Not To Be Trusted With Knives

{January 21, 2009}   I Think I Need A New Watch

I looked down at my wrist yesterday and this is what I saw:

IMG_4506 by you.


My watch has been coming apart for quite some time now, but it’s finally come to the point that the main part of my watch has fallen completely out and I have no idea where it is.  I could have lost it anywhere, really.  I think I will use the birthday money that my sister sent me to buy a new one. Maybe I’ll even get one of those fancy ones which I can use to control Marla.

I do know one thing for sure: my friend Alicia, with whom I go running, will be glad to see me get a new watch because my old one, with the strap all unattached like that, kept shutting the timer off when we were runing as the loose plastic of the strap would hit the timer’s off button. So when my watch was supposed to beep so that we’d know that we had done our 10 minutes of running and could take our 1 minute walk break, it just wouldn’t beep. And then we’d have a totally screwed up run schedule. So, yeah, a new watch is definitely in order.  Also in order, emailing Alicia to set up a running date, which we haven’t done since before the holidays… I think we only have a 100 days left to train for our half marathon. Eep!


{January 12, 2009}   101 in 1001 for my 1000th post

So, for my 1000th blog posting I wanted to do something special. And I decided that the something special would be a “101 things to do in 1001 days” list.  The first time I saw one of these was on Dave’s blog and I may or may not have soon after written a parody version called “102 things to do in 1,000,001 days” on a satire blog that may or may not have been removed from the Internet for possible libel issues. Anyway.

The idea behind this list is to come up with 101 things you want to do – things you’ve always meant to do but haven’t gotten around to,  things you want to challenge yourself to accomplish and, let’s be honest, a few things that sound good but you are pretty sure you’ll do so that you can gain the satisfaction of checking at least a few things off your list.  As well, it’s important that the goals are clearly defined/measurable (or, as we say in the Research Methods world – you need an “operational definition” of each) so that you know whether or not you’ve done it.  Props for this idea go to triplux, who appears to be the creator of this idea (or, at least, is the first Google hit for “101 in 1001”).

So, after much thinking and pondering and reflecting and considering and deliberating and contemplating and ruminating and reading the thesaurus, I have come up with the following 101 items that I intend to do in the next 1001 days:

  1. go to New York City
  2. leave the continent
  3. live above ground
  4. run another half marathon1
  5. run the full marathon in Sacramento (i.e., the net downhill one!)
  6. assemble my last 7 years worth of photos into scrapbooks2
  7. give something a cool name (i.e., not just adding the letter “y” to the end of what the thing is a la “froggy” or “puppy”)
  8. get my blog onto
  9. participate in a political campaign
  10. attend Women’s Campaign School
  11. conduct some kind of  education research project
  12. conduct another systematic review for the Cochrane Collaoration
  13. publish a paper in a scholarly journal on the training program that I run
  14. write something creative (e.g., a story, a script or a poem)
  15. change a life
  16. write a book
  17. teach a course at a college
  18. ski at Whistler 3
  19. ski at Big White
  20. ski on Grouse Mountain
  21. learn to snowboard (or at least try it)
  22. go surfing & actually stay up on the board
  23. skate at GM Place
  24. coach a hockey team
  25. hike Black Task
  26. hike the West Coast Trail
  27. write a computer program
  28. start a business
  29. learn French (at least a little bit. Like more than just what’s on the cereal box)
  30. write a blog entry entitled Word to Your Moms, I Came to Drop Bombs4
  31. read something by Salman Rushdie5
  32. visit Macchu Picchu6
  33. for one week, go to bed at 9 and read non-work related books7
  34. read The Last Spike by Pierre Berton8
  35. take pole dancing lessons. Like, a whole set of them, not just the intro class.
  36. beat my current record of 10 points in a hockey season (which I achieved on the Blazing Blades team in both the Winter 2007/08 and the Spring 2008 seasons)
  37. teach the same course at UBC twice9
  38. participate in the “365 Day Challenge”. This involves taking a self-portrait every day for 365 days and posting it to the 365 Day Flickr group.
  39. make a list of 100 things that make me happy
  40. buy a Smart Car
  41. buy an iPhone
  42. skate on the Rideau Canal
  43. take Tod to a Vancouver Canucks game [Accomplished: 13 January 2009, Canucks vs. NJ Devils. Next time I should try to take him to a game when the Canucks win!]
  44. take Tod to a Vancouver Giants game
  45. go to a BC Lions game
  46. go to a Vancouver Canadians game
  47. see a Vancouver White Caps game
  48. start composting
  49. keep a plant alive for a whole month
  50. write in my journal every day for a month
  51. go kayaking
  52. camp at Joffre Lake
  53. visit Galiano Island
  54. visit Salt Spring Island
  55. visit Bowen Island
  56. save $500 in coins10
  57. deposit that $500 worth of coins into my 40th birthday savings account
  58. write 10 friends real letters, on paper, with a pen and snail mail them
  59. follow Canada’s Food Guide to Healthy Eating every day for 1 month11
  60. go to a Bikram yoga class
  61. go to a spa for a facial
  62. visit 5 new American states12
  63. visit Newfoundland
  64. visit Nova Scotia
  65. visit New Brunswick
  66. visit the Yukon
  67. visit Nunavit
  68. do a 24 hr blogathon
  69. do 15 minutes of yoga every morning for a month
  70. sort through my many boxes of papers (most of which contain papers from my thesis), recycling the papers I don’t need and filing the ones I do need
  71. find out my credit rating
  72. determine my net worth
  73. buy a bike
  74. bike to work every day for two months
  75. record a cooking show (at least 5 episodes)
  76. publish said cooking show online
  77. participate in five research projects (as a subject/participant, not as a researcher)
  78. sell counter top dishwasher on Craig’s List13
  79. see at least one Bard on the Beach performance14
  80. put up a Christmas tree and decorate it with chili peppers15
  81. live blog something
  82. go to bed every night for a week with all the dishes cleaned
  83. achieve inbox zero and maintain for one full week (where “maintain” = by the time I go to bed each night)
  84. up my blog readership to an average of 200 readers a day16
  85. break my current record of 460 blog views in a day17
  86. write a blog posting about the Car Co-op18
  87. go sky diving
  88. resurrect my teaching blog
  89. see the Dresdan Dolls in concert
  90. see Groove Coverage in concert
  91. see a show at Richard’s on Richards before it closes down
  92. devise some sort of proper back up system for my computer files
  93. get my ring from my great Auntie Bernice re-sized to actually fit my finger
  94. buy a pair of brown dress pants19
  95. bake at least one thing per month for 12 months in a row, without baking the same thing two months in a row20
  96. go zip cording
  97. make homemade vegetarian marshmallows
  98. go on a polar bear swim
  99. recycle my old Sony Vaio desktop and my old Palm Pilot that are now just taking up space in my apartment!
  100. scan all the photos from my pre-digital camera days
  101. publish a blog posting for each of the next 1001 days!

