Thursday, March 29, 2012

Pin of the Week - March 29th, 2012

For the last Pin of March, I thought I'd revert back to my 'crafty' self :) I've often wanted to upcycle my old t-shirts, but never knew quite how. I'm not sure I'll follow this tutorial to a tee (hehe), because I'd like for the back of the tank top to be able to show off my tattoo. However, this will definitely get me going...!

(Click on picture for more)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Ten on Tuesday: March 27th, 2012

Today's Ten on Tuesday Topic is 10 Tips for Moving.

1. If you had a lot of advance notice that you are moving, make a list of every company that you receive mail from over the course of a year. Then, armed with that list, change your address with each of these companies.

2. Make and distribute address cards to all your friends and loved ones.

3. Separate your belongings into three categories - stuff you want to keep (no matter what), stuff you could do with or without, and stuff you want to get rid of.

4. Start spring cleaning. No matter what season it is. Whether you are giving up tenancy or selling your home, you will need to scrub it clean.

5. Pack up anything that you can do without for 2 weeks or more. Better to get more done earlier than less done never.

6. Enlist help. If you don't have enough volunteers ready to help, hire someone. Seriously. It's not worth doing it yourself.

7. Rent a moving van. Seriously. It's worth the money.

8. Contact the person you are getting keys from, and who you are giving them to. The more overlap the better. If you give and get possession the same day, try to get possession as early as possible and give up possession as late as possible. Then at the very least you can make two trips if you need to.

9. Have your mail forwarded. There will always be something missed.

10. Last and most important: Make lists! No matter what your packing style or time-frame, lists make everything easier. This covers everything from what you're keeping and what you're getting rid of, to what goes in each box, to what you need to remember before the big move.

Monday Treasures - March 26th, 2012

Last week we started a "Life Stages" set of Monday Treasures. Today we will be looking at 5th Birthday / Kindergarten gifts. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

10K Training: Checkin for March 23rd and 25th.

March 23rd (Friday) - 5 miles

Today was my first time running 5 miles (8km). In all honesty, I wasn't sure that I could do it. After all, my legs had been known to give out on lesser runs, and my lungs had betrayed me before. All signs seemed to be pointing toward not doing it. First I forgot my purse at home, and because I needed to renew my gym membership, I wasn't able to get in. After retrieving my purse from the house, I subsequently forgot it in the car. I wasn't doing this on purpose, I swear.

Eventually we started to run. It would take a total of 36 laps to get to the 5 mile mark.

At 13 laps, I was starting to think that it was quite easy. Only 13 laps to go right? (Mmmm... my math obviously wasn't working at that moment. It was a bit of a hit when I realized that I actually had 23 laps to go. (d'oh!))

I hit the halfway point at 33 minutes. It was going pretty good - I was happy with my progress so far.

I hit the 4 mile mark at 52 minutes. Doing good.

I pushed myself to 2x my speed for the last lap. It was a weird feeling - my legs and butt were both numb, so it felt like I had just started breathing harder and the lower half of my body had just become more jiggly.

And guess what! I did the whole run without listening to any music. Instead of listening to the beat of the music, I listened to the rhythm of my own breathing - and used that to guide my running speed. Lisa was also running the opposite direction - meaning that we were able to "cheer each other on" while we ran - definitely a good motivator.

I completed five miles in 1 hour, 4 minutes.

March 25th (Sunday) - 5 miles

I was quite stiff on Saturday - mostly in my thighs, which meant that I was running properly at least. I was even more stiff this morning, which worried me a bit for my run. I was also running by myself today, so it was a little bit harder to get the motivation to run to begin with. The plan was to start my run at 10AM, allowing me to return home in time to make lunch. I didn't actually start running until 11AM, but at least I made it. I ran again without music.

I finished the first half of the run in 30 minutes - 3 minutes faster than Friday. I hit the 4 mile mark at 50 minutes. Again, faster than Friday. It was at this point that I hit a wall. My legs didn't want to keep moving. I first tried to combat it by telling myself that it was no matter - I had to finish either way so I might as well push through this. I kept pushing - the wall was still there. Then I used a technique taught to me in high school curling. I visualized what I wanted to happen. I visualized finishing, and faster than Friday.

