Matters of the Heart in Story Format – Tales of a Vancouver Girl

Category: running

My Newest Fitness Finds

It is HOT in Vancouver. I went out for a run today and nearly melted. I was very good though and slathered myself up in sunscreen. I’m sure if anyone tried to hug me, I’d shoot up in the air ten feet from being so greased up.


Speaking of which! I found the most awesome sunscreen today: Coppertone Oil-free Mousse in SPF 60.

spf 60


YES. MOUSSE! It was so easy to spread around on my skin and the greatest part is that it will protect your skin for 80 minutes of sweaty activity. Just thought I’d share in case anyone was looking for sunscreen.


In other news, I’ve taken up jump roping. I was sucking the first time I tried it with 30 repetitions at most. But now I’m doing sets of 100, which sounds more impressive than it really is.  Essentially, my upper body is very still, and I jump very low to the ground.


This guy explains it well: http://www.builtlean.com/2010/08/06/learn-how-to-jump-rope-like-a-pro-7-tips/

The jumping has tighten up my calves, hip, and inner thighs. It made me absolutely crazy in yoga, but it has given me so much power in my running. Tradeoff.


After eating my way through San Francisco, I returned home and started counting calories. I’m doing this to reset and remind my body what it’s like to eat like a healthy person. I don’t go about it in a way where I think, “I need to consume less calories!” In fact, my approach with it is, “I hope I’m getting enough of everything I need.” With this mindset, I’ve been making really good choices and have been eating a LOT of vegetables. I also make sure I eat my fats… the good kind like avocado’s and nuts. It’s been two weeks of this, and I feel AWESOME.

I’m using the My Fitness Pal app on my iPhone, however, they also have a website where you can track your activity. Best of all, it’s FREE! I like free stuff!




Firefly Pose: As ridiculous as wearing a faux fur coat while balancing a pizza box on your head

I know I’ve been blogging quite a bit about crafty things, but worry not, I am still running and doing yoga.

The last few yoga classes have been interesting. For the first time, we tried Firefly Pose. It looks like this:

firefly pose

Taken from Yoga Journal

It’s sanskrit name makes me laugh: Tittibhasana. There’s a dirty joke in there somewhere.

I was trying this pose, and kept falling on my butt. That is, until Sveena told me to use my core, and keep my shoulders above my arms. Well, that did the trick. I’d have to use my core and push my weight forward onto my hands.

I got my legs up although not straight like in the photo above. I’ve got tight hamstrings. My legs were out, but my big toes were touching. I’m sure I didn’t look ridiculous, but I certainly felt silly. I may as well have been wearing a faux-fur coat balancing a pizza box on my head. You start off in a squat, if you’re wondering how one even ends up in this pose.

I feel that it’s very easy to push yourself too far in yoga class. The point is to listen to the limits of your body. However, I apparently have the opposite problem. I think I have reached my limit (which isn’t my true limit). Sveena observes me in Warrior 1, and tells me to widen my stance. It goes something like this, “Widen your stance.” So I do. “More.” So I do some more. “More. You’re strong enough!” At which point, my feet are apart at practically the length of my mat. She wasn’t wrong though. I think I just feel I’ve hit my limit because my hips, quads, and hammies are tight from running.

Warrior 1

Warrior 1. Photo from Yoga Journal

I went out for a 5.5 km run earlier this week and was sending good vibes to the runners in Boston. I was running hills, and it was a bit brutal.

I almost took an extra walk break because I saw a cat that I’ve petted before. It’s a friendly fluffy grey cat. However, in the past when I have stopped to pet it, I would get up after 3 seconds and say, “I have to run again now” and it would look somewhat confused and disappointed. I saved us both the heartache this time around.

I felt like I was super slow during my run, but apparently, my fastest kilometre was 6’07”, which isn’t bad, I suppose. On my cool down (which was walking up a hill, go figure), I snapped a shot of some tulips I saw.

Pretty tulips!

