Thursday, March 31, 2011

three things thursday (end of the month edition)

I'll make this a quick three things because I have a test today and a million things to do before I fly across the country tomorrow.

1) We know how I love my grammar, so I also love this site: http://learnyourdamnhomophones.com/ Here's a little secret though- I always have trouble with affect and effect no matter what I'm writing. (unless I'm talking about "blunted affect" that is associated with conditions such as schizophrenia...and I think that's why I have trouble- because in this case, "affect" is a noun when usually it is a verb)

2) They are making a movie on my street this week. This means we don't have much parking on our street and there's a lot of "hubub." But it is pretty cool. If you're into movies in French, stay tuned for "Laurence anyways"- a Xavier Dolan film starring Suzanne Clement and Melvil Poupaud. Yeah, I've never heard of them either- but I also don't watch a lot of Quebecois movies.

3) I'm not having the best week...but the good news is, once today is over things should start going uphill. And since I've felt like I need a good laugh all week, I'll leave you with a dorky picture...because if I can't laugh at myself, what can I laugh at?
turtleneck and giant glasses? yes please.
What are you looking forward to most this weekend? I'm excited about a potential pedicure and checking out a city I haven't been to for a very long time.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

a cold march

Sunday was seriously windy. And it was a cold, cold wind. Too cold for March 27th. I had 11 miles on the schedule, which is my longest run of the training cycle thus far. It wasn't the distance that seemed daunting but rather the weather. It was March 27th. The wind chill was -20. It wasn't supposed to be like that!

I got ready with a bit of dread. I could hear the wind howling, my legs were tired from Saturday's tempo run, and I just wasn't feeling optimistic. Thank goodness for running friends! As Suz came to my door, we gave each other a look that could only mean "not happy, but time to get going."

I'm not going to lie- parts of the run were terrible. With the wind howling, the uphill climbs, and the leftover congestion of a cold that I just can't shake, there were a few miles of misery in there. But at least we were miserable together. When we hit about 8 miles though, things took a turn for the better. Suz had some Peach Tea Gu Chomps (CHOMPS!) that she was saving for "emergency use" and at the top of the final hill, we each had a chomp. From that point forward, we were all smiles, jokes, and laugther.
please tell me this is the last of winter
It could have been the fact that the final 3 miles were net downhill, that we only had 3 miles left, that the wind was at our backs, or that we were running toward a cup of coffee...but it also could also have been the chomp ;-)

Hope your week has started off well. If you care to share- tell me something or share a link that will make me laugh.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

7 random things

I saw Aron's post over at Runner's Rambles and thought I'd join the "7 Random Things" train. I like lists and I like randomness...so it just works. And as she said- since things are always more fun with pictures, I'll add those too!

Random Fact 1: The morning of my wedding, I decided that my feet were going to be cold in my shoes and I needed something warm for my feet. I had seen some boots at Payless earlier in the week, called the one that was closest to the hair salon (and conveniently on the way to my dad's place), had them put a pair in my size aside for me, and bought boots on my wedding day. They were a hit, kept my feet warm, and I still have them:
bridal boots
Random Fact 2: When I went to Paris, I did not go to the Louvre. I just didn't have it in me to wait in a long line. I want to like museums but I end up going and finding them slightly boring. So I couldn't do a long line to see it. If I go back, I'd consider going more to see the building than the art. Is that weird? (we did go to the Musee D'Orsay though...so there's that)
we did go to the tower- and took the stairs
Random Fact 3: I have started two different half marathons in the skull and crossbones arm warmers in the picture. They are actually knee socks with the toes cut out. I managed to find them a year apart at the same discount store. I wish I had bought more because they are perfect throw-away warmers and they feel both bad ass and cute at the same time. (Plus, I love argyle).
skull and argyle: together at last
Random Fact 4: For a long time, I had a picture of a mural as my desktop wall paper on my computer. I found it on a blog and loved it. She often set up her pictures so that you could make them wallpaper, so I did. I knew the picture was taken in San Francisco but had no idea where so when we went, I didn't even think about trying to find it. Imagine my shock when, with our bellies full of delicious dounuts, we turned the corner and ran right into the mural.
where the wild things are?
Random Fact 5: I used to be allergic to lobster. I was able to eat it up until the age of about 10 (or something like that) and then all of a sudden I was allergic to it. It was really unfortunate...because lobster is darn delicious. Sure, it is a little pricey, but if you buy it at the store and make it yourself (make sure the water is salty like the sea), it is much more affordable. I grew out of the allergy in my 20s. And then I rejoiced.
lobster trap in Peggy's Cove Nova Scotia
Random Fact 6: I like to name Jordan's race shoes. I feel like shoes that are meant for racing and that are meant to go fast need a name. I've named them things like Blue Thunder, Orange Crush, and Tiger Beer. I've never named my own shoes.
Tiger Beer: Saucony Fastwitch 4s, Jordan's Boston shoes
Random Fact 7: My mother makes me laugh. A lot. She could probably fill in a list of hundreds of random things about her because she's just so random sometimes. I think it must be where I get a lot of my randomness from. From tea pots, to random birds, to her inability to hide what she's really thinking- she makes me giggle.
how can you not smile? (and dude- i need to stand up straight)
So there you go- seven random things about me. Care to share a random fact about yourself?

