Monday, July 30, 2012

Gettin fresh

It's fresh roll season! I rolled up cilantro, slices of red and yellow peppers, peaches and cold, baked tofu in rice paper. Then I dipped the whole shebang into a homemade peanut-garlic sauce. A delicious meal to assemble when the weather is too hot for real cooking.

I overheard someone say today that "every good Canadian should be watching the Olympics," and wondered why only Canadians get saddled with this responsibility. Every Canadian, good or not, should be working less and basking in the summer heat! Harumph.

This evening seemed like a good time to rediscover Zwow #8 and the legendary dragon lunges!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Fiery peach salsa

I bought an attractive basket of peaches this morning. 

Tender, juicy, fuzzy, peachy orbs.
Little goody-goodies.

A little spice helps them achieve a less wholesome reputation!

8 ripe peaches, peeled and diced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 small garlic clove, mined
juice of 2 limes
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp cilantro, minced
1 green onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup red pepper, diced

Mix and store in the fridge until ready to serve.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Lazy run

An easy run this morning because the outsides of my knees felt slightly tender. I guess they didn't have enough R&R time between yesterday's noon run, which was hilly and extremely hot, and this morning's light run 18 hours later. My knees are as fussy as the Queen when her salad tomatoes are not sliced properly. They require just the right conditions for baseline functioning!

But at least I was able to run today. Yesterday morning I felt too tired from the day before, when I biked to and from work and then completed ZWOW #7, thereby completely wearing myself out and putting me to bed early. I slept well that night, but could not cajole my legs into considering a run in the morning. I remember why I love that workout so much: the side bends with weights are great for the obliques.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Have you ever lost a nail? It's probably one of the only parts of the body that we noticeably, sometimes painfully, shed and replace. Hair doesn't count because it usually leaves us without saying goodbye. It just drifts away and turns up later in a glaringly obvious location, like plastered along the side of the bath tub or bobbing in the soup. Skin also leaves us but the specks are too small for me to care about. I won't notice it in the soup. (Ew.)

Nails do not go quietly into the night. They leave only when forced by a slammed door or inaccurate hammer, or old running shoes, which is what scares my nails away all the time. They have attachment issues, and will hang on, sometimes by a thread, to protect the tender digit beneath like a bodyguard lying over their person to protect them from bullets streaming above. 

I have a nail that is coming undone. It wishes to leave its post. I hope it has the wherewithal to hang on for a few more months. I need its protection.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


...but I wasn't lucky enough to see it! Beautiful Gatineau, you screwed me again!

I was blissfully biking downhill when a man walking toward me said something in French. Screeeeech! Wheels stopped - pardon moi?

He said it again, and then to make sure I understood, he repeated in English: "I just saw a bear." Peering through some leafy brush along the path and above a highway, he added that a black bear had crossed the highway and meandered on to the bike path where he had been. Whoa! Sounded like a juicy story but no more details were released before he started walking quickly again, advising me to be careful, up the hill from where I'd come. I started biking again, scanning the brush at first, until trepidation moved me off the path and on to the street. It was busy enough. I figured there were way too many cars and cyclists in motion to encourage a bear.

I have only seen the ass end of a bear as it ran from me in the Gats. I'm probably due to see one face to face but I would want assurances that scratching, mauling or anything in the eating/affection range would not take place. I guess that means at a zoo.

Maybe I'll take the bus tomorrow.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Fountain rant

Sunday morning

I had trouble leaving my comfy bed this morning, and I was still inhabiting a dreamy head space when I landed outside and started to run. I had eaten breakfast and hydrated before I left, and packed a load of new gels (peanut butter flavour!), but the monsters continued to chase me; I felt mentally and emotionally worn out after the first 10 minutes! Pretty weird. Especially when you know you have many, many minutes ahead. Gah.

I crossed the bridge and chose a nice shady route to protect me from the sun. It is a lot harder than normal to run in direct sunlight in the midst of a summer heat wave, even when you're hydrating like mad. Imagine the sun is a giant magnet that uses strong rays to suck the liquids and energy out of you, right through your skin, and deposits them into the atmosphere, leaving you a hollow, sticky mess, like a chocolate Easter bunny left in a microwave oven. 