Pretty tulips!

I love how they planted so many different colours next to each other!

Core: As challenging as walking and eating a burrito

I was sweating all over the place in my Flow yoga class this morning. I woke up at at 20 minutes before class was supposed to start, and almost gave up on going. Nathan said he would drive me though. So NICE! I was still groggy  when I rolled into class with my bed head. My meditation felt good though since I was rushing and anxious. I do not recommend rushing to a yoga class. It made me feel uneasy and almost neurotic.

I think my body was pretty tired this class as I threw in running, swimming, and another yoga class earlier this week. Both yoga classes were focused on core, but I don’t mean core-specific poses. It was more like, Warrior 1? Where’s your core? Warrior 2? Where’s your core? Handstand? Where’s your core? You get the picture.

I don’t think I really knew what someone meant when they said, “Engage your core!” I do now though. It’s like your core is in Angry Cat in all your poses, but you have to keep your shoulders open and relaxed. I find it’s as challenging as walking and eating a burrito at the same time. Salsa ALL over the place.

This is angry cat pose

This is angry cat pose

What’s funny is that I feel like my body is curving in like a C…but it’s not actually the case, I’m just so used to having my body curve the other way where open shoulders is my priority, and core is secondary.

My hamstrings are tight, I think from the running + swimming. When we did our shoulder stand and moved into plow pose, I could feel my hammies pulling more than I’m used to.

This is plow pose. Does it look like a plow to you?

This is plow pose. Does it look like a plow to you?

When I left the studio, I walked by this quaint little courtyard that looks like it needs some Summer or something.

Quaint little courtyard

Quaint little courtyard…but it looks like it needs some Summer or something.

Soon enough, little courtyard! Stay in the moment. Namaste!

That duck’s gonna pop some tags

I took Easter Monday off from work and decided to hang with Mother Nature. She’s been complaining that we do not spend quality time together. She’s been waking me up by putting the sun in my eyes, flaunting her fantastic weather and not caring if I notice (but really hoping I notice)…actually, I think Mother Nature might be a cat.

I headed out for a morning run. It was HOT out and I nearly melted because I was running hills. When I say “running”, I mean, “sluggishly putting one lead leg in front of the other and knowing that an ant is probably beating me.”

I spotted plenty of cherry blossoms on my “run” and the trees are starting to look like they have been frosted with pink icing.

Frosting on tree-shaped cupcakes

Frosting on tree-shaped cupcakes

Are you sick of hearing about these cherry blossoms? Well, gotta warn you, they will likely last for 2 more weeks. So hold your breath until then, and then make a wish.

I also ran by this house which I think is amazing.



During the last leg of my run, I ran into some squirrels playing. They were chasing each other across the street and back again. I actually laughed aloud. Probably looked like a crazy person since I was sweaty, dishevelled and laughing to myself. I ran into the house to get walnuts, but they were gone when I got back outside. I kept the nuts in my pants (ha ha – I’m immature) but I never did run into them again.

Come back! I have nuts to give. No, not that kind.

Come back! I have nuts to give. No, not that kind.

After lunch, Nathan and I loaded up the car with our lawn chairs and headed to a park by the river. He took a nap in the sun while I knitted. The ducks were floating by. One of them was quacking loudly and yelling at its posse. I could be wrong, and it could just be floating by and singing Mackelmore’s Thrift Shop. It’s gonna pop some tags. I am having a heck of a time getting that song out of my head.

knitting by the river

Take me to the river, drop me in the water…well, actually, don’t. Wet clothes are not comfortable.

Also stopped by my father-in-law’s house. Look at the size of the flowers on this plant.

Amazing blossoms

Amazing blossoms

The man has a green thumb.

Two KMs is far when you know Teegan is at her desk eating a burger

After work, Jake, Tegan, Jon and I went out for our run by the seawall. The cherry blossoms are just starting to bloom, and it was a warm 12 degrees celsius. This all equates to hurdling over some tourists who are practically lying on the ground on the wall. Yeah, I’m not sure why they choose to live so dangerously. Being trampled by runners, rollerbladers, and cyclists is not a glorious way to go.

