Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Breaking News! Reviving the Blog

So, it's been a while since I wrote a blog post, and when I say a while, I mean four months.

Where did the time go? Whenever I thought, "I need to write a blog post! I'll do that tomorrow!" it just kept falling by the wayside, and now here we are, four months later typing away with lots to catch up on!

And when I say lots, I don't mean that much. Since Summer is here, I've been spending lots of time outside in my garden, reading (I am on a book kick lately!), and generally hanging out. Oh, and working, and running of course!

Since the last time we chit chatted in March, I have ran a few races. The Times Colonist 10KM in April, the Twilight Shuffle 5K & Goddess Run 5K in June, and so far nothing planned here in July. I am going to be volunteering at the SeaWheeze in Vancouver again next month, and the only race currently on my schedule is for October 26th - the Rock n' Roll Vancouver Half Marathon.

It's funny to look back and see how packed my race calendar was only last year and the year before, and suddenly this year it has eased off tremendously. This is by choice, and because I have just been running for FUN lately without any end goals in mind. That will most likely change as I search for more races, so I will be sure to keep you posted.

And yes, I will actually keep you posted.

The thing is, once you start a blog - a little home for you to write and babble on the internet - you kind of miss it once you have an extended break. So with this said, I am going to revive the blog and spend some more time on it. I can't say I will be posting every single day, but I will post more than once every four months, that's for sure! Perhaps the blog needs a little face lift and some tweaking here and there. We shall see what happens!

Until next time! As in, soon :)

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Once Upon a Time, I Brushed My Hair & Ran

Pre-drinks for a highschool friend's birthday celebration. It's always nice to connect with people I haven't seen in a long time. Plus, when red wine is involved it's definitely not bad!

Hello, plants! I started some plants indoors, and they are thriving! The ones above are cherry tomatoes, but I also have broccoli, cauliflower, onions (which just started to sprout!), basil, and cilantro started inside. The weather was decent this weekend, so I was able to get out and plant in the garden this afternoon. It makes me happy to spend time outside, and so far there's garlic and possibly some radishes sprouting - it is undetermined whether the radishes will survive since the garden bed became flooded after the gutters overflowed (ughhhh big mess!), so we shall see! Regardless, it'll be a true test of Mother Nature. This afternoon I planted spinach, lettuce, parsnips for a winter harvest and carrots!

Scene's from Wednesday's run. I lost my Garmin and haven't been able to find it for weeks now, so I have been relying on the app RunKeeper on my phone to record my distance and pace. The only downside to this is that my phone died when I was almost finished my run. Oh well! I didn't have much farther to go and completed just under 4 miles.

Yesterday I actually took the time to blowdry and brush my hair (and wear something other than pajamas or leggings), because I was speaking at the Shawnigan Lake Business Association's Shawnigan Gathering event about social media! It was a fantastic way to network with local business people, talk social media and introduce how it can benefit their businesses. Why did I do this? You'll find out at the end of the post ;)

And today's sunshine filled run! I wanted to get out there before the clouds rolled in and the rain started comin' down. So far it's been holding off and it's just cloudy, but it was nice to get out in the sunshine!

Hope you guys had a fantastic weekend!

And a little mini announcement slash self promotion...

I started a social media and online marketing company! Be sure to head over to my website, HD Social Media to check out the services I offer. I look forward to working with you! :)

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Ten Thousand Years Later...

Hey friends! It's been a long time, hasn't it? The blog has kinda taken a backseat as you can tell, but I figured I'd share some pictures of what's been happening and update you on lifeeeee and all that fun stuff!

I've still been eatin' my veggies: see photo above. 

I've also been planning my garden! Garden beds are built, some seeds have already been started indoors, and all that's left is spring to finally come around! I thought I'd be able to put more soil into the other two garden beds, but we basically had a torrential downpour all. freakin'. day! today, so that was a no go. So, I started peppers, cauliflower, and broccoli indoors this afternoon so they will be ready to transplant once Mother Nature permits!

Birthday snow man. My birthday was last month, and I celebrated by making a little snowman with my boyfriend. You know you're old when...

If you haven't tried making a personal pizza on naan bread, then I'm sorry you are missing out on such a beautiful creation. I urge you to try it now! I would like to make my own naan bread next time and see how that turns out :) I have enjoyed actually putting thought into my meals and cooking everything from scratch. There is something so satisfying about making a meal that everyone else enjoys! Tonight I made a ginger teriyaki stir fry with chickpeas - filling and I could pronounce every single ingredient that went into the dish! That's the way it should be!

Kickin' back with a cup of Earl Grey after shoveling cow poop and garden soil all day. Fortunately the garden is coming together now! 

Yogi Tea has the best quotes on their tea bags. A little smile during the work day!

