Total Pageviews

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Army Run - Recap!

Sunday was the big day. The day that I'd been training for since June. THE ARMY RUN!

It was my first race, ever, so the experience was all new, from the pick-up of the race kit to the run itself.

The race kits were available to be picked up (in person, of course. Why would they mail it? That would be too easy :P) two days before the race, so since I was already on school campus on Friday, I decided that a quick walk over at 1pm when they started handing them out would be a nice change of scene.

Quick? Hahaha!

First of all, it was a gorgeous rainy day, and I was lacking in the umbrella department. So I walked over to City Hall in the rain, and saw that almost everyone else doing the Army Run had the same idea as me. So I got to the back of the line and waited. It was a loooong line, but it was moving relatively quickly. I got under the tent where the volunteers were set up to pick up my kit, and waited some more. I finally got my bib and pins, and was sent to pick up my shirt at another table. Thankfully, no line there! After I got my shirt, I was once again sent to another place to make sure my chip was activated. Off to the Drill Hall in the rain I went. And it was yet another experience. Every few steps, vendors tried to peddle their wares. I quickly pretended I was busy on my phone so I wouldn't have to say "no" every few seconds!

One hour later, I had everything I needed! I went home wet and cold, but feeling accomplished :P

Two days later.... RACE DAY! I woke up early to make sure I got some breakfast in well before the run (I had a bagel), and got ready to go. Mike and Lily were coming to cheer me on as well! The morning was chilly, and the shirts for the race, though long-sleeved, were thin. I was glad I decided to wear my pants instead of shorts! I met up with some friends, and we chatted for a bit, and finally headed into our corrals to await the start of the race.

The anticipation of everyone in the crowd was so neat to see! Everyone checking their watches, nervously talking, and waiting for the big cannon start. After some music and a countdown... BOOM! The race had begun! My corral was a little bit  back from the start, so it took us a few minutes to get to the starting line. As soon as we got there, the two people I was with took off! We had agreed beforehand to run our own pace, and mine was definitely the slowest pace. :)

The run was a lot of fun. Being in such a big group (which I was nervous about at first, I don't like big crowds, but this one was okay!) and seeing everyone with the same goal as you - to complete the 5K - was inspiring. It was a lot of fun to run past people on the sidelines who were cheering everyone on. It was also fun passing the injured soldiers and hearing everyone cheer for them and thank them as we went. Being able to pass some people, but at the same time being passed by others, also provided motivation to just keep going. And many people on the sidelines had motivational signs they were holding up. It was a wonderful experience!

My goal was to finish in under 35 minutes, which was how long it took me the last time I did a 5K in training. My second goal was not to stop. And guess what? I managed both! I finished the run in 33 minutes, 13 seconds, and I ran the whole way (only stopping for seconds to grab some water part way through).

It's an experience I will definitely do again!
My sister and I at breakfast after the race!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

5K Training - Going for Distance

Oops, I did it again. :P I waited another week to take another run! Today, I decided to be different. I know the race is a mere 11 days away, and as of last run, I still hadn't run a full 5K. So today, I decided to bite the bullet and just go for it. Just run the damn 5K and get it over with, see how fast I could do it, and prove to myself that I could, in fact, do it.

So I ran. Non-stop. I didn't map out my distance beforehand, so just ran and hoped for the best, hoped that I would make 5K. I knew what 4.3K looked like, so I just ran a bit longer. I didn't use my training program, and instead just glanced at my phone from time to time to make sure I knew how long I'd been running for different landmarks.

And, I did it. I was able to run 5K without stopping! Not only did I run 5K, I ran 5.15K! I overshot it, and guess what? I ran it in 35 minutes. 35 minutes, and that was after a week of not running, AND I've only ran about twice in the past 3.5 weeks.

I think it's safe to say that I'll be just fine for the Army Run! I just have to make sure to push myself to keep running in the meantime, as well as when it's over.

And even cooler about my run? I've just inspired Mike to get out and go for a run. I have a feeling he's trying to compete with me, but I'm helping someone else get out there and run! :)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

5K Training - Week 8, Runs 1 & 2

So, you may have noticed I've been kind of lacking in the blogging department. What you don't know is that I've also been lacking in the training department. I'm embarrassed to admit it, but I fell off the running wagon for awhile there. I have no good excuse. I went on vacation for a week to visit my brother, sister-in-law, and niece in Baltimore (I'll blog about our adventures there soon!), but there was no good reason to not run while I was there. The hotel we stayed at even gave guests a free membership at the gym across the street, but it wasn't enough to get me out of vacation mode.

Oh well. What's done is done. The good news is that I'm getting back into it, finishing my training since the Army Run is now less than 3 weeks away!

Run 1 of Week 8, which is 28 minutes straight of running sandwiched between 5 minute walks, was completed way back on August 17. I never updated on it, but it went well! I managed to run 4.31 km in the 28 minutes of straight running, which is a little slower than what I was originally aiming for, but I was really happy with that number!

While I was on vacation, I bought myself a pair of shoes especially for running. As I mentioned before, I was very overdue for new shoes, and these ones have more support at the middle of the foot to encourage striking mid-foot instead of at the heel (Skechers Go Run). So last night, doing Run 2 of Week 8, I wore them for the first time. I really like them! They are light and comfortable, and I think (hope?) they help my posture and back, which is still terribly sore, by the way.

So since it had been about 2 1/2 weeks since my last run, I wanted to get back in the game. I wanted to make sure I ran for the full 28 minutes, even if it was a slower run. And I'm proud that my body seemed to remember exactly what to do. I easily ran the whole 28 minutes, although it was definitely a much, much slower pace. I covered 3.86 km in the 28 minutes of running, but I know that it will just keep getting better as long as I stay in the game. And I plan to!

I don't think I'll make my goal of finishing the Army Run in 30 minutes, but I'm okay with that. I'm pretty proud of myself for getting into this in the first place, something I never thought I'd be able to do. My goal is to run 5K non-stop, and to do my best with where I am now. Time will tell how fast I'll be able to run it!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

5K Training - Week 7, Run 3

So I've been on a short hiatus it seems. But it's only been a week since I've blogged. Not a year. So I'm good :)

On Tuesday I finally went for my last run of Week 7. After many evenings with pouring rain and/or thunderstorms, I didn't get out for my usual runs. I was a bit worried that having been so long between runs, I'd have trouble with my run (it's been awhile, so as a reminder, it was a 5 minute warm-up walk, 25 minute run, and 5 minute cool-down walk). But I'm pleased to announce that it went pretty well! I decided to go for a music-free run, and it went well. I think I run better with no music for some reason. I'm weird like that!

This run I was able to keep the same pace even though it had been close to a week since my last run... I ran 3.73 km in 25 minutes! I was definitely looking forward for my phone to announce that I could stop running for the last 5 minutes of my run! I'm starting to think that running the 5K in 30 minutes this year might not be attainable, but I'm sure going to keep trying.

