Saturday, June 30, 2012
More specifically The Calgary Stampede and this year is the 100th anniversary of The Largest Outdoor Show on Earth. Their tag line not mine. As a native Calgarian I've certainly gone numerous times. I do like to take a year off now and then. I also often find myself explaining it to people when I'm away and they find out I'm from Calgary.
The whole city dresses western. It's pretty funny to see guys in suits turn into cowboy's overnight in the downtown core and there's painted windows on sky scrapers depicting western scenes, hay bales on corners of downtown streets plus lots of free pancake breakfasts all over the city and lot and lots of Stampede parties at pretty much every bar in the city. Lots of companies have them as well for their employees. I can't go to my group's shindig this year as it's on a day that doesn't work for my fly in fly out schedule.
I always enjoy seeing the real cowboys, those that actually earned that shiny belt buckle, the jeans are more likely to be Wranglers then 7 for Mankind and the cowboy boots are scuffed. Yes I am a hopeless romantic.
Not uncommon to see bars full by 10:30am during Stampede, though people do generally behave themselves. In a previous job I remember the sales guys pretty much disappearing by 10am never to return during Stampede. There's loads of fun family activities too.
The Rodeo itself is fairly lucrative for the real cowboys and cowgirls competing as it's a $100000 for each event.
The rides on the midway get bigger and better, this year a 900ft zip-line across the park, a roller-coaster named after a legendary bull named Outlaw and a Flowrider surfing simulator - something for everyone. I don't really do the rides anymore but I do remember having lots of fun in the past. I even had a strategy, we'd go on Seniors Day in the morning and barely have to stand in line of course that was back when I was in Junior High.
Then there's the food - mini donuts (love the donuts), candy floss and multiple other questionable and truly delicious delicacies can be found on the midway plus they always find something new to deep fry - this year I think Wagon Wheels and pickle chips are new to be deep fried. Last year I enjoyed the poutine place with about 10 different versions. It is possible to eat healthy at the park maybe not as fun, though this year there's Saltspring Island Noodle Stir Fry's with no oil though I might need to check out the Red Velvet Funnel Cake.
I always try to win a vehicle with the Kinsmen charity lottery. There's always quite a few to try to win. Plus there's a show home you can try to win that they construct in the middle of the park and you can do a walk through.
It starts off on Friday with the parade which is televised across Canada. However the marching bands and floats come all over North America and a few from as far as Australia and Europe. Now watching the parade live is like preparing for a military operation. You need to be downtown hours before the parade starts to get spot where you can see something and be armed with a lawn chair and snacks/beverages. Locate the closest set of port-o-potties as well. I think an average of about 350000 people line the parade route. Last year with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attending it was closer to 425000. I've gone a few times but much prefer watching it on TV. If I ever went again I'd book a seat in advance and pay the $12 for a guaranteed spot on a bleacher. Gosh, those bleachers go up in a blink of an eye as well as they're installed only for the parade. I remember see them go up as I would be leaving from work on the Thursday and by Friday morning shazam all was constructed.
When I worked downtown it was always another military operation just to get to work on parade day. Heaven forbid you to go through the parade route itself as by 6am people are lined up and by I think 7am the streets close to traffic, the parade starts at 9am. I would have to negotiate passage across a street with the lawn chair people as they were not moving. I remember once seeing a car trying to exit the downtown but the row of lawn chair people didn't want to move as it was past the road closure time.
You get to dress western at work during the parade as well and I would think it was fun for the first few days and then I'd start running out of ideas of what to wear. Last year I got 2 short sleeved western shirts so I should be good for this year.
Don't get me wrong the parade is fun and if you ever have the chance to go I suggest you plop yourself down by where one of the television stations are set up as then the bands will stop and play as opposed to walk buy.
This year I'm going to the park on the second Friday, Friday the 13th.....my friends and I have tickets for the Grandstand show and chuckwagon races.It always ends with a spectacular fireworks show that I can actually hear from my house and I'm about 30min away from the Park. I'm very much looking forward to that.
