Are you running for women’s rights? The environment?

Howdy dudes!

Well, the Scotiabank Half-marathon went down yesterday, and overall?

NOT BAD.

Scotiabank collage

I finished with a 1:33 and placed 7th in my age group. Now while this is slower than I had initially hoped for, I think for the amount of time I actually put into my training, it is more than respectable.

Because, folks, that sub-1:30 time may have been a bit of a pipe dream.

Do you any of you other runner-peeps do stuff like that? Just assume that you should just be able to do something, without really thinking about what actually goes into achieving it?

I mean, thinking back to the Sunshine Coast half in April, I trained my butt off for that run, and it paid off – I ran a PB of 1:31.

And somehow, the outcome of that achievement was the (erroneous) expectation that come the next race I would just, well, run faster. Without putting in the proper work.

How silly can a gal be?

What it has made me come to realize is that while I can proclaim that “next time gadget, it WILL be mine!”

I just need to make sure I go for, you know, more than six or so runs to ensure it happens.

Anyways, I don’t mean to be making excuses for myself, it’s just something that I was really thinking about during and after my run, and speaking of which – IT’S RECAP TIME!

Sunday morning broke beautiful. I woke to the sunny, blue sky, freckled with the odd cloud. At 5:15am I was feeling well rested and excited.

I put the coffee maker on, and then washed my face, put my hair up, and slathered on a good layer of sunscreen.

I read a bit while I ate my breakfast – banana with peanut butter, piece of plain toast, cup of coffee, and two large glasses of water – before going upstairs at 6:00 to wake up Marc.

I cannot seem to say it enough, but seriously, he is SUCH a good husband. For all of my runs, he’s up with me, driving me to the start gate, and meeting me at the finish line. I know he’s super happy to come out and cheer me on, but he told me today that my speediness on the courses definitely helps. This cracked me up.

I LOVE HIM, TRULY.

He dropped me off at the start line at UBC around 7:00. My immediate thought was to find a bathroom, for one last pee break. My one note for the organizers is that there were not NEARLY enough port-a-potties. The line-ups for the facilities were monstrous, even with a little subterfuge on my part, I barely made it out before the firing of the start gun.

Anxiety – it’ll get you going!

Because of the long bathroom waits, I didn’t get to start as close to the start line as I would have liked, which meant that for the first 2 – 2.5 km I was bobbing and weaving in and out of people like Cassius Clay. At kilometer three, my attention briefly switched from finding my spot amongst all the runners to the AMAZING tuba band playing at the side of the course.

They were playing My Sharona.

ON THE TUBA.

I cannot really begin to describe just how epically amazing this was.

All in all, over the first 5k I was feeling pretty good – my strides were long, and my breathing quiet.

Up until I reached the six kilometer mark, and encountered five young men, each holding up signs with Forrest Gump quotes. Normally when I am running, I don’t respond much to supporters on the sidelines. I mean, they really pump me up, but I try not to channel my energy away from concentrating on the mechanics of my run.

However, if you know me, you know that I love this movie, and can pretty much quote the entire film at length.

I couldn’t help myself. As I ran past a guy with a sign that said, “RUN FORREST RUN!” I turned and yelled at him, “I GOTTA FIND BUBBAAAAA!”

He burst out laughing, and yelled right back, “JENNNNNNNNAAAAYYYY!”

I was past him by then, but I raised my hand and gave him the peace sign.

NOW. While this was all well and good (and hilarious, and I loved it) yelling out that quote really winded me, and it look me probably 1.5 km to get my stuff – breathing, stride, etc. – back in order.

“No more funny stuff Vanessa,” I told myself.

Running down the hill to Jericho beach I felt like I was flying. My mood was boosted even further when to my surprise, we ran past a bagpipe band at one of the parking lots, just up the road from Spanish Banks.

My “no funny stuff” plan was going absolutely great until about kilometer 10, when, down at the beach, I ran past two course photographers and without really thinking, I just catapulted myself into the air, and made the craziest, happiest face I could possibly muster.

The two of them laughed and thanked me for a great shot.

Great shot maybe, but that second burst of energy only served to zap me all over again.

Then I saw the split times at 10.5 km.

41 minutes.

41 minutes!? Holy Dinah, I was moving, and most definitely too quick at that.

I told myself not to think about it, and just concentrate on moving as it felt comfortable. As soon as the pace started to hurt, I made sure to adjust accordingly.

Around kilometer thirteen, I zoned in on a few women who were running ahead of me, and made a point of trying to keep them in my sights.

I cannot lie, it was over the next three km that things really began to hurt. I could feel blisters forming on both of my feet, and overall, I just felt tired.

