Monday, February 25, 2013

7 years

We look so young...and I guess we were. 
It has been 7 years full of ups and downs, but through it all, Jordan always finds a way to make me laugh. Thanks for always being on my side.

Friday, February 22, 2013

friday photos - february

It's February. Some people claim that spring is just around the corner, but considering that we sometimes get windchills in the -20s well into March, it still feels like the dead of winter. We're still getting a lot of snow (which makes for more challenging running) and it is still cold - bu at least it can be really pretty.

I wish I could have gotten right under that to get a really good shot.
Other than being pretty, I'll also admit that the days are indeed getting longer. I can go for a run after work and get home before it is completely dark (and leave before it is dark - that's nice). So while I won't say that spring is 'just around the corner' for those of us in this part of the world (and don't flaunt it to me if it is where you are...I might get bitter), at least we're getting a little more sunlight and the snow is kind of pretty. Especially when it has just fallen.

Happy Friday! Hope you all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

social media done right - canadian running magazine

Since I've been ranting a little too much about bad social media, I thought I'd give a tip of my hat to Canadian Running Magazine for getting social media right. (though I imagine some would say "mostly" right)

The other day, they tweeted that the Oscar Pistorias story just got "darker" when steroids were allegedly found in his home. I wasn't the only one who found this a little strange and responded with a comment that steroids aren't darker than death. Many people responded with "ummm...guys? how are steroids worse or darker than a woman dying?!?!" I immediately got a tweet back explaining that it was really poor word choice and that they were changing their headline and story.

Here's where the "mostly" right might come in. They deleted the original tweet (and I'm sad that I didn't save it - I just saved the path...which isn't valid anymore) and I think some would argue that they should leave it up - followed right up with the correction. But I don't have a big problem with what they did. This is a sensitive story,* they've changed their headline and removed the old one. So way to go Canadian Running! Thanks for being responsive!

In other news - I have a sore hamstring and it is driving me a little nuts. It likes to cramp and just be generally sore. So far it hurts mostly when I'm NOT running - so that's kind of nice, but I'm trying to figure out if I need to do more than just roll it and stretch it. Hopefully not.

What do you think about "scrubbing" after someone has said something stupid or inappropriate on the internet? Delete or no delete? And any other things I should be doing to help my hamstring?

*and not just sensitive...shocking to those of us who have only seen the previous media portrayals of Pistorius. 

Friday, February 15, 2013

another winner by spartan race (yes that was sarcasm)

Here I am again - blogging about tweets. Sorry about that. But remember a couple of weeks ago when I felt that the Spartan Race sent the wrong message? Well, they're at it again!

While I fully admit that one of the nice side effects of running and working out is that it helps me feel good about the way I look, it isn't why I exercise. I exercise to be healthy. I want to be able to live a fairly long life and I want to do what I can to make sure I'm healthy. I could lose the lottery and end up with a disease that I couldn't have prevented...but I want to do what I can to make sure I stay healthy. I also like the challenge of pushing myself and of trying to reach goals. Whether it is to be able to do an extra pushup, run farther, or run faster, it is something to work toward.

Again, a nice side effect is that it helps me feel like I look good too. But I don't work out to look pretty. I work out to be healthy. Come on Spartan Race...

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

someone has a sense of humour

Someone at Apple must be either a Sens fan or a Swede who loves hockey.

(thank you to Liz and to Jesse for checking it out after I heard that it was happening in Ottawa and thought that maybe if you were somewhere else it might show a hockey player from your home team...)

For those of you who are Siri users (my phone doesn't have that function) - anything strange or hilarious you've come across?

Friday, February 08, 2013

friday frustrations

I'll try to make this lighthearted but it is Friday - so I just need to get the frustrations out.

  • I like to run. I train for races. Sometimes things hurt and in fact, sometimes things unrelated to running hurt. Much like headaches - abdominal pain happens. Whether it is happening monthly or just isn't a "get out of jail free card...tee hee hee." It's pain. And you adjust things accordingly. Saying you have a monthly get out of jail free card just encourages the "women become hysterical due to hormones" opinion.  
  • I live in Canada. In a part of Canada that has "real" winter. I shouldn't be frustrated with winter in February...because it should be cold and snowy in February. But when all the stores are coming out with their spring lines and people are talking about signs of spring...I get frustrated that it is still winter and that spring is a looong way away.
  • Too many hashtags on random words. It looks weird. Also, I think that technically, now that you can search by word on twitter, we could kill the hashtag.
And just to counterpoint - something not frustrating:
I really liked the first movie, so I'm really excited for Spirit of the Marathon II. And it is in Rome!

