Monthly Archives: April 2012

zoom to the finish

saturday eve found me back in elmira, raring to go for part two of the EndurRace event!

elmira is rightly very proud of its maple syrup festival!

our distance this time was 8k – hallelujah for 3 more km’s to run than last week.

same compression socks, different shoes (brooks ghost 2's), redone racing nails, lucky gloves!

the gel noosas were miffed that they had to stay home this week…but, i wanted to give my brooks ghosts a go! i’ve got ‘em broken in just so.

the weather saturday eve was even more perfect than last week for running:

four degrees warmer (11 degrees C) and less windy...

...and more sun!

the course was almost the same as last week’s square, just a bit larger. i give the course designs an A+: they were picturesque, quiet, mostly flat. this week, i smelled bbq hamburgers along with the cow manure as we toured along (not a pleasing combination, trust me).

watch for runners! (all drivers i encountered waited patiently for us to pass)

[true confession: after last week’s results, i was not running solely for FUN, i was out for blood. i am only kinda joking].

my legs found their groove at the 4 k mark. at 5 k, i thought, “hey! last week i was done already!” and i was very glad i was not done already, this week. i really felt good at the 7 k mark.

the field for the 8k was much smaller than for last week’s 5 k – like, there were about 100 less participants. [the waterloo half and full marathons were yesterday morning, that may have taken away some potential 8k participants]. weirdly, from about 6 k on, i had no one within sight. it was a bit lonely!

i finished feeling strong and with a big smile – the way it should be.

numbers!

time: 38:20 (chip time 38:14)

2/15 in age group

9/102 in females

69/215 overall

funny enough, i felt like i was running slower than last week, but i had an average pace of 4:48 per km which is 3 seconds faster than last week…see, i told you i need more distance!!

top three masters females, overall! me, 1st place, 3rd place

after the race, i hung out with some regular customers from the store (that sounds funny but i can’t really call them “friends,” so what else to say?!)…no photos because i do not know any of these people well enough to say “can i put your photo on my blog?!”

and, i won a draw prize this week! i chose a saucony drawstring bag – it was either that or a water bottle. soooo many people stuck around this week for the prizes and awards – i think the lure of the $250 cash final draw prize and the awards for the 5 + 8 k combined events kept people interested.

numbers for 5 + 8 k combined events!

1:02:34 total time

1/9 in age group

6/64 for females

54/145 participants

after doing two 6 pm races, here are my thoughts on the benefits and negatives of running an early evening race:

pros:

~ i felt loose and warmed up after a day of moving around. no tightness or stiffness that you sometimes have first thing in the morning.

~ i had time to gear up mentally, and excitement grew over the hours of the day so that by race time, i was psyched to get the show on the road!

~ the temps were warmer than first thing in the a.m.

~ no, er….potential for gastro-intestinal distress, if you get what i mean, later in the day

cons:

~ w.a.i.t.i.n.g until early eve to run – my circadian rhythms like to get out in the early a.m. so i found it tough to wait til later in the day to get running.

~ since i worked at the store for five hours each saturday, my legs were not fresh like they are in the morning.

so, now that BOTH parts of the EndurRace are complete and the work is done, i can wear the tshirt this week!

all of the collectibles: bib, saucony draw prize bag, TSHIRT!!!, and three medals

[all participants in the combined 5 & 8k distances received the finisher’s medal on the black ribbon that you see in the photo, there].

the next race is all picked out. giddy-up!

