Friday, June 7, 2013

SLEEP 2013 Meeting, Baltimore – Day 2 (Tuesday)

I was up early again today since we needed to be down to the convention centre by 8am. Had a good breakfast at the cafe in the hotel and the walk downtown was beautiful! It's was much cooler with a breeze and it stayed like this until we left which was great. The weather network has been pretty accurate at predicting the weather in Baltimore compared to Halifax (where you don't really know what the weather is like unless you actually go outside) which was great. Unlike Halifax lately, when it said it was going to be sunny, it wasn't raining lol.

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{Very grateful the sun was out this morning! This is the view from a hallway in the convention center where you can see the other side. There were lots of outdoors tables (which you can kind of see here) that was great}

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{Wonder how long those have been there?}

My first couple of lectures this morning were on the co-mobidity between chronic pain and insomnia. Afterwards I made my way downstairs to the Exhibit Hall and Poster Area. The area downstairs is HUGE and there are tons of exhibitors. The majority are about CPAP and OSA with different companies that produce CPAP machines, masks as well as treatment alternatives such as dental appliances. Very cool stuff. The Philips Resperonics Exhibit was by far the largest with a covered area with iPads where you can watch instructional videos (using Beats by Dre headphones of course). Very fancy!

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{Small part of the Respironics booth}

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{ResMed at the #1 brand of CPAP masks. They're booth was very very cool}

I took a quick walk through the poster area but was underwhelmed. I thought it would be a bit more professional looking like with the rest of the conference but the posters were clumped very close together in a back area on old looking poster boards. It was still educational to walk through and read some of the research studies.

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In the afternoon I attended a symposium Health Care Services: Public Policy and Research. The lectures were very interesting, especially the one examining the transition of a high school to a later start time and its impact on both the students health and performance in school.

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{This is what part of the convention center looks like, most of the lectures were down these hallways. I think I took this in the evening because most of the day these hallways were flooded with people!}

The seminars ended around 4:30 then I headed back downstairs to take another look in the poster hall since our lab was presenting a poster. At 6pm we met for supper and were joined by one of my supervisor's colleagues and his post-doc. We ended up a bar/restaurant called Mother's. I was a little hesitant at first at what the food would be like, especially considering there weren't many people there while the restaurant next door was packed. I got the tilapia fish tacos with pineapple rice and, although the service size was huge (hello United States!), it was actually quite good.

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{There was also a sign on the wall beside us saying that Mother's was voted "The Best Drunken Hook Up Bar". A very appropriate place to eat supper with your supervisors and their colleagues! HA}

We made it back to the hotel just before 10 and by that time I was exhausted. Learning really takes it out of you!! :P


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

SLEEP 2013 Meeting, Baltimore – Day 1 (Monday)

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Monday was the official start of the full conference, beginning with a welcome address by the SRS and AASM at 7:45am (I was NOT excited to get up at 6am today :S). The first of the opening lectures (following the awards ceremony) was on insomnia and it was quite interesting. The speaker did a great job adding a lot of jokes which was helpful early in the morning. Afterwards, I headed to the symposium entitled "Neurobehavioural and Physiological Effects of Sleep Loss in Humans" which focused on the effect of chronic sleep restriction (CSR) in humans. I recognized a lot of the speakers, a few of which I have referenced in my poster!

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{This is the road that led straight up to our hotel on W Franklin Street (about a 20 min walk). We had some crappy weather on Sunday although it wasn't as humid as I expected which was great. Good news is the convention center is very well air conditioned :D}

I had a break in my schedule right after the CSR symposium so I headed to the little market which I'm pretty sure is the only place you can get food in this place (besides the Starbucks where the staff are not very efficient, minimum wait for coffee is about 20 mins, no joke!). They had a chicken stir fry which looked awesome so I got that and a coffee! I don't think coffee really affects me physiologically but psychologically I feel dependent on it with all these early mornings!

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{Messy and delicoius!}

After lunch I attended some lectures at the "Sleep, Circadian Rhythmicity and Metabolism: The Inseparable Triad" symposium followed by the "State of the Art Symposium on Drowsy Driving: Impact of Sleep Deficiency on Real Motor Vehicle Driving Perofrmance and Perception of Drowsiness" which was incredibly interesting. Something upwards of 1,000,000 accidents occur each year in the US related to drowsy driving (that about one every 25 seconds!).

