My Pursuit of Happiness and Skinny Jeans

My journey to a smaller jean size

Two-sday!

Today was a double workout day for me.

I started my day with a 4k “steady run”.  This is supposed to be a recovery run which is a nice comfortable run to get legs moving after long run on Sunday.  I was looking forward to this because I was achy after Sunday’s long run.  I was a bit disappointed though, because I took a few walk breaks, but I think I ran faster than usual when I was running since my time wasn’t too bad.  I am by no means a speed demon, but 24:19 for 4k is pretty good for me.

One of my goals for this round of training is to improve my speed.  That process will kick into high gear on Thursday when I do my first Tempo run of my schedule.  I’m not gonna lie…I am pretty nervous about it.  I’m supposed to do 4k at tempo pace – which apparently is 15 to 20 seconds faster than my race pace.  I am still shooting to finish a half in under 2:30, so that puts my race pace at 7:06 minutes/km.  This means my tempo pace is 6:46 to 6:51.  BUT, today’s 4k pace was 6:05!  That doesn’t make sense to me?  Jack Rabbit…if you read this, what’s the deal?  Should I make my tempo run faster than that?  I don’t know if I can realistically run the half any faster.  I’ve not been so successful at it to date.  Okay, if any of you runners out there have any insights into this, feel free to let me know.

 

 

My second workout of the day was a ball hockey game.  We were playing in the semi-finals to see who would play for the league championships.  We had a pretty short bench, and we played the top team in the league.  We lost 😦   We didn’t play all that horribly, we just couldn’t score.  We scored once (I got the assist), and the other team scored at least 6…they stopped putting up the other team’s goals after the differential got to 5.  So, now we will play for 3rd against whoever won the 9pm game tonight.  Doesn’t really matter to me…I’m on vacay next week and will miss the game anyway!  Despite the loss, the game was a pretty good workout.  With a short bench, we had to double shift quite a bit, which just meant more running…and all sprints, so hopefully that will help me get faster too!

 

Before I get to my tempo run on Thursday, I’ve got another steady run to do tomorrow.  I’ve got 6km on the schedule.  Hopefully the weather is good tomorrow morning.  It’s been pouring off and on for most of the day today.  I’m not a big fan of running in the rain.  I guess if it’s raining when I get up I will head to the basement and run ont he treadmill.  Not ideal, but I’m pretty sure if I don’t run in the morning, I won’t have the desire/energy to run after work.  Things are still nuts there, so when I get home I just want to be able to chill.

Vacay countdown is now at 4!!  Come on Friday!

Hope your Tuesday was a good one.  

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I Guess It’s Working!

Yesterday was the first day of my Niagara Falls half marathon training schedule.  It was also the first time I had run since May 27 when I ran the Toronto Women’s Half.

The next time I decide to basically take 2 months off from running, someone please remind me what a bad idea that is!  Holy cow, am I sore today!  My quads ache, especially when I go down stairs, my hips ache, but only when I walk, and a bit surprising, but my obliques are a bit sore too!  I guess that means it’s working.  This is a workout quote, but I think it applies to running as well.

Here’s another one that I liked:

 

I am back to training and I am also going to make a better effort to eat well too…and for me that means Clean Eating.  Since I started cooking clean again yesterday, I had delicious leftover Roasted Fennel for lunch.  It is so good!  You really should try it.  See here for the recipe.  It’s quick, easy and so tasty!

Dinner was another Clean recipe.  This one was Lean Pork Tenderloin with Baked Apples & Maple Caramelized Onions.   This was another hit!  I am honestly surprised at how good all of these clean recipes are.  It makes me wonder why I didn’t start to eat clean sooner.  Out of all the recipes I have tried so far, there is only one that I wouldn’t make again – a chickpea burger.  Actually, I might make it again, I would just kick it up quite a bit with a lot more spices.  Anyways…back to tonight’s dish.  One of the best parts of this dish was the caramelized onions.  Oh My God!  They were so good.  I kept picking at them while I waited for the pork to cook in the oven.  Two red onions and a little olive oil is all you need:

 

The finished product looks good, and tastes even better!  While I waited for the pork to rest I simmered the sauce in the pan a little bit to try to thicken it up a bit, and then spooned it over the meat, apples and onions.  So, so, so GOOD!

