Mind, Motion & Matter

Running, Essentially . . .


1 Comment

1st Year Blog Anniversary – My Favourite Posts

My blog made its debut a year ago today.  Born as a final project for a course on blogging at OCAD. To celebrate, I briefly looked over the 287 posts I made over my first year and chose my favourites.  My average rate of posting per week was just over 5 posts.  Over the first few months of the year, I had aspirations to post as much as I ran and joined the WordPress postaday club.  However my commitment to organize the People4Kids fundraising gala last May 3rd took priority and my rate of posting dwindled.

Hours after finishing the CIM - Feeling good!

Since the blogging course I’ve taken digital photography, InDesign and Adobe Illustrator courses and that too has consumed much time.  So I’ve reset my sights on posting 2-four times a week. So here are my favourites, in no particular order.

The Final Mile, a State of Grace

Running the final mile of the California International Marathon (CIM) in Sacramento last December.

Slainte

About an 8K race run prior to the CIM.

19 Miles & Moore Park Ravine

My longest run in preparation for the marathon run on one of my favourite Toronto routes.

Ready, Set . . . Bake

A day of baking for a good cause shared with a friend.

ACE-ing Portland at the NINES

Our highly enjoyable adventures in Portland, Oregon.

I Think My Bathroom Scale is Broken

The post that got me Freshly Pressed with 2061 hits in one day.

Blogging Jogger Gets Freshly Pressed

My feelings on getting Freshly Pressed.

Haines, Sweet Haines

A visit to a special place in Alaska.

Happy in Haines

More about this special place.

If My Husband Had a Tatoo

A bit about my husband’s running accomplishments.

Thank you to all my subscribers and those who tell me that they enjoy reading my blog.  Your readership makes blogging fun and keeps me motivated.


1 Comment

Blogging Jogger gets Freshly Pressed

Last summer I took a course in blogging at the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD University).  It is a qualifying course towards a Digital Media Certificate offered by the Continuing Education department.  I’ve also taken a digital photography course, InDesign and am thinking about taking an Introduction to Adobe Illustrator.  Mind, Motion and Matter came to be on August 7th, 2010 a few days before  final assignment was due, the assignment, start a blog. The first comment on my blog was from my son.

.http://www.investtoronto.ca/World-Class-Talent/Universities-and-Colleges.aspx

Photo of OCAD University courtesy of Invest in Toronto

Our instructor, Greg J. Smith provided lots of social commentary on blogging and social media as well as the mechanics of starting a blog.  His blog is called: Serial Consign, Digital Culture & Information Design. WordPress, was his recommended blogging platform.  He also addressed concerns that exist about Facebook and privacy issues and said that he had disabled his Facebook site, due in part to the paucity of meaningful discourse that typified his Facebook experience.

I decided to disable my rarely used Facebook site but was thwarted because I had changed email addresses since signing up and with no access to that email address, Facebook told me it could not be disabled. Food for thought, no?

In spite of this I have come to accept that Facebook is a “fact of life” and am working towards figuring out how to use it in small doses and make wise use of the different privacy settings.  And of course, this time round, I’ll have a back up email address to avoid losing control over my Facebook web presence.  I’m sure if push came to shove something could be done but who has the time to pursue this kind of on-line bureaucracy?!  Irksome to say the least.

Last Tuesday, I got the email below, telling me that I was part of an elite group of bloggers.  I was Freshly Pressed!  Comments and “Likes” began pouring in and by the end of the day I had surpassed my previous record for hits by almost 2000.  The following day, I had over 1000 hits and had tripled my number of subscribers.  What a wild ride!

Freshly Pressed

Freshly Pressed Congrats Email

To be Freshly Pressed means that your blog is one of 10-11 blogs featured on the WordPress home page where it says, “The best of 363,479 bloggers, 404,519 new posts, 403,358 comments, & 103,896,794 words posted today on WordPress.com.”  The post accorded this distinction was titled: I Think My Bathroom Scale is Broken.  Which is exactly what I said to my husband when I stepped on the scale for the first time after our 11 day holiday.  I had attributed the unusual amount of flesh around my belly to be caused by not sticking to my planking routine as my daily runs keep my weight quite consistent.

I learned a lot about blogging by the kind, funny and inquisitive comments I received as a result of being Freshly Pressed.  Prior to this, I had not given much thought to the Freshly Pressed concept, other than wondering in passing whether having a photo that lends itself to the narrow horizontal space allotted to each featured blog increased your chances of getting featured.