I ended up having to go back to the hotel around 4pm for a nap since we still had to attend a Narcolepsy Symposium put on by a big pharmaceutical company (I didn't want to be dozing in my chair at a narcolepsy seminar!). They served dinner at the symposium around 6pm and it was delicious! We started with a mixed green salad with cheddar cheese crouton and garlic lemon dressing followed by a spinach stuffed chicken breast, roasted tomatoes, brussel sprouts and garlic mashed potatoes. Dessert was some kind of lemon mouse with chocolate ganache which was amazing. It was absolutely worth the price (FREE!).


{It's hard to see here, but they had a stage set up similar to a talk show where the experts discussed issues and audience questions after giving lectures. They had this elaborate white backing and two huge screens on other side (include those rows of silver plates which were weird, I'll never truly understand decor design…). You could tell this symposium was backed by BIG money}



The symposium lectures were quite interesting too, as narcoplepsy is not something I know much about. Throughout the lectures they also asked the audience questions (most of which were aimed at physicians and how they handle certain treatments, etc. so I just guessed – and got most right!). It was definitely worth going to and nice to have Sam and Kazue with me as well. I have to admit, it gets a bit lonely during the day walking around by myself.

It was almost 10pm by the time we got back to the hotel so not much time was left to go through the program for Tuesday's seminars before we needed to go to bed. Tuesday would be another 6am morning!


Monday, June 3, 2013

SRS Trainee Symposium – Sunday Recap

Sunday was the series of lectures for the SRS Trainee Symposium. I got up at 6:30am since I needed to be down at the convention center by 8 for the first workshop. The complimentary breakfast at the hotel was much better than expected (I had low expectations). They had a variety of hot dishes including french toast, eggs, sausages, hash browns and bacon as well as cereal, yogurt, coffee, tea, juice, etc. Not too shabby! Oh and they also had grits, which I guess is like porridge but made with corn? I had her put some on my plate and I tried it but it was a little weird. She said most people put cream, sugar, salt and pepper on it. Seemed too complicated for me so I just stuck with the eggs and hash browns!

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The lectures I attended were: Understanding underlying mechanisms of sleep and sleep homeostasis through animal models, Sleep deprivation and human performance, Interactions between sleep and metabolic disorders and obesity, and Pediatric OSA.

I found the Pediatric OSA lecture quite interesting especially when she showed a video of a child presenting with obstructions and snoring while asleep. I think he was originally brought in due to bed wetting, not realizing he actually had severe pediatric obstructive sleep apnea! The rest of the day has been filled with other lectures, the last few I attended were on the locus coeruleus and the effect of sleep deprivation and fragmentation. Interesting stuff.

There was another HUGE rush of people Sunday night since there must have been another Orioles baseball game (so much orange everywhere!). I wanted to do some walking around (since I missed out on Saturday) but huge rain clouds were rolling in so I made a last minute decision to go back to the hotel. It was a good choice too since just before I got there it started raining followed by super loud thunder and lightening.

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{The intersection right by the converter centre. It was totally blocked on Saturday night after the baseball game and police had to direct traffic. Lets just say there was A LOT of honking!}

I met up with my supervisor last night since her flight got in around noon yesterday. Although we mostly do our own thing during the day, it's nice to have other people here that I know! Our post-doc Sam is around here somewhere… just haven't seen him yet lol

Oh and they have a bunch of these "anti-dumping" pet adds near the convention centre. I think Halifax needs some of these!

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Saturday, June 1, 2013

Hello, Baltimore

Made it without a hitch to the Mount Vernon Hotel, the shuttle ride was very efficient! I was a little hesitant on what the room would be like after reading some online review (they're about average), but it was much better than expected. First, the a/c is super powerful thank god, second the beds are big and comfortable and third, the bathroom looks beautiful with a huge mirror above the sink. It's definitely not the most sauve place for for the price and the building (it's a pretty old place), I think it was a great deal. The wifi seems pretty good as well so far which is great since I have no cell service as Rogers isn't a carrier in the US. Which is great actually so I won't accidentally send any texts/calls that will cost me heap loads.

So I ended up relaxing at the hotel for a bit (I was super tired earlier but fell asleep on the plane from Philadelphia to Baltimore right when I got on and woke up just before landing so that was a nice nap) but I still needed a little break. I didn't really have enough time anyways to do some exploring since the plane was delayed and it was just too hot anyways.

