Thursday, July 28, 2011

search terms that make me laugh

Instead of three things Thursday, I thought I'd share some search terms that have lead people to this site in the last little while.

Some of of them have cracked me up- like bathing suit wardrobe malfunctions, bottle of gin (and this isn't the first time that this has been a search term of note), and Hoogerland the fuck up.

One of them I'm really curious about- I kind of wonder if it is my mother and she's putting the address into the wrong place?

And a couple of them just make me smile- run like you stole something and the great fundraising act.

Speaking of the Great Fundraising Act- did you know that it raised more than $26,000?!? (and no, I didn't make a mistake with those zeros..twenty-six THOUSAND dollars) According to Susan, this should cover almost all of her out of pocket drug expenses...but you really should read it in her words. She clearly said it best.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

winglet wednesday

A certain airline has a picture series called "winglet Wednesday." Almost every week, they post a picture taken by someone travelling far and wide from inside one of their airplanes. Last month, I ended up taking a winglet picture of my own:
where in Canada are we?
That one was taken on the way to a wedding on the west coast. Today, the airplane (although I'm flying that other airline eek, I feel so dirty...) is headed east. I'm headed to the land of lobster, Anne of Green Gables, and beautiful coast line. And it is my first week of "real" vacation in a very long time. I can't wait :)

Do you take pictures out of airplane windows?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

7 links

As I said yesterday, I was tagged by both Amber and Aron to do the 7 links post. And as I said yesterday, I found it really quite hard. But It was kind of fun to go through the archives (and there are a lot of them) to figure out what links to put. I'm sure I've missed something. Sometimes I clicked randomly on months to see if there was anything I wanted to use and others I thought of things that I knew I had posted about and went to find those posts.

So, without further explanation- my 7 links:
  • Your most beautiful post
I guess it depends on what "beautiful" is. I am a fan of the post to my grandfather. I know my family liked it a lot.
  • Your most popular post
Apparently, my most popular post is this one: wowii. Apparently because I used the term "intercostal muscles" in it. Maybe people don't know what they are? Maybe they're wondering why their ribs hurt after they play wii bowling? Regardless, I've had about 5 times as many page views on that post than any other.
  • Your most controversial post
I can't decide if it is a good or a bad thing that I'm having a hard time coming up with a controversial post.  I DID lay the smack down to southerners in this post telling them that they were just plain WRONG when it comes to the word toboggan though. So maybe that was controversial.
  • Your most helpful post
Whether or not it is actually helpful, I like to think my most helpful post is my Made-Up Guide to Summer Survival.  In reality, it is probably Gu Brew- a Review. I get at least a few hits a day on that post and I think that's not bad for a post that's a year and a half old. Hopefully people are finding it helpful!
  • A post whose success surprised you
I guess I'm surprised that my "A Strange Day" post got (and still sometimes gets) so many views. Maybe it is because I talked about fuses and how inept I was at trying to change them. Plus, it is one of the only times Jordan has ever commented on the blog- so that must make it one of my most successful posts ever :)
  • A post you feel didn’t get the attention it deserved
 I don't know if this deserved more attention, but I thought this "More about the H1N1" post was informative and easy to understand. I think if more people had read it, it may have made a lot of people feel better and be more informed about the H1N1 vaccine and paranoia surrounding it back in 2009.
  • The post that you are most proud of
I'm not sure if it is the post I'm proud of or the 4 years of life that I'm proud of. But when I read my "Four Years" post (and look at the posts I linked in that post), I feel like I live those 4 years again and I'm just happy that things worked out the way they did.

Now I'm supposed to tag 5 people so here we go:
1- Leana at Engineer + Geek tie the knot (but maybe she'll want to use some old Runner Leana posts?)
2- Heather (my sister)
3- Kristen at Run for Wine
4- Laura at Live well, Laugh often, Run much
5- YOU. If you haven't done this, consider yourself TAGGED.

If you've been reading long enough- are there any posts that you liked of mine that you think I missed? If you're a blogger- do you have a favourite post that you've written? (if so, leave us the link in the comments!)

    Monday, July 25, 2011

    monday morning musings

    So firstly, it is July 25th- time for The Great Fundraising Act. Go check it out! There really are some great things up for auction.

