Thursday, July 30, 2009

Hot Rotten Green Lake Scum

It was so warm today at 9:30 and in combination with the last little bit of extremely hot temperatures, the trail along Hemer Lake stunk today. I run this trail for 3/4 of my runs at least and today was the first time it made me literally gag and dry heave while running. The far end of the lower trail plain and simple just stunk. It was like the title says, hot rotten green lake scum that was trying on the rocks and trees at the edge of the lake. If I breathed through my nose, I smelt it and if I breathed through my mouth, I tasted it. It stunk for about 200m so holding my breath was not an option.

About 150m down the trail it became too much as I started dry heaving while running. Not a nice feeling, but the smell was that bad. PLEASE bring me some cooler temps and rain! Even just for one day to get rid of the smell. I hope non of you ever have to smell what I did today as it is NOT pleasant. I also apologize a I have no photos of the scum as I did not want to venture back there to take a photo. Anyways, happy training!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

BC Heat Wave

Well, BC is apparently having a huge heat wave. Currently at 4:19pm it is 36C, which is 96F for all you farenheit people. Yet it feels like 41C (106F). Disgusting. This is unusual for our area. Sure we get some days around 30 or so but never a week with these high temps. By the time I run which can be 9:30 or so, its already 26-28 degrees. While I definitely am not fond of the minus temperatures we hit in the winter, I also hate the high temperatures of the summer. A nice medium would be okay. Hopefully tomorrow won't be as bad as it's calling for partly cloudy. We'll see. In the meantime I am curious to see how much more the temperature will rise today. I am thankful I don't live in Port Alberni, which is more inland. Right now, its 40 there right now, though apparently only feels like 42.

After my workout today, which I did at Westwood Lake, I hopped in the lake to cool off. The lake was warm and gross, but at least it did cool me off a bit. My workout went well though. Even in the heat I felt smooth and quick. It's an easy week this week after a few harder weeks and the good news is that this time I am not sick. Last time I had an easy week, I caught a cold just before the week started so the entire "easy" week felt brutally hard. This time I am thankful it is different.

While I posted photos of the storm the other day, I realized that my photos pretty much suck compared to some other people who took some downtown when the fireworks were going on. I guess the storm was more towards Vancouver, so there was a better view wherever there was elevation. Here are some photos I found of both the fireworks downtown with the storm in the background.

These pictures are TOTALLY cooler than mine. I don't remember the last time I went to the bathtub days fireworks. It's too much of a hassle. I suppose some of you have no idea what bathtub days are. Well, its famous here in Nanaimo. I think this year was the 42nd annual event. They compete in a race out on Georgia Strait in boats that look like bathtubs almost. Here are some photos I found.

And this is our famous tub that is always at the festivities. Probably the worlds biggest bathtub I am guessing.

Apparently it goes in the water or has gone in the water at some point. I did not know that in all the years I have lived here, which is my whole life, minus the 2 years I spent in Australia.

The week before the actual bathtub days weekend (oh yes they dedicate a whole weekend, with the race, parade, fireworks etc), they hold the Silly Boat Regatta for charity. People/Companies basically build "boats" out of various materials and then compete in a race. A lot of them sink and there is even an award for the fastest sink. Here are some shots I found of this year. It shows a McDonalds boat before and then sinking. It was apparently the first one to sink this year.

Alright so there is your lesson on Nanaimo. Did you all learn something? Hah, totally kidding. Till next time.....

Oh, just want to add one more photo. Vancouver has their celebration of lights (fireworks displays from various countries) and apparently you can see the fireworks on a clear night from here in Nanaimo. This is something I also did not know until I went searching for fireworks photos. This was taken from Departure Bay downtown.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Storm Saturday

Saturday was a gorgeous and warm day. In the late evening probably around 8pm, the sky turned a bright orange in which you can see below.

Then it got dark and at about 9:45 or so, the thunder and lightening started. It was pretty crazy. I thought I would try out my new SLR camera to see if I could get a decent shot. I didn't get anything too spectacular, but I did get some neat one's and also some that make the sky look like it is light outside, yet it is pitch black. Here are some of the shots I got below.

One interesting fact was that when I was playing with the settings on my camera and not really paying attention, all of a sudden a huge CRACK occured practically right above me. It was so loud that it scared the crap out of me. Mostly because the lightening which I was watching was way off in the distance behind the house. My heart was pounding after that and I came inside to check on on the cat, who was frightened as can be running around with his tail puffed up. Good old thunder storms.