~*~*~*~*~

and just like that, today’s entry concludes our participation in the blogging from a-z challenge. i am so glad i joined in. i genuinely enjoyed the blogging-by-alphabet concept and felt creatively inspired. april zipped right past!

the challenge organizers have invited us to write a final a-z reflections post on monday, may 7th, so i am going to wait for that date to share my conclusions and impressions.

april: did it go fast or slow for you?? just like a marathon, the beginning and end dates sped by while the middle days progressed at a more languid pace.

yogurt: it was greek

boy, do i wish today’s post was entitled YOGA: A BIKRAM NEW EXPERIENCE. i am so sad that i still have not made it to hot yoga. that was supposed to be a new experience last year, for heaven’s sakes!

instead, you are stuck with a yogurt review. lame, i know.

this is the yogurt:

i've had greek yogurt before, just not this brand

this is how i like to eat it:

frozen, with choco chips plopped on the top. see, i DO know how to cook! :D

this is what i thought of this liberté brand: it was fine. to be honest, i didn’t taste much difference between regular yogurt and this greek yogurt. i bought the greek because this brand delivers a whopping 18 g of protein per 3/4 cup serving. so healthy, so satisfying! (although, is there anything that does not taste delightful with the addition of chocolate chips?!).

this is funny: back on march 20th, the globe and mail taste-tested various greek yogurt brands which are available in canada. this liberté 0% did not make the grade! i quote: “On taste and texture, we disqualified Quebec-based Liberté’s 0 per cent (“Thin, lumpy, chalky”).”

ok, then! since i did not mind this yogurt (i repeat, the consistency was similar to non-greek types) at all, what does that say about my taste buds??! you can read the globe and mail article here, if you wish. [i had forgotten that liberté was on the yuck list when i made my greek yogurt purchase – it was on sale, that was the motivating factor].

at this moment, i have a second greek yogurt just waiting to be taste-tested:

the latest and greatest??

we’ll see if there’s much of a difference!

what is your favourite type of yogurt? (this mundane question is perfectly fitting for a less-than-scintillating blog post). i like silhouette or president’s choice brands for regular, plain yogurt. i also quite like kefir which is like a really runny yogurt, if you have not tried it. question, bloggies: does chobani live up to the hype, in your opinion?

~*~*~*~*~

YIPPEE!!

i finished the seed stitch baby blanket on monday (seven days ahead of *schedule,* i will remind you):

seven balls of yarn later...(the colour sequence is 1,2,3,4,3,2,1).

whew, that was quite the project! it is a one-of-a-kind because i do not anticipate ever again knitting a blanket entirely in seed stitch on 2 mm needles with sock yarn.

close up - i'm pleased with how the seed stitch pattern works well with the variegated yarn -> texture + colour!

and i will reiterate that i am banned from making any more baby blankets until i deplete my stash!

two new projects are on the go!…

XL revisited

one day last week, i made the time to take myself out for a solo coffee outing. while i love and adore meet-ups in coffee shops with friends or family, sometimes it is just nice to get out by yourself.

i debated returning to tim horton’s and repeating my XL coffee order…but then i remembered just how much coffee would be involved (seriously, that XL is large enough to drown in) and thought the better of it.

so, i went to the coffee shop that has the best decaf in the ‘hood, imo!…

thumbs up for the convenient location, interior ambiance...and coffee!

just for the blog [i needed my “x” idea for the blogging challenge!], i ordered the biggest size of coffee possible:

$2.05 for that cup on the far right...i think that's about 50% of the price of s'bux??!

i chose a window seat, and got out my journal:

ready to brainstorm!

now, my cardinal journal (a goderich purchase so it has very good vibes associated with it) is not to be confused with my daily journal. i only use the cardinal notebook…

that's "my bird!"

…for when i want to do some deep thinking. writing with pen on paper seems so old-fashioned nowadays, but it is still such a satisfying process – i find ideas just freeflow as fast as i can record them!

the coffee culture coffee was x-cellent and i thoroughly enjoyed my relaxing, mid-day break.

do you ever take work to a coffee shop? some people find the neutral territory helpful in getting down to business; other people are distracted by the activity and people watching. the trend to use a coffee shop as a mobile office has sure blossomed over the past few years.

my favourite local coffee shop at which to compose blog posts is café 1842 – the vibe (and quick internet connection, haha!) is just right, there.

wheels used by potters make artful creations

wow, mom and i are on a roll! two weekends, two artsy outings…i could get used to this lifestyle!

