Friday, November 28, 2008

7 Years Later...

....I finally try rollers. 

Thanks to Simon's gentle persuasion, I bought a set tonight and hopped on before I had the chance to get nervous and chicken out. Yes, I am a little embarrassed to admit that since starting the sport years ago, I have never tried rollers, always opting for the trainer. 

I was actually really excited to pick them up, feeling as though I had this great new toy. They were immediately taken out of the box once I got home and I was ready to ride. I was VERY shaky at first and wouldn't let go of the couch (or the countertop....or both...) for quite some time. It also didn't help that I FLATTED while on there! (I think it's time to get new trainer tires!) Once I worked up the courage to let go, I was surprised how quickly I got the hang of it. Within a few minutes the TV was on and I was more or less comfortable. 

I am trying to post a funny video of some screaming and laughing, but I'm relatively new to blogger and I can't quite figure it out just yet...

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Christmas Baking

Wendy and I made a lot of treats last night. Although it was great fun with a ridiculous amount sampling and bowl-licking, the countertop and freezer are now packed with treats.....and Christmas is still a month away. I was able to cram a bag of cookies in my jersey to give to Tiff on our ride today and Wendy has plans to give away a tin or two this weekend. So, between the giving and the eating, the house should be back to it's normal picture of health within the week.

How do you make pure dark chocolate bad for you? ADD MARSHMALLOWS!

Don't lick your hands, Wendy!

The macaroons (my favourite)

Gingerbread POODLES

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Paula Radcliffe, one of my favourite sportswomen, really has got it right.

"In endurance running, it's not about pumping lottery money in. It's about providing training opportunities, physiotherapy back-up and a little bit of encouragement."

Paula Radcliffe to invite the best of Britain's emerging talent to train with her in the Pyrenees

Paula Radcliffe is ready to play the perfect hostess by welcoming Britain's up-and-coming runners to her training base at Font Romeu in the Pyrenees. By Tom Knight

As a member of the superstar panel chaired by Lord Coe now helping to advise Ian Stewart as UK Athletics' new head of endurance, Radcliffe said she would be happy to give youngsters an insight on her unrivalled work ethic and by guiding them round the trails that have helped her become the world's finest marathon runner.

She said the reason it has not happened before is that no one ever asked.

One of Stewart's plans to inject new enthusiasm into Britain's prospects for London 2012 is to return to the squad training system that worked so well in the Seventies and Eighties.

Radcliffe said: "Ian has always said he couldn't believe that people don't want to come and train with me.

"I am in Font Romeu, on and off, for six months of the year and I would love to show people round, to co-ordinate squad training sessions and see British distance running get somewhere.

"When I was coming through as a junior, we went on squad training weekends. When you run with a squad, it pushes you.

"In endurance running, it's not about pumping lottery money in. It's about providing training opportunities, physiotherapy back-up and a little bit of encouragement.

"It's not that we don't have the talent in Britain. I think we do. But we need to show people what they need to do and perhaps take them out of their comfort zone.

"Font Romeu isn't the centre of things. It's a place you go to for training."

Asked if youngsters might feel intimidated about asking an athlete of her stature for help, Radcliffe said: "I'm not that unapproachable but I would probably have thought that about Liz McColgan when I was a junior.

"At the same time, I would still have grabbed the chance to go and train with her and to see what she was doing."

Radcliffe and McColgan, who is also on Coe's panel, have already discussed what they can do to help Britain's prospects and their ideas include sending runners to train with the former world record holder, Steve Jones in Boulder, Colorado.

For Radcliffe, an improvement in Britain's fortunes might have to mean a change of approach.

"We seem to have this mentality in Britain that says you should save it until you are a senior and not push things too much when you are young," she said.

"I'm not saying you should be running marathons at 18, but you have to know where you are heading and be training hard, not in terms of mileage but quality from the age of 15."

Radcliffe is expected to be named next week in the women's field for April's London Marathon.

The men's field, announced yesterday, includes the three medallists from the Beijing Olympics as well as Martin Lel, the three-time champion aiming for a record fourth victory.

The online article can be found here.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Back to Routine

No more chocolate for breakfast. No more giggling all day. No more fudge for lunch. No more late nights with wine....

Yes, Rinny has left Canada. So sad!!

We had a great week together and I was able to show her my favourite parts of BC: Whistler, Victoria and Vancouver. Unfortunately she was on a break from training so I couldn't show-off our incredible training locations. But, because she was on holiday, the treat indulgences and good times were at an all-time high....for both of us!

