Wednesday, 31 August 2016

DIY Agility Ladder

So I have been looking to upgrade my home gym with some new stuff to perhaps spike more interest in my non-bootcamp, non-running workouts.  So I was very excited when I saw an agility ladder on the buy n sell page on Facebook for $15 and was able to pick it up for myself.  However, that excitement was short lived.
I got it home and opened up and was so disappointed when I saw how short it was. I would have to go around 2 or 3x to count as one rep hahaha.  I went to Sportchek and saw they sold agility ladders for $80 which was way too much for this girl so I decided to look into making one myself.  I read several articles on pinterest and figured that it would be something that I could easily do.  I sold this one for $1 more then I paid for it hahahaha.  

I went to Lowes and asked them if I could buy 11 of the paint stir sticks that they usually give you for free when you buy paint.  However, she told me I could have all 11 for free since they always have an over abundance of them.  She was super nice as were all the staff there.  It has just recently opened in Shawnessy and it is fantastic.  It's huge, lots of room to push your cart, unlike Home Depot.  It's bright and clean and nicely laid out.  I am very happy to have one so close to me now.  I then went to Walmart and bought some more duct tape since I knew what we had at home would not be enough for the whole project since I wanted to tape up the paint sticks since I was getting slivers from them when I picked them up.   And nobody wants a sliver in their hand when they are working out!!

Once I had all of the sticks taped up and sliver proof, I grabbed the original ladder and laid it out and then laid my homemade bars beside it.  I figured this was easier then using a tape measure if slightly inaccurate hahaha.  I have 2 full ladders worth plus 2 or 3 more so it's nice and long.

I started taping and this proved to be the most difficult part of the project.  I am not sure why I thought this part would be easy since it's hard tape to pull in the first place, plus i needed a ton of it and I needed to put the bars on it and i had to try not to move it so that the bars would stay in the right place and distance apart.  Plus Luci had decided to grace me with her presence and was getting in the way and playing with the tape but I seemed to be moving a long at a good speed until.....

My roll of tape ended before the first side was done so I had to stop and fold over the part that was taped so that it would be ok.  Then I opened the second roll of duct tape and finished doing the rest of the first side and the second side.  For some reason I don't know, the new pack of duct tape pulled much easier then the first and they were both the same brand just a different colour.  I finished in only a few minutes and then I took it downstairs to my workout area.  

I don't know if it is exactly even or the proper dimensions of a real agility ladder but it is nice and long and seems to have turned out really well.  I have no idea how long it will last but perhaps long enough to give me time to research a good deal online or something.  I can't wait to give it a try tomorrow for my workout.

Total cost of my project was $4.82 which was the cost of the duct tape from Walmart and it took less then 30 minutes to finish and the longest part was the taping of the paint sticks.  

Monday, 29 August 2016

Fit Week In Review

So after a 2 week hiatus, the Fit Week In Review is back.  It was a decent week all things considering so here it goes.


On Monday morning I ran 5km.  I forgot to take a photo until after I was changed and in the bath tub so here is a photo of Luke Bryan's butt courtesy of Country 105's twitter feed.  This is better then anything I could have posted.  It was a slow run as my shins were still sore from my weekend biking adventures.  I also did a :60 plank and spent 3 hours walking around Pearce Estates Park, Inglewood and Reader Rock Gardens.  It was a pretty good day.


With fall approaching, it's been staying darker later every morning making it very difficult to get runs in before Greg leaves to work.  Thankfully school starts Thursday so I shouldn't have any problems with that.  I only got about 3km in Tuesday as it was really hot running at night and I wiped out pretty hard and cut up my hand, elbow and shoulder.  I knew it was going to happen so I braced myself for it.  It could have been worse otherwise.  Although it didn't prevent me from running, the sweat was getting in the cuts and making them burn and the sidewalks were busy with people and I was terrified of wiping out again while running around them.  I came home and did :90 plank.

Today I had grand plans to go for a run in the morning and even had my headlight ready to go but I chose sleep instead.  Then I had planned to go after supper but I had spent all afternoon at Michelle's house and I had a cider and cider makes me sleepy so no run happened at all.  But I did do another :90 plank.


On Thursday morning I picked up an agility ladder.  I was so excited as I had wanted one forever and I found one on our local buy and sell pages.  But when I got it home, it was much shorter then I had wanted it to be.  I think might give this one to Penelope as she uses this at soccer practice and make one for myself.   I think it could be an easy project but we will see, I am not the most creatively or craftily person in the world haha.  I had planned to do a ladder workout but all I ended up doing was these plank walks so Penelope could take the photo of me because I got hit with a massive migraine and spent the entire day and night in bed starting right after lunch.  It was not pleasant.

