Friday, May 31, 2013

~Haute Fashion~

Holy Friday already? Not that I'm complaining one bit!

Now if maybe the rain can just stop for a couple days so we can spend some time outside? K, thanks! Come on out, Mr. Sun!

Casual Meets Office
Black dress- Banana Republic
Blue & Cream Cardigan- Mexx
Belt- H&M
Wedges- Franco Sarto
I bought this dress a few years ago while in Florida. It is made of a jersey material and so very comfortable. It is a bit casual for the office but I saw on Putting Me Together (one of my favourite style blogs) a similar outfit and decided to give it a try. I opted to not wear the yellow cardigan like she did just because I wore it last week but I like that I could wear this dress a bunch of different ways because I have so many different cardigans and a few belts to mix it up with.

I tried to make a bow with the belt like below, and I did do it when I tried on the outfit a few days before I actually wore it but do you think I could recreate it? Nooooo!

Lilac & Striped
Black ruffle cardigan- Banana Republic
Striped skirt- Old Navy
Lilac shirt- Jacob
Black pumps- Nine West
Necklace- RW&Co
Skirt makes an appearance again! So comfy. I do find it rides up though (which is why it looks bunched up around my waist!) so I have to adjust it every now and then. Small waist/wide hips problems.

Spanish Flair
Skirt- bought in Spain
Oatmeal cardigan- Old Navy
Purple tank- Old Navy
Wedges- Franco Sarto
Ball necklace- RW&Co
I bought this skirt in Spain a few years ago. I don't wear it that often since I have a hard time finding the right top to pair it with. It's also a weird length- not too short (good) but feels a bit matronly? Anyway when I spotted this sweater in my closet I knew it would go perfectly.

Neon Bright
Grey cardigan- Jacob
Black shirt- Old Navy
Pink pants- Walmart
Scarf- Old Navy
Shoes- Old Navy
I've really jumped on the colour pant band wagon. Thanks to Alison for the tip on cute, yet cheap, coloured pants at Walmart. I wanted to buy every colour but restrained myself. These pants didn't look nearly as bright when I tried them on or wore them at on the weekend but they really stood out in the fluorescent lighting of my office. 

Perfect for a rainy, dreary day.

Pattern & Lace
Grey cardigan- Joe Fresh
Lace white shirt- H&M
Black cropped pants- Gap
Scarf- Old Navy
Black pumps- Nine West
Can you spot the lace? No, you can't. It's under the sweater. Bah! I planned to wear this shirt sans sweater but the cold got the best of me and I layered up.This scarf has the cutest animal print pattern, but in bright colours that compliment my wardrobe. I kind of love it!

Audrey was slacking this week and has nothing to contribute. She tried on the cutest shorts, sun hat and sandals that I ordered yesterday but of course I didn't have my camera around to snap a picture. Hopefully it will be nice enough this week so she can actually wear shorts!

Happy Weekend All!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

~Three Things Thursday~

1. My SeaWheeze limited edition booty shorts have arrived! I definitely should have ordered the longer track shorts. The speed shorts fit but they won't be any good for longer distance runs.

The race is only 72 days away! Training officially starts next week!

Top left- shorts
Bottom left- reusable bag they came in
Right- Lululemon packaging. 
2. Speaking of training, I have pretty much taken this week off. I need a break mentally before starting half marathon training next week. Surprisingly, my house isn't any cleaner even with me not working out in the evening!

Lululemon has come out with an official SeaWheeze training app so I will be giving that a go. The fall half marathon clinic starts up at the end of June and luckily most of my friends that are doing SeaWheeze will also be part of that clinic so we will likely train together.

I'm also thinking of switching my strength training program- probably to another Jillian Michael's workout since I like her style. Any recommendations?

3. Took this sweet girl to the park yesterday in between rain storms.

She LOVES it! Her favourite thing is to pick up all the rocks and put them on any surface she can find. I didn't get any pictures as I was too busy running after her but I am sure there will be many park trips this summer.