last friday eve, mom and i met up in my lobby and headed over to the spring pottery sale held at the rec centre:

friday eve was the only available time this weekend that really meshed with schedules

for some unknown reason, dad passed on the opp to join us...maybe his ears needed a rest...mom and i tend to talk a lot!

despite the overcast skies, and prediction of evening rain showers, we marched the seven minutes walk over to the rec centre. upon arriving, we were greeted by a pottery demo:

there were tons of awestruck kids standing alongside, all staring in wonderment!

this is the third spring pottery sale we have attended (2010 report is here, 2011 recap is here!). for this outing, neither mom nor i really had anything specific in mind that we wanted to purchase; our goal was more or less to chitchat extensively check out the pottery and see if something grabbed us.

here’s a petite tour:

i liked the spring flower pattern on this set of dishes!

i took this picture mainly for the sign, "wee bowls," but the little bowls themselves were super cute, too!

i was trying to imagine how you would create each of these shapes on the potter's wheel...what a remarkable artform.

a unique toothbrush holder! but the practical side in me thought, 1) how would you clean it? 2) i am sure i would knock it over and break it!

of course, i appreciated seeing my favourite birdie!

this bowl was my favourite item of the evening: i love the texture and the bright colours of the glazes.

what a cute bowl! it would make a fine addition to my eclectic dishes collection. it's not big enough to hold my salads, however!

an example of the symmetry achieved with a potter's wheel....simple beauty.

unfortunately, mom and i left the sale empty-handed this year. mom did debate purchasing two of these little knives…

mom currently has eight little spreaders that she has collected over the years from this sale...

…but the vibe was not 100% correct.

[we had to laugh because mom deviated from our usual system, and took a basket as soon as we entered the sale. murphy’s law, of course we found nothing. had we not had a basket with us, we would have been fumbling with numerous items, i am sure!].

mom, you will not be allowed to pick up a basket again!

as we exited the rec centre, we noticed the ground was wet with rain – oh no! would we be soaked by the time we got home again?? luckily, we had a window of clear conditions, and made it home safe and sound dry and warm. by the time i arrived in my unit, it was bucketing again! that cardinal sighting did bring us good luck!

it’s fascinating to see the variety of shapes and colour combos on exhibit at the pottery sale. i appreciate the work involved, and the talent of the potters. the pottery sale is as much an art gallery outing as a chance to purchase items!

the weekend also featured a used book sale in uptown waterloo – too bad it was not scheduled for this coming weekend so that we could attend yet another sale!

~*~*~*~*~

just as pottery can range from the simple to the complex, our discussion questions today will follow suit!

easy question: have you ever used a potter’s wheel? me = i think once, or maybe not? (?? i am fuzzy on the memory). the pros make it look so easy!

challenging question: in one sentence, write an analogy comparing how using a potter’s wheel is like life. the minister at the church i grew up in was a skilled amateur potter. he used to give a sermon where he used his potter’s wheel to demonstrate life lessons. i was fortunate to see it a few times, and it was a really powerful presentation filled with a-ha moments.

vancouver ’84

whew, i am so very glad i remembered about this family vacation to vancouver way back in 1984. otherwise, i would have been forced to become vegan for a week, just to fulfill my letter “v” obligations for this great blogging from a-z challenge. [i do not know enough about either vampires or volcanos to put together a coherent and educational blog post on these subjects. oh, and i have no objections to trying veganism (aka extreme vegetarianism?! )sometime, i just can’t be bothered, right now].

even after all these years, when i stop to reflect, i can pull up so many memories of our family trip out west in the summer of 1984 (i was 14 and going into grade 9, and the brother was 11, going into grade 6). our holiday was about two weeks in length. we flew from toronto to calgary, then rented a car and did a tour from calgary -> banff -> jasper -> kelowna and kamloops -> vancouver -> victoria -> back to calgary and home again via airplane to toronto.

calgary was exciting to my fourteen year old self because of the time change (we went back two hours) and because the air was so dry! (southern ontario is known for its humidity). i distinctly remember all of us waking up in the morning in calgary absolutely parched!

