Saturday, October 30, 2010

October Recap and November Goals

So, October has been one heck of a month for us! My mom falling being hospitalized, having surgery and being cleared as cancer free, my father-in-law being hospitalized, and thankfully released yesterday, starting my new job and trying to stay sane. I posted my goals at the beginning of the month, and I thought that I had failed miserably on them. But, I am pleased to say that some things worked out:

- Running: I did do my virtual 10k races, which I won two! prizes for. I will definitely model my new gear once it comes in.
- Personal Development: there has been less ice cream and more carrots and tea. I am drinking more water, staying socially involved despite my long commute to work, and falling into a good routine.
- Work: I am still employed, so I think I am doing ok! Lots of clients, I am starting to feel like I am a part of the team, and sometimes, I even feel like I know what I am talking about. Still lots of improvement to do here though.
- blog - first giveaway done! I am also reading and commenting on a lot of your blogs when I can.

So on other things, I have not done as well. My new office has Tim Horton's runs every Thursday and Friday (Tim Hortons = the Canadian Dunkin' Donuts for you Americans) and I have failed on self control. My runs have also not been happening. Sad but true.

SO, in the past couple of days, I have been setting myself up for a good November. My friend and I have set up a healthy challenge to try and get fit. Basically, there are positive things and negative things that you can do, and a dollar value attached to each. So going for a 5k run = $5 in the bank, and eating a donut = $2 lost. The goal each day is to have a positive amount to put in the bank for a splurge item in the future. This will start tomorrow. She is holding me accountable, and vice versa, so I hope that my eating will get better.

Secondly, I decided to sign up for a gym in my neighbourhood today. It will be open in the next month or so, and will have a hot yoga room, group fitness classes, spin classes, a 25m pool and aquafit classes, lots of treadmills and is open 24 hours a day for most of the week. I know I should run outside over the winter, but I am convinced that with the days getting darker and the weather getting colder, it won't happen as much as it should, and I wanted a backup plan. This way, for the cost of one fitness class a week, I am getting access to a variety of different fitness options. Two friends in my neighbourhood have also joined, so I am sure to have gym buddies to keep me accountable!

So, with all that said, my November goals are:

1) Run more often. Nuff said.

2) Eat healthy - I would love to avoid the sweets 6/7 days a week. I think I will cave on one of the donut days, but if I am good the rest of the time it evens out. I want to try and not eat after supper, which is my worst snacking time of the day. Keep my water consumption up.

3) Keep going on the rest of my October goals. I don't want any behaviours that are positive to go to the wayside.

What are your November goals? How are you going to keep life interesting and keep yourself active as it gets colder?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

When it Rains....

In my life, I have been led to believe that things often happen in threes. Whether it be good news or bad, I find that the same type of things (deaths, pregnancies, job promotions, divorces etc) seem to happen around me in threes. And of course, there is that general sentiment that when it rains, it has a tendency of pouring.

Well, fast forward to today, when I was on the phone with a client, and one of the assistants in my office came in with a post-it note saying that my husband was on the other line, and it was an emergency. My husband is a no BS kind of guy, and isn't frazzled easily, so I immediately was concerned. Was the kidlet hurt? Was my mom's health in question again?

Unfortunately, my father-in-law has been hospitalized for some serious bleeding problems. No need for details, but I left work really quickly to drive almost 90 kms to get to the hospital to support both my husband and my father-in-law, and definitely don't regret my decision to put my family first. Father-in-law is having surgery (I think, the doctors are French, and I only have partial comprehension) on Friday, and will be under observation until then.

So despite the wonderful weather in my area this week, the running is not meant to be. I feel guilty at my laziness (ok, also at the ridiculous amount of chickpea curry I ate for supper after running around) and really need to get back on track. Luckily I have a friend with a plan to curb my eating and increase my activity level, which I should be starting on November 1st. I'll explain what it is later, but for now, I am just focusing on keeping my family together and getting through the week.