Finally, I was able to push through it - on the last lap. I doubled my speed for the lap, and finished the 5 miles at a time of 1 hour 5 minutes. One minute slower than Friday. I was happy though, I finished.

My right foot was very sore after my run on Friday. It wasn't blisters this time, or general soreness - it was sore in some of the muscles on the top of my foot - almost to the point of shooting pains. I wondered if it was because I had my runners to tight - I've been tying them as tight as I can to help prevent blisters, so I let off them today. Unfortunately this just exacerbated the problem - after my run today I my foot was even more sore and I had a blister on each foot the size of a loonie to boot.

After I got home and made and ate lunch, I must have sat in an Epsom salt bath for at least an hour. My foot was so sore I could barely walk on it - every time I planted my foot solidly there would be shooting pains.

It has gotten a bit better now - it is more of a dull ache whenever I step on it, unless I twist it wrong. I'm hoping that this is a temporary thing - from using it too much or something like that. Monday is Zumba and Wednesday is 4 miles. Friday is 5 miles again, but I'm hoping that it will be feeling better by then. I'll focus on core and upper body in the days in between.

Two months left until the race!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

10K Training - Checkin for March 21, 2012

What qualifies as an excuse, and what qualifies as an honest-to-God good reason?

The reason why I am asking is because I didn't run my 4 miles yesterday.

I didn't come by this decision lightly, far from it. I know all too well that although I had a great workout at Zumba again on Monday, I haven't actually ran since Saturday.

However. There always seems to be a however.

I didn't get enough sleep Sunday night. Or Monday night. Or Tuesday night. Or last night for that matter, but that's irrelevant. Yesterday I was operating on 5-6 hours of sleep - sometimes uninterrupted sometimes not - per night for the last three nights. And while lots of people can operate perfectly normally on that amount of sleep, I cannot. I fear for my sanity when I deem myself ready to have children - as the poor things would then have to put up with an underslept, overemotional, grumpy, half-nonfunctional me. But that's off topic.

An approximate explanation of how I felt last night after work was that I had two things keeping me going - caffeine and adrenaline. And if either of those things fell through, I would likely fall asleep on the spot. So could I have run the 4 miles? Possibly. But I would have had to push my adrenaline levels up higher - pump myself up with all the energy I could possibly muster. Even then, it would likely be a crappy workout and I would have to walk parts and end up mad and frustrated at myself and then all but pass out the moment I got home (and once again skip supper and just shower and go to bed).

Yet I found myself sitting in my car, humming and hawing. Should I try to run? Am I failure if I don't? Does this qualify as an excuse, or a justifiable reason? I didn't know.

It took me a solid hour to decide if I wanted to run. Finally I came to the conclusion not to. I still don't know if I made the right decision though. Based on the fact that my calves were sore today (from...?) and that we have 5 miles to run Friday and again on Sunday I'm guessing that I won't suffer too much from missing it... But. There's always the But. But I didn't do it. $%^&! I wish this was black and white. Do this, you will be able to do it. Don't, you won't. Do this, you will lose weight. Do this, you won't. I need a roadmap instead of all this fog.

Pin of the Week - March 22nd, 2012

What are you looking at?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Ten on Tuesday: March 20th, 2012

While there is no official Ten on Tuesday this week (Carole, who runs Ten on Tuesday is sick), I'd like to do one of my own. So, today's Ten on Tuesday (on my side of the world anyway), is:

Ten 'Guilty Pleasure' Workout Songs

1. So What - Pink

2. What Doesn't Kill You - Kelly Clarkson

3. Stronger - Britney Spears

4. No Scrubs - TLC

5. Sexy Back - Justin Timberlake

6. Be As - Prozzak

7. One Way or Another - Blondie

8. 500 Miles - The Proclaimers

9. Don't Stop Believin' - Journey

10. Get Down - Backstreet Boys

Monday, March 19, 2012

Monday Treasures - March 19th, 2012

I mentioned last week that it would be the last week of 'colour' themed Monday Treasures. I also mentioned that there would be some more fun stuff coming up. There have been a lot of events going on around me lately, and I have been finding them all to make me think about how neat it would be to add them to Monday Treasures. So, For the next little while, Monday Treasures will be 'event themed'. I've even made up a schedule, matched up to the 'stages of life' :) I did this as much for me as for you, so that you know what's coming up and I don't miss anything!