So in case any of you are wondering, you will not be reading any race reports any time soon. I have no plans to race until September at this time. It will be a summer of training before I rock the roads in September and October. I am definitely looking forward to it as there are some big things to come.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Friday night Baking

While some people spend their Friday nights out at the pub, bar or friends, I had a quiet evening at home. Hey who am I kidding, this is often the way I spend Friday nights (except every 2nd Friday when I am working). Jay's mom and step dad are coming tomorrow to stay for about 5 days or so until they start their new job in town (they are moving from Vancouver), so I decided to do some baking and make some cookies. I was overdue at making cookies anyways, but this gave me an excuse to do it. While I hate having cookies in the house because I eat them too often, it is nice to have them there. As you can see below, I ended up making a few different things.

So I now have Chocolate Chip cookies, Chewy Chocolate Chip cookies and Chocolate Chip Banana Bread. Cookies anyone? I love the smell of Banana Bread and used to love to eat it; however, now I believe I am allergic to Banana's. In the last year after eating Banana's or Smoothies with Banana in them, I have spent one night throwing up and 2 afternoons of feeling like throwing up. So now I stay away from Banana's. While I want to try the Banana Bread, I am afraid of it making me sick, so at the moment I am not willing to try it. Instead I'll stick to the cookies.

Yesterday afternoon after I got home from Walmart and unloaded everything, I threw the bags on the floor. Socket instantly attacked them. Eventually I moved some to the couch in order to take them upstairs later and this is what happened.

This weekend is Bathtub weekend in Nanaimo, which means traffic and more people visiting the city. When we went to town this afternoon, this is what we ran into.

Along the way I also took this photo, which showcases a nice road barrier and also in the distance you can see the mainland. D's over there somewhere!

Last photo of the day was taken downtown at our famous Palm trees. Yep, here in Nanaimo BC, where we get snow and lots of rain and yucky wet winters, we have our very own palm trees. In the winter they are covered up in boxes to protect them and have been here for years. I thought people who live in tropical places, such as Hawaii, might appreciate the photo. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Potential News

Click on the photo to see a larger version.

Months ago I thought I would enter for a chance to carry the 2010 Olympic Torch in the Relay. I never really thought I would get chosen, but I thought, you can't win without entering. So I entered. I think we had to give a way in which we made the world a better place or something. I do not remember my answer word for word, but I know I talked about my job and how I try to help my residents live life to the fullest and with dignity right until their last breath.

Anyways, then the other day I checked my 2nd email address. One I rarely every check. I used it to enter the contest as I did not want to receive any junk mail to my main address. Good thing I checked it as there is a time line in which I had to respond before in order to continue on in the process. So I faxed back the required documents and now I wait. I hope to hear I am confirmed for the relay as I think it would be an amazing experience. I have heard that the legs of the relay are only about 400m or something, so I will definitely have to run it slower to take advantage of my time with the piece of history. Of course I will let you all know when I get the confirmation for sure and hopefully I won't have to wait until September or October to find out!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Okay, so I apologize that my first post was so lame; however, I felt that everyone needed to know a bit about me to start. I guess it was too boring as D ever so politely pointed out :P I should find the photo I have of D from like umm 1995 I think, when we were at the BC Summer Games and post it on here as pay back! Just kidding.... for now.

So I have a confession. I have secretly been a blog creeper of many people's blogs listed on D's page during at least the last 6 months or so. Yes I creep and no I never commented. I am totally guilty of being a blog creeper. Some I have visited frequently include Bree, Rachel, Maggs and Samantha, just to name a few off the top of my head. I have definitely checked out a lot more than that. It's my goal to not be so creepy in the future and even learn how to leave comments!

On D's page I saw a comment from Molly asking where the name Socket came from. So the story of Socket. I used to have a cat at my mom's house and then I went traveling to Australia and what started as a 6 month trip turned into spending 2 years there. When I came home in 2004, my cat was pretty much not my cat anymore as it had grown attached to my step dad. Later in 2004 I moved in with Jay and we happen to be living at his dad's place. The entire time I said I wanted a cat, but of course, couldn't have one there. So I said when we moved I would get a cat. Well, we lived there for 4 and a half years practically until we purchased our own house in February.

I didn't get a cat right away, but last month when a friend's cat had kittens, I kind of made a split decision and said yes to taking one home. You see, her friend found a stray cat on the side of a highway and picked it up to save it from being hit by a car. The cat was taken to the vet and was found to be healthy and spayed. My friend ended up taking in the cat and about 6 months after having the cat, it started to get fatter and fatter. My friend took it to the vet here in Nanaimo and was told that the cat was pregnant. Surprise! That turned into 4 male kittens and she had some trouble finding homes at first. I debated getting one, but then talked myself out of it. Next thing I knew, they all had homes, which was great. But then someone backed out and I was told there was one left if I wanted it. So a quick check with Jay and he said fine, so the next morning I had a 6 week old kitten.

