Tag Archives: life outside running

And then three weeks went by…

Well haven’t I been a delinquent blogger! I haven’t posted anything since I broke my November daily blogging streak. So there’s lots to catch up on!

Final days of #beaststreak

It was really anti-climactic doing the last three runs of a month-long run streak on a hotel treadmill all alone. I had so many great and rewarding runs during the month of November, but those were just strictly get’er done runs. Luckily Pippa made me a banner.

Vegas

My trip to Las Vegas was a huge amount of fun, and a very excellent way to cap off a crazy and amazing November. There was shopping, eating, drinking, lots of catching up. We stayed at the Stratosphere, which was okay, but waaaay down the end of the strip and really far away from everything else. We took a lot of cabs.

In keeping of the “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” tradition, no photos of our adventures, just this one of the strip late in the afternoon. (The Christmas decorations all started to come out after Thanksgiving on Thursday!)

Exploring Las Vegas

Exploring Las Vegas

Running

After nailing all of my planned training runs in November and throwing in a whole bunch of extra runs, I have definitely been slacking a bit in December. I skipped my long run on December 1st (largely due to the fact that I traveled home from Vegas that day), but have done my other two long runs this month. I’ve made my hills sessions happen (even did last week’s on the treadmill!), but I’ve certainly missed/skipped a few of the others. I’m trying to get back on track this week so that I have some momentum going into Christmas.

24 Days of Christmas Karma

I’ve been trying to work these activities into my December. So far the items I’ve completed are:

4.  Go for a run without a watch, cellphone, music, no technology whatsoever! – I went technology-free on my hill run on December 4th.
7. Do a double run day – one in the am, one in the pm. – Last week I missed my opportunity to run on Tuesday, so I did Tuesday’s run and Wednesday’s hill workout on the same day! One before work, one after.
11. Donate something. – A book for our Christmas hamper.
14. Write a letter, postcard, and send it real mail, to whomever you choose. – I wrote all of my Christmas cards over the weekend and popped them in the mail Monday!
15. Read 1 book in December – Allegiant, Veronica Roth
18. Volunteer – Spark meetings x3! Part of me feels like it’s cheating to count Sparks because it’s not something I went out of my way to do this month, but just because I do it all the time doesn’t mean that it’s not special.
19. The age old pay it forward – Paid for a nice-looking young man’s coffee last Sunday on my way home from my run.
20. Reconnect with someone you’ve been meaning to – Check.

So that’s only 8/24, but I’m pretty pleased with my progress so far. I know there are some items on the list that won’t get completed before Christmas, but I’m not necessarily going for 100% completion. Every item I check off this list will make my December better!

Christmas shopping!

This gets its own category, because I’m actually doing pretty well this year. I’d say I’m 90% done shopping, and 85% done wrapping!

The beginnings of my gift wrapping!

The beginnings of my gift wrapping!

I’m counting down the days of work remaining!

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A really awesome weekend

I’m writing this in bed on Monday night, with Hart of Dixie (which I’ve been binge-watching on Netflix) on in the background. My body is that wonderful kind of tired after a busy weekend. I’m pretty happy right now, so I thought I’d tell you about the wonderful weekend that led to this end-of-weekend happy state! (Sorry, there are zero photos in this post. I have been too busy having fun to take any this weekend.)

Friday after work I made a quick stop at home to drop my stuff off and change, and headed out to Tommy’s place. He had picked up Thai food for dinner before we headed out to the bar to celebrate my birthday with some friends. I had a fabulous night of singing, dancing and catching up with friends.

Saturday morning I didn’t see. I stayed in bed until 1:30pm and it was one of the birthday presents I could have asked for. I got up, had my favourite breakfast after a late night out (cold leftover pasta) and a big cup of coffee and hung out on the couch for another while before finally getting on with my day. I did some laundry, went for a run, picked up groceries, made roasted tomato and garlic soup, and then finally got ready for another evening out.

