Thursday, 24 June 2010

Three Things Thursday

This has been one crazy week in good ole Ontarr-iiiaarriii-aaar-iooooo (Ontario), not only did we get a 5.0 magnitude earthquake yesterday that rocked not only Ottawa, but it extended from Montreal west to Toronto and as far up as North Bay down to Ohio .  My friend Vickie reported it was felt as far away as Grand Rapids, Michigan.  Office workers took to the streets in downtown Ottawa moments after the quake hit, even though it lasted maybe 30 seconds, when you're not a So-Cal girl, it seems like forever!  Luckily minimal damage was done and life went back to normal a short time later. 

Shortly after the earthquake, a tornado touched down in Midland, Ontario.  Mother Nature is certainly showing us that she is not very happy with the way we have been treating her lately.  Her strength and power far exceeds anything we humans can imagine.

    After almost seven weeks, I have WATER!   Nuff said, now maybe my life will get back to some semblance of order.  This is a photo of the guys installing the submersible pump.  Whoot, no longer a noisy pump in the basement

    ... and finally some running news!!!  This Saturday is the Perth Kilt Run, yes there will be 1,210 kilted runners running 8K (5 miles) throughout the town of Perth, Ontario.  Why you may ask?  Well, as you know runners are crazy and well, we are doing this to get our names into the Guinness World Book of Records.  This is the first year for the event, as it coincides the founding of Perth, Scotland (Perth, Ontario's twin city) in the year 1210, hence 1,210 kilted runners.  Look for me, my kilt is yellow plaid!

    Life's fun if you don't weaken,


    Tuesday, 22 June 2010

    Tuesday's Tidbits

    Yesterday I had started a post about receiving the You're going places baby award from Anne at Asthma and the Gift of Running when I received word about Wendy's sudden passing while visiting with her brother and friends in Grand Cayman.   This was a total shock as I had chatted with her on Friday and we exchanged "blog words" on Saturday, that very morning just before she headed off for her Flowers Sea Swim.  Wendy was a gentle spirit with a passion for life and all it could give her.  I will miss her encouraging words, her curiosity towards life, her love for her family and for her "Boarder", aka, Onyx her cat and "for all things sparkly"...just knowing that Wendy was loving and living her life to the fullest and enjoying her time in the Caymans and so graciously sharing with us her photo's of her beloved underwater sea world makes me grateful for her time she shared with all of us, virtual and otherwise.  

    Wendy you will be sorely missed.

    so back to blogging as Wendy would want,

    I'm to tell you where I'll be in my life ten years from now:

    • I'd like to think that I'd be retired from working, but since I front loaded my life with fun it is highly unlikely!!
    • at almost 70, I'll still be cycling and going on cycle tours, look out Blizzard!
    • I'll still be running and most likely be doing a lot more swimming since it would be easier for my old bones.
    • I'd like to think that all my house renovations will be complete and I won't be "camping" in my own home.
    • I'll still have all the Woooo Hoooo's to walk, run, cycle, swim, ski, party and share life with.
    • Maybe I'll have met some really nice old single grandfather....with grand-kids that go home at the end of the day!
    • I'll continue to travel to places I've never been before, I don't have a "must to go" location, but there are so many interesting spots in this old world, I may just stick a pin in a map, that's a good way to start travelling.
    • Since I don't have children nor grandchildren, I'll continue to have pets, if I had the money I'd have a shelter farm for formerly abused animals ~ great and small.
    • Hopefully I'll get to meet more of my blogger friends in person and share a run / event / good meal  and of course a mandatory adult BEvERage with them.
    • and finally, I hope to still have my health and a strong mind to continue to live life to its fullest.
    What about you? Where will you be in ten years???  I won't tag anyone, but feel free to tag yourself....and share a little bit of what you see in your crystal ball for your future.

    Life's fun if you don't weaken,


    Monday, 21 June 2010

    I will miss you terribly Wendy

    1959 - 2010

    On June 19, after completing the Flowers Sea Swim, Wendy suffered a cardiac arrest.
    She died shortly thereafter at the George Town Hospital, Grand Cayman.  

    Wendy touched many lives and will be greatly missed.

    Wendy certainly touched my life and I will miss our chats, laughs and "cat stories".   Rest In Peace Wendy, you have truly been an inspiration in my life.


    Friday, 18 June 2010

    Friday's Follies

    Wrapping up the RLCT. 