 

 

Today was a rest day in my training schedule, but I am back at it tomorrow.  I’m due for 4km steady.  I plan to get up early and run before work, since it is too hot to run later in the day, and I have a ball hockey game at 7pm.  I’ll let you know how it goes tomorrow night!

Hope you week got off to a good start.  |We are one day closer to the weekend 🙂 

I am in full countdown mode.  Starting Friday, I am on vacation…I CAN’T WAIT!!!

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Back At It

Sunday is long/slow run day on my new half marathon training schedule.  The schedule called for 8km, but since I didn’t run last week as I was resting due to the Shingles, I decided to start with last week’s 6km distance instead of the called for 8km.  I was hoping to get up early and get out there and run before it got too hot.  However, after having a very bad night’s sleep, I just couldn’t haul my butt out of bed when my alarm went off at 7:30am.  I lay there for a while longer and finally got up, put on my run gear and headed downstairs to have a quick bite before hitting the road.  I couldn’t find anything that I wanted to eat, so I just took a Cliff Vanilla Power Shot.  I finally got out the door at 9:10, much later that I wanted.

This was pretty much the first run I’ve done since the Toronto Women’s Half Marathon back in May.  To say I was nervous to do today’s run would be an understatement.  I started out and things were pretty good for the first couple of kilometres…and then the heat got to me a bit.  My head started throbbing which I wasn’t too crazy about.  I ended up walking for more than I would have liked, but I didn’t want to push it too much since I’m still recovering from Shingles and it’s only the first run and I’ve got 12 weeks of runs ahead of me.  In the end, my route was 6.3km and I walked more than I would have liked, but “a mile is a mile, no matter how fast they are”.  At least I did it.

 

After my run, I took the rest of the day pretty easy.  Spent some time outside reading – that is until my iPad gave me a “temperature” warning and turned itself off to cool down.  I guess that was a sign that it was stinking hot out there today.  I was laying on our outdoor couch and it was too hot.  I was melting.  I switched over to the hammock to see if having air moving all around me would make it a bit cooler.  It did a bit.  I was hoping to have a little nap out there, but just couldn’t get comfortable enough to fall asleep.  Finally I gave up and went in and had a real nap in bed.  It was great!  I could really get used to this napping…too bad it likely won’t happen again for quite a while!

Rory was up at the cottage for the weekend with the boys, but was planning on being back home in time for dinner.  I was planning on making the Roasted Fennel with Tomatoes, ChickPeas and Lemon dish from the July 2012 edition of Clean Eating Magazine.  I had planned on making this dish a couple of times before, but something always got in the way and it never happened.  Today was the day.  I bought the needed ingredients yesterday on my trip to the health food grocery store.  Here’s what you need:

More precisely, you will need:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 fennel bulbs, trimmed, quartered and fronds reserved for garnish
  • 1.5 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 leek, halved lengthwise and sliced into 1/4-inch-thick half-moons, white and light green parts only
  • 1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • zest of 1 lemon, for garnish (I skipped this since I didn’t have a lemon

Cooking instructions:

  • preheat oven to 425F
  • In a large overproof saute pan or skillet, heat oil on medium.  Add fennel and cook, turning occasionally, until golden brown and slightly wilted, about 10 minutes
  • Stir in tomatoes, leek, chickpeas, salt, cumin, pepper flakes and paprika.  Add 1/2 cup water, stir gently and bring to a simmer. cook for 3 to 5 minutes.
  • transfer to oven and bake, stirring halfway, for 30 minutes
  • season with black pepper.  Garnish with lemon zest and fennel fronds, as desired.

Nutritional info, per 1/2 cup serving:

  •  205 calories
  • 10g total fat
  • 1g sat fat
  • 25g carbs
  • 7g fibre
  • 2g sugar
  • 6g protein

 

This dish was AMAZING.  It will definitely be one that I make again.  The recipe says it serves 6.  Rory and I likely had a double portion for dinner, since 1/2 cup just didn’t seem like enough for a meal.   There was enough left for 2 good size lunches for me this week.  Yay!

