Tag Archives: Running

and for the fashionable christmas runner…

my list of new holiday running gear that i covet is starting to sound a lot like “this is the house that jack built” (you know that children’s ditty where you add on another item to your list with each go-round).

to go with the pro compression socks i showed you the other day…


…please, please, santa bring me the holiday sweater long sleeve tech shirt!!


^^ here, the shirt is modeled by runner’s world celeb, bart yasso. i first saw this fabulous xmas tech item here on the rw website on friday. how GREAT would it be to run in this shirt…(i’ll show you another view…)


or, for doing a tready run, how about this santa tank?

as seen at "harmony by earthwinds" in uptown

as seen at “harmony by earthwinds” in uptown

[might have to scoot by and pick that up today, before they are all gone…].

just for laughs, i also would wear this tank to a race in say, june! hey, christmas is in our hearts year-round, right?!

i think the winning fashion item of the season is still the jamie oliver pullover – perfect for après-run knitting/movie time!


have you bought any new festive attire (running or normal-wear) this year? my stuff never wears out! i’ve got a sweater, two sweatshirts and two turtlenecks that are at least fifteen years old. because the pieces see the light of day one month per year, they will likely last another fifteen years!


i feel a lot of sadness as i reflect on the tragic shootings that occurred in newtown. i can’t comprehend the pain the families are feeling…what a senseless act of violence. i guess all we can do is send supportive thoughts and prayers to everyone affected and hug our own loved ones at every opportunity.


i love when i have free stuff that i can talk about on the blog, here. makes me feel like a pro (as in professional runner + blogger!).


recently, i earned myself a pair of saucony shoes, and i chose the saucony triumph 9’s:

also available in a HOT PINK version – which i gladly would have accepted!

it’s been about twenty years since i last wore sauconys. they tend to have a wider toe box and i have a narrow foot, so our relationship was not always optimal. but when i tried on the triumph 9’s at the store, they felt awesome, so i decided to go with them.

for the past week or so, i wore my new shoes out and about, for walks, and to work. then yesterday, i tried them for an ez-paced 6k recovery run [sidenote: while you should not have to “break in a pair of shoes” – they should feel comfortable from the first ten seconds you have them on – i do not recommend that you wear a new pair for a long run, your first time out!].  my thoughts as i was running: 1) i do not feel like a gazelle – these shoes are the heaviest i have worn in quite some time 2) i do not feel a lot of impact – great shock absorption! i could comfortably run a marathon in these shoes, i bet! 3) the triumphs are “triumphing” in their initiation test [haha, composing a pun as i run…that is fun] 3) these shoes are going to go into my active rotation, for sure.

the triumph 9’s can best be described as a workhorse running shoe: they are solid, heavily cushioned and very comfortable. i often tell customers that you want a running shoe that best feels like a bedroom slipper -> these triumph 9’s DO feel like that to me…just a very, very cushy pair of slippers! added bonus: the slightly-elastic laces are quite long – handy for people who lace their shoes with the “bunny ears” method.

a friend who works at a saucony outlet store told me that the triumph is saucony’s best selling model, and i can see why – it’s got a lot going for it, even with the heavier weight. (let’s face it, unless we are gunning for the olympics, a couple extra ounces in shoe weight is not terribly important).

the second product to tell you about is a gel:

not the actual gel i consumed, a full pack makes a better picture!

GU kindly provided us staff at theOTHERstore with some complimentary gels to try out. i have heard rave reviews about this peanut butter flavour, so i was quite excited to give it a try. on my giving thanks run this past holiday monday, i had the perfect opp to try out this new-to-me product. my opinion?? zowie!!! sorry, clif, but i have a new favourite gel!! i loved everything about this GU: the consistency (thicker than clif or powergel); the flavour (it tasted JUST like peanut butter, and even stuck to the roof of my mouth a bit!); the way it gave me a kick of energy (and no intestinal distress); the ease with which i could open the package (i was wearing mitts and even so, did not have difficulty getting the tab ripped off). now i would like to try other GU flavours like espresso, chocolate, and mint chocolate!

i actually have a pair of saucony compression recovery tights to try, as well – we’ll save that review for another day (thankfully, it has not been cold enough yet that i have had to break out tights for running).

at what temp do you start wearing tights as opposed to shorts or capris? back in the hardcore days, our *rule* was that you wore shorts til it was zero degrees C. end of story. now, i’d rather keep my muscles warm, so i wear shorts to 6-10 degrees, only!

thoughts on saucony or GU??? share away if you have tried either of these brands!