Let's just say she was less than impressed when we had to leave. Cried the whole way home and wouldn't stop even when we went inside. She refused to take her jacket off, even for dinner.

She's one outdoor-loving drama queen!

Both begging to go outside

AND only 2 more sleeps until Audrey's Auntie L and Uncle C get back from their year-long, round-the-world, trip!! Can't wait to hug them and hear all their stories in person! It feels like yesterday they left and yet forever since we have seen them. We have lots of catching up to do.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Scotiabank Jugo Juice 10K Official Race Photos 2013

The official race pictures from Sunday's race are up.

(Thanks Cori!)

I'm pleasantly surprised by how most of these pictures turned out. Cori was great at pointing out the photographers and making sure we were in a good position for ideal shots.

None of my pictures show Cori, but most of Cori's pictures show me trailing behind her!

Around 7K and looking better than I feel!

Back in Stampede Park, around 9K-ish- totally oblivious.

Smiling even though I felt like dying!

Finishing chute- sprinting aka trying to catch up to Cori!

Horrible finishing photo- I actually do look attached to Cori's hip! No wonder we had the same chip time!

Yay! We did it!
Some decent posed shots post-finish. 

So overall not bad for race photos. Still debating on whether or not I will actually choke up the big bucks for them.

Scotiabank Jugo Juice 10K 2013: Race Report

What a perfect race this ended up being! I really tried to keep my expectations low and reduce the pressure on myself so as to not be disappointed if I didn't reach my goals and it all worked out!

The Calgary Marathon Weekend is the longest continuous running race weekend in Canada- this was the 49th year.

We went to the expo the day before (Saturday), where we picked up our race packages and browsed the booths. 
10K Race shirt

Race package (minus the shirt)
They changed the shirt brand from previous years and it is so much better. I’m glad it is black this year since red is not my colour and I will actually get some wear out of this shirt.

We dropped Audrey off at my sister’s for the night since it would have been a nightmare trying to drop her off somewhere at 5:30am. My sister and her family was super excited to have her so it worked out perfectly, despite the long drive to and from her house.

I had a hard time deciding what to wear for this race. The race organizers sent out an email the day before with the weather forecast:

Race Day Forecast Courtesy of City TV’s Meteorologist Andrew Schultz:
Current forecast for the Scotiabank Calgary Marathon:
7am:   6 Degrees, Partly Cloudy - Wind: West/Southwest 10
10am:  13 Degrees, Partly Cloudy - Wind: South/Southwest 10
Noon:  16 Degrees, Mainly Sunny - Wind: South/Southwest 10
 My main concern was overdressing for the run and then not being able to push myself because I was overheating. I even texted my running instructor, Penny, to find out what she planned to wear for her half. She was going to wear a tank top which I thought wouldn’t be warm enough for me. I decided to wear capris, a thicker long sleeve shirt and gloves at the start. I later ditched the gloves at bag check as I was feeling comfortable and knew I wouldn’t need the gloves even while waiting around.

Note for next time: wear short sleeves or a tank top, with removable sleeves.

We went to bed early-ish but that 4:45am wake up call was still tough. 

We left the house at 5:30am, with our breakfast smoothies to-go. We parked downtown at hubby’s office, stopped for a bathroom break and hopped the train for the few stops down to the Stampede Grounds. It was pretty neat to see the train full of runners, rather than the usual work crowd.

They changed things a bit from last year, bag check was outside instead of inside so we spent a few minutes look around aimlessly for it. It was super organized and you just had to drop your bag off so no lines at all. I didn’t get many pictures because my iPhone doesn’t fit into any of my pockets or my fuel belt. 

Hubby & I pre-race

Hubby went to line up for the start of the Half & Full Marathoners since they started at 7:00am. I went to look for Cori over by the designated meeting spot but realized that there was no way I could get through until after the half and full’s started and cleared the path. I found a bench right by the starting chute and stood on it looking for friends that I knew were racing. 