When Jay came home from work that day he brought a list of names he had thought of. These names included Tractor, Wally, Dr. Jay, Mr. Bojangles, Steve.... yep that is right, I said Steve and Socket. A bit of background on Jay, but he is very much into building stuff and fixing stuff, including cars, stereos, entertainment stands, fish tank stands, ride on lawn mowers. That is just to name a few things he has done. So when you know this and then see the name Tractor and Socket things make sense. Anyways, I read the list and decided Tractor sounded funny, didn't like Wally, Dr. Jay, Mr. Bojangles and although I thought Steve was funny and random, I didn't want that to be the cats name. The only name I could stand was Socket, which is basically after the tool. So it was decided, Socket would be his name. While he is cute, he can certainly be a terror and drives me insane when he wakes me up each morning starting at 5am. I can't wait until he outgrows it (fingers crossed).

here is a photo of him snoozing today

In other news (I think I talked about the cat enough today), this afternoon when Jay got off work, we hopped in the car and headed off to Victoria to go look at a Blazer that was for sale. The truck had a few positives, but the negatives outweighed the positives as there was too much rust and the engine rattled. Definitely not worth the $1500 the guy was asking for. It was a pretty uneventful trip I must say. We went down there and back in 4 hours, making 2 stops in Victoria and then 2 stops in Duncan on the way home. After Duncan we heard a "pop" sound and we had no idea what it was. As we went through Chemainus, it started to smell like rotten eggs and the smell never passed. When we got home, Jay realized it was the car battery he had in the back of his truck that was being used for his stereo. It was hissing and leaking fluids. Thank god it never fully exploded, which apparently can happen when it starts hissing, leaking and smelling. I think it is still under warranty so hopefully he can get it replaced.

I am going to post this and then try to upload some videos. They seem to be taking forever to upload, so for now, I'll just share the post!

** here is the first one. Socket watching track a few weeks ago.

Monday, July 20, 2009


I have decided to make a change, which has resulted in this blog address! My imagination is very limited; therefore, the fascinating title in which I came up with is "West Coast Runner." Yawn. But hey, it's only a blog title right? Now who am I? My name is Erin and I am 27 and live in Nanaimo BC, which is on Vancouver Island (hence the West Coast title). I have been running since I was 8 years old and have gone through many ups and downs since then. In the past year and a half I have become more serious about getting back into running seriously and setting some fairly hefty goals. I achieved many of my goals this year already, so the goals have now been reset a little higher.

This first blog might be a bit uninteresting, as I just want to go through the basics in case someone is wondering who the heck they are reading about. For work, which I will probably mention as it takes up a big part of my life, I am a Care Aide at a local Seniors facility. Specifically, I work in Assisted Living, which will be referred to as AL. My BF (of 5 years) is Jay and we recently purchased a house together this past February. My life mostly includes, running, sleeping, working and some tv. Yes I am guilty of plenty of TV addictions, including One Tree Hill, Gossip Girl, Big Brother, Bachelor/Bachelorette and that's just to name a few.

The rest I guess you will learn along the way. Speaking of which, I have a new kitten who is 11 weeks old tomorrow. His name is Socket and while he is cute and can be cuddly, he can sometimes be overactive and mega annoying, especially at 5am when he wants to dig into my hair and neck. I am not a morning person due to working 3-11:15pm and not actually getting to bed until about 12:30 or 1am most days. Wake me up before 9am and I might get grumpy. I have some cute photos I'd like to share though.

Here his is on his first week in his new home:

Here he is in a kleenex box earlier this week

Here he is today sleeping on my shoulder and one of him playing in the couch

Okay, that is probably enough cat pictures for the day. I have lots of other things that I could talk about, but I think I will save those for future posts, otherwise I will run out of things to say. I'll briefly say that training is going well at the moment. My workouts are feeling quite good and I feel as though I am growing. As I mentioned, I have some pretty hefty goals to attain which include some short term and some long term goals. I am taking it day by day right now and enjoying every minute. After my workout at Westwood today, I spent almost 2 hours chatting with my friend Shayne, who so graciously brought me a Starbucks Chai Tea Latte while enjoying the view of the lake. Then later tonight I BBQ'd up some steaks for supper and watched the Bachelorette: The Men tell all. Nice relaxing day off work! Until next time.....