** please note that while i received the shoes and the gels for free, all opinions are my own. neither saucony nor GU asked me to review their products.** [this disclaimer is probably not necessary, but again, it’s fun to pretend that i am a pro!].

it was a happy new year’s day!

hello, friends!

i hope everyone enjoyed our last long weekend of the summer. yesterday was new year’s day, did you know?! yup – seeing as how we are back to school today and entering into the autumn season, this past weekend truly should be recognized as the start of a new year. i celebrated it as such, anyway!

i knew pretty early on yesterday morning that my theme for labour day was going to be BLACK and WHITE with a few fifty shades of grey thrown in for good measure.

to kick-start the holiday monday, i headed out for a funtastic tour:

BLACK shorts and tank, WHITE socks and shoes

to be honest, those white compression socks are my least favourite pair. but i chose not to wear my hot pink CEPs because the very thought of the exertion that would be required to peel them off post-run made me tired. [like how i matched my nail polish to the water bottle holder?! haha! i’ve pretty much given up on putting on any colour of polish other than black – *obsessed*].

consumed: a chocolate gel on course because it is BLACK(ish)!

[sidenote tangent: those clif shots are the best: first, i love the flavour and consistency; if blindfolded, i would swear i was downing chocolate icing. second, it’s the little things that count: these packages are the easiest brand to open mid-run -> there is nothing more frustrating than having to break stride and practically crack a fingernail trying to rip open a gel when you’ve got a good rhythm going].

runners: what is your favourite mid-run nutrition brand?? i am interested.

on purpose, i chose to wear my old BLACK yoga tank for the rest of the day:

that is the back – had to take off the top for the photo, i have not yet figured out how to do a behind-the-back self-portrait!

on sunday, mom and i went to conestoga mall, and i got a NEW backpack for back to school to celebrate autumn!

on sale, 40% off, so i paid $14 plus tax! note the BLACK and WHITE – with yellow!


sidenote tangent: i used to be very BLACK AND WHITE in my opinion of singer neil young – ie i hated didn’t like his music at all and mocked his style at every opportunity. well, i like when i can see evolution in myself, and i fully confess that i now stand corrected:

saturday eve entertainment: the neil young doc, “journeys” at the princess, with mom and dad!

i loved this movie, and the songs featured. i now have a newfound appreciation for neil young’s lyrics, song-writing prowess, and unique musical style. my favourite songs as heard in the movie: ohio, and leia. it was a great evening out!


since it was labour day yesterday, i thought i better do some cleaning. i kept the toiling to a minimum, though – who wants to be cooped up inside on a gorgeous, sunny holiday?! i book-ended my cleaning with reading:

GREY up on the rooftop!

WHITE vinegar is my favourite cleansing agent!

GREY in the BLACK and WHITE great room!

could i get through my last 150 pages of “50 shades freed” by sundown?! i sure could try!

late afternoon, it was time for ice cream…MONDAY!

VANILLA ice cream with mini CHOCO-pb cups from coffee culture! thanks, mom and dad!

last task o’ the day: i started composing my christmas list! family, don’t worry, i am not brainstorming 100 items this year!

my organizational method is very BLACK and WHITE this year: i have repeat items and new requests:

a shot of just the beginning: my list needs to be ready by thanksgiving weekend!

sidenote addition: i finished the last page of the 50 shades trilogy at 6:23 p.m. juanita, now we can meet for s’bux again, and i can give you back your books – many thanks! i LOVED this series!!!

file photo: july 15, 2012

all in all, yesterday was a fun day and a great start to the new year!

what colour was YOUR labour day?! how hippie-dippie does that sound!

[too bad i am clueless about photo-editing, it woulda been fun to post today’s pics in BLACK and WHITE!].

theme week: you’ve won an award!

back in july, during my blogcation, the lovely stacie so kindly and graciously bestowed upon me a blogging award:

now, you may think that receiving an award of this nature is a great honour. well, in actuality, it’s a bucketload of work [please note that i am confident stacie will not be offended by the smirk-y and cynical tone of my comments]. blog awards are an excellent marketing tool for self-promotion and for increasing the number of hits your friends’ blogs will receive.

see, you can’t simply write a touching acceptance speech of “thanks for thinking highly of my blog” and move along. nooooo! there are rules that accompany a blog award!!

for the liebster award…

…here is what you must do:

Tell 11 random things about yourself.

