Thursday, February 25, 2016

Geocaching on The Islands!

It was Cam's birthday last weekend and while I had his gift purchased and ready to go, I always like to plan a fun activity for us to do to celebrate the day as well. Unfortunately he was born in February so activities are sometimes limited. However the forecast for last weekend was unseasonably warm so I told Cam to put on some shoes because we were going to take the ferry to Ward's Island (Toronto has a series of islands that are awesome and Cam and I love to visit often in the summer) and we were going to go Geocaching!

I had originally looked up a good cache on the Geocaching website and downloaded some compass and GPS maps to help us find it. For the record, we set out to try and find "Around Toronto- Escape", which was hidden on Ward's Island. Geocaching is pretty simple- there is a container hidden somewhere (the cache) and they give you the GPS coordinates and maybe a clue and you set out to find it. If you find it, you leave your name and the date that you found it in a log inside. If the cache is larger, there will sometimes be small items inside and you can take one as a trophy as long as you replace it with an item of your own. Got it? Ok!

Cam and I walked to the Ferry terminal and took the ferry across to the island. I have never actually taken the ferry TO the islands before (we usually just take a water taxi). It was fun! The boat is smaller than the big summer ones, with enclosed areas to stay warm and it breaks through the ice as it goes. Very neat!

Once on the island (the winter ferry only goes to Ward's Island, since that is the habited area), we walked over to Ward's beach, where the cache was hidden. It was so nice and warm out! Unfortunately we searched for a very long time and did not find the cache :(. It was rated pretty difficult to find so it wasn't altogether surprising that we couldn't locate it.

However, we made up for our loss by hopping on the Geocaching app and seeing there was another cache on Ward's Island that was rated a little easier. We wandered over to that area and found it pretty quickly! Here is the one that we found! There was no more room on the piece of paper that acted as a log so I started a new piece of paper and we replaced it exactly where we found it.

After that it started to get overcast and cold so we hopped back on the ferry to return to the city and home! All in all we agreed it was a fun adventure and we are going to try and find all the caches on the islands this summer- we love an excuse to go over there!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Marathon Training: Week 6

Total kilometers run: 226.4km
This week: 25.1km

This week's runs:
Tuesday: 8km easy with sprints at end (6:45 min/km avg pace)
Thursday: 10km tempo (6:19 min/km avg pace)
Saturday: 7.1km easy (6:44 min/km avg pace)
Sunday: MISSED!

I missed my first training run this week and I am actually super bummed about not following the program perfectly, but it was only 13km and I had a good reason.


It's inevitable. All runners eventually fall on a run. I fell 7km into my 8km easy run on Saturday. I have no idea what I tripped over but I fell down on the paved sidewalk HARD. I actually lay there for a minute stunned over what had just happened and in so much pain! I hit my right knee and my right shoulder pretty bad. I thankfully just seem to have superficial cuts and scrapes, but they hurt a lot and I figured I should just take Sunday off since my knee doesn't care much for bending while the skin heals.

Anyway, it sucks but I am just glad that I didn't actually injure any muscles or bones! And by some miracle I didn't tear my pants and shirt, which protected me from the brunt of the pavement. I am just taking a few days off to let the skin heal up a bit and then I will be back out there!!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Marathon Training; Week 5

Total kilometers run: 201.3km
This week: 46.4km

This week's runs:
Tuesday: 8.1km easy with sprints at end (6:53 min/km avg pace)
Thursday: 10.2km tempo (6:17 min/km avg pace)
Sunday: 6.5km easy (6:39 min/km avg pace)
Monday: 21.6km steady (6:27 min/km avg pace)

Sorry this post is going up so late in the day- but it is a long weekend here and I decided to push my Sunday long run to Monday to avoid the worst of a cold snap that hit Toronto. My Tuesday run was normal temps, but by Thursday the cold had come rolling in and I wore my running balaclava for the first time. I found it rather uncomfortable to breathe in when I was running into the wind, yet too warm when the wind was at my back! Actually, it was so cold that night that my phone died too. I was supposed to run a set of intervals, but when I lost my app I just kind of winged it and did a 10K tempo run. Despite the cold and the uncomfortable face mask, I did well!

