Monday, August 31, 2009

Wow cats grow fast

Alright, it has been awhile since I have posted a photo or story about Socket. So those of you who do not like cat updates, sorry. We first brought Socket home the day after I raced the Twilight Shuffle 5km, which in other words means we brought Socket home on Wednesday June 17th. He was a timid little 6 week old kitten. Now, about 2 and a half months later, he is nearly 4 months old and no longer timid. In fact, you could pretty much call him a bratty little cat at times. He has grown so fast that it makes me glad I took tons of photos of him when he was little. As a reminder, here he was the first day in his new home (first one is a bit blurry).

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Now he is this big.

Lounging on the couch

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Lounging on the lower level of the coffee table

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Lifting weights! Strong kitty!

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Reading some magazines

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Getting brave and climbing to new heights!

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He discovered my plants

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Stealing my water (this was earlier in August)

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I swear it is just water in the glass; however, my cat looks wasted

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Okay, enough cat pictures for the day. The Nanaimoites in which I knew racing the Ironman did quite well. Stefan finished 28th overall in 9:38:05. Norm was next in 86th place finishing in 10:07:20. John finished 149th in 10:27:19, Ken was  708th in 11:55:14 and Mike was 1214th in 12:52:07. There were other Nanaimoites, but these were the one’s I knew best. I don’t care what place or time people finished in, just completing an Ironman amazes me! Way to go guys!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

No more foot pain

Knock on wood!

Last week at this time, the pain appeared to be subsiding. I didn't want to get excited too soon just in case the pain came back; however, since last Sunday, my left foot has been pain free. Since it has been a week, I am now okay with saying "yay!" Now please no more injuries until at least after mid October, though preferrably I would like to stay injury free for much longer! Happy Training everyone and good luck to all the Nanaimoites in the Ironman tomorrow (Norm, Stefan, John and Mike). Sorry to those I missed as those are the only names I can think of at the moment!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


I would have to say that proper hydration has been and still is a pretty big issue for me. People have suggested to carry a water bottle with me all of the time. I do this, at work, in the car, water in front of me when I am at home, yet I rarely drink it. I actually go through stages, being fairly good with it for awhile and then slowly dropping off and not drinking enough. Days when I am not at work, tend to be the worst ones as I get busy with other things and don't think about it. I then suffer in my workouts. So my question to everyone is how do you stay properly hydrated? What are your tips to remembering to drink enough?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

VIEX time

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Each year Nanaimo holds a fair/exhibition. They call it the VIEX, which basically stands for the Vancouver Island Exhibition. This year it was scheduled for August 21st through 23rd. I actually do not remember the last time I went to the show. The last time I went or well the last time that I can remember is actually pretty embarrassing. It must have been in or around 1999 as I remember I was underage for drinking; however, I went with my sister's friends who are 2 years older than me and they somehow snuck me into the beer gardens. We went to see a boy band.... though I am not even sure you could actually classify them as a boy band. I think they were more like a wannabe boy band.

This is totally embarrassing, but yes I went through a boy band stage, initiated by my sisters friends. During this phase, I saw a lot of boy bands. Oh come on, I was like 18 years old, it was allowed right? Anyways, the boy band that came to Nanaimo was 3 Deep. Anyone remember them? Hot soap stars basically. I remember getting to meet them afterward too. Now I look back and have to laugh. Apparently Default was the headliner band this year.

But as I was saying, this weekend was the VIEX and we (me and Jay and our friends Matt and Karen and their 11.5 month old Jacob) decided to stop by the exhibition this afternoon. It was probably 2:30 by the time we got there and the exhibition closed at 6pm; however, they still charged us full price at $9 per adult. We walked around, pausing quickly at some animals for Jake to see. Then walked by some vendors selling things, stopped at the so called "Home Show" which happened to probably be the worst home show I have ever seen, then walked by some old tractors and tried to kill some time to get our money out of the $9. I think we lasted about an hour there and we were gone.