Answer the questions that the person who tagged you asks.

Create 11 new questions for the people you tag.

Tag 11 blogs and link them to your post.

Contact them and let them know they’ve been tagged.

see what i mean about the workload?! whoa!

moving on…

first, i am not going to re-tag 11 blogs because 1) stacie stole all my blends when she wrote her blog post-of-acceptance; 2) i do not feel comfortable inflicting passing along this honour to my real-life-friends-who-also-blog, i want to keep them as real-life friends; 3) can you just imagine if i fyi’d blogs that i only lurk on, informing them that they have been nominated for this award? the kikiproject blog would be regarded as weird! so, i am hoping a hex is not placed on me by the worldwide blogging gods for breaking the liebster cycle.

ok…11 random things about me.

1. i have never been to europe.

2. as a teenager, my family nicknamed me biffy. on wednesday when mom and i were shopping, she absentmindedly called me “biff,” i am not sure whether she even realized it or not.

3. i can turn my tongue sideways (ie vertically) in my mouth, but only in one direction.

4. my shoe size is seven.

5. i took two years of german in high school. all i remember is this dialogue [spelling questionable]:

~ bleibst du heute nacht mittag zu hausen?

~ ja, naturlich.

~ was machst du den?

~ hausaufgaben, was sonst?

6. if i had a dog, i would call it waffles.

7. i am currently wearing black nail polish.

8. i prefer showers to baths.

9. the day that my mom took me over to dorothy’s face and fashions at stanley park mall to get my ears pierced when i was twelve years old was one of pure joy and happiness.

10. i’ve read “cheaper by the dozen” at least a twelve times, although not for many years.

11. i like the rock group “nickelback” even though they get ridiculed massively.

next step: i shall answer the 11 questions that stacie posed:

1. what is your biggest pet peeve? people who are negative and pessimistic.

2. what is your biggest blogger pet peeve? spelling mistakes and poor grammar.

3. coke or pepsi? [STACIE!!!! argggh!!!] at this point in time, it really matters not, a sip of either would be heaven on earth.

4. what is the number one item on your bucket list? well, from my top five, i’ll pick seeing madonna in concert, live.

5. do you like surprise parties? to throw them, yes, very much; to be the recipient, not at all.

6. what is the oddest thing in your handbag or wallet right now? in my knapsack (my version of a handbag), i have a silver hoop earring for which i lost the backing.

7. when you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up? my first memory is hairdresser, after that, librarian.

8. what are you afraid of that actually shouldn’t scare you? thunder!

9. are you on instagram yet? if not, why the heck not? no! 1) lack of comprehension 2) have note made the time for it 3) lack of interest!

10. what’s your favourite animal? a plush, cuddly, stuffed one!

11. what’s your favourite hobby? (blogging doesn’t count) knitting!

since i am now feeling very tired, i am turning to a question format that is very popular in blogland: it’s the would you rather game. here are the first 11 questions to arrive in my brain:

1. would you rather fly in an airplane or drive in a car?

2. would you rather eat pizza hot or cold?

3. would you rather vacation in the mountains or by the ocean?

4. would you rather sleep in or get up early?

5. would you rather use a dishwasher or handwash your dishes?

6. would you rather be a sprinter or a marathoner?

7. would you rather swim in a lake or in a pool?

8. would you rather get a gift card/money or a wrapped present for your birthday?

9. would you rather pay by cash or credit card?

10. would you rather talk on the phone or email?

11. would you rather take two weeks of vacation all at once, or have a four day work-week for ten weeks?

if you’d like to receive this award…

…consider yourself awarded! congratulations!

if you’d like to answer any of my 11 “would you rather” questions – please do! it’d be so sad if i did all that creative thinking (and manual typing) for nothing!

happy saturday!

one week, a second perfect day

so, in my last blog post, i told you about wonderful wednesday. well, yesterday turned out to be spectacular saturday!

it’s really funny how things work out as they are meant to be. originally, i had booked yesterday off from the store because i was planning to spend the day in toronto, and then participate in a fun event in the eve. well, as this past week went on, i kept getting the vibe that i should deviate from my intended itinerary – so i did! and i could not have asked for a more joyous saturday than yesterday!

to start, i finished off my latest knitting project at the ripe hour of 6:18 a.m.:

the orange baby blanket! i’ll show you a full view after i block it. still have tons of yarn left over, i’m passing it to mom to use for HER knitting projects!

