing, and continued. All of a sudden, this searing sword like feeling went up my tooth, into my brain, through my eyes, down my spine, and through my body. My whole body flinched, I yelled, my arms flew around, and they stopped, and I started crying. CRYING. Tears were just flowing out of me and I couldn't stop. I felt like SUCH an idiot, but really, who expects this awful pain AFTER they freeze?!? I can still feel it. I shuddered, squinted, my hands were clenched together. I honestly have never felt that kind of pain.

Then there were two more to go. I won't re-tell the whole story of the others, but they had to go in and put three shots of Novocain in both the bottom and the top of my right side, and two shots in the left top. I have never had a worse experience at the dentist (except that one time at the oral surgeon where they out out a cyst that was in my lip and I had stitches in my face for a week and couldn't smile... that was worse). Half way through the last tooth he switched to a larger drill, and I swear I could feel the vibrations over my whole body. When he was going to put in the 5th shot of Novocain, I apologized for needing more, and my dear old dentist said "it's alright, don't worry, though normally this happens when you're 16, not 24!" and laughed. Awesome. I'm pretty sure that was the first time I've ever cried at the dentist. I told the hygenist that on my way out and she just laughed. I just wasn't mentally prepared for drilling. And the pain. My god the pain. I was frozen until about 4:30 pm (and my appointment was at 11:00). I was just awful.

I don't think I ever want to go back. Maybe I should get that sedation dentistry. Shudder.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Lists are easier since you don't have to form complete sentences

Things as of late:
  • Matt and I are looking to buying a place to live. Scary.
  • We are looking into getting a puppy. A little scary.
  • I am going to work tomorrow and get to spend a whole day and a half in Ottawa.
  • Lobster was on sale and we got some, and for the first time ever I felt horribly guilty cooking it. It was awful (to kill it, not to eat it) and I'm not sure that I'll cook it myself again.
  • It's freaking HOT out. Holy hell.
  • Ellen Degeneres is judging on So You Think You Can Dance this week, and it's hilarious.
  • I completed my Sprint Triathlon a couple of weeks ago and it went really well! I swam my little heart out and I was super stoked about the whole thing. Fun!
  • Did I mention that it was really hot?
  • What else? I really have enjoyed the new season of True Blood so far. It's awesome.
  • I've been practicing a hairstyle for a wedding Matt and I are going to in Toronto. It's sort of a modern day finger wave. I think after three tries I may just have it. (Why did I choose a complicated hairdo? No real reason. Just because.)
How is everyone?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Kristen it's your birthday, Happy birthday Kristen

It's my big sis Kristen's birthday today! I wish I was there to celebrate with her, but alas, I'm not. I will, however, be there a bunch in the next couple of weeks so we'll have lots of opportunities to celebrate then.

I love you! Have a super fantastic wonderful birthday. It's the last one with a 2 in front of it!

This is an incredibly flattering picture of us from last year after we ran our first half marathon. I'm pretty sure I wanted to kill whoever was holding the camera.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Ya Mon!

There's something about Jamaica that makes white people say "ya mon" all the time and it's just awful. Jamaicans can say it, but if you're white, it's really not necessary.

We had a great time in Jamaica. It wasn't unbearably hot, but it was hot and humid. It wasn't TOO sunny but sunny enough. We had delicious rum creams and ate some alright food. We laid out on the beach, went swimming and drank at a swim up bar, watched crabs running around the beach, and had a few impromptu photo shoots. Here are a few photos to demonstrate.


Rum Creams!

We walked into the room and this was on our bed one night!









A little airport nap!

Monday, June 29, 2009

No pics yet

I haven't uploaded my pictures from Jamaica yet so I'm saving the post about it until I do.

Tonight I went to field hockey. Last week we had a great game and I even scored. Tonight was a different story. We were playing a team that was WAY better than us and we lost majorly. Still, I feel like we played well as a team and we communicated and we did the best we could. We couldn't ignore than the other team was running circles around us and was just flat out better. We were one person short of a full team as well, so we had no subs and had to run around like crazy for the full hour. We have people of varying skill levels as well, so as much as we try, sometimes things just don't go our way.

