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Oot and Aboot

Not going to lie, this recovery business is a little boring. I’m by no means a “go getter” type person. But I like to feel like a productive member of society. At the very least, I need to get out of the house everyday.

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I honestly don’t remember if I got out of the house the week after my surgery. I was stoned on pain meds. But this week I’m feeling the itch. The view of the Ottawa sunshine from my sister’s balcony lured me out. I felt ready to be amongst my people again.

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I took a bath, put on mascara and adorned my cape.

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I think I need a proper one to fit over my sling…

What’s a good blog post without a Seinfeld reference? ;)

The weather was just at freezing, which in my opinion is the perfect winter temperature. However my elbow throbbed in remembrance as I walked over the “Carnage Canal.”

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In case you’re new, I fell skating on this canal almost two weeks ago. I shattered my elbow and had reconstructive surgery. I wanted to yell out in warning to the skaters down there!! Dontdoit!

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Instead I kept far, far away from the ice and walked around the university. It was nice to be amongst TREES again. Where I live in Toronto is barren of any plants or wildlife. Hell, I hardly ever even see grass.

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A nice professor stopped and asked if I wanted my picture taken while I had my camera out snapping shots. Sure!

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I look like I have three arms. Such a stark contrast from my last visit to Ottawa in June ‘10.

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I wasn’t just wandering around for the hell of it. Nor did I accidentally wander into Quebec like I had in the above picture. I was off to the mall!

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I just broke my third laptop adapter and had to go to the Rideau Centre to pick up a new one. While there I also got a few pick-me-ups for myself. I NEVER spend money on myself besides restaurants. Funny how a few new items can perk up my poor injured spirit :)

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Two new stretchy t-shirts I can fit over my cast. Concealer, mascara and lipstick for a little oomph. And delicates that are noneofyourbusiness!

Walking around Ottawa is funny because almost everyone gives me a “look” towards my arm and half the people ask me what happened. All I have to say is “canal” and they immediately understand. Apparently the Carnage Canal strikes frequently. Stories usually follow.

Here’s what my full arm cast looks like:

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Mind the peejays, I snapped it before I ventured out! I have a fibreglass splint running the length of under my arm, then all wrapped up with bandage. My elbow has to stay bent and my hand pronated because of how I injured the joint. The pronated hand is unique, usually a person has their palm facing their torso. This position is SO awkward. I always feel a pulling in my wrist from the rotation. Hoping I get it off at my next appointment on Friday!

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The requisite x-ray shot. Not that exciting since I smashed my elbow into little pieces so you can’t see anything… All you can see are the screws. Although, you could see a floating bone in the pre-op shots.

Well friends, that is all she wrote! My adventure today has left me exhausted. I still feel like recovery is going slow, but it’s nice being able to do a little more with each passing day.

Question of the Day: What’s your favourite thing to spend money on when you want to treat yourself? I’m thinking my next splurge may be a massage or manicure. I’ve never had either and I could really use both right about now!

Fitness Friday: Cold Weather Fitness Gear

It’s cold.

The sun goes down at 4:30pm.

All I want to do is cuddle under my covers and watch America’s Next Top Model re-runs.

Welcome to winter!!

I’ve made it a secret goal to continue getting outdoor activity in over the winter months. I am the worst for staying indoors because I am a huge wuss when it comes to colder temperatures.

But this winter I hope to get a few runs in, long walks, ice skating, skiing and maybe even snowshoeing! It’s all about that Vitamin D in the dark days of winter.

First, we are going to talk about layering. One needs to be careful about what kind of layers and fabrics they wear when rising their body temperature and breaking a sweat in frigid air. You don’t want to get too hot or too cold, and you definitely don’t want cold sweat sitting on your skin!

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b-base-layer-shirt-womens Base Layer Pants

Your first layer is called a base layer. It’s a thin layer made of sweat wicking materials. Synthetic fibres like polyester and microfiber. Instead of absorbing sweat (like cotton does), these materials take sweat away from the skin and allow it to evaporate.

Base layers are usually thin and tight like compression gear. Some people are too embarrassed to wear their base layers without something else hiding their body. But I find it’s a great layer for the spring and fall. Function over fashion!

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8d7f565063e0db78_merrill-destination-jacket NSTMicro

Next up we have the layer saved for especially cold days, the mid layer. These are typically made of wool or fleece and fit a little more loosely. Mid layer jackets are a must for winter activity, but you don’t need to pair the thick pants with a base layer unless you’re planning on –20C/-4F and below. I find layering shorts, capris, or a wind-breaking pant over the base layer work fine.

Remember! Your body temperature rises by 10 degrees (celsius) when running or doing a similar cardio activity. Don’t bundle up for the temperature it is, but for the temperature you’ll be feeling once warmed up!

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Finally, we have the outer-layer. Jackets and pants meant for this layer are more commonly called shells. They are essentially a windbreaker. Water resistant/proof, loose fitting, very light, and will cut the wind. The shell jacket is an essential piece in your running wardrobe. I get the most use out of mine than any other top I own, as I wear it for three seasons, not just one.

Some shells will also have a “butt flap.” The idea behind this is that it covers up the fattiest part of your body, as heat doesn’t distribute as much around body fat.