i searched through my photo albums for visuals to share with you…and came up with a measly four photos. i guess karma is trying to tell me to keep this blog post short. [mom and dad, i think you must have a larger collection??!]

dad, the brother and mom on the columbia icefields

we took a formal tour of the columbia icefields, one day. the strongest memory is of how impressed we were with the huge tires on the bus-thing that we rode on! we were also amazed at the vast scope of the icefields…and that there was all this ice in july!

the view of downtown vancouver

in both vancouver and calgary, we stayed in hotels (holiday inn, maybe??) that had many floors. the brother and i begged to stay as high up as we could, and the parents obliged…although, i do remember that mom got so nervous when we went out on the balcony because she feared the swirling winds would suck us over the edge (we mocked her greatly for this, as only a 14 and an 11 year old can do).

me on the grounds of the capilano suspension bridge - check out the size of that maple leaf i am showing off!

we LOVED our day at the capilano suspension bridge. we felt like adventurers as we gleefully traipsed across the gaping expanse!

(source)

injecting some fun into our visit to butchart gardens, victoria

butchart gardens is a big tourist attraction. all i remember is flowers…flowers…more flowers (yawn)…still more – you got it – flowers…is it time to swim at the hotel yet??

a few other vivid memories:

~ going to a cfl football game: the b.c. lions played the ottawa rough riders. we cheered loudly and frequently for the ontario visitors which did not make us very popular with the home crowd!

~ shopping in vancouver’s chinatown: we had never seen whole chickens hanging from shop windows before!

~ dad treating us to a swanky dinner one night at a fancy seafood restaurant. i had scallops for the first time, and loved them!

~ trying to find the hoodoos in drumheller, alberta. we drove and drove and drove and drove some more…the brother and i were bored out of our minds, and mom and dad were squabbling over directions…when we finally found the land formations, we were all like, woop-dee-doo, that’s how tired and out-of-sorts we were. the brother and i just wanted to get back to the hotel to swim!

(source)

guess what – i still have two souvenirs from the vancouver ’84 trip. it will come as no surprise to you that they are…

tshirts!

and i still wear them!

the inspiration behind today's title

my tee from vancouver's chinatown - we all got the same design on a different background colour! (yellow, blue, red...what was the 4th one?!).

i am so very grateful to mom and dad for the family vacations that we all enjoyed, growing up (florida in grade 3 and a tour of eastern canada in 1981 come first to mind). travel is such a gift to give to children.

you can hop on a plane today to VACATION anywhere in the world. where are you going? i’ll pick hawaii! never been, and it’s got sun and heat!

upgrade? yes or no

i’d say that 80% of the time, i very much appreciate owning a blackberry:

i never have gotten around to replacing that ugly protective case; i want something with coloured sequins and big bling!

i’ve had this blackberry bold (no clue as to what version it is, sorry) for about two years?? (i’m fuzzy on the timeline). i’ve become addicted (yes, let’s call it what it is) to knowing the precise moment i get an email (bing!). i love being able to access the internet whenever/wherever. and, the instant message system is brilliant for quickly getting in touch with a contact (although i limit my communications to twitter-type lengths as my typing on the blackberry still really sucks…i rely on creatively inserting emoticons – so expressive in lieu of words!).

the 20% of the time that i would like to chuck the blackberry into a river is due to two things: 1) if i am feeling all zen-y and thinking, why do i need to be FYI’d on an email immediately?? because if i hear that *bing!* or *buzz…*, you can bet that i am anxious to check out what’s going on asap. 2) if something goes wrong technically, i freak out get quite anxious! how do i fix this??? what is going on??? eeeekk, help!!!

i also fully realize that the capabilities offered by my blackberry go far and beyond what i am using it for. i bet i use about 5% of the functions…i really should get a “blackberry for dummies” guide and teach myself about what i am missing out on [or am i really missing out?? let’s get zen-y, again!].

