April 16th, 2013
132 notes ·

Finding The Good In Races


My God, Boston. What an unbelievable day yesterday was. What a tragic, painful, and sad day it was. My heart won’t soon heal from this, and I can’t even fathom the pain and sadness happening right now in Boston and in some people’s homes.

I could write many words about how I hope from the bottom of my soul that they find the person(s) who did this. Or, how my thoughts and prays have constantly been with the victims and their families since the moment I saw the news. Or, how it felt like a personal hit because of my connection with marathons, and the obvious realization that it could have been me or my loved ones. Or, because I was asleep while a major tragedy happened, which made me feel so disconnected from home. Or, how the images I’ve seen will stay with me long after the last media words are written about it…

But so much has already been written on the even - so many angry and sad words said - that instead I thought I’d tell you about my favourite moments of running races, because there is so much good, love and happiness in running races and the running community, that it shouldn’t be forgotten.

  1. The Wait Before The Race Starts. I left my hotel bright and early on the morning of the Chicago marathon and slowly walked to the start line. The city was quiet, but if you looked between the office building streets, you couldn’t mistake the thousands of runners quietly walking to the start. And then complete strangers, hustled together in their corrals to stay warm, taking photos of each other, and wishing each other well. The air was electric with anticipation! 3, 2, 1… GO!
  2. Seeing runners see their loved ones. This surely has to be up there for anyone. Even thinking about it now, I can feel tears forming in my eyes. The moment a runner sees their loved ones, is truly something special. Their tired, sore, bodies suddenly get a surge of energy, their faces light up, and off they bound to hug their people - the people who showed up to support them. Photos, hugs, and tears of joy are guaranteed.
  3. Running through the different areas of a city. I have been fortunate enough to run in the Chicago, Las Vegas and Berlin marathons, and in turn got to run through some pretty awesome areas. My favourite was Chicago’s gay & lesbian crew – who were out in full force that morning dancing, and encouraging runners. And Chicago’s Chinatown drums; you could hear the beat a few miles away and although I didn’t know what it was then, it was so encouraging to run towards it.
  4. Seeing runners being encouraged by complete strangers. I felt like a celebrity when I ran the Chicago marathon in 2010. Thousands (actually) of people must have yelled my name, hoping to give me a little something-something to finish my race. And you better believe they did. All of the friendly smiles, waves, and high fives from children keep you going when you’re at the 35k (21 mile) mark. I’ll also never forget the houses that had their water hoses out that day, spraying the hot, sweaty runners, and helping them cool down.
  5. The moment you realize this is a HUGE deal. It happens to everyone. At some point, somewhere along the course you’ll have the, “whoa, I used to be a couch potato, and now I’m running a marathon” feeling. It’s unavoidable, wonderful, and guaranteed to make even the strongest folks tear up.
  6. Seeing the signs. Oh Marathon signs! I love love love them! From “Chuck Norris Never Ran a Marathon,” to “Run Like a Kenyan,” or simply “You Got This,” they are so much fun to read, and so appreciated by a tired, exhausted, I-just-want-to-stop runner.
  7. Seeing the finish line. This has to be a separate point to “crossing the finish line,” because this is one hell of a moment. The spectators are at their loudest here and you’re at your peak exhaustion mode. It’s a wonderful equation and one that tests your marathon spirit.
  8. Crossing the finish line. This moment. This is your moment. You’re alone, and you’ve done what you set out to do. You smile for the cameras. You try not to collapse. You self high five yourself, because you sir, just ran a marathon. And my God, that is a HUGE deal.
  9. Getting your medal. Volunteers wait for the runners to come through the final chute, and congratulate them, and then hang a medal around their neck. I hugged and cried into the teenage boy’s arms who placed my medal on my neck. I apologized for my behaviour, and he smiled at me and said, “no, it’s a huge deal! congratulations.”
  10. After the marathon. The afternoon after the Chicago marathon I took the guided river boat tour with my parents (not recommend right after a marathon ps). The whole boat clapped for me, and they announced me on the loud speaker. Everyone was so impressed, and I beamed with happiness. I also went shopping the next day, and was waiting in line to pay at Banana Republic when I was told to “skip the line, you ran the marathon!” by the manager. Also, the security guard at the airport asked to see my medal, and high fived me. See? It’s so awesome. There is also a wonderful smile and head nod when runners recognize each other – it’s like you’re both saying, “yup, we’re awesome (and sore, so sore).”