Sorry I have been such a Debbie Downer, but hey, that's life, right now mine is throwing me a curve ball. Hopefully no one else is hospitalized in my life to complete the trilogy.

Monday, October 25, 2010

CSN Winner!!!

Well, my CSN Stores Giveaway contest is officially a success!!! I am happy that there were 40 entries received, and a bunch of new followers. Welcome to everyone! I wish I had enough gift certificates to give away to you all! did my draw for me, and the winner is entry #15!!! So congratulations to LAURIE from the (Mis)adventures of a Jogging Stroller Mom who has won my $30 gift certificate!!! I think it is ironic that Laurie won this, since she was also the one who identified 3/4 of my fake Friday Facts way back in August. So Laurie, send me an email and I will get you your gift code asap!

As for me, no more snow thankfully, but my knee has decided to have an awful twingy pain all weekend. Hoping to still get in some slow runs, but I am taking it easy since I have no goal races to work towards right now. Still need to sign up for the Resolution Run 5k, and have started thinking about what my races will be next year. I might be thinking of another fall half. Maybe. I am starting to forget the pain and the time invested, and thinking about getting a better PB. I am in, as long as I can find a running buddy/coach/pacer. We'll see. I will put a list of races out here in bloggyland soon, but for now, here's my question to you:

Have you thought about your races for 2011 yet? How many are you planning on doing? Any new distances or new types of competitions? What should I consider?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Snowy Saturday?

I can't believe it, but for the past two days, there has been snow falling in our region. Sure, it's sporadic, and sure, it's not staying on the ground, but really? The minute I see snow, I start to re-evaluate my overall plan to run outside all winter. I am VERY cold adverse, and Ottawa frequently sees temperatures of -30 to -40 with windchill (so -22 to -40 for you Americans) which makes me believe I might just end up chickening out and staying in my warm bed.

I have been looking into other options, the prime ones being either buying a new treadmill, or signing up with a local gym. One is opening in my neighbourhood, will be 24 hour, and has decent rates ($40/mo) for people who sign up now and in the gym's early days, but I am still hesitant. I mean, it still takes a lot of dedication to get out of bed and drive over to the gym on a cold wintery day, even if that gym has a pool, hot yoga room, and 20 million treadmills.

Going to head out for a run this afternoon, and this week is looking like above normal weather, so for now, I don't have to worry about snow-covered ground screwing up my runs.

On some positive notes, I recently won a set of Ryder sunglasses in Laura's Jog for Joubert Syndrome !!! They look awesome, and I can't wait to try them out on my runs. I have been using my husband's discards (he goes through a lot of pairs of sunglasses) and it will be nice to have a pair of my own. Since they are pink, I am pretty sure that he's not going to steal them. Will need to double check Munchkin doesn't try to nick them though!

Lastly, you have one more day to get your entry in for my $30 CSN Stores Giveaway!!!! Glad to see that I have gotten more entries than before, but I am still hoping for more to roll in before tomorrow. Good luck to everyone (and welcome to my new followers!!!)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Cancer Free!!!!

Ok, so I guess my title for this post gives it away, but we finally got the results back on my mom, after a long surgery and a few problems with her recovery, she is healing well, and is CANCER FREE!!!!! So glad to hear that news last night.

This news, linked in with the sad news that Tall Mom on the Run's Dad passed away, makes me think of how much you need to seize the time you have in your life, and the time you have with others.

Life is for living, and enjoying with those close to you. Try not to stress too much about work; it is a means to financially support the things you love. Take up a hobby, tell a joke, always say I love you. Just make sure that you control your life and make the most of it. You never know when the world as you know it will change, and you will regret not doing the things you wanted to do.

P.S - only 10 comments on my CSN Stores giveaway??? I think we can do better!!! Go enter here:

Friday, October 15, 2010


So with my running season practically over and my financial situation looking up, I am starting to wind down and actually take a look at the things my life has been missing the past few months. One is the ability to spend some money to take care of myself and my family, above and beyond the basic daily necessities.