So, there you have it.  I expect I’ll be posting updates when I get stuff on the list accomplished and possibly some excuses about my abject failures.

End Date: Monday, October 10, 2011 (thank you!)


1Ya, this one is totally cheating, since I’m already training for another half. But it’s hard to think of 101 things!

2Um, ya.  I have seven years worth of photos in boxes, waiting for scrapbooking.

3Can you believe that, having lived in Vancouver for more than eight years, I’ve not yet skied Whistler?

4This one is stolen from an homage to Dave’s 101 things in 1001 days list. He didn’t actually manage to do it, but I think I can. I think I can.

5Also stolen from Dave’s list. I’ve been wanting to read something by Rushdie, so here’s an extra push

6This is the last one I’m stealing from Dave’s list. Promise.  Also, Dan said I should go there.

7Stolen from Triplux.

8Which Sarah’s been telling me to read since forever. And which she just gave me for Christmas, so if I fail to accomplish this one, well, that would just be sad.

9I always seem to get a course for one term only.  I taught Nutritional Assessment last year as a sessional, but the department hired a new prof and he chose that as one of his courses to teach, so I don’t get to teach it this year. And then, this past term I taught another course as a sessional because the usual sessional needed a break from it for one term only, so I probably won’t get to teach it next year. Now I want some consistency!

10Just because it would be difficult.

11i.e., meet the recommended number of servings for each food group every day and consume no more than one unhealthy “other” food per week.

12i.e., ones that I haven’t been to before. Or ones where I’ve only been to their airport/airport hotel (I’m looking at you Texas, Oregon and Arizona), if I actually go to somewhere other than the airport/airport hotel.

13since it doesn’t fit in my kitchen. =(

14I can’t believe I’ve lived in Vancouver for 8+ years and not once have I been to see Bard on the Beach. I like Shakespeare (I even have a minor in Drama that included a whole course in “Acting Shakespeare”). And I like beaches!

15Inspired by the tree at the Mexican resort I stayed at this Christmas.

16My 2008 average was 93 readers per day.

17Which occurred on Friday, September 26, 2008 as a direct result of my list of the hottest players in the NHL

18Which I have partly written and can’t seem to get around to finishing.

19I’ve been trying to find a good pair of brown dress pants since forever! Hopefully I’ll find them in the next 1001 days.

20Because I really enjoy baking and I never seem to do it anymore.

{December 12, 2008}   It’s Time For A Comeback

Specifically, a half marathon comeback.

Long-time readers will remember that two years ago, I ran my first ever half marathon (the Vancouver International).  And then, five months later, I attempted to run another (the Royal Victoria). But apparently, not training for your half marathon is a bad idea, and so I ended up with an injured foot and, although I crossed the finish line, I only did so after limping the last 6 km.  I had the best intentions to take a break from running to let my foot heal (which I did) and then train for the Scotiabank half marathon the following June (which I just… didn’t).  I have, however, been running with my friend Alicia once per week for quite some time now.  And, more recently, my friend Kim has been joining Alicia and I on our weekly runs.  And now we are going to run the half marathon at the Vancouver International Marathon in May 20091.