    Now, onto the randomness of today:
    • I was tagged to do the 7 links. I tried to do it the other day my internet was being wonky and I got frustrated. It is hard! Anyway, it will go up tomorrow. Let me know if you'd like to do it- I'm looking for people to tag!
    • I had a great long run yesterday. There were parts that were tough, but for the most part it felt easy. It was just one of those runs that clicked. We ended with a tough hill and even after the hill, I felt great! The last mile and a half after the hill were my fastest- significantly faster than the rest. I actually had to stop myself from running extra miles- which is not something that generally happens for my long runs. It made me very happy.
    • The humidity has broken! Hooray. Yesterday was an absolutely perfect summer day. It was hot-ish, sunny, not a cloud in the sky...and most importantly- not humidity. Life is really good without humidity. (and this is perhaps why my run went so well)
    • I bought a new pair of shoes the other day and I'm trying to break them in while walking around my apartment. This was particularly funny looking yesterday while I was wearing compression sleeves:
    compression sleeves and metallic flats- together at last

    • I'm going on vacation on Wednesday! Some friends are getting married on Prince Edward Island and I can't wait to go. It is the first time we've been to PEI and not only am I looking forward to that, but also to seeing my friends get married. They've been planning for a long time and I know they'll be happy to finally get hitched :)
    Have you gone anywhere for the first time this year? Any fun vacations coming up?
    Have a wonderful Monday!

    Friday, July 22, 2011

    great fundraising act reminder

    Last week when I posted about the Great Fundraising Act, a few people asked for a reminder closer to the day. Consider this your reminder :)

    It is happening Monday July 25th (so just a few days from now) from 8am EST to 11 PM EST.

    How will it work? Check out this handy dandy post here: how does an online auction work?

    Where will it all be happening? Over at Meals & Moves.
    My original post about it is here: A fund raising plug

    Since I wrote that post, Susan has discovered that her extra drug costs during chemotherapy will be $5000 a month. That is a lot of money. There are some funding options that she's looking into, but there are no guarantees that she'll get said funding or that the funding will cover all of the costs.

    Five thousand dollars a month...I can't imagine worrying about that kind of money (or having my family worry about that kind of money) while also going through chemo and all the nastiness that can go along with it. My love of socialized medicine does not love that dollar figure.

    As I said in my last post, if you want to contribute funds but don't want to or can't participate in the auction,  a PayPal account has been set up. And again, if you can't or don't want to contribute financially, you can always keep Susan in your thoughts and send her some kind words over at her blog.

    Thank you again for taking the time to read. Have a great Friday.

    Thursday, July 21, 2011

    three things thursday- the I'm melting edition

    Wowza- definitely hot, hot, hot! My brain is slowly melting into a puddle of mush, so here are my three things:

    1- I found this picture in my phone from when I was in Calgary for a few hours before heading to Quadra Island last month:
    I see that and wish we could have taken barrels of gas with us home. It is more than 20 cents per litre more here :(

    2-  We finally broke out the A/C to cool down our bedroom last night. Until then, we were doing fine with the ceiling fan, but with the crazy humidity that seems to have settled in, it just isn't cooling off at night anymore. Glad to have the option of air conditioning.

    3- What? Another one about heat? Yeah, I have to 'cause it is so darn hot. Today it is supposed to feel like 45. That is kind of ridiculously hot. I will not be running in it...I will be seeking out a cool place in which to hole up and hope not to melt. And it is that grey, humid, extra nasty kind of hot. But to try to make the best of it, I think we'll go out tonight- maybe to a movie?

    What do you do when it is wicked hot out? Do you bask in the heat or do you hide like a frightened turtle until it goes away?

    Wednesday, July 20, 2011

    morning tempo run success!

    Well, I managed to do it. I actually managed to drag myself out of bed to get a 6 mile run in before work.
    I know many of you are already "morning runners" but I am not. During the work week, I generally run in the evening, but with a high heat and humidity warning issued for the rest of the week, I decided that perhaps this morning running thing had to happen...

    I made plans with my trusty running buddy Suz, set all my clothes out before I went to bed, set the alarm, planned what to have as a mini-breakfast and set myself up for a successful morning run.
    AM not PM
    By 5:50 I was out the door and ready to run. It was definitely easier to get out the door knowing that someone would be waiting for me!  Sure, it took a bit for the legs to feel like they wanted to be moving, and the tempo miles were tough- but aren't they always? 

