Around the house and city (Toronto Edition)

one of the last posts before i make the switch over to the new site.

can’t wait!

The busy person

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i came home to the most beautiful gift basket of goodies yesterday; some delicious smelling candles from mike’s sister-in-law and brother. talk about lovely family!

and today: give a job to a busy person and they’ll get it done. that’s how the saying goes right? usually that’s the case with me – the busier i am, the more efficient i become.

but it’s a whole different story when things get pushed aside and then the day comes when i have to confront them and get down to business. while i was basically “offline” all last week, i came back to a huge pile on my desk (aka my kitchen table) and i have not one clue where i should start.

and if i haven’t said it before, can i say it again: despite not having a 9-5 for the first time in my life, i can’t believe how busy i am with a million different little projects.

egads.

so i did what any rational person blogger would do.
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i spent the morning tinkering with my new site and then i made an avocado salad (and of course took pictures of it.) k to be fair i did manage to apply for a job and rescue the cat which escaped not once, but two times through the open screen door.

but seriously, things have really gotten away from me and consequently it’s a really sad state of affairs over here – i haven’t even put a garden in yet (!!)… which if you are a long time reader you can imagine it’s just eating me up inside. Remember my garden last year? It was basically my life’s purpose, and essential bragging rights for about three months.

there’s also the laundry list of stuff to do around the house (including the laundry), and about 15 papers of administrative tasks sitting on my real desk in the basement (so i don’t have to look at it everyday, again skirting responsibility!)

so this post is about channelling some motivation and a starting point. i think i’ll make a priorities list. and then a to do list – #1. on that list will be, “see priorities list.”

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but on another note – it’s been super nice to be home. yesterday evening when mike got home from work we went on a nice little hike and i could kind of feel myself relaxing a bit. cliff is hilarious – he’ll swim if another dog is with him, but he completely chickens out if he’s by himself. we’ll throw a stick into the water and he’ll stretch as far as he can, leaving his back legs on shore, and then reach as far as he can to grab the stick. if it’s out of reach he starts to whimper. some labrador “retriever”!!

and now… productivity!

back to the city

belleville train station

this morning, i’m headed back to ottawa on the train. it’s been a really long week. i can’t believe only 7 days ago i was running that half marathon… in retrospect it seems like about a month!! my dad’s been doing better – every day he seems to be a little bit more like himself, but it’s the start of a long road. all things considered, it would be unreasonable to expect anything else.

my sister dropped me off at the train station bright and early. can i just take a minute to say she’s the best? seriously this girl does it all: three kids, massive dog, and she’s so, so close to being a midwife – only about a year left of practicum and she’ll be catching babies all on her very own! i’m so very proud of her (in case you couldn’t tell.) i should note that i’m proud of both my sisters, but being around sarah and seeing her daily crazy hectic life for the past week has renewed my appreciation for all that she does over the course of a 24 hour period.

so here i am sitting on a train. it brings back so many memories of a trip i took out to the northern part of quebec (the gaspe region to be specific) when i was 13. it was a with an exchange program called SEVEC and you were paired up with a family in that part of the country that spoke hardly a word of english. the train ride was about 30 hours long and i remember there was this one car that had a clear bubble for the cieling. it was a double decker and in the night i snuck up there and watched the open night sky. i associate so much of that summer trip with the train until this day.

train rides are a funny thing – they have that knack for being romantic. Maybe it’s because it’s one of the older modes of transportation.

when we got to the train station in belleville this morning, we found out a new one had been built to replace the old one (old one pictured above). the little station that had been used for so many  trips to and from home still stands beside the new one – in my memory it’s that place for departures and homecomings, that small little antiquated building with just one room and one ticket window. the overhanging roof that covered you while waiting for the train has that scalloped trim. it’s just a shadow of the past. and because it’s still standing there, the new station looks so huge and modern and unnecessary.

i don’t know why i got all sentimental about a silly old train station!

i’m excited to get home for a few days, see my puppy and mike and catch a bit of a breather before heading home again this weekend.

hope everyone has a great start to the week!