I really like walking through the barn and seeing all the amazing horses. Plus there's always a trade show with people selling their as seen on TV wares which I find amusing. I always have fun when I go. Plus there's a multitude of free concerts in the park at the Coca Cola Stage and Nashville North that are included in the admission to the Stampede. Big names come to town that have a bigger you have to buy tickets for concert. I saw Bon Jovi one year. This year Garth Brooks is back and the tickets were $65 of course it sold out in 2 seconds. I would have really liked to see that.
I didn't really do the entire event of the Calgary Stampede justice so if you'd like to know more about Stampede go here to check out the official website. They have a really cool event planner feature on there so you can plan what you want to see as there's loads to take in.
I know I'll be working downtown again and will have to get my Western groove back on for those 10 days in July.
It's funny I didn't plan to write about Stampede but just got inspired by that bolo tie in Walmart.
Friday, June 29, 2012
To keep myself motivated I need goals. I'm good at goals when I'm training for something. When I train for something I try to think like an athlete.
Now with Fitbloggin' and half marathon training coming closer that sort of taken care of for the short term as I am bound and determined to beat my time at the Tinkerbell Half and thoroughly enjoy the 5K at Fitbloggin'.
The goals just can't be about weight loss or I drive myself a little bonkers. However the goal should be conducive to getting to my weight goal.
Lately I've been getting a lot of questions from my work friends on when my next race is. It's funny I went to Vegas and they all thought it was for a run. I then explained no that was for fun and the next race is in November.
I do find myself telling people that I want to do more regularly scheduled races like every few months not one in January and then one in November. With so much time between things I found myself totally dropping any type of training plan and now planning on starting again instead of maintaining.
I did up my training schedule for the Disney Wine and Dine today that starts July 10 and will take me all the way to race day on November 10th...then what.
Today I also took a look at upcoming races.
I signed up for the Halloween Howl 5K in October and the Scotiabank Calgary Half Marathon in May 2013. I'm eyeing the SeaWheeze Half in Vancouver if they do it again in August of 2013. Maybe just maybe the Las Vegas Rock n' Roll Half Marathon in December 2013. I still think I need something between November and May but I'll wait and see what comes up as I'm open to short distances as well especially locally or close by.
As the 2 races this year are both Disney races on the plane home I was asked if I'd do the Goofy Challenge. Now if you're unfamiliar with the Goofy Challenge it's a half marathon on Saturday and then the next day you do a full marathon. If I were even going to consider that it would in January of 2014 or more likely 2015. Funny I don't think I've ever planned anything that far out but for an exercise like that 39.3 miles over 2 days would definitely need planning. Now this is at Disney World as well. That would take a great deal of thought. After I did the Honolulu Marathon I vowed to never do a marathon again...well never say never.
I have a very low key Canada Day long weekend planned as I'm going back to work on Monday anyway.
Hope you enjoyed your Friday!
Thursday, June 28, 2012
When I last blogged I talked about having to dig deep and focus. That's not what happened this week.
You know how I was talking about making a pie for my company's United Way pie auction, well I decided against that as I love pie and didn't want my house smelling like pie.
So I go to work on Monday and what do I do I bid on a pie. This wasn't just any pie but my favourite pie made by one of my leader's super talented wives. She makes the best blueberry pie I've ever had.
Now each one these pies goes for a good chunk of cash and the average is about $120 per pie, yeah it's a little crazy this auction.
Then what happens is there is now pie everywhere you go. Every single kitchen in our building had pie. Two days of pie oh and I ate pie. I can't look at a pie for awhile now.
This week was difficult with 2 days in a row of 14hr days and then today was a 2hr drive to Fort McMurray, then a 2hr meeting and then a 2hr drive back to site so we could catch our plane home.
I'm zonked, wiped, exhausted and out of steam.
On Monday I did play badminton and then attempted to run. I didn't realize I was now on week 3 of C25K so I started the app without realizing that. Well after an hour of badminton I didn't have enough energy to complete the run. I also need to factor in I've been averaging one run a week lately which isn't exactly how the program works. So it back to week 2, I'm not giving up on this.
