Monthly Archives: October 2012

Happy Halloween!

This past weekend marked the first Halloween party that I’ve gone to dressed as something scary. I absolutely adore Halloween (or, frankly, anything that involves costumes), but I generally air on the side of comedic outfits rather than the traditional ghosts and goblins fare.  Due to general lack of preparedness and inspiration, my friends and I had to pick something at the last minute and were hoping to pick a group costume that would work for the three of us.  Several ideas were bandied around before we decided on our final choice:

  • Fraggles – I still want to do this some day, but it would take a bit more ramp up time (and I want to be Red!)
  • Captain and Seamen, Pilot and Stewardesses, Hef and Bunnies – As there were two girls and guy, many of these ideas were tossed about
  • Richard Simmons and Aerobics Girls – Tigger suggested this since I would likely not be opposed to it, and would already have most of the gear necessary
  • Breaking Amish – I couldn’t figure out a way to do this without finding the proper clothes, or we would just like we had dressed a bit frumpy
  • Sharon, Lois & Bram – Arguably the most hilarious suggestion, but no one would get it. (Canadian Children’s musical group from the 80s)

We finally settled on the Japanese proverb “See no evil, Hear no evil, Speak no evil” – which is usually displayed with Monkeys acting out the actions (after a bit of research, I’ve discovered that they are known as the Three Wise Monkeys).  Instead of Monkeys, we decided to ‘halloween’ it up a bit and dressed up as, well, Evil.  To get the effect, as well as getting our concept across we went with simple black outfits with Evil written on them and then circled and crossed off (think of a No Smoking sign), Zombie makeup, an X over the corrsponding person’s  ‘no’ action and then blood coming from that orifice.  Shockingly, it actually worked.  At least I think it did 🙂

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Filed under Events in Review, Pictures Tell a Thousand Words

Our House is Sick

…and I don’t mean that the residents are sick.

Sadly we discovered some signs of water damage in the basement bathroom this morning that appeared to be coming from the ceiling. We had some plumbers visit and determine that our fridge has slowly been leaking water – likely since we moved in.

We now have two openings in the ceiling, are waiting for things to dry out and trying to figure out what to do next. The joys of homeownership, as they say.

Paint Bubbling around the Shower, and a lovely view of inside the ceiling

Our poor little house is not feeling well – I’ve been trying to hug her and considered making some chicken noodle soup. I hope she gets better soon (and doesn’t bankrupt is in the process)

Another view of inside the ceiling 😦

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Filed under Events in Review, Negative Nancy, Pictures Tell a Thousand Words

Wardrobe Malfunction 2.0

While not as near-tragic as my button pop incident in Fremantle, Western Australia – today’s Wardrobe Malfunction was no less irritating.

My day was carrying along smoothly, when I felt a familiar tickle run down my leg – WTF? For seemingly no reason while minding my own business and sitting at my desk a GIGANTIC run took over the right leg of my stockings.  My black stockings.

In the interest of not looking like I just returned from a rough night out while I was at the office, I opted for ditching my stockings in the bathroom and going for the awkward white legs in late October look instead. The things we do for fashion 🙂

Not Obvious, right?


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Keep Calm and Climb On

1776 Stairs.

144 Floors.

27 Minutes.

18 Seconds.

1 Happy Camper.

20121019-201044.jpg
I conquered the CN Tower stair climb last night in support of the United Way of Greater Toronto!

I was terribly nervous leading up to the event and was possibly more whiney than I used to be prior to running. It was all for naught though, I totally owned that climb!

Honestly, it wasn’t fun, but it wasn’t terrible either. The first 30 floors or so were rough, but then it was just a matter of carrying on. I definitely could have made it to the top faster, but since I didn’t know what I was getting myself into I’m glad I paced myself. Next year though, sub 25 for sure!

Happy weekend everyone!