This book is fantastic! I ordered it on Amazon.ca at the beginning of the month, and it came in the mail earlier this week. It is full of delicious, healthy recipes that use clean ingredients. I am excited to experiment some more in the kitchen!

Trail walks with Marley and the notorious photo bombin' Sarah.

An evening walk with Sarah and Marley last night. It's so nice being able to be outside at 6:30pm and still have some day light! Of course, I had to add an Instagram filter to this picture and it was actually 8 o'clock at night, so the sun had gone down, but I digress :)

And now we are at today! I joined a run club last month which has been a fun way to make new friends, run with company, and actually have a training plan to stick to. Today called for an hour and a half of running, which translated to 10 miles (16 km) for me. After my run, I stretched for a bit and then went to the health food store for some goodies. Don't worry. A shower happened before I went out in public. At the health food store I picked up a giant bottle of apple cider vinegar (my sister is probably puking in her mouth if she's reading this right now!), buckwheat groats and hemp seeds. Our pantry had been without hemp seeds for far too long! Other than that, the day was spent hanging out, plantin' some seeds, cleaning up, and then making dinner. I actually kind of love days like this!

I hope you all have been doing well, and I will try to pop in and visit more often! Honestly, I didn't exactly know where I wanted this little blog to go, but I wanted to stay in touch with the few people who may read it. So, I will continue to post, even if it isn't every day. I hope you will understand that!

If you are interested in my life and what I do and things I see and pictures I take, follow me on Instagram! Or follow me on Twitter, where I try to post witty things.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Finding a Pair of Runners!

Running is a simple sport that doesn't require a ton of equipment. It can be as simple as you want it to be, but one thing is for sure: You need a good pair of shoes that are fit for your personal feet!

The number one mistake I made when I started running was going to a sporting department store and asking for a pair of runners. "Uhh... These ones are on sale..." the sales associate told me as he pointed to a wall of clearance runners. I was left blindly trying to pick a pair of shoes that were right for me. Sure, they worked for a couple months, but I was soon out of commission with a hamstring injury due to improper footwear. Lesson learned!

I brought those shoes to a running specialty store and immediately the owner said, "You got those at Sportchek, right? I can tell right away that you need different shoes." Getting an opinion from a professional will seriously save your feet and keep them healthier while you're on the run.

A few things you need to know before you buy a pair of runners:
1. Don't cheap out. Seriously. You may think that spending $120+ on a pair of runners is ridiculous, but they are well worth the investment. Buying a pair of cheap shoes just because they are cute, or just because they are less expensive than other runners, is not a good idea.
2. Running specialty stores are your friends. Department stores are not.
3. Consider your feet: What is your arch type like? Do you have flat feet, high arches, or are your feet neutral? Do you have wide feet or narrow feet? One thing I have learned is that sizing a half size up works best for my feet. This allows room for my feet to shift forward/backward when running up hills and on different terrain.
4. Measure your feet: When you are shopping for a pair of runners, make sure the salesperson measures your feet while you're standing up. This may seem like a, "Duh, why wouldn't they?" but it does give the most accurate number since your feet are not relaxed like they are when you're sitting.

My biggest piece of advice: Go to a running store and get professionally fitted for a pair of runners. Once they direct you into the right pair of shoes for your feet, you can then venture into different shoes with similar features. For instance, if you find you need more cushion and stability and you are running in, say, Brooks, you can look for cushion and stability features in another running brand if you want to try something different. However, make this transition slowly. Although buying a new pair of shoes is exciting (or is that just me?) you want to make sure you will actually use them! Running shoes need to be replaced every 300-500 miles, so be sure to keep track of your mileage from your first run in your new shoes!

Hope that is helpful! Happy Running!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Easy, Healthy Dinners, Sheep & Return to Trail Running

Friday night dinner: Ginger honey lime prawns with broccoli carrot slaw. This was super easy to make and packed a flavourful punch. The recipe called for couscous, but I wanted a heartier meal and substituted brown rice. I also added cilantro and slivered almonds. Healthy and delicious!

Marley moo takes a little snooze, thus leaving me couch bound until something outside caught his attention or I forced him off. I don't mind the snuggles, though.

My cute little succulent plant :)

7.5km (or 4.66 miles) of glorious trail running this afternoon around a local lake. I'd like to do this at least once a week!

This guy makes a wonderful running buddy and is so good off leash! Before I was hesitant taking him off leash, but my parents have gone with him hundreds of times before, so I figured I'd try it out today. He is very careful and always looks back to check if you're still there. Or, he'll sprint up ahead and wait, then once you catch up he goes off again. He's very polite when coming across other dogs, too. Sniff sniff, goodbye.