Saturday I woke up full of beans, and really wished I could have run, but it was -30 degrees with the windchill and my left leg was sort of tired and sore and needed a break. I was so restless all day though! Sunday I finally bounded out the door for my 6.5K easy run, but the leg honestly wasn't better and neither was the weather (that sorta rhymed). It was a frosty -30 again, but sunny and not too windy and I just bundled on up, wearing two pairs of pants, a long sleeve shirt, a sweater, a wind breaker, a buff, my headband for my ears, and then the balaclava. I am starting to realize there isn't much that is actual bad weather, just bad clothing choices. It is good to wear thin layers to keep the sweat and body heat contained (exposed sweat on a freezing day is no bueno...brrr) And you need to keep moving to keep warm. Here is a lovely selfie when that run was over- ha! I honestly was quite comfortable! And the balaclava was much more comfortable this time...perhaps I hadn't put it on properly before. Though more likely, it literally just froze in place. 

On Monday I had 20.9km scheduled, but I decided to go 21.1km instead to make it a neat half marathon. It says I did 21.6km because my watch got a little confused downtown. I may have to shift where I wear it! It was a good run- I went over to the Don Valley and up along the paved trails for a 10.5km out and back. The trails aren't maintained during the winter, but with our rather mild winter this year there was little snow and ice to contend with. It was a nice run! Luckily this week is back to normalish temperatures! And it is a low-mileage week!

Monday, February 8, 2016

A New Domain and a New Look!

For the past 3 years I have been meaning to get this site all updated and with a proper domain. However, I am the queen of procrastination (plus I had a little fear of screwing it up, yet was too cheap to pay someone to do it for me). I finally got it all completed and you can now find me at! Everything should seamlessly redirect, but I am still working out the kinks so please let me know if you come across any issues.

Also, I designed myself a pretty new header and redid a few of my tabs at the top, so please pop on over and check them out if you are reading this through an RSS feed! I am really happy with the new look as it totally fits my love of watercolours and florals right now. I bought the images in the blog header from Graphic Box on Creative Market and just mixed with some font I already owned in photoshop. So pretty and I have so many more images to play with! Way better than trying to develop my own design, because graphic art is not my forte.

I hope you enjoy! :)

Marathon Training: Week 4

Total kilometers run: 154.9km
This week: 43.8km

This week's runs:
Tuesday: 8km easy with sprints at end (6:41 min/km avg pace)
Thursday: 10km tempo (6:24 min/km avg pace)
Saturday: 6.5km easy (6:32 min/km avg pace)
Sunday: 19.3km steady (6:33 min/km avg pace)

This week was nothing too exciting as far as marathon training goes. The weather was decent once again (though the forecast for next weekend seems to be 80 billion below, so that will be interesting...). Lots of kilometers this week, however! I am slowly ramping up and on Sunday I ran almost a half marathon and it took me 2:07. Probably would have been almost 2:20 if I ran the full 21.1. Much slower than my race last year where I ran the half in 1:55! I am still not entirely sure if my slowness is the effect of the cold weather, or just getting back into training again. Not that I expect to run at race pace on a training run...but overall I thought I would be naturally a bit faster. 

I have also had a bit of an issue with pain in my left calf, but thankfully it seems almost gone and was probably just a very minor muscle strain. The best way to treat that is ice and rest so I didn't push too hard this week and iced every chance I could.

Next week is another big push on overall mileage (kilometerage?), but I think the week after is a break week (where I run shorter distances to give my legs a rest). Yay break week!! After that my long run will be basically over the half marathon distance for a few weeks until another break week comes along. In relate-able terms...that is a 2 to 3 hours of running every Sunday. And yes, I am starting to question my sanity. 

Oh well, another week down and 12 more to go!

Baby weightlifter

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Bathroom Makeover!

I know what you are expecting today...a drawn out blog post discussing my plans for the bathroom makeover, and then maybe next week a debate on paint colour. After that perhaps an update on fixtures I have purchased. Then a 10 week breakdown of every inch of my bathroom makeover. But nope! Today I actually have finished photos because I made over my bathroom without telling you! Yay!

Let's check out the before:

All I had done in the bathroom since move-in day was replace the faucet and shower head. The walls in here were painted builders' white, the toilet paper holder was falling off the wall (like, legitly, and taking the drywall with it...for the entire 15 months I have lived here), and you could either hang up a towel or a hand towel, but not both. It was definitely time for a mini-makeover and here she is now!

