Thursday, 27 September 2012

The Big Decision

I bought an airplane ticket to Sydney, Australia.

The visa is for a year-long duration.


A little.

But at least I get to go with this brain-freeze face:

True froyo mochi ball lovers won't let hoodie weather stop them from getting their Menchies.

Ready for some random photo-ness? 

Aroma Espresso Bar at Shops at Don Mills is a crowded place on a Sunday morning. And this is one of the reasons why: a really, really good breakfast.

I know it looks simple (who can't cook 2 sunny-side-up eggs, right?) but it's really fresh and delicious.

The dog has taken to jumping on laps and insisting on some unscheduled Love-Times.

She is too big to fit into laps comfortably. As you can see, her front paws hang off, and her two hind legs were completely off the lap. She's also getting heavier. What a cute fattie.

Australia research time!

Sunday, 23 September 2012

La Bettola lunch

Remember the days of hour-long lunches in the middle of your dreary 9 to 5?

Oh you don't?



Where is this insulting post going, you ask?

To La Bettola for a work-day lunch my friends! 

It started with fresh bread (not warm though), and olive oil.

A little balsamic vinegar would've made that piece of bread all the better, though.

We started with a really deliciously mushroom cheese arugula salad! 

Then, we had the buffalo mozzarella pizza. Very thin crust. Crazy good mozzarella!

Overall, a really tasty lunch, but without too many options for vegetarians. They have lots of cured meat things which are probably really good, so if you're into that, try it.

The pizza was 17 and the salad 13, so splitting it among the three of us made it a 13-dollar-lunch, which was pretty good for the fancy-shmancyness of the place.

But later, I was super thirsty and not feeling too good at all. I wonder if my system didn't like the salt, or if I was suffering some sort of Consistently-Skipping-Ashtanga-on-Fridays Syndrome.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Am I running too fast?

I have a pain in my bum.


I've done a better job tracking my pace since starting this Half-Mary training thing, and also thanks to my sister's handy excel document-tationing.

Today I ran a 6.38 pace up two hills.

And on Monday, when the pain started, I ran a 5.97 pace.

I was in a hurry because I had to do this:

When I left for my run she was already whining and begging. So I hurried back to walk her.

During our walk, we scared a hawk out of a tree.

Or, it thought my dog was a squirrel, and decided to attack.

I begged it not to eat my squirrel-dog and it flew away.

Then, I blew a rainbow out of my magic hands.

I'm a care bear.

This post totally makes sense.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

This can't be utopia!

Yesterday, my other half-chromosome set and I went for a run.

It was 5.3 miles of hills and trying not to choke on her dust. She runs fast.

Luckily, I finished pretty strong, and went home to eat a ginormous breakfast.

The sister was complaining of knee pain, so I taught her "Thread the needle" pose as Moksha calls it. It's a really important runner's stretch because it targets tons of external rotators and especially my pain in the ass.

Here she is modeling it, while The Dog looks confused.

For the knee that pains her, I taught her how to get into it without torquing the knee.

Two decided to join the party. She is also a fan of healthy knees.

Later, Steven and I were scheduled to go to a housewarming, so we ate an early dinner at a restaurant highly recommended by friends: Utopia.

Steven had the chicken quesadilla. He said it was very good, but the coleslaw was weird (it was, I tried it), and the rice and beans mediocre. 

Our friends had the bison burger, which he said was AHHHH-MAAAAHHH-ZING!

I don't have a picture of it, but I ordered the Veggie Souvlaki.

It sucked. The pita was hard and stale, the veggie "meat" was cold. The only redeeming feature of my dish was the hot fries and some nice tzaziki (which they charged us 95 cents for an extra little dish anyway).

Later that evening, I had dumplings at home cuz I got hungry.

Alas, it has been proven that Sandy Cannot Live On French Fries and Tzaziki, Both Of Which Are Obviously Nutritious and Filling so This Finding Comes as an Absolute Surprise.

Before the house party, we walked around Queen St. W. Loblaws and found my new future home.

Down the street, we also saw this:

Is it weird that I want it?!

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Yoga Burnout?

I woke up yesterday and I didn't want to do yoga.

For me, that is weird.


I almost always want to do yoga--I love it as much as I love eating.

More and more often, I'm second guessing what I'm doing with my life. There is no job security with teaching yoga, no benefits, no ladders to climb or advance. You work to be a better and better teacher, but you don't really know if you're doing "life" right.

Luckily, I came downstairs and I saw this:

So I felt better about my life.

Yoga is really the only job that lets me spend tons of time with her, with my running, with my yoga, with all the people I love and all the activities I can't bear to live without.

And it gives me tons of time to do my second favourite thing in the whole wide world...


Tonight, we went to one of my favorite vegetarian restaurants

Everything is vegetarian, even the sushi!

It's Buddhist vegetarian, which means everything is garlic and onion-free.

I don't get it either, so don't ask me.

After dinner, we went to Yogen Fruz, the classic "mall-frozen-yogurt-place".  I found one north of the city that's eat-in, so we had to visit, especially with the warm days of summer nearly behind us.

Bad news, they were closing when we walked in.

Good news, Randy, the nicest owner ever, said he'd make us froyo anyway.


Bad news, he ran out of mochi balls.

This is Steven's sad face. Zero mochi balls.

My "no-mochi-ball" face was more like "falling-to-my-knees-screaming-WHYYY-DO-YOU-HATE-ME-WORLD" face.