My only complaint about my running is the back pain I mentioned in one of my earlier run posts. But my complaint has changed a bit... If I DON'T go for a run in awhile, my tailbone is in excruciating pain all. the. time. But if I go for a run, it seems to keep it more in check, and while it is still a bit painful, it is nowhere near as bad as when I don't run. I guess I'm doomed to stay a runner ;)

Friday, August 10, 2012

Corn! Sweet, Golden, Glorious Corn!

It's no secret. I, like most normal human beings, ADORE corn on the cob. And not just a little bit, either. I look forward to this time of year to enjoy this amazing vegetable. With just a little bit of butter and salt (and of course, some toothpicks for the corn that inevitably gets stuck in your teeth!), it's perfect as a side, or even as a light meal on its own.

So you can only imagine my excitement when I read the blog for Bryson Farms (where I get my vegetables delivered from) and it mentioned that corn was now in season and that it would appear in this week's basket.

And, other than only getting 2 ears, this corn did not disappoint! I don't know if it's because I haven't bought any corn on the cob from the grocery store this year (so this was my first cob of the season), but I don't remember corn being this tasty, sweet and tender. Lily loved it, too!

So, what else did I get this week?

  • Head of lettuce
  • Broccoli
  • Kale
  • Bag of brown mushrooms
  • Big container of heirloom tomatoes (colourful!)
  • Bag of small red potatoes
  • Basil
  • A funny-looking squash
  • Zucchini
  • Salad greens
  • Radish sprouts
  • Yellow beans
  • Garlic
  • 2 ears of corn
  • Heirloom carrots
  • 1 big yellow onion
Pretty good haul! I am overloaded with carrots, so I'm planning on trying a grated carrot salad (thanks, Nicole!). I may send the recipe to Something New Thursdays over at Mama Lego's blog! I also plan on using some of the kale in a Paleo recipe I'm cooking up for some friends who just had their second baby. Perhaps for the meal plan, some homemade mushroom soup with the mushrooms, some potato salad, and a tomato salad!

Lily is enjoying picking up all the tomatoes, including this ginormous black/green/red one!

Ahhhh. So golden. So tasty.

5K Training - Week 7, Run 2

Wednesday marked the second run of week 7. So close to being done my training, I can taste it! :P I'm pleased to say that this run was easier than my last one. It was less humid, and I was able to just focus on the running and breathing so much more without negative distractions from myself. This time, I decided to use an iPhone app my aunt Monique told me about (thanks, Aunt Monique!) called TuneIn to listen to the radio. Newer songs! Still out loud, though.

This run was slightly faster than my last two! I was able to run 3.75km in 25 minutes. Not bad, but not quite where I want to be, either!

What I may try for my next run is back to old school. By that I mean I was originally running with no music, so I'm going to give that a try and see if it helps my time or concentration. I'll let you know if it helps or hinders my time!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Oldies but Goodies... Bugs!

I didn't have time to take new pictures today... so enjoy these oldies!

5K Training - Week 7, Run 1

Woo hoo, I've made it to Week 7 of my training! On Sunday, that is :) Just catching up on writing about it now. This week, all of my runs are 25 minutes long with 5 minute warm-up and cool-down walks at the start and finish.

Mentally, this had to have been the most difficult run yet. It was extremely humid outside, even in the evening, and my head just wasn't in the game. I wasn't even 10 minutes running when I started to have thoughts about stopping creeping into my head. It wasn't that my legs were overly tired (tired yes, but nothing more than usual). It wasn't that my lungs had had enough (I've managed to get pretty good control of my breathing so that these runs don't wind me). It was all a mental trick. It's okay if you stop. You can stop part way and walk, it's humid out. No! It's okay if you take a quick minute to walk. No! That will just make it harder! So despite my thoughts, I pushed through and ran the whole way. The last 5 minutes were difficult, and I slowed way down. However, I mapped out my run and found that I'd ran pretty much the same distance as my last run, 3.68km! If I can just keep up the pace I started out with, I could definitely increase my distance in that time!

Yesterday was supposed to be run 2, but there was a lot of rain... so let's hope today's run goes better than the last one!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

5K Training - Week 6, Run 3

Phew! Last run (which I did a few days ago now, on Wednesday) was a 25 minute straight run (sandwiched between a 5 minute warm-up walk and a 5 minute cool-down walk). However, I maintain my position of before: One long run is easier than multiple shorter runs! Not having to gear down and gear up again really makes a difference for me. I'm able to just concentrate on my breathing and just keep going.

Once again, I decided to play my music out loud for the enjoyment of everyone. This time, it was easier for me to both focus on my breathing and listen to my music, although I still want headphones and I still want new music on there! :) Maybe I'll take a trip to Place d'Orleans with my gift card I got for Christmas (yes, I still have it!) and get myself a few running essentials. I still need new shoes, which I definitely want before my race!

So the run itself was slower than I had hoped, but I still feel like I did a good job. I ran 3.73 km in 25 minutes. I really hope that I can pick up the pace somewhat so that I can run the 5K in about 30 minutes on race day! A totally achievable goal, I think! I'm hoping that the day of the Army Run will be less hot and humid than my training conditions have been. :)

I haven't taken a post-run picture in awhile. I'm glowing! Nah, it's just sweat ;)

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

5K Training - Week 6, Run 2

This is it. Monday, which was my second run of week 6, was the very last of my training runs that was in intervals. (Yes, I peeked ahead to see what was in store for me!). From here on out, all of my runs will now be solid blocks of running, working up from 25 minutes to 30 by Week 9.

Yesterday's run was two 10 minute runs with a 3 minute walk in between, all sandwiched between a 5 minute warm-up walk and a 5 minute cool-down walk.

I had also decided to try running to the music I have on my iPhone, thinking it might help. I'm not sure if it's because I've run for 6 weeks without music, but I found it more difficult to concentrate on my breathing, which really helps me to zone out and not think about how long I've been running and how long I've got left. It was nice listening to music, but I'm not sure if I'll continue to do so. Also, the most recent music on my iPhone is from at least 5 years ago, which doesn't mean it's bad, but I kind of wanted to listen to some newer stuff, too! And another problem is that I don't have headphones! Ear buds do NOT stay in my ears, so running with them is pointless. I can't even sit with them staying in there. So I also spent my run blocking the speakers on my iPhone every time I passed someone so they wouldn't think I was weird for playing my music out loud :P

The run itself wasn't too tough, except for the fact that it was pretty humid last night, which definitely made for a hotter, slower run. But I pushed through and I think I made better time than my last 20 minute run, but it's hard to tell with the added 3 minute walk in between. It will be easier to keep track of my speed in the coming runs.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

New, Exciting Veggies!

We got some new, interesting, exciting vegetables in this week's basket, along with some old favourites. I've already made my meal plan for the week, so I'm hoping some of the new recipes I'm trying (or upping old recipes by replacing canned or non-local veggies with these) will be winners!