On Friday I was just planning on doing a workout and not a run.  I don't normally run the day after migraines because I end up throwing up in Fish Creek and that my friends, is never fun.  But I figured since I waited until supper time to do it I would be ok.  I got 5km in but it was tough.  I was still dehydrated from lack of both food and liquids the day before and I didn't drink enough today to make up for it.  I was sweating profusely and my head started throbbing but I made it home without throwing up which is always a good thing haha.  I came home showered and had supper and then did some stretching. 


I bought a bosu ball second hand and decided to do a bosu ball themed workout this morning.  I had done bosu burpees at bootcamp once but other then that I have had no experience with it.  However, I saw some pins on Pinterest that made me want to get one.  I took a photo of my workout on the whiteboard but it was too light to clearly show up so here it is:

10 bosu crunches
:60 bosu plank
10 bosu burpees
10 bosu balance squats
50 bosu mountain climbers
10 bosu single leg dead lifts/leg
10 bosu front lunges/leg
10 bosu side squats

Repeat as many times as you want.  I did it once and I was done.  It is so hard to do these things on a  bosu ball especially if you lack balance and coordination like I do haha.  It was fun though and I enjoyed the different workout.

After my bosu workout, I spent a lot of time stretching.  I got a massage a few days before the SeaWheeze and ever since then I have had severe pain and stiffness behind my heel.  So it's kinda like my calf, ankle, achilles and heel since I have no idea where it starts and ends.  I don't notice it when I am walking or doing normal things with my feet but I notice it when I run.  Actually, the second I put on my Altra Intuition's I can feel the tightness start immediately which is very discouraging.  So I really have to make a point of stretching my calves and most likely it all starts and ends with them.  While I am fantastic at stretching and rolling out every other muscle and body part on my body, I am intrinsically awful at doing my calves.  Greg gets on me about it all the time but I rarely listened but now I really have to.  I have spent hours researching ways to get these to loosen up and hoping I can resolve it by actively stretching and not have to visit Shari.  I have 5 weeks until the Harvest Half so fingers crossed I can get it under control by then.  Another thing I noticed I do with my feet is that when I run or wear normal shoes I clench my feet and toes up but when I wear flip flops I clench my feet down and it's causing major pain in my toes and the ball of my feet - especially on my right foot.  I don't know if I need to eliminate flip flops to see if  that helps or not.  The internet is not a good resource to stretching out toes other then tennis balls or golf balls.  I don't have a tennis ball and I can't find my golf ball and my lacrosse ball does not do the trick for this.  Perhaps a trip to walmart to get a tennis ball will be in order today.  

So I ended up going to Walmart this morning and I bought both tennis balls and golf balls.  The tennis balls were too big for my small feet so I need to return them.  The golf balls were the perfect size but they were all plastic, hence the $3 price tag for 12.  I put my foot on it and it nearly squashed it hahaha.  However, I just kept using my lacrosse ball to loosen up my toes and I did tons more stretching.  I went out tonight and my feet hurt so bad I thought I was going to cry at some points and I was feeling very discouraged about my run the next day. 


I woke up really tired this morning and not wanting to run at all but I figured if I get it done now, it is out of the way and I can spend the rest of the day doing nothing or something completely different.  When I put my shoes on,  I was surprised at how good they felt.  Yesterday when I put my shoes on to do my bosu workout,  my heel/ankle/calf/achilles hurt so bad but this morning it was almost like it never happened.  Almost but not quite but still like a thousand times better then the day before or even the last week.  I ran a really good 8km and my feet didn't hurt.  So now I need to really focus and be consistent in my calf and achilles stretches so that it goes away completely and never comes back!!

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Pearce Estates Park, Harvie Passage, Ripple + Reader Rock Garden

On Monday,  I picked up the girls after a weekend with my Aunt + Uncle and we went on an Inglewood adventure.  We first hit up Pearce Estate Park which is home to the Sam Livingston Hatchery, Trout Farm + Bow Habitat Visitor Center.  It is 15 hectares of reconstructed wetland that showcases many of the aquatic habitats, wildlife and plant species that are in the area.

In the summer months, you can explore the park and find fish in the different bodies of water, birds, trails and paths.  Greg and I have ran in here numerous times to switch it up from the same old Fish Creek.  In the winter, you can also cross country ski in the area.  Bathrooms are seasonal so I would imagine they are closed during the winter and most of the spring.  They do close at 4pm in the summer although the park itself stays open until 11pm.  They also have a playground and several picnic tables to make a day of it.

Penelope is walking down the Bow River Outlook to the Harvie Passage weir that was destroyed in the floods of 2013.  While you can walk along it and dogs play in the shallow end of the water, you are not allowed to enter the water anymore from this point as it is considered to still be too dangerous.  Alberta Environment + Parks has not updated their website with any indication of when this might be reopened to the public since July 2015.  The girls loved skipping rocks into the river. 