Post-run bubble bath with this Halloween bubble bar from Lush Cosmetics. I crumbled the lighter orange part as well as the leaves, and a bit of the side and had some big bubbles going on!

Lounging in fuzzy sheep socks. They are "shea infused" so I should have some soft feet after this. Maybe. We'll see. I'm probably due for a pedicure any day now.

Hope you guys all had a fantastic weekend!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Reflecting on 2013

Pop, fizz, clink!

Happy New Year!

I spent the evening surrounded by some pretty cool people, and I'm happy to have spent the night laughing, smiling and snapping photos with friends. Fortunately the party we went to was literally a ten step walk from my driveway, so getting home wasn't a problem! Gotta love when it's convenient like that.

We stayed out until about 2am before trekking up the hill back home. I slept like a baby, aside from being woken up from my sister texting me at 8AM, and finally got up just after 11:30AM. Holy cow. I have never slept until that time in YEARS! "Back in the day" (because I'm an old woman and all) I could, but now sleeping in is a treat. Does anyone else find that after an evening of drinks they wake up early anyway? Weird how that works. Anyway, I am pleased with how 2013 ended and look forward to a new year ahead!

So, I woke up feeling a little under the weather. Head pounding, make up smeared under my eyes after my half hearted attempt at washing it off last night (wet wash cloth, rub on face, good enough), and craving WATER, WATER, WATER and perhaps a loaf of bread. "There must be something wrong with you," my dad said to me. "You are eating bread, you took Tylenol and you didn't run today." In my defense I just came off a 31 day running streak, which my total for the month ended up being 136 miles. That's an average of 4.38 miles every day. Not too shabby! Further, it was nice kind of just having a rest day. And not a one mile rest day but a total rest day where I could just hang out, eat my eggs in peace and drink crazy amounts of water without having to get up and go somewhere. I hope you guys had a good New Years day today!

2013 was a good year for me. Despite changing jobs a few too many times for my liking, I landed a job that I genuinely enjoy that supports me and allows me to learn new things. I "met" (we already knew each other) someone fantastic that makes me smile every day and am very happily in a new relationship. I helped someone reach under their goal time for their first half marathon. I myself ran four half marathons this year and also helped my mom PR in the 5km race. I volunteered at a running race and experienced what it felt to be on the other side of the racing scene. I ran over my goal of 1000 miles for the year (1109 to be exact!). I bought a new Jeep. I started writing for an online magazine called The Region. My family got a new dog, and we love him to pieces even if he steals Oreo's food (tsk tsk Marley boy!). And that's all I can think of right now but nevertheless, 2013 brought me lots of happiness and I know for sure that 2014 will bring me even more!

Of course, thank YOU for reading my little place here in the blog world. I appreciate every one of you and thank you for coming along on my journey :)

All the best to you and your loved ones in 2014! What's something you accomplished in 2013?

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Wave Sayonaras & Outside of the Comfort Zone

Oreo says hello and is trying to lure you into reading the rest of this post with that saucy pose she's striking above. Is it working? Are you still reading?

I forgot I took that picture last night and it popped up when I was transferring pictures onto my laptop this evening. Too funny. Anywho, moving on to more exciting things.

After a morning filled with a fun family visit, I went out for lunch and Starbucks with my friend Lauren. It was super nice to catch up! We don't live too far apart, but our visits are definitely too far and inbetween, so our New Years resolution is to visit more often (and actually follow through). I find girls, yes this includes me, are terrible with saying, "Oh we should hang out more often!" but it never happens. It will happen!

8.5 miles later. I did the first 6.3 in my Brooks, then the latter bit in my Mizuno Sayonaras. I didn't have a reason for switching out my shoes mid-run aside from the fact that my Brooks have seven hundred flippin' miles on them and I should probably just retire them for good now. They seriously look brand new, but the arch isn't as supportive as it used to be and the sole is a little too flexible and bendy for a stability shoe. Needless to say I will be using the Mizuno runners way more often. Is it terrible that I'm thinking of buying another pair of runners just to have two to rotate between? Do you rotate between runners? I know lots of people do, and that was my initial goal with these two shoes, but. Meh. That just didn't end up happening. It was a good thought at the time!

So one of my goals for 2014 is to train more outside of my comfort zone. This includes switching up my strength training routine which basically doesn't exist whatsoever anymore with the exception of some lunges, squats and push-ups maybe once a week. Once upon a time I used to do that all the time! I'm also wanting to train at faster paces so I can (hopefully) PR in some races this year. My heart is not set on PRing at a certain race or a certain time. If it happens, it happens, but it's something I'm willing to work at. On the same note, I'd like to even sign up for a running club or some other form of activity (I'm lookin' at you, yoga) to keep me busy outside of work.