Here's what we got this week:
  • A bag of mixed salad greens (a pleasant surprise, considering they told us they would stop sending these for the time being due to the drought and unfavourable conditions)
  • 1 head of lettuce
  • Swiss chard
  • Romano beans (I still have a bag leftover from last week, and I plan on trying a new recipe with these this week)
  • Yellow beans
  • Celery
  • Broccoli
  • 1 bag of mini red potatoes
  • 5-6 small summer onions
  • 1 large container of heirloom tomatoes - lots of colours and sizes!
  • Radish sprouts
  • 1 bag of white mushrooms
  • Heirloom carrots
  • 2 magdas (they look like striped zucchini)
  • 1 yellow summer squash
With the romano beans, I plan on making a side dish that is tomatoey, garlicky, and oniony :) I'm going to make it with the M&M chicken we've had hiding in our freezer, along with some of the red potatoes.

I plan on vamping up my Mom's pasta with cheese recipe using fresh tomatoes instead of canned. We'll see how it turns out :)

And of course, lots of salads and stir fry veggies will complete meals this week.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

5K Training - Week 6, Run 1

After taking a day off of running yesterday due to being sick, I didn't want to lose any more time in my training schedule, so today was my first run of week 6 instead of yesterday. To tell you the truth, I feel better after running it than I did before! But I'm glad I took the day off yesterday. It was the achy, feverish type of sick, and Tylenol was doing its job of keeping the symptoms at bay. A run may have aggravated it, and it certainly wouldn't have been a great run for me, that's for sure.

Today's run started out tough. I'm not sure if it's because I took 3 days off of running, because I'm recovering from being sick, because I ate a big plate of poutine for supper (homemade and baked, so a bit healthier! Right?), or a combination of all three, but the first run especially was hard to get into.

Today's run was a 5 minute warm up walk, 5 minute run, 3 minute walk, 8 minute run, 3 minute walk, 5 minute run, and 5 minute cool-down walk. You'd think it would be easier than the last run since it was 3 "shorter" runs (ha! I'm just thinking back to Week 3 when three minutes was the long run!), but it wasn't. I'm glad to say it did get easier as I ran. The first run was difficult, while the second run I was able to get into a groove and was actually picking up my pace by the end of the run. The third run was not so bad, either.

Hopefully I can stay on track for the rest of the training schedule, and not get sick again. :)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

5K Training - Week 5, Run 3

Today was my first uninterrupted run of my training. For the first time, there was no walking other than warm up and cool down. I knew it was coming, and I was a bit nervous! Up until now, my longest run was 8 minutes long, and that was only 2 days ago.

Today's run consisted of a 5 minute warm up walk, then 20 minutes of straight running, followed by the 5 minute cool down walk. TWENTY minutes! And I did it! And it was EASY for me! And yes, I enjoyed it :)

As usual, I concentrated on my breathing, and once again, when the run was over, I wasn't out of breath at all. It was my legs that were screaming by the end, and my lower back was a bit stiff while running, but is fine now. I really prefer an uninterrupted run to the ones I've done in the past. I find the stopping and starting to be difficult, since I am considerably more tired each subsequent run. However, in my mind, I knew my run today would be long, and I was prepared.

In my 20 minute run, I ran 3.03 km!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

5K Training - Week 5, Run 2

Sunday was my second run of this week. It started out on a difficult note from the moment I stepped outside of my wonderfully air conditioned house - it was HUMID outside! And not just a little bit, so much so that I found breathing a little difficult (at least compared to non-humid weather) just doing my warm-up walk! I was tempted to turn around and go back inside the house to run another day. However, in my mind, I'd already made the commitment to run, and was already prepared. I figured I'd push through it and get it over with, that way I'd be able to relax the next day and watch Hell's Kitchen and Masterchef :)

Run 2 consisted of the usual 5 minute warm-up walk, an 8 minute run, a 5 minute walk, an 8 minute run, and a 5 minute cool-down walk. My longest stretch of running yet by 3 minutes! My first run was surprisingly easy. I managed to run 1.38 km in that 8 minute stretch. Not fast in the least, but I'm happy with it, considering the humidity. I also calculated how long it would take me to run a 5K at that pace, and it was just over 30 minutes! My goal is 30 minutes, so I was pleased to see that :)

My second run, not surprisingly, was much harder, and much slower. I was only able to run 0.9 km at that speed. Sigh. However, I pushed through it and didn't stop, even though I felt the humidity getting to me! I just slowed my pace about halfway through, and trudged on. Hopefully my next run will be on a less humid evening.

I am now past the halfway point of my training schedule!! :)

5K Training - Week 5, Run 1

I'm a bit late on this, but Friday evening I went out for my first run of Week 5. This week is different from the previous weeks in that each of the three runs is different from each other (previous weeks had all 3 runs the same, as you may have noticed). Friday's run consisted of a 5 minute warm up walk, 5 minutes running, 3 minutes walking, 5 minutes running, 3 minutes walking, 5 minutes running and 5 minutes cool-down walking.

I found that each successive run was more difficult than the last. When I'm in the groove of running, I'm concentrating on my breathing and I don't really notice being tired. However, when I have the chance to stop and walk, I find that starting back up again at the next run is more difficult, and by the last run, I'm beat!

I just hope this is a good sign for being able to run the 30 minute stretches later on! :)

Thankfully, no ice cream truck this run! However, I did come home to have a delicious Black Jack Cherry frozen yogurt in a waffle cone. Mmmmm :) A bit of a healthier choice than the ice cream of my first ever run!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

This Week's Veggies!

My favourite day of the week has come and gone again. Curious about this week's veggies? :)

  • Swiss Chard
  • 2 broccoli
  • 1 head of lettuce
  • green beans
  • yellow beans
  • radish sprouts
  • carrots
  • Romano beans (I believe!)
  • 4 yellow potatoes
  • 6 small red potatoes
  • white mushrooms
  • mixed salad greens
  • 2 zucchinis 
  • a big container of heirloom tomatoes (I got a black one (Black Krim or Black Prince) and a yellow one to try in there!)
  • 3 yellow onions
 There seems to be somewhat fewer vegetables this week, but it's still enough to last the week, and considering the really bad drought we seem to be in, I'm just happy we're getting vegetables at all! Plus I still have some leftover from last week (there were a lot of vegetables last week!), such as basil, turnip, celery, some lettuce, a couple of carrots, and I still have peas from a couple of weeks ago that are still good. I also used up last week's potatoes in a potato salad for dinner.

On the farm's blog, it indicated that the conditions are the worst they've been in 50 years, with a small pond they have on the farm completely dried up. Does anyone know a rain dance? If so, now would be a good time to do it! (And send the rain to Shawville, QC while you're at it!)

Anyone have any exciting recipes using these vegetables? Feel free to share! I love to try new recipes with these.

