Canadian in Candia

December 26, 2009

Running Training Links

Filed under: Internet, Life — Tags: , , — Miriam @ 8:00 pm

Buffalo's Freezer 5kAs I mentioned on Monday, I’ve been running again. I’ve been sticking to it quite well. There’s a few factors that seem to have helped me this time around.

First is the support of friends. I’ve made a few friends who want to join me in races and training and for that I am very grateful. Your encouragement has been so valuable to me.

Second is my high energy fool of a dog. Cooper needs the exercise and can be quite “vocal” about his need for speed.

Third is the tracking I’ve been doing. There are several internet resources I have found that have helped me keep track of my training and keep me motivated to keep going further and faster. Here’s a few of the sites I’ve been using lately.

  1. SparkPeople – This is pretty much a diet and exercise community. It has food, weight and exercise tracking programs as well as wonderful support communities, diet and exercise plans and plenty of hints and tips.
  2. RunningAhead – I find this to be a very powerful program. You can modify it to include pretty much any sport in any category you would like. So you could ad a horseback riding category and have sub-categories for Cross-Country, Jumping and Dressage. It’s a little hard to start off with, but I love it now that I know how to use it. The reports section is great.
  3. – I think an important part of staying motivated is having fitness goals. This is why I keep signing up for small races. I mostly use Active to find races to look forward to, but they have lots of training tips and articles too.
  4. – Another site with excellent race info. They are the originators of the Couch-To-5K running plan. An excellent training plan if you’ve never run before.

December 21, 2009

Freezing in Buffalo

Filed under: Races — Tags: , , — Miriam @ 10:43 pm

Buffalo Freezer 5k
Since mid-October, I’ve been running. Well at first it was more walking than running. I would go back to a walk as soon as the pain in my feet got bad. And I started being very carful with what I ate too. I was under a lot of stress so I was careful to make sure what I was putting in my body was valuable to my body.

Now two months later, I’m running 6 mile training runs. I still have a lot to go to be even considered a recreational athlete, but I’m making progress.

I’ve even been racing a bit. I never raced other than elementary and middle school track and field and cross country. So I’m finding my goals easier to find. It’s not like rowing where I feel a need to return to personal records. Every distance run is a personal record because I never kept tabs when I ran to cross train in college.

My first 5k that mattered was the sunapee turkey trot on Thanksgiving day. Jes joined me for a killer course. I would like to apologize to Jes yet again for the hill climb within the first 1/4 mile, I had no idea. I managed to run the whole distance and finished in just over 10 minute miles.

So when I wanted to visit my parents in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada, I felt a need to find a race and bring my brother along. So I actually planned my trip home on the weekend of the Buffalo Freezer 5k this last Sunday.
Buffalo's Freezer 5k

Costumes were encouraged so my brother wore a set of flannel pajamas with scotty dogs I bought him the day before. And my little brother actually stuck with me while I ran 9 minute miles for more than half the race. I eventually was fed up of a slapfooted runner in front of me so I took off.
Buffalo's Freezer 5k

I was very proud of myself when I finished the race in just under 9 minute miles. I was very proud of Mike for finishing in under 30 minutes on his very first running race ever that he hadn’t even trained for.
Buffalo's Freezer 5k

Buffalo's Freezer 5k

Mike did get a fair bit of attention for his running attire. He kept being recognized and/or cheered on as “pajama man”.

Cooper was so upset with me for having left him behind while I ran, but he was relatively well behaved as a spectator with my parents.
Buffalo's Freezer 5k

After a lunch with my family I drove straight across New York and Massachusetts to find myself back home. But I was certainly glad to have taken the time and energy to get some exercise in before that long trip.

December 2, 2009

Wordless Wednesday – Exposure

Filed under: Climbing — Tags: , — Miriam @ 9:27 am

Adam on The Prow

Adam on The Prow


October 21, 2009

Head of the Charles 2009

Filed under: Races — Tags: , , , — Miriam @ 8:00 pm

The Head of the Charles regatta is one of Rowing’s premier events. In High School we pretty much considered it to be the “Nationals” for the fall season. It’s important enough to have it’s own wikipedia entry.

