31 January 2013

January's Top Picks

Can't wait for winter hiking and camping in these.

Excited about the new running season wearing these.

Pumped for a girl's weekend running this.

This song is one I'm listening to over and over.

Work radio with lots of options...depending on your mood.

A new cooking show (okay, it's probably not new, but I just discovered it!).

This list of travel blogs.

These sweaters...so cozy!

Getting back on the mat here.

30 January 2013

Layover in Toronto

Since I've been in Canada, the only time I've spent in Toronto has been shuttling from one terminal to another as I make my way to a connecting flight.

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to spend a whopping EIGHT HOURS in Toronto as my one flight was delayed thus making me miss my connection home and earning myself a night at a hotel, compliments of Air Canada (who, by the way, has some of the BEST customer service I've ever experienced).

Anyhow, during my time at the airport, I stumbled across the classic colours of the Hudson Bay Company's goods.  Those bold stripes made for a happy palette as I began the next leg of my journey to Moose Jaw. 

Here is said "happy palette" for your own personal enjoyment!

29 January 2013

Keeping Up With Myself

I've debated writing this post.  Not because it is anything major, but more because I am feeling like a slacker and this post feels like I'm trying to justify myself...which I'm not...ahem.

This blog is suffering.
I'm on the road a lot for work.
I've been sick since the beginning of the year.
And, well...I'm just finding my life to be lacking in the "stuff-to-post" department.

I've debated letting this blog go in the past.  But, something always keeps bringing me back.

When I read the posts I first wrote, I recognize how thoughtful and intentional I was about keeping a record of my transitions through life.  These days, it feels more like a place to share the everyday goings-on-about-Heather's-life.  Is that interesting?  I don't know.  But I do know I like looking back every now and then.

So, for now, I'll keep updating when I have the time and working on not feeling so guilty when I don't.

Hope you will hang in there with me.

21 January 2013

Remembering MLK

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

17 January 2013

WDW Goofy Challenge...and DONE!

I love to run.  I love the challenge of completing long distances, seeing where my body can take me and that rush of accomplishment that comes at the end of a long day of hitting the road or trails.

For me, movement is a big part of who I am.  Whether I dance, hike, run, kayak, bike...I'd much rather be moving than staying in one place.  It's even evident in where and how I live...always moving as a kid has translated into a nomadic home life as an adult. 

But, I'm getting off track.

This past weekend, my parents and I headed south with the snowbirds to Orlando, Florida to check out the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend.  It's a great place for a weekend of running with a 5K on Friday to kick things off, a half-marathon the next and then a full on the final day (Sunday).  You can do any combination of the runs you like and it truly was a family affair.

Every morning began with an early 3 AM wake-up call and a quick ride on buses over to the starting line of each race.  Bagels, bananas and water were always the first order of business!

My mom and dad completed the 5K on Friday...my mom's first!  I was so proud watching the two of them cross the finish line together...my mom with her Tinkerbell wings on and my dad snapping photos as she cross the line.  The music was pumping and I was jumping up and down as they made their way through Epcot and to the end.  It was a great morning for it and everyone out there was so supportive of one another...just the way I like it!

On Saturday, dad and I ran the half-marathon course together, stopping every now and then to take pictures with the characters from Pirates of the Caribbean, The Nightmare Before Christmas and in front of Cinderella's castle.  The route took us from Epcot to the Magic Kingdom and then back again.  This was my third half-marathon with my dad and running with him is always a lot of fun.  I was so proud of him and we held up our hands in victory as we crossed the finish line!  The heat and humidity were intense so we were able to take our time and really enjoy every part of the run...even the massive crowds!

I've never done a marathon following a half-marathon, but this weekend I would find out what it was like!  Knowing that the temps were in the 80s and humidity at 100 percent, I wanted to make sure I paced myself, but also did enough in the beginning to avoid the sweltering heat later on in the day.  I had a BLAST on the course as it wound its way through Epcot, the Magic Kingdom, the Animal Kingdom (where I was only half-joking about wanting to free all the animals) and then through Hollywood Studios before making our way back to Epcot.  Running through the parks and seeing the crowds really boosted my energy and I felt great during the entire event.  It was definitely hot and humid and I'm so glad I was able to finish in the time I did!

For the rest of the weekend, we just relaxed and took our time.  We didn't visit any of the parks, but instead, spent quality time together just hanging out, having meals together and walking around Downtown Disney. 

It was a great way to spend time with my parents, made even sweeter by our accomplishments on the road!

10 January 2013

More from Quebec City

Quebec City, as I've mentioned before, is a winter wonderland.  It truly is a magical place during the winter months and I feel very fortunate to have spent my holiday there.

We ate, drank wine and laughed our way over the snow.  We shopped at the local market, cooked our own food at the apartment we rented and cozied up to the "fireplace channel" on the television.  I loved the twinkling lights, the people and the aura of the city.  One day we walked six miles and the next we maybe walked six blocks.  The city was ours and we did what we felt was right on any given day.

On Christmas Eve we ate tapas and attended a Christmas Eve mass at the cathedral in the square and New Year's consisted of a small meal at the apartment, a quick duck into a local pub and then watching the fog and cloud filled sky light up with, but not reveal, city fireworks going on in the distance.  We walked slow along icy paths and watched the ice on the river race by us as it skidded along the surface of the water.  

Alas, the holidays are over and I always feel a little at a loss this time of year.  Houses look bare, Dean Martin isn't crooning on my radio about silver bells and it's another long year to the next shot of holiday adrenaline.

But, I'm not sitting back and just waiting.  Nope, this year I am diving in head first into the next year...getting things ready and putting both feet to pavement.  This week...I'm running in the Walt Disney World Goofy Challenge in Florida.  

Not sure why it's Goofy?  

On Saturday, I will run a half marathon.
On Sunday, I will run a full marathon.

Goofy, indeed.  

As always, I run to raise money for Congo women.  If you are interested in supporting me and helping Women for Women International deliver their services, please click on the link on the right-hand side of the page!  I appreciate your support!

In the meantime, here's to another year until the holidays and wish me luck this weekend!