I have one more week until my structured winter training begins and I am determined to get into a routine. So far it hasn't been overly difficult to get back to early bedtime and morning swims as my week with Rinny has left me exhausted; last night I was in bed by 8pm. I also have to admit that a week of unrestraint and indulgence has left me feeling a little gross, so I am trying to get back to healthy eating. I have had my moments of total relapse (spoon in the Nutella jar today), but I made a really tasty Roasted Pumpkin Salad for dinner tonight, with broccoli on the side. The dressing really made this salad. It was a puree of sunflower seeds, olive oil, lemon juice, agave nectar and a big handful of cilantro. I really recommend trying this salad, or at least making this dressing for another veggie dish. 

Today I did my first bike-run workout since the summer. I was a total wimp and didn't want to brave the somewhat chilly 8-degree weather, so I hopped on the trainer for an hour session. I then went for my favourite thirty-minute run loop and checked-in with my peacock friends at the park. 

Getting back to routine also means getting my quilt finished this week. Progress has been slow lately but I have done most of the intricate blocks so now it is piecing it all together.  I will post up some photos once I get it finished. 

Tomorrow night will be spent making Christmas goodies with Wendy. Yes, I realize Christmas is still a month away, but when it comes to holidays, I am known to extend the festivities as long as possible (don't forget, I am the one who carved the pumpkins so early that they rotted!).

More soon!


Friday, November 21, 2008

Annabel's Cake

Actually, this is Queen Elizabeth's cake, but it's a guest recipe from Annabel Luxford. I haven't made this myself, but I know this Aussie likes her sweets A LOT (as you can see), so I am sure it is worth a try. 

Thank you for the recipe, Bella!


-160g dates, chopped
-1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
-125g unsalted butter, softened
-230g caster sugar
-1 egg
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
-2 cups self raising flour

Pre heat the over to 180C. Line and lightly grease a 20cm cake tin.
Put the dates and bicarbonate soda in a bowl. Add 1 cup boiling water, stir to combine and set aside for 15 minutes, stirring often until the dates have softened and absorbed most of the water. Beat the butter and sugar with an electric beater until pale and creamy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until well combined. Add half the flour and half of the date mixture and beat to combine, then add the remaining flour and date mixture. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin, and bake for approx 40-50 minutes. Test if the cake is cooked by inserting a skewer into the centre. It is cooked if it comes out dry and clean. Remove cake from the over and leave in the tin while preparing the icing. Icing with desiccated coconut works well, as does cream cheese icing. 

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Snow, Laughs, and Rainbows


Aussie snowshoes

Helping out with the Olympic construction

Rinny getting friendly with the candy shop bear 

Loving the sun!

The most amazing rainbow (over Mayne Island)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Whistler Adventures

Rinny trapped in the bubble

Riding the lift in style

Vinny and Sarah Groff

Introducing Rinny to the delicious beaver tail

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Goodbye, Freddy!

Sadly, I had to say goodbye this afternoon to Adam and everything else great in Fredericton. 
I had a wonderful two weeks and would have blogged more if the internet wasn't so SLOW (by the end, I gave up on the city-wide free wireless and resorted to emailing from the miniscule keyboard on my Blackberry. This proved to be much faster.).

My two weeks in NB absolutely flew by. Adam was busy with school in the mornings and evenings, so I kept myself busy with my own Freddy adventures: craft fairs, swimming with the varsity team, cooking, baking, reading and even stocking up on fabrics and patterns at Fabricville (Fabricland's east coast sister store, but much, much better selection...I cannot wait to get sewing again!)

I turned Adam into a triathlete again as he often joined me on a biking or running adventures during his "study breaks." Our daytime runs were on the trails and the dark evening runs were our urban adventures where we would run the streets, admiring the incredible old homes in the historic district. Adam even joined me a few times in the pool for some swims. He gets me laughing so hard at times, I really should wear a noseplug. We are often swimming along nice and cruisey during warm-up when I look over and realize he has moved over to the next lane and is racing me. He knows the only way he can win right now is if he makes me laugh and this is not hard to do when I see him next to me gunning it. On more than one occasion in every swim session, I am nearly drowning from laughter as he speeds by me, looking over at me the entire time. Upon winning the warm-up "race", he always does his trademark victorious pump of the fists in the air, Phelps-style. At this point, I am usually somewhere halfway down the pool, on my back, grabbing my stomach and trying to breath. Oh, I will miss my swim buddy :-)