We’re planning to follow the Running Room‘s half marathon training schedule.  Which is an 18 week plan. And since the race is on May 3, I will officially start my training on January 11 – which just so happens to be my birthday2!  Also, the race is just 13 days before Alicia’s wedding.  We are going to be in some wicked good shape for her big day!

Anyway, step #1 = registering.  Which I just did today.  Despite getting this amusing little error message when I first clicked on “Register”:

I think I like “Where the content at?” a lot better than the usual “404 error – file not found” message.  I clicked again and that time it worked.  Weird.  Anyway, I’m registered now, so I better get serious about contemplating thinking about  about starting training.

Oh yeah, Monday (Dec 15) is the early bird deadline, so if you are thinking of running the Vancouver International, register now!

1Alicia and I are for sure. Kim is still deciding.
2Coincidentally, it’s also the day that Tanya will be running her half marathon!

{September 1, 2008}   My quads hurt

So, yesterday I decided to go on a little 10 km run. Just me and my friend Alicia. And a couple thousand other people.

IMG_4059 by you.

Here we are in our swanky race shirts. Nike made the brilliant marketing decision to put everyone’s number on their running shirt – instead of the usual practice of giving you a piece of paper that you pin to you shirt – thereby ensuring that everyone in the race would have to wear identical shirts. This made for some pretty spectacular photo ops of thousands of people who were clearly all there to run the same race.

I have to say that the event was a wee bit disorganized – first we were told to gather around the main stage for a warm up. But the warm up never happened. They interviewed a couple of Olympic athletes that I’d never heard of, and then told us to go line up at the start line for the warm up. Oh yes, and that they wouldn’t be starting the race until 7:15 rather than 7 p.m. So we all went to the start line, waited for a bit, and then the race started. No warm up. I suppose there is a possibility that the had a couple of people with no microphones do a very short warm up at the front of the pack, but we were in the 6th wave (for people who expected to complete in 55+ mins) and we certainly didn’t see any warm up.

Here we are about to embark on the big race:

IMG_4060 by you.

Ready, set, go!

And here’s the route we had to run:

IMG_4065 by you.

See that part where you go over the Burrard St Bridge? That map is clearly not to scale… ‘cuz that uphill on the bridge had to be at least 10 km itself. I never realized how freaking long that bridge is. And how much I hate that bridge. This ridiculously long uphill starts at the 7 km mark – just far enough into the run that you are pretty freaking tired, but still far enough from the finish that you are sure it will never end. I always find in races that there is a part where I start to think, “Why do I do this to myself? What was I thinking? I must be completely *insane* to voluntarily sign up to do something like this!” (But the end of the race I’m all “Yay! I love races! Let’s sign up for more!” but at the 7/10ths of the way mark I’m giving serious consideration to hailing a cab).

In the end, we did, in fact, manage to finish. Sure it took us more than twice as long as the winner of the race, but we really weren’t there to compete. (We weren’t there to impress Steve Nash either, but apparently he was impressed). We spent the majority of the “race” chatting as we ran, and we did our usual 10 mins of running, 1 min of walking.  And lamenting that the two women running with the baby carriage – who we decided about a quarter of the way into the race to refer to as our arch nemesis – were ahead of us.

Here’s a photo of us crossing the finish line:

Photo Not Available

We were running so fast across the finish line that no camera could catch us. No, really.

Now, I’ve complained before about the fact that the Nike+ Human Race website is a big steaming pile of crap.  It was very difficult to get the thing to work to register for the race, or figure out the race route or how much of your registration fee goes to charity.  And I have to say that there post-race additions to the website aren’t much better.  Sure, you can search your name and get a pretty graphic that tells your time:

beth by you.

alicia by you.

And you can also see your time next to the top 10 runners in your city:

beth_results2 by you.

But, you know what?  I don’t want to see my name and time, at #1799 out of some unspecified number of racers, next to the top 10 finishers.  That’s just depressing!  What I would like to know is how many people ran the race.  I’m #1799 out of how many?  1800?  4800?  Who knows!  I’ve search their site and I’ve Googled and I can’t find any hint of what the number might be.  Nor what the number of runners worldwide was.  My theory right now is that they were nowhere near their goal of having 1,000,000 people run this race in the 26 cities in which it occurred, so they are ashamed to say what the number was.  I mean, when I look myself up compared to the top 10 finishers in the world, I’m listed as number 124,119.  And I really can’t imagine that I was 124,119th out of 1 million.  Seriously. As if.

Here’s a video from some dude that happened to be skateboarding around Vancouver and discovered that this race was going on, so he decided to record it. I remember seeing a guy skateboarding along with a video camera, so I’m sure this was the same guy.

