Monthly Archives: April 2010

Flashback Friday: Paris In The Summer

Last week I shared some pictures of my trip with PB (my boyfriend) to London, check them out here. Now I want to share the second leg of our trip. PB said that if we were going to go to Europe we should go for longer than a week and we should go to Paris during that second week, who was I to say no?

Here are some of our pictures! There are a lot, and I must say that it is really hard deciding what pictures to share. I love them all but if I shared them all that would be one insane post.

We stayed no where near to what is considered the must see areas of Paris so we used the Metro to get to where we wanted. I thought it was so easy to navigate and get to where we needed at a reasonable price. On our first day we got off the Metro and got to street level and saw this…

Well hello Opera house! I tried to get pictures from the sidewalk and then decided that I had to get to the little island in the middle of the road to get the good picture.

We did a lot on our second day in Paris. (Our first day was spent figuring out where we were and where to get food and sleeping.) Here are some pictures I took of artwork from the Musee d’Orsay.

This was one of our favourite paintings, we couldn’t stop staring at it. PB is very much in to art and painting so he told me a lot about what we saw. It was great to have my own art history teacher with me to fill me in.

Next we walked over to the Rodin Museum to spend some time walking in the garden and to our delight The Thinker was actually there. We had heard that sometimes The Thinker wasn’t there so we weren’t sure what to expect.

Of course many pictures like this were taken.

We had a nice walk around the garden. Everything was so beautiful! This trip made me fall in love with taking pictures of flowers.

Of course when I saw The Gates of Hell I got so excited, Dante’s Inferno was one of my favourite reads during my time at university and to this day I revisit it about once a year. “Abandon hope all ye who enter here.”

Our travels took to Le Champs Elysees where we walked and walked and walked to get up to the Arc de Triomphe.

Once we got to our destination I am not going to lie and tell you that we found the underground tunnels quickly. They were all blocked by tourists like us and we had a hard time finding them. Our approach to traveling was we read a little but just decided to figure it all out on a whim so we were unaware of certain things.

Next up….The Eiffel Tower, and do I have a story for you.

Of course we waited in a line that was beyond huge and sadly we were not able to get up as high as we wanted because it was full after waiting for about 2 hours. We were more than fine with that because that little snag in our plan did not compare to the fact that I fainted under the Eiffel Tower. Yes you read that right, I fainted. I was not well hydrated and I probably hadn’t eaten enough, and it was SO hot out. Apparently I just went down and smacked into the guy who was in front of us. Here’s the great thing though, everyone in line who was near by was amazing. The guy I fell into helped PB relax and take care of me, and there was also a couple from Turkey who ran over with sweets to help me feel better. Everyone was amazing, and I felt so silly. From that moment on we always had fruit and crazy amounts of water with us (we always had water with us, I had run out and wasn’t about to spend almost $7 Canadian for water, now that I think about it spending that much wouldn’t have been a big deal).

Now the fact that I fainted under the Eiffel Tower is just something we laugh about, in addition to ensuring I have enough water. I might have been dehydrated, but I could still take pictures!

After all that adventure we hopped on the Metro and went out to Versailles to see the Palace.

This was a hot hot hot day and we came prepared with lots of water!

I could have spent all day walking around here, it was so beautiful and there were so many amazing sculptures and flowers. I bet I hardly saw everything, but what I did see was beautiful.

Our next full day adventure was at the Louvre. We spent all day there and I still left feeling like I hadn’t seen everything I really wanted to see. Here are some of the beauties we did see though.

The back of the Venus de Milo turned out to be one of my favourite shots that day. No one was really crowding the back so I got to spend a lot of time there without people trying to get in front of me.

We got into the room with the Mona Lisa but we couldn’t get more than half way into the room so I had to work my zoom and standing on my tip toes to get this shot.

Amor et Psyche by Canova was breathtaking! We kept coming back to get more pictures. I saw this sculpture and fell in love with it.

And so ends our trip back to Paris, I hope you enjoyed our pictures! I must say that this has to be one of my favourite trips ever and I cannot wait until PB and I save some more money and find another place to visit.

