Monday, November 10, 2014

Catching up.

All right, it's been a while so it's time to play catch up.  So sit right down, grab a drink (I'm sipping Earl Grey Vanilla tea as I write this) and settle in for the catch up. 

So as I posted in confession time, we had a very busy summer, we did a pretty major renovation to the upper floor of our townhouse.    When we bought it almost eight years go, I fell in love with it instantly and they only thing I wished for was a slightly larger kitchen..  We had an L shaped kitchen with a little bit of counter space, and a peninsula with the sink and dishwasher separating the little eating nook, along the side of that was a pass through, a half wall that did serve to display my crystal nicely but was none the less just a waste of space.  It wasn't highly functional and when we had people over it wasn't big enough to eat in, we moved over into the dining room/living room space.

That is all changed now!  We took out the peninsula, knocked out the half wall and removed the fireplace that never worked.  We have full cabinets along the length of the entire kitchen with gorgeous island that has a raised area for eating.    We started the renovation the last week of June and it was finally completed in the middle of October.   Our contractor was phenomenal!   Worked hard and did everything we asked of him and more.  We had a lot of down time on the reno due to issues with the cabinets and counters, but that was not our contractor's fault.  He was great and I would highly recommend him to anyone! 

I didn't think to take a before picture of the kitchen, but here is what it looks like now!
We pulled out the carpet throughout the upstairs

We put in laminate throughout (sleepy puppy in his favorite spot)

I can see the whole living room now with the walls down
The open kitchen with the puck lights turned on

Love the fact that I have a spice drawer!  I can see all of my spices with ease

The summer also saw us traveling.  My husband and I tend to take a traveling vacation every other year and this year was our vacation year.  We had debated about what to do and ultimately decided on doing a baseball tour.  We travelled to New York and Boston for a week in August and took in 3 different baseball games within four days. 

Neither of us had been to New York or Boston so we knew it would be a great vacation.  We started off in New York.  There was so much we wanted to do and see and we tried our best to cram as much in as we possibly could!  We walked literally miles!  I wore my pedometer and they day we went to the United Nations, we walked to it from our hotel (getting a little turned around in the process).  We ended up walking 26,471 steps that day!  Equivalent to 10.8 miles!

We started off with a Yankee's game, it was a Sunday afternoon game and it was hot, hot, hot!  We had a great time at the game and really enjoyed the experience.  We found our way around on the subway easily enough and had a lot of fun doing so.  A couple of days later we took in a Mets game.  It was a night game and it rained quite a bit, we did have a rain delay but we had a lot of fun.  We got a little lost going back to our hotel as we got on the wrong subway but when we decided to get off it, we were in Times Square so we were able to make our way back to the hotel easily enough from there. 

We then took a train up to Boston to take in a Boston Red Sox game.  I loved the train ride up to Boston.  It was a nice day for traveling, it was raining a little here and there but the scenery was beautiful.  I loved the architecture in Boston, we don't have a lot of really historical buildings where I live so it was great to see so much history.  We walked the freedom trail, did the hop on and hop off bus tour and walked to the Boston Red Sox game.  It was a fabulous trip.

While I was in Boston I managed to catch up with Dani whose blog is weight off my shoulders.    You can find here here :  My husband and I were staying in the Back Bay Area, so we met Dani at the finish line for the Boston Marathon and then walked up to one of the  many pubs along Boylston Street.  It was great to spend some time talking to her about Weight Watchers, and running. 

I have to say that for me the highlight of the trip was being so active.  In New York I went running in Central Park and in Boston I ran along part of the Boston Marathon Route to the finish line!  Two years ago I couldn't have imagined doing either of those things.  It was amazing to be there and to enjoy it so much!

I'll add in the Boston Pictures later, for some reason I can't figure out how to get the pictures in iphoto to add to the blog, so I've only been able to post the pictures I took on my phone.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Confession Time

It's confession time.  I've been silent for quite a while and it's not because I've fallen off of the healthiness, fitness wagon.  Well not entirely but there has been a lot going on in the past four months that didn't give me the chance to keep up to pace.  I'm not making excuses.  I'm just being realistic. 

This is who I am, take me or leave me :)

It all started on June 25th when after a year of planning, and interviewing contractors and going to home shows that we started our renovations on our house.  We have done a total renovation on the main floor, that at the time we started this process we were told would be 6-8 weeks.  Well, 4 months later with a few odds and ends left, we're now done.

When you're renovating your kitchen, taking down walls, moving plumbing and electrical, it limits you to what you can do.  My original plan of cooking plenty of meals to easily warm in the microwave hit a major snag a week before the reno when our deep freezer died.  I mean died, dead on arrival, the repairman couldn't fix it!  We had to purchase a new one and it took two weeks for delivery.

There went plan A, we still had plan b, and even moved to a plan c, but regardless, in the four months of renovations, using the bbq and rice maker to cook, we eventually ended up eating out a lot, or getting take out.  All in all it equaled the same thing.  Weight gain. 