Cherry blossoms almost in full bloom. Can you spot the moon in the first pic?

Cherry blossoms almost in full bloom. Can you spot the moon in the first pic?

We ran further than we did before. Teegan, Jake and Jon are training for the Vancouver Sun Run, an upcoming 10k race (April 21st). I’m not training for anything, I log these miles for fun. We ran a little over 8km today, so I think they are ready for the race. We basically made it to the other side of the wall and looked back at our starting point.

On the other side of the wall.

On the other side of the wall.

For awhile, Teegan and Jake were running behind Jon and me. When it was time to turn around and head back, Teegan, with the bum knee, whooped our butts, and we lost sight of her. She was booking it back to the starting point. I’d like to think that she is chasing the burger that she’s been craving since … all the time, actually.

Jake was keeping his pace, and each time Jon and I looked back, good ol’ trusty Jake was right behind us. We joked that he was becoming hardcore, enjoying himself, and smoking a cigarette as he ran.

Partway back to the office, I started to get tired. I let out a sigh to loosen up, and Jon turns to me and says, “We’re almost there!” I think he wanted me to strangle him (kidding). There was two more kilometres to go, which is VERY far, when your legs are like lead and you know that Teegan is probably already sitting at her desk eating a burger.


I am currently wondering why our runs always end with 3 small hills. Also, why is it that I think this is fun again? (Haha)

I’m so buff, I can’t even wear a shirt!

Beautiful day for a run today! It was a windy and 8 degrees celsius (felt like 6 degrees). I love running when it’s windy. I am liberated by the feeling where I can feel the wind blowing at me when both my feet are in the air for that split second in between steps. Despite the wind, because the sun was beaming down by the harbour, I knew it was a good time to run in merely shorts, tank, and arm warmers.

Docked boats sunbathing

Docked boats sunbathing

I often get asked, “Why the armwarmers and tank? Why not just wear a long sleeve tee?” Really, I’m so buff that I can’t even wear a shirt. Haaa. Just joking. I like that I can peel them off quickly if I get too warm (which was the case with this run today).

I wear these beauties

I wear these beauties

I was given a whacked lecture about wearing so little by another runner who was wearing three layers and tights. But honestly, I have awesome circulation. You know in the dead of winter, when your toes are frigid when you crawl into bed? I can warm up in 5 minutes or less. I count it as a blessing until Nathan sticks his icicle toes on my calves. I jump up 10 feet, but succumb because he says it was in the wedding vows. (It really wasn’t).

I must say, I am likely the reason that Vancouver is the third worst dressed city in the world. If a reporter were to spot me, they would wonder why I was wearing a clash of colours and patterns. Really, I’m wearing neutrals. If I run fast enough, orange, turquoise, red, and gray mix to become a brown blur. Stripes and plaid won’t even matter! In reality, I don’t want to get hit by a car, …and would like to be able to frighten bears…and tourists.


8 degree windy weather also did not bother my running buddy

We stepped up the pace and the distance this time around. When we finished our run and stopped, I honestly felt fine. Until we ran into a coworker who stopped to ask us about our run. I leaned over, thought to myself, “For the love of Lululemon, don’t puke on this poor girl’s boots!” I got over the nausea quickly after hanging my head down between my knees.

All in all, it was an awesome 5.91km run (says 6km because I forgot to turn it off, and you probably want to knock 4 or 5 minutes off that time).

run mar18

When I got home, I stir-fried some veggies and tofu. Had it on a bed of brown rice.

Veggie and Tofu Stir Fry

Veggie and Tofu Stir Fry

Nathan thought it was delicious. I can’t take credit for the sauce. That’s the magic of Trader Joe’s Soyaki Sauce.