Last night was the Law Ball. I haven't been to a semi-formal since...... oh, PROM! And, this turned out to be surprisingly similar to Prom in many ways. Law students work hard, but I truly think they party even harder. The pre-party (drinking), took place in the "woods" (just like prom?) and the actual Ball didn't get going until 11pm. It took Adam and I a couple of cups of coffee at 10pm to get out of our pj's and out the door. It was a blast though and I honestly don't know if I have ever danced that much. I realized two things: I can walk much better in heels than I had thought (maybe my foot-strengthening work is paying off!), and, more importantly, I still remember every lyric and choreographed dance move to Baby Got Back (yes, I am a massive nerd!) The prom night reminiscing continued when I took a trip to the bathroom mid-party; there was vomit all over the floor, some girls were crying, and the cliques were gossiping! It truly was just like the good ol' days!

The dance floor

2am....can we go home now?

Too tired at this point to hold the camera steady!

I'm now spending quite a few hours in the lounge at the Toronto airport waiting for my Vic flight. As sad as it is to leave Freddy, I'm looking forward to getting back to BC. I will spend most of tomorrow catching up on my quilting and getting organized for the week ahead. Rinny arrives in Vancouver on Monday and we are off to Whistler for a few days. YAY! Let's hope for snow because I'm packing my sweet 1980's ski gear. 

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The day in photos

Healthy breakfast at Freddy Farmer's Market

Bay of Fundy National Park

The hike (run) begins

My three favourites

Pebble beach run

This could be bad....

Soaker! COLD!

The final hill sprint to the car. I won, but it really hurt. 

Moose Spotting

Friday, November 7, 2008


Batter-up, Vincent!

My partner-in-crime, Mirinda Carfrae (aka Rinny, aka Vincent, aka defending World Champion) is racing 70.3 Worlds in Florida tomorrow so everyone please take a moment out of your day to yell "GO, RINNY!"

We are cheering for you from Tim Horton's in Freddy (and yes, it is near Corner Brook :-)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Back in Freddy


 I am now back in Fredericton for a couple of weeks. It really is wonderful to return (and not only because Adam is here :-) I think the only thing I don't love about this city is how far away it is from Victoria. It takes a full day to travel here, even if I catch the Vic-Toronto direct flight. I pretty much could fly anywhere else in the world in about the same amount of time and I have to admit it was slightly tempting to re-route to the Bahamas when I was struggling to cram everything warm and fuzzy that I own into my bags. I put my tropical dreams aside though and caught the early flight out of Vic. A big "thanks" to Wendy for the (very) early morning drive that day! 

Tuesday I was up early to speak to the UNB Athletic Department. I always enjoy sharing my experiences, but still manage to get some nerves beforehand.  They were so welcoming though and I really enjoyed having this opportunity. The rest of the day included a short run on my favourite downtown path, a swim, and a trip to the natural food store to stock up the fridge. I am really impressed with the selection at this shop considering the size of Freddy. What I am NOT impressed with is the selection at the main grocery stores. I don't like to buy my veggies wilted and wrapped in cellophane....

I was up early again today, at 9am (which truly is early on BC time), and headed out on my cross bike for some fun. Sadly, I missed out on most of the Fall colours and everything seemed to be a little grey. But, I had a great time on the bike, got in a couple hours of some challenging trails, some great climbs, and some incredibly scenic pathways. No wildlife spotted apart from a family of quail and a black standard poodle. 

This afternoon I met with the UNB cross-country team for a little run. It was SO great to see everyone again! And, I was able to bring the girls a few gifts. Don't they look great in the new gear?! (see top photo) Nice dress, Tim!

Tomorrow I am up even earlier for an 8:30am swim with the varsity girls team... YIKES! And then at night I have art class at the Freddy Art Gallery (I joined this weekly class when I was here in September so it will be fun to pop-in again. It's a different medium every week and I am secretly hoping for anything but watercolour....not my specialty...

Adam and I are at a coffee shop right now to use the internet as our "free" signal from the apartment seems to have "disappeared"..... (anyone know any generic passwords we could try?)
Adam is unable to race CIS cross-country in Quebec this weekend because of his back injury, so we are planning a getaway. We're thinking about Northern Maine, but we need to do a little research first.

More from Freddy soon!