Wednesday, May 30, 2007

on my way home from work

-the "Sens Mile" was already busy. there were lineups to get into a couple of bars and people were in their jerseys, sens t-shirts and other sens paraphernalia. servers and restaurant and bar owners must be loving this

-i saw the governator's motorcade. i didn't see arnold himself, but there were quite a few people crowding in front of the hotel trying to catch a glimpse.

-there was a very creepy man pretending to hold a rather large gun and talking about how many people he would be killing if he had a real gun right then and there. i am used to running into all sorts of strange people on my way home, but this was creepy and a little disconcerting.

enjoy the game if you are watching it, fill me in on canada's next top model, and have a wonderful wednesday.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

from 0 to 10K in 16 weeks

When I was in junior high school, the rule was: if you wanted to be on a sports team, you had to run at least one cross-country race. Sure, it wasn't a hard and fast rule, but they scared the heck out of you by saying that if it came down to a choice between two people for the team and only one of them had run cross-country, they'd pick the runner because they showed more school spirit. (my jr. high always won the "all-around" championship simply by entering more runners than any other school)

I wanted to play volleyball, so I had to run a cross country race. Unfortunately, I wasn't a runner. I didn't have the stamina or the mental toughness to keep going when my body said "STOP YOU FOOL!" This resulted in me going to a couple of races and backing out at the last minute because "I didn't feel well". Finally, it was the last race of the season...so, I lined up at the start line, started running with everyone, ran for about a minute, then walked the rest of the way. I finished dead last. Always good for the ego of an awkward looking 12 year old.

Even in high school, I would dread the days that we had to run the longer distances in gym class. "12 minute run" day would send sick feelings to my stomach and I was elated that I somehow missed the day of the "Sandy Beach run". I just couldn't run.

I started participating in the CIBC Run for the Cure first as a member of my mum's team, then as the captain of my own team-"Walkers for Knockers". It is a 5 K walk/run mostly for fun and to raise money for breast cancer. After a few years of walking it, a couple of Julys ago I thought to myself "wouldn't it be cool if I actually ran it this year?" So, I put on my 3 year old cross-trainers and started running. No plan, no idea what I was doing. I figured that my downfall would be my left knee, even though some think their rebuilt ACLs are invincible, I know that mine is anything but. It only took about 2 or 3 weeks before I had a swollen, bruised and very painful left ankle. The doctor figured it was a stress fracture from doing too much too soon and that it was probably the left one due to a slightly weaker left knee/leg. I took that as a message that I wasn't a runner.

Last year, I watched Jordan's cousin complete her first half marathon as a part of the Ottawa Race weekend. It was really hot, really humid, but so inspiring to see people come to the finish line. You could see the determination and then relief on their faces. They had worked hard and had achieved something so important to them. I was a little jealous. The next day I called them crazy.

As winter approached, Jordan decided he would run the marathon. Remembering the exhausted, dehydrated, and pained faces of the finishers I had seen in May, I wasn't sure about it at first, but I could see he was determined and knew that I had to both accept and support the goal. I guess I decided that if he was going to challenge himself, I would put myself to the test. In January I made the decision to train for the 10K. I bought new shoes, I found myself a training schedule, and in February, I decided to make it "real" by telling people about it.

At first, I hated every second of it. I was on a treadmill, it was the middle of winter and my body had no idea what was going on. Run? I don't run! But slowly it started to get a little easier. As I moved outside, there was more to look at, there were people out there doing the same thing I was doing. They would smile at me in a "I can see by the look on your face that you're hurting...I know that pain" kind of way. I started to feel stronger and started to believe that I'd actually run the entire race...

16 weeks, almost 200 K, lots of sweat, some tears, many sore muscles/bones/joints, countless new songs on the i-pod and a lot of stubbornness later, I finished my 10K race in a time of 61 minutes and 27 seconds. The last kilometer was the toughest and it took a lot of talking to myself to maintain my pace and to even speed up. As I crossed the finish line (mere seconds behind my sister) I was exhausted, relieved, and a little choked up (no tears though...i think i was too tired for that;-). I was thinking about all of the times I had told myself that I couldn't run and had actually believed it. I was wondering what that awkward 12 year old would think of what she would accomplish 14 years later... I was also realizing that I was ready for more.

better than dorky before the race

You know what's better than proving others wrong? Proving yourself wrong.

Next up, the HBC Run for Canada. My goal is to run it in under an hour.

hehehe

Saturday, May 26, 2007

race day

I have to admit to being a little nervous...mostly because I've never really done a race. I'm sure it will be fine and regardless of my time, I'm sure I'll be happy.
So, hopefully it all goes well and we all have fun.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

friends don't let friends...