Overall, I don't think it was worth the money. In fact, if we were interested in rides, we would have had to pay the $9 entry fee and then if we wanted an unlimited pass for the day on the rides, it would have been an additional $25. Otherwise, I think it was $1 per ride ticket and the rides were at least 4 tickets each. Basically, the VIEX had their hands in everyone's pockets. I don't really plan to go back anytime soon. Maybe it was our fault for going on the last day in the final hours, but I honestly don't think it would have made that big of a difference. Here are some photos from the day.


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Notice the nuts below? hah!

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Big dog at one of the Home Show booths

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Farmer Jake!

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Stuffed animal ferris wheel

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Jake enjoying the VIEX

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Cheeky Jake at home

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This kid is so adorable. Here is what happened when he discovered a laser pointer.

(BTW, that isn't Socket, that is actually Benny who is one of Sockets brothers)

On another subject, my new speedier phase of my training is going well, though it has only been a week so far. My foot has been okay this week, pain every so often. I think it feels a bit better than last week, but its hard to tell as the pain comes and goes. I should take better care of it, icing and massaging more than I do; however, I am good at procrastinating and saying that I will "do it later" and then never get to it. Speaking of which, maybe I should go ice now!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Party like its 1999!

So 10 years ago this past June, I graduated Grade 12 at John Barsby Community High School here in Nanaimo. Hard to believe that it has already been 10 years. Wow, where has time gone! For months, two girls from my grad class, who both happen to be named Kim, planned our reunion to take place at a local restaurant for supper. I debated many times whether to go or not. I decided that Facebook basically ruins reunions, as you see what everyone looks like and hear whether they have kids etc. This part of me was saying not to go. I was also debating whether to go as I wasn't a huge fan of the restaurant that was chosen so paying $25 for a meal there, didn't sound like fun to me. Because I was debating so much, I put off confirming whether or not I was going to go for ages.

Then with just over a week before the reunion, I knew I had to decide as I was scheduled to work that day and needed to submit requests off work at least a week in advance. When I talked to our scheduler, I was told August was pretty much out of the question. At that point, I said shoot and basically said that I had JUST found out that my high school reunion is on the following Saturday. I left her office with little hope that I was going to get it off, but submitted my request anyways. The following day, I found out that I was granted the day off. At that point, it was confirmed that I was going. In the end I decided that I would rather go and have a horrible time than miss it and regret not going.

The plan was for the reunion to start about 7pm. I think I arrived at about 7:30 and a small group was already there. A few others arrived, but not many. In the end I think we had about 15 actual grads and then some spouses. Pretty sad turn out for a grad class of over 100 people (not sure the exact amount). Apparently some people didn't go due to work, other commitments or also due to the fact they lived out of town. I am okay with those reasons. Then there are people who decided not to go based on the fact they are not happy where their life is at the moment. I can understand that too.... well to a point. Come on, its only a 10 year reunion, so what if you aren't married with kids and a successful job. I showed up and I am not married, no kids and I wipe rear ends for a living (well I technically do other things, but that is part of the job). I think some people were too nervous to go as they cared about what other people would think.

All I know is that my school lacked school spirit big time 10 years ago and the poor showing at the reunion just goes to show that the spirit still sucks. Although a small group turned out, a lot of the people that did were one's that I was pretty close to in high school. Heck even my grade 8 boyfriend showed up. We still had fun and had a couple of drinks. Dinner sucked or it could have been due to the fact that I was starving so I filled up on beer and appetizers before the dinner finally came. I ended up taking mine to go as I wasn't going to let a $25 meal go to waste! After we left the restaurant a group of us went downtown to a local bar called the Queens. When I got there, I realized I had left my ID in my running jacket at home as I had gone for my long run at Westwood that morning and do not take my whole wallet with me. I figured I wouldn't be able to get in as they will require ID, but my friend Jan new the door guy and he said if I had anything with a photo, such as a Costco ID, and my care card (medical card) and something else with my name on it, I could get in. So I went in for about an hour and a half, had a jager bomb (courtesy of Courtney) and then my grade 8 boyfriend drove me home.