I first raced the Charles in my first year of rowing in 1998. It was also the only time I was in a crew that won it’s event. I raced two more times in high school, all four years of college and did three stints in the alumni boats for Northeastern. I raced 10 years in a row. I earned 4 medals in that race. And I would have gladly raced another ten years in a row.  But I knew that there was a bigger interest in the Alumni boat this year. So when the e-mail went out asking who wanted to row, I responded that I would love to row but if the interest was great enough, I would gladly bow out and be a cheerleader. And there was enough interest. Two full eights worth of interest. So for the first year ever, I was a spectator.

Being a spectator means that I could take pictures of past teammates heading out to race. It wasn’t bad, but I don’t plan on volunteering to bow out next year just yet.


Head of the Charles 2009

Head of the Charles 2009

The bow four (people furthest away from the coxwain, the girl who steers, in the boat) and stern four weren’t exactly coordinated in their pictures.

Head of the Charles 2009

Head of the Charles 2009

This is Kelly, she was my double partner for a long time. I once terrified her by calling her “Babe” in a really deep voice in the middle of a race. This was also the race in which we crashed a boat that didn’t belong to us into a men’s boat that we shouldn’t have been able to catch up to.
Head of the Charles 2009

Head of the Charles 2009

Why the real world made me a better student

Filed under: school — Tags: , — Miriam @ 10:39 am

I’m the first to admit that I was not the best student in high school or college. I’ll admit that I’m still not the best student now. In a way high school and college were phases of life I had to complete to get from one point to the other in my quest to become a grown up. I was involved in sports, I spent time with friends, I did lots of other activities. School was just part of what I did.

I now feel like I did the minimum. I got decent grades, handed in what I had to hand in, but never really went out of my way to understand the material. At least not in subjects that didn’t fascinate me. I was terribly unorganized and generally didn’t get anything done until there was a pressing deadline. I did some really great work cramming out a 20 page paper, or teaching myself things I should have understood weeks before. I didn’t take it seriously.

Then I graduated, joined the real world. I didn’t want to become a rowing coach like many of my teammates did. I wanted to become the engineer I had trained 5 years to be. So I got a job in an office. I dealt with procedures and deadlines. I made money. And I wanted to learn more.

So I went back to grad school. I had a house, I had other responsibilities, so I decided to go back part time and work full time. The difference in my work ethic for school has changed so much.

Homework priorities

I take study time where ever I can find it. I do homework at lunch, I follow the online lectures in the morning before work. I prioritize what homework, lecture or reading needs to be done when. I stay home on weekends. I stress when I get behind.

I’m in school now because I want to be, not because I have to be, and it makes a huge difference. It also makes me realize that I’ve learned a lot by working full time. I’ve learned about prioritizing and scheduling, as well as asking for help when I don’t understand. Work also helps you understand what you want to be when you grow up. Do you want to be the boss, or the research scientist? So many of us do not really understand when we are fresh out of high school what our real goals are in life.

And by the way, I still get my best work done under pressure. It’s just that it comes naturally now.

October 15, 2009

A Preview

Filed under: Life — Tags: , — Miriam @ 12:41 pm

Adam was a groomsman in his Best man’s wedding this weekend. I forgot my beloved Pentax so I borrowed a Nikon D50 with a great lens from the groom’s father for the event. I’m not sure if I’ll get around to blogging it soon or not. So here’s a quick lunch time preview of some of the shots I took.

Wedding collage

Great wedding by the way. And congratulations to both Chuck and Mindy (who got married during my blogging slump on 9/9/09, I’ll try to blog about that at some point because I WAS their photographer) and Sean and Michele.

October 14, 2009


Filed under: Nature — Tags: , , — Miriam @ 11:34 am

I’m not sure what’s going on this year but parts of my yard are covered in mushrooms.

I could understand if the mushrooms were growing in the forest around my house, but these relatively big mushrooms are growing in the center of my yard in clumps. They’ve been turning black with time. I wonder what kind of mushroom they are, but obviously don’t have any intention of eating them.

October 13, 2009

Fictional Locations?