March 19th, 2012 - Baby shower
March 26th, 2012 - 5th Birthday (Kindergarten)
April 2nd, 2012 - Easter Special

April 9th, 2012 - 16th Birthday (License)
April 16th, 2012 - High School Graduation
April 23rd, 2012 - 19th Birthday (Drinking Age)
April 30th, 2012 - Wedding Shower
May 7th, 2012 - Mother's Day Special
May 14th, 2012 - Wedding
May 21st, 2012 - Housewarming
May 28th, 2012 - Anniversary
June 4th, 2012 - 30th Birthday
June 11th, 2012 - Father's Day Special
June 18th, 2012 - 50th Birthday
June 25th, 2012 - Retirement

I hope you enjoy these!

Soo... That means that today's Monday Treasures theme is Baby Shower!

There are a few rules that I am very strict about when it comes to baby gifts, and these are that:
1) It's not a decoration for the baby's room - chances are the nursery is already done, and if it's not, they have their own ideas on how to decorate it. They don't want to feel obliged to put up what you've bought, especially if it doesn't fit their style.
2) It's not something trinkety that serves no purpose outside of collecting dust. Babies are a lot of work - chances are it's not going to get dusted and will just look like clutter.
3) It's not something that suggests that they should live a different lifestyle than they do: ie/ if they have not told you that they want to use cloth diapers, don't buy them any.

Keeping this in mine, take a look at today's Monday Treasures!

1. 'Boobies' Onesie - KatyandZucchini

2. Newborn Headband - SallyAnnaSunshine

3. Sock Monkey Booties - Annie K's Creations

4. Personalized Soft Toy - Peggy and Nic

5. Sweet Treats Baby Set - babyxpress

6. Baby Sunscreen - Bumble BayBee Products

7. Tricycle Diaper Cake - Babyfeva

8. Rosemary Mint Baby Wash/Shampoo - BabySwank

BONUS! If the baby has an older sibling(s):
9. Personalized Sibling T-shirt/onesie - Zoey's Attic

Thanks for stopping by, and see you next week for a 5th Birthday post!

10K Training: Checkin for March 16th + 17th

These were an interesting couple of runs.

On Friday (16th) I left work early so that I could get to the gym as early as possible - I drove straight from work to the gym. There was a track meet going on, so it was a treadmill only day. I was feeling pretty drained, so it was a matter of trying to find a way that I could not only run 3 miles, but do it under 40 minutes.

I decided to do some intervals - something that has been suggested a lot, but I haven't done much. I decided on 7mi/4.2mi... not timing either side, just running as long as I could then walking 'til I caught my breath. I finished in 38 minutes - not too shabby :)

Once I was done I had to race back to the house - luckily it was a nice day out so I didn't bother changing - and shower. I then hastily packed up all my things and jumped in the car for a 3hr drive.

The next day I was down at the farm visiting, so I ran with my mom :)

It was the first time I had run outside so far in my training, and boy is it a different experience. I don't know what tripped me up more - that I had no music with me, the fact that it felt like the wind was sucking all air and moisture out of my body, or the fact that it felt like my feet were slipping backwards as much as propelling me forward on the gravel. It was definitely tough - after 2 miles I felt like I had run at least 4 miles, and I had to walk for a little while to calm down my breathing. It felt like my heart was racing by the time I go to about the 1.5 mile mark. Mom explained to me that this might be because I was thinking too much about how hard it was to run - I was causing myself to panic. She suggested that I think about other things instead, to keep distracted from the fact that I was running.

It seemed to work - I didn't have any trouble breathing on the way back - although we did switch to a walk for a short time twice because my calf was hurting - serves me right for running two days in a row, and without stretching the first day, I suppose. Total time was 56 minutes for 4 miles.