Friday, July 20, 2012

5K Training - Week 4, Run 3

5K training is hard enough on its own, but you know what makes it much harder? When you've just started your run, and you hear the delightful jingle of the neighbourhood ice cream truck, playing its taunting music as you run by. Okay, done. It's gone. But wait! Alas. As slow as it is, that damn ice cream truck is still faster than you, and it comes back around the corner from another side street as you run past. Fine. Think you've escaped it? In the last minute of your last, tiring run, you hear that jingle yet again in the home stretch. Damn!

And that was my reality on my last run of week 4 ;)

That's right, 4 weeks down, 5 to go! Almost half way there :)

This past run was easier than Run 2 of this week, because I waited an extra day so that the weather would be cooler and I could be sure to get the best time possible. And it worked! There was a pleasant wind as I ran that was a little cold during warm up, but definitely welcomed during the runs. I took the same 3.98K route that I took the past two times as well, and I finished it about a minute faster than before! It doesn't sound like much, but I know that 1 minute can make a big difference.

It feels really good to push myself to do something I never thought I could do. As each week goes by and I complete longer and longer runs, it gives me the confidence to know I can do the following week. This week will be difficult. But it's doable. And using this blog to keep me accountable is working!

Week 5 starts today... stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

5K Training - Week 4, Run 2

Sunday marked my second run of week 4, and consisted again of 5w, 3r, 1.5w, 5r, 2.5w, 3r, 1.5w, 5r, 5w. (Yeah, a bit of short hand. W = walk, R = run. I know you know, though :) ). This weekend, our air conditioner broke down (we seem to have some luck with things breaking down when it's really hot! Remember Mr. Mazda?), and our house was HOT. It completely hindered my motivation to get out and be active when I felt like a melted lump on a log at home! However, I did push myself to get out and run, and I'm glad I did.

The run was harder than the last one, but I think it was because of the heat and humidity. I'm proud that I pushed through and ran anyway, even if it wasn't necessarily my fastest run. The fact that I did it is key!

Today was supposed to be my last run, but I decided I'm going to do it tomorrow. With the weather being nicer tomorrow, I want to try and give myself a good chance of running quicker than I did last time. So, stay tuned for another update!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Smarty Pants

The other day I was making supper which consisted of stir fry veggies (including snow peas). As you may have discovered from previous posts, Lily LOVES snap peas. However, I've given her snow peas in the past, and even though they taste pretty much the same (I can't really tell the difference in taste!), Lily decided she didn't like snow peas at all.

Anyway, Lily was standing on her stepping stool helping with dinner when she saw the bag of snow peas on the counter. She mistook them for snap peas since they were at the back of the counter, and so she asked for some snap peas.

Being sneaky, I said "Sure!", and didn't tell her that what I was about to give her was snow peas. I took one out of the bag and gave it to her after taking off the ends.

Well, she took the pod from me and was about to put it in her mouth when she stopped and looked at it, studying it. She was quiet for a few seconds, then turned to me and said, "These are snow peas, Mommy. Are these snow peas?" I was completely surprised that she knew the difference in looks of these peas! I couldn't lie, so I told her that yes, they were snow peas. But I encouraged her to take a bite.

And that's how Lily learned to like the taste of snow peas. ;)

What a smarty pants!

Friday, July 13, 2012

5K Training - Week 4, Run 1 (Getting Stronger!)

Well, here I am. 4 weeks in. 10 runs done. And it feels great. Amazing, actually. Looking back to 4 weeks ago, before I'd completed my first run, I was skeptical. Not skeptical that I'd be able to complete a run, I knew that following a couch to 5K plan would work, if I stuck to it. No, I was skeptical that I'd enjoy running. But here I am. Today, I actually enjoyed my run! In fact, looking back to 5 or 6 weeks ago, before I committed to doing the Army Run, I was convinced I'd never run. It was always a goal, to run in a race, but that first step of signing up just kept getting pushed back. I'm glad I took that first step.

So, today's run consisted of 16 minutes of running, 15 1/2 minutes of walking. It started with the usual 5 minute warm up walk, followed by a 3 minute run, 1 1/2 minute walk, 5 minute run, 2 1/2 minute walk, 3 minute run, 1 1/2 minute walk, 5 minute run and the final 5 minute cool down walk. I started my first run when my phone told me to, and even though it was the same amount of time running as the long runs last week, it didn't feel long at all. I was surprised when my phone told me that I only had 1 minute left of running. I wasn't tired in the least. Even my first 5 minute run was not difficult.

Overall, the biggest obstacle I felt today was my legs. They were definitely feeling it after the first long run was done, and by the end of the second long run, they were done! That last run was definitely a slow pace. However, oddly enough, my lungs weren't tired at all. Not a bit. I wasn't winded at all from running! I remember thinking, "What the hell!" as I was running. I controlled my breathing, and it seems to be paying off. I feel like this week will be awesome to build up my leg strength if that's the biggest obstacle right now! I'll have to push myself to go faster next run.

The route I took today was 3.98 km, including the walking times. So close to 5K!

Awesome Vegetable Delivery!

I think Fridays are my most anticipated day of the week. It's like Christmas once a week, getting new surprise vegetables magically appear in the cooler I leave outside for the Vegetable Fairies. Or is it Veggie Claus? Whatever. :) The result is fresh, local veggies that I get to sort through, take pictures of, and blog about. I know you love to read about my veggies, too! ;)

So here's what I got this week:
Yum, yum!
  • Celery
  • A bag of white mushrooms
  • A bag of 6 potatoes
  • a bunch of carrots
  • 2 heads of lettuce
  • 2 small onions
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 bag of pea sprouts
  • 1 bag of radish sprouts
  • 1 bag of mixed salad greens
  • fresh basil
  • 4 small turnips
  • some Swiss chard
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • yellow beans
  • 3 small broccoli
  • 1 carton of heirloom tomatoes
Lily was also very excited about the delivery! She wanted to help me unpack, and she thought that the tiny onions were cute :) No snap peas this week for her. However, this week marked the return of the cucumber (these are honestly the freshest, most delicious cucumbers I've ever had!) and radish sprouts, and we got a number of new vegetables - the turnips, basil, and sweet potatoes were all new additions to this week's basket. I'm very pleased with this week's supply!

I still have some veggies leftover from last week as well!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

5K Training - Week 3, Run 3

Yesterday was my final run of Week 3, and I'm happy to say that it went well again! I made sure to go right away after Lily went to bed to avoid falling into the lazy couch trap. Plus, I thought Hell's Kitchen and Masterchef would be on, though when I got back from my run I found out it was cancelled due to All Star Baseball. Who cares about that?! lol

Anyway, the last run of week 3 was the same as the first 2 - 5 minutes warm up, 1 1/2 minute run, 1 1/2 minute walk, 3 minute run and 3 minute walk (repeated twice), followed by a 5 minute cool down. Nothing really new to report on this, I concentrated on my breathing and had no problems with any of the runs. I'm a little nervous for Friday's run, since my shortest run will be 3 minutes, but I'm sticking to it and I can do it!