Notice at the 1 minute mark on this video, you can hear some of the “can do” messaging. I’m pretty sure that that’s the voice of Karen K from CFOX radio telling you that you’ve just cleared the Cambie bridge and have now run 1 km and only have 9 km left to go. Here’s the thing: the last thing I want to hear at that start of the race is that I still have 9 more freaking km to go. Fortunately for us, this audio was not on by the time those of us who started in the sixth wave got there. My guess is that someone heard that they’d only run 1 km, went “omg! I have to run 9 more k?” and then smashed the speakers in a rage.

{August 12, 2008}   Guess who’s running?

What are you doing on August 31?

Me? Well, me – and about a million other people – are going for a run.

On August 31, Nike is attempting to stage the largest run ever – with a million runners in 25 cities1. One of those cities is Vancouver and one of those runners will be me.

A portion of the registration fee (or, according to above screenshot some value related to every step I take during the race)2 will go to the charity of my choosing.  They are all worthy causes, making it difficult to pick, but I decided to choose the UN Refugee Agency.

I’m having a wee bit of trouble figuring out their website3, so although it says I’ve done “0 km” of training, please know that that’s not true!  I just can’t figure out where to enter my training kms.  And I think if you go here you can donate money to the UN Refugee Agency if you’d like to support my run.

1Their ads say “25 global cities,” but is there really any other kind? Were they worried we would think it was 24 cities around the world + 1 city on Mars?
2I have to say their website is less than ideal. It’s ridiculously Flash-heavy and often difficult to find the information you are looking for. For example, I can’t seem to find out what “portion” of the registration money goes to the charities!a
aThis reminds me of the Simpsons episode where they go to the newspaper factory and the PR women says that “a certain percentage” of all the paper they use is recycled; when Lisa pushes her to state how much, the woman replies “Zero. What? Zero is a percentage!”
3Because it sucks with a capital SUCK.  And they don’t even have a “Help” option. WTF, Nike??

A note to my fellow geeks: Please don’t hold it against me that this screenshot reveals I was using IE. The website was not working in Firefox when I tried to register.  I swear, it’s not my fault!

I tried to call my Dad for Father’s Day yesterday. Given that he wasn’t at home when I’d called on his birthday1, I thought it was extra important that I talk to him for Father’s Day. But when I called, the phone line was all super static-y and, from what I could make out amidst the static, Toronto2 had some sort of a rainstorm/flood/natural disaster that ruined the phone lines. And my dad wasn’t home.

He did try to call me back upon his return, but the phone line situation had not improved, so the conversation went something like this:

Me: Hi Dad!

Dad: <garble> Hello? <garble> <garble>

Me: Hi! Your phone line is really bad! I can hardly hear you.

Dad: <garble> Thank you!! <garble>

Me: Um, Happy Father’s Day?

Dad: I <garble> can’t hear you <garble> <garble> ..alk to you later<garble>

And so I had to resort to this text message. I honestly don’t know if my Dad knows how to deal with text messages3, so I hope he got it. Because I did want him to know that I was wishing him a happy Daddy’s day. Even if he is a Maple Leafs fan.

In unrelated news, this sour cream that I had in my fridge appears to have expired over 1000 years ago:

It passed the sniff test, though, so I think it’s OK. I mean, it’s already SOUR cream.  What’s it going to do, get more sour? 😉

In also unrelated news, my 3-game point streak ended with last night’s 6-1 loss. I blame the fact that I re-taped my stick and clearly my good luck must have been in the old stick tape, ragged as it was. I have to say that, despite what the score says, we played a good game… there were 44 shots against us, so our goalie, Megs, did a wicked good job in net. And I drew a penalty when someone just couldn’t keep up with my mad puck handling skillz and hooked me, sending me down and spinning into the boards. Plus, we only had 7 skaters for half the game. Memorable quotations from last night’s game include:

  • Why is that girl walking off with a bra from the bench? and
  • I don’t have any socks and I’m not wearing any underwear.

And, in my final bit of unrelated news, I’ve discovered the secret to being productive after work: don’t sit down. Usually when I get home from work I sit down on the couch to “relax” and “unwind” for a few minutes. Maybe play a few moves on Scrabulous. And then I don’t get up. Dishes pile up. Laundry remains unwashed. Cupboards remain bare. Dinner consists of a nuked burrito6. But since it was so sunny out today, when I got home I didn’t sit down, I quickly changed into some running clothes to get out for a run in the sun. And I ended my run at the grocery store, so I could pick up some grub, what with the cupboards being bare and all. And, you know how they say you shouldn’t grocery shop when you are hungry? Well, when you had an apply for breakfast, a light lunch and haven’t yet had dinner AND just ran 5 km – doubly so. I bought sooo many groceries I could barely carry them all home7. On the plus side, since I’d just been for a run, I was totally craving fruits and veggies, so at least it was all healthy food. Once I got home with my many, many groceries, I was sooo starving that I still didn’t sit down – I immediately began to cook. And not only did I cook myself some tasty veggies tacos (with 1000-year-old sour cream), but I also sautéed a bunch of veggies to supplement the leftover pasta that I made yesterday for my lunches this week. As my taco veggie mix simmered, I put away the groceries. And then I ate said tacos, and did the dishes. And put all my scattered laundry into a laundry bucket9. And prepared the coffeemaker for tomorrow morning’s coffee10. And then I made some tea. And *then* I sat down. And now I’ve written this nice long, super-footnoted posting.  So there you have it folks, not sitting down is the secret to my post-work productivity.