I tried to keep my strides as short and quick as I could, especially with every uphill (no matter how minor) I encountered.

At kilometre fifteen a young woman spectator yelled out, “I love Big Sisters too!” in response to my shirt. This definitely served to lift my spirits and put a bit of a spring back in my step.

Unfortunately, this pep was relatively short lived, and even just trying to grab water at the seventeen km station was difficult.

I felt like my arm was moving in molasses and I had to really slow down to make sure I even managed to grab the cup.

From there, all I could think about was getting over the bridge and getting to the finish line.

It’s strange. I love running. I LOVE it. But there are times, I tell you, when I cannot understand what the heck it was that compelled me to take part in this absolutely bonkers pastime, and everything in my being is shouting at me to just STOP.

STOP RUNNING.

Walk. Go lie down in that cool looking grass. Make this madness end.

But somehow, I just keep trucking.

I just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Amazingly, once I got to kilometre nineteen, things started to actually fall back into place. Nineteen to twenty flashed by, and that very last kilometer, although painful, was over before I knew it.

I wasn’t surprised when I saw the timer as I pulled into the finish line.

There was no way I was going to pull off a sub-1:30 with the pace I had held for the second half of the race.

But in the end, it didn’t matter.

Marc was there, cheering me on.

I received a lovely medal, and all the water, bananas, cookies, and yogurt that I could get my hands on.

And I raised $1,165.00 for Big Sisters, an organization that is near, and dear to my heart.

So while I chase the ever-elusive personal best, today I will sit on the couch, drink some chocolate soy milk, and enjoy.

IMG_20130623_165442

Some kind of madness is swallowing me whole

So.

I broke the weather.

After posting my piece on Monday about how us West Coasters were living in perpetual summer, literally overnight we went from this:

To this:

So to all my fellow BCers – I apologize profusely.

I never meant to bring on the Exorcist fog.

In a bid to win back your hearts, I dedicate this Friday’s Fry-up to you all.

Here we go!

Just a walking down the street.

Yesterday the world let me that I was looking pretty good.

Now you may ask yourself, well, how do I know this?

I will, of course, spill all my secrets, but first: you must acknowledge that you definitely read that last sentence in the voice of David Byrne.

(And remember: this is not your beautiful house.)

Second, I know that I looked good because other than having spent the majority of my work day making kissy-duck faces in my compact mirror (spoiler: that didn’t actually happen), I counted a few dudes giving me the old how-do-ya-do as I walked the length of the downtown core on my lunch break.

(For those of you not familiar with my antiquated euphemism, I mean they checked me out.)

Okay first off – I don’t normally notice these things. And if I do, I either get really angry because the level of douche accompanying the check-out is off the charts, or get all shirty and do really stupid things like winding myself on parking meters.

How I normally feel about these things.

I should also stress that when I first started to notice this happening, I initially just assumed I had food all over my face because a.) I often have food all over my face and b.) I’m not just that conceited okay?

However, as it kept happening even after I completed my secret, ultra-inconspicuous “face wipe” (my ace in the hole for successful social outings and for Keeping the Passion Alive™) I started to kind of dig it.

I stopped thinking about Justin Trudeau’s twenty-six page photo spread in Maclean’s magazine, how foggy it was when I woke up this morning, national security threats in the form of Chinese telecoms, Russian spies in the Canadian navy, if I was going to eat asparagus ravioli or cheese on toast for dinner, and just how much I hate it how my other winter coat is just a tiny bit longer than many of my dresses, so when I wear it, it looks as though I’m not wearing anything at all on my bottom half.

I allowed my mouth to form the faintest of smirks.

I slowed my gait ever so slightly, switching gears from “charging bull” to “lolloping giraffe.”

I even managed to steer clear of all manner of dangerous sidewalk detritus, such as parking meters (more commonly known as my diaphragm’s nemesis) and MEN AT WORK signs.

After all, it’s my klutzy nature that is one of the many reasons I don’t normally pay attention to how the surrounding populace reacts to me as I charge about town.

Also, I’m normally too busy checking out all the other weirdos and what’s going on in their lives. I just waiting for the day that I come across someone with braided nose hair and a roving eyebrow.

(I figure I’m about two levels short of achieving this goal.)

But hey, some days are the exception to the rule right?

And some days, well, you just look exceptional.

I find you a-MUSE-ing.

When I say that I currently cannot stop listening to Muse’s 2nd law album, I actually mean to say that I cannot stop listening to this song on repeat:

IT’S SO GOOD GUYS.

If I was fifteen years old, I would listen to this some on loop while visualizing what it would be like to make out with Christian Bale, fretting over whether or not post-braces I would be attractive enough to get a boyfriend.