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In other news, PB and I went out for a run yesterday because it was so pretty and warm out. Of course this was his first run outside in quite awhile. I was all ready to run about 3-4 miles when he turns to me and says “I want to run 6 miles, that sound good?” I was ok with it, I was just hoping that any nagging injuries he had wouldn’t stop him from feeling good on the run. Turns out they didn’t really, we ran a lot and walked a little and stretched some. We ran strong and had an amazing time.

I love running by myself, but sometimes I love running with PB because he pushes me just that little bit more than I would if I were running alone. Of course what I love even more is that if I want to run slower than he is he doesn’t make me feel like I need to run at his speed and sometimes he tells me that he was happy I wanted to run slower because that was how he was feeling and he didn’t want to say it. How cute?!

I am currently enjoying my 4 days off before I go back for second semester (well day 1 is over, and we are right in the middle, well closer to the end, of day 2). Tomorrow I am going shopping for some professional clothes for my placement and for something else that might come my way (*knock on wood*). I’ll let you know as soon as I know!

Happy Traveling and Happy Running!

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You Coming For A Run?

I am currently studying for my accounting exam that is tomorrow afternoon. In addition to this I am trying not to stress out about it too much.

In an attempt to make me laugh this afternoon PB (this is how I am going to refer to my boyfriend from now on because…well writing out my boyfriend or the boyfriend every time is too long) sent me this video and simply said, “the part about the Canadian makes me think of you”. I had no clue what he was talking about, so I watched it and I laughed so hard because it is SO me.

Go to 1:53 to find out what PB thinks of me…

I am going to continue to study for my accounting exam and do the practice questions until I cannot look at this stuff anymore. I might have The Biggest Loser on too, maybe.

Happy Running!

Overcome

Have you ever felt like you might have peaked in your running at the very beginning and then everything after that has just been mediocre?

Well that is how I used to feel. Within just over a year of running I was running 5ks with an average pace under an 8 minute mile, I ran my first two half marathons in 1:51:33 and 1:56:33. At the same time I was never running under 5 miles at a time, sometimes I ran twice a day to total 10 miles; in addition to that I was running 6 days a week and burning myself out and developing plantar fasciitis. I even got to the point where after a race in September 2007 I had to stop running and stick to biking and strength training from October to sometime in the spring/summer of 2008. When I started running again I still was not better and I remember going out for a 6 mile run on a route that I know and love and was in so much pain and I just couldn’t get out of my head with the negative self talk. Later that month I attempted running 8 miles out the same way, I don’t remember the run actually being that bad, but I remember getting to one of the hills at the end and just thinking I was giving up because I walked up it. I wish I could go back in time to that girl that “It is 100% ok to walk up a hill if you are tired, maybe you should have taken a walk break earlier to avoid feeling defeated at the end of your run.”

This is maybe how I felt back then. Pained.

Looking back on my Buckeye Outdoors training log I have realized that I was trying to keep up with the running I was doing before I was injured.  I thought that I could still do the same milage and not feel pain or aggravate my injury. Who was I trying to impress? By the end of July 2008 I was back to biking, using the elliptical and doing strength training. I was not letting myself heal fully, silly me!

I started running again at the end of September 2008, but I wouldn’t let myself just stick to running I had to promise myself that I would bike and strength train and stretch more than run. That worked because I think I was just happy to be running, even if it was just once or twice a week. Since then everything has been going great with my running (*knock on wood*).

So why did I tell you all of this?

I did so to fill you guys in on some things before I told you about yesterday’s 6 mile run. I was sitting around just waiting for my tea to settle so I could head out for a run and I got this idea in my head to run the route that had defeated me in the past. I made a plan, I checked out where the 2 mile marker was so if I wanted to turn around make it a 4 mile run I could. Of course I know where there 3 mile mark is and it was my goal to run out to that point and turn around and finish the 6 mile run.

My boyfriend isn’t the biggest fan of this route because the whole way out is slightly uphill, just so so that you can tell. Oddly enough this is not what gets to me because once I get to the turn around point I am so happy to be going back the other way that I forget what it was like on the way out.

I listened to The Power of Madonna by the Glee cast both out and back, and it rocked! I was just zooming along and when I got to the first hill on the way back, the one that had made me feel so defeated in the past, I just booked my butt up it, until one of those little May flies flew in my mouth, then I had to stop and cough a little. At that point I just laughed and started running again. There is one more hill after that and I just turned up the music and booked it up the sucker! I felt so strong and I really felt like I had overcome the feelings from almost 2 years ago. When I got to the point where I know it’s 0.4 miles to my house I started to pick up the pace and when I was just 2 blocks from home I started to sprint! I must say I felt so powerful, like I could do anything.