then, i went for a run. i tried a new route.  i g-map‘d a neat-o course, then sharpied the directions onto my hand:

who needs a garmin?! [oops, i probably shouldn’t say that given as i sell those gps devices!…]

actually, garmins truly are great training tools, it’s just that tracking distance/time/pace is not my approach, and after 22 years of running, i can tell when i am going slow/steady/fast. [sidenote: windex takes sharpie-marker off of skin very well].

i had barely started off when my running friend val and her husband caught up to me – so fun to wish each other good running, and that cheery chance meet-up set the tone to my outing.

here is a post-finish photo:

uncombed hair, 20 year old LIFA top, shorts that are losing their elastic, yup i am a real fashion plate…at least the compression socks are in good shape!

oh – and could the weather yesterday have been any more gorgeous?

view from the condo casa window

the only thing is that an autumn feel is most definitely in the air….

next, i went in to play at the store for three hours. like i said, i was supposed to be off, but since we were a bit short-staffed and i wasn’t going anywhere anyway, it was just fine with me to spend some time working with manager paul and being social.

there is the cutest new coffee shop right across from the store: café 22. the proprietor, asha, used to work at the nougat bakery in kitchener, and now has opened her own establishment:

the lovely asha!

the decor is beautiful!

i encourage you to pay café 22 a visit if you are in the ‘hood. mom and dad and i had a lovely time!

right next door to the café is o.w. sports, and they happened to have some items out on their sidewalk, marked 50% off:

a spur-of-the-moment $22 treat, this billabong hoodie came home with me!

that’s a lot o’f fun in a day. but wait, there’s more!

in the eve, seagram stadium (a short stroll away) was the site of an invitational tattoo.

a gathering of marching bands!

what a gorgeous evening to be out-of-doors!

ahhh….my type a soul revelled in the precise marching formations, staccato beats, and 4/4 time of the music:

exhibit a!

exhibit b!

seagram stadium was packed with a huge audience – it was fun to people-watch!

i hope YOU enjoyed a busy + happy saturday, too!


best wishes to the endurrun-ners this morning! they are finishing off their weeklong adventure with a mere…marathon!

ice ice baby

after having such success with wearing compression socks 24/7 frequently over the past couple of months, i decided to try something else that is vastly touted as a great recovery aid for runners.

the ice bath.

i’d been thinking of giving a cold water soak a try for a while now. when i saw this article in the latest canadian running magazine, i was even a little more motivated:

no idea why this photo is posting sideways…

i know the printing is blurry; the only thing that is important is that you see the title: “take cold baths.”

i’ve told you before that i do not swim because i do not enjoy being cold or wet. so you can guess how *excited* i was about my impending dip in the tub.

i decided to ease my way into these ice baths in incremental steps.

effort #1:

i took my first cold bath in the afternoon after the 10k classic race. in all honesty, it was bearable! i wouldn’t call it a pleasant experience, but i was comfortable enough, and i didn’t even come close to shivering! here’s what worked for me:

  • i made sure i was warm before i even got into the tub
  • i took a hot decaf coffee with me to drink while i soaked
  • i ran a tub of cold water only, no ice for this first attempt!
  • i wore a knit cap
  • i zipped up a fleecy jacket, rolling up the bottom so it wouldn’t get wet
  • i limited my tub time to 12 minutes

knit cap, fleece and coffee mug! (sorry, but i refuse to post any bathtub pictures!)

i just sat in the tub – no reading, no crossword puzzle or any type of diversion. it was almost a relaxing experience!

afterwards, my legs felt refreshed. now, i wasn’t stiff or sore before i got in the tub, so it’s a little hard to judge exactly how helpful the ice bath was in the post-race recovery. i decided that next time i could add some ice…

effort #2:

this second experiment occurred last saturday morning. this time, i kept the wool hat and the fleece hoodie. i skipped the hot coffee (i thought i’d wait for the heating drink until post-bath, so i’d have something to look forward to and warm me up if i felt chilled). and i added ice!

two trays of ice cubes – let’s not get too crazy with the ice; i am too cheap to BUY a bag, at this point…

the tap water felt colder this time (??) and enjoyably refreshing – might i even say fantastic? (yes, yes i can). i ran the tub, then dumped in the ice as i climbed in. i had no diversions (next time, i will try reading or doing a x-word) – i just sat and watched the ice cubes melt (seriously). i only stayed in the bath for 10 minutes as i had to get ready for work. next time, add: more ice! a distraction of some type! more time in the tub (can i do 20 minutes??).