I don't like how I feel or how my clothes are fitting, so it's time I have a time out in the corner and think about my actions.
I can't continue this if I seriously want to be fit.
So I need to turn this ship around and bring the focus back to losing weight and focusing on health. This weekend I finalize my training plan for the half marathon in November.
It's time to get serious.
Saturday, June 23, 2012
Vacation and work travel is definitely over (for now) and now it's back to focusing on becoming fit and fabulous.
I need to learn how to deal with eating out better. It's funny in camp because I know it so well it's easier and that's technically eating out but more cafeteria style. Restaurants are not so easy for me and with all the travel requiring me to stay in hotel rooms lately it's definitely been a challenge.
Friday, June 22, 2012
I must remember that when I blog on my iPad I need to use the blogger plus app and not log into blogger itself so my post doesn't wind up being one mega paragraph.
Today I conquered the jungle lawn, well most of it. The battery is good for one hour so a third of my back yard still needs to be done.
I go back to my WW meeting tomorrow after a few week hiatus. There will definitely be a gain as I took vacation from the plan as well. All that ends and tracking starts again.
I am so looking forward to getting back to a routine back.
Tomorrow I also return to the gym for Zumba and Iron Reps. I haven't been to those classes in ages. Disney Wine and Dine training starts shortly so I need to get into the training rhythm now of training days and cross training days. D
I wore the Nike Fuel band around today. I do like how it's more of a bracelet and will be fun for non running activity. Those Nike toys are fun not so accurate. For running there's not enough data for my liking so Garmin rules there. In terms of correct data like calories burned I still think HR monitor is a better bet and the Fuel band is estimating I don't necessarily want to wear an HR monitor everywhere so it could be a fun little motivator.
I had errands to run today so there was lots of walking. I went to MEC to check out the Vibram5finger KSO. At 2:30pm that place was a zoo. It felt like Christmas the line ups at the cash were crazy. I decided then to go grocery shopping instead.
On Monday it's the 2nd annual pie auction for the United Way. I said I'd bring one but don't know what to make so another grocery trip will be needed.
Now I'm already in my PJs and about to start reading.
Hope you enjoyed your Friday.
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Monday, June 18, 2012
Sunday, June 10, 2012
It was hopping for a Sunday and a lot of women in pairs. Also quite a few pregnant women as they offer services especially for expectant mothers. Two groups ordered lunch.
The funny part is I'm back at the Hyatt tomorrow as that's where my all day meeting is.
I then braced the Bay for swimsuit shopping day 2. I left with a tankini, but a swim skirt for bottoms. I did have a thought in the racks of suits. Ever since my melanoma diagnosis I'm super leery of the sun. I was supremely lucky to catch it early and now I just have a one inch scar on my right arm. The thought part came from I will not lounge by the pool all day in fact I'll try to keep my exposure between 11am and 3pm super minimal. Earlier and later are better.
So if my Vegas buddy wants to lounge by the pool until noon I might go for a bit but then I'll hit the gym.
I also had the thought that at some point I'm going to rock a bikini.
I was searching you tube last night and found some girl who actually posted a tour of her room in Aria, surprise surprise when I spotted a scale in the bathroom. There's only one other time I've seen a scale in a hotel room and that was in Montreal. That inspired the thought of making use of their spectacular gym. My can't I treat Vegas like a gambling, shopping and workout oasis. I have a goal to come back lighter then when I left.
I've never done that before. There's always a first time.
Have a great remainder of your Sunday and a great Monday. I don't think I'll have time to blog on Monday.
On Friday I was so tired I went to bed and forgot to set my alarm therefore sleeping through weigh in. I really wish there was a noon meeting on Saturdays. I did step on the scale at home and week of eating out certainly had it's effect. My scale is different then the WW meeting so I'd rather wait for a WW to write it down.
I'm bound and determined to get to Wednesdays meeting in the evening. The last one before Vegas.