If you walk along the path towards the Bow River, you come to what is the Bow Valley Overlook that was completed in 2014.  It is so beautiful that I am pretty sure this is where my family photos will be next summer.  The overlook is composed of both native plants and hardscape elements from regional landscape material, this textured and multi-layered environmental art work incorporates natural stone walls, boulders, and other elements.  It is an experimental artwork and encourages visitors to explore its platforms and enjoy views of the Bow River, surrounding landscape, Harvie Passage, and in-river activities of the weir.  The artwork creates strong physical and conceptual links between the watershed, the river and Pearce Estate Park.

After exploring the wetlands, bow river overlook and harvie passage, the girls played at the playground.  To be honest, this park is kinda lame with very few things to hold the interest of kids for too long - especially if they are a bit older like mine.  So my advice is this, if you have the time, walk over to Nellie Breen Playground.   It is one of most favourite playgrounds anywhere in the world.  And it is good for all ages - even big kids like mommy's and daddy's.  We were on a mission to get all of our adventures in before the rain came so we stayed at this one.  

And of course, no trip to the Pearce Estates Park would be complete without checking out the trout farm at the catch and release pond.  I don't fish and have no interest in ever doing so but the girls are enthralled by it.  I didn't bring anything for us to catch the fish with so we just looked at all the fish we could see.  The girls found 4 fish.  It was very busy at the pond that morning.

I had read about Ripple on Instagram and had wanted to check it out for myself and since we were in Inglewood, we drove over the outdoor public art.  It's located at 8th Ave SE and 13th Street SE.  The City of Calgary website says 12th but it is actually 13th.  And it's kinda hard to find because you assume, or at least I did, that you just follow the path to the artwork but there is no path that leads you here.  It is right in the middle of a grassy field that you have to walk through waking up all of the mosquitos.  It was designed by Wade Baker and Mary Tsi of Sky Spirit Studio who studied the natural and design built elements in the Inglewood community.  You can read about it further HERE. While it was interesting to see up close, I probably wouldn't recommend making a special trip out to see it on it's own but if you are going to be in Inglewood, then maybe go check it out.  

I had made lunches for the girls and I to have a picnic but I forgot my backpack sitting on the floor by the garage door so we ended up going to Inglewood Diner for lunch.  The girls were happy with milkshakes, onion rings and hot dogs.  I swear they have the best onion rings around. It is a very busy place there at lunch with all the construction building the flood protection wall around the Calgary Zoo.

Our final adventure was at the Reader Rock Garden right near the Stampede grounds.  We have driven by it at least a million times since we moved here but never bothered to go in.  It is names after William Roland Reader, who was the superintendent for the City of Calgary Parks and transformed this hill into the beauty it remains today.  The old house is now a cafe on top of the hill that you can book out for events.  It's a series of rock paths that tour  you around the gardens and even into the cemetery which I believe was Penelope's favourite part of this park.  Finley said it reminded her of the Japanese Gardens she saw in Kelowna and in Portland.  She's not wrong with this as I got that vibe too, the difference being that these are all blooms that grow locally to the Calgary horticulture environment.  

We had such a fun day exploring both new and old parks for us and it was a great way to take advantage of some warm morning weather.  Just as we finished up at the rock garden, the rain started to fall and the wind picked up.  Perfect timing on our part. 

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Bike Rides, Starbucks + Country Thunder

This past weekend we had tickets to Country Thunder here in Calgary and so my aunt and uncle took the girls for the whole weekend and we took advantage of it.

On Saturday morning, we slept in and then I went to run some errands before coming home and convincing Greg to go for a bike ride with me.  He wanted to go to Bragg Creek but I was afraid of all the hills I would have to bike up.  I like mountain biking but I like flat or down hill.  No up hill.  So I figured we were going to Fish Creek and would ride along the paved trails but he had other plans.
We did all the back trails which was a lot of mud, fallen trees, tree roots + stumps, cliffs and water.  I fell off my bike several times, ran into eroded cliffs and fell into bushes.  I have bruises, cuts and welts and a sore vagina from falling into the bar of the bike.  It was really fun but I do think I like the paved trails better.  But at least there was no big hills to go up.  

The left gear shift on my bike isn't shifting right.  I can go to 3 but when I go to 2 it is 1.  I just bought this bike a year ago so it is frustrating and to make things worse when I fell at some point it misaligned again making a very annoying sound when I pedalled forward but not backwards.  Greg tried to figure out what it was but it wasn't what he thought it could be so I am going to have to take it into Ridley's to get it serviced.  

Post bike ride selfie which is very rare for Greg and I and it took a long time to convince Greg to even do this properly haha.  We were hungry and so we stopped at our neighbourhood pub Bull + Finch for brunch.  We have lived here for almost 9 years and had only been there once while I was pregnant with Finley.  They have a cheap brunch on weekends.  Greg got french toast and I had chicken fingers with fries.  It was delicious.  I also had a glass of Strongbow Gold and it was like apple juice in a bar.  It was so delicious and it was ice cold and tasted so good after a long hot bike ride.