Another week down, another 6 to go!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

5K Training - Week 3, Run 2

It's hard to believe, but I was actually looking forward to getting out on today's run. The weather today was perfect - hot when the sun was out, but clouds came over often enough to cool you off, and a nice cool breeze to top it off. I went out today at 8:30 pm, so I had the benefit of a nice cool evening on top of that.

I went straight after coming home from a BBQ at a friend's place, after having had a burger and salad and a couple of drinks over the course of the afternoon, as well as getting some good exercise on their trampoline (and I'm serious, that is good exercise on there, especially when trying to control how high you jump with a 2 year old! I could feel it in my thighs after the jumping. So much fun!). Today's run was the same as last time - 5 minutes warm up, 2 repetitions of 1 1/2 minutes running, 1 1/2 minutes walking, 3 minutes running, 3 minutes walking, then a 5 minute cool down.

I found today to be a little tougher with the runs, but I think it was because of my trampoline jumping just prior to my runs! My legs were already a little tired from that, so running was a bit more effort today. But I pushed through and made better time than I did last run. Not once did I have negative thoughts about running. In fact, the whole time I was running, I felt like I was well on my way to running a 5K! I'm not saying I could do that tomorrow, or next week, but that I know I will be able to do it when my training is over. Go me!

I haven't even felt sore after a run in a long time (except for the lower back pain, which likes to rear its ugly head in the mornings. Tomorrow should be fun... ha!), and today I feel really good after my run and (of course) cold shower! Awesome after-run reward! :)

Saturday, July 7, 2012

5K Training - Week 3, Run 1

So I'm getting to that usual point in an exercise regime where I'm really digging in my heels at keeping going. It was really hot and humid yesterday, and I just didn't want to go out in that (understandably), and I stalled and stalled. It was 9:30 pm when I was still humming and hawing over getting off the couch and running, but I'm glad to say that I kicked my ass and got off the couch, and went for another night run.

This was my first run of week 3, so they've upped the running intervals. This time I did my 5 minute warm-up walk, followed by 1 1/2 of running, 1 1/2 of walking, 3 minutes of running and 3 minutes of walking, repeated twice. Finally, the usual 5 minute cool-down.

I was a little nervous for the 3 minute run, so I kept my pace steady instead of trying to widen my stride as I did last run just to make sure I could run for the whole time. Well, I did it, and it made me confident that I'm ready for it, as well as that I will be ready for longer running stretches next week! It wasn't so bad when I kept my pace steady, and it helped that there were only 4 runs. I think I actually prefer fewer runs that are longer intervals, it makes the time go by a little quicker if I get in the zone and concentrate on my breathing. In fact, I even felt that the 1 1/2 runs were more difficult this time around than the 3 minute runs!

The only issue I'm having with my running is I am starting to get lower back pain, and it's not muscle pain, but it feels like it's actually in my lower spine :( Anyone have any tips or equipment I can get to help with back pain after running? It's worst in the morning after I wake up, and I have to constantly stretch out my spine to "relieve" the pain (though it hurts while stretching it).

Thursday, July 5, 2012

A Wonderful LONG Weekend!

I'm a bit late to post this, but better late than never! This past weekend was a wonderful long weekend, and busy as usual!

Friday was an exciting day as it was my second fresh, local organic vegetable delivery! I really look forward to Fridays to find out what I get each week, and to plan delicious and different things to make with them. Here is a picture of last week's produce:

It includes:
  • a head of lettuce
  • 1 bag of mixed salad greens
  • 1 bag of pea sprouts
  • 1 bag of snap peas
  • 1 bag of snow peas
  • 1 bag of 6 potatoes
  • 1 bag of swiss brown mushrooms
  • 1 bunch of swiss chard
  • 1 bunch of carrots
  • 1 head(?) of broccoli
  • 1 large zucchini
  • 1 white onion
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 bag of scapes (they have a slight garlicky, oniony taste - very good in the place of either vegetable)
You may be wondering what some of the recipes I've been making with these are. Last week I made a stir fry, a quinoa salad with zucchini and mushrooms, a hot swiss chard and artichoke dip, and lots of salads, toasted tomato sandwiches (yum!), and eating raw snap peas. Lily LOVES snap peas. She asks for some at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, an indulgence I'm all-too-happy to give in to! :) So far this week, I made a homemade mushroom soup (so good!), lots of salads and raw snap peas (of course), and just the regular steaming of some veggies.

Hot swiss chard and artichoke dip

One more day until the next veggie delivery! I'm going to buy a new cooler this week to receive them in, since we've been borrowing an old one from my Mom.

Back to the topic at hand, on Saturday we went strawberry picking at Proulx Farms with my sister, brother-in-law, and nephew. We picked 2 baskets of berries (and Lily ate quite a few while picking!), which ended up being made into 8 jars of jam, chocolate covered strawberries, plain strawberries for snacking, and I might finish the last of them (those that are still good, that is!) into a strawberry loaf. That evening, I got together with a few friends for some drinks and appetizers (this was what I made the swiss chard and artichoke dip for!) - good fun, better company! :)

Sunday was Canada Day! Lily was very excited about this, and kept asking if we were GOING to Canada Day. No amount of explaining that Canada Day was just a day of celebrating changed her question! :P In the morning, we ended up stopping by my best friend's place to pick up Lily's very own Canada Day shirt. We returned home for Lily's nap, and I made some lemon cupcakes to bring to the BBQ we would be attending at my Mom's place. When Lily woke up, she helped me decorate them by putting the red sprinkles on top of the white buttercream icing I spread on them! She did a great job, and loved helping.

Cupcake decorating! Yes, I cheated and used canned icing :P

We then headed over to my Mom's place for a family BBQ, where there were 21 attendees! It was a big event! There was lots to eat as everyone brought a little something to share. Lily got her toenails painted by her great-aunt, with the colour matching perfectly with her sandals. Lily did some swimming in the community pool with her uncle and cousins. She also found a nice big caterpillar, which we put back in a tree!

Hello, Mr. Caterpillar

Matching shoes and toes!

Swimming with Uncle Scot

No fireworks this year, but maybe next year we'll last that long!

On Monday, we went to the beach with my best friend and her family. We spent a good part of the morning and early afternoon there, enjoying the swimming, seeing the pirate ship, playing in the sand, and a picnic lunch. It was nice being able to spend a lot of time with them there, it was the perfect day for it!

Lily then played out back in her kiddie pool with her best friend while the adults got the chance to sit and talk (and keep the wild kids under control!).

Finally, on Tuesday we went to my best friend's place for dinner to celebrate her son (and my Godson)'s THIRD birthday! It was just a small gathering for supper, since the big birthday bash will be in a couple of weeks for both of her little munchkins (the other turns ONE soon!). Happy birthday, little man!

See, told you we were busy ;)

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

5K Training - Week 2, Run 3

Yesterday was my final run of Week 2, meaning once again, next run, things are going to get a little tougher! This past run was my best run yet, though. It was the same as the last 2, with 5 minutes of warm up, then 6 alternations of 1 1/2 minutes running, 2 minutes of walking, followed by a 5 minute cool down.