In the end, it was a good night and even with the small group, I am totally glad that I went. Just for fun here are some photos from the night. Along with some oldie photos from high school.
here is me and my grade 8 boyfriend Greg at our high school prom (grade 12). No we did not attend the dance together.
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Then here we are at the reunion 10 years later

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Katie, Me and Jan at school back in 1999

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Me, Jan and Katie at the reunion in 20095650_138982160934_500770934_3695621_1996207_n

Other high school photos

Me and Jan (don’t you just love the yellow jacket ugh)

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Courtney, Jan and I partying after prom

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Aaron and I at prom

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Courtney, Carey and I out at Boston Pizza

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Me and Courtney in the car

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Before I go on, I should comment on my prom experience. When I was in high school, I never dressed up, didn’t pay much attention to make up or my hair. Heck I think it was the entire Grade 10 year I wore my hair up in a pony tail every day. So when it came to prom, I was dreading the dress shopping. I went with Jan and tried on 2 dresses I think. The black one was the 2nd one. Jan said it looked good, I asked her if she was sure, she said yes and asked why. I basically told her that I hated all the dresses and was going to get the black one based on the fact she said it looked alright. So I bought the dress. Whatever I had to do to get out of the mall and avoid trying on 5 million dresses. When it came to my hair, I went to the salon and said, I want it up, do what you want and that was what the hair dresser did. I look back now and think that I definitely could have chosen a better dress and hair style; however, it does make for a good story.

Onto more photos. These one’s are from the reunion last Saturday.

Group shot

(Back Row: Courtney, Jan, Erin, Aaron, Me, Lory, Van)

(Front Row: Katie, Kim, Candace, Nina)

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Nina, me and Lory

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Levon and I

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Me and Kim and her baby Soren

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Jagar Shots at the Queens


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So that was my 10 year reunion. Now it is all over until the 20 or 25, provided we have one. I have a feeling that one will be more interesting though as more people will have changed and everyone won’t necessarily look the same. Did any of you guys go to your high school reunions? If so, tell me about them. I’d love to hear whether they were fun or not.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

10 Yeare Reunion Post Coming Soon

I have been planning on posting an update about my 10 year high school reunion that happened last Saturday and I have even written the blog post; however, I want to include some photos with the post and that means I have to visit my mom's first to get the photos. Who doesn't love old photos? ha, usually me. But since this is my blog, I have control over what gets posted! I hope to get the photos tomorrow and have the blog up by Friday (fingers crossed).

In the meantime, not much is new with me. I had the 4 days off last week, two normal days, then one off for the Black Press 5000 and then one off for my reunion. I worked Sunday night even though I totally did not want to return to work. Monday and Tuesday were off and now I am back at work yet again. Only for 2 days though and then the weekend off, which is why I should have the post up this weekend. The 4 days off sure made me wish I never had to work again though. Why oh why can I not win the lottery? Oh wait, you have to play to win right? ;)

Running is going well. A change of phases is now upon me as I get into some more faster stuff; however, at the same time, my left foot has been bothering me. It started by what I thought was caused by wearing my shoes too tight, but now I am not sure. The pain seems to come and go and some days are worse than others. I don't think it feels bone related, but honestly it is always hard for me to describe what pain feels like. Right now it is not on top of the ball of my foot, but a bit further back towards the ankle. I still think it is tendon related as it hurts to pull my big toe upward. Fingers crossed it goes away, but I will keep my eye on it and visit my physio if it doesn't get better by the end of next week.

PS Check back for the reunion post if you want to see some old photos of me! Though I do not think I have changed that much! You'll have to judge for yourself and let me know what you think.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Black Press 5000 Race Report

I guess I was classified as a spectathalete on Friday night. I took the evening off work and drove the hour and a half to Victoria and found my way out to the Jack Wallace Memorial track in Oak Bay. I arrived at about 6pm and slowly everyone started arriving. The first race was set to start at 6:30. There was going to be 3 races, going slowest to fastest. Basically this meant:

Heat 1: 18:00 and slower
Heat 2: 16:00-17:59
Heat 3: 15:59 and faster

Heat 1 went off not long after 6:30. I only new one person in this race, which was Joey (Mar's husband) and he ran well finishing 2nd in the heat at 18:50. I think it was a bit slower than he wanted, but there was a bit of a breeze which made it hard. Another friend, Melissa Ross, was supposed to be in this race based on her best time, but arrived later than expected and didn't have sufficient time to warm up. Plus she was gunning to run under 18:00 so I think she wanted to be in the faster race anyways.