    The run was done before the heat really sets in and I can always grab an extra cup of coffee if I start to feel groggy. All in all, a morning run success! And the extra good news- it is wine Wednesday!*

    Are you a morning runner? Do you need to bribe yourself to get up early or do you just not bother?

    *as Suz and I were planning our run last night she ended the text message exchange with "at least we have wine Wednesday"

    Tuesday, July 19, 2011

    feelin' hot hot hot- summer running

    I don't think it is officially a heat wave yet, but it sure is hot. The "feels like" temperatures with the humidity are in the high 30s (that's around 100 for you Fahrenheit-ers out there) and is supposed to hit 40 near the end of the week. Hot I tell you, HOT. And it seems so strange that I live in a place where I need to worry about "feels like" -40 as well as "feels like" +40...but that's this part of the country for you.

    And, I end up running in almost all of it. So here are a few things I've been doing to cope with running in the heat:
    • Water. I bring water on every run...even the 3 milers. When it is hot, I tend to feel slightly dehydrated even before I start running. It just feels good to have the water with me.
    • Timing. I was up at 6 on Sunday so that I could get my long run in before it got too hot. Last Wednesday, I was out running at 8pm- when the sun was starting to set. Anything to avoid wilting in the full power of the sun.
    • Location. Even if it means running up the mountain, it is much better to run where there is shade. Tree cover is a good thing. Baking on the sidewalk? Not so much. Also, I try to run where I know I can refill my water bottles- either at water fountains or at convenience stores.
    It isn't always pretty (in fact, it usually ends with me in a disgusting sweaty mass on the floor of my apartment) but I do what I can to stay as cool as I can as the temperature keeps on rising.

    What are your hot weather running tips? How hot is too hot for you?

    Monday, July 18, 2011

    a summer friday

    I had Friday off and it was glorious. It started with this:
    me and my jamis
    Then a run. While stretching, I got to watch the end of the Tour de France stage and see a rider from my favourite team win the stage :)
    Once the "active" part of the day was complete:
    mmm...steamed pork bun
    Lunch with a friend (and no, I didn't just have this pork bun- I went BACK for the pork bun after having my just looked too good) and then the Terrace for beers with more friends.
    By the time we ate (a late) dinner, it felt like it was about 4am and we were sitting around after a night at the bar. Pretty much a perfect summer Friday in the city.

    What is your perfect summer day?

    Saturday, July 16, 2011

    fit abs 3,000 in 35 week 2

    FitBlog Chats

    I'm a little late, I know, but I was busy having summer fun the last couple of days instead of blogging. I stand by that decision :)

    Week 2- I did fewer reps but mostly because I took 2 days off. I had a busy weekend and decided to leave the ab reps out for the weekend. Still, I managed to get my average of 100 per day in so here are a few fitabs in numbers:

    Total reps: 681
    Number of "supermans": 35
    Number of pushups: 100
    Number of insanity abs reps: 60
    Number of times I remembered to tweet about the challenge: 1 (oops)

    Favourite move of the week: still that standing it.
    Favourite move to hate: Pushups. I know they're a great core and overall strength move but man they suck.

    I'm still liking this challenge! I can feel myself getting stronger and that makes me happy. I had some really low energy days this week and was happy that I was still able to get my reps in (even if I "just" did 100 instead of a few more like I usually like to do). I guess we're about halfway through and I've done 1,612 reps. I'm right on track!

    I hope you all have a great weekend. It is going to be HOT here, so my goal will be to stay cool. Any plans for the weekend?

    Thursday, July 14, 2011

    three things thursday- the tour edition

    1- So I got my RoadID when? February? Yeah, I think February. I've looked at it a few times a week since then and haven't noticed anything strange. Well, apparently I'm not all that observant. Just this week I looked at it and though...wait a second...that's not the Montreal area code! Yes, that's right. My RoadID has been wrong since I got it and I just noticed it now. I'd love to blame it on a manufacturing problem, but I'm going to go with it being my fault when I submitted it. Perhaps it is time to upgrade to the interactive option?