Plus - It's Friday!! Bring on the Weekend! Any big weekend plans? Excited for Spirit of the Marathon II? (and if you like running and haven't seen the first one - do it!)

ETA: another frustration today - computers and the internet. Spent almost an hour on the phone with my internet service provider...ARGH. 

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

a good run

I struggled a bit to get out the door yesterday for my run. It is winter - so going from the warm apartment to the cold street is always a challenge. Plus there are so many layers to put on and so many things to find (mittens! hat! ear band! watch! key!). Even after I left, the first 5 minutes or so of my run felt hard (Sunday's long run was really hilly - so my legs still felt really heavy) and I didn't really feel like being out there and even thought "do I really want to train for this half marathon? can't I just phone it in?"

And then something happened. As I kept running (and as I seemed to hit green light after green light), my legs seemed to get lighter, and so did my entire body. And without really trying, I maintained a reasonable pace and I had a lightness in my step that I didn't expect.* Early in training programs, I usually expect to struggle a bit - especially when training for a spring race. So it was really nice to have a run that felt like it clicked a bit - even if it was hard to get started.

I know that the fact that it was -10 (I know that sound cold...but when it has been much colder, it feels downright warm), there was no wind, and the sidewalks were clear (hooray for no ice or snow!) had a lot to do with things going well. But I'll take those small victories where I can get them.

What helps you when you're struggling to get out the door?

*something else unexpected: several people encouraging me as I ran...

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

my canadian is showing?

Maybe I spend too much time on twitter because this is the third post in a row that was prompted by a tweet. Yesterday, the yogurt company Chobani (which had a brief stint in the Canadian market and seems to be leaving it...) tweeted the following infographic along with the words "The world's Healthiest People - Take notes!"

I focused mostly on the 5 countries with the healthiest people. Maybe I'm becoming cynical in my old age, but I don't look at those countries and see "oh, they eat fish, and tofu, and organic veggies and they eat less and try to move more." I saw that infographic and thought that other than the obvious fact that they're all "rich" or developed countries, they are all countries with a universal health care system. And pretty good ones at that. I know that healthy eating can be part of a long healthy life...but all the healthy eating in the world will not change things if you are sick and don't have access to health care. Or if you just got the short stick in the genetic lottery. Or if you live in a war zone...or get the picture.

TL;DR? - this infographic, as with many infographics, is too simple, dumb, and misleading and I think there are factors far more important than diet in overall health. Can't decide if it is my Canadian or my health researcher that's showing...

Infographics - are you a fan or do they annoy you? 

Friday, February 01, 2013

spartan race - sending the wrong message

Recognize that quote from anywhere? It's something that Kate Moss said to a reporter when asked about how she kept her waif-like figure. Remember Kate Moss? The "spokesbody" of heroin-chic back in the day? I'd put a picture of her up, but that would probably be against copyright rules. So you can image search how skinny she was in the 90s. (depending on your workplace, that may be NSFW) 

This is a video of a a Spartan Race (skip to about 2:00 to see the actual race) and this is the Spartan Race website.

I really don't see how the "skinny" quote fits with the image Spartan Race seems to want to portray (and for that matter, something that anyone should want to portray). When I hear "nothing tastes as good as skinny feels" I think of people who are starving themselves to lose weight, of people who have unhealthy relationships with food, and people who are sacrificing health to reach an unrealistic ideal of "skinny." To me it screams eating disorder and I'm not impressed. (and I'm not the only one who wasn't impressed about this tweet - check out the responses here)

While the style of most of the Spartan Race messaging isn't my style (their website told me to stop being a lazy ass and sign up already...right next to a picture of a half naked lady who was posing like a model under barbed wire) it seems to be fairly consistent: drill sergeant-like statements that tell you to suck it up, work hard, and get stronger. It normally makes me think of this:
from the spartan race website
Not of people who would rather be thin than healthy. I have to be honest - I once thought doing a Spartan Race might be a fun challenge. A potentially overpriced, can't believe they make you pay for parking, better wear clothes I'm ok with ruining type challenge, but potentially fun. Now? I'm not sure I want to pay money to support an organization that sent a message that I think is harmful.*

What do you think? Am I overreacting? Are you as unimpressed as I am? Have you written off a company or organization because of something they've said on social media?

*I know that I probably regularly support organizations and companies who send messages that I don't agree with either because I haven't heard or seen the message or because I'm a hypocrite. But I figure I've seen this one and I was totally unimpressed with it, so that's why I'm saying something and putting my money (or lack of?) where my mouth is.