We then came home and had naps and got ready to head to Country Thunder to see Tim McGraw.  It was a nice lazy afternoon after home.

We met up with some friends that we were attending the festival with and had supper at Chop near Prairie Winds Park.  The steak was delicious, the lobster mash was awful but the Pink Lemonade alcoholic beverage was perhaps the single greatest thing I have ever had in my life - drink wise.  It contains raspberry liqueur, limoncello. lemonade, soda, and raspberry sorbet.  If I knew how to make this at home i would!!  I don't particularly care for chain restaurants but would go back to this one just for the drink alone.  Perhaps drinks next time I am at chinook shopping hahaha.

We got to Country Thunder while Chris Jensen was performing.  I didn't really know who he was but he sounded good.  Apparently when the festival started on Friday the lines were insane but we had no line up to get into the festival and none to use the washrooms either.  However the lines for booze and booze tickets was pretty crazy.  Tim McGraw put on an ok show.  He was so drunk that he slurred when he spoke to the crowd and he talked about how much money it cost to put his girls through college and Neal McCoy's hot wife.  It was so strange.  The music itself was alright, too much slow stuff for closing out the Saturday night portion of a festival.  

Saturday morning let us sleep in until 10am but we still had some parenting duties since Pizza still can't feed herself.  Well she can because she has slurped from a cup 2x but refuses to do to keep her fed and stuff haha.  She is lucky she is cute.  

After we fed Pizza, Greg and I walked over to Starbucks for a coffee date.  Surprisingly enough he wasn't playing games on his phone but researching camping for the long weekend.  We wanted to head to Fernie but all the campgrounds were all full for the weekend so we are back to no plans for the long weekend haha. 

After breakfast, we headed to Superstore so Greg could get backpacking food for his and the girls upcoming 5 day backpacking trip near Jasper.  Then he packed and weighed all the foods and sorted them into 5 day packages and stuff.  I was supposed to go on this trip but I bailed because I was out of my mind even agreeing to go on this kinda trip for my first time ever backpack trip.  They leave next Friday in the afternoon and come back on the 31st, which is the day before school starts.  We sure didn't plan this right.  So I have 5 whole days to my self.  I am a little sad though since this will mark the third weekend in a row that I am away from them. 

We headed down to Country Thunder earlier on Sunday then we had on Saturday because we wanted to see Chad Brownlee and Dustin Lynch perform so we had a late lunch/early supper from the made food truck.  It was so nice to have a healthy option at the festival.  You can check them out at  I have no idea where they hang out otherwise but if you see them, I highly recommend you check them out.

Chad Brownlee and Dustin Lynch were amazing.  Dustin Lynch was so funny.  He said he normally gets to perform 30 minutes a night opening up for Luke Bryan but tonight he had 90 minutes and he had no idea how he was going to fill all the time because  he doesn't have enough original music to fill the time.  So he did a bunch of cover medleys and they were really good and all realms of music too.

Soon though it was time for Luke Bryan.....

And he did not disappoint.  From the first song to the last, he was amazing.  We did not want this night to end hahahaha.  He played all his great songs, interacted with the crowd and was a million times better then Tim McGraw the previous night.  The crowd was so engaged and you could tell how much more the audience was enjoying it.  It was an hour and forty five minutes of pure bliss and great country music.  He loves playing and performing and it really showed through.  I was very jealous of all those so close to the front but most of them had been there since the gates opened and there was no way I was doing that and I am not aggressive enough to push my way to the front.  

It was a fantastic weekend full of dates with Greg and great times with friends down at Prairie Winds.    I am already looking forward to next year even if Blake Shelton is one of the performers hahaha. 

Friday, 19 August 2016


Yesterday Penelope turned 6.  It did not start out well.  She stayed up too late the night before and woke herself up way too early resulting in several tantrums and time outs in bedrooms before it was even 9am.  She struggled for most of the morning but by the time we went out for lunch, she was in much better spirits.

It's a tradition in our house to get a photo as soon you wake up in the morning.  Normally I wake them up early so I can get it but even Penelope was up too early for that. But she came into our room and I got her photo this way.  Notice her pyjamas are inside out.  She almost always wears them like this or backwards.  It is extremely rare to see her wear them the right way.  

Also a tradition is a special breakfast.  It varies between homemade monkey bread and frozen waffles.  Finley loves frozen waffles haha which is great since she is normally in school on her birthday morning.  Penelope asked for money bread so that is what she got.  I make mine in cupcake pans instead of the big bundt pan as I find they cook better this way.

I also had a very bad headache on Penelope's birthday and the weather was too gross to do anything outside so they flipped between the olympics and disney junior while I tried to unsuccessfully sleep off my headache.  Eventually I decided I needed to just go on with my day despite feeling like crap because it was Penelope's day and we needed to celebrate that.