Tonight is a big tv night for us.  Big Brother was on (we watched while I wrote this post).  Later tonight, Breaking Bad and The Newsroom are both on at 10pm.  We will likely watch The Newsroom, since it is a straight hour with no commercials. We’ll PVR Breaking Bad so we can watch it tomorrow and skip through the commercials.  Gotta love the PVR!

Tomorrow is a rest day in my training program – I love rest days!  I’m planning on making another Clean Eating Mag recipe for us tomorrow – Lean Pork Tenderloin with Bakes Apples & Maple Caramelized Onions.  The pic in the mag looks great.  Hopefully it will taste just a good.  I will let you know tomorrow.

Well, there it is, another weekend over.  It was a weird weekend for me, being home alone.  I didn’t do too much, managed to get in a few naps, and did some baking/cooking.  I’ve got 5 days of work to get through and then we are on vacation for a week.  Let’s hope these next 5 days fly by quickly and smoothly.

I hope you all had a great weekend.  Did you do anything exciting?  Did you try any new recipes?  

Cheers!

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Lazy Saturday

Today was a lazy day for me.  No schedules, no kids to take care of, no one else at home to worry about at all.

After staying up way too late last night, watching movies on TMN and reading blogs, I slept in this morning, waking up at 10:30…and it was GREAT!  I  stayed under the covers for a while longer, but eventually dragged my butt out of bed, and enjoyed a breakfast of overnight oats in a jar and a cup of David’s Tea out on the back deck in the sunshine.  What a great way to start the day!

I spent some time looking at recipes and creating a shopping list for a few meals and treats.  I hit the health food store for my necessary items…wow, that place is NOT cheap. I didn’t get all that much at all, and it was $108!  Seriously, does this look like over $100 worth of groceries?

 

All I bought was some fennel, a leek, raw cacao nibs, rolled oats, maple syrup, chocolate chips, natural peanut butter, cashew nut butter, dried cranberries, 2 apples, 2 packs of strawberries, some grape tomatoes, and some stevia.  I’m still in shock that these few things cost more than $100!

Once I got over the shock of the grocery bill, I set out to make a recipe that I found mentioned on Twitter in an Eat Clean Diet giveaway.  “Fit In Heels” (@Fit_in_heels) is giving away the Eat Clean Diet Vegetarian Cookbook.  To be entered into the draw for the cookbook, all you need to do is make one of the sample recipes and post a picture of it on Twitter.  One recipe caught my eye and sounded easy, so figured I would give it a try.  I picked up the ingredients for the recipe as part of my health food store shopping trip so I had everything I needed.

The recipe I chose was Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Backpack Kisses.  You can find the recipe here.  This is a quick and easy recipe that does not require any baking…mix the wet ingredients with the dry, drop batter into tablespoon sized blobs, roll the blobs into balls, and then wrap the balls in tinfoil.  Easy-peasy!

 

These little guys are quite tasty and each kiss is 75 calories.  They keep in the fridge for 2 weeks and in the freezer for up to a month.  Hopefully now instead of grabbing a crap snack, I can grab a couple of these for a healthy snack instead.

I also picked up the ingredients needed to make some Cashew Chip Cookies.  I found this recipe at Ingredients of a Fit Chick blog.  This recipe had 3 ingredients that I had never used before: cashew nut butter, raw cacao nibs, and stevia.  The recipe said it made 8 cookies.  I doubled the recipe since firing up the oven for only 8 cookies seemed a bit much…plus 8 cookies is never enough cookies!  These cookies were very easy to make:  mix the ingredients, bake at 350 F for 12 minutes and you are good to go!  One thing that caught me off guard was how much oil/grease came out of these cookies as they baked.  It freaked me out a bit.  I didn’t know what to do, so I took the cookies out of the over, drained off some of the oil that came and then put them back into the oven for another minute or two.   Hopefully I didn’t ruin them by doing this….I don’t think i did, because when my sister and I did a taste test…they tasted pretty good!