Friday, March 25, 2011

roadID winner

Thanks to all who entered the RoadID giveaway. You had decent odds of winning.
Ok, so to pick the winner, I first put all the entries into a spreadsheet (because I love them):
yay for screen captures
If the person had two entries, I put he or she in there twice.
Then I headed on over to Random.org to randomly generate a number for the winner:

The one here is a random number generator for you to play with (yeah, I'm dorky like that, I think they are fun to play with). I set the number fields to draw between 1 and 15 (I kept Jordan out of the draw, but the rest of you were IN)

And the winner is.....Leigh! (who was number 9 in the spreadsheet) I have contacted Leigh and she said it made her Friday afternoon. Yay! So glad I could make you smile. For the rest of you- sorry you didn't win. But if you still want a RoadID, head on over to the website to order (and remember, a Canadian fiver will help you measure your wrist :)

calculus gem III

At least I think it is gem #3...

Anyway, we're learning about logarithms and exponents and all the fun that goes along with differentiating them. My favourite part of this is the language:
Of all possible bases for an exponential function, the most convenient one for calculus is the number "e"....

Of all posible bases for logarithms, the most convenient is, once again, the number "e". The logarithm with the base "e" is called the natural logarithm...
Dear Mathematicians: Do you realize that 'e' is in fact a LETTER? Yes? NO?
Ok, maybe I'm the only one that just started laughing when we started talking about "the number e." But I really do need to find the humour in this class, otherwise I might just cry my way through it.

Hope you all have a great weekend! I'll be studying for next week's calculus test...what are your plans for the weekend?

And stay tuned later today for the winner of the RoadID!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

three things today (a thursday)

Happy Thursday (or Friday eve)! Here are three things:

1- I know it is completely lame to talk about the weather so much, but it is supposed to be spring. The world is supposed to start looking like this:
first flowers of last spring
Instead, it is feeling a lot more like this:
last spring, on the way to Boston
I'm really ready for spring and ready for the snow to stop falling. Every flake that falls seems like it is taunting me and laughing at me.

2- After a nice and sunny (though somewhat brisk) easy run yesterday after work, I met the lovely lu (over at the things i know) for dinner. It was a great catch up and I particularly enjoyed her story about the Montreal cab driver missing the restaurant and therefore throwing the car into reverse and backing up until he found it. Meanwhile (since I suggested a place that is in sort of a warehouse district...but it is also the design district I think- lots of decorators and the like around there), she's thinking "not only is he driving in reverse, but where ARE we???" Note to self- warn someone when the location of the restaurant is somewhat unexpected.

3- Two songs on the radio have made me smile and brought me back to other times today. The first- the Superman song:


The second is "You Can Call me Al" by Paul Simon. Apparently- it was one of the Queen Mother's favourites. She was also a big fan of the old Jamaican ska music and had all sorts of old vinyl records. Can an old lady be a hipster?