effort #3:

i upped the ante for the ice bath that i took this past thursday morning:

SIX trays of ice (or 3x more than the last bath!) for this effort…

would you believe that as i was running along, i actually thought, “yea! i get to take an ice bath this morning!” -> i am not kidding!

since i had more time, i stayed in the tub for 15-20 minutes. i stuck with wearing the hoodie and the wool cap, did not have a hot beverage, and did complete a x-word puzzle [i thought of phoning mom, we can talk for 20 minutes no problem and that would fill my time commitment, but with my luck, i would drop the phone in the tubbetter a wet xword puzzle book than a busted phone].

thanks to the increase in ice cubes, the water was COLD! not frightfully so, but definitely icier than the first two tubs. really, i did not feel cold overall, though – just my toes were uncomfortably chilled!


  • i am going to make ice baths a regular thing – maybe every week??
  • it definitely helps that it is summertime and i feel warmer, in general; i can’t imagine doing an icy soak in the depths of january
  • the winning combo seems to be: wearing the fleece + the wool hat; drinking a hot coffee AFTER the bath, having a diversion (next time i will try reading)

all in all, this experiment has proven to be a lot more positive than i ever anticipated!

any other ice-bath takers out there? what are your tips? maybe i am not 100% opposed to doing some lane swimming again??…never say never, right?!


30 day photography challenge

day #30: self-portrait

and thus we have come full circle, and we end as we began on june 1st

the official self-portrait for today:

taken in the exact same spot as day #1! hotter weather, though!

…and some out-takes, just because they are fun to do! [i honestly thought i’d share more bloopers over the course of the 30 days…]:

my orange sweater is finished! but it’s way too warm to use a sweater photo for an official pic!

relaxing with some grass! 😀

wheee!!! fake-sliding at the park. would real-slide if the nieces were present!

sparkling water: the official beverage of the 2012 kiki summer!

the end.


new balance party!

some people get all hyped up in anticipation of a NASCARtv-watching party or a wine-and-cheese-tasting soirée. moi? invite me to a running-themed get-together, and i am grinning from ear to ear and bouncing on my toes.

this past wednesday, new balance hosted an information event for staff at the store, theOTHERstore, and yetANOTHERstore! i rearranged the aunti wednesday schedule a little so that i could be in attendance.

i had two super-secret wishes, going into the evening.  number one: i was really hoping new balance would bring in this celebrity runner for a special guest appearance – after all, he trains just down the road in guelph:

sadly, reid was a no-show

hmmm, you’d think the guy was busy prepariing for the olympics or something…i really would like an updated photo, though!

dream #2: to go home with a pair of new balance shoes (rumour had it there would be a  free draw happening…).

in order to better my chances of having goal #2 actually occur, i sucked up big time got into the spirit of the evening:

i dug this ancient tshirt out of the depths of my closet: i know i kept it because it is ORANGE!

we had a chance to view some of the NB shoes before our evening officially started:

me and my bosses, haha! manager paul and manager nicole! and bright shoes!

our host for the evening was dave from new balance:


dave was awesome – his presentation to us was informative yet fun at the same time. dave gave a power point presentation that included some videos and also allowed for some interaction from us.

we learned some nb history, product info, and got the inside scoop on what is coming up!…

we talked quite a bit about minimalist footwear since that is the huge trend, right now (we just got the new balance minimus [zero drop heel], road version, into our local stores). i will share with you what dave told us about good running form in minimalist footwear – you want to focus on these four key points:

  • posture (i need to work on shoulders back!)
  • midfoot strike (as opposed to slamming your heel)
  • cadence (3 steps per second)
  • lean (slightly forward! stand tall!)

by improving your form in each of these categories, you will help prevent injury and enjoy a more positive running experience.

i must say i feel a lot more confident in my knowledge about the different models of new balance shoes and the numbering system used to classify them. dave gave us a great line in reference to the new balance shoes that could be called an everyday training shoe – they’re the “dude, i just wanna run!” type shoes!

next, it was time for the draws (shoes and clothing)!

who will it be, who will it be??

not me, that’s who! luck was not on my side, this evening [maybe that was karma biting me back for this post where i gave my impression of the new balance 890V2 – cringe!]. i’m super happy for nicole, though – she won an item of clothing of her choice!

no party is complete without:

a party favour!

party treats!

many, many thanks to new balance and the store for organizing this event! i had a wonderful time!

and – you were expecting this, i know – i now have my sights set on adding the minimus – and/or the 1400? – to my footwear collection….

the 1400 (mens version) – good for racing!