My focus has been on “upgrading” our home - trying to get rid of the furniture I purchased in college days and upgrading to newer and better things. I noticed a lot of bloggers hosting giveaways from CSN Stores, and I had to go check them out. They have SO MUCH STUFF!!!! There are accessories for bed, bath and well beyond. Paintings, furniture, even pet supplies and shoes!

Personally, I have been investing quite a bit of time searching through their dining room chairs, tables and sets to try and find one that can replace our big-box-store, wobbly-chaired, crystal light stained table with something that is a bit more classic and durable. I have narrowed them down to my current favourites:

#1 I love the design of this table, and that the chairs tuck under the table perfectly, but can't get past the thought that backless chairs don't seem very kid friendly.

#2 Softer, Cozier set, with a little flare. Love the base of the table and the padded chairs.

#3 - More of a classic design, I really enjoy the dark wood and sturdy large rectangular table.

#4 - The inlays on this table is what makes this set really stand out. Having the leather covering on the chair makes it a nice modern set.

#5 - I LOVE the backs of these chairs. The seats look cozy, but cream/white is not the most forgiving colour of upholstery when you have kids and spaghetti sauce all in one place.

Since I loved the store, you can imagine how THRILLED I was when they offered me the opportunity to give away $30 to spend in their store! Note: Canadian followers, CSN does ship to Canada, but you may face some international shipping charges. Just FYI!

Here are the requirements to enter:

#1 - REQUIRED - be a follower of my blog!

#2 - Tell me which of the dining room sets above you think is the best!

#3 - One entry for each blog, tweet or FB post about my giveaway!

Please post one comment for EACH entry. I will draw for the winner on October 24th!! Good luck!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Doubling up...

So, you know you are officially a runner when you agree to double up your runs, going out with two different people in one day. On Monday, after running 10k for the 10/10/10 virtual races, I wake up to my husband chomping at the bit to go out and run. He doesn't invite me often anymore, so when he asked if I wanted to come (probably because he thought my legs would be tired and I would keep better pace for him) I happily agreed. We only did a quick 2.5k, but it felt nice.

I get home, have a quick shower, and get a phone call from my original half marathon buddy. She asks me to run with her, but she's all the way across town, and I have to run out for a few things. She says it's ok, so I go about my merry way.

I get home, and out of the blue a friend who now lives about 5 hours away gives me a call - she is in town for a wedding, still has her bridesmaid hairdo and is functioning on 3 hours of sleep, but do I want to go running with her? Since I haven't seen her in forever, I put my running clothes back on and do 5k more with her. I know it doesn't seem like a big accomplishment, but I think running twice in one day shows some level of dedication (or insanity).

On a final note, I finally caved and bought bright red nail polish for my toes. My philosophy at this point is, if they are going to fall off, I don't want to know until it happens. So they are back to looking pretty!

I think I might have a giveaway coming in the near future. Keep your eyes peeled!!!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

10/10/10 Race Report(s)!

As mentioned previously, today I had a 3-in-1 race day. Last month I signed up for three virtual races: Jog for Joubert Syndrome (held by Laura at My reason to run), Running Diva Mom's virtual 10k and Marcia at Running off at the Mouth's Power of 10 race to finish. I decided that I would combine them all into one race due to the fact that my work schedule has really hindered my running ability.

So, these three races all had different elements to them. JFJS had it's own race bib to wear, which I thought was super cute:

Marcia had a competition to see who could incorporate purple into their outfit the best. So I whipped out my purple red race shirt, and my funkiest arm warmers, made from toe socks. They might be cotton, but they are cheap and kept my arms warm when I needed them! So here is my crazy outfit for the day:
(My Dog Daisy is sniffing the Sharkies in my pocket)

Finally, Running Diva wanted to see who could make the most creative race bib. I am sure it is not the MOST creative, but the little Munckin and I had fun putting together this blinged out 10/10/10 race bib, which I wore on my Camelbak:

With everything together, I headed out the door to my start point. I decided on a course very close to my house that was fairly quiet and fairly flat. It was a short 2.5k loop which I would circle 4 times to get my total distance of 10k. I was looking forward to it for several reasons: #1 it was the longest run to date since my half marathon, #2 it was the first run I was able to do all week, and #3 the weather was supposed to be gorgeous.