last week, i was accessing a blog, and all of sudden i got a white cloud of death on my blackberry screen. the connection seemed to be stuck at the “requesting/loading” stage. i exited out of the internet search, and tried again a few more times – nope, the same white screen of nothingness appeared with each effort. over the next couple hours, i realized that email, blackberry messaging, the phone…all of these functions were working fine, it was just trying to access the internet that was the problem.

my first response was to turn the blackberry off, then back on [please note that i never turn the blackberry off, i just change the sound from “normal” to “silent” at night]. this great idea did not solve my issue.

well, things work out: i had to be at theOTHERstore later that afternoon, so i had the perfect amount of time to slip into the bell store at fairview park mall, and seek professional assistance. i explained my situation to the very kind sales associate. i think my stupidity beginner-level knowledge was written all over my face – she was very patient and didn’t make me feel like an idiot. the first thing she did was slip the battery out of the blackberry, wait a couple seconds, and then she put it back in [i now know this is called a soft reset – whoa-ho!!]. little blackberry recharged itself…and poof! internet access! problem solved! i sang and danced. (ok, not really, i kept my joy to offering my profuse thanks).

so, yes, i did feel like a dork because the solution was such a blackberry 101 type-thing. however, i learned something, my blackberry is fine (i had feared the what if of an expensive replacement being needed), and i am very grateful that the bell staff are there to help!

[funny tangent: when i arrived at theOTHERstore, i started recounting my adventure to my colleague. scarcely had i started my story, when he interrupted me: “so, did you take out the battery to reset the blackberry?” obviously, this is a standard fix-it procedure about which i had been unawares!].

so here is the question of the day: i found out that i have the option of upgrading to a newer blackberry. i can switch over to a curve model for free, or to the newest bold (the same model that mom and dad just got – the 9790??) for $25.

what to do?

i am perfectly happy with my current blackberry. should i upgrade just for fun, because i can, or should i keep what i have? i hesitate primarily because i like how i have all my favourites, my contacts etc on the current blackberry. now, i do understand that i can transfer the data to my laptop (i even have the 800 number to call to have a bell rep walk me through how to do that) and then transfer it over to the new bb, but that strikes me as a PITA process since i have no complaints (although, i also learned at the bell store that i should have my blackberry info on my laptop, as back-up).

anyway, i appreciate any advice or any opinion-sharing you wish to give!

tshirt! it’s all about the tshirt!

do you remember when canadian supermodel linda evangelista famously sneered, “i don’t get out of bed for less than $10 000 a day?”

(source)

well, that has been my sentiment exactly, over the years, when it comes to running a 5k organized event. yawn and yuck.

i have such harsh feelings towards the 5k because it takes me 30 minutes of running to find my rhythm, get in the zone and get those endorphins flowing. well, the 5k race is over before these positive feelings get a chance to kick in. so, in 23 years of running, i think i have completed less than five 5k runs.

i need to retract my scornful words. saturday eve found me in elmira running the 5k EndurRace.

why did i decide to run a distance i dislike, at a time of day that is not enjoyable to me (the race had a 6 pm start time – i am emphatically a first-thing-in-the-morning runner)??

FOR THE TSHIRT!!

saturday i worked at the store til 4 pm, then came home and got ready for the run:

racing shoes (asics gel noosas), racing socks (the new compression socks!), racing nails (my pre-run ritual) - we're set!

the quaint town of elmira (site of the super-popular maple syrup festival!) is a quick and easy 15 minute drive from home. i arrived early, found parking in a snap, picked up my race bib and TSHIRT, and had time to get organized and socialize, all without being stressed for time.

promptly at 6 pm, the race began. the EndurRace is part of the runwaterloo series, and race director lloyd has been at this game for so many years that things tick along like a well-oiled machine at his events.

the race course was great – pancake flat, and we wound through a scenic and lovely neighbourhood in elmira. nothing like running along and breathing in the fresh scent of cow manure. the course was a loop shape which is my favourite type because you don’t pass the same sights twice! conditions were practically perfect for running: about 7 degrees C, overcast skies, and while there was a bit of a cool wind, it wasn’t hideous.

now, i had NO CLUE as to what time i could expect to get. my goals were to 1) finish smiling 2) run comfortably with purpose yet within myself 3) finish smiling. i train sans timing devices, and run by how i feel, so i was interested to see what would unfold over the 5k distance.

