Saturday, April 24, 2010

boston teaser

I had a great trip to Boston and have many stories to tell, but won't have time to tell them until next week.
Until then, here's a little teaser:
 Yes, Ryan Hall wears short shorts :) (but so does my husband...so there's that)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

running- the ultimate people watching activity

I find that running allows you to people watch without being noticed. Unless I'm being honked or stared at (which does happen occasionally), I find I end up just blending into the background as a runner. This allows me to watch people to my heart's content. Today, I noticed the fashion show. Whilst running, I saw:
  • College girls in short shorts and t-shirts even though it wasn't nearly warm enough to merit such lack of clothing
  • A man driving a car...with no shirt on. For all I know, he was also wearing no pants. I wasn't willing to look much further in order to find out.
  • A middle aged couple, both of whom were wearing some pretty stylish fanny packs. 
  • A man who looked just like Wilford Brimley.  I kind of wanted to ask him if his moustache was real.
  • A roving pack of college boys who were all wearing pretty much the same outfit.
Definitely interesting scenery as I tried to ignore the fact that I'd have to be huffing up a giant hill when it was all over.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

going for a spin at cyclelogik

I know that Spinning or "Indoor cycling" has been around and fairly popular for awhile. I remember being in Mexico in 2002 and seeing spin gyms...so it isn't a new phenomenon. But it is something I had never tried- until now.

I've had a sore ankle for a little bit and it decided to get a little worse over the weekend. So, instead of just "running through it" like I usually do (and subsequently end up having to take an extended break due to injuring myself to the point of breakage), I decided to take a few days off in the hopes that it will heal with some rest. But, since I'm in the middle of a training cycle that leads to the Covered Bridges Half Marathon (still want to donate? there's still time!), I need to keep up my aerobic activity so that I don't lose any hard earned fitness. The pool was not looking appealing due to the rain, so enter the spin class.

I looked up the local cycling shop because I had heard they had a "Ride inside" program, sent out an email to see if anyone wanted to join me, and waited. No one wanted to come. I have to admit, I thought about not going. I kind of wanted the comfort of not being the only complete "noob" in a class of people who I was sure were "real cyclists". Finally, earlier this afternoon, I decided that like it or not, I was going to go. So I signed up and paid my money all online and just had to wait until the class.

As I got ready to go I thought "hmmm, I know I don't need a helmet, but if there was anyone who could fall off a spin bike and end up with a concussion, it would be me." But don't worry, I decided against the helmet :)

When I got to the shop, they were nothing but smiles and kindness. I immediately told the guy at the desk that I hadn't done this before and he introduced me to the instructor and she helped me set up my bike. (of course, I don't think I paid enough attention to how she worked the bike, so next time I'll still need help...but whatever) The pedal options were pretty cool though- there were different pedals available depending on what type of cycling shoe you had, but also just the cages for people like me who just did the class in running shoes and by people like me, I mean me...I was the only one without fancy bike shoes. Oh and speaking of what I was also the only one without- a towel! I meant to bring one but as I looked around the room at all the towels, I realized I had forgotten mine. Oops.

The instructor showed me what hand positions I should use depending on whether we were "standing" or sitting, and then said, with a clear look of "you don't know what you're in for" in her eyes, "today's class will be pretty tough...so when I'm talking about the 7.5, 8.5 and 9.5 out of 10 effort levels, you might not know what that is on the bike, so just go with it and do your best."

We started off nice and easy with a warm up and then it was right into the hills. She had put a DVD of the Tour de Flandres on the big screen and let us know that their hills would be our inspiration. Oh the hills we climbed...as I looked at the guys riding in Belgium, I was at least thankful that I wasn't on the cobblestones. We did several cycles of hill climbs and after the second last she said "I was going to do another one, but maybe not...unless you guys want to..." being the newbie, I didn't want to say anything, but I was thinking "umm...yeah I want to do another one...sure the last one almost sent a cramp through my calf, but come on...give me some more!" Luckily, the guy with "Will run for Chocolate" on his shirt told her that he we didn't pay money to have her be nice to us...so another 5 minute hill cycle it was. (basically a ladder interval of 8.0, 8.5, 9.5, 8.5, 8.0 effort...ouch)

The class was tough. I knew it would be tough. But I had no idea what to expect and I had no idea what parts of my body would hurt and when. I found it funny that as soon as she would say "you should be starting to feel that lactic acid burn" I would immediately notice that it was burning. Ah the power of suggestion. I also knew I would sweat, but I didn't know I'd sweat quite as much as I did (and I even had the bike closest to the open door). All in all though, I enjoyed the experience. I don't know if my legs will like me tomorrow, but when the instructor asked me if I would be back (after I told her that it was both terrible and great), I think I caught myself trying to figure out if I could swing a few more classes and being slightly disappointed that the "inside rides" only go until April 30th. Since I can't go for the next two weeks, hopefully I can get at least one more class in before the end of the session.

You'd have no idea from the outside that there's a torture chamber in there ;-)

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

a great weekend

This weekend was glorious. I'm not normally one to use the word "glorious", but it is really the only word I can use. It was hot, sunny, and it was a long weekend at that! It started off with a sleep in on Friday morning and then a delightful sit in the sunshine. Since my lovely sister was due to arrive in the early afternoon, we decided to wait until she arrived so that we could all go for a run together. At about 2:30 on Friday afternoon, it was close to 30 degrees. I'm not sure I had run in heat like that since August. I'm not sure any of us had run in heat even close to that in too many months (well, except for that Heather, who ran in Maui the other week...but she claimed that barely counted) so it was a bit of a rough go for all of us. But at the same time, it was so nice to be out in the sun! I think I was still hot and red when the picture was taken almost 2 hours (and one slurpee) after we finished our run.
Mmm, slurpees. I just realized that I also had one last weekend. I think it may have been a couple of years since I had one before the last couple of weeks...apparently it is now my weekend treat. We'll see what this weekend brings :)
It was great to enjoy the nice weather with two of my favourite people. Spring has definitely sprung in O-town:

And I love it! I don't love that it is supposed to rain for the next three days, but it will bring out more flowers, more green, and might mean that I won't get sprayed with dust every time a bus goes by.

In other news, 13 days until the Boston Marathon. Although I think I'll be a bit nervous while watching it, I can't wait to be there and to be a part of the excitement. Sure, spectating isn't quite as exciting as running, but it is only half as exhausting. So there's that :)

Thursday, April 01, 2010

mmm...bacon

You know you love bacon and people know it when you get two separate bacon-related items from two different people in the same week. This week I received the following:
An article about bacon and bacon-related items that my mother cut out from the Calgary Herald and sent. Not only did she send the article, but some mini eggs too. My mum sure does know what I like :)

And this:
An applewood smoked bacon chocolate bar. I haven't tried it yet because I'm waiting until Jordan gets back so that we can share it, but I'll give you my full review. I'm hoping I like it more than I liked the homemade chocolate covered bacon we made for a bacon party.
Some people liked it, but it wasn't really my favourite. Had we had the time, we were going to make donuts with a maple bacon glaze, but the choco-bacon was a little easier to do.  I may not have loved the taste, but it looked kind of fun.
So do you now want to go eat some bacon? Yes?