Dramatic? ME? Nevah.

Yogen Fruz has superior yogurt. Hands down.

Real fruit.

No ice chunks.

And it doesn't melt into pools of sweetened water.

Now if only we had mochi balls.

Randy, make the mochi balls happen.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Energizer Night Race

10 K in 1:01:58

5K split 29:22

6:09/K pace

I placed 531 overall, and 65 in my age group!

Not bad for my first race.

The day started rainy and miserable, and I wondered if it were possible to run at all. Considering Energizer is a night race...

Rain + Dark = I'm Not Doing It.

Then, by mid-afternoon the skies cleared and we even got some blue!

So I grabbed the race shirt and got ready:

I was prancing around quite excited, and quite early, and Two-Two thought I was taking her out.

Instead I sat on the couch, waiting for my friend to pick me up.

There was no parking close to the race site, so we parked at the furthest lot and took a shuttle.

I figured out the head gear the day before.

Thoughts while running:

(no photos because, well, I was a bit busy, and I don't have a small camera or one of those nifty packs to carry things)

"I've never seen so many bums moving in unison in front of me!"

"How does anyone run when you're packed like a sardine? This isn't running--it's shuffling."

"That girl thinks this is a HILL? She hasn't seen a hill."  <--- I run in a valley, so I'm going uphill all. the. time.

"That old guy is going at a good pace! Imma catch him."

It turns out the old guy went at EXACTLY my pace. It was perfect. He sped down the downhills, kept his leg turnover rate high on the uphills, and pushed through the flat parts. I kept pace behind him for the last half of the race, and I owe  him a lot of my success!

I'm super happy with my 1:01 for a first race, and how easy it felt. I was hardly out of breath by the end, so the last 500 meters was a mad dash so I could get panting.

Overall, I loved the enthusiasm and general hype of a race, but I hate running like a sardine.

The next day, a bunch of friends and I went out for breakfast at my new favorite place. Over breakfast, Jen and I decided to do a half-marathon training plan, but not sign up for a race.

We're going to try a nice steady increase in mileage over the weeks, and stay accountable for our runs with our blogs and the fact that we live together cuz she can smell it when I don't run because it doesn't stank of Sandy in the house.

Completely unrelated note:

Everyone saw him put strawberry jam on his potatoes, so now you know I'm not exaggerating!

What a loveable weirdo.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Race Day

It's race  rain day.

Thanks, weather, for the wet dog.

She's scared of peeing in the rain.

I'm scared of running in the rain. And in the dark.

Energizer, you're killing me.

I guess we'll see how the day goes. If it clears up by mid-afternoon, tonight's run should be do-able. But if it's pouring like it is now...I'm going for froyo.

A new froyo place opened up at Bayview and Eglinton called Yeh!

It's interior had seating for children and big bean bags!

They had watermelon and pineapple water.

To be honest, it all just tasted like water...

The topping selection was goooood! Four buckets of fresh fruit, and the all-important mochi balls.

These are legit mochi balls, and that was one good brownie.

But both Strawberry-Jam Boy and I thought the yogurt tasted a bit bland. We got mango, and by the end, could hardly taste it anymore under all the toppings.

Sigh. It looks like Menchies is still on top.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Piriformis pain in the A$$!

My right butt cheek is getting a lot of attention these days.

I woke up the other day with a pretty severe piriformis pain, coming up from my hip and into my lower back. While lying flat, I could feel the tension singing through my hip, like a bee buzzing in my ear.


So I tried all the stretches I know for the piriformis, and nothing worked!

Then, at the yoga studio, I asked some crazy lady to put her knee in my bum. She put me on a foam roller instead.

And it was good.

It was very good.

The next day, I woke up with much less pain. Already it felt like it was getting better.

So, I tried to replicate it at home with a yoga block.

*grunt* *shuffle* *grunt* *shimmy* *grunt*


Two-Two got worried.

She decided that I needed a donut to make my piriformis feel better.

Take a good look at this bad boy. Because I ate two.


Two-Two wanted a romp before dinner, so she lead the way.

When we got home, I spent some more time digging the edge of my yoga block into my hip.

All this self-treatment is starting to create some weird bruises on my bum.

So, to make me feel better, the strawberry-jam-loving boy took me for Soon Tofu. If you've never had Soon Tofu, here's what it looks like.

Like all Korean food, it starts with appetizers.

Then, you get a steamy pot of melty tofu in a luscious soup filled with green veggies.

The rice comes in a stone pot (see below).

Then, your server pours water into the hot stone pot to make a rice porridge to consume after the tofu. I never finish this part.

I find it bland compared to the yumminess of the previous parts of the meal.

And now I'm eating cereal and watching home reno shows. And possibly definitely digging a yoga block into my hip.

Monday, 3 September 2012

Too much mileage?

I did really great with increasing my mileage this week.

16.10 is a huge increase from the 14.97 I did last week. Looking at the long term, I really can't be increasing my miles too much to maintain this running thing. Next week, including the race, I need to stay within 15 miles.

I think this is why my left knee is bothering me just a bit.

So I've taken Saturday and Sunday off.

This was breakfast this morning at a neighborhood family-run all-day breakfast place that I've never known of until today!

This is where I discovered something creepy about the guy I've been dating.
He puts jam on everything. Potatoes, sausage, toast. Everything.

I don't get it. Why does he want EVERYTHING to taste like strawberries?! WHY?!