Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Grouse Grind

It's been a super crazy past week for me, and as much as it was great to always be on the run, I can't say I'm sad to finally have some downtime. 
It was actually a long weekend here in BC, as Monday was BC Day. So I decided what better way to spend BC Day than embracing some beautiful scenery and doing the Grouse Grind?
I've been saying that I want to do the Grind since last year, but I never really looked into what it was like. I knew it was a hike going up Grouse Mountain, but what I didn't know was that it was all stairs. Straight uphill. 

Needless to say, I never want to see stairs again. And I don't think I will ever do the grouse grind again.  It takes on average an hour and a half - 2 hours to complete it. I finished in about an hour and 25 minutes (I forgot to check my timer when I got to the top, as all I wanted to do was flop over and never get up). The views from the top were amazing though. You can see all of Vancouver, it really was breathtaking. I only had my crappy iPhone camera with me, so these pictures do not do it justice at all.

This was my first time ever being at Grouse Mountain, and I can't believe it took me this long to finally go. We didn't spend much time there, because after that hike more walking was the last thing I wanted to do. I definitely plan on going back up there though to take in the sites, but next time I think I'll take the Gondola up.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Let's try this again.

I've neglected this blog for the last couple weeks, but I think I'm ready to start blogging again.
I feel like so much has gone on, that I don't even know where to begin.
I went on my very first road trip with my parents. We drove down to Oregon, and I got to experience Portland, Cannon Beach, Seaside and Astoria. We also made some stops in Washington, one being Vancouver. It felt so weird to be in Vancouver, but not my Vancouver.
Anyways, I feel like that whole trip deserves a post or two of its own. Actually, I feel like certain parts of that trip deserve posts of their own (Uhm, can you say Voodoo Doughnuts?). I'm going to try and do a whole trip recap later this week, but heres a little sneak peak ;)

Portland Saturday Market Waterfront

Voodoo Doughnuts Lineup

Yes....that may be my mom frolicking on Cannon Beach
I went on my first run in over 2 weeks this afternoon. It wasn't a very long one (3pm isn't the best time to run when its boiling hot out), and I was in such a rush to just get out the door and start running that I forgot my iPod and heart rate monitor. This normally would have made for an extremely boring run for me, but I decided to just go with it and enjoy my surroundings. I think I made it for about a 30 minute run before I had had enough. It was so hot out that I was surprised to find out when I got home that I had been out for even that long. It felt so good though to just run for the heck of it, and not worry about how fast or far I'm going. These are the types of runs that made me love running. The ones where you just get up and run. I think I'm going to try and make this a weekly occurrence for me, runs where I just put on my running shoes and go without tracking anything and letting my body tell me what to do.

I have a midterm tomorrow for my accounting class, so I've got plenty of studying to do tonight. Hopefully things will calm down a bit on my busy scale once this test is done....oh who am I kidding, this Summer Semester is kicking my butt. I'm always go go go lately, I can not wait for it to be done in just a couple more weeks. Until then, I'm lucky if I even get a moment to relax.

Have a great evening everyone!

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Nothings Easy

July 16th, 2013.
One of the hardest days of my life.
The day I lost my best friend.

Its been just over a week now, and it still hurts just as bad as the day it happened. Everyone says its going to get better. But its not getting any better. I still cry constantly. I still get mad. I ask myself a million times a day why? Why you Brans? I don't properly function. I haven't ran since before it happened. I'm not sure when I'll be ready to run again. Running has always been my time to think, and I'm scared the moment I try going for a run i'll break down. I'm hurting.

I feel so much resentment. I feel like no one understands what I'm going through. I don't want to be with anyone but my family, we're all going through the same thing. Its hard. It's so hard.

I put on a brave face, I pretend that I'm ok. But I'm not. All I want is my best friend back. I would do anything to have her back.