At the end of the game, one of our stronger players who is pretty vocal on the field (which is good, but can come across a little harsh) decided to give us a little speech. It went a little something like this: "This weekend I was in a tournament that was about 10 hours. I ran harder that entire 10 hours than most of you did tonight. You all need to run faster and harder and get the f#$%ing ball. That's where I stand right now."

We all just kind of stood there and no one said anything. No one really addressed it and we walked away. In my opinion, the message was true and valuable, but don't you think it could have been delivered a little differently?

How about "I think we need to run way harder, we aren't getting to the ball quick enough" or even "Heather you need to run harder" or "__________ you need to run harder"... But is it really necessary to talk about how well SHE did and how we are worse? I thought the delivery spelled out B-I-T-C-H in a major way.

What do you think?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Too Much

These last few weeks have been busy busy busy. I ran my first triathlon, which was crazy. I went to Jamaica with Matt for a vacation which was great. Then I went unexpectedly to Vermont from Jamaica because my grandmother died. My whole family was there, and I got to spend time with people I haven't seen in over 10 years, so that was a positive aspect of the unexpected extended vacation. Otherwise, it was very sad and hard and heartbreaking all at one time.

I'll write about my fun times at the race and the beach later.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Race Reports

This was a busy weekend for a lot of people!

Over in Ottawa, Kristen ran an awesome 10k! Woooweee good job and great time! Jordan ran an awesome marathon with a great personal best and boston qualifying time. Were there 50 pushups? I'm not sure. Jordan's parents walked a great half marathon too! I don't know what the time was but any weekend where four people run races with personal bests and no trips to any medic tents is great! Good for all of them!

I was busy with being on call at work, and having to stay up and be ready to hurry into work until 1am. LAME! I was on call for 5 days and assuming I don't get called out in the next 3 hours, I didn't hear a peep for the crew schedulers. I got paid (a little) for sitting around working on my project for my Stampede committee! Today before my on call time I went out for a little brick workout with Katie, and we biked the route for next week's race and then ran the route as well. Things learned:
1. I am in trouble when I get my road bike tomorrow. I couldn't seem to get going when I tried on Katie's. It's very wobbly!
2. This is a boring bike route. Four 3k loops with lots of turns. Yawn.
3. I'm a chicken. I can physically go fast on the bike, but I'm way too scared.
4. Running after biking isn't really that easy.
5. We are vain, because most of our conversation revolved around how terrible we're going to look after the swim and how we wish we could have permanent make-up.
Regardless, we had fun and it was such a nice day out that it made it extra enjoyable.

Matt and I went to the bottle depot and got 23$! Sweet.

I need to find a cute dress for a fancy wedding at the beginning of July. I was thinking something short ish, structured (not flowy) and maybe strapless? It's going to be stinking hot in Toronto I'm assuming so less is more here. So far I haven't found anything but I've barely looked. Any suggestions?

I don't think I'm going to post pics of my new uniform because my mum always gets mad at me when I talk about work too much, and she wouldn't approve of me showing everyone on the internet who I work for. Maybe if I blur it out or something... I'll work on it.

Next weekend is going to be busy for us Calgarians, with Kirsten running the calgary half marathon and me doing my little triathlon. I hope the weather is good!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I'm alive! Just a bad blogger.

Since I haven't been too motivated to write a post in a while, I think the list format is appropriate.