1I left a “happy bday” message with my mom, but it’s just not the same
2Well, Toronto suburbs, anyway
3My sister4 got him and my Mom cell phones two Christmases ago that they use “for emergencies only,” so I have no idea if they text or not.
4She is the good daughter. The one who gave them a grandchild and cell phones. And a computer (for Dad) and a fur coat (for Mom). I’m the one who can’t even complete a phone call for birthdays or parent celebration days.
5One girl showed up about halfway through the second period because she was stuck in wicked traffic, so we had 8 skaters after that.
6This may or may not be an exaggeration.
7Part of this was due to the fact that my favourite organic, fair-trade Bolivian coffee was on extra good sale8, so I had to buy 3 bags of it. And part of it was due to the fact that they now have those little baskets for putting your groceries in when you are in the store that have wheels and a long handle. So you wheel them around as you fill them up, never realizing how freaking heavy it will all be until you are done checking out.
8Instead of the standard $1.50 off the “regular” price that it usually is, it was $4 off!
9And I would have done the laundry, too, if only my landlords weren’t already using the washing machine.
10This is the one and only task that I *always* make sure to do, no matter what other chores I ignore.

{May 10, 2008}   Bananagasm

Another year, another Pacific Spirit 10 km run. I was rather disappointed with my time (1:03:37.9; pace 6:22 per km¹). I really have no idea why I was so damn slow- it’s difficult to tell really how fast you are going because (a) it’s a trail run, so you are weaving all around the trails rather than running on straightaways and that makes it hard to gauge your speed, (b) there are other people all around you running at a variety of different paces, which also makes it hard to gauge your speed. I suppose the most logical explanation is that last year, I ran the half at the Vancouver International Marathon the week² before the Pacific Spirit Run, so I was at my peak fitness level; this year, I’m only partway through my training for the Scotiabank half marathon, which isn’t until the end of June, so I’m not up to the shape I’ll be in by the time the marathon comes around. Alternative hypotheses as to why I sucked at the PSR this year include:

  • I ran with Marla, my 3rd generation iPod, which is larger than the 2nd gen iPod I ran with last year. The extra weight of the larger iPod significantly weighed me down.
  • the race shirts were, inexplicably, comically large and all the extra fabric of my so-called “small” shirt weighed me down.
  • the 10 lbs I’ve gained since this time last year weighed me down.
  • my bib number was 1200. Having such a distinguishable number was too much for me and I choked under the pressure.

  • I spent too much time thinking about the fact that I was running while I was running. Usually in a race I get “in the zone” and I don’t even think (that much) about the fact that I’m running (although, quite honestly, I have no idea what I usually think about). Thinking things like “Dear god, I’ve been running for 50 minutes and I still have TWO MORE kilometres to run??” makes you really feel tired.
  • age-related sarcopenia.

On the plus side, I did beat *everyone* in the females aged 65 and over category. Take that, grannies!

I still had a great time, though, despite my sucky performance. It’s a beautiful forest to through and it’s always³ nice to see the volunteers cheering you along at every turn. But, by and large the best part of the race is the race food they give you after you cross the finish line. Sure, it’s just oranges, bananas, mini-muffins and yogurt – stuff you could eat on any given day – but after a race it is the most delicious food you’ve ever eaten in your life. Psychologists will tell you4 that one’s motivation for things is enhanced when they are in a state of deprivation – acquiring food is more gratifying when you are really, really hungry. And thus, race food is the tastiest, tastiest food you will ever eat. You’ve never had oranges so succulent, muffins so fulfilling or yogurt so divine as the ones you scarf down before you even leave the food tent. “Bananagasm” was how one of my teammates described it. After the banagasms, we went to Enigma for a team brunch, which was awesome. The food there was excellent; the coffee, doubly so6. And it’s so nice to just hang out with the team, some of whom I haven’t seen since we ran this race last year. Since we don’t all run together (everyone else on our team is *much* faster than me), having the brunch after makes it feel more like a team thing. Props to Dr. Kim for organizing the team and the brunch!

And thanks, again, to my 9 sponsors, who helped me raise $291 for dementia research (our team, as a whole, raised $1,091.00). It’s going to a great cause!