    Upon arriving at Queen's University we headed straight to where our friends were sitting on the lawn that was strewn with bikes, helmets, cycling shoes and snacks.  We enjoyed refreshing BEvERages and swapped stories of the ride.  After a much needed rest, we headed off to our dorm rooms to shower and freshen up to meet up later with over 2,000 of our closest friends we've never met before in the huge cafeteria for dinner.  The food was endless, choices fantastic and deserts to die for.  The Ottawa Bike Club knows how to look after you. 

    After being sufficiently satiated in the food department, we all trundled off to try to enjoy a nightcap with some of the gang before heading off to catch some zzzzz's.

    I woke up at 2am to the sound of pounding rain, grrrrrrr, and why was my room so cold??? 

    I lay awake from about 4:30am on and listened to the rain and the hard core cyclists getting ready to leave for their ride back to Carleton University, 177K away.  By 5:30 I was up, getting organised and packing up my bag, luckily I had packed my clothes in a large green garbage bags inside the sports bag, hey, Flight Attendant training came in handy because my bag was to sit outside in the pouring rain in Perth for a very long time!!!!  By the time 6:30am rolled around I wandered down to meet the gang in the cafeteria for breakfast and to charge up my batteries with coffee and breakfast for the ride back to Perth.  Again, the food was incredible, with every breakfast choice imaginable.

    By 8:30am we were ready to go.  We said farewell to some of the Woooo Hooo's who were driving back home, luckily I had thrown my cycling rain coat into the vechicle the day before....

    As we headed out of Queen's my back tire felt a little iffy, so we headed back to the SAG wagon to have it checked, while waiting in line, we heard that it was 9 degrees Celcius, raining and the wind had picked up to gusts of 35K out on the roads.  GAH!

    Once the tire was pumped  up we headed out...however, it still wasn't right, so back to the SAG wagon again to have the tube was getting colder, wetter and windier.  The fellow at the SAG wagon said that they were getting a lot of reports that some of the cyclists were bailing and that others were suffering from hypothermia, he also noted that if we ran into trouble again we were to flag them down and they would try to help us.  With a big hug and a thanks we were off again, this time some of the Wooo Hooo's drove past us yelling encouragement out the van window and then they were gone.

    We were head down and pedalling straight into the wind when it happened....another flat tire!!!  You know when everything inside you just goes calm...there was nothing we could do about it.  The SAG wagon was once again our guardian angel.  While Lauren fixed my flat front tire, Elaine and I huddled around the exhaust pipe of the wagon to try to get some warmth, we were soaked, cold and when I looked over at Elaine she was shivering and turning blue.   Keith strongly suggested that we give up our attempt to finish the ride, heck, we weren't even out of Kingston at that point!!!  We could go back to the University to see if we could hitch a ride with other cyclists, we could cycle up to the Greyhound Bus Depot and try to catch a bus to Perth, but we opted to cycle to the nearest coffee shop and order a taxi that could manage to get two bikes and two sopping wet cyclists back to Perth.

    Once we got back to Perth we had to find our luggage, our friend Donna went diving into the mix to look for hers!  We helped cyclists who were suffering from hypothermia, another chap had major grit in his eyes, others were piling into the rest stop looking for hot coffee, thermal space blankets and their luggage so they could change into warm, dry clothes!!

    Would I do it again???  YOU BETCHA!!!


    Thanks Keith and especially Lauren who fixed not one flat, BUT TWO flat tires for me.
    *glass in the tire = flat, flat, flat*

    I'd like to extend a GREAT BIG THANKS to Chris Borzecki for **looking after all of us on Saturday and Sunday and a great big thanks to all of the volunteers.

    Life's fun if you don't weaken,


    ** OBC ordered buses and taxi's to get people off the roads and safely back to their destinations, 2010 was certainly one RLCT for the books.

    Tuesday, 15 June 2010

    Tuesday Tidbits ~ part one of the Rideau Lakes Cycle Tour

    Leaving Perth to ride to Kingston on our 100K Rideau Lakes Cycle Tour a couple of weekends ago, the weather was looking iffy, but we were going nonetheless. Many of us had been out on our bikes training for months in advance so we weren't going to let a little weather stop us.  The ride on Saturday was amazing and eventually the clouds gave way and the sun came out, it was fantastic!

    What I hadn't anticipated was the size and number of hills we were to encounter.

    When they say rolling hills, they mean rolllling HILLS!!