I headed down to the Baltimore Convention Centre to register and get all my SLEEP 2013 goodies. There were flocks of people heading toward the Harbor so I'm assuming there is a baseball game tonight since I passed the HUGE stadium during my shuttle ride into downtown.


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{Registration area where I picked up my badge and things inside the Baltimore Convention Center}

At 5pm the Trainee Symposium started on the Hilton Hotel next door to the convention centre.

Insert Note: OMG I just saw someone with a Forever 21 bag, totally forgot that I'm in the states and can go shopping there!!! Now, the question is how much room is in my suitcase….?

I arrived to he opening lecture about 10min early and was the only one there! People finally started pouring in around 5 and we got started a little late. There was a good turn out of people, I would say over 100 out of the 250 that will be participating in the symposium lectures on Sunday. The opening lecture was alright, it was on genomics and the human genome project which was very interesting but he didn't really make the connection to sleep research which would have been nice. A couple of people also presented their data during the Datablitz which was made up of quick 3 minute talks. Only four people participated so it would have been nicer to hear about a couple more projects (which was what I was expecting).

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{The empty auditorium before the Trainee Welcome Reception}

I initially wanted to do some site seeing around the downtown area afterwards but ended up just heading back the hotel. First off, I was extremely tired having been up since 4am and gaining an hour through travel. Second, I just wasn't sure how safe I felt walking around by myself. A lot of the area around the hotel seems deserted with a lot of boarded up restaurants/buildings. Needless to say, it was the right choice since I have to be up at 6:30am Sunday morning.



LIVE from Philadelphia International Airport

Half way there! I'm currently sitting by my gate waiting for my connecting flight from Philadelphia to Baltimore (which is running about 45 minutes late :S). My first flight here went very smoothly. After the awkward walk through security and customs where I can just never seem to do the right thing, I boarded the very tiny plane. There were some empty seats so it wasn't too crowded and the plane was nice and cool. Everything went according to schedule too, so that was great. I've booked a shuttle to take to the hotel from the airport when I land in Baltimore, so I'm hoping they'll still take me even though my flight was late (I don't want to waste my $15!)

On a different note, the Philadelphia airport is huge! I got off my flight from Halifax at Terminal B which was incredible. Not only did it have the usual coffee and food paces, but it was practically an entire mall with the Body Shop, a Pinkberry (one of my fav things about visiting the states!), Brooks Brothers and tons more! It was probably even bigger than the mall back home in Bridgewater.

My flight is leaving from Terminal F, so I followed the signs to the shuttle that would take me there. As we approached there was a huge sign saying, "Terminal F is expanding!". So I figured I had already seen the spectacular part of the airport – and I was right. Terminal F just looks like your average airport with a few essential shops, nothing too exciting.

Going to "kill" some time and maybe watch a Hannibal episode (haha). My friend Ali told me about it and now I'm hooked!

Will do another update later on hopefully with some pics :)


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Ready for an adventure!

So I'm off to Baltimore Saturday morning for my first conference! I'll be attending the 2013 Sleep Meeting and will be presenting a poster of my research. I'm super excited to attend the lectures and meet lots of people doing research in a similar area to myself. I'm going to bring my macbook with me so I can fit some blogging in along the way since I have been slacking lately. Running has been kind of on the back burner while getting all of my research together and a poster made. I'm excited to get back into it once I get back, I miss it! I never though I would miss sweating but it feels surprisingly good :)

So stay tuned over the next week and I'll try and add some daily updates!


Monday, May 20, 2013

Complete Bluenose Half Marathon – Check!

So, I have officially completed my first Half Marathon! I'm extremely proud that I can finally say that :)

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{Me the night before trying on my Bluenose running shirt! The years slogan was "Run Like Your'e 10 Years Old" since they were celebrating 10 years running}

What an amazing experience – the crowds of people, the huge number of volunteers, the people all along the way cheering us all on and my family and friends all made yesterday so incredible. I honestly couldn't have done it without all of your support and am extremely grateful! Interested in a recap of the run yesterday? Here it is :) (Sorry for the lack of pictures, I haven't got pics yet from my family and I didn't have my phone with me but I will add some in later on).

So I got up around 7am and having laid out everything the night before I was well prepared and able to head out at 8:15am to the START line. I was so glad to see that the weather wasn't as bad as I imagined (I was prepared to step outside into freezing weather), but it was actually great running weather – cool but still sunny. Matt and I met up with my Mom, Dad, Katie and Alex and were able to watch the end of the 5k as they ran along the citadel as I was waiting in the start line. Goodlife fitness did a little warm up before we went which was great cause I was so nervous I almost forgot!