 

Tomorrow I am getting back into training.  My next goal race is the Niagara Falls Half Marathon on October 21st.  That’s about 12 weeks away, so I need to get going if I’m going to be ready.  My schedule calls for 8km, but since I missed last week’s first run of 6km, I think I will ease into it and only do 6km tomorrow.  I don’t need to kill myself on my first run back!  I’m actually looking forward to getting back out there.  I’m hoping that running will help reduce some of the stress I’m feeling.  Fingers crossed!

Well, as usual, it is late, and I need to go to bed!

Hope you had a good Saturday.   

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The Friday Five

Another week is done (thank God!) and it’s time for the Friday Five!

 

1.  I gave myself the day off today.  After months of craziness at work, and an especially awful last 2 weeks, I was caught up enough to take a mental health day.  I slept in a bit, had a leisurely breakfast of Skinny Overnight Oats in a Jar, a cup of tea, and some Christian Grey. 

I did have to do a bit of work today, but it was so nice not to have to fight traffic.  I answered a few emails and dealt with a couple of things that came up with one of my projects, but overall, it was a pretty low-key workday!

2.  I treated myself to a pedicure today.  After running a few errands this afternoon, I stopped into a nail place in a plaza and got a pedicure.  It was a little treat to myself.  I just relaxed and read and my tootsies got a new summer colour.  I can’t believe that I am going to do this, but here is a pic of my new toes.

3.  Continuing in my “day of me”, I managed to take a nap today!  It was awesome.   Just before 4pm I hit the wall.  I was struggling to keep my eyes open, so decided to just give in and go lie down.  Shortly after, the kids got home from camp and after a brief chat about their day, they were onto their final prep for 2 weeks at the cottage.  Next thing I know, it is 5pm, hubs is home from work and it’s last minute chaos time as the boys pack up.

 


4.  I’m home alone this weekend.
  Rory and the boys are up at the cottage for the weekend.  I was originally supposed to go with them, but then I got Shingles and that was the end of that.  Rory’s dad has a pretty weak immune system due to some health issues, so rather than risk exposing him to the virus, I am staying home and just Rory is taking the boys up.  The kids are actually staying up at the cottage for the next two weeks.  This weekend they will stay with Rory and his parent at our (Rory’s parent’s) cottage, and then Sunday, the boys will move down the road and stay with the cousins for the week.  This has become a bit of a summer tradition.  We have our summer holidays at the cottage every year the week after the Civic Holiday long weekend.  The boys get a head start on that week by spending the week before that with their cousins.    I am so jealous of the boys…I would kill for 2 straight weeks at the cottage.  You can’t help but relax when this is your view:

 
5.  I have no idea what I’m going to do with myself this weekend!  I don’t remember the last time that I had a weekend alone.  I have no plans and big plans at the same time.  I want to get organized for getting back on track with my clean eating.  I need to spend some quality time with my cookbooks and magazines and plan out my meals for the week.  Once those are planned, I need to hit the grocery store for supplies to cook those clean meals.  I’m also hoping to maybe do some scrapbooking, since I haven’t done any in forever and I am getting further and further behind.  I also need to go for a run.  My official half marathon schedule, designed by Jack Rabbit Kathy, started last Sunday, but I haven’t done any runs yet, as I’ve been trying to take it easy because of the Shingles.  I think I will be okay.  The schedule calls for 8km on Sunday.  I think I will do last week’s 6km instead, since I pretty much haven’t run since my half in May.  I’m a bit nervous, but also excited to get back out there.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

 

Well, that’s five!  I’m about to make some popcorn and watch a movie.

I hope your Friday was a good one and that you have a great weekend.  Got any big plans?  

 

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The Bump Came Back, It Couldn’t Stay Away

Today is the start of my weekend!  After a horrendous couple of weeks, I’ve gotten myself caught up at work and I’m going to take a sick day tomorrow to try to get some rest.  I do have a couple of emails to send off tomorrow and likely a few things to approve for a few studies, but I’m going to be doing that from home instead of in the office.  Working from home will allow me to sleep in a bit, skip the 1 hour drive each way, and hopefully squeeze in a nap at some point in the day!