  • My first super sprint triathlon is on the 31st. Um, yikes!
  • I wish it was a different day so I could go watch Kirsten run her race. If it's a good day, I think she's going to blow it out of the water!
  • I've really been enjoying not having to sort or take back my recycling. Unfortunately I'm too cheap to put my cans and bottles in there, so those are piling up like crazy.
  • I went to Banff for mother's day brunch and I got a gluten free english muffin and flourless chocolate cake! Since then, I've made 2 of those cakes and man o man they are delicious.
  • The weather is crappy. That is all.
  • My entire core of my body is sore. Too many sit ups I guess.
  • We got the barbeque going on Sunday and it was great! I love barbequeing veggies and all that. Everything tastes better on the bbq.
  • The launch date for new uniforms at work is quickly approaching. It's a big change! Very fancy.
  • I'm furiously trying to be comfortable on a bike and it's hard. I'm not so much worried of my ability to finish 12k on a bike for my race, but I'm worried about cycling on a course with other people and not getting in the way or breaking some unwritten rule. Yikes.
  • Matt found out yesterday that he passed his school stuff for his apprenticeship!
  • What else?
  • My apartment is cold. I just don't have the heart to turn the heat back on. Maybe closing a window would help.
  • I think that new movie with Christian Bale and Johnny Depp looks really good.
  • I'm trying to figure out if it's possible to just order HBO so that I can watch the new season of True Blood starting in June. If you don't know what True Blood is, and you enjoyed Twilight but wished it wasn't for teenagers, then you need to watch True Blood. Better yet, go to chapters or indigo and get this series of books. The show is based off the books. They're fun, though nothing that exhausts your brain power, but you will not regret it.
  • Outdoor field hockey started a couple of weeks ago. It's fun. Lots of running, but fun.
I think that's enough for now. I am going to try to post a little more. I know your lives have been incomplete since my last post, and I apologize.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Done and done!

Sunday was the Calgary Police Half Marathon, and I ran it. I was a little weary leading up to the race, with my shin injuries, and then dropping a garbage can on my ankle on Wednesday which got swollen and hurty, and then me not running at ALL the week leading up to the race (because of the garbage incident). I wasn't really sure what to think about anything. It also blew snow and rain the entire day on Saturday. Anyway, at 8am on Sunday morning, I started the long 21.1km trek from Mount Royal College to around the Glenmore Resevoir, up the Weaselhead hill and back to MRC. I also had a huge fan club. Kristen, Matt, my mum, Della, and my dad all came for the start. About 100 m after the start line they were there and Kristen had a big poster that said "run like the police are chasing you" which made me giggle. Then, at Glenmore Landing everyone (sans my dad because he had to leave) was there again with a poster that said "hurry up, we're cold" which also made me giggle. Then, after the hill of death (which wasn't THAT bad, but I walked up half of it) they were there AGAIN, with an other poster that said "go heather" with a picture of me.

This picture has a bit of history. I can't really remember how old I was, but I decided it would be funny to take Kristen's clarinet and pretend to play it and put my mum's magic bag on my head. It made her laugh, so mum took a picture. That picture is still on her fridge, and any time she feels a little blue, she just looks at it and she giggles. Kristen and I also just need to think of the picture and it makes us laugh. SO, there they are, with a bazillion people running by, with a huge sign that says "Go Heather" and then there's me with a magic bag on my head playing the clarinet. I think I said "you're dead" but I laughed too.

Anyway, back to the race. The last 2 km of the race were pretty difficult. We had to run up a pretty long not that steep hill. If you were just walking, you probably wouldn't have noticed that there was even a hill there, but when you've run 19 km, every little incline makes a big difference. I also was very tired. Anyway I was feeling a little sorry for myself, since I knew I was a little shy of making my 2:00 hour goal, and I was wasting my finishing kick on surviving the hills, when out of nowhere (well, somewhere) came Kristen, and she decided to run the last little bit with me. So I was not really talking, grunting more, giving her looks of pain, and she was all "go go , don't stop, you've got it, keep going" and it helped. It would have helped more if she had picked me up and carried me, but this was a close second. She left me to finish the last tiny bit because she figured she shouldn't actually cross the finish line. Then there was Matt, saying "go heather" very calmly, like he does, then there were mum and Della, who yelled all enthusiastically, and then my boss from the store was there (looking way too well rested for someone who had already run the race) and he yelled at me to "push it girl" and told me apologetically that there were 100 m left... And then I saw two of my friends, one of whom had finished probably 25 minutes prior, who yelled at me to keep going, and then I finished. And I was happy. I ended up with 2:05 and I'm happy with that. My old time was 2:13, so shaving off 8 minutes is a pretty big deal for me, and that's that.