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Filed under Events in Review, Fitness Follies, Pictures Tell a Thousand Words

Diagnosis: Lazy Ass

After all the exercising I’ve been doing this year, particularly the running, its not surprising that I’ve had my share of aches and pains.  It is common to see me limping around during the day because my legs hurt in some fashion, which can be caused by a variety of reasons, mostly:

  • Evil Squats
  • Evil Lunges
  • Anything the Irish Sadist (my Personal Trainer) thinks is ‘fun’
  • Running

And sometimes, my feet just hurt. Recently, however, I’ve been having trouble in particular with my calves.  I’ve received advice from Jillian to stretch my calves as often as possible, and possibly even get them massaged.  I’ve been trying to foam roll them frequently to work out the kinks, which is a wildly painful experience, but I haven’t been making any progress. (for some excellent info on Foam Rolling, check out this post at Me Plus My Trainer!) Out of both the fear of really injuring myself and the general knowledge that something is always wrong with me, I made an appointment with a Sports Medicine doctor.  The doctor asked a few question, and poked and prodded at my calves for a bit before confirming that my calves were incredibly tight and recommending that I see a Physiotherapist.

I spent the next week worrying about how horrific my Physio experience was going to be.  Based on the level of pain from foam rolling, and my previous history with foot and lower leg massages – there was a strong possibility that this treatment would include blackout inducing pain. Panic.

I showed up to my appointment, nervous as ever, and was greeted by my new Physio, Liz.  She asked similar questions that the Sport Med Doc had, and then got into much more specifics about my overall health and sport specific goals (Umm.. keep running?).  Once she had the basics down, she started the assessment.  She spent a significant amount of time checking my posture, my flexibility and my hips.  I then had to perform a few functional movements such as balancing on one leg, squatting, one legged squats and walking back and forth so she could check my gait.  I finally lay down on the examination table for her to get a feel of my calves.  Once the assessment was over, I braced myself – it was time for the treatment plan announcement of ‘friction massage’, ‘acupuncture’ or some other torturous technique.  Wow was I wrong.

The problem really isn’t in my calves at all.  In short, I have very flexible joints (called high mobility) meaning that my ankles, legs, elbows etc all hyper extend with ease.  Due to this, my muscles naturally have to work a bit harder because my ligaments are stabilizing my joints very well.  Ok, already knew that part – but now I understand that all of my posterior chain muscles are going to suffer from running, but in a manageable sense.  She then went on to explain how some of my Gluteal muscles (read: ass) are not engaging when they should, they aren’t taking their part of the work load in some movements. Thanks to this, parts of my Glutes are underdeveloped and have lead to a weak or ‘wobbly’ pelvis.

She spent some time having me try some movements and kept poking my Glutes to show me that they weren’t engaging at all when they should be.  After several minutes of this “Lift, What Hurts? Poke” routine, I started to giggle.  I turned around and said, “Are you trying to tell me that I have a Lazy Ass?”  Apparently that is exactly the problem.

Maybe my sister Sandy is right when she says I’m “Never just quite right“.

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Filed under Awk-ward, Events in Review, How Embarrassing

Run Run Run

I’ve made a few proclamations on this blog about hating running that I might have to renege.  I definitely don’t love running, but I can’t very well say I hate it anymore considering how much time I spend planning runs, buying running gear, signing up for races and, well, running.  I think I am converted.

My running career has essentially been four months now, starting with the Rat Race in June.  I have actually participated in that race for over five years, but it used to be the single only time I would run in an entire year.  After training a bit this year and making it around the course at a less than warp speed of 38:04, I felt the urge to keep running and improve both my speed and distance.  Also, my friend Jillian is training for a Marathon which is kind of inspiring (also, more than a bit insane), that might have something to do with it 🙂

After spending the summer clocking a few 5ks a week, I went to the Zoo with Eleanor to participate in a 5k event there at the end of September.  Clearly my memories of the zoo from when I was younger were not that vivid, as the grounds were much hillier than I remembered – leading to the hardest 5k course I had ever run.  Despite the difficulty level, I managed to sneak past the finish line at 35:02. Yahoo! Measurable improvement – I love metrics! I actually think half the reason I have kept up running is thanks to my Nike+ Running App that lets me track every detail of every run.  In short, it lets me obsess about the smallest details.

Metrics! Metrics! Metrics!

I have another 5k coming up this Sunday as part of the Scotiabank Waterfront Half and Full Marathon weekend (those crazy bastards), and I’m hoping to beat my time from the Zoo but only by a little bit, even a second or two would suffice!  After that my sister Sandy and I are participating in the Women’s 8k at Sunnybrook park, and I’m thinking of doing the Santa Run in Burlington with my friend Pickering in December – running in costume? Yes please.  As you can see, I think I’m addicted.