So we decided to go out for lunch even though we already had plans to go out for supper that night too.  I told her she could pick anywhere she wanted and she picked McDonald's because they had activity trackers and Greg accidentally washed hers in the washing machine after their backpacking trip last weekend.  Unfortunately, they had run out of the trackers and were giving out leftover stock of the crappy toys that didn't sell.  She was a little disappointed but she got over it quickly.

I then surprised the girls with new hair cuts at the neighbourhood hair salon.  They charge $21 for a cut and they have a $10 off kids cuts right now so it was super cheap and wayyyyy better then driving all the way to Beaners for a cut.  The stylists curled their hair and put sparkles in for no extra charge! It was great and super close and will be our new go to for hair cuts for them. 

After lunch and hair cuts, it was raining outside so we came home and did a craft I had bought on clearance from Michaels in case the weather prevented Penelope from going to the beach like she had originally wanted.  It was a bling rock band bracelet kit and the girls loved it.  It kept them occupied for hours.  Well worth the $6 it cost me :)

This is what 6 looks like with a fresh new cut.  It looks so cute with it curled but it will never be replicated again because I cannot do stuff like that and have it turn out.  The stylist used a straight iron to curl it and I watched her while she did it and though it looks easy, she said it was really hard to master haha.  I guess it is not something I will ever learn.  

Penelope picked Boston Pizza for her birthday dinner.  I had really wanted her to pick somewhere else.  I even told her she could get her own butterscotch pudding at Ten Foot Henry but no dice.  She said she picks this place because it is the only time Greg and I willingly go there hahahaha.

Our birthday day tradition is to go for ice cream at Marble Slab.  She picked a mix of bubble gum and chocolate birthday cake for her ice cream with sprinkles, reeses pieces and chocolate rocks.  She was very happy with her choice.  

When we got home it was time to put her desk and chair together. It was alls he wanted for her birthday.  Greg built her desk and they attempted to build her chair with a lot of help for me.  Penelope wanted a gold desk chair but they don't seem to exist.  So we found yellow which she liked but still she says she would have preferred more sparkle. If I ever master the art of spray paint then I will spray it sparkly gold.

We asked Penelope what her favourite part of her day was and she said she couldn't decide because it was all so special.  This made me happy and washed away the guilt I felt from not feeling well that morning.  It just goes to show that as parents, we put far too much pressure on our selves to make it magical and it turns out it already was.  Glad you had a great day Sweet Pea!

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Happy 6th Birthday

Dear Penelope,

Today you turn 6 years old and have been anxiously awaiting this day for a long time. You are eager to be big like your sister + to start grade 1 in just a few weeks. 

You are smart and fierce and immensely stubborn. Your temper is one to rival mine. But you are also so sweet and thoughtful to everyone around you - especially to Finley. 

You love watching the new Disney princess Avalor show on tv and watching Mia and me on Netflix. You love playing puzzles and games and go fish. You love to read and splash the cat is your current favorite series to watch. Your bed is always full of books each morning because you love to read before bed. You love all things about Mexico and the Spanish language. You spend hours learning new words to speak and get mad when we don't know what you are talking about. 

You love having baths and washing your hair. This is a complete 360 from last year at this time when you screamed for your life anytime you went near a bathtub. You like braids and pigtails and wearing headbands. 

You love to play soccer and practice almost every day. You want nothing more then to be the next Christine Sinclair. You love doing yoga and every day you create a bootcamp class to do. You make sure you keep your muscles loose by lots of stretching and rolling out. You like biking and hiking and even backpacking. Although i think that is mostly because of all the treats you get. You love living a healthy, active lifestyle that makes me so happy.

Your favorite color is rainbow but are loving a lot on the color purple and gold. You love wearing dresses and leggings but you hate jeans and jeggings but you did promise me that you would wear the rainbow jeggings if I bought them for you to go back to school.  You love your rainbow kitty cat dress and anything else that has kitties on it. You still very much love giraffes. 

You still love to color and be creative and your love for doing it on walls, dressers and anything else you shouldn't has become less and less of a problem. You love all things shopkins and spend hours playing with them, playing your shopkin games and reading your shopkin stories. I love how much you love your shopkins but i don't love when you decide to play with them all at once. 

Your daddy and I are sad you are growing up oh so quickly but we love the sweet but fierce little girl growing into a strong, big hearted big girl. You possess such strong leadership skills that I can't wait to see you make your mark on the world. 

Happy Birthday Penelope!!


Wednesday, 17 August 2016

SeaWheeze 2016

We left for Vancouver on Thursday morning but first I got a massage on Tuesday night. She worked me hard - especially my glutes and calves. I am super notorious for not stretching my calves and I am making it a priority to focus on that. 
Wednesday morning I got up early to go run. It sucked. I was still really sore from my massage the night before. I survived a not as fast as I would have liked 3k.