¹Compared to last year’s time of 58 minutes, 47.8 seconds (pace = 5:53 minutes per km)
²I just typed this as “weak.” Freudian slip!
³Well, except for when you hurt your foot and have to limp the last 6 km of a half marathon. Then the cheers of the volunteers saying “You are doing a great job,” even though you know you aren’t, leave a bitter taste in your mouth.
4In fact, psychologists DID tell me, at our post-race team brunch. I ran on the Brain Research Centre team, so was surrounded mostly by brain scientists. You know how people will say “it’s not brain surgery”? These guys *do* brain surgery5. I ❤ brain scientists!
5We all agreed that doing surgeries was far and away the most fun part of grad school.
6This may, of course, have been part of the bananagasm phenomenon

{May 5, 2008}   Only 5 days left…

…to sponsor my Pacific Spirit Run!

It’s for a good cause – proceeds from this year’s run will support important research and the development of care initiatives for individuals with dementia

Thanks to those who have helped me reach 72% of my fund raising goal so far.  If you are willing and able to sponsor me, you can go here to do so.

{March 1, 2008}  

So, I totally forgot to blog yesterday. I realized it at around 1:30 this morning, just as I was about to go to bed. And so my daily blogging streak for 2008 ends… an entire *month* earlier than it did last year¹! In my defense, yesterday was Feburary 29… that’s not really a real day².

Now, that it’s March, it seems that spring has sprung here in the ‘couve³. It was gorgeous and sunny today and so I went on a nice long walk to do some shopping on W. 4th and Broadway. The two main things I went out to buy were: (a) new headphones for Marla, because the ones I had spontaneously stopped producing sound in the left earphone and (b) new running shoes. And the reason that I was on a mission to make these purchases? Because it’s time to start my training for my next half marathon! You may recall that my last half marathon was less than ideal, but I’ve learned my lesson and I’m bound and determined to train properly this time. Also, from talking to the salesdude at the Running Room5, part of the problem leading up to my foot injury may have been that my shoes were worn out. So, $200 later, I’m the proud owner of a pair of Asics Gel-Nimbus running shoes:


They are like running on a cloud.  Seriously.

Other, more spontaneous purchases on my shopping spree included: 2 skirts & a top at a thift store (total cost $15!); various card making supplies and some much needed oven mitts from a dollar store; a bluetooth headset for my cell, which I’m returning because it totally sucks; a pack of stamps at the post office; and a veggie dog from a hot dog vender. Mmmm, veggie dog.

¹When I imported my blog into WordPress from Blogger, I didn’t set the time zone to Pacific before I did the import, meaning that it imported everything at GMT instead of PST. So here in WordPress land, it looks like I did post on March 30, 2007, but if you look on my old Blogger site, you’ll see that that posting was actually on March 29, 2007 at 8:21 p.m. PST when I originally posted it. Similarly, I did actually post every day in 2008 until yesterday, but here in WordPress land, it looks like I didn’t because the ones I imported went under GMT. Anyhoo, I’m sure I’m the only person who cared about that and now that I’ve bored you to tears with the world’s longest footnote, you may return to your regularly scheduled blog post, already in progress.
² Speaking of which, happy belated birthday to my cousin Samantha… she turned 16 yesterday, on her 4th birthday.
³ One of many annoying nicknames for Vancouver including, but not limited to, Vancity, the V-dot4, and, my least fav, Vangroovy.
4Which, I will point out, makes no sense and is only used by people from the T dot.
5And this wasn’t like a salesdude who was trying to upsell me into buying some news shoes. I brought my old shoes in to the store to compare them with new shoes and he was able to show me just how worn out they were.

Ever wonder what 3 months worth of recycling looks like? Well, wonder no longer:


This is the recycling that has been piling up in my kitchen since the city workers’s strike started back in July. They are *finally* going to pick up recycling this week and I can’t wait to put this stuff outside and get my kitchen back!!

In other cleaning-up-my-place news, I was struck with my biennial “I feel like cleaning” mood on Friday and did some tidying up and organizing. Apparently there is this new invention that’s like a sponge on a stick and you put the sponge part in soapy water and run it across your floor. I believe they call it a “mop.” So I tried that out and now have shiny kitchen and bathroom floors1

Some other features of my newly semi-organized place include taking my shoe collection from looking like this:



To looking like this:


Although I do have to admit that even with a five-story shoe rack, I don’t have enough room for all my shoes2


Also, I hung up a whole bunch of stuff on the walls, as seen here:

My two favourite pieces:
“Spirt Bear” by Joseph M. Wilson and
“Haida Killer Whale – Skaana” by Bill Reid

My friend Therese brought these two pieces,
which apparently I have not hung up straight,
back from San Fran for me.

The flower paintings were done by my cousin’s husband and given out
as gifts to everyone at their wedding. The gingerbread man cutting board
was given to me by either my mom or my sister (I can’t remember which).

