Thursday, July 30, 2015

Runners Questionnaire

So as these questionnaires tend to make their way around the blogosphere, I found this one over at Living Mint Green, and thought, that looks fun.

1. Would you rather run along a beach path or along a mountain trail?

This is a tough question, because in my mind, beaches are for sand and sun and swimming. And a mountain trail, well that's hiking not running right? (and I know, you can trail run, but I'd rather take it slower and take it all in). But I do love running alongside water, particularly fresh water. Here in Calgary I mostly run on the river paths. The photo above shows the water front in my home town, Sault Ste. Marie, where I ran a 10 km last summer, alongside the shores of the St. Mary's River.

2. If you could choose the flavour of Gatorade at your next race’s aid station, what would it be?

Water, the flavour I prefer is water. In fact I steer clear of sports drinks in general. As for the most part our bodies are actually incredible at maintaining hydration through quite a lot of exercise. If you're interested, CBC Marketplace did a great evaluation of sports drinks and the 'need' for them last year. (read about it here) And found that generally your kidneys are great, and although you might lose water volume, your blood electrolytes and glucose don't change at all during about an hour of heavy exercise. In fact they found in an elite cyclist, it took over two hours of intense cycling before there was a measurable drop in electrolytes or glucose. Add to that the fact that most sports drinks have more sugar than soda and more salt than french fries and no thanks! So if I'm running 15 km or less, it's just water for me, thank you very much. And when I've done my two half-marathons? I grabbed a half banana from the halfway point aid station.

3. If I gave you a $100 gift card to a running store, what would be the first thing that you would purchase with it?

I'd take it to Lululemon for sure.... even though I clearly don't need anything else from there.

4. Do you prefer to follow a training plan or wake up and then decide how far and fast you want to run?

I wish I could sit down and follow a training plan, but I haven't managed to commit seriously to one yet. So I am for sure more of a just go out and run kind of runner.

5. Would you rather start your run with an uphill and end on the downhill or start your run with a downhill and end with an uphill?

I usually prefer the uphill to be in the middle of my run, if it's right at the beginning, I may not be warmed up enough, and I may push too hard, and then the rest of the run goes to crap. If it's at the very end I just want to cry. So the middle is very good.

Here I am smiling despite have just trudged up the hill behind me on km 9 of a 10 km run.

6. When you can’t run, what kind of cross-training do you do?

Yoga. I have flirted with kickboxing/martial arts in the past as well. And what ever workouts Kevin puts me through at the gym, which usually leave my body feeling like jello the next day.

7. What is your preference – out and back, point to point or loop runs?

Loop runs for sure, and the running paths along the rivers here and Calgary are perfect for this. Run down one side, cross on one of many pedestrian bridges. Run back along the other side. It's almost like a there and back, but the paths are different on either side.

8. If you could recommend ANY running related item to a new runner, it would be…?

Oh my Body Wallet from The Running Room for sure. It's simple. there's no velcro to fiddle with, it stays in place and it doesn't get too sweaty and gross. I hate having things on me when I run, and usually never bring a phone or ipod. But just before my first half, I new I wanted to run with music, and with a 10 min/1 min timer, so I needed something to keep my ipod on me. And this is the perfect simple solution. Plus just throw it in the wash after a race!

9. Do you ever see wild animals while out for a run?

Of course, Alberta's dog-sized jack rabbits are everywhere in this city.

10. Ever gotten lost while out on a run? 

Not a chance.... no picture for this one either.

11. If you could have one meal ready and waiting for you each time you got home for a run for the next 30 days, what would that be?

Oh a smoothie bowl for sure, with some added protein and tones of granola on top!

12. Capris or shorts…what do you run in most often?

I do wear my shorts to run quite a bit....even tho I have to admit, I do get chafing between my you know that's fun.

13. At what mile (or how many minutes) into your run does your body start feeling like it’s warmed up and ready to go?

Once I get past the first 2 km, I get into a grove. Sometimes that first km makes my body cry out with "you could be sitting on a couch! why are you doing this crazy thing." You just have to get past that, then it feels great.

Yeah this picture has nothing to do with this question, but I'd rather sit there than on any couch, no matter how comfortable.

14. What do you do with your key when you run?

Sometimes in my pony tail, sometimes in my bra, sometimes in a pocket... but only if I know I can trust that pocket.

For instance, I one trusted this pocket to my two keys, and it took then about 2 km to wear a hole in the mesh and fall out. Which I didn't notice but luckily I was running on a busy path and a nice lady grabbed them and stopped me.

