Thursday, January 31, 2013

this tweet wins the internet today



Because...don't you hate pants?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

the january blahs

I definitely have a ase of the January blahs...not the blues, just the blahs. I don't feel sad or upset or overwhelmed, just a whole lot of "meh." It isn't a terrible thing to feel like this every so often, but I have to admit, I'm a little sick of the blahs. They make me tired, boring, and give me a case of writers block - both on the blog and when working on my school stuff.
unrelated. but BLARG! i guess it is a proper noun
I'm hoping that since February is in just a few short days, I can put the blahs behind me and be full of vim and vigour and a few more ideas. Until then - I'll just leave you with the mental image of me almost bailing on my run yesterday. I was approaching a stop light. There was a light dusting of snow on a patch of ice, a crowd of people at the corner, and my right foot hit the ice. I managed to keep myself upright, but I think I pulled all the muscles in my body trying to do so. Also - almost took a lady out with my wild "woah" arm fling. Pretty great - and very glad I didn't fall in front of all those people.

Anybody else have the blahs this January? Do you have any miracle cures (other than February) for said blahs?

*also - happy birthday to one of my favourite Ottawa ladies! I know 30 scares you a bit - but trust me (for I am old and wise), your thirties will be great. Happy Birthday Janelle!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

random wednesday

So we're in a total deep freeze here in Montreal. The temperatures are such that you walk outside and your nostrils immediately freeze (if you haven't ever felt that cold - it's kind of weird), if the wind picks up and makes your eyes water those tears freeze (both on your face and in your eyes), and it is just not nice to be outside. I know it is boring to talk about the weather - but extremes always seem so notable. Regardless, a few random weather-related and non-weather things:

  • It actually is possible to dress to run in most temperatures. It was really cold yesterday and I went for a run and most of my body was perfectly toasty. The big exception was my face - because I find that most scarves or gaiters (i think that's what they're called) don't stay on my face well and I haven't upgraded to a balaclava. So I kept it short - but still got out for a run.
  • Said run ripped open a blister that I forgot I had (from running in the slush on Sunday) and I came home to a bloody heel, sock, and shoe. Yuck.
  • I know of at least four people who are celebrating their birthdays today. Happy Birthday to all of you! (and if you want to get someone a present, I know that Susie wants a little doll a donation to help fund cancer research)
  • It is probably old news by now and you don't want to hear more about Lance, but I've read a few reactions from elite athletes that I thought were really good. Here's one from Lauren Fleshman (an elite runner) and then two top triathletes - who don't want Lance to come play. There are tonnes of reactions from cyclists - both ex-dopers and non-dopers. None were really impressed. I think that says a lot.
And so that I'm a good blogger - questions that are barely related to my post:
How cold is too cold for you to go outside? Do you put your left or right sock on first? Coke or Pepsi?






Monday, January 21, 2013

climate change? (an odd run)

Yesterday was an odd day weather-wise for anyone living in my part of the world. We woke up to a random thunderstorm and rain, the skies cleared and we had sun, then the wind picked up to bring thundersnow (yes...thundersnow), snow squalls, and wicked cold temperatures. Guess what I was doing in this? Yup, running.

It started out quite nicely actually...in fact, when I was stopped at a light and got a text from a friend. I replied with "My feet are SOAKED and I'm overdressed because I was afraid of the wind." I had taken my headband off so that my ears weren't covered and my gloves were in my pocket instead of on my hands. I even took a couple of pictures of a scene I noticed the other week and thought was kind of fun:
all you need is love...and a chubby horse
But as I got about a quarter of the way through the "back" portion of my out and back, the weather turned. The wind picked up to the point where I could barely run into it, I had to duck into a building to zip my jacked back up and put my warm layers back on, and all of a sudden I was running in a blizzard instead of on a sunny January morning. The peak of weirdness came with the flash of lightning, the huge clap of thunder, and the grains (grains, not flakes...there was nothing flaky about it)  of snow stinging my cheeks, and the almost whiteout conditions. I really wish I there had been a sheltered place for me to take a picture of the "after" to go with my nice weather shots...

Such an odd weekend of weather that not only made me have a headache all weekend thanks to the extreme temperature shifts, but must be the work of climate change. Or are you one of the people who don't believe in it?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

buzzwords and cancer

Lance Armstrong. Livestrong. Doping. Oprah. Confession. Cancer. (and if you are a reader of blogs - Old Navy!) There, have I got enough of this week's buzzwords in? I'm sick of the Armstrong business already and the interview hasn't even come out yet.

In all seriousness though - even though I do not (and will not - because I feel like not enough of the money goes to do good things and too much goes to running the machine that is Livestrong) donate to Livestrong, I really do hope that this latest Armstrong fiasco doesn't drive people away from cancer charities. Cancer sucks. It takes kids from their parents, sisters from their siblings, parents, aunts, grandfathers... It throws people's lives into turmoil. Even those who come out the other end do not come out unscathed.

I wish I was a better writer so that I could eloquently write about how important I think it is to try to advance cancer research and to support those dealing with cancer. So instead, I'll just say: forget Lance, forget the hype, find a local cancer foundation or charity or hospice that you know does good things and donate every so often.