    2- I'm not sure I've mentioned it yet this year on the blog but I love the Tour de France. Love it. So this part of July feels like Christmas to me. On Sunday, there was a CRAZY incident involving a media car trying to pass the riders on a narrow stretch of road. It did not end well- the car took out two riders. It wasn't pretty but luckily it ended in a lot of stitches and road rash as opposed to something much worse. So the two riders, Juan Flecha and Johnny Hoogerland, are still part of the tour.
     Well, according to this blog post, there is a phrase known to the pro-cycle guys: Harden The Fuck Up (or HTFU). Someone has now modified that to Hoogerland the F-Up (apparently there are t-shirts already)...and I love it. So from now on, whenever I need to be toughen up, my mantra will be HOOGERLAND the Fuck UP! I might just write it on my hand. (image search Johnny Hoogerland and you'll see pictures of just how tough he is...)

    3- Today is my Friday! Tomorrow is one of my summer Friday days off and I'm very excited. It has been a struggle to get out of bed every morning this week, so I'm very excited NOT to set the alarm clock and to sleep until I wake up. And then watch some Tour de France of course!

    So- what is your mantra when you feel like you need to toughen up? Are you following The Tour?

    Wednesday, July 13, 2011

    wine wednesday

    In a semi-wordless post- today is our first wine Wednesday of the summer. We will be enjoying a lovely glass of white on a hot summer's evening.
    mmm...Sauvignon Blanc
    I think you should all do the same. And if you can't have a glass of wine (sorry Heather), have a nice cool beverage to celebrate the end of the day...because life is good.

    What is your favourite wine? (or if no wine- favourite beverage)

    Tuesday, July 12, 2011

    a fund raising plug- the great fundraising act

    When I was 25, I moved to a different province and I started a new job. Coincidentally so did Susan. But while I then had a pretty carefree rest of being 25 (I got married, settled into a new city, made some friends...) it has not been so lucky and carefree for Susan.

    Earlier this year, she shattered (and I say that literally) her elbow while skating on the Rideau Canal. In the midst of all the recovery from that, she had a pain in her neck. She figured said pain was a pulled muscle and was going to get it checked out the next time she was at physio. Luckily, her mother had a bad feeling about it and made her go see her doctor. Before she knew it, she was in the oncology ward dealing with a diagnosis of cancer. Yup- the "c" 25 years old.

    When I started my job, I was immediately enrolled in my company's extended health benefits. From my first day of work, I had extensive drug (and other) coverage. I also immediately had short- and long-term disability coverage in the case of a debilitating illness. This is rare- most companies don't "take you in" like that until you've been working for them for 3 months.  Why is this important? Well, Susan started a new job 2 months before being diagnosed with cancer. A month short of having extended benefits.

    The good news: the Canadian health care system takes care of MOST of Susan's medical needs. She's had two surgeries, many x-rays, a CT scan, and countless other tests that have all been payed for. She's been in the hospital since her diagnosis and she doesn't need to pay for that. Also, she recently moved in with family- so there's no rent to pay or bills adding up at home.

    The bad news: the Canadian health care system doesn't cover ALL of Susan's medical needs. As she's going through chemotherapy, she may need anti-nausea medication that isn't covered, she may need other medication that would normally only be covered by an extended benefits plan and that she therefore has to pay for out of pocket. Also, little bills just add up here and there- cell phones, car insurance, a cup of coffee at a cafe...

    So while the medical and other costs could be higher, Susan isn't working! Her job right now is to take everything that cancer throws at her and to come out the other side and unfortunately, that doesn't generate any income. So in order to help Susan out, enter the Great Fundraising Act.
    A group of bloggers who want to help Susan with the extra expenses have put together a fund raiser. I've taken a look at some of the companies involved and bloggers involved and there should be some great stuff up for sale. So make sure you go check it out now and then be ready on the 25th!

    Don't think you want to participate in bidding or won't have internet access on the 25th? You can still donate- a PayPal site has been set up to collect donations.

    And if you can't donate financially- keep Susan in your thoughts and go over and send her some kind words on her blog. She's a lovely person and a great writer- you'll enjoy her posts.

    For more details or if you have any questions- check out the Great Fundraising Act page and I'm sure Janetha would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

    Thank you for taking the time to read this and for anything you might do to help Susan out.