I don’t think anyone will ever understand why yesterday’s awful event happened; it was a horrific and senseless tragedy that affected and broke so many innocent lives. But what I don’t think it broke was the running community’s spirit. If anything, I think the outcome will be a more united, tight-knit community. Because for me, as a marathoner, runner, and spectator, its made me want to run harder, go faster, and support louder and be proud to be part of such a supportive, strong, and awesome community.

January 13th, 2012
50 notes ·

New York City and Boston: The Budget

Oh yes my Pretty Ones, just like every trip I’ve ever been on, I set a budget for this little spontaneous getaway of mine to New York City and Boston. 

My Goal: $500

My original plan was to visit New York City for only 7 days on $500 (#spoileralert #failed). But (of course there’s a damn but…) then I extended my trip and stayed a total of 12 days in NYC, and added Boston to my trip for 3 nights.

Here the dirty deets.

Cash Withdrawn: $600
VISA Card setback:
Trip Total:
$1,287.20 (for 12 days in NYC, and 3 days Boston)

The Breakdown:


Toronto —> New York City (bus): $85.50
New York City —-> Boston (bus): $13.50
Boston —> Toronto (flight):  $111.20 
Cabs in NYC: $45
Cabs in Boston: $26
Metro Pass NYC: $50
Metro Pass Boston: $10
      Total: $341.20


NYC #1 with my lovely friend Kavita: $0
NYC #2 with my talented friend Amanda (NYE):
NYC #3 with my beautiful friend Sarah:
Boston with the gorgeous Naomi and Claire:
: $0


In NYC: $450
In Boston: $100
     Total: $550


In NYC (Gap and Macy’s): $235 #fail
In Boston: -
      Total: $235


Ferry to watch the sunset: $4
Central Park NYE Run: $50
Glamour office tour:  -
Walking around NYC / the park: -
The American History Museum: -
Sleep No More: $80
The MOMA:  -
Detroit Disabled Exhibit:  -   
Top of the Rock: $27
Snow Patrol Concert: -
Vivian Maier Exhibit: -
God of Carnage Play: -
     TOTAL: $161

The Summary

Transportation: $341.20
$0 (luck girl I am!)
Shopping: $235
     TOTAL: $1,287.20

My Final Thoughts

Despite this trip shifting my money situation into the sketchy-every-penny-will-count-zone for Australia, it was worth it.  Had I not been an idiot and shopped (Macy’s and The Gap), I would have done 2 weeks away in NYC and Boston for $1,000, which I don’t think is too shabby! 

Obviously I am incredibly fortunate to have such great friends who let me stay in their abodes for free - Thank you so much everyone! I couldn’t have done this trip without you.

I was also very fortunate to get free tickets to all the galleries in NYC, invited to Glamour, free tickets to Snow Patrol!, and God of Carnage. Thank you so much to all those who helped me out!! I am forever in your debt :)

Ps. I was thinking of doing a Big Budget post (from Berlin, Croatia, Nepal and S E Asia), but would people care? Should I bother… let me know peeps.