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{Just before moving to the START line}

The thousands of people were a little intimidating and, as this was my first ever race, it was a bit overwhelming. But once the countdown began and the gun went off it was a lot of fun. I started off with a bunch of people around my goal pace (I started out near the 2h:20m pace bunny) and when we made our way around by Citadel High there was the first water station. It was really neat to see all these people waiting with water and gatorade to hand right to us as we ran by. I thought about stopping at the portapotties there since I had drank a lot of water before the race to stay hydrated but thought it would be better to wait until the next one. Well, I guess that was everyone's idea because at the next water station there was only two portapotties and about 10 of us lined up. I knew it was either wait now or risk feeling uncomfortable and not knowing where the next stop would be. So, I was sad to give up about 5 mins waiting in line but it was definitely worth it. Note for next time though to go RIGHT BEFORE the race starts. (I have a lot of these notes to self for next time lol). After that I was good to go and the next 6 or 7 kilometres were awesome. Around kilometre 10 or 11 things got a bit hard. There were a surprising number of hills in this course (another note to self, run at least part of course before hand to see what it's like) so my legs definitely got a work out.

Kilometers 13 through 18 were through Point Pleasant Park and I have to say those were the hardest. There were a lot of hills and I find the gravel tougher to run on. I could really feel myself slow down at this point too. I still ran most of it but took a lot more very short walking breaks. And as I don't have too much practice running past 14 or 15k my legs were starting to get pretty sore (Note: do more 15k+ long runs before hand). The funny part was it hurt more to walk than to run so I think that was what kept me going for the last couple of kilometres. The last stretch was downhill on Cogswell street to Brunswick which was great and as soon as I could see the finish line I pushed it to the end. I finished very close to my goal time (2 and a half hours) with a finish time of 2h:34m:32s. Since my original goal was basically just to finish, I am pretty happy with this time. The winner only beat me by, oh and hour and a half lol But I know each time I do a run, I can shave off more and more time and yesterdays time was a great start for my very first race.

It was so cool to see all of the people waiting at the finish line to cheer people as they passed the end and I felt such a sense of accomplishment when I was finished. After you were done, volunteers gave everyone a Bluenose 10th Anniversary Medal which was a nice bonus :)

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One of the things I loved the most was the whole spirit of the event. All the way through the course people were cheering me on whether I knew them or not and, because many of us had our names on our bibs, I heard many people shout "Go, Shannon, Go!" which was so motivating to hear. It was nice when I did take a walk break people would yell out "keep going!" which helped a lot with keeping the breaks short if I was having a hard time. I must say I ran the majority of the race and kept my walking breaks to max 1 or 2 minutes which I am super proud to say :D

The major downside is the soreness that is running through my whole body lol Right after the race, it was as if I had aged 50 years. I could barely walk and my entire body was stiff. It was like that for the rest of the day with the worst being after sitting down for a while or when I woke up after my much need afternoon nap yesterday. Although I am still a bit sore today, it's actually a lot better than yesterday. I used my foam roller on my legs which seemed to help a lot.

All in all, I had such a great time yesterday and running the half marathon was a fun and rewarding experience. I had trained enough that although it wasn't easy, I didn't feel like dying by the end! :) I can't wait to run another race and hope to find another Half Marathon to run again soon (and by soon, I mean maybe after a couple more months of training so I can get a a better time and have lots of time to recover from this one). 

Thanks again to everyone that supported me through out my journey training for the run and to everyone that sponsored me to help raise money for HSHC. I'm not sure of the exact total but the ten of us that participated in the Bluenose Marathon for HSHC collectively raised over $3,500 to build the new exam room at the clinic! :D

To all my family and friends – thanks for coming on this journey with me. Keep checking the blog as I plan to still make updates as I continue to run and train for whatever is to come next!



Saturday, May 18, 2013

The big day is finally here

Well tomorrow is the Bluenose Marathon! I'm making this quick since I'm heading to bed but look for a post tomorrow about the run. Wish me luck!


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Almost Bluenose Time, Baby

Three more days!!!

