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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

But Santa, I've been ever so good...

Gimli would like:

- cheese
- toys
- cookies
- Marrobones
- a new Mr. Sun
- more cheese
- some apples
Merida would like:

- all of what Gimli receives so she can steal it away
- cuddles with Candy
- but most of all, she wants snow

Alas, it's a green and rainy Christmas for us this year.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

New ornaments

Every time we travel, we make it a point to return with a new ornament. This year was no exception.

When her ornament was first released, it was quite popular and the shops at Disney couldn't keep it in stock. Now that Frozen has taken over, there were quite a few Meridas available :)

 We picked up this one and the next one on our most recent trip in November.

This is my unofficial motto when I run.
Faith in myself. Trust in my body. Pixie Dust for that extra bit of something.

A friend gave us this one.

Here's our tree now.

Friday, December 18, 2015

The fluff awakens

Since the movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens today, the corgis are paying tribute to the Star Wars universe.

You are unwise to lower your defenses!

The circle is now complete. When I left you, I was but the learner; now *I* am the master.

Help me Obi Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope.


The fluff is strong with this one.

A basket of fluffs

The dark side is strong with this one.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Flat Corgi Friday - What's a couple more animals?

Flat Corgi Friday is back. We were on vacation in November and I have more Flat Corgi pictures to share. It's difficult to have content when you only brought out the corgis once this year, but such is life.

This past November we spent a few days at Animal Kingdom Lodge before a 4 day Disney Cruise to the Bahamas. I have a full post coming about that whole experience and what I learned from it, but for now, here are some pictures of the Flat Corgis.

These two pictures were taken around the Arusha Rock Firepit in Jambo House.

The view from our balcony. Because we are DVC members, when we stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge, we stay in Kidani Village. This allows us to book a savannah view room where we can see the animals roaming around.

What's a corgi without the obligatory cow picture?

No Flat Corgis in these, just a few pictures of the animals

Feeding time

The baby zebra and its mommy

Monday, December 7, 2015

Grateful Day 1

I've recently discovered the organization, Plasticity, who works to improve employee engagement/morale/retention etc through data and psychology combined. One of the social media campaigns they are leading this month is the #12GratefulDays initiative. Starting today - 12/7, they post a daily mission and you respond to it via Twitter.

I love this idea, so I figured I'd expand and turn my daily entries into blog posts.

Today's mission:

Name 3 things that happened last week that you are especially grateful for and share them in images, videos or text.

In no particular order:

1. The corgis racing around the house.

Nearly every day after our evening walk, Gimli runs up and down the length of the house. Merida chases him from the living room in the back all the way up to the front and back again. Eventually, she tires and she remains in the living room, while Gimli continues towards the house. Most times, on his run back he then chases her around the coffee table.

Every day I say, "oh, I must record this!" And everyday I do not.

It looks something like this.

2. Finishing a tough run.

Last month Runkeeper posted a new challenge - the Global 5k run on December 6th. Their aim was to bring thousands of runners together on the same day for the same goal. They are tabulating the data right now, but by their estimates, they brought together about 200k runners.

I signed up for it and off we went early Sunday morning. We were fortunate enough that there was no snow or ice on the ground, though it was a little chilly... ~ 1 degree Celsius.

I've done 5ks before so the distance wasn't too much of a challenge, but I had updated my "5k race" workout interval to:

1k - run
.5k - walk
1k - run
.5k - walk
.5k - run
.5k - walk
1k - run

Sunday's run was the first time using this schedule and while I was sore afterwards, I was pleased to have accomplished it. This is the closest I've ever gotten to running the full 5k. I have more ground to cover, I know, but it's a far cry from where I stood back in January.

3. Homemade cookies

Last week, I made my first batch of gingerbread cookies. Although, if we're being honest, they are gingerbread Mickey Mouses. It was not as difficult as I thought, but I really had to get my hands into the dough to mix it properly.

These cookies are all gone now, but I'm going to make another batch this weekend. Those Mickeys should have M&M buttons... unless someone eats all the M&Ms before Saturday.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Tongue out Tuesday - the cake version

This past weekend, we held a get together with friends to celebrate Christmas and my upcoming birthday.

One of my surprises was my cake, which was modeled after a certain fluff ball. I'm sure you'll see the resemblance.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Time to head inside... and get to work!

Here we are, coming to the end of November and the end of my outdoor running season.