So I was the most popular participant (ha!) in the race with the best fan club who went to 4 different spots, and I felt WAY better during this race than my first. As I put it, I was less miserable for way less of the race, which is great. The first one, I felt awful for probably the last 5 k or more, and this one was only the last 2k. So I'm improving. And with the help of everyone, the race was a great success! And I pretty much had no pain! My knee crinked a bit at the start, but other than that, my body waited until after the race to hurt!!!

Now I have to remember I have a super sprint triathlon to train for. Speaking of that, I'm off to the pool!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Seems like a listy thing to do!

There are a lot of lists going around the internet these days so I'll join in. Just a list.

  • I have watched a lot of star wars lately.
  • I just ate a large bag of mini eggs that my mum got me for easter. I feel a little sick.
  • I think there was a ghost in my hotel room last night. Either that, or I was in some kind of electromagnetic force field. All the lights in my room (lamps and overhead) flicked on and off for about 10 minutes. Also, my cell phone started flashing, the screen flickered, and one light that doesn't normally stay on stayed on. It was a fairly new hotel, so I'm just going to say it was something wonky with the wiring. Or a ghost.
  • I have a very very busy week starting tomorrow. I hope I survive.
  • My left ankle is almost always cold these days.
  • I'm starting to feel like I can actually swim properly. It's taken a while, but I'm not as panicky and frantic in the pool as I used to be.
  • I really want to do something outside today, but I'm stranded indoors by laundry and not wanting to over exert myself for my busy week.
  • I'm REALLY excited for Kristen to come for a visit this weekend.
  • I hope I run a strong race next Sunday and will be disappointed if I don't. (I think that's normal).
  • I think I may need to buy a bicycle.
  • I have finally perfected homemade hash browns. I've tried for years to make good ones out of fresh potatoes and today I finally did it. And it was so simple. Now I need to perfect the shredded hash brown.
  • We will get our new work uniforms in the next couple of weeks. I hope they fit and look good!
  • I got the greatest coffee from the farmers market last week. I worked with a first officer who told me about it, and she actually is friends with the two owners. They both quit their jobs as engineers one day and started this coffee shop and it's been really successful. It's amazing and totally worth the extra cash.
I guess that's it for now!

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Ouch!

I haven't posted in a while!

I've had a few running mis-haps in the past few weeks. Mainly, my shins have been bothering me like crazy. I ran 18k on the 22nd of March, then ran the following Tuesday and thought that my legs were going to snap in half. My shins were hurting so badly that for the nest three days, I hobbled around like an idiot. I didn't know what to do really. I stretched, iced, but nothing really worked. I finally decided to see a sports chiropractor. I have never been one to go to a chiropractor, even when recommended to me by my doctor, but this time I was desperate. The one I went to specializes in running and other sports injuries and injury prevention, so I felt that they would at least know something about what I was doing and how to help. It definitely worked. I found out that I have disproportionately weak hips compared to the rest of my legs, and my calf muscles were having to make up for that and in turn pulling on my shins. It's a type of shin splint, but not a normal or common type. As long as I strengthen my hips and stretch my calves, I should be good as new.

The good news? I ran for the first time today since the whole calf dying incident, and it went well! I did 20k, and there wasn't too much pain. I'm icing and stretching now, and hopefully with a few more sessions with the chiropractor, I'll be pain free!

What else is new? Not much. I got some hemp hearts from my grocer and just tried them for the first time. Apparently they have some crazy health benefits and I decided to give them a go since I've seen them around a lot lately. I'll let you know how that goes.

How's everyone else doing? I know Kirsten is training for a race (I really hope your knee doesn't hurt anymore!), k is getting back in the running game (WITHOUT getting hurt), lu just ran her longest run of the year, evey just joined a gym, fuzzy wuzzy (I have a hard time writing that without giggling) is gearing up for the half marathon walk... The goals are set and they're getting closer! My race is less than a month away! Keep me updated!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

It snowed a bunch today...