5k goes fast!

the start/finish banner (taken after the race, not as i approached!).

i ran old-school with my car key laced onto my shoe!

as i neared the finish line, i looked at the timing display, and was extremely surprised to see 24:00 on the clock! well, ok, then!

all in all, it was a really fun time. i saw a lot of familiar faces from the store, the community, and my old racing days, and enjoyed the social aspect of the event thoroughly.

post-race, with becky!

with race director lloyd!

[(blog reader) ali, i missed you after the race – i was going to ask you for a photo!! i hope you had fun!]

here are my results (you can find the total race results here):

time – 24:14 with a chip time of 24:08

2/17 in age group, 12/133 females

i’ll take it!

i stuck around and enjoyed the post-race food and music. lloyd did some draw prizes (i did not win, too bad), and then the awards were presented. i ended up getting 2nd masters female!

(L to R) - 1st, 2nd, 3rd place masters females!

hardware to go with my tshirt memento!

oh – and what of the tshirt that was the whole intent and purpose of doing this event?

THE TSHIRT!!

well, i am laughing because it has got to be the most butt-ugly one of the most…uniquely coloured race tshirts i have ever seen. at least it is made of tech fabric! and i have no other maroon race tees!…but good golly, give me a plain old white-based shirt any day.

collectibles!

what did you do saturday eve? i’m about ready for another “saturday night at the movies” outing!

socks that compress

arm warmers, minimalist footwear, the paleo diet, ice baths…the running community is quick to embrace the next! big! thing! that is espoused in the media as the must-do/must-have item to improve! your! running!

over the last year or so, compression socks have soared in popularity among professional and recreational runners:

see meb run! in his CEP compression socks! (ad in the latest runner's world mag)

well, i am not one to let a bandwagon go by without jumping on (except for ice baths – ick) so, after hearing a clinic guest speaker at the store describe, in detail, the many benefits of wearing compression socks, and after hearing friends rave on about the joy of wearing these special socks, i purchased a pair:

my box o' sox

you’re probably familiar with the concept of compression socks from seeing old people wearing the hideous flesh-coloured ones on airplanes. well, believe it or not, the running versions follow the same type of design, and provide similar benefits to the medical socks (improved circulation, for example) – they just look more fun!

the "compression section" of our sock wall...

...and a close up of the brands (i forgot our house brand - oops!).

as you can see in that photoS (^^), we carry a few different brands of compression socks at the store, ranging in price from $25.99 to $79.99. mine are the CEP brand (yup, the $79.99 ones!). just click on the link, there, to read all about the socks. [i am not going to go into great descriptive detail, here – i don’t know about you, but whenever i see product info on other blogs, i just skip over those paragraphs. it’s much more interesting to read personal accounts!].

in order to give my socks a fair assessment, i wore them for three consecutive days, this past week. [aren’tcha glad this isn’t a scratch ‘n’ sniff blog?! haha!]. here is what i found…

day one: monday april 16th (BOSTON MARATHON MONDAY!)

details: an eleven hour work day, hours split between the storeS.

a warm day! let's show these babies off! i chose muted shoes so as not to distract from the socks!

ready for work!

impressions:

  • i gave myself an extra 5 minutes to get dressed – good call! the socks were quite the challenge to pull on because they are so tight (which is how they are supposed to fit). i also put one on way crooked and had to complete a do-over.
  • the socks are super comfortable! i can tell i am wearing them, but they just feel supportive, not constrictive. i most notice the feel of the fabric on my calves.
  • the test: after many hours on my feet, my left ankle has a tendency to get a little puffy; i was interested to see whether the socks would make a difference. when i pulled the socks off at night…yes! my left ankle was completely normal! i am impressed.
  • conclusion after day one: i’m a fan (both of the feel and of the look – rockin’ the retro 70’s style!). i would wear these all day, every day, no hesitation (however, i do not think i could sleep in them because they are just noticeable enough that i don’t think i could fall asleep with them on).