The day after I ran on the gravel I was stiff - in my thighs and hips! That in itself means that I am going to call this run a success - I was finally running properly! :D Let's hope that I can turn this into a habit now.


Because I think that this is quite tightly related to running I am going to provide you with a weight update here.

It will be a month tomorrow since I have lost weight.

While I of course do find this frustrating, I am losing inches still, and I take my solace in that. I'm guessing because of all the running I have been gaining muscle steadily - after all, I'm always stiff - and this has off-set any weight loss. That said, I'm still hoping to see a loss tomorrow, and every day after that as I step on the scale - who wouldn't be?

I'm not going to give myself an excuse to quit - only one to work harder.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

10K Training - Checkin for March 14th, 2012

There was 3 miles scheduled for today. Put quite simply, I didn't do it.

I'm okay with that. It's the first workout I've missed in awhile - I'm not regularly skipping. And I had a valid excuse.

I'm allergic to snow mould - my eyes get all scratchy, I get a runny nose, sinus pain, headache, sore throat... basically if it's associated with a head cold it is also associated with my allergy. It might have helped clear it to run - I don't know. What I do know is that with a pounding headache, sore throat and my nose dripping like an old faucet, I was in no mood to run. So I didn't.

But I will tomorrow. No excuses. I'm even leaving work early so that I can run before hitting the road to head down to the farm for the weekend. 4 miles tomorrow. No matter what my body is doing, I'm going to do it.

Pin of the Week - March 15th, 2012

Celiac disease has made itself a huge part of my friends' lives, and in turn it is something that I want to know as much about as possible. Today's link brings you to a great informational site about what celiac disease is and some of the background behind it.

(click on image for more)

Pin It

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Ten on Tuesday: March 13th, 2012

Note: Apparently I hit 'Save' instead of 'Publish' when I finished this yesterday. Sorry! Here it is now...

Today's Ten on Tuesday Topic (wow what a mouthful!) is "Ten Songs that Put You in a Great Mood". How wonderful! Of course, my favorite songs encompass a wide variety of genres... and I'm sure you wouldn't expect any less. Here they are:

1. Don't Stop Believing - Journey

2. All I Ever Wanted - Basshunter

3. Paradise City - Guns 'N Roses

4. Be As - Prozzak

5. All Star - Smash Mouth

6. Jesus Freak - DC Talk

7. Sweet Caroline - Neil Diamond

8. Kill Everybody - Skrillex

9. I Want You to Want Me - (10 Things I Hate About You Movie version)

10. When I'm Up - Great Big Sea

Pin It

Monday Treasures: March 12th, 2012

It would seem I hit 'Save' instead of 'Publish' on a few posts this week... sorry for the delay!

Happy Monday! Today's colour is: (wait for it...) Black!

This is also the last of the colour series. Look for something new next week!

1. Black and White Damask Flower Girl Dress by OliviaKateCouture

2. Black Lacquer Coffee Table by MSTRF

3. Flower & Black Crystal Necklace by WillowsElegance

4. Black Cocktail dress by LovelyMelodyClothing

5. Black Messenger Bag by ChristyStudio

6. iPad Sleeve by byrd & belle

7. Enamel Asymmetrical Necklace by Vintage in Color

8. Zebra Table Runner by Thimbleana

Monday, March 12, 2012

10K Training: Checkin for March 7th, 9th and 11th.

This week was designed to give our legs a little bit of a break before increasing distance again. The schedule was for 3 miles Monday, 2 miles Wednesday, and 3 miles Friday. As described in my last post, Monday's 3 miles were a little bit... well, they didn't go great.

Wednesday came around, and my whole body was very stiff. Apparently I had used a lot of new muscles in that Zumba class! I was in no mood to do any running... between lack of sleep and stiffness all I wanted to do was go to bed early. That said, we settled on going for a walk around the river. At the time, we had no idea how long that walk would get us to, but when I calculated it at home later that evening, I found that we had walked exactly 2 miles! (Talk about serendipitous).

