Thursday, 30 August 2012

Swimming is my chocolate

You may or may not have noticed that my most positive, sarcasm-free posts are all related to swimming - not running.  I realize this is blasphemy on a running blog, but, to make it crystal clear, I Love Swimming.  I love swimming like I love chocolate - swimming is milk chocolate (my one true love) and running is dark chocolate (calculated and controlled).  I love swimming like I love the smell of gasoline, like the feeling of clean sheets (Egyptian cotton, 500+ thread count) after a nighttime shower.  I love swimming like I love my faithful Mr. Quackers nightie.
I love swimming like I love Jax Teller with short hair, or in that fight scene in Ireland.  I love swimming like I love Scarlett O'Hara and her forbidden love for Rhett Butler, or like Jon Bon singing Livin' On a Prayer in his leather pants.  But, most of all, I love swimming like I love my husband.
Swimming is comfort, refreshment.  Swimming is gliding, is weightless.  Swimming is a healer; swimming is tranquil.  Swimming allows me to attain that feeling of being wrung out, stripped, that moment of calm exhaustion as you slowly make your way out of the lake, legs unsteady, uncertain ... no thoughts.


I am about to make my first foray into a "group blogging experience" #GBE2, which  I found out about on Word Nerd's website.  It is basically a group writing exercise where you are given a topic and have one week to post about it on your blog.  This is my first crack at this, but I am excited at the opportunity to put my spin on a topic of someone else's choosing.  I have come to think of the weekly "prompt" as the equivalent of Fred Penner's Word Bird and the word of the day.  So stay tuned in the weeks to come as I endeavour to participate in #GBE2.  To my fellow bloggers ... I encourage you to take a look and join in if you are intrigued.  Do not forget to check out the hashtag on Twitter!

Monday, 20 August 2012

East Coast Kayaking

Yesterday my husband and I headed out on an afternoon date to Lower Prospect, Nova Scotia to do some sea kayaking with East Coast Outfitters (ECO).  We booked a four-hour kayaking excursion that turned out to be absolutely fabulous.  Our tour guide was friendly and energetic.  Her knowledge about the area and all things ocean was impressive!  She taught us about the lesser-known SS Atlantic, a ship that struck Golden Rule Rock in Lower Prospect, and as a result, 532 lives were lost, the worst marine disaster of that time, until the Titanic sank in 1912.  Interestingly, both ocean-liners were built by the White Star Line.  We also learned that there is no such thing as seagulls (just gulls, and despite common misconception, there is more than one kind) and she shared tons of information about the local fishery and wildlife.  We thoroughly enjoyed our time with her - she made the excursion educational and tailored the trip to our taste.
Despite the questionable weather when leaving Halifax, it became hot and sunny out on the water.  As we launched the water was so calm we almost thought we were on a lake - until a droplet of salt water came our way!


The water remained calm until we ventured further out into the open Atlantic to catch a few waves.  We were absolutely exhausted by the time we had a snack break on Ryan Island.  When we reached the beach we climbed up a cliff in order to check out the water and cove below from a better vantage point.  The view did not disappoint.


After a short break we headed back into the ocean for the second half of our trip.  We hit the water just as the fog really rolled in, which made for a completely different experience.  There was so much fog we could not see past our little group, which made for a decidedly eerie atmosphere.

Upon return to ECO, we pretty much collapsed into the car.  We were both so exhausted we could barely raise our arms.  As we walked back into our apartment I promptly hauled out the ice packs as a proactive measure to treat my shoulder (lingering rotator cuff injury - skiing), knee (running) and neck/back (life).  After this, I continued my preventative treatment with an epsom salt bath, tiger balm, heat pack, ice pack and muscle relaxants.  Man, I am high maintenance!  When I woke up this morning I had that "I am afraid to move" moment, where you are hesitant to find out just how much you can/cannot move your body.  I have to say, Dr. Runs knows what she is doing!  I am still sore (particularly neck/shoulder), but, for the first time in a long time, I was not incapacitated after a challenging physical experience.  And the runs, you ask?  The only real drawback of the whole day.  Like the true priss that I am, I scoffed at the idea of having to use the port-a-pottie ... twice!  My husband enjoyed watching my look of dismay as I realized there were no proper facilities.  I also had a serious moment upon realizing that there was no hand sanitizer available - he quickly responded that it would do me some good!  Luckily, I am learning to be flexible, so a meltdown was averted.

Overall the day was a complete success, perhaps owing to the fact that we did not choose to go out in what they call in the biz the "divorce kayak" (a double). 

Thursday, 9 August 2012

My husband bought me a treat...

Let me first say that I love my husband dearly and that he is so very sweet and thoughtful, but ... he has an uncanny ability to surprise me with my favourite treats just as I decide to go back on the wagon.  By wagon I mean the summer daquiri season is coming to a close, along with the summer eats (ice cream) - all for the benefit of my IBS, my running and my desire for a more svelte physique.
Will drive for homemade ice cream - Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.
That being said, I definitely ate this football-sized chocolate croissant from Two If By Sea for dinner and it was without a doubt the highlight of my day.  They are so big that the first time I brought one home my husband thought it was a sandwich!
Length 7", Height 3", Width 5"
Now, to fully appreciate the naughtiness of this treat, it is important to note that rumour is at least a half block of butter goes into this flaky friend.  Let us be clear about one thing - there is absolutely no graceful way to eat these in public.  Do not wear nice clothes - grease is tough to get out, bibs or aprons are encouraged, a multitude of napkins are recommended, or at the very least, my personal favourite - the wet nap.

After you finish your last bite, you will finally understand what a beached whale must feel like.  A horizontal posture is normally required after such an indulgence and I certainly mastered that pose while digesting on the couch watching Coronation Street.  You might wonder how someone with IBS could possibly survive the ingestion of such a pastry, I am here to tell you that I do not know how I am not yet in the fetal position.  With IBS comes the great mystery as to how IBSers can possibly digest or not digest certain food groups.  I must admit that I am still in awe - awed by my guts of steel in the face of items such as Exhibit A and by my inability to digest key food staples such as vegetables.

After two hours of recovery, I decided it was time to work off at least a quarter of those calories and reluctantly got dressed for a run.  On my drive to the park (because thou shalt not run on pavement), I suddenly felt a burning desire to go for a swim, so I promptly turned down the nearest side street, drove home, ran into the apartment, threw on my suit and headed to the lake as sunset turned into twilight.  Surprisingly, the lake was a pretty happening spot, but luckily there were not nearly as many hooligans at that late hour.  What can I say about this swim?  It was blissful.  The water was calm and slightly cool as the lights from the houses danced across the lake.
The only drawback was my paranoia as I made my way through the wooded path to the parking lot - convinced there were coyotes or rabid raccoons just waiting to eat me.  Luckily I survived to tell that tale.  All in all, I came out pretty unscathed this evening, however, those are likely famous last words; as a rule food normally comes back to haunt you the next day.  Tomorrow I will be able to confirm whether or not I do indeed of guts of steel!