day two: tuesday april 17th

details: a morning run; errands completed on foot in uptown; a shorter late aft/evening shift at the store.

i pair the socks with my (canary feet) adidas adistar boston 2's for the run...if nothing else, this get-up will help me be more visible to traffic!

off to do my errands; no daffodils were harmed in the snapping of this photo! let's match our shoes to our socks, today!

impressions:

  • during my run: awesome! like yesterday, i can notice i have socks on up to my knees, but it’s a good, supportive feeling, not annoying. i pretend i am an elite – wheeee!
  • did the socks quicken post-run recovery? i honestly couldn’t tell ya.
  • i pretty much don’t notice the socks during the day and evening. i like that the fabric is not itchy.
  • i laugh because i feel like i am back in grade school when i wore knee socks practically every day!

see?! these are my "first day of school" photos for grades 1-4 - note the knee socks in EVERY SINGLE PICTURE!

day three: wednesday april 18th

details: aunti day in toronto!

ready for playtime!

the socks visit the playground with little e!

impressions:

  • the socks were easier to put on this morning (likely because this was their third day of wear!)
  • today was about 9 degrees; i wonder if the socks feel too hot when it’s july temps??

final thoughts:

  • i bet the placebo effect is a factor for those who choose to wear compression socks.
  • i would love another pair of CEP socks (ok, i’ll take every colour available, thanks) and i’d also like to try another brand.
  • i would not purchase these socks if i had to pay the regular retail price of $79.99. they are very enjoyable…but so are my $9.99 nike socks. i just cannot fathom paying over $80 (with tax) for socks.
  • do you dare me…

...to pair the socks with my silver lame shorts?!

now all the socks need is to be tested in a race! wait…oh, yea! they’re going to get that opportunity….tonight!

disclaimer: i purchased my CEP socks with my very own money, although i did receive them at a nicely discounted price, thanks to an employee purchase program through the store. CEP did not ask me to review these socks, i am not being compensated for sharing my impressions, and all thoughts expressed in today’s blog post are my very own. [haha! i love when i can insert a clause like this to a blog post – it makes me feel like a professional blogger!].

would you be willing to try compression socks, either for sport or for travel? i will wear these on my next plane flight!

what’s the most you would be willing to pay for compression socks? they may be a christmas list item for many people!

running – duh

whoa! we’re going to stop short

(source)

right here.

if we get going on such an all-encompassing topic like running, this post could be record-setting in length! similar to knitting, running has so many directions (memories! products! shoes! trainingmotivationmovieselites!) which we could debate and explore…it is best to not even begin.

one area not ever discussed is a running bucket list. i know i’ve shared some items from my LIFE bucket list (all together now: see madonna live, in concert; dye my hair platinum blond; ride on a float in a parade…) but i also have a subcategory on that list that specifically relates to races and events i would one day like to complete.

here, then, is the kiki running bucket list (twelve dreams, in no particular order):

~ run the nyc marathon (i have never been to new york city, and my dream would be to see all five boroughs for the first time by running through them)

~ requalify for and go back to boston

~ complete the endurrun series (this is a tour de france-style eight day, seven stage, 160 km running event held right in my own backyard, here in waterloo)

~ finish a 100 mile event (an ez one [oxymoronic??!] would be fine! i have no desire to do a hardcore trail event like western states, or even sulphur springs…i am thinking something like umstead would be nice)

~ do the jfk 50 miler (i was registered for this one back in the early 2000’s but a groin injury gave me a dns)

~ meet gina and jeff somewhere (vegas?!) and do a race (jeff can scoot ahead and me and gina can run + laugh)

~ break 40:00 minutes again in a 10k (only accomplished a couple of times in my life, thus far)

~ cross a finish line, hand-in-hand with dad, again!