The rest of Saturday was spent with my good friend M and I accomplished a lot clothing wise. This is a major victory as I despise clothes shopping.
First stop Walmart where I got new pillows as I desperately needed them and forgot them yesterday. M was on a mission to put together a birthday gift for her niece.
Then off to DT and I got 2 pairs of Columbia shorts on sale. I love their shorts as they're perfect for hot weather and stand up to activity. Also 3 t-shirts all on sale that are moisture wicking but don't look like technical shirts.
Then I got hooked up with a new pair of Mizuno runners and a pair of New Balance minimum bare foot technology. I wanted to try the bare foot stuff but not sure I wanted 5 finger vibrams. The New Balancestill have vibram soles which means awesome traction.
It was buy one get one 50% off. Now i've been wearing Mizuno Wave Alchemy for a long time (version 5 to 11). I haven't been loving the 11 for awhile. They feel different. I was talking to the all knowing sales clerk at Sports Chek (who's worked the shoe wall since 2006). He told me that it could be my arches are stronger as Mizuno shoes can help do that. He told me I wouldn't see that if I was using Asics or Saucony. I don't know if that was true but he sure was knowledgeable about shoes. I'm going to try the Mizuno Wave Inspire. They felt good and similar to Wave Alchemy 10 (which I loved) I did try jogging in the store. They're purple. I love purple. I never buy my runners based on color though, function is way more important for your feet.
Then it was off to the Bay to try on bathing suits. I tried on the Miracle Suit which apparently makes you look leaner. I didn't like the style I tried as there was loads of ruching and the suit felt heavy. I have to go back DT today for a waxing appointment so I'm going to go back and see what I can find.
Then we wandered past Cleo and they had sale on dresses, and I realized I still has a partial gift card for them. I got 2 dresses for one heck of a deal.
Then M wanted to go to Ricki's as apparently they have awesome capris. Now I'm 5'4 so capris are hit and miss for me as often they make we look shorter. However as we walked I had to pop into La Senza as my bras are dying and the underwire is coming out. They also had buy one get one half off. M scored some cute capris. I found 2 shirts that would be suitable for my corporate summer wardrobe at very reasonable prices. I need to go into the corporate office on the Monday when I get back from Vegas and it's supposed to +20C.
Then we were off to Chinook mall and I stopped into Sephora and got my birthday gift.
She treated me to a lovely birthday dinner.
All in all a fantastic day.
Today I need to write my pack list for Vegas as I'll be out all day tomorrow.
So I hope you enjoyed your weekend so far, might be back later.
Friday, June 08, 2012
On Monday I tried to make oatmeal in my microwave before heading out and it wasn't working which made me realize it's time to replace the microwave. This microwave is old so it was really time for a new one but this had to wait till I got home. Monday afternoon it was off to Fort McMurray for a 2 day training course.
My co-worker and I were booked at The Platinum - Fort McMurray's only boutique hotel. It's an odd place as it's right above a Sears that sells mattresses and appliances. The door to the hotel has a buzzer so you can't just walk in. The actual lobby is on the 2nd floor. Each room has two bedrooms, a little kitchen and the smallest vanity I've ever seen. I can see the value of this place if you're there for a while as there's a Save On Food really close by. I wasn't super impressed though as it struck me more like Ikea then boutique. Restaurant choices in that part of downtown Fort McMurray isn't abundant. Though we did find an awesome Japanese place near by.
Now if I had been travelling alone I would have taken advantage of the grocery store and just cooked but my coworker didn't have their corporate credit card yet so I was their Sugar Mama for the two days.
The hotel had no gym but offered passes to the fitness center at the college. It wasn't exactly pedestrian friendly and we had no car.
Now Fort McMurray quite often gets a bad rap and you often read about prostitution and drugs. However Fort McMurray is beautiful surrounded by gorgeous forests and rivers, and the people are so lovely. Everyone is really nice.
Restaurant options are limited in comparison to Calgary so eating was a major challenge. Every meal was out or at the training.