But now, my bar graph stats are hard to interpret at-a-glance, as compared to the big day, and the day after.  Subsequent and previous days show up as tiny slivers.  Back to reality and I do confess that I find myself a little self-conscious about my posts with so many new subscribers.  Hello, hello . . . and thank you!

On the run today, the blogging jogger tried a new method of carrying her point and shoot camera.  I clipped a small case to the back of my running skirt and there placed my camera.  I won’t go into the details but while making a pit stop my camera fell out of the case and into the toilet and it no longer works. Sad, and costly.

Is the description of this little mishap material for another winning blog post title?

Ciao . . .


Leave a comment

Pitching Portland

Japanese garden, Washington park

Until recently, I had a vague notion that I might like to visit Eugene, Oregon one day being a famous runner’s city but Portland was just a name.  I asked my brother who lives in the Yukon whether he thought we would enjoy visiting Anchorage, Alaska and I received a flurry of emails detailing the wonders of Portland.  We spoke on the phone and he assured me that I would love it and if I didn’t love it, he would give me my money back.

Early morning hang-out, THE NINES lobby

And that is how we ended up sipping coffee in the lobby of the ultra-hip THE NINES hotel.  My brother sent me a Hotwire alert that was offering rooms at THE NINES for nearly half price.  The same price as what we will pay for a very modest rooms in Juneau and Haines in Alaska and where the internet will probably not be free.  So we arrived mid-afternoon on Thursday and fly to Juneau, late Sunday afternoon through Seattle, touching down in Juneau around the time the sun will set.

In pitching Portland to me, Jack described the city as being very Lynn-esque.  Hmm, my husband and I have been mulling this one over, and he says, “Well, not my Lynn particularly.”  The key elements, I think are a bike, runner friendly place with great coffee and bookstores, extensive public transit and casual outdoorsy feel.  But, the birthplace of grunge and a skateboarders haven, not really.  I’m definitely into low-risk sports and if pressed, would have to name jazz as my favourite music.  On the other hand I was a huge fan of Patti Smith when in art school and her bio was the top seller at Powell Books, which is a far better showing than on the NYT best seller list.

So, so good . . . going back for more.

Highlights so far have been; Powell Books, which far outstrips the Strand in New York City, the Japanese gardens in Washington Park, the amazing light rail transit, Stumptown coffee at the ACE Hotel and the best cheese blintzes ever at Kenny and Zuke’s deli just a door away from the ACE Hotel.

A time to blog and a time to RUN!

So much to do, and so much to report but I have a run to get in so gotta go . . . adios!


Leave a comment

What’s up with Lynn?

Forget-me-nots & anemones

Forget-me-nots & anemones

While on the way out the door for my run, my husband told me he had checked my blog three times yesterday.  “What’s up with Lynn?”  he asked, in reference to the absence of new posts.  I found this funny and flattering, in that being a think-out-loud kind of person he definitely knows what is on my mind.  But, the written word does offer another perspective  and as we continue our journey of couplehood we’ve  discovered that writing is a preferred communication medium for my husband.

We are part of a unique sharing group.  It is a couples/marriage sharing group and it has a distinct format.  One couple does a presentation on whatever relationship topic they they like and then they pose a question related to that topic.   The couples disperse to separate rooms or areas and then each person writes a letter to their spouse for 10 minutes.   Then spouses read each others letter twice and then discuss the letters, starting with the letter which contains the strongest emotions.  The discussion is 10 minutes long.

Each letter has to begin with telling your spouse what their most endearing quality was for the day, week, month and so on.  There are also guidelines as to how to express your feelings, as just that, rather than as blame.

Then everyone regroups and we “share” our thoughts and if desired, the contents of our letter.  It is a totally enriching experience to learn from each other and to spend time this way with couples who are highly motivated to “dwell deep”.  The ranges of ages for the nine couples in our group is mid-thirties to early-seventies.