A lot of people go out looking for heavy jackets and pants straight from the get-go. But the layering method works much better. Sometimes overheating in a heavy jacket can feel just as bad as being too cold. Getting soaked in sweat in below freezing temps is not a good time. I know it seems like a big investment up front if you don’t already have the layers. But you will get a lot more wear out of each individual piece than if you were to splurge on one or two bulky items.

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Finally, the extras!

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I really like Smartwool socks for winter activity. It’s treated wool that wicks the sweat away and feels comfy all the while keeping you toasty.

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Next up, you need to keep your ears from falling off! This is all up to preference – some people prefer headbands, others hats. I’m a hat gal as I like my head covered too. I also highly recommend a sport-specific sweat wicking material for hats and headbands. I’ve worn a wool hat before and my head was drenched after.

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I always start the cold weather season with a pair of dollar-store gloves that almost always get taken off half-way through activity. Even in the coldest months, I still end up ditching my heavy duty mittens. You’ll probably want a lighter and heavier pair of hand warmers. These are the only items that don’t need to be actual athletic gear. Dollar-store stuff will do. What’s the point when you’re going to take them off anyway?

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Finally, Yak Trax! Okay, I have never tried these before, but I have heard only rave reviews about them. They’re grips you attach to your shoes to help you on snow and ice. Hopefully it will eventually snow in Toronto so I can try these out!

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Now, if you don’t mind, I have to get to bed. I’m attempting a sub-freezing run in the morning and have to get my layers ready ;)

New Kicks + Little India

Ohbaby.

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My staff discount at the running store finally came through. Seconds after getting the code, I literally ran there buy the shoes I’ve been dreaming of.

You see, I religiously get new running sneakers every six months. Come month 5 I start to get nagging aches and pains that weren’t there before. Even though a sneaker looks fine, there can be significant wear to the cushioning. Well, it’s been 9 months since my last upgrade, and my feet and legs have been screaming at me.

My past two pairs have been Saucony Rides, but I’ve been branching out and testing other pairs at work. Some (like the Brooks Ariel or Asics Nimbus) just feel all wrong. Too heavy, too squishy, too much in the heel, not enough in the forefoot.

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I’ve never thought of wearing Nikes to run in until I put the Air Pegasus 27 Trail shoes on. Everything just felt right. Even though I’ve historically gone with sneakers with a wider toe box, my foot feels nice in the notoriously narrow build of the Nike shoe. I’m a mild supinator, which means I run on the outside of my foot. Also means I need a shoe for mostly cushioning and don’t require arch support. These babies fit the bill!

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Even though trails are my surface of choice, it’s never occurred to me to buy specific trail shoes. They have more grip on the bottom and are made with Gore-Tex for a little water resistance.

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I could not wait to put these on my feet and fly down my regular running trail along Lake Ontario. I was so excited when I popped out of bed this morning, I failed to notice it was pouring rain outside until I stepped out the door. Under any other circumstances I would have turned back inside. I’m a fair weather runner. But I was just too excited to test out my new shoes! I hit the puddles for a soggy forty minutes and got completely drenched. Well, all except my feet that is. The water resistance totally worked and the extra grips were great on the wet surface. These will be great for winter training!

Did I mention they’re cute too? ;)

Alright, enough about my shoes. Something even more exciting happened today.

My mom arrived!!

She’s visiting from New Brunswick until next week and I couldn’t be more excited to have her here. We haven’t seen each other since I left New Brunswick in June!

My mom has been to Toronto manymany times, so there’s no need to show her all the typical touristy spots. We quickly came up with a list of littler known neighbourhoods she needs to explore during this visit. The first one we went to for lunch – Little India!

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I live about a 15 minute walk away from Little India. Would you believe that today was my first time actually eating there??

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Toronto’s Little India consists of just a strip on Gerrard St East. But it’s a colourful strip regardless.

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My mom said she could smell the Indian cooking as soon as we hit it.

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I of course took to the internets to find the best place to eat there. Two places kept popping up and I eventually decided on Moti Mahal based on the recommendations of Suki.

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They had a cafeteria style set-up where you pick what you want then call your number when it’s ready.

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Mom and I both went for the special of rice and lentils with your choice of a meat, vegetable and bread.

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For meat, I went with the goat curry…

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I’ve never had goat before, it was interesting! I think I prefer lamb, it was a little too meat-y for me (if that makes sense).

The lentils

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Probably my favourite dish on the tray, perfectly spiced.

The spiced vegetables

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Ohwow, these were definitely spiced! Almost too spicy for me. Although, the eggplant pieces were my favourite.

The rice…

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Really liked the long grain rice with peas. This one had a wonderful spice in it too that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. Took the edge off the more harshly spiced dishes.

Finally, the roti…

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Yum! Just like a thinner pita bread with a little crisp. This was my “healthy” choice for the meal ;)

My mom!!!!

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I caught her mid naan bite :P She said she really enjoyed her food as well. We were both excited to try goat for the first time.

After lunch, we wandered around Little India in the rain a bit more to walk off the heavy meal…

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Right now my mom is catching up on sleep from her early flight. We’ve got some local sausages in the fridge for dinner and I’m pumped to spend the rest of the week with her!

 

Off to write tomorrow’s Fitness Friday post. Today’s was a little sneak peak, as I’m starting Part 1 of a series on running shoes. See ya tomorrow!

 

Question of the Day: What kind of sneakers do you run or exercise in? I now take this sneaker business very seriously!

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