I headed out to my "start line", psyched myself up and off I went! I decided that in the tradition of Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend, I would try to think of 10 things I was thankful for along the way. So instead of a per km outline of my race, here are my ten things:

1. My biological family. I have not updated on this, but I am happy that my mom is finally out of the hospital and doing much better. The surgery went well, and while we are still waiting on the biopsy results, I have faith that my mom will be fine. My family has always been there for me, and I feel blessed to have them present at some of the most important moments of my life.

2. My new family. I am so thankful to not only have my blood family, but also my husband and my stepdaughter who have been there for me through all the trials and tribulations I have faced in the past 6 years. They have had patience with me when I was fighting my way through law school, when I was sure I was going to fail the bar exams, and when I had to work late at night on school reports or at my articling position. They love me for who I am, and I feel truly blessed for having them in my life.

3. My friends - Although they are not in the same category as family, there are many friends I have who mean the world to me. They have been there to cheer me up when I am down, to help me when I needed it, to share the joy in my life and to generally help me become the person I am today. Some of them also encourage me to complete half marathons and are currently trying to convince me on some runs for next year.... :P

4. I am thankful for my health. While I have faced some fairly serious injuries in the past, I am happy that I have never been hospitalized, I have generally been in good health for as long as I can remember. I was at one point much heavier than I am now, and I am thankful I took charge and changed that, because my life has been enriched by being active and by being less self conscious about my appearance. I know so many people are faced with challenges, be it from Joubert Syndrome or Lupus, and that health can never be taken for granted.

5. One of the smaller things I was thankful for along my route was the fall. I appreciated the cooler temperatures one I started running, and one of my favourite nature smells of all time (aside from the rain) is the fall leaves as they collect on the ground. Fall Colours in Ottawa are brilliant, and running in them makes me smile.

6. I am happy for my new job! God knows it was a long three months, filled with a lot of self doubt and negativity before I found this position. Although I do gripe about the distance I have to cover to get there, the job is giving me invaluable experience, and I feel like part of the team already. While I will be even happier when I get paid, I feel so lucky that I am no longer unemployed, like many people around the world are right now.

7. Petty one - I am SO thankful it is a long weekend for us Canucks. Three blissful mornings of sleeping in? Thank goodness!!!

8. I am thankful I have the Blogging world to turn to for advice, entertainment, inspiration, competition, motivation and support. Being a lone runner most of the time, it is nice to have someone to talk to when you have a question or are having a bad day. Having others who know what you have been through puts things into perspective.

9. I am thankful for the food on our table every day, and the water we take for granted. I often forget what a privileged position I am in, not only for being educated and working in a professional position, but just for having clean water and enough food to eat. Many around the world, and sadly some in Canada as well, do not have those basic essentials and struggle daily.

10. Finally, I am thankful I can run. I may never be the fastest, but I am alive and enjoying life by getting out there and running. I came across some sad news in the Blogging world today. A man named Rick from the blog "Warriorman Runs Again" died this weekend during a run. I had never read his blog before today, but after reading several of his posts, and what others have written about him, I am inspired by his character. He just wanted to get out there, no matter how slow he was, and enjoy his ability to run. He encouraged other who blogged when they had a bad day to get back up and try again. He oozed positivity and love, and the world lost something great with his passing. I would like to try and be more like Rick: worry less about the competition, the finish, and focus more on the journey, and my ability to run.

