Well, this morning was my final training run, and even though my legs, knees, joints and body hates me right now, It was worth it. The last few training runs have been pretty good. I started off with a big full run last saturday. It was my first 10k since the injury and that was going to be a hard task. I hit the trail early for the run so that if things went ok I could go to bootcamp after. I was determined to do at least 10K and try to run as much as I possibly could. I managed to do 7K's straight non stop and then spent the rest doing 10/1 intervals. The 10/1's are working out pretty well for me and the run went off pretty well. Yes it was slow compared to my PB for a 10K but that is to be expected. It has been just two months since my injury and it has been a slow recovery and training process. So that is not all that horrible and my body felt good (especially after a whole other hour of bootcamp straight after the run). Since that run I have run Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday mornings, all 5k's each and all not to bad. Monday & Tuesday was 5k's straight each, non stop. Yesterday was the roughest as I have not been running back to back like that and it has been an effort. But then this morning I did 10/1's and although my legs hated me immensley, I still did it, I still pushed myself. From here the full taper program starts. I am going to hit the gym tonight (something I didn't do all that much of Monday night due to wanting to rest my legs a little, or last night as I had dinner with Heidi) and then the same tomorrow morning. Thursday night begins the full rest period with no gym (might walk home though, still undecided) and then Friday and Saturday are full stops, no gym, no running at all. Sunday is the big day and I am mighty nervous. I don't know the outcome yet or how things are going to go, but sure as hell I am going to give it my best and try my hardest. Bring on Sunday morning in Vancouver!

It is Anzac Day (well yesterday was technically but it just turned the 25th here in the USA) and it is a day of remembrance for Australian's & New Zealender's. For my American friends, Anzac Day commemorates the day that the Australian & New Zealand Army Corp (hence ANZAC) landed on a beach in Turkey. When they hit the shores at Galipoli it was the start of an attrocious battle, one that saw many men loose their life. That battle was 99 years ago in 1915 during World War 1. We take the day to look back on those that have served and fallen and remember them, pay tribute to them and also thank those who currently serve. I guess you could say it is our version of Memorial Day (public holiday and all). For me personally it holds a little bit more. My Grandfather (Charles Stewart, on my mother's side) went to fight in World War 2. He was part of the 2/2nd Machine Gun Battalion and along with his 2 other brothers (Jim & Gordon) all three of them went off to war. They fought in Africa at the 2nd battle of Alamein and also spent time in Gaza, Palestine & Egypt. After returning from Africa they moved up to Borneo and Papua New Guinea (sadly for a time we had thought they had been on the Kokoda Track, but when I got a copy of his pay book we found that he landed in Lae instead). As part of the Australian 9th Division they fought well and did what they had to do to protect our countries interests. So at a time when I would prefer to be back in Australia, spending time with my family and remembering those who have sacrificed so much for us, I want to say a deep and heartfelt thank you to all those who still currently serve. Because without you, our countries would not be the way they are now. So no matter where you are, take a few moments to think about those who sacrificed their lives for us. Lest We Forget

There is less than 2 weeks to go now before the Vancouver Half Marathon and I am pretty sure now that no matter what I think, it won't happen the way I want. The longest run I have done in 2 months is 5.6k and I can manage a 5k without to much discomfort, but the thought of 20k straight just isn't realistic. I'll be suprised if I can do more than 5k. But I have a plan. This week I am going to try and keep running as much as I can to strengthen my leg. I don't know if it will work but I can try right? Saturday morning I am going to try & do a long training run, a smaller version of what I want to do on the day itself.  For the reminder of the week ahead, more runs and then as of next Thursday morning I will make my final run and then nothing till race day, not even gym, to save my legs. My plan for rave day and for the training run this weekend is pretty much just intervals. Going to start with a 5k run (which I know I can do) then break for a kilometer and then pick up again for another 5k. After that I hope that my legs can handle another 5k run (after a 1k walk break). After that I will just break it up into manageable pieces of whatever I can handle finishing up with a small run to the finish line. I really don't know if the whole thing will work, or if It is going to be possible but sure as hell I'm going to try right?

