Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Sunday was our last race of the season. It was a very cold and windy day. That's me on the far left with my winter coat on over my running jacket. It was 2 degrees celcius when I got up in the morning and only warmed up to 6 by the afternoon, but the wind made it feel a lot colder.

I haven't run much since my marathon, so I didn't expect a PB anyway, but the head wind was so bad in parts of the race, I couldn't believe it. I ended up with a 54:26 finish time in the 10k race. My personal best is 51:12, so I was way off the mark.

It was still good enough to land me in 4th place overall in the points standings at our local running store, so on Wednesday at the awards night, I will receive a $25.00 gift certificate. Not bad. Last year I was in 5th and got a t-shirt, so I've moved up.

I've already set goals for next year. I want to do a 10k in 50 minutes, a half marathon in 1:45, and a marathon in 3:59. I need to get on the treadmill this winter and do a lot of runs at 7.5 mph, and my goals will be attainable. I just need to find some really flat race courses.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Putting the Garden to Bed

Today was designated garden cleanup and planting spring bulbs day. It was raining when I got up. It seems like that's all it has done for the past 4 weeks. The rain stopped around 11:00 am, so I braved the wet and went out to start cutting down the dead plants in the front yard.

I was wearing gardening gloves and was instantly wet and cold, so I changed to rubber gloves and that felt a lot better. I cleaned up the front beds and planted some spring crocuses and alium. I saved seeds from my cleome and datura for planting next year and sharing with a friend.

Below is a picture of one of my sedums. My mother always called them frog bellies and I often refer to them that way as well. This sedum is a descendant of one I received many years ago from Mom.

I cut it down right after I took this picture. The back yard still needs work and I need to dump the clay pots. I don't know when I'll get to that.

Sunday, October 22, 2006


I haven't felt much like running since my marathon, but I have felt like housecleaning. I normally hate housecleaning, but lately, I just feel the need to put things in order.

I decided to rejoin the Flylady. You can find her at www.flylady.net. She is just the thing for the housecleaning/organizationally challenged. I've been doing Kelly's missions for the past two weeks, and doing major fall cleaning on the weekends.

We've been thinking about getting new kitchen appliances for a couple of years, but have procrastinated on it. This weekend, we decided we would just go to Sears to look at the different fridge/stove/microwave models and get some prices. We're thinking we'll renovate the kitchen in the spring, so we might as well start doing some research now. We found exactly what we wanted, and Sears was having a promotion, so guess what we did??? These babies are now mine!!!

We get delivery in about a week and a half. We need to have time to get a gas fitter to put in the gas pipe for the stove. I am so excited. I'll have to post pictures of my old appliances and then you'll understand my excitement.

It's a little hard to tell from the pictures, but they are stainless steel. I wavered back and forth about getting stainless, because they tend to show fingerprints, but we don't have any little kids at home, so it shouldn't be a major issue. I'll just have to polish them up after visits from my goddaughter. No big deal.

Hubby says we're definitely getting new kitchen cupboards in the spring. We'll see. I've only been waiting 13 years.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Marathon Race Report

The Prince Edward County Marathon took place on Sunday, October 1. We left home around 7:00 am on Saturday, September 30 to make our way to the County. The race expo opened at 10:00 and we were there by 10:30. We made a couple of stops along the way. One was to buy some pies at the Big Apple Orchards.

The expo was really small so it didn't take long to get my race kit and head out. We decided to drive the race route so I could get a feel for the course. It looked fairly flat except for one little hill near the end. Why do they always put hills near the end of races? We drove in to Picton and tried to figure out how hubby could get around the road closures when it was time for him to meet me at the finish line.

Then it was off to find our cottage. We stopped at Black River cheese to pick up some locally made cheese. We like to support the local economy when we travel. The cottage was small, but cozy, with a nice view of the lake. It was a wonderful location and only 10 minutes from Picton. By the way, Picton is the prettiest town. If you've never been there, it's worth a trip.

I woke up at about 5:00 am on race morning to pouring rain and asked myself why I wanted to do the race. I don't mind being cold, but I don't like to be cold and wet, especially for over 4 hours. Hubby drove me to the start line, and by the time we got there, the rain had stopped. There was a light drizzle when the race started at 8:30, and it stopped altogether by about the 10K mark.

This is a small race, so there weren't that many people at the start line. I moved up fairly close to the mat so my clock time and chip time wouldn't be too much different. It was a little slow at the start, but that is normal. Once everyone spread out, it was easy to pick up a little speed. I didn't see the first kilometre marking, so I didn't know my pace until I spotted the 2K marker. I was 2 minutes ahead of my goal. This worried me a bit, because I knew if I went out too fast at the beginning, I might not have anything left in the tank at the end.