Just like I posted last week, I decided I was going to really push myself and work towards longer strides as much as possible. For each of the 6 runs, I managed to run the first half of each minute and a half with long strides, and when I got the signal that it was half over, I slowed my pace to make sure I could run the whole time. It worked out well for me, as it split the run nicely and seemed to make the time go by faster. I (gasp!) actually enjoyed my run for the first time! I also beat my time home by at least 2 minutes, so that during my cool down walk, I was weaving back and forth across the street until the time was up.

I'm pretty pleased with my run, but once again, next run will be tough.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

5K Training - Week 2, Run 2 (Night Run!)

Happy Canada Day! I'll talk more about my long weekend in another post, but I thought I'd write a quick update on today's run. Today I went for my first night run! We only got home from being out at 9:30, and I was due for my run and wanted to stay on schedule, so I got into my running gear and set out at 9:50.

Once again, it was a 5 minute warm up, followed by 6 repetitions of 1 1/2 of running, 2 minutes of walking. It finishes with a 5 minute cool down walk.

I don't know why, perhaps it was the not-so-running-friendly food I'd eaten all day, but I started out my first run not really into it, feeling tired and not very much like running. As I started my second of six runs, I passed a big group of hoodlums. That's right, hoodlums. They were shooting off firecrackers, and they were firing them off sideways. Needless to say, they fired one off in my general direction, and I saw it fly by me, not too close, but it certainly didn't feel accidental, as they were laughing afterwards. Thankfully that was the only incident, but it was a little scary while running alone in the dark.

After that, I got into a zone while running. With all the sounds of firecrackers and fireworks (the pops, bangs, and squeals), I found it entertaining to imagine myself in a battlefield! Fitting since the run I'll be doing in September is the Army Run ;) I even got to see some fireworks as I ran. It was kind of nice overall, minus the one firecracker incident.

I also saw a firefly and a bunny on my run! :)

My last two runs I pushed myself harder than the first 4. Especially during my last run, I really widened my stride, trying to cover as much distance as possible. I didn't last too long with the long strides, but I think from now on I'm going to start each run with running that way for as long as possible. I'm sure it will help improve my time in the end.

No picture today, it was too dark to get a decent one on my iPhone!

Friday, June 29, 2012

5K Training - Week 2, Run 1

After the allotted 2 days off of running that my phone gave me, Week 2 arrived today and I was to get back at it! I was feeling a bit adventurous, and decided to go for a morning run. I admit, I also just wanted to get it over with for the day ;) I had already made up my mind, even after I saw that the weather was already feeling like 32 with the humidity. So at about 9:30, I was off.

This week's runs are a little tougher. I started out with a 5 minute warm-up walk, then it was 1 1/2 minutes of running followed by 2 minutes of walking, repeated 6 times. Finally, it finishes with a 5 minute cool-down walk.

I started out and it was hot out! The past 3 times I've run, it's been evening or a cool(ish) afternoon, so not only was I doing longer stretches of running, the heat was also a challenge. My first run went well - I kept my breathing regulated and focused on that. I wasn't very tired by the end of it, and felt like I could start running again before the 2 minutes were up. I didn't, though, as I figure the program is designed this way for a reason. By about the 3rd run, it was getting more difficult, and the humidity didn't help. I stayed focused on my breathing, and made it through. By this time, 2 minutes was just about perfect for walking in between runs! My final run was the most difficult. I was sweating and hot, and I kept it easy with a slower pace, keeping in control of my breathing as much as possible. I made it! I didn't walk until I was supposed to. That's a win for me!

I admit, towards the end I was starting to have negative thoughts, thinking, "How am I going to be able to run for 30 minutes without stopping? This is hard!" but I caught myself and just starting thinking, "I CAN do this. I'm doing this now. It will get easier." I also focused on my reward when I got home: A nice, long, refreshing cold shower (that is the BEST reward for me! Until I have a pool, that is!), followed by an iced coffee made from my Keurig.

And perfect timing, when I got home, my delivery from was waiting for me. I had ordered some more coffee and a tumbler specifically for iced coffee! So I'm sitting here, enjoying a French vanilla iced coffee and watching Who's the Boss? I'm cool like that.

Me after Week 2, Run 1. Good thing my sunglasses are on, I was beat!
Not my favourite picture of myself, but it's got Mr. Mazda in the background! :D

My Favourite Deals for June 22-28

As I sit here, waiting to digest my cereal a little bit before I go out for my next 5K training run, I thought I'd post about the deals I found this week.

Before I start, I don't go crazy on the couponing, I get things that my family can use. I'm not going to buy a 50lb bag of potatoes, or hearing aid batteries, or an entire cow just because I have a 50 cent coupon for it! :P I already told you, I'm not THAT crazy.

So here is what I got this week that I think are my best deals:
Note that when I talk about the actual retail price, I mean of the store I bought them from. So even though they might be much cheaper at a different store, the regular price from the store I got them from will be what I mean. Know what I mean? ;)

  • 2 4lb bags of Iams cat food: reg. $11.99, sale $9.99, $3.00 off coupons = $6.99 each
  • 2 two Dove soap bar packages: reg. $4.99, sale $1.99, coupon of save $2.00 on 2 = $0.99 each
  • 1 Lysol no-touch soap dispenser: reg. $9.99, I won a coupon code to get it for free, so... = FREE
  • 1 Dairy Milk chocolate bar: reg. $1.29, $0.50 off coupon = $0.79 
  • 1 bag of Chunks Ahoy cookies: reg. $3.49, sale $1.88, $0.75 off coupon = $1.13
So to total that up, before taxes everything in this picture retails at $48.73.
I paid $17.88.

I saved 63.3%. Booya!

P.S. I know what you're thinking. I have spoiled cats who get pampered with Iams. And why don't I just feed them Friskies? Then I could have saved even more. Well, we used to feed our cats that, and they had pooping problems, wiping their butts all over the floor. I've cleaned up too many of these streaks in their lifetime, and I don't want to risk cleaning more!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

29 months old

Dear Lily,

As of June 25, you are now 29 months old, one month shy of being 2 1/2! You are a wonderful daughter, a beautiful child, a smart kid. You are outgoing, strong, and sweet; you are opinionated, fiesty, and gentle. You are a born leader.

The Princess and the Frog @ 29 months
You have an unmatched love of insects and animals, always pausing to look for ants, green beetles, dragonflies, earwigs (to my horror!), and especially butterflies. You LOVE butterflies. You also love flowers, and would love it if you could pick flowers all day. You love to buy me flowers at the grocery store with Daddy. You love our pets, but especially Lucky. He's become your much-loved playmate at home.

You love the colour purple, all things Disney Princess (and especially Snow White!), your Teddy bear, watching movies, playing at the park, singing songs as well as making up songs, doing crafts (especially gluing crafts), helping me make dinner, and digging in sand. You're not a big fan of soccer, but you love gymnastics and swimming. You love your big cousins.