I had planned to get up early on Thursday before we left for Vancouver but I didn't really feel like it. My glutes were still sore and my lower calves/heels still stiff.  I brought my lacrosse ball for the car ride to stretch my feet so I hope that helps. I am paranoid about getting plantar fasciitis so I need to make sure my feet, heels + calves get worked. 

My bags are packed and I am ready to go ...  It looks like I packed a lot but I really didn't. The purple bag was for waiting in line at the showcase store, the bag underneath that was all my clothes.  The grey bag on the right was my bag to have at my feet in the car. It was filled with books, my iPad, water, Gatorade, my lacrosse ball and most importantly snacks for the long drive. The last bag just had my foam roller + sleeping bag in it. Why the sleeping bag? More on that a little later. 

We were on the road leaving Heather's house by 730. It was a pretty uneventful drive only hitting a little bit of construction here and there. But there was nothing that had us stopped for too long. We stopped twice during the 10 or 11 hour drive which was pretty good and both early on. We stopped at Field so we could all pee out the Starbucks we had and then in Revelstoke for gas and snacks. While I was good at hydrating myself on the car ride, the only food I consumed was licorice because I didn't like any of the food I bought in Revelstoke. 

We finally made it to our hotel where we almost didn't have a room for Thursday night. I had booked this room back in September before I was even registered for this race and it was done by telephone because their online system wouldn't accept the SeaWheeze rate. I had booked it from Thursday, August 11th to Monday, August 15th. I didn't request email confirmation and I didn't keep the confirmation number that he gave me either. In my defense though, it was the first time in my entire life that I had ever booked a hotel room though. That has always been Greg's job. Heather had called on Wednesday evening to see if she could use her points that she had for a free night and that's when they told her that we didn't have a reservation for the following night. Heather told me this and I nearly through up in the southland superstore. No joke. I called them immediately to figure this out and I remained quite calm despite being both very angry and worried. The lady I spoke to was amazing and got us a room for Thursday night but she said we would have to switch rooms on Friday which was fine by me as long as we had a room on Thursday. She told me that she would email me confirmation for the extra reservation but when I woke up the next morning there was still no email. So I called at 5am just to make sure it was still there and it was!! And when we went to check in, they got us in the same room all 4 nights which was great!! 

After we checked into our hotel and changed out of our travel clothes, we headed to Robson to have dinner. I was so hungry, I was legitimately weak. We went to the Cactus Club Cafe where we had Bellini's and a delicious steak. It was really good. After dinner, Terra, Rachel + dean stopped by for another drink before I headed back to the hotel. I had wanted to get at least a few hours of sleep before we went and waited in line for a longgggg time for the Showcase Store.

So here is where my sleeping bag was supposed to come into play. Alex and I had loosely planned to go line up at midnight for the showcase store but we decided to sleep instead. It was apparently already crazy with the first people lining up on Thursday morning!!  That's super crazy especially when the store doesn't open until 7am on Friday. Also, someone paid someone $150 to stand in line first for them. This person got there early Thursday morning and sat there until 5am when 6 people showed up to claim that spot. Six!!!! While I think paying someone is awful on so many levels, switching out one for one isn't as bad as switching out 1 for 6. Especially when the people behind have been waiting so long. And the person who was paid to stand there had other family members in line and they walked around asking people if they wanted to buy their spot and as far as I could see, nobody took them up on their offer because they walked around a few times. That made me happy to see. 

Anyways, I randomly woke up at 4am, and checked the seawheeze chat group and the line wasn't too bad, just really spaced out thanks to inflatable beds. So I woke Alex up to see if she wanted to go stand in line and she did and so we went. We got there at 4:30am which was 15 minutes earlier then last year. We were in front of 3 girls from Lethbridge who were quite awesome and it made the hours waiting go by much faster. It was really warm and humid out too but it's better then rain or wind.  We got into the store at 8am which was only 15 minutes later then last year. So despite all the craziness regarding the line up, we only waited an extra 30 minutes so not too bad. 

Here is my haul from the SeaWheeze store. I did pretty good and was really happy with my purchases. I thought I hadn't missed out on anything until I saw a friend post a running pullover in the same print as my bag and I would have absolutely loved it. I was really impressed with how much stuff was still there at 8am so either lululemon made more product to try to eliminate flipping or they just did a better job at bringing out limited stock thoughout the morning. When we went back around lunch time with Michelle + Heather, there was still a lot left for them to pick from.  The one bad thing about the store was that a lot of the prices came up incorrectly and cashiers and people weren't noticing. I wouldn't have noticed either if our Lethbridge friends hadn't told me in line. There was only one item I wanted that I didn't get and I didn't know I wanted it until I saw one of my friends post her haul from the store so it wasn't really a disappointment and she was in line at midnight so I think I did really well haha.  And I got some sleep too. 