This is my bragging wall… or, walls I guess, as I couldn’t fit them all on one wall
(Go to the Flickr page if you want to see what each of these degrees/diplomas/awards are).

Of course, there are still piles of paper on various tables, chairs, filing cabinets and other available surfaces (photos not available3), but I’m sure I’ll get around to cleaning them up in 2009, when the mood to clean hits me again.

1Although the tile in my kitchen, like the paint on the walls and all the furniture, is older than me, so it still kinda looks like crap.
2Plus, there are four more pairs in my bedroom that I forgot to take a photo of and I’m too lazy to take a photo and upload it now that I’ve realized that I didn’t take a photo of them.
3Because I don’t want to document what a slob I am. Despite my claims to the contrary, I’m really not at all about fair and balanced reporting .

{October 19, 2007}   The saddest half marathoner ever

Click here to see photos of the saddest looking half marathoner ever.

Of course they didn’t get any photographs of me *before* I hurt my foot, when I was actually running. Instead, I get three photos of me limping along, looking all sorry for myself.

In happier news, my foot now feels 100% better. It was getting very slightly better each day last week, then I played hockey on Sunday and it really hurt Sunday night, so I iced the hell out of it and by Monday it was 97.5±0.5% better. Anyway, lesson learned – if you ever plan to run a half marathon, train for it. That’s right folks, you heard it here last.

{October 10, 2007}   Foot vs. Brain

In the battle between my injured foot and my brain’s adenosine receptors, the adenosine receptors reigned supreme. Faced with the choice of hobbling all the way to the Tim Horton’s on the other side of the building for an afternoon cup of coffee or resting my foot but forgoing my caffeine fix, there really was only one clear choice.

{October 9, 2007}   Limpy

So apparently you really are supposed to train for a half marathon.

Yes, once upon a time, I registered to run the half at the Royal Victoria Marathon under the mistaken assumptions that:

(a) registering and (b) announcing to the blogosphere that I have registered should be sufficient motivation to get me up off my butt and back into running.

Note to self: the above assumptions are incorrect. Two weddings (and all the associated events), a softball league, wisdom teeth extraction and my general delinquency this summer all combined to give me sufficient excuses to not train adequately. And by “adequately” I mean “at all.” But I registered, dammit, and I was going to run come hell or high water.

Another incorrect assumption was my belief that carrying one’s CareCard with them during events in which they have the potential to become injured will protect them from injury. As it turns out, carrying one’s CareCard only prevents injuries of the severity that require use of said CareCard. Injuries that don’t quite require medical attention are fair game.

Also, when someone says something like “If you injure a foot, Beth, make sure it’s the left one. I’ve injured my right foot, so if you injure your left, we can drive Lauren’s car together – you on the gas and me on the clutch – if Lauren happens to injure herself” is just tempting fate.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. First things first. I should tell you about how we were 15 minutes late starting the race. There were 6 of us staying at my old roommie1 Dani’s new place in Victoria. Another lesson learned on this trip: 30 minutes is not nearly enough time to get 6 people up, dressed, fed and out the door for a race. But the time we arrived, the start line looked like this:


Just a few volunteers standing around. The thousands of people running the half marathon – long gone.

Figuring “thank goodness for chip time!” we took a quick photo and headed out:

Jo, Dani, Sheila, me, Lauren & Tim.

Well, Dani and I headed out. Tim went in search of the bag check to leave his jacket before he started, Jo and Sheila, who were going to run the 8K2 rather than the half marathon went in search of its start line and Lauren, who ran the full marathon which didn’t start for another 45 minutes, went with J & S. We ran 3 km before we caught up with the slowest of the half marathon walkers, that’s how far behind we were. And we were reported by the cops… as we ran past one of the cops stationed along the route to control traffic we heard him say into his walkie-talkie “10-4, I’ve got two runners coming along here.” I said to Dani, “They are onto us! Quick, run!” Hee hee.. running humour.

Around about the time we caught up with the walkers, I told Dani to go on ahead of me. I’m not nearly as fast as her and knew if I continued to try to keep up with her, it would spell trouble, so she went off on her way and I continued to run at my slower pace. The route was very pretty, going through Beacon Hill and then out at a road along the water. My body started to realized that I was really, truly going to make it keep running and, for a while, seemed OK with this decision. Then a pain showed up in my left foot, but it decided to try out my right foot to see if it preferred that location, and next transferred itself to both my knees simultaneously, followed by my lower back. A slight headache showed up, but I’m pretty sure that was because they had very poorly spaced water stations and I was getting a bit dehydrated. I grabbed two cups of water at the next water station, and then found there there was another water station very soon after. Weird. Finally, the pain decided it liked my left foot best out of all the places it had tried out and took up permanent residence there. At first I figured it would go away as it had before and kept running. When it firmly stood its ground, I decided that perhaps a 2 minute walk (instead of my usual 1 min walk for every 10 minutes of running) would help. It did not. Finally, around about the 15 km mark I asked myself, “Is it worth continuing to run on this foot that is clearly unhappy about being run on and risking a more serious injury that could put you out of hockey?” Once I phrased it that way, I knew what I had to do. I had to walk, or rather limp, the last 6 km of the race. After all, any form of exercise that isn’t hockey is just off-ice conditioning, in my opinion. And so I limped. And limped. And limped. I limped so much that my right hip and ankle started to hurt from overcompensation. And yet I continued to limp. Because really, what else are you going to do? I certainly wasn’t injured enough to stop at the medical stop (although I did think about it) and I had to get to the finish line, where my friends would be waiting for me.