30 day photography challenge:

day #24: animal

our official picture:

just how i like my four legged-creatures: safely behind a protective barrier!

i took a tour through the waterloo park animal area for today’s photos. meet one of the llamas:

liking the chain-link border effect for today’s pics!

here is sandy’s companion:

the runner-up photo of the day…would have been the #1 shot, but he wouldn’t turn around!

if we had a sign category for this photography challenge project, here is what would receive my vote:

you don’t have to tell me twice!

that sign reminds me of the time in moab, utah when we saw the admonition, “parents control your children” sign and laughed about that for years!

i like visiting the waterloo park zoo very much…now if they could just build an expansive sanctuary for all the roaming geese – there is poop everywhere!

coming up tomorrow: we are back to a colour photography assignment!…

superstitious much??

runners are a funny lot. if you zing through an endorphin-laced training run or smash your PB in a race, the natural inclination is to think back to what you did prior to the run, and then give full credit to xyz for providing such a satisfying experience.

i am no different. i have come to adopt some very careful practices. add up all of the following routines, and you have why i believe i was in the groove by the time the waterloo classic rolled around last sunday. i refuse to mess with what is working, and will continue to adamantly swear by the following rituals:

~never wear the same pair of shoes two runs in a row: my current active rotation  is comprised of the asics gel noosas, adidas bostons, brooks ghosts and nike vomeros. it doesn’t matter in which order the shoes are worn, or for which type of run. they just cannot be worn back-to-back.

~do not deviate from the course. i like to run the same routes. i get to know them intimately. running along, it is imperative to go around the manhole cover, stay to the right of the raised sidewalk crack, step directly onto the red paint blotch, etc. always veer out to get the widest tangent, and never, ever take a shortcut! [and, oh-the-horror of even contemplating running a route in the reverse direction].

~finish each workout with a lower body foam roller session. that tool is a miracle worker. the foam roller must be stored thus:

my storage corner for “the stick,” a yoga/stretching mat, and the foam roller

there is printing on the opposite end of the foam roller, and that side must always be touching the floor when not in use.

~don’t switch songs on the beast the shuffle. the uploaded musical selections have not been changed up in months. i have added new favourite hitz, but nothing has been deleted and replaced. i also always have the shuffle on “random.” the songs will come up in the order that the universe deems proper.

~never wash golden boy:

an un-altered photo of that clothing corner – look at that mess!

“golden boy” is the part-zip, lightweight shell jacket on the top there that i wear if it’s raining. he does not ever need laundering because he gets wet every time he goes out…makes perfect sense.

~the samson effect: yes, my hair is dry [although sans split ends!] and could use a trim:

suppressing a smile on take #37…

however, no scissors are coming anywhere near my head any time soon.

~i have completely brainwashed myself into believing that i feel great because i am NOT drinking diet coke.


i know, i know, i whine every month in our kikiproject updates about my undying desire for my favourite beverage on this entire earth. but truly, it’s a very good thing to not be imbibing.

~must. wear. compression. socks. on every run. and as often as possible in everyday life.

~the same # of reps must be done per side when performing strength and balance exercises. for example: 10 single leg squats, left then right. 25 bicycles, 15 leg swings. planks are held til either the :00 or :30 shows on the watch.

and there you have it. now, lest i appear completely weird quirky, let me remind you that baseball all-star wade boggs swore by eating chicken before every single baseball game – and he was no slouch!

given what happened on sunday with the shoe malfunction, i think i had better determine an obsessive lacing manoeuvre…


what number would you choose for your race bib as your “lucky number?” to our collective amusement, my friend the ironman received bib #666 when he, the brother and i ran the angus glen half marathon a few years ago. luckily, this random numerical assignment did not phase him one bit, as evidenced by the fact that he turned in a kick-ass, sub-1:30 performance, that day!