We went for brunch at De Dutch which I thought would be like the panekoak house in Calgary but it was not. The service was the worst I had ever seen and the food wasn't much better. Thankfully they gave us a discount on our bill. I don't recommend checking out this place while in Vancouver. We waited forever to get water, to get refills, to get our order taken and they glutened my friend too.  Not a great way to start our afternoon in Vancouver!! 

After we were done with the SeaWheeze Expo, we went back to our hotel to change and drop off all our bags. Then we ventured out to Yaletown because we wanted to see the Earls that was located there. There is a show on Canadian television called First Dates and it takes place at this Earls location so when we found out it was close to our hotel, we decided to go check it out. When they film the show, the entire upstairs is all first dates and they focus on 2 or 3 couples. I don't get the channels the show is on so I watch it on YouTube. It's quite funny to watch. We ate supper there and it was a good source of carb loading.   Yaletown is not that exciting - all we could see were restaurants and salons for hair and/or nails.  We did encounter a pretty cool doggie store that Alex and Michelle really enjoyed but me not so much haha.  Heather stayed back at the hotel until it was time for dinner recovering from being glutened.  

Here is the outfit and accessories needed for the race. I lay everything out the night before so that it's all ready in the morning so I don't waste any time looking for things. I had planned to wear a totally different pair of shorts and tank but it kinda worked out because I saw more people wearing the shorts I was going to wear then the shorts I did. And when I crossed the finish line, they gave a shout out to the lululemon run club which was pretty cool. And it's a conversation starter too. 

This year instead of chip chips they gave us paper ones that we had to thread through our shoe laces. At first I thought they were terrible but they really weren't that bad to get on and they didn't bother me while I ran either which I thought they would. I was concerned a little bit when there was a water break or something in Stanley Park and the path flooded and my shoes got wet that it would damage the chip and the paper but it didn't so that was good. 

I had been up since 4am so I was legitimately in my pajamas with my teeth brushed before the clock even struck 7pm.  I did fall asleep pretty quickly but I was woken up rather soon after by shrieks of laughter and it stayed like that until we all fell back asleep around 9pm.  2 hours of laughter and social media handles and still we never came up with a new one for Alex.  

All of us before we left our hotel to walk to the convention center for the race. It was Michelle's first half marathon, Alex's second and mine + Heather's 8th one. We were all wearing black and Michelle and I were both wearing our yyc run swiftly's too. All of this was completely accidental and unplanned. It was a beautiful walk to the starting line and the perfect temperature too. Unfortunately, it would not stay perfect but get even hotter and more humid.   The nice thing about the location of our hotel was that it was a great way to warm up prior to the race as we were about 20 minutes away and walking back was a great way to stretch out our calves and legs.  

Waiting in my wave for the race. I wasn't too sure which one I wanted to be in because I honestly had no idea how I would do. I opted for the 2:20 goal time which was what I did in the Harvest Half last October. I am glad I picked this wave because i finally got to meet Jenny after knowing her via social media for so long. She created the YYCWheezers Facebook group which is a very tight knit group of runners. They are the best encouragers, supporters and advice givers for sure. It was a popular heat though because it took a long time to spread out. The worst part though was when you came over the bridge and they had the spinners there. The area to run was very narrow and highly congested and made worse by those stopping to take photos. It was awful, I thought I was going to lose my sh*t. Thankfully though I escaped the madness without doing so. I did a really good job of passing myself for the first 15km and staying between 6:15 + 6:45 but the heat and humidity soon got the best of me. At every water station, I dumped water on my back, head and face to cool down and just used the nuun electrolytes they were handing out to stay hydrated. I was unhappy with how poorly prepared the water stations were. At almost every station I had to wait for a water cup to be filled before I got any. And even worse, the water was quite warm. I was really disappointed by this, especially in the heat. I honestly thought my face was on fire it was so hot. 

The last 3 km of the race was really hot and longer then 3km. It was a different finish then previous years and while I didn't mind running along the sidewalk instead of the streets, I felt like the last in took a really long time and not because I was so hot and tired and just wanted the race to be over. This was a common complaint from many who ran the race, including the guy who actually came first. Had it been properly marked, I would have finished under 2:30 so it's quite frustrating. 

I crossed the finish line .42 seconds faster then banff at 2:32 something. I was really disappointed with my time because I had spent so much time training in June and July for this and I barely did better then banff. Had the weather been cooler like last year's, I probably would have crushed my harvest half PR. 

That all being said, I love this year's medal. Alex and i had been discussing what we thought the medal would be and I had mentioned that I hoped it would be the SeaWheeze logo this year because I really liked it but we both thought it was too obvious and lulu was never obvious haha but I was right! There's a code around the medal that was deciphered as Mission Complete. 
Here is the medal from the race and the finisher's hat.  It has the gold SeaWheeze 2016 logo on the back.  Of the 3 SeaWheezes I have been fortunate to register for and complete, this hat is by far my favourite.  It  is so soft and comfortable and I am really happy it's not another black one.  The bag, water bottle and sunglasses were what we received when we picked up our bracelet and chips.  The bag is also my favourite this year.  We also received some Saje swag when we crossed the finish line but I have no idea what happened to mine.

