Sunday, October 29th, 2017: Celebrating our 4th anniversary whale watching.
It was a stunning day to go out for a whale watching tour, and I woke up eager to get out there on the water. Our tour started at 12:15pm, and we were advised to arrive half an hour early to check in and board so the tour could start on time, so we packed up our things & left home around 10:15am. This gave us ample time to drive to Victoria and grab a coffee before the whale watching adventure began. I had been chatting Ryan’s ear off about wanting to go whale watching for a whole year, so when I opened my gift and saw a voucher for whale watching inside the envelope, you can guess that I was absolutely thrilled!
I am not sure if I have mentioned this on the blog before, but I LOVE being out on the water. When I was in elementary school my dream was to become a marine biologist. I had a closet in my room (which was painted blue and I also painted a palm tree and a dolphin on one wall – so crafty!) that was covered in posters of dolphins, whales, and I had so many books of marine mammals. So, you could say I was pretty thrilled to be out there seeing whale in real life. I mean, how often do you get to board a boat in the open water and see whales in their natural habitat? Fortunately, where I live on Vancouver Island, this is all within reach as many whale pods come up to our waters to eat before travelling to warmer waters to mate, give birth, and nurse their young. Fun fact: whales LOVE South Vancouver Island because of our huge amount of food for them. Have you ever noticed how in tropical areas the water is crystal clear, yet in colder areas the water is a dark, almost murky blue? That murkiness is actually food sources like fish, algae, etc for whales and other mammals to feed off of. There you go. You’re smarter already ; )
I highly recommend Prince of Whales tours if you are in the Victoria area and want to go on a whale watching tour of your own. During our tour we saw seals, stellar sea lions, California sea lions, an otter playing amongst the seaweed, a bald eagle, two porpoises, several humpback whales (they are incredibly huge – you can fit a whole Volkswagen Beatle inside their mouth!), and even a few transient orcas! These transient orcas were on the hunt and moving fast – about 30 km/hour (which is fast for swimming!), and unlike the local orcas who feed on salmon, small fish, and plant-based materials, transient orcas may feed on other mammals. The naturalist on board was thinking that these transient orcas were hunting seals which is why they were in such a hurry to get where they were going! If I recall correctly, we saw four orcas in total and one of them was a mama with her calf!
Okay, can you tell I am excited about this? I kept saying to Ryan it was the best day ever. Best anniversary ever. OMG, this is the best whale watching tour ever. I am so lucky! So, without keeping you on the edge of your seats for too long, here is my photo diary from our whale watching anniversary extravaganza. I am so grateful for this experience and thankful to live in such a beautiful place!
Good morning, OCTOBER!
I am super excited for this month and the next THREE to come (partially because I am a huge Christmas fanatic & there’s only 81 days until Christmas). The air is cooler, the leaves are changing colour, and my table decor is extra festive with the addition of a pumpkin!
October also means that the marathon is so close. Like, THISCLOSE.
Yep, it is officially marathon month. Actually, scratch that. It is officially MARATHON WEEK! Bonus: today is an extra rest day, so I am taking it extra easy by having some extra couch time & an extra cup of coffee. I’m all about those extras, you know? : ) Nala has loved having more time in the morning for couch snuggles since my runs aren’t anything more than 8km this week, so it’s a win for her and a win for me.
Since Monday’s are my Sundays, I took advantage of the slow morning and crisp air to go on a mid-morning run. I started around 10:30am and it was cool enough to still wear a t-shirt, but capris were definitely necessary as I know my legs would’ve been cold if I had worn shorts. I also remembered to wear my sunglasses which was NEEDED! Look at that sun pouring in through the trees.
There truly is nothing better than getting out on the trail and being in nature. I passed two other runners on the trail and a gentleman walking his dog, and that was it for my run. Plus, this run went by in a breeze! I must be used to all the long runs (and longish runs) because as soon as I reached my 5km, I was thinking, “Oh, I’m done already?” Before I know it, the next two runs of the week will be over and I will be waking up Sunday morning, gearing up to run 42.2km.