So with all those things in mind, I ran my course. I looked down at my Garmin every loop/2.5K to make sure I was on track. I passed couples taking a fall stroll, kids on bikes, a traffic stop, and a lot of chubby squirrels. I pushed myself and am happy to announce a new PR! 1:04:36! It's not the under 1 hour that I long to get to, but I'm still SO happy!
Now I'm off to enjoy the rest of the day with my family. To all the Canucks: HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!! To everyone: Be sure to take the time to remember what you have in your life to be thankful for. All to often, we get caught up in life and forget.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

How am I going to do this?

Well, quick post from me, mainly because I am exhausted and need to get to bed before 11 tonight. Started work on Monday, and boy, are they LONG days. Up by 6, out of the house by 7, 75 minute drive, 9.5 hour day, 75 drive home, food, lunch making, child tending, house cleaning, SLEEP.

I am really hoping that I am able to settle in more the longer I am there, because right now it is taking a bit of a toll on my physically. Driving, which is something I didn't do on a regular basis, is giving me headaches, and my body is recoiling from losing at least 2 hours of sleep each night. BUT, with all that said and done, I am really liking my new workplace so far, and the people do seem very nice.

The one downside to this job is how it is a major interference with my running plan. I am out of the house when it is dark, and get home (in the dark) hungry and exhausted. Of all the things my work does not have, it is shower facilities. So, I am a bit at a loss for how to get my running in. I have heard stories of some runners (ahem, Marlene: using baby wipes to clean up when they don't have access to a shower, but I am worried about how that would go over. I might just have to suck it up, run at lunch but go easy so that I don't get too funky smelling. If anyone has suggestions, I am all ears!!!

Toegate 2010: The toes are thankfully healing nicely, they are all still purple black, but no longer painful to shove into 3" heels. Good timing for that to clear up... ;) I think I am past the point where any of them would fall off, so I might head out to the store and pickup some purple nail polish just in case I feel the need to sport open toed shoes while the weather is still decent.

Other than that, I am one boring Jane. I hope to work on my preparations for this weekend's race soon, and am looking forward to giving you all another race report, hopefully with photos from my neighbourhood. It's nice, the idea of doing a race on your own turf. Comforting to know where the twists and turns are, plan water station, and avoid big hills...I mean, I am trying to PR here..... ;)

Hope to have three things to come back and post on Thursday! Hope everyone is getting out there and enjoying their runs in the nice, cool fall weather!

Friday, October 1, 2010

October Goals

Well, suddenly I realized today that September is gone, and October has shown up with all its fall colours. Life is finally settling down, and I am reminded of the fact that I really have no goals to work towards right now. I got a job, I ran a half marathon, so now I need to set up new tasks to keep me on track. So here goes nothing:

1. Running - stay with a running routine, try to get 2-3 runs a week, 5k or more, hopefully with a longer run each week. Also I need to convince my hubby to hurry up and start running 5k. He is holding himself back with fear, and I need a running buddy if I am going to keep dragging my sorry butt outside as it gets cold, so I figure I can convince him to suffer with me. Runs scheduled: 10k on the 10th right now, hopefully I will get the money for the resolution run (5k with hubby) soon.

2. Personal Development - First, start eating better and drop some weight. Goal would be 4 pounds this month, and about 10 pounds overall. Less chocolate and ice cream, more carrots and tea. Second, go out with my husband more. Have dates every couple of weeks. Keep up with social engagements with friends, despite the fact I won't have as much free time with work. Sleep more, wash my face every day, take care of me. This summer drove me nuts a bit, so I hope with work comes routine, and with routine comes some self control and sanity.

3. Work - settle into a routine. Not rip my hair out at the 2 hours of driving I will be doing each day. Like my job, like the people I work with, learn a lot about being a lawyer. Feel confident in my abilities.

4. Blog - stay interesting. Host my first giveaway! Start doing some of the regular posts (three things Thursday, wordless Wednesday, etc). Read and comment on what others are doing whenever I can.

Ran only 2.5k on my toes on Wednesday. Felt ok, but didn't want to push them. I think they will stick around for a while, so I'm pretty happy about that. Have to get out for a run this weekend, keep my mileage up so I am ready for my virtual races next week!

Sending good weekend vibes to all!