Category Archives: Style

kelseydo half marathon training

"Excited" faces

“Excited” for running faces

Nick and I are training for the Scotiabank Half Marathon in June. We started training once before, a few years ago, but it didn’t work out because a bunch of people decided to get married in the middle of our training and we had to go dance, drink, eat and celebrate instead. Also Nick didn’t want to do hill training. I tried to explain to him that no one ‘wants’ to do it, it simply must be done. Anyways moral of the story is: you can’t tell Nick what to do.

BUT he’s doing hill training now. He even seems to enjoy it. He’s a changed man: he drinks juice made of kale and spinach, runs on a mini foot elliptical while playing video games and goes to bed before 2am.

Running is difficult but rewarding. Our training schedule has us outside 5 times a week rain or shine (or snow a couple times!). We get the benefits of fresh air, taking a mental break and getting some exercise. Also, Nick read somewhere a while ago that “couples who work out together stay together” so there’s that.

Running Start to Finish

Inside this book is the training guide we’ve been using. Obviously it’s from the 90’s and it’s a bit dated but it’s a great beginner’s running guide plus my mom gave it to me so that also means it’s great. Also, I like looking at the pictures of people running/training in the book in their 90’s garb, it makes me feel really cool in my futuristic running gear.

Speaking of running gear. I find running really uncomfortable most of the time and usually I can find at least one thing going wrong with my gear to complain about while running. This is why running gear is so important. If the gear is good, there is less to complain about and the run can actually become fun. I know, weird right?

SPORTS BRAS are muy importante. I used to follow my elders and wear two sports bras at once: one that looked like some kind of post-op device and another run of the mill uniboob maker. Now I have sold my soul and wear the Lululemon TaTa Tamer:

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It does the trick. They also carry this one, the Booby Bracer, which I bought and returned a day later:

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It’s like putting on a really tight wetsuit every time. I decided it was unnecessary to go through that amount of discomfort to put a bra on. However it is supposed to mold to your body once you begin to sweat and your boobs will not move, I guarantee it. See how in the picture the model’s nipples are on top of her boobs, reaching for the ceiling? They were trying to rid themselves from the clutches of this skin tight device seconds before they got strapped in there and now they’re trapped like Hans Solo in a brick of Carbonite. There’s nowhere to go. It’s locked down in there, air tight.

I highly recommend this item by Moving Comfort that I purchased at Extreme Runners in Courtenay:

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It’s an awesome sports bra. Very comfortable and keeps everything in place.

Shoes supplied by Courtenay Frontrunners

Shoes supplied by Courtenay’s Extreme Runners

RUNNING SHOES are of course another very important part of the gear- some might say the most important. Another reason why I love Extreme Runners in Courtenay is that they let you ‘try out’ (lightly) and return running shoes if they aren’t perfect. They should feel perfect when you try them on. I test out a bunch of different pairs and whichever runners make me feel the most like I’m running on clouds, are the runners I buy.

Dodging puddles

Dodging puddles

CHAFING is not part of your running wardrobe. I remove this problem by not wearing shorts; pants to the ankle or just below the knee are key. Nick removes this problem by wearing long shorts that have a shelf liner that keeps his business sealed and protected. Whatever you wear, you need to make sure there is no thigh-on-thigh action. Otherwise you will cry.

Another problem that I have, which probably only happens to me and maybe my mother (aka genetics), is that my pants are always falling down for the first 15 minutes of the run (until I start to sweat and the pants stick on). So far, the only solution I have is to a) buy tighter pants and b) wear pants that are slightly damp (aka not fully dry from being washed). If anyone has another solution- running suspenders, waistband glue- I’m all ears.

APPS We use RunKeeper to record and plan our runs. Nick has a Pebble- a watch that connects to his smartphone- which vibrates when we’ve completed our run.

What a beautiful day :S

What a beautiful day :S

Hope you enjoyed my tips. Please share some of your own tips/tricks with me! I still have a long way to go and a lot to work on before the half marathon.

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kelseydo Gion Matsuri

Last week I got a chance to visit Kyoto’s biggest and oldest festival, Gion Matsuri! It is a month long event but the most popular evenings are the nights of the 15th, 16th and the day of the 17th for the parade.

This is the only event where I felt like as a foreigner I was encouraged to wear the Yukata, the light-knit cotton/linen robe that is more casual than the Kimono. It was really fun to wear out on the town. I felt like I was wearing my bathrobe outside. My friend Chika told me that a long time ago the Yukata was only for use in the home for bathing so I was right to feel this way!

Beautiful Bow

Beautiful Bow

Getting dolled up

Getting dolled up

Yukata on!

Yukata on!

Luckily we had Yuko-san to help us get our Yukatas on properly and to tie the Obi into a perfect bow!

Alex wearing my 'drinking jacket'

Alex wearing my ‘drinking jacket’

Daniel showing off the artwork on his Happi

Daniel showing off the artwork on his Happi

Alex, Haruna & I

Alex, Haruna & I

Daniel and Haruna

Daniel and Haruna

Waiting for the Randen

Waiting for the Randen

Escalator shot

Escalator shot

Faces on the subway

Faces on the subway

It was really busy once we got downtown! There were people everywhere. Apparently tens-of-thousands of people go each night. All the main streets were closed down and there were a lot of food stalls, souvenir shops and the parade floats were all lit up with music playing.

Megumi & I at Shijo Karasuma

Megumi & I at Shijo Karasuma

Food stalls

Food stalls

Dessert!

Dessert!