Once the full and half marathoners started, I kept my eye out for Cori. Suddenly I spotted her across the starting chute from me so I jumped down from my perch and ran across the road. It seemed she was waiting for the crowd to clear to cross as well so once I reached the other side, she was no longer there! So back to my perch I went to try to find her before we started our own race in 30 minutes.

While scanning the crowd, I looked down immediately below me and standing there was my work friend, D! She was also running the 10K but we both figured there was no way we would find each other in this crowd. She's the one that I ran into when doing Run for L'Arche while she was out on a training run! We chatted for a bit and then she went to line up. 

I was starting to get worried I wouldn't be able to find Cori. I was secretly hoping that I could attach myself to her hip (not literally) and she would be my motivation to get close to my sub 60 minute 10K goal. Then there she was, only a few feet away from me! I jumped down, ran over to her and shouted for her to not move! I'm actually surprised she didn't run the other way!

Cori and I pre-race
Courtesy of Cori
We started chatting- it was our first time meeting in person- and headed to the start line together. She mentioned she wasn't feeling it that day and we agreed to start the race together. We seeded ourselves by the 1 hour pace bunny. I always do 10 and 1s for anything over 10K so I knew there was a possibility that Cori might want to carry on at some point while I took a break and I was ok with that.

I had set my Garmin Virtual Partner for 5:45 min/km which is the walk adjusted pace for a 60 minute 10K. I felt it was a lofty goal for myself but I needed to push myself out of my comfort zone.You can't run faster without running faster. Before we knew it, the horn sounded and off we went. Cori high-fived Mayor Nenshi just before we crossed the start line. It was nice to see him out supporting another Calgary race.

Even though I did this event two years ago, the venue changed so the course was different. We started off towards Inglewood which is always scenic. We just kept chatting along, checking out watches every so often to make sure we were on pace.

When my watch beeped for my first walk break, I secretly hoped Cori would stick with me and she did! Not too long after, she announced that her shoe lace had come untied so we pulled to the side quickly so she could tie it up again.

We passed by the Zoo and I'm pretty sure I mumbled something about going to see the tigers and lions. I was definitely pushing myself out of my comfortable pace.

At 4K, Cori said we were at 24 minutes- on track for our sub 60 minutes if we kept up this pace. I said I  felt good but I didn't want to hold her back so if she wanted to push on then I was ok. She said "No, we are in this together." That definitely gave me the motivation to keep going!

We were now running in Bridgeland, which was where the course 2 years ago was so we were running in familiar territory. There was one slight but longish uphill that we powered through. There were lots of spectators in this area so it was a nice distraction.

We reached the 5K mark at 29:55- still on track for sub 60 minutes, just barely!

During a walk break, I felt a tap on my arm, as P & J ran by me. It was nice to see some familiar faces and to be honest, it gave me the encouragement and motivation to keep going. I guess my competitive side came out, which it usually doesn't.

We then hit Memorial Drive, which I always get a kick out of running in the middle of a usually busy road. Both directions of this divided road were shut down for the race but yet there were still cars trying to get through and then having to turn around. Cori commented that "What? They didn't actually think the road was closed in spite of the signs?" I'm sure those drivers were cursing us as we were laughing at them.

We ran the Centre Street bridge. It doesn't feel nearly as claustrophobic when you are running it as it does when you are driving it.

We started heading east again and it was here, around 7K that I felt myself dragging. Cori was a few paces ahead of me for the next little while. I started having the little banter in my head that "it's ok to slow down, sub 60 minutes really wasn't that big of a deal, I would still have a PR." I am so grateful that I had Cori to keep me going. Every once and awhile she would look back and that would give me the motivation to pick it up and run next to her again. Seriously best pacer ever! She would not let me slow down!

At 8K, we ran through the East Village and there were a bunch of spectators, dancers and music. They had some great signs and totally perked me up. I wanted to hug them all! This was my slowest kilometer so they definitely gave me the energy to finish strong.

We went through an underpass and Cori took off. I had a moment of doubt that I was going to lose her but it seemed my hill & speed training have paid off and I was able to catch up to her on the uphill. I guess I wasn't kidding when I said I planned to be attached to her hip!