    Monday, July 11, 2011

    scenes from a birthday party

    Best. Balloon. Ever.
    You can take the girl out of Calgary...

    not even that drunk...
    And a special guest:
    And some delicious treats from Michelle! I definitely celebrated turning 31 in style...and then of course remembered that I'm too old to stay up until 2 am after getting up before 7 to get my 10 mile run in so that I wouldn't have to do it on Sunday. (apparently I have also not learned how to write without run-on sentences yet). Because of that I definitely had a lazy Sunday- but that isn't such a bad thing.

    I hope you have a great Monday!

    Friday, July 08, 2011

    3,000 in 35: week one thoughts

    As I said last week, I'm participating in the 3,000 in 35 challenge.
    FitBlog Chats
    As a part of the challenge, I'm giving updates on how each week went. So first- my week in some numbers (obviously not all numbers are there):
    Number of "front" crunches: 70
    Number of oblique crunches: 120
    Number of side plank dips: 50
    Number of sets of the "Brazil Butt Lift" workout: 35 (so 350 reps)
    Number of reps total: 931
    Number of days I felt totally dorky for having my own "abs" spreadsheet: all 7 (but I do love my spreadsheets- just ask the other bridesmaids in my sister's wedding...)

    Now some loves and hates:
    Favourite move of the week: the standing tuck (how nice is it to have an ab set that you can do standing up??)
    Workout I loved to hate: the brazil butt lift set (HOLY CRAP THAT IS HARD)
    I thought I'd hate: getting up a few minutes early on week days- but I don't
    I love: that a few more of my friends decided to get involved after I littered their twitter feeds with the #fitabs hashtag.

    All in all, a good week one! Hopefully things continue to go well.
    If you were participating- how did your week go? If not- any numbers, loves, or hates to report this week?

    (and if you still want to participate- play along- and go check out Ashley's page for more exercises twice a week)

    Thursday, July 07, 2011

    three things thursday- the random edition

    Hello! It has been warm here so my runs have been very sweaty- good times.
    Since this is the random edition, on with the randomness.

    1- Speaking of sweaty- Suz and I did  some VERY sweaty speed work.  For my last training cycle, I did most of my speed work and tempo runs alone. It was nice to have some company! Sure, neither of us could quite figure out where the turn around point should be (somehow the math was working even less in my head than it was in her's), but at least we got it done! Despite the heat and the wind, we hit our paces! (ok, we overshot and went a little too fast) But even with a friend, running fast is HARD!

    2- I saw this sign when Jordan and I went for a run on Quadra Island. It made me laugh so I had to take a picture:
    Dead Slow.
    3- Since it is my birthday month, I had to go pay my annual driver's license fee. Yes, that's right- Quebec has an annual fee. You pay almost $90 a year for your license. In both Alberta and Ontario (the other two provinces I've lived in), I paid that much every FIVE years. Sigh...Quebec I love to hate your fees.

    And as a bonus random thing- the Canada Post lockout may be over, but the mail is barely trickling in. Two things that should have come during the lockout are my Bon Appetit magazine and more importantly- Jordan's provincial tax refund! Since this is our first year in the province, we actually had to mail all of our stuff in. Both of our returns were in the same envelope and I owed the province money, the province owed him money. My fat cheque to the government has been cashed...but so far, no refund for him :( Darn you postal lockout- I want to read about food...

    So- any random things to share? Do you have an annual fee for your driver's license?

    Wednesday, July 06, 2011

    a few good reads

    For today's post, I thought I'd put together a few things that I've read recently that I thought were worth passing on.

    The first came from Samantha- she tweeted the link for and article on "Liar-exics." In short, this article talks about the fact that more and more women are publicly eating high calorie meals and claiming that they eat like that all the time. Meanwhile, when no one is looking, they eat tiny portions of low calorie food. While I have no problem with eating a small dinner after having a huge lunch, why bother lying about it? I love food and I love to eat...but I am well aware that if I eat calorie dense food ALL the time and don't exercise, my health (and my weight) will pay the price. STOP THE LYING is ok to be realistic about food and exercise!