Plant from neighbour

Transplanted from the abundance of a neighbour's garden

To partially answer the question of what’s up, I ran about 14 miles on this absolutely gorgeous day but is was a struggle.  I’ve never felt quite so dead legged as I did today, parting company with my friends to walk and run the final four miles home.  About 400 meters from home I realized why the fatigue.  Blame it on the garden.  Thursday was a GARDEN-RUN-GARDEN duathlon and I am feeling the after-effects now.  The garden is also the reason why I am getting so irregular with the blog.  Although, our gardens, front and back are very modest in size.  A number of our neighbours have incredible gardens they have been tending for decades which overflow with plant material, from which I have inherited a few specimens.

Better go plant those dahlia bulbs . . . ciao!

These dahlias may grow as big as a saucer, I'm told.


2 Comments

Baking not Blogging

Sunnyside Beach not so sunny.

Yesterday, making all the pieces of my day fit together meant arriving at work super-early, running from work, along the lake, through High Park and a brief interlude at home followed by dashing off to a meeting at C-5  with the bandleader of Ethio Fidel Jazz band who will perform at our gala People4Kids.

The day got off to a sweet start as we got an early morning delivery of chocolate from CAMINO fair trade, organic chocolate destined for Gala goodie bags.  We received this note from CAMINO.  WooHoo!

Thank you for considering us as sponsors for your event. We are truly impressed with all your hard work and dedication towards orphaned children affected by AIDS in Ethiopia. We are happy to be able to contribute a small gift for your gala. We are able to offer you 300 chocolate minis (55% dark).

I just popped a chocolate into my mouth and yes, yum, it is superfine stuff.  Thanks Camino chocolate, you are the best!  I’ll also be seeking out their chocolate coconut bar.

Western Horizon seen from Sunnyside Beach

The foggy dew of the morning evolved into an atmospheric mistiness over the lake in the afternoon.  I took the beach shots just before starting the 12 x 200 meter pick-ups with 75 second recovery.  When I remarked to my coach that it was a fun workout, he confided that it is one of his favourites.  My coach, a former Olympian also holds some world records for his age group in the 800 meters.  I gather that one of his training secrets is circuit training which includes hopping up stairs on one foot.

On the heels of my workout I bounded breathlessly into our local Starbuck’s at College and Dovercourt to be greeted by the manager who told me that yes, Starbuck’s will donate a $75 gift basket to the Gala.  This manager is very excited about the opportunity she will have next week to meet Howard Schultz of Starbuck’s.

C5 Charcuterie Plate

As for food I added shredded apple and orange juice to my carrot oatmeal to improve on the “fruitlessness” of Wednesday. Also consumed through the day was; 1 bottle YOP, Activa yogurt (2.9% MF), peanut butter and banana sandwich, portion of a large charcuterie platter and that is it.  Not much really as my appetite is still a little curtailed and I’m feeling about 90%.  A nurse who is part of the team looking into the illness incurred by me and many last Friday was quite interested to hear that I had previously been struck down by the Norwalk virus.

Apple, Carrot, Orange Juice Oatmeal

After returning from C5, I was inspired by the sight of 4 very ripe bananas to bake banana bread for a friend’s visit.  Well, actually she will put to work, helping me to bake 30 dozen cookies.  After baking I was completely out of gas.  Time for bed – blog or no blog.

To Blog or To Bake Banana Bread

p.s.  I just got off the phone with Dufflet pastry and they are donating a cake certificate to the silent auction.  Life is sweet! But — will my friend feel the same way after helping me bake 30 dozen cookies?


3 Comments

Those Google Ads

Recently, I discovered that Google Ads are popping up when people visit my blog.  It turns out that this is the way that the WordPress people make money.  If you do not want the ads on your blog, you have to pay a small fee of $0.08 a day. I would be interested in knowing whether any offensive or ridiculous ads have shown up at your end.  WordPress blogs are not allowed to be monetarized so rest assured, I’m not making any money from the ads.

Click HERE for more information about the Google Ads.


Leave a comment

2011 Tally – Blogging versus Running

Island Airport, Home to Porter Airlines

Ran 5 miles down to the lake and took this photo of the ice by the Island airport early in the day. And now, I’m frantically trying to keep up with my PostADay2011 program here in the terminal of that same airport, waiting for a flight to Ottawa. I’m here on my own, so the blurry photo was taken by setting the camera on auto and balancing it on top of a small bottle of apple juice. I dashed to airport from my photography class and feeling quite weary, took good advantage of the Porter amenities, downing three coffees and four shortbread cookies.

Tripod of the Day, Bottle of Apple Juice

Running versus Blogging Tally

40 days running

39 days blogging