My sister and her housemates threw a black light party, which was a lot of fun! Got to hang out with both of my sisters and some other cool people. We also stopped for pizza on the way home, which was a delicious and delightful treat. (It’s probably a good thing I’m lactose-intolerant and generally avoid pizza most of the time, because it’s damn delicious and I would probably try to eat it waaaay too often.)

Sunday my original plan was to make it to the Running Room for 8:30 for my scheduled 7k run, but I changed my mind when the alarm went off at 7 (and then again at 7:30). I set another alarm for 9, which  I also ignored. Wound up spending another relaxing morning in bed (which I’ll probably regret in the next few days when I have SO MUCH TO DO). My “morning run” started around 12:45pm, when I finally left for a nice 7k around False Creek.

Late Sunday afternoon I met up with a coworker to go check out some really cool construction progress on the Evergreen Line! This weekend they closed Barnet Highway between Dewdney Trunk and Ioco so that they could push a tunnel into place under the road. I won’t bore you with the details here, but if you’d like to check out a time lapse video of the construction (I promise it’s pretty cool), you can do so here. (Select the “Inlet Station” camera, select “Gallery” view mode, and then play the photos from about 8pm on November 8th onwards to see the pre-built tunnel get pushed into place under the road.) They wound up completing the push about 24 hours early, so we actually missed seeing the action, but it was still really cool getting to check out the site!

I had a quick Subway sandwich for dinner with my dad and sister (my parents are in the middle of a kitchen renovation, so it’s slim pickings for dinner!) before heading out for my soccer game. We won 4-1, which is especially exciting because the team we beat had previously beaten us 6-1 and assumed they were in for another easy victory. Showed them! A bunch of us took advantage of the long weekend and went to the pub for a drink afterwards, which we used to do all the time but haven’t as much lately. I stayed at my parents’ place Sunday night, which is always kind of nice. The bed in my/the guest room is super comfortable, and it’s nice sometimes to have a night away from all my usual distractions.

This morning we (Dad, sisters, Tommy and Pippa) attended the Remembrance Day parade and ceremony in Port Moody, as is tradition, and then followed it up with brunch at the Boathouse in celebration of my birthday. The service was slow and surprisingly they weren’t serving the full weekend brunch menu on a holiday Monday, but it was still fantastic! A crab cake benny makes up for pretty much anything in my books. I got to open a few presents, including a new flashlight and headlamp, a pair of knee-high peacock socks and a pair of YELLOW Wunder Under crops. (I wore them for my run tonight and felt ridiculous in a fun way!) Apparently there are more gifts to come when some mail arrives, when my Mom returns from Mexico, and on my actual birthday tomorrow! My people spoil me.

After we eventually finished brunch (so slow!), Pippa and I set off on an afternoon of errands. This included:

  • Ikea! Pippa wanted a shelf for her room, and I wanted a new set of sheets, so naturally we left with the shelf (and some accessories), my sheets, a new pot, some drawer organizers for me, baskets for our shelf in the hallway, and a $28 coffee table from the as-is section! (The coffee table was pre-assembled, which made for some fun car tetris in a Civic hatchback.)
  • Dollarama! We picked up some craft supplies for Sparks camp this weekend.
  • SFU! Pippa had stuff to pick up.
  • Staples! I bought a laminator. Oh the fun I’m going to have…
  • Safeway! Dinner groceries, plus Starbucks. First gingerbread latte of the season was delicious.

After we unpacked our bounty, I made potato, kale and sausage soup (a modified version of this recipe), did some laundry, and eventually set off on a run. I’m not sure if it was the 7k plus soccer game yesterday, the fact that I forgot my orthotics in my soccer cleats and had to wear old runners tonight, or probably some combination of both, but my achilles was really bugging me tonight. I took it really easy, walked the uphills (which are what bugs me the most) and wasn’t feeling any worse by the time I got home, so hopefully I didn’t do any damage.

Okay, it’s late, I need to hit publish and get to sleep. Lots to do in this crazy week leading up to Sparks camp!

November 11

Blog post: It’s got no photos and is kind of rambly, but here it is!
Run:
Sore evening 3k, but I got it done!