To be clear, the temperature these days hovers around the freezing mark and I'm ok with it. I've run in those temperatures before. Once you are dressed for it, it's fine and you warm up quite quickly! The portion I dislike is the snow and ice. See, I'm clumsy at the best of times - walking bare feet. So running on snow and ice is just asking for trouble. I slip and slide when I'm wearing winter boots with grips!

I'm fortunate enough to have an indoor track close by where Mike and I have been visiting over the past week and a half. Our current schedule is 3 times a week for 2 runs during the week and a long run on the weekend.

This is also great news because I've decided to start training for my first half marathon. Scary, I know. I'm convinced the rational side of my brain is blissfully unaware of what's coming over the next year or so.

To provide some backstory, I joked around with myself mainly, that some day I would do a half marathon. You know, that magical day far off into the future that never actually arrives. I kept up my running schedule, started gaining strength and incremental PRs, and the half-marathon worm slowly made it into my head. Then, I'd push it away, because really... 21k, are you crazy?

Then, earlier this year RunDisney announced the Star Wars Darkside races for 2016 to be held at Disney World. My dear husband, the Star Wars fan, got that look in his eye. Disneyland holds the Star Wars Light side races, but seriously who wants to run for the Light side? We jokingly talked about it, but never came to an agreement.

Fast forward to November. With the impending move to the indoor track looming, I had to devise a training schedule. Unfortunately the track does not have the best GPS access, that metal roof probably has something to do with it, so my RunKeeper runs are always a little off. I now rely on timed runs and intervals through RunKeeper and a separate log of the total time I've spent. It hearkens back to pre-phone days of running, but it works.

In devising a plan, I went full bore and created one for the half marathon. My goal is to complete a half by next Autumn. My rationale is this: I need to show myself that I can do it. Once I've done it, then I'll feel much better about completing the Star Wars half. Back when the WDW marathon weekend loomed, even though I was just running the 5 and 10ks, I had huge anxiety. I'd never done a 10k before, was it even possible for me to do it?

This time, I'll be more prepared.

In terms of races for next year, I have one 5k planned. At this time of the year, it's a little early for the Spring and Summer race information to be posted. I'll be in a different and better situation heading into Spring 2016 compared to Spring 2015 and I hope to see some gains - both in time and overall feeling/strength.

I leave you with some pictures from this year's races.

Still cannot believe I got to run on a runway!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Throwback Thursday - Snow

It's November 19th and there's no snow on the ground. I'm a little unnerved by this - wavering between 'this is abnormal!' and 'I'm ok with no snow.'

Today's throwback is to last year when we were receiving snow on November 19th and 20th.

Friday, November 13, 2015

You're still gone?

MERIDA: Gimli, they are still gone :(

GIMLI: What?? How can this be?

MERIDA: *sniff*

Friday, November 6, 2015

Little Sleeper

Merida sleeps in strange positions. Upside down or head under the pillow, she can sleep anywhere.

And she snores! That short snout of hers causes some loud snoring.  See for yourself:

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Spooky Saturday - Twins

Hello, Candy. Come and play with us. Come and play with us, Candy. Forever... and ever... and ever.

I've had this idea in my head the last few days. The Shining was on television and when it got to the part where Danny meets the twins, the idea popped into my head.

It was a little tough to get the picture. We don't have a long hallway, so I had to make do.

I hope you like it.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Looking back

If you're a Facebook user, you've probably seen those "See your memories" links, which allow you to view all the posts done on a particular day for the past few years. I like to look at the memories, but often I don't remember what I was doing at that time - it's just a cryptic Facebook status.

The other day, however, it showed me the blog post I created back in 2011 when I completed my first ever 5k. You can read it here: Participate in a 5k - Done. I was over the moon when I completed it and I remember being nervous in the weeks leading up to it.. wondering if I would be able to complete it and what if I couldn't? That day after we returned home, we couldn't move and were quite sore.

Can you say wrong type of shoe for my running feet?

My, how times have changed.