So, yesterday I mentioned that the bump on my head burst on my drive home from work.  It was freaky.  On directions from my doctor, when I got home I squeezed as much as I could out of the cyst .  I actually got enough goo out of it, that the bump was gone, and it was flat with a little divot.  It was totally weird not to have a bump…it had been there for as long as I can remember.

Well, today I woke up and guess what…just like the cat, the bump came back, it couldn’t stay away!  Whatever it is that is filling it up, is still working away under the surface.  I guess I will have to see what the dermatologist says when I see them for the appointment.

After work today I had a massage.  I was so looking forward to this massage. Normally it is because my legs need the relief from running. Today, I was looking forward to it purely for the relaxation side of it.  It was the best hour of my day!  While I was there, I was talking with my massage therapist about my last few weeks and how run down I am.  She is really into naturopathic remedies and suggested that I get a few things to help get myself back on track.  So, after my massage I was off to the health food store and $100 later, this is what I had:


Quite the little collection of supplements.

The GSF Complex is for adrenal support.  I used to take this a couple of summers ago when I was seeing a homeopath and mentioned I was having trouble sleeping.  I would be able to fall asleep, but not stay asleep.  I would wake up and then my mind would start going a hundred miles and hour and I wouldn’t fall back asleep.  Once I started taking the GSF I slept like a baby.  Hopefully taking it again will help me get a better night’s sleep and not be so exhausted.

The CoolB50 is a Vitamin B supplement.  This was supposed to be good for me since I am so stressed.  According to the product’s website, “Supplementing with B vitamins is often recommended for people exposed to high levels of stress, people with very active lifestyles, women addressing hormonal issues, and seniors.”  The stressed and active are definitely me!

The Calm is a magnesium supplement.  Magnesium is needed for our nerves and muscle cells.  According to the product website, there are many factors that will vary our magnesium needs.

  • The more stress you are under, the more magnesium you need.
  • The more you use your brain in thinking, the more magnesium you use.
  • The more active you are the more magnesium you use up.
  • The larger frame you are, they more magnesium you require.
  • Prescription drugs (and illegal drugs) and alcohol require extra magnesium
  • Your bones are 2:1 calcium/magnesium ratio while your brain is more like 2:1 Mg:Ca
  • Magnesium is depleted by caffeine, alcohol, sugar, processed foods, perspiration, stress, too much calcium
  • Magnesium is depleted every 12 hours from the body and should be replenished daily

Hopefully the addition of these three things into my routine will help my system sort itself out and prevent another Shingles flare up.  Here’s hoping! My half marathon training is about to kick into high gear, so I need to be 100% again…soon!

Do you take supplements?  Do you think they help, or are they just hype?

 

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Kaboom!

Today was a pretty good day.  I got lots done at work and I’m getting closer to crossing off all the things on my to-do list for the week.   I even managed to get out of the office just before 5pm.  An 8 hour day was a bit of a novelty, since lately they have been closer to 10 or 11 hours.

You may remember my post from last week where I mentioned the bump on my head and how it started to leak just a little bit. I saw my doctor, who said it was a sebaceous cyst and referred me to a dermatologist.  I haven’t yet been told when that appointment will be.  It might be a little different appointment now.

On my drive home, traffic was okay…slow since it was rush hour, but managing to crawl along.  I’m minding my own business, singing along to the great tunes on Q107, crawling along in traffic, when Kaboom!  My head literally explodes!  Yes, I said explode!  I have no idea what caused it, but my bump popped and some nasty, and I mean NASTY, stuff came out of it.  It was the strangest feeling.  I guess the pressure just go to be too much and my scalp could no longer contain it.  Insane!

When I got home I finally got a chance to look at it.  It actually didn’t look too bad and I couldn’t really see where the goo was coming from.  But, I did what my doctor told me to do and squeezed as much as I could out of it.  So, my bump is now a divot!  It feels so weird.  I’ve had that bump for ever…and now it’s gone.  That will take some getting used to.