Yep, there’s officially FOUR sleeps until the marathon. Am I freaking out? Not really, to be honest. I have checked the weather a few times, but I’m trying not to get too caught up in the marathon madness. I say this now, but we’ll see how I feel after going to the expo and getting my bib number. Then maybe the nerves will settle in. However, I am remaining positive and trying to stay as stress-free as possible. My marathon packing list has been made, I have new music on my playlist, my race outfit is picked out, and I am feeling ready. I will have a full recap on the blog of what was on my marathon packing list, and maybe I will share my marathon playlist as well. I have lots of post-marathon blog ideas swirling around in my head, but we will have to wait until next week to dive in! Plus, I will be needing some much deserved recovery time after the big race : )
I hope you guys are all having a great week so far!
If there is one thing that my mother has taught me that really sticks like glue in my brain it’s that making memories is so important. These days memories are captured on a phone and shared on social media for the world to see, and that’s okay, but it is also important to make memories offline, too. Today I wanted to chat about why I blog, and making memories is a big part of my WHY.
When I first started blogging during college I did it for the sake of having something to do. I would read fashion blogs mostly, before I was introduced to health and fitness blogs, and I thought. Hey. If she can do that, why can’t I? This attitude has branched out into other areas of my life as well (Hey, if she can run a marathon, why can’t I?) and it has given me the opportunity to try things I may not have dared to try in the first place. While I draw inspiration from a number of different places, I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel inspired by things I see online, too. There is something so powerful about social media, both in a positive and a negative way, but for me I hope to showcase more of the positive side on my blog. Or as I like to call it, my little corner of the Internet. My blog is MY place to share what I want to share. Yes, I want to be mindful of what my readers want to see too, but at the end of the day, my blog is an extension of my own voice. I do not try to be someone else. I type the way I would speak. And to be honest, it is a lot easier for me to put down in words how I feel or the point I am trying to get across than it is for me to speak those things outloud. Throughout elementary and high school, writing was my thing. I was an English nerd, and I think it’s safe to say that I still am. I am passionate about writing about things that mean a lot to me, whether it is writing about a weekend with Ryan and Nala, or a camp fire with my family. Writing is probably the biggest way I can express myself, and most of the time YOU get to read all about it after I hit publish.
My blog is like a journal, though it is no replacement for putting pen to paper. Believe it or not, I still do the old-school journal entries from time to time and let my thoughts pour out. Sure, it’s a lot faster for me to type than it is to pen my thoughts, but on a similar note it does serve (kind of) the same purpose. For me, blogging is a way for me to share my life with people. I am not here in the blog world sitting on a pedestal with my holier-than-thou attitude, because at the end of the day, we are all human. We have blood running through our veins and we all have our own special set of skills and talents. In a way, blogging can be a funny thing. I used to look at blog posts or Instagram posts from my favourite “influencers,” we will call them, and think to myself that their life is perfect. Newsflash: social media can oftentimes show a person’s highlight-reel, not their REAL LIFE. My blog shows my ups and downs. I talk about being in funks, having a great run, having a crappy run, being so sore and exhausted that I skip a workout. Yes, it’s fun to show all the good stuff, but it’s important to me to share that my life isn’t perfect either. I am extremely blessed in my life to have the family and friends that I have, the most amazing partner & fur babies, and a home that keeps me warm at night. However, who am I to say that I never cry or get upset? I am no different than anyone else who has a bad day. Perhaps other people just share less of those moments on their blog — and that’s okay, too.