As I was on the bus this afternoon, I noticed a younger -very pregnant- woman hanging out with her friends. Most of them were smoking and joking around. At first, she was not smoking. Then, her friend lit a cigarette, took a few drags and handed it off to the pregnant friend. I cringed a little inside.
Even if I did smoke, I'm not sure I could hand a lit cigarette to my pregnant friend knowing she was going to smoke it. I think I'd have to let her do it herself...while I'd still be opposed to it, at least I wouldn't actually be condoning it. But at the same time, is watching her smoke really all that different?

Sunday, May 20, 2007

whoever this was meant for, i hope it worked. i think we all have days that make us need a message like this...

Saturday, May 19, 2007

ahhh playoffs...

The game ended at 5:30 or so. It is now 10 and people are still honking.
Finally, Ottawans are getting excited about the Sens.

Friday, May 18, 2007

random

-this week i saw a guy go "postal" on a newspaper dispenser. he threw it into the street...i wanted to say something about that being dangerous and that it could hurt someone, but i was a little to afraid that he'd then take it out on me.

-it bugs me when there are seats available on the bus, but people insist on standing in the doorway...it makes it difficult for people to get off the bus. just sit down already.

-we've booked our accommodations in Paris. very exciting! i guess i'll be spending my birthday "en français". fun.

-i get annoyed by people who think that just because a certain way of doing things works really well for them, it is the right way for everyone. i hope i'm not one of those people. and if i am, i will strive not to be.

-i still haven't received my tax return. i originally got a letter asking me to send them proof that i had tuition credits transferred to me...i haven't heard anything since. hopefully i don't get audited, not because i'm worried about what they'd find, but rather because it would be a pain in the butt.

-my sister and her boyfriend will be here next weekend. HOORAY!

-if you saw the grey's anatomy season finale: how scary did christina look sans-eyebrows? (shudder) as if her forehead isn't big enough already. (strangely, i saw a lady with no eyebrows at the store today)

-that's all i've got for now. enjoy the long weekend!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

facebook

To preface- no, I have not joined. Now that that's out of the way...
I hear facebook is pretty addictive. People love it. You can connect with old friends and with family members who live far away. "Facebooking" is likely an accepted verb...I'm all for it if it is something that you want to do.

What I don't get, is the people who are up in arms about the fact that it has been banned in many work places. The Ontario government has blocked the site, the city of Toronto has blocked the site and it is blocked for most federal employees as well (the story notes that it is not blocked for the politicians as they use it for campaigning and connecting with their constituents).

I also have no idea why Facebook is "puzzled" by the decision...When you are at work you are supposed to be WORKING not "facebooking". Last I checked, most job descriptions didn't include "spending half of the workday on a social networking site". Facebook on your own time people!

And yes, I am aware that I've been a bad blogger and now I come in with some lame post about a site I don't even frequent. But, I just haven't felt very bloggy lately (if facebooking is a verb, I don't see why bloggy can't be an adjective).
I had to take almost a week off of running because of a sore ankle, but now that I'm back to it, it feels pretty good. I had a wonderful but exhausting whirlwind trip out west and a lovely day trip to Montreal. Fun stuff, but it has left me not wanting to spend too much extra time in front of the computer. But, that is the way it goes sometimes.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

i am the garlic king. i can do anything.

Since we moved to Ottawa, there has been a coffee shop across the street from where I catch the bus. The first one went out of business, then it sat empty for a few months until it re-emerged as another coffee shop. We have been wondering when it too would fold...but it seemed to miraculously stay in business. Not surprisingly, it is no longer.

When I caught the bus on Friday morning, it was the Jodalinda Cafe. When I caught the bus Tuesday morning, it was "Really Lebanese The Garlic King Shawarma".
If you have ever been in central Ottawa, you know that what the area needs is definitely another Shawarma place (I can think of 5 within 10 minutes of our apartment). But, here is where I think the Garlic King has the edge: cheesy marketing. In the windows sit larger than life sized posters of the Garlic King complete with crown and staff. The posters read "I am the Garlic King. I can do anything".

But wait, it gets better. As we were walking toward it last night, we heard this royal sounding music (if it wasn't the theme to Masterpiece Theater, it was something similar). Once we get closer, we realize that it is the Garlic King himself, in a van decorated with lights and flags, complete with a pope-mobile style bubble on top. He is in said bubble, making the van rock back and forth and waving to his garlicky kingdom.

I don't think it gets any better than that...