This year the post race walk entered int0 a very narrow walk way that was super congested, slow moving and crazy hot. The heat was radiating off other people's bodies and the smell was anything but pleasant. After we got our medal, we got a bottle of water and nice cold cloth that was perhaps the best thing ever. My face felt so good after I wiped down. Unfortunately, for reasons I don't quite understand they ran out of both water and cloths. I can understand the cloths perhaps, but water? No way, that was a huge huge fail. Thankfully I wasn't affected by this. Then we got bags to carry the swag in, which was quite great. But then we had to walk up the concourse to get the bags filled. These bags should have been pre filled and then handed out. It would have been a lot faster and just better overall if they did it that way. Then after the bags were filled, you walked up to the hats you got and then you had 2 options: exit or go for brunch. This was very disappointing. I had wanted to go to the finish line and take photos of my friends but if i did that, then I couldn't get back in. Also the line for breakfast was insane. As I waited for my friends to finish, the line just got worse and worse. We had already made the decision not to go based on the menu alone. None of us liked the options but that's just because we're picky and no fault of the race organizers themselves. I did need to have something though so on our way back to our hotel, we stopped at Starbucks for cold drinks. They felt great and were a good holdover until we showered, stretched and went for lunch. 

Here we are along the ocean after all 4 of us finished.  This was Michelle's first half marathon, Alex's second (she had to walk for medical reasons) and Heather's 8th one - just like me.  The sun, heat and humidity just wore me right out.  I should probably train in hotter weather instead of getting up at 4am to do it but realistically I don't see myself ever doing that.  I hate heat and I hate running in it even more.  A race is one thing, but a training run?? No thanks.  

We went to Rogue near the convention center because we loved their Bellini's last year. We ordered lots of food to help with the recovery but the food was not great. It was a bit of a disappointment because I was so hungry. And even worse, I didn't even enjoy my Bellini. I found it way too sweet and just let it melt. I chose to consume all the water instead. I had a really bad headache and it wasn't because of dehydration because I had been doing a good job of drinking water and Gatorade. I think I was suffering from heat stroke though. Which is a crappy way to feel after just running a half marathon. 

After lunch, we walked around the area leading back to our hotel trying to find a place to have foot massages done. We found a place by our hotel and booked ourselves in for 4:30. We went back to the hotel to rehydrate and wait for our appointment. 

Let me tell you that this 30 minute foot massage that cost $30 plus tip was quite possibly the greatest $30 I have ever spent.  It was amazing and this is coming from someone who hates having their feet touched.  And even through the lemon scrub they used on my feet and legs made me itch for the rest of the evening, I would totally do it again.  It felt so good to just sit there while she made it possible for me to walk properly (somewhat hahaha) again.  

After lunch, massages and a few other little things, we walked down to the Convention Centre and hopped on a bus to get us to the Sunset Festival which marks the official end of the SeaWheeze weekend.  The lines for alcohol were way longer this year then last year and the food lines were also so ridiculous that we skipped them altogether and went out after we left.  We sat with Terra, Rachel and Dean while we watched Dear Rouge and they were really good.  It was great to just hangout and enjoy the sounds and sights of the weekend.  The Sunset Festival also has really cool items only available there and for the first year I wanted something but they were all sold out by the time we got there.  It was the perfect evening to end an almost perfect SeaWheeze experience.

On Sunday morning, we headed down to Gastown for brunch at the Flying Pig which is where we went last year too.  We wondered around the area looking in Kit + Ace as well as the Lululemon Lab and leaving empty handed (woohoo).  We headed back to our hotel to drop off Michelle's purchases and refill our waters and gatorades before heading to Granville Island.  While we waited for our aqua bus to come our way, we saw a sealion come up for air but it never came back up again for us to capture a photo.  We drank some alcohol, ate some food, bought some birthday presents and enjoyed our last day in Vancouver.  We were so tired from the heat of running in the race that we called it an early night and headed back to our hotel to unwind and pack up so we could leave early in the morning.

After what felt like the longest ride ever, we finally made it home late Monday night and was so excited to see these 2 littles up. I had missed them so much and I was so excited to give them the headbands I purchased for them at the SeaWheeze store.  I knew they would love them so much.  Penelope hasn't taken hers off since she got it!!  And they made me the sweetest welcome home card too that I have shown below.  I may been a little wet in the eyes hahaha.

Was it the time I had hoped to finish with, no it definitely wasn't and I am disappointed with it.  I don't think I would be human if I wasn't.  But I am really proud of how well my friends did, each with their own separate challenges, and I hope they are just as proud of themselves.  I am already looking forward to next August and SeaWheeze 2017!!!