Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Goodbye 2014

2014 has been a year with a lot of ups and downs, and like every year, today is the day to look and and say goodbye. Between a break up and months of stomach problems, there's also been an amazing trip to Thailand, I've met incredible people and I ran my first half-marathon. Though it's been full of ups and downs, I would say it was a pretty great year.

Let's take a look at 2014:
January and February:

This is when I realized that sometimes you have to admit defeat, that you've been trying to do too much and to slow down, and then a month later, decided to add yet another thing to this long list; training for a half-marathon. (Looks like someone didn't learn their lesson!)

March and April:

March was when I started realizing that it's beyond easy to get injured when running... And with my luck, get every. possible. injury. all at once.At the same time as working extremely hard during those two months to finish editing my two film projects for class: a documentary and a short film.

May and June:

May and June were two insane and incredible months. I ran my first half-marathon, and then went to Thailand by myself for a month. It was such an amazing trip that I had to write five posts about it!

July and August:

The rest of the summer was... not as busy as I wished it had been. I had two jobs, yet I barely made enough hours to work part-time. Though I do have to say, running Color Me Rad and Mud Hero were really awesome!

September and October:

Well, I started my last year of university ever! Which, I don't know about you, but I think is really exciting! For Halloween, I made this adorable loofah costume. I also started running again, and it was a lot easier than I thought it would be, but more on that later.

November and December:

November was a busy month, what with filming our film class project while doing all my other projects for my other classes, but it was a good experience, though I dread having to edit it. As mentioned above, I also started running again... and in Winnipeg, that means running in cold weather, with very expensive running clothes...

So there goes 2014. It was a great year, but I'm ready for 2015.

Monday, December 22, 2014

New Running Gear!

For Christmas, my mother and I decided that instead of buying me a present, she would pay for some of my running gear. So, we headed to Running Room and went on a shopping spree....
Leggings: New Balance // Shirt: Running Room // Jacket: Running Room // Socks: Running Room FitSok

Let me tell you, running is not cheap. These leggings cost about $100, but oh my, are they comfortable. They are wind resistant, really warm, super flexible, they have a pocket for keys or a small music device, and they have that plastic band at the bottom so they don't rise up and let your ankles freeze.

Leggings: New Balance // Shirt: Running Room // Jacket: Running Room // Socks: Running Room FitSok
I paid for the shirt and the jacket, but also for a pair of socks and honestly, I never thought I would say this, but socks make an incredibly huge difference when you run. These socks have some kind of arch support built in, they are sooooo comfortable and super warm!
Leggings: New Balance // Shirt: Running Room // Jacket: Running Room // Socks: Running Room FitSok
In total, a pair of leggings, a shirt, jacket and socks cost about $250. Whoever said running was cheap, was gravely mistaken. At least winter running (in Winnipeg, no less) isn't... But, this stuff is amazing and totally worth the price. Plus, it doesn't look too bad either ;)

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Winter Running 101

Winter is coming... and so is marathon training!

Last year I trained for my first half-marathon and most of my training was done during the winter, which was most definitely a learning experience. Now, winter is coming back around and I thought I would share a few tips I have learned.

1. Roads are safer than sidewalks. The sidewalks are always very slippery, covered in ice, while the city puts sand and salt on the roads, which make them so much safer to run on.

2. Cleats will save your life! You know those strap-on cleats that old people use on their shoes? Well they are absolutely fantastic when it comes time to run outside. They may look and feel silly, but trust me, it works and you'll be glad you have them. Just like an old person, it'll make you feel safe when you go outside.

3. You will always overestimate the weather. When you run, you warm up. It's a fact of life, which most of us forget when they get ready to go outside. Wearing 15 layers of clothes will most likely hinder your run more than anything... and do you really want to be that guy with his sweater tied around his hips? Didn't think so. Most websites say dress 15 degrees colder than the weather outside, and I agree. So far, always every time it was really cold outside, I've overdressed WAY too much and was stuck dragging my stupid clothes around with me.

4. Develop night vision. Everyone knows that it gets dark really early during the winter and the sun takes forever to rise in the morning, which means that unless you run on your lunch break, chances are, you will be running in the dark.

5. Running during the winter is actually kind of nice. Not everyone will believe me on this one, but I love running during the winter. Mostly for the "you ran in this weather?!" reactions, but also because there's just something really great about running outside during the winter. I enjoy running in the dark and yes, I do somehow enjoy the burning feeling in my lungs.

(5.5) Frozen eyelashes.... I don't know about you, but I find frozen eyelashes hilarious!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Sequential Perspective

For my filmmaking class, we had to do a small project on sequential perspective. This is when you take a small, usually boring action and add multiple angles to make it interesting and add emotion.
For example, someone waiting at a bus stop. Usually, that's a 15 second shot of someone waiting. But if that scene is important to the story, it could turn into a 3-5 minute scene. You do close-ups and see his foot twitching and him biting his lip, for example, which would give us more emotion and tension than a simple shot of him waiting.

I decided to do my project on putting makeup on. It's boring to watch but has the potential for many different interesting angles, so I asked my friend Nicola to be my subject and got her to put makeup on a bazillion times and film it from all sorts of angles, like me sitting in the tub with the camera, pretending to be a mirror.