...in case anyone didn't notice. There was a LOT of snow out this morning.

I made some chicken pot pie on Tuesday, and even though it took me about 3 hours, it was totally worth it. It had a pesto chive biscuit topping instead of a traditional crust, and I made everything, from the chicken to the stock to the biscuits, from scratch. I got it from the food network's chef at home, and man o man it was super delicious. We have a bunch leftover in the freezer and I can't wait to thaw it and eat it on a day when I don't want to cook.

I have a week off! Hurray!

Monday, March 09, 2009

Mmmmm, Granola

Last night I made some gluten free granola. I am so sick of eating really crappy, really gross and really fatty store bought gluten free granola. Anything I've purchased is still sitting in my cupboard almost full. My mum has made some tasty granola, but I only get it once a year at Christmas and it's long gone by now. I took her recipe and meshed it with one from Gluten-Free Girl and voila! The most delicious incredible and not too fatty granola ever!!! (Don't get mad Mum, yours is only one small notch under this one). (And I'll still probably want some next year for Christmas).

The oats and oat pearls I use are from Only Oats and I ordered them online. I think you can get them at Planet Organic as well.

Gluten Free Granola

12 cups of GF oats or oat flakes
2 cups of GF steel cut oat pearls
bunch of almonds (about 1 cup)
bunch of cashews (about 1 cup)
bunch of sunflower seeds (about 3/4 cup)
bunch of pecans (about 1 1/2 cups)
bunch of soy nuts (1 cup ish?)
1 1/2 cups maple syrup
slurp of some kind of oil (I probably used 1 1/2 tbsp or so)
slurp of Vanilla (I thought I used way too much when I put it in because I wasn't paying attention, but it turned out great so go crazy with the vanilla)
1/2 cup or so of some kind of juice (I used grapefruit because that's what I had)
Cinnamon
All spice
Ground Flax (I know it makes more sense to use whole flax, but apparently flax is so small that the human body doesn't break it down and we miss out on all the great things from flax. By using ground flax, there's no need to break it down!)
Raisins (Personally I don't like raisins because they look like little bugs, so I used golden raisins and they blend right in! No bugs!)

Pre heat your oven to 300F. Combine the oats and nuts in a big bowl. Combine the maple syrup, oil, vanilla and juice in small bowl and mix well. Poor the liquid into the oat mixture and mix until all the oats and nuts look coated. Add the spices (I put quite a bit of cinnamon) and mix well again. (My arm got REALLY tired. I think I need to do some more push-ups).

Line two cookie sheets with wax paper (I only did this because I'm pretty sure my cookie sheets are all gluteny. I should really get some new ones. Maybe Mum you can give me some with my Christmas granola) and put the coated oaty mix on them.

Bake for a while, stirring every 5 minutes. You do have to be pretty diligent with the stirring, because the bits on the edges of the cookie sheets get burnt pretty quickly. I also alternated the position of the two sheets, switching the top and bottom every once in a while. I think it took about an hour in all, but when the granola turns more golden than it was before, it's done.

When the granola has cooled, add the ground flax and the raisins. Done!

As you can see, I was very willy nilly with any measurements. I just shoved things in the bowl. Yum! I'm so happy I could eat granola all day! And the apartment smelled incredible! And way less oil than normal granola! I had some with plain yogurt today after work and it was the perfect sweet and not sweet combo.