I painted the walls Blue Surf by CIL and I loooove it in here. Sometimes it looks purple, sometimes blue, and sometimes grey. It is very pretty! I also replaced the shower curtain with a nice fabric white one and I replaced the bathmat (which was really more of a bath towel), with a new shaggy white one. I also finally replaced the towel bar and toilet paper holder with nice new ones from the Delta Trinsic line, and I also installed the matching hand towel holder,

I bought the towel holders and TP holder MONTHS ago when I bought the faucet, but didn't bother changing them because I figured I would wait to paint first. However when I opened the new TP holder the little screw to fasten it to the wall mount has fallen INTO to holder itself and could not be gotten back out! Thankfully I contacted Delta and they are awesome and are sending me a new holder!!! So for now I have a big ol screw in there so it stays on the wall. Also, when I installed the towel bar I drilled right through the wall into my bedroom. hahahaha. And this is why I will never make a living off my handyman skills.

I also added some new art with a print that was given to me for Christmas from my friend Jeni. I didn't know where to put it at first, but I stuck it in the bathroom and realized it was perfect in here because the beige matches my beige tiles! The blue wheel is what inspired the bathroom colour too.

Oh and in case you are wondering about the towels on the back of the door, that is where we keep the clean towels because we have no linen closet. #condoproblems

I still have lots of plans for the bathroom. I want to take down the giant mirror and put up a normal sized one and a medicine cabinet because storage is very limited in here and our toiletries take over the whole counter (I totally staged these photos...). I also am still considering replacing the entire vanity with something a little more modern and removing the granite shelf. But all in good time! For now we are happy to have a clean and serene space. And this was the last room in the condo to get painted- so that is worth celebrating too!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Marathon Training: Week 3

Total kilometers run: 111.1km
This week: 40.1km

This week's runs:
Tuesday: 7.9km easy with sprints at end (6:59 min/km avg pace)
Thursday: 8km with a warm up and cool down mile (6:23 min/km avg pace)
Saturday: 6.5km easy (6:52 min/km avg pace)
Sunday: 17.7km steady (6:27 min/km avg pace)

Tuesday's run wasn't memorable, but Thursday's was. The snow was falling thickly and would bite into my face as I ran along the lake. It wasn't super cold or windy so I hadn't worn my balaclava, but I think I will next time I run in the snow because it felt like running through hail. It was very pretty, however, whenever I could stand to lift my face and look into it. I tried to take a photo on a walking break, but you can't really get a feel for the picturesqueness of it because the snowflakes aren't visible. Also, the ground felt super slick, which was not fun at all. 

Saturday's run actually took place around sunset due to the fact that I was out eating and drinking all day with my Bloggers & Lagers Crew (Lindsey, Michelle, Shanondoah, and Jeanette). I was a little upset about missing out on running in the sun on that beautiful day (Saturday was so warm- Thursday's snow was a distant memory). However I got to run into a gorgeous I really couldn't complain. I even stopped to take a photo because I can't ignore a pretty sunset!!

Sunday was also a gorgeous day and SO warm! I didn't need gloves and could have totally gotten away with a thin long sleeved shirt or even a T-shirt. I was sweating buckets in my long sleeve tech shirt and fleece vest. I will definitely miss that vest with pockets when summer is so handy. Also, on Sunday I was just starting my run when it dawned on me that I had to go to the bathroom. At first I thought it was a false alarm as I always go before I leave home, but nope...a couple more km in it was quite apparent I may need to find a well positioned bush. But it was a nice day and everyone was out and about in the parks :\. However, about 5km in I found a public washroom that I think had been closed for repairs all summer that was actually open and clean!! Thank you City of Toronto!!

You may have also noticed that Sunday's run was a pretty fast pace for a long run. But this is all lies. My GPS watch screwed up somewhere in km 2 and added 0.8km to my distance run. I've been using the watch (a Garmin F15) every run since I got it for Christmas and it hasn't made an error yet so I hope this is a one off. Oh well. I tacked on an extra 0.8km to my run at the end and I think it all worked out!

Apparently I added in some supersonic swimming on my run
I survived January Training! Only 3 more months left to the marathon! I can't wait for more warmer days like this weekend!
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