You are a great eater, and you like most foods. When you're unsure about a new food, I often remind you about Green Eggs and Ham, and you are always willing to take one bite. Sometimes you like it, sometimes you don't. But you are so good at trying new things. You especially like chocolate and ice cream, and your favourite non-treat food is pasta. You oddly do not like pizza very much.

As of this month, you are now potty trained, except for naps and overnight, though naps are soon to follow. You will be starting the preschool program at your daycare next week, the littlest preschooler there! You love playing with the bigger kids, but you haven't yet shown too much interest in babies. You love your friends at daycare, and would love for your best friend to join you for all activities we do at home.

This month you are also very particular, needing things to be done your own way, and getting angry when they are not. You are also becoming so independent, and are able to dress yourself with little-to-no help.

You are so smart. You know your letters, numbers up to 10, and are learning to count to 10 in French. You just need help with 6 and 10 in French! You pronounce "quatre" as "cat-le", which always makes me smile. You know your colours, speak in full sentences, and have full conversations with people. You are a problem solver, and are witty. You've changed the words to "Yellow Submarine", replacing all yellows with purples to reflect your preferences!

I love you more and more each day.


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

5K Training - Week 1, Run 3 (Afternoon Run!)

Today marked the last run of my first week of training. I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, it means I've successfully completed one week of training, and I only have 8 left to go before I should be able to run for 30 minutes without stopping! On the other hand, it means my easy, safe week of 5 minutes warm-up, followed by alternating 1 minute running, 1 1/2 minutes of walking 8 times, then a 5 minute cool-down, is over. Running as I know it is done. Runs are only going to get harder from here on in!

BUT let's focus on today. One day at a time. One run at a time. One step at a time. I can do that. Anyone can do that.

Today's run, as I mentioned, was the same as the last two runs workout-wise. Today I was feeling adventurous, and I went for my run at 12:50 or so! There was a nice cool breeze outside (before I started running, it was a cold breeze! This became more inviting after I started running!), plus I just want to be lazy and watch Hell's Kitchen and Masterchef tonight at my usual run time. So there, running!

Once again, I started out strong, trying to keep a good pace and working on my breathing, keeping it controlled and concentrating on that. I felt like the first runs were harder than the last times, but to make up for it, the last runs were much easier! I felt like I ran the last ones faster than before, but more importantly that I could keep going after the 1 minute. That helps me realize I can totally do what's scheduled for next week.

After my 8th run, during my cool-down, I was totally thinking, "I hate this running business! I don't enjoy this at all." However, once I had been walking for a couple of minutes and had caught my breath, I realized that I feel pretty good. I'm not overly tired while running, I feel like I have more energy during the day, and I'm not nearly as sore as I thought I would be.

Running isn't supposed to be easy. I'm used to things being easy for me, but running is definitely a challenge! With Week 1 done, I have no choice but to keep pushing on. You know what? Running WILL become easy for me. I CAN do this. Hell, I AM doing this!

Me after Week 1, Run 3. Happy Garbage Day!
These pictures don't do my red face any justice. I'm as red as a tomato after these runs, really! Got to love crappy iPhone cameras!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

5K Training - Week 1, Run 2 (Train in the Rain)

Today was my scheduled second run for my 5K training. I admit, I was a little bit less gung-ho about this run today than I was on Friday for my first run. Yesterday, my quads were sore. They weren't terribly sore, but sore enough to feel it as I go down stairs or lower myself to a sitting position. So today, not only was I still sore, but I knew what was in store for my poor legs tomorrow!

I could have easily come up with excuses to not go today, the main one being that it was sprinkling outside. But I've committed to doing this run, and I am going to make sure I'm prepared for it so I can do the best I can do right now! Plus, I know the exercise is good for me, and I'm hoping it will give me the added bonus of losing a little extra weight and maybe even finally toning these thighs! They're overdue for that! :P

So, a little rain didn't stop me. I got my iPhone ready and was off just before 8pm! (I'm totally not a morning person. Evening runs are perfect for me!) Today's run was the same as the first run - 28 1/2 minutes total of exercise, with a 5 minute warm-up followed by 1 minute of running, 1 1/2 minutes of walking, 8 times, then a 5 minute cool-down.

I pushed myself a little harder this time, and tried to run a little faster to challenge myself. I don't know if it was because my legs were already sore, but the runs were definitely more tiring this time, but again, not unbearably so. I worked on my breathing during the runs, and walking more briskly between runs. In doing so, I managed to improve my time by about 2 minutes this time! Last time, the 28 1/2 minutes were up and I was about 2 minutes away from home. This time, I made it home before the 28 1/2 minutes were up! The last of my 8 runs was definitely slow, but I'm pretty happy with the overall improvement. Not bad!

So again, I know I can do this! I just have to stick to the training, which I plan on doing.

Me after Week 1, Run 2. I look more tired this time :P

Friday, June 22, 2012

Vegetables! Fresh, Local Vegetables!

Today was a very exciting day. Last Sunday, after hearing about a friend's experiences with this, I decided to sign up to have fresh, local, organic produce delivered to my door each Friday. Today was my first delivery of fresh vegetables, and I am very, very happy with what I got!

First, before I get into that, I get my vegetables from Bryson Farms. They deliver these vegetables to your door weekly or biweekly (whatever you choose), all year round. All local, all picked the day before they deliver. You can choose the size of the delivery you would like based on the number of people in your household, and you can also customize your orders if you have allergies, or vegetables you just plain don't like. You can let them know in your profile online, as well as indicate which types of vegetables you'd prefer to receive instead. Friday morning (the morning of delivery for my area), you leave a big cooler with ice packs in the summer outside (you can leave it at your front or back porch, wherever you'd like! Whichever is more convenient with the sun and weather. Just let them know.), and when you come home, the produce has arrived!

Like I said earlier, today was my first delivery! Here is what I got:
Lovely! :)
Doesn't that all look fabulous?? :) I got (and please correct me if I've got the wrong vegetable! I've never seen some of these before!)
  • 1 small head of lettuce
  • 1 bunch of carrots
  • 2 bunches of broccoli
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 bag of 5 potatoes
  • 1 bag of mushrooms
  • 2 zucchinis
  • 1 bunch of asparagus
  • 1 cucumber
  • 4-5 big green onions
  • 2 bags of snap peas
  • 1 bag of mixed greens
  • 1 bag of pea shoots
  • 1 bag of radish shoots
  • 1 bunch of swiss chard
Phew! Some of these veggies I have never tried before, and have no idea what to do with them. I'm going to be busy on Google looking up uses and recipes, I think! :) 

5K Training - Week 1, Run 1

Well, today I bit the bullet and began my training for the 5K. I'm using an app on my iPhone called Get Running.  It's essentially one of those couch to 5K programs, which is exactly what I need. I really am a couch potato, so this couch to 5K business is perfect. I've had this app on my phone for about a week now, but today was my first run. The past couple of days have been excruciatingly hot and muggy (hot enough for a car to break down! Mr. Mazda is home and recovering well, by the way!), so I didn't want to start my runs then. Today was much nicer, so at 8pm this evening, I began my journey.