These are the leaders of Heat 1. The girl in red (Jessica won in 18:42, Joey was 2nd and the girl in the front was 3rd both in 18:50)

Heat 2 was the highlight for me (no offense to the elite men in Heat 3), but this was the highlight because it had all the elite women. There weren't many women in this race actually, basically Lucy Smith, Marilyn Arsenault, Natasha Wodak and Melissa. Lucy, Mar and Tasha were all looking to run under 17:00. While Lucy has done it before, Mar and Tasha hadn't. Melissa as I mentioned was looking for under 18:00. Other notables in the race were Keith Mills (heat winner), Jon Brown (former Olympian and stellar pacer), plus a variety of other people.

Gathering at the start line

It was actually a tad funny as everyone started out and then filed in behind Jon as if everyone was afraid to pass him. Then again, most of them knew that he was pacing Mar to under 17:00 so they could base their pace off him. After a few laps, Tasha and Lucy put on a surge to take the lead from Jon; however, Jon and Mar reeled them back in and once again, Jon was leading the group. In the end, Keith won in 16:29 (huge PB for him), Lucy in 16:30 (would be a masters record, but it wasn't a sanctioned meet), then Mar in 16:34 with Jon right behind. Tasha ran well but lost touch with about 3-4 laps left and finished in 16:57, which was still a big PB from her previous 17:13. Melissa also ran a PB by a few seconds finishing in 18:15.

Here are some photos throughout the race.

Start of the race

Everyone behind Jon

Lucy, Tasha and Simon take the lead

Jon catches back up

Lead group looking strong

Lucy leading going into the final 100m. Keith on the other hand (in black) out kicked her to finish 1 second ahead in 16:29

Mar digging in for her final 100 for a new PB of 16:34

Heat 3 was the last one and by the time this one started, the sun had started to go down. It caused me to get some blurry photos and I had to go find a spot on the far end of the track where there was sun. Not to mention by then I was actually freezing and close to shaking. But still, I managed some okay photos. Cam Levins took this race in 14:09 and was really unchallenged as Richard Mosely was next in 14:19. 3rd in the race went to Sean Chester who ran 15:16 and my friend Craig Odermatt ran well to finish 4th in 15:25. Here are some photos of the last heat.

Leaders Richard Mosely (1796) and Cam Levins (1836)

Eventual winner Cam in 14:09

2nd Place Richard in 14:19

After the races, I hunted Tasha down and told her I had to pass on a message to her from D and that I had to video tape it so D can see the response. Basically, I had to tell Tasha that if she doesn't slow down, D was going to Tonya Harding her. It was awkward to film at first and Tasha looked nervous as she didn't know what to expect. I am sure she thought we were freaks D. Oh well. I guess I should mention that Tasha, D and I all ran against each other when we were kids so we have known each other for a long time. I hadn't seen Tasha in years, probably since I quit track almost 10 years ago. That is probably the last time I have seen D too and yet they both live just over on the mainland.

I should also probably add that both Lucy and Mar are masters and they kicked butt. Both of them technically broke the Canadian Master's Record for the distance; however, the race was not sanctioned, so its not a valid record. While that is too bad, the good news is when another race is held hopefully they can have the race sanctioned and use each other to break the record officially.

One day I plan to potentially run this race (there is talks to make it a monthly series event next summer); however, not until I am fast enough by my own standards. So until that happens, I will be happy to be a spectathalete and take photos instead.

Full results can be found here

After the race, a few people were heading to downtown Victoria to go to the Sticky Wicket pub. We (Melissa, Craig and I) went down there too, but it was packed and we were told we would have to wait for a table. Due to the fact Melissa had to drive back to Parksville (just north of Nanaimo) and I had to drive home, we opted to leave and went to White Spot for dinner instead. You can't go wrong with White Spot. Then we took off and I made it home in about an hour 10-15 minutes. Melissa and I (in two different cars) may have been speeding a little bit.

So there you have it, the Black Press 5000 race report. Great races, fun people and fast results. Overall definitely worth taking the night off work.