Well on the weekend I saw the latest installment in the Marvel Movie line, Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier. I can't describe how much I was looking forward to this movie, and it didn't disappoint. It made me wonder though, why do I like the Marvel movies so much? To be honest I don't really know where it all started, my earliest memory of anything marvel has nothing to do with the comic books, I was never a comic book fan as a child and I don't really remember my parents ever letting me have them. My earliest memory is of the cartoons that were produced. I am pretty sure my first memory was of Iron Man as a cartoon and I really enjoyed it. It kind of went from there. Fast forward to the first Iron Man movie, which was really the first of the new "Marvel" series. After a long long period of time between when I first saw the cartoons and then saw the movies, it brought that fascination back to life. I loved the first Iron Man movie, it felt to me like Marvel really understood what making a good movie was about (Robert Downey Jnr was a perfect choice to play Tony Stark) and I grew to love the proceeding movies even more. When Avengers came out (I was in Seattle on my round the world trip at the time) I was like a giddy school girl, wanting to see it days after release. The first Captain America movie was great and I lapped it up. Late last year Marvel took their first step into Live Action TV shows in quite some time with "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." (I just call it Shield) and I loved every minute of it. Though not really to do with movies the back story kind of works around it all and I was hooked. When I saw the latest episode of Shield I was a bit shocked by the story line (no spoilers here) I knew about the background of what happened but it was like "where the hell did this come from". Had I seen Captain America 2 first, it would of made sense. When I saw it on Sunday, things became clear.... it is all linked, even the tv show. Linking the movies together over several years is a great thing to do for money but stretching it out over time, makes me go crazy. I still say that the 3 worst words in the english language are "To Be Continued" and this is kind of what it feels like (just with a several year gap between movies). I can't complain that Marvel are doing justice to their own comics and making a movie that is not only entertaining but keeps fans talking about it for hours and days afterwards. Captain America 2 to give you my thoughts on the movie, it was dark, it was moody and it was action all the time. At one point I did see a tear in Heidi's eye. If this is the kind of movie that Marvel is going to produce... Bring it on!