Got in an easy 5k/34:03mins this morning before work. I felt really good afterwards and I definitely feel ready for Sunday :D Pick up for shirts/bibs is tomorrow at the WTCC so I'm going to make a trip over there after work tomorrow. I also need to make another visit to The Running Room to stock up on some more GU Chomps Energy Chews (I blog on and on out it here… so good!)

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{Super excited for the Bluenose Marathon part – not so much about the 8:45am part. But meh, it could always be earlier!}

I'm actually getting a little nervous, not for the run on Sunday though but for our first Ultimate Frisbee practice which we're having on Saturday afternoon! A group of us are going to get together and throw a frisbee around and hopefully someone will teach us how to actually play. Then I believe another team will be joining us and we might have a little scrimmage. I'm hoping maybe we can just watch the first game and see how it's done. I'm so nervous that I am going to absolutely bomb at playing ultimate, but I guess it would be worse to not even try! So I just need to tell myself to relax. I'm really happy Maxine and I are both in the same boat (experience-wise) so we can be beginners together :)

If you're interested in the Recharge With Milk Half Marathon Route you can find it here! Looks like it will be a good run, scenery wise, starting in the North End then moving downtown towards Point Pleasant then finishing right by my house. Pretty convenient :) My mom, Dad and my sister and her boyfriend Alex will be coming down to cheer me on. Can't wait!


Monday, May 13, 2013

And the countdown begins!

So I got up bright and early at 6:30 this morning to… watch Real Housewives of Beverly Hills! lol I actually got up so I could drive Matt to work since he had to drive the company truck to Liverpool again for the week. I was going to go back to sleep when I got home, but instead put on some Real Housewives (I have the whole last season to catch up on!) and had myself some breakfast. Then I got dressed for the day and headed out to work early. On one hand, I wish I had used the time to get my run in early, but on the other, I actually do enjoy running in the afternoon/evening after work. I feel like my body is more awake and warmed up.

I got in a good 40 minute workout on the treadmill this afternoon. I didn't really pay attention to mileage or pace but more on speed, doing intervals of sprinting mixed with jogging. It was a nice change up from my regular runs and should help with my training, hopefully I can get a bit faster ;). I was really happy to finally try out my new running shoes and, I must say, they were INCREDIBLY COMFORTABLE! They are not as light as my New Balance runners but they felt like they provided a great amount of support and made for a great run. They were also surprisingly breathable. All around great choice of shoe for my clown feet which are in desperate need of love and care!

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Only a couple more runs before the big day! I'm about 10% nervous, 90% excited! :D

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{Saw this walking to the car the other day and it put a huge smile on my face :D}


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Brand New Kicks

Happy almost-Friday!

I've just been letting my knee heal this week and doing some strength exercises in the mean time until I can get back to running. I've also been adding epson salts to my baths and using icy/hot patches and it seems to be helping quite a bit. There's almost no pain now when I bend my knee :)

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{I mixed the Epson salt with all of the different bubble baths I own, made for quite a treat!}

I made a trip out to Sport Chek to get new running shoes, ones with a bit more support than my New Balance Minimus W3090 V2 shoes. They are the Saucony ProGrid Guide 6s, have a nice thick heel which should help with my heel-striking, and are extremely comfortable. The colours aren't bad either :P

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I also grabbed a knee support strap to wear during the half marathon, just for extra support. I'd like to continue running after the half and not have to stop because I destroyed my knees!

Yesterday I picked up some new nail colours because they were having a sale on Essie polishes at Lawtons (check it out!)! There were so many to choose from, I wish I could have gotten them all :P

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{From left to write: Under where?, Tart Deco, Vanity Fairest and First Timer by Essie}

Put a load of laundry on once I got home and cooked up a nice halibut steak with some stir-fryed peppers, onions, mushrooms and corn – delish!

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The big day is getting closer and closer and I'm getting super excited! I need to look into the events that are going on that weekend as well. It sounds like there will be an expo put on by Goodlife Fitness at the WTC which should be fun to check out.

Thanks again to all my sponsors that helped me raise a whopping $300 for the Halifax Sexual Health Centre! I couldn't have done it without you guys and I can't tell you enough how much HSHC appreciates your generosity, as do I :)


Monday, May 6, 2013

I'm a cat person

Rest day today! And I'm thinking probably tomorrow too… I'm kind of worried about my knees since they've been pretty painful since the long run on Sunday. I've probably just been increasing my distance too fast but I really don't want anything to stop me from running on the 19th so I think I am going to take a couple of days to rest, ice my knees, as well as pick up a new pair of running shoes. I am going to get a pair that offers a bit more support and maybe this will help with the knee pain. I will leave it up to the experts though and see what they recommend :) I think wearing a small brace during the run may not be a bad idea either.