I ran happy!

Over these past few months I have really started to see myself improve in my running again. I have also been listening to my body and if it wants to go slow we go slow and if it wants to go fast we go fast. Also if it wants a rest day from all kinds of exercise it gets it. I now know the importance of listening to my body. I think if I had listened to my body back in 2007 and 2008 I would have been happier and I might have never hurt myself.

So what is the moral of my story? Always listen to your body! I am never ignoring what my body is trying to tell me ever again!

Question: Have you ever pushed yourself just a little too much only to find yourself injured after? Clearly I have…but it will never happen again!

Happy Running!

Pre-Running Fuel

I had a delicious breakfast this morning! Yummy Oats in a Jar! To be more precise it was in a Peanut Butter & Co. White Chocolate Wonderful jar, and it was delicious!

Yummy!

In The Jar:

1/4c Oats

1/4c Oat Bran

1/2c Water and 1/2c Skim Milk

1/2 of a Banana

Directions: Put it all together in a pot and put the pot on the stove and use a medium heat, stirring occasionally until the oats are to your liking.

I think it I am ready for a run now! The sun is shining and the sky is the brightest of blues. I have also updated my music to include the songs from The Power of Madonna Glee episode!

Happy Running!

Flashback Friday: London Calling

I love reading bloggers’ Flashback Friday posts, Janetha over at Meals and Moves has a great one up right now called What A Difference A Year Can Make as does Susan over at The Great Balancing Act, it’s called One Year As A University Grad. Go check them out!

Here’s my flashback…to London, England we go!

In July of 2009 I went to London, England with my boyfriend. We planned the trip starting in mid April because we wanted to do something different, we wanted to see new things go somewhere on vacation rather than just stay home, like we always did. Enjoy our pictures!

We spent a lot of time at Buckingham Palace because it was only a 10 minute walk from our hostel.

I’m not going to lie a lot of our pictures are from around here because we just loved the area so much!

We were around Buckingham palace morning, noon and night. I think we were here so much because it was a place that we passed on our way to and from everywhere we went.

We had a lot of fun in Trafalgar Square trying to take pictures on top of the lion statues. Turns out when you are wearing a summer dress it is hard to get up on a loin statue with grace, my boyfriend couldn’t do it either. We were envious of the kids! We also went to the Royal Museum that is nearby.

We walked everywhere, we actually brought our running shoes and clothes but, sadly, never ran. WOW right?!? I think after walking around all day, at least 10 miles a day, we were so tired we just wanted to sleep. We really wanted to run, next time, right?! Here we are at Piccadilly Circus.

Again at Buckingham Palace for the Changing of the Guard. I was squished right up against the fence so I got a lot of good pictures. That day they played “All You Need Is Love” by the Beatles. After this we went to wait in a long line to get into the State Room Tour in Buckingham Palace. It was SO pretty inside! It was so convenient that we were in London at the time we were because it had just opened.

We also spent some time in Hyde Park taking pictures of flowers and making our way over to Kensington Gardens.

Beautiful! I am in love with this picture!

After finally making it to Kensington Gardens my boyfriend decided that he was going to be an awesome photographer and play with the light.

Big Ben! While we were in London we kept repeating lines from the Friends episodes when they went to London for Ross’ wedding. “In London!”

We did the bridges walk, starting at Tower Bridge and walking all the way down and finally stopping by Big Ben due to the fact that it was very late. When we got to The Globe Theater I started to get so excited! We sat on the bridge and took pictures and ate Shakespeare head cookies and talked about Hamlet (it is my favourite play!).

Here I am on the Millennium Bridge. All we could think about was the scene in the Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince movie where they use this bridge at the beginning. I won’t say what happens just in case someone hasn’t seen the movie yet.

My skills at taking photos of us improved greatly over the two weeks we were away.

Our final destination at the end of our bridges walk! The next day we hopped on the Chunnel and headed over to Paris, France for another week.

The next time I go to London I am going to run along the Thames, and I am going to do it often because now I have seen tons and could probably carve out some time to actually go running while in London. I hope you liked the pictures! Coming later on another Flashback Friday post…Paris!