~ run a half marathon every month for a year

~ do a streak year of running at least three miles every single day

~ run a 5 k every weekend for a year (there are enough races in southern ontario that this endeavour would be entirely possible…although maybe i should be retired, given the travel time that would be needed?).

~ run in a costume (be a princess at disney?!)

none of the events on this list are of such paramount importance that i will obsess and fret over them and think that life is not complete if they never come to fruition. it’s just fun to daydream and then see what comes to pass! years ago, i never would have dreamed that i would run an ultra, run boston, or run in moab, utah…these are all examples of really neat experiences that have been accomplished.

we’ve already shared bucket list items before, so let’s simply look at this topic from another angle:

what’s one life bucket list item that you have already completed? i’ll go with getting a tattoo (ok, i got two, and have at least one more planned!).

queuing

i am not sure whether i should call having to wait in a line up a pet peeve or a form of torture. all i know is that there are few things in life that drive me as batty as having to line up – in any way, shape or form.

i accept no responsibility whatsoever for this personal failing – i squarely cast all blame for my lack of patience on dear dad – lovely man, but dad has not one patient bone in his entire body when it comes to line ups. so, i had no hope from day one, and my impatience is a genetic inheritance. [shrug of shoulders].

to dr phil myself, i completely understand why i hate waiting: it’s because there is no definite timeframe (“it will take forty-two minutes to get through airport security!” or “you will be stuck on the 401 for three hours and three minutes!” [tangent: another reason i love my dentist -> they are always on time!]). type a control freaks do not take open-ended timing well!

(source)

so, without further ado, here are random thoughts on the queue:

murphy’s law: let’s say there are six checkouts open at zehrs. they all have several people lined up, waiting to pay. i’ll eyeball the shoppers and their carts and dive into the line that looks the shortest. invariably, the one i pick will turn out to be the slowest of the options.

a way back playback memory: when we were little, our family often went to the kitchener farmer’s market on saturday mornings. talk about crowds: boy, we’d all be packed like sardines in the aisles between the vendors, that’s how popular the market was on a weekend morning. one specific outing sticks in my mind – dad and i couldn’t take the slowpoke, shuffling pace being forced upon us by the masses of marketgoers, and just like in the video game frogger…

(source)

…we sped ahead of the brother and my mom, darting left, squeezing right, jostling passersby, slamming forward. what did we prove? absolutely nothing. but it sure was satisfying to determine the pace.

illegal avoidance technique: if i am out walking and i get to a red light, i will look both ways – and look both ways again – and walk against the red light if there is no traffic approaching. however: this action never occurs at the intersection of caroline and erb, in my ‘hood. that corner is absolutely terrible when you do have the green light and right-of-way to walk!

queuing as it relates to concert tickets: i’ve never done the camp-out-overnight-in-a-lawnchair-to-get-tickets-for-U2 type-thing, and can’t say that i feel i’ve missed out on a great life experience. thanks to the internet, this form of capturing seats to an in-demand performance may be a thing of the past.

the coldest i have ever been in my life: the winter after little e was born (so, january 2007), sil ana got wind of a lululemon warehouse sale being held in downtown toronto. she organized a meet-up with herself, her two sisters, and me. we decided to go on the morning of opening day (mistake #1) in order to catch the best selection. well, if that thursday did not prove to be the coldest day in toronto of the whole winter – i think the HIGH temp was -22 degrees C. i bundled up well, but wore trail running shoes instead of boots (mistake #2). we got to the site of the sale only to find a lineup snaking around several city blocks. we joined in. about two hours later, we had not moved an inch. we decided to throw in the towel and head home. it is surprising that i still have living toes. i don’t think i have ever been so chilled to the bone – ever!! [we later found out that by saturday, there were no lineups at all, and you were able to simply walk in and shop]. i would have been forgiving of my state of popsicleness had i been able to score some lulu goods, eventually!

the only time i exhibit patience: if little e or cutie c are involved, suddenly i have all the time in the world.

do you tend to keep people waiting or are you habitually early? i follow the five minute guideline – a 3 pm rendezvous means a 2:55 pm arrival!

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