I have to admit when my schedule gets disrupted my behaviour isn't exactly focused on WW.
However the course was great and it was really nice to see my Fort McMurray coworkers.
Thursday it was back to site and my to do list looked like an encyclopedia. Plus I was flying home that day as well so time was limited. After we got off the plane we went to East Side Mario's for dinner. So this whole week has pretty much been a wash.
On Monday I'm at an all day offsite meeting that's catered. Tuesday I head back to site. Wednesday I fly back in the morning and need to go back to the dentist for the permanent crowns and I'm squeaking in a cleaning in as well.
Somewhere between all that I need to pack as it's off to Vegas on Thursday. Today I went to the bank for some US cash. I'll probably start packing this weekend so only last minute stuff is left for next week.
I also went to Walmart and got a new microwave. I opted for a Panasonic and already I notice a difference as it cooks way faster then the old one.
Tomorrow I need to go shopping for a swimsuit (
Right now I'm catching up on Masterchef. I love this show as it's so inspiring.
Alright I will try to drop by tomorrow and show you my shopping haul.
Saturday, June 02, 2012
Tomorrow is my birthday...I turn 40.
I'm not sure how I feel about that. Part of me thinks it's just a number and I like myself now better then when I was in my 20s. I also know no one guesses I'm 40. They usually think I'm in my late 20s. This was proven when on Thursday my office was sabotaged with banners that said 40th birthday in progress, "40" glitter every where, 2 signs taped to the front of my desk that said 40, and "Lordy Lordy look who's 40" written on my whiteboard. I admit my first thought was to rip it all down and then I thought who am I kidding i should just be touched that people went to all that effort. Many who stopped to see the ah creativity commented that they definitely would never have guessed my age. Not that there's anything wrong with looking your age. I'll admit to some vanity there.
Lately I've been a bit more wigged out. I keep thinking how I'm single, never married and no kids. It's funny one of my friends turns 40 11 days after me. She is quite honest in saying turning 40 wigs her out and has been for awhile now. Last week I thought that was crazy. We have so much going for us and a number does not define you.
What I'm trying to do is think of my blessings. Yes I am soon 40 with great friends, a great job and a great family. I have roof over my head that I own. I have food in my fridge. I can pay my bills and travel.
It kind of helps that I just saw an interview with Cameron Diaz who turns 40 soon and has never been married, doesn't have kids and I think is currently single.
I have absolutely nothing to complain about.
Then I start thinking about this weight loss stuff and how I've been battling for a long time. I think for some of us it can take awhile to find the inner fire to get this done some are blessed with figuring it out faster. For me it has definitely been a long journey but I appreciate the lessons learned along the way.
Yesterday I was at the dentist getting two crowns and a replacement filling. I guess another thing to be grateful for is a dental plan. Right now they're temporary crowns. The permanent ones go in on the 13th. I was a model patient and actually don't feel too sore today. When I yawn the right hand side of my jaw is a wee sore. The temp crowns do feel funny as I can tell it doesn't feel like normal but there's no discomfort. The teeth are right next to each other so the temp crown is actually one piece that covers the two teeth as it's better for stability. I do find myself eating very slowly and chewing very mindfully.
I was down 1.8 today which is awesome as I went out to dinner on Thursday and some rough food days. On Tuesday I did C25K week 2 Day 2. Tomorrow is Day 3. I'm also pleased with 1.8 after my 4.4 loss last week.
Dad came in today to bring me geraniums so we planted those. It has been a major food feast day which tends to happen when Dad visits as he doesn't trust my cooking ability. My Dad's repertoire is basically meat and vegetables. So lunch at DQ and pizza for supper.
Tomorrow definitely needs a workout. One thing I'm incredibly grateful for is I can workout. Though still needing to lose weight I'm in good general health - knock on wood.
2012 will be the year I hit goal as I'm done with goofing around. I want to stay active so that puts the priority on getting lighter as another goal is to also smoke my January half marathon time.
So tonight I will focus on the positive and tomorrow I will celebrate turning 40 by getting my sweat on.