15. If you could relive any race you’ve done in the past, which would it be?

Maybe color me rad... because it's only 5 km, and all just for fun, and you can drink in the beer garden before and after your race, and then throw coloured powder at people, and have purple snot, and there was a band too. So maybe next summer, especially if I can get Kevin to do it with me.

Besides, I already have the fanny pack.         

That's all for now folks! Happy Thursday, the weekend is so close now!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Hi blog, it's been a while.....cause you know, YouTube

Yeah, I know..... I haven't been posting lately. And I guess I have a couple of reasons for that.

1) Writer's block... too many ideas, never enough time.

This is a type of writer's block that I seem to get. And I'm not sure I realized it until I saw a vlog in which another blogger talked about it.

This is when you have a great idea for a specific blog post or project, one that will require some time and effort. And you end up so focused on that idea, that you just can't seem to write anything else until you deal with it.

Unfortunately sometime's those ideas don't pan out, or sometimes the full weekend day required to devote to the project just doesn't seem to come around. I mean let's admit it, life is super busy.

So I've been a bit idea blocked. I've got things in the works, and for a while, I've been so hung up on the need to execute them, that I've neglected to write the simple, easy posts.

2) The Tour De France.

Ok, so let's be honest, the this is all I've watched/seen/cared about the Tour.... this year or any year. Those crazy switchbacks are the final climb, and considering how hard of a time I have riding my bike up the hill to Foothills Hospital on my way into work in the morning. When I saw this picture on facebook the other day my jaw dropped.

So, if I care so little about the Tour de France, why has it been getting in the way of me writing a blog post? Well there's this little thing in the fibre community called the Tour De Fleece. The idea here is to get out your spindles and spinning wheels and spin every day that the tour rides. And so I've been putting all of my extra time in the evenings into spinning more than usual. So I haven't been reading blogs. And reading blogs is one of the things that puts the most fire under my ass to make me write in my blog.

3. YouTube.

And not just watching it!

That's right people, I took the plunge and started posting videos to YouTube with a vengeance.

So I have been a major fan of YouTube for the last year, driven in part by the fact that I gave up cable TV about a year ago, and instead invested in an HDMI cable to connect my laptop to my TV. But also by the quality and quantity of content available, all for free. I mean 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute. It's just pure probability that some of it has to be great to watch. But the creators behind some of YouTube's greatest channels (I mean , the Holy Trinity of Grace, Mamrie and Hannah, along with a pair of Greens, you've got yourself a full house there alone).

In addition, a number of great bloggers have gone vlogger. And from my point of view, why not, bigger audiences (More than 1 billion people watch YouTube) and lets face it, people are lazy, why read when you can watch? (OK I still like reading, but I can't really knit while I read blogs...or not nearly as fast). So I have to admit, a few times in the past I've sat down and tried to film a vlog... only to delete it without showing it to anyone.

But then I discovered Knitting Podcasts, these fearless women (and some men too) were sitting down in front of their lap tops, all around the world and talking, unedited, into  their cameras, sharing their knitting progress, and stories from their lives. And thousands of people were tuning in. Thousands!

So I thought to myself, well I have a moderately functional camera. I have a tripod. And I have access to student pricing on Adobe Creative Cloud (which incidentally I do in fact use for editing figures for work) and so I have all the power of Premier Pro at my disposal, and the will to use it. In addition, I've watched enough youtube to have ideas about how I would want to edit and create videos. Finally, here in the world of yarn, is something I am comfortable enough to talk into the camera about.

So I've been  filming a spinning vlog each day of the Tour De Fleece, and am now in the process of editing and uploading everything. So if you have any interest in taking a gander, you can watch the video above.

Which brings me back around to.....

4. Writer's block.... for video creation.

Because holy crap YouTube is addictive, you get the ball rolling. You post a couple videos, people start watching them. You get some likes,  you watch you subscribers start to go up, and you just see the potential for more. You begin to carry around a notebook for all of the many ideas for videos you could make. And suddenly you run the risk of being so full of ideas that you actually fail to create them.

But so far I've still been filming, and some of what I've filmed so far is intending for right here on this blog!  So get ready to see some great content here in the very near future.

So you can subscribe to my channel to see these video as soon as they are uploaded.

Or (much life with my separate blog for yarn stuffs) you can subscribe to my yarn lab channel for everything fibre related.