    The four of us stayed together pretty much together whole ride and it was fun to catch up with friends along the way. We caught up with friends Donna and Treena and had a lunch break with them.  We knew that some of the Wooo Hooo's were ahead of us and we would see them upon our arrival.  It was a great feeling of comfort to know that we had our Sherpa Extraordinaire Jen with us too, THANKS JEN!

    Carrying on along the route, the larger peletons who had left from Carleton University in downtown Ottawa were catching up with us and just listening to the whir of wheels coming up from behind is just too hard to describe, fantastic and almost unnerving at the same time.

    I have to admit that getting close to Kingston I started to get leg cramps, not in the usual place you'd expect, like your calf or foot, no, I was getting leg cramps in my inner thigh. I actually couldn't clip out at one point because the cramping was so severe let alone pedal, luckily I did get clipped out and I'm not ashamed to say I walked one hill.  As in any long distance event, there were a few crashes, ambulances, motorcyle police spotting us, flat tires, people bonking, a few not so nice cyclists, many, many fantastic cyclists and so many GREAT memories.

    Upon our arrival to Queen's University we met up with the rest of the gang and had our mandatory Adult BEvERages, swapped stories, checked in with the tour volunteers, collected our bags and headed off to our dorm rooms to freshen up.

    For some reason I had been billeted in the men's dorm, so needless to say there was some initial excitement in the shower-room...I figure if you haven't seen it by the time you reach my age you're in deep trouble, but once we all got over the coed arrangements, we shared some very funny moments and even funnier stories!

    Part two to follow.....

    Life's fun if you dont' weaken,


    Thursday, 10 June 2010

    Three Things Thursday

    • Rideau Lakes Cycle Tour has been and gone.  What a fantastic time!!!  Hilly, hilly, HILLY!  If someone tells you that there are just some rolling hills, don't believe them, because a roller coaster has rolling hills too!!!  One hill I went down doing 52K per hour and on the up side I was down to 9K, there may have even been some swearing!  Fantastic weather on the Saturday ~ Sunday not so good what with monsoon rains, gale force winds and a temperature of 9C.   (a full report on that to follow).
    Good friends, of course we never have any fun.  

    Because there were so many of us riding, I didn't get the chance to see some of the Wooo Hooo's until we got to Kingston, but they had a great time and stories of their own to tell!!!

    • Tuesday night was the second in the Beaver Chase Trail Run Series, I shaved almost a full minute off of last months race time.  Whoot!!!  Tonight is the second trail run with a group I joined.  Holy schnitzzzz they are fast and over rough terrain.  I hope I can keep up!!!

    • Hopefully they will come to dig my well next week, I'm still hooked up to my neighbour's house via garden hose.   I'm on vacay this week and boy you just don't realise how much you depend upon clean, fresh, running water.   I had prepared  everything to make a nice vegetable soup and  realised I didn't have enough bottled water to put in the pot!!!!   So, I'm off to buy more water...

    Life's fun if you don't weaken,


    Blizzard has become a touring bike...
    story to follow

    Thursday, 3 June 2010

    Three Things Thursday

    • Blizzard is ready, all sparkly clean, tuned up and with over 1,000K is ready to add another 200K this coming weekend.  It is hard to believe that the Rideau Lakes Cycle Tour is here.  I signed up in January and my bib number is #47.  It's a good feeling to know there are 46 people crazier than me.  There are three supported distances, 177K, 100K and 185K.  I'm cycling the 100K from Perth to Kingston, Ontario on Saturday and back on Sunday.  We are going to be staying in the dorms at Queens University.  There is also an unsupported group who will be cycling 220K each day.  When they say the terrain is mostly flat, don't believe them!!  It is hilly, hilly, hilly.......and there isn't a hill I'm not afraid to walk!

    • I start trail running tonight.  I've run trails in the past, in fact there are fabulous trails where I live, but this group runs in different locations in and around the Ottawa / Gatineau area, so it'll be fun to see new scenery, meet new people and it is always safer to run in a group.  So, I'll let you know how it goes.

    • I've been without water at my house since the beginning of May.  My sandpoint and water pump died on the same day...I cannot replace a sandpoint with a sandpoint now that we are part of the Big City, so I've been waiting for the well digger to arrive (he is extremely busy) to give me an estimate and start date.  He arrived on Sunday to let me know it would be mid June before he could get to my place.   GAH!  In the mean time I'm hooked up to my neighbour's house via a garden hose so I can at least flush the toilet, do dishes and have a quick sprint through the shower.  I can't drink the water so I'm having to use bottled water.  Don't you just love camping in your own home?
    Life's fun if you don't weaken,