I had a pretty busy day today starting with driving Matt into work at 6:30am since he's going to work in Liverpool for the week and this way I can keep the car (yay!). Then I worked at the lab until 3pm followed by a doctor's appointment and now I'm volunteering at the Canadian Cancer Society Lodge That Gives unit 9pm. I will be glad when this day is over and I can watch the new Game of Thrones, that's for sure ;) So since I have no run to talk about today, I thought I would post some pics from the weekend that I forgot to post! Disclaimer: they are mostly of my cats...

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{This is the anchor my Dad put in the front yard with some Virgina Bluebells growing beside it. Probably one of the things I like most about our house (beside the HUGE veranda my Dad built a couple summers ago – more pics on that once it's Summer, it looks beautiful :)}

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{What a cutie – Ripley (after Sigourney Weaver's character in Alien – she had a really tiny head on a big body when she was a kitten) looking at me curiously in the living room. She is seriously the craziest cat I've ever met. Every time I'm home she picks up any clothes I have lying around and drags them all around the house! Last weekend she even picked up my ENTIRE bag of clothes and dragged it into the hallway before removing specific pieces she liked. What a weirdo ;P}

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{Afterwards I was fooling around on Aviary and thought I'd add some hipster glasses because Ripley would definitely be a hipster if she was human – don't ask lol}

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{Darwin and Ripley – aren't they adorable!? They often sleep all cuddled up with each other}

For all you greek yogurt lovers out there, I recently tried some Oikos Coconut Greek Yogurt and it is absolutely delicious! I usually stick to the 0% Plain Greek Yogurt and just add fruit, nuts, honey, chia, etc. to it as a snack or dessert. My mom had some of the coconut yogurt at home and mixed it with pineapple and melon and it tasted just like a pina colada! The coconut adds just enough flavour that it doesn't need any other sweetener and tastes great with some fruit on top. A nice change from the usual plan with still 0% fat and only 80 calories :)

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{A little snack while volunteering}


P.S. I added a section on the left hand side bar that lists the blogs I follow so if you're bored you should check them out!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Sunday Runday

Completed my longest run yet this morning – 15.39k/1:37:37mins (10:13min/mile pace)! I wanted to make sure to get one last big long run in before I start dialling it back a bit before the race. I will do another long run next weekend but more likely closer to 10k. I am super proud of myself for running this morning since I was not in the mood at all, despite the beautiful weather, and had to force myself to put my running shoes on. Once I was outside and starting running though, I always change my mind. I ran a long the usual route I do at home towards Indian Point but made it much farther than usual. There were some gorgeous (not to mention HUGE!) houses out there and the views were incredible. I had my running playlist with me, my favourite running son being Hall & Oates - You Make My Dreams Come True. It seriously amps me up which is hilarious and is a perfect pace to run too :D I'm glad I accomplished this distance today since I can now feel confident I'll be able to complete the Bluenose Half Marathon in two weeks. Not that I thought I wouldn't finish, but I'm not going to lie, I am imagined myself crawling across the finish line! I think it's safe to say I'll be able to finish it still running :)

I've been trying out different gels and such to find what I like best for fuel on my long runs. I am not a fan of the gels as I find them way too thick to slurp a whole one back while running. You have to chase it with lots of water and it feels like I'm eating pudding :S So I got a pack of GU Chomps Energy Chews in Blueberry Pomegranate to see if those would work instead. Let's just say, I am definitely a fan! They are absolutely delicious and much easier to eat than the gels. Although they don't make it to your bloodstream as fast as a liquid would, I just ate them about 15 mins before I felt I would need an energy boost and they can be eaten very quickly. One pack also holds two servings (so can fuel an 1 1/2 to 2 hour run with one package) and they fit nicely in the pocket on the top/back of my Lululemon Inspire Crops. I will definitely be stocking up on these for my long runs as well as for the Half. Highly recommend these, especially for those who are fans of gummies :)

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I really enjoyed my trip home (although it was way too short, I didn't get everything done I wanted to) and am sad I'll have to drive back to Halifax tonight. We managed to get a game of Rummy in last night – Mom was leading the whole time while Dad snuck in at the last second and creamed us all.