Just before 9K I checked my watch and I knew it was going to be close. I had to stay focused and tell the doubting voices in my head to shut up! We were getting so close and now running back the way we first started.

At 9K, Cori said we should take a quick walk break now (about a minute or two ahead of schedule), catch our breaths and then finish strong. I quickly agreed. I had planned to skip the last walk break but looking back I am so glad she suggested it because it gave me the strength and determination to pick up the pace in that final kilometre.

We took our quick walk break, and then hit the gas. We started passing people slowly at first. Once we got into the Stampede Grounds, you could almost smell the finish line which motivated us even more. Cori was still a few paces ahead of me but I just kept repeating to myself that I had to close the gap and stay with her. I knew we were going to be so close to our goal and I had to give it my all.

As we approached the final turn before the finish line, we heard the announcers say an hour had passed since the start of the 10K. My heart dropped for a minute before I remembered that we started a minute or so after the gun time.

After the final corner, we both started sprinting towards the finish. There was a bit of a gap between Cori and I at the last corner and I managed to close it at the finish line. As we crossed the finish line, I simultaneously stopped my Garmin and checked our time: 59:40!

I shouted to Cori that "We did it!!" We reached our goal!

We ended up with the same chip time- 59:38.

Sub 60 minute PR!
Courtesy of Cori

I had such a great race and I am honoured to have achieved this goal along side Cori.
THIS is what running is all about for me. Setting a goal, working hard, meeting some awesome friends and sharing those achievements with them. Thanks Cori!

Cori's race report and pictures are here and here.

After taking some pictures and getting some water, we returned to the final corner to watch our friends finish. I LOVE the finish line. I wish I could bottle the emotions felt and seen at the finish line. I choked back tears a few times.

Cori couldn't stay long so once she left I snagged a spot right beside the fence to cheer on the runners. Even with my prime spot I managed to miss hubby, my instructor and a few other friends' half marathon finishes. I did get to see the marathon winner which was pretty neat, as well as the 1st place wheelchair marathoner.

After waiting a long time and not seeing hubby finish I decided to get my stuff from bag check to see if he messaged me. Sure enough he had long finished (1:59) and I had missed it.

We changed our clothes, grabbed some food and met up with friends to watch some of our other friends finish their first marathons.

We watched our friend, Richard, finish in 4:21 which had most of us in tears. So proud of him and all his hard work. Apparently I was cheering/crying too much to take any pictures of his finish.

We watched Martin Parnell, in his attempt to beat the Guinness World Record of fastest marathon run in full lacrosse gear, cross the finish line. He finished in 4:18, although not quite fast enough to beat the record and he did need medical attention due to overheating. Such an inspiration!

We really had to leave to pick up Audrey but I wanted to see Leigh finish her first marathon. I figured she would be coming in fairly soon so we headed down close to the finishing chute.

Sure enough, around the corner came Leigh and her running buddy Erica. I was screaming and cheering her on like crazy but she was so focused and didn't bat an eyelash at the spectators.

Hubby's hand cheering for Leigh!

I am so happy I was able to see her finish her first marathon!!! Such an accomplishment!

Thoughts on the race

I LOVE this race! The energy is just amazing. It almost makes me want to run a marathon!

I can't think of a single negative thing about this race.

The swag is great. I love that every distance gets a medal. The spectators are fantastic. The post race pancake breakfast is perfect.

Next year is the 50th Anniversary and you can bet that I'll be signing up! Just not for the full marathon!

10K PR! 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

~Audrey: 15 Months~

It's nearly impossible to take a picture of this girl sitting still anymore.
She also isn't a fan of wearing headbands or clips anymore!

Audrey 14 Months
Audrey 13 Months

Sleep: Still a work in progress. She has good nights and bad nights. Sometimes she sleeps through the night and wakes up at 6:30 am and other nights she is up 1-2 times and hubby has to wake her up at 7-7:30 am for the day. Once day she will consistently sleep through the night- probably when she is a teenager! Hubby and I have been sharing the wake ups- if she wakes before 4 am I go in and if she wakes after 4 am, he goes in.