I wrote this the day she passed:

3 years and 9 months. Our time together was short, but the impact you made will never leave me. I don't know how to properly function, knowing your gone. I feel like I'm reliving a nightmare I never wanted to see again. You made my days brighter. You licked away my tears when I was sad. My heart hurts. It hurts in a way I never thought was possible. You were the happiest, most loving dog I've ever met. You never left my side, even when you were sick. I feel like you're still here. Like any minute now your going to come running through the door and jump onto my bed right into my lap. I don't know how I'm supposed to go to bed tonight, knowing your not at the end of it. I don't know how I'm supposed to take a shower tomorrow, knowing your not waiting right outside the door for me. This day has been one of the hardest days of my life. First Bella, and now you, Brandi. Life isn't fair. I miss you more than words could ever describe. You weren't just my dog, you were my best friend. I'm not sure ill ever be able to hear or say your name, without having to hold back tears. When you died, a piece of me went with you. Rest in Peace Brans.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Weekend Fun

My weekend started out with a 3 mile run on Saturday morning that left me with some nice looking tan lines

With a warm up & cool down walk, I was outside for maybe 45 minutes max. And this was at 9 in the morning. Needless to say, it hasn't cooled down one bit in the last couple weeks. Not that I'm complaining.
Adam was working again on Saturday. He found out last minute, so our plans to go to Playland got put on hold until next weekend. Instead I used the day to catch up on some homework until he got home. We went out for an early dinner saturday night at a new restaurant called Orrange, and uhm, I'm in love. I had Sangria Slush and Halibut Taco's with a side House Salad.

Seriously, I think I could live off the salad and tacos.
We peacefully headed back to Adam's place after dinner, food coma's in tow.

It took all of 30 seconds on the couch before he passed right out. Needless to say, the rest of my night was filled with Pinterest and Property Brothers

Today was a much needed rest day. It was the first day in 2 weeks I wasn't up before 6:30, and it felt good to catch up on some sleep. Adam and I spent the day downtown shopping with my mom, so it wasn't really a rest day. I mean, hours of shopping is tiring. I managed to control myself and only came away with this new shirt

And of course Brandi had to get in on some of the new shirt photo-taking action. 

I'm going to try getting up and going to the gym before class tomorrow morning. It's supposed to get even hotter this week, so running outside is out of the question. Last week I tried going after class, but I feel like i'm way more productive when I workout first thing in the morning. 5:30am wake up call, here I come!

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Sleep? Whats that?

I've been up since 4am. I'm running on 5 hours of sleep. It's safe to say i'm beat. But more on that later. First, I have to tell you about what FINALLY came in the mail yesterday....

My new Polar FT40 Heart Rate Monitor!!!
Now, you see, I've gone the last year and a half always wondering how many calories I was actually burning, but when I started losing weight, I figured my estimations had to be about right. This lead to never being able to convince myself it was worth it to shell out $100+ on one of these bad boys. But now that I've gotten more serious about my running, and am aware of the other benefits of heart rate monitors, I wanted to know what my body was doing when I went on those long runs.
I finally cracked about 2 weeks and ordered this bad boy. It was like love at first sight between us, I mean how could you not love something that tells you to do this right off the bat?

I must say, lying down and relaxing is my specialty.
But seriously, I've been the proud owner of this for less than 24 hours and I'm already madly in love with it. I haven't figured out half of what it does yet, but I'm liking what I know so far.

I also made a trip out to my local Lululemon yesterday, as I finally got the email notification that a shipment of new products had arrived.

Apparently I'm not the only one that stalks often checks her email, waiting for a new lulu shipment notification. The store was a zoo. There were seriously a million things I wanted to buy, but I behaved and only walked out with the one coveted item I had been waiting for.

Love Red Speed Shorts. Please excuse them thunder thighs, whoever said runners have slim legs obviously never met me. Seriously though, these are the prettiest shade of red ever. It took all the willpower in me to not walk out with a CRB and Inspire Crops in the same colour. And a Spry Blue CRB. I made the mistake of taking that into the change room with me, and now I'm seriously considering going back for it tomorrow.

It's now almost 4pm. I've been up since 4am this morning, and no it wasn't to go for a run and watch the sunrise. In fact the sun seemed to have disappeared for the majority of the day so far. I agreed to be a Team Lead for a Warner Brothers promo on their newest movie coming out tomorrow, Pacific Rim. I was kicking myself in the butt when my alarm went off this morning, but I had so much fun doing the event. The movie was sponsoring a Beach Clean Up down at Kitsilano Beach, and it was so heart warming to see all the people who came out and donated their time, especially the kids. There were about 40 of them under 10 that were so excited to be there! I was basically just in charge of check in/check out with these awesome people:

Even with those ugly clouds hanging out, it was a great morning to be on the beach, especially when the sun decided to make an appearance.
Because of the early start, I was off pretty early too (11am), and as much as I wanted to go home and go straight to bed, I wasn't quite burnt out yet. So instead, I went for a quick 3 mile run followed by a 40 minute spin sesh. Now I'm beat. I'm not sure how I haven't fallen asleep yet, but I have a feeling there will be a nap in the very near future. And by near, I mean now.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Food and Flowers

You know those days when you get up, having every intention to hit the gym and get a good workout in? That was me this morning. I waltzed out of class, and drove straight to the gym. Parked my car, changed into my Mizuno's....and sat there. I wanted to get out of the car. My head was telling me to get up and go. But my body was not agreeing.
I've learned over the last year and a half to listen to my body, and not my head. When my body wants rest, I give it rest. I'd much rather take a day off and be able to give it 100% tomorrow, than go in today and only give it 50%, or worse, end up hurting myself.
So instead of going to the gym, I drove home and whipped up this guy

That right there is an over easy egg, topped with tomatoes, spinach and turkey on an english muffin. I usually hate the yolk, the only way I'll eat it is when it's drippy like this. I could live off of drippy egg yolk. Ya, I know, I'm weird.

This past weekend we celebrated my Grandpa's birthday with a little family BBQ...who am I kidding, we're Italian, little and family don't belong in the same sentence for us.

It's crazy comparing these photos to some past photos I have with my cousin's. They're growing up so fast, and I know that just means I'm getting older too.
Lately I've been wishing the future would come a lot faster. I know that I shouldn't wish away my youth, but I'm so sick and tired of being in school. I feel like i've spent my whole life in school, i'm ready for bigger and better things now. I'm sure in a couple years, when I'm finally done and have a full time job, I'll be wishing I was back in school. Until then, theres only one thing on my mind: getting my degree. Pronto.

On a lighter note, how pretty are these flowers I cut on the weekend from some of our plants?

I strongly believe flowers make everything better. Flowers and boxers. Can someone tell my boyfriend that? 
Speaking of boxers, I've got a very hyper one giving me the stink eye for making her wait this long for her evening walk. I better get on that!

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Back At It

I feel like the days are just flying by. After class Thursday I headed to the gym to try out my new Mizuno's. I'm happy to report that I was able to get 3 miles in pain free. I wanted to keep going, but I know I've got to ease back into it, or else I'll end up hurting myself again. Although it wasn't too hard for me to stop, as I just wasn't into the treadmill running that day. I'll take a run outside over being stuck on a treadmill any day. 

I've had a bunch of spinach sitting in the fridge, patiently waiting to be cooked, so Thursday night I whipped up some Spaghetti with Spinach and we BBQ'd some steaks. 

When I was younger I hated spinach. Actually, I hated pretty much all green vegetables. Funny how your taste buds really do change, since now I could live off of green vegetables. Broccoli, Asparagus, Green Beans, Spinach, Rapini, ahh I'm getting hungry just thinking of them. 

I was going to take Friday off from running, since I didn't want to push my knee too hard, but when I woke up the weather was too perfect to not get in a couple miles before it got too hot. I guess I took a little to long getting ready though, because by the time I was 2 miles in the sun was beating down on me. I returned home to some pretty sick sports bra tan lines. After Friday's run, my knee wasn't hurting, but it was feeling a little stiff, so I've decided to take the weekend off. 

Adam texted me Friday afternoon to let me know he was working again on Saturday. I was pretty bummed out, seriously the boy's been working over a week straight, and by the time he gets home he's tired and isn't up to doing much of anything. We had plans to go down to the seawall today, but since that wasn't going to happen anymore, we had a little date night last night instead. I'm not one to wear much makeup, but I decided to be a little more daring and try out my new Mac Speak Louder lipstick for the night. I am seriously in love with this colour. The only lip stick I've ever owned was always in a nude shade, but those all make me look deathly when I've got a tan. I wanted something that was a little more fun for summer nights, and I definitely got that!

We went out for dinner at this little Fish and Chips place thats by the water, and after eating, we decided to go for a stroll down the pier. It's the little things like walks down a local pier that make me realize how much I take where I live for granted. It may not always be sunny, and there may not be any palm trees around, but BC really is a beautiful place. 

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

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