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{Dalhousie cards with all the buildings. They're actually kind of distracting lol}

I also took a couple of pics on my run that I thought I would share:

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{I have a lot of shots of the churches but the tide was out this morning and the sun was shining so I thought it made a nice picture}

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{And a little ways up the road I found the Easter Bunny (or Easter Bear I should say?) – I guess he does exist! :P}

Sadly, I lost my water bottle on today's run. I ran with it about a third of the way and left it by the side of the road so I could pick it up on my way back but had no idea where I left it! I even went back after with the car and still couldn't find it. Won't make that mistake again! I'll be using my hand-held water bottle for the race (which I forgot to bring home) which is nice and small and can be refilled as I go.

Happy Sunday,


Friday, May 3, 2013

Time For Some Ultimate

So here's an update from the past couple of days:

On Wednesday I took a running break and a friend from my lab (Maxine) and I tossed around a frisbee for a bit. We wanted to get some practice in since we joined an Ultimate Frisbee League for the summer! We both wanted to join a team sport and thought it sounded fun. We put our names on the "free agent list" and were recruited by a team called the Raging Rambos haha. We're both pretty excited and the guy who contacted us sounds super nice and made us feel okay about not having too much experience, saying we'll put in some practice games before playing other teams. Practicing throwing the frisbee yesterday was such a relief since we wanted to make sure we actually COULD do it. Turns out we don't completely suck after all! I have seemed to get the hang of throwing the frisbee in the relatively right direction and Maxine is great at catching it even when I throw it crazy so I think we make a great pair :) I can't wait to actually learn how to play!

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{The frisbee I won at James's birthday for coming in 3rd in the "Best 90's costume contest" for being Spike from Degrassi – I dressed as her unintentionally but it worked out nonetheless! Gotta love jean vests :D}

Yesterday I went to the gym after work for a run, 4.87 miles/58:03 mins. To be honest, my legs were still kind of stiff so I took a lot more walking breaks than I should have. I think I may need to get some running shoes with a bit more support for my ankles and knees since they seem to be giving me trouble (just a little bit). I love my New Balance Minimus shoes but I'm not sure they provide enough support, at least for while I'm starting out. They stiffness seemed to subside half-way through the run though and they felt like normal which I was happy with. I think I'm still getting over taking a bit of a break when I got all those blisters since I feel like I'm just getting back into the flow I had before, therefore I must have been out of the flow!

I'm heading home to the Bay for the weekend tonight and I am very excited! It's been a couple of months since I was last home which is the longest time without a visit in a while! I'm looking forward to some delicious wheat-free meals (which I will cook my fair share of, of course) and some Rummy games with my parents – our family is obsessed with cards. Euchre is our preferred choice but unfortunately it will only be the three of us this weekend (need four to play) since Matt has to work this weekend :( I'm hoping the weather will be nice so I can do one of my last long runs before the Bluenose Half Marathon. It's getting so close, where did the time go!? My trip to Baltimore to attend the 2013 Annual Sleep Society Meeting is coming up fast too so I am busy getting my poster ready :) I leave on June 1st (my birthday!) and will be there for 5 days. I'm excited to go to and present at my first conference! I'm looking up some stuff to do during some downtime while I'm there (not that there will be too much time for sight-seeing). I'd like to visit the Edgar Allan Poe Museum which is in the house he died in, in Baltimore. Sounds pretty cool to me!

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{I used to enjoy reading Poe when I was younger and lately watching The Following has reignited my interest}

Side Note:

Within our HSHC Bluenose Marathon team there is a competition to see who can get the most new pledges by next Monday, May 13th! The winner gets a gift card to Niche (one of my fav places!) so if anyone can spare just $5 or $10, it would help me out a lot! You also win bragging rights too which is always fun :P All of the proceeds from my run (and the others running for HSHC) goes towards the conversion of an old office into a new treatment room at the Halifax Sexual Health Centre! Upon its completion, they will be able to see many more patients on a daily basis as well as decrease wait times for their critical services! Any little bit helps for this amazing organization!

Happy weekend everybody!


Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Mmmm Pie!

Today's run – 3.9 miles/45:02 mins. I really wanted to go farther/faster but my legs were just so stiff today. I was disappointed because I haven't really been "going the distance" lately. Oh well, making it to the gym for a run in itself is good in my books! I'm going to do anther one tomorrow so hopefully it will be better.