30 day photography challenge”

day #23: sunflare

yet another term i had to google – thank goodness this is the last technical assignment to deal with in this challenge! well, if nothing else, this project is expanding my vocabulary!

in my head, a sunflare was a photo of the blazing sun. that is not correct. here is a definition i found online:

[a sunflare is] unwanted, excessive light in a photograph due to internal reflections and scattering of light caused by a camera lens with non-uniform optical characteristics. Zoom lenses, which contain several elements, tend to introduce more lens flare due to the many surfaces within the lens.

when i researched a few examples online, i laughed. why, a sunflare is just a cruddily-lit pic! i do that all the time, too!

granted, a talented professional can make a sunflare effect very artistic:


and i remind you: i am an amateur!

my sunflare:

it’s a mini!

do you see it? do you?

i sure hope so. otherwise, your option is my compound-word innovation:

SUN ->

with the humidex, it hit 40 degrees this week – i had lots of opps to catch “sun!”




the (rather fluffy) canadian fashion magazine


happy saturday, friends!


yesterday was such a happy father’s day! there are two parts to tell you about…

part i: the race!

this year’s tshirt: love the green, the printed design? meh.

as alluded to yesterday, i was not running the waterloo 10k classic for *fun.* when you book a day off work, pay good money, and suffer through a mini-taper (hate the taper!), you are out to see what you can do.

the morning started off on a rocky note – about 7 a.m., a thunderstorm rolled through the area. this rain was NOT what i was hoping to see! happily, the clouds passed, and by the time i left for the race, the skies were more clear. [sidenote: i was able to wear outfit #1 that i showed you yesterday].

the ground was still wet in waterloo park!

gotta love a race you can walk to – a quick fifteen minute hike through the park brought me to the waterloo classic events, held at seagram stadium. i saw my friends from the store, paul and brenda, right away!

brenda and paul were running the 5k..and ended up winning awards in their respective age groups!

they became my adopted family for the morning!

paul and me at the start banner!

just before 9 a.m., the sun tried to come out:

you can do it, mr sun!

i was really hoping for full-on sunshine – it was already humid, sunshine added in would have been perfect racing conditions (for me!). in the end, we DID have humidity for the run, but a few spots of rain fell near the end, and the time between the races and the awards ceremony was a bit rainy. still, it could have been a lot worse!

in a nutshell, i had a great run. i felt *on* right from the very first step. i ran hard and pushed, but did not overexert myself as evidenced by the fact that i was not stiff afterwards (shoulda gone faster!!).

one note about the race course: it’s been switched up numerous times over the years, and the latest incarnation makes me laugh. a few years ago, run participants complained about having to go up the *hill* on erb street from caroline to westmount. well, (locals, you will be able to picture this route) this year’s route was way more hilly: after starting on seagram drive, we went up westmount rd all the way to columbia (rolling hills) then right on columbia (and up a mega steep hill) over to philip st. then we had to go back to westmount and run up and back some more! i can only imagine the negative feedback about these hilly conditions. i was happy i knew what to expect, since i train in this area all the time! but this is definitely NOT the race course for you if you like flat terrain.

i felt “in the zone” for the whole race. from about 4-8 km, i ran with another guy, and it was helpful to feed off of his energy (although after the race, he said he was sticking with me – guess it was good teamwork!). as is my style, i felt THE BEST at about the 8 k mark, and picked up the pace.

just after 9k, something happened that has NEVER happened to me in 22 years of racing: my shoelace came untied! gah!!! what a newbie error. the thing is, i HAD double-knotted my laces. i had to stop and retie, esp since my house key was laced into that shoe! so, i figure that stop cost me 10-15 seconds. the p!ss off is that the next woman ahead of me (also in my age group) finished thirteen seconds in front of me. if i had not had to stop, it would have been a dash to the finish for first place in our age group. hot d@mn!

we finished the race with one lap of the seagram track – man, that surface is cushy. i could be convinced to do speedwork if i could run it there!

final stats:

official time: 46.12

chip time: 46:02

62/478 overall

2/33 in my age group

3rd masters woman (bumped to 2nd spot for the medals since 1st place masters finished 2nd female overall)

8/210 females

4:38/km pace

guess what?! i won $50 for being 2nd overall masters female!

wish i could earn $50 for 46 minutes of *work* all the time!

all in all, it was a super fun morning. i had a great time chatting with many friends and familiar faces. what was esp satisfying about this race was that i arrived at the start line feeling 100% (ie no aches or injuries), having completed my training cycle exactly as i had planned it out.

race mementos

the 10k distance is still too short for my liking – but it’s better than 5k or 8k, at least! [my pace of 4:38 per km is ten seconds per km FASTER than my april 5 and 8 k races. told ya longer distances work in my favour!].

this race was a stepping stone; now we look ahead!


part ii: father’s day!

after the race, i whirled home, changed clothes, and prepared to fête dad for father’s day!

earlier in the week, mom had cooked up the plan of surprising dad with lunch out at the huether:

the official father’s day portrait!

we enjoyed our lunch and time together very much. thanks for treating, mom!

we were able to be outside on the covered patio!

all in all, it was a lovely father’s day. fingers crossed that next year, the extended fam can gather once again in waterloo!