On Friday we had a 3 mile run scheduled. In an effort to "lock in" the running style that Lisa had helped me with on Monday, we ran quite slow - however, I ran the "new style" for the full mileage on Friday.

The "slowdown" week was good for more than one thing. Not only did it give our legs a chance to recuperate a little, it also gave me a chance to look at what we were doing and make some rationalizations. Essentially, it was getting to the point that we were spending as much as 3 hours at the gym a night or more, and it was only going to become more and more time. It was time to look at priorities.

Because the run is coming up in May and I am still a long way from getting to the point I need to be, I decided that running will come first. So, bootcamp is bumped out of the schedule until after the 10K. Wednesdays will be running alone. (Bootcamp is from 6:45-8PM, so while we were able to run before bootcamp before, to run increased distance would mean that the run would have to take place afterward, leaving us at the gym until quite late).

I wasn't willing to give up Zumba (it is the still the only thing that actually makes me excited about going to the gym), so we won't be running on Mondays anymore. Instead our run is bumped back to Sundays.

So, going forward you can expect:

Sunday= Run
Monday = Zumba
Wednesday = Run
Friday = Run

That said, I didn't want to be behind a day on running as a result of switching over to the new schedule, so I dragged myself to the gym Sunday morning. I went with the knowledge that - despite 4 miles being scheduled (what I would have been running Monday), I wouldn't be doing that. I wanted to run 2 miles, focusing on increasing my speed and lengthening my stride. I think I did pretty well, although I forgot to check the time when I started so I don't have any of that information for you. I'm calling it a win though. Sometimes that's the best way to do it anyway, isn't it?

Tonight is Zumba, so the next update won't take place until after Wednesday's run. :)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Pin of the Week - March 8th, 2012

Pinterest is also a great way to find the weird or absurd, as seen in this pin:

I don't think anything more can be said...

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Our Guenhwyvar

I've had a few asking for updated pictures of our Mister, Guenhwyvar. With everything else that I have been posting about, I haven't been doing very well on my guarantee that you would see a lot of him.

Lucky for you, he loves to strike a pose for a picture...

Umm... hey....

That's better, but I still don't think it's quite what they had in mind...

Awww! Now that's cute. You look like a pig in a blanket. Why don't you show them how big you are?

Thank you.

Why yes, this was taken in five different areas of the house, why do you ask? Haha...

For those of you who don't know Guenhwyvar, here are some photos from when we first got him, and when he was new (before we got him). I could have sworn that I posted pictures between then and now, but I can't find the post for the life of me. Maybe it never made it out of draft stage...?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Spring is coming....?

Fourteen days until the first day of spring, and this is what I spent most of the day looking at:

If you look closely, you can see both a Cat and a truck with a snowplow on the front working to clear the road. The visibility in this picture actually isn't bad. We had a full white out, and got about 2 feet of snow, plus blow-in from the wind.

The snow was obviously bowing from the south - it was very light, but as it was only -5 degrees out, it was also very sticky.

Luckily for me, I had a bit of spring sitting on my desk, thanks to the Lung Association's Breath of Spring Tulip Campaign.

 I also had this view to look at on my co-workers desk. There used to be some miniature yellow roses in here as well. (So gorgeous!)

Lucky for me my husband shovelled all of the snow while I was out getting groceries, so I got home to a clean driveway and walk, and a pile of snow on the lawn as tall as me!

10K Training: Checkin for March 5th

Unfortunately, today was another difficult day for running. This time I was able to keep my head above water at least, so to speak.

My trip to the gym began with a big wipe-out in front of the gym. (Huh? There's a curb there?! ...) I had changed before I went, so this meant that I managed to stain my gym shorts with the blood from my skinned knee. Fortunately, I was able to keep this incident from affecting my run in any way whatsoever. I just felt that I needed to share it with you. Why?... I'm a sucker for punishment?