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Running & soccer

Those of you who know me know that in addition to being a runner, I am also a soccer player. I have been playing soccer since Grade 1 – this is my 20th consecutive season. Many people hear that I still play soccer and assume that means I play at a high level. Not at all true. I play for fun – I play because I love the sport and I love my team. Like running, it doesn’t have to be competitive or super serious to be important!

How serious can we be when we played with our jerseys inside out (and later backwards) two weeks ago?!

How serious can we be when we played with our jerseys inside out (and later backwards) two weeks ago?!

Growing up playing soccer means that running was always part of my life, but all of it was either on the pitch, or as “fitness” at practice. I have many memories of running the “Scottish mile” around a gravel field in the pouring rain – not exactly the kind of stuff that inspires a love of running. As I got older and moved into women’s soccer, it became clear that to become a better soccer player and stay competitive, I would have to do more outside of practice to stay fit. I tried to take up running a few times, but it never seemed to stick. For quite a while, my cardio took place at the gym, either on the stairmaster, elliptical, or very occasionally the treadmill.

In early 2010 I was on a co-op term and I got an email about the company’s Sun Run team. Cool, I thought. I’m a soccer player, I can run, I must be able to run 10k. I did run 10k, but it certainly wasn’t pretty and it didn’t feel very good. So I decided I still hated running without my 10 teammates, opponents and a ball. When the sign-up for the 2011 Sun Run began, I decided maybe I should give it another shot. With training this time.  I followed (more or less) the training plan they publish in the Vancouver Sun, and things went a lot better. Then somewhere in there I got convinced to sign up for a half marathon, and somewhere in there I became a runner.

Since I started running regularly, my improved fitness has helped my soccer game tremendously. I definitely notice the difference between when I’m running three or four times a week, and when I’m only running once a week outside of soccer. So obviously running + soccer = good combination. The thing I’m still struggling with is finding the right balance between the two.

When I’m not training for anything in particular but just running, it’s not bad. I’ll throw in a couple of runs during the week when they fit in between the soccer games and practices. If I’m too sore after a game, I’ll just take another day to recover and run a different day. But when I’m working towards a particular race and I’m trying to fit in easy runs, tempo runs, long runs, soccer practices, soccer games and still leave myself a rest day or two? It’s frustrating sometimes. From finding the time to considering proper recovery to not overtraining to just the sheer volume of laundry.

I didn't have to do my own laundry when I first played soccer (1994-1995)

I didn’t have to do my own laundry when I first played soccer (1994-1995)

I know the answer is to revise the training schedule they give to every schmuck to suit my own life, but I’m still working out the details. I know I could reduce the volume of running somewhat because the soccer includes running. But I’m still figuring out how to adjust my schedule so that I’m still doing enough of the right kinds of running (and at the right times).

I really wish this post ended with me telling you how I figured out the right answer, but it doesn’t. I think I’m getting closer?

November 2:

Blog Post: check!
Run: check! (3.2k on treadmill)
Movember ‘stache: nothing yet

November 3:

Blog Post: Just in the nick of time!
Run: check! (3k after soccer)
Movember ‘stache: nothing yet

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Three Things Thursday

I’m really excited for the Olympics to start
I love sports. I love sports fans. I love reasons to get excited. I love Canada. I love Canadians being excited about Canada. And I love sports montages. Ergo, I’m absurdly excited for the Olympics.
I even bought my first piece of Olympic gear today. =)
Why hello, denim jacket
Specifically I’m excited for:
  • Women’s Soccer. I can’t wait to watch Christine Sinclair and the rest of the women’s national team play! They’re such an inspirational squad and they should do well!
  • Simon Whitfield carrying the flag for the opening ceremonies. He deserves it!
  • The opening ceremonies.
  • Usain Bolt breaking records again. (You know he will.)
  • Swimming
  • Diving
  • Synchronized Diving
  • Synchronized Swimming
  • Field Hockey
  • Rowing
  • Canoeing/Kayaking
  • Okay, I’m excited about all of the sports.