I hope you try it and shove other random things in the bowl and love it!!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Thanks a lot

Today I pushed a little past my limit today. I was running with the half marathon running group through the store. We were supposed to run 16k, which is doable. I had a great run on Thursday and I felt really ready. It was flipping freezing this morning, so that made me a little hesitant, but I still layered on my gear and set out. Within the first half hour, my water was all frozen. Not only was the water itself frozen, but the lids were frozen as well. I don't really need a lot of water, but when I'm expecting a little sip every 10 minutes or so and I don't get any, it sets me back a bit mentally. I was struggling quite a bit, with the wind blowing and the no water thing, and all in all I just wasn't feeling it at all. Then, at about mile 5 ish, we come up to a sign that says "Route closed due to dangerous conditions" and just kept going. (As in going on said route). We ran up a thin, icy trail, and then all of a sudden we got to a huge sheet of ice (on the side of a cliff). We struggled, but got across, but most of us had to get on our hands and knees or asses to do it. Meanwhile a few people were quite far ahead, and we totally lost site of them as we approached a second, bigger, more dangerous sheet of ice. We tried to get across, but couldn't, so we decided to turn back without our group leader and two other guys. We barely made it across the first sheet of ice the second time because we polished it up real nice our first way across. Anyway, we made it, and ran back towards the original path that wasn't unsafe. By this time, my mitts, my ass, and my knees were all soaked. When we found the others (which was about 30 minutes later) I was SO tired and we had already run 15k. I still couldn't get any water out of my bottles, and I was all in all very cranky. I had fallen a bunch of times on the ice and I felt like a whole huge pile of ass. Also, we were still not close to the store (where we start and end the run). By the time we got back, we ended up running 19k. 3 extra kilometers doesn't seem like much, but it really really is. I was so far past my last straw that I really didn't know if I would make it. I wasn't super impressed that we were taken on a trail that was closed and ditched. I don't have to pay for this running group, but everyone else does, and I wouldn't have been too impressed if I had shelled out some cash for that. We didn't get any apologies either, by the way.

That was my run, and now I am sore. It took a good half hour for me to warm up when I got home. I felt like I would NEVER get warm. And now I'm going to sit on the couch and do nothing for the rest of the day and for supper I'm making some poutine with fresh cheese all the way from Quebec.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Anyone know a good hip stretch?

I'm finding my hips are getting very stiff as my running distances increase. I'm also biking more than I used to (which means more than never) and that's hurting them a bit as well. I know the one where you are in a lunge position and then bring your pelvis forward, and this other one on the floor with one leg extended backwards and one leg crossed in front (is anyone else finding it hard to describe a stretch?!?), but I need some others. Those two aren't doing it for me.

Maybe it will be easier to find links instead of describing. That was hard.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Caring, hilarious, brings out my best.

I've decided to participate in this question answer thing because I blatantly ignored the "25 Things" thing on facebook. I liked this survey on these two websites so here we go.

What are your middle names?
Mine are Diana Cross and Matt's is Kent.

How long have you been together?
Two years and a bit, though we forgot about our anniversary until it passed. Ooops.

How long did you know each other before you started dating?
About 3 hours. Even though I tried to say he wasn't my boyfriend for a few days for some odd reason, but then I gave in to his charm.

Who asked whom out?
I gave him my number and he called me a couple of hours later.

How old are each of you?
I'm 24 and he's 23. I know, I'm a cougar.

Whose siblings do you see the most?
Ummm, neither really. I see my own sister most but Matt doesn't see her much. Neither of our siblings live in the city.

Which situation is the hardest on you as a couple?
Money woes.

Did you go to the same school?
Nope. Not even in the same province.

Are you from the same home town?
Nope. I'm from Calgary, he's from Stouffville. (Or Toronto, depends on if anyone knows where Stouffville is).

Who is smarter?
Depends on what kind of smart I guess. I can conjugate the crap out of verbs, and he can install electrical wires. I can read a book in a day, and he can make a fixed gear bike out of a different kind of bike.

Who is the most sensitive?
I cry at strangers weddings, watching movies about not divorcing gay marriages, then again when telling people about that movie about not divorcing gay marriages, when someone wins a gold medal (or comes in 4th), if anyone around me sheds even one tear, when I'm tired, when I'm hungry, when I can't find an outfit... You get the idea.

Where do you eat out most as a couple?
Mostly Vietnamese, even though Matt gets sick of it pretty quickly, or Chianti's/Fiore's, since they have GF pasta.

Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple?
Honolulu, but Nassau is a close second I think.