January 11th, 2012
50 notes ·

13 things on a Wednesday

  1. Boston! I am in Boston! I’ve always wanted to come to Boston, since, like, high school. I always thought Boston would slip itself into the #1 spot on my favourite city list. It has not. Although don’t get me wrong, I do like it, but judging from my 1st impressions, I  wouldn’t fight to live here. This is probably because I just came from NYC, which makes Boston seem too teeny-tiny.
  2. *Boston Meetup!* Although, I use the word “meetup” lightly, more of a, come hangout, grab a beer, laugh, enjoy gossip, casual-style. You know the deal. I’ll be awkward, you can judge, I’ll then be more awkward.  So what are the dirty deets, you ask? 8:30pm Lucky’s. Across from the infamous Drink, which I’ll assume will be too busy and/or cool for me.
  3. Ta-Da! Look who’s on Shape.com today. This gal! It’s all about my mus-ique choices for working out. Although, they left out my actual “go-to” songs, so: Black & Gold by Sam Sparro // Ignition by R. Kelly // Wrath Pinned to the Mist and Other Games by Of Montreal // We Made You by Eminem // Love the Way You Life by Eminem/Rihanna // Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol // I’ve Just Seen a Face by Jim Sturgess (Across the Universe Soundtrack)  //Suddenly I see by KT Tunstall
  4. I was lucky enough to get invited to see God of Carnage tonight with the lovely Miss. Nicole Marie. She got *free* tickets for me and my friend. I can’t thank you enough, Nicole, so… thank-you! thank-you!
  5. I am craving petting animals right now. Like, weirdly so. All I want to do is run over to any cat and/or dog I see lately and pet it. Lucky for me my two friends Naomi and Claire, have a cat and dog. I’m going to sneak into their rooms tonight and lure the animals to come sleep with me. Also, I am going riding this weekend high-five! high-five!
  6. I am addicted to Instagram (ps my username: Fabulizzles)
  7. Toronto on Friday. I’m actually excited about going home, excited to see my people, and touch and hug them in inappropriate ways. I’m also excited to run.  I gave up the whole fighting myself to run on vacation thing, I’m awful (re: too lazy) to do it, but come next week - schedules will be made, and running shoes will be laced.
  8. Finding a house and/or job in The Melbourne is proving harder than I thought.
  9. I would give anything to get my body from this time last year back. But here’s the kicker… this time last year? I thought I was fat. FO-SHAME! I am stunned at what a difference a few pounds can do to one’s clothes (stupid winter jacket won’t zip up anymore). I look at photos of my trip, or from last summer and can’t believe how skinny I was. I also can’t believe how I didn’t see how little I was then!!!
  10. okCupid update? Well… let’s just say I have yet to stumble across someone who makes me excited.  I’m up to message #8 (go me!) with a guy, but kind of want to transition him into being friends. No one has sparked my fancy that much yet. Also (shallow alert), but when super-hot-smokin’-foxes message me with a nice, well thought out message, I get too scared to message them back. It’s this stupid thing I do, not respond to good looking people. #noideawhy
  11. I didn’t tell y’all this, because y’know, my blog is filled with pretty, shiny, distraing things, but the other day I cried in the MOMA’s washroom. So many things happened at once. And then boom. I was looking at art alone in the MOMA, and felt so lonely and sad. Like a failure. I didn’t have a boyfriend, or anyone I even liked. Like everyone in my life was pairing off, but me. I cried. At 27. In the MOMA’s disabled toilet stall. I cried. I don’t know. Sometimes I just feel so damn lonely, and in those moments, it really hurts to be me.
  12. I had a moment by myself yesterday where I *freaked* out at my current life status of one-way ticket to Melbourne, no job, no friends, no house, gained weight, dwindling money, no boyfriend… no life. Enough said. As you can assume I freaked out, and really questioned whether I was making the right life decision by moving. If only I could live in NY, I just seem to get that city, and it gets me. Le sigh… (stupid immigration).
  13. I can’t stop eating lately. Even though my pants are so tight I can see the red lines on my stomach the. next. morning. OMIGOD why did I just admit that? But for some reason, I’m just in this numb, I-don’t-care, I’ll-deal-with-it-later-phase. It’s sad. Depressing really. I don’t know what else to say. Sometimes I’ll literally tell myself (not outloud, i’m not *that* crazy), you are eating right now because you’re lonely, but then I’ll still eat it. When I’m not even hungry. Issues. I need to run again. I need a routine.
January 11th, 2012
32 notes ·

Walking around the prestigious Harvard University campus today, and all I think is, ‘huh, so this is where Facebook started, eh?’


January 11th, 2012
45 notes ·

Cozy n’ happy with Ruby, my new bff, in Boston while doing some resume-reviewing and apartment-hunting for Melbourne.

Ps. I so need to figure out a better sleep/awake schedule, as it’s 2am and I feel wide awake.

Welcome! I'm Liz, the girl relieved the Internet has 0 calories. South African by birth; Canadian on paper. A marathoner. CrossFitter. Paleo (somewhat) eater. Traveler. Cheese lover. And I think you're great!

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