Since I had been planning to run the Vancouver Half Marathon and I wasn't able to get any leave any time soon, so that I wouldn't go stir crazy I figured why not have a bit of a staycation. For those that don't know a Staycation is a vacation in your own city. Stay a night in a Hotel in your own city, explore it like your a tourist, have fun and enjoy yourself. Considering I still haven't really explored this city, it was appropriate right? Heidi also agreed that we should have some touristy fun. I won't go into to in depth of a trip report, mainly because a lot of it is just boring but let it be said that we picked the hotel purely so that I could give Kimpton another shot and also open up the use of the free nights (which are not all that helpful this year as it turns out you only have free night options in either Savannah or Miami). Out of the 3 Kimpton hotels in Seattle we went with the Monaco. We started off the weekend by me suprising Heidi with a mystery. Originally planned for Sunday afternoon but since the weather was crap, I decided to move it up. We headed down into Sodo for the Google Glass event. Showcasing the Google Glass was pretty cool, I had always wanted to see what it really was but after experiencing I wouldn't buy one. It just isn't my thing. Bonus though we got a photo together and add in the free food and drink on offer and it was a good morning.
From Life in Seattle 2014
After checking into the hotel (and being told the room wasn't ready) and leaving the truck up in the International District (also convenient to grab a cheap lunch of Bahn Mi's for $3 each!), we did a walking tour of Pioneer Square. Picked up from Howaboutwe.com for free and through Stray Boots which controls it all like a scavenger hunt via a phone app. It was good and i had my first experience of a Utilikilt
From Life in Seattle 2014
Weirdest thing about the scavenger hunt was having to go into some stores and do stuff without buying anything. Felt kind of awkward, but it was still pretty fun. After the scavenger hunt we recollected the truck and parked it down by Belltown and picked up some gelati on the way back.. yeah it was a voucher again obtained for free so why not! We shared a cone on the way back and had a bit more for later stashed away. We got back to the Monaco and checked in. The hotel is definitely Kimpton. Small, Boutique and unique as well, it was a great looking hotel. We grabbed our bags and headed up to the room:
From Life in Seattle 2014
From Life in Seattle 2014
The room was great, would of preffered a view in the other direction, but hey can't have everything right? The room was what is called a "Junior Suite" in America. More an overly large room with some form of barrier between the "sitting room" and the "bedroom" which in this case was some fabric curtains. There was two things missing when we arrived, the in room amenity and the goldfish. Kimpton has a great perk for some travellers who get lonely. They will place a goldfish in the room to keep you company. Heidi loved this idea and just had to have one, eventually the fish was delivered and we met our new friend Charles:
From Life in Seattle 2014
He was a great little companion, didn't say much but he was always there swimming around (and also seemed to be constantly taking a dump, any time we turned around... I've never seen a fish poop so much!). The in room amenity was also delivered but it was wrong. I won't go into the whole situation to much but after the stay I emailed the hotel as they dropped the ball big time on this. Turns out they gave my Inner Circle ammenity to someone else. Big Big ball drop on that but it could of happened on any stay. We stuck around the hotel for a little bit, went out for a walk as well and just generally relaxed and enjoyed things. When it was time for dinner we lost track of time and while trying to get around some technology issues that had cropped up we ended up missing our dinner reservation and were late getting back to the truck before the time ran out on the parking (Thanks Uber for the free ride!). By that stage we didn't feel like even going to the restaurant we had planned and due to all the stress we just couldn't make up our minds what we wanted to have. We drove around Capitol Hill trying to find a park but couldn't, in the end we gave up and headed to 13 coins for dinner. It was old school, not so cheap but pretty filling. The counter seats were pretty amazing (not that we were able to be seated at them):
From Life in Seattle 2014
After a dinner that had the most amazing cream sauce (yeah I went not even remotely healthy) we headed back to the hotel for a quiet night in. Sunday was a little bit less stressful thankfully. We woke up at a reasonable time and rather than stick around the hotel since we had changed our plans around, we checked out before breakfast and headed up to Ballard for breakfast at Skillet with Dan & Shawna. Skillet Diner is probably one of my most favourite places to eat and with a location in Ballard that is bigger, easier to find parking and still the same food, well... only this would happen:
From Life in Seattle 2014
The Cinnamon roll was pretty amazing and the frosting so good that I ended up doing this (And getting shameful looks for doing so)
From Life in Seattle 2014
Heidi had the Biscuits and Gravy which looked pretty good
From Life in Seattle 2014
After Skillet, Heidi took me down to the Ballard locks as I had never been there before, sadly no Salmon in the ladder though but there was plenty of boats in the locks though
From Life in Seattle 2014
From Life in Seattle 2014
From Life in Seattle 2014
After the locks it was time to meet the Grandparents and pick up a chair for Heidi (hey the Truck got some real usuage) and before we knew it, Staycation was over and it was back to reality.
From Life in Seattle 2014
Staycation was a great idea and it was something we both needed, a way to relax (at times) and try and just forget about our lives for one weekend. Plus getting to play around downtown without the stress of driving home or worrying about times or anything like that is worth it on so many levels. The whole weekend was good and we should do it again sometime in the future. Maybe a weekend in LA is next... god knows I need to fly this year!

Well it has been a month since the injury at the end of February and as I start the last month before the half marathon I have finally come to the conclusion that I doubt i will be able to run the full half marathon. I am barely back running as it is right now. It has been a long process for the last month as I kept my brain in check without falling apart again. I have been trying not to just give up entirely and keep pushing forward with the running. I had hoped to be running solidly by now but unfortunately 2km at the moment is the longest stretch I have managed (though I am going for 2.5km tomorrow). The running is slow, but it is definitely happening. Slow is better than not at all right? So I have finally come to the conclusion that although I won't be able to run the whole way, I am going to try and run as much as possible. I am already $120 in the hole for this half marathon and I am not going to waste that, so if I have to walk some of it, I have to walk, so be it. I am not giving up! I may not be able to run but I am going to give it a crack anyway. I also have really decided that maybe a half marathon is a bit far for me. I still love my 5ks, I love doing a 10k as my real challenge, so maybe that is as far as I push it? Is a half marathon just that little bit to far for me? I don't really know and only time can tell but for the immediate future, I will stick to 5k runs! Tomorrow I run again (after giving today as a break day in between training) and will go for a 2.5km run with a 500m walk and then another 2km run back. That should hopefully do ok enough that on Saturday I can try for a full 5km. If that works and I don't feel the pain too much, then I can start adding back in the length to the run. Who knows, maybe I can run at least half of the distance in one stretch? Time will tell.