Audrey had her first sleepover away from home this past weekend. She had a lot of fun at her Auntie K's house and loved all the attention her cousins showered her with. She didn't want to come home!

Eating: She is still fairly picky. She likes variety so the key is to just keep offering her food, even if she refused it a day or so ago. Her go-to favourites are: cheese, toast with peanut butter, raisins, cheerios, muffins (I make a healthy version for her), hamburger, chicken, and hummus. She also likes almond milk.

Nursing isn't as frequent but usually 1-2 times a day/night.

Teething: Her eye teeth (final four) are just starting to cut. They seem to be taking their time. The top two have just cut through and the bottom ones are bulging in her gums.

Crawling/Standing/Walking: Audrey is now running everywhere! She has the cutest little walk and barely crawls anymore. I need to invest in one of those leashes so she doesn't run away into traffic. She hates holding hands (always has).

Eyes: Grey/hazel. They are looking more grey/blue than hazel these days.

Hair: Going from dark brown to a lighter brown with red hues.

Playing: She loves being outside. I'm sure she is going to be a tom boy- playing in the dirt! She has to be watched like a hawk since she digs in the garden and eats the dirt if you aren't quick enough. She enjoys catching bubbles and "mowing" the lawn. She is getting better at playing by herself, however she does like it when you sit with her while she plays. She puts her shapes in the box and if she can't get it in the right hole so wants you to do it. She's also figured out that if she opens the top slot she can just drop the blocks into it!

Talking: More words every day! Big ones now are "Go" and "Bottle." The day home must say bottle since we usually say milk or water rather than cup or bottle. She has also been putting her finger to her mouth and saying "shhhh" which must be another thing she has picked up from the day home. "No" is still her most used word and I get a kick out of it every time she says it. I probably shouldn't encourage her but it's too cute!
She also tries to say "shoes" which comes out more like "shhhhooozzz." I told her to bring me my shoes yesterday and she brought me my flip flops. It amazes me every day how much she knows and understands what we are saying to her. She also says "hat"- sounds like "haaa." Her favourite food word is "banana"- said as "nana."

Sign Language: She hasn't been signing as much- I'm sure because they aren't signing to her at the day home. She still signs for medicine (we give her a homeopathic cough medicine since she has had a cold for over a month now), water, milk, food, and more.

She is actually getting better at signing correctly. She used to sign "more" by clapping her hands and now does it as shown below.

Weight/Clothing: No recent weigh-ins so not sure. Still wearing mostly 12-18m clothes and size 3-4 shoes.  Clothes are definitely getting worn out/ruined before she is growing out of them.

Personality: Dramatic. We have an actress on our hands. Maybe even an Oscar winner.

Current Favourite Things: iPhone, her baby monitor receiver, blanket, books and magazines, a pair of shoes that are 2 sizes too big and her Seahorse glow-bug.

Dislikes: Being cleaned after a meal, diaper changes, having someone brush her teeth.

Miscellaneous: I love this age so much! It's a bit challenging now that she wants to run everywhere but it's easier to redirect her attention from something she can't have and it's so much fun watching her figure things out for herself.

Monday, May 27, 2013

~What a Weekend!~

Wow- what a busy and exciting weekend it was!
It went by so fast!

Friday hubby hosted a work BBQ at our house. It was pouring rain all day (and week) so it was mostly an indoor party. Audrey was a little surprised to see so many people at her house when we got home but she loved it. She was running around everywhere and of course it was harder to see her amongst all the people. She slept well that night!

We didn't go to bed until after midnight by the time everyone left and we cleaned up.

Saturday I slept in till 9:30am which felt great but put me behind on everything I needed to do for the day. We went to the race expo in the afternoon to pick up our race packages. It wasn't very busy so no line ups or traffic jams. I picked up some nutrition and some head bands from Bondi Bands and a whole bunch of pamphlets.

Bondi bands
They didn't have the ones I wanted but I thought these ones were pretty cute.