I settled in to a nice even pace and at every kilometre marking, I was still 2 minutes ahead. This felt really good until I realized I had to pee. I hate stopping during a race, but I knew I had a little buffer time, so I started scouting out the porta-potties. They had one at each water stop. I had to run past about six of them before I found one that was unoccupied.

At the half way mark, I was still feeling good and I was still 2 minutes ahead, even with the pee break. I got a side stitch shortly after that, but it worked itself out and I carried on. At the 30K mark, I knew I could keep this pace up till the end and I had a pretty good idea I was going to qualify for Boston. What a great feeling. When I came to that hill near the end, I plowed up it. I lost about a minute there, but I pushed on and made that minute up. I had family waiting at the finish line and I wanted them to see me cross the finish line as a Boston qualifier.

As I approached the finish line, I could see the clock. It said 4:02. I didn't want it to get to 4:03 before I crossed it, so I gave my last burst of energy and tried to beat the clock. I could hear people yelling my name, but I just focussed on the clock, and I did it. I crossed the line at 4:02:58. My chip time was 4:02:37. The Boston qualifying time for my age group is 4:05. I made it with 2 minutes to spare. I'm just amazed that I kept that 2 minute buffer through the whole race.

Hubby was there with my brother and sister-in-law and a couple of my cousins and their families. It was just the greatest thing to have so many family members there to cheer me on. We all went back to our cottage and had a feast that hubby had spent the morning preparing. I was on a runner's high all afternoon.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Marathon Weekend

We're leaving in about an hour for Prince Edward County where I'll be running the marathon tomorrow. We've got a stop along the way to go to the race expo and then we'll check in to our cottage by 1:00 pm. We're staying for the week to relax and do touristy stuff.

I can't wait. I really feel ready for this race. My last few runs have been good. Now if the weather would just cooperate. The forecast is for rain, but I'm being optimistic.

I'll give a report when we get back next weekend.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Week at the Cottage

We spent last week at a cottage on the Bruce Peninsula. It was great. The weather was really nice the weekend we arrived, so Saturday, we spent a lot of time on the deck and Sunday we did a short hike near Tobermory. The Bruce Peninsula National Park has a new visitor centre, so we hiked from the Cairn that marks the end of the Bruce Trail to the visitor centre, which is only half a kilometre. There is a lookout tower there, so we climbed that to get a look at Georgian Bay. I hate heights, so I was a little freaked out going up that thing. There is a short loop trail that goes to the point so we did that too. Hubby's new hip couldn't take much more of that, so we headed back to the cottage for a quiet dinner and watched a most awesome sunset.

It rained on Monday, so we spent a relaxing day reading and doing a jigsaw puzzle. The rest of the week wasn't too bad weatherwise, so we had more hiking opportunities, and I got three nice training runs in.

On Tuesday, I was running, with hubby following in the truck to save me from getting eaten by a bear. All of a sudden I looked down and there were three baby snapping turtles on the road, so we stopped to rescue them. We ended up saving 19 turtles from imminent death on the road. It was just the neatest thing. We actually watched some of them hatch from their nest. I left the cottage that morning without my camera, though, so too bad I didn't get any pictures of them. They were so cute.

All in all it was a great week. We needed to get away somewhere quiet, and this really fit the bill. If you've never been to the Bruce, you don't know what you're missing. The Georgian Bay shoreline is just beautiful. Here's a picture of the Grotto in Bruce Pensinsula National Park.

Next week we'll be in Prince Edward County. I'm running the Prince Edward County Marathon this Sunday. We've never been there before, so we're really looking forward to doing some sightseeing up there.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

We All Fall Down

I should give you a little background on the farm. What you see below is only part of the property. There is a brick house and many more buildings on the other side of the road not seen in the picture below. The farm was split up when my mother-in-law died using the road as a dividing line and this is part of what we are getting. My husband's brother lives in the brick house and will be getting all of the property on the other side of the road.

Here's an aerial view taken in 1982. It doesn't look like that any more. It has suffered many years of neglect at the hands of my brother-in-law. He has lived on and "managed" the farm for many years. The only thing he "managed" to do was ruin things with his laziness.

This is what the red barn looks like now:

It fell down about 15 years ago and the lazy slob who "managed" the farm just left it there in a heap. So now we're left with the daunting task of cleaning up the mess.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Water & Running Update

The County came out to the farm today and started digging a hole hoping to find the valve to shut off the water. If they can't find it, they're going to install a new valve. Meanwhile, water is still running in the basement of the small house. One of my co-workers said when we put an ad in the paper to rent the house, we can advertise it as havng an indoor pool. No kidding.