Marcus enjoying some snacks

Marcus enjoying some snacks

Haruna digging in- not too sure what this is called but it's an egg with sauces on a giant squid cracker

Haruna digging in- not too sure what this is called but it’s an egg with sauces on a giant squid cracker

As usual, the food was one of the main events for us- we had to try everything!

Streetside bar

Streetside bar

A lot of people were enjoying their beer in the street, there were even little cocktail shops set up on the side of the street like this.

We were lucky enough to get up close and personal to a few of the parade floats.

Lanterns

Lanterns

More Lanterns

More Lanterns

Giant float including full size tree

Giant float including full size tree

photo 1

Marcus and Daniel enjoying the view from a float- the ladies weren't allowed on this one

Marcus and Daniel enjoying the view from a float- the ladies weren’t allowed on this one

photo 4We got to take a tour of this one while they were playing drums and singing inside of it but of course- no photos!

And then more food…we were on a mission for frozen bananas! It was a very hot and humid night.

Candy apple

Candy apple

Takoyaki- fried octopus balls (Mom's favorite!)

Takoyaki- fried octopus balls (Mom’s favorite!)

Lanterns everywhere!

Lanterns everywhere!

We found the mysterious frozen banana!

We found the mysterious frozen banana!

Banana Kanpai!

Banana Kanpai!

Beth loves waffles...on a stick!

Beth loves waffles…on a stick!

This guy...

This guy…

The gang!

The gang!

All in all it was an amazing night! I wish I could have gone again but unfortunately it was right in the middle of all my final exams for school.

Gion Matsuri can’t be missed!

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kelseydo nagashi somen & thrift shopping

Days like today I stop and think…wow, I am living in Kyoto! I am so lucky! Sometimes I forget. Actually often I forget. Trying to adapt to everyday life in a different country makes you forget how truly wild it is that you are there! But of course there are those moments of clarity. Today was one of those moments!

I started the day with a fun event organized by a tutor association (TISA) at Ritsumeikan. There were about 30 International students and 20 Japanese students participating in the event so I got to speak in English and Japanese which was great. We played a lot of ice-breaking/group-making games and then we enjoyed the main event: eating Nagashi Somen!

Nagashi Somen is an eating style where people catch and eat somen noodles with chopsticks as they run down a bamboo pipe in a stream of water.

Nagashi Somen Line Up!

Nagashi Somen Line Up!

Hard at work, pouring water and adding somen

Hard at work: pouring water and adding Somen

Catching noodles!

Catching noodles!

Good times

After the event, my friend Alex and I went on a mission for coffee. We had a particular cafe in mind: Cafe Kamogawa.

On the road

Alex on the road

Alex found this little gem on a website called Eat Drink Kyoto, that listed Cafe Kamogawa as THE BEST COFFEE in Kyoto so naturally we had to go all the way across town to try it.

Alex enjoying her coffee at Cafe Kamogawa

Alex enjoying her coffee at Cafe Kamogawa

My Iced Cafe Mocha came with a scoop of ice cream: DELIGHT

My Iced Cafe Mocha came with a scoop of ice cream: DELIGHT

Alex hamming it up

Alex hamming it up

Needless to say, the coffee was divine and the dessert was even better. Alex had a slice of lemon cheesecake and I had a piece of soufflé roll cake. I didn’t really need the dessert after I saw that my Iced Cafe Mocha came with a scoop of ice cream- amazing!

Outside of Cafe Kamogawa

Outside of Cafe Kamogawa

There are so many little unique cafes in Kyoto and this experience made me want to try them all! It was a fantastic way to spend the afternoon. Alex is a riot, she is always cracking me up with her funny sayings and ridiculous faces. I might have to pack her up and bring her back to Canada with me in my suitcase!

We stopped at a small recycle shop (thrift store/second hand store) that was loaded with incredibly quirky and unique items.

A highly stylized miniature bow & arrow set

A highly stylized miniature bow & arrow set

I managed to spy a few goodies and took home some loot:

A cool top $4.80

A cool top $4.80

Back side

Back side

A red coin purse with a small pocket inside for loose change $5

A red coin purse with a small pocket inside for loose change $5

Afterwards we rode our bikes home through Myoshinji, a beautiful zen buddhist temple complex near our dorm. It was “magic hour” (as Nick likes to call it) when the sun is setting and the lighting is nice and warm but not too bright.

Shameless bike riding selfie

Shameless bike riding selfie

Alex leading the way

Alex leading the way

I always wish my weekends were just one day longer! Especially the last few weekends because I have had class/work on Saturdays.

I only have 49 days left in Kyoto, guess I had better make the most of it!

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kelseydo men’s taper haircut

The last time I cut Nick’s hair I accidentally shaved a big round circle into the back of his head. It was pretty bad…I might as well have wrote my initials in there. Luckily he is tall so not a lot of people could see up there and also hair grows pretty damn fast so it was only really brutal for the first few days.

This weekend I got a hair cutting lesson from my brother. Dylan isn’t really one to care too much about how he looks so I was pretty curious how he knew so much about hair styling. He told me he just watched what they do at the hair salon and remembered the steps. Like it’s that easy. Here I’ve been drinking wine and pouring my heart out to my stylist when really I should just shut up and take mental notes on what she’s doing so I can eventually cut my own hair (not happening!).

I tried the taper haircut technique on Dylan and Nick. I think it turned out pretty good.

They both really like their new hair cuts. Now that they trust me to cut their hair I can work them into letting me give them a faux-hawk, flat top or a fade just like I’ve always wanted to!

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