    The second comes from Susan. Just in case you don't follow her blog- Susan was recently diagnosed with cancer. She went from thinking she had pulled a muscle in her neck, to being told she had blood clots due to recent arm surgery, to being diagnosed with cancer all in about 24 hours. And that cancerous mass in her chest isn't all that small... She's been in the hospital ever since and one of the things she has been tweeting and blogging about is the TERRIBLE food they've been feeding her. Want to know what the food looks like at her hospital? Check it out here and here. And she has a great camera that makes the food look almost edible... (and while you're over there, send her happy thoughts- I'm of the belief that every little bit helps)

    The third- just to lighten the reads a bit- comes from Katy. Did you know that most bloggers (and a LOT of companies) break Facebook rules when they're running contests? What exactly are those rules? Read her post to find out- but relying on "likes" as contest entries is actually against the rules- crazy!

    I hope you all have a great day!
     Have you read anything recently that you think I should check out?

    Tuesday, July 05, 2011

    wardrobe malfunction

    So I think it is time for a new bathing suit.  I got to spend Canada day surrounded by great people and some great scenery.
    missed sunset- oh well.
    What does that have to do with my suit you ask? Well, after a lovely day of swimming, canoeing, and some good eating, I had just gone inside to change out of my bathing suit and into my clothes. As I bent over to pick something up, the plastic clasp on the back of my top decided it was the perfect moment to fail. As the top flew open, I reached for the straps and reached back to do what I thought would be just a simple "re-fasten" of the top.

    Well- what I thought was done back up, was actually NOT (because the clasp was in fact broken) and everything went flying once more.  Luckily for me, of the 6 people within earshot, not one of them had a "clear line of sight"...

    Once I was fully covered (and apologized to anyone who may have accidentally seen more than they bargained for), I had a good laugh about it.  Even funnier though was that a friend commented on the suit earlier in the day and said "you know, I had one in a similar colour scheme but annoyingly, the clasp decided to disintegrate at an inopportune time...which is why I never buy plastic anymore." She was the one to tie the back of the top nice and tight for me once she realized what had happened.

    So I guess it is time to do some shopping for a new bathing suit- yeah, I'm one of those strange people who actually only has one suit, so maybe I should buy more than one? Any cute ones out there?

    So, have you had any close calls in a bathing suit? Any other wardrobe malfunctions you want to share?

    Monday, July 04, 2011

    a hot 10 miles

    Would you like to know what the best post-run treat ever is?
    And not just the regular ones- the "Extreme Firecracker" (so the big one that you get at the convenience store). Sure, they are full of corn syrup and they dye your fingers, teeth, and tongue blue (and maybe a part of the dog that lives next door when it comes to say hello and a little drip gets on a white patch on her fur)...but after running 10 miles in the heat, there's nothing more delicious and satisfying than the Popsicle you've been thinking about since mile 4.

    It was a tough, tough 10 miles. The heat was more intense than we thought it would be, the water went down faster than we though it would, and the sun was a bit relentless. The only thing that felt better than I thought they would were my legs! Sure they were tired by the end of the run, but I didn't want to stop running because my legs were tired, I wanted to stop running because it was hot and "all over" tired. That was surprising to me- my longest run since the half marathon on May 29th had been 7 miles. So that definitely felt like a win!

    The heat? Not so much of a win, but the Firecracker made it worth it. (and speaking of red white and blue- Happy 4th of July to the Americans out there!)

    What gets you through the hot long runs? Any favourite post run treats?

    Friday, July 01, 2011

    3,000 in 35 ab challenge- day one, I'm in!

    FitBlog Chats

    I'm not normally one for "group challenges", but this one seems to be coming along at just the right time. My core strength (and upper body strength) has gone downhill in the last few months. I've been seriously slacking in the strength training department. I figure something like this can only help keep me motivated as well as teach me new and interesting exercises.

    As a part of  the challenge, we need to post our favourite core move. Mine is the Side Plank Dip. I'm not sure why- maybe because it is hard but doesn't involve the push up position (which I hate). As the 35 days go on, I'll be posting updates as to how it is going. 

    Do I hope to finish the 35 days with a six pack? No. I just want to feel strong and back closer to the shape I've been in before. And maybe it will motivate me to pick up some weights again one of these days...

    Do you have a favourite core exercise?

    (If you'd like to join in- there's still time! Just check out the challenge here: FitBlog Ab Challenge)