As I continued on my way, I started to resent the volunteers who were positive, cheering on the runners and walkers with a “good job!” When I ran the Vancouver half, I found these cheers to be really motivating, but as I limped along, berating myself for not having trained more, all I could think is “You people are so insincere! I’m not doing a good job! I’m doing a terrible job!!” A few volunteers along the way did seem to notice my limp and the grimace that I’m sure was on my face and gave me a sympathetic smile and that was muchly appreciated.

In the end, I hobbled over the finish line, got my medal and, surprisingly, found my friends who had finished a half hour before me. And that was the end of the race I never should have run!

My plan now, as I sit here icing my feet4, is to take a small break from running. I may do the occasional run if the mood strikes me once my feet are healed, but winter is time to focus on hockey and skiing. Come the new year, I’ll start thinking about the Scotiabank half marathon, which happens in June. But I’m going to train for it. No really, I’ve learned my lesson!

1Firefox’s spellcheck tells me that “roommie” is not a word, but suggests that I actually mean “commie” here.
2I say “were going to” because they didn’t, in the end, get to run. As it turns out, the start line for the 8K (which started at the same time as the half) was already taken down by this point.
4I’m icing my left foot, which was the main injury, and my right ankle, which feels strained from having limped on it for 6 km, as well as everywhere else I’ve had to walk since then. My feet are the thermostat to my body however, so making them cold is making the rest of me cold too, despite being in my warm bed with two blankets and a warm laptop on top of me!

{September 26, 2007}   Feast or Famine Part Deux

Not unlike how I went from having no jobs to having three, I went from having no hockey team to being on two!

UBC had announced in late summer that two of the ice surfaces at the torn-down-but-being-rebuilt-for-the-Olympics Thunderbird Winter Sports Centre were ready to go and so there would be rec hockey, but only a limited number of teams could join. And, as such, only teams where the majority of players come from a single group (be it a faculty, a club, a fraternity or sorority) would be allowed to register on a first-come, first-served basis. And being that one of my three jobs is teaching at UBC, I would actually be allowed to play in the rec league1! Unfortunately, although we tried to do some recruiting, it didn’t look like we could find enough players from my old Faculty to reunite my old team and, in the meantime, I was invited to join a team that plays in Coquitlam. But now it turns out that UBC Rec let my old Faculty join up with the Faculty of Forestry, as both Faculties are very small, to make a team. So now I get to play at UBC too2!

Hopefully all this hockey means that I will be in somewhat reasonable shape to run that half marathon that I’m not training for3.

1Although I am only teaching from Jan to April, so I’m really hoping that they don’t tell me I can only play during term 2!
2Provided, of course, that they count me as a staff member for the year, even though my course doesn’t start ’til next term. Fingers crossed!!
3Weren’t you supposed to be berating me to ensure that I stick with my training program? Shame on you!

{September 11, 2007}   The internets hate me

Since Telus isn’t sending someone to fix my non-functioning connection to the internets until SATURDAY, I’m writing this posting up really quickly on my lunch at work. So y’all will have to wait for a proper recounting of my camping trip. Here are some pretty pics1 to tide you over until then.2

And since I apparently work in 1997 and don’t have Javability on my work computer, my apologies to all my Scrabulous opponents – I can only partake of our Scrabble games on occasions where I manage to either (a) insinuate myself into other people’s homes to use their Java-capable computers with functioning internet connections or (b) trek with my laptop to a coffeeshop with wireless access. And did I mention that the only coffeeshop where I can access wireless that is within walking distance of me closes at 6 pm?

1The pics aren’t properly organized in my Flickr, as I uploaded them on shaky coffeshop wireless, which kept wigging out on me in the middle of my upload. So I think I have several photos uploaded more than once and other ones not uploaded at all. Stupid shaky coffeeshop wireless.

2Granted, I could write it up at home and then just bring it to work on my memory stick to post from here, but I’ve been much too busy to do that. Last night I had dinner and played with a Wii for the first time (clarification: first time playing with a Wii, not first time having dinner); tonight Alicia and I are going to pretend that we are training for our respective half marathons by going for an 8K run along the beach, then dinner; tomorrow I have coffee that somehow got upgraded to drinks (or maybe even dinner, I’m not exactly sure!)… and all that makes me tired just thinking about it!!!

et cetera