After the expo, we headed to my sister's, who lives almost an hour away, to drop off Audrey for her first sleepover. We stayed for a couple hours to visit with everyone and help Audrey adjust a little bit. She actually cried when we left because she thought she had to leave too! Independent little girl!

It was weird leaving her for the night but I knew she would be just fine.

When we got home, we got ready for our races the next morning- it took me awhile to decide what to wear, and headed to bed early.

Sunday the alarm went off super early- oh wait, same time it does during the week! We dragged ourselves out of bed, got ready and hit the road at 5:30am.

I will put all the nitty gritty details in my race report but I will say that I achieved my sub-60 minute 10K goal with the help of Cori from Read.Write.Run.Mom. I am so happy I spotted her right before the race and didn't let her from my sight until we finished!

Hubby had a great race despite his lack of training and recent hip niggling. We stayed and watched a bunch of our friends finish the half and full marathon, including Leigh. I was so proud to see her finish her first marathon so strong and fast!

After we stopped for food, we headed back out of town to pick up Audrey. I missed her soooo much, especially seeing all the other kids watching their parents finish their races. My sister said she did great and my nieces adored her. She slept pretty well (one wake up) and had a long nap in the morning.

They took her to the park which she loves. She also tried eating the dirt & gravel.

We spent the evening doing a few chores but we were all exhausted from a busy weekend so we headed to bed early. An extra day off would have been perfect. My long weekend was a week too soon.

Happy Memorial Day American friends!

Did you race this weekend?

Friday, May 24, 2013

~Haute Fashion~

And the rain keeps coming! The upside is that I get to wear my cute rain boots in an attempt to stay dry.

Plus it's Friday!! Can't be sad about that!

Hubby is hosting a company BBQ at our house tonight- looks like we will all be stuck inside. Oh well- it could be snow! Oh wait- it was snowing in the mountains yesterday!

So what did I wear this dreary week? Bright colours, of course!

Navy & Coral
Dress- Gap
Navy Sweater- Gap
Tan Wedges- Franco Sarto
Bangle- Coach
For someone who only owned one navy item a few months ago, I sure am adding lots of navy to my wardrobe! Same goes for coral. Definitely the IT colours of the season. I adore the pattern of this dress and got many compliments on it.

Brown, Wide-legged, and Straight
Brown sweater- H&M
Coral shirt- Old Navy
Wide legged jeans- Sevens
Brown flats- Nine West
I forgot about these jeans so it was exciting to pull them out of the back of my closet! I have been on a skinny jean kick for awhile now so it was nice to change it up and wear something a bit different. You may also notice that my hair is straight- I rarely straighten it but I've been attempting to switch things up a bit.

Green sweater- Old Navy
Black cropped pants- Gap
Floral shirt- Winners
Nude pumps- Nine West
Do you ever put on an outfit and love it so much you want to wear it every single day? That's what this outfit does for me. It's comfortable, cute, and colourful. And hey, my hair is straight again!

Yellow sweater- Old Navy
Grey skirt- F21
Cream shirt- Joe
Tan Wedges- Franco Sarto
Earrings- Stella & Dot
My attempt at Kate's
Double Knotted Twist

Close up of my jewels
Another bright outfit to make up for the rainy, cloudy week we have been having. If the sun won't shine, then I will! I love these earrings but have a hard time finding the right outfit to wear them with since I have been wearing so much colour. I usually don't wear dangly earrings but I'm trying to break out of my comfort zone.

Audrey also wanted to contribute to today's post- she wanted to share her new rain coat! She insisted on wearing it in the house yesterday and got mad at me when I tried to take the hood down. Whatever kid! She also stood at the back door and kept shouting at me to "Go!" It was pouring outside but figured with our rain coats and rubber boots we would stay dry.

She loved being out in the rain!
She was fascinated by the falling rain drops, and the sound the cars made splashing in the puddles. She was not impressed when it was time to go back in! I'm pretty sure I have a tom boy on my hands!

Do you do your hair the same way every day?
How do you brighten your day when it's cold and rainy outside?