Monday, July 27, 2015

Canada Trip

It's been a while eh?! :) 

My trip to Canada was amazing, long, stressful, fun, exciting . . . and I came home sick.  Which is probably why I haven't written anything yet. I'm not even sure what to post or how to divide it all up.  There was just SO much. 

Canadians are super friendly and I had no idea that was a stereotype that they lived up to. 

The PanAm Games were crazy!  I'm really not sure if I'd do another honestly.  The equestrian stuff was an hour outside of Toronto where the main Games were held.  However, I heard there was venue 5 hours away, so we weren't the furthest removed.  We stayed in the basement of someone's house and that was very convenient as it was close to the main equestrian venue.  But what I didn't expect was the lackadaisical, nonchalant feeling at the venue.  First of all equestrian events were SOLD OUT.  Yet the stands were rarely over half full for the dressage competition.  For cross country. . . they sold out as well . . . all whopping 5,000 tickets!  Cross country day at Rolex KY boasts a whopping 30K++++   So this felt super duper tiny.  It was also a 2* (though they say a "hard" 2*) as opposed to the 4* of Rolex.  I'm so "used" to the environment at Rolex where the press people recognize each other that I wasn't prepared for the notification of camera equipment getting stolen at various press venues (not the equestrian venue that I know of).  So while the competition felt much more relaxed and not as important as it should have (due to lack of spectators) the media area felt more tense.  Taking your heavy camera equipment to the porta-potty with you because there isn't anyone in the media center you know to watch it is not fun. 

Traveling with many people can get. . . complicated.  On the first day off from equestrian competition, we all ended up in downtown Toronto at the main media area for the WHOLE day which was not planned.  I was not happy about it and all in all it's a day I'd like to forget.  I had no way to leave so I  made the best of it. 

In the "Panamania" area downtown there was an open courtyard area of food, a stage, some sponsors. . . it wasn't nearly as exciting as I expected and there wasn't much to do.  But here I am with Pachi - the mascot of the Games.  The number of quills (41) represent the # of countries competing at the Games. 

It was in this Panamania area that I had my first Canadian beer. 

I photographed gymnastics that day and will likely share some photos in another post.  It was super fun and challenging.  But again the whole day was way longer than I expected and I was unprepared for that. I'd have packed for the day differently.  Ending the day eating dinner @ McDonald's at 10 pm is not exactly the "Canadian" experience I wanted to have.  But moving on! 

I did get to try Poutine - fries, gravy and cheese curds. 

It's ok.  Not sure I like the flavor of the gravy. 

I did get to try Ketchup chips! :) 

They were shocking at first. I actually said "just drink the ketchup from the bottle".  But they grew on me.  I don't know why they aren't sold here. . . 

I also got a red velvet oreo McFlurry from McD's.  Though it was not during that horrible day mentioned above.  It was yummy!

On cross country day, my husband was with me. . .  our lunch was corn in a cup.  We chose the Canadian flavor option.  It had maple syrup, dijon mustard and maple butter.  I cannot describe it.  It was actually *really* good. 

I'll leave you with that for now.  I will make another post with some competition photos and another regarding our trip to Niagara Falls! :)

Monday, July 6, 2015

New PRs and a holiday weekend

This was such a busy weekend and at the same time I felt like I didn't get anything done!

First I got off work on Thursday at 11:30 AM.  We were given 3 hours off and I didn't take a lunch.  I went to the park in town to do 3 miles before going to ride Eli.  It started off amazing and just stayed that way.  It was cool and overcast.  There was  fine mist at the beginning.  Perfect running weather.  Just over halfway through my Garmin beeped that the battery was low.  OMG.  I knew I was on track for my fastest 5K.  I just hoped the battery would last.  Thankfully it did!  I am so tickled with this pace.  It actually felt easy.  Now the rest of my runs this weekend were not like this.  But I'm hoping that I'm onto something and will need to re-evaluate my goals.

Then I went to the barn and I just had a great ride on Eli.  He's 20 now and things haven't been so good.  But he gave me such a great ride.  Great way to start my weekend!

It was a busy week and my 7 day fitbit step total was the highest I think it's ever been on Friday.

114K!  Usually breaking 100K takes some effort or some long runs.

On Friday we had tickets to the Cardinals game.  We were going with my parents and it was their first time at this Busch Stadium.  I believe this is the 3rd Busch Stadium, but I'm not sure.  It opened in 2006.

We had fun!  There were fireworks after the game.  They do such a good job of this and everyone has a great seat.  It's fun to just sit there and wait for the lights to go off and the fireworks to start.

My mom took this photo of us.  I don't really love it.  I think it makes both of us look heavier than we really are. She got close (as opposed to zooming in) and I also feel like it's shot upwards a bit.   But there you have it. . .

We didn't have any plans for the 4th.  A friend from my barn gave me some homegrown blackberries and I attempted to make a pie.   I tried this years ago and it flopped.  It was super runny and disappointing.  This time it turned out much better!

But holy sweetness!  I guess cause I don't eat much sweet stuff anymore, this was a shock.  We got some vanilla ice cream to top it with.  That helped toned down those blackberries, but my teeth were still coated in sugar.  Thanks for Carb-Ease Plus from Advocare.  I popped that before inhaling this hot mess of sugar!  :)

Yesterday I went to the barn to ride and found this:

Swollen knee from a little cut above the knee.  I opted to ride him lightly for 40 mins to see if the swelling would go down.  It didn't.  It did get warm when it wasn't before.  So maybe riding wasn't the best idea.  But Eli puffs up like a stove pipe from the most superficial cut.  So I knew that's what it was from.  I put ointment on the cut and hopefully this is better today.  He was going to give me a really sweet ride so I was bummed that I had to go easy. :(  

Today is someone's birthday at the barn so I made a patriotic cake. 

Now unfortunately it's Monday.  I didn't gain any weight from this crazy weekend when I got on the scale this morning. :)   WHOOP!   I leave for Canada in 3 days! Well the first stop is Detroit.   The nerves have kicked in.