Who has the craziest exes?
Well, I've never met any of Matt's, nor do I ever want to. Matt and I have haphazardly seen one of mine out and about one day, and Matt thought I was referring to this overweight balding guy (which I wasn't) and it lightened the mood significantly. I think I have more exes than Matt, but I'm not really sure if they're crazy. Let's just say his.

Who has the worst temper?
Definitely Matt. But I am thankful that he works very hard to make it less and less every day. (Imagine the crying description above mixed with a quick temper. Not so great).

Who does the cooking?
I cook more often and I try different things all the time, but Matt can definitely bust out some delicious dishes.

Who is the neat-freak?
Neither of us, which is a problem, so I try to channel my inner neatness so our place doesn't get lost under the mess.

Who is more stubborn?
Both of us. Terrible.

Who hogs the bed?
Matt. He gets all up in my business all the time. I push him all night.

Who wakes up earlier?
Matt, just because he works early. He is jealous of me every morning. When I'm away working, I wake up significantly earlier than him most of the time, but it doesn't count because he doesn't see it.

Where was your first date?
The Rusty Cage. Oh baby.

Who is more jealous?
Me.

How long did it take to get serious?
After the few days I denied that I was falling for him, it got pretty serious pretty quick. He then moved across the country for me, so that made things a tiny bit serious too.

Who eats more?
Matt, but he's a growing boy.

Who does the laundry?
We do our own laundry!

Who's better with the computer?
It depends on what on the computer. I spend more time on mine, but I still can't figure out how to get that bit torrent thingy to download things faster. He is clever.

Who drives when you are together?
Either one of us, though we both like to point things out to each other. (See how nicely I put that?)

Monday, February 16, 2009

I really like the word "y'all". I wish I could say it without people thinking I was crazy.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Ooops

I finished my hat yesterday. It turned out great, except it's HUGE. I have no idea how it ended up being so incredibly gigantic, since it's a pattern that Kaitlin has used many times, but oh well. I had a little photo shoot to illustrate how enormous it is.


At first glance, this doesn't look that big.


Then, in this picture, it's starting to look a little bigger, maybe a bit too big.


Then there's this one, where it's so huge that my glasses are the only things keeping it from falling over my eyes. Awesome. It's even too big to be a tea cozy. Maybe a bag? I don't know. Oh well.

My next project is a neck warmer/scarf/baggy thing. I hope it will turn out a little better than the hat. It's a new skill that I'm trying, since obviously I'm using more than two needles. The point is to make it round in the knitting part, instead of making a long thing and sewing the ends together to make a round shape. This is the same way you'd make mittens, so I might have to try that too!

I'll try another hat soon, and just make it significantly smaller. I'm still working on the other scarf, but I just got sick of looking at all that white.

Eventually I'll post something about something besides knitting.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Knitty knit knit

I thought I'd share my progress on my knitting projects. Keep in mind these are my first!

The picture above is a hat, though it's not finished, obviously since it's still on the needle. I need to finish the top and then sew the sides together. I think it will be too big for me but it's cool and it didn't take long at all since I used really thick yarn and thick needles. There are quite a few holes where I dropped a stitch here and there, and I didn't know how to pick them up so I was kind of stuck. I think I can fix them after I'm done it though.



This is my next project, a scarf, which is taking a bit longer since the needles are a lot thinner. The picture doesn't do it justice (you can click on it to make it bigger if you're that curious), but I'm actually making a ribbed style scarf, which is a lot like the cuff of a knit sweater, and it takes two different types of stitches (called knits and purls). Look at me, the knitting pro! Haha just kidding, it's actually really easy. Anyway I'll let you know how it goes! So far I'm getting the hang of remembering to switch the stitch every second one. It took a lot of concentration at first, but now it's a little easier.