I was actually home in time to cook dinner tonight.  I was excited to try the Clean Eating Roasted Fennel recipe, but it didn’t happen.  I was gathering all the ingredients together, but most of the veggies were frozen.  Man, I just can’t catch a break on my attempt to get back on track with my eating.  Needless to say, the roasted fennel didn’t happen. Instead we had perogies. Not so clean, but they were quite yummy!  At least I cooked…it feels like forever since I did that!

I need to get my self back on track with my eating and exercise. Hopefully this weekend I will be able to get to a plan put together.  It’s now or never…I’m running out of time.

Do you have any tips for getting back on track?

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Totally Random Tuesday

Well, it’s Tuesday.  Today’s random topics are golf (okay, not so random) and Shingles.

My Shingles comments will be short and to the point.  Shingles suck!  They are itchy, ugly, and I’m tired of them.  Hopefully they are almost done.

Tuesday is my golf league night.

Today, I played my first round Match Play game against Michelle, a fellow EWGA member.  I had been looking forward to this match, that is, until I learned we were playing the back 9 today.  I hate the back 9.  It starts with the toughest hole on the course.  Check out the scorecard to see what I mean.  There are two horrendous carries and it is just a brutal hole.  It messes with me mentally every time I play it.  Today was no different.  I started with a 9.  UGH!!!

After that, as is usual for my game, there was some good, some bad and some ugly!  In the end, I shot a 59 (my worst score so far this year), but given the way that match play works, I actually won the match based on the hole by hole competition.  I won 4 holes, Michelle won 2 and we tied 3.  Michelle is a better golfer than I am, so had to give me 5 strokes, 1 stroke each on the 5 toughest holes on the back.  This means that on these holes, I got to deduct one stroke from my score on that hole.  For 2 of the holes that I won, that stroke made a difference, giving me the win for that hole.

The win puts me to the winners side of the bracket.  My next match will be against Carol, another player who also won her first match.  Carol is also a better golfer than I am, so once again, she will have to give me a few strokes.  Hopefully I play better during that match than I did tonight!

Tonight’s match was also quite slow.  This meant that I didn’t get off the course in time to make my ball hockey game.  I was disappointed to miss it, and I heard after that we had a very short bench and lost quite badly, but missing it was probably a good thing for me Shingles-wise. I am not very good at resting, so missing the game was probably a blessing in disguise for me.

Speaking of resting…I better get my tired self to bed.  The weather has finally cooled off a bit and we were able to turn off the AC and open the windows.  Nothing beats sleeping with the windows open.  Night all!

Hope your Tuesday was Totally Random! 

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We’re Back, Baby!!!

Today was another insanely busy day at work.  In at 8am, out after 6pm, lunch at my desk.  Seems to be the norm these days.  It was a very productive day and I think I might be gaining the upper hand on my to do list.

Over my lunch of delicious, less-than-clean pizza, I dug my Torch out of its bag of rice, and gave Bell a call to see about turning it back on.  After dealing with Dude on the phone, reactivating the SIM card, turning it back on and making a test call….we have connection!  Wohoo!  Despite previous Bell Dude saying Torch’s do not come back from dunks in water, I am back online!  It’s a beautiful sight…and not just because of the Bon Jovi wallpaper!

I have heard that sometimes phones are not quite the same when they come back from a swim.  I guess the connections get a bit corroded as things dry out and the corrosion can cause things to get a bit iffy.  I really just want it to last until the new iPhone comes out.  Latest rumours are that it will be out in October or early November.  I’ve got faith in my Torch that it can make it that long!

My training program for my October half marathon officially started yesterday…and needless to say, I did not run.  I’m not sure running is a good idea just yet as I keep being told that I should be resting and letting my body recover a bit.  I will likely take the week off, but I really hope to get out there and run on the weekend.  I will have to do some research and see what they say about exercising with Shingles.  Hopefully it won’t be too bad for me because I really think that running is what I need to help reduce some of this stress.  I can’t believe I am saying this.  I have a very strange relationship with running.  Usually I hate it, but this time I think I might actually like it. Here’s hoping!