Then I would lip-synch the absolute crap out of it.

As a twenty-seven year old, I can honestly say the process isn’t that much different.

Just kidding! Christian Bale is SO twelve years ago.

Although, I am concerned about just how love I love this song:

I was out driving the other night and it came on the radio, and I was all “TURN IT UP AND CHAIR DAAAAAANCE!!”

When I came home and youtubed the lyrics my jaw nearly hit the floor.

You see, I’ve been trying to keep my life one hundred per cent Justin Bieber-free and to have his girlfriend just waltz her way into my unassuming heart was a bit of a shock to my system.

But then, what could I possible do except let loose a resounding MEH?

I mean, the main lyrics to this tune are: I love you like a love song baby.

That stuff is my kryptonite. It’s impossible for me not to love it (like a love song.) And as I’ve said before: I will never stop loving cheesy and heck pop.

Must. Stop. Saying. Love.

Onwards!

Spreading the word.

Today is my first talk with the United Way Speakers Bureau, a campaign that runs until the end of December. I will be out spreading the good word about Big Sisters and the importance of mentorship in the lives of young women.

This is a cause that is very near and dear to my heart and I am stoked to be out there sparking interest in this truly phenomenal program and organization.

If you have ever given thought to volunteering as a Big or just want more information, please let me know and I would be happy to chat with you more about my experience.

You will change lives.

It will change yours.

Happy weekend you beauty cats! I can’t wait to hear what you all get up to.

Dear Buddha, please bring me a pony

Tonight has brought cool spring showers, and warm toasty fires.

I had the pleasure of speaking at a Big Sisters fundraiser today after work.

I’ve been a Big for three and a half years, and recently signed up to be a media program ambassador. Basically I get to go to different events and extol the virtues of this seriously amazing, life changing organization.

The tank top I made for the half-marathon I ran to raise funds for Big Sisters.

This role is great fun, and is rad as heck. I love working with this association, and want to do whatever I can in my power to raise awareness and funds for their different initiatives, while at the same time stoking, or perhaps piquing the interest of potential Bigs.

It was such a pleasure to chat with the attendees after I had given my speech, and relay a bit more about my relationship with my Little, and what is required of all prospective volunteers.

After a long day at work, and then participating in the fundraiser, it is pretty nice to be sitting here with Ms. Nymeria and Mr. M.

The fam.

We’re watching Serenity while working, and purring, and writing, and planning.

Boy do I ever love me some Captain Tight-Pants. (For those of you unsure as to what I’m talking about, I promise you, it’s not my husband.)

And I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of the Oaty Bar theme song either.

NOT MANDATORY.

Also, Nathan Fillion re-tweeted me the other day, which was pretty darn fabitty fab in the extreme.

Today I went back to Club Monaco to purchase my sparkly, pleated beauty skirt. Of course, since I’m a complete broomhead, I forgot my student card, so I ended up having to put it on hold for purchase tomorrow.

And you better believe that I will be there with bells on (along with the proper funds and student ID requirements.)

It will be mine, oh yes.

My precious.

One Skirt to rule them all; One Skirt to find them; One Skirt to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them.

Soon. VERY soon. Preeeccciiiiooouuussss.

I mean…

What was I saying?

Oh yes. I will keep you abreast on this story (and my madness) as it progresses.

Also, I am very proud to say that I ate a healthy breakfast this morning.

Or at least healthy by my standards, Mlle. Beignet au Pomme.

Granny smith apple and organic crunchy almond butter? Cor, I am in absolute heaven.

Nommers.

(Just for the sake of full disclosure, I want to stress that I didn’t eat the entire container of almond butter. I may have wanted to, but I’m proud to say that restraint was exercised.)

So there you have it.

Today is Tuesday.

There is a new government in Alberta, with the first female premier elected as head of the province; Ontario remains just beyond the cusp of an election, and Quebec may soon be heading down the same road.

Also we’ll see what happens in France as they move into their next phase of voting.

Oh, and Yertle the Turtle, a great picture book written by DR. SEUSS has been banned from B.C. Classrooms for being “too political.”

Erm.

HEAVY STUFF. Like, this and the Satanic Verses are basically the same thing.

It would seem the phrase, “I know up on top you are seeing great sights, but down here on the bottom, we too should have rights” is too contentious a topic for the province’s youn, impressionable, and highly malleable minds.

Someone get me a fainting couch, because I’m clutching my pearls for all of Canada.

What do you all think, my lovely readers? Have we finally crossed the line?

And how was your Tuesday?

I want to hear all about it.

And extra points if you can do it in rhyme.