30 day photo challenge

day #18: your shoes

bwah-ha-ha!! the creators of this photo project played right into my hands with today’s *challenge.* um, yea, i think i might just have a gazillion few pairs of footwear kicking around…lemme go look…

our official photo:

bonus: shadow effect!

the centre of my shoe-flower gets special mention:

the mizuno wave elixir 7

this pair is the latest addition to my active shoe rotation. these elixirs feel fantastic (lightweight, supportive, slightly cushioned) and how could i pass up owning ZEBRA STRIPE running shoes? plus, they’ll go with any of my compression socks! [full disclosure: i received my wave elixirs for free from mizuno. i am not at liberty to impart any more details. all opinions expressed are my own. as you know, i really like when i can add these disclaimers about free product and feel like a spoiled professional blogger – haha!]

i hope YOU enjoyed a happy father’s day sunday, too!

sulphur springs saturday!

there’s going to be a lotta big mileage numbers recorded into some runners’ logbooks after this weekend at the sulphur springs trail races! today, over near ancaster, you will find ultrarunners participating in 50k, 50 mile and 100 mile distances [there are also 10k and 25 k events, and while still worthy distances, those are not ultras!]. i will be eagerly awaiting the results: one of my fb friends, s.p., is in the 100 miler. this has got to be s.p.’s eighth or ninth attempt at completing this distance, and i soooo hope he gets his finisher’s belt buckle this weekend. s.p. has run amazing mileage thus far in 2012, and it’d be great to see all his dedication rewarded. i think some other fb friends are running, too, so i wish them all the best! you planned the work, now work the plan (and drink up – it’s going to be hot!).

sulphur springs is no walk in the park for a 100 mile race. the course is very hilly, and the trails can be quite technical, at times. i ran the 25k distance a couple of years, and still have the scar on my left elbow from a spill i took after catching my toe on a tree root as a souvenir (well, that and the race tshirt, of course!). one of these years, i would love to volunteer at an aid station at sulphur – it’d be super cool to observe the will and might of these runners!

have you ever stayed up all night to participate in a sporting event? i know fran recently did when she walked in the relay for life! and when i was five, i remember dad being a part of a 24 hour relay running team, back in the 70’s – i clearly recall sitting in the back seat of the car as we picked him up at seagram stadium!


on wednesay, i was chauffering little e and all of a sudden on z103.5 a song came on that i have not heard in ages – well, since i used to teach aerobics back in the 90’s. i am sure little e thought that aunti had flipped her lid because i squealed excitedly as i animatedly explained to her that this was one of my favourite songs EVER! i had completely forgotten what a kick-ass song it is! [i did not use that term when chatting with little e!].

google is such a beautiful thing. i am really bad with song titles, so i came home wednesday eve and simply googled, “i’m knock knock knocking, knocking on the back of your door” and within two seconds double vision’s “knockin‘” was blasting out of my laptop. man, playing this song is so ENERGIZING!!! it makes me very HYPER (not the best emotion at 10 pm!) and brings a huge smile to my face, both because of the fantastic beat and the happy memories of aerobics-teaching days. immediately after my google search, i bought the song on itunes – best $0.99 purchase in eons!

so watch out: i am seriously contemplating having knockin‘ and ONLY knockin’ on dad’s my ipod on endless repeat for my next running event. the combo of knockin’ + compression socks could bring about quite the race experience!

what is a song that revs you up? my favourites all have a strong and quick bass beat, i’ve noticed.


remember the super cute card that gina sent me?

andrea’s work of art

well, gina let me know that andrea has a website where she features her cards, and you can order them from this site, as well. i’m passing along the link simply because andrea’s creations are so imaginative and so beautiful – and you may need some cards?!

are you familiar with etsy? i have poked about once, but that was it. i really like going to craft shows (like stitch n kitsch!) where you can see products *for real* and purchase directly from independent artists/creators!

have a sensational (sunsational?!) saturday!