I'm here to say that honestly I gained almost 20 pounds in the four months.  Not good!  Not good at all, but I'm dealing with it.  I'm not beating myself up over it. I didn't stop going to weight watchers. I went every week and slowly watched as I gained a pound or two here, lost one there, gained another two, and there we have it.  I'm back to being focused, tracking everything, weighing and measuring everything.

I also haven't been running for the past 5 weeks or so.  My husband and I went on holidays and while away I injured my knee.  My doctor prescribed rest and I've been taking it easy, however I have a 10K run on October 26th and I'm worried that I won't be able to run it.  I went for a run on Saturday, hoping to run 5K and build myself up to doing the 10K at the end of the month.  I was only 1K in when I felt the little twinge in my knee, I should have stopped but told myself to just keep going.  I did keep going until the twinge became an ache.  That's when I stopped running, started walking and called my wonderful husband for a pick up.  I know there isn't any point in pushing it, as I'll just end up making it worse but at the same time I'm disappointed.

I have to keep in mind the bigger goal though and that is the half marathon I am signed up for on May 3rd, the Vancouver BMO Half Marathon.   That is the goal race, so if I have to by pass a 10K race to get myself to the half, that's what I'll do.

I also haven't been to run clinic.  For the most part because of my knee, but twice because of work engagements.  I hope that my knee will let me get back into run clinic in the coming week, if not, I'm afraid this one will be a wash but I'll be signing up for the half marathon clinic that will start in January.

So there you have it.  My confession...I'm human and although disappointed, I'm ok with that.

In the next few days I'll get a few blog posts up, a couple about the renovations, and a couple about our holiday in August where I got to meet someone who truly inspires me.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Scotiabank 5K - Team Alzheimer's

I'm very proud to have been part of "Team Alzheimer's" for the Vancouver Scotiabank Half and 5K on Sunday June 22nd.

Not only was this a scenic 5K to run, but I was running as part of Team Alzheimer's, in memory of my grandfather who passed away from the disease and to raise funds for the Alzheimer Society of B.C. which offers much needed support services to people with Alzheimer's disease and other dementia's, their caregivers and their families.  If you or someone you know needs assistance due to Alzheimer's Disease, please contact your local Alzheimer Society.  In BC the website is

Race in support bib on my back
 It was an early morning for Gary and I on a beautiful morning.  We were up and out the door around 7am, a quick stop at Tim Horton's and we were off to Vancouver.   I knew that the 5K race had sold out so there were going to be roughly 2500 runners doing the 5K with me and after the great experience with a big race in May, I had high hopes for this one.  Unfortunately it really wasn't all that organized.  There wasn't a lot of communication prior to the race, an occasional email but nothing like the details I received for the other race.  The one thing that was made clear was that parking at the starting line was next to non existent and we were to park in Stanley park and take one of the shuttles to the start line.

After parking there were a lot of people milling around looking for information.  There weren't any volunteers anywhere in the area and after waiting quite a while for a shuttle, we decided to walk to the start line as it was starting to get  a little too close to the start time for my liking.  After walking almost 20 minutes we finally saw the first volunteer who looked to be giving directions.  I asked him where the 5 K start line was and he told me he didn't really know but if I followed the sound of the music, I would probably find it.  Not exactly the most helpful information but eventually we did indeed locate the Charity Village where I checked in with Team Alzheimer's and made my way over to the start line.

We were supposed to be in corral's, based on our estimated finish times, but there were no corral's.  I lined up somewhere towards the middle of the sea of people and hoped that I wouldn't be in people's way.  As it turned out I shouldn't have been worried about that as I kept bobbing and weaving around people.  That was a pretty good feeling.

The 5K course itself was very pretty and scenic, it was based mostly on trails through Stanley Park, out along part of the seawall, and then we wrapped around a corner, up a hill and joined in with the half marathoner's for the last kilometer of the race.
Garmin showing the route

It felt great to be a part of a team, and see the group of volunteers from the Alzheimer Society cheering the runners on.  I saw my wonderful husband just before I crossed the finish line and then I was in the finishers chute where there were a few more Alzheimer Society Volunteers.  My co-worker was there as well and took a great photo for me with my finisher's medal.
In the finishers chute with my medal

I headed back over to the Charity Village where Team Alzheimer was to meet after the race for a team photo.  Again, it was so great to be a part of a team.  This was the first time that I've done a race as part of a team and it was great.
Team Alzheimer's
After we took the team picture ( the team actually had about 70 members so not everyone was present for the picture), my wonderful husband and I started back to the car.  We still had no idea where the shuttles were so we walked along lost lagoon and the rose garden back to the car before heading home.

Oh yeah!  I also had my best official race time for a 5K yet!  Yeah!  Here is the link to my garmin,   I was 785/1211 and finished 83/121 in my age group.  A huge improvement to a year ago when I was mostly walking the races. Here is the link to the official race results:

I won't be ordering any pictures from this race, but it's neat to see the video of me crossing the finish line in the middle of the pack instead of the back.
And the link to the photo's.