Filed under: Life — Tags: , , — Miriam @ 11:55 am

I’m listening to an audiobook called Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson. It’s about girls with severe eating disorders. But that’s not why I’m writing a quick post today. I’m writing because the book is supposed to be set in New Hampshire. And if the author did not fictionalise the location the young protagonist lives in my neck of the woods. Why? On her drive in Chapter 5 (where the young girl gets stuck in a traffic jam) she says the following.

Somewhere between Martins Corner and Route 28, I begin to cry.

This is an actual stretch of road. A stretch of road I drive any time I head towards Manchester. A stretch of road that connects Manchester, SNHU, a part of Hooksett and leads to Western Candia as part of early route 27. It is not a stretch of road that is generally known for traffic jams.

View Larger Map

Does the author know this? Is our protagonist a resident of Hooksett or Candia heading towards the larger city? Is she a student at SNHU or Derryfield. Perhaps the author does know of this location, or is she attempting to create a fictional location unaware of it’s actual existence. Because the location that actually exists is not known for the described traffic pattern.  Would it be strange to e-mail the author someday and ask her?

And despite the fact that I am not writing a review of the book, I strongly recommend the author’s other works. I’ve read several.  They are generally on the serious side of young adult topics, but they are beautifully written.

Edit: There is also a mention of “Amoskeag High”. My rowing club in Hooksett is Amoskeag Rowing club. The Merrimack River through our area is known as the Amoskeag on occasion. I think the fictional town is called Centerville, but I’m pretty sure the area is my part of New Hampshire.

October 6, 2009


Filed under: Cars — Tags: , — Miriam @ 9:00 am

Ever know you that you must have a dozen pictures of a specific object in your archives somewhere yet have no idea where to find the originals? I know I have pictures of Adam’s bike as it was in my external harddrive… somewhere. But I couldn’t find any pictures of only her on my already uploaded pictures. And I only found a single cell phone picture with her circa 2007 in it.


Want to hazard a guess as to why I took this picture? These are my husband’s three current vehicles taken right after he got the forester. From left to right I present you with Rosie the 2007 Subaru Forester XT, Charlene the 1990 Mazda Miata, and Veronica the (2003) Suzuki SV.

Figured out what I found humorous? Obviously the fact that when he’s picky about the vehicle he’s buying a specific colour comes to mind.

Either way this post isn’t about my household’s love for blue, it’s about Veronica the motorcycle.

Adam decided he wanted a naked motorcycle, but he didn’t like how Suzuki made his bike naked (naked means that the bike has less fairings and plastic on it I guess). So as one of his projects this year he rebuilt Veronica to look more like a “cafe racer” motorcycle.

Adam's mororcycle

I think she looks meaner now without all the plastic.
Adam's mororcycle

He even got himself some shiny new digital gauges.
Adam's mororcycle

He even gave the bike something known as droopy handlebars. (I’m sure Jess’ hubby would understand why that is significant more than I do)
Adam's mororcycle

By the way, I didn’t take the time to take all these pictures of the motorcycle. Adam did, so he could show off his handy work. I just stole the pictures from my camera’s memory card. I think he is starting to appreciate our SLR though.
Adam's mororcycle

October 4, 2009

Whitehorse Ledges – Begineers Route

Filed under: Climbing — Tags: , — Miriam @ 8:50 pm

A few weekends ago my hubby took me rock climbing on this cliff. It’s a relatively big cliff called Whitehorse Ledge.  It’s one of two prominent rocks near Echo Lake State Park (where these pictures were taken). The other being called Cathedral Ledge.

He took me up a route called Beginner’s route in the Slabs. It’s a 5.5 slab route. The slab means there isn’t a lot of directly vertical sections and and most of the route relies on the friction between your shoes and the rock. This requires trusting the rubber of your soles. Also, the 5.5 rating means that it’s pretty easy.

In the thousand or so feet of climbing, that we completed in 8-10 pitches (distances between when the person leading builds an anchor and brings up the person on the other end of the rope), there were only a few sections that I felt were any difficult. And those sections were only frightening mentally.

I didn’t take any pictures while we were on the rock despite a great desire from my photographer’s eye to take several.
This is a poorly done panorama of the slabs section of Whitehorse ledge. We started on the right most side of the cliff.

Totally worth the effort too. I really love long easy routes.

Also, I was up North this weekend. It is amazing how much the foliage has bloomed in just a few weeks.

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