Today at work was nice and relaxing. I enjoyed a nice big cup of green tea in my "latte" mug as well as a lemon meringue pudding. They are absolutely delicious and taste just like lemon meringue pie minus the crust which is the part I can't eat because of the wheat so it's perfect! Yum :)

{Not the best green tea, but satisfying none the less}

{Gotta love snack packs!}

I also got to use my new Nike gym bag from Sport Chek! I love it – it's the perfect size, has lots of pockets for all my stuff, as well as a good shoulder strap to make it easy to carry all my stuff to and from work and sexy colours to boot!

Now I'm gonna enjoy my supper of rice with a veggie and ground turkey stirfry and lemon sauce, watch the season finale of The Following, and call it a night!


Sunday, April 28, 2013

Is it finally Spring?

What a gorgeous day! I had a great sleep in and enjoyed being woken up by the sun :) I made it out for my run around lunch time and did 10.27km/1:11:53 mins. I've been sick the past couple days so I didn't push myself too hard to add more milage. I got to try out my new hand-held water bottle I got from the Running Room a few days ago. I had to adjust it a bit until I learned the most comfortable way to hold it but it was great having water with me the whole way! I added half a Nuun tablet in Strawberry Lemonade flavour (my favourite). There was even a little pouch to bring a gel, although I didn't need one for today's run.

I started with a couple loops around the citadel (I have a love/hate relationship with that hill) and there was a bit of a commotion at the high school with two cops cars flashing their lights. Wonder what was up?

{Somebody's in trouble!}

Afterwards, I continued my run down Young Street. I love running down there and looking at all the beautiful houses. I ended up coming back down Tower Road, turned onto Inglis, up Robie, then down South Street back onto Inglis. I did the loop around to Barrington, then ran down Hollis to end up back at Barrington before reaching the apartment. I like to finish my run off with this hill to get a nice burn in :)

{This was about half way up, my attempt at taking a picture without stopping running}

All in all it was a nice run! And such a beautiful day :)

Afterwards, I ended up working a couple of hours at the lab then Matt and I headed to Bayers Lake, only to discover Costco closed at 5pm! Should have known, I guess I forgot it was Sunday. Oh well, we went to Super Store instead.

Happy Sunday! You know what this means – Game of Thrones!!!!


Friday, April 26, 2013

And her face was as red as an apple

Update from last night: went to the new Moksha studio that opened in Bedford to try hot yoga for the first time. I must say, I really did enjoy it. It was definitely a new atmosphere for me having to "practice silence" in the class room and "leave all my worries at the door", but it was very refreshing. I'm often constantly worrying about this and that so it was nice to focus on relaxing and strengthening my muscles. Concentrating specifically on my breathing will be especially useful for my running as I think breathing too shallow is what is causing me to often get the dreaded runner's stitch. The dripping sweat was a tad distracting as I had to stop multiple times to give my face a wipe and take a swig of water but the temperature difference did help you feel AMAZING when it was over and you stepped into the cool outside air. Ultimately, I think it's something I could definitely get used to and I may take it up as a cross training exercise to help strengthen my core and learn deep breathing. I didn't bring my phone so I wouldn't have any valuables to leave unattended so, to much disappointment I'm sure, there are no pics of me after the class was over looking like I stepped out of hell :) Don't get me wrong, an enjoyable hell!
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I reluctantly will admit, I didn't get my run in today :( The weather is still disgraceful, my muscle are quite sore from last night's yoga, and today is going to be hectic as right after work I'll be meeting up with my parents and sister to see Jurassic Park 3D (can't wait, it's my Dad's fav movie and something my sister and I grew up watching repeatedly!) followed by a friends house party and seeing the Town Heroes play at Michael's. I know, I know, I'm full of excuses lately. I'll get back in the groove, feels like it was a weird week or something. Anyways, I had a nice wheat-free lunch of some Campbell's chicken and rice soup and some Pop Chips. Love the crunchiness and light flavour of the chips which don't feel as heavy as regular potato chips. Low in calories too which is always a plus!

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I also forgot I took a couple of pics of my friend Adelle's cute-as-buttons (does that work plural? lol) cats, Loki and Luna. Their colouring is so unique and reminds me of a jungle cat! They are also super friendly and all around fun to cuddle :)

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Enjoy your weekend, I know I will! (Even though I will probably be working at the lab both Sat and Sun, but oh well!)