Monday, January 14, 2013

garminless

Since I got back from Italy in October, my Garmin has been lonely. I think I wore it on my first run back when I got home, but after that, I just left it on the shelf. I wasn't training for anything, I wasn't trying to run any specific distances or paces, so I decided to just leave the Garmin alone and run at the speed that felt right, for either the time that I had, or the amount of time that felt right. It has been nice. No pressure, no numbers, just running.
lonely Garmin - hasn't been charged in months
Now that it's a new year and I have a race to train for, it's probably time to plug in the Garmin, run with a little more purpose, and stick to a schedule. So I set out for my runs this weekend knowing that they were probably my last Garmin-less runs for the next few months. I won't be ruled by the numbers, but I will pay attention - so nice not to have to think about them for those last two runs.

Due to unseasonably warm weather, yesterday's run ended in being soaking wet - not from sweat (even unseasonably warm winter is still the winter) but from the POURING rain. Running in the rain...in January....so strange. Even though I'm enjoying the break from the cold, it is a little disconcerting. Never fear, however - back to winter later this week:
Today vs Friday
Not so excited to be back to that kind of windchill, but kind of excited to think about training for another half-marathon and to see what happens.

Are you a slave to the numbers or are you more of a free spirit when you run?

Thursday, January 10, 2013

musings about running

If it sticks, starting to run is a lot like falling in love. When you're falling in love, things are shiny and new and you think about that person all the time. And because you're thinking about him or her all the time, you talk about that person all the time. Literally...ALL.THE.TIME. Some shout it from the roof tops, some are annoying on Facebook (and FB couples can be the worst), some wax poetic in 140 characters or less. Your friends get sick of you - not because they don't like you, but because they aren't nearly as interested in hearing about that other person as you are about talking about him or her.

Running is the same. When I started and when I was "falling" for running, I did the same thing. It was shiny and new. I spent a lot of time thinking about it and learning about it. I checked websites, read blogs, researched training plans and talked about it. All. The. Time. Seriously all the time. I bet some people saw me coming, took a deep breath, and thought "ok...time for more talk about a sport I don't care about." I'm sorry if you were one of those people...

Anyway, now I don't talk about it as much. Maybe because now, it is just a part of my life that's always there. It makes me feel good, I can think about it and smile both nostalgically and toward the future, and I try not to take advantage of the fact that it will always be there (because you never know what the future will bring). But if you ask me about it and seem to actually want to hear about it - I still might talk your ear off.*

*which happened to a lady when she asked me about my shoes the other day...
I was stopped at a light and she asked me if the shoes I was running in regular running shoes or if they were special for the winter...I was running in my regular shoes, but then I talked about how great a pair of trail shoes can be and then without provocation, went into a few winter gear tips such as good socks and making sure the layer touching your body isn't cotton...especially your underwear because sweaty cotton underwear plus a cold wind is a bad bad thing. Man...that poor lady. She didn't know what hit her.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

bring it

The fall of 2012 wasn't my favourite. It started off ok - the weather was great, I had fun running and trying to gain some speed (and had an unfortunate incident at my goal race...but I didn't worry too much about that), and I had a good time in Italy. But after that - I didn't like it all that much. There wasn't a "big" incident that made it bad and it wasn't "bad" really. I just didn't have my normal levels of pep, happiness, and enthusiasm.

This was especially true at the end of November and into December. Work was stressful (layoffs were looming and morale at work was pretty awful) and I was doing a really poor job of balancing school, work, and life. I wasn't exercising as much as usual, I wasn't eating as well as I normally do, and I was probably drinking more than I normally do as well (but it was "Citrouille" season...can you blame me?). Add a consistently sick husband into that, and it just wasn't my favourite fall (and it wasn't his favourite either).

While I realize that none of these are big problems (some may call them the controversially named 'first world problems'), they still meant that I spend more time feeling low energy, more evenings sitting on the couch, and more mornings wishing I could stay in bed than I'd like. So even though I'm not a resolution maker, I have definitely been looking at these next few weeks as a way to hit the reset button and to get back to being a little more "me" than I was at the end of last year. I'm making sure I cook more, I'm setting up my training schedule for my April half marathon, and making other plans to make sure this happens.

Here's to being happier and more balanced. Bring it on 2013.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

no resolutions here

'Tis the season...for blog posts full of years in review followed by resolutions. You will find neither of those things here.

First - no year in review because I'm too lazy to do the year in review. And if you're actually interested in seeing my posts from last year, there's a handy dandy archive bar to the right ------------------------>
Sure, I have a few favourite experiences in the last year, it was both a good and a challenging year, but I'll just re-cap it in my mind and save you the trouble :)

Second - no resolutions because I don't make them. I don't make them because I feel like I'd be setting myself up for failure. Lofty random resolutions don't work for me. I can't just resolve to "lose weight" or "become more active." I need to set small goals and make plans in order to get there. So yes - I have some things in mind that I'd like to achieve in the next year - but no resolutions.

Now that you know what won't be showing up - here's what will be here: my favourite pictures, stories, and experiences of the year to come. I had thought about just fading off the radar after my extended Christmas blogging break, but here I am, back and ready to blog. And I'll finish the post with a few of my favourite pictures from the holidays.

excited on christmas eve

forgot how dark it is well after 8 am in Calgary

my favourite redhead

fanciest christmas cracker crowns ever

it snowed while we were out of town

a good picture to start a new year

Happy January and happy 2013. I hope it is your luckiest year yet.