In terms of distance, I had tried a few 8k routes on my own but that was the farthest I had gone, until this week.  Jillian and I had discussed doing some hill training but bailed in fear of injuring ourselves prior to this weekends race.  Instead, we decided to try for 10k (which Jillian could honestly do in her sleep, being that she had already gone on a 25k run earlier in the week).  We successfully made it through the route, and I’m happy to report I can run 10k – and will be even happier to try another 10k in a more welcoming environment.  The route we took included some big hills for the first 2.5k, lots of commuter dodging, 3k in almost total darkness on uneven terrain while we ran through the Don Valley, and ended in a nasty hill.  Oh, and it was really cold and insanely windy.

The area I outlined in green – almost complete darkness!

Either than the obvious health and fitness benefits – I’ve found some other bonuses in the field of running:

  • Race Day Swag: As I’m writing this I’m enjoying a Werther’s Caramelt, I received a whole bag at the Zoo race!  Free food and yummy samples a plenty.
  • Finishers Medals: I already feel like a Superhero when I finish a run, but giving me a medal makes me feel like an Olympian!
  • Freebies: Jillian and I went to the Running Room to buy some socks the other day, and they gave us each a free Nike bag with a Thermos inside it!

Socks + Free Stuff!

Hopefully the rain will hold off on Sunday – not so much for my measly 5k, but for the crazy folks out running their hearts out in the half and full Marathons! Good Luck Everyone!

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Filed under Fitness Follies

Live! with Nancy Francis – The Audition

First of all, I apologize for the apparent cliffhanger – Thanksgiving got the best of me and I pretty much disavowed myself from the internets for several days 🙂

In brief, I think the Audition went well – but I also think that highlighter yellow skinny jeans are a good idea.

I spent the few hours before the Producer (Ok, I think she is actually a Casting Director, but Producer is just easier to say) arrived hanging out with my friend Victory, eating lunch and having my makeup done.  Victory is definitely heading in the right direction by choosing Makeup Artistry as her career, I thought I looked amazing – but not like I was wearing much makeup.  Score.

The Producer arrived on schedule in a fashionable outfit of bright blue jeans, a striped top, a killer black blazer and trendy red lips and got right to setting up her gear.  I had a few release forms to sign (totally didn’t read them) and was given a few instructions:

  • Don’t look at the camera, look at her
  • Try to incorporate the question in my answer, as the question asking will be edited out
  • I can restart an answer, or change an answer, at any time

She fired up the camera and we got to it.  The questions were mostly the ones I had answered in the application, and that we had already reviewed on the phone (poor thing must be sick of my stories by now!), along with a few new ones.  Oddly enough, the ones that tripped me up the most were likely not planned to be difficult:

  • What is the Sweetest or most Romantic thing a guy has ever done for you? Uhh.. Buy me flowers? (Oops, that was my Dad) Make me dinner? Remember my name? WTF – I guess I haven’t had a whole lot of Romance in my life, that needs to be fixed!
  • What is the Wildest thing you have ever done? Umm.  I can’t think of anything I’ve done that classifies as ‘wild’.  I must be the most boring person alive.  I went with moving to Whistler, sight unseen, when I was 18.  Crazy girl over here, watch out.
  • What is your ideal guy like? Okay, I definitely said a ‘Dude’… and then expanded by saying someone that likes Sports, Fixing Cars and Drinking Beer.  Oh, and Tall, Dark and Handsome of course.

I managed to squeak my way through the interview without saying anything horrifying – I hope.  The next step was to give a tour of the house, which felt very much like an episode of MTV Cribs.  I even had to show what was inside the fridge!  The best part was going through my closet and getting to show off some of my favourite outfits and my glorious shoe collection!

The final step was recording some ‘B roll’ material, whatever that means.  Mostly it was embarrassing stuff like flipping my hair, spinning around, and answering the door by saying “Hi I’m Nancy, Come Date with Me!” Cringe.  The Producer commented that she already had lots of good material, as without prompting I have the tendency to put thing like novelty halloween headbands on my head and bounce around and my myself look like an idiot.  B roll, I own that shit.

So now I just have to wait it out – I’m in or I’m out, it is out of my hands! I may have to move to another country and change my name if I ever make it on air though, because I’m pretty sure they plan to cast me as Crazy Cat Lady with a strange fear of cheese.

I’m Ready for my Close Up!

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Filed under Events in Review, Pictures Tell a Thousand Words