Do you have a love-hate relationship with running?  Any tips on how I can be more on the “love” side of that equation?

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Reunion Weekend Round-Up

The weekend Rory, the kids and I headed down to St. Mary’s area for my 20th reunion with my Teacher’s College girlfriends.  Way back in 1992, we all graduated from Nipissing University Teacher’s College.  We actually all met each other the year before during our Orientation to Teaching Year.  This was a program that we took during out last year of undergrad that had a course in education and also required a number of us to take a calculus course to fulfil a math requirement that number of us needed.  It was in that calculus class that we really bonded.  Nothing like integrals and derivatives to bring a bunch of girls together!

Anyways, back to the weekend.  Friday after work, we loaded up the truck to the roof with luggage, the tent, sleeping bags, air mattresses, a cooler full of beer and food, and other supplies for the weekend.  After a stop along the way, to drop off cousin Thomas who was visiting for a few days, we were off to our final destination.

We arrived at Tina and Graham’s, our hosts for the weekend, around 8:30pm. The rest of the gang was already there.  It was so nice to see everyone again.  After a round of hugs and hello’s, we unpacked the car and Rory and the boys put up our tent…our home away from home for the weekend.

After getting the tent set up, it was time for a bonfire and some beers!  After the week I had, this weekend with friends was exactly what I needed to get away from things for a few days.  From the time we pulled out of the driveway Friday, I was able to forget about work, and all the insanity that goes along with it.  It was perfect.  We had lots of laughs, roasted marshmallows and made spider dogs on he bonfire, before turning in for our first night of “camping”.

After a pancake breakfast Saturday morning, Tina had organized a “Minute to Win It” competition.  Everyone brought supplies for a few games, we were divided into teams and then the fun ensued!  We played lots of silly games, had lots of laughs, and in the end one team beat the other by a single point.  The score didn’t really matter.  All that mattered that everyone was involved and we had a great time.  Here are a few pics of the various games.

After Minute to Win It and lunch, we were off to the quarry in St Mary’s for an afternoon of swimming.  The kids loved swimming in the quarry and spent quite a few hours in and out of the water.  They followed that up with some beach volleyball  and one final dip in the quarry.  All in all, it was a great afternoon of fun.  I took a pass on the swimming due to the shingles (which sucks, HUGE, by the way).

After the quarry it was back to home base for a few drinks, some food and more good times.  The boys had a blast taking turns driving the Gator around the yard.  The both think that we need one of these for around the house.  They are nuts!

It was such a great weekend.  We laughed a lot, ate way too much, enjoyed being together again and are looking forward to doing it again, hopefully soon.

A little tradition that we started the last time we got together was to get a picture of all the kids on the stairs at the house.  They are all getting bigger, but they are still a pretty cute bunch of kids.

 

The teacher girls also pose for a group shot:

The girls: Tina, Melissa, Sheila, Me, Laura, Joan, and Dana

We did a full group shot that included the teachers, spouses and kids, but I didn’t get one on my camera.  Melissa had a camera with a remote control, so she was in charge of the group shot.  Hopefully I get a copy of that from her soon!

The girls don’t get together all that often – the last time we did this was about 4 years ago – but when we get together, it’s like it was just yesterday.  It was so great to see everyone again, and I am already looking forward to the next time we all get together, whenever that may be.

Changing gears a bit, today was supposed to be the first day of my new training schedule for my October half marathon.  I did not run today, but will try to get out there some time this week.  I am not sure running will be such a good idea since I am supposed to be resting and trying to de-stress with these stupid Shingles.  So far, they aren’t too bad.  I’m hoping that I caught them early enough and got onto the anti-viral meds quickly enough that they won’t get too bad.  I’m just not sure if I should push my luck and run.  I’ll see how I feel in a few days and decide then.  Hopefully I will be good to go.  I actually WANT to get out there and run!

I hope you all had a good weekend.   Here’s hoping this week goes by quickly and smoothly….I don’t really need any extra stresses this week!  

Cheers!

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