Happy Travels and Happy Running!

The Music

I just wanted to share with you the music I have been listening to on my runs lately! I love hearing what other people are listening to during their workouts and I also love sharing because I might be listening to something that you would have never thought to listen to.

Here is what has been on my Pink Shuffle lately:

All I Do Is Win – DJ Khaled (ft. T-Pain, Ludacris & Snoop Dog)

Winner – Jamie Foxx (ft. Justin Timberlake & T.I)

Not Myself Tonight – Christina Aguilera

Machine Head – Bush

The Music – David Usher

Kill The Lights – David Usher

Freakum Dress – Beyonce

Wake Up And Say Goodbye – David Usher

Just Dance – Lady GaGa

The River – David Usher

Ring The Alarm – Beyonce

And So We Run – David Usher

We Are Wolves Here – David Usher

Devil By My Side – David Usher (a great song to cool down to)

We love listening to music on our runs!

In addition to listening to music that motivates me I also listen to podcasts when I run. A few weeks ago I was introduced to a new podcast, Runlikehealth, and I love it!! Jake just ran the 114th Boston Marathon and his recent podcast, episode 5, is an amazing recap of his race with a little extra because he adds the cheering from the race into the background of his recap.

I am off to enjoy this beautiful day and relax and read The Perfect Mile and eventually I will study for my the last two test I have coming up next week.

Question: What songs have been motivating you lately? Do you listen to podcast when you workout? Any suggestions?

Happy Running!

A Girl Like Me

Today Rihanna is speaking to me, here is what she has to say…

“A girl like me is just a little different from the rest, and a girl like me is never gonna settle for second best.”

So let me fill you in on some facts:

I have a degree in English Literature from the University of Ottawa. After graduating in the spring of 2007 I started a part-time sales job at a Canadian bookstore. I didn’t know what to do after graduation so this was fine at the time. By late summer/early fall I was the head cashier, and then a few months later I was an assistant manager.

I love William Shakespeare!

I always planned on going back to school, most likely college, to do something that I knew would get me the skills I needed to get a job in the field I was/am interested in. This didn’t happen right away due to loyalty to the company and a little bit of comfort with having a job that I didn’t hate.

I got to be Professor Trelawney for the Happry Potter 7 book release!

After going on a two week vacation to London and Paris (a Flashback Friday will happen soon!) I returned to my job and I just wasn’t feeling it anymore. I love literature, I love reading, I love talking about books with people, BUT it just wasn’t the same anymore. I was stuck!

Hmmm...what should I do?

One night at the end of August I decided that it was time to go back to school. There wasn’t going to be anymore of this  “well I’m not going to go back this year, but maybe next year” crap. I was done with settling. That night I applied to the local college for a two year program (it’s more like 16 months the way I am doing it, phew!).

I was accepted in October 2009, and in January 2010 I went back to school. I am taking the Office Administration Medical and Legal program and I am very excited about this. After graduating I hope to work in Public Health (where I have my placement during May-June every Friday), with the Government, in a hospital (something like what my Dad’s office administrator does, I love her job!), or one of the many other options I will have.

So what does this have to do with the lyrics above?  I was thinking about how people might see my program as easy, and let me tell you I saw this program as being something that was going to be super easy that I could just breeze through. Instead I have decided to take the approach that has me seeing program as something that is very important when it comes to me getting the career I crave, because I know it is.

Early in the semester I realized that if you show your teachers that you are there to learn and show them respect then they will give you all the respect in the world. I am not going to just put myself on cruise control and just get through the day, I am going to school and working hard to learn everything I can so I can take everything I learn into a job that I am interested in.

I am really looking forward to semesters 3 and 4 (Fall and Winter) because that is when we start getting to all the medical and legal classes and I get to learn really cool things.

So what have I learned from all of this? Well I have learned that I deserve to do what I see as exciting and I deserve to strive towards a career that I know I will find fulfilling. I work hard every day and I know what I want, “a girl like me is never gonna settle for second best.”

Why did I decide to write about what I have done recently to change the path I was on? Well I was running this morning and these were the only thoughts going on in my head. I kept thinking about how a year ago I was on a completely different path than I am now and I wanted to share this excitement with you!

Happy Running!