I’m so sick of the renovations in my office
My floor has been under minor renovations since the beginning of May. Dust, sneezing, noise, paint, more dust, itchy eyes, more sneezing, fans on all day, headache, more pain, headache, dust. Yuck. I can’t wait until this whole thing is over!
The magic of blogs!
The more I get into running, the more I get into running blogs. There are a few that I’ve been following for a few months now, and I’m always looking around for more. (Leave me a comment if you have a blog that has anything to do with running!)
I love reading about other runners’ training, races and cool gear. I love picking up tips and tricks for things related to running. I even love the sweaty self pics after a run (I still haven’t been brave enough to share many of those). And it’s really cool hearing about the non-running aspects of people’s lives that they choose to share with the world. (Babies, weddings, travel, oh my!)
The magic of blogs also includes contests and giveaways. I love free stuff, especially if it has to do with running, so entering contests on running blogs is always fun. And I’ve already won something! A few weeks ago, Cori at Read.Write.Run.Mom. was giving away Glitzbandz. I hate a love/hate relationship with headbands (as in I love the idea of them, but hate that the shape of my head means they fall off in seconds) but I entered anyway. (See above mentioned love of free stuff.)
Winner winner chicken dinner.
And then I won! I couldn’t believe it! I got to choose any pattern I liked from the huge assortment. Since it was free and I wasn’t sure if I’d ever be able to wear it for running, I went for ridiculous instead of practical. I chose a lime green sparkly headband. Then it arrived in the mail and to my huge surprise, it actually stays on my head! It’s some kind of miracle. At first I was kind of upset with myself for choosing such a silly one, but then I remembered how silly I already look when I’m out for a run and decided there’s nothing wrong with adding some sparkle. Thanks again Cori, and of course Glitzbandz! (I really hope that’s the last time I have to type anything with extraneous Zs on this blog.)

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Victoria Half Marathon Training: Weeks 1 & 2

I have been totally neglecting my blogging duties! In case there is anyone out there who was actually hoping for regular updates, I’ll apologize. Sorry folks.
The thing is, summer seems to have finally arrived in Vancouver and I’ve been out doing fun summery things instead of blogging. And somewhat instead of running…
But here’s an update on my first two weeks of training for the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Half Marathon.
Week 1
Monday
It was a holiday, I took it off.
Tuesday
First run since the SVHM. For once in my life, ran after work on a weekday! It was not a great run. My legs felt somehow both super stiff and like jello. Don’t ask me how. Anyway, I was attempting to do the first run on my training schedule (10 times two minute repeats with one minute recovery), but gave that up after the first few and just went for an easy jog. Out for a total of 40 minutes, about 5 km.
Wednesday
Did the Grouse Grind (more about that here), which was not a run, but since it was 58 minutes of really hard work, I’m counting it as a 10k run. You can’t stop me.
Thursday, Friday, Saturday
Nada.
Sunday
Threw a really awesome bridal shower for my friend Caiti instead of running. It was super hot that day though, so there was about the same amount of sweat as if I’d been for a run? (Okay, I know that doesn’t count.)
Week 1 total: 1 run, 1 Grouse Grind, 1 hour 38 mins, 15 km (but really only 5).
Not an ideal start
Week 2
Monday, Tuesday
Nada
Wednesday
Lunchtime run. Didn’t attempt the speed or tempo workouts on the schedule for the week, just went for a really easy one. Felt way better than the previous run. 40 minutes, 5.5 km.
Thursday
Had tentative plans to run at lunch, but had to leave work on time to meet my new landlord with a deposit, so no time!
Friday
Lunchtime run: easy 30 minutes. Not sure how far I went, my iPod nano has been extra unreliable lately. Let’s say 4.5 km?
Saturday
Maintenance day: pedicure and beach time! My feet were so much happier after that pedicure, and my ridiculous tan lines (racerback, running shorts, socks) are a little bit less obvious after an afternoon at the beach.
Sunday
Woke up early (8:00 is early on a weekend, okay!) to run before the heat, but it decided to cloud over and rain a little bit, which was actually quite welcome. I ran from T’s place, so it was totally new to me! Changing up the route completely was kind of fun, but it also meant way more hills than I am used to. (AKA, there were hills.) I walked a lot, so my 14 km run took me 1:38. So much better than no long run though!
Week 2 total: 3 runs, 2 hours, 48 minutes, about 24 km.
Not half bad