When I was editing this footage, I had to colour-correct it a lot, because the whole thing was very orange. There was one shot that looked absolutely beautiful and slightly grainy, giving the whole thing a "vintage" look to it, and with the song I picked, it fit really well, so I decided to have the whole thing look like that.

Here it is! I hope you enjoy :)

Friday, December 12, 2014

Last First Semester


I just finished my last first semester of university. I only have one semester left and then I will graduate. I'M GONNA GRADUATE! I still can't wrap my mind around this fact.

This term went by insanely fast. I can't even believe it's already December! I feel like I haven't done anything! I've taken five classes and I have three exams left to write, then I'm done! I thought this year would be crazy busy, that I would be in over my head, but other than maybe 1 or 2 anxiety attacks, these last three months have gone very smoothly.

History of Film: Okay, this is the most boring class I've ever taken. I mean, yes, it's nice that we just watch movies and stuff, but then the prof spends a solid 30 minutes talking as monotonously as possible about the movie and I actually fell asleep in class for the first time in my entire educational career... This is a full-year class, so I'm stuck with him until the end of April, unfortunately.

Filmmaking 2: This class is great. It's 6 hours long, though, which is brutal, but it's so interesting! Typically, we get a lecture during the first three, and then our prof sends us out with cameras to film or do whatever he taught us during the lecture. The second half of this term was dedicated to filming a group film with the class, which to be quite honest, was awful... Next term we will be filming our own movies, with scripts we wrote ourselves and I can't wait!
Photo credit: Ervin Chartrand

Nutrition for Health and Wellness: I actually find this class super interesting! It's really useful information about nutrition (obviously) and things I can use in my every day life. The only downside is that the prof uses the PowerPoint slides provided with the textbook, and it's literally word for word what is written in the textbook... so showing up to class seems so unnecessary.

Introduction to Human Geography: I'm not sure if I like this class.... The beginning was really boring, all about the history of geography and stuff, but the second part was better; all about languages and diffusion, which I find really interesting, but the prof is just terrible at explaining the material....

Introduction to Creative Writing: By far my favourite class. Writing is one of my passions and I love the way this prof teaches the class. She'll talk about a concept, then give us a writing prompt and give us 15-20 minutes at the end to just write. I've written a lot of stuff I'm proud of, like my Ode to a Sugar Cube, for example. It's definitely re-sparked my love for writing.

I've also been working two jobs and I started running again, so I seem so busy, but I really don't feel like I did all that much! Weird huh?

It's been a great semester and I'm definitely excited for my last last semester.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

10 Random Facts About Me

A year ago, I wrote a post about 10 random facts about me and I thought I would do it again! It's been  almost exactly a year since I wrote this, so it's definitely time for a new one!

1. My favourite animal is an elephant. The babies are adorable, they are so smart, and after being around them in Thailand, you can just feel how personality they all have.

2. I've written 3 novels. Technically two; one is a complete re-write of another, that I re-wrote from scratch with a lot of plot changes, and the other is a sort of memoir. None of these have ever been published nor will they ever be.

3. I'm a totally lightweight with beer, but vodka? Bring it. Three beers makes me tipsy... so does half a bottle of vodka.

4. "In a Galaxy Close to You." is the (English translation) name of my all-time favourite TV show. It's a show made in Quebec about a mission in space in 2038, to find a new planet to replace Earth and it's absolutely hilarious.

5. My favourite quote is and has always been "You don't have a soul. You are a soul, you have a body." -C.S. Lewis.

6. If I had to choose ONE religion.... it would be Buddhism. Ever since Thailand, I've been thinking a lot about it and if I had to pick one religion, this would be it.

7. Proud Geek. I love Star Wars and I'm proud of being a huge fan and wanting all the merchandise I can find (if only money wasn't an option...)

8. I bake, not cook. I do like cooking, but I much prefer baking. Cookies, cake, cupcakes, bring it on!

9. My iPod is a jumble of music. I have so much music on there, with lots of variety, from heavy metal to Taylor Swift to T-Pain to The Police. And I love all of it.

10. I have been on almost every continent. I only need to go to South America and Oceania and I'll have been on every continent!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Half-Marathon #2!

Remember last year how I ran my first half-marathon (and almost died)? Well, I'm doing it again! For her birthday, my mom wanted to go run a half-marathon in Europe and had thought about running in Berlin, and I thought, "any excuse to go back!" and "I need to get in shape!" so I started training and ran my first half-marathon in May 2014. It didn't go very well, but I finished it and that's what counts. Today, I officially start training for this half-marathon.

Most training programs are only 12 weeks long, but I stretched mine out to 16 weeks, just to give myself a little more time to prepare, as I found 12 weeks was really hard on my body. I've been running with a friend since mid-September and we've been running 6 miles on average, so I definitely feel like this race will be a little easier.

I based my training off of Hal Higdon's Novice 2 half-marathon training, like last year, and simply added 4 weeks at the beginning.

34th annual Vattenfall Berlin Half-marathon 

I will be running the 35th annual Vatenfall Berliner Halbmarathon on March 29, 2015, in Berlin, Germany and you can't even imagine how excited I am! Here's what the course looks like; we will be running by some of the coolest monuments in Berlin, including the Brandenburg Gate (in the picture above), the Berlin Cathedral, Potsdamer Platz and even the famous TV Tower.

March 29th 2015, here I come!
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