On the bright side, we've got a plumber coming tomorrow, so we should have running water!! And just in time, I say, since we are going to be spending all next week there.

I did speed work at the track last night with my running group. It felt pretty good, considering I had just put in a 10 hour day at work. Tomorrow night is a 5 mile run with the group, and then I'm on my own all next week. I need to do a 16 mile long run while we're at the farm. Wish me luck. I don't have a running route there, so I guess I'll just set my Garmin and run till it says I've gone 8 miles, then head back. There's a really nice trail that runs by the farm, but it might be a little spooky if I go in there alone. Maybe we should name the farm Spooky Hollow.

Monday, August 14, 2006


I just went digital in May, so I'm still learning the features of my new camera. I lowered the resolution on the camera to VGA and snapped this picture of some laminate samples we have picked out. Hubby decided we are getting rid of all the carpet in both of the farm houses and replacing them with one of these. My order of preference is from left to right. We both agree we don't like the one on the far right.

Weekend Update

This past weekend I had my goddaughter and her cousin come for a visit and we went to Storybook Gardens. The girls are 7 and 4, just the perfect age to enjoy this place. We were there for most of the afternoon. I think the most fun they had was at the splash pad.

I got up early on Saturday morning to get my run in before my company arrived. I was scheduled for a 10 mile run, but decided to do 12, as I missed my long run last week due to problems with my Achilles tendons. I left the house at 7:10 am and it was chilly out! But it was perfect running weather. I ran downtown from my house and into the park system. The washrooms in the park are supposed to open at 8:00 am, but they never do. Just before my turnaround point, I ran by a washroom, and it was still locked. I was starting to think I would have to go a little off course and find a Tim Horton's, but on my way back, I noticed the men's washroom was open. I checked the women's, and it was still locked. WTF? So I thought, oh well, I'll go in the men's, and I did. I was alone in there. I don't know what I would have done if some guy had come in to use the urinal!! All in all, the run felt good and I was home before 9:30 am, so I could start getting food ready for my company.

My friends showed up about 11:30. We visited for a bit, had lunch, and then off to Storybook Gardens. This was my first visit, and I have to say, it's a little over rated, but like I said earlier, the girls loved it, so who am I to judge? The most fun I had was watching the seals get fed. They are so cute. If I knew how to lower the resolution in my digital pictures, I'd post some cute seal pictures. Oh, yeah, and we saw a great blue heron in one of the ponds. We thought it was a statue at first, because it wasn't spooked when we got near it. I snapped some really good pictures of him. I love great blue herons.

My company left after breakfast on Sunday morning, and we made a date to go through a corn maze in a couple of weeks. Since my kids are grown up, it's fun to have a couple of little kids around so I have an excuse to do this kind of stuff.

I spent Sunday afternoon doing a little gardening and visiting with my daughter, "Rapid", who came over to do laundry and wash her car. Hubby arrived later in the afternoon and gave us an update on his adventures at the farm - still no running water.

As usual, the weekend went by too fast, and now here it is Monday morning, and I have to get ready for work. Ever hear that song by Loverboy, "Everybody's Working for the Weekend"? That's how I feel.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Water, Water, Where's the Water?

My beloved husband (BH) is at the farm trying to get a leaky pipe fixed. We discovered a leak in the pipe before the water meter that leads into the small house. The County has been out to the farm three times and cannot find the valve to shut the water off. It's buried somewhere in a bean field. Meanwhile, we have a steady stream of water running in the basement. That house has a dirt floor in the basement, so the water is not really damaging the house, but still, we don't know how long it has been leaking.

Someone from the County left a voice mail message on our home phone here in the city, but BH is at the farm with the cell phone turned off, so it's impossible to get in touch with him unless I drive for an hour and a half to tell him in person. I can only hope that he will give them a call when he sees no progress has been made.

Once the water is turned off, we need to get a plumber in to the fix the leak. We also have at least three broken pipes in the big house that need to be fixed before we have running water there. We spent last weekend there without any water. It was a little like back country camping, but with a nicer bed.

I'm still trying to figure out this blog thing so no pictures yet.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Welcome to my blog!

This is my first ever blog posting. My husband recently inherited a ramshackle farm, so we will be dividing our time between life in the city and weekend farm life. We've been renovating the city house for 13 years - yeah, we're slow - and the farm needs major renovations.

In addition, I'm an avid runner and wannabe triathlete. It will be interesting to see how well I juggle my time.

I'm still learning this blog thing, so stayed tuned. I'll post more when I get some things figured out.