Matters of the heart

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The past five days have been such a blur – I’m not even really sure what day of the week it is today. It’s Saturday right?

On Tuesday morning my parents were on their way back from my sister’s house in Toronto when my dad started having chest pain. After a couple transfers between various hospitals, the day ended at one AM in a waiting room at the Peter Munk Cardiac centre at Toronto General Hospital.

Today, my dad’s making a good recovery from a double heart by-pass, but like I said, it’s been a really long week (especially for my dad).

Dad, I know you can’t read this right now but you’re my most loyal and long standing reader, and it’s not the same around here without you. Get well soon and I promise I’ll keep tabs of things while you’re gone.

P.s today the mayor of our small town stopped me on the Main Street to hear about how you were doing. If you ever had a doubt, you should know that you’ve laid down some pretty deep roots ’round these parts.

All my love, from the bottom of my heart,
Emily xoxo

Ottawa Half Marathon Race Recap: Underwear and Mirrors

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well, I woke  up this AM and had trouble making it downstairs to the coffee pot but, i did it. (coffee is after all a key motivation in this equation.) cliff was actually a well behaved dog and let me sleep in a bit this morning – is it possible for a dog to know when you need some extra sleep?

the funniest part is, mike’s totally walking like he got off a horse too from the 10km race he did on saturday – i can’t help but laughing (and then wincing in pain) at both of us literally limping around the house (the stairs are the worst).

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post 10 km race saturday night ^^

so the rational side of me knows that i’m in so much pain because i didn’t train enough. the post-race side of me justifies it by saying it’s because i pushed myself like i never have before. we’ll just settle on a combo of the two – a happy little compromise.

the race: that’s what i’m talking about here. yesterday morning i got up and it was chilly out (seriously what is with this late MAY freezing weather!? especially after we had such a beautiful start to the month!?). i really despise being cold when i run, usually i wear tights/long sleeves until i’m absolutely certain i’ll be sweating in shorts, so it was a toss up on what to wear. in the end i took mike’s advice who said after he got going on saturday evening, the temperature was perfect. i think it was about 11 or 12 degrees when we left the start line, and the fact that we were jammed in the corrals like sardines helped keep me warm.

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see how everyone’s wearing like winter coats in the back ground? ^^^

photo credit: ottawa citizen

photo credit: ottawa citizen

so yea the corrals was a bit of a mess this year – usually i get there with plenty of time to weave myself to the front third of the group. this year it seemed there were way more people and way less space. my wave was scheduled to leave at 9 so i knew i had to at least get to the back of that group, but it was impossible to cut through the crowd (people were all like, “uh. no. you can’t move through here,” i’m like, “listen… move over.”)

in the end myself and some other ladies with the same problem left the starting boxes by hopping the fence, and then we found our way along the line towards the front and literally scooted back into the crowd by hopping a TV crane-thingy. Once we got in i felt so much better. i have severe pre-race anxiety – like my worst fear is missing the start of a race and i’ll have nightmares about missing it!

the race itself was awesome. ottawa is an amazing city to run in. seriously so many people line the streets- i think there was even more this year then last year. i passed my favourite spectator around the 15 km mark. she was holding a sign that said, “smile if you’re not wearing underwear.” i was so so tired at this point, but i couldn’t help expending some extra energy to give her the thumbs up. thank-you random lady with my sense of humour – you helped me through some tough times🙂

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trying to make the heart sign at km 18 ^^

i made it to mike around km 18 – i knew it was in the homestretch and so it was the perfect place for him to sit and watch. i was just so happy to see him. i remember the first half marathon i ran in the city – i didn’t know anyone and i didn’t have any family watching. it was a really good experience to just get through it “on my own” but having that someone there to tell you, “you can do it.” just elevates you beyond what your brain is telling you are capable of. sometimes it helps to have that person rooting for you.  (side note: i found out after the fact that as i was running, he was eating breakfast. he even had the audacity to send my phone a series of texts telling me so. luckily when you run you don’t need a phone, because if i knew he was eating while i was gruelling it out… it wouldn’t have been a pretty text back).

the absolute best part of the race was the home stretch (isn’t it always!)

before the race i had mike make me a playlist and the last song that came on was list one:

fast forward to 5:30 and you’ll see what i mean ^^

i always say to mike in passing how much i love JT for this song – because it’s like you know he’s singing to jessica beal – and don’t they just make the perfect celebrity couple? so when this song came on, i literally almost cried. a) from the pain/exertion and b) because it was the most perfect song to finish on.

at the 1 km to go mark, i hit the part of the song when Justin’s going “you are, you are the love of my life.”

and then. it’s all i heard for the last 3 minutes of the run.