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Three Things Thursday

Apparently “Three Things Thursday” is a thing in the blogosphere, because several of the blogs I read do it every Thursday. (Fun fact: my spell check knows “blogosphere.” It doesn’t know my name, or a huge number the technical terms I use at work all the time, but it knows blogosphere. Oh dear.) So I think I will jump on this Three Things Thursday bandwagon, as I like lists and seem to be pretty terrible at posting on Thursdays. 

Thing 1: Grouse Grind & Sushi Date

Last night T and I went on one of our favourite dates. (Well, one of my favourites, I guess I can’t speak for him.) It goes like this:
  • At 5ish we both get off work. We both head to North Vancouver – he drives, I get to take the SeaBus. He picks me up at Lonsdale Quay and we head for Grouse.
  • We do the Grouse Grind!  We usually stick together for the first quarter or half and then T takes off because he’s a boy and boys are stupid and are way fitter than me even if they don’t do any cardio regularly.
  • Sometimes we pause for quite a while at the top and enjoy the view and take photos like tourists. Sometimes we even stop in at Altitudes for a well-deserved beer.
  • But usually we head straight for the gondola, head down the mountain, jump in the car and drive to Sushi Mori on Capilano Road (you have to drive right by it on your way out!). Sushi Mori has been a post-Grind tradition for T and I since we first started dating. The sushi is good, the tempura is greatand Sapporo is an awesome post-Grind beer.
Yesterday I was really looking forward to a Grind, since it’s been about a year since I did it. (I usually manage to get up there 4 or 5 times every summer.) I was a little bit disappointed with my time of 58:30, since I’d hoped that all my running would help me shave even more time off my previous best (59:30ish I think). But as T pointed out (after his third best time of 56-something), we’re usually slower the first time we go up every season and then improve after that. So the plan is to do it lots more this summer and get down a few more minutes!
This is last summer. Didn’t stick around for photos yesterday.
I do have to say that I felt way better after finishing than I usually do. I was huffing and puffing and sweaty as all get-out, but after I caught my breath I actually felt like I was ready for more! Maybe not more Grind, but to go for a run or something. I guess the running’s doing some good after all. 

Thing 2: Strawberries

It’s finally strawberry season! I bought my first basket of local strawberries this morning on my way to work! I guarantee they will be gone by tomorrow. If I can make them last that long. I’d better, because I really want to eat them on my oatmeal tomorrow morning. 
So delicious…

Thing 3: Wedding, Wedding, Wedding

I’m not sure if I’ve actually told you all outright about my good friend Caiti’s wedding this summer. I’ve known Caiti since elementary school – we met in Girl Guides. We’ve had some awesome adventures together: West Coast Trail, Bowron Lakes, Europe trip.
In August she and her man are getting hitched! They live in Kelowna (where they both moved to go to UBC Okanagan), but are getting married in Ottawa, where his family is from. I’m super excited for an adventure to Ottawa for the first time.
I’m one of five (FIVE!) bridesmaids and we’re just over a month away, so there’s been a lot of wedding-related business going on lately. Last weekend we had a bit of a bachelorette weekend in Kelowna: wine tasting, Magic Mike and a night out! This Sunday is her bridal shower, which will be a garden party at her aunt’s. I’m so glad the sunshine has finally found us in Vancouver!
Still on the to-do list: actually pull off this bridal shower; get my dress altered; get to Blaine to pick up my shoes (which were ordered from an American website that didn’t deliver to Canada); help Caiti finalize details like flowers that are hard to do when you’re provinces away.

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OOTD: My Ridiculous Commuting Outfit

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