Angry Teegan is like an Angry Jigglypuff

I wandered out for lunch with Teegan under a blanket of low hanging clouds. Most often, she and I are together at lunch. Have I ever told you about Teegan? We are quirky people in a quirky friendship.

Low hanging clouds and gray all around

Low hanging clouds and gray all around

She is petite, soft-spoken, adorable, and will punch anyone in the face that gets in my way. No, really. I tell her my woes and she gets so mad that she declares that she will seriously punch offending parties in the face. Not that I would ever condone that but watching Teegan get worked up is like watching a Pokemon get mad. I’m thinking of Pikachu or Jigglypuff turning into an cute and pretty version of the Incredible Hulk.

This is Jigglypuff when angry.

This is Jigglypuff when angry.

In reciprocation, because it is a friendship, whenever she goes away and comes back from a trip, I surprise her with interesting and random news that amuses her. For instance, she once went away for a week, and when she came back, I had become a vegetarian. It’s my way of saying, “Hey, you better come back…because I am doing awesome things that you can NOT miss!”  You know, like that time she went away for three weeks, and I started wearing lipstick and doing handstands in the office.

We have a pact to limit ourselves on the shopping this year. Whenever one declares that she would like to purchase something, the other grills with questions and statements like, “Do you need that?”, or “Seriously? You have something like that.” Sometimes we lie too, “Yeah, that totally makes you look fat”, when in reality, it is absolutely exquisite. I might be the only one lying — she’d be ridiculous to think anything made her look fat. By the way, if I am sad, Teegan is horrible with this pact. “Awe. Do you want to stop by Lush?”  When this happens, I let her know that this would be an inappropriate parenting method (for her future reference), and that yes, I would like to stop by Lush.

Keep us away from stores!

Keep us away from stores!

But Teegan is more than just the girly girlfriend. She is also one of my running buddies. Whenever we run together, she tells me stories in more than 5 sentences at a time before taking a breath…even if I pick up the pace. So here we are running, I’m dying, and she is talking like she has forgotten that we are running. Magical Pokemon powers.

She also complies to my oddball request with amusement. Requests like, “Hey, hold this lil lamb up against the window so that I can take a photo!” This in a yuppie part of town.

Lil Lamb having a hayday in the yuppie part of town.

Lil Lamb (something I’ve sewn) having a hayday in the yuppie part of town

Teegan may as well be a Pokemon because I would keep her in my pocket everywhere I go.

Nose and Chocolate Contact

I was anticipating that I would have to run in the rain today. It was supposed to POUR. Lucky me, it was cloudy. I could smell the rain coming though. My mother can sense when it’s raining by how her bones feel. I tell her she’s a unicorn – magical and such. She tells me to hush up and that it’s just arthritis.

Before I laced up my loud ruby red runners and headed out for my run, Miana was nice enough to share some chocolate that she had received as a gift from Bean. Look at how pretty they are. They’re from Mink.

Chocolate and runners. Possibly the only things I need for my run.

Chocolate and runners. Possibly the only things I need for my run…and clothes.

By the way, when I say Miana was nice enough to share, I mean, I was opening up her box of chocolate, and my nose was probably two inches from the nearest piece. There may have been some nose and chocolate contact. In any case, Miana was nice enough to offer me a piece.

I went out for my run in Coal Harbour with my colleague.While on this run, I took the opportunity to take photos of some public art.

I think it says something about housing in the rainy city.

I think it says something about housing in the rainy city.

I’m pretty sure the house on stilts is saying something about housing prices in Vancouver. The big rain drop is definitely saying something about Vancouver’s weather.

The run was excellent. Was alternating between running and walking to condition self. I was hoping that it would loosen up my right quad and tighten up my left one. That hike I did on Saturday really did a number on unbalancing both sides. I am usually quite even on both sides of my body, so I am feeling a bit off. Despite this, I think I made pretty decent time for someone that hasn’t run in two weeks.


Keeping track with the Nike Running app. 🙂

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