Once I finish the hat (which I need my friend to help me with) I'm going to do another scarf, this time using two difference colours of yarn at the same time. I think I'll make it a loose chunky type one. Then maybe I'll try a mitten or something. I've come a long way! The last time I tried knitting, I got scolded from my granny because I dropped a few of my mum's stitches. She told me to start my own to I didn't ruin my mum's hard work. It was pretty funny.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Completely stolen: Nine in '09

My big sis, K, wrote this post, and I thought it was a great idea, so I'm going to be inspired by HER and do the same. (I don't think I've ever referred to Kristen as my big sis, but it somehow seemed appropriate). I might even steal some of her goals... Who knows. I always wanted to be like her as a kid, so why not now?

Sporty goals:

1. Run another half marathon, preferably under 2 hours.

That one makes sense and doesn't need too much explanation. I've signed up for the Calgary Police Half Marathon in April so we'll see how the training goes.

2. Get into Triathlons.

My friend Katie called me and convinced me to do a Super Sprint Triathlon, which will be a nice easy way to see if I like the sport of the multi sport. I think the distances are 300 meter swim, 12k bike, and 3k run, so it's definitely do-able. Considering I don't really swim or bike EVER, I think this is a good way to go. That's in May. I'll be busy this spring.

Living goals:

3. Save more money.

I do save money through work and investing, but I could be a little better at not just buying things when I would like them, and instead save for a little while. I think it will make me like those things more when I actually get them.

4. Be tidier.

I'm not the tidiest person around. That being said, I get very stressed out when things are a mess around me. I really will work on putting things away immediately instead of letting them pile up for a while and then when I get really frustrated, put them all away.

5. Floss more.

This sounds really weird/gross, but I find it really difficult to floss every day. I'm really really going to work on that this year.

Happiness goals:

6. Go on a vacation.

I don't really care where, though I would love it if it were somewhere tropical or hot. It doesn't have to be a big vacation, but I'd like something. I get cheap flights, so why don't I go somewhere already?!?

7. Watch less TV.

This seems pretty self explanatory as well.

8. Love my hobbies.

I just started knitting, and I'm having a blast. I'd like to continue doing that. I also would like to read more interesting books, go for more walks around the neighbourhood, maybe go for a hike or two... I think I need to enjoy what life has to offer a little more.

9. Give more.

If give more time, more attention, more presents for no reason, more energy, I think I'll be happier in the end. And so will the people who get the presents for no reason.

I think those are some pretty good goals. And I think I can attain them. I know open ended goals are harder to achieve, so I've been told that making a game plan for each one helps with the end result part. I won't bore everyone with my game plans, but I'll write them down somewhere and check back with them every once in a while.

Thanks Kristen!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

It's cold again

I was warm in Calgary the whole time I was away, and now that I'm home, it's cold. Annoying!

Work has been very stressful lately. Lots of things have happened that I never thought I'd have to deal with, but luckily we all made it through to the other side and it's all ok. I'm happy to say nothing made me re-think my job, which is great, but it did make me a little more aware of everything around me. This has been a crazy season for flying for everyone!

Our visit with Kristen and Jordan was great and I was very sad to see them go. It's hard that they don't live here.

I have recently discovered a grocery delivery service, which I couldn't be more excited about. Someone at work had it, and told me about it, and I'm totally hooked. It's not just a grocery store with delivery. It's a website that deals with organic, local produce and grocery products who deliver instead of run a grocery store. Their idea is that they'd like to cut down the cost of getting groceries. Instead of having a store, employees, utilities, and us having to drive there and spend time there, they have a warehouse and a few drivers, they buy as locally as possible and then branch out when local isn't available, and we at home can order on the website and then have it delivered every week, two weeks, month or just once in a while. It's really not much more expensive (if at all) and you can get everything you need. I can ever get gluten free bread. I am so in love with it and I can't even express how great it is. We haven't been to a grocery store since we started getting it. We've decided that we'll still visit cosco for big items and staples, and then just get this for everything else. It's incredible. Unfortunately, it's only in Vancouver, Victoria and Calgary in Canada, and a few places in the states, but Kristen is investigating to see if there's something like it in Ottawa. Hopefully there is!

I guess I should get off my duff and get started for the day!!