“you are, you are the love, of my life.”

i think for the first time in months, i was living only in that moment. i had no thoughts or worries about the future and i was just there, on that course, heading towards the finish line.

it’s the little things.❤

and then to top it all off my friends from iRun we’re at the finish line (iRun is a huge sponsor of the race weekend – so it was official business but clearly it’s amazing to cross the finish line and immediately see a friendly face) and i gave her a hug. and then she took this picture:

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and then i went home and slept it off and woke up and when i checked on-line, i found i blew my personal best out of the water by almost three minutes!! i finished in just under 1:35 minutes! i really couldn’t believe it – i had no expectations going into the race so i surprised myself.

some races are ok, some of them you just make it through. and some of them are good ones. this was a good one.

and now… recovery!

It’s too late to turn back now

I picked up my race kit for the half marathon today:

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It’s too late to turn back now. Yesterday I went for a short little run – a jaunt really… you know, just to test the old legs out, and it was a bit discouraging how slow and tired I felt. I can’t believe I have to run 21.1 on these gams in just over 24 hours.

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what’s made matters worst on my nerves is the fact that i’ve spent the past few days helping man the iRun booth at the Ottawa Race Weekend Expo. don’t get me wrong i love talking to all the people and meeting new runners but there’s a certain energy of nerves and anticipation at a race expo, and when i see everyone walking around with their race kits and in their fancy running shoes and tight pants – it really just washes waves of anxiety over me.

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outside the ottawa convention centre yesterday morning ^^

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the line-up of people waiting to pick up their race kits before the expo opened yesterday morning ^^

it’s not like i have any real reason to be nervous… except i just know, it’s gonna hurt a lot. i have a streak of competitively in me, and it’s like, impossible for me to just lay off and hold back. so you know, the less I train, (as has been the case the past four months) the more it’s gonna hurt. errg. damn those excuses in March… and April. *sigh*

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the past few days have been insanely busy but the expo is such a neat experience! i’ve never participated in something like it before – and what’s even cooler is I’m probably at the coolest booth in the room. it’s easy to hand out free stuff and listen to “why people love to run.”

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wall of “iRun” statements! so neat! ^^

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i mean, runners really do make the best community – i’ve met some pretty interesting people from all over. check out this guy’s dedication to the sport:

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ok well i’m off to the expo again fro the morning and then to spectate the 10 km race – mike’s running tonight! he made a nice little “carbo load” dinner last night in preparation:

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you know what’s better then running or racing or being competitive?

a spaghetti dinner with these guys on a friday night:

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ps. there’s also nothing like a grainy iPHONE picture to capture (any) moment.

first impressions

a little story about how mike and i met.

unbeknownst to each other, we were in the same graduate program from the start. It was the same program except not really. he’s an anglophone but mike was in the french stream of the school, and he had started a year before me.

considering these things, there was really no way our paths would cross given the circumstances.

a friend of mine convinced me to take an elective she had signed up for. it wasn’t even within our program. i went along not really knowing what to expect but happy to fill up my schedule so i could graduate in time.

he kept mostly to himself, unlike me, i make small talk with strangers.

which sounds about right because i remember him as a bit stand-offish and aloof.

so then he says i was a social butterfly. which is code for, he thought i might have been a bit snobby.

the first time we exchanged words it was to switch presentation dates. he had the first time slot, i had the last.

he likes to put things off, i like to get them done right away.

as they say, potato/potato.

so it was a chance meeting. but aren’t all meetings chance after all?

the rest is history.

ah yes. first impressions are the best.

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