  • This year, I've completed 5 "official", (read: timed race), 5ks and 1 "official" 10k. The 10k nearly killed me, though :(.
  • I've completed 7 "unofficial" 5ks in our subdivision, and a bunch of lesser distances.
  • I've watched my 5k times go from about an hour walking, down to 38 minutes of running/walking.
  • I've struggled with my first running injury.
  • I've struggled with finding pants for my already larger thighs. Seriously, someone needs to make a line of pants for women who have big thighs, but a small waist. Going up 2 sizes to fit my legs is not a good look.
So, what's next?
  • Reducing my 5k time.
  • Completing at least one "official" 10k next year.
  • Doubling my year over year kms ran. This one is purely just to see if I can do it. I have until June 30th next year to run 526 kms. Since July, I've completed 117 kms. I'm roughly 1/5 of the way there.
  • Maybe this is too much, too soon, but completing my first half-marathon this time next year. I would really like to run the Star Wars half marathon in 2017, but I'm not going to have that one be my first half. It's too much money in race fees and airfare for that to be my first.

Tongue out Tuesday - Yogurt

Mike takes yogurt with him to work and every morning when he gets his yogurt ready, these two are front and center in the kitchen.

These two have us trained to always share the last tidbits from the yogurt containers.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Tongue Out Tuesday - Post Walk

We had an eventful walk yesterday evening.

The corgis went to the top of a small hill where they proceeded to roll around on something grassy, not stinky. Gimli would roll and paw at the air, then Merida would pounce over and try to jump on him. Gimli would then spring up and look to run away. It was the cutest thing, it's a pity our yard isn't large enough for them to run and run and run around to their heart's content.

The corgis met a cute Pomeranian at the park. This dog was about half the size of Merida and his fur was nicely trimmed so he looked like a little Winnie the Pooh. I tell ya, if Corgis were not my breed of choice, Pomeranian's would be. I just need to get Mike onboard.... easier said than done :)

Monday, October 19, 2015

I count 3

How many corgis can you see?

I see three.
  • Merida
  • Bombur the squishable corgi in the back
  • Gimli the streaking photobomber

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Throwback Thursday - Let me out!

Throwback to the day we picked up Gimli from his breeder. He was not pleased and cried for about an hour in the car.

Look at that stinkeye!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Run the runway

Earlier this year, I came across a posting where an airport allowed people to run a 5k on their newly paved runway. I thought this was the coolest thing ever and I wondered if the Toronto airport would do such a thing.

I googled the runway run at the Toronto airport, where I found that they do hold a race on the runway! The last time, it was in 2014, but they hadn't announced if and when they were planning the 2015 race. I started following the Toronto airport on Twitter and kept an eye out for mentions of the race.

Back at the beginning of the summer, they opened the registration period and Mike and I registered for the 5k and waited for September to arrive.

That morning, it was quite chilly and windy. Not close to freezing, but a little colder than everyone anticipated. We had gone from mild temperatures the previous days to a sharp drop over night.

Once we arrived, we milled around the hangar to keep out of the wind before lining up outside. The one issue I had with the event was the lack of volunteer awareness. Apparently the runners/walkers were supposed to congregate in the hangar for opening ceremonies. They sent 2 or 3 people to attempt to corral everyone in. That didn't work too well so about half of the attendees missed the ceremonies and the safety instructions.

Mike and I didn't let that bother us, though. We were excited to actually be on the runway!

The starting line

My pre-race impatience started up with a vengeance and I was please when we started on our way. Mike had asked one of the volunteers if the wheelchair participants were to line up at the front of the corral so that people wouldn't trip over him. The volunteer didn't know.

On our way

Our plan was to place Mike on the outside of the column and I'd be beside him on the inside. Just long enough for the rush to pass us and the crowd thin a little. That didn't work too well, it seems people have a sort of tunnel vision and if they didn't see you below waist level, then you weren't there. While waiting for the start, people jostled for position in front of us, to the point that Mike would have hit them with the free wheel when he started to move.

Nevertheless, we started the run beside each other.

At the first turn, Air Canada Boeing 767

We ran behind these guys for a while. They completed the full 5k in their uniforms.

Eventually Mike and I split up - he went on ahead - he's faster than I. I stuck to my running schedule in Runkeeper and worked to take pictures when I could.

- 1km run
- .5 km walk
- 1 km run
- .5 km walk
- .5 km run
- .5 km walk
- 1 km run

Yes, that is a WestJet plane making the turn as it prepares to take off

I'm either slowing to a walk for my interval or starting up for my run interval

I completed this race in 39.15. This is the first time I've cracked 40 minutes, and it was 4 minutes less than my last 5k. I am over the moon with this time. Next time, I'm aiming for faster :).