Blogging is a fun and different way for me to connect with people. It’s not that I am anti-social (although, I would say I am an introverted-extrovert, which I believe is a real thing). I actually enjoy sitting down with my laptop and tuning in to Healthy Living Holly. Plus, I can do it anywhere. I can pack up my laptop and sit out on the deck in the sunshine while sharing my weekend with you. I can hang out in a coffee shop with my thoughts and spill them all out onto the blog for you guys to read. Some people don’t understand WHY a person would blog, and hey. I get it. I had a coworker once ask why I blog. I didn’t go into this big long song & dance, but I basically said that it’s just a fun way for me to journal my adventures and life for those who want to read it. Her reaction: “Why would anyone want to read it? I don’t mean that in a mean way, but I mean, what do you talk about?” Instead of reacting I just shrugged it off, then probably wrote a blog post that evening because here’s the thing. Even if someone doesn’t understand why I blog or why I run, I will do it anyway, because at the end of the day it makes me happy. So, why wouldn’t I? I think it’s more important to do less of the things you dislike and more of the things that make your soul and heart shine. Blogging and running are just two of those things, and that’s just part of the reason why.
So, long story short: I blog to share my memories with you guys. While this blog is for YOU, it is also for ME to look back at my races, my adventures, my marathon training – you name it. This blog is equally ours, and I am thankful that you are part of my journey : )
It has been a little while, hey?
I think today’s title is fitting because I wanted to do a recap on my training lately because it has been going really well, but I also wanted to touch on my sparse blogging. As I alluded to in my last post, I will not be posting every day anymore for the sake of wanting to bring you all content that is truly meaningful to me and not just posting for the sake of posting. That being said, I am taking some well needed downtime for the next couple weeks to figure things out in my personal life (disclosure: I’m fine, Ryan is fine, Nala and Simba are fine, and nothing dramatically life changing has happened), as advised by my doctor. I will explain more later as I get more clarity, but if you are a friend or a family member that is reading this, you know what is happening : )
So, I will stop being so vague eventually and hop into the good things that have been happening! I have been making a huge change to my routine this last week-ish and it has been great. I especially like getting cute Snaps like this from Ryan because there is nothing cuter than Nala. Nothing.
We have been having a mix of hot weather and fall crispness which has made morning runs so much more enjoyable. Plus, I haven’t been doing them at the buttcrack of dawn which is even better! I don’t know if it’s been my pre-run coffee (which I almost never do) or the fresh morning air, but running has just been perfect this week.
This picture was snapped after Friday’s run. I needed that run. Running has been such a RELEASE lately. I had negative splits during this run of 10:02, 9:20m 9:11, 8:42, 8:35, and 8:30. I felt amazing, and yesterday’s run was equally fantastic.
Again, I had coffee pre-run, and ended my run on the trail near our house. I am so grateful to live near this trail! It sees (almost) all of my good runs, bad runs, mediocre runs, fun runs – you name it. Plus there is something about nature and running that just feels so right. I’m not sure if I’m even explaining that properly, but trust me. It is the best.
Although Saturday’s run was a bit slower than Friday, the miles went by in a flash and I felt fantastic when it was finished.
Running is like a moving meditation and can be so therapeutic. I know I have said that before on the podcast (which is coming back soon – just trying to get everything figured out still!), but you can go for a run with a million thoughts and questions in your head, and then as soon as your run is finished you suddenly have all the answers. I highly recommend trying it! It’s cheaper than therapy ; ) Ha! But of course therapy is always an option should you feel you need it. Just thought I would put that disclaimer out there before people jumped all over it.
I’ve also been enjoying breakfast out on the deck when the weather allows! Today is a pretty rainy day so I made a speed run to Costco for staple items and The Running Room where I purchased a new pair of my marathon shoes to break in before the marathon in 21 days (OH MY GAWD!), then spent the rest of the day baking an oatmeal banana loaf and lots of couch time with the dog. Sundays should be spent either a) running some kind of race or b) recharging for the week ahead, don’tcha think?
I hope you all had a lovely weekend! I am off to grab a slice of banana loaf, maybe have an Epsom salt bath and relax. Don’t worry, friends. I will be back on the blog sooner rather than later : )