Melted milk chocolate (but not a bunny)

I ran in that shady area for quite a while, enjoying the skin-saving reprieve granted by our tall friends, the trees. But something was missing: water fountains! A full bottle lasts me about 45 minutes in the heat, and I was nearing the bottom of mine when I spotted the silver shininess of what had to be a fountain. I felt a flutter of excitement which quickly extinguished itself when I tried the rusty handle and nothing happened. Gatineau, you have failed me again! I had to give up my dream of continuing on to the Marina. Boo. I had no recourse but to turn around and head in the direction of a fountain I knew (if one can ever truly know a fountain). I arrived at the working fountain about 45 minutes later and drank a hella lot.

Although I felt physically strong and capable during the 30k run, my emotions ran high and low, and of course this roller coaster intensified during the final hour when I was running in hot sunlight and felt incredibly warm and sticky, and just a tad uncomfortable. I felt like crying several times during this run, which is not usual. Even the peanut butter gel did not raise my spirits although it was damn good. A glass of milk and a dab of my mom's jam would have made me feel better!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Fast cars, slow birds

On summer mornings, the traffic of the city unsnarls its tangles, and vehicles are permitted to move a little faster. Like arteries newly cleaned and free of their cholesterol linings, the asphalt streets seem to extend their borders outward and loosen their hold on cars and busses.

I'm sure that's how I came to be deposited at work so early today. Open road, no cars. It was fine, though. Lots to plow through today.

Good run this morning. There was strength in my legs left over from yesterday's morning run and the metres flew by. I spotted a gaggle of geese (seriously!) sleeping on a pebbly strip of beach, their beaks tucked gracefully into wings and resembling in color and stillness the rocky inukshuks close by.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


There are so many things I don't know it makes my head spin, but most of the time not knowing doesn't bother me. I can be comfortable with my head in the clouds, bopping along rapturously to the rhythm of my own baseline. It's knowing that I will never know that does me in. It's so final.

When I ran this morning, I noticed that all systems felt harmonious. Muscles, energy, speed - all the important players were heeding the maestro and making nice for the first time this summer. I felt fast and light. Maybe the long weekend runs have been paying off, or the Zuzana workouts. Or the cinnamon gelatto from last night.

Who knows.

Certainly wasn't because of all the sleep. Just 6 hours last night.


I've been thinking that a vacation would feel really lovely. And it just came to me now that I could use some time in the company of the really freaky (but harmless). I would like to hang out in the hot stillness of the desert and eat dragon fruit and candy canes, and trace poems in guacamole on people's legs, and fall asleep in a tent full of long-haired purring housecats. I am desperate to escape the stupidly ordinary! I require a mask and costume! I feel a tattoo urge coming on! That is all.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Melted popcicles

It's hot. The dogs I pass on the bike path loll their tongues and pant audibly. When I run in the morning before work, a short jog of 30 minutes or less, I re-enter the cave sticky wth sweat. And that's before 7:00.

The cat, normally affectionate, doesn't care to be held until I've showered, and will leap from my arms if I try to pick him up after running.

Breakfast jiggles

I've been trying to run more often - 3 times a week at minimum (but more is better). Morning runs are definitely the way to go: less hot, over with before I'm even awake, and quiet. Plus, there is a greater chance of hitting the pavement because I almost never have alternate plans at 6:00, except for more dreaming. I just have to do something about sleeping more the night before.

Dreamy: A Montreal lunch

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Grapes of Wrath

Tomorrow, everything will be better. Tomorrow, the clouds will part, the sun will shine and I'll win the lottery. Tomorrow is my real birthday. Tomorrow is the conclusion of my worst nightmare. Tomorrow will be everything today was not and will never be. Tomorrow I will run and reach my goal. Tomorrow will be the beginning of something beautiful. Bet your bottom dollar on tomorrow.