I turned on my app and my iPhone told me to warm up by walking briskly for 5 minutes. Easy. As I was walking it, I realized 5 minutes is a lot longer than I thought! Not that I was tired, I'm not that out of shape! I just covered more distance than I expected. After that, it told me when to run and when to walk. The first run consisted of running for 1 minute, walking for 1 1/2 minutes, eight times. 

The first 4 runs were simple. I chuckled to myself while running, thinking this was way too easy, and that maybe I should be starting further along. However, the runs did get a bit harder as my legs got more sore after those first 4, but thankfully they were nothing unbearable. Overall, I feel really good about my run! My quads are a bit sore now, and I know they will be MUCH more sore tomorrow, but for now, I'm in the mind set that I can totally do this! 
Me after Week 1, Run 1. LET'S DO THIS!
 After I got home from my run, I took a nice cold shower. After I got out, I Googled cold showers after a run and found out that they're actually beneficial (I was worried I might make my muscles more sore by doing so, but apparently not!). I then celebrated with a bowl of PC Chocolate Crackle ice cream. One thing at a time, okay? :)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Old UNreliable

We had a trusting relationship, he and I. He trusted me to feed him when he was hungry, quench his thirst when he was thirsty, and give him a good cleaning now and again. In return, I trusted him to take me to restaurants, to nights on the town, to anywhere my heart desired. I kept my end of the deal. He, on the other hand, quit on me. He left me stranded, scared, and all alone.

Oh, Mr. Mazda. What did I ever do to you?

That's right, I'm talking about my wonderful 2003 Mazda Protege. He's handsome, in his tones of champagne beige (and let me tell you, the curtains match the drapes. He's beige on the inside, too!) ;). So maybe I don't keep him properly clothed (uh... I left his winter tires on until mid-May, and the tires I have on now are threadbare...), and I do tend to wait until he's almost starving to feed him (uh... gas is expensive, so I try and wait until the best deal! I do know the gas gauge can last a lot longer than it claims...), and I know he's been thirsty for quite some time (uh... that windshield wiper fluid light always seems to be on...), but I still feel slighted.

Here's my story.

I was on my way to pick Lily up from daycare. It was one of the hottest days in a while, being 34 and feeling like 42 with the humidity. All of a sudden, I slow down to stop at a light, and my radio conks out. "That's weird." I think to myself, then I roll my eyes, remembering the coldest day of winter. "That's great. The radio stops working when it's too cold AND when it's too hot." The light turns green, and as I'm pushing on the gas, the car won't move. I push harder, and there it goes. And the radio kicks in, too! Sweet. As I'm driving, I notice the car feels a little weird, and I remember when it was hot two weeks ago and my car refused to start after I'd gotten home. We had to borrow booster cables from our awesome neighbours. Anyway, as I'm driving, the car definitely doesn't seem like itself. "I'm definitely not turning my car off when I get to daycare. I need get home!" I think. I approach the turning lane and intersection 1 minute from Lily's daycare. Lo and behold, the radio conks out again. "Uh oh," I think. I feel Mr. Mazda heave and shudder, and I keep pressing the gas a bit to try and keep him alive. Then.... nothing. He's gone. I'm sitting in the turning lane, and he's unresponsive. He won't start, won't even let out a groan. I can't even push on the brake, there's no power at all. I've never had anything like this happen, so I panic a little bit. I turn on my hazards and try and call Mike, but no answer. I call my Mom, but my phone cuts out. Finally I get a hold of Mike and he tells me to call a tow truck. But I don't know who to call! So I Google it. I call the first company I recognize - Gervais Towing. Yeah, I go by the ones I hear on the radio all the time.

It was a wonderful decision to call them! They arrived within 5 minutes, and he let me into the wonderful air conditioned truck. Hooks up Mr. Mazda (I can only think of Tow Mater fishing for Lightning McQueen here!), climbs into the truck, and asks me where I want to go.

...... Uhhh... "Where do people usually go??" I ask him. lol I'm so clueless at this. Eventually I decide we should take it to a garage.

Anyway, the tow truck driver was extremely nice. We chatted as he drove to the garage, and he gave me a ride home in this heat. He even stopped at the gas station to let me take money out to avoid paying the taxes on the tow! He didn't accept a tip. I was very grateful for his help and patience today.

Oh, Mr. Mazda? He's still at the shop. He needs a new alternator and battery. But he'll be okay. Back home tomorrow. I forgive him. He's still pretty cool :)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Old Toys

Growing up, my favourite toys of all time were my Puppy and Kitty in My Pockets. The adventures those cute animals went through were plentiful, outrageous, and most of all, fun. As you can imagine, I never wanted to part with those toys, and to this day, I haven't.

They have been neglected for a long time, though. You know those boxes you have packed away in your closet, or storage? The ones that travel with you as you move from house to house? The ones that you're relieved to see when packing for moving (the work is done! Sweet!), and the ones that never get unpacked? I know you know. We all have at least 1 of those!

Anyway, these old toys have been in one of those boxes since I moved from the house I grew up in, in 2005. Mike was finally catching up on our around-the-house jobs and came across this box. Instead of packing it back up, he decided to put it into Lily's toy rotation. Best idea yet!

Lily absolutely loves my old, beloved puppies and kitties! The past 2 days she has been playing with them, discovering all the animals, and she has even given them a few new adventures of her own! I'm really happy that a toy that used to bring me so much joy and that still brings back a lot of fun memories has found its way into my daughter's heart as well.
Getting into the fun (and there is a lot of fun to get into!)
She loves it!

Monday, June 18, 2012

It's Time.

It's time for a lot of things. I've let this blog slide too long, one too many times. So much has happened since September when I last posted. It's been almost a year, after all. Lily is now almost 29 months old, and talks up a storm. Full conversations (and so many adorable things she says make us laugh, or stop us in surprise wondering, "Where did you learn that?!") She continues to be a joy every day, even on the days that she tests her limits, which is more often than usual these days.

I'm almost done my first year of my PhD program. No courses in the summer, but lots of research getting done. I've also signed up for my first race, ever. I'm not a runner at all, but I'd like to learn. So I signed up for the 5K Army Run in September. I figured if I didn't sign up now, I'd never sign up! So here I am. I'm downloading an app for my iPhone to help me train.  And I plan to blog about my progress, too!

I've also started couponing a little bit. I'm not as crazy as the people you see on TV (at least I like to think I'm not! haha), so I'm also going to blog about some of the deals I find.

Of course, I'll continue to Blog 'Bout Beesons, that is, my family, since that's what this blog is mainly all about.

So... I'm back! I'm hoping with all of these new ideas to blog about, I'll be here more often than I have been. I hope you're still here, reading, and enjoying! :)