Unfortunately the fact that I hadn't slept well the night before... or ate much fruit/vegetables... or drank much water... well, none of these were quite so easy to sluff off. It felt like I was trying to run through quicksand. We were on the treadmill again, which I have learned is part of the problem, because I do not keep my natural pace that way. I had to stop more than once. The first time was just before the 2 mile mark - I merely stopped for a second, two at most, to give my calves a quick stretch. I switched from my run (5.2mph) to a walking speed (4.0mph) again later... I want to say that it was at about the 2.4 mile mark, but to be honest I'm not sure. Then, around the 2.8 mile mark my right calf seized on me.

The experience of having my calf seize on me is a difficult sensation to describe. The best I can tell you is that it felt like my calf tied itself in a knot, then twisted itself upside down. I almost fell off the treadmill when it happened - I barely caught myself on the edge. I must have yelped or something too, because right away Lisa was asking me what the matter was.

I was able to walk it off... slowly at first, (3mph) and then my regular walking speed (4mph) to get me to the rest of the 3 miles. That gave us 10 minutes before Zumba class started.

What calorie burn I lost in my run, let me tell you I made up in Zumba! It was a different instructor again, and it was a very fast paced class. Most of the dances concentrated around hops and small steps on half beats, so I'm sure the class looked like (sexy?) rabbits on speed. I was shocked - I sweated more in this class than I did the first time I ever took Zumba.

After class, Lisa and I spent some time trying to figure out what is going on with my running, and more importantly, my calves. I had already spent some time staring at my legs while running on other occasions (I know, bad form, but I was trying to figure out what was going on - it isn't like I always run like that). From this, I was able to figure out that while most people land on their heel and roll through their step, I was slamming my foot directly down underneath me, and thus jarring my calves with every step. No wonder they were giving me so much grief.

Lisa explained to me that instead of using my upper leg (thighs? Hamstrings? I'm not sure what part to reference), to propel me forward and then follow through with my calf, I was basically dragging my foot forward the bare minimum using only the bottom half of my leg. In other words, my (thighs?) were doing nothing and my hamstrings all the work. We spent some time with her demonstrating and me mimicking - I think I've got the hang of it, but it will be like learning how to run all over again. I always thought that running was something that you just do. Like walking, but faster. I guess I was wrong! Running this way uses a whole new set of muscles, not just in my legs, but another set in my stomach, back, and it uses my arms and obliques as tools rather than 'carry-alongs' as well. My next run will be on the treadmill again (2mi) so I won't be able to tell much if it is helping, but Friday should say a lot.

Hopefully it won't quite feel like I'm starting completely over.

Ten on Tuesday - March 6th, 2012

Today's Ten on Tuesday is 10 Things that are in your Purse. This is one that I am torn about, as I downsized almost a year ago so that I can only carry the very basics, but I miss my big old purse, and being able to carry a water bottle, notebook, extra pair of pants, etc. So, here is what is in my purse now:

1. My debit cards: Two, one for my personal accounts and one for our shared.

2. My credit cards: One is a real credit card, and one is a global payment card.

3. My driver's license and registration: The police don't have to allow you 24 hours to produce them anymore, so you have to have both with you at all times - and don't forget to give over your registration if someone is borrowing your vehicle!

4. My health card and donor card: 'Cuz you never know when you will need good old free Canadian Health Care... or die.

5. My Scene card: A guilty pleasure - it racks up points toward free movies at the theatre

6. My Costco card: A necessary evil. It is worth it for the bulk chicken breasts alone.

7. My student card: Kind of a cop-out, as I'm not a student anymore. However, it has no expiry date and shows that the picture was only taken 2 years ago, so some places still accept it for a discount... Does anyone else do this??

8. Store loyalty cards: I don't think I've ever redeemed anything from one of them, to be honest. The only ones that regularly help me are my pet store ones, as the discount is applied at point-of-sale, but I don't even carry their cards - they just ask for my phone number and look it up in their system.

9. My library card: I don't know what I would do without it. I always have at least two audiobooks checked out, and while I haven't been checking out many 'real' books lately, the audio books alone mean a lot to me... they keep me sane while sitting in traffic.

10. A picture of my husband from grade 11: I think this one is pretty self explanatory... :D

(Image credit: The World as I See It)

November 30th, 2011 - Present

Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Weight Loss Tools

2009 - Present My Weight Ticker