Oh and a sort of fourth thing: Today is your last day to enter to win a Road ID! Head on over to the post to enter.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

words of wisdom for running and life

This was tweeted by a guy who likes to take pictures of himself in porto-potties and was said by a man who has written a lot about running:
"Eventually you learn that the competition is against the little voice inside you that wants you to quit." - George Sheehan
While it is something that I hope to apply to my running (because I've had days where that voice has won),
a day where the quit voice almost won but that blond beside me yells a lot louder!
I think it applies to a lot more.
Any words of wisdom that have spoken to you recently?

(and if you want to win a RoadID, click here to enter)

Monday, March 21, 2011

signs it is training season

Our long runs are getting longer, our weekly mileage is getting higher, and there are the unmistakable signs that it is "training season" in our household:
  • we're going through bananas like it is our job
  • it is next to impossible to have more than a "mostly empty" box of cereal
  • Saturday night means pasta night
  • Sunday afternoon is as low key as possible
  • we're getting a little lazy with the household chores
  • the body glide is getting low
spring running
  • there are always water bottles to be washed or sitting out drying
  • compression socks are regular attire
  • the stick and foam roller are usually within an arm's reach
  • and our container of running fuel has gone from this:


taken at the beginning of February
  • to this:

taken March 20th
Yup...it is training season all right. Which also means it is almost spring! Training season is a sure sign of spring around these parts :)
What are the signs of "training season" or of spring in your household?

(and if spring means training season for you, or if you just think it would be helpful- don't forget to enter the RoadID giveaway here)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

pictures for a saturday

Disco Snake in my sister's neighbourhood

Today was a glorious spring day that was made for wandering. And so after our run, we did. We had lunch, we wandered in the sun, we bought bagels (Montreal has the best bagels- don't let New York tell you theirs are better), and we enjoyed the sun some more.
fire hydrant in my neighbourhood
Hope your Saturday was as lovely as ours was.

And don't forget to enter the RoadID giveaway.

Friday, March 18, 2011

feeling lucky? win a roadid (and my review)

As I mentioned earlier this month, I am now running with ID: RoadID.* It is something I have been meaning to get for a LONG time but for whatever reason I just didn't do it. (ok, for awhile my reason was that I was moving cities and then didn't know if I should get the "interactive" ID or the "original"- click here for the comparison- but still...)

I don't know why I didn't run with ID...but I think it is because it is kind of annoying to me to have to worry about getting the ID out of my wallet and then remembering to put it back in the wallet (and remembering not to wash it). Not a great excuse, I know, but here's what I do know- before I had a RoadID I ran with ID about 5% of the time and now that I have a RoadID I run with ID almost 100% of the time.

It was hard to decide which product to choose- but I decided on the "original" Road ID:
My Blue RoadID
I have to admit- I really struggled with whether to purchase this one or the "interactive" option...but I decided on the original because it seemed simpler and like fewer steps for anyone who needed to help me in an emergency. (that being said- I will be buying one for my sister and I'm going to send her an interactive ID)

After making the decision on which to buy, I noticed that on the website, it asked me to measure my wrist with a dollar bill for sizing. Well, we don't have a dollar bill in Canada. But- good news Canadians: a 5 dollar bill will do! I have no idea how many loonies it would take to measure my wrist for the RoadID, but the Canadian $5 did just fine...it told me to order the small and the small fits perfectly.

My review:
  • it is comfortable- I haven't had any issues even under all the layers of winter. I tend to forget it is there. I generally put it on the opposite arm of my Garmin (so RoadID on the right, Garmin on the left) but I think I could put it on the "Garmin arm" if I wanted to.
  • it arrived with all of the information I requested
  • I'm guessing that it will do the job it needs to do- though I really hope it never has to.
too many winter layers (but there's a roadID under there somewhere.
 No, I have not needed the ID, but already, there have been several close calls between me and some crazy drivers who have decided that they did not want to stop at red lights that have left me grateful that a) I was paying attention and b) if something had happened, someone would have known who to call if there had been trouble.

So far, I have run with it every run except for 1 since I got it. That 1 run was done on a treadmill...at a gym where my dad was also working out, so I figured I didn't need it. So I'm really pleased with the product. As I said before- I rarely ran with ID before I got this and always felt guilty about it. Now, I just leave the RoadID next to (or attached to) my Garmin and grab it as I go out the door. I don't have to worry about grabbing my license from my wallet (and then returning it to my wallet) and I really like how simple it is...plus, the peace of mind is also great.

My only complaint- it is a little "stiff" brand new. I'm looking forward to it softening up the more I use it. That being said- there has been no chaffing as a result of the newness and that is important to me.

My RoadID rating: two thumbs up!

Would YOU like to win a RoadID?  Here's how you can win:
1- Leave a comment on this post and tell me a) your favourite colour of RoadID (check out their website for colours) and b) your closest call out on the road

2- Follow RoadID on Twitter or "like" them on Facebook for an extra entry (in your comment, please tell me if you followed or "liked")
 
Entries will be accepted until 11:59 pm EST on Thursday, March 24th. If you aren't a blogger (and you don't have to be) make sure you leave some sort of identifying information in your comment- such as "Hey, this is John from Moncton, NB and my closest call involves a moose during mating season..."- so that I can identify you when you win.

Good luck! (and be safe out there)

*The peeps at Outside PR sent me this RoadID in exchange for my review. There was no obligation to say anything nice about it- if I didn't like it, I would have said so...but I really did like it!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

a late three things thursday

'Tis Thursday- so here are three things:

1- I really should have done yoga and some calculus homework this evening. Instead, I went to the pub and had beers, an irish car bomb, and a burger. I stand by that decision.
That's right- in French.
2- I was also supposed to run after work. Luckily, I was able to get my run in at lunch time so that I could go enjoy the St. Patrick's day festivities.

3- Starting tomorrow, I'll be giving away a RoadID. So come on back for your chance to win!

I hope you had a great St. Patrick's Day regardless of whether you celebrate it or not.

Monday, March 14, 2011

a monday long run

After going to a wedding and staying up late (although not drinking too much...shockingly considering there was an open bar) on Saturday night, Heather and I had great plans to go for a long run on Sunday morning...but they were derailed by tiredness. Since neither of us had to work today, we decided to put it off until today and ended up with a Monday long run instead of a Sunday long run. In hindsight- it actually may have been for the best since Sunday was probably a VERY busy day on the paths due to some great weather.
We started out around 8:30 looking like this:
a little sleepy, but ready to go
And after 10.5 miles of wind, winding paths, river views, and some icy patches (that had one of us end up sliding down a hill on her butt), we ended looking like this:
Not sleepy but definitely tired
It was nice to spend that time running in my "home town"...which is a city I lived in for 25 years but didn't explore as a runner because I didn't start running until I moved away. Plus, I got to spend some quality time with my sister and get my run in.

Next on the agenda was lunch with my mum, grandmother, and sister, but first, I refuled with my wedding favour:
delicious
She made and decorated them all for everyone (and we each got two)...I love their smiles. They were delicious and super cute. Maybe not the greatest ratio of carbs and protein, but it was delicious.

Fun day...but now I'm exhausted. But it was really nice to be able to mix it up and do a long run when it suited my vacation schedule and energy levels.
Hope Monday is treating you all well.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

time zone woes and smelly times on the treadmill


 I'm really not a good "time traveller"...my body clock gets set and it doesn't have a reset button but rather a reset dial that can only be moved sloooowly. Even thought I'm tired (after getting up early to get to the airport yesterday and waiting with much tension), I'm fairly wide awake and my body definitely thinks it is breakfast time.

As for the smelly treadmill times, after a long day yesterday, I decided I still needed to get a run in, as I am busy with a wedding today. My dad needed a little extra encouragement to get to the gym so I decided to go with him and I'd run on the treadmill. This was actually a great option for this run since it was kind of chilly outside (and I didn't bring all my warm weather gear to save space and because Sunday is supposed to be downright "hot" for my long run) and I had some speed work to do.

The first part of my run was pretty good- it took me a little while to warm up and get used to the fact that there is less oxygen up "this high". I got through my first mile of speed and was just starting the "800 jog" when a guy got onto the treadmill next to me and started jogging. Immediately, my nose started to burn...the smell coming off him was just terrible. It was like he hadn't showered or washed his gym clothes in 2 weeks. And that he left said unwashed gym clothes in a pile of smellier gym clothes so that the smell could really get in there.

Firstly, I was glad I was breathing primarily with my mouth. If I had been walking on the treadmill, I would have had to walk right on out of there pretty quickly. Secondly, I really wondered if I was going to have to get off that treadmill and find another...I think the stench was even visible on my face. I couldn't help but have a physical reaction to it.

Eventually though, my 800 m jog was over, I had to crank the treadmill back up for a mile of speed, and I had much bigger problems than the stench :) (speed work is hard). By the time the next 800 rolled around, he was gone and I could go back to the sweet smell of just "regular" gym smell.

How do you deal with smelly people at the gym?

Friday, March 11, 2011

rogers redemption and tense travel

So I need to note publicly that Roger redeemed themselves a bit because I am writing this post from my shiny new iPhone! (so pardon the autocorrect problems it I don't manage to catch them) hooray!!

I managed to call them, get things half sorted out, the go visit apple again and while they also ended up having to call rogers to sort things out, I walked out with new phones for both of us. Very pleased.

Now I'm in the airport hoping that our strange weather from the last few days (we had a snowfall warning and a rainfall warning on the same day and all that moisture is now just a giant slushy mess) doesn't mess with my trip too much. I'm flying standby and while there was LOTS of room yesterday, due to some delays and cancellations, the flight is pretty full and I have to count on some no-shows.
So my bags are packed:
Ok can't figure out how to add a picture I took... Imagine a pic of my bag here.

I'm ready to go (to a wedding and for some quality family time). Now I just cross my fingers and hope I get to Calgary sooner rather than later. And hopefully I will be blogging about a long run with my sister I the near future.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

three things this thursday

I'm kind of liking this three things Thursday. I do love a good list and I'm often full of randomness, so this is a good way to put both of those things together. Here are three for this Thursday:

lululemon's hockey man

This city really cracks me up sometimes. They LOVE their hockey (which isn't weird) to the point of obsession (as in people getting crazy about the pre-season). The latest manifestation of this stems from an unfortunate incident that saw a player get run head-first into a divider. It really wasn't pretty...and although the player is injured, it could have been a lot worse. Yeah, I know, not funny. But there IS somewhat funny part: Montreal police have had to ask that Montrealers stop calling them to complain about the hit. I can't say I'd ever think of calling the police about something that happened in an NHL game...


Second thing that cracked me up this week: I get the Banana Republic (which by the way is your "one stop pant destination") sale and notification emails. You know, just in case I feel like dressing up in my home office... But the text of this week's ad made me laugh. It read: Your Search for THE PERFECT PANT ends here. Don't get me wrong- I love a well fitting pant, but those are some high expectations you're setting in that one line of text, and is this really the search that most people are on? (yeah, I know, my sense of humour is questionable sometimes...does it help if I tell you I tend to read those BR emails first thing in the morning? Before my brain is fully awake?)

The third thing isn't something that cracked me up, but rather something that grinds my gears. I should have walked out of the apple store* with a shiny new iphone, data, and MY5 plan yesterday, but I didn't. Due to Rogers being unable to modify our plans for some unknown reason (they couldn't even figure it out themselves), we left empty handed. Actually, we left worse off than we started because they managed to cancel Jordan's data plan in all the hubub. We were told that they had to take the issue to "head office" which may take 24-48 hours. Once that is cleared up, we can return to the apple store and try again. Normally, that would just be annoying, but it is EXTRA annoying because I am going out of town from Friday to Wednesday so even IF they clear it up in 24 hours, I won't be around to get the phone sorted out. The double extra annoying thing is that the MY5 plan was going to be very helpful in preventing long distance charges while I was away. First world problems...I know...but maybe I should ask Rogers to pay for my long distance.

So there are my three things this Thursday. Anything to share?

*Why did I want to go to the apple store instead of just heading to a Rogers store? Firstly, because I knew that the apple store would have the phones. Secondly, because I like dealing with a store and company that consistently exceeds my expectations. Especially when the other option is to deal with a company that I find consistently frustrating.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Monday, March 07, 2011

lousy smarch weather

This, my friends, is why I try not to get too excited about spring in March:
March 7th, 2011. Snow.
The funny thing is, it was pouring rain on Saturday. Said rain melted a LOT of snow (which meant a lot of slush puddles everywhere) and I thought that perhaps we wouldn't get much more. Oh how foolishly optimistic I was...
at least it isn't -30?
And when even Jordan decides that it isn't worth running in, you know the snow is bad. (Monday is recovery run day for him and his words were "It isn't even running in this") Slightly east of us, universities and schools have cancelled classes. Despite the amount of snow that falls, there really aren't that many snow days around here because we have the right equipment to deal with the snow. So yeah, that means a lot of snow has fallen and is still falling.
half a boot high and still falling
I'm counting on the hope that in a month, the snow will be a distant memory and the sidewalks will be clear. In the meantime- please send the sun and check on us to make sure we aren't overtaken by the snow. Too bad I have to work- this is prime skiing weather...

Sunday, March 06, 2011

currently

I am currently watching a show about snakes. Why? Because they are equal parts scary and fascinating. Opening line: India is the snakiest country in the world.
source
(figured a fictional snake was more fun)

Snakes: icky? cool? both? What say you?

Thursday, March 03, 2011

thursday's three things

It worked for me last week- why not this Thursday too?
  • The test! As you may recall, I had my first calculus test last week. I was pretty nervous since I hadn't really written a test since 2003 and hadn't written a math test since 1998. I got my test back and I did GREAT! I was very exciting. (and I may or may not have sent a picture of my mark to a few people...yeah, I'm cool like that) I think it is the best I've done on a math test since I was about 13. I guess all the studying paid off!
  • I seem to have a cold. It sucks and I'm feeling a little whiny about it. But better this week than last week and better this week than next week I guess (since I'm doing some travelling at the end of next week) I'm taking some self-imposed rest days hoping that it will help. I'm glad this is a "back-off" week in the training plan.
  • I am so incredibly ready for spring that it is disgusting. The fact that it is March makes me feel like it is just around the corner...we'll see I guess.
Happy Friday Eve!

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

another sunday, another long run

How is it that I have 10 mile/16 km long runs already?  That was what was running through my head this weekend, but to be honest, it isn't that bad. But I do know that I need fuel for the distance so some of my long run prep looked like this:
accessories for a long run
No, they weren't both for me, but after making Suz hear me rave about Mint Chocolate Gu is last week (seriously- I love that stuff), I thought I'd let her try one out. Plus, I was excited to try the new (to me) mandarin orange flavour. Yeah, there's something wrong with you when you're excited about gooey running "food" but at least I know it.

I tried the new GU just after the halfway point of the run- before my water bottles started to freeze but after we turned around into the wind. (I planned on taking it at the halfway point but forgot that it would need some warming up...so at the halfway point I shoved it between some layers of clothes and let it warm up for a half mile)

My verdict: Mandarin Orange is ok. It didn't make me gag (which is good- I would say that a lot of energy gels make me gag...so the "non gag" is actually a very positive outcome for me) but it was a little to "sweet carb" flavour for me. Part of me was hoping that it would have some sourness to it (I tend to crave a bit of sour as I'm running) but it was mostly just sweet. If you like that though, you will probably like this one. I would eat it if it was given to me and I may buy one or two again, but I wouldn't make it my "go to" flavour.
It wasn't snowing this Sunday- thank goodness
Suz's verdict: Mint Chocolate is GOOOD! I think her words were "these could be dangerous" and then we both talked about how good the Mint Chocolate is...for more than 5 minutes. I think we have a problem, no two people should talk about an energy gel so much. Both of us usually think of running fuel as something we HAVE to eat, the mint chocolate is something that almost seems like a treat. She also commented that the minty aftertaste made it feel like she had just brushed her teeth :)  We both decided that in order to make it the "perfect' gel, it should have more than the trace amount caffeine from the chocolate. (Both of us are fans of the Espresso Love and appreciate the caffeine in that one.)

Oh, and that RoadID in the picture? The fine folks at Outside PR